Title:

Gloster Gladiator

Author:

Alex Crawford

Publisher

Mushroom Models Publications

Price

$

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: # 4 in a series

Mushroom Models Publications has been doing some really great books recently. I especially like this yellow series of books. They are a history (sometimes brief) of a specific aircraft that also shows all the variants  and subvariants of the type. Their first two books on the 109E and 109G are used by yours truly quite a lot when researching models. In fact, they are starting to get that nice, worn look of a an oft-used publication. There is also a third book in the series on the A6M Zero which will be reviewed in the near future.

Book four is on the Gloster Gladiator. Now I don't know about you, but to me, the Gladiator is probably one of the more interesting British aircraft. Sort of a mix between the biplanes and monoplanes of the late 1930s. It has your two wings with the usual bracings, but it also has several attributes of the more modern monoplane fighters such as an enclosed canopy. It also piques my interest because it was used by a rather large number of foreign countries and so can be built with a nice array of camouflage schemes.

This particular book is card covered, 160 pages and about  9 by 6 inches in size. The printing and images are first rate and on high quality paper.

Unlike the Bf-109, the Gladiator was not built in a staggering number of variants and variations. Therefore, this book has much more historical background than those other editions. The author has wisely chosen to break it down into several very well-thought out sections.

There is also a large color profile section  and several pages of color detail photos taken of surviving Gladiators.  In addition, each of the first three sections has an area dedicated to the various color and marking schemes worn by the various forces and units.

Each of the historical sections goes into some detail of unit actions with the aircraft. There is enough information given to allow the reader a sense of what it was like to be in one of those units during the early days of the war. Whether operating from a frozen lake in Norway, to the desert sands of Egypt or in defense of its homeland during the invasion of the low countries, the Gladiator put up a courageous battle against rather large odds; at time coming out well, but often being rather badly mauled. Want to know the true story of Malta's Gladiators Faith, Hope and Charity? It's in there.

This is a superb book on the type and I'd have to say that if you only can have one reference on the Gladiator, this is the one that you should have in your library. It really is that good.

If you cannot find it locally, it is distributed in the US by Squadron so can be obtained from their mail-order site; www.squadron.com.   Here is a listing of what is available from them and an address. They are available in Europe and the UK from booksellers and you can order direct from the publisher.

Review book courtesy of Mushroom Models Publications.

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