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Found 127 results

  1. TopDrawings 66 – Focke-Wulf Fw.190 (9788366148161) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Fw.190 was designed as a replacement to the Bf.109, but we all know that the 109 soldiered on manfully to the end of the war, and that the 190 gave the British Spitfires a bit of a shock when it was first encountered. As usual with WWII German aircraft, they tried to make the aircraft all things to all men, and wasted valuable resources adapting it to do other tasks such as Ground Attack (F) with a lower altitude tuned BMW801 engine and bomb racks, Long range light bomber/attack (G) with reduced armament to carry bombs, and the ungainly two-seat trainer (S) which were re-designated A series airframes. We have kits in the all the scales from most manufacturers due to the popularity of the type, from 1:144 to 1:24, with 1:48 having some brand new modernised toolings from Eduard. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of canopy masks for the F & G Eduard kits in 1:48 and 1:72, plus a handsome A4 print of an F-8 flying low over some Russian armour. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, two of which are printed with other titles in the series, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a pair of F-9s. The first half of the plans begins with the S-5 and S-8 trainer variants with their odd angular canopies, then switches to the F-3, F-8, F-8/R1 and U1, and F-9. After this the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. Following the break there is another set of plans for the F-8/R1 Mistel, Ru-344 and Hagelkorn glide-bomb carrier, then a single page devoted to the G-2,3,4 & 8. The last page shows the main differences between the single-seat variants from F through G. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections of the fuselage, fuel tanks, missiles, bombs, guns and such. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks and print a nice bonus. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. TopDrawings 70 – Petlyakov Pe-2 (9788366148208) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Pe-2 was designed by Vladimir Petlyakov while he languished in prison for supposedly delaying another project, and turned out to be a useful light bomber that lent itself well to adaptation for different tasks and structural improvement, so became a mainstay of the Soviet Air Force. It had some advanced features for a pre-war design, with a pair of turbocharged engines and pressurised cockpit amongst other novelties for the time. We have kits in the smaller scales from a few manufacturers due to the relative obscurity of the type outside of the former Soviet Union, but we certainly have more now than we used to from the likes of Zvezda (with Eduard reboxing) in 1:48, Hobby Boss in 1:72 to name two of the more modern toolings. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of canopy masks for both the kits mentioned above. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a Series 359 airframe and two loose A3 sheets printed on both sides with plans of the 110th series. The first half of the plans show the variants from the prototype with a full length canopy, Series 110, differing nose glazing types, 83 series, 115th series, 205th series and the 359 series that is shown on the rear cover. After this the example profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover. After the break there is another set of plans of the Pe-2 with radial engines, the UT trainer variant with two separate cockpits, the upgraded Pe-3 BIS heavy fighter, the Pe-2 fighter, plus more views of the prototype VI-100 and the 110th series. The final three pages show side profiles with the changes between them visible, and the solitary wooden-tailed 115th series picked out with a captioned arrow. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show cross-sections of the fuselage, landing gear arrangement, prop profiles, canopies, instrument panels, fuel tanks, weapons and engines. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that has drama and poignancy at the same time. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. TopDrawings 68 – Curtiss P-40B/C/D/E (9788366148185) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The P-40 was designed as a low-cost fighter/ground-attack aircraft, which struggled to keep up with the moving goalposts that were set for it in terms of performance. It was eventually accepted into service in 1941 under the name Warhawk, and Tomahawk in British service with the Kittyhawk moniker being coined for the D onwards. It still wasn't the fastest kid on the block, so tended to be used primarily in theatres away from the top-echelon Bf.109s and Fw.190s. Thus it tends to be associated with the Pacific theatre, where despite suffering heavy losses it was useful as close air support as well as a fighter. We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type, despite its shortcomings. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a handsome A4 print of a P-40B battling the Japanese invaders at Pearl Harbour. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 28 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a couple of Es. The first half of the plans show the variants from the XP-40, Tomahawk Mk.I, P-40B Tomahawk Mk.IIA & B, P-40C and D, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover. After this change of pace there is another set of plans on the P-40E and its trainer variant, plus the E-1. The final six pages show side and top profiles with the changes between the variants discussed picked out in grey, and bullet-pointed lists detailing the changes further. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows gun packs, bombs, cross-sections of the fuselage, instrument panels, fuel tanks and weaponry. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that has drama and poignancy at the same time. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. TopDrawings 67 – Bf.109G/K (9788366148130) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The 109 was reaching the end of its potential for development as Britain and Germany fought the Battle of Britain, but the designers still managed to squeeze yet more from the ageing airframe, so much so that it lasted until the end of WWII, although in fewer numbers due to the attrition both of pilots and the factories in which the aircraft were made. The Gustav was perhaps the pinnacle of development, refining the design, streamlining the airframe and taking advantage of engine developments despite the limitations of the basic design. The G series can be broken down between early and late, and the short-lived K series, of which the K-4 was the only in-service sub-variant of the attempt to standardise production can be appended to the Gustav's run, as it was effectively concurrent, shared many design aspects, and was the last wartime development of the type. We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type (along with the Spitfire and 190). The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of Balkenkreuz paint masks for the Bf.109G/K in 1:48 and 1:72, which could probably be used in plenty of other circumstances too. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 24 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of a couple of Ks, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 with plenty of K drawings. The first half of the bound plans show the variants with several pages devoted to the G-1/G-3 , G-4 and G-2, with weapons fitment diagrams for the G-2, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover. After the break there are a comprehensive set of plans on the G-10, plus some of the various field modifications and weapons fits. The final four pages show side profiles with the changes between the discussed picked out in grey, with bullet-pointed lists detailing the changes further. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows gun packs, the differences in intakes/exhausts, weapons carriers and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you have wanted to try painting your own markings. You might also be interested in TopDrawings 63, which covers the rest of the G series. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. TopDrawings 63 – Bf.109G-5/6/8/12/14 (9788366148086) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Bf.109 was reaching the end of its potential for development as Britain and Germany fought the Battle of Britain, but the designers still managed to squeeze yet more from the ageing airframe, so much so that it lasted until the end of WWII, although in fewer numbers due to the attrition both of pilots and the factories in which the aircraft were made. The Gustav was perhaps the pinnacle of development, refining the design, streamlining the airframe and taking advantage of engine developments despite the limitations of the basic design. The G series can be broken down between early and late, and to an extent the K-4, which was the only sub-variant of the attempt to standardise production that reached service and can be lumped into the Gustav's orbit, as it was effectively concurrent, and the last wartime development of the type. We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type (along with the Spitfire). The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of masks for the Tamiya Bf.109G-6 in 1:48, which is the latest kit of the type. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles including the ungainly two-seater G-12, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 with the differences between the covered sub-variants picked out in grey. The first half of the bound plans show the variants with several pages devoted to the G-6, and one of the G-5, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover. After the break there is another page on the G-5, then the G-14, which is also shown on maintenance stands with the tail held high by two tripods and a cross-bar. After that we skip back to the G-8 and finish with the G-12, which as already mentioned has an additional cockpit behind the standard one for training and VIP transport purposes. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows rocket packs, the differences in tail units, props, weapons carriers and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to have succumbed to the new kit from Tamiya. You might also be interested in TopDrawings 67, which covers the rest of the G series and the short-lived K-4. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. TopDrawings 64 – Focke Wulf Fw.190A (9788366148093) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK Introduced in 1941 to combat the ever-improving Spitfire, the Fw.190 was intended to supplant the Bf.109 if it reached a plateau in development, or run alongside it as a stablemate. Its powerful twin-bank radial engine was installed with a close-fitting cowling and was initially equipped with an oversized, ducted prop-spinner to keep the engine cool, which was discarded early in development in favour of a fan that ran on the prop's drive-shaft to push air through the cylinder heads, which also facilitated oil cooling. It was also given a wide-track landing gear, which reduced the likelihood of a nose-over, a problem afflicting both the 109 and Spitfire, due to their narrow track and poor forward visibility. When it first encountered Spitfires, it gave the Allied pilots a shock, as they were expecting 109s, not these agile little aircraft. It caused a frenzy of development at Supermarine, which was just part of the leapfrog game played on both sides throughout the conflict. The initial A-1 production version was equipped with a BMW 801 engine, and by the time it matured, it had two 7.92mm guns in the cowling, and a pair of 20mm MG151 cannons in the wing root, all of which were synchronised with the prop's motion, in turn mated to a more powerful version of the BMW engine. There were a number of equipment fits used to give the Würger (Shrike) additional weapons and capabilities, including a pressurised cockpit, rocket tubes and reconnaissance cameras, and after the D-model the Ta.152 took over as its spiritual successor until the war's end. We have kits in all scales for example from Airfix in 1:72, through the Revell and newer Eduard kits in 1:48, then Hasegawa and Revell kits in 1:32. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of masks for the Tamiya Fw.190A in 1:72 and 1:48, which are always good to have because the Wurger's canopy is a goldfish bowl that would show up scratches well. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 of the A-3 and A-8/R8 sub-variants. The first half of the bound plans show the variants from the A-1, A-3 with variants on the intakes around the engine cowling, the A-4, A-5 and A-6, plus a number of scrap-diagrams showing individualisms, and even a fuselage that is suspended by its engine mount (minus engine) on a maintenance tower for the diorama minded. The four pages of profiles show an A-3, A-5, A-4/U7, A-5Y, A-6, A-7, A-8/R2, A-9 and two A-8s on the rear cover. After the profiles, more plans of the A-7, A-8 and A-9s are printed, then the final page of the plans shows the evolution of the aircraft through the majority of the A series, with differences marked out in grey and captions discussing the nature of the changes. Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows gun packs, antennae for the night fighters, weapons carriers and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to model in those scales. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Operational History of The Hungarian Armoured Troops in WWII ISBN : 9788366148079 Kagero via Casemate UK Hungary was caught at the end of WWI on the wrong side and was treated harshly by the Allies. Under the 1920 treaty of Trianon they lost nearly half their population and more than 60% of their territory to hostile boarding nations. Which is the reason the joined the Axis forces in WWII, however it would seem they chose the wrong side again! The book looks at the operational history of The Hungarian Armoured Troops in WWII. There is a wealth of black & white photos of the forces in action and details of equipment they used, most of it indigenous to the country. This indigenous Armour is also examined in the book. The book also examines foreign vehicles in Hungarian Service, and Hungarian Markings & Camouflage. The book examines each of the Hungarian Army's campaigns and the divisions taking part, with maps to show deployment, and table to how the divisions were made up. The book is A4 softcover in format and 158 pages long, It is illustrated throughout with black and white photos, there are also 12 pages showing the formations of the different Battalions, 6 of colour pictures and 9 pages of colour tank profiles. Conclusion This book will give the reader a good understanding of Hungarian Armoured operations in WWII. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Before the Birth of the MBT Western Tank development 1945 - 1959 ISBN : 9788395157585 Kagero via Casemate UK The Main Battle Tank or MBT that we know today is really a product of the 1960s and has come a long way form the tanks we finished WWII with. During WWII the tank and armoured formations came to fore in movement warfare. The allies had many light and medium tanks but few of what we would call heavy tanks, and even super heavy tanks. These were being developed to the end of the war with the British A39 Tortoise and the American T28 which were more guns than tanks due to the lack of a traversing turret. The Americans ended the War with the medium Sherman and the M26. The T28, and follow on T29, 30, 32 & 34 were quickly side-lined as impractical, and the M26 was upgraded to the M46, and the hybrid M47. The M47 being an effective combination of a proven hull and a new better turret. The M48 would follow and while it had initial problems it would turn out to be an excellent combat vehicle. The M48 would be followed by the M60 which would be the US's first MBT. At the same time the last US Heavy tank the M103 was withdrawn from service, though in reality the tanks had failed to meet the Army's standards and most of the production went to the USMC. In the UK we had ended the war with the Many US Shermans, the A34 Comet Cruiser Tank, and even some Churchill tanks. The A41 was designated as Heavy Cruiser tank back as far as 1943 , this was further developed into the Centurion. This would prove to be a very adaptable design and in various marks would go onto serve until it was developed into the Chieftain in the late 1950s. The Chieftain would be Britain's first main Battle Tank, and would see the disbandment of the last British Heavy tanks the Conqueror. The French would again try to go their own way, and the first post war tank the ARL44was not so much a design as a hodge podge of parts using existing technology. It was not a success and disliked by crews. In fact the French used them alongside a regiment of reconditioned Panther tanks! The Americans funded the AMX13 under MAP but would not fund the AMX50 and the French had to accept M47s under MAP. M47s were also issued to the re-formed West German Army though the tanks were disliked by their "experienced" crews. The book is A4 softcover in format and 108 pages long, It is illustrated throughout with black and white photos, there are also 10 pages technical drawings, 10 of colour pictures and six pages of colour tank profiles. Conclusion This book will give the reader an understanding of Tank development post WWII which lead upto the MBTs we see today. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. TopDrawings 61 – Messerschmitt Bf.110 Vol.2 (9788395157592) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Bf.110 began life before WWII as a Zerstorer, or heavy fighter, but by the time hostilities with Great Britain broke out and the Battle of Britain had begun, it had lost its speed advantage, and later required its own escort to be able to operate effectively alone without heavy losses. The airframe wasn't as capable of being improved as the 109, so it was eventually relegated to other less speed critical combat areas, such as night fighter and light bomber/ground attack, where it soldiered on to the end of the war. We have kits in all scales, for example from Airfix in 1:72, through the Revell, Dragon and newer Eduard kits in 1:48, ancient Revell and Dragon kits in 1:32. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of masks for the Eduard Bf.110G in 1:72 and 1:48, which are always good to have because that canopy is a multifaceted greenhouse of a thing. We reviewed the first volume of this series in September 2018 here, and this is the continuation of that, taking up where it left off. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 28 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles, but in addition you get two sheets of loose A2 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 of the E, F and G series. The first half of the bound plans show the variants from the Emil up to the G-2 in 1:48, with partial front and rear views losing a wingtip here and there due to their size. The four pages of profiles show Three Emil and one Freddy airframe, plus two Gustavs on the rear cover. Following two more pages of G-2 plans, the final section of the plans shows the evolution of the aircraft from the Dora through the Gustav series, with differences marked out in grey and captions discussing the nature of the changes. This includes gun packs, antennae for the night fighters and so forth. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to model in those scales. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. SMS Armoured Cruiser Blücher Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The SMS Blücher was the last armoured cruiser built by the German Empire. She was constructed to counter the new armoured cruisers rumoured as being built by the British. Blücher was larger than preceding armoured cruisers and carried heavier guns but was unable to match the size and armament of the battlecruisers which replaced armoured cruisers in the British Royal Navy and - later - the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). When the Germans learned of the true details of these new British ships, called the Invincible class, and that they were to be armed with 12" battleship guns, they realized that the Invincible class was a completely new type of warship, soon to be known as battlecruisers. By the time the Germans learned of this it was too late to turn back and construction of the Blücher took place as scheduled. The ship was named after the Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher, the commander of the Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Blücher was built at the Kaiserliche Werft shipyard in Kiel between 1907 and 1909, and commissioned on 1 October 1909. The ship served in the I Scouting Group for most of her career, including the early portion of World War I. She took part in the operation to bombard Yarmouth and the raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in 1914. At the Battle of Dogger Bank on 24 January 1915, Blücher was slowed significantly after being hit by gunfire from the British battlecruiser squadron under the command of Vice Admiral David Beatty. Rear Admiral Franz von Hipper, the commander of the German squadron, decided to abandon Blücher to the pursuing enemy ships in order to save his more valuable battlecruisers. Under heavy fire from the British ships, she was sunk, and British destroyers began recovering the survivors. However, the destroyers withdrew when a German zeppelin began bombing them, mistaking the sinking Blücher for a British battlecruiser. The number of casualties is unknown, with figures ranging from 747 to around 1,000. Blücher was the only warship lost during the battle. This latest release from Kagero follows the now familiar format, with a short history of the ship, covering seven pages, including:- Specifications Hull Armour Armament Machinery Operational history The next seventy eight pages are taken up with the wonderfully rendered 3D drawings that this series has become known for. Although with this release there is so much more. Not only are the lower hull and propellers provided, but also great swathes of the interior of the ship have also been included in the finest detail. These include the engine rooms, propeller shaft spaces, turrets, magazines and even the forward torpedo compartment. For those modellers with a slightly masochistic bent, this information will be perfect for a scratch built interior for your models. The renderings show every part of the ship both in wide angle and close up which show some amazing detail not seen in other publications. As with most other releases this edition comes with an A1 pull out sheet with a top down and starboard side view, that also includes full interior cutaway showing all the ships spaces. On the reverse it is a similar story, but with the ship cut athwartships from stern to stem, giving twenty six diagrams. Conclusion As we’ve come to know what to expect from this series I can’t really say much more, other than if you’re a maritime fan you really should have them all in your reference library. What really picks this release out more than the rest is the amount of detail the authors have provided, what with all the cutaway renders and diagrams. Here’s hoping for a nice 1:350 injection moulded kit to go with it, such as the Combrig example, who also do one in 1:700. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. The Battleships of WWII Kagero There are many books on the battleships of WWII, what makes this one different is that it includes photographs and histories of many battleships that never saw action as well as the more famous ships of the main protagonists. In part one of a a two volume set, we see ships from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Spain and Argentina all have a place alongside those who only had short careers during the war, such as Greece and France. The battleships and pocket battleships of German naturally have the largest section, alongside those ships from Japan. The photographs include ships builds, launches, trials, as well as war time photographs of the ships in action, including several after they’ve been sunk, but still accessible, or, as in the case of most of the French fleet, scuttled. Some ships have a very limited number of photos included. The best example of this is the Japanese battleships, Musashi and Yamato, of which only few photographs exist. But there are quite a few new ones, which I haven’t seen before, especially those from private collections which, apparently were very difficult to get permissions to print Some of the histories are rather disingenuous, particularly against the British against the German battleships, including theories that have yet to be proven and inaccuracies of historical fact. Whether this was due to the author’s deadlines, bad editing to get the volume down to a certain page count, or even bad translation, I couldn’t say. Conclusion Having read the author’s previous books on the Japanese carriers, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu with some interest, he does pick some rather difficult subjects, particularly when there are few photographs of particular ships. This volume is still interesting and I learnt quite a bit about the smaller navies ships, even if they saw little or no action. It is certainly a good book to have in your collection as there is quite a bit of detail shown in the photographs of ships that have been kitted, therefore improving the look or accuracy for the maritime modeller. Review sample courtesy of
  12. OSA 1 Fast Missile Boat Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The Osa class is probably the most numerous class of missile boats ever built, with over 400 vessels constructed between 1960–1973 for both the Soviet Navy and for export to allied countries. "Osa" means "wasp" in Russian, but it is not an official name. The boats were designated as "large missile cutters" in the Soviet Navy. The earlier Komar class were cheap and efficient boats (and the first to sink a warship with guided missiles, destroying the Israeli Navy's Eilat), their endurance, sea keeping, and habitability were modest at best, and the missile box was vulnerable to damage from waves. Among their other weak points were the wooden hull, the radar lacked a fire control unit, and had an inadequate defensive armament consisting of two manually operated 25 mm guns with only a simple optical sight in a single turret. The Komars' offensive weapons were a pair of P-15 Termit (NATO: SS-N-2 "Styx") missiles, and there was insufficient capacity to hold the more modern longer-ranged P-15Ms. The sensors were not effective enough to use the maximum range of the missiles, and the crew of 17 was not large enough to employ all the systems efficiently. In order to remedy all these shortcomings, it was felt that bigger boats were needed to mount the necessary equipment and to provide more space for a larger crew. In the new design the hull was made of steel, with a low and wide superstructure made of lighter alluminium alloys, continuous deck, and a high free-board. The edges of the deck were rounded and smooth to ease washing off radioactive contamination in case of nuclear war. The hull was quite wide, but the Project 205 boats could still achieve high speeds as they had three Zvezda M503 radial diesel engines capable of a combined 12,000 hp (15,000 hp on Project 205U onward) driving three shafts. These powerful engines allowed a maximum speed of about 40 knots, together with reasonable endurance and reliability. There were also three diesel generators. Two main engines and one generator were placed in the forward engine room, the third main engine and two generators in the aft engine room. There was a control compartment between the two engine rooms. The problem related to the weak anti-aircraft weaponry of the earlier Project 183R was partially solved with the use of two AK-230 turrets, in the fore and aft deck. An MR-104 Rys (NATO: "Drum Tilt") fire-control radar was placed in a high platform, and controlled the whole horizon, despite the fact that the superstructures quite low. Even with the unit placed in the aft position, this radar had a good field of view all around. The AK-230 turrets were unmanned, each armed with two 30 mm guns capable of firing 2,000 rpm (400 practical) with a 2,500 m practical range. Use against surface targets was possible, but as with the previous Komar ships, once all missiles were expended it was planned to escape and not fight. The missile armament consisted of four box-shaped launchers (protected from bad weather conditions) each with one P-15 Termit (NATO: SS-N-2 "Styx") missile. This doubled the available weapons compared to the Project 183R, giving greater endurance. The missiles were controlled by a MR-331 Rangout (NATO: "Square Tie") radar and a Nikhrom-RRM ESM/IFF that even allowed targeting over the horizon, if the target's radar was turned on. With all these improvements, these ships were considerably more effective. They had one of the first, if not the first close-in weapon systems (CIWS). The survivability rating was improved to 50%, and the required volley of 12 missiles could be launched by only three ships. Sinking a destroyer was therefore regarded as 'assured' using only six ships (two squadrons of three vessels), making the Project 205 vessels easier to coordinate and even cheaper than would be the required number of Project 183R boats to achieve the same effectiveness. I have always been fascinated by this class of vessel, they looked sleek and powerful. It’s great to see the Osa being the subject of this ever increasing collection of books, and while it is not the most complicated vessel seen in the series, the small details included in the renderings will be very useful. As usual there is a short introduction on the first six pages, covering the following:- Osa – from design to production Construction P-15, missile fangs of the ship Artillery armament Radiolocation equipment Osa’s under different flags Days of glory Museum ships bibliography The rest of the fifty nine pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, radars and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, particularly useful for getting the propellers and rudders right,. An A3 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 4 views of the ship overall, in 1:100 scale, while on the reverse there are detail drawings of equipment in no particular scale, giving more detail to the information hungry modeller. Of particular interest are the distinctive Bass Tilt radars, P-15 missile and Nichrom IFF array Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own, this book is superbly produced and with the subject matter being one of the first fast missile boats which just happens to be the subject of the Merit 1/72 model released a year or two ago, plus several other kits that can still be found on auction sites etc. The most useful thing though, if building the Merit kit, is the positioning and style of the ships railings, which will need to be scratch built as the kit didn’t include them. Review sample courtesy of
