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The Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2018 Title The Bristol Beaufighter
Author Richard A. Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2018 ISBN 978-0-9957773-8-5
Format 180 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £18.95


The subtitle alone ranks as a masterpiece of understatement.

Billed as "A Detailed Guide To Bristol's Hard-hitting Twin", The Bristol Beaufighter from Valiant Wings – 14th in the publisher's "Airframe Album" range – packs metaphorically mountainous measures of minutiae into 180 pithy pages, including covers.

And it sports something for just about every fan of this versatile, potent WWII warplane.

Historians will value editor-author Richard A. Franks' handy history. Design. Development. And deployment – both wartime and postwar. Franks solidly and scrupulously surveys Beaufighter's total tale.

Detailers will go ga-ga over the book's next 92 pages. Nose-to-tail. Tip-to-tip. Top-to-bottom. Inside and out. With Valiant Wings' immensely informative design evolution isometrics, contents methodically cover nearly every external and internal Beaufighter characteristic.

Camouflage & markings buffs will equally love the book's authoritative comments. Dozens of superb color profile and plan views by Richard J. Caruana also survey the sweep of international Beaufighter plumage. And Caruana's one-stop, one-page RAF insignia and stencil guide – with official dimensions – will help fact-check your favorite British Beaufighter decals.

Finally, modelers will appreciate the timely builds of two new Beaufighter TF.X kits. Steve Evans constructs Revell's 1:48 release. And Libor Jekl tackles Airfix's 1:72 model.

Hundreds of photos and tech-manual excerpts supplement the superb study. And three appendices of Beaufighter kits, accessories, decals, and references complete contents.

Whew. It's all here – in one colorful, convenient, and, yes, consummate compendium.

Just one nitpick: do those Dominican Republic insigne proportions on Caruana's profile look odd to you?

Rabidly recommended!

With thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.