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The Supermarine Spitfire - Part 1

The Supermarine Spitfire - Part 1 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2021 Title The Supermarine Spitfire - Part 1
Author Richard A. Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2021 ISBN 978-1-912932-14-6
Format 272 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £24.95


If you missed this masterful monograph the first time around, grab it – now.

Revised and expanded to 272 pages from 240, The Supermarine Spitire - Part 1 systematically surveys the whole Merlin-engine Spitfire and Seafire breed in one handy, lavishly illustrated handbook.

Coverage contains a thoroughly competent, capsule Spitfire history, authoritative camouflage and markings notes, airframe and interior details, and variant summaries.

Period photos, tech-manual excerpts, scale drawings, evolutionary isometrics, insignia and code specifications, and color & markings plates provide plenty of eye candy.

Some updates are subtle. Did you know that Burmese Mk IXe Spitfires sported RAL camouflage colors? I didn’t. But the profile’s corrected caption set me straight.

Other changes are obvious. Steve A. Evans, for instance, swaps his original build of Eduard’s 1:48 Mk IXe for a 1:48 Mk I from the same manufacturer. And Valiant Wings includes new Merlin-engine Spitfire and Seafire models issued since mid-2018.

Four appendices listing Merlin-engine Spitfire and Seafire kits, accessories, decals, and references complete contents.

In my 2018 assessment of the first edition, I wrote, “If your library sports just one book on Merlin-engine Spitfires and Seafires, make it this one.”

That advice still stands. Make this masterful monograph your handbook on Merlin-powered Spitfires and Seafires.

With thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.