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Fairey Battle

Fairey Battle Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2009 Title Fairey Battle
Author Ian D. Huntleys Publisher SAM Publications
Published 2004 ISBN 1-9533465-9-5
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £9.99 (Approx 16.50 USD)


Invariably I will strike out into the unknown and build a kit subject that has little in the way of references available. Such was the case with Hasegawa's new 1/32 Spitfire Mk.V a few decades ago and such was the case with Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Fairey Battle almost 10 years ago. If I only knew then...

SAM Publications produces a wide range of fine hobby magazines and references for the modeler and aviation enthusiast, and of course four years after my project was completed, here comes a great reference on the subject - Fairey Battle.

This title covers the Battle from spinner to tailcone with lots of good photos, diagrams and scrap drawings. The coverage includes:

  • A Concise History
  • Construction & Equipment
  • Camouflage & Markings

One area of curiosity that I was looking for was the answer to the Battle's unique landing gear. The Classic kit had these odd rods that extended out of the wheel wells, but the instructions were very vague on proper placement (or what they even were). According to this title, these were 'reaction rods' that evidently acted as a form of shock absorber for operating this large airframe from unimproved airfields (as runways were few and far between in operational deployments). The photos and drawing show how these reaction rods were interconnected to the main gear struts so next time I tackle the subject, I'll know how to do the gear properly.

This title is well-illustrated with full-color and black & white photos as well as a nice selection of color profiles. As mentioned earlier, a variety of factory drawings and illustrations are also included so you can see how the airframe was built right out of the shop manuals.

This series will definitely appeal to aviation enthusiasts as it provides a nice look at the subject with lots of engineering details that will please the detail modeler. The color profiles and references will also help select the final look of your project from a variety of mission color schemes.

My sincere thanks to SAM Publications for this review sample!