178 pages

The Bristol Beaufighter

By: Richard A Franks

ISBN: 978-0-9957773-9-2

Price: £18.95 Format: A4

Web: www.valiant-wings.com

Valiant’s Airframe Album series is fast becoming a favourite reference tool for many modellers. The latest iteration, on the powerful and versatile Beaufighter, offers myriad factory illustrations, annotated isometric drawings of each sub-type to show structural nuances, and scores of period images. Supporting all this is a decent array of colour profiles, plan and underside views, imparting livery/markings details. There’s much food for thought regarding the latter, and gems such as the Mk.Ic in the Coastal Special Duties scheme of white, Extra Dark Sea Grey and Slate Grey, along with menacing-looking Australian Mk.21s in Foliage Green and post-war RAF machines. Some readers might feel a little short-changed with the single page of 1/72 plans, considering the subject’s complexity; if so, a great resource lies in the copious scale drawings of the aircraft by Terry Higgins, in AMW’s May 2015 and July 2016 issues. Highly informative text interweaves throughout this softback book, which closes with builds of Airfix’s 1/72 TF Mk.X and the same sub-type portrayed by Revell’s new 1/48 kit. These are followed by lists of kits, decals, accessories and books. A truly functional and attractive publication, which offers excellent value for money. CC


83 pages

HMMWV Hummer in IDF Service

By: Michael Mass and Adam O’Brien

ISBN: 978-965-7700-02-0

Price: £29.90 Format: 279 x 215mm

Web: www.aviationbookcentre.com

The Hummer might be the first soft-skinned vehicle in Desert Eagle’s excellent IDF Armor Series, but it’s treated in a similar fashion to all other entries. Its role as a scout vehicle is described in depth, highlighting its lineage via British Land Rovers and American M151 Jeeps, before attention turns to the subject vehicle type. First the high-roll caged-equipped anti-tank-guided missile system version is addressed, and then the lower-profile scout machines – as shown by the high-quality colour images, both sub-types are often seen in company… excellent material for diorama builders. Attention then shifts to the cargo box-fitted vehicles, which includes ambulances and cargo carriers, before more specialised TOW-missile, tank trainer, intelligence collection, technical support and exercise trainers are featured. A final section examines up-armoured Hummers, with their characteristic triangular shaped windows. As with previous volumes, all aspects of the vehicles are photographed in great detail, highlighting the varying degrees of weathering on the various surfaces, but also identifying the considerable amounts of stowage added in Israeli service. As a general reference manual on the HMMWV, this is without compare… from a modelling perspective it is indispensable, serving not just as a guide, but also as inspiration. SF


82 pages

The Japanese Battleship Ise

By: Carlo Cestra

ISBN: 978-83-65437-62-4

Price: £27.50 Format: A4

Web: casematepublishing.co.uk

Technically the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) battleship Ise was an improved Fuso-class vessel, but is better known as the lead ship of its own two-unit sub-class. Kagero’s Super Drawings is a delightful blend of how the vessel came to be, how it was armed, and an overview of its operational service, coupled with this series’ sumptuous digital oblique-view images. Key aspects, such as the type’s characteristic ‘pagodastyle’ bridge and foremast, and the large aft deck for operating floatplanes, are covered just as well as minor features, including searchlight positions, flagstaffs and turret railings. This is a treasure trove for modellers, especially given the lack of closeup archival photographs of Ise and its sister vessel, Hyūga. Note, all drawings in this book depict the vessel as it appeared in 1944, after its conversion to a hybrid aircraft carrier, as the IJN scrambled to replace losses at the Battle of Midway in 1942. As usual, the highlight is the separate scale plans, with overhead and side elevations at 1/350, while fore/ aft views are 1/250; close-ups of equipment are 1/200, 1/100 or 1/50. It almost goes without saying, but this is a vital reference for ship modellers. SF


96 pages

Battle of Britain 1940 The Luftwaffe’s ‘Eagle Attack’

By: Douglas C Dildy

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2057-0

Price: £13.99Format: 248 x 184mm

Web: www.ospreypublishing.com

Arguably the most famous air campaign in the history of warfare, the Battle of Britain has spawned a plethora of debate, research, books, a revered film and that legendary speech by Winston Churchill. Osprey adds its own take on the affair, penned by a former USAF F-15 pilot. One could write seemingly endless words on the subject, but this potted history is a fine choice for anyone seeking a wallet-friendly and basic guide…and context/reference for kit builds. Produced in a sensible manner, the book starts with the origins of the battle, whereby author Dildy describes the build-up to Hitler’s Fall Weiß (Case White) plan and the latter’s execution. What then follows is an interesting study of the attacker’s/defender’s capabilities, campaign objectives and the battle itself. The layout is attractive and useful, courtesy of maps and diagrams, pleasing colour artwork and a wealth of period photos. Luftwaffe and RAF orders of battle feature too, which is handy for assessing which units were involved (think of all that fun hunting through kit/aftermarket decals), and there are easy-to-absorb vignettes explaining the content of the larger illustrations. It’s money well spent if building on a theme and one wants to know all the background detail. CC


