Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Model Art - Air Model Special No. 04: Imperial Japanese Navy Interceptors

Published: April 6th, 2014     
Model Art - Air Model Special No. 04: Imperial Japanese Navy Interceptors
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is one of Model Art Modeling Magazine special editions. The text is mainly in Japanese with some English subtitles throughout.  One feature of these magazines is the high quality of the photographs and the models.

Model Art has done it again. Back in April 2013 they released "Air War Over Vietnam U.S. Navy Aircraft Part 1". This is the third followup and they have made some changes to the layout from the excellent first issue.

The magazine is laid out in several sections. The sections consist of mostly Japanese writing, but there is some English captions and wonderful color photographs.

The first couple pages consist of new releases that will soon hit the market and a New Kit Selection article. It features three of Airfix's new tool kits, the 1/48 Gloster Javelin FAW.9/9R, 1/72 Gloster J-8A /Gladiator Mk. II and 1/72 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1.

311 Squadron

Published: April 4th, 2014     
311 Squadron
Author: Pavel Vancata; Illustrator: Marek Radomski
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: MMP Books

This is the first publication from MMP that I have had the opportunity to read. I found the book very informative and look forward to reading other offerings from this publisher.

The RAF 311 bomber squadron was the second Czechoslovak combat squadron within the RAF and it was the only one composed completely of Czechoslovakian members. It was formed in 1940 and served until the end of the war in 1945.

This book covers how the Czechoslovakians escaped the Germans and made their way through Europe, exiting Dunkirk and making it to the UK. From there they begin their induction into the RAF and begin flying bombing missions with the first coming in September 1940 against a marshalling yard in Brussels. The unit suffered high losses with mixed results in the beginning, but as the war dragged on they proved themselves as very brave combatants and achieved great results. Most of their combat was in the Vickers Wellington in both fixed target raids and then in anti submarine warfare. In 1943 they transferred to the B-24 and continued with the anti submarine missions.

42 CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I

Published: April 4th, 2014     
42 CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I
Author: Marc Romanych & Martin Rupp
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: Osprey Publishing

Introduction

From Osprey’s website:

In the early days of World War I, Germany unveiled a new weapon – the mobile 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. At the time, it was the largest artillery piece of its kind in the world and a closely guarded secret. When war broke out, two of the howitzers were rushed directly from the factory to Liege where they quickly destroyed two forts and compelled the fortress to surrender. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German soldiers christened the howitzers ‘Grosse’ or ‘Dicke Berta’ (Fat or Big Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, owner of the Krupp armament works that built the howitzers. The nickname was soon picked up by German press, which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of Big Bertha was born.

This book details the design and development of German siege guns before and during World War I. Accompanying the text are many historic photographs of ‘Big Bertha’ and the other German siege guns. Color illustrations depict the most important aspects of the German siege artillery.

Auto Modeling Magazine, Volume 30, March 2014

Published: April 4th, 2014     
Auto Modeling Magazine, Volume 30, March 2014
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: Model Art

Background

Auto Modeling is a high quality Japanese language magazine from publisher ModelArt. Each edition features models of cars, mostly racecars, from various race series and eras. Many of the previous editions focused on Formula One cars in different time periods.

The magazine has Japanese text, but some of the titles and headings are in English. The photographs are numerous and very high quality.

Contents

This issue, Volume 30, March 2014, has the following sections:

Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2013 Vol. 44/3

Published: March 30th, 2014     
Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2013 Vol. 44/3
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: The First World War Aviation Historical Society

The Cross & Cockade International is the quarterly publication of a non-profit organization known as The First World War Aviation Historical Society.  The UK based organization has been publishing these journals since 1970 with the objective of furthering the study of First World War Aviation History.  The Company overview on its Facebook page says “Cross and Cockade International can trace its history back to the 1960s. We have always attracted some of the premier historians in the field. Our current President is Air Vice Marshal Peter Dye (Rtd), Director-General of the RAF Museum. We publish a high-quality quarterly journal of original research into the subject.”

NOTE: The journal is apparently not available as single issues, but by volumes.  Back issues sell for $33.50 per volume.

Aircraft Plans

Published: March 29th, 2014     
Aircraft Plans
Author: Various
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Mushroom Model Publications are available in North American from Casemate Publications and the Casemate website is http://www.casematepublishing.com/newtitles.php

MMP is expanded their excellent selection of scale plans for various aircraft. Sets No. 1 and 2 (detailed below) have been available for several years. In 2014 scale sets, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 have been released. A sample page from Set No. 1 can be viewed at http://stratusbooks.com.pl/str/books_pdf/94.pdf. One can see that the plans are of excellent quality and are filled with detail that many modelers value.

The pages, themselves can be removed from the publication and are suitable for framing, even suitable to decorate a display base! The price is right, the quality is excellent, and the subject matter is appealing.

Set No. 1 (978-83-89450-79-1 ) priced at $10.72, formatted in A4 Softcover, spiral wire binding 24 pages in A3 - Pages - 24 (0 in colour) contains plans in 1/48th for these aircraft:

Lockheed A-12 - The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants

Published: March 27th, 2014     
Lockheed A-12 - The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants
Author: Paul F. Crickmore
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Company: Osprey Publishing

The story of the Lockheed A-12 began with a bright orange fireball 70,000 feet over Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union. This explosion, 1500 miles deep into Russian territory, would start a diplomatic crisis with repercussions that directly impacted the A-12 and SR-71 operations for the rest of their service lives. That explosion severed the tail from a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft and sent the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, plummeting into the hands of the Soviet authorities. After the U.S. broadcasted a cover story assuming Powers had died, the Soviets revealed they had parts of the plane and Powers in their custody. This caused then U.S. President Eisenhower to do two things, stop all over flights and find a way to make the U-2 invisible to radar. While some efforts where made to reduce the U-2 radar signature, it was just not possible to cloak a jet-powered glider with long straight wings. Enter Lockheed’s Kelly Johnson. Known for designing the P-38 fighter plane, the F-104 and the U-2, Johnson realized the best solution would be an aircraft that could fly higher and faster then anything else.

Area 51 Black Jets

Published: March 25th, 2014     
Area 51 Black Jets
Author: Bill Yenne
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Quayside Publishing Group

Thank you very much to Nichole at Quayside Publishing Group, the parent corporation of Zenith Press for providing this book for review.  Thanks are also due to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me the opportunity to explore a wonderful documentation and fascinating historical description.  Author Bill Yenne has struck an excellent balance of historical facts and data woven together in a great story.  I found the entire book to be engaging at all times.  The book is not just a valuable reference; it is a great read as well.  I remember building the Testors F-19 stealth fighter a long time ago when it first came out.  I was disappointed when the F-117 Nighthawk became public a few years later, but after reading this book and seeing prototype photos I believe that Testors was not as far off as many may think, nor were Tom Clancy and Larry Bond in their description of the Frisbee in Red Storm Rising.

SAC Landing Gear for P-38

Published: March 23rd, 2014     
SAC Landing Gear for P-38
Reviewed by: Christopher Gibson, IPMS# 49143
Scale: 1/72
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions

When I received the aftermarket SAC landing gear for the 1/72 Academy P38 Lightning I went to get out the kit I had and realized the one I had was 1/48 scale, so I had to quick get one off ebay to do the review. Once I found one at a reasonable price and received the kit I finally got down to business. I opened the kit and got the SAC gear out for comparison. After removing the gear from the kit sprues I laid them out to compare them side by side. I was kind of disappointed with the look of the SAC gear, they had some flash on the gear and some mold lines that were very noticeable. Then I looked over the kit gear and found that Academy has some very good gear right out of the box, the mold lines and crisp detail were almost better than the SAC gear. I then proceeded to clean up each set of gear, the kit gear was a snap cleaning up nicely, the SAC gear was a little more involved, trying to clean up the gear was a challenge because the metal gear is a little on the soft side and bends easily and you are constantly straightening each piece after you work on it, especially the thin pieces. SAC would be great if they made the gear a little stiffer so it would not bend as easily.

Aces of the 325th FG Fighter Group

Published: March 22nd, 2014     
Aces of the 325th  FG  Fighter Group
Author: Thomas Ivie
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Osprey Publishing

Review

The 325th Fighter Group, also known as the “Checker Tail Clan” is one of the most well known units of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. They flew P-40s, P-47s and P-51, making them a very interesting unit for modelers. They flew over North Africa, France, Italy, Eastern Europe and even the former Soviet Unit. Their distinctive tail markings helped aerial recognition and likely worried their counterparts when encountered in combat.

The book has the following chapters

  • Dedication
  • Activation, training and into combat
  • Thunderbolt and the Fifteenth Air Force
  • Mustang era
  • Where is the Luftwaffe?
  • Swansong of the Luftwaffe
  • Appendices

It covers chronologically the deployment of the unit from North Africa and their P-40s in a fighter-bomber role, to Italy with their P-47s and P-51s into a new role of high altitude escort and interdiction operations into Austria, Romania, Hungary, and the USSR.

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