Valiant Wings Publishing: Air War over Italy

Publisher/Distributor

Valiant Wings Publishing

Price

9.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 76 pages, A4 Format, softcover, ISBN: 978-0-9935345-9-1, Airframe Extra #8

Continuing with their very nice Airframe Extra series, this one is on the Italian air war after September 1943. The historical background in this edition is by Patrick Bramley and like other editions, provides a very good background to the campaign. This section also includes a number of nicely chosen period photographs. It is a bit of a shame that these couldn't be larger, but they do add flavor to this section and that is really the main purpose.

As many know, Italy was not a primary theater of operations for the Allies on the European side of things. It was more widely supported than the CBI, but after the retaking of North Africa and the collapse of Mussolini's government, it was very much second string with the effort being placed on Northern Europe. It was very much the same for the Germans as they concentrated on Russia and later the Normandy invasion.

Thanks to a number of Italians sticking with the fascist side of things, there was a pro-German army and air force, but honestly, these were minimally effective. Much of the reason for this was that the German's did not really trust their loyalty. A goodly part of the Italian aviation manufacturing was in Northern Italy so new types were still being produced and repaired. Many of the R.A's planes in this section were taken over by both the ANR and the Germans. A small number were also used by pro-Allied units and these units were also provided with mostly war-warn aircraft.

A big part of this series is the superb profiles by Richard Caruana. In this case, there are three major sections of profiles: one for the Italian ANR and German used planes, one for the Allies and one for the pro-Allied Co-belligerant Air Force. The main draw of this series are the theme-based kit build articles. As usual, we have our two major modelers involved; one who likes lots of aftermarket and the other who builds basically out of the box. This is a nice mix and these guys produce some great looking models.

This edition includes the 1/72 Special Hobby Baltimore, Eduard Spitfire IXc, Special Hobby Fiat G.55, and Hasegawa Ju-88A-4. In 1/48 we have an Eduard P-39 while in 1/32 we have the 20th Century Toys 1/32 Macchi C. 205. In all, it makes for another superlative edition. If you are not already a fan of this series, if you'd pick up this one, you soon will be.

September 2017

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