46 pages

Vought OS2U Kingfisher

By: Kev Darling


Price: £14.50 Format: A4

Web: guidelinepublications.co.uk

If there’s one type that’s barely been replicated by different kit manufacturers, for many years, it’s the Vought Kingfisher. In 1/72 scale, Airfix’s item has been the only viable option and it’s had various re-releases (and in other packaging). For quarter-scale fans, the Monogram item has ruled the roost since 1966 and that too has reappeared on many occasions. But it’s arguably the launch of Kitty Hawk’s state-of-the-art 1/32 rendition that prompted the writing of this Warpaint guide. Its text is in the form of a running commentary with sub-headings, rather than defined chapters, and it offers a pleasing array of mostly black and white period images (there’s a small scattering of colour). The extensive collection of colour profiles and scrap views will provide plenty of inspiration, with more interesting examples including the overall Trainer Yellow machine of the RAAF Antarctic Flight, and a wheeled Mexican Navy aircraft. Those who favour more standard US Navy or Fleet Air Arm garb have much to enjoy though. The centre-spread of 1/48 drawings will also be useful for checking size and detail. Another worthy attempt from Guideline, filling a gap in the reference market. CC


82 pages

Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939-1940

By: Robert Gregory

ISBN: 978-83-60672-29-7

Price: £33.95

Format: 290 x 204mm

Web: casematepublishers.co.uk

Any armour modeller who favours British subjects should consider this detail-packed reference. It marries a great many black and white period photos, and extensive captions, with a handful of wellrendered 1/35 colour three-views.

These represent the Light Tank Mk.VIB, All Type 1 and A12 Mk.I. There’s also an appendices section listing known tanks of 4th and 7th Battallions, by serial, VRN, name, company etc, and a page of tank markings and flags… highly useful if one wishes to model vehicles from a particular sub-unit. The photos are mostly excellent and offer much detail, as much for dioramas/vignettes as the machines alone. A fine example is the image on p.35, which shows German troops posing in relaxed state on the A11 tank ‘Glenstrae’, which would make for a very different scene. Plenty of photos will also satisfy modellers who like to portray tanks in a damaged state…a task not always achieved convincingly. This is a very handy piece of work, let down merely by the slightly high price for a softback book…but those very keen on the subject will undoubtedly make the leap. CC


240 pages

Italian Naval Camouflage of World War II

By: Marco Ghiglino

ISBN: 978-1-5267-3539-3

Price: £35

Format: 263 x 2079mm

Web: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

Pen & Sword imprint Seaforth has followed its highly praised works on British and German Naval Camouflage during World War Two with a similar examination of Italian colour schemes. The author breaks down this complex subject into early trials (and any exemptions to the adopted schemes), before examining operational camouflage, and culminating in changes wrought by the 1943 Armistice. There are then more than 160 pages of colour profiles and descriptive notes on Italian naval and merchant vessels, organised by ship class. Perhaps the most illuminating aspect is how unprepared the Italian Navy was for war, which lacked plans for camouflaging its ships, and there was no dependable form of aerial identification, which led to attacks by its own planes until the characteristic red/white bow deck stripes were adopted. It’s striking just how little difference there was between the designs chosen by the opposing forces, with common use of modified splinter patterns, and variations on dazzle-style hi-contrast schemes. Every class of Italian warship is covered, from battleships to gunboats and patrol vessels, and the author’s neat profiles show how schemes would vary during the war, including those applied to co-opted merchant/civilian ships. Any modeller countenancing an Italian warship project should consider this as a key reference. SF


256 pages

American Aircraft Development of WWII

By: Bill Norton

ISBN: 978-0-8597-9188-5

Price: £27.95 Format: 224 x 288mm

Web: www.crecy.co.uk

While it’s a common adage that wartime is a crucible for increased technological development, the six years of World War Two were unprecedented in their effect on aviation. At the start, monoplanes had only just supplanted biplanes, yet by the end the first jets were in service, and aircraft speeds had more than doubled. Much attention has been focused on fighters and bombers, yet Bill Norton’s in-depth analysis addresses those ‘Special Types’, the floatplanes, photo-reconnaissance, transport/ logistics, helicopters and targets/ drones…often overshadowed by their more glamorous counterparts. This extensively researched volume provides a tantalising insight into how these machines came to be, highlighting how often, it wasn’t the most capable that entered common service, but the easiest to manufacture, as with the C-46 and C-47. Outlandish concepts are also covered, from giant flying ‘hospital ships’ and the autogyro (which led directly to the advent of the helicopter) to radio-controlled aircraft…early precursors to modern unmanned aerial vehicles. The informative narrative is backed by numerous archive photographs, and these are notable for their quality — all are sharp, with extensive captions. While there aren’t walkrounds or close-ups, there is more than sufficient to whet modellers’ appetites, and there is much inspiration to be gained from these many pages. SF


