EMB-312 Tucano

By: JPZ Moralez

ISBN: 978-0-9973092-3-2

Price: £34.99 Format: 280 x 210mm

Web: www.casematepublishing.co.uk

This thumping new softback from Harpia is an instant success, because as far as we know, it’s the only English-language examination ever published. It doesn’t gain winning form for that fact alone though; it’s a superb, extensive study of this much-loved aircraft, in both Latin American layout and RAF form. The type’s inception and early days are described in full, along with its entry into service with the Brazillian Air Force, and then there’s dedicated focus on the licence-built, Garrettengined Short Brothers airframes for the RAF (some of which were sold to Kenya and Kuwait). Every user nation’s purchases and operations are described, including combat actions where applicable, along with Tucanos flown by private operators. The book also offers a selection of truly inspirational colour profiles and plan views, which will have fans of the type reaching for Airfix, Hobby Boss and others’ kits in their stash, and aftermarket decals. And then there are Orders of Battle for the different air arms, with unit heraldry, and full production lists. Modellers will find this publication valuable in the extreme for any Tucano build project, and personal accounts breathe extra life into what is an already fascinating, but previously ignored subject. Highly recommended. CC


Soviet Destroyers of World War II

By: Alexander Hill

ISBN: 978-1-4728-2256-7

Price: £10.99 Format: 250 x 189mm

Web: www.ospreypublishing.com

The Soviet Union receives comparatively little attention, when World War Two naval warfare is considered. While it received Allied vessels under the lend-lease programme, it had an active ship development programme of its own, and in 1939 possessed a similar mix of obsolete and modern vessels as other protagonists, just in smaller numbers. Alexander Hill’s hugely informative narrative (which covers Soviet designs alone) begins immediately after the Communist Revolution, with the navy out of favour with leaders; this persisted into the early 1930s…only with the rise of Nazi Germany was this reversed. To the unlearned, there were myriad sub-types, with various associated project numbers, but the author discusses these within the overall umbrella of the six main destroyer classes: Novik, Uragan, Leningrad, Type 7/7U, Opitnii and Tashkent. Each is explained in depth (including the modifications that created sub-classes), along with an overview of their wartime service. Notably, sub-standard materials and construction hampered operations…when combined with poor training, this resulted in heavy losses initially. This appears orientated more towards historians than modellers, although the colour profiles and artwork provide much detail. SF


Panzerwrecks 22 Desert

By: Lee Archer

ISBN: 978-1-908032-18-8

Price: €17.99

Format: 210 x 280mm

Web: www.panzerwrecks.com The Panzerwrecks reference juggernaut shows no sign of stopping and the quality of this series never falters. It’s latest volume, the first outside of the 1944-45 timeframe, throws a spotlight on armoured assets of the Afrika Korps via stunning black and white photos of many vehicles, and in some cases, these are supported by computer-generated colour artwork. Examples of this dual approach include studies of an Sd.Kfz.251/10 in British markings (this begs to be reproduced in scale form), a Panzerjager 38 with PaK 36, and a British Stuart/ Honey ‘Beutepanzer’. Series author/researcher Lee Archer has a knack for finding clear and useful imagery, and all photos provide modellers with much to consider in detail terms. One subject, an Sd.Kfz.231 8-rad loaded on a Mack 18-ton tank transporter would make a very fine diorama…but this is just one suggestion from oodles of scenes in this superb softback. A captured British Crusader and Valentine are extra food for thought if one seeks a different build project, but American halftracks are also shown ‘under new management’. Heavier beasts, such as the Panzer III and IV, get their share of the limelight too, and the clarity of some views affords no end of detail for modellers. A really superb edition. CC


Aircraft Modelling Essentials

By: M Gabas, J Fuente, P Roger, A

Hernández, J López de Anca

ISBN: 978-84-95464-95-8

Price: €28 Format: 289 x 217

Web: www.euromodelismo.com ‘Catch-all’ modelling guides have proliferated recently, but it’s refreshing to find an example that appeals directly to beginners, yet also contains more than enough to entice more skilful builders. Acción Press’ Aircraft Modelling Essentials does just that, approaching the hobby from first principles, and starts with pre-painted snaptogether offerings, highlighting basic skills (such as neat removal of parts from the runners) that are vital with today’s CAD-designed offerings. As focus shifts to kits requiring glue and paint, the authors examine the various tools and methods involved, and mix more advanced techniques with basic tenets; examples include the use of cyanoacrylate glue to address gaps in seams, and thinning filler with acetone. These are exemplified via an impressive /72 EE Lightning build, before the realms of the more highly skilled modeller are entered, introducing washes, scratch-building, elementary weathering methods and aftermarket accessories. Finally, everything culminates in a stunning Hasegawa 1/48 AH-64D Longbow Apache build, adding skills such as pre-/post-shading and creating dusty patinas via pigments. With its easyto- follow stages, clear photographs and illustrations, and an emphasis on selecting the best products for a task (rather than specific brand loyalties), this is a book for any aircraft modeller, young or old. SF


