The US Navy’s most common aerial torpedo used in WWII was the first purpose built torpedo for use in aircraft (but they were also used on PT boats. Brengun’s kit comes with twelve photoetch parts and three resin parts. The kit comes with two options- the early configuration which is a standard looking torpedo and was used from 1935 until 1942. The second option was a later configuration with breakaway plywood nose (often called the pickle barrel) and plywood tail used from 1942 until 1951. I opted for the late version for variety.
Brengun continues to release wonderful aftermarket add-ons to enhance 1/48th scale planes. In this set, there are six complete AN-M31A1 100 lb bombs which were used by fighters, bombers, or attack aircraft. They were in use for a long period of time and covered WWII to Korea and further.
Inside the package are six perfectly cast bomb bodies in Brengun’s dark gray resin. Simply cut from the pour block and you are set to add the photoetch. There is a complete photoetch sheet which has the bomb fins, the nose fuse and the rear plate and tail fuse. You will need a 0.5mm rod to add the tail fuse also. Lastly, the decals are included and have the nose and tail yellow bands, marking for the tail and two for the body. The decals are crisp.
This is volume 2 of a series of publications providing the history of the development of the Lavochkin La-5 series of fighters used by the Soviets and their allies during World War II, or what they called the Great Patriotic War. The author goes into great detail describing the technological development of the type, and its engine, providing very intricate details of what went wrong during developmental testing, and how the problems were either ignored or solved. For a reviewer such as myself, this information is completely understandable, but for a non-pilot, it might be a little over complicated. One thing the author could have done for his English speaking readers would have been to provide speeds, dimensions, and weights in the English systems, pounds, miles per hour, and feet and inches, as well as the metric figures.
The Fairey Firefly was originally conceived in the late thirties as a carrier based fighter for the Royal Navy. It was built as a two seater because the authorities felt that a single pilot would not be able to navigate and fly under combat conditions at sea. While other similar aircraft, notably the Defiant and Blackburn Skua and Roc had power operated turrets, the Firefly dispensed with these, and throughout the protracted development of the type, the rear gun was never adopted for widespread use. Performance, however, was exceptional, and the type was ready for limited service in 1942. Development was slow, and it never really made the grade as a carrier based fighter, although many variants were developed for specialized uses, including night fighter, target tug, attack bomber, and trainer.
Brengun adds to its catalog with Attack Hobbies re-release of the Mk XVII depth charge in 1/48th scale. The set contains the parts to make and mark two depth charges along with the pylon for mounting. Inside the set, you will find two well-cast depth bomb bodies and nose fuse stalks in gray resin, a photoetch sheet containing the parts to make two pylons, the fuses for the bomb, and a small decal sheet for the one marking on the depth charge.
Assembly starts by removing the depth charge and nose stalk from the resin. Make sure the nose is sanded smooth. Glue the stalk to the direct center. The tail band needs formed into a ring. When I did this using my PE bender, the tail was too big in diameter and would not touch the four legs. I cut ~ 2 mm off the tail and reformed and it as better. If I make the other one, I would cut 3 mm off. I left off both fuse spinners for painting.
Here’s a really neat book for modelers. Illustrated and written by renowned profile artist Chris Sandham-Baily, aka Sandworm, RAF Cold War Jet Aircraft in Profile covers 14 different aircraft types designed and built by British companies and operated by the RAF between 1945 and 2010.
The book features over 300 different colour profiles of the following types: Gloster Meteor, de Havilland Vampire, de Havilland Venom, English Electric Canberra, Supermarine Swift, Hawker Hunter, Vickers Valiant, Gloster Javelin, Handley Page Victor, Avro Vulcan, Blackburn Buccaneer, English Electric Lightning, Hawker Siddeley Harrier and SEPECAT Jaguar. Two types most notable by their absence are the McDonnell Douglas Phantom and the Panavia Tornado, both of whose omission is a major fault in my view.
Between 1938 and 1948, QANTAS Short Empire flying boats navigated a dramatic and dangerous period for commercial aviation. They flew the Singapore to Sydney section of the pre-war Imperial Airways UK to Australia air route, introducing a new level of luxury travel to the route. However, the outbreak of war cut short this brief glamorous time and brought the boats increasingly onto the front line. Containing over 160 stunning illustrations, many previously unpublished, this book details the history of the Empire flying boats as they went from luxurious carriers to military service in roles that included the resupply and evacuation of Allied military forces.
Casemate Publishing continues its series on modern conflicts in Europe with the first volume of a projected two that deals with the creation and evolution of the Soviet air defense system. As with many books in this series, it is richly illustrated with contemporary black and white photographs, maps, and a series of color profiles of Soviet and US aircraft. Using English and Russian sources, the volume provides an excellent introduction to the establishment and growth of the Soviet air defense system. Readers with a passing knowledge of the Russian language will note that in the title the authors use a different form of the familiar word Rodina or homeland. It is not a misspelling but the appropriate grammatical construction.
The British aviation industry produced a stunning variety of types in the half-century until 1953, from the famous Supermarine Spitfire and Avro Lancaster to the esoteric Planet Satellite and Armstrong Whitworth Apollo (Kudos to those who didn’t have to look up those latter two!). This new book from Key Publishing uses photos from the famous Aeroplane magazine archive to illustrate this wide variety, but does so through colourising those photos selected.
Author David Willis is well known for his aviation-related writing and he does a very good job with the concise, explanatory historical text and the informative and extensive photo captions.
The North American AT-6 Texan was originally developed during the middle thirties as an advanced training monoplane. Earlier versions, designated BT-9through BT-9D, numbered slightly less than 300, were used as basic trainers. They had fixed landing gear 400 hp. Wright R-975’s, and many survived until the end of World War II. The earliest versions were designated BC-1, for “Basic Combat”, and nearly 300 were built before being reclassifies as AT-6, for “Advanced Trainer”. These had 600 hp. Pratt and Whitney R-1340’s, and engine which remained with the airplane for almost its entire life. Navy versions were called SNJ, and they were built until the end of the war, going up to SNJ-6. The Army Air Force AT-6 was built until the end of the war, slightly more than 10,000 being built. These went from AT-6 through AT-6F, with postwar variants designated T- 6G , with Navy versions going as high as SNJ-8.