Kagero Monograph Aircraft Books # 2
Brewster F2A Buffalo
by Andre R Zbiegniewski
reviewed by Paul Mahoney
This is a relatively new series from Kagero (at least to me), and follows a similar format to their ongoing unit history series with a few notable exceptions. First, this series is a larger format, with this book about 8 ½" x 11", and comprising approximately 100 pages. Second, it now addresses one aircraft, as opposed to one operational unit. This book, as with all other Kagero productions, is published on good quality, glossy stock and follows the dual-column format (one in Polish, one in English). Translation to English is well-done, and reads easily.
The complete history of the Brewster Buffalo's development, production, deployment, and eventual demise, is covered. The first sections of the book cover the development of the Buffalo, the politics involved in 1930s US Navy aircraft acquisitions, and the progress of the creation of a new Navy fighter. A good explanation of the export process is also given, as the Air Forces of Belgium, England, and Finland all took delivery of Buffaloes. A very detailed explanation of the differences between the Navy's F2A-1, F2A-2, and the export Model 239 is given. Later in the book there are further explanations of the differences with the A-3 and Model 339 variants from the earlier models. Included in this early part of the book are many interior and engine photos with will be great for the superdetailing modelers out there.
After the developmental history, there are many chapters devoted to the operations of the Buffalo. Deployment with the British and Dutch Air Forces in the Far East is covered, as are US Navy and Marine operations. The Buffalo's legendary history with the Finnish Air Force is also described. This operational text is accompanied with maps and photos of relevant subjects.
A short discussion of colors and markings is the final text section. This is followed by 16 pages of plan-view drawings, in 1/48 scales, covering all main variants of the Buffalo. There is then a very useful section of drawings in 1/72nd scale, showing the progressive differences in each variant, with each and every external variation well highlighted. Finally, there are 9 pages of color profiles (10 if you count the back cover). Also included are the nice bonus of some Techmod decals in 1/72 and 1/48 scales.
Bottom line: In depth, good coverage of all models of the Buffalo. With all the line drawings, detailed description of variant differences, and the included decal sheet, this is a volume any modeler of the Buffalo should have. With the upcoming Classic Airframes 1/48 scale releases, this will prove a valuable resource.
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