Reviews of products for scale aircraft models.

Douglas D-558: D-558-1 Skystreak and D-558-2 Skyrocket

Published: September 29th, 2019     
Douglas D-558: D-558-1 Skystreak and D-558-2 Skyrocket
Author: Peter E. Davies
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is the 12th book in the X Planes Series and covers the Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak plus the D-558-2 Skyrocket.

The book covers the full development of the Skystreak and Skyrocket and the history of the testing and progress they made.

The book chapters are:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: The Crimson Test Tube
  • Chapter 3: Skyrocket
  • Chapter 4: Air - Launch
  • Chapter 5: Super Skyrockets
  • Chapter 6: Afterthoughts

There are lots of great images in the book which has 80 pages.

The development stages and aircraft variations are very well done. Every detail and stages is covered in great depth. What I found very interesting is the amount of information from the human side and the people involved in the programs is tremendous.

The book shows how many variations there were in the D-558 project, so much more that I was aware of. This book is a superb source of information and pictures, and I highly recommend this book.

Thanks go to Osprey Publishing for providing this book to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it.

SBD Dauntless: Douglas’s US Navy and Marine Corps Dive Bombing in World War II

Published: September 28th, 2019     
SBD Dauntless: Douglas’s US Navy and Marine Corps Dive Bombing in World War II
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 511239
Company: David Doyle books

I have been interested in the SBD Dauntless for as long as I have been modeling. In these 20+ years, I have collected any book on my favorite aircraft as I could grab up. For as long as I have been modeling, I have also come to appreciate David Doyle's excellent reference books on all matters of military subjects and they have become a go-to source whenever I wanted to learn more. The fact that his expertise could be married to the Slow but Deadly in the form of a new book on this truly significant dive bomber makes me truly happy. The fact that the book contains so many photos I have never seen makes things even that much better.

After a brief introduction highlighting the development of the prototypes for the Dauntless, including some clear shots of the XBT-1 and XBT-2, we get chapters that break down each variant of the SBD- the -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, and -6, as well as an excellent chapter on the Army version of the Dauntless- the A-24 Banshee. Each chapter of each variant provides a description of the features significant to each one--including the modifications that were made in each successive model.

Letters from a Lancaster Gunner

Published: September 28th, 2019     
Letters from a Lancaster Gunner
Author: Helen Thompson
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Company: Casemate Publishing

This book is not your typical historical account toting statistics, data charts, and emotionally detached accounts of RAF Bomber Command operations. I admit there is nothing wrong with those types of books- they have their place, and I have enjoyed them in the past when researching and educating myself for a build or idea. This is a narrative that is based on letters between a young, hopeful RAF turret gunner named Joseph 'Mac' Thompson and his family- mainly letters home to his mum. The book is written by his niece, Helen Thompson.

It is not emotionally detached and you cannot be emotionally detached when reading it. From growing up in Birmingham, through many trials of training and wartime exploits, through trying to help his widowed mum support his family and balance that with a love affair with a girl from Liverpool, one cannot help but get truly involved with the deep emotions expressed in the letters between them all. Each chapter provides a narrative of each event in the book and concludes with a photocopy of the letter that the chapter describes.

MiG-21MF Fighter-Bomber Photoetch Set

Published: September 28th, 2019     
MiG-21MF Fighter-Bomber Photoetch Set
Reviewed by: Paul Brown, IPMS# 24805
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

This set is designed to be used on Eduard's MiG-21MF "Fighter-Bomber" kit that was released by Eduard last fall. The set provides full color replacements for the cockpit walls, consoles, canopy rails, canopy and the instrument panel. It also includes a several pieces for the ejection seat harness, the "Odd Rods" IFF antennas and static dischargers.

Vietnamese Spads (I)

Published: September 25th, 2019     
Vietnamese Spads (I)
Reviewed by: Rob Booth, IPMS# 37548
Scale: 1:72
Company: AOA Decals

This particular sheet is part one of AOA's Vietnamese Spads series. They offer this sheet in both 1/72 and 1/48 scale. The subject options on this sheet are: