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War Prizes -The Album

Speciality Press

S u m m a r y

ISBN:

(10) 1 85780 244 6

Media and Contents:

128 pages in A4 format and soft cover featuring over 340 B/W and 50 colour photograph.

Price:

USD$29.95 available online from Specialty Press

Review Type:

FirstRead

Advantages:

Excellent collection of wartime and museum photos of captured Axis aircraft

Disadvantages:

In an attempt to cover as many subjects as possible, some items have received only passing attention.

Conclusion:

Good collection of photos of Axis aircraft in unusual liveries, thus providing a source of inspiration for modellers to make something that’s “the same- but a little bit different”.

 

Reviewed by Peter Mitchell


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FirstRead

 

Created as a “follow up” companion volume to Phil Butlers 1994 book “War Prizes”, this book compliments the authors previous volume by filling some of the gaps in the story, since many new photos and information have come to light since the former volumes publication.

This is especially relevant for aircraft captured and further developed by the Soviet Union and for the Germans research into jets.

Printed on glossy high quality A4 paper and soft covered with light card, this book focuses mainly on pictures and contains minimal text. What text there is is both informative and easy to read.

The book purpose centres on the photographic record of captured Axis aircraft, thus there is a wealth of photos (in excess of 345, of these over 50 are in colour). In general the photos are clear and most examples are from the wartime/immediate post-war period. Often the examples provided show the subject in the paint scheme of the new owners. Where possible a current photo is also supplied (since some of these airframes survived scrapping and are in museums). Each photo is captioned and each caption clearly explains the subject and its context.

After a brief introduction discussing the definition of a war prize and how these were dealt with once they were acquired by the Allies both during and immediately after hostilities, the book is broken into chapters for each of the major Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan). The major types captured from each of these are then listed in alphabetical order.

Finally there is a section of colour photos and an appendix listing a table of serials assigned to each aircraft obtained and its eventual fate.

If I have a criticism of the book, it would be that it tries to cover too many types too thinly and as such becomes a picture book with an eclectic mix of photos of Axis aircraft.

This is seeing it from purely a modellers point of view, with the desire to gain as much detail as possible for a subject.

This is course not the books purpose; it is there to provide a pictorial account of Axis aircraft captured by the Allies. It thus fulfils its purpose very well indeed.

Even if it is more of a historian’s book, it is still very useful to the modeller.

There is any number of models of Luftwaffe types to be seen the mid war RLM 74/75/76 scheme, same goes for Italian aircraft in the sand and spinach camouflage colours. Green and grey Imperial Japanese aircraft are not thin on the ground either.

Thus, every so often it’s good to have the opportunity to make something a little different; something that will make the casual observer stop and look twice at your modelling handiwork.

Personally I find it amazing just what the odd RAF roundel or USAAF “stars and bars” will do for an airframe that wouldn’t ordinarily wear such adornments.

This book provides a wealth of such examples.

Thanks to Speciality Press for the review sample


Review Copyright 2009 by Peter Mitchell
This Page Created on 20 October, 2009
Last updatd 21 October, 2009

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