Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang Part 1 - Allison Powered

Published: April 17th, 2014     
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang Part 1 - Allison Powered
Author: Malcolm V. Lowe
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: SAM Publications

Modellers Datafile #21 might arguably be considered the most complete reference book available for anyone intending to build a model of an early version of one of the best-known fighters of World War II, the North American P-51 Mustang.  Later versions of the P-51, equipped with the Packard built Merlin 60 series engine, possessed excellent range and maneuverability that contributed to Mustangs being known primarily as a long-range escort fighters and ground attack fighter-bombers in nearly every combat zone during WWII (and later serving in that role in the Korean War).  However, the early version of the Mustang, as originally designed, was built around the Allison V-170 engine, which had limited high-altitude performance that resulted in a different primary role for this iconic fighter.  Originally known as the RAF’s Mustang Mk.1, it was initially flown operationally as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber. The USAAF found the A-36 version to be both effective in its intended roll and more than adequate as a fighter at lower altitudes.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #888, March 2014

Published: April 12th, 2014     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #888, March 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 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 there format to keep each issue up to date and interesting to the reader.

This issue starts off with two short articles. The first being "MA New Item Special" and a diorama that takes place during the U.S. operation in Grenada featuring the new Tamiya Gamma Goat.

X-15: The World's Fastest Rocket Plane

Published: April 12th, 2014     
X-15: The World's Fastest Rocket Plane
Author: John Anderson and Richard Passman
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Company: Zenith Press

Much has been written about the world's most successful rocket powered research aircraft, the X-15.  This airplane was designed to be a vehicle to provide aerodynamic, flight dynamic and structural data for use in the future development of hypersonic aircraft, all before anyone had even broken Mach 3.  In October, 1954, NACA decided on the need for a manned hypersonic research vehicle, one that would fly up to Mach 7 and over 126,000 feet in altitude.  By the end of the program the X-15 had reached a top speed of Mach 6.7 and an altitude of 347,800 feet during the course of 199 flights.

The authors; John Anderson, curator of aerodynamics at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Richard Passman, chief aerodynamicist on the Bell X-2 have crafted an excellent introductory story for this aircraft.

Basically, they do this by explaining the X-15 and how it worked, then going into details of the twelve pilots who flew this machine.  The six chapters are:

Model Art - Air Model Special No. 04: Imperial Japanese Navy Interceptors

Published: April 6th, 2014     
Model Art - Air Model Special No. 04: Imperial Japanese Navy Interceptors
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is one of Model Art Modeling Magazine special editions. The text is mainly in Japanese with some English subtitles throughout.  One feature of these magazines is the high quality of the photographs and the models.

Model Art has done it again. Back in April 2013 they released "Air War Over Vietnam U.S. Navy Aircraft Part 1". This is the third followup and they have made some changes to the layout from the excellent first issue.

The magazine is laid out in several sections. The sections consist of mostly Japanese writing, but there is some English captions and wonderful color photographs.

The first couple pages consist of new releases that will soon hit the market and a New Kit Selection article. It features three of Airfix's new tool kits, the 1/48 Gloster Javelin FAW.9/9R, 1/72 Gloster J-8A /Gladiator Mk. II and 1/72 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1.

311 Squadron

Published: April 4th, 2014     
311 Squadron
Author: Pavel Vancata; Illustrator: Marek Radomski
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: MMP Books

This is the first publication from MMP that I have had the opportunity to read. I found the book very informative and look forward to reading other offerings from this publisher.

The RAF 311 bomber squadron was the second Czechoslovak combat squadron within the RAF and it was the only one composed completely of Czechoslovakian members. It was formed in 1940 and served until the end of the war in 1945.

This book covers how the Czechoslovakians escaped the Germans and made their way through Europe, exiting Dunkirk and making it to the UK. From there they begin their induction into the RAF and begin flying bombing missions with the first coming in September 1940 against a marshalling yard in Brussels. The unit suffered high losses with mixed results in the beginning, but as the war dragged on they proved themselves as very brave combatants and achieved great results. Most of their combat was in the Vickers Wellington in both fixed target raids and then in anti submarine warfare. In 1943 they transferred to the B-24 and continued with the anti submarine missions.

