Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

French Tanks of World War II (1) - Infantry and Battle Tanks

Published: June 9th, 2014     
French Tanks of World War II (1) - Infantry and Battle Tanks
Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Company: Osprey Publishing

The first of two volumes covering the French armor of World War II, this title looks at the infantry and battle tanks that faced the onslaught of the German Blitzkrieg in 1940. Many of the French tanks were intended as replacements for the World War I-era Renault FT, and various modernization efforts throughout the inter-war years had given rise to a number of new infantry tanks, including the Renault R35 and R40, FCM 36, and the Hotchkiss H35 and H39. Alongside these developments was a separate family of battle tanks, starting with the Renault D1, D2, and, finally, the best-known French tank of the campaign – the Char B1 bis. French Tanks of World War II (1) offers a background to the design and development of these tank types, and an evaluation of their performance in the Battle of France.

Contents

The Americans on D-Day, A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion

Published: June 8th, 2014     
The Americans on D-Day, A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion
Author: Martin K. A. Morgan
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Zenith Press

This is a large, beautiful coffee table style photo-essay book. As the son of a D-Day veteran I was most anxious to read this book. 450 of the photos included are from the combat in Northern France. Some will seem familiar to the reader but many have never before been published. I especially like how in many cases the author has shown the original WWII photo and then beside or below that he has placed a modern photo of the same place taken at the same spot.

The book is divided into eight chapters! The are: The Buildup, From the Air, From the Sea, On the Beached, Point du Hoc, La Fiere, Graignes and Aftermath. Each is filled with photos that show everything from the men, equipment and geography to the carnage of battle.

Naval Fighters 88 – FJ-3/3M Fury

Published: June 4th, 2014     
Naval Fighters 88 – FJ-3/3M Fury
Author: Steve Ginter
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 11811
Company: Ginter Books

The FJ Fury series of aircraft has always interested me.  I think mostly that’s because they were initially developed along with the F-86.  Early decisions by the Navy resulted in their first version having straight wings, but they got their jet first.  Of course, research into the information gathered from the Germans at the end of World War II showed that the swept wing was the way to go and the Navy eventually came around to the Army’s (later Air Force’s) way of thinking, resulting in the FJ-2.  This aircraft was very similar to the Air Force’s F-86A.  Improvements and more powerful engines for the FJ-2 led to the FJ-3, wherein the development started to diverge more and more from the F-86.  Yet further developments let to the FJ-4 and FJ-4B Fury.

US Heavy Cruisers 1941-45 Pre-war Classes

Published: June 2nd, 2014     
US Heavy Cruisers 1941-45 Pre-war Classes
Author: Mark Stille CDR, USN (Ret)
Reviewed by: Ned Ricks, IPMS# 36013
Company: Osprey Publishing

Highlights from Osprey’s website: “Designed and produced under the regulations of the Washington Naval Treaty, the heavy cruisers of the Pensacola, Northampton, Portland, New Orleans and Wichita classes were exercises in compromise. While they possessed very heavy armament – the Pensacolas, for example, carrying a main battery of ten 8” guns – this came at the cost of protection – armor was the same thickness as a gun cruiser, and incapable of protecting the vessels from enemy 8” fire. As the classes evolved, these flaws began to be corrected, with the main battery being reduced, and increased protection being added to the vital areas of the ship. Despite these drawbacks, the pre-war heavy cruiser classes served with distinction throughout World War II.”

This volume does a good job of informing the largely uninitiated (that would be this reviewer) about the difficulties of designing these large warships and the consequences of the decisions made.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 4

Published: June 1st, 2014     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 4
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 new H-K Models 1/32 Gloster Meteor and a 1/48 Wingman Models Latin American Kfir.  The Meteor is from Jay Laverty and is Part 1 of a two part series.  Part 1 covers the some issues with the kit and their easy fixes as well as preparation for the metallic finish and several hints and tips towards making it perfect. 

The other Feature article is from Brian Wakeman and builds Wingman Models 1/48 Kfir.  This is the Kinetic kit with the addition of lots of resin for cockpit, nose and a host of other parts.  He finishes the kit in markings for Columbian Air Force with superb weathering.

