de Havilland D.H.82 Tiger Moth

Published: July 8th, 2015     
Product Image
Front cover
Author: Adrian M. Balch
Reviewed by: Phil Pignataro - IPMS# 17254
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 44 pages, over 40 color profiles, numerous B/W and color photographs, and 3-view drawings
Price: $22.58
Product / Stock #: WPT 101
Product provided by: Guideline Publications

If you were a British student pilot during the late 1930's through the end of WW II, you, most likely, spent many hours in the de Havilland D.H. 82 Tiger Moth. It was the basic training aircraft for the RAF, RN, as well as the air forces of all the British Commonwealth nations. USAAF fighter pilots in England flew 11 of them as squadron "hacks" - utility planes - until the war ended. Evidently it was not that easy to fly and demanded close attention during acrobatic maneuvers to prevent a stall and possible spin. As such, however, it was deemed suitable for future fighter pilots. Though long retired from military use, over 200 are still flying today with warbird groups and other enthusiasts. This "Warpaint Series" book by Adrian M. Balch covers these stories and much more.

As number 101 in the series, it follows the familiar format of previous titles. Starting with the development of the design, the author documents changes and upgrades throughout its service. I was surprised to learn a version of the Tiger Moth flew as a pilotless, radio-controlled target, drone for anti-aircraft gunners as early as the late 1930's. The RN even employed a floatplane version. He also writes about the use of the aircraft in all the different countries that flew this trainer.

There are numerous period B&W photos and even more color pictures of current machines. The later are of aircraft in museums and those flying with authentic period markings. Color profiles by Richard J. Caruna are outstanding. They look almost 3D and really "pop." As you might imagine, with service in over 30 countries, there are myriad of interesting paint schemes and markings. The two center pages contain 1/48 scale drawings of the basic airframe and the different modification to each with side, top, and bottom views. My only criticism here is there is no head-on or front view. I find this view helpful, particularly in biplanes, to establish the correct angle of wing struts, wing dihedral, and landing gear/wheels. The author also includes a page listing available kits, decals, and accessories as well as three pages of full-color "walk around" detail photos.

I recently built the excellent Airfix 1/72 Tiger Moth kit and wish I had this volume as a reference during that build. I have long been a fan of this series of books and this one reinforces my admiration for the set. I can highly recommend this excellent reference book and know it would inspire modelers to try some of the different marking options. My thanks go to IPMS USA and Guideline Publications for a chance to review this book.

  • Back cover
    Back cover
  • Sample profiles
    Sample profiles
  • Walkaround photos
    Walkaround photos

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