Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Military Miniatures in Review No.59

Published: January 7th, 2014     
Military Miniatures in Review No.59
Reviewed by: Eric Christianson, IPMS# 42218
Company: Ampersand Publishing

Military Miniatures in Review (MMIR) is one of only about a half-dozen high-end armor-based magazines, and my favorite go-to source for finishing and weathering armor models and figures.  Regular publication has been spotty in the past; otherwise I would have sprung for a subscription long ago.  That said, I try to pick up every new issue, and those that I miss I can purchase (at a discount) from their website. 

As of right now, Ampersand does not offer MMIR in digital format, but even if it did I’m not sure I’d switch from the hardcopy version.  The quality of the materials used and the sheer number of crystal-sharp images included in each issue makes these magazines stand out among their peers.

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 35, Issue 11

Published: January 4th, 2014     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 35, Issue 11
Author: Various
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 magnificent build of Airfix new Gloster Javelin Mk 9 and also a 1/48 Academy BAe T-59 Hawk. The Airfix Javelin build by Mike Williams covers the construction and painting in detail with excellent shots of the cockpit and all internal detail. He finishes with an excellent paint scheme and the kit looks fantastic.

The other Feature article from Brian Wakeman covers building the Academy BAe Hawk in Korean trainer markings. The Korean trainer version requires adding a replacement nose. Detail is provided on this and upgrading the cockpit and also an excellent painting and weathering guide. This finished shots look awesome.

The Aviation in Profile article covers the a select history of the de Havilland Vampire. The article has many shots of operational Vampires and to compliment this, Chris Fleet builds Airfix 1/72 Vampire T.11 in silver and yellow.

The Paint Guide for Figures of World War Two

Published: January 3rd, 2014     
The Paint Guide for Figures of World War Two
Author: Joaquin Garcia-Gasquez
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Casemate Publishing

A few modelers, including myself, will suggest that the genre of modeling that most resembles “fine art” is Figure Painting. The process of painting a figure seems to be confusing and difficult, requiring the knowledge and artistic ability of a Rembrandt, while at the same time possessing the mechanical ability of a Da Vinci. This book does not deny that artist ability is important, but it gives hope to those of us whose best figure drawings look like a collection of sticks, and whose best figure-painting efforts are rather 2-dimensional and quite devoid of life or realism.

Originally written in French, and then translated by Kent Brazeau, the text requires some concentration and flexibility in interpretation of the English version. This is especially true of those readers who are speakers of American English. This is not a detriment in the book but rather a notice to the American reader that they are in for a very pleasant “turn of phrase” as they study and read this excellent book.

Finland’s War of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II

Published: January 3rd, 2014     
Finland’s War of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II
Author: Henrik O.Lunde
Reviewed by: Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Company: Casemate Publishing

History

Finland was in a very precarious position in the period leading up to the outbreak of World War II.  Although a democracy, Finland was surrounded by two gigantic totalitarian states with vicious appetites for territorial expansion.  With the Soviet paranoia regarding Nazi Germany’s desires to destroy the communist “workers’ paradise”, and German desires for expansion into Eastern Europe, Finland stood in the way of both countries’ ambitions.  In 1939, the Nazis and the Soviets signed a Non-Aggression Pact, which secretly divided up Eastern Europe into “Spheres of Influence” for each country.  The Soviets quickly swallowed up the Baltic republics, and later, in 1939, the Soviets attacked Finland in order to gain Finnish territory they felt was essential for the defense of Leningrad.  The small highly trained and motivated  Finnish Army gave the much larger Soviet military a serious bloody nose, and although the Finns eventually had to agree to an armistice in 1940, ceding some territory to the Russians, they survived intact, and were not subjected to Soviet control. One factor that became important was that the Germans felt that the Soviet military was not as strong as previously thought, and this led Nazi war planners, including Hitler, to believe that the Soviets could be easily defeated with an invasion involving “Blitzkrieg” tactics. The Soviets, however, learned their lesson, and made improvements that cost the Germans dearly.

Fortress Rabaul (The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942 - April 1943)

Published: January 3rd, 2014     
Fortress Rabaul (The Battle for the Southwest Pacific, January 1942 - April 1943)
Author: Bruce Gamble
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Quayside Publishing Group / Zenith Press

Rabaul?

How many have heard of it? How about the significance it played in WWII in the South Pacific?

Now, what if I mention these actions: Guadalcanal, The Slot, Battle of Bismarck Sea, the Battle of the Coral Sea, or the shoot down of Admiral Yamamoto, just to mention a few. Do these sound familiar? I bet they do. One major connecter to them all. Rabaul.

Having an interest in military history during WWII, I was familiar with many of the actions above but I had not heard of Rabaul prior to reading this book. Now I understand the importance of this island.

