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  1. Supermarine Spitfire Volume 1 – Airframe & Miniature 12 ISBN 978-0-9957773-5-4 Valiant Wings Publishing There can't be many people that don't know what a Spitfire is, and even fewer that partake in our hobby in any way shape or form, so let's just say that the Spitfire played a major part in the defence of the British Isles during the Battle of Britain and beyond, receiving more and better upgrades to performance and capability throughout the war, with a service life that lasted well beyond May 1945. It's a testament to the simple brilliance of the original airframe that allowed the later designers to extract more and more performance from this superb aircraft, which was essentially a point defence fighter that would climb up to meet the enemy guided by radar, engage and shoot down as many as possible, concentrating on the accompanying fighters to leave the slightly slower Hurricanes to concentrate on the bomber formation where they robustness and stability could be best used. Later in the war with the addition of external fuel tanks its range was improved, the Merlin was replaced by the more powerful Griffon engine, and the fuselage spine was trimmed down to give the pilot a better all-round view and improve situational awareness. Spitfires were even fitted with floats on rare occasions, adapted to Seafires to operate from aircraft carriers, and fitted with filters for desert flight. The book is perfect-bound with 240 pages on glossy paper, tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day. It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, and models by a group of fine modellers. With this being volume 1 it deals with the earlier Merlin engine variants, from the prototype up to the XVI, with everything in between, including the Seafires that used Merlin engines, oddities and of course the Photo-Reconnaissance variants that were modified to provide the Allies with detailed pictorial evidence of enemy movements. If you're familiar with the Airframe & Miniature series, you'll know that the pages are broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. The breakdown in more detail is as follows: Airframe Chapters 1. Evolution - Mk.I to V 2. Evolution - Mk.VI to IX/XVI 3. Evolution - Photo-Reconnaissance 4. Evolution - Seafire 5. Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles Miniature Chapters 6. Spitfire (Merlin-powered) Kits 7. Building a Selection 8. Building a Collection 9. In Detail: The Supermarine Spitfire & Seafire Engine, Propeller, Cowls Oil, Fuel, Coolant, Oxygen, Hydraulic Cockpit & Canopy Radio Mid & Aft Fuselage Tail Wings Undercarriage Armament, Ordnance & Drop Tanks Camera Access Panels Miscellaneous Appendices I. Kit List II. Accessories and Mask List III. Decal List IV. Bibliography 1:48 Scale plans fold-out (equivalent to 8 pages) The scale plans are nicely thought out, and fold out sideways with the left-hand edge captive to the inside cover, and the isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski that pick out the differences between variants and sub-variants are a boon for anyone like me that struggles to remember the details that separate the marks. As usual with the photographs in these titles, they're excellent for the most part, and as good as they can be for the occasional slightly grainy one that is all that remains of this or that variant. There's only so much that modern photo editing software can do, afterall. The builds by Libor Jekl, Steve A. Evans and Dani Zamarbide are all first-rate too, with two in 1:72, and one each in 1:48 and 1:32, all of which wouldn't look out of place on competition tables at the highest level. If you visit Valiant's website using the button below, don't forget to have a look at the free downloadable 48 pages of content that they have prepared for you, as it will give you a good idea of the quality of the rest of the book. It includes additional text and photos, plus a huge expansion on the available kits and accessories, so that it didn't take up too many paper pages of the book, squeezing out the more interesting stuff. Scrolling through those last pages (and don't forget there are some more pictures after that), makes one realise just how popular a subject the Spit is with us modellers. Now we look forward to Volume 2. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Bristol Beaufighter – Airframe Album 14 A Detailed Guide to Bristol's Hard-Hitting Twin Valiant Wings Publishing Based upon the Beaufort bomber, the whittled-down heavy fighter became an excellent nightfighter, ground-attack and maritime strike in European and South Pacific theatres, with many variants and improvements along the way. Entering service in time for the Battle of Britain, it quickly fell into the nightfighter role, with its ability to carry heavy armament and equipment without unduly affecting its performance endearing it to the pilots and strategists alike. After being re-engined early on with Hercules radial engines to gain the extra power needed, it became a common sight behind German bombers at night, raking them with four 20mm cannon and wings full of six additional machine guns. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) were also fond of the type, as it was able to carry enough munitions in either free-fall or rocket-propelled forms to deal a substantial blow to any enemy shipping it happened upon. The Mosquito coming on-stream took some of the limelight away from the Beau, and it was eventually replaced by it in many roles, most notably the night fighting arena. The Book The fourteenth volume of the popular and interesting Airframe Album series by Richard A Franks details this pugnacious heavy fighter, its versions, trials and tribulations. It spans 178 pages and is perfect bound in an A4(ish) portrait format. If you are familiar with the series you will know what to expect, with the book broken down into sections, as follows: i. Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operation use of the Beaufighter by Fighter & Coastal Commands and the FAA, as well as those by the USAAF and supplied to other nations. 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment 2. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3. Camouflage and Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 4. Models A build of the 1:72nd scale TF.Mk.X from Airfix by Libor Jekl and the all-new 1:48th scale TF.X from Revell by Steve A Evans. Appendices I Beaufighter Kit List II Beaufighter Accessory, Mask & Decal List III Bibliography As usual with Valiant's books, the pictures are both high quality and unusual, with lots of "behind the scenes" shots of production, testing and their ultimate capture by the Allies, plus plenty more pictures of museum examples for those needing reference pictures. I always find the 3D Isometrics very interesting to discern the differences between variants, especially as I have the memory of a goldfish. I particularly enjoyed the teaching installations that consisted of the front end of a Beaufighter, inner wings and nacelles, and behind the wing a scabbed on shed (yes – a garden variety shed) that was used as a classroom. What a brilliant diorama that would make! Conclusion Valiant Wings publish a good book about interesting subjects, and this is another one that tweaked mine right away. If you're a modeller, aviation buff or even just interested in engineering, this will make an interesting read, which you'll come back to again when you need it for references. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. The Dornier Do.335 Pfeil A Complete Guide To The Luftwaffe's Fastest Piston Engined Fighter – Updated and Expanded Valiant Wings Publishing Valiant Wings have now re-released this book, which was originally released in 2016 and was originally reviewed here, and rather than just sit on their laurels they have improved it by adding more pages of photos during the first section of the book, and by adding a detailed build by Steve A Evans of the Zoukei Mura Do.335 kit in 1:32, which hadn't made it in time to be included in the previous edition. The contents listing has changed slightly, as follows: Airframe Chapters 1. Evolution – Do.335 Prototypes 2. Evolution – The A-series 3. Evolution – The B-series 4. Projects and Drawing Board Designs 5. Camouflage and Markings Colour Profiles Miniature Chapters 6. Do.335 Kits 7. Building a Selection 8. Building a Collection 9. In Detail: The Do.335 Cockpit & Canopy Fuselage Tail Engine, Propeller & Cowlings Wings Undercarriage Armament, Ordnance, Sighting & Camera Access Panels Appendices I. Do.335 Kit List II. Do.335 Accessory List III. Do.335 Decal & Mask List IV. Bibliography 1:48 Scale Plans Fold Out The text and most of the photos are broadly the same as the previous edition, and you can see a few more photos from the original review below. Conclusion If you missed out on this book the first time around, grab one while you can, or you'll be kicking yourself all over again. It is a treasure trove of detail and shows the modeller areas of an airframe that might otherwise remain unseen. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Boulton Paul Defiant – Airframe Detail No.5 ISBN: 978-0-9957773-6-1 Valiant Wings Publishing During the 30s the British Air Ministry were obsessed with turrets, and insisted on plonking them in any design that was proposed, even including the Spitfire for one brief moment. They felt that the division of labour between two crew members gave a better chance of the aircraft attacking unescorted bombers, but this turned out to be incorrect thinking, as the Defiant found to its cost when it entered combat. The additional weight of a turret and extra crewman affected the top speed of the aircraft, despite it being powered by a Merlin engine, and having no forward-firing guns also proved to be quite an impediment. The introduction of the Merlin XX in the Defiant Mk II went some way toward solving this issue, but it was still relatively easy pickings for the more agile 109s and 190s of the Luftwaffe. Where it came into its own was as a nightfighter, as the speed issue became irrelevant, and the ability to cruise below or next to a bomber unseen gave it an advantage similar to the German Schräge Musik. After it was phased out in favour of the faster Beaufighter and Mosquito coming into the nightfighter role, it was assigned other 2nd line tasks, such as search and rescue, as well as target towing. This book, by author Richard A Franks, with profiles and plans by Richard J Caruana and example model produced by Steve A Evans is perfect-bound as usual and consists of 98 pages within a card jacket, printed on glossy paper stock throughout. It is number 5 in the Airframe Detail series that concentrates more on the aircraft in question, with just a short section to the rear with an example build plus all the Defiant model-based fun you can lay your hands on at time of writing. It has of course been well-timed to cash in on the popularity of the type due to the newly minted and very nice Defiant kit from Airfix in 1:48, so should hit the right spot for a great many of us, self-included. The book is broken down into sections as follows: Introduction 4 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment 26 2. Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 64 1:48 Scale Plans 83 3. Kit Build A build of Airfix's new 1:48 Defiant by Steve A Evans 88 Appendices 92 i. Defiant kits ii. Defiant accessory & mask list iii. Defiant decal list iv. Boulton Paul Defiant production & squadrons – a list of all Defiants built, along with details of all squadrons, other units and nations that used the type v. Bibliography Inside there are tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is going to be black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day. The plans in 1:48 are typical of Valiant's style, with crisp lines and plenty of detail, including locations of the lines of rivets that criss-cross the surface of the type. The profiles and plans cover all the major marks from day fighter to night, air sea rescue, and eventually target tug, which was the role that it ended its days in, with the turret removed and replaced by a winch-operator's workstation. The sheer level of detail giving within the pages is perfect for the modeller, and will be of use to anyone from novice to super-detailer, with some of the contemporary photos showing how worn these workhorses became during night operations, with a few photos showing them in repair and replenishment, presumably while their exhausted crew recovered for the next night's sortie. Steve Evans' build of the excellent new Airfix kit shows what can be done to the model, and results in a lovely example that anyone would be proud to have in their cabinet. From a modelling standpoint there is plenty of scope for building and painting a worn-out Defiant in the black scheme, and here there are some photos of just how shabby some of them became. Conclusion Another cracking book from Valiant, and an interesting one personally as I have a fondness for the Defiant, as well as a couple of kits in the stash. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. The Heinkel He.162 – Airframe Album 13 A detailed Guide to the Luftwaffe's VolksJäger (9780995777347) Valiant Wings Publishing The He.162 VolksJäger was an emergency project that was instigated in a desperate attempt to reduce the devastation that was being caused by the Allied bombing offensive, using few strategic materials that were becoming increasingly scarce, and that was also supposed to be easy to fly. A number of companies submitted their design with the Heinkel option gaining the contract, using laminated wood extensively in the aircraft's skin and mounting a single jet engine above and behind the single-seat cockpit. It reached many goals as an interceptor, being small and agile with minimal used of metals in non-essential places, but it wasn't quite as easy to fly as hoped, and the use of the notoriously unreliable, fragile jet engine would itself limit production, even if the constant downpour of bombs forced much of construction underground in tunnels blasted out of the living rock. In the end it was too little too late, with few reaching service, many being lost due either to its half-hour endurance and resulting gliding accidents, or structural failures due to the aircraft's hurried design and the use of slave labour in its construction, such as the tail unit, which had a habit of detaching under stress. A number of pilots used the early ejection seats that were fitted, but some were killed due to failures in the system. The Book The thirteenth volume of the popular and interesting Airframe Album series by Richard A Franks details this sleek and sporty little interceptor that may well have gone on to better things if it has been given enough time to be developed properly. It spans 88 pages and is perfect bound in an A4(ish) portrait format. If you are familiar with the series you will know what to expect, with the book broken down into sections, as follows: i) Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operational use of the He.162 by the Luftwaffe, as well as scartures and evaluated examples 1) Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment 2) Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D Isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3) Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles by Richard J Caruana, notes and photographs 4) Model A build of the 1:48 He.162A-2 from Tamiya by Steve A Evans Appendices I Heinkel He.162 Kit List II Heinkel He.162 Accessory, Decal & Mask List III Bibliography As usual with Valiant's books, the pictures are both high quality and unusual, with lots of "behind the scenes" shots of production, testing and their ultimate capture by the Allies, plus plenty more pictures of museum examples for those needing reference pictures. I always find the 3D Isometrics very interesting to discern the differences between variants, and some of the projected types with Pulse-Jets like the V1, and V-tails are very intriguing, so much so that I've just been on eBay and picked up a conversion set. Oh the shame of it! Conclusion Valiant Wings publish a good book about interesting subjects, and this is one that tweaked mine right away. If you're a modeller, aviation buff or even just interested in engineering, this will make an interesting read, which you'll come back to again when you need it for references. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. The Hawker Sea Fury – Airframe Album 2 (Second Edition) Valiant Wings (9780995777330) The Sea Fury has a number of poignant distinctions, as it was both the fastest piston-engined production aircraft, and the last prop-driven aircraft to serve with the Royal Navy. Powered by the huge and powerful Centaurus engine, it had a top speed of 460mph, and carried a heavy armament of 4 x 20mm Hispano cannons, with hard-points under the wings for 12 x 3" rockets. It saw surprisingly long service, into the 60s with foreign air forces that weren't quite ready or able to begin their jet age. As such it saw a surprising amount of conflict, beginning with the Korean War, and including Cuba, Burma and Iraq where it was well-liked. Once it had been outmoded by the upcoming jets it went on to compete in air races, where it saw some success with the airframes gradually getting customised as time went by. There are still plenty in existence due to them not being caught up in the wholesale destruction after the war, and if you're lucky you'll be able to see one at an airshow in a number of countries including the UK. This book is the Second Edition of the original Airframe Album number 2 that was one of Valiant Wings' early books in the early teens. As the little triangle in the bottom right corner says, it has been updated and expanded to include new information, and comes just at the right time for anyone with a new Airfix 1:48 kit that's asking them to build it. The volume is perfect bound in a card cover, with 112 pages excluding the cover in a portrait oversized A4 format, which will match their other books in your collection. It is broken down into sections as per usual, with the layout as follows: 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of the construction and equipment 2. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D Isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3. Camouflage and Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 4. Kit Builds Steve A Evans builds the multi-medium T.Mk.20 from AMG and new Airfix FB Mk.11, both in 1:48 5. Survivors An updated list of those airframes that survive today Appendices I. Kit List II. Accessory List III. Decal List IV. Bibliography As always the level of detail that the technical parts go to is astonishing, discussing all parts of the airframe from the spinner to the tail. The 3D isometrics are a boon to someone like myself that forgets what the differences between variants were, and the choice of markings shown in the profiles by Richard J Caruana is surprisingly wide and varied. Steve A Evans never disappoints in the build section, doing justice both to the resin 2-seater AMG kit and the brand new Airfix kit that wasn't available for the original edition. Conclusion There's a lot to read, and because of its long service, some of the photos are in colour, with the remainder in black and white, and all as crisp as possible given the original sources. I really should pick up an Airfix Sea Fury now! Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Airframe Extra No.9 The North African Campaign ISBN: 9780995777323 Valiant Wings Publishing Many modellers these days seem to like building subjects based on a theme, which can often be historical events. This series of books from Valiant Wings will look at specific areas, and events in the history of aerial warfare with this in mind. Each title will cover the history and details details of these event. This volume contains period photographs, and colour artwork from Richard J Caruana. More importantly to the modeller each will contain kit builds; this one has builds in 1/144, 1/72, 1/48 & !/32. These are from modellers; Steve A. Evans and Libor Jekl. The book is A4 soft cover format, very well printed with clear text, good artwork and clear build photographs. The ninthbook in this series covers the North African Campaign June 1940 to May 1943. The period of Italy's declaration of War through to the surrender of Axis forces in Tunisia 1943. All sides had specific camoflage for the desert and these lend to some interesting models. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part from both sides. The six models featured in this volume are; 1/72nd Heinkel He 111 (Hasegawa). 1/72nd Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk Ia (Special Hobby). 1/72nd Dewoitine D.520 (RS Models). 1/144th Junkers Ju 52/3m (Eduard). 1/48th Bf 110C-2/Trop (Eduard). 1/32nd Hawker Hurricane Mk IId (Fly). Conclusion This is a great ninth book in the series from Valiant Wings. They are to be conratulated for producing this series of books with the modeller directly in mind. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Airframe & Miniature 5 Early Series (to E-9 including T) and 11 Bf.109 Late Series (F-K & Z) A Complete Guide To The Luftwaffe's Famous Fighter Valiant Wings Publishing There won't be many folks that have an interest in WWII aviation that would say "Bf.what now?", and a great many of us have a fondness for this aircraft, despite what it represented at the time. They are just pieces of metal and rubber, afterall. The Bf.109, a product of the Messerschmitt works was a pre-war design that went on to serve valiantly (excuse pun) to the end of the war, and went through many variants, including a Zwilling twin, and a T that was supposed to serve on the still-born aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. Even though it was supposed to be replaced on a number of occasions by supposedly better aircraft, it soldiered on alongside the Fw.190 to the very end, and as a Spanish Casa, and in other foreign service even beyond. A few original airframes still survive, but if you see a 109 in the sky at an airshow, it's most likely the previously mention Casa that sports a Merlin engine, with exhausts high on the modified cowling. This is a series of two books, the first of which covered the early 109s and was released in 2015, now joined by its sibling that covers the later marks up until the end of production. They also cover the oddities mentioned above, which will be of interest to anyone that is interested in the almost or what-if possibilities of this versatile airframe. I can't seem to find our original review of Number 5, so in the interests of completeness, and the fact that the early edition has been republished due to demand, packed with even more information and photos. Both books are perfect bound in a card jacket and printed on glossy paper with spot colour throughout. The author for each one is the prolific Richard A Franks, with Richard J Caruana providing the colour profiles as usual with this interesting series. Pasted to the rear of each volume are a set of plans that will be of great use to any modeller that likes to compare and contrast their plastic replicas with profiles and plans. Airframe & Miniature 5, Bf.109 V1 to E-9 including T-series – ISBN: 978-0-9567198-7-4 Consisting of 208 pages, it details the development of the 109 from early design work, prototypes, initial production and the early marks that saw service during the expansion of the Reich, and the Nazi's "dry-run" of their Blitzkreig warfare during the Spanish Civil War, and finally in the early part of WWII when it was tested against the British Spitfire and found to be a reasonable match during some modes of flight, but in need of improvement if it was to keep up with the steady development of the fabulous Merlin engine and the Supermarine engineers constantly improving on the original design. The pages are broken down as follows: Airframe Chapters Evolution 10 Bf.109B series 14 Bf.109C & D series 26 Bf.109E prototypes 33 Bf.109E production 41 Bf.109 T-series, projects and one-off conversions 55 Camouflage & markings 61 Colour Profiles 81 Miniature Chapters Bf.109V1 to E-9 and T-series kits 92 Building a selection 108 Building a collection 126 In detail: The Bf.109 148 Appendices Bf.109V1 to E-9 (including T-series) kit list 191 Bf.109V1 to E-9 (including T-series) accessories list 195 Bf.109V1 to E-9 (including T-series) decal list 199 Bibliography 207 Fold-Outs Scale plans – V1, B-0 Fold Out A Scale plans – D-1, E-1, E7 Trop, T-2 Fold Out B Airframe & Miniature Volume 11 – Bf.109 Late Series (F to K including the Z-series) ISBN: 978-0-9957773-0-9 With an expanded page count up to 240 pages, this volume documents the struggle to develop the 109 past the point that it probably would have seen if it weren't for the changing tides of war and the whirlwind that Nazi Germany reaped after its failure to conquer Britain, and the declaration of war by the American after Pearl Harbour shook them from their isolationist reverie. The changes involved many dead-ends, including V-tail, retractable oil cooler, skis, wide-track undercarriage and just about any kind of aerodynamic of mechanical updates that the engineers thought could give them advantage over the Spitfire and eventually the Mustang, Thunderbolt and many other late war heavy fighters. The page breakdown is as follows: Airframe Chapters Evolution – Bf.109F Series 24 Evolution – Bf.109G Series 41 Evolution – Bf.109H, K and Z series 62 Camouflage and Markings and Colour Profiles 69 Miniature Chapters Bf.109F to G series Kits 110 Building a Selection 119 Building a Collection 135 In Detail: The Bf.109F to K 166 Cockpit & Canopy 167 Fuselage 177 Engine, Radiator, Cowls & Propeller 179 Supercharger Intake 182 Cowl Types 187 Oil, Fuel, Coolant, Oxygen, Hydraulic & GM-1 and/or MW50 Systems 190 Wings & Flight Controls 194 Tail 199 Undercarriage 203 Armament, Ordnance & Drop Tanks 206 Camera, Radio & Radar Systems 216 Miscellaneous 221 Appendices Bf.109F to K Series Kit List 222 Bf.109F to K Series Accessory List 228 Bf.109F to K Series Decal List 233 Bibliography 239 1:48 Scale Plans Fold-Out Conclusion As we have come to expect from this series, indeed any of the Valiant Wings publications, the text is interesting, the photos of high quality, and the drawings are crisp with lots of informative captions. The colour profiles are of high quality, and the isometrics that show the differences between marks are my personal favourites. There is plenty to interest the aviation enthusiast as well as the modeller, but the modelling section is great for us plastic fiends, with models of the highest quality being showcased with tips and tricks to obtain similar results (talent willing!), with all major scales represented from many manufacturers. This series has become a great source of knowledge for those of us that don't know everything already, and with them in hand, you are poised to do a better job of your latest 109 project, especially if you're looking at detail. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. The Gloster Gladiator – Airframe Album 12 Valiant Wings Publishing The tagline "A detailed guide to the RAF's last biplane fighter" is a perfect summation of the Glad, which soldiered on long past its sell-by date due to the pressures of a war that it wasn't really designed to cope with. It was always going to be a stop-gap aircraft, and was the winner of the competition for which the original Supermarine Type 224 was submitted. Developed from Gloster's experience with previous biplane fighters, the Gladiator bore more than a passing resemblance to how I would imagine a biplane Hurricane would look, and was in many instances replaced by that very aircraft. Quickly withdrawn from front-line service after some unsuccessful battles with the more capable Bf.109, it soldiered on in Africa, the Mediterranean and in other arenas and with other nations where the competition was also similarly outdated (at times). The book is perfect-bound in a softback cover, and consists of 128 pages of writing, drawings, plans and contemporary photographs, some of which are in colour, which is nice to see, given the period of operation. If you are familiar with the Airframe Album series, the format will be somewhat familiar, and is broken down as follows: Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operational use of the Gladiator and Sea Gladiator by the RAF, FAA and other nations, as well as captured and evaluated examples Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D-isometrics illustrating differences between variants Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs Model A build of the Silver Wings 1:32 scale version by Steve A Evans Appendices Gloster Gladiator/Sea Gladiator Kit List Gloster Gladiator/Sea Gladiator Accessory & Mask List Gloster Gladiator/Sea Gladiator Decal List Bibliography The pictures are split between contemporary photos, mainly in the introductory section where the aircraft's service is discussed, and modern photos that have been taken of either a restored airframe, or one undergoing deep restoration, which benefits from much of the surface being stripped away for access. This gives the viewer a useful insight into what's under the skin, which is often the type of information that us modellers are looking for when upgrading details, or opening up some panels. They're also of great interest to the general aircraft enthusiast, as is the accompanying text and the captions to each photo, drawing and diagram. I find the 3D isometrics a useful quick-reference to see at a glance the differences in the airframe as it was developed, and this edition is no exception, even though there were technically only two marks. Due to the development of the early airframes and overseas customer requirements, there are a lot more small changes to each batch of aircraft than one would initially expect. In total there are 27 sets of drawings for the various land-based versions and the Sea Gladiator, which is included in the book's remit. The drawings and diagrams are also particularly useful in giving an insight into the construction of the Glad, and some are culled directly from the manuals that accompanied the aircraft to their squadrons. There is only one build in this book, which is of the resin Silver Wings kit in 1:32. Although the build is excellent as usual, I feel that an additional build using either the Roden kit in 1:48, or any of the available 1:72 kits to add a little wider appeal, but the editor explains in italics that it was due to lack of space. The usual kit & bits listing is included to the rear, and gives a perishable recounting of what was available at the time of printing in kit, aftermarket, decals and of course reference material. Conclusion The Glad is the hero of Malta, fighting alongside its people, the brave soldiers and airmen that kept the island from falling into Axis hands during the height of WWII when it was threatened from all sides, enduring an extended onslaught that would have broken the spirit of many. Faith, Hope and Charity as the three aircraft became known gave the Islanders hope, and it seems to have rooted itself in many a modeller's affections, perhaps because it was almost always the underdog. This book is a great one-stop reference for modellers and aviation enthusiasts alike. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Airframe Extra No.8 Air War Over Italy Valiant Wings Publishing Continuing with their series of Airframe Extra Books, the latest title Number 8 deals with The Air War Over Italy, in the period Sept 1943 to May 1945. The conflict in Italy is often overlooked when compared to the D-Day landings and conflict in France & Germany. In fact veterans of the campaign were referred to as D-Day dodgers. The war in Italy though was often hard and brutal and this reviewer in particular has been told so as my Granddad fought in the dessert and up through Italy. Like other theatres of WWII air power played a significant part. This book is 82 pages in an A4 softcover format. Following the other books of the series it breaks down to sections on History, 19 pages of aircraft profiles from all combatants; and 7 models of aircraft from the period. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part; The six models features in this volume are; Special Hobby 1/72 Martin Baltimore Mk.V Eduard 1/72 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXC "late version" Profipak. Special Hobby 1/72 Fiat G.55 Centauro Serie 1 Hasegawa 1/72 Junkers Ju 88A-4 Eduard 1/48 P-39L/N Aircobra in the MTO 21st Centuary Toys 1/32 Maccgi C.205 Veltro Conclusion This is a great eighth book in the series from Valiant Wings. The combination of history and modelling is proving to be popular. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Fieseler Fi.156 A Detailed Guide to the Luftwaffe's Versatile Storch Valiant Wings Publishing The Storch was a lightweight short-takeoff and landing liaison aircraft that was also used for spotting on occasions. Around 3,000 airframes were produced by the Germans, and a number of countries build licensed examples before, during and after the war. A number even fell into Allied hands and were used by notable figures for quick and easy transport between locations, with the long suspension travel allowing it to land in quite rough fields. This book from Valiant by the prolific Richard A Frank is part of the Airframe Album series, being number 11, and follows the same format as its predecessors. The book contains a wealth of detailed pictures, profiles from Richard J Caruana, and isometric drawings by Chris Sandham-Bailey. To the rear is a section on modelling the Storch, with kits in 1:72 and 1:48 built by Libor Jekl and Steve A Evans. While the contemporary photos are in black and white, the preserved examples are photographed in full colour, and the detail in which they are depicted would be an absolute boon to any modeller, especially those wishing to go for ultimate realism. The book is broken down as follows: i. Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operational use of the Storch by the Luftwaffe and other Axis nations, as well as captured and evaluated examples and post-war production 1. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment. 2. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants 3. Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs 4. Models 1:72 of the Smer Fi.156C-3 by Libor Jekl A conversion of the 1:72 Academy Fi.156C Storch to a K-65 by Libor Jekl 1:48 Tamiya Fi.156 by Steve A Evans Appendices Fiesler Fi.156 kit list Fiesler Fi.156 Accessory and Mask list Fiesler Fi.156 Decal list Bibliography Conclusion Whether you have the models that you intend to use this book for reference, or have an interest in the subject, this book will give you all the reference pictures and some besides. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Airframe Extra No.7 The Suez Crisis Valiant Wings Publishing Continuing with their series of Airframe Extra Books, the latest title Number 7 deals with the first major Post War Conflict to involve the European Powers. It has since been seen by history as the start of then end for the empires. This book is 74 pages in an A4 softcover format. Following the other books of the series it breaks down to sections on History, 47 profiles of aircraft from The RAF, FAA France & Israel; and 7 models of aircraft from the period. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part; The seven models features in this volume are; Xtrakit 1/72 Meteor F.8. Hobbyboss 1/72 Sea Hawk Mk.6. KP 1/72 Piper J-3 Cub. Tan Model 1/48 RF-84F Thunderflash. Trumpeter 1/72 IL-28 Beagle. Hasegawa P-51D Mustang. Classic Airframes Meteor NF11/13. Conclusion This is a great seventh book in the series from Valiant Wings. The combination of history and modelling is a great idea. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Good news for any of you folks that quite like a good read, plenty of pictures, and some interesting information. Valiant Wings are starting the year with a FREE postage event between the Tuesday 17th January and Saturday the 21st January. If you have been meaning to pick up some extra books from their range, or have never heard of them and fancy a browse, now is your chance. Have a squint, tee up some books, and hit the shop on the 17th, hoping that you don't go overdrawn before you salary comes in! Click on the logo below to engage in browsing.
  14. The Dornier Do.335 Pfeil A Complete Guide To The Luftwaffe's Fastest Piston Engined Fighter Valiant Wings Publishing The Do.335 was The Nazi's last attempt to squeeze more power from the piston-engine by installing one at each end of the fuselage driving two props without the need for draggy engine pods on the wings. It was a large fighter, but incredibly fast, earning the name Arrow (German: Pfeil). Fortunately for the Allies it came too late to see much service, so could not change the course of the war, but it was a worrying prospect for Allied piston-engined fighters if ever they encountered one. Despite big plans involving many variants and improvements, only a few types saw service, and in tiny quantities, often for special operations that required the prodigious speed that the airframe could achieve. Perfect bound in a glossy card cover the book extends to 144 pages, and includes a set of 1:48 plans on the inside back cover that cover a number of variants, and show the size of this monster quite well. This edition is written as usual by the prolific Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, both of whom are probably well known to most readers already. As with the rest of the series, the content is broken down into three sections, the first of which gives a concise history of the type, its development, and a limited amount of information about the projected variants that never left the drawing board. A decision was taken in planning the book not to delve too deeply into the "what if" paper projects, as there were many that would have expanded the scope of the book to monstrous proportions. The second chapter is the bit we're all interested in as modellers, as it details the available kits, and goes on to build a selection from different manufacturers and in different scales with the models built by some quite well-known names. There are reference photos aplenty in the following section, from period and contemporary photos and drawings, plus of course the isometric drawings of the different variants that is a boon to anyone like myself that can't remember things for toffee! From the diminutive Göpingen Gö.9 test airframe (a sort-of miniaturised Do.17 with pusher prop) to the bonkers Do.635 Zwilling (yes – two airframes joined on a central aerofoil section), each one is described briefly with the differences and notable points discussed in the surrounding captions. I suddenly have the urge for two more Pfeils in my collection… dammit! The full chapter layout is as follows: Airframe Chapters Evolution – Do.335 Prototypes Evolution – The A-series Evolution – The B-series Projects and Drawing Board Designs Camouflage and Markings Colour Profiles Miniature Chapters Do.335 Kits Building a Selection Building a Collection In Detail: The Do.335 Cockpit & Canopy Fuselage Tail Engine, Propeller & Cowlings Wings Undercarriage Armament, Ordnance, Sighting & Camera Access Panels Appendices Do.335 Kit List Do.335 Accessory List Do.335 Decal & Mask List Bibliography 1:48 Scale Plans Fold Out Conclusion A really useful book of an impressive aircraft that never achieved its true potential, and is nonetheless a personal favourite of mine. There is a lot of detail within the pages that will be a boon to the modeller, as well as the more general aviation enthusiast. There is a small box on one of the inside pages dedicated to Richard's cat Mandy, who died from cancer during the writing of the book. Having lost my cat Piglet this year, I would like to extend my condolences on their loss. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Airframe Extra No.6 The Continuation War Valiant Wings Publishing Continuing with their series of Airframe Extra Books, the latest title Number 6 is a Continuation, "The Continuation War". This was the period of conflict from 1941 to 1944 Between Finland and The Soviet Union, following the Winter War. Germany supplied material and military support to Finland as it considered this to be an extension of its efforts on the Eastern front. This book is 82 pages in an A4 softcover format. Following the other books of the series it breaks down to sections on History, 55 profiles of aircraft from both sides, and 7 models of aircraft from the period. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part from both sides. The seven models features in this volume are; Hasegawa 1/72 B-239 Brewster Buffalo. Revell 1/72 Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIb. Azur 1/72 Morane-Saulnier MS.410. Special Hobby 1/32 B-239 Brewster Buffalo. ICM 1/72 Polikarpov I-153 "Chaika" Zvezda 1/72 Ilyushin Il-4. Gavia 1/48 Westland Lysander Mk.III. Conclusion This is a great sixth book in the series from Valiant Wings. The combination of history and modelling is a great idea. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. The Me.163 Komet A Detailed Guide To The Luftwaffe's Rocket-Powered Interceptor Valiant Wings Airframe Album 10 Eric Brown famously (and naughtily) flew the diminutive and ground-breaking rocket fighter under power after WWII ended, and described it as something of a wild ride. It was a point-defence fighter, taking off on a disposable trolley and climbing at an incredible rate for the day into the bomber streams that were then devastating the remains of the Third Reich, with the intention of cutting them to ribbons. Due to the difficulties in building any meaningful number of aircraft at that time of the war, the volatile nature of the propellant and the paucity of experienced pilots, coupled with a huge speed differential, resulted in relatively few kills. Delivered too late in the war and in too few numbers, the little Komet became the beginning of an evolutionary dead-end in fighter design, as jet engines became more powerful and reliable. The Book Valiant's Airframe Album series is a valuable resource for the modeller and aviation enthusiast alike, packed with contemporary photographs, diagrams, plans and quality descriptions of both the airframe itself, and the development and deployment of the type. As well as the black & white imagery, there are also many photographs of the few preserved examples in museums across the world, and a number of colour profiles by regular profile artist Richard J Caruana. The book spans 112 pages in high quality glossy paper, perfect bound within a card cover in portrait format. It is broken down into chapters as follows: i) Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operation use of the Me.163 by the Luftwaffe, as well as captured and evaluated examples. 1) Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment. 2)Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants. 3) Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles, notes, stencils and photographs. 4) Models 1:72 PM DFS 194 by Libor Jekl 1:72 Special Hobby Me.163A by Libor Jekl 1:48 Trimaster Me.163B by Steve A Evans 1:32 Meng Me.163B by Steve A Evans Appendices I Messerschmitt Me.163 Kit List II Messerschmitt Me.163 Accessory & Mask List III Messerschmitt Me.153 Decal List IV Bibliography Conclusion Another superb little book from the Valiant Wings stable by the prolific Richard A Franks. If you want a one-stop reference book for this rocket-with-a-man-in-it, you would do well to consider this book, even if you're not a modeller. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. No.5 The Spanish Civil War Many modellers these days seem to like building subjects based on a theme, which can often be historical events. This series of books from Valiant Wings will look at specific areas, and events in the history of aerial warfare with this in mind. Each title will cover the history and details details of these event. This volume contain period photographs, and colour artwork from Richard J Caruana. More importantly to the modeller each will contain kit builds this one in 1/72 & 1/48. These are from modellers; Steve A. Evans and Libor Jekl. The book is A4 soft cover format, very well printed with clear text, good artwork and clear build photographs. The fifth book in this series covers the Spanish Civil war which is sometime referred to as the prelude to World War II. Certainly the Luftwaffe saw it as an opportunity to develop aircraft, and more importantly tactic, as well as an opportunity to train its aircrew. There is no doubt that German involvement led to the victory of Franco's forces. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part from both sides. The seven models features in this volume are; Special Hobby 1/72 Junkers Ju 87A-1. Azur 1/72 Polikarpov I-15. Azur 1/72 Romeo Ro.37bis. Azur 1/72 Vultee V-1A RS Models 1/72 Dornier Do 17E. FM 1/48 Dewoitine D.510. Roden 1/48 Heinkel He 51B-1. Conclusion This is a great fifth book in the series from Valiant Wings. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. The De Havilland Mosquito Part 1: Bomber & Photo Reconnaissance Valiant Wings Publishing ISBN 978-0-9935345-1-5 This book is Number 8 in the Airframe & Miniature series, penned by that dynamo of aviation literature, Richard A Franks. There can't be many people that don't know at least a little about the much beloved Mossie, but even those with a fair knowledge can always learn more. I think I probably fall in that category, having had a love of the Mosquito since boyhood when I was lucky enough to see one flying overhead from Hawarden on many occasions. The Mosquito began as a private project that garnered little interest from the Ministry, as wooden construction was considered so passé in the age of the all metal airframe. Fortunately, the De Havillands weren't put off and presented them with an almost completed design that was fast, agile, adaptable and just what they didn't know they needed, just when they didn't know they needed it. Its ability to take on any job assigned to it rapidly earned it the nickname the Wooden Wonder, due to its mainly wood and balsa wood construction that utilised a huge experience base of the furniture making industry that might otherwise have been idle or having to be retrained. Loved by pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike, it was a rugged aircraft too, thanks in part to the wooden construction that took damage differently than metal. After WWII she remained in service around the world for many years until they were obsolete even in the target towing role. As the title tells us, we concern ourselves with the bomber initially, which was the original planned role for the Mossie, relying on high speed to evade the enemy fighters, so therefore unarmed. The glass nose was used by the bomb aimer at the target, and is one of the most striking features that differentiated it from the fighter bomber versions that would follow. There were a plethora of sub-variants manufactured, converted and cobbled together, both here and in Canada, with them all covered inside the covers. It is perfect bound in a card sleeve with 192 glossy pages inside, plus a concertina fold-out set of plans in 1:48 attached to the inside of the rear cover. As well as detailing the aircraft, there are also modelling related sections, plus a handy ready-reckoner for those wishing to build an accurate variant, showing what was added of removed to make that version. The chapters are laid out as follows: Airframe Evolution – The Bombers Prototype Production Evolution – Photo-Reconnaissance Other Variants Camouflage & Markings including colour profiles Miniature Mosquito Bomber, PR & Target Tug Kits Building a Selection Building a Collection In Detail Nose Cockpit & Canopy Mid & Aft Fuselage Tail Engine, Propeller & Cowlings Wings Undercarriage Bombs & Drop Tanks Bomb Sights Cameras Radio, Radar & Misc. Electrical Target Towing Equipment Access Panels Miscellaneous Appendices Mosquito Kit List Mosquito Accessory List Bibliography 1/48 Scale Plans Fold-Out Conclusion As usual with this series the photographs are well printed, the models well made, and the layout clear and logical. There is plenty of material for the avid aviation reader as well as the modeller, and although the Appendices will soon date, they only take up five pages, so it's no big deal. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Valiant Wings Airframe Extra No.4 The Battle of Taranto. Many modellers these days seem to like building subjects based on a theme, which can often be historical events. This series of books from Valiant Wings will look at specific areas, and events in the history of aerial warfare with this in mind. Each title will cover the history and details details of these event. Each will contain period photographs, and colour artwork from Richard J Caruana. More importantly to the modeller each will contain kit builds in all three major scales (1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd) from modellers; Dani Zamarbide, Steve A. Evans and Libor Jekl. The books are A4 soft cover format very well printed with clear text, good artwork and clear build photographs. The forth book in this series covers probably one of the most famous Royal Navy Fleet Air raids of all time; The Battle of Taranto. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part from both sides. The five models features in this volume are; Azur 1/72 Martin Maryland. Italeri 1/72 Cant Z.501 "Gabbiano". Airifx 1/72 Fairey Swordfish. MPM 1/48 Fairey Fulmar Mk.I. Italeri 1/48 Fiat CR.42 Falco. Also of interest to the modeller is a list of commonly used colours of this period with reference to commonly used Enamel and Acrylic paints. Conclusion This is a great third book in the series from Valiant Wings. Highly Recommended. Special offer on the first four books: Review sample courtesy of
  20. Valiant Wings Airframe Extra No.3 The Battle of Britain. Many modellers these days seem to like building subjects based on a theme, which can often be historical events. This series of books from Valiant Wings will look at specific areas, and events in the history of aerial warfare with this in mind. Each title will cover the history and details details of these event. Each will contain period photographs, and colour artwork from Richard J Caruana. More importantly to the modeller each will contain kit builds in all three major scales (1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd) from modellers; Dani Zamarbide, Steve A. Evans and Libor Jekl. The books are A4 soft cover format very well printed with clear text, good artwork and clear build photographs. The Third book in this series covers probably one of the most famous aerial battles of all time; The Battle of Britain. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part from both sides. The six models features in this volume are; Airfix 1/72 Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I Airfix 1/72 Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 110c Revell 1/32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa Trumpeter 1/32 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 Special Hobby1/32 Fiat G.50-II Freccia Also of interest to the modeller is a list of commonly used colours of this period with reference to commonly used Enamel and Acrylic paints. Conclusion This is a great third book in the series from Valiant Wings. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Valiant Wings Airframe Extra No.2 The Korean War Many modellers these days seem to like building subjects based on a theme, which can often be historical events. This series of books from Valiant Wings will look at specific areas, and events in the history of aerial warfare with this in mind. Each title will cover the history and details details of these event. Each will contain period photographs, and colour artwork from Richard J Caruana. More importantly to the modeller each will contain kit builds in all three major scales (1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd) from modellers; Dani Zamarbide, Steve A. Evans and Libor Jekl. The books are A4 soft cover format very well printed with clear text, good artwork and clear build photographs. The Second book in this series covers The Air Battle Over Korea, billed as the first Jet vs Jet combat. The colour artwork features many aircraft taking part including the propeller aircraft as well as the jets. The five models features in this volume are; Eduard 1/72 MiG-15bis Special Hobby 1/72 Supermarine Seafire FR.47 Italeri 1/48 Grumman F7F-3N Tigercat Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Firefly FR.4/5 Italeri 1/32 North American F-86F Also of interest to the modeller is a list of commonly used colours of this period with reference to commonly used Enamel and Acrylic paints. Conclusion This is a good looking second book in the series from Valiant Wings. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Valiant Wings Airframe Extra No.1 D-Day to VE Day. Many modellers these days seem to like building subjects based on a theme, which can often be historical events. This series of books from Valiant Wings will look at specific areas, and events in the history of aerial warfare with this in mind. Each title will cover the history and details details of these event. Each will contain period photographs, and colour artwork from Richard J Caruana. More importantly to the modeller each will contain kit builds in all three major scales (1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd) from modellers; Dani Zamarbide, Steve A. Evans and Libor Jekl. The books are A4 soft cover format very well printed with clear text, good artwork and clear build photographs. The first book in this series covers The Air Battle Over Europe in the period D-Day to VE Day. The colour artwork features many aircraft wearing D-Day stripes as you would expect. The seven models features in this volume are; Airfix 1/72 Douglas C-47A Airfix 1/72 Supermarine Spritfire PR.XIX Hasegawa 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Academy 1/48 Lockheed P-38 Lightning HobbyBoss 1/48 Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a Schwalbe Hasegawa 1/32 Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Hasegawa 1/32 Supermarine Spritfire PR.XIX Also of interest to the modeller is a list of commonly used colours of this period with reference to commonly used Enamel and Acrylic paints. Conclusion This looks like the beginning of a great new series from Valiant Wings. The book mixes history, profiles and modelling in a fresh new way. