From the Phoenix Scale Publications website, “Phoenix Scale Publications is a partnership of four people who have worked in the modelling and aviation press for many years and have come together to produce two brand-new, high-quality modelling titles and a new book series – for modellers, by modellers – with each partner bringing their own unique talents.”
This Air Profile Book is authored by Andy Evans, who, during his 40-year career has been involved with five aviation and modelling magazines, as well as an author to more articles. His accomplishments include over 60 aviation and modelling books to his name.
This is not Andy Evans’ first book on the photogenic, twin engine, two seat, swing wing Panavia Tornado. With his extensive background, when Andy wants to showcase and highlight an aircraft for both spotters and modellers, it is best to pay attention. The Panavia Tornado first flew in 1974, entering service in 1979-1980 as a result of a tri-national consortium of British Aerospace (formerly British Aircraft Corporation - BAC), MBB of (then) West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. The aircraft was designed as a Multi Role Combat (MRCA) for the three nations. After the usual teething pains, the Tornado was flown in three primary variants: IDS (Interdictor/Strike) Fighter-Bomber; ECR (Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance); and ADV (Air Defense Variant). Besides being flown by Germany, Great Britain, and Italy, the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) was the only export operator. After almost 40 years, the Tornado was retired from the RAF in 2019, is being phased out in the German Air Force in favor of EA-18 (ECR) and Typhoons (IDS) and is still in use with the Italian Air Force and RSAF. The Tornado has flown in combat in the Former Yugoslavia Wars, Gulf War, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria.
While not a comprehensive history of the Panavia Tornado, Andy Evans’ experience with the airframe is obvious with clear, crisp and detailed photos of a very appealing aircraft. The book is presented logically, complete with plentiful photographs of the major variants, combat operations, color profiles and three modelling guides, composing the following fourteen chapters:
- MRCA Development
- Tornado GR.1/1A/1B
- Tornado GR.4/4A
- Tornado at War
- Tornado GR.4 Walk Around
- Tornado IDS & ECR – Luftwaffe
- Tornado IDS & ECR – Italy
- Tornado ECR Walk Around
- Tornado IDS Saudi Arabia
- Colour Profiles
- Modelling Guide #1 –Eduard 1/72 Tornado GR.1 “Runway Raider”
- Modelling Guide #2 – Italeri 1/32 Tornado GR.4 “Tornado Force”
- Modelling Guide #3 – Italeri 1/32 Tornado GR.4 “Gold Stars”
This book is a boon for modelers seeking to build an accurate and beautiful Tornado in service with any of the four nations who flew them. The text primarily supports the excellent photos with very minor editing errors (perhaps the most glaring is on the table of contents with a misspelling for the chapter on Tornado ECR “Walkj” Around); this is just a small niggle in an excellent book.
I have enjoyed aircraft my entire life, especially those designed to fly fast and low. My wife and I were visiting a castle in Hesse, Germany back in the 1990s when we noticed movement in the valley below us. Our glances were rewarded with a glimpse of a Luftwaffe Tornado screaming up the valley following by the loud roar of its engines. Fast forward to the 2010s and we were fortunate to live near Holloman Air Force Base where the German Fliegerisches Ausbildungszentrum der Luftwaffe (FlgAusbZLw Luftwaffe Training Center) was operating Tornados before its dissolution in 2019. As a testament to the German influence in our area, a proud Tornado is parked at the New Mexico Museum of Space History with a Zia and roadrunner on its large tail. To say I am a fan of the Tornado would be an understatement, especially in German colors. Andy Evans and Phoenix Scale Publications nailed the target with this book.
Profuse thanks to Phoenix Scale Publications (https://www.phoenixscalepublications.co.uk/) and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.