Polish Wings 19...

... Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 and Polish Versions, from MMP Books

Title:  Polish Wings 19

Author: Lechoslaw Musialkowski

Publisher:  Stratus Books/MMP

ISBN:  978-83-63678-27-2

Going back to number 19 in MMP's Polish Wings series this one on the MiG-17 helps confirm for me what a good series of references this is.  I suspect my enjoyment is connected with having grown up during the Cold War this tells part of the story which at the time simply wasn't readily available to us in Western Europe, or NATO if you like.  This tells the story of Poland having joined the Warsaw Pact became able to buy Soviet built aircraft and to become an integrated part of the wider air defence system of Eastern Europe.  Starting with the purchase of some Soviet built MiG-17F and PF variants as well as the ongoing development of licenced variants built in Poland itself.  These are featured in their own sections, for the Lim-5, Lim-5P (with the prominent 'nose' of the radar protruding from the centre of the intake), Lim-5R (Reconnaissance), Lim-5M, Lim-6, Lim-6bis/Lim-6R, Lim-6M/Lim-6MR.

As well as plenty of detail explaining the development and service of each of these variants the 88-page soft cover book is simply packed full of illustrations that will be an aviation historians and modellers delight.  A great mix of black and white as well as colour archive photos, modern colour photos including preserved examples and plenty of the first-class colour artwork that MMP do so well.  One of the aspects of this is the change over time from all-metal finish machines that then moved on to a variety of camouflage patterns with some on grey patterns and others in green/brown and green/green disruptive schemes.  Couple with the detail of the airframes seen in the photos I felt there was plenty in here to encourage the modeller to want to try their hand at either starting or expanding a collection of various Polish AF MiG-17/Lim variants.  It could be quite colourful.  If you have an interest in the Cold War jets of the Warsaw Pact then this is well worth getting I suggest.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin