Book Review
Avro Lancaster 1945 - 65
Avro Lancaster in Military Service 1945 Ė 1965
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


The Avro Lancaster conjure up images of flying over Germany during World War 2 in mass formation raining destruction down on the land below while trying to avoid the searchlights, night fighters and anti-aircraft fire from below. This image of the Lancaster is a good one for an aircraft flying during the dark days of World War 2, but the Lancaster continued to fly for 20 years after the war and I am looking at a book concentrating on this period.

The following portion of this introduction is as supplied by Pen and Sword:
The Avro Lancaster, such a stalwart of the skies during the Second World War, also enjoyed an interesting and surprisingly colourful post-war career. It is this era that the authors have chosen to focus on by profiling the type across its many variants.

Split into three primary sections, this book offers a concise yet informative history of the Lancaster's post-war operational career (from 1945-1965) charting the course of the various alterations and improvements that occurred during this time and including a selection of contemporary photographs with detailed captions. A 16-page section features 32 colour illustrations (in profiles, 2-views and 4-views) specially prepared by Mark Gauntlett. The book's final section provides a list and box top illustrations of the plastic model kits produced of the Lancaster in all scales plus reviews and 'how to' construction notes on building a selection of kits in 1/144, 1/72 and 1/48 scales.

As with the other books in the Flight Craft series, whilst published primarily with the scale aircraft modeller in mind, it is hoped that those readers who might perhaps describe themselves as 'occasional' modellers - if indeed they model at all - may also find that this colourful and informative work offers something to provoke their interests too.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of a series titled Flight Craft. This offering is authored by Martin Derry and Neil Robinson and these two authors have worked together on a number of titles within this series. The book is a soft backed offering with a stiff card that offers a reasonable level of protection to the contents. The contents themselves consist of 96 pages of a semi gloss paper that present both text and photographs in a good way.

The contents of this offering breakdown as follows:
Bomber Command Lancasterís
Coastal Command Lancasterís
Second Line Lance Miscellany
The Lancasterís in the RCAF
The Lancasterís in Aeronavale Service
The Lancaster in other Air Forces
Post-War Lancaster Colour Schemes
Glossary and Abbreviations
The Lancaster in Colour
Modelling the Lancaster

Looking through this title from Pen and Sword I can see the goal of the series laid out in front of me, the goal in my opinion is to provide a grounding in the aircraft from its origins to its eventual demise. This title looking at the Lancaster, which being an iconic aircraft requires special handling as regards what is covered and it has been done in a pleasing way. The book takes you on a trip through the Lancasterís fortunes after the war and ends with a modelling section; it is the modelling section that obviously aims this book specifically and the series generally at the modeller.

The book begins with a look at the origins of the Lancaster with the Avro Manchester, a great airframe that was underpowered and not up to the job it was designed for; however take that fuselage and marry it with longer wings and four Merlin engines and you get an aircraft that served through the war and for 20 years after that. This beautiful old lady still draws admirers at every air show where the BBF takes to the air.

The various sections of the book begin with a nice introduction of varying length that explains the use of the aircraft and their purpose. I found the small amount of text of interest and it is well presented, there are a number of interesting points within the text that I did not know and I urge all those that purchase the book to take the time to read it.

The aspect of this title that will draw the attention of the modeller the most are the glorious photographs in the title. Most of these photographs are in black and white but there are some very good colour photographic offerings as well. Each and everyone of the photographs is accompanied by a good caption that is well written and provides some great snippets of information amongst the usual information you would expect to find.

Just prior to the modelling section of the title you get a section that provides colour drawings of a numbers of Lancasterís from a mix of angles. These drawings may get you to try something a little different when it comes to finishing options and will provide you with a Lancaster model that is in a more colourful livery. Looking at the model section of the title and the reader is presented with a good selection of scales and manufacturers that provides you with a good level of information when it comes to chose. Looking at the models and you cannot help but be impressed with the recent offerings from AirFix, but who can resist the Tamiya 1/48th scale offerings providing you have the needed space.


There are many titles available covering the Lancaster due to its iconic stature in the minds of many aircraft fanatics, but many of these titles are on the expensive side and only rarely give the modeller any consideration. This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Flight Craft series provides a good insight to the career of the Lancaster after World War 2 and provides some excellent photography to draw the eye and feed the imagination. The end of the title looking at what is available to the modeller provides a broad spectrum of information as regards who and scale.
Highs: I enjoyed reading about the Lancaster after World War 2 and how different it looks in more colourful livery.
Lows: I would have liked to see a section covering the after market products available for the models.
Verdict: A great title for anyone interested in the Lancaster after World War 2.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781473827240
  Suggested Retail: £16.99
  PUBLISHED: Oct 23, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Pen & Sword Books!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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