172 pages

Falklands War April to June 1982

By: Chris McNab

ISBN: 978-1-78521-185-0

Price: £22.99

Format: 276mm x 214mm

Web: www.haynes.com

Much has been written on the 1982 Falklands War, but Haynes has taken a refreshingly different approach with its latest Operations Manual. After an overview of the conflict’s significance from a British perspective, the reader is introduced to the tactical challenges faced, in terms of geography, logistics and Argentine defensive preparations. Specific aspects are addressed, starting with the Task Force, then moving onto Air, Maritime and Land operations…each features a comparison of the opposing forces, along with descriptions of notable engagements. The amphibious landings at San Carlos are covered in depth, as is the overland campaign, where differences in tactics and training between British and Argentine forces were arguably at their greatest, and all major battles are chronicled. All narratives are accompanied by high-quality photos, with maps provided for key events. This is a well-balanced narrative of the conflict, highlighting strengths and weaknesses in both sides. While the Falklands War is regarded as a defining event in British military history, it should be remembered that most military commentators of the day doubted the islands could be retaken from Argentina’s much larger and (on paper) more capable occupying force. SF


80 pages

The Chaco Air War 1932-35

By: Antonio Sapienza

ISBN: 978-1-911512-96-7

Price: £16.95

Format: A4

Web: casematepublishers.co.uk

Modellers and aviation enthusiasts alike will be familiar with the Spanish Civil War, long regarded as a hot-house of tactical innovation, but perhaps not so aware of the 1932-35 Chaco Air War, which served a similar purpose in South America as its first ‘modern’ air war, between Bolivia and Paraguay. This engaging, informative and at times enthralling account concentrates on the aerial campaign almost exclusively, rather than analyse aircraft capabilities. Many of the period photographs have never been published previously, yet these provide vital insight into how this war was fought, with a powerful but little used air arm (Bolivia) facing a smaller but superbly tasked opponent (Paraguay). Major clashes between these two nation’s air forces are described in depth, and there is a profusion of maps to help readers understand the region, and the sheer size of the combat arena… the Chaco is approximately twice the size of Spain. Comparative strengths and organisation of the Bolivian and Paraguayan Air Forces are described, along with a chronology of the fighting, while the final analysis highlights many lessons that would be learned just a year later in Europe. SF


64 pages

Tiger I

By: Dennis Oliver

ISBN: 978-15-26739-77-3

Price: £14.99 Format: A4

Web: www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

Tankcraft’s tenth volume is dedicated to Germany’s Tiger I tank, with its usual combination of history, build and reviews, to provide modellers with a summary of this important design. Here the aftermath of three Allied landing operations during World War Two serve to highlight this tank’s capabilities and vulnerabilities, namely the Tunisian Bridgehead (Operation Torch), Defence of Sicily (Operation Husky) and Italian Campaign (Operations Avalanche, Baytown and Slapstick). Each comprises a basic overview and chronology, backed by good-quality period phots, which serve as an introduction to the 11-pages of colour profiles, depicting Tiger I’s from each of these campaigns. A gallery of Tamiya 1/48 and 1/35 Tigers leads onto the kit reviews, which cover products from all major manufacturers and scales, and an overview of aftermarket products, although disappointingly decals aren’t included. Curiously, the final sections, covering unit organisation, camouflage, technical details and modifications may be most useful to modellers, as they deal with specifics and provide the only (albeit small) close-up photos of tracks, smoke dispensers, glacis plate and hull rear. While at times the content order is confusing, this is a good starting point for those researching/building a Tiger I. SF


168 pages

Russian Aviation Colours 1909-1922

By: Marat Khairulin

ISBN: 978-83-65281-64-7 Price: £45

Format: 216 x 303mm

Web: www.mmpbooks.biz

Mushroom Models’s third volume on Russian Aviation colours covers those machines of the newly formed Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, in the aftermath of the October Revolution of 1917. As described by the author, immediate changes were to remove anything remotely ‘Tsarist’ from aircraft, with the tri-colour markings overpainted with red, in part or in whole, although as shown in the many excellent period photographs, this wasn’t applied consistently. However, within a year, the familiar five-pointed red star replaced the roundels, and the efforts to standardise on this new symbol are described at length. There’s a splendid account of how naval aircraft were adorned with nicknames, along with pilot’s descriptions of flying captured aircraft, leading to tense situations when they landed among their own troops! However, the bulk of the volume is dedicated to the markings of individual units; this section is replete with excellent archival photos, full-colour profiles and artwork, aiding modellers in understanding how to reproduce individual aircraft. It’s also a revealing insight into colourful and individual these machines were, despite the commonly accepted impression of monolithic Soviet control, pilots seemed to have considerable latitude in what was applied to their fighters. SF