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Raf squadron badges

27 Jul
2012

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SEPECAT Jaguar in Action Glenn Ashley Squadron/Signal £9.70 Website: www. squadron. com

It seems strange to be reviewing a book written by someone I have known since he was a young lad, but he has been discussing the Jaguar for a long time, since he was keen to write about this unsung workhorse that distinguished itself in the 1991 Gulf War. Of course, Desert Storm is not the whole story of the Jaguar. It started more than 30 years ago when the French and the British were looking for a new advanced trainer and it was realised that the design could be adapted as a lightweight combat aircraft. As usual with these sorts of partnerships there were disagreements
These titles represent numbers five through eight of this fabulous new series of little books devoted to nothing more nor less than details, details and more details for the modeller. In addition, they each come with Kagero’s trademark little extras thrown in. In all four of these, it’s a set of decals (though Kagero has begun including pre-cut adhesive masks with some of its larger monographs).
This series is growing quickly, with still newer titles already out as this goes to over design and intended use. The upshot of this was two Jaguars, as described in the text. Of course much of this is well known to the British aviation enthusiast, but not so much to our American friends, since news reports would have been the only contact many of them would have had with the aircraft.
On the modelling side, and indeed for the student on aviation, it is the photographs, drawings and artwork that will be of most use. The ten profiles are a good mix and succeed in emphasising the wide use this aircraft has had in British and French service. There are examples of RAF aircraft serving in the 1991 Gulf War and over Kosovo, and French examples also in Desert Storm (Operation Daguet) and in Chad.
This is an aircraft beloved of the modeller, particularly enthusiasts of nose-art, since during Operation Granby the Jaguar carried some of the raciest examples ever seen on RAF aircraft.

Thanks to Squadron/Signal for the review sample press. One of the many things that make these horizontal-format books so helpful is that, unlike other, similarly designed books aimed at modellers, the Topshots series does not attempt to tackle an entire type and all its subtypes in its average 42-50 pages. Rather, the titles are broken down into subtypes. For example, preceding this new book on the Bf 109E-4 was another that looked only at the Bf 109G-6. Similarly, the TBM Avenger book only examined the -3 variant. The same goes for the Su-22 and earlier MiG-21 titles.
As for the free decals, they seem to grow a bit more elaborate with each release. Some are in all three major scales, like those for the Bf 109E-4, while others, notably those for the Po-2, provide a very basic sheet with only 1:72 and 1:48 scales represented, which makes sense since no kits exists for this aircraft in the bigger scale. As with Kagero’s larger and more expensive monographs, which in my opinion are the finest currently available to the modeller, the decal subjects naturally tend

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Naval Fighters Number Sixty-Five: Boeing XF8B-1 Five-in-One Fighter Rick Koehnen Ginter Books £8.99/US$15.95

Boeing’s XF8B-1 has always been a type known to me but of very little interest. Number 65 in the Naval Fighters series was published in cooperation with Valom as a useful adjunct to the latter’s 1:72 scale kits, as well as a worthy edition to the series in itself. As such, I was expecting a competent technical survey of a type that wasn’t going to engage me, but I was really rather pleasantly surprised to be Polish when the type is one that did, or currently does fly in Polish markings. No surprise there, since Kagero is a Polish company.
The text is kept to the barest descriptive minimum, a brief introduction page followed by photograph after photograph, and in many cases line drawings that are both detailed and helpful. The photos all bear short captions printed in both English and Polish. The writers, to their credit, manage to convey a great deal of information in the barest number of words, making room for more detail photographs. The back cover of each book is taken up with a well-rendered colour two – or three-view of the aircraft for which decals are provided.
Each month I look forward to what Kagero will give us next, and now high on the list of what I look out for is the
Topshots books. For the price, they are the best modelling references to come down the pike in many years.

Т. Е. Bell

Thanks to Squadron Mail Order for the review copies

The requirement that led to the XF8B-1 was for a carrier fighter able to operate as part of a strike package, or autonomously, at ranges that would leave its parent ships beyond the reach of land-based enemy aircraft. Boeing designed its fighter as a multi-role type, known to the company as the ‘Five-in-One’ fighter. It was able to perform as a fighter, interceptor, dive bomber, torpedo bomber and level bomber. However, with the end of World War II and the advent of jet fighters, the need for a long-range fighter diminished. Instead, Boeing worked on the XF8B-1 as an attack aircraft and here it excelled. What really surprised me was that the US Navy wanted to place the type in production – as superior to the AD-1 and AM-1 – but an over zealous Boeing official turned the contract down for fear that it would interfere with bomber production. So ended the chances of a splendid machine, well described in this surprising book.

ww2 camo

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Luftwaffe Camouflage &

Markings 1933-45 K. A. Merrick with Jurgen Klroff £50.00

Camouflage and Markings of the Aeronautica Nazionale Reppublicana 1943-45 Femandino D’Amico and

Gabriele Valentini both Ian Allan/Classic Publications £35.00 Website: www. ianallanpublishing. com

3ur hobby, with a few excep-:ions, seems to me to be a /ast number of niche interests ;o-existing with varying degrees of uneasiness. If this s true then the largest niche must surely be that concerned vith the aircraft of the _uftwaffe during the period of he Third Reich. It is conven

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Air War over East Yorkshire in World War II

Paul Bright Flight Recorder Publications£24.99 Website: www. flightrecorder. com

I have been eagerly awaiting this book, because I was born and bred in the West Riding of Yorkshire, so it’s about my home patch. 

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This 176-page
horrlhool/ io nnt ii ict окллм it оiv
tional wisdom that almost any kit will sell if wearing a swastika, and I suspect that most modellers’ introduction to the niceties of paint shades has been through RLM numbers, and the gradual appreciation of the varieties of Sandgelb. Many of us will have the series of Kookaburra books on our shelves, to which the author of the first book was a considerable contributor, and this is the first of two volumes which bids fair to replace them, with the benefit of much research that has taken place since the older books were first published and in particular with the inclusion of some carefully-produced colour cards with the aid of the co-author (four A4 sides with this volume).
The title page of
Volume One summarises the contents as pre-war development, paint sys operations, but also about what happened on the ground and the people it affected.
Like most coastal areas, East Yorkshire had its share of radar stations and one of the first aerial activities picked up at one such station – RAF Staxton Wold – was on 3 August 1939. Believe it or not, this was
Graf Zeppelin on an Elint gathering mission some 15 miles (24 km) off the coast. An early chapter covers preparations for war, searchlights, barrage balloons, anti-aircraft guns, and coastal artillery pieces, among other things. There are photographs of various air raid shelters, the Land Army, the ATS, mine demolition and even a Lewis gun manned by fishermen. This sets the scene for the air operations. German raids are faithfully recorded, as is the RAF response, both in home defence and over occupied Europe. The book is peppered хл/ithi г\огслпо1 оллл! in+c с-r\mci tems, composition, patterns, applications and day fighters. While the majority of the many photographs are in black and white, colour has been used wherever possible; unusually in books on this subject the only drawings are in monotone, drawn from official German sources. Many modellers will, I suspect, spend much of their time on the details of the aircraft, both in part and in whole, but the text goes into considerable detail on paint composition and colour specification, showing some of the work behind the production of the colour chips. The reader can take as much from this as seems necessary, but there are also photographs showing how the paints were applied, including masking methods. Export and interior colours each have an appendix to themselves. Official camouflage diagrams are included, but of course much of the attraction of Luftwaffe modelling is in the variations from the standard, and this has been given due accord in the selection of photographs, many of these of course being of aircraft in various degrees of damage or disrepair. I am tempted to suggest that this, with the forthcoming second volume which will cover bomber, transport and ground attack aircraft as well as including the chips for the later colours, could replace a whole slew of books on your shelf. If you’re stronger-minded than me of them amusing. One such story is of a Mrs Evelyn Cardwell who, when sorting out Home Guard papers at her farmhouse, was informed that German parachutists were coming down. She tried unsuccessfully to ring the authorities and on going outside saw a German aircrew member landing near the house. She approached him and demanded his revolver. She then kept him prisoner until help arrived. For that action she was awarded the British Empire Medal.
If you know this part of the world then you will be fascinated by this potted history. The aviation side is well documented, and one such operation brings back memories for me. This was an attempt to reach Manchester with Vis launched from He Ills. I was told off in no uncertain terms by my father for dashing outside trying to see the flying bomb that this could be true, but I couldni give up all those earlier photo graphs as well. Even so nc Luftwaffe historian or modeller will want to be without this book and its companion, incorporating as they do the latest research on their most com pelling subject. Just take care not to drop paint on them when they’re open, as they surely will be, by your workbench.
The Italian book, although devoted to a narrower niche, is no less thorough. The ANR was set up to continue fighting alongside the Luftwaffe following the Armistice of 1943, and had a good proportion of German equipment as well as many indigenous aircraft. This is a highly illustrated book, with nearly 400 photographs as well as many colour profiles, and a well researched and well set out text covering the use both of German RLM colours and those of Italian origin. A final brief chapter deals with blast pens, shelters and ground concealment, and will be of considerable use to diorama modellers. Like its companions from Classic Publications this is sumptuously produced, and will repay being read and studied, as well as used as a modelling aid, and is highly recommended, even to those who may suspect it’s outside their usual field of interest.
This book contains a large number of photographs anc 22 colour profiles. Among the photographs there are ; couple of particular interes to the modeller. One is г front view of a Heinke He 111 with the letter ‘D painted on its leading edges This was apparently done sc that the groundcrew coulc find this particular aircraft ir the gloom. The second is fo the weathering fanatics. I illustrates aa Whitley Mk \ with a considerable amoun” of paint stripped off its pro peller blades, from spinnei to tip, caused by de-icer liq uid leakage.
This is a lovely book anc one that is a joy to own. If yoi are a Yorkshire man, then yoi must have it!

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