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Air War Over Italy

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe Extra No.8

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Valiant Wings Publishing – Airframe Extra No.8:  Air War Over Italy: 3rd September 1943 to 2nd May 1945

ISBN: 978-0-9935345-9-1
Media:

84 pages including glossy stiff card covers.

Price: £9.95 plus postage available online from Valiant Wings
and stockists worldwide.
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Useful outline of the ground campaigns and profiles of aeroplanes from all sides involved in the conflict plus six excellent model builds.
Disadvantages: Not much of actual history of the aerial battles, only an outline of the ground campaigns.
Conclusion:

If you want a history of the aerial battles over Italy in the period mentioned, you will need to go elsewhere. However, the modeller will get a lot of satisfaction from the profiles and detailed builds and I, for one, would be happy to buy this publication for that.


Reviewed by Graham Carter



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FirstRead

 

Contents

  • 15 page history by Patrick Branly

  • 28 colour profiles of allied aircraft including two interesting Brazilian P-47s 6 colour profiles of Regia Aeronautica aircraft - just be wary of the spelling mistake of “squadriglia” for the second profile on page 60,

  • 15 colour profiles of Aeronautica Nazionale Republicana (ANR)

  • 8 colour profiles of Luftwaffe participants, some being aircraft of Italian origin and 12 colour profiles of aircraft of the Co-Belligerent Air Force, a mix of Italian and allied aircraft. These profiles are from the works of Richard J. Caruana, a familiar artist to many of us.

  • Interspersed are six detailed model builds by the very capable Libor Jekl and Steve Evans.


 

History

The History section to a certain extent makes the title a misnomer. The vast majority is a description of the ground war, covering the Landings on the Italian Mainland, The First German Lines of Defence, The Amphibious Landing at Anzio-Nettuno, The Battles for Monte Cassino, The Gothic Line, 15th Air Force, Italian Counter-Attack and, finally The Spring Offensive in 1945.

Apart from the single page devoted to the 15th A.F. there is scant information of any ”war’” in the air, just a passing mention of some of the aircraft, and that is often of reduced value as the author reels off info about wingspans, lengths and engine sizes that contributes little to understanding the conflict.

The Axis forces are hardly mentioned, despite there being 41 colour profiles (out of 69) of Axis aircraft.

Some of the photos are very interesting, although few are even referred to in the text. For example, I don’t know why there is a photo of a shiny Marauder “just out of the factory” nor of a Halifax II at Brindisi “ before a supply-dropping mission over Yugoslavia” and the Ju 88 photo contains little of interest. That said, there are a few interesting shots, from a modelling and diorama perspective. The Brazilian P-47D on page 11 would make a great subject, and the chap sweeping the volcanic ash from the wings of a tail-sitting Mitchell after Mount Vesuvius went off in March 1944 (page 7) would make a beaut vignette, as would the mud-encrusted Wellington XIV on page 15.

 

 

I must say that the description of the ground action was interesting to me as my dad had fought with the Eighth Army up through Italy but the work added nothing to my knowledge of the “air war over Italy”.


 

Profiles and Builds

Now for the best bits, and there are plenty of them. The remaining 62-3 pages are taken up with, firstly, the excellent profiles that will give the modeller plenty of scope to add some interesting models to his or her collection.

 

 

Secondly, there are the six brilliant builds, four in 1/72, and one each in 1/48 and 1/32. In 1/72, Libor Jekl does lovely detailed builds of the Special Hobby Baltimore V, Eduard Spitfire IXC and Special Hobby Fiat G.55, while Steve Evans covers the Hasegawa Ju88. In 1/48th, we get Steve again, this time tackling the Eduard P-39L/n in the Co-Belligerent AF and the 21st Century Toys Macchi C205 Veltro.

The modeller will enjoy the depth of information in these build, plenty of step-by-step images, and lots of tips, such as the need to put spacers in the wings of the Baltimore so they fit the fuselage. All of this is helped by nice clear photos of a good size.

 

 

Also very helpful is a colour chart listing the colours needed for each of the combatants, in both acrylic and enamel and the numbers for each paint brand. Companies included are Akan (?), GS Mr Aqueous, Lifecolour, Tamiya and Xtracrylix for those who use acrylics and Humbrol, Revell, White Ensign and Xtracolour for the enamel fans.

 

 

Conclusion

 

If you want a history of the aerial battles over Italy in the period mentioned, you will need to go elsewhere. However, the modeller will get a lot of satisfaction from the profiles and detailed builds and I, for one, would be happy to buy this publication for that.

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.


Review Copyright 2017 by Graham Carter
This Page Created on 15 December, 2017
Last updated 15 December, 2017

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