42 CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I

Published: April 4th, 2014     
42 CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I
Author: Marc Romanych & Martin Rupp
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: Osprey Publishing

Introduction

From Osprey’s website:

In the early days of World War I, Germany unveiled a new weapon – the mobile 42cm (16.5 inch) M-Gerät howitzer. At the time, it was the largest artillery piece of its kind in the world and a closely guarded secret. When war broke out, two of the howitzers were rushed directly from the factory to Liege where they quickly destroyed two forts and compelled the fortress to surrender. After repeat performances at Namur, Maubeuge and Antwerp, German soldiers christened the howitzers ‘Grosse’ or ‘Dicke Berta’ (Fat or Big Bertha) after Bertha von Krupp, owner of the Krupp armament works that built the howitzers. The nickname was soon picked up by German press, which triumphed the 42cm howitzers as Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), and the legend of Big Bertha was born.

This book details the design and development of German siege guns before and during World War I. Accompanying the text are many historic photographs of ‘Big Bertha’ and the other German siege guns. Color illustrations depict the most important aspects of the German siege artillery.

Auto Modeling Magazine, Volume 30, March 2014

Published: April 4th, 2014     
Auto Modeling Magazine, Volume 30, March 2014
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Company: Model Art

Background

Auto Modeling is a high quality Japanese language magazine from publisher ModelArt. Each edition features models of cars, mostly racecars, from various race series and eras. Many of the previous editions focused on Formula One cars in different time periods.

The magazine has Japanese text, but some of the titles and headings are in English. The photographs are numerous and very high quality.

Contents

This issue, Volume 30, March 2014, has the following sections:

Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2013 Vol. 44/3

Published: March 30th, 2014     
Cross & Cockade International Autumn 2013 Vol. 44/3
Reviewed by: Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: The First World War Aviation Historical Society

The Cross & Cockade International is the quarterly publication of a non-profit organization known as The First World War Aviation Historical Society.  The UK based organization has been publishing these journals since 1970 with the objective of furthering the study of First World War Aviation History.  The Company overview on its Facebook page says “Cross and Cockade International can trace its history back to the 1960s. We have always attracted some of the premier historians in the field. Our current President is Air Vice Marshal Peter Dye (Rtd), Director-General of the RAF Museum. We publish a high-quality quarterly journal of original research into the subject.”

NOTE: The journal is apparently not available as single issues, but by volumes.  Back issues sell for $33.50 per volume.

Aircraft Plans

Published: March 29th, 2014     
Aircraft Plans
Author: Various
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

Mushroom Model Publications are available in North American from Casemate Publications and the Casemate website is http://www.casematepublishing.com/newtitles.php

MMP is expanded their excellent selection of scale plans for various aircraft. Sets No. 1 and 2 (detailed below) have been available for several years. In 2014 scale sets, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 have been released. A sample page from Set No. 1 can be viewed at http://stratusbooks.com.pl/str/books_pdf/94.pdf. One can see that the plans are of excellent quality and are filled with detail that many modelers value.

The pages, themselves can be removed from the publication and are suitable for framing, even suitable to decorate a display base! The price is right, the quality is excellent, and the subject matter is appealing.

Set No. 1 (978-83-89450-79-1 ) priced at $10.72, formatted in A4 Softcover, spiral wire binding 24 pages in A3 - Pages - 24 (0 in colour) contains plans in 1/48th for these aircraft:

Lockheed A-12 - The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants

Published: March 27th, 2014     
Lockheed A-12 - The CIA’s Blackbird and other variants
Author: Paul F. Crickmore
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Company: Osprey Publishing

The story of the Lockheed A-12 began with a bright orange fireball 70,000 feet over Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union. This explosion, 1500 miles deep into Russian territory, would start a diplomatic crisis with repercussions that directly impacted the A-12 and SR-71 operations for the rest of their service lives. That explosion severed the tail from a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft and sent the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, plummeting into the hands of the Soviet authorities. After the U.S. broadcasted a cover story assuming Powers had died, the Soviets revealed they had parts of the plane and Powers in their custody. This caused then U.S. President Eisenhower to do two things, stop all over flights and find a way to make the U-2 invisible to radar. While some efforts where made to reduce the U-2 radar signature, it was just not possible to cloak a jet-powered glider with long straight wings. Enter Lockheed’s Kelly Johnson. Known for designing the P-38 fighter plane, the F-104 and the U-2, Johnson realized the best solution would be an aircraft that could fly higher and faster then anything else.

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