This collection of color profile paintings may be useful in inspiring modelers with a yen for single-engined fighters, although the organization and scope of this book leave this reviewer scratching his head. There are 38 planes rendered by the skilled Tullis in the book, most depicted in standard profile format; these range from the familiar (Shomo’s P-51D “Flying Undertaker,” Jan Zumbach’s Spitfire Vb, Chuck Older’s Flying Tigers P-40B, Chuck Yeager’s “Glamorous Glen III” and the ubiquitous “Petie 2nd” of John Meyer) to the generic (“Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9, late war factory delivery scheme”). Some planes belong to aces; others have unknown pilots. Two planes—the Bf 109G-10 Horst Petzschler used to “escape” to Sweden at war’s end and Gerhard Krol’s “Yellow 11”—were depicted on the 1998 IPMS/USA Nationals poster Eagle Editions marketed at the show.
Had the book had better focus—like aces, or a time period during the war—or was arranged into logical sections, it might make more sense. Instead, you get pages a Bf 109E-3 at the top and an F4U-1A at the bottom, or Shomo’s Pacific Mustang above a Me 163B-1a. The text is exceptionally sparse, and in some cases is downright lazy; one Corsair is identified only as belonging to “Lt. Stout” of VMF-422. The reference used was a photo and a caption from the Squadron “In Action” book. The back of the book claims that “each aircraft is painstakingly researched for technical acuracy and and historical authenticity.” The use of a Squadron book as a sole reference is hardly painstaking, as any modeler burned by their frequent mistakes can attest. Ironically, the EagleCals decal sheet has more information on the story of Petschler’s airplane than this book contains.