By Martin Velek
4+ Publications, ©2004
ISBN 80-86637-00-X
Softbound, 36 Pages

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

The people at 4+ Publications have moved earlier in the aviation world with their first World War One title. This is hopefully the beginning of a long line of WWI subjects in the 4+ series. For those familiar with the 4+ books, there will not be any new surprises with the layout. For those who are new to 4+ books, the structure is straightforward, with a general historical overview of the type, followed by a technical description. This is a good basic text that introduces the reader to the type, but for those looking for a detailed combat record, you will have to look elsewhere.

The majority of the book, though, consists of photos, and this book has lots of those. This photo coverage includes both period photos and current photos of museum examples. The period photos show some interesting aircraft and are not just restricted to French aircraft. The foreign and post-war operations of the SPAD VII get ample coverage in this book, and many of these will be great modeling subjects.

In addition to the photos, there are several color profile illustrations that put some vibrancy to those black and white photos. These include French, British, Polish, Russian, and Czech examples. In a center foldout section there are 1/48 scale drawings that illustrate just how complicated the SPAD VII was, especially when it came to the engine. There are roughly 30 scrap views showing the different engine and exhaust arrangements alone, and several other scrap views covering armament and windscreen differences.

All of this information in a small package makes this a nice beginning to 4+'s World War One series, and should make WWI modelers quite happy. My thanks to 4+ for the review sample. 4+ books are available from a variety of retailers such as Hannant's.

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