The Gloster/AW Meteor: A detailed Guide to Britains First Jet Fighter

By: Richard A Franks

ISBN: 978-1-912932-02-3

Price: £18.95 Format: A4

VALIANT WINGS’ latest Airframe Album, on the Gloster Meteor is its most comprehensive to date, with 194 pages crammed with modellerfriendly information. It opens with the type’s development, after which there’s an exhaustive examination of the airframe, addressing the fuselage, undercarriage, tail, wings, engines, armament, fuel and oil, electrical, and miscellaneous sub-sections. Each has close-up photos of museum exhibits and restored airframes, intermingled with extracts from engineering manuals. Attention then shifts to the Meteor’s evolution, and this is great for modellers as it highlights the differences between each variant. Richard J Caruana’s superb colour profiles are the highlight of the Camouflage and Markings element, which caters for all operators and leads neatly into the modelling section. Dragon’s 1/72 Meteor F.1 and Airfix’s recent 1/48 Meteor FR.9 are the selected builds, followed by a comprehensive kit, decal and accessory listing for Gloster’s famous ‘meatbox’. SF


U-BootsEscape to South America: Secret of the Gray Wolves

By: Maciej Noszczak and Peter Wytykowski

ISBN: 978-83-66148-23-9

Price: £23.50 Format: 250 x 170mm

Kagero is renowned for superbly researched digital artwork and scale drawings, and this largely narrative-based volume about Kriegsmarine U-boats fleeing to South America benefits from the same encyclopaedic approach. It’s a culmination of a four-year study, with the authors gaining access to records of interrogations of captured U-boat commanders, plus numerous official documents in the US, UK, Germany and Argentina, several of which are reproduced. There is a discussion over why Argentina would become such a popular destination, and describes the transit of the first vessel to make the journey in the summer of 1945. Several popular myths, such as boatloads of senior Third Reich officers sneaking into South America (although some undoubtedly succeeded), plus hoards of gold are comprehensively debunked. Instead it was the far less glamorous reality of capture and interrogation. Period photographs provide suitable context, and are ideal for modellers wanting to reproduce a U-boat with a more unusual story than most. SF


T-54/55: Soviet Cold War Main Battle Tank

By: Robert Jackson

ISBN: 978-1-52674-138-7

Price: £14.99 Format: A4

When the T-54 was first conceived at the Soviet Malyshev Plant in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1946, few expected it to be in operational service more than 70 years later. However, such was the type’s success and longevity, that it (along with T-55 derivatives) would become the most successful postwar main battle tank. The 16th Tank Craft volume is dedicated to this long-lived machine, and provides a brief overview of its development, before delving into the variants (including specialised recovery and antiaircraft versions) principal users and combat operations. These segue neatly into eight pages of four-view colour profiles, depicting several camouflage schemes – from overall Russian Green to desert- and winter-clad machines. Inserted within the historical element are galleries of four 1/35 Tamiya and Takom builds (two of each); while these are undoubtedly excellent models, the photos suffer from poor depth of field and lighting (as with other titles in this series). The final kitography/review section, which covers 1/35 and 1/72 subjects is bang up to date with the latest MiniArt and Takom releases, but also has space for the older Skif and Tamiya offerings. SF


The Chow-Hound

By: Bruce Joel Brittain

ISBN: 978-1-63393-855-7

Price: US$19.95

Format: 204 x 204mm

This small volume recounts the moving six-decade story of the loss of B-17G 42-32367 The Chow Hound on August 8, 1944 and eventual recovery of all the crew’s remains. The specific B-17 may be more familiar to modellers than most, as it carried artwork by famed illustrator Cpl Tony Starcer (he painted Memphis Belle among others). More importantly, as US firm Monogram sought a suitable subject for youngsters Chow Hound was ideal – it featured the Disney character Pluto riding a bomb. The narrative describes the events leading up to the bomber’s loss over the French village of Lonlay l’Abbaye, and the efforts of the locals to recover the bodies before the Germans could reach them. It’s here everything begins, as a series of chance events (including Monogram’s role) culminates in the recovery of the final three missing crewmembers in 2004. This is a wonderful story of the courage of the crews as they carried out their missions, the gratitude of the French villagers (who also hid wreckage from the Germans), and the determination of families, friends and the US Air Force to see all crew members finally laid to rest. SF


