Publications

Reviews of books or magazines relating to scale modeling.

Osprey German Commerce Raider vs. British Cruiser; The Atlantic & Pacific 1941

Published: October 12th, 2010     
Osprey German Commerce Raider vs. British Cruiser; The Atlantic & Pacific 1941
Author: Robert Forczyk, illustrations by Ian Palmer
Reviewed by: Robert Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Osprey Publishing

The idea of comparing combatants and combat actions from various historical conflicts is intriguing, whether real or imagined.  This new Osprey publication provides a refreshing historical account of British cruiser encounters with German commerce raiders.  A single Hilfskreuzer could sortie for a long time, disguised as a merchant ship, sinking commercial shipping.  When caught by a British warship, the Hilfskreuzer often effectively exploited the element of surprise, in some case sinking a warship of superior size and firepower.  Countering this threat was a challenge to the British Navy, who did eventually prevail over the raiders.

Hurricane Ace: Josef Frantisek, The True Story

Published: October 12th, 2010     
Hurricane Ace: Josef Frantisek, The True Story
Author: Jiri Rajlich
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: MMP Books

This is another fine book in the MMP Blue series.  It covers the life of Battle of Britain ace Josef Frantisek from his birth in Czechoslovakia and his time in the Czech Air Force through his service in a Polish Squadron in the RAF up till his untimely death on a routine mission.

The book begins with what little is known of Frantisek's early life and his induction into the Czech Air Force. This section also contains a number of good photographs of the various aircraft used by the Czech Air Force during his service until the surrender to German forces in March of 1939.

The next chapters covers his escape to Poland and eventual travel to France with other Czech and Polish pilots where he planned to continue the fight against the Nazis. He remained in the Polish Air Force which fought alongside the Armee d'e l'Air Four day after the French surrender, Frantisek and other Polish pilots had completed their escape to Britain.

British Motor Gun Boat 1939-45

Published: October 12th, 2010     
British Motor Gun Boat 1939-45
Author: Angus Konstam
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Company: Osprey Publishing

Most of you have heard of PT Boats, E-Boats, and MTBs. There have been movies, books, and some good models of these boats. But a class that doesn't get that much attention is the British Motor Gun Boats or MGBs. This 48 page soft-cover book starts with the development of these craft. The Motor Torpedo Boats did not have the firepower to take on their German cousins, so the initial thought was to remove the torpedo tubes and add heavier weapons. Later, boats made specifically as MGBs were created and finally, some of these were rearmed with torpedos by the end of the war, making a full circle.

Top Drawings 8 Sd.Kfz. 161 Panzer IV Ausf. J

Published: October 12th, 2010     
Top Drawings 8 Sd.Kfz. 161 Panzer IV Ausf. J
Author: By Krzystozt Mucha, Scale Drawings: Arkadiusz Wrόbel, Color Profiles: Damian Majsak
Reviewed by: Les Walden, IPMS# 44687
Company: Kagero Publishing

Kagero has come up with another winner if you're a Panzer IV nut, like I am. The book is soft cover with heavy stock and full color art on the front and back covers. This book covers the Panzer IV J. The strength of the book isn't the text, unless you read Polish. The 1/35 scale drawings are beautiful, showing all the angles of the tank, in all twenty seven pages. The drawings do have some text in English, so you know what variant you're looking at. The reader does know which production version is being represented. Included are exploded drawings of the different muffler systems, return rollers, idler wheels, road wheel assemblies, treads, muzzle brakes, cupolas, and armor skirts. There are also four pages of 1/48 and 1/72 scale drawings. Thirty one pages in all. Add to this four pages of full color prints, with two tanks on each page.

If you're a Panzer IV J fan, you won't be disappointed. Kagero has given us a reference with the modeler in mind. The price may seem high for a soft cover publication, however, the artwork makes it worth owning and a set of masks are provided with the book.

Aircraft Modelling - Osprey Modelling Master Class

Published: October 11th, 2010     
Aircraft Modelling - Osprey Modelling Master Class
Author: Brett Green
Reviewed by: Ed Kinney, IPMS# 2989
Company: Osprey Publishing

This most recent release in the Osprey "Master Class" series (designed to give the modeler the "biggest bang for the buck") is printed with a hard cover and a spiral binder holding 192 pages loaded with easy to follow text and color shots of "how to" sequences.  It also gives us beautifully completed models by Brett Green, world renowned master modeler, as well as highly talented folks such as Roy Sutherland, Mick Evans and others.  It is designed to be a "workbench" book that will stay open (thanks to the spiral binding) when put down.  Although this book is described as a "guide for the serious modeler", it goes well beyond that, and should appeal to the "curious" among you that wonder (as I have so many times) "now how the hell did he do that !?"  If you fall into that category, you will find this reference publication a must include for your personal library.