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by Piotr Wisniewski

$14 USD

Reviewed by Bob Pearson

Designed as the British reply to the large Italian, French and German destroyers which the standard A-I classes then in service were inferior to, the Tribals combined good armament and excellent seakeeping in a new larger design. As designed they mounted a powerful battery of eight 4.7" (4x2), 4 21" torpedo tubes and various AA mounts. The class eventually ran to 27 ships with three going to the RAN and eight to the RCN. Of the 20 RN/RCN ships completed during the war, 13 were lost. Today HMCS Haida is the sole survivor and resides on the waterfront in Toronto, Canada.

Although written in Polish, this is an interesting book that the non-Polish reader will still find useful. Upon opening it one is presented with colour profiles of three ships (Eskimo, Tartar and Nubian. A second view of Eskimo provides the rear cover). The 52 page book contains plenty of text (which cries for translation); 26 muddy photos; and then the real strength - the plans. There are 1/200 foldout plans for HMS Eskimo, 1/400 plans for Eskimo, HMAS Bataan, HMAS Warramunga, HMAS Arunta; side views of HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Athabaskan II, HMS Ashanti, HMS Tartar and HMS Arunta in 1955 fit. Finally a set of 1/700 plans for HMS Eskimo. Full detail drawings are provided in both 1/200 and 1/700 scales. Two colour photos of HMCS Haida grace the inside rear cover.

Available from

205 Maryland Ave
Paterson, NJ 07522


By Al Adcock, Colour by Don Greer, Illustrations by Richard Hudson
Squadron/Signal Publications

$8.95 USD

Reviewed by Bob Pearson

Launched on 16 February 1942, the fourth ship to bear the name Alabama was commissioned into the USN on 16 August 1942. After shaking down she joined the US Atlantic fleet and eventually the British Home Fleet escorting convoys in the North Atlantic. In August 1943 Alabama set sail to join the Pacific fleet - she would spend the next 20 years there.

Following WWII, Alabama was placed in mothballs in Bremerton Washington. Later when placed on the list for scrapping, a drive was begun to save her and eventually she was bought by the people of the state of Alabama for $1,000,000 USD, raised mainly by schoolchildren Today she can be seen at on display at Battleship Park in Mobil Alabama.

This is the first in a new series of books by Squadron Signal and is meant to be the naval counterpart to their WALKAROUND series on aircraft. As well as 50+ wartime photos in both b/w and colour, there are over 100 detail photos showing all aspects of the ship today that the modeller could wish to see.

The book starts with a brief historical section, however the bulk of wartime photos are woven in to the relevant sections which follow .. they are in order of appearance: Main armament, secondary armament, 40mm, 20mm, superstructure, fittings, directors, cranes, catapults, aircraft. As well there are five colour profiles of Alabama as she appeared at various times and two of her aircraft - a Vought OS2U Kingfisher and a Curtiss SC-1 Seagull.

I for one can't wait for future volumes and can only hope that HMCS Haida and HMCS Sackville will be among them.

Available from Squadron Mail Order

"The Reluctant Dragon"
The Curtiss SO3C Seagull/Seamew
Naval Fighters Number Forty-Seven
By Steve Ginter

ISBN 0-942612-47-7

58 pages

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

The Curtiss Seamew is one of those planes where the pilots actually preferred the plane it replaced. Underpowered and designed to a strict contract made what could have been a good plane into the łreluctant dragon˛. This latest title in the Naval Fighters series covers the life of this plane, and the timing of this book is great, with both a decent 1/48 resin kit and a superb 1/72 injection kit of the Curtiss Seamew now available. The book starts out with a brief history of the prototype and the design contract, then jumps right into a photo history of the design progression, from the first prototypes to the final production versions. Details such as the wing fold mechanisms, cockpit details, and landing gear are all given excellent coverage, with virtually no corner left unseen.

Since the Seamew wasn't that popular to fly, the squadron history section is somewhat brief, but it still provides some nice pictures of active USN Seamews, as well as some pictures of the Seamew in British FAA service. The final section covers the models available of the Seamew.

Overall, this is a much-needed title covering a little-known plane. If you're anticipating building the Sword 1/72 kit or the Classic Airframes 1/48 kit, this is one book you won't want to be without.

Lockheed T2V-1/T-1A Seastar
Naval Fighters Number Forty-Two

By Steve Ginter

ISBN 0-942612-42-6
74 pages

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

The Lockheed Seastar was a logical progression on the venerable T-33 lineage, with proper modifications to make it a carrier trainer. By strengthening the landing gear, moving the rear seat up, and changing the wing for better low-speed handling, Lockheed succeeded in making a carrier trainer out of the T-33. This latest title in the Navy Fighter Series covers this unique trainer from head to toe, with excellent photo coverage as well as written text. Starting with the prototype, all the different changes are depicted in drawings, text, and pictures, allowing the modeler to follow the design progression of the T2V throughout its life.

The squadron history pages are somewhat thin, as there werenšt too many squadrons flying the T2V, but what is there is filled with some very nice pictures, including some rather interesting T2Vs, such as one with colored dots and squares all over it.

The model section is thin, with only a single 1/72 vacuform and a 1/48 resin kit available of the Seastar. Hopefully this title will help some of the smaller cottage industries out and wešll see resin conversions or short-run injection kits of this interesting plane.

If youšve got an interest in Navy trainers, or the Lockheed P-80/T-33 lineage, this is definitely a book you wonšt want to miss.

Supermarine Seafire
Warpaint Series No. 20

By Geoffrey Bussy

ISSN 1363-0369
32 pages

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

Easily in the top three most memorable World War Two planes, the Supermarine Spitfire was a classic point-defense fighter design. As the war progressed, the Fleet Air Arm had a need for a fighter, and Supermarine took its venerable Spitfire and converted it into the Seafire. The first Seafires were similar to the Spitfire Vb, and while a decent fighter wasnšt good enough for carrier service. With the addition of the Griffon engine to the Spitfire airframe, an excellent plane developed, and the FAA clamored for a similar arrangement with its Seafires. It is this final line of Seafires that this Warpaint title covers, and it covers them quite well. Starting with the Seafire XV and progressing all the way through the Seafire 47, this book gives a detailed history of the design, construction, and service of each variant. The text is very well written, and the pictures included complement the text wonderfully. Artist David Howley does another fine job with several color profiles as well as the center 1/72 scale drawings, although there are a couple of small mistakes on the scale plans. First, the cannon bulges and wheel bulges are missing from the upper wing of the Seafire FR.47. Second, the windscreen on the Seafire XVII should be rounded like on the later variants. Neither of these errors are a problem if they are known, as the bulges on the Seafire 45 match those that should be on the 47, and the rounded windscreen is present on all the later version drawings as well.

With the Spitfire having so much coverage in the print world, this title on the lesser-known Seafire is greatly needed. If youšre a Spitfire addict, or a Fleet Air Arm builder, this is a title that needs to find its way into your bookshelves.


by Frederick A. Johnsen

Reviewed by Richard Marmo

The A-26 Invader was a superlative, beautiful design. Conceived before Pearl Harbor as a replacement for the A-20 (another Douglas product), she was ahead of her time in many ways. Armament combinations were extensive. Besides a pair of 50-calibers in each of two turrets and six or eight .50s in the gun nose, she could also handle up to three .50s internally or four .50s externally on each wing...as well as rockets under each wing. And for a brief time, you could find A-26s with a 75mm cannon in the nose in place of the .50s!

A particularly notable design attribute was the Douglas High Lift Wing Flap, a concept that permitted higher wing loading in combination with superior landing and takeoff charactistics.

This latest addition to the Warbird Tech Series from Specialty Press follows their now-standard format for the series. Softbound, it contains 100 pages, along with some 160 photos/line art and 4 pages of color.

Frederick Johnsen has done an excellent job of covering the many aspects of the Invader's history. Design and development includes numerous tech manual drawings, the various weapons combinations and more. You'll find several photos of Navy variants and the On-Mark Counter Invader as well. And there's a list of military variants that take you all the way from the XA-26 to the proposed but unbuilt A-26Z.

WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, the cold war, foreign service, it's all there. On the civilian side, there's excellent coverage of its use on the fire lines as a water bomber...including a couple of color photos in the overall chrome yellow scheme of a Canadian fire suppression company.

Particularly popular as an executive transport, a 16-page chapter details that part of the Invader's life and its occasional use as an air racer.

An appendix listing all USAAF/USAF Invader Units, a second listing of On-Mark A-26 Modification Prices as of May 1962, and a page of significant dates rounds out the book. Considering the relative dearth of published references on the A-26 Invader, this one's a must.

Price is the usual $16.95. Please add $4.50 per order (not per book) for shipping and handling.

Specialty Press
11605 Kost Dam Road
North Branch, MN 55056

Phone 800-895-4585

Volume 2/99

Published by the
Australian Plastic Modellers Association

The second 1999 issue of the APMA journal is now out and lying on my desk. For those of you unfamiliar with this publication, it offers many options for building the various kits you may have insulating the attic. These are in the form of cross-hatched profiles. Articles this time include:

- Two Tails, Two Seats - a P-38G with a second cockpit in the port boom
- Junkers JU88G-1 MISTEL 2
- After Darker 2: Mosquito NF.XVII, HK250, 68 Sqn RAF
- Sopwith Schneider
- Focke Wulf Follow Up
- Aeronavale Update
- Flying Floating French: Part 4 Aeronavale with the Allies
- Rare Bear: Hobbycraft Bearcat conversion
- Soviet ASW Frigate KRIVAK
- Odd Bods and Invaders No.3: Kawanishi Emily
- Messerschmitt Bf109 Variants

Contact Information

PO Box51
Strathfield NSW 2135

Authentic Warship Drawings from Official Sources

John Lambert Plans

Reviewed by Bob Pearson

Although not strictly a new 'book', this is a very useful listing of plans that John Lambert has drawn in the last two decades and now offers for sale. He specializes in destroyers and smaller ships and many of these have been published in the 'standard' references now in use. I have ordered plan sets from Mr. Lambert and can only applaud his service.

Also available is a catalogue of various weapons fitted to RN ships. Both are available for £6 GBP ea

Highly recommended!

John Lambert
24 Chiltern Close
MK45 2QA

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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM

E-Mail Us!

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