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Book Review
The Blackburn Buccaneer
The Blackburn Buccaneer Royal Navy, RAF, South African Air Force S.Mk 1, S.Mk 2 & S.Mk 50
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This offering from SAM Publications is a very timely release with some new 1/48th scale model offerings of the Buccaneer on the way. This book is offered in a portrait format and consists of 96 pages, the pages are of a very slightly gloss finish and of a reasonable thickness. The cover is a card cover which will do a reasonable job of protecting the pages within.

The book itself is broken down into twelve sections which are:
Design and Development
Royal NAVY Buccaneers
Royal Air Force Buccaneers
South African Air Force Buccaneers
The Sky Pirates, Buccaneers inthe Gulf War
Colour Side Views
Modelling the Buccaneers
Technical Diagrams
Squadrons and Variants
Kitography contempory kits, decals and accessories

The ‘Design and Development’ section of this title is a good mix of text and images. The text covers the story of the buccaneer progression in an easy to read style that made it enjoyable to read. The pictures are very good considering that they are over 50 years old and are holding up better than I am.

The sections of this title looking at the use of the Buccaneer by the RN, RAF and SAAF are very informative despite the small size of each section. These areas of the books have excellent photographic reference of aircraft that served with the British and South African forces. Two aircraft that I particularly enjoyed seeing photographs of flew out of Boscombedown, the raspberry ripple offering and the black and yellow checked buccaneers; both of these aircraft were regular sights in the skies above my home or on the field.

The section covering Buccaneers that served in Iraq should be of great interest to anyone covering one of these aircraft or more. This section will be of particular help when it comes to depicting a certain one of the aircraft that took part and the accurate application of weathering; it is surprising at just how dirty these aircraft got during the campaign. The artwork applied by the crews to this aircraft is another area that is particularly well covered. This section is followed by twenty five side view artworks of buccaneers in various services and types.

The next section of the book looks at four 1/48th scale builds of the Airfix model under various titles. It is my belief that the Buccaneer kits released by Airfix in 1/48th scale were basically the same model with extra parts added. Tan Models has a new release scheduled for 2018 and excitement is rising around this future release.

The next area provides some walkaround reference in the form of:
An S.2B Buccaneer XW547 at the RAF Museum Hendon photographed by Toby Knight
An S.2B Buccaneer XX855
An S.1 Buccaneer XN965 at the Newark Air Museum
This section closes and we are provided with nine pages of technical drawings that will help any modeller looking to add extra detail to a build they are working on.

The book finishes with a list of variants followed by squadrons that used the Buccaneer and finishes with a kitography of kits and products that are out there.


Having reviewed a number of titles in this range and also have purchased others I had high expectations of this release from SAM Publications. The book is well written in that is uses the limited number of pages to great effect. The information is well presented to the reader without being overbearing on the subject, and this makes it an easy to read offering between perhaps doing some work on a model. While reading the title I did find a few errors in the book, but these were limited to repeated words and so did not cause me trouble. The photographs are fair to good as regards quality and so show off the great lines that the Buccaneer had/has. I would have liked to see longer captions with some of the photographs, but this does not detract from the quality of the book as a whole. Last but by no means is the least the price tag of only £14.99 make this title covering the Blackburn Buccaneer an absolute must by anyone with even a passing interest in this aircraft.
Highs: The excellent coverage of the Buccaneer from a modellers point of view while keeping the book of interest to those just interested in the aircraft and all at a great price.
Lows: The only criticism I can level is some duplicated words in the text.
Verdict: I feel this book from SAM Publications is a must for anyone with an interest in the Buccaneer
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: MDF Scaled Down #6
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Jul 24, 2017

Our Thanks to SAM Publications!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s 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 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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