The latest addition to Albatros Productions' invaluable range of Windsock Datafiles is both tinged with sadness and exciting for what it heralds. A Datafile devoted to the DH9A "Ninak" was originally intended to be #100 in the series, but the passing of Jack Bruce and Bruce Robertson, both working on the title, brought about its postponement.
Now John Alcorn has taken up the challenge and produced an excellent Datafile on this classic late WW1 / Interwars aircraft that is actually just Vol. 1 of a pair.
The 36 pages cover the development of the DH9, and the Liberty "12" engine that rescued the aircraft from seeming oblivion when the originally selected Siddley Puma proved unreliable and unable to produce the stated power.
Modified to accept the heavier and more powerful Liberty, the DH9A "Ninak" appeared in the final months of WW1, and went on to enjoy a remarkably long career with the RAF policing the British Empire, as described in the second half of the book.
Most pages are packed with B&W photos accompanied by detailed and informative captions. The quality of the original photos obviously varies considerably, but the clarity of the best of them is excellent, thanks in part to their careful reproduction on high quality paper.
Windsock plans are something of a staple among modellers of early aircraft, and this volume doesn't disappoint, with full-view drawings in 1:72, backed up by detailed fuselage cutaways and info-views in 1:48 and 1:24.
8 pages are devoted to a full-colour walkaround of the DH9A preserved at the RAF Museum, Hendon, and the coverage of the cockpit and rigging will be an enormous help to modellers. Finally, anyone looking for inspiration for colour schemes need look no further than the 8 high quality profiles by noted aviation artist Ronny Bar.
Now of course, kits of the DH9A aren't exactly thick on the ground - in fact the list in the book indicates that only CMR's fine resin kit is available currently. But fans of Wingnut Wings will need no reminder that that's all set to change with the release of a 1:32 version set for later this year, so the timing of this book could hardly be more opportune.
And 1:48? Well, Windsock Datafiles have a habit of inspiring kits... so I think it's a safe bet that quarterscale modellers shouldn't have too long to wait. Roden have already announced a DH9 for release this year, so hopefully a "Ninak" won't be far behind.
John Alcorn's study of the DH9A will be very useful to early aviation enthusiasts and modellers alike, and fully upholds the high standards of the series. I look forward to seeing Vol. 2. Recommended.
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Highs: Concise informative text. Period photos backed up with comprehensive captions. A full-colour walkaround. Detailed plans and excellent artwork.Lows:Verdict: Datafile #139 will be of interest to historians and modellers alike, and an essential reference for the CMR and forthcoming Wingnut Wings kits.
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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...