Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Shot Down

Published: February 1st, 2015     
Shot Down
Author: Steve Snyder
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Company: Sea Breeze Publishing

From the dust cover - 

“Shot Down” is no ordinary memoir of World War II. It reveals the hopes, dreams and fears of a remarkable group of men and people that loved, cared and hid them after their plane was knocked out of the sky over French/Belgian boarder.


WOW what a read! I highly recommend this book to broaden your knowledge of air missions over Europe during WWII!

This book is a memoir of Steve Snyder’s father, Howard Snyder. Howard was the pilot in command of the B-17 Susan Ruthand along with the nine other members of his crew flew missions over Europe while attached to 306th Bomb Group.

Il-2 Shturmovik

Published: January 28th, 2015     
Il-2 Shturmovik
Author: Viktor Povinsky
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

MMP has just released what they are referring to as “an illustrated technical history” of the Il-2 Shturmovik.  Like all other MMP publications, this book is published with high production values.  Solid, hard covers enclose over 200 pages printed on heavy, matt-finished stock. 

The first 66 pages of this book describe the development and operational use of the Il-2, beginning with the initial concept of developing a heavily armed (and armored) ground attack aircraft. Various chapters describe the prototype, initial production, deployment, and improvements (such as adding a gunner and modifying the wing design). These are presented in a chronological fashion and make it quite easy to follow the evolution of the aircraft as combat experience dictated necessary changes.

Each chapter has several clear, black and white photos highlighting the subject at hand.  There are also numerous 1/72 and 1/48 scale plan views showing each variant, and (of great assistance to the modeler) differences are noted as necessary.  Several scrap views appear throughout, illustrating various armament options, canopy changes, etc.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 36, Issue 11

Published: January 26th, 2015     
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

I get excited when the new issues of Scale Aircraft Modeling arrive. They have the same basic design and format. They are jam packed with superb aircraft builds and tips. In this issue, there are four feature articles, an Aviation in Profile piece, and seven Compact Build Reviews. This issue also includes a special section devoted to the IPMS UK Nationals.

The Feature articles for this issue start with Mike Williams build of Airfix 1/48 Folland Gnat T.1. He details how to get a flawless finish and selects a gorgeous red and white paint scheme. He also depicts the plane in flight which really works with this subject.

Next up is Nigel Poole's build of the Italeri Westland Wessex. He details it with two Eduard sets and then folds the rotors with Scalewarship's set. I had not heard of these on this side of the pond but the results are spectacular as is the paint schemes and detail. He also notes that the rotor fold set is 3D printed....its coming to models near you!

Reconnaissance and Bomber Aces of World War 1

Published: January 8th, 2015     
Reconnaissance and Bomber Aces of World War 1
Author: Jon Guttman, Illustrated by Harry Dempsey& Mark Postiethwaite
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Osprey Publishing

I don’t know about you, but I had never considered using the word “Aces” in a discussion of WWI Reconnaissance aircraft…or WWI bombers either for that matter.  Then, I had the opportunity to read Osprey’s Aircraft of the Aces – 123, and learn much about WWI airmen other than fighter pilots who earned that title while flying in what many would consider slow and rather awkward aircraft.  According to the book’s appendices, at least 134 reconnaissance and bomber pilots managed to do exactly that.  And, their story is a compelling one that is long overdue.

Often overshadowed by the stories of the fighter pilots who either protected or threatened them, aircrews of two-seater reconnaissance aircraft went about their job of performing the oldest and most strategically vital aerial task of World War 1 - a task that required them to return from their mission with the intelligence they gathered at all costs.  Aircrews flying bomber sorties that were equally important and dangerous were likewise required to go in harm's way each time they took off and defend against ever increasing numbers of aggressive defenders.

Aircraft Pictorial #7 F4U-1 Corsair Vol. 1

Published: January 4th, 2015     
Aircraft Pictorial #7 F4U-1 Corsair Vol. 1
Author: Dana Bell
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Classic Warships Publishing

Thank you to Classic Warships Publishing for providing another exciting volume in the excellent Aircraft Pictorial series.  I am also very appreciative of the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me the chance to examine this volume and report my opinions.


This volume is the seventh in the Aircraft Pictorial series, adding a definitive research work describing an iconic U. S. Navy aircraft.  Author Dana Bell initially hoped to address some areas of disagreement in previously published works through more research on the Corsair.  Much new material was recently made available at the National Archives, material that not only allowed him to address these areas of disagreement, but to conduct additional new research.  He discovered that there was enough new material that more than one Aircraft Pictorial would be required.  This first volume describes the F4U-1 Birdcage models, with a promised second volume to cover the F4U-1 raised cockpit versions.  I am very pleased with this first volume, and would expect to the same reaction to the second.

