Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate

Published: February 3rd, 2014     
Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate
Author: Leszek A. Wieliczko
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Kagero Publishing

History

As quoted from the introduction in the book "The Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate, known as "Frank" in allied jargon, was one of the best IJAAF (Imperial Japanese Army Air Force) fighters during the final year of the Pacific war. Featuring an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear, this all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane of an elegant body was the successor of the previous Nakajima fighters - Ki-43 Hayabusa and Ki-44 Soki. The Ki-84 proved it's value fighting in China and the Philippines, although the highest number of these machines were lost there, too. When in the hands of an experienced pilot, it was a good match for the best of Allied fighter aircraft. After the war a small number of Ki-84s served with the Chinese air forces, taking part in the civil war of 1945-1949". 

RAF Middle & Near East 1945 - 1979

Published: January 30th, 2014     
RAF Middle & Near East 1945 - 1979
Author: Steve Webster & Illustrated by Peter Scott
Reviewed by: Phil Pignataro, IPMS# 17254
Company: AIRfile Publications

This book is the latest release from AIRfile Publications and covers Royal Air Force operations in the Middle and Near East from right after WW II up to 1979. I had forgotten how involved the British have been in the Middle East in times past. They have had a long history there and played a significant part in the development of several nations. The turmoil and hostility in this region we read about every day is not new. The British have dealt with the violence in this part of the world almost since their arrival.

In the first couple of pages, the authors give a brief history of the area and trace the presence of the RAF from WW II to the late ‘70s. Then the book is divided into four chapters, broken down by the years of British involvement:

  • Chapter 1 1945 - 1950
  • Chapter 2 1951 - 1960
  • Chapter 3 1961 - 1970
  • Chapter 4 1971 - 1979

The final page in the book depicts the badges of  the various stations used by the RAF during this timeframe.

Bloody Biscay: The History of V Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 40

Published: January 22nd, 2014     
Bloody Biscay: The History of V Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 40
Author: Chris Goss
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Specialty Press

KG 40 was the only long range maritime unit of the Luftwaffe. V Gruppe was the only long range fighter Gruppe within the unit. That alone makes the study of their operations an interesting topic.

As part of the Battle of the Atlantic, U-Boats transiting the Bay of Biscay became pray of RAF bombers. As a response measure, KG 40 activated a heavy fighter unit (Junkers 88 C-6) to intercept the bombers. As a response the RAF deployed the Beaufighter and later, Mosquitos into the bay. The Luftwaffe counter the move by deploying single engine Fw-190 fitted with long range tanks (from 8/JG2), but eventually, the sheer number of the Allied aircraft established air superiority over the bay.

 The book has the following chapters

  • “Someone must have been watching over me”
  • Crescendo
  • Carnage
  • Enter the Americans
  • Turning the tide
  • Butchered

These chapters chronologically follows the combat actions of V Gruppe over the Bay of Biscay, until its virtual destruction operating against the Normady beachhead.

Model Art - Air Model Special No. 03: Air War Over Vietnam 2, U.S. Air Force Aircraft Part 1

Published: January 20th, 2014     
Model Art - Air Model Special No. 03: Air War Over Vietnam 2, U.S. Air Force Aircraft Part 1
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

Model Art has done it again. Back in April 2013 they released Air War over Vietnam, U.S. Navy Aircraft Part 1.  This Model Art Modeling Magazine special edition, Air War Over Vietnam 2, U.S. Air Force Aircraft Part 1, is the follow up and they have made some changes to the layout from the excellent first issue. The text is mainly in Japanese with some English subtitles throughout. One excellent feature of these magazines is the high quality of the photographs and the models that are used.

The issue starts off with a “New Kit Selection” article. It features the Hasegawa 1/16 Sopwith Camel F.1 and the Tamiya 1/72 Mitsubishi A6M3 "Zero Fighter".

The main feature is next. This consists of eighty seven pages packed full of models, period photos (color and black and white), maps, charts, marking references and color plate drawings.

The De Havilland Mosquito: A Comprehensive Guide for the Modeller

Published: January 19th, 2014     
The De Havilland Mosquito: A Comprehensive Guide for the Modeller
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery,, IPMS# 14003
Company: SAM Publications

This offering is a revised and re-printed version of the previously released Modellers Datafile #1.  The initial Modellers Datafile #1 contained excellent historical and scale modelling content, and that content is included in this new edition.  The new release has been expanded to 176 pages and “included the additional model builds and in-box previews covering the significant new toolings that have appeared in the fifteen years since to series began, along with an updated list of currently available kits, accessories and decals”.

“When the first Datafile was published back in 1998 it was quite rightly regarded as the definitive book on modelling one of the most enduring and iconic aircraft of WWII.”  This publication is the perfect companion and reference for a modeller wishing to build a Mosquito kit, regardless of scale.

Warrior Series #169 - Italian Soldier in North Africa 1941-43

Published: January 17th, 2014     
Warrior Series #169 - Italian Soldier in North Africa 1941-43
Author: Piero Crociani & Pier Paolo Battistelli
Reviewed by: Bart Cusamano, IPMS# 31882
Company: Osprey Publishing

The history  of the Italian Army in World War 2 is an often misunderstood one, colored by many unflattering rumors, generalizations and misconceptions.  This latest issue in Osprey’s Warrior Series, “Italian Soldier in North Africa 1941-43”, tries to set the record straight and in doing so, paints a harrowing and desperate account of the hell experienced by the Italian soldier during the North African campaign.  Not only did they battle opposing forces, but also their own incompetent command staff. Severe  shortages of food, water, equipment and adequate medical care would plague the Italians for the entire campaign.  

Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter

Published: January 17th, 2014     
Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Model Art

Model Art is known for high quality magazines, with excellent photographs that guide the modeler through some impressive builds. This publication continues that tradition.

This publication focuses on one of Japan’s best known aircraft from World War II, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. It is important to note that the publication is presented in Japanese. English-speakers will have no trouble relying upon the excellent maps and images in order to enjoy the book.

And, enjoy you will! The book begins with an outstanding illustration of a Zero, banking into a turn, by artist Y. Sakaida. He successfully captures the beauty and power of the Zero in this effort, and this illustration sets the tone for the publication.

In the following 30 pages, the images show various Zero ‘artifacts”, bits of aircraft after crashes, and where those fragments were found. There are few relics that evoke the majesty of flight and at the same time the tragedy of the air war than do images of artifacts such as are shown in these pages.

V1 Flying Bomb Aces

Published: January 14th, 2014     
V1 Flying Bomb Aces
Author: Andrew Thomas
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Osprey Publishing

One of Osprey’s latest in the “Aircraft of the Aces” series is number 113, covering Allied pilots that shot down 5 or more V1 Flying Bombs.

This book opens with the words of the first pilot to shoot down a V1 (Flt Lt John Musgrove, in a night-fighter Mosquito) on June 16, 1944.  Within minutes, 3 more V1s would be shot down that evening by other members of the same Mosquito squadron.  After this exciting opening page, the reader is then guided chronologically through the story of the V1 campaign, starting with the development of the “Buzz Bomb” itself and culminating with the last V1 shot down on 28 March 1945.

Various chapters cover the ever-evolving tactics used by the RAF to counter the V1, and of course the pilots that became aces using these tactics.  This was a completely different type of foe, and countering the “robot planes”, as they were initially known, required a different set of techniques.  Despite the V1 being unmanned, attacking them could be quite dangerous.  Over 70 pilots and navigators were killed on anti-V1 operations.

Messerschmitt Bf-109E, The Blitzkrieg Fighter

Published: January 14th, 2014     
Messerschmitt Bf-109E, The Blitzkrieg Fighter
Author: Marek J. Murawski and Jakub Plewka
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Kagero Publishing

Bf-109E is the most recent addition in Kagero’s Monographs Special series. The Casemate information sheet that accompanied the book states that, “This new book gives not only a thorough insight in the development, variants, technical features and camouflage of the “Emil”, but also an excellent overview of the aircraft’s service with the Luftwaffe.” True words!

Modelers vary in their focus for information regarding a subject being modeled, and this publication addresses most, if not all, of those areas of interest.

The text begins with comprehensive coverage of the Bf-109E variants. Detailed black and white images show the characteristics and design differences which separate one “Emil” variant from the next. In these 34 pages, the modeler will find much useful and detailed information that will significantly impact the authenticity of the “E” variant being modeled.

Pages 35-46 cover the design specification of the “E” variants presented on previous pages. The descriptions of these specifications are accompanied by an excellent set of images, taken during the war when the subject matter was “current”.

General Dynamics F-111 - A Comprehensive Guide

Published: January 13th, 2014     
General Dynamics F-111 - A Comprehensive Guide
Author: Anthony Thornborough
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: SAM Publications

For those of you who haven't seen them, SAM Publications has a series of books they call Datafile which are devoted to a particular aircraft and also have a modeling section. The newest one is No. 19 and deals with the  General Dynamics F-111 series. There are 12 chapters dealing with all things Aardvark. The chapters are listed below:

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer