HAWKER HURRICANE – Review by Mark Barnes

This one was on a recent list from Pen & Sword and, I have to say it kind of had me at ‘hello’ (with apologies!).  I have always had a love for the Hawker Hurricane and as someone who remembers Airfix kits when they came in clear plastic bags with a nifty bit of artwork concealing the instructions, this book really does tick all the right boxes.

The premise is very straightforward. In the first half we get the real thing with a look at its life from drawing board to various theatres of World War II. The middle of the book offers a colourful blitz of well-executed drawings by Steve Nichols depicting the aircraft in a bevy of British and foreign markings. The book then takes a look at a history of the Hurricane in model form and if nostalgia for real aeroplanes isn’t enough, then a look at the huge range of kits in various scales really does take me back to moping around in the old basement section of Beatties in High Holborn. I’m pleased to say a snap of the very same Airfix kit in a plastic bag is included.

There is absolutely no point in me making any fatuous comments about the Hawker Hurricane. The legend speaks for itself. I don’t build model klts these days and stopped when my son James began growing out of a need for that sort of father-son bonding at the kitchen table on rainy days when he left primary school. But I like looking at them and I found the run through all the small-scale options really entertaining. The skills and knowledge on view are not to be sniffed at.

This soft backed book forms part of a series and I would imagine they will create smiles wherever they find themselves. I found something quite comforting about this book and I suppose that must all come for nostalgia for a lost time in my life.

But I digress…

The book comes with some nicely presented archive photography and the layout is really tidy. The whole thing does have the feel of an extended magazine, but I think it’s true that the great aeroplane magazines always projected a kind of cosy warmth and that feel is really strong here.  At this point my colleagues on this site will probably tell you I am drinking far too much gin.

As far as I can see there is nothing here to dislike. The book performs a function for aeroplane buffs and model makers alike. It costs under seventeen of your British pounds and I don’t think that is bad at all. Good stuff.

Review by Mark Barnes for War History Online

And Sea Hurricane
By Tony O’Toole with Martin Derry and Neil Robinson
Flightcraft 3
Pen & Sword Aviation
ISBN: 978 147382 725 7

Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is a longstanding friend of WHO, providing features, photography and reviews. He has contributed to The Times of London and other publications. He is the author of The Liberation of Europe (pub 2016) and If War Should Come due later in 2020.