- Published on Tuesday, 13 September 2011 20:09 Robin Jenkins
Kagero Mini Topcolors 23
Maciej Goralczyk, Janusz Swiation and Tomasz Szlagor
UK Price: £18.99 - Available from Casemate UK >here<
ISBN 978-83-61220-99-2 Softback - 18 pages - Illustrated
20.7 x 27.6 x 0.2 cm
I was introduced recently to the excellent Kagero "Mini Topcolors" range when I reviewed the excellent 'Panzerwaffe 1941 - 43' book and decal set. I was extremely impressed at the standard of both the book, with its many coloured illustrations and the decal sheet, which was of high quality. I noticed that the range also included some aviation subjects and it is the latest of these, covering the Mark Vb version of the Supermarine Spitfire, that is their newest release.The Spitfire, of course, needs no descriptive text, so well is it known. The Mark Vb was the front line mark in the Western European theatre from mid-1941 until the arrival of the more powerful Mark IX. It also saw service in the Mediterranean and North Africa.
As with the Panzerwaffe book, the Kagero approach is simple; a small number of clear, well-illustrated profiles (in this case 8) in a thin colour volume, backed up with high quality decals for all the subjects in a variety of scales, in this case 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32(below).
I do not know if it is peculiar to this particular set, but the 1/32 codes and registration numbers were not provided as decals but as "masking foil", which to me is the same as a vinyl pre-cut mask (above). There are no roundels, fin flashes or stencilling in the set either; the donor kit is meant to provide these. This is fine if you are using most kits, but the 1/32 decals in the old Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfire Vb are notoriously poor, so some extra expense will be necessary to obtain these if using that kit.
Now, as with the Panzerwaffe review, I have chosen a couple of subjects to illustrate the book. Firstly, an early Mark Vb, R6923, QJ-S, flown by F/O Alan Wright of 92 Squadron in April, 1941 (below)
Next, a Malta Spitfire Vb, EP829, T-N, flown by the American S/L, John Joseph Lynch jr. of 249 Squadron in April, 1943 (above).
Finally, we have a specially marked aircraft for the cancelled "Operation Rutter" in July, 1942, BM579, FN-B, flown by the Norwegian Ace F/L Rolf Arne Berg of 331 Squadron based at Manston.
Again, I have to say I am extremely impressed by this range of books and will be looking to add some of the older titles to my collection.
So what do we think?
A cracking buy for the Spitfire Vb fan; some previous use of masks if modelling in 1/32 scale will be required, however.