S u m m a r y
||The Aviation Workshop
On-Target Special Number 3
Wings of Silver - The Silver Years of the RAF 1919-1939
by Mike Starmer and Peter Freeman
||Soft cover; A4 format;
76 pages plus covers
£17.50 available online from The Aviation Workshop
||Packed with attractive
profiles; many and varied markings across all major inter-war single
logically organised by aircraft type; detailed and useful captions describing ops, colours, markings and
unusual features; specific references cited; great source of inspiration for modellers.
Reviewed by Brett Green
HyperScale is proudly supported by
Aviation Workshop's third "On-Target Special" focuses on the
fascinating but largely ignored arena of RAF inter-war colours and
markings. "Wings of Silver - The Silver Years of the RAF 1919-1939" is
written by Mike Starmer and illustrated by Peter Freeman. Mike Starmer
is probably best known as an authority on British and Commonwealth
armour colours, but he clearly has a long-standing passion for this
mysterious subject as well.
In common with earlier titles in the series, this 76 page soft-cover
book is crammed full of artwork of the subject - in this case literally
hundreds of illustrations of a very wide selection of single engine RAF
fighters, trainers and bombers. Many of the aircraft are depicted
in four-view diagrams on a full page. All the artwork is
clean, clear and very attractive. The cover art, depicting a bombed-up
Hawker Hart in flight, is especially nice.
Aircraft types covered include Sopwith Snipe, Bristol F.2B, DH.9A,
Avro 504K & N, Gloster Grebe, Hawker Woodcock Hawker Horsley,
Armstrong-Whitworth Siskin III, Fairey Fawn, Fairey IIIF, Fairey Fox,
Fairey Gordon, Gloster Gamecock, Bristol Bulldog, Westland Waipiti, Avro
Tutor, Hawker Hart (and Hart trainer), Hawker Audax, Hawker Hind, Hawker
Demon (including Hawker Turret Demon), Hawker Fury, Gloster Gauntlet,
Gloster Gladiator, Hawker Hind and even the Hurricane prototype in
silver dope and Spitfire K5054 in bare metal.
Captions accompanying the profiles are excellent, covering colours, markings, operations and references to photos.
This is especially useful to modellers, as the artwork will provide the
inspiration; but a photo will identify a myriad of minutiae.
The book is logically structured by aircraft type, and effectively
documents the development of markings and colours from the close of the
First World War until the last days before Europe was once again plunged
The fact that the vast majority of the subjects are finished in
overall silver does not detract from their appeal or interest. Many
aircraft carried tactical markings, theatre markings and squadron
insignia and special colours, leaving a vibrant and unique stamp on
The only suggestion that I might offer is that it would have been
nice to have a brief introduction to each aircraft - perhaps just a
paragraph or two at the beginning of each section outlining the
background and role of the type.
I do hope that Aviation Workshop is planning to release accompanying
decal sheets as they have for most of their previous publications. The
old Impact 1/48 scale Fury and Bulldog kits hail from the 1960s but are
still quite respectable, Roden's Gladiator is very nice indeed, and I
even have an Aeroclub Gauntlet stashed away somewhere. We are also
seeing a growing range of 1/72 scale inter-war aircraft emerging from
Eastern Europe. Many of these subjects would make fine three dimensional
canvases for decal subjects from this new book.
The "On Target Profiles" series has demonstrated a proven formula for
delivering a wide selection of interesting colour and markings information in an
"Wings of Silver - The Silver Years of the RAF 1919-1939" is a
terrific title that addresses a sadly neglected area, and will be an
ideal one-stop primer on the subject for modellers and aviation
Thanks to Model Alliance for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 2007 by
This Page Created on 02 May, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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