Polish Wings 20...

... Yakovlev Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-7, Yak-9, from MMP Books

Title:  Polish Wings 20

Author: Wojciech Zmyslony and Wojiech Sankowski

Publisher:  Stratus Books/MMP

ISBN:  978-83-63678-63-0

Number 20 in the Polish Wings series from MMP Books is another fine reference which deserves to be a real hit for modellers as well as aviation historians.  There is a bit of detail in here which took me by surprise and which will offer a great idea for something 'a bit different' for a modeller.

The basic format is a chapter/section on each variant, with text to provide the history along with lots of archive photos and some excellent quality colour profiles.  All have informative captions.  The story is about these Russian built aircraft types which were used by the 'People's' Polish Forces, a name used by Polish communists loyal to Stalin after the German invasion of Poland itself.  The aircraft sported the Soviet Red Star before being replaced by the red/white square of the Polish markings.  The schemes of the Yak-1s and 3s are two grey tones with a pale blue underside, and one with a winter white coating.  The Yak 7 was a two seater designed as a trainer, but which was later to be used as a combat aircraft.  A quite different look to the shape of the spine of the aircraft and the colour schemes include both plain green and green disruptive pattern along with the two colour grey scheme.

Even more improvements went into the Yak-9 and it is with these that I found the 'stars' of this particular book.  The final section is on the 'Yakfire'.  Made for a film in 1958 called 'The Story of One Fighter' is about a (fictitious) pilot in 306 Polish Squadron in Britain during the war.  For this they converted, and painted, 2x Yak-9P's as Spitfires and 2x Yak-9V's as Hurricanes.  There are photos of these 'film stars' and a couple of ideal colour profiles which I am certain will inspire a few models as they look so effective.  It is really the tail which looks odd but generally, they look excellent in their roles.

I have quickly become a fan of this Polish Wings book series from MMP and this one has certainly added to my good impression of the series.  Easily recommended for modellers and any historian interested in the aircraft of WW2.

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

Robin