Air War Over Italy Book Review
|Date of Review||September 2017||Title||Air War Over Italy|
|Author||Patrick Branly, Libor Jekl, Steve A. Evans||Publisher||Valiant Wings Publishing|
|Format||82 pages, softcover||MSRP (BP)||£9.95|
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.
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.