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Blackburn Shark

Blackburn Shark Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2020 Title Blackburn Shark
Author Matthew Willis Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2020 ISBN 978-8365958310
Format 104 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £17.00


Compared with its contemporary, the legendary Fairey Swordfish, “it handled just as well and possessed several more modern features”.

It was the Blackburn Shark, subject of MMP’s new, eponymous monograph – available in North America from Casemate.

Matthew Willis’ lavishly illustrated, 104-page account neatly divides into three parts.

Contents commence with a 49-page historical précis of Shark design, development, deployment, and disposition – notably Fleet Air Arm and Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII.

This first part consumes half the book.

The second section recaps Shark data and details – complete with close-up shots and superb, 1:72-scale line drawings. And the third consists of 31 color plates – both profile and plan views.

In addition to artwork and drawings, dozens of period photos illustrate the effort. Extended, explanatory captions, personal recollections, and anecdotes also supplement the story. But Willis’ admirably annotated account includes no selected bibliography. So you’re on your own for further study.

I freely admit: I loved it.

Ever since my pubescent paws first fondled FROG’s ancient 1:72-scale offering, Blackburn’s beautiful Shark seriously snagged my soul. And Willis’ compact chronicle really rekindled the flame!

Now where is my pristine, shrink-wrapped FROG Shark?

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to MMP for the review copy.