IAN K BAKER'S AVIATION HISTORY COLOURING BOOK
By Dave Clark
No 26 - RAAF SPITFIRES SPECIAL
No 27 - MISSING LINKS
No 28 - THESE EAGLES 1 - RAAF 1942-48
No 29 - THESE EAGLES 2 - RAAF 1942-48
No 32 - U.S. NAVY AIRCRAFT 1941-47
No 33 - CATALINA COLLECTION
We have by now become familiar with the style of Ian Baker's Colouring Book - a series of individual volumes crammed with vital information about their subjects backed up with drawings in the author's own particular, but informative, style. These six volumes continue that tradition. All follow the usual style of an A4-sized format with soft cover, full of detail vital for modellers (and others, for that matter) on their subject matter.
No 26, dealing with RAAF Spitfires, gives a blow-by-blow account of the many and varied colour schemes which were carried by Spitfire Vs and VIIIs in RAAF service during the Second Great Unpleasantness. There are no less than 26 drawings of various Spitfires used by the RAAF in the Pacific Theatre during that conflict, which give the full gamut of schemes used during the period. As well, there is a table of the various colours used, with their FS equivalents, which alone makes the volume a worthwhile acquisition.
No 27 is a "must-have" for those with the slightest interest in Australian aviation history, and in particular Australian military aviation history. It recounts details of a variety of "one-off" or small volume aircraft which served in the RAAF between 1921 and 1941, and an amazing collection it is. The volume starts out with a mystery - two pictures of RAAF Wapitis (A5-1 and A5-10) with chequered pennants on the fuselage sides, which the author admits he knows nothing about - he actually asks readers for details of their colour(s), purpose and history so that the volume can be updated. Anyone who has anything to add can contact us via the APMA PO box or website, details below. (I'd like to know more, even if no-one else does ...), and we will forward the information on to Ian. Other types covered include the SE-5A, Fairey IIID, Supermarine Southampton, Supermarine Seagull III, Westland Wapiti, de Havilland DH-60, Bristol Bulldog, Hawker Demon, Avro Anson, NA-16-1A, Supermarine Seagull V, Tugan Gannet, de Havilland Dragon Rapide, Douglas DC-3, Short S.23, CAC Wirraway, Avro Cadet, Fairey Battle and Lockheed Hudson. You get a discussion on the various schemes used on these aircraft during their RAAF service, together with useful information about such things as squadron markings and modes of serial display and notes on the various colours mentioned in the text.
Nos 28 and 29, with the overarching title "Those Eagles" (adapted from "These Eagles", the RAAF's Year Book for 1942), give comprehensive coverage of the RAAF's colour schemes over the 1942-48 period. No 28 includes detailed discussion of the several schemes and the changes which were made, squadron codes, changes in national markings, a table of the "second series" RAAF serial prefixes and detailed notes on all colours used on RAAF aircraft during the period. No 29 contains drawings of aircraft in the various schemes. All in all, very valuable reference documents.
No 32 picks a different subject - U S Navy aircraft camouflage and insignia in the 1941-47 period. Again, there is a comprehensive, although brief, coverage of chronology and details, including colour notes (with complete FS details). It's not all U S Navy, though - as well as a shot of an RAAF Mariner in typically scungy Blue Gray, the last picture in the volume is of an RAAF Neppie as delivered from Burbank in its Glossy Sea Blue scheme. (The thought occurs that a volume on RAAF MR aircraft would be useful - over to you, Ian!)
Finally, No 33 covers the Catalina in all its glory, with details of aircraft in RNZAF, Soviet, RAF, U S Navy, RCAF and RAAF service. Again, there are full details of typical schemes and notes on the colours used. A must for those whose passion is things that fly and float.
In all, this is an excellent series. They all have the feel of publications put together by someone who has obviously done his homework, knows his subjects and actually enjoys talking about them - surely a recommendation by itself - and are worth a place in any modeller's library.
Available from the author/publisher at
Ian K Baker
31A Mercer Street,
Queenscliff Vic 3225,