Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Model Art Magazine #889 "All About IJN Destroyers 1918-1941"

Published: May 23rd, 2014     
Model Art Magazine #889 "All About IJN Destroyers 1918-1941"
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

Model Art Magazine is a monthly publication covering aircraft, armor, ships and car modeling. Model Art began releasing magazines in 1966, and has evolved over the past forty-six years. They also release many special issues during the year, as is the case of this sample.

This issue covers IJN destroyers that were produced from 1918 - 1941. The classes include: Minekaze, Kamikaze, Momi, Wakatake, Mutsuki, Fufuki (Tokugata), Hatsuharu, Shiratsuyu, Asashio, Kagero, Yugumo, Akizuki, Shimakasze and Matsu. The magazine is broken down into ten sections.

Somme 1916: British Infantryman versus German Infantryman

Published: May 16th, 2014     
Somme 1916: British Infantryman versus German Infantryman
Author: Stephen Bull
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Company: Osprey Publishing

August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of mankind’s first cataclysmic world war, the disaster that shaped the world as we know it today. According to a recent article I read, there have been over 25,000 books and scholarly articles written on the “war to end all wars.” Here we have a review of one more.

A number of my relatives fought in this monumental bloodletting, including one who was on the Western Front as an artilleryman in a New Zealand unit for over three years, while another fought above as a pilot (and ace) in the Royal Flying Corps. As a young budding historian in the 1970s, I discussed the family history of these men and others, hearing about the “great” battles of the war. One in particular, the Somme, cropped up again and again in my readings and discussions. I was told that on the opening day of this battle, July 1, 1916, British forces alone suffered nearly 60,000 casualties. I remember asking, “Why was there a second day of the battle?” I reasoned, in my youthful mind, that surely after such a day of slaughter some sanity would have quickly returned and they would have packed it all in and gone home...

RAF BE2 / BE2a / BE2b: Centenary Datafile 163

Published: May 9th, 2014     
RAF BE2 / BE2a / BE2b:  Centenary Datafile 163
Author: Paul R. Hare
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Albatros Productions, Ltd.

History

This book gives an extensive history of the BE2 biplanes acquired by the British military beginning in 1912.  By the standards of the day, the BE2 was a very modern type, with wing warp lateral control, conventional biplane structure, and enough power provided by a 70 hp. Renault water cooled V-8 engine swinging a large wooden propeller.  Unlike other contemporary types, the BE2 had an impressive performance, with a maximum speed of about 70 mph and a stalling speed of 32 mph., while most other types seemed to be only capable of full power flight at minimum speeds.

The Men Inside The Metal: The British AFV Crewman in WW2, Vol. 1

Published: May 7th, 2014     
The Men Inside The Metal: The British AFV Crewman in WW2, Vol. 1
Author: Dick Taylor
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Thousands of books have been published over the years covering the various armored fighting vehicles utilized by British and Commonwealth forces in the Second World War, and many of them are sitting on my bookshelves, and I am sure yours.  There are also numerous books on the various battles that took place involving these vehicles and the generals, officers, and enlisted men who took part.  But it is rare that you get a book as detailed as this one on the individual crewmen who accompanied these machines into battle.

This book does not cover the training these men received prior to going into battle, nor does it cover their backgrounds prior to joining the armed forces.  Nor does it cover the makeup of the units involved in the fighting.  What it does cover, and covers it very well indeed, are the uniforms and other personal gear the AFV crews wore into battle, the badges and insignia adorning their uniforms, and their crew equipment and personal weapons.

The book is divided thus:

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 3

Published: May 4th, 2014     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 3
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 great news of or this issue is that there are three feature articles.

The feature articles for this issue covers a build of 1/72 Revell H.P. Heyford, a 1/72 Airfix FW190A-8 in a winter diorama setting and a 1/48 Trumpeter A-3D Skywarrior as a bonus. The Heyford build is by Neil Pinchbeck and covers the construction of this vintage kit first released by Matchbox in the 1980's. I love this article as it shows just what can be done with a vintage kit including sections on correcting flaws, scratch building cockpits and rigging. The results are awesome.

The second Feature article is from Marco Preto and features the new Airfix FW190A-8. The build is straight OOB but he adds a superb diorama base with a snow covered. Mr. Preto takes us step by step on making the base, adding vegetation and then weathering. by adding Precision Ice and Snow.

Model Art - Air Model Special No. 05: IJN Zero Carrier Fighters

Published: May 3rd, 2014     
Model Art - Air Model Special No. 05: IJN Zero Carrier Fighters
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Model Art

Model Art Special No. 5 is a “must have” for those who want to build a IJN Type Zero Carrier Fighter. This is number 5 in the Air Model Special series and focuses on what most modelers and historians consider the classic IJN fighter aircraft of WWII. In 136 pages this publication covers the A6M1, A6M2a, A6M2b, 21st Kokusho A6M2K and the Nakajima A6M2-N.

It should be noted that the text is in Japanese with virtually no English translation for those of us who are English-Only speakers and readers. But no matter, the quality of the images and the clever design of the photographs, tables, and charts is more than sufficient to get the message across successfully.

The book is rich in detail which is highly sought after by modelers. There are detail shots of built up interiors of the various kits on the market. Shots of kits in progress and completed models are not only outstanding in quality, but also very instructive when it comes to colors, paint schemes, and weathering. There are color charts, and that is always an important aspect of modeling when building WWII Japanese aircraft.

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15

Published: May 1st, 2014     
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15
Author: Dariusz Karnas
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

The latest installment of the Yellow Series from Mushroom Model Publications is devoted to the iconic Mig-15. This book clearly is written with the modeler in mind, as well over 100 pages are devoted to pictures, drawings or color profiles of the airplane.

F6F Hellcat Aces of VF-9

Published: April 23rd, 2014     
F6F Hellcat Aces of VF-9
Author: Edward M. Young; Illustrator: Jim Laurier
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Company: Osprey Publishing

About This Book

A historical account of VF-9 and its pilots that became aces flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat. In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the US Navy quickly formed Carrier Air Group 9. CAG-9 had four squadrons, VF-9, VB-9, VS-9 and VT-9 they were activated in March 1942. Initially equipped with five Brewster F2A-3 Buffalos that were quickly replaced by Grumman F4F Wildcats. VF-9 first saw action during the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942. It was here the squadron successfully engaged Vichy French fighters in combat over Morocco. Upon returning to the United States, VF-9 became one of the first squadrons to receive the Grumman F6F Hellcat. Soon after they deployed on the USS Essex, namesake of its class of fleet carriers that formed the backbone of the US Navy’s Fast Carrier Task Force. VF-9, the Hellcat, and the Essex all entered combat in the fall of 1943, want more? Get this book.

The book itself is well printed with a hearty gum and cord binding. The print is easy to read and the photographs are very clear. The plate illustrations are accurate, colorful and honestly represented.

US Cold War Aircraft Carriers, New Vanguard 211

Published: April 22nd, 2014     
US Cold War Aircraft Carriers, New Vanguard 211
Author: Brad Elward, illustrated by Paul Wright
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Osprey Publishing

Thank you very much to the wonderful folks at Osprey Publishing for providing this new publication 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 of the earliest super carriers.

On opening the book you will find 48 glossy pages filled with text, 30 color photos, 11 black-and-white photos, 2 black-and-white drawings, and 7 color painting and diagrams.  The softcover binding is 9.75 x 7.25 inches and a little less than a quarter-inch thick, with a color photo of the U.S.S America off the starboard bow.  In 8 chapters, Mr. Elward provides a brief historical introduction explaining the roots of these early super carriers, and focuses on the Forrestal, Kitty Hawk and Enterprise classes.  I appreciate the thorough bibliography and index.    

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 2

Published: April 17th, 2014     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 2
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 build of 1/72 Revell Tornado IDS build in Tigermeet markings and a 1/32 Special Hobby Fiat G.50. The Tornado build is by Pierre Baldru and covers the construction and painting of this colorful kit. He modifies the kit with Aires Wheel Wells, Master pitot tube, Verlinden seats and Eduard RBF tags. The kit is then finished with a remarkable German Tigermeet scheme with the entire plane striped. It looks fantastic

The other Feature article from James Ashton and covers building the 1/32 Special Hobby Fiat G.50. No aftermarket is used and concentration is put on the mottled camouflage screen and perfect subtle weathering using oils.

The Aviation in Profile article covers one of my favorite planes, The F-15. There is a great history of Israeli use and purchase of the F-15 by Yoav Efrati and Jay Laverty.  The detail shots are from and F-15i Ra'am and the color schemes cover Israeli, JASDF and American Eagles.

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