Reviewed by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron
Detail & Scale have always provided great reference books. Most recently D&S moved to the digital format, but old school modelers missed the feel of a real book in their hands and D&S listened. Well the current progress of printing has allowed the digital book to be printed. Sure there are things that you can’t do in a printed version that you can do in digital but still for a value minded modeler these books are quite impressive.
Modern printing on demand means that you no longer have to be constrained where the color pictures are. The latest volume on the Wildcat is available in a 108 page book that is typical of what we’ve come to expect from Detail & Scale in the past but better. There is color throughout the book and not just in certain sections. The softbound book is produced on high quality paper. All the pictures from the digital format are contained within the book, however, you won’t be able to scale them up like the digital ones.
Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak are well known for their work on the Detail & Scale series of books, both printed and digital. Their expertise in their individual fields melds perfectly together to produce one of a kind reference material. Their collaborations have set the standard for other reference books since they were first published.
This is not your daddy’s Wildcat book that was published in 1968, nor is it the one published in 2000, far from it. With new information from the Grumman History Center, along with the help of noted researcher, Dana Bell, this publication is one of a kind and quite simply the best reference on the Wildcat out there.
The book is broken down into chapters, just like the original printed versions. Chapter 1 is the Wildcat history. This gives a nice background to how the Wildcat was developed in alongside its rival, the Brewster Buffalo. Despite losing the flyoff against the Buffulo, the Wildcat was continuously developed into the fighter we all know. This chapter also covers the French, later British G-38/Martlet development. The employment of the Wildcat highlighted the first years of the US in WWII with some notable events and people.
Chapter 2 deals with the US Wildcat variants. There are some unique early variants shown with rounded wingtips and tail. The XF4F-2 is the first variant discussed in detail. Then the more common F4F-3 and -4 both of which are covered in detail with cockpit and detailed walk arounds. There were three unique US variants that are all pointed out in pictures and drawings. The Wildcatfish is also shown in great detail. This is where the ability to ‘blow up’ the photos helps out. The first folding winged version, the F4F-4, is another variant covered. All the way up to the F4F-8 and FM-2 are covered.
Chapter three is about the French G-36A variant and this is followed up by Chapter 4 dealing with the British Martlets and Wildcats.
Next up is what Detail & Scale are known for, detail shots. These cover the F4F-3, 3A, -4 and FM-2. Most are in full color. Cockpits, canopies, engines, cowlings, fuselage details, wing details, armament, and landing gear, literally everything a model builder could ask for.
Chapter six deals with the paint schemes and colors. The Wildcat progressed from the yellow wings navy through the overall gray (boring) to the more common Blue—Grey over Light Grey Scheme to the tri-color scheme to the Atlantic scheme and finally the overall Gloss Sea Blue worn in the final months of the war. Some Non-standard schemes are thrown in to add some color. And since the Wildcat variants flew from the first day of the war to the end all the US emblems are represented as well.
To round out the book there is the modelers section in Chapter seven. Detail & Scale were the first to incorporate this nice feature for the modeler. It has often been imitated since then. This section covers, 1/144th to 1/32nd and everything in between. I always enjoy reading which one kit is better than the other and how they can be made even more perfect.
So now it comes down is it worth the price of admission? Absolutely. The photos are impressive to say the least and a boon to a model builders. The added section on modeling the Wildcat is a bonus.
The book can be ordered directly from Amazon. They will print one of these books and send it to you so you can improve your paper library. This is another great book from Detail & Scale. They continue to offer the modeler and historian the best books for the value. Remember there is still a digital ‘book’ available. Both ‘books’ are well worth the money. Even if you have the previous versions of the Wildcat books, you’ll need this one for the amount of new detail included.
The ‘book’ also includes an all new updated modeling section.
Thanks to Detail & Scale or the sample.
Review Copyright © 2019 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
This Page Created on 17 May, 2019
17 May, 2019
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page