One of the latest additions to Pen & Sword's "Images of War" series covers Consolidated B-24 Liberators based in the UK during WW2 from their arrival through to the end of the conflict in Europe.
Author Peter Bodle has gathered together an extensive collection of black and white photos in this 139-page soft-bound volume. A few images are familiar, but by far the majority are new (to me, at least) and cover the whole gamut of subjects from day to day ground and servicing scenes, close-ups of nose art, posed crew-shots, on to in-flight shots on combat operations.
Many of the photos come from private sources (particularly the Tony North collection) and, as may be expected, quality does vary - from extremely crisp, through to rather pixelated where a fair amount of computer-restoration has been necessary. The latter is more than forgivable in making available images that would otherwise have been lost to us.
Following a brief overall introduction, the book breaks down into the following chapters:
- 2nd Bombardment Wing
-- 389th Bomb Group
-- 445th Bomb Group
-- 453rd Bomb Group
- 14th Bombardment Wing
-- 44th Bomb Group
-- 392nd Bomb Group
-- 491st/492nd Bomb Group
- 20th Bombardment Wing
-- 93rd Bomb Group
-- 446th Bomb Group
-- 448th Bomb Group
-- 489th Bomb Group
- 96th Bombardment Wing
-- 458th Bomb Group
-- 466th Bomb Group
-- 467th Bomb Group
- Assembly Ships
- Sadly (crash scenes and salvage yard shots)
Amongst the hundreds of photos included here, there is a plentiful selection of nose-art that will obviously inspire some great models. Each photo is backed up by a clear and informative caption. What is especially useful from a modeller's perspective is that, where possible, there is more than one photo of the aircraft, allowing a better sense of the overall scheme and markings.
The one thing I find regrettable is that the book lacks an index; it would be particularly handy to be able to quickly cross-check to find an aircraft by its nickname, serial number or crew and go straight to the relevant photos. But that is a minor point that hardly detracts from the usefulness of the book as a whole.
With it's extensive collection of well researched photographs, both modellers and historians interested in US WW2 bomber operations in Europe will find much of value in Peter Bodle's book. At just £12.99 it's very attractively priced and, although obviously not a primary reference on the B-24, is well worth having as a source of inspiration for model projects and dioramas.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A well researched collection of photographs covering all aspects of B-24 operations.Lows: Picture quality does vary. No index.Verdict: A book that's well worth reading with hundreds of photos of wartime Liberators and airfield operations to inspire modellers.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...