Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom

Published: September 11th, 2014     
AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom
Author: Lon Nordeen; Illustrator: Jim Laurier
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Company: Osprey Publishing

This book is the third in Osprey’s series on the Marine Corps’ Harriers in combat.  It is of great interest to me, as I spent over 20 years involved in the Tactical Air Control System, as a radio repairman and comm. maintenance officer.  The Marines bought the AV-8 knowing it would be used for CAS (Close Air Support), and very little else.  But that’s what they want and need. 

The Harrier IIs were involved in OEF from 2001 to 2013.  There were only a few Harriers involved at any time, usually 8, either on an Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD) or ashore at Kandahar, Bagram or Camp Bastion.  The STOVL (Short Takeoff Vertical Landing) ability of the Harrier IIs made it possible to operate off of runways that were in bad shape, often with crumbling paving and potholes. 

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #898, August 2014

Published: September 10th, 2014     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #898, August 2014
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

Model Art 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 eight years.

The August issue of Model Art contains one main article, a smaller secondary article and several reoccurring monthly features.

The issue starts off with several small articles, with one focusing on the Revell 1/32 Bf109G-10 Erla and another monthly feature IJA/N Airplane Illustrated. Next up is the monthly feature and this month they cover "Oceanic Camouflage" found on JASDF aircraft. The content of this article is highlighted with the use of several models to demonstrate the "oceanic camouflage". They do this through multiple photographs mainly in color with a few in black and white and with several color plates with FS color call outs. If you are interested in modeling JASDF and have problems getting the right colors, Mr. Hobby has the answer for you. They have made a set of paints geared specifically for JASDF oceanic colors.

Hong Kong 1941–45: First Strike in the Pacific War

Published: September 6th, 2014     
Hong Kong 1941–45: First Strike in the Pacific War
Author: Benjamin Lai
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Osprey Publishing

Most of us who have a little knowledge of US history know something about what happened on December 7, 1941. Those who know a bit more, might also know that within 24 hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Army simultaneously invaded the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia and attacked the British colony of Hong Kong. Hong Kong 1941–45: First Strike in the Pacific War by Benjamin Lai, book number 263 in Osprey’s Campaign series, tells the story of Japan’s action against Hong Kong, the British surrender, the years of Japanese occupation, and the eventual reestablishment of British control over the colony when the war ended in 1945. It provides a very compelling look at how the defenders—and later prisoners—faired at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

Published: September 5th, 2014     
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
Author: Alexander Mladenov
Reviewed by: Phil Pignataro, IPMS# 17254
Company: Osprey Publishing

I find it hard to believe the MiG-21 design is almost as old as I am and is still serving as a front-line fighter in several air forces around the world. I’m still pretty active, but no longer a “front-line fighter” by any stretch of the imagination. Since the end of WWII, in almost any conflict involving Western air forces, the adversary has been a Mikoyan-Gurevich designed aircraft: in many instances, the MiG-21 Fishbed.

In Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, Alexander Mladenov thoroughly covers the MiG-21 from its early development to its role in several conflicts around the world. His descriptions are often technical, but very readable nonetheless. The chapter titles give a good idea what is discussed:

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 7

Published: September 5th, 2014     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 7
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

Each issue of Scale Aircraft Modeling has been a basic design and format but they changed it up with the last issue. In this issue, there are five feature articles, an Aviation in Profile piece, and five Compact Build Reviews.

The Feature articles for this issue start with Jay Laverty's build review of the Trumpeter 1/48 Westland Whirlwind Mk I. The kit is built and shows no issues. The majority of the article concentrates on the superb weathering done to replicate V HE which showed a lot of chipping. Mr. Laverty also corrects the markings, adds Barracuda cast wheels and uses ComArt's excellent weathering set. The result is spectacular!

Next up is Mr. Laverty's build of Planet models 1/48 Westland Welkin. This is a good size all resin kit and it is finished superbly in a Medium Sea Grey scheme. There are also some excellent tips in working with resin kits.

