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The Pucará Story

The Pucará Story Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2013 Title The Pucará Story
Author Robert Michulec Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 9788361421825
Format 152 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $49.00


Only one warplane of indigenous Latin American design saw major combat against a European power.  And that was Argentina's IA 58 Pucará.

Now it's the subject of a superb study from MMP Books.

The Pucará Story – available in North America from Casemate – recaps the whole terrific tale in 152 lavishly illustrated pages.  Contents chronologically course from design and development through manufacture and service to combat and variants.  Just skimming the "what-if" section prompts plenty of cool, counterfactual musings.

Authors Ricardo Caballero and Phil Cater capably cover their pugnacious protagonist in eleven informative chapters:

  • Origins and influences
  • Further development & initial exports
  • South Atlantic Conflict
  • The Pucará in Uruguay & elsewhere
  • Post 1982 service and developments
  • Camouflage & Markings and Notes for Modellers
  • Walk-around
  • Weapons & stores
  • "What Ifs"
  • Preserved and lost relics
  • "And now, the end is near ... (?)"

Most readers, I suspect, will immediately target Pucará operations during 1982's South Atlantic war with Britain.  And I certainly did.  But I also enjoyed MMP's illuminating notes on early Pucará concepts, camouflage, ordinance and exports.

Some gremlins, however, haunt this otherwise useful effort.  Personal markings on combat Pucarás receive scant attention.  Profiles inaccurately depict the masked fuselage serials of camouflaged A-502 and A-528.  The upper 7.62mm machine guns – not 20mm canon – were removed from IA 58C "AX-06".  And those aren't Egyptian markings on page 132.

But none of this irretrievably harms MMP's instructive effort.  Tables, charts and FS 595 matches admirably amplify the account.  And dozens of color plates, color & B&W photos, drawings, and detail shots add valuable visual reference.

Building Special Hobby's 1:72-scale kit?  Tackling Heritage Aviation's 1:48-scale resin?  Grab this helpful handbook.


With thanks to Casemate for the review copy.