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The Fairey Barracuda
A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Arm’s First Torpedo-Bomber Monoplane

by Richard A. Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe Album No. 19

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

The Fairey Barracuda
A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Arm’s First Torpedo-Bomber Monoplane
Airframe Album No. 19
by Richard A . Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-912932-34-4
Media: 272 pages in A4 portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround ones, colour profiles, historical manual drawings, line drawings and model details.
Price:


GBP£21.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings

GBP£21.95 plus shipping available online from Hannants

and stockists worldwide.

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Beautifully produced on quality paper, well bound so that it can be opened flat, masses of great information - photos, drawings and colour schemes - and good lists of all things a modeller needs to produce the next masterpiece.
Disadvantages: None noted.
Conclusion:

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Fairey Barracuda or Fleet Air Arm modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Reviewed by Graham Carter


 

FirstRead

 

After a two-year break this is the latest in this popular series of modelling and technical books.

Much smaller than some other editions, it is an A4 130-page volume, well bound with a glossy card cover and printed on quality glossy paper that allows excellent reproduction of images and drawings. The cover is adorned with an Arkadiusz Wrobel commissioned  illustration of a Barracuda Mk. III  from No.829 NAS off HMS Victorious in April,1944. There is much to appeal to the historian and technically-minded person as well as the modeller, although only thirteen pages are devoted to a build from Libor Jekl and a listing of available kits and accessories - this aeroplane is not well represented in the modelling catalogues, despite some 2600 being built.

Following the familiar path, the volume begins with a Preface and introduction of some twenty pages covering the story of the development of torpedo bombers, focussing on the Barracuda and its usage by a large number of FAA squadrons. B&W photos illustrate many of these.

 

 

Then Section 1 covers the Technical Description with chapters on the engine, cockpit interiors, wings and control surfaces, undercarriage, armament, ordnance, electrical and radar, ground equipment and miscellaneous bits and bobs. All of these are covered in some depth with clear detailed contemporary B&W photos and technical drawings with good captions and should be a boon for the super-detailer among modellers.

Section 2 is eleven pages of the Evolution of the design from prototypes , production models and projects such as lifeboat carrying, para-trooping (!) and the development of the Mk.V  These changes are illustrated with annotated isometric sketches by Juraj Jankovic. And again I would request that some of these should be underside drawings to illustrate important features that do not show up in the upper three-quarter views provided.

 

 

Next comes 44 pages of info on Camouflage and Markings which provides information and photos or colour drawings by Richard Caruana of the schemes worn by examples from most users. This section treats some of the special schemes associated with specific units, and a set of drawings show the location of airframe stencils. France and Belgium were the only ‘foreign’ users of this plane. Colour variations were fairly limited as well, either Temperate Sea Scheme for most of the war years or the post-war Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky, with only the colours of the roundels and codes to add variety.

The fourth chapter contains the only model build,  a Special Hobby 1/72 Barracuda Mk.II of the Pacific Fleet by Libor Jekl. This is well-illustrated and written and does point out a couple of traps with the kit.

 

 

There are then four appendices covering, in alphabetic lists by scale, all of the kits that have been available, accessories, decals and a bibliography. A lot of work has gone into compiling these lists , even though it is not extensive given the small number of items. 

There are none of the familiar scale drawings in this edition.

 

  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing The Fairey Barracuda  - A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Armís First Torpe: Image
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This really is a very useful volume that should be in every FAA modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it whole-heartily. It brings together a great deal of information in a  single volume and therein lies its usefulness.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Fairey Barracuda or Fleet Air Arm modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it wholehearted.

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.


Review Copyright © 2023 by Graham Carter
This Page Created on 20 April, 2023
Last updated 7 September, 2023

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