Erik Pilawskii "Radial Engined Lavochkins" CD-ROM
No - not a book! This surprising little number is a resource CD-ROM
from Erik Pilawskii and Chris Banyai-Riepl. Its full title is "VVS
Aircraft Review Volume 1. Lavochkin Piston-Engined Fighters of WW2".
Released in 2007 this is a book on a CD and when loaded to you
computer it auto-runs in a web browser as a web-site. Clever. Erik
is already famous for his book on "Soviet Air Force Fighter Colours"
and as co-author of the "Modelling the Soviet VVS" web site. Much of
the material on this CD has probably been knocking around the web
site in one form or another for years. So this gives you a chance to
get it all in one nice little package without having to bother
downloading it. Chris is a historian and artist who has published
several works including profile art in Erik's book. He is the man
behind Internet Modeller. Anyone who will have seen Erik's work will
be familiar with the style and high quality of the content of this
CD. It is broken down into sections with some history and detail on
how the colour profiles are derived from old black and white
photo's. (We think it is a lot of old witchcraft and that the VVS
painted their aircraft pink which is why so many got
shot down.) Most of the contents are broken down into sub types of
the La-5 and La-7 with lots of colour art profiles of dozens of
machines. Each profile has some history and the original photo's
from which the art was derived. If they couldn't show the photo they
tell you which book to go and look in and on which page to see the
photo in question. Many of their references appear on this page of
Small-Wonder. Erik's version of pseudo-science can drive you mad at
times and you wish he would just admit he is guessing. Educated
guesses but guesses nethertheless. Oh well. Certainly one for the
completist. The problem with CD's is you can't really spread them
out over a modelling workbench like a book. However, it is easy to
penetrate into the CD folders and dig out all the JPEG's. If you can
find what you want you could easily print it if needs be.
Osprey "LaGG & Lavochkin Aces of World War 2"
Published by Osprey Publishing in 2003. Part of the prolific
"Aircraft of the Aces" series. Quite an easy little book to read
through and I recall reading this (or one of its sister titles)
whilst waiting for my wife to give birth in hospital back in 2006.
You get 96 pages including
pages of colour profiles especially prepared for Osprey. There is a
lot of text prepared by George Mellinger and I know some of the VVS
purists don't like the way this portrays the VVS in the Great
Patriotic War. Some of the research is a little dated. The photo's
are good although a little small, unoriginal and indistinct.
Remarkably enough you do get scale plans at the back. Nice but not
Squadron/Signal "LaGG Fighters In Action"
Published by Squadron/Signal in 1996. You get fifty pages in typical
In Action style although I have to say this one is a cut above the
rest. Written by Hans-Heiri Stapfer with artworks by Don Greer,
Ernesto Cumpian and Joe Sewell. There are no books that so nicely
and succinctly walk you through all possible marques of the LaGG-3
pointing out, diagram by diagram, the differences between them. This
is delightful for what must be quite an obscure type to many
Americans. It is nice that this book ONLY covers the LaGG-3 from
I-22 and I-301 prototypes
through the 1st series, then 4th, 8th, 11th, 23rd, 29th, 33rd, 34th,
35th and 66th series. Not only that but you get to see captured
Finnish and Japanese examples. This just has to be essential for the
modeller. Plus you get the usual two pages of colour artwork in the
center section as normal. The photo's are all black and white. These
are large, crisp and nicely reproduced on glossy paper. Although not
to a walkaround standard there are a few interesting details on
cockpit, armament and engine. Recommended.