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Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2020 Title Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
Author Nikolay Yakubovich Publisher Guideline Publications
Published 2020 ISBN n/a
Format 68 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £16.00


Consider the 124th title in Guideline Publications’ popular “Warpaint” range an extension of its MiG-15 coverage.

Like author Nikolay Yakubovich’s antecedent account of the MiG-15, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 packs plenty into 68 pages – including covers.

The lavishly illustrated study similarly spans Fresco development, deployment, combat, colors, markings, variants, and details. Dozens of color profiles, period and museum photos, and close-up shots season the survey.

Lots of minutiae, too.

How about that shot of a Cuban MiG-17 with R-3 air-to-air missiles? And how about that stillborn “indigenous [Soviet] variant [copy] of the American [F-86] Sabre”?

Extended, explanatory captions, personal recollections, anecdotes, and tables also supplement the study. But don’t expect Warpaint’s usual summary of kits, decals, and accessories.

Unfortunately, gremlins skulk Yakubovich’s otherwise commendable coverage.

Page 9’s photo clearly confirms that the Yak-50 employed bicycle – not tricycle – landing gear. Operational photos of Angolan MiG-17F “C24” differ in details from page 29’s color plate. And at the time of page 43’s profile scheme, Syrian national insignia sported red outer rings and small green stars.

Tense shifts, punctuation problems, and diction issues also trouble the translation. In context, better, more accurate English-language descriptors than, say, “wing planes”, “disarm”, and “blocks” surely exist.

I’m still trying to decipher commentary on KS “Kometa” cruise missiles, 1956 Suez War losses, 1973 combat events, and Cold War camouflage claims.

Clumsy translations? Questionable editing? Who knows?

Still, most folks buy Warpaint titles for pictures – not for prose. And this one doesn’t disappoint. I’d just love photo confirmation of that Algerian scheme!


My sincere thanks to Guideline Publications for this review sample!