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Mushroