Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

El Alamein, The Battle that Turned the Tide of the Second World War

Published: July 22nd, 2014     
El Alamein, The Battle that Turned the Tide of the Second World War
Author: Bryn Hammond
Reviewed by: Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Company: Osprey Publishing

This book tells the story of the events leading up to, during, and after the battle of El Alamein from June to November 1942.  Prior to this victory, the British had not been able to defeat the German army anywhere.  The author uses a huge number of first-hand accounts to illustrate the viewpoints on both sides of the hardship faced by the common soldier, the decisions that had to be made by the commanders in the face of political pressure, the actions and the consequences of the battles leading up to the stand at El Alamein, and the abilities of some of the (for lack of a better term) ‘superstar’ generals in charge on both sides. 

Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Asia

Published: July 21st, 2014     
Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Asia
Author: Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Komissarov
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Hikoki Publications

This book is the third in a series by these authors. It was preceded by volumes on the Middle East and Africa.  In these pages the authors cover all Soviet/Russian built aircraft used by the various Asian nations from WWII to modern times.

The book has twenty-one chapters and they are laid out alphabetically by country. With the start of the cold war, the Soviets began to try and influence the politics of the Asian continent. This was done in a large way by supplying arms to many other nations not only in Asia but worldwide, not only to their client states but to those that wanted to play both sides as well.

We are treated to a nation by nation review of aircraft supplied to and used. Their combat records are covered as well as the service records for those not used in conflict. The countries covered are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. The largest chapters by far are those of China and India, but even those nations that only received an aircraft via a defector are covered.

Axis Midget Submarines 1939-45

Published: July 20th, 2014     
Axis Midget Submarines 1939-45
Author: Jamie Prenatt, Mark Stille
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Osprey Publishing

While most people know of the Gray Wolves and the story of the U-Boat packs, not many know of the war waged by the Axis by the midget submarines. Osprey's latest book can correct that fact. Axis Midget Submarines covers just what the title says, midget submarines from Italy, Germany and Japan.

Each section follows a similar format. First, the history and countries doctrine of war are covered. Next, there is a section covering the development and types of midget subs used. The war time service record is then covered and also their prototypes and concept ideas. Each part is then summarized by an analysis and conclusion for each type.

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

Published: July 19th, 2014     
Junkers Ju 87 Stuka
Author: Author: Mike Guardia; Illustrators: Henry Morshead, Adam Tooby
Reviewed by: Roger A Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Osprey Publishing

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka is number 15 in Osprey’s Air Vanguard series.  What this book is not is a technical reference manual for model builders, with an abundance of drawings, walkaround photographs and full-color profiles.  Rather, it is a general overview of the Stuka with a reasonable amount of period photos, artwork and a few color profiles that add to the story of how the aircraft came about and its roll as the Luftwaffe’s primary operational dive bomber.  It should be of interest to those who don’t know a great deal about the aircraft or would like to have a quick study of the subject in a single publication.  But, modeler builders who already have a number of good Stuka reference books in their library may not find this book a necessary acquisition.

HANDLEY PAGE V/1500: Centenary Datafile 164

Published: July 17th, 2014     
HANDLEY PAGE V/1500: Centenary Datafile 164
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Albatros Productions, Ltd.

All jokes aside, the Handley Page V/1500 was proof that in some situations size does matter.  At the time when military aviation was still somewhat in its adolescence, the controversial idea of dropping a significant bomb load on an enemy target 500 miles away (and flying over a substantial body of water in the process) meant finding an appropriately large and powerful aerial vehicle to carry out the mission.  The Germans had used huge zeppelins to bomb London, but some in Britain believed it a better strategy to use an aeroplane to return the favor.  Thus was born a scheme to build a ‘Super’ bomber…actually a ‘Super’ Handley Page bomber, capable of carrying up to 30 250-lb. bombs.

