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The Fairey Firefly

The Fairey Firefly Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2022 Title The Fairey Firefly
Author Richard A. Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2022 ISBN 978-1-912932-28-3
Format 166 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £19.95


Building Trumpeter’s 1:48 Fairey Firefly? Tacking FROG’s or Airfix’s ancient efforts? You need this book.

Billed as “A Detailed Guide to the Fleet Air Arm's Versatile Monoplane”, The Fairey Firefly from Valiant Wings – 18th in the publisher’s “Airframe Album” range – packs massive measures of minutiae into 166 pithy pages, including covers.

Format follows Valiant Wings’ proven prescription.

Editor-author Richard A. Franks’ handy history recaps development and deployment – both wartime and postwar. And text solidly and scrupulously surveys the total tale.

Text traverses all versions – prototype, production, and proposed. Fairey’s rugged, versatile design served in fighter, attack, trainer, ASW, target tug, and drone roles. And service spanned WWII through the 1950s – including Korea and Malaya actions.

Nose-to-tail, tip-to-tip, top-to-bottom, inside and out: contents then methodically cover nearly every external and internal detail. And immensely informative isometrics conveniently and graphically chart design evolution.

Camouflage & markings buffs will also love the book’s authoritative comments. Richard J. Caruana’s superb color views survey the sweep of international Firefly plumage. And the book’s one-stop stencil guide will certainly satisfy AMS sufferers.

Want accurately to weather your Firefly’s ventral surfaces? Reference that stunning shot on page 72.

Finally, modelers will appreciate Steve A. Evans’ build of Trumpeter’s 1:48 release. And Libor Jekl’s and John Wilke’s capsule constructions further leaven a brief modeling section.

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

It’s all here – in one colorful, convenient compendium. But why no dorsal camouflage patterns for, say, WWII FAA and export Ethiopian machines?

Roundly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.