Curtiss P-40B, C, D, E

By: Mariusz Łukasik

ISBN: 978-83-66148-18-5

Price: €18.99 Format: A4

With newly tooled offerings from Airfix and Special Hobby in 1/48 and 1/72 scales respectively, Kagero’s recent Top Drawings volume on early versions of the Curtiss P-40 has been timed perfectly. The mix of high-quality scale drawings and well-documented full-colour profiles offers modellers a wealth of reference material, whether that’s checking the accuracy of panel lines or perhaps looking for inspiration for camouflage schemes. Most drawings are to 1/48 scale, and take the reader from the early prototypes through to the P-40E. Helpfully, the occasionally confusing litany of titles given to the type is included, matching the US service designations with the RAF names of Tomahawk and Kittyhawk. It also shows clearly how each variant was armed, with 1/24 drawings of the M2.50 cal (12.7mm),.303in (7.69mm) and.40 cal (7.62mm) wing- and fuselagemounted machine guns. Four pages of colour profiles are provided, with examples of P-40B, ‘C and ‘E airframes, plus a centrespread of a shark-mouthed RAF 112 Squadron machine. The closing section of 1/72 drawings is invaluable for modellers, as it highlights all the differences between each variant. As a bonus, there is a 1/48 canopy mask and a print of a P-40B in action over Pearl Harbor by Arkadiusz Wróbel. SF


Concorde: Supersonic Icon

By: Ingo W Bauernfeind

ISBN: 978-3-9815984-1-4

Price: £21.95 Format: 286 x 225mm

Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s maiden flight, the author charts this iconic design’s development, service career and legacy.

Unlike many other books on the subject, it offers a refreshingly different perspective via anecdotal accounts from flight crew, engineers and passengers – the result is a fitting tribute to this magnificent airliner. It may be surprising that Concorde should have its origins in French/British military jet projects, but it’s unlikely it would have emerged otherwise. Aspects of the airframe are explored, from the graceful ‘ogee delta’ wing to the drooping nose, before readers are whisked into the ‘Age of Concorde’, with perspectives from crews and passengers. While The Delta Dream isn’t dry or over-technical, these personal memories enliven the text, often with amusing conclusions. It could be argued the chapter on whether Concorde will return to flight verges on fantasy (due to certification issues), but it serves to as a worthy introduction to ongoing efforts to produce a successor, before closing on an examination of its significance. There may be other commemorative books on Concorde, but few manage to instil a sense of supersonic flight as well as this – thoroughly recommended. SF


The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Foreign Service

By: Jan Forsgren

ISBN: 978-83-65958-21-1

Price: £20 Format: A4

As mentioned in the introduction, for all its prevalence in the Allied strategic bombing campaign over Germany, fewer than 100 B-17s were operated outside of the US Army Air Force and RAF, and this White Series volume is dedicated to those machines. Jan Forsgren’s account is split into three sections, with nations that obtained/ purchased the Flying Fortress listed in alphabetical order in each. The first, which occupies more than three-quarters of the pages, covers where the airframes went, and it’s intriguing to discover how thinly those bombers were spread, from Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Denmark and Israel, to Taiwan and Yugoslavia. While most procurements were legitimate, there was occasional skulduggery, and this is all covered, and supplemented by high-quality period black and white photographs. Those machines acquired during wartime also receive attention, whether captured (France/Germany) or impounded/interned (Soviet Union/Switzerland), and where possible, the operational career of each airframe is described. The remainder of the book is devoted to colours and markings, split between a textual description for each nation and a series of stunning profiles, with a mix of civilian, military and captured attires, which are sure to inspire modellers with kits by Airfix, Academy, Revell or Monogram. SF


US Army Vehicle Markings 1944

By: Jean Bouchery and Philippe Charbonnier

ISBN: 978-1-61200-737-3

Price: £29.99

Format: 260 x 208mm

It’s not often a book crosses the AMW review desk that should be in the library of every modeller building World War Two US Army vehicles, but this is such a volume. While at first the subject may appear bland, once the surface has been scratched the seemingly random assortments of letters and numbers are given meaning, to the point it allows any equipment to be identified quickly and easily. The clear explanations, the result of considerable research by the authors, are backed by excellent graphics showing how individual units were sub-divided and (more importantly) how this was reflected on vehicle bumpers/hull plates/track guards. A combination of colour, plus black and white period photos then add further context, and for each there is a breakdown of the symbology present. Perhaps most interesting of all are the legends applied to US Army machinery for D-Day (to ensure the correct loading of units onto transports), comprising three coloured bars. Helpfully, equipment is listed by type, making for quick and easy reference. Finally, there are short sections on tactical markings used by specific units, such as the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions, and a brief resumé on the types of camouflage worn by US Army vehicles during World War Two.