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Classic Warbirds #12


S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Classic Warbirds #12 “The ANZACs”



Contents & Media:

B5 portrait format, glossy soft-cover with 72 gloss- finish pages. Profusely illustrated with B&W photos and colour artwork.


Available on-line from MMP Books for £9.99, Ventura Publications for NZ$36.00, Hannants for £9.99 and Casemate Publishing for US$22.00. (Platypus Publications are the Australian distributors but I could not find their web-site.)

Review Type:

First Look


Good quality of finish plus well researched and laid out.


New Zealanders form 70% of this ANZAC account. Perhaps a better balance could have been struck with equal numbers of pilots from both nations.


An enjoyable and interesting read with helpful colour illustrations for modellers. 

Reviewed by Mark Davies

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



The book is an updated and extended version of an earlier and now out-of-print volume on ANZAC Spitfire pilots. It tells the stories of ten New Zealand and Australian pilots who served in WW2, flying both Spitfires and Hurricanes in a variety of operational scenarios from the West European, Middle Eastern and China-Burma-India theatres.


  • Classic Warbirds #12 “The ANZACs” Book Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Classic Warbirds #12 “The ANZACs” Book Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Classic Warbirds #12 “The ANZACs” Book Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • Classic Warbirds #12 “The ANZACs” Book Review by Mark Davies: Image
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The accounts are based on interviews with the pilots and their written memoirs. This approach gives an interesting insight to the reality of what they experienced. This provides for a variety of situations and narrative styles, all of which are easy to read. There are many interesting anecdotes; one that struck me was an account of how the Italians, before retreating from their airfields, sabotaged what appeared to be flyable airframes with acid on the internal structure!

The ten pilots covered by the volume are:

  • Wing Commander Roy Buchanan (NZ)

  • Wing Commander Johnny Checketts (NZ)

  • Pilot Officer Hugh Dean (NZ)

  • Squadron Leader Graham Falconer (Aust)

  • Group Captain Colin Gray (NZ)

  • Flight Lieutenant Edward Hall (Aust)

  • Squadron Leader Don Mclean (Aust)

  • Flight Lieutenant Alan Pearl (NZ)

  • Flight Lieutenant Lawrence Weggery (NZ)

  • Squadron Leader Jeff West (NZ)

So things are a bit biased towards the Kiwis with on only three out of ten being Aussies. This however does not detract from the enjoyment of reading the accounts and studying the numerous supporting photographs with their explanatory captions.

From a modelling point of view there are very nicely rendered colour plans and profiles of the pilots’ aircraft, and in some cases notes on the pilot’s recollections regarding the colour his aircraft was painted in cases where non-standard colours were used. Of course the numerous photos are also of interest to modellers, with in-service wear and tear being well illustrated.





This high quality publication is an enjoyable and interesting read. The personal accounts bring to life and give an insight to the circumstances these men served in. The extensive photographic illustrations both serve to give a face to the stories and provide the modeller with many interesting views of service aircraft. The high quality colour artworks provide a useful guide to any modeller inspired to build the aircraft flown by the pilots whose stories are told


Thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for this review example

Review Copyright © 2011 by Mark Davies
This Page Created on 7 June, 2011
Last updated 7 June, 2011

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