Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

F-104 Starfighter In Action

Published: December 28th, 2016     
F-104 Starfighter In Action
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Timothy Gidcumb, IPMS# 40925
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

From the Author: Born from encounters with capable Communist aircraft during the Korean War, the F-104 took shape on Lockheed's drawing boards in late 1952. Engineered by a team led by famed designer Kelly Johnson the aircraft, dubbed the Starfighter, first flew on 4 March 1954. Known variously as a 'missile with a man in it' and 'an engine with wings' the Starfighter soon captioned many speed and altitude records, some of which stand today. Through over 160 vintage photos, including more than 60 color shots augmented by color profiles and numerous line drawings, this new 80-page volume chronicles the remarkable 50-year military career of this aircraft, which was used by no less than 15 nations.

David Doyle continues to impressive with the latest In Action book on the F-104 Starfighter. This is the third book in the In Action series on the F-104, Lou Drendel authored the first(#27) followed by Phillip Freddell (#135). David has done a great job with this installment and has expanded on the other 2 editions.

Death in the Air: The War Diary and Photographs of a Flying Corps Pilot

Published: December 23rd, 2016     
Death in the Air: The War Diary and Photographs of a Flying Corps Pilot
Author: Wesley D Archer
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Pen and Sword Books Ltd

Originally published in Hardcover in 1933 by William Heinemann, this diary immediately became a bestseller, largely due to the incredible WWI in action photographs. The publisher was told that the author had been killed in action in 1918 and that the suppliers of the typewritten manuscript wished anonymity. The diary had no named author, and had no dates or any squadron references that could be checked. The spectacular pictures did create some doubt, but in post war Britain, no one wanted to dishonor a WWI hero. Fast forward to 1983 when a collection was donated to the Smithsonian and the contents were recognized by noted WWI historian Peter M. Grosz, who along with Karl Schneide, deduced what had happened. The book was re-printed in October 1985 by Greenhill Press with an Introduction by Karl Schneide of the National Air and Space Museum revealing the details of the hoax.

Famous Russian Aircraft: Mikoyan MiG-17

Published: December 20th, 2016     
Famous Russian Aircraft: Mikoyan MiG-17
Author: Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Specialty Press

Yefim Gordon was born in 1950 in Vilnius, Lithuania (then part of the Soviet Union) and graduated from the Kaunas Polytechnic Institute in 1972. He has been researching Soviet and Russian aviation history for more than 40 years. A professional photographer, Yefim Gordon has published hundreds of features and photographs in Russian and foreign aviation magazines. He has authored and co-authored more than 120 books on Soviet and Russian aviation.

Dmitriy Komissarov was born in 1968 in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow State Linguistics University in 1992. He has worked as a translator ever since, with the most of his work associated with his interest in aviation. Dmitriy Komissarov has authored two books and translated or co-authored more than 50 others. He has also written numerous magazine features in two languages on Soviet and Russian aviation.

Miles M.52: Britain’s Top Secret Supersonic Research Aircraft

Published: December 16th, 2016     
Miles M.52: Britain’s Top Secret Supersonic Research Aircraft
Author: Tony Buttler
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Crecy Publishing, Ltd.

Tony Buttler was born in 1956 and joined High Duty Alloys in Redditch in 1974 as a metallurgist. For nearly 20 years he was closely involved in the testing of aluminum and titanium airframe and engine components for many of the world’s most important airplanes. It was during this timeframe that his interest in military aircraft grew into a passion. Since 1995, Tony has been a freelance aviation historian, with this book being his twenty-sixth major release. He has also written many titles for the Warpaint series of monographs as well as many articles for most of the popular historical aviation magazines.

The cover painting by Daniel Uhr depicts the Miles M.52 in flight ahead of its chase plane, a Gloster Meteor. This painting is reproduced again after the title page, pristine, without all the titles. I counted 112 black and white photographs, 18 color pictures, 20 tables, and 16 tables on 160 glossy pages.

We March Against England - Operation Sea Lion 1940-41

Published: December 15th, 2016     
We March Against England - Operation Sea Lion 1940-41
Author: Robert Forczyk
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publishing is well known for its softbound, mid-length book (80 to 100 pages) covering a specific topic. This book stands on its own category, with over 300 pages and hardbound. It speaks quality all around, down to its dust cover.

And the quality does not stop at the book binding, this is a carefully and thoughtfully researched book on a military operation that never was: Sea Lion, the invasion of Great Britain.

While the Battle of Britain has been covered in multiple books and encyclopedias, the number of books on the Operation Sea Lion is limited, in comparison. If you only want to read one book on this topic this is the one.

This book covers the strategic situation in May of 1940, how the Wehrmacht attempted to improvise an invasion force, the needed support from the Kriegsmarine (which was never fully onboard with the invasion plan) and Luftwaffe (which acted as a tactical/terror force rather than strategical), an evaluation of what could have happened and how the UK prepared for a second attempt for Sea Lion in May of 1941.