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Air War Over Italy

Air War Over Italy Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review September 2017 Title Air War Over Italy
Author Patrick Branly, Libor Jekl, Steve A. Evans Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 978-0-9935345-9-1
Format 82 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £9.95

Review

Air War Over Italy - eighth installment in Valiant Wings' superb "Airframe Extra" range - recaps peninsular MTO combat between September 1943 and May 1945.

Patrick Branly kick-starts contents with a 15-page "history". Six excellent model builds follow. Libor Jekl contributes three:

  • 1/72 Special Hobby Baltimore Mk V
  • 1/72 Eduard Spitfire Mk IXc
  • 1/72 Special Hobby Fiat G.55 Serie I

And Steve A. Evans handles the rest:

  • 1/72 Hasegawa Ju 88A-4
  • 1/48 Eduard P-39 Airacobra
  • 1/32 21st Century Toys Macchi C.205 Veltro

Interspersed among all are dozens superb color profiles by Richard Caruana. I counted 73.

These constitute a cool, colorful cross-section of participating Allied and Axis warplanes - Australian, Brazilian, French, Regia Aeronautica, Italian ANR, Italian Co-Belligerent, German Luftwaffe, RAF, South African, and USAAF. 

Color and B&W photos add even more eye candy. And a convenient "Colour Reference" page recaps available hobby paint from six manufacturers.

Comments?

The 1/32 Veltro kit proved particularly provocative. Just base your Macchi "smoke ring" camouflage on Caruana's profiles - not on Evans' interpretation.

Note, too, that after Mussolini's July 1943 removal from power, the Italian government mandated deletion of fascist aircraft insignia - including the cowling Fascio Littorio and leaving, sometimes, only the black rings of wing markings. So check photos when modeling pre-armistace Regia Aeronautica machines.

Finally, Branly's historical notes nicely recap ground actions - but oddly offer little on actual air operations. So don't expect background remarks on, say, ANR interceptors over Turin - or Luftwaffe night attacks at Anzio.

Still, enthusiasts presumably purchase "Airframe Extra" books for stimulating model builds and brilliant color profiles - not for potted histories.

Looking for a colorful club project? Consider late-WWII air ops over Italy. And tap this terrific title for inspiration!

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

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