TWIN-BOOM REFERENCE

TWIN-BOOM REFERENCE

With Airfix’s newly-tooled 1/48 de Havilland Vampire due in the coming months, Wingleader's recent book on the type is an excellent visual study.

TWIN-BOOM REFERENCE

Number 8 in Wingleader’s Photo Archive series, de Havilland Vampire in RAF and Overseas service provides a wealth of photographs and colour artwork. Written by Andrew Thomas, regular contributor to Airfix Model World’s sister title FlyPast, the publication begins naturally with the development of the Vampire, by opening with images of the prototype LZ548/G and other early-service airframes. Extended captions accompany every photo, each of which is black and white save for a handful of superb colour studies.

TWIN-BOOM REFERENCE

Modellers will find the imagery useful for detail and understanding the structural nuances, especially via pages such as Fins and Tailplane, which shows the variation in shape displayed by the different sub-types.
A very handy ready-reckoner lies in the chart on page 12, which lists all the RAF Vampire squadron codes in relation to the unit, with dates and the theatre of operations.The many colour three-view artworks provide heaps of inspiration, and there are individual squadron roundel and colour bar combinations dotted throughout. Pleasingly, artwork and photos of seldom-seen Vampires, such as those of 213 Squadron, are included, along with aircraft that wore more unusual markings; a fine example is the FB.5 VZ186 of 247 Squadron, which was sprayed aluminium overall but with a black-trimmed red rectangle across its upper wings and tail booms.

TWIN-BOOM REFERENCE

Photos such as the famous colour view of 602 Squadron FB.5s parked side by side at RAF Ta Kali, Malta (with the walled city of Mdina in the background), provide a real sense of context and atmosphere. And many other airfield scenes offer excellent diorama inspiration, say, for a refuelling scene. The Vampire at sea is also described, with a photo of the then Lt Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown landing on HMS Ocean preceding other views of single and two-seat Royal Navy Sea Vampires, on the ground and aloft. Closing the book is a large section on export users of the Vampire, each country being represented by photos of its particular aircraft and insignia artwork and, in one case, a colour three-view (a Canadian Blue Devils F.3 from 1949).

TWIN-BOOM REFERENCE

This is a splendid softback with a bright and welcoming design, and once seen, will certainly inspire many more than one Vampire build. For extra information on this work and others in the series visit: www.wingleader.co.uk

De Havilland Vampire in RAF and Overseas Service
ISBN: 978-1-908757-18-0
Format: A4 landscape
Price: £19.95
Pages: 82