Aircraft Pictorial #5
Classic Warships Publishing
By Dana Bell
is the latest book published by Classic Warships Publishing
who are branching out to aircraft books. This book covers the
development history and early variants of the P-40 of the US
Army, it does not cover the differences of the export variants.
The author dug through the records at the National Archives
and the National Air and Space Museum uncovering the never before
told story of the development of this aircraft. Other books
I have read just skim over the development history and early
use of this fighter by the US Army, generally focusing on the
export version which saw much more use during the war.
This softbound book is 72 pages and contains 113 black &
white photos, 13 color photos, and five line drawings. It is
in the same format as the In Action books and the photos are
large and for the most part very clear, the author stated that
some detail photos just were not available and were taken from
technical manuals, but even those are clear enough to make out
the detail. Many of the other photos give a wealth of internal
and external detail and the vast majority of photos I had never
seen before. Of particular interest were the photos of the development
of the fillets and leading edge of the wings. Most of the photos
were very large taking up the width of the page and the color
photos are crisp and take up the entire page which makes searching
the detail much easier.
This book covers the following
variants, the XP-40, the P-40-CU, the P-40A, the P-40B &
C, and the P-40G. I compared this book to what I considered
would be its equivalent, the Detail & Scale P-40 #1, that
book spent the first half covering the P-36, skimmed over the
early development history of the P-40 and focused more on the
export variants, and as stated early in the Detail & Scale
book, the photos in that book were mostly of two different restorations.
Following a comparison of this book with the Detail & Scale
book, this book easily wins hands down in both text and photos.
In both books, the text is sparse as the meat of the books is
detail photos, but the text of this book easily and quickly
walks you through the differences of the variants in the development.
The photos in this book also follow the development and show
much more detail and will allow a modeler to put an incredible
amount of detail in their models. It will also allow a modeler
that wants to do a unique P-40 to do one of the early developments,
some of the developments wouldn't take too much work, some would
require some major surgery.
If you are looking for a long and detailed written history of
the early P-40, you probably wouldn't be happy with this book
as the text is sparse, but where this book shines is in the
detailed photos of the development and detailed areas. If you
love the P-40 and want to know more about the development history,
or a modeler looking to really detail out your early P-40, or
to build a unique one, then you will love this book. I learned
a lot I hadn't found anywhere else.
Thanks to Dana Bell and Classic
Warships Publishing for the review copy.