Short Sunderland

Warpaint Series No. 25
Tony Butler
Hall Park Books, © 2000
32 pages
Available from Hall Park Books for £9.50

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

The Short brothers seemed to always have a knack for building successful flying boats and their last operational one shows just how successful. The Sunderland was originally developed in the mid-1930s as a replacement for the Short Singapore III. First taking to the air on October 14, 1937, the Sunderland went on to serve for a few years, with the final flight taking place in Singapore on May 20, 1959. Throughout this incredibly long lifespan the Sunderland saw many changes including an increase in armament (for the Mk.V, 18 guns total) and a complete stripping of all military equipment for use as an airliner (called the Sandringham).

The camouflage of the Sunderland also underwent a great deal of change, and this book does an excellent job of showing that off in the profile illustrations. To back up the illustrations there are plenty of nice photos included, both black & white and color. The Sunderland, in addition to British service, flew in the air arms of several other countries, all of which are included in this book as well. The text does an excellent job of relating the history of this distinctive airplane, both during World War 2 and after.

If you're wanting to build that Airfix 1/72 kit, or perhaps you're one of those with the 1/48 Sinifer resin kits, you'll want to pick this book up. The amount of material included makes it an excellent one-stop resource on the Sunderland.

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