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. De Havilland Hornet & Sea Hornet A Detailed Guide To The RAF & FAA's Last Twin-Engine Fighter Richard A Franks - Valiant Wings Publishing The Hornet and Sea Hornet were the skinny younger cousins of the highly successful Mosquito, but suffered as poor relations to the up-and-coming jet engine aircraft of the late war and early post WWII era. Nevertheless it was liked by its pilots due to its easy handling and crisp control response, which instilled confidence in its abilities. Given the impending jet revolution however, it lasted from first flight in 1944 to 1956 when the last airframes were withdrawn from service. The book is perfect-bound in a softback cover, and consists of 144 pages of writing, drawings, plans and contemporary photographs, some of which are in colour, which is nice to see, given the period of operation. If you are familiar with the Airframe Album series, the format will be somewhat familiar, and is broken down as follows: Introduction A brief narrative history of the development and operation use of the Hornet and Sea Hornet by the RAF and RN. Technical Description Detailed coverage of construction and equipment. Evolution – Prototype, Production and Projected Variants 3D isometrics illustrating differences between variants Camouflage & Markings Colour side profiles, notes and photographs. Models 1:72 Special Hobby kit by Libor Jekl 1:48 Trumpeter Hornet kit by Steve A Evans Appendices I Hornet & Sea Hornet Kit List II Hornet & Sea Hornet Accessory & Decal List III Bibliogrpahy The Hornet hasn't been terrifically well-served over the years in terms of kits, but amongst others there are the old Classic Airframes kits if you can track them down, the excellent Dynavector vacforms that are becoming rare too, plus the more modern Special Hobby and Trumpeter kits in 1:72 and 1:48 respectively, and if you're modelling in 1:32, there is the HpH kit as well. Perhaps the lack of kits has been remedied after all, although there are some issues with some of the examples mentioned, which must be at least partly due to the lack of an extant airframe. The wealth of information presented in the book is good to see, and it fills many a hole that stopped my own build of the Dynavector kit (that and my mojo!). There are photos of pretty much every aspect of the interior and exterior, all of which would be a veritable goldmine to anyone hoping to detail their kit, or make it more accurate in shape and detail. One of my personal favourite sections are the 3D isometrics that point out all the major differences between variants, which I find extremely useful due to my poor memory. The builds at the rear of the book at at the top of the quality tree, giving inspiration to anyone reading, with the helpful source list behind them to assist you in getting together any of the parts you might want to add to the basic kit. Conclusion Another very useful issue from Valiant Wings, who this year celebrated their 5th anniversary in business, so congratulations to Mark and the team for another great book. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. The Focke-Wulf Fw.189 Uhu Valiant Wings Publishing Here in 1:48 land we've been treated to a new kit from GWH, which is rather nice once you add in the wing spar running through the cockpit that they missed. I built one a few years back when it arrived, and wish I'd had this book then - It would have made the job a lot easier! The Fw.189 was a quirky-looking twin boomed observation aircraft with more glass than your average greenhouse, although not as weird as its competitor for the job, the BV.141, which Valiant have also done a book on, as it happens. It wasn't exactly a powerful aircraft, but it was well liked by the crews, and good at its job, as well as being able to take a bit of punishment from the Allies swatting at it. As usual with books from this series, it is broken down into sections, as below, and extends to 112 pages excluding covers, in a portrait oriented perfect-bound glossy softback that has a set of interesting desert profiles on the rear cover. Written as usual by Richard A Franks, it has contributions from renowned profile artist Richard J Caruana, and modellers Libor Jekl and Andy Evans. Glossary One page of explanation of various terms and measurements used throughout the book. Preface Ten pages discussing the need that led to its development, use and history in service as well as in prototyping. Technical Description Forty-nine pages going into great depth on various aspects of the aircraft's construction from armament to the tool-roll carried. Evolution – Protoype, Production & Projected variants Fifteen pages of informative drawings showing the differences between the variants, including those that didn't actually see service for various reasons. Camouflage & Markings Twenty pages of pictorial reference with plenty of text pointing out the details, including just over six pages of side profiles by Richard J Caruana. Models The first ten pages are taken up by superb builds of the Condor 1:72 kit by Libor Jekl and the 1:48 GWH kit by Andy Evans, including a page of a possible 1:32 kit coming from HpH, asll being well. Appendices Three pages of kits, bits and reference for the inspired modeller. As already mentioned, this book will be tremendous use to anyone planning on building a 189, as the technical section especially is simply crammed with pictures, drawings and diagrams that should give you pretty much everything that's missing from the kit, as well as in inkling as to what is hiding away in the less seen areas of the aircraft, which tempts one to start opening panels. Conclusion Presentation is top-notch as usual, and the detail that has been sourced for this title is excellent, and even extends to the thwarted "Cylonesque" ground-attack variant, and the less seen trainers with their reduced glazing set. Until I opened this book I had no idea there was even a sea-plane proposed with a pair of floats suspended under the booms instead of the landing gear. Sadly, the prototype was never completed, but there's always the ski equipped variant from GWH if you wanted to model something out of the ordinary without Whiffery. It's a great book to dip into and skip through the pages reading the copious captions, and will be of great use if you're planning on improving or upgrading your model of any scale. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. The Bristol Blenheim Valiant Wings Airframe Album 5 Valiant Wings' Airframe Albums are a goldmine for the modeller that is familiar with an aircraft, but lacking in references and the finer details that make one an expert. Perfect for the likes of me that has more enthusiasm than knowledge of most types, and a great way to become an "instant expert" when compared to your former self. Written by the prolific Richard A Franks, illustrated by Richard J Caruana, and with line-art by Wojciech Sankowski, the book is perfect-bound with a soft cover, and extends to some 128 pages packed with pictures text, diagrams, and information that will be most useful. The book is broken down into the following sections: Preface. This doesn't appear in the index at the front of the book, but extends to twelve pages that are going to be perfect for the novice to read and get up to speed with the Blenheim's use and development before reading the rest of th4e book. Technical Description. Discussing construction and equipment that was carried. Evolution – Prototype, Production & Projected Variants. This section is full of useful isometric drawings illustrating the differences between marks, with helpful call-outs to assist you. Camouflage & Markings. Colour side profiles of the various schemes worn in both British, overseas operators, giving an idea of how widely the Blenheim was actually used. Production. A full list of all Blenheim & Bollingbrokes produced with serial ranges. Appendices Blenheim/Bollingbroke Kit List. Blenheim/Bollingbroke Accessory List. Blenheim/Bollingbroke Decal List. Bibliography. Of course the available kits, accessories, decals & bibliography are a snapshot of what's available at the time of production, which will become less relevant as time goes by, but as it only takes up four pages, it's hardly a big imposition on the rest of the book. Conclusion Without giving away too much about the content, there are absolutely tons of pictures, diagrams and drawings that a modeller will find useful in addition to the text, and given how reasonably prices these titles are, they deserve to do well. It's a must have for anyone detailing the interior of their Blenheim too! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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