Book Author(s)
Oleg Pototskiy
Review Author
Brian R. Baker
Published on
January 1, 2022
Company
Kagero Publishing
MSRP
$49.95

Background

This book provides a very complete history of the development of the Polikarpov I-16 fighter series. It actually goes further than that, as it also explains the political and economic conditions in the Soviet Union after the 1917 Revolution, when the Tsarist Russian government was replaced by Trotsky’s Communist regime in the twenties and thirties. The author goes into extensive detail explaining how the Soviet economy was going through very severe changes, with violent repression of anyone who was even suspected of disagreeing with the system. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were slaughtered during this process, and many more were imprisoned for extended periods, but some were still allowed to work on whatever projects they had been working on.

Review Author
Dekker Zimmerman
Published on
January 9, 2022
Company
Academy Models
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$44.00

Boom. And just like that a Academy Panzer II model kit landed at my door. So The adventure begins. I have built many models of armor but was not a fan of early German subjects. This kit looked interesting and as a new molded kit I was curious what new technologies have been used on this kit. This review will read like bullet points for easy reading.

Un-Boxing

The box itself has very nice art on it. Paint call outs on the side have seven manufacturers listed and are a big plus in my book. The manufacturers are: Humbrol, GSI Creos, Life Color, Model Master, Revell, Vallejo and AK. The kit is a skill level 4 (out of 5) and is clearly marked on the box. The box itself is top opening and very stout.

Book Author(s)
Alex Crawford; Illustrator Chris Sandham-Bailey
Review Author
Ron Bell
Published on
January 9, 2022
Company
MMP Books
MSRP
$38.00

This book is from their Orange Series that specializes in particular aircraft types, in this case the Gloster Javelin. There are 208 pages of mixed text, photos, line drawings, charts and tables of info about the aircraft starting with a rather detailed recounting of the conception and initial design of the aircraft and how that design evolved into the final version. It then goes on to discuss the various armaments it carried, including the air-to-air missiles which also includes a brief run down on how the Firestreak missile was developed. Next is a mark-by-mark description of every variant of the aircraft with many illustrations to show the differences. Included in this chapter is a rather detailed technical description of all the various systems in the aircraft, such as landing gear, electrical and hydraulic systems, 12 annotated photos of various marks’ cockpits and cutaway photos, diagrams, line drawing and charts about the engines.

Review Author
Allan Murrell
Published on
January 9, 2022
Company
Croco Models
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$45.00

Croco Models from Latvia produces some very interesting and unusual kits and this one is another great additional to their line up.

The Kit is resin

Included is:

  • 67 resin parts
  • One Photo Etch Sheet
  • One Decal sheet
  • One instruction sheet

The resin casing detail quality is great; The parts are very delicate parts that need careful removal from the resin bases. Some arrived broken so I would suggest improving the packaging.The instructions need a lot of experience to work with to get a great model as they are not very clear. The assembly is good but needs a lot of patience, pre-fitting and time to the build going together correctly. There were a few gaps that needed filling. The PE sheet has some parts that are not for this version, it is also very thick and made it harder to remove parts from it. There are a few decals but no directors for location, so I used online references for this.

Book Author(s)
Paul Malmassari
Review Author
Marc K. Blackburn
Published on
January 9, 2022
Company
Editions Heimdal
MSRP
$97.00

Heimdal is a prolific French Publisher of military history and is distributed by Casemate Publishing. It is a large book at 520 pages and hundreds of black and white and color photographs as well as contemporary drawings and profiles done by the author. The text and captions are in French, though it appears there was an English version of this work from another publisher. My reading knowledge of French is minimal, but that did not take away from my enjoyment of this work. In many regards, the photographs speak for themselves, but a rudimentary knowledge of French might be helpful in reading the captions. It would have been nice to also see color profiles of the trains. There is a plethora of material, so each page is loaded with photographs.

Book Author(s)
Alan Durkota & Thomas Darcy
Review Author
John Shimek
Published on
January 11, 2022
Company
Aeronaut Books
MSRP
$24.99

Volume 2 of the Medal of Honor series documents the 6 aviators who earned the Medal of Honor during the interwar years 19191939. This book of 80 pages has 215 photos and color profiles of 10 aircraft relating to this period.

Only 1 of the 6-aviation related Medal of Honor awarded in this period was for action that involved combat by USMC Lieutenant Christian Frank Schilt in Nicaragua in 1928. 3 of the other 5 men awarded the Medal of Honor were presented for exploration including Admiral Byrd (North Pole flight) and the other 2 awarded were for lifesaving efforts.

It is very interesting that Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr received the army designed Medal of Honor for his solo flight across the Atlantic 20-21 May 1927 even though he was no longer on active US Army duty. Authorized by a special act of Congress in December 1927 Lindbergh was presented the medal by President Coolidge in 1929.

Review Author
Dana Mathes
Published on
January 13, 2022
Company
Value Gear
Scale
1:35
MSRP
$11.50

Have you ever needed some items, like cardboard boxes, to add that finishing touch to a modeling project? Value Gear has just what you need. This company has produced a complete line of stowage items. They are great supplements for armor projects or dioramas of all types.

This set contains 25 1/35 cast resin cardboard boxes. There is a lot of variety here. The boxes come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Each box has a different level of wear and tear. Some are smushed, while others are dog-eared. Others are fresh and new. Some are even shown as taped shut. The resin used is a medium brown color, approximating the color of dark cardboard.

Review Author
Dana Mathes
Published on
January 13, 2022
Company
Value Gear
Scale
1:35
MSRP
$11.50

Value Gear has produced a complete line of stowage items that are useful for adding those finishing touches to armor projects or dioramas of all types. This set contains 25 cast resin stowage items for armored vehicles, although some of these items could also be useful in aircraft, sci-fi, or automotive dioramas.

There is a lot of variety here. This assortment includes backpacks, bedrolls, duffle bags, toolboxes, cardboard boxes, equipment bags, and sleeping cots. The vendor’s website claims that all 25 items are unique. That may indeed be true, but the six backpacks supplied seem to be of two types, with only subtle differences among them. The resin is a neutral, medium-dark gray color. The surfaces are slightly textured, again with variability. The sculpting of these parts is excellent, with the appropriate creases, straps, buckles, and in some cases, a little wear and tear.

Book Author(s)
Richard A. Franks
Review Author
Frank Landrus
Published on
January 13, 2022
Company
Valiant Wings Publishing
MSRP
$31.94

Valiant Wings Publishing was founded in 2010 under the guidance of Richard A. Franks and Mark Peacock. Valiant Wings has released several series of primarily airplane monographs [Airframe & Miniature, Airframe Album and Airframe Detail series] with the first Airframe Album dedicated to the Heinkel He 219 ‘Uhu’ released in 2012.

Book Author(s)
Kevin Wright
Review Author
Chris Smith
Published on
January 13, 2022
Company
Helion & Company
MSRP
$24.95

On May 1, 1960, an ex-USAF turned CIA pilot named Francis Gary Powers flying a Lockheed U-2 at 70,000 feet 800 miles east of Moscow felt and saw the results of a Soviet SA-2 missile removing the tail of his aircraft. Thus ended the first round of U-2 overflights over the Soviet Union and the time frame covered in this volume. Despite the international incident that resulted, the information gained about the state of Soviet bomber and nuclear weapon capabilities more than justified the risks taken. The author, Kevin Wright is a university professor specializing in the Cold War. This book outlines the first phase of U-2 operations from 1956 to 1960. The book opens with a brief history of how the U-2 came to be and examines the various equipment packages that the aircraft could carry. Contrary to the public perception of the U-2 only being a camera platform, it carried nuclear fallout sampling equipment as well as receivers for the collecting electronic intelligence.