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Profile Morskie
Polish language Ship Monographs on:
No.1 HMS Ajax
No.10 HMS Belfast
No.12 HMS Scylla
No.17 R.It.N Zara


Reviewed by Bob Pearson



A relatively new line of books on warships of the Second World War have recently appeared on the scene. These are the Profile Morskie series of monographs put out by BS Firma Wydawniczo-Handlowa of Poland. Each volume focuses on either a single ship or class of ships, with the preponderance to date being on cruisers from the various nations. Recently, four of these most intriguing volumes landed in my mailbox. No.1 on the Leander Class cruiser, HMS Ajax; No.10 on the Modified Town Class cruiser, HMS Belfast; No.12, featuring the 'Toothless Terror' - HMS Scylla (unlike other Dido Class cruisers which were armed with ten 5.25" DP guns, Scylla and Charybdis had eight 4.5"); the final volume is No.17 on the Italian cruisers Zara and Fiume.

The first thing one notices is that the text is entirely in Polish, with no English captions or translations included. This isn't as bad as it sounds since the rest of the monograph makes up for this. But if they were to ever gain English text, I, for one, would purchase them all over again. In the meantime I would love to find an online Polish to English translator similar to Bablefish or Altavista, as the text appears to be quite comprehensive in all volumes.

Most are 32 pages long, although this isn't steadfast as the Tribal Class Destroyer volume has 52 pages while the Zara has 42 pages. Each contains approximately 20-24 photos. These could be reproduced clearer as they tend to be somewhat muddy, but they are interesting nonetheless.

The true strength of these books are in the drawings contained within. These are extremely well done and feature the subject in 1/400 (or 1/350 in some cases), and 1/700 scale with all details a modeler needs to complete an accurate model of the subject.

These are of more use than the similar Anatomy of the Ship series drawing in that they are of the items actually needed and not items hidden in the bowels of the ship (machinery), and are not split across bindings.

In the case of multiple ship volumes, other ships are also shown – Zara also has drawings of Fiume, both of which will be of use in the Tauro kits of these two ships.

The books finish off with a colour profile on the rear cover. These typically show top and side views of the ship in question. Often they are of her at different stages in her career. Some volumes also have colour inside covers showing other options or photos of models and/or upcoming volumes in the series.

To date the series contains the following:

No.1 HMS Ajax
            – British heavy cruiser
No.2 USS San Francisco
            – American heavy cruiser
No.3 HMS York
            – British heavy cruiser
No.4 HMS Repulse
            – British battlecruiser
No.5 HMS Warspite
            – British battleship
No.6 USS California
            – American battleship
No.7 Chokai
            – Japanese heavy cruiser
No.8 Karlsruhe
            – German light cruiser
No.9 Raimondo Montecuccoli
            – Italian light cruiser

No.10 HMS Belfast
            – British light cruiser
No.11 Fuso
            – Japanese battleship
No.12 HMS Scylla
            – British AA cruiser
No.13 Tone
            – Japanese heavy cruiser
No.14 USS Indianapolis
            – American heavy cruiser
No.15 Maya
            – Japanese heavy cruiser
No.16 Tribal Class
            – British destroyers
No.17 Zara
            – Italian heavy cruiser
No.18 USS Alabama
            – American battleship

I acquired these volumes through Lubos Vinar at VAMP MAIL ORDER. He doesn't have them listed on the VAMP website, but he can supply them to those interested in them. He does mention that it may take a little while as he must special order them. E-mail him direct for more information on these volumes.


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