Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Supermarine Spitfire Mk V

The Spitfire Mk. V is arguable the most popular and famous of the Spitfire family and is the subject of Mushroom Model Publication’s lasted book. There are many excellent Spitfire books; however, most of them cover the Spitfire family and not a particular variant. So this book is very refreshing in that respect. In their promotional material Mushroom Model Publications state that the book contains “new facts and new research.” They have not just reiterated Spitfire legend, but have approached many issues anew and drawn new conclusions. These include Operation Jubilee stripes, and the controversial Malta Spitfires. The book is a 128 page paperback and has 195 photos and 49 colour profiles.

The first chapter deals with development of the Mk. VA, VB, and VC series. Even such one offs as the Floatfire, two seaters, and the DB-605 Spitfire are covered. This chapter is rounded out with a production summary with serial number blocks. Next up is RAF and Fleet Air Arm use, with listings of all RAF squadrons that operated the Spitfire as well many photos. Camouflage and markings are covered in the next chapter and this is where some of the controversial issues arise. I agree with the author with regard to many of the issues he discusses, but I doubt anyone will every be able to confirm how Malta Spitfires were painted. The next chapter deals with foreign users of the Spitfire including the United State. The author states that Canada only operated Spitfires in RAF units, but at least one Spitfire VB (ER824) was flown in Canada. The next chapter is a technical description of the Spitfire including many drawings. One word of warning is that the wing bulges are missing from the Spitfire VC wing drawing on page 78. Lastly, we have a set of 1/72 Spitfire V drawings, some colour photos of restored Spitfires, one page of World War II era colour photos and a nice set of colour profiles. Tucked into the colour profiles is one colour shot of a Malta Spitfire.

Overall this is an excellent introduction to the Spitfire Mk. V and I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a one-stop reference on the Spitfire Mk. V.

Thanks to John Noack and Mushroom Model Publications for the review sample.

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