Canfora Publishing | Wingspan Volume 1
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
Swedish publisher Canfora Publishing usually specialises in books about armour and armour modelling, so may well be an unfamiliar name to many aircraft modellers. As far as I can tell, this is the company's first title dedicated to aircraft modelling, and they have wisely chosen to make 1/32 scale its focus!
The book is lavishly produced in soft-cover landscape format, with some excellent model photography reproduced on 128 glossy pages. It's structured around nine magazine-style build articles:
- Nakajima K-84 Hayate
- Hasegawa - Jan Kopecký
- Vought F4U-1 Corsair
- Tamiya - Toni Canfora
- Messerschmitt 163 Komet
- Meng - Mats Johansson
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII
- Tamiya - Anders Isaksson
- Messerschmitt Bf 109
- Eduard - Jan Abrahamsson
- North American B-25 Mitchell
- HK Models - Jan Kopecký
- Fokker DVII
- Wingnut Wings - Mikael Terfors
- Gloster Meteor F.4
- HK Models - Toni Canfora
- Messerschmitt Bf 110C-1
- Dragon - Stepan Lasek
Note that the Dragon Bf 110C kit is misidentified as an Eduard kit in the book's table of contents.
The build articles themselves are not designed to be extensive how-to instructional pieces, though there are still plenty of hints, tips and ideas on offer. A significant portion of the value of this book lies in the sheer inspiration contained within its pages, as each build is world-class. This is amply reinforced by the luxurious production values used throughout, making it feel like a coffee table art book.
The layout of each build is reminiscent of a high-end modelling magazine, with pages of descriptive text and finished model photos alternated with pages that feature captioned build photos laid out in sequence. Below is a selection of example pages from the book:
The text is generally clear, and the captions are concise and descriptive. There are a few minor errors and typos, but nothing that would impair the understanding or enjoyment of the material.
It's interesting that seven of the nine builds are WW2 prop planes, with no modern jets featured (the Meteor being of WW2 origin in any case). At least three of the builds are by LSP members, which is always nice to see!
There's really not a lot to say about this book. It's simple in concept and flawless in execution. It's designed as an inspirational showcase, rather than a didactic teaching tool, and in this regard is utterly successful. And that's not to say that the content is not instructional, merely that this is not its primary focus.
As the book's title suggests, this is the first in a planned series, with Volume 2 already underway. Fans of more modern aircraft may be disappointed with the selection of featured builds, but the sheer artistry on show is hard to ignore. Perhaps volume 2 will address this perceived imbalance. On the strength of this showing, it will be worth waiting for regardless!
Thanks to Canfora Publishing for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2015
This review was published on Monday, May 11 2015; Last modified on Saturday, March 26 2016