... from MMP Books
Title: Blackburn Shark
Author: Matthew Willis
New in their Orange series of softcover books, the latest one from MMP Books looks at the story of the Blackburn Shark. This Blackburn torpedo bomber of the 1930s is one I admit to knowing little about beforehand. My main memory of it comes from my youth, when Frog Models did a plastic kit of it back in the 1960s. A biplane, and with either a wheeled undercarriage or floats.
The books tells the story of the background to the Ministry requirements for a new torpedo bomber, one which was designed and built at around the same time as the more famous Fairy Swordfish. The Blackburn design is then examined, testing and then the pre-war service, when it flew from HMS Courageous and took part in a Royal Flypast at Spithead as well as details of its' service in the Middle East. Next is a section on Overseas Service with both Portugal and Canada, before looking at the second-line duties it carried out quite successfully into WW2. These parts are rounded off with a Conclusion, considering the props and cons of the design. That is followed by some notes on Colours and the basic specs. That fills just half the book. The second half is divided between a series of super detail in a selection of archive images from BAe Systems Brough Heritage, a series of super 1/72 scale line drawings, of both the wheeled undercarriage and float-plane variants, then a succession of beautiful colour plates showing a wide variety of different colour and marking schemes. These include some quite striking schemes which should provide some good inspiration for modellers. Add the detail for aviation historians and MMP have managed to produce a book which is equally attractive to aviation fans and modellers alike. Excellent.
Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided our review copy.