Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Book Review
|Date of Review||May 2015||Title||Lockheed F-104 Starfighter|
|Author||Jaroslaw Dobrzynski||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||176 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$39.00|
Looking for a handy, lavishly illustrated history of the F-104 jet fighter? Look no further than MMP's latest!
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter – 6136 in the publisher's enlarged "Yellow Series" titles – follows the publisher's proven prescription. Contents commence with design, development and deployment details. Author Jaroslaw Dobrzynski helpfully recaps production and experimental variants – as well as license manufacturing and service.
Coverage then segues to "combat" use. F-104s proved principal players during the Cold War's iciest days. And over 40 years, Starfighters served in:
- 1958's Quemoy Crisis between mainland China and Taiwan
- 1961's Berlin Crisis
- 1965's Pakistan-India War over Kashmir
- 1971's Bangladesh War
- the Vietnam War
- 1991's Operation Desert Storm against Iraq
- 1999's Operation Allied Force against Serbia
Accidents also plagued the Starfighter throughout its international career. And "Operators" sections dutifully detail these. Canada, for instance, lost 46% of its F-104s. Belgium lost nearly 2 in 5 machines. And West Germany – where F-104 calamities achieved international notoriety – lost 298 Starfighters over 28 years. Nevertheless, MMP reminds readers, German Starfighter attrition "was similar to that of the [Luftwaffe's] Republic F-84F Thunderstreak" – "which amounted to 36%".
Modelers will love this book. Color and B&W photos support the study. Technical-manual excerpts, close-up shots and 1:72-scale plans delineate Starfighter details. And MMP's excellent selection of color profiles – many with official color specs – offer plenty of project inspiration.
But how about US Federal Standard matches or approximates for those Belgian "SEA-type" camouflage colors? And given the Starfighter's size, why weren't those lovely profiles to 1:72 scale, as well?
Enough carping! What a cool, colorful, convenient compendium. Make MMP's Starfighter study part of your Cold War reference library!
With thanks to Casemate for the review copy.