Thank you to Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak for continuing to bring back a tremendous resource for the modeler and aviation historian, in a print-on-demand format. Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to review the latest Detail & Scale publication describing history, details, and versions of the F9F Cougar. The official title is F9F Cougar in detail & scale, Detail & Scale Series, Volume 2 Revised Edition. This volume is part one of a revised Cougar series first published in 2014 and focuses on aircraft history and details. There are all sorts of new materials in this volume compared to the previous edition. A later revision will include colors and markings of Cougar units.
Detail & Scale is continuing a digital renaissance of their famous line of exceptional quality aviation publications. The release of this revised volume with more information, artwork and photography is the latest example of how all can benefit from this adaptation to modern publishing.
The publication is an excellent compilation of the Cougar’s history, variants, and details, including many new images, data tables, and artwork. Five naval aviators describe their experiences flying the F9F and variants. I found all the stories fascinating, giving me context for the flying experience. The modelers section is thoroughly up to date, with all sorts of new ideas and sources for yet more modeling projects!
The print volume has 102 pages, 270 high-resolution photographs (114 in color!), and 23 color line drawing and other artwork with 16 full color profiles. The print format retains the cherished look and feel of the original Detail & Scale series, and this new volume fits right in with my vintage, old-school collection of D&S publications. The front and back covers are glossy cardstock with full color images, and the pages are matt finish on standard weight paper, similar to high-quality copier stock. Images are high-density gloss, in color or grayscale. The binding is very strong and did not separate even when folded completely out. The paper took ink and highlighting very well, without smearing or bleeding. Paper sticky notes (you know, those things you use for masking) did not bring up any text or degrade the images. I believe these pages are printed using high-quality color laser printing technologies. My copy was printed in Lexington, KY, on 4 DEC 19.
Introduction: A brief history of Detail & Scale Cougar publications segues into advantages of digital and print-on-demand. The ability to possibly bring all of historic Detail & Scale publication back into digital and print format is welcome news indeed. Furthermore, the Cougar volume reviewed here illustrates how an existing publication can be adeptly revised to include new material. This is excellent news indeed!
Cougar History: The many ancestors and development history of the Cougar are described in thorough detail. Many pictures and data tables accompany the text to give a detailed cross-section of the aircraft through its history. I particularly liked the data table layouts and the scale drawings of several variants.
Cougar Variants: All 8 Cougar variants are covered in this section, starting with the XF9F-6. The Cougar was derived directly from the F9F-5 Panther; however, many aerodynamic modifications were required for the new swept wing configuration. Testing of the intriguing “flex deck” and many operational considerations are covered. Numerous images and drawing highlight the differences between variants. I found many detailing snippets in this section, e.g., the textures and corrosion of Corogard leading edges on operational aircraft at sea.
Flying the Cougar: Five distinguished naval aviators recount their adventures flying different F9F variants in this chapter. The context provided by these stories greatly adds to the depth and breadth of this volume. All the narratives are superb, but the drone operation description by Bill Chaney particularly appealed to me. Who wouldn’t want to spend hours shooting down full-size drones?
Cougar Details: This entire section is packed with nose-to-tail, inside-outside, and mostly color images with detailed captions. Numerous color drawings and an excellent load-out table round out the section. The chapter is a veritable mother lode of information for the model builder!
Modeler Section: This chapter carries forward the signature Detail & Scale reviews and recaps of models produced of the F9F-6 and later variants. This section is a must-read if you considering build any Cougar model. I built the Hasegawa 1/72 version of the F9F-8 when it was released in the early 1980’s. After I read the review (and reflected on my nascent skillset then), I am very thankful that model has vanished from my collection over the years of moving since.
Content coverage summary: Once again, I found this publication to be very well done, holding firm to Detail & Scale’shigh standards. The organization and content are excellent. In addition to the tremendous wealth of photographs and other information, this volume reads very well, with an engaging style. The artwork is spectacular, the photograph resolution is superb, and the variety of images make Revised Volume 2 invaluable. Traditional print-based readers will be pleased with this volume, and the following colors and markings volume.
F9F Cougar in detail & scale, Volume 2 Revised has my highest recommendation. I cannot find any negatives in this publication.
Thanks again to the wonderful folks at Detail & Scale! I am very pleased to see the print–on-demand volumes being released, and I’m sure I echo the thoughts of the modeling community in saying I hope to see many more published. Thank you again to the stalwart Reviewer Corps for your hard work in making these review opportunities happen!