|Richard A Franks|
|Valiant Wings Publishing|
|£16.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk|
114 pages, A4 Format, softcover,
ISBN: 978-0-995777-33-0, Airframe Album #2 revised
Thanks to the success of their first book in the Airframe Album series, we now have a second one for you. This time, it covers the popular Hawker Sea Fury. For modelers, this one will be quite welcome as there are a bevy of fairly nice kits for builders in most of the popular scales.
The book opens up with a nice history on the Sea Fury including its development and eventual use by various air arms. This includes a production history as well as a nice set of specifications of the major variants; including prototypes.
We then go into a Technical description of the aircraft that is divided into segments such as Fuselage, Undercarriage, Engine, Wings and so on. Each one of these sections has drawings from the tech manuals, period photos as well as images taken from various extant airframes. To my eye, it is the excellent drawings provided from the Tech Manuals that offers the clearest look at the various systems. This section also includes interesting things like the tie-down procedures on board ship as well as things as mundane as covers.
Next major section is on the evolution of the Sea Fury. This includes art work on Prototype, Production, and Planned variants. Here we get to see the changes made to the aircraft from the initial prototype on through the production run and even into versions that were never built.
A section I particularly enjoyed was that of camouflage and markings. This is one that is probably to be well sourced by modelers. It goes not only through the British versions, but also those sold overseas to Canada, Netherlands, Burma, Iraq and others. This section is complete with photos for the most part with some in full color. This is naturally followed by six pages of 30 full color profiles showing all of the variations in camouflage and markings used during the life of the Sea Fury.
This is followed by an extensive list of survivors, each entry providing as much data as is known on each airframe. There were three things that surprised me about this section. One was the large number of airframes that were ex-Iraqi Air Force. The second was the even larger number of extant airframes. The third was the number that were airworthy. I would have to say that based on what I read, there is a larger percentage of extant airframes compared to the number built of any other warbird.
This edition includes a couple of builds of recent 1/48 kits. The first one is the new Airfix 1/48 version. The builder commented on the lack of a gun sight, but did not seem to find the issue with cowling that was discovered by Tom Cleaver's article yesterday. The builder also complained about no lowered flap option, but a look at the photos in the book showed that these were normally up unless maintenance was being done. The other is the AMG Sea Fury TT.20. This is apparently a real pig of a kit and takes a goodly amount of effort to bring up to specs.
The last section includes a listing of kits, decals, accessories and book references for the Sea Fury.
In all, it is another superb effort from Valiant Wings and a book that easily gets my highest recommendation. You can purchase this one without reservation.
For more on Valiant Wings, including getting this book, visit www.valiant-wings.co.uk. Thank you for the review copy.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.