Warpaint No.114 F-4 Phantom II US Navy, US Marine Corps and RAF F-4J(UK) By: Charles Stafrace ISBN: N/A Price: £24 Format: 296 x 210mm Web: guidelinepublications.co.uk As with iconic types such as the Spitfire, it seems there will also ever be a lack of new books on the mighty Phantom. This aircraft has hardly been ignored by publishers, but different book styles suit different people and it’s good to have the choice. Guideline’s Warpaint volume addresses the Phantom while in service with the US Navy and US Marines, as well as the restored/ upgraded F-4Js bought for the RAF, in a bid to remedy a shortfall of airdefence aircraft. One of the biggest Warpaints yet, this softback adopts the usual format of extensive history text, a wealth of imagery (almost entirely colour in this instance), and tables detailing sub-types, deployments, squadrons, serials and more. Six pages of kit/decal/ accessory listings are provided, and the bonus is a set of gatefold 1/72 plans at the book’s end; these include profile line drawings of the F-4B/ J/N/S and early/late RF-4B, along with plan and underside studies.

While seasoned F-4 enthusiasts will have much of this material already, this bumper publication would be ideal for those new to the type, or the novice wanting to add to their existing reference works. CC


Panther: Panther and Jagdpanther

Units Part 2

By: D Oliver, S Andrew

ISBN: 978-0-9876013-8-4

Price: £14.99 Format: A4

Web: www.bookworldws.co.uk

For his second volume on Panther and Jagdpanther units on the Eastern Front between 1943 and 1945, the author has switched publisher to Bookworld, and this is a collaboration between the two. The first part covered numbered tank formations quipped with Panther up to Panzer-Regiments 25, and this continues the sequence with Panzer-Regiment 26, before moving to those units which operated the Jagdpanther. There’s a handy guide to Panther formations on the Eastern Front, and this offers information on when they were created, sent/ returned to the front lines and whether they were re-organised subsequently. For each unit, there’s a recap of its missions, along with a selection of black and white photos; the latter offers plenty of detail for modellers, although there aren’t many closeups. However, they link perfectly with the 16 colour profiles of Panthers and Jagdpanthers, which also include variations on equipment, stowage and Schürzen…note these are printed in chronological order, and do not necessarily relate to the adjacent text. There’s even an example of ‘disc’ camouflage applied to the side plates, and how patterns varied. As a bonus, five graphics depict tank crewmen in a variety of late-war uniforms. This softback publication is absolutely bursting with information and is a truly fascinating read. SF


Eastern Front

By: Bob Carruthers

ISBN: 978-1-47386-84-03

Price: £14.99 Format: 246 x 190mm

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

Any military modeller seeking inspiration for their next diorama or vignette would do well to purchase this new softback, from Pen & Sword’s Images of War series. It relies on seldom-seen or previously unpublished archive photographs, for a visual story of the SS Panzer units’ advance during and after Operation Barbarossa. While the opening potted history offers text on the political and moral state of Hitler’s most dedicated troops, and their actions, the bulk of the book provides extensive black and white imagery of Panzer personnel in various situations; in combat, at rest, the supply chain and more. Most of the photos are of good quality and serve modellers and figure painters alike; the former group will appreciate the many different scenes involving stalwart tank types such as the Tiger I, Panzer III and IV, and Panther, while for the latter, a great many views are up close and personal with tank crews and Panzer Grenadiers on, and around armour and other vehicles. The visual coverage is not dominated by ‘heavies’, though, as there are plenty of photos showing armoured cars, half-tracks and trucks, such as the Renault AHR (kitted by ICM in 1/35 scale, and re-boxed by Tamiya). A useful title, although some photo captions could impart more information. CC


Polish Wings 23: 303 Squadron

North American Mustang

By: W Matusiak, P Sikora, S Brooking

ISBN: 978-83-65281-49-4

Price: £15

Format: A4

Web: www.mmpbooks.biz MMP’s latest Polish Wings volume is dedicated to 303 Squadron, arguably the most famous of all Polish World War Two units, and while it provides a brief overview of early operations with Spitfires, its focus is the Mustang period, between April 1945 and December 1946. At just 64 pages, this isn’t the biggest history book on this subject, but it’s packed with information on the aircraft, unit and personnel. The highlights are the 24 colour profiles, covering most Mustang Mk.IV airframes assigned to 303 Squadron. Each is accompanied by black and white reference photos, and the captions are extensive, identifying specific features and notable incidents. There are also many shots of aircrew on/near their personal mounts, coupled with group photos of the entire squadron; the former invariably include closeups of the aircraft, and helpfully there are inset images depicting the ‘Kosciuszki’ squadron badge, with its links to the American War of Independence and items such as Aeroproducts’ propeller blade logos. Finally, two appendices detail every Mustang to serve with the squadron, including the code letter allocations throughout this 20-month period. While this is invaluable for history buffs with an interest in the Mustang or Polish aviation history, it’s a superb reference for modellers. SF


