The publisher’s revised hardback delves into the world of Axis aircraft captured by the Allies… and is a worthy modelling reference.
There are many interesting modelling themes on which you can embark, but in terms of aircraft, one of the most fascinating is that of captured examples. They were often re-painted or at least had the captor’s markings replacing the original décor. It’s a great way to portray a military flying machine differently if you’re a little jaded with ‘conventional’ schemes.
With this in mind, Crécy Publishing’s work, War Prizes, is fantastic if you want to explore the chosen theme with several builds, or complete many models in this vein. On inspecting the book, you’ll immediately be struck with the variety of types and liveries you can replicate in scale form. Thankfully, many schemes are available via the aftermarket decal route, but others can be cobbled together with generic markings and a little ingenuity.
War Prizes was first published in 1994, but has been revised and updated extensively. The book’s photo quality is improved thanks to more modern technology being available, while previously unpublished images are included too. It’s also pleasing to see the foreword by legendary test pilot Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown… central to evaluating many of the types described. Across 352 pages and 21 chapters, author Phil Butler provides an exhaustive study of aircraft captured and examined/flown not just by the British, but also the US, France and many other countries – from Australia to the USSR and with many in between.
The imagery is mostly black and white, save for the occasional modern shot of an airframe in a museum or rare period view. It’s all generally of good quality though and reveals important details, especially concerning the markings. And the variety of types covered within is legion, especially as you have German, Italian and Japanese machines appearing. Each chapter has its natural place in the story; focus includes Farnborough-operated machines and those at other UK test centres, Axis types at the USAAF’s Wright Field and those flown by the group nicknamed ‘Watson’s Whizzers’ – and aircraft used by the British Forces of Occupation in Germany. This is just a mere snapshot, though.
In terms of actual models, you can build very different-looking replicas with guidance from the book’s imagery. Imagine a Dornier Do-24 in either Australian camouflage and markings or overall white with French Aéronavale insignia, along with various Japanese types sporting US ‘stars and bars’. Ultimately, the choice of projects is mind-boggling. All the individual captured aircraft that feature have their own biographies, too, so you can track owners and activity. This is a highly useful book if you find the theme attractive, and at £27.95 it represents excellent value. It’s available direct from Crécy Publishing.
Captured German, Italian and Japanese Aircraft of WWII
By: Phil Butler
Format: 280 x 216mm