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Bristol Scout

Bristol Scout Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2021 Title Bristol Scout
Author Matthew Willis Publisher Guideline Publications
Published 2021 ISBN n/a
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £14.00


The Bristol Scout, author Matthew Willis contends, “enabled the innovators of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service to establish the broad principles and tactics of air combat that are still familiar today.”

“[M]ore than any other aircraft in service in the first weeks of WWI,” he persuasively adds, “[it] set the pattern for how a ‘fighting scout’ would look and fly.”

Now the pioneering pursuit garners full “Warpaint” treatment in the 128th installment of the colorful series from Guideline Publications.

Willis kick-starts contents with Scout design and development. Coverage then segues to Great War service – and thereafter to technical details. Contents neatly conclude with the welcome return of a two-page “Modelling” section.

Period photos, museum images, and “in detail” shots illustrate the account. Color profiles and scale drawings further season the study. And extended captions, specifications, and serials also augment the effort.

Familiar with “Warpaint” monographs? You’ll recognize the publisher’s proven prescription.

Commentary on early, Western Front air-to-air combat proved informative. So did notes on Scout use in the Middle East and Mesopotamia – and at sea. Warpaint 128 illumined much, to say the least.

Modern air-to-air fighting had to start somewhere. And Bristol Scouts, Willis ultimately argues, “set the stage for the expansion of air combat with single-seat scouts.”

Discover that for yourself. Get this “Warpaint” installment.

My sincere thanks to Guideline Publications for this review sample!