1918-2018 RAF 100

By: James Holland

ISBN: 978-0-233-00526-3 Price: £25

Format: 288 x 222mm Web: www.carltonbooks.co.uk Compiling an official history of the Royal Air Force is a daunting task at the best of times, but an atempt to commemorate its 100th anniversary is even more so. To his credit, the author (TV historian James Holland) has managed to achieve an admirable balance between narrative and photographs in this coffee-table offering, merging official records with personal accounts, and unit and pilot profiles. In doing so he examines the RAF’s many roles and functions, to create an engaging and informative read, although the occasional poorly worded or inaccurate caption detracts from the overall enjoyment. World War Two receives copious coverage, with five chapters describing how the RAF evolved and grew during the most challenging of times, and this segues neatly into the Cold War section. There’s a curious inclusion of non-RAF test airframes/ organisations, and while this allows for occasionally sensational photos, it occupies valuable space, especially given the comparative brevity of chapters covering the inter-war years and especially the post-1991 period. The latter has been a time of almost constant operations for the service, notably in the Gulf, Balkans, West Africa and Afghanistan, during which its size diminished by almost two-thirds. Regardless though, this is a very enjoyable, well-designed and wallet-friendly history. SF


Canberra Boys

By: Andrew Brookes

ISBN: 978-1-910690-33-8

Price: £20 Format: 240 x 163mm

Web: www.grubstreet.co.uk

I may be biased as the Canberra is one of my all-time favourites, but that little nugget aside, Grub Street’s focus on this famous type is arguably one of its best ‘Boys’ releases. With such a long career there is much to impart about the Canberra, and author Andrew Brookes (himself a former Canberra ‘jockey’), has done a fine job in sewing together the narratives…which are fascinating. The Canberra participated in 1956’s Suez campaign, and a nail-biting account from Bernie Hunter, whose Canberra crashed in the Bekaa Valley after being shot down by Syrian Gloster Meteors, exemplifies the dangers of that conflict’s missions. There is also revealing text on the type’s employment in Operation Firedog, the counter to Indonesian President Sukarno’s ‘Confrontation’ (his reply to the establishment of the sovereign state of Malaya). Most interesting are the passages on nuclear ‘sniffing’ duties as part of the Operation Grapple hydrogen bomb tests, but Cold war operations in Germany, the Akrotiri Strike Wing, overseas operators, recordbreaking flights, ECM activity with the T.17 and much more. Descriptions of the various weapons loads are useful for modellers, and some of the photos are true gems, such as the closeup of an AS.30 missile under a Canberra B.15. Splendid stuff! CC


Aircraft Salvage in the Battle of

Britain and the Blitz

By: Andy Saunders

ISBN: 978-1-78303-040-8

Price: £14.99

Format: 246 x 190mm

Web: www.pen-and-sword-co.uk This Images of War compilation examines the aftermath of battles, plus a healthy dose of mechanical failings to produce a telling compilation of wrecks, shrapnel, rubble and detritus that results when an aircraft gets into an argument with the ground (regardless of how it got there). While salvage operations may have necessitated the removal of bodies, this macabre element is balanced neatly by the humour in other photos, especially from those tasked with guarding a wrecked aircraft. Both sides of these battles are shown, with RAF, Regia Aeronautica and Luftwaffe machines covered, and there is a wealth of information in the captions. Unsurprisingly, all the photos are black and white, but they are of the highest quality… quite surprising given when they were taken and the pressures to extract equipment before subsequent attacks. For modellers, this probably isn’t the reference for pristine and/or weathered aircraft — there isn’t a single airframe that doesn’t suffer from bent/broken/missing sections, but diorama builders will be in heaven. Whether it’s the immediate scene, locals nosing around a downed aircraft, transfer onto recovery vehicles or the eventual storage at a scrap yard, there’s inspiration aplenty…the sight of a Heinkel He III fuselage parked in front of a pub is a prime example. SF


North Africa Campaign 10th June

1940 to 13th May 1943

By: Branly/Caruana/Evans/Jekl

ISBN: 978-0-9957773-2-3

Price: £9.95 Format: A4

Web: www.valiant-wings.co.uk

Interest in the North African theatre has blossomed in recent years and continues to do so…due partly to more reference books being published. This softback from Valiant Wings is a worthy addition, and it relies on this series’ usual mix of history text, period imagery, colour artwork and actual modelling. Here, the history is imparted via an easyto- absorb timeline, explaining the different Allied/Axis operations (Compass, Sonnenblume, Brevity, battles of El Alamein et al). The only slight criticism of this section is that some (but by no means all) photos are used at too small a size, making it hard to ascertain certain details. However, maps add useful context and certain images are peachy indeed, such as the view of an Fw 190A-4 of SKG 10, on p.21. There’s a handy colour reference chart detailing individual paint hues and their brand equivalents (six companies’ ranges are listed), before the modelling kicks in. The latter involves builds of Eduard’s 1/144 Ju 52, Special Hobby’s new 1/72 Kittyhawk Ia, the 1/32 Hurricane IId by Fly, Hasegawa’s 1/72 He 111H-6, RS Models’ 1/72 Dewoitine D.520 and finally, the Eduard 1/48 Bf 110C/E. The builds are punctuated by splendid Richard Caruana colour profiles, to give modellers that extra helping of inspiration. Superb value. CC