I have been a fan of the B-17 Flying Fortress for as long as I can remember. Seeing the punishment many of these planes took and still brought back their crews is nothing short of amazing.
The Fortress has also been a popular subject for the In Action series. I purchased #1012 back in 1973 and #1063 came out in 1984 and now we have a 3rd volume. However, this time you can get it in the normal soft cover or in hardback (which is my example). So what do we get with this new version?
Once again we get a brief history of each version of the plane from the original Model 299 through the B-17G, including a few pages on the XB-38 and YB-40. Line drawings and pictures show the differences in each model and will help the modeler get these right. I did notice the line drawings showing the development of the airframe appear to be smaller versions of those from the previous volume. However, I did not notice any repeated photos from either of the earlier books.
One of the things I love about the In Action series is the color profiles. This volume only has 3 profiles but it also includes period color photos of the subject. And not just a few pictures, but 103 of the 199 photos in the book are in color and none of these are of current warbirds.
All in all, a well-rounded book on the subject with some in action pictures, detail shots, interiors, damage, and a bunch of diorama ideas. This latest issue is a win for all Fort lovers.
I recently was lucky enough to get a flight on Aluminum Overcast, one of the surviving flyable B-17s. Just trying to maneuver through this plane even without heavy flight gear, numbing cold, or enemy action gave me a more thorough insight into the makeup of the brave young men who took to the skies in these majestic machines. This book made the perfect companion to that experience.
Thanks to Squadron Signal Books USA for the review sample and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.