Another beautifully mastered set, nicely cast in light tan resin without warps or pinholes. These are exceptional in that they go a long way to enhance an already extremely nice model and require a minimum of surgery to install. For me, they earn the “most highly approved” designation. Many thanks to Quickboost and to IPMS/USA for the review sample.
New from Squadron/Signal Books USA is the B-25 Mitchell in Action by David Doyle. Very possibly the most significant twin engine bomber of WWII is beautifully showcased in this new “in action” series book.
72 pages with artwork by Don Greer, this publication contains more than 200 photos (80 of them in full color), most of them original period photographs. This aircraft is covered in detail by taking it from the North American Aviation Prototype (NA 40) to the final production run of the B-25J, in use for some time after the close of the war. USN and USMC versions (PBJ series) are also well covered within, as are B-25’s in Foreign Service used by Allied Air Forces at that time. Also contained are several color profiles of the B-25.
Despite the use of “tanks” in the First World War, and their use in the opening stages of the Second World War in Poland, September 1939, it was in the Battle of France in May 1940 that these weapons were used for the first time on any large scale. The battles around the French towns of Stonne, Hannant, and Gembloux for the first time in history saw massive clashes, involving hundreds of tanks on both the French and German sides. And it was during these battles that actual “armored divisions” from both sides were involved. This book covers the two major armored vehicles of the Battle of France, the Wehrmacht’s Panzer IV, and the French Army’s massive Char B1 Bis. The author, Steven Zaloga, is a well known military historian of the Second World War, and also a keen modeler. He is also a very good writer, and the prose of this book flows very well.
The YW-531C has a history dating back to the early sixties. The Chinese firm Norinco produced the first indigenous vehicle and rolled it off the assembly lines as the Type 63 in 1963. It was fraught with mechanical and technical issues that were quickly overcome. As with all base vehicles, many variants and ideas were applied to and tested on the design. In 1982 the Type 63C started rolling off the assembly lines and the export version was designated YW-531C. The vehicle has a German air cooled diesel power pack, weighs in at 12.8 tons, carries a 12.7mm machinegun for self defense and anti-aircraft and holds a 15 man crew (13 soldiers and 2 crew members). The Iraqi Army received at least 150 of these vehicles. They saw extensive use in the Gulf War. Photographic evidence is very limited and there are several in museums but I have not uncovered any interior shots as of yet.
I recently built the Hasegawa 1/72 T-2 for a detail set review. I ran into a large problem. The decals in my T-2 were many years old, had yellowed, and I didn’t want to do the Blue Impulse plane anyway. I went to my bookshelf, and I had only two references to the T-2, and one of them was for the Blue Impulse. I found a photograph of an aggressor which I used, but this book would have been a super reference, and saved me a lot of trouble.
The text is Japanese, but by golly the profiles, photographs and 1/48 scale drawing all translate nicely into whatever language you use, and there are 4 pages of English translation in the back of the book. It’s the history of the T-2/F-1 and assigned units, which covers pages 10-18.