  13. #31/2018 And a second finished model for today. Used a Hasegawa A-9 kit, besides kit markings the aircraft number and the Werknummer came from Kagero Topcolors 13 "Operation Bodenplatte". Gunze RLM paints, Ultracast resin seat, EZ Line for the antenna, spinner spirale is painted. The model shows the aircraft of Unteroffizier Alfred Fritzsche, 4./JG1. He was downed on Jan 1st 1945 during Op Bodenplatte near Ghent. After a belly landing he crashed into a house, was severly wounded and became a POW. Build thread here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235045165-bodenplatte148-focke-wulf-fw190a-8-jg1/ DSC_0001 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0002 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0003 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0004 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0005 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0006 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0007 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0008 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0009 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0010 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0011 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0012 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0013 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0014 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0015 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0016 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr DSC_0017 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr
  14. Italian Submarine Scire’ Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Scirè was launched on 6 January 1938 in OTO's shipyard in La Spezia and commissioned on 25 April 1938, one of 17 Ardua class submarines. At the beginning of the war, she was assigned to 15th Squadron (I Submarine Group) based at La Spezia and was under command of Adriano Pini. On July 10, 1940, while on patrol in the western Mediterranean, French cargo ship SS Cheik (1058 GRT) was torpedoed and sunk by Scirè 54nm from the Asmare Light, north of Sardinia. In the summer of 1940 Scirè underwent a series of modifications converting her to a SLC boat. The size of the tower was reduced, her deck gun was removed, and 3 watertight cylinders were mounted on her deck instead to accommodate maiali. These cylinders, each weighing 2.8 tons, could hold up depths down to 90 meters. On September 24, 1940 Scirè, under command of Captain Junio Valerio Borghese, sailed from La Spezia for her first special mission to be performed in Gibraltar. In the evening of September 29, upon reaching the Strait of Gibraltar, Sciré received an order from Supermarina to suspend the mission and return to the base as Force H had left the Mediterranean to operate in the Atlantic. In 1940 Scirè made it first foray into the Bay of Gibraltar intent on sabotage of the British ships in Gibraltar Harbour with three manned torpedoes. None of the three were successful with the most daring getting stuck 100 metres from HMS Barham. The crew were forced to withdraw and the explosion of the torpedo's only achievement was to tip off the defenders of Gibraltar Harbour. They organised for boats to drop small charges into the water each night that would have proved fatal to any diver in range of the shock wave. Scirè entered the Bay of Gibraltar again in September 1941 with better results than the previous time. On September 20, 1941 three tankers were attacked and Fiona Shell (2444 GRT, 1892) was sunk whilst other two ships, RFA Denbydale (2145 GRT) and MS Durham (10893 GRT) were damaged. The Italians decided to create a permanent base in Spain eventually converting a ship called Olterra that was moored off Algeciras into a permanent base for naval sabotage. Scirè accomplished many missions inside enemy waters. Among these, the most important was carried out on 3 December 1941. Scirè left La Spezia carrying three manned torpedoes. At the island of Leros in the Aegean Sea, it secretly loaded six crew for them: Luigi Durand de la Penne and Emilio Bianchi (maiale 221), Vincenzo Martellotta and Mario Marino (maiale 222), Antonio Marceglia and Spartaco Schergat (maiale 223). On 19 December, Scirè reached Alexandria in Egypt, and its manned torpedoes entered the harbour and sank in shallow waters the British battleships HMS Valiant, Queen Elizabeth and damaged the tanker Sagona and the destroyer Jervis. All six torpedo-riders were captured and the battleships returned to service after several months of repairs. During one of these missions, on 10 August 1942, Scirè sank, damaged by depth charges dropped by the British naval trawler Islay in Haifa bay, about 11 kilometres (5.9 nmi) from the harbour. Islay was captained by Lieutenant Commander John Ross of North Shields, Tyne and Wear who was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. The wreck of Scirè, lying at a depth of 32 metres (105 ft), became a popular diving site and Shayetet 13 training location. In 1984 a joint Italian-Israeli Navy ceremony was performed, in which the forward section was removed from the submarine and sent to Italy to become part of a memorial. In the whole of this series, under the Super Drawings in 3D banner there have been very few submarines, probably due to being enough detail to fill at least 80 pages of renders to be deemed interesting enough. Unless, of course, the publishers have enough information and access to the real thing to include the interior then I don’t think we will see too many more being included. With the Scirè though we really have the story of two submarines, the initial design with deck gun and normal submarine attributes, then the second, after here modification to chariot carrier, and this is what makes this title interesting. The reader is able to see the effect of the modifications to the subs profile and equipment fixtures and fittings. This is all covered through the wonderful renderings in the eighty pages of the book, the first seven pages of which cover the following parts of her story. Design SLC History The sinking The renderings show every part of the submarine in both guises, as well as the interior of the shelters and the maiali themselves. Also included is an A2 sheet with five views of the sub as originally built on one side in 1:100, while on the reverse you have five views of her as converted 1:150, along with detail drawings of the deck gun in 1:50 and maiale in 1:125. Conclusion While this is perhaps not the most detailed submarine title Kagero have released, the interest is in the conversion of the boat and the history of her daring operations. Of particular interest to those of the Mediterranean Sea war and of the brave maiale divers as I don’t believe there is a model of this sub available, in injection moulded plastic. Though there are a couple of resin kits in 1:400 by Dolphin Models, and 1:350 by E.V.A. Models. Review sample courtesy of
  15. After my dad has finished a Tamiya late war A-8 recently, he already started a Hasegawa late war A-8 that took part in the Operation Bodenplatte on January 1st 1945. He´ll use this Hasegawa A-9 kit DSC_0009 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr using decals from this Kagero TopColors booklet DSC_0010 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr doing this scheme DSC_0011 by Reinhard Spreitzhofer, auf Flickr
  16. IJN Battleship Fuso Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Fusō was the lead ship of the two Fusō-class dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Launched in 1914 and commissioned in 1915, she initially patrolled off the coast of China, playing no part in World War I. In 1923, she assisted survivors of the Great Kantō earthquake. Fusō was modernized in 1930–1935 and again in 1937–1941, with improvements to her armour and propulsion machinery and a rebuilt superstructure in the pagoda mast style. With only 14-inch (356 mm) guns, she was outclassed by other Japanese battleships at the beginning of World War II, and played auxiliary roles for most of the war. Fusō was part of Vice-Admiral Shōji Nishimura's Southern Force at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was sunk in the early hours of 25 October 1944 by torpedoes and naval gunfire during the Battle of Surigao Strait. Some reports claimed that Fusō broke in half, and that both halves remained afloat and burning for an hour, but according to survivors' accounts, the ship sank after 40 minutes of flooding. Of the few dozen crewmen who escaped, only 10 survived to return to Japan. This is the latest book from Kagero in their Super Drawings in 3D, and like the previous books it has a brief history and the ships specifications at the beginning. This includes the following:- Overview Design Armour Power Plant Mechanisms of fire control Radar Equipment Searchlights Aviation Upgrading Conclusion The rest of the eighty five pages are filled with the now well known style of beautifully drawn 3D renderings of every part of the ship. More time and effort seem to have been taken with this volume as there are a lot more detailed renders, including cutaways of the magazines, athwartships of No.2 and No.3 turrets, and of the whole ship horizontally. Naturally there is a wealthy of information for the modeller to use during their build, and having built the 1/350 Fujimi kit I wish I had had this book at the time. Every area of the upper hull and superstructure is dealt with plus the lower hull including the propellers and rudder. The area where I had difficulty in getting right, the funnel and searchlight towers is very well detailed in the book and would have been most useful. As well as the ship renders, there are also close up drawings of the triple 25mm mountings, searchlights and each of the main turret styles For even more detail, especially for the rigging, Kagero have included a double sided A2 fold out sheet with a three view on one side as the ship was in 1944, in 1:350, with additional drawings of the fore and aft views also in 1:350, ships fixtures, such as turrets, funnels, searchlights, single, dual and triple 25mm mounts and radar, which are in a mixture of 1:200, 1:150 or 1:50 scales. Conclusion This is another superb book in the series and a great addition to any maritime modeller’s library. This series is a boon to any ship modeller and is turning into a magnificent collection of titles. The detail included is second to none, and the renderings are so clear that they will be a delight for the superdetailers, particularly if building the Fujimi kits in 1:700 and 1:350. Having compared the renderings with my completed 1:350 kit, Fujimi have done a great job on getting it right, and the use of their etched detail sets was worth it. Review sample courtesy of
  17. SS – KampfGruppe Peiper 1943 – 1945 Kagero Publications Written by Massimiliano Afiero and published by Kagero publishing, this book tells the story of the military career of Joachim Peiper, one of the most valiant and decorated officers of the Waffen SS, told through the main battles and campaigns, which involved the units under his command, especially the armoured Kampfgruppen of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, starting from the fighting on the front at Kharkov in the Ukraine, between February and March 1943, passing through the fighting for the salient of Kursk, the intervention in Italy, the new campaign on the Ukrainian front between autumn and winter of 1943-44, fighting on the front of Normandy, the counter-offensive in the Ardennes, until the last fighting on the Hungarian front and in Austria. The analysis of the various battles told through the testimonies of the direct protagonists, the war reports of the period, the original documents, without forgetting the involvement in the war crimes committed by units under Peipers command. Not only is this book is filled with useful information on all the battles the Kampfgruppen was involved in, but each battle is illustrated with numerous maps, diagrams and very interesting photos, including all the different vehicles used, many of the officers from headquarters down, and the more humble troops on the front line. The real interesting photos for the modeller are, naturally the vehicles and there are plenty of unusual camouflage schemes and equipment seen on everything from a SdKfz 251 Half Track to a SdKfz 182 King Tiger. There are also superb scenes just asking to be built as a diorama, plus three pages of colour profiles. Conclusion If you’re into your German armoured units of WWII then this is a must have book, the text is well laid out, although there are some spelling mistakes scattered amongst the text. The period photos are superb, although some are a bit blurred, and some of the annotations don’t seem to describe the picture. But if you want an unusual diorama, or camouflage for your model collection then look no further. Review sample courtesy of
  18. TopDrawings 54 – Junkers Ju.87B (9788365437914) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Junkers Ju.87B Stuka was a weapon of terror that saw extensive use in the early days of WWII, soldiering on to the end despite needing fighter protection due its slow speed. It has been a popular subject with modellers for years, and that shows no sign of changing any time soon. We have kits in all scales for example from Airfix in 1:72, through the Hasegawa kits in 1:48, and a variety in 1:32 and even 1:24 from various sources. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get a set of pre-cut vinyl masks in 1:72 and 1:48, which will be a boon to speed the job of masking that greenhouse canopy. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans of a B-2 printed on one side in 1:48 and on the other, printed in full colour is a 3-view profile of a B-1 by Arkadiusz Wróbel. The first half of the bound plans show the variants up to the B-2 and includes weapons and the engine in 1:48. The four pages of profiles show eight B-1 and B2s, including a tropicalized airframe at the bottom. There are more plans in 1:48 of the aircraft from front and back, as well as the tropicalized B2 seen in the profile section. The final section of the plans shows the evolution of the aircraft through the B series in 1:72, with differences marked out in grey and captions discussing the nature of the changes, which were fairly minor and cosmetic for the most part. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that wants to compare their models against scale plans, to obtain as accurate a model as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to model in those scales. The 1:72 scale folks will have to do some quick calculations to scale down the plans, but it's good to be able to see the airframe at a good size on the page. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. The Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 From Cold War To Modern Day ISBN : 9788395157523 Kagero via Casemate UK The Leopard 1 project was designed to replace the German Army's reliance on us Built tanks following its reformation. Originally a Joint programme with the French who were later dropped the Leopard 1 would enter into service in 1965 with many design changes following. Over 6500 tanks and utility versions were built and supplied to many different European nations, and further afield. The German Army would retire its Leopard 1s in 2003, though some serve to this day in other nations. The Leopard 2 was developed to succeed the Leopard 1 in the late 1970s. This would feature better armour and a more powerful gun. Like the leopard 1 there have been many sub variants since its inception. Again like the Leopard 1 the tanks have been sold to other nations. The main version of the Leopard 2 is now the 2A6. The latest incarnations are the 2A7 (an upgrade of Dutch 2A6s) and the Leopard 2A7+ which has been designed to operate in both low & high intensity conflicts with more emphasis being on mine/IED & RPG protection, and addition of remote weapons stations. This volume is A4 soft back in format and has 115 pages. The first 39 deal with the tanks themselves while the remainder deal with making models of the tanks. There are 4 pages of profiles at the rear of the book. Conclusion Given that the title is Leopard 1 & 2 I was expecting a reference book on the two types not a "modelling book". The first 39 pages deal with the tanks themselves (which is not a great deal given the number of different types and operators) while the remainder deal with making models of the tanks. There is a build of a Tamiya Leopard 2A6 in Polish service, and a Tamyia Dutch Leopard 2A6. Given that we have good kits of all the Leopard 1 & 2 variants plus the Gepard from different main stream manufactures it seems strange that Kagero have included 2 builds of the same kit, even more so as the Title is Leopard 1 & 2 I would have expected to see a build of both types, not 2 of the later. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Romanian Armoured Forces in WWII Library of Armed Conflicts 05 ISBN : 9788395157530 Kagero via Casemate UK Roumania officially opted for a neutral stance at the outset of WWII. However the Kingdom had traditionally looked to the UK and France as it allies in Europe. The developing situation in 1940 with the fall of France and maybe Britain, along with a rise in Fascism led the Kingdom to look for an alliance with Germany, however they were unaware that German had already promised parts of Roumania to the Russians. With things going badly for them at home they officially joined the Axis in November 1940. They would become the largest force from outside Germany to participate in the invasion of Russia. When the Allies started bombing Romania, and with the Russians closing in popular support for the Axis began to fail and King Michael lead a coup d'état in August 1944 to take back control of the country and switch sides to the Allied cause. Despite this the country was largely dismantled after the war. They lost territory to Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union, but regained Northern Transylvania from Hungary. As well as fielding some indigenous designs the Armoured force comprised of mainly captured equipment, or that imported from Germany. There is a wealth of black & white photos of the forces in action and details of equipment they used, most of it indigenous to the country. This indigenous Armour is also examined in the book. The book also examines foreign vehicles use. This volume is A5 soft back in format and an 125 pages. Conclusion This book should provide readers with a better understanding of the Armoured forces of Romania and they equipment they used. The wealth of photographs, together with drawings and colour plates will be of great use to the modeller, and of great interest to anyone studying one of the seemingly less well known Axis powers. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Greek Armoured Cruiser Georgios Averof Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Georgios Averof is a modified Pisa-class armoured cruiser built in Italy for the Royal Hellenic Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. The ship served as the Greek flagship during most of the first half of the century. Although popularly known as a battleship in Greek, she is in fact an armoured cruiser the only ship of this type still in existence. The ship was initially ordered by the Italian Regia Marina, but budgetary constraints led Italy to offer it for sale to international customers. With the bequest of the wealthy benefactor George Averof as down payment, Greece acquired the ship in 1909. Launched in 1910, Averof arrived in Greece in September 1911. The most modern warship in the Aegean at the time, she served as the flagship of admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis in the First Balkan War, and played a major role in the establishment of Greek predominance over the Ottoman Navy and the incorporation of many Aegean islands to Greece. The ship continued to serve in World War I, the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, and the interwar period, receiving a modernization in France in 1925 to 1927. Following the German invasion of Greece in April 1941, Averof participated in the exodus of the Greek fleet to Egypt. Hopelessly obsolete and prone to mechanical breakdowns, she nevertheless spent the next three years as a convoy escort and guard ship in the Indian Ocean and at the Suez Canal. In October 1944, she carried the Greek government in exile back to liberated Athens, after the withdrawal of the German army. In 1952, she was decommissioned, before being moved to Poros, where she was berthed from 1956 to 1983. From 1984 until the present day, she has been reinstated on active duty as museum ship in the Naval Tradition Park in Faliro. After maintenance in late 2017, she achieved seaworthiness state once again, allowing the ship to sail (towed) accompanied by Greek frigate Kountouriotis (F-462) to Thessaloniki Greece where she received more than 130,000 visitors over her 53-day stay. This is one of the few books in this burgeoning series where you can actually go and visit the ship in question. Some might question the fact that she is called the oldest armoured cruiser in existence, and point to the USS Olympia, but the Olympia is actually classed as a protected cruiser rather than armoured. As with the other books in the series there is a potted history of the ship, covering six pages including the following sections:- Overview Design Ships Propulsion Protection Armament Career The rest of the fifty nine pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, boats and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, unlike a lot of other books in the series, so perfect for those of us who build full hull. An A1 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 3 views of the ship overall, in 1:300 scale, while on the reverse there are bow and stern drawings in 1:300, plus numerous detail drawings of equipment in various scales between 1:50 and 1:100, giving more detail to the information hungry modeller. Of particular interest are the distinctive radio aerials with their spreaders Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own, this book is superbly produced and with the subject matter being one of the most good looking battleships, it will become a must have for any maritime modellers. It will be interesting to see if anyone will release a kit of this interesting and long lived ship, surely a company like Combrig will give it a go at some point. Review sample courtesy of
