This is a very large book covering Soviet and Russian test and research aircraft from the late 1930s to modern times. The book contains eight separate chapters of varying lengths devoted to specific areas of research and testing. The Russians and Soviets have developed many interesting designs over the years and this book gives us a look at some of the most unusual.
The Hawker Hurricane was credited with 60% of the RAF's air victories and played a critical roll in the Battle of Britain. More than 14,000 Hurricanes were built and they fought in all the major theatres of the Second World War. They served as fighters, fighter-bombers, and ground support aircraft and for a period of time the main single seat night fighter in the RAF.
If you don’t already have a Tamiya 1/32ndscale Spitfire Mk XVI, this decal sheet might be enough to make you want one. This set of decals offers markings for four Mk XVI Spitfires operating during 1946 to 1948. SL721 is the aircraft of Air Marshall Sir James Robb, Commander of the Fighter Command Communications Squadron in Northolt during 1948. The powder blue overall finish is supposedly a mixture of PRU blue and white. It is a unique looking Spit and quite attractive.
The second offering is TB900, a MKVI flown by Squadron Leader Raymond A.F. Lallemant of RAF No. 349 (Belgium) Squadron, based in Fassburg, Germany in 1946. It is RAF Dark Green/Ocean Gray/Medium Sea Gray with Sky codes.
Spitfire MkXVIe TD231 is also from Fassburg, Germany in 1946, but it is of the 350 Squadron, Belgium AF. It is camouflaged in RAF Dark Green/Ocean Gray and Medium Sea Gray with white codes. The red, yellow and black Belgian roundels are what set this aircraft off.
Whenever you open the bag for this decal set, you get a bunch of stuff. You get two decal sheets that are crammed with markings for four separate Me 109F-4 Tropical aircraft belonging to Hans Joachim Marseille from his 52ndaerial victory to his 151stvictory. Sadly, though, there are only enough stencils and walkways for one aircraft. The arrangement of the decals keeps you hunting for the partner in the case of two-part decals but this may have been done for printing reasons. The markings for Marseille’s kubelwagen are enough to make you go get a Tamiya kit.
The second instruction sheet gives you a detailed history of each of the four aircraft, including where it was manufactured, which kills Marseille had with that aircraft, and peculiarities of the aircraft itself or its markings. This includes his kubelwagen.
Talk about a trip down memory lane…I first built this kit nearly 50 years ago. The Snark was America’s first surface-to-surface cruise missile, and was developed back when the expense of a manned bomber fleet made missiles seem mighty attractive. It was deployed from 1958-1961, and passed into history without ever having been fired in anger; which was just as well, being that the mean time between failures of its guidance system was less than the flight time to most of the targets of the time.
The actual box art image is not available on-line; I included the photo the web site uses in the catalog.
The web site lists 198 parts, but there are actually only 31, even counting the two crew figures. The mold is still crisp with very little flash, but the kit does show its age. The panel lines are raised, including raised decal outlines. There are ejector pin marks galore, which are easily seen in photos of the base. The launcher base is, well, basic.