Martin Mariner & Marlin, Warpaint 108
This new Warpaint volume covers some of the last large seaplanes used in the world. Thank you to Guideline Publications for publishing an excellent work on these planes, and providing a copy for review. I am also very appreciative of the IPMS Reviewer Corps support, whose efforts make this review program so good.
Author Darling and Illustrator Caruana’s treatment of the Martin Mariner and descendent Marlin aircraft strikes an excellent balance of book size and detail. The content is laid out in a three-column text format, with two to three photos, data tables, or drawings per page. The color profiles show a beautiful variety of the marking schemes used by all operators of the aircraft with three aircraft per page. I found no historical inaccuracies, at least not from my limited expertise.
The content can be roughly divided into development of the Mariner and the Marlin, USN operational units, USCG operational units, and overseas operators. Four pages of detail images, accompanied by a kit, accessories and decal listing, round out the publication. Both the model builder and the aviation history reader are well served with the format used. There are no table of contents.
I am disappointed that there are not more kits of these aircraft available, but Warpaint 108 will allow a very good research start for scratch building or modifying what is available. I particularly like the large folded plan sheet included with the book. Mariner versions from -1 through -5A are shown, in crisp line drawings at 1:72 scale. I compared the drawings with a completed Minicraft Mariner kit, and the kit is very close to the dimensions shown. Mariner Kit review The drawings match the specifications listed on page 14. Top, bottom, and side views of the Mariner are shown. There is no front view of the aircraft, so checking the gull-wing dihedral angles will need to be done from a different source than the plan. No Marlin drawings are on the sheet. Nearly all of the Mariner and Marlin kits, et al, are in 1:72 scale. A good number of the listed materials are still readily available.
I recommend this volume very highly, for the excellent balance of images, color profiles, and narrative.
The plan sheet is a major bonus. My only minor criticisms are that there are no easily found citations or references for the reader who might wish to follow up on the excellent materials. The photo credits are inferred from very small print on the bottom of the back cover. However, these minor criticisms do not detract at all from the overall book. Whether you use this book for research or simply a good read and viewing, you will not be disappointed.
Thanks again to Guideline Publications for providing a review copy. Thank you again to the stalwart Reviewer Corps for your hard work in making these review opportunities happen! Someday I hope to meet all of you and thank you in person.