Valiant Wings Publishing | Airframe Album 2: The Hawker Sea Fury (Second Edition)
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
Valiant Wings Publishing has just released an updated and expanded second edition Airframe Album No. 2, entitled The Hawker Sea Fury: A Detailed Guide To The Fleet Air Arm's Last Piston-engine Fighter. In common with previous titles in the series, this one is authored by Richard A. Franks, a well-known name in modelling and aviation publishing.
The first thing that strikes you with this book is the terrific cover art by Seweryn Fleischer, which is newly-commissioned for this revised edition. The presentation of material in this book is impressive throughout. Photographs are generally clear and crisply reproduced, as are the isometric line drawings by Jacek Jackiewicz. The colour profiles by Richard Caruana are handsomely rendered.
The content itself is organised into four main sections plus an introduction and appendices:
- 1. Technical Description
- 2. Evolution - Prototype, Production and Projected Variants
- 3. Camouflage and Markings
- 4. Models
- 5. Survivors
- I. Fury & Sea Fury Kits
- II. Fury & Sea Fury Accessories
- III. Fury & Sea Fury Decals
- IV. Bibliography
It should be evident from the list of contents alone that this title is aimed squarely at the modeller. There's plenty here for aviation enthusiasts and Sea Fury aficionados too, but the emphasis is on providing the modeller with copious data and as much detail as possible.
The Technical Description section of the book is packed with period photographs, technical drawings and contemporary restoration images. The airframe is covered pretty comprehensively from nose to tail, with special emphasis on those areas of the most interest to modellers: cockpit and engines.
The section on the evolution of the airframe gives a concise but very clear overview of the development of the initial Fury prototypes, right through to the final production variants of the Sea Fury.
The Camouflage and Markings section covers the type's use by the Fleet Air Arm, along with a hodge-podge of Commonwealth and middle-eastern users. A decent selection of period photographs, including several in colour, is accompanied by six pages of colour profiles.
I'd like to see larger versions of some of the photos, but that's a perennial constraint that all aviation publications have to deal with, and hardly a criticism.
The next section of the book features two model builds, both in 1/48 scale, and both by Steve Evans. The first features the new Airfix 1/48 Sea Fury FB Mk 11. Evans does an excellent job with this kit, and it's an impressive build.
The second build features the AMG 1/48 Sea Fury T Mk 20 kit. This is a much more challenging build, but Evans is up to the task, and the finished article in high-speed silver looks terrific.
I would like to have seen a build article featuring one of the extant 1/32 kits, but with the Hobbycraft kit being relatively poor and very difficult to find, and the Fisher resin kit being exotic and expensive, I guess the omission is understandable.
The final of the main sections of the book catalogues the surviving Sea Fury airframes, with photos where applicable. There really are a surprising number of them about, and many of them are airworthy.
The final section is the Appendices, and these follow the customary pattern for this series of books, in outlining what options the modeller has in terms of kits, accessories and decals for producing a scale replica Sea Fury.
The book rounds things out with a bibliography of existing titles covering the Fury/Sea Fury, which serves as a handy launch pad for further research into the type.
Here's a small selection of sample pages, courtesy of Valiant Wings:
This is a detailed, comprehensive and modeller-friendly title. If you're building, or intend to build, a model of the Hawker Sea Fury in any scale, this book will prove invaluable, and I highly recommend it.
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2018
This review was published on Sunday, May 13 2018; Last modified on Sunday, May 13 2018