Spotlight on Albatros Fighter Aircraft of WWI

Published: December 26th, 2014     
Spotlight on Albatros Fighter Aircraft of WWI
Author: Dave Douglass
Reviewed by: Roger A Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

The first book in Mushroom Model Publications new “Spotlight On” series presents an array of beautiful color profiles of Germany’s famous WWI Albatros fighter family…from the D.I through the D.Va.For the most part, the 41 pages that form the bulk of the book display what may best be described as a one-man gallery of very detailed illustrations depicting very realistically the variety of camouflages and personal markings that adorned many of these elegant aircraft. 

Author Dave Douglass is first and foremost an artist.   His comments in the first-page introduction are a personal message describing himself, his vocation, hobbies and passion for WWI aircraft.  The following pages confirm that.  The artwork is precisely rendered with attention to the specific details of each subject and consideration of the way natural sunlight would affect their appearance.  Each illustration reflects something of an old master’s painting style, which might also be suggestedby the way the artist presents himself in a photograph included on the book’s back cover.

Cross & Cockade International Winter 2014 Vol. 45/4 Journal

Published: December 17th, 2014     
Cross & Cockade International Winter 2014 Vol. 45/4 Journal
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: The First World War Aviation Historical Society

The latest journal of Cross & Cockade International - Winter 2014 Vol. 45/4 - is the last of the journals that make up Volume 45. C&C I is the quarterly publication of the non-profit UK based organization known as The First World War Aviation Historical Society. They have continuously published these journals since 1970 with the objective of furthering the study of First World War Aviation History.  This journal continues the organization’s mission by providing considerable information on a wide range of WWI aviation subjects…this time delivering an interesting and lengthy feature article about operations of the RNAS’s 3 Wing & 3 Squadron along with 203 Squadron RAF under the title ‘JUST ABOUT COURT MARTIALLED’.  The journal’s cover image ‘Red-Nose Pup’, a painting by artist Russell Smith, serves to herald this twenty three-page article.

Following an editorial page that includes comment about the proliferation of publications devoted to the first year of the WWI Centenary, the content of this journal is most impressive…it includes:

T-26 Light Tank: Backbone of the Red Army

Published: December 13th, 2014     
T-26 Light Tank: Backbone of the Red Army
Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Osprey Publishing

The New Vanguard series from Osprey Publishing is not so new anymore, but they continue to produce one quality publication after another. It seems that at one point they will run out of topics, but thankfully, they have not. The series’ most prolific author, armor expert Steven Zaloga has turned his attention to the T-26. As the subtitle of this book suggests, it was one of the most prolific tanks in the Soviet Army in the late inter-war era.

As with all New Vanguard titles, this is prolifically illustrated with photographs from the era as well as several color profiles of the T-26. Again, as with all New Vanguard titles, the centerpiece is a two page, full color cut away of the vehicle in question. Both Hobby Boss and Zvezda have 1/35 kits of the T-26, so this book might be helpful for those interested in modeling these vehicles, in particular the color profiles. As with most Soviet tanks, you can have it any color, as long as it’s green. At least these profiles offer some alternatives.

Collecting Vintage Plastic Model Airplane Kits

Published: December 12th, 2014     
Collecting Vintage Plastic Model Airplane Kits
Author: Craig Kodera
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Specialty Press

This book covers model kit development during the 1950s and 1960s as well as the collectability of these kits and the current value of some. It gives the reader what to look for and to look out for when delving into the world of kit collecting.

By default all model builders become kit collectors in some shape or fashion. Many of us buy more than we will build to ensure that we have that kit or marking set on hand. Or to be certain with some of the short run or resin kits that we don’t miss out on a subject. But for many they seek to build a collection of kits never to be built but amassed like others do with comic books, autographs. Militaria and the like!

Model Art Modelling Magazine No. 53, 2014 Autumn - Vessel Model Special

Published: December 10th, 2014     
Model Art Modelling Magazine No. 53, 2014 Autumn - Vessel Model Special
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is Model Art Magazine’s special quarterly issue that focuses on naval subjects. As with the regular Model Art Magazine this is printed in Japanese with some English subtitles. 

The feature article in the Autumn 2014 Vessel Model Special is on the IJN Battleship "Ise and "Hyuga". The article uses period photos and models to show the changes made to these battleships during the course of their life. If you are not familiar with either of these ships, the changes that were made was the inclusion of a flight deck to the rear of the ships. Included are several build articles and one scratch built 1/96 IJN Battleship Ise.