D-Day to VE Day - The Air Battle over Europe
Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe Extra No.1
S u m m a r y
|Publisher and Title:
||Valiant Wings Publications – Airframe Extra No. 1
D-Day to VE Day - The Air Battle over Europe
||Soft-cover A4 format; 90 pages; black and white and colour drawings; 81 colour profiles spiral bound, 220 x 212mm format, 120 pages, with colour images throughout
||Available online from Valiant Wings Publishing and Hannants for £7.95, and stockists worldwide.
||Interesting subject matter and profiles; well-written text; high-quality photos.
||Limited coverage of Soviet aircraft.
A well-produced magazine-style book that will be of interest to both modellers and aircraft enthusiasts.
Reviewed by Brad Fallen
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The Airframe Extra series is a recent addition to Valiant Wings' growing range of publications. Valiant Wings describes the series as focusing on
key moments and anniversaries in aviation combat history....Airframe Extra has been created for the aircraft modeller....to provide the inspiration for you to create a collection....or one individual aircraft....that commemorates a particular event.
The series was launched last year and now stands at four volumes. Mark Davies reviewed Volume 2, The Korean War - the First Jet Vs Jet Air Battles, here in November 2015. Volumes 3 and 4 focus on the Battles of Britain and Taranto respectively, and more volumes are presumably under development. However today I want to wind the clock back and look at the initial release, with the self-explanatory title of D-Day to VE Day - The Air Battle over Europe.
The first two things I noticed were Jerry Boucher's spectacular box art, featuring Bf 109 K-4s in combat with P-51Ds and B-17Gs, and the magazine-style format that contrasts with other Valiant Wings publications. And as with a magazine, D-Day to VE Day isn't attributed to a single author but comprises articles from a number of contributors.
The book opens with a historical chronology by Richard A. Franks, who takes a day-by-day look at the events that shaped the last months of the European war. Most readers will be familiar with the broad sweep of this history, but Franks steps past the well-known and concentrates on specific details of the air war. This section is full of useful information and provides solid context for the articles that follow.
These fall into two main groups: aircraft profiles and kit builds. The former are by well-known illustrator Richard J. Caruana and are divided by nationality into RAF (26 profiles), USAAF (24), Axis (25) and Soviet (five). The profiles are all port views and are in some cases accompanied by a larger version of the subject's unit emblem or nose art. Caruana has chosen a good cross-section of aircraft types and finishes seen in 1944-45, and his profiles are a good starting point for further research into the subjects.
The only slightly odd point about the profiles is how few Soviet aircraft are represented compared to those of the other combatants. The editors have clearly decided to concentrate on Germany and the Western Allies, but given the Soviet contribution to final victory this approach seems a little unbalanced.
Kit builds are as follows:
- Libor Jekl – Airfix 1/72 Douglas C-47A and Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR Mk.XIX
- Steve A. Evans – Hasegawa 1/48 Bf 109 G-10, Academy 1/48 P-38, and HobbyBoss 11/48 Me 262 B-1a
- Dani Zamarbide – Hasegawa 1/32 P-47D Thunderbolt 'Bubbletop'
- Alan Bottoms – Hasegawa/Grey Matters 1/32 Spitfire PR Mk.XIX
These are all very good builds by fine modellers, with well-written text and clear (and clearly captioned) photographs. The choice of subjects is interesting but could be more diverse – for example only two of the seven builds are Luftwaffe aircraft, and the PR. Mk.XIX is modelled twice. On the positive side I like the coverage of Academy’s P-38, which as an older kit rarely features in build articles like this.
Another welcome touch is the one-page colour reference chart, which matches common acrylic and enamel paint brands with Luftwaffe, RAF and USAAF colours.
D-Day to VE Day is a well-produced magazine-style book that will be of interest to both modellers and aircraft enthusiasts. The Airframe Extra series is a welcome new Valiant Wings line that given its thematic nature could extend to a large number of titles, which if the current standard is maintained I am sure will be greeted with enthusiasm.
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.
Review Copyright © 2016 by Brad Fallen
This Page Created on 4 February, 2016
4 February, 2016
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