Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

2016 Calendar

Published: August 3rd, 2015     
2016 Calendar
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Cross & Cockade International

Cross & Cockade, International (CCI) is best known for its excellent assortment of books and publications covering “The Great War” in the air. The artwork in these publications is of the highest caliber and the writing is superb.

CCI also provides calendars and IPMS has just received the 2016 version of this annual calendar. Each page features artwork by a list of artists who produce inspiring views of a moment in time. Certainly, the artists should be identified, and WWI aficionados will most certainly recognize their names.

In alphabetical order:

Panzer IV vs Sherman, France 1944

Published: August 1st, 2015     
Panzer IV vs Sherman, France 1944
Author: Steven J. Zaloga, Illustrated by Richard Chasemore
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Company: Osprey Publishing

Overview

Osprey describes this newest Duel series book this way: “As the Allies attempted to break out of Normandy, it quickly became apparent that there would be no easy victory over the Germans, and that every scrap of territory on the way to Berlin would have to be earned through hard fighting. This study concentrates on, the ferocious battles between the German Panzer IV and US Sherman that were at the heart of this decisive phase of World War II. The two types were among the most-produced tanks in US and German service and were old enemies, having clashed repeatedly in the Mediterranean theater. Throughout their long service careers, both had seen a succession of technical developments and modifications, as well as an evolution in their intended roles - but both remained at the forefront of the fighting on the Western Front. Written by an expert on tank warfare, this book invites the reader into the cramped confines of these armored workhorses, employing vivid technical illustrations alongside archive and contemporary photography to depict the conditions for the crewmen within."

Sherman In The Pacific War 1943-1945

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Sherman In The Pacific War 1943-1945
Author: Raymond Giuliani, Illustrator: Christophe Camilotte
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Histoire and Collections

Raymond Giuliani covers a fairly rare subject, of the use of the Sherman tank in the Pacific.  This book begins in 1943 as the Sherman began replacing the M3 Stuarts in the Pacific as the US island hopped towards Japan.  The good news is that neither had to face any steel Tigers.  Raymond Giuliani traces the trek across the Pacific island by island and also depicts the evolution of the flamethrower tank.  The book includes over 350 photos, 25 color tank profiles, and 23 maps.  There are spelling errors and interesting grammar choices due to the translation from French, but nothing that will hinder your understanding.

The Introduction covers the transition from Stuart to Sherman with Battalion and Company organization charts before launching into the first chapter, Taupota, New Guinea in October 1943.  Each chapter basically consists of a map of the island with company deployments and progression, nice large sharp photos and descriptive text for each of the photos. Christophe Camilotte’s color illustrations highlight the black and white photos and include color ‘scraps’ to show off custom markings.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 37, Issue 5

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 37, Issue 5
Author: Many
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

Scale Aircraft Modelling's July 2015 issue focuses on some of the classic British era with everything from new kits, scratchbuilds and older kits.

The articles start with  a test shot build of Revell's 1/72 C-54/DC-4 by Andy McCabe. The over 300 parts are assembled into a gorgeous military transport and the kits looks to be a must have.

Rick Greenwood builds Kinetic's 1/48 AMX kit and reports the overall fit of the kit is good but he did sand down the slightly pronounced rivets on the rear of the plane. He also reported a slight color issue with some of the decals but the result is very good.

Valom's 1/72 Bristol Bombay Mk. I is built by Ernie Lee. This is a mixed media kit with limited run plastic, resin engines and photoetch frets. The finished kit is nice and I love seeing an unusual build.

Tony Grand scratch builds a 1/72 Fairey Delta III. Mr. Grand shows how the fuselage was formed with a side profile and cross sections. Balsa wood was used to form the wings and nose and then entire plane assembled using some spare parts from other kits. The article has a dearth of detail and is worth the price of the magazine.

McDonnel F3H Demon

Published: July 20th, 2015     
McDonnel F3H Demon
Author: Tony Butler
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Guideline Publications

If you have never have had the chance to review one of Guidelines Warpaint series, here’s a brief description. First they provide a complete and detailed history of the subject including a complete production list of air frames, Squadron which used the plane along with a list of serial numbers and codes and a comprehensive specification list covering the technical aspects of the plane. By this, they have the historians covered. Secondly, they have 1:72nd scale multiple view plans. Also included are detail pictures, pages of superb color camouflage drawings and photography in color and black and white. There is also a list of kits, decal and accessory list. Modelers are covered too.

The Demon book starts with the development jets , No. 58 and 60 that led to the F3H Demon. There are roll out shots and other proposed designs as wells a Data & Airframe table giving measurements and data of all the variants. A good deal of the time discussing development is centered around it engine and lack of power. Another page has overlays of the major variants showing just how much the plane changed throughout its period of use.