The Aviation in Profile article covers the FMA IA-58A Pucara.  The article has 15 profiles of different markings along with a nice history and operational shots.  This ties right into the build article below.

Scale Modeling Quarterly – Vol 1, Issue 1, Preview Edition

Published: May 30th, 2014     
Scale Modeling Quarterly – Vol 1, Issue 1, Preview Edition
Author: Various
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Scale Modeling Quarterly

Scale Modeling Quarterly is a new and promising magazine for hobbyists. Published and made available by Hobby Scale Press, SMQ has provided a copy of the Preview Edition to IPMS/USA for review. Matthew Cottrell is the Editor of SMQ so you know its going to be informative, current, and of high quality.

SMQ is advertised as a “journal for and by scale modelers”. Some key words that I noticed in the introductory letter were “encourage, inspire, teach, and share”, and those are lofty goals to which SMQ clearly subscribes.

Medium Mark A Whippet, New Vanguard 207

Published: May 28th, 2014     
Medium Mark A Whippet, New Vanguard 207
Author: David Fletcher
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Company: Osprey Publishing

The Tank

Soon after the tank made it's first appearance at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, a lighter version was requested. This would be smaller, lighter and faster and could be used in the pursuit phase of a battle, although why after what occurred at the Somme pursuit came up at all is a mystery. However, using existing technology, the Whippet, as the light tank came to be known, was designed. Armed only with machine guns, it was faster than the Heavies in use at the time (a screaming 8 MPH), and had a crew of three instead of the eight needed to fight the Mk IV Heavy. The tank was very uncomfortable to ride in, only the driver having a seat, and the fighting compartment was behind the engine, so it got extremely hot and filled with exhaust fumes from the engine and powder fumes from the Hotchkiss MGs it carried. It was also un-reliable and could not be counted on to keep running for more than a few hours at a time before breaking down. However, it did give useful service even in the limited numbers deployed on the Western Front.

Nieuport 11/16 Bébé vs Fokker Eindecker (Western Front 1916)

Published: May 28th, 2014     
Nieuport 11/16 Bébé vs Fokker Eindecker (Western Front 1916)
Author: Jon Guttman
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Osprey Publishing

Number 59 in Osprey’s ‘Duel’ series provides a trip back in time to an era when flying machines began serving as platforms for continuing warfare above ground level.  In this volume of ‘Duel’ author Jon Guttman presents the story of how exchanging rifle and revolver gunfire rapidly evolved into aerial duels between aircraft mounting machine guns.  War in the air became serious business when, in the summer of 1915, the Fokker E1 appeared on the scene with a forward mounted machine gun and interrupter mechanism that permitted a pilot to aim and fire upon an enemy without concerns of shooting off his own propeller.  The result of this game-changer was a period that became known as the ‘Fokker Scourge’.  In an attempt to counter this technological advantage and level the playing field, the Brits introduced various pusher Scouts and the French mounted forward firing machine guns on the top wings of nimble Nieuport Scouts that fired above the propeller arc. 

Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces

Published: May 27th, 2014     
Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces
Author: Kari Stenman and Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publishing has released another new title in the ever-expanding Aces series, Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces.

As the title reveals, this time around the subject is the French Morane-Saulnier MS.406 and the aces who flew it. This book is slightly different than most others in the series, as it covers not only MS.406 aces of the French Air Force, but also those flying for the Finnish Air Force. Additionally, as several MS.406 pilots went on to become aces while flying different aircraft with the RAF or the Russian Air Force, this area is also touched upon.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #892, May 2014

Published: May 27th, 2014     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #892, May 2014
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

Model Art Modeling Magazine is a monthly magazine that covers aircraft, armor, ships and car modeling. Model Art started releasing magazines in 1966 and has evolved from there over the past forty six years.  

Each issue of Model Art consists of a multitude of articles that reach out to all genres of modelers. From what I see, Model Art makes small changes to its format to keep each issue up to date and interesting to the reader.

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