British WWI Fighter Aircraft in Poland: Bristol F.2B Fighter, RAF S.E.5a, Sopwith 1F.1 Camel, Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin, Martisyde F.4 Buzzard

Published: September 20th, 2017     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Author: Tomasz J. Kopański, Illustrator: Janusz Światłoń
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Mushroom Model Publications
ISBN #: 978-83-65281-49-4
Other Publication Information: Soft Cover, Square Bound, A4 [8.1” x 11.6:], 80 pages
Price: $25.00
Product / Stock #: PW22

Tomasz J. Kopanski authors the latest in Mushroom Model Publications' series of aircraft used in the Polish Air Force. Tomasz has done several volumes in the Polish Wings series, including Volumes 3, 7, and 17 in addition to several other Mushroom Model Publication books. This includes MMP's Barbarossa Victims: Luftwaffe Kills in the East (2001), Kosciuszko Squadron 1919-1921: American Volunteers against the Bolsheviks (2003), PZL P23 Karas (2004), PZL P.11c (2013). He has also worked with Kagero, writing the Legends of Aviation 3D on Fokker D.VII: The Lethal Weapon (2012).

Janusz Swiatlon, a native of Krakow Poland, is an aviation history enthusiast and military modeler. He has retired for the Polish military after serving with the 6th Airborne Brigade. He has a long history of being published as an illustrator and as an author for many magazines and books from publishing houses as Osprey, Kagero, AF Editores, Chevron, and Mushroom Model Publications.

This volume's focus are the British WWI fighters used by the Polish Air Force. Shortly after Poland's independence was achieved in October/November of 2018, bombing attacks against Ukranian troops began, however it would be another few years before the bulk of the British fighter aircraft would be operational in Poland. Tomasz J. Kopanski serves up an introduction to the acquisition of the British aircraft and the numerous pitfalls that occurred in the process. The next chapter is covers the camouflage and markings of the British aircraft. Although most of the British aircraft were delivered in British camouflage, the paint quality was so poor that it literally fell off the fabric [see the profile below for Page 39]. Tomasz then dives into the aircraft, starting off with the Bristol F.2B fighter which was by far the majority British type used. Each British type is thoroughly covered with clear black and white photographs, color profiles and color scraps. The Bristol Fighter chapter also includes several tables detailing serial numbers by squadron and ultimate disposition.

The front and back covers are by Marek Rys (www.aurart3d.com) of Bristol F.2B Fighters in action. I counted 145 black and white photographs along with 2 color photos of museum aircraft. Janusz Swiatlon contributes 33 color side views as well as top and bottom views as appropriate. Colors are called out along with any unique logos or designs with scrap views. The great part of these color side views is they are backed up with period photos of the aircraft that is being portrayed. Tomasz J. Kopanski also includes five tables. Mushroom Model Publications' has provided a page by page preview at: http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/358

The Table of Contents focuses on the following sections:

  • British Fighter Aircraft in Poland [Page 9]
  • Camouflage & Markings
  • Bristol F.2B Fighter [Page 26, 39]
  • Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin [Page 65]
  • Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard
  • Sopwith 1F.1 Camel [Page 70]
  • RAF SE5a [Page 80]

One of the more striking aircraft was the sole Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard that was eventually painted in a bright red and white stripe scheme. It was tested favorably against the SPAD 13 and Balilla fighters, but never proceeded with any additional procurement. It became the personal aircraft of the Head of the IV Department of Aerial Navigation, gen. pil. Wlodzimierz Zagorski, for several years wearing the red and white stripes. After a coup d'etat, the aircraft was crashed by an instructor pilot in July 1926 and probably never repaired.

Polish Wings 22 provides an interesting view into a lesser known chapter in aviation history. The text and captions are well translated into English thanks to Wojtek Matusiak, alleviating the need to bone up on your Polish reading skills. The color profiles and well reproduced photographs make this a great reference for some interesting biplane modeling.

My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Back Cover
    Back Cover
  • Page 9
    Page 9
  • Page 26
    Page 26
  • Page 39
    Page 39
  • Page 65
    Page 65
  • Page 70
    Page 70
  • Page 80
    Page 80