Top Drawings is a really nice series of books from Kagero Publishing that are aimed specifically at the modeller who loves and needs to get the detail on their models just right. The latest one I have obtained a copy of looks at the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and covers a large number of variants.
This offering from Kagero is a soft back book written by Maciej Noszczak. This is a duel language offering with English on the left of the page and Polish on the right of each page where there is dedicated text. The cover is made from a light card with a gloss finish and inside there are 26 pages of high quality matt paper plus a fold out sheet and a promotional sheet showing the titles in the range.
The book begins with a short written introduction and that is the only pure text in this title as its purpose is to provide accurate visual reference material. The material is presented in the form of scale drawings and colour profiles. Included with this release is a single fold out sheet on the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and these are both 1/48th scale drawings covering the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt D-22 and a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt C from above and below; also provided in this area are some 1/24th scale drawings covering drop tanks and rocket launcher tube. These line drawings in 1/48th scale show a tremendous level of detail from the panel lines in bold detail down to the rivet detail in very light contrast, a very well presented set of line drawings. The 1/24th scale elements have the relevant detail present, but I feel they have limited value.
The title offers 21 pages of scale line drawings in two scales which are 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, the prevalent scale in these line drawings is 1/48th scale and covers the various versions from both sides and also front and rear. The 1/72nd scale line drawings at the end of this title covers the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt from left and right only and I feel this is a bit of a shame for modellers who are into the smaller scale of 1/72nd. All of the scale line drawings share the same nice attributes of the fold out sheet and leave you in no doubt as regards the details that should be present and where; I also like that the angle of the gull wings can be checked in this title. Intermingled with the 1/48th scale drawings are some 1/24th scale line drawings covering weapons attached to the outside of the aircraft and an instrument panel in no obvious scale.
In the centre of this title are four pages of colour drawings featuring the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt shown from the side for the most part. These drawings are well done and may depict an aircraft you wish to replicate and so could prove very helpful, but please note that these drawings are not presented in any particular scale, at least not one that is mentioned. A nice inclusion here is the nose art often seen on aircraft of the period and that artwork is shown off of the aircraft and so clear.
This offering from Kagero as part of their Top Drawings line of books looking at the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and a large number of variants, but is not a title for the person interested in reading about the aircraft; it is a title aimed very specifically at the modeller looking to build an accurate representation of a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. The scale line drawings biggest plus is the way bold and light lines are present that enable the viewer to instantly tell if something is a panel line or finer detail. I think the inclusion of the fold out sheet is a nice touch especially as it is the only place that the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is covered from above and below in 1/48th scale and those areas need to be covered in a title such as this.
Highs: I like that some of the nose art seen on these aircraft has been included off of the aircraft so that it is easily seen.Lows: I always like to see the canopy masks and other such things included, but this title gets away with not having these due too a higher page count than usual.Verdict: The P-47 has a huge following with modellers and the nickname Juggernaut is well deserved, and so this offering is a great reference for those modellers.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...