Henschel Hs 123

Published: July 17th, 2014     
Henschel Hs 123
Author: Author: Robert Panek; Illustrator: Chris Sandham-Bailey
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: MMP Books

MMP’s latest volume in their “Orange Series” covers the Henschel Hs 123.  The book is published on high quality smooth paper, in-between glossy stiff stock covers.  On first inspection this appears to be of the same high production quality I have found in all other MMP productions.  Lots of clear photos and nicely-done color plates appear throughout the book.

In a similar manner to other titles in this series, this book starts with several chapters covering the design and development of the Hs 123 (about 30 pages in ll).  Throughout each of the chapters in this section there are numerous 1/72nd scale drawings depicting either the entire aircraft, or a particular feature thereof.  This is followed by a chapter titled “Technical Description.”  Here, as one might expect, the technical specifics of the design are laid out (ie, single-seat sesquiplane of metal construction….), and the text is accompanied by drawings from the actual Technical Manual of the aircraft.

D.A.K. Profile Guide

Published: July 17th, 2014     
D.A.K. Profile Guide
Author: Fernando Vallejo
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: AK Interactive

This is a beautifully illustrated book showing more than 170 profiles of vehicles used by the Deutsche Afrika Korps (D.A.K.) during the North African campaign. The sections of the book include:

  • Introduction
  • Light vehicles
  • Medium/Heavy Vehicles
  • Armored Fighting Vehicles
  • Artillery
  • Markings
  • Colors
  • Photos
  • Photo credits/bibliography.

A Prologue briefly describes the military episodes of the Afrika Corps between 1941 and 1943. The Prologue describes how the Afrika Corpstook over for the Italian army and, despite being outnumbered and out-supplied, effectively battled the British and, later, American forces. The Prologue provides a brief backdrop for the vehicles that are profiled in the book.

Windsock World War Centenary Vol.30, No.2

Published: July 17th, 2014     
Windsock World War Centenary Vol.30, No.2
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Albatros Productions, Ltd.

Windsock WWC Summer 2014 is the second issue of Volume 30…and/or the second edition of the first centenary year of Albatros’ rebranded publication.  It provides readers with a substantial amount of WWI aircraft modeling information and both historical and technical reference.  An extended FRONT LINE NEWS section leads into the regular columns: OUR READERS GALLERY (Featuring two very well-built Nieuports) and LOGBOOK ENTRIES (Reviewing 4 new titles) before getting into the meat of this issue.  What follows is a 3+ page article (complimented by multiple color photos) about an impressive large scale radio-controlled Avro 504K powered by a fully operational 1:4 scale Bentley rotary engine that makes this unique combination fly as well as it looks!

In the editor's third ‘Coloured Thinking’ article, Ray Rimell attempts to unravel the controversial colors of the German Roland C.II, in a piece that includes archival photos and three Ronnny Bar profiles to add to the detailed reviews of Wingnut Wing's recent releases that follow on later pages.

Hitler’s War: World War II as Portrayed by “Signal,” the International Nazi Propaganda Magazine

Published: July 9th, 2014     
Hitler’s War: World War II as Portrayed by “Signal,” the International Nazi Propaganda Magazine
Author: Jeremy Harwood
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Zenith Press

Signal was a propaganda publication by the German Wehrmacht stylized after Life magazine and published from 1940–1945. It was aimed at those in occupied, neutral, and allied countries, but it was never sold in Germany itself. Published in almost 30 languages, it was even available in the USA until December 1941! The magazine was kept under the control of the army and thus was independent of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry. This did not prevent it from being a propaganda laden publication. While it chronicled the conditions faced in combat by Germany and her allies, it also had a strong political message advocating for a “united Europe” under the “New Order” and for supporting the fight against the communists—even highlighting those former enemy combatants that chose to fight for the Nazis!

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 5

Published: July 9th, 2014     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 5
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

Each issue of Scale Aircraft Modeling has been a basic design format but they changed it up with this issue. The change is that the "Scuttlebutt Lodge" and the "Marketplace" sections have been married together better to provide a mor