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Portuguese Fighter Colours 1919-1956

Portuguese Fighter Colours 1919-1956 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2017 Title Portuguese Fighter Colours 1919-1956
Author Luis Armando Tavares, Armando Jorge Soares Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2016 ISBN 9788363678456
Format 232 pages, hardbound MSRP (BP) $69.00

Review

Between World War I and the mid-1950s, Portugal's Aeronautica Militar/Arma de Aeronáutica operated an amazing array of fighter aircraft.

Now Luis Armando Tavares and Armando Jorge Soares tell the tale in Portuguese Fighter Colours 1919-1956 – a colorful compendium from MMP Books.

Available in North America from Casemate, the hefty, 232-page hardback surveys 13 French, British and US piston-engine designs:

  • SPAD S.7 C1
  • Martinsyde F.4 and F.4A Buzzard
  • Morane-Saulnier MS.133, MS.230 and MS.233
  • Hawker Fury Mk I
  • Gloster Gladiator Mk II
  • Curtiss Mohawk
  • Lochheed P-38G Lightning
  • Bell P-39/P-400 Airacobra
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk I (F.1A)
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk V
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB and Mk IIC
  • Bristol Beaufighter TF.X
  • Republic F-47 Thunderbolt

Coverage of each includes Portuguese service notes, camouflage & markings comments, photos, color profiles, extensive captions, and "aircraft characteristics".

Tables recapping "Individual Aircraft Histories" accompany some of the more numerous types. And to confirm accuracy, reference shots also support some profiles.

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance – 1386's Treaty of Windsor – remains the world's oldest. And British types – especially 144 Aeronautica Militar Hurricanes – unsurprisingly take center stage. Plenty of project potential here.

Coverage of the Curtiss Mohawk and Bell Airacobra variants – Portugal's first modern monoplane fighters – also proved especially engaging. Now I know how to paint my next P-39.

Chapters come packed with fascinating facts. Did you know that Portugal finally retired its World War I-vintage SPAD S.7 C1s in 1932? Or that high-altitude Hawker Hurricanes produced the first vapor trails in Portuguese skies? Neither did I.

A selected bibliography and seven informative appendices – the latter including details of Portuguese insignia specifications, camouflage, numbering systems, force structures, and military ranks – conclude contents.

Nitpicks?

Some profile code proportions – especially stroke widths and subtle shape nuances – appear suspicious. So fact-check with photos. Authors also employ multiple, apparently official terms for Portuguese military aviation within identical chronological contexts, sometimes sowing confusion.

But I quibble. MMP has produced an arresting addendum to WWII aerial conflict. Modelers will especially enjoy it.

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to Casemate for the review copy.