In this book author Bruce Gamble takes you on very detailed and documented journey of this seemingly remote island and the significance it played during the battle of the Pacific during the early stages of WWII. The Author also has a personal connection with some of the actions there as his uncle was a B-17 navigator and had logged at least nineteen combat missions over Rabaul. The author uses many first hand accounts of the action along with official military records from Japan, United States and Australia to give an extremely detailed narration of the actions from all sides.

Model Art Modelling Magazine No. 49, 2013 Winter - Special Ship Model Edition

Published: January 2nd, 2014     
Model Art Modelling Magazine No. 49, 2013 Winter - Special Ship Model Edition
Author: Various
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 Winter 2013 Special Ship Model Edition covers the Battle of Savo Island. The issue starts off though with some new releases that will be hitting model benches soon.

The Battle of Savo Island was the first major naval battle of the Guadalcanal campaign. Model Art devotes ninety-two pages to this battle with period photos, charts, line drawings, one fold out full color drawing of the IJN Heavy cruiser Chokai in action at Savo Island and of course models. The models are the biggest part of the article. They range from full build articles to photos of completed models.

Air Vanguard Series #11 Curtiss P-40 Snub-nosed Kittyhawks

Published: December 29th, 2013     
Air Vanguard Series #11 Curtiss P-40 Snub-nosed Kittyhawks
Author: Carl Molesworth
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Osprey Publishing

This book is number 11 in the Vanguard series and covers the later short nosed variants P-40D through P-40N. The book begins with the beginning of the end.  By that I mean it shows the 15,000th Curtiss fighter built, a P-40-N-CU festooned with the emblems of each nation that flew them and a red, white and blue striped tail. This was the beginning of the end as around one week after this picture was taken a P-40 production ceased and the plants were shut down. And though Curtiss had tried throughout the war to design and produce new fighters as well as into the early years of the jet age, they would never again build another production fighter designed in house.

Osprey British Paratroopers vs. Fallshirmjager Mediterranean 1942-43

Published: December 28th, 2013     
Osprey British Paratroopers vs. Fallshirmjager Mediterranean 1942-43
Author: David Greentree Illustrator - Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Osprey Publishing

 Paratroopers have been regarded as elite group of soldiers since their inception. Generally the requirements and physical demands were higher and many of the missions that were assigned to them were high risk, thus the elite status. In this book the author takes a comparative look at the British Paratrooper vs. the German Fallschirmjager in the Mediterranean 1942-43.

The book starts off with a organizational look at the two units. The requirements for soldiers that wanted to join these units is explained along with the operational tactics used by each. There are three operations covered where these two units were engaged with each other. Two of the operations were in North Africa and one in Italy. There is an excellent narrative that describes each action along with period photographs and color maps that show the movements of the units during the operation. The book concludes with an analysis of the two units and the lessons learned by both.    

Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 35, Issue 10

Published: December 22nd, 2013     
Scale Aircraft Modelling, Vol. 35, Issue 10
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 Ex-Adversaries Reunited and A Model 1/72 Mil-Mi-10 Heavy Lift Helo. The Ex-Adversaries build is Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk Vb and FW190A-3 built in after war markings of the Turkish Air Force. The build covers weathering and construction and uses TigerHead decals for the markings. .

The other Feature article takes A Models 1/72nd Mi-10 which is super detailed. This build, by Brain Wakeman, makes the entire issue. First, he started with a limited run kit which presents issues for modelers. Second, there is a fair amount of scratch building and advice and making gems of limited run kits. in the end, the kit is eye-popping and his 500 hours of effort shine in the photos.

Adler Gegen England – Luftwaffe Air Campaign against British Isles 1941-1945

Published: December 22nd, 2013     
Adler Gegen England – Luftwaffe Air Campaign against British Isles 1941-1945
Author: Neil Robinson, Illustrator by Peter Scott
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: AIRfile Publications

Review

The Battle of Britain has been documented many times over. However there are not as many references related to the Luftwaffe air campaign after the peak of September 1940 battles. This book is devoted to fill that gap.

The book is logically split in the following chapters

  • The First Blitz (September 1940 to December 1941)
  • The Baedeker Blitz (April-June 1942)
  • High and Low Raiders 1942/1943
  • Intruders and Night Fighters (1941/1944)
  • Total War – Unternehmen Steinbock (1943/1944)
  • Anti-Shipping and Maritime Operations (1941-1944)
  • Missiles and Jets (1944/45)

All the chapters are profusely illustrated with color profiles (and 4-view drawings in some cases) of the different German airframes involved in the different aspects of the air campaign. An interesting point is that most (if not all) color drawings include a reference source, which is excellent for those interested in history, besides modelling.

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