Next up, Yves van Den Brouck builds Tarangus 1/48 Saab A 32A Lansen, the first injection molded kit of this subject.  He also adds Maestro Models Lansen interior to dress up the build. The end product looks superb with its natural metal underside.

Cross & Cockade International Summer 2014 Vol. 45/2

Published: September 4th, 2014     
Cross & Cockade International Summer 2014 Vol. 45/2
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: The First World War Aviation Historical Society

Cross & Cockade International is the quarterly publication of a non-profit UK based organization known as The First World War Aviation Historical Society. This organization has been publishing these journals since 1970 with the objective of furthering the study of First World War Aviation History.  The second journal of 2014; Volume 45/2 (Summer 2014) continues the organization’s mission by providing a wealth of information on varied WWI aviation subjects.  The cover of this journal features a painting by Allan Forbes of a pair of 64 Squadron de Havilland DH5s attacking ground targets.  It serves as a precursor to an interesting eight-page feature article about the 64 Squadron and the DH5s they flew.

Following an Editorial page, the contents includes:

Alesia 52 BC: The final struggle for Gaul

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Alesia 52 BC: The final struggle for Gaul
Author: Nic Fields
Reviewed by: Jeff Leiby, IPMS# 30249
Company: Osprey Publishing

Background

As described on the Osprey Publishing website, “In 52 BC Caesar’s continued strategy of annihilation had engendered a spirit of desperation, which detonated into a revolt of Gallic tribes under the leadership of the charismatic young Arvernian noble Vercingetorix. Major engagements were fought at Noviodunum, Avaricum, and Gergovia, with the last action being the most serious reverse that Caesar faced in the whole of the Gallic War. However, Vercingetorix soon realized that he was unable to match the Romans in pitched battle. Taking advantage of the tribesmen’s superior knowledge of their home territory, Vercingetorix began a canny policy of small war and defensive maneuvers, which gravely hampered Caesar’s movements by cutting off his supplies. For Caesar it was to be a grim summertime – his whole Gallic enterprise faced disaster. In the event, by brilliant leadership, force of arms, and occasionally sheer luck, Caesar succeeded in stamping out the revolt in a long and brutal action culminating in the siege of Alesia. Vercingetorix finally surrendered and Alesia was to be the last significant resistance to the Roman will. Never again would a Gallic warlord independent of Rome hold sway over the Celts of Gaul.”

Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Vol. 1

Published: August 31st, 2014     
Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Vol. 1
Author: Kari Stenman, Karolina Hołda; Illustrator: Karolina Hołda
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: MMP Books

Here is the newest book in MMP’s “White Series”: Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Volume One.  The author, Kari Stenman, is a name long associated with publications on the Finnish Air Force.  Just scanning through my library, I see him as the author of several Osprey “Aircraft of the Aces” books, as well as a Squadron/Signal book.  In fact, in the acknowledgements section of this book he mentions research assistance he has received over the last forty-five years!  This book is clearly written by a dedicated expert in the field.

The book itself is hardbound, with a nice glossy cover and the 200+ pages within are produced on high-quality stock with a matt finish.  Photos, mostly black and white, are on virtually every page.  Most are at least ¼ page in size.  Numerous, extremely high-quality side profiles are also present.  Text is all in English, and is very well-written.

This is Volume One of a two-part series.  The series is not separated by chronology, but rather by aircraft type.  Aircraft covered here are:

World War II Glider Assault Tactics

Published: August 31st, 2014     
World War II Glider Assault Tactics
Author: Author: Gordon L. Rottman Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publications is well known for their books on military history, aviation, naval and a multitude of other subjects. This book is from the Elite series which covers specific military units or tactics used in combat.

World War II was the first conflict with the widespread use of gliders for military operations. All though many countries used gliders the focus of the book is on English, German and United States as they were involved in the largest majority of glider operations during the war.

The author covers the origins, the gliders, the glider types, tug aircraft, glider pilots, glider delivered units and glider operations. Each section is broken down covering how each country used their gliders, how they trained their pilots and how operations were executed. The book is loaded with black and white period photographs and color drawings.