Friday, August 31

B-26 Marauder Walk Around from Squadron Review

Squadron/Signal Publications have the latest in their series of Walkaround books - this time the subject is the B-26 Marauder from WWII, and now it has been just released and we thought that we would give it a read and tell you what we think as well as a few good pictures of what to expect inside – read on Marauder fans…

B-26 Marauder Walk Around
by David Doyle. 
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications
Photos: 220+ photographs (Colour + B/W) + Profiles & line drawings
Paperback: 80 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0897476891
ISBN-13: 978-0897476898
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.3 x 0.2 inches ( A4 Landscape) 
SS65069 B-26Marauder Walk Around (Hardcover) $28.95
(Right now there is 10% off the above price on the Squadron/signal website)

When you buy a book on a subject as a modeller you want specificity – now I am not sure if that is a word but I mean you want a book that covers a subject. What most modellers (other than someone who builds kits with no shame and a blindfold) want is a book that leaves you in no doubt as to how the aircraft looks/ed in real life. Modellers who need to make their kit relevant and as life like as possible look to “Walkarounds” of their subjects to bring that realism to their kits. There are several books specifically showing detail in the scope modellers need – but on the subject of aircraft two really are the crown jewels…
The two books in question  - well one of them is written in Japanese  and called “Aero Detail” & Now out of print – these are expensive and rare as hen’s teeth – they also only have about twenty titles…The other series of books which I think is just as brilliant for detail up close are from Squadron/Signal Publications – this series is simply called “Walk Around” and now is in the tens of titles published – so not only is this book ;legible to many more readers, it covers so many more (it seems like most military aircraft you can think of) and it is in print still – so it is cheap to buy. This title is also in it’s second incarnation in many of these titles.
This title – on  the B-26 “Marauder” (sometimes known as “the Widowmaker” because of it’s high attrition rate early on) is released in this format for the first time. There are the “In Action” series already but I like these better – as they have the details that I as a modeller need – when I want to paint I look for the “In Action” series for colours and diorama and general inspiration.
In the past this series has diverted just a little from what I want in a walkaround book – to it’s credit David Doyle the author has made sure this book is focused pretty much on just the pictures and details. Indeed there is a short story on the aircraft’s genesis and you do learn the reason why there were such mishaps and a high initial casualty rate with this ship – but also you learn about the later variants in a page at a time for each major variant. There are however only about five pages of full text in this book. The other seventy-five pages are full of pictures of close up details of a few B-26’s that are still in wartime condition and one or two period photographs.
Indeed there are some 220+ pictures in this book of the Marauder and all of it’s parts from nose to tail including the important undercarriage and internal areas. Squadron choose these pictures carefully and the quality of them is excellent as is the relevance and the usefulness of each. There are not really any new additions on these aircraft. Most of the parts are original or added from other original sources – which is really important to modellers. Indeed I have not seen these walkaround pictures on the net anywhere so already you are a step ahead with this book.
When we move from one subject to another in the major series of the B-26 we get the information of the changes and as a great inclusion here several detailed line drawings and colour profiles of the aircraft. These again are really import and when building your kit (usually great to make sense of rubbish kit instructions) and invaluable tools (along with supporting photographs in the book of the original parts. This is the total detailer’s package. There is also a page of line drawings which show the difference in the genesis from the off the drawing board B-26MA through succeeding variant till the last B-26G.
There isn’t much to read in this book in the way of a story and for a good reason – there is a STACK of information on each of the parts of the aircraft instead. Each of the pictures is accompanied by an inch or so deep caption which explains exactly what part of the aircraft you are looking at – what it does and some of the eccentricities of that part. Always interesting but sometimes a bit wordy it is however just what you need when wanting to learn about the mechanics of the aircraft.
All in all an excellent and even an improved tittle in the series – I you are interested in the working of this machine then you should look no further - especially at the price and how quickly and easily you can get the book from Squadron.

Ohh - and nice artwork on the cover and rear by Don Greer as well!

We thank the excellent people at Squadron/Signal Products for the book. Check out their great looking new website.