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Warpaint No.123 de Havilland Chipmunk

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Just a heads up that my next book in Guidelines Warpaint series will be the de Havilland Chipmunk to be launched at SMW Telford on 9/10th November.


It takes the usual format with the fully-illustrated history of the type and over 90 photos, nearly all in colour plus colour profiles and plans.   

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I will have to wait until Christmas to see what is like as my copy bought at Telford was given straight to Mrs T. It did have a free decal sheet though as a show exclusive. Used to see them on a weekend giving ATC cadets flights from RAF Newton as well as the East Midlands UAS on the late sixties, early seventies

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On 11/11/2019 at 21:41, Rod Blievers said:

Be wary gents, from the preview it would appear that the drawings and some of their captions aren't as good as they should be.

Got my copy at the Middle Wallop show . Nicely produced and text  informative but have to say the colour profiles are OK, but large(about 1/48th) and not all of them accurate sadly especially when the photos from which the profiles are taken show the discrepancies. Would have preferred smaller profiles allowing more to be include. 7/10 from me.   ( Sorry AMB and Jan)

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Is 7/10 maybe being a bit generous here Paul?


Even the front cover gives it away; an appallingly inaccurate drawing of a Canadian-built T.30 and a lovely photo of two UBAS Chipmunks which really begs for a more informative caption; not a word here about two different styles of application of the 3M fuselage strips, two different styles of anti-dazzle panels, the not that rare appearance of white canopy frames on an overall Light Aircraft Grey Chipmunk and the spinners marked in the university scarf colours.


I've already alluded to the drawings; let me repeat they are very poor! The colour profiles feature some suspect shapes while completely missing some details, nowhere is the narrow-chord rudder shown, while some of the captions are incorrect. The centrepiece line drawings again have dubious shapes, and either omit some details or just get them wrong. Just as one example, not all UK-built Chipmunks had the rectangular battery access panels on the upper rear fuselage as drawn. But worse, much worse, are the depiction of the Canadian "T.30". Apart from the canopy the draftsman has simply reproduced a T.10 without u/c fairings. Given the myriad of external differences between the two this is a gross miss-representation.


The author has produced a comprehensive (if for obvious reasons compressed) history of the type. Sadly though, my initial disappointments are confirmed here as there are  errors and omissions.


The Canadian-built variants are poorly served; there's no clear description of the differences (indeed the DHC-1A gets scant mention) and the author implies that all DHC-1B's sported the bubble canopy and were all "T.30's" - not so. There is no description of what very different aircraft they were externally, while the sub-type that the "T.30" actually was (the DHC-1B-2-S5) isn't mentioned.


For a book purporting to be intended for modellers, I thought the description of the various RAF schemes poor. As examples; not all Chipmunks left the factory with the yellow bands (i.e. those intended for the RAFC Cranwell did not), there's no mention of why the Light Aircraft Grey colour came about, while there's only a vague and incomplete description of the differences between the two Red/White/Light Aircraft Grey schemes.  Most modellers I know love "oddball" schemes yet there's no mention of the handful of Chipmunks that wore a hybrid combining features of both of these schemes.


Understandably perhaps, the text seems very UK-centric. The agricultural Mk.23 gets six photos and 36 lines of text whereas the conceptually similar but structurally very different Australian-built SA29 Spraymaster, which had an equally interesting gestation, gets a mere 2 lines! And there's no mention at all of what constituted the Mk.21 nor how the Mk.22 or 22A designations came about!


Offsetting all this, the author has provided some wonderful period photos from his own collection. I particularly liked the colour photos of various UAS badges which are linked to specific aircraft and dated too.


From experience I'm aware of the effort that went into this. It could/should have filled the void of reasonably priced Chipmunk references, but to me it represents a missed opportunity.

Edited by Rod Blievers
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