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Book Review

Swedish Fighter Colours: 1925-1954 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2013 Title Swedish Fighter Colours: 1925-1954
Author Mikael Forslund, Thierry Vallet Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2012 ISBN 978-8361421726
Format 264 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $69.00


Let's cut to the chase: I adored this book.  I want to marry it.  I want to bear its children.


The matchless Mikael Forslund and inimitable Thierry Vallet illumine Swedish piston-engine warplanes in a visually stunning study from MMP.  And text transcends mere "color" coverage.

Chapters feature notes on aircraft development, production, acquisition and service.  Subject sections also sport absorbing anecdotes, "incidents and accidents", technical details, and – of course – camouflage & markings comments.

Thierry Vallet's striking color profiles – all authenticated with adjacent reference shots – season this cool, copiously illustrated compendium.  Hundreds of vintage B&W and color photos further augment the account.  And detail images offer superb modeling reference.

Charts also summarize "individual aircraft histories" – including serial and construction numbers, delivery and retirement dates, miscellaneous remarks and, where known, hours flown.  Concluding data blocks distill production, performance and dimensional details.

I immediately targeted the book's middle chapters – the World War II era.  That's where you'll find colorful classics like Gloster's Gladiator, Seversky's EP-1-106, FIAT's CR.42, Reggiane's Re.2000 and – yes – Vultee's Model 48 "Vanguard".

Surprises abound.  One guy stopped his spinning J 6 Jaktfalken by simply standing up.  Another successfully parachuted from a Seversky J 9 baggage compartment.  Rats caused several aircraft accidents.  Reggiane designed J 20s (Re.2000s) for an absurd "7.5-hour life expectancy".  And Afghanistan almost bought SAAB J 21s.  So look past those pretty pictures!

Appendices detail Swedish national insignia variants, code styles, and camouflage colors – with federal standard equivalents.  A summary of Swedish aviation ranks and selected bibliography complete contents.

Gremlins occasionally intrude.  The chart on page 252 should, I think, list 20 Reggiane J 20 "write-offs".  And the profile of J 26 Mustang s/n 26021 should sport a bulged "Dallas" hood – as the photo shows.

But I quibble.  Get this terrific tome.  I absolutely loved it.

Rabidly recommended.

With thanks to MMP BOOKS for the review copy:


Available in North America from CASEMATE: