|Richard A Franks|
|Valiant Wings Publishing|
|£18.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk|
144 pages, A4 Format, softcover,
ISBN: 978-0-993534553, Airframe and Miniature #9
An aircraft that has fascinated both modelers and enthusiasts alike is the Dornier Do-335. This twin engine fighter-bomber is a huge aircraft and also quite fast. What fascinates is the layout of its twin engines. Unlike the usual one on each wing, the 335 has one in the front and one in the rear. Adding a cruciform tail section only increases the airframe's interes.
The 335 was a plane that was developed in mid-war and so by the end of the conflict, though a considerable number of test aircraft had flown, the type never saw unit service and never engaged in air to air combat or any other offensive operations. Thankfully, several were saved and tested post war, allowing at least one to survive to be restored.
The book starts out by providing information on the history of the type, starting with the initial prototype. I found it particularly interesting to read that there was actually very little difference between the prototype and further aircraft, meaning Dornier got it right the first time around. As usual with these types of projects, there were a number which were planned but never left the drawing board and those are covered as well. We are provided with extensive drawings of these interesting aircraft.
In the airframe section, we are provided with a goodly section on camouflage and markings. Here you'll find several pages of very well drawn profiles by Richard Caruana. This section also contains information on the colors used, a topic that has often resulted in some debate.
The book then goes into the miniatures section. This is the modeler's section with the author's choice for the best kits in each scale and a build-up of those kits. There have not been a lot of kits devoted to the 335, but what has been done is covered. I found the build articles to be of interest as well. This is followed by a section that has drawings of all the prototypes and the differences between the different batches. Something a dedicated modeler will find to be of considerable value.
The very last section is an 'in detail' section. This is a combination of both period images and those of the extant aircraft in the Smithsonian collection. This is followed by appendices listing and showing photos of many of the various modeling accessories dedicated to the Do-335. A kit listing with all variations is next followed by a list of books associated to the aircraft. This is followed by a huge fold out that offers plans in 1/48 scale. I know that many are plans fans and you'll find these to be especially useful.
All in all, it is an excellent addition to anyone's library and makes for a superb book that should appeal to both the enthusiast as well as the modeler. It is a book that I found quite a good read. It is a great effort and well worth the cover price. Probably the only 'problem' with the book is that it stirs the modeling juices and makes one head for the local hobby shop to search for a kit! It is a book I can I can quite easily recommend to all.
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