Sunday, August 13

Read n' Reviewed - Aircraft in Detail 001 Jaguar from HMH Publications

A new book series from a new publisher and a familiar name today. HMH Publications have two new aircraft in detail photo books just released, on two very popular subjects and a familiar name. Nico from right here at TMN who did a lot of work on the Daco series of books in the past has co-authored with Robert Pied to bring us a book on the Sepecat Jaguar. Andy has read it, see what he thinks about it in his review...

Read n' Reviewed - Aircraft in Detail 001 Jaguar
from HMH Publications
Authors: Nicolas Deboeck & Robert Pied
Book no# 001
84 pages
240 mm x 240 mm
Retail price: 20 euros

Today we've got the chance to look at the first of two titles from the new Duke Hawkins 'Aircraft in Detail' series from HMH Publications, and if you think you spot a familiar name in the info above, you'd be correct, as TMN's very own Nico Deboeck has co-authored these two books. This new series is primarily designed to provide the perfect visual reference guide for anyone starting a modelling project, whilst also including plenty of informative and interesting text to back up the photography.

HMH has big plans for this series, with more titles to come in the future, but for now, let's look at what they've given us in the first of two volumes.
Both of the two books in this series follow a similar style to each other, taking the form of an extended walkaround, covering each area of the aircraft in detail with some stunning close-up photographs. For reference titles like these, the quality of the images is paramount, and you won't be disappointed here. The photography's not only clear and pin sharp, but also shows all those areas that, as a modeller, you really need to see. The accompanying text does a great job of explaining just what you're looking at in a very light hearted and conversational style.
The book starts with an intro explaining just how much of a personal project this and the sister title on the F-16 are. The author's original intent was to produce a photo reference for his own modelling project, which would only be printed in a single copy. Fortunately for the rest of us, that idea was expanded to become the titles we're looking at today.
After the intro of the book, we dive straight in to a detailed look at the forward fuselage. Here we see close up shots of RAF, Armée de l'Air and Indian Airforce Jaguars, including detail shots of the in-flight refuelling probe, the main gun, and the various sensors around the nose.
After that, the book moves further along the airframe to cover the air intakes, including some nice shots of the gun bay, showing just how grubby those areas get on an operational aircraft.
Next, we move on to the wings, and here we're treated to some very nice shots of deployed flaps and slats.
The next section deals with the cockpit, and this is sure to be an area of interest to anyone modelling this aircraft. We're given detail photos of both single and two-seat versions, showing every conceivable detail you could want to see, including close-ups of Martin Baker Mk.4 and Mk.9 ejection seats.
The front landing gear and main gear are both given their own sections, showing the landing gear and bays in great detail. If you're building one of the Kitty Hawk Jaguars, the photos in this section should keep you busy for weeks.
There are more sections covering the aft fuselage and tail, after which we arrive at by far my favourite section of the book, simply titled 'Maintenance'. Here we get a smorgasbord of detail close-ups of the various avionics and equipment bays around the aircraft, together with shots of the engines, both in place and removed for overhaul. This section's like a super-detailer's wet dream.
The book wraps up with an 'in-action' section, that also showcases some of the different liveries worn by the Jaguar over the years.
If you get the impression from this review that I've really enjoyed reading this book, you'd be 100% correct. As a modelling reference, it is are as good as anything out there (and better than most), with fantastic images and very informative text. The only slight downside is the perfect binding which can make the books hard to prop open on a modelling bench, but that's a minor quibble.

You may feel we're a little biased here at TMN, since one of our own is involved with these titles but, believe me, I wouldn't heap praise on them unless they deserved it, and they certainly do.

If you're planning a build of the Jaguar then do yourself a favour and get this book. You won't regret it.

Highly recommended

Andy Moore

You can get these books from the HMH Publications Website Directly. Thanks to them for sending Andy this book to read and review.