MMP Books' Camera On #14, MS.406C1
Author: Bartłomiej Belcarz
Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Price $25.00 from 
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Notes: 80 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-83-65958-32-7

MMP Books has done a series of photo essays in the 'Camera On' series. The subjects are often ground crawlers, but this time around, the Morane-Saulnier MS.406 has been chosen

The MS.406 was the standard fighter of the French Air Force at the start of WWII. Though the type was obsolescent at that time, and the Air Force was modernizing with the Dewoitine D.520 and Curtiss Hawk 75, when the main air fighting started, the 406 along with the Bloch MB.151/2 were still being used in considerable numbers.

It isn't that the 406 was a bad aircraft. Indeed, it was a delight to fly and it was fairly rugged but it was simply outclassed by more modern types like the German Bf-109. It was also a plane that was provided to the Polish units in France, though few of these pilots had finished conversion training so saw less combat than they would have liked. The 406 went on to provide air defense for the Vichy government as well as used in Syria and French Indochina. Some were used by the Luftwaffe as fighter trainers.

Most of the photos in this edition were taken from German archives and show planes that had been bombed out or otherwise destroyed. Many were used as backdrops for victorious German troops to take snapshots for the folks back home. Despite the less than pristine condition of these planes, German photography was generally excellent and provide crisp, clear images of these planes. There are also photos of intact planes taken by French and Polish sources that add a lot of spice to the edition.

Make no mistake, this is a photo book pure and simple. Any information on the planes is provided in a brief introduction and through the captions of the many photos in the book. This sort of thing is a boon to modelers and enthusiasts alike. It is a welcome addition to this series and I hope that we see more of the like in the future. Well worth picking up.

December 2019

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