Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

USS Constitution A Midshipman’s Pocket Manual, 1814

Published: December 20th, 2017     
USS Constitution A Midshipman’s Pocket Manual, 1814
Author: Eric L. Clements (Illustrated by Peter Dennis)
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Company: Osprey Publishing

For those interested in the early days of the United States Navy, and particularly the USS Constitution, this new release from Osprey is a fun an interesting read. Explained early on as a work of fiction, this book provides a "what if" look at how such a manual may have appeared during the War of 1812. Covering the early days of the Navy and more importantly, the history of "Old Ironsides" from her beginnings to her current status in the Boston National Historical Park, there is much to learn about the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy.

Following the Introduction, the chapters of the book are as follows: Mister Midshipman, The Frigate Constitution, Manning Constitution, Matters Medical, Provisioning Constitution, Sailing Constitution, Boarding the Enemy, Of Prizes and Pensions, "Old Ironsides": Her Exploits of 1812, A Naval and Nautical Glossary, and Addenda to the 1816 Edition: Constitution's Exploits of 1815. Sources and References as well as an Index complete the book.

Armies of the Greek-Italian War 1940-41

Published: December 20th, 2017     
Armies of the Greek-Italian War 1940-41
Author: Phoebus Athanassiou
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: Osprey Publishing

As an amateur historian, I'd always assumed that I had a pretty good handle on my understanding of World War II and its various actions, armies, equipment and consequences. However, reading this book has humbled me considerably. Until now I'd known virtually nothing about the dramatic skirmishes that occurred between the ambitious Italian forces and those of the much smaller but fiercely determined Greek forces in the mountains bordering Albania. When the fighting started, no one familiar with the international scene expected much from the Greeks, who were facing a much larger and well-tested force. In fact, the Greeks proved something of an ugly surprise to the supposedly invincible force of "eight million bayonets" that Mussolini had at his disposal, actually throwing them back into occupied Albania for a time.

Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2017 Volume 48/3

Published: December 15th, 2017     
Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2017 Volume 48/3
Author: Mick Davis managing editor
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Cross & Cockade International

The latest journal of Cross & Cockade International - Autumn 2017, features a photograph of a Sopwith Camel, C8372, of 50 Squadron. The outside rear cover features five color profiles by David Mechin of Georges Madon's aerial mounts. If you check out the website link above, you can get additional sample pics of the current issue.

Cross & Cockade International is a non-profit UK based group known as the First World War Aviation Historical Society that publishes their journal four times a year. They also provide a free newsletter (sign up on their website) and occasionally publish WWI themed books like the Sopwith Dolphin monograph I reviewed earlier for IPMS USA. This Journal is the sister of the US Journal, Over The Front.

Sturmgeschutz

Published: December 10th, 2017     
Sturmgeschutz
Author: Thomas Anderson
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Company: Osprey Publishing

Initially deployed with German forces in 1940, Sturmgeschutz (Stug) assault guns were purpose-built fully tracked armored fighting vehicles designed to support the infantry during the initial assault on enemy positions, especially useful for knocking out strong points such as bunkers. When the Germans invaded Russia in 1941 in Operation Barbarossa, they got a nasty surprise with the appearance on the battle field of heavily armed and armored Soviet tanks such as the T-34/76 and KV-1. The Stug assault guns were discovered to be excellent tank destroyers. They were quicker and cheaper to produce than tanks, making them a good "bargain" on the battlefield. As the war progressed, the Stug was up-gunned to deal with ever more lethal Soviet tanks, and spread across the battle fields as German industry struggled to keep up with tank losses.

For anyone interested in modeling World War 2 German armored vehicles, the name Thomas Anderson should be well known. He has spent years researching these vehicles and is himself a modeler, having published numerous articles in various modeling publications, as well as authoring a number of German AFV books.

Legends of Warfare Aviation: Grumman F4F Wildcat

Published: December 10th, 2017     
Legends of Warfare Aviation: Grumman F4F Wildcat
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: David Doyle Books

This is a new series for me at least. This is a nice hardback book that covers the Grumman F4F Wildcat and the FM series of Wildcats built by Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors during WWII. The Wildcat continued in production and to fight throughout the war even as newer and better aircraft became available.

The book has 12 chapters each covering the different variants. The layout is the first chapter on the XF4F-2, followed by chapters each on the following: XF4f-3 and F4F-3, the F4F-3 in detail, XF4F-5, XF4F-6/F4F-3A, F4F-3S, XF4F-4, F4F-4, F4F-7, XF4F-8, FM-1, FM-2 and Wildcat in combat.

The book uses many wartime photos mixed in with color photos of museum and restored warbirds to tell the story. The book has wonderful detail shots of each variant, quite a few I have not seen before. The number and breadth of photographs alone make this a worth addition to any modeler or aviation buff's library! The writing is informative and like Joe Friday of Dragnet fame is full of "Just the facts"! The Wildcat fought from beginning to end in WWII and was the mount of several aces, this book is a worthy teller of the airplane's story. Enjoy!