For many years, I have collected books on various subjects and the most consistently accurate aviation books which I added upon publication announcement were the Detail and Scale series. I was surprised not to see any releases and thought the publisher had ceased operation until I read about their new book on the Demon. Visiting the site, I was surprised again when I found out Detail & Scale will be publishing digital books.------------------------------------
While I agree digital book publishing is the direction of the future, for modeling purposes, I have my reservations. Fortunately, I asked questions and was offered a copy to review. It was stated that the books are optimized for iPads but that there was a Kindle version available. While I do not have a Kindle, I did download the Kindle for PC application.
The book was delivered electronically from Amazon and the turnaround was nearly instantaneous. Having high speed Internet meant that I did not wait long for the book to download and I was able to start going through it.
The content of the book is every bit as good as expected. Bert Kinzey has done his usual exemplary job of getting the text to be informative, entertaining, and relevant to both modelers and historians. Pilot’s reports are included along with interviews of those most familiar with the Demon. The book, on the Kindle platform, doesn’t have page numbers but there are divisions which let you jump to particular sections. After the cover, copyright notice, information on the author and illustrator, there is a foreword, an introduction, and eight Chapters:
- Developmental History
- Demon Variants
- F3H Demon Pilots’ Report “Demon Daze”
- A Demon Restoration
- Demon Details
- Squadrons, Deployments, and Markings
- Modelers’ Section (One of the reasons I bought so many D&S books)
- More from Detail & Scale (Books on the Cougar and Banshee are next!)
One thing I noticed, the color photography is very well done and the resolution is high. Zooming in on the images revealed no loss of detail. Captions are well done and builds confidence in what one is seeing as it is explained by someone who knows. Many times, we modelers come across walk around photo sets and truly do not know what we are looking at.
A great thing about the digital format is the use of hyperlinks to visit other sites with images and information. Not having an iPad, a fellow modeler did inform me that the book has several features not available to the Kindle and he is quite pleased.
The downside for me is the inability to print. While I am not interested in printing the complete book, I do like the ability to photocopy the scale plans to compare them against kits. The book has several scale plans including color profiles of the aircraft, its weapons, and colorized manual illustrations. I did mention to the illustrator, Rock Roszak, about this and he was sympathetic.
Also mentioned was the lack of a scale bar because, even if I printed a screen shot, I didn’t know how much to enlarge of reduce to reach the scale of my kit. Rock was very quick to update the files with a scale bar which is now included.
I truly hope that my suggestion of using the hyperlink to their web site to allow the download of scale plans (in PDF format) is used as it is the only thing which I see as a step back from print books.
Aside formthe plans, I always used to look at the modelers' section. While this chapter in my print section would get outdated quickly whenever new releases came out, this digital format does allow for the authors to update the book with every release. If some form of notificationis given to the buyers of the book, it is another advantage over the print book.
There are many things going for this book. The price is quite affordable. The amount of high quality images, pages, and illustrations, according to the web site, is limitless. I, for one, see that the ability to update the books is there. By the way, Rock did send me a file with the scale plans for the Demon which had a scale bar. While the performance on an iPad would be better, I am still pleased with the book and look forward to the Cougar as I know of two airframes with Sharkmouth schemes!
My sincerest thanks to Rock Roszak for the sample and Bob Britt for the images taken with his iPad. To order, visit the Detail & Scale web site and select the proper format for your device, iBook or Kindle.