  22. USS Astoria Kagero Top Drawings The USS Astoria (CL/CA-34) was the lead ship of the Astoria-class of heavy cruisers (later renamed the New Orleans-class) of the United States Navy that participated in both the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, but was then sunk in August 1942, at the Battle of Savo Island. Kagero have just released this book in their Top Drawing series. The softback book has just two pages containing the history and specifications of the Astoria, with a further fifteen pages of line drawings covering the whole ship from stem to stern. Each sheet contains detailed drawings of various parts of the ships structure, weapons systems, radars, aircraft and other, smaller parts. Each drawing is beautifully done with some fine detail that would normally have been missed in other titles. The drawings have obviously been done from some excellent references which have resulted in a very useful book for the detail addict. Most the drawings are in 1:200 scale with a few in 1:50 for larger detail information, making it perfect for those contemplating a scratchbuild, or super detailing the Trumpeter 1:700 kit. Also included with the book are two A2 sheets of plans. The first sheet has on one side a three view of the ships as she was in 1934, while on the other side is another three view, but as she was in 1942. The second sheet contains views of the hull, main and upper decks and a side view with annotations on where the armament was located, on the reverse side is yet another three view of the ship as she was in 1942, but in full colour. Conclusion While this is a rather slim tome, it is still a useful reference book to have in the library. It is certainly an interesting subject to choose, especially as most of the class were either sunk or damaged during the battle of Savo Island. While there isn’t currently a kit available in my favoured scale, I’m sure it will be useful for those with the Trumpeter kit. Review sample courtesy of
  23. RM Littorio Kagero Super Drawings in 3D Littorio was the lead ship of her class of battleship; she served in the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy) during World War II. She was named after the Lictor ("Littorio" in Italian), in ancient times the bearer of the Roman fasces, which was adopted as the symbol of Italian Fascism. Littorio and her sister Vittorio Veneto were built in response to the French battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg. They were Italy's first modern battleships, and the first 35,000-ton capital ships of any nation to be laid down under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. Littorio was laid down in October 1934, launched in August 1937, and completed in May 1940. Shortly after her commissioning, Littorio was badly damaged during the British air raid on Taranto on 11 November 1940, which put her out of action until the following March. Littorio thereafter took part in several sorties to catch the British Mediterranean Fleet, most of which failed to result in any action, the notable exception being the Second Battle of Sirte in March 1942, where she damaged several British warships. Littorio was renamed Italia in July 1943 after the fall of the Fascist government. On 9 September 1943, the Italian fleet was attacked by German bombers while it was on its way to internment. During this action, which saw the destruction of her sister Roma, Italia herself was hit by a Fritz X radio-controlled bomb, causing significant damage to her bow. As part of the armistice agreement, Italia was interned at Malta, Alexandria, and finally in the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, where she remained until 1947. Italia was awarded to the United States as a war prize and scrapped at La Spezia in 1952–54. With their ever increasing series of books in the 3D format, Kagero never fails to deliver. This particular publication on the Italian battleship not only provides a superb history of the ship, another one which I knew only a little, if anything about before reviewing this book. The first ten pages cover the history of the battleship in specific sections. The sections are:- Overview Design Armour Propulsion Security systems Underwater protection Armament Conning tower Service Conclusion The rest of the eighty three pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, boats and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, unlike a lot of other books in the series, so perfect for those of us who build full hull. An A2 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 3 views of the ship overall, in 1:350 scale, while on the reverse there are bow and stern drawings in 1:350, plus numerous detail drawings of equipment in various scales between 1:50 and 1:200, giving more detail to the information hungry modeller. Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own, this book is superbly produced and with the subject matter being one of the most good looking battleships, it will become a must have for any maritime modellers. With the future release of the Littorio in 1:350, by Trumpeter, this book couldn’t have been released at a better time for the modeller to start collecting their references. Review sample courtesy of
  24. TopDrawings 59 - Heinkel He.111 Vol.2 (9788365437365) Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK The Heinkel He.111 was one of the most common sights over BoB era WWII Britain, and it remains popular with modellers today. We have kits in all scales for example from Airfix in 1:72, through the new ICM kits in 1:48, and the older 1:32 kits from Revell. The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand. With this edition, you get what is referred to as a poster, but is actually an atmospheric A4 print of a camouflaged He.111 releasing a V1 bomb during a night mission, painted by Arkadiusz Wróbel. The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within. The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 28 pages, with one at the rear are devoted to advertising the rest of the Kagero range, but in addition you get two sheets of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 and 1:72 of the H series with the glazed nose replacing the stepped nose originally fitted to the early aircraft. The first half of the bound plans show the variants up to the H-18 and includes Hs.293, Bv.246 and V1 carrying airframes, plus torpedo and balloon-cutter versions. The four pages of profiles show five H airframes, plus an overhead plan on the third page (and another two on the rear cover), after which the plans begin again, taking it up to the H-22 with detail diagrams of various points of interest on the airframe, munitions carried and of course the awesome Zwilling. The final section of the plans shows the evolution of the aircraft through the H series, with differences marked out in grey and captions discussing the nature of the changes. The most unusual of these variants for me was the EDL 131 equipped remote turret that was fitted to some H-22s instead of the partially glazed top gun. I now have a hankering to convert one of my 111s to this mark. Conclusion These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that could be mounted and displayed on a wall to annoy your family. We reviewed Volume 1 here in the summer, which covered the earlier models. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Rogožarski IK-3 Monographs Special Edition in 3D ISBN : 9788365437808 Kagero via Casemate UK By the mid 1930s it was evident that the monoplane designs of the time were going to supersede the current biplanes. This was evident to the then Yugoslav Forces. The Rogožarski IK3 was to be low wing monoplane designed by Ljubomir Ilić, Kosta Sivčev and Slobodan Zrnić as a successor to the high winged Ikarus IK-2. The main armament was to be a hub firing 20mm cannon augmented by two fuselage mounted & synchronised Machine Guns. Due to delays only 6 aircraft were operational by the time German Forces invaded in 1941 out of a planned 48. 2 Aircraft survived the invasion and were destined for the puppet Independent State Of Croatia, however due to subterfuge by the resistance the Germans were fooled into scrapping these. The IK-3 design would later form the basis of the post war Ikarus S-49 following the 1948 Tito/Stalin split. This book from Kagero has 182 pages, 194 colour profiles, 130 archival photos, 28 modelling plans, and a fold out A2 double sided set of plans. The 3D drawings are especially detailed. Conclusion This is very much a complete look at largely forgotten Rogožarski IK3. The aircraft was a good one but produced too late, and in too few a number to make any difference. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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