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PZL.23 Karas

PZL.23 Karas Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review September 2018 Title PZL.23 Karas
Author Tomasz J. Kopanski Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2018 ISBN 978-83-65281-63-0
Format 144 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £17.00


It possessed perhaps the most distinctive silhouette of any WWII-era warplane. And during Nazi Germany's September 1939 invasion, it suffered staggering 86% losses – highest of any Polish combat aircraft.

It's the PZL.23 Karas. And now commemorating a century of Polish combat aviation, it's the subject of a thoroughly updated, completely revised entry in MMP's Orange Series.

And what a sumptuous study it is. The lavishly illustrated, 144-page account describes all operational and prototype derivatives – PZL.23 Karas I ("P.23A"), PZL.23 Karas II ("P.23B"), PZL.42, PZL.43, and PZL.43A – in downright jaw-dropping detail.

Originally designated army cooperation (liniowe or "line") machines, Karas also served as attack- and dive-bombers in at least a dozen Polish units during the September Campaign – roles for which it was not intended.

Survivors escaped to Romania – where they eventually fought on WWII's Eastern Front. Fifty of the related PZL.43 Chayka entered Bulgarian service. And captured examples even saw Soviet and German use.

Detail enthusiasts! Grab your drool cups! Massive measures of minutiae tincture text.

Looking for Karas cockpit and instruments shots? They're there. Engine and cowling details? Yep. Landing gear, canopy, airframe, and armament particulars? Definitely.

MMP's magnificent monograph perfectly fact-checks Mirage's 1:48 kits, IBG's new 1:72 releases, and even Heller's ancient effort.

Superb color plates, digital art, reference shots, service commentary, and 1:72 drawings further season the study. MMP's pithy précis also adds authoritative notes on Polish, Romanian, and Bulgarian camouflage – complete with FS matches.

Karolina Holda's outstanding color profile and plan views, in particular, deserve special recognition. She faithfully captures every visible camouflage and marking nuance. And her work remains some of the finest, most accurate I've ever seen.

You can even reference Holda's remarkable art to paint and weather your PZL.23 project. How about those funky footprints she put on the port wing root of Karas II "44.61"?

Get this brilliant book. Then use it to model your miniature Karas masterpiece.

Rabidly recommended!

With thanks to Casemate for the review copy.