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Merlin PR Spitfires in Detail

Merlin PR Spitfires in Detail Book Review

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review August 2009 Title Merlin PR Spitfires in Detail
Author Malcolm Laird & Wojtek Matusiak Publisher Ventura Publications
Published 2009 ISBN 0-9582296-5-1
Format 64 pages, hardbound MSRP (BP) £9.99

Review

Ventura is a publishing company based in Wellington, New Zealand. Their books are distributed by Mushroom Model Publications in the UK.

This book is about Merlin-engined PR (photo reconnaissance) Spitfires, which were the mainstay of RAF and USAAF single engined aerial reconnaissance forces for the duration of WWII. Other types, such as the Mustang, Hurricane and Typhoon were either replaced with Spitfires as soon as possible or proved unsuitable in the role.

This new Classic Warbirds volume covers PR type designations and the interior details of Merlin-engined PR Spitfires. There are 31 black and white wartime photos, 12 maintenance manual illustrations, 5 black and white line drawing profiles in 1/72nd scale and 1 as a 3-view. Types illustrated are: the Mk. 1 PR Type A, Mk. 1 PR Type C, Mk.V PR Type G,

PR IV (Trop), PR X and the PR XI. These drawings were created specifically for this new book. There are also 11 color profiles provided, 5 of which are printed on the back cover. The book is soft-cover and 68 pages in length. At the rear of the book is a black and white line drawing as a 4-view in 1/48th scale. This is of a Spitfire PR XI variant. The 2 illustrations of the top and bottom of it are printed on a double size page that telescopes out. There are also scrap illustrations here of the skeletons of the rudder and elevators. Included also are illustrations and photos of the cameras used in PR Spitfires and their installation details.

Inside the back cover is a listing of 20 1/72nd scale aircraft decal sheets, and 21 in 1/48th scale that Ventura markets. This is below the illustrations of the covers of 4 other titles in Ventura’s Classic Warbirds series of books:

Spitfire Star of Israel, American Spitfire Camouflage & Markings, Pacific Twins (about Lightnings, Mitchells and Venturas) and Fighter Archive

(about the Avias-199, nightfighters and Luftwaffe archives).

This will prove to be an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians and enthusiasts, and scale modelers. Part 1, covering the operations of Merlin PR Spitfires (Classic Warbirds no. 10) is still available.

I want to thank Ventura Publications for this review sample

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