ModelArt Spring 2011 No. 39 is entirely devoted to US Light and Escort Carriers in WW2. Armor, aircraft and car buffs will only have a few small ads to peruse, with one exception. Aircraft modelers will love the section on aircraft markings for individual carriers. No. 39 turns out to be an excellent reference work on US Navy WW2 smaller carriers, but as usual the text is entirely in Japanese. However, the historical data section is still useful, and the usual scrutiny of recently available kit builds are very helpful for modelers. This format is larger than regular monthly ModelArt magazines, and the printing quality is of high standards. The book measures 210 X 296 mm (that’s 8-1/4 by 11-3/4 inches). The majority of the article photos are in color. My chief complaint with their layout is that many larger photographs of ship models cross pages, resulting in a dead zone where the spine is – it really breaks up otherwise spectacular photos.
A recent addition to these special focus ModelArt books is a page of postcards with paintings of ships in this case. A couple of new kits are covered next – Finemold’s 1/350 IJN Ayanami destroyer and Fujimi’s new 1/700 IJN Ise in BBCV 1944 fit. Both have good coverage with photographs.
Pages 16-33 feature 1/350 scale models of the USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) of Leyte Gulf fame, and the USS Independence (CVL-22), from Hasegawa and Dragon, respectively. The next section is the History of U.S. Light/Escort Aircraft Carriers (pages 34-43). Mostly text, there are still useful tables, photographs and line drawings. The Mechanism of U.S. Light/Escort Aircraft Carriers is next, and this section is very helpful. Line drawings of each carrier class with detailed drawings abound. Tables of the air groups, camouflage patterns, radars and other fittings with exactly when they were carried are priceless information for making accurate models. The usual foldout color painting of the front cover is next, with an eight-page, color section of camouflage patterns – a real all-in-one-place gem. This section goes from pages 43-77. Painting and Markings of Carrier-Borne Aircraft is next (pages 78-85), and it details hard-to-find data on each carrier’s squadron markings and time periods. Essential info for WW2 US carrier modelers, and alone worth the price of this book he next section details 1/700 kit builds of specific US light carriers – Long Island (AVG1), Bogue (CVE9, misspelled as Bouge), Santee (CVE29), Commencement Bay (CVE105), Beleau Wood (CVL24), and Saipan (CVL48), from pages 86-109.
A feature article on a Japanese Naval review from 1905 follows a few ads, and then a nice section on WW2 IJN Minesweeper kit builds follows. These kits are resin or metal, from Kobo-Hiryu. A short article on a visit to Pearl Harbor and a few more ads reaches the end.
This book is an invaluable resource for anyone building any of the US Navy light or escort carriers in WW2. The price is worthwhile for the concentration of vital information to accurately portray many of these ships. Highly recommended for US Carrier buffs.
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