Canfora Publishing | Wingspan Volume 2

Reviewed by Kevin Futter

Swedish publisher Canfora Publishing usually specialises in books about armour and armour modelling, so may well be an unfamiliar name to many aircraft modellers. In 2015, the company branched out into covering aircraft modelling, with the release of Wingspan Vol. 1. Late 2016 saw the release of Vol. 2 in the series, and like its predecessor, it focusses exclusively on 1/32 scale aircraft models.

The book is lavishly produced in soft-cover landscape format, with some excellent model photography reproduced on 128 glossy pages. It's structured around ten magazine-style build articles:

Mitsubishi A6M2b Zero
Tamiya - Jan Abrahamsson
Saunders Felixstowe F.2b
Wingnut Wings - Mikael Terfors
Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1
Xoukei-Mura - Štepán Lášek
McDonnell F-4C Phantom II
Tamiya - Jan Kopecký
Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-kai
Eduard - Jan Kopecký
Junkers Ju 87G-1 Stuka
Hasegawa - Dirk Polchow
McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II
Trumpeter - Jan Abrahamsson
Hawker Hurricane Mk IIc
Fly - Toni Canfora
Northrop P-61A
Hobby Boss - Bodo Cordes
Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4
Hasegawa - Ralph Riese

Note that the Tamiya Zero kit is misidentified as an "M2b" throughtout the book, and the Trumpeter Harrier is similarly misidentified as a Wingnut Wings kit in the table of contents.

The build articles themselves are not designed to be extensive how-to instructional pieces, though there are still plenty of hints, tips and ideas on offer. A significant portion of the value of this book lies in the sheer inspiration contained within its pages, as each build is world-class. This is amply reinforced by the luxurious production values used throughout, making it feel like a coffee table art book.

The layout of each build is reminiscent of a high-end modelling magazine, with pages of descriptive text and finished model photos alternated with pages that feature captioned build photos laid out in sequence. Below is a selection of example pages from the book:


The text is generally clear, and the captions are concise and descriptive. There are a few minor errors and typos, but nothing that would impair the understanding or enjoyment of the material.

The range of subjects presented is a little broader than Vol. 1, though the majority of the builds still feature WW2 props. Several of the builds are by LSP members, which is always nice to see!

Conclusion

There's really not a lot to say about this book. It's simple in concept and flawless in execution. It's designed as an inspirational showcase, rather than a didactic teaching tool, and in this regard is utterly successful. And that's not to say that the content is not instructional, merely that this is not its primary focus.

This is the second book in a planned series, with Volume 3 already underway. Fans of more modern aircraft may be disappointed with the selection of featured builds, but the sheer artistry on show is hard to ignore. Perhaps volume 3 will continue to improve this balance. On the strength of this showing, it will be worth waiting for regardless!

Thanks to Canfora Publishing for the review sample.

© Kevin Futter 2017

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This review was published on Saturday, January 07 2017; Last modified on Sunday, January 08 2017