Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Fortress Rabaul (The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942 - April 1943)

Published: January 3rd, 2014     
Fortress Rabaul (The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942 - April 1943)
Author: Bruce Gamble
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Quayside Publishing Group / Zenith Press

Rabaul?

How many have heard of it? How about the significance it played in WWII in the South Pacific?

Now, what if I mention these actions: Guadalcanal, The Slot, Battle of Bismarck Sea, the Battle of the Coral Sea, or the shoot down of Admiral Yamamoto, just to mention a few. Do these sound familiar? I bet they do. One major connecter to them all. Rabaul.

Having an interest in military history during WWII, I was familiar with many of the actions above but I had not heard of Rabaul prior to reading this book. Now I understand the importance of this island.

In this book author Bruce Gamble takes you on very detailed and documented journey of this seemingly remote island and the significance it played during the battle of the Pacific during the early stages of WWII. The Author also has a personal connection with some of the actions there as his uncle was a B-17 navigator and had logged at least nineteen combat missions over Rabaul. The author uses many first hand accounts of the action along with official military records from Japan, United States and Australia to give an extremely detailed narration of the actions from all sides.

Model Art Modelling Magazine No. 49, 2013 Winter - Special Ship Model Edition

Published: January 2nd, 2014     
Model Art Modelling Magazine No. 49, 2013 Winter - Special Ship Model Edition
Author: Various
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is Model Art Magazine’s special quarterly issue that focuses on naval subjects. As with the regular Model Art Magazine this is printed in Japanese with some English subtitles.

The feature article in the Winter 2013 Special Ship Model Edition covers the Battle of Savo Island. The issue starts off though with some new releases that will be hitting model benches soon.

The Battle of Savo Island was the first major naval battle of the Guadalcanal campaign. Model Art devotes ninety-two pages to this battle with period photos, charts, line drawings, one fold out full color drawing of the IJN Heavy cruiser Chokai in action at Savo Island and of course models. The models are the biggest part of the article. They range from full build articles to photos of completed models.

Air Vanguard Series #11 Curtiss P-40 Snub-nosed Kittyhawks

Published: December 29th, 2013     
Air Vanguard Series #11 Curtiss P-40 Snub-nosed Kittyhawks
Author: Carl Molesworth
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Osprey Publishing

This book is number 11 in the Vanguard series and covers the later short nosed variants P-40D through P-40N. The book begins with the beginning of the end.  By that I mean it shows the 15,000th Curtiss fighter built, a P-40-N-CU festooned with the emblems of each nation that flew them and a red, white and blue striped tail. This was the beginning of the end as around one week after this picture was taken a P-40 production ceased and the plants were shut down. And though Curtiss had tried throughout the war to design and produce new fighters as well as into the early years of the jet age, they would never again build another production fighter designed in house.

Osprey British Paratroopers vs. Fallshirmjager Mediterranean 1942-43

Published: December 28th, 2013     
Osprey British Paratroopers vs. Fallshirmjager Mediterranean 1942-43
Author: David Greentree Illustrator - Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

 Paratroopers have been regarded as elite group of soldiers since their inception. Generally the requirements and physical demands were higher and many of the missions that were assigned to them were high risk, thus the elite status. In this book the author takes a comparative look at the British Paratrooper vs. the German Fallschirmjager in the Mediterranean 1942-43.

The book starts off with a organizational look at the two units. The requirements for soldiers that wanted to join these units is explained along with the operational tactics used by each. There are three operations covered where these two units were engaged with each other. Two of the operations were in North Africa and one in Italy. There is an excellent narrative that describes each action along with period photographs and color maps that show the movements of the units during the operation. The book concludes with an analysis of the two units and the lessons learned by both.    

Scale Aircraft Modelling December 2013 Vol. 35 Issue 10

Published: December 22nd, 2013     
Scale Aircraft Modelling December 2013 Vol. 35 Issue 10
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

Each issue of Scale Aircraft Modeling follows a basic design and format. There are usually two Feature Articles, an Aviation in Profile piece, industry news and a series of Compact Build Reviews.

The Feature articles for this issue covers a Ex-Adversaries Reunited and A Model 1/72 Mil-Mi-10 Heavy Lift Helo. The Ex-Adversaries build is Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk Vb and FW190A-3 built in after war markings of the Turkish Air Force. The build covers weathering and construction and uses TigerHead decals for the markings. .

The other Feature article takes A Models 1/72nd Mi-10 which is super detailed. This build, by Brain Wakeman, makes the entire issue. First, he started with a limited run kit which presents issues for modelers. Second, there is a fair amount of scratch building and advice and making gems of limited run kits. in the end, the kit is eye-popping and his 500 hours of effort shine in the photos.

Adler Gegen England – Luftwaffe Air Campaign against British Isles 1941-1945

Published: December 22nd, 2013     
Adler Gegen England – Luftwaffe Air Campaign against British Isles 1941-1945
Author: Neil Robinson, Illustrator by Peter Scott
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: AIRfile Publications

Review

The Battle of Britain has been documented many times over. However there are not as many references related to the Luftwaffe air campaign after the peak of September 1940 battles. This book is devoted to fill that gap.

The book is logically split in the following chapters

  • The First Blitz (September 1940 to December 1941)
  • The Baedeker Blitz (April-June 1942)
  • High and Low Raiders 1942/1943
  • Intruders and Night Fighters (1941/1944)
  • Total War – Unternehmen Steinbock (1943/1944)
  • Anti-Shipping and Maritime Operations (1941-1944)
  • Missiles and Jets (1944/45)

All the chapters are profusely illustrated with color profiles (and 4-view drawings in some cases) of the different German airframes involved in the different aspects of the air campaign. An interesting point is that most (if not all) color drawings include a reference source, which is excellent for those interested in history, besides modelling.

Model Art December 2013 No. 882

Published: December 20th, 2013     
Model Art December 2013 No. 882
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

The December issue of Model Art starts off with a short article covering some of the new releases at the 2013 All Japan Plamodel Hobby Show. I will try to give some of the highlights of the releases that will be hitting our stashes soon.

For the aircraft builders, here is a few examples of what you should see soon. Hobby Boss 1/48 P-38L-5-LO due spring 2014, Trumpeter 1/48 T-38 release date TBA, Fine Molds 1/48 Fine Molds Mitsubishi Ka-14  (A5M prototype) due Dec. 2013, Tomytec 1/700 Launch Complex 39 pad A due Dec. 2013, 1/48 Kittyhawk Mig-25 due Oct. 2013, 1/32 Wingnut Wings Salmson 2-A2 release TBA, 1/48 Avant Garde Aero L-29 Delfin release TBA and the  1/48 Avant Garde CM.170 Fouga Magister.

A couple new releases for the car guys. Aoshima 1/24 Lamboghini Murcielago LP-670-4 SV due out Dec. 2103, Moebius 1/25 1956 Chrysler 300B due out Nov. 2013, Fujimi 1/20 Mclaren MP4/2 1984 due Dec. 2013 and the Revell 1/24 Red Bull Racing RB8 (Sebastian Vettel) due Dec. 2013.

Aces of Jagdstaffel 17

Published: December 19th, 2013     
Aces of Jagdstaffel 17
Author: Greg VanWyngarden
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Osprey Publishing

Jagdstaffel 17, better known as Jasta 17, was one of the premier German fighter squadrons of World War I. It began as Kampfstaffel Metz, and later became known as Jasta 17.   Although not as famous some of the other units, it nevertheless produced its share of aces, and three of its members were knights of the Orden Pour le Merite, holders of the coveted Blue Max.  Julius Buckler, with 35 confirmed victories, was the highest scoring ace of Kampfstaffel Metz.  Other standouts included Oblt Bruno  Loerzer, Hermann Goring, Jacob Wolff (who was  48 years old when he scored his last victory, and was also Jewish), Vzfw Christian Donhauser, and a number of others who either transferred in and out of the unit, or served briefly until becoming casualties.

Although this book is a history or the unit, it reads like a novel and tells the story very well, illustrating the writing skills of the author. When I started it, I had difficulty putting it down, and in keeping with my practice of never going anywhere without something interesting to read, I carried the book around for quite a while until it was finished.

Aces of Jagdgeschwader 3 'Udet' (Aircraft of the Aces)

Published: December 19th, 2013     
Aces of Jagdgeschwader 3 'Udet' (Aircraft of the Aces)
Author: John Weal
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Osprey Publishing

Review

Osprey Publishing keeps providing modelers and aviation aficionados with plenty of reading and reference material. The latest installment of their “Aircraft of the Aces” is devoted to those that flew with JG3. I have to say that I like a lot the most recent books of this series, in which they cover both the history and aces of a single unit.

JG 3 is a very relevant unit to both the modeler and historian, as it participated in all major Luftwaffe campaigns and some of the most significant battles of the war, including the Battle of Britain, Battle for Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Normandy, Ardennes and Berlin. Not only that, it also flew all the marks of the Bf-109 (from the early –Es to the late –Ks), plus the Fw-190, both radial and inline versions. In addition to that their aircraft wore all different camouflages, from Western Front to Eastern Front (snow camouflage) to Desert and Mediterranean camouflages.

The book is divided chronologically in the following chapters:

General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark

Published: December 15th, 2013     
General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
Author: Peter Davies, illustrated by Adam Tooby and Henry Morsehead
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

The F-111 was originally designed for use by the USAF and the USN, and was meant to be a money saving measure by then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. This one platform for multi-service use was not well received. One of the biggest problems that both services had was weight. The Navy also wanted it for use with the Phoenix missile. The issues that the USN had with the "Vark" just became to numerous and another famous aircraft was created, the F-14.

Even though the F-111 started out on a rocky road, it would eventually turn a corner through the hard work of the developers & the crews and become one most important aircraft of the Vietnam War and several modern day operations. Australia was the only other country to use the F-111 and had originally intended them to stay in service to the year 2020. Due to increased maintenance issues and fiscal impact, Australia retired the F-111 in 2010.

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