Volume 16 really is a whopper! The A4 softbound book has 272 pages printed on high quality glossy stock. The photo reproduction is excellent - obviously bearing in mind the varying quality of the many vintage shots included.
The Contents page breaks the coverage down into two main sections - Aviation Chapters and Miniature Chapters, but there is naturally a degree of overlap and the book will appeal to both researchers and modellers alike.
The book begins with a chapter that strangely isn’t listed in the Contents; the Preface. The title hardly does the chapter credit, because the Preface is actually a 45-page historical overview of the Hurricane’s development and service with the RAF at home and overseas, along with 24 foreign air forces (in some cases testing captured airframes). Rounding things off is a comprehensive production list allowing the reader to pinpoint a given airframe by its serial number.
More detailed coverage begins with Evolution Part 1 - Prototype and Mk. I (9 pages), Evolution Part 2 - Mk. II to Mk. V (12 pages), Sea Hurricane and Canadian Production (10 pages) and Reconnaissance, Meteorological, Projects and Test Airframes (6 pages). In each of these chapters, individual variants are described with succinct notes accompanied by side profiles and detail-views by Richard Caruana and, where possible, period photos. The chapters form an excellent quick-reference to check the technical details of any particular Hurricane version.
Camouflage & Markings
Richard Caruana contributes a wealth of colour profiles and other artwork to the next 42-page chapter - Camouflage & Markings. Obviously, all the standard colour schemes are described and illustrated here, but you’ll also find some unusual paint-jobs to get the creative juices flowing, both with the RAF and RN aircraft and, especially, with the Hurricanes serving with foreign air forces.
Page 140 marks the beginning of the Miniatures section of the book, beginning with reviews of a selection of the currently available Hurricane and Sea Hurricane kits across all the major modelling scales.
This is followed by excellent builds by Libor Jekl and Steve Evans of the following kits:
Airfix Hurricane Mk. I - 1:72
Arma Hobby Hurricane Mk. IIc “Expert Set” (plus shots of the Mk. I and Mk. IIb) - 1:72
Hasegawa Hurricane Mk. I “Douglas Bader” - 1:48
Fly Sea Hurricane Mk. IIc - 1:32
Both modellers are on top form, and their detailed explanations of the builds, accompanied by step-by-step photos, will be a real inspiration whichever scale you prefer to work in.
Building A Selection
Next comes Building A Selection. I always feel this chapter in Airframe & Miniature books would work well if it was merged with the earlier Evolution material, because it covers essentially the same ground in a different form. This time, the different Hurricane variants are illustrated with excellent annotated isometric drawings by Jurak Jankovic. While the chapter is aimed more specifically at modellers, I think most people will refer back and forth between this and the Evolution section - so there’s a lot of needless toing and froing which could be dispensed with if only the two sections were combined.
In Detail: The Hawker Hurricane
Last among the main chapters is probably the primary reason many people will purchase the book. In Detail: The Hawker Hurricane is a very comprehensive 44-page walkaround comprising original vintage photos and technical illustrations with colour shots of preserved airframes. The inclusion of original source material is crucial in my opinion in making the coverage as accurate as possible. The coverage is broken down into 9 logical sections detailing all areas of the airframe, from the engine and cockpit through to electric systems and ordnance. This all adds up to an essential “go to” visual reference for correcting and super-detailing any Hurricane model build.
Appendices & Plans
The text wraps up with a series of Appendices, including comprehensive lists of Kits, Accessories & Masks, Decals and a Bibliography for further reading.
Finally, there’s a very useful set of fold-out 1:48 plans for the major Hurricane and Sea Hurricane variants.
Once again, Valiant Wings have produced a truly excellent “one-stop shop” reference work that deserves a place on the shelves of anyone interested in the Hawker Hurricane, be that from an historical or a modelling perspective. Highly recommended.
Airframe & Miniatures No. 16 (ISBN: 9781912932122) is available from Valiant Wings now, Price: £24.99
Many thanks to Valiant Wings for providing the review copy. Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE