Aircraft Pictorial No.9: Aircraft Painting Guide Vol. 1 Book Review

Aircraft Pictorial No.9: Aircraft Painting Guide Vol. 1

By Dana Bell

Series: Aircraft Pictorial

Staple Bound: 72 pages

Publisher: Classic Warships Publishing 2018

ISBN-10: 0996919929

ISBN-13: 978-0996919920

Dimensions: 10.7 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches

Dana Bell needs no introduction to modelers.  Many discussions about US aircraft camouflage and markings are settled to everyone’s satisfaction when prefaced with the words, “Dana Bell says …”.  Therefore Bell’s Aircraft Painting Guide was highly anticipated.

This book does not disappoint.  There is a brief four page overview of the history of USAAF camouflage, the remainder of the book is a series of large well-reproduced photographs, many in color.  The captions are used to provided context and to point out the subtleties of the aircraft’s markings.  This is the ideal way to tell this story, and quite useful for modelers attempting to replicate the finishes.  Bell does not shy away from the unusual or obscure, such as an O-47 in Navy colors or new insight into 6th AF B-17s in the “Panama Scheme”.  He also lays to rest the subject of the one true shade of Olive Drab, perhaps best summarized with the quote, “No manufacturer’s test sample of Dark Olive Drab was ever rejected for failing to meet the color standards.”

Recommended without reservation, I am eagerly awaiting Volume 2!