Sunday, May 4, 2008

Britain Alone - June 1940 to December 1941

Besides their On Target Profiles, the Aviation Workshop also has a series of On Target Specials that are issued when the subject needs more in-depth detail that the Profiles allow. The second book in the Special series covers the camouflage and markings of British aircraft from June 1940 till December 1941. Unlike the Profile series, this book has text as well as the profiles. Mr. Lucas’s work will be familiar to those readers of Scale Aircraft Modeling, and the Guideline Publications RAF colour books. This book continues alone those lines. In Britain Alone the topics covered are day fighters, night fighters, Coastal Command aircraft, the first Grumman Martlets, Middle East schemes, Gladiators and Hurricanes of Malta, and RAF Hurricanes in North Russia. Each chapter has text describing the colours and schemes as well as the Profiles we come to expect. When necessary the history of a given scheme is covered. (Including some fascinating information on the advent of the day fighter scheme for Spitfires.) Aircraft covered include Hurricanes, Spitfires, Defiants, Beaufighters, Hudsons, as well as lesser-known types such as Turbinlite Havocs, a shark mouthed Handley Page Harrow, and the Saro Lerwick. The profiles are very well done. I really miss the historical photographs that were in the books published by Guideline and I hope that the Aviation Workshop will consider using reference photographs in future books. Profiles are nice, but I always like to compare the profiles to photographs to see if I come to the same conclusions as the artist. Secondly, I wish that a modern standard such as F.S. were used to describe the colours. Differing Sky and Egg Duck Blue colours have always confused me, and while it is helpful to know which colour a certain aircraft carried, it is still somewhat confusing not to know what the colour looks like. Recommended to RAF enthusiasts.

Thanks to the Aviation Workshop and John Noack for the review sample.

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