F-22 Raptor in Action

Published: August 14th, 2011     
Cover art
Cover art
Author: Lou Drendel
Reviewed by: 
Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Company: Squadron Signal Publications
ISBN #: 978-0-89747-627-0
Other Publication Information: SOftcover, 56-pp, 169 phtos, color profiles & line dwgs
Price: $16.95
Product / Stock #: SS1223

Indispensible to scale modelers since the 1970's is Squadron/Signal's "In Action" series of books chronicling history's great aircraft, armor, and naval vessels - featuring developmental and operational backgrounds and outstanding reference photos of details and markings.

Their latest volume, penned by the legendary Lou Drendel, showcases the world's most advanced and capable fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor. As the Raptor is a quantum leap beyond its predecessor, the F-15 Eagle, so Drendel's F-22 Raptor in Action far surpasses his 1975 F-15 Eagle in Action. In the pre-internet days of the 70's, 80's, and 90's, nearly every one of this reviewer's aircraft builds was supported by either the In Action or In Color series references from Squadron/Signal. With the advent of the internet and new modeling subjects, dependence on the old friends waned...until now. For those modelers who haven't thumbed through a current In Action offering recently, you're missing a real treat.  

For beginners, we're talking 72 full-color pages of Raptor, here - nothing like the vintage In Action volumes with just a single color center page and covers. Cockpit, weapons bays, control surfaces, armament, and in-production shots pack the volume cover-to-cover in brilliant, gloss color. Every nuance of the F-22's camouflage is captured in dozens of photos from all aspects and in a variety of lighting conditions. Heck, there's even a color profile on page 18 with Federal Standard color references and corresponding product numbers for Testors Model Master, Humbrol, Gunze Sangyo, Xtracolor, and Xtracrylics paints!  Drendel also provides a concise, yet thorough, account of the F-22's genesis, development, operational transition, and early employment.

Compiling such a treasure of reference material from the web would take hours, and would likely be lacking in one aspect or another. Why spend time at the computer that could be otherwise spent at the workbench?  Squadron/Signal has certainly brought this middle-aged modeler back into the fold. So, next time I cruise in to Smitty's at lunchtime and am poking around the new arrivals on the front counter, I will most certainly take note of the latest In Action offerings - and will most likely take one home for an upcoming project.

I give Mr. Drendel's F-22 Raptor in Action my absolute highest recommendation. This work is so inspiring, my Academy 1/48 F-22 is surely coming out of the stash well before its planned January build date.

My sincere thanks to the good folks at Squadron/Signal Publications, Squadron Products and IPMS/USA for the review copy.