Valiant Wings Publishing: North African Campaign


Valiant Wings Publishing


9.95 MSRP at


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 82 pages, A4 Format, softcover, ISBN: 978-0-997773-2-3, Airframe Extra #98

Valiant Wings' Airframe Extra series has become quite popular and it is easy to see why that is the case. This one continues by concentrating on the North African theater of operations from the declaration of war by Italy in 1940 until the Axis was driven out in May of 1943.

Italy initially began combat in the area by pushing out of what is now Libya into Egypt. However, though they did make advances, things did not go as anticipated and then began a three year campaign of back and forth along the southern Mediterranean coast. Though it was initially the Italians and British, the Germans got involved and that is when things got real. The Italians suffered under rather poor leadership, but the Germans did not have that issue. What was at issue for both sides was an extremely long supply line. As the Germans and Italians made gains, the supply chain lengthened. As the British made gains, their supply chain got longer.

Eventually, the interdiction of Axis supplies by the RAF and later USAAF resulted in their inability to properly conduct the campaign. Add to it the influx of American troops after landings in western North Africa and the writing was on the wall.

This series is known for three things. One is a nice historical background along with some nicely chosen (but small) period photos. Another is a large selection of full color profiles by RIchard Caruana. These are divided in sections covering British, Italian, German, and US aircraft. Finally, a kit building selection using their same two builders.

The 1/72 modeler has never met a photo etch or resin part he has not liked and so his builds generally feature a lot of this. He is also part of what I call the empty airbrush brigade and his painting sections have a number of photos of empty airbrushes and dry paint brushes to imply areas being painted. However, there is no denying the quality of the builds and in this one we have an He-111, D.520, and Kittyhawk Ia.

For other scales, we have kits built pretty much out of the box. In this case it is a 1/144 Ju-52, 1/48 Bf-110C and a big 1/32 Hurricane IId. I think it may well be these build articles that are a major draw. It all makes for another superb edition and one that I know you will like.

May 2018

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