Avro Lancaster

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Avro Lancaster
Author: Richard Marks
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is the 21st volume in Osprey’s “Air Vanguard” series.  A quick look at Osprey’s website shows this is scheduled for an August, 2015 publication date.

The “Air Vanguard” series seems geared to providing an overall view of the subject aircraft’s development, technical specifications, and operational history.  All other titles in this series have been available in various “eReader” formats (at a slightly lower price than the print version), so I imagine upon release that this will be the case for this volume.  A glance at the publishing information in the book shows different ISBN numbers for the PDF/EPub editions, seeming to confirm this fact.

The book is broken down into 4 basic sections:  Design and Development, Technical Specifications, Mark by Mark, and Operational History.  A brief ‘Conclusion’ section wraps things up, and a decent bibliography for further reading is included.

North American RA-5C Vigilante

Published: July 18th, 2015     
North American RA-5C Vigilante
Author: Charles Strafrace
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Guideline Publications

If you have never have had the chance to review one of Guidelines Warpaint series, here’s a brief description. First they provide a complete and detailed history of the subject including a complete production list of air frames, squadrons which used the planes along with a list of serial numbers and codes, and a comprehensive specification list covering the technical aspects of the plane. With this they have the historians covered. Secondly, they have 1:72nd scale multiple view plans. Also included are detail pictures, pages of superb color camouflage drawings, and photography in color and black and white. There is also a list of kits, decals, and accessory list. Modelers are covered too.

Flying Wings - A Visual History of the Northrop XB-35 and YB-49

Published: July 15th, 2015     
Flying Wings - A Visual History of the Northrop XB-35 and YB-49
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Company: Ampersand Publishing

Do you have one of the old AMT/ERTL XB-35 or YB-49 kits sitting around just waiting for the perfect reference?  Or perhaps you have one of the small-scale Dragon kits and you want to add just that little something extra. Well, your wait is over, you’re out of excuses. This book is the AMS sufferer’s dream (nightmare?) when it comes to those two visionary aircraft.

The book opens with a small section on the history leading up to the contract to build the aircraft. We’re told about Jack Northrop’s tinkering and his dreams of creating a plane to confirm his opinions. He felt that every part of a plane except the wing was just so much excess baggage. There are a few photos of the N-1Ms and the N-9Ms Northrop built to prove his theories. Then, into the meat of the book, we see photos of the entire construction of the B-35, as well as detail photos of crew areas, gun turrets, bomb bays, wheel wells and gear, and engines. Most of the detail photos seem to have been taken during testing of the aircraft, thus showing very little wear and tear. This section covers two-thirds of the book.

A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom 2008-14

Published: July 12th, 2015     
A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom 2008-14
Author: Gary Wetzel, Illustrated by Jim Laurier
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is Gary Wetzel’s second title for Osprey Publishing, a follow-up to his first, Combat Aircraft 98 - A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom 2002-2007, published in 2013.  Through first-hand accounts, Gary Wetzel brings the combat record of the A-10 Thunderbolt II to life.  Gary Wetzel weaves in the development of the A-10A+ and A-10C through the viewpoint of the aircraft crews, units, and the ground forces they supported.  In addition to the cover art and 24 color side-views by Jim Laurier, 72 color photos are included providing ample reference to Gary Wetzel’s tale.

The first chapter, “Making The Best Ever Even Better”, dives into the harsh realities of the political process of military procurement.  Integrating the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) system should have been a slam dunk but proceeded to get lost in the inter-service rivalry.  Gary Wetzel does provide interesting tidbits of the end-run attempts prior to full software development and operational deployment on the A-10C.

Waterloo 1815 - Mont St Jean and Wavre

Published: July 9th, 2015     
Waterloo 1815 - Mont St Jean and Wavre
Author: John Franklin
Reviewed by: Jeff Leiby, IPMS# 30249
Company: Osprey Publishing

Background

As described on the Osprey Publishing website, “Waterloo is one of the defining campaigns of European history. The name conjures up images of the terrible scale and grandeur of the Napoleonic Wars and the incredible combined effort that finally ended Napoleon's aspirations of power in Europe. Drawn from unpublished first-hand accounts, and using detailed illustrations, this comprehensive volume is the ideal resource for studying the intense fighting at the battles of Waterloo and Wavre, the final, decisive engagements of the Waterloo campaign. Those two battles are at the heart of this study, which explores the action at Mont St Jean where Wellington managed to hold the French at bay until the arrival of the Prussians under Blücher saw the Allies secure a hard-fought victory at the dramatic climax of the ‘Hundred days'”.