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Real Colors of WWII - Aircraft

by M.Goralczyk, G.T. Hogl, J Kiroff, N. Millman and M.V.Orlov

AK Interactive

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Real Colors of WWII - Aircraft
by M.Goralczyk, G.T. Hogl, J Kiroff, N. Millman and M.V.Orlov
2019
AK Interactive 

Media: English. 292 Pages. Soft Cover. Limited & Numbered book..
Price:


54,95€ plus shippng available online from AK Interactive

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Great reproduction of images, clear and concise text and captions on images, coverage of all colours used by the four powers, beautifully presented and bound.
Disadvantages: probably too large to fit on the average modeller’s bench!
Conclusion:

It is great to have all of this information presented in one place in a quality product. A great book to browse through and refer to with photos that are interesting, informative and well-captioned without being didactic. Should it be available to a wider public I would recommend it without hesitation for the modeller and war-time historian, and I hope that another volume is being prepared to cover the colours used by French, Italian, Japanese and Commonwealth Allies such as Australia and Canada.


Reviewed by Graham Carter



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FirstRead

 

The aim of this hefty book is stated in the frontispiece as “a limited and highly accurate printed edition dedicated to the original colours of the WWII era. The chips that appear in the book, even though they are not painted with real paint, are highly controlled, checked and calibrated in the most precise way under current and most modern parameters of printing and technology, to match original colours”

Note the use of “colours” and all through the book, despite the title. Odd!

 

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  • Real Colors of WWII - Aircraft Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
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  • Real Colors of WWII - Aircraft Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
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I’m not sure if this will be available to the general public as the one for review is a “Limited Edition, Promotional Copy”. It consists of 290 pages of quality semi-gloss paper with a hard cover embellished with a simple schematic of the four roundels of the air forces covered in the text - Germany, USA, GB and Russia. The book is very well bound and will open flat but is probably too big to be used on the modelling bench unless the modeller has a firm book-stand for it.

It has six sections, beginning with a chapter-by-chapter ‘index’ of the colours under examination, then a very detailed acknowledgement page that recognises the numerous people involved in the research into aircraft colours, including our own Brett Green and the late Australian whiz Ken Merrick.

The main part of the book is the four chapters on specific colours used in the camouflage of aircraft of :

    1. Germany - 107 pages

    2. USA - 71 pages

    3. Britain - 41 pages , and

    4. Soviet Union - 59 pages

Finally there is a bibliography for each chapter.

Each section covers in great detail all the paints and colours used on their aeroplanes at various times and campaigns during the conflict and by each wing of the air forces - fighter, bomber, PR, maritime, etc. The authors use official documents, colour charts/chips, colour and B&W photos, and official schematic drawings to explain how and where each colour was used. Sometimes variations according to manufacturer is explained and here are photos of each scheme along with the occasional colour profile. Some of the photos were familiar to me but mostly they are from private collections and are previously unpublished. Each photo is very well captioned and where use is made of original official documents, in German or Cyrillic for example, there is a summary in English. Some of the ‘contentious’ colours get their ‘day in the sun’ as well, so we get some coverage of late-war Luftwaffe greys, RAF Deep Sky and PRU Mauve, and US ‘Haze’.

Some of the photos and captions will promote much discussion, such as the anecdotal use of RAF colours on USAAF aircraft based in England in 1944-5. The authors go to great pain not to be didactic about the colours and their usage, merely acting as reporters of their research. 

 

 

All photos are reproduced to a very high standard and are a good size as well. We have to take the authors word that reproduction of colours is as close to reality as they claim and far be it for me to dispute this. One slightly annoying thing is the printed spiral-bound effect down the centre margins of the sections on Germany and Russia - apart from the need to distinguish these sections from the Allied ones, I don’t understand why it is needed.

Whilst a great deal of this information has probably been available to the diligent researcher, it is extremely useful to have it all collected together in one volume like this.

Nowhere does the book claim to be a modellers’ reference, although there is a two-page dissertation on ‘scale-colour’ on pages 112-3. This appears to be an advertisement for AK Interactive’s “Real Color” range of modelling paints, as is the last two pages devoted to RLM-Farben who produce accurate paints for restorers of full size warbirds. It is here we learn that Jurgen Kiroff is a highly regarded researcher and producer of these paints, especially for Luftwaffe restorations.

Should it be available to a wider public I would recommend it without hesitation and I hope that another volume is being prepared to cover French, Italian, Japanese and Commonwealth Allies such as Australia and Canada.

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is great to have all of this information presented in one place in a quality product. A great book to browse through and refer to with photos that are interesting, informative and well-captioned without being didactic. Should it be available to a wider public I would recommend it without hesitation for the modeller and war-time historian, and I hope that another volume is being prepared to cover the colours used by French, Italian, Japanese and Commonwealth Allies such as Australia and Canada.

Thanks to AK Interactive for the sample.


Review Copyright 2020 by Graham Carter
This Page Created on 12 February, 2020
Last updated 12 February, 2020

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