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The Fairey Barracuda

The Fairey Barracuda Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2023 Title The Fairey Barracuda
Author Richard A. Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2023 ISBN 978-1-912932-34-5
Format 134 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £21.95


Ever since my teenage talons first fondled FROG’s ancient, 1:72-scale offering, Fairey’s Barracuda really appealed to me.

That awkward airframe. Those cumbersome contours. The ungainly outline. Something ceaselessly snared my interest. And I fell into puppy love.

Now Valiant Wings recounts the design, development, deployment and disposition of Fairey’s angular attacker in a terrific, 134-page tome – 19th in the publisher’s excellent “Airframe Album” range.

Fans of the popular series will immediately recognize Valiant Wings’ proven prescription.

Author-editor Richard A. Franks kick-starts contents with a capsule, businesslike history. That “Introduction” swiftly segues to a 58-page “Technical Description” overflowing with Barracuda minutiae – nose-to-tail, tip-to-tip, inside-out.

Sexing your model? Eleven subsequent pages of isometric views chart Barracuda “Evolution” – “prototype, production, and projected variants”. Text then turns to a superb “Camouflage & Markings” section with color profiles, plan views, and stencil markings details by Richard J. Caruana. And Libor Jekl’s build of Special Hobby’s 1:72 Barracuda Mk I neatly rounds things out.

Hundreds of period photos and archival images season the study. And four extensive appendices recap Barracuda models, accessories, production, and references. Call it a one-volume library.

Tackling Special Hobby’s 1:48-scale kit? Lavishing attention on FROG’s ancient, 1:72 effort? This splendid study supplants all previous Fairey Barracuda references.

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.