Aggressors: US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps Adversary Aircraft

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Andy Evans, with Gary Hatcher
Other Publication Information
Softcover, A4 size, color printed on 108 glossy pages, all with a mix of color photos (many full page or edge-to-edge) and text, diagrams, data tables
Product / Stock #
Provided by: SAM Publications
The front cover

Thank you very much to the wonderful folks at SAM Publications for providing this new title for review. Thanks are also due to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me the opportunity to research and learn more about these colorful adversary jets. Many of these unusual aircraft thrilled me with close passes while I was working in the Nevada mountains years ago. This volume is the first in a new SAM Model Data File publication series described as “scaled down in size and price.” I found this book outstanding in quality and value, so that description is quite modest.

In typical SAM style, you will find an excellent balance of detail, data, and superb photographs in a large package that allows for a true appreciation of the subject material. Furthermore, example builds of an F-5N and a Scooter are included with a catalog of model materials for building. A foreword features a brief overview of dissimilar air combat training, and has a welcome glossary of abbreviations. What an SFTI does at NSAWC will be apparent! The next 8 chapters explore several aircraft in US inventory with excellent photography, often from walk-around and flying perspectives. Data tables with aircraft specifications are common, as are very nice details of unit insignia and patches. Chapter 7 has photographs of USN and USMC F-16 aircraft. The USN F-16 background photo in the foreword is one of the most weathered USN aircraft I’ve ever seen.

The last chapter and the subsequent appendices have a wealth of color illustrations and documentation of additional aircraft. Two other squadrons with more general missions are described, VFA-125 and VFA-205. Several unusual “aggressor” aircraft photographs are included, in particular one of a USAF T-38 flying wing-on with a pair of F-22s. The volume wraps up with a pair of kit build descriptions, with details and techniques well illustrated. The last pages have a kitography of aggressor aircraft kits, accessories, stencils and decals. Many of the kits and parts were initially released in limited runs and are no longer available, but the part numbers are included. I found many of the manufacturer-discontinued items still available.

I highly recommend Aggressors if you are planning to model any of these unusual aircraft! The photography and color renderings are excellent and the book is a superb resource, falling almost into the “coffee table” category. Visit the link provided above to sample the photography. But whether or not you use this book as a build reference, the color schemes are fascinating. I very much enjoyed the read, but now I am scheming to decide just how I am going to do that masking and painting!

Thank you again to SAM Publications for providing this book for review. To the folks in the IPMS Reviewer Corps, thank you again for giving me the review opportunity, and especially thanks for all the filtering, edits and other tech wrestling you do to make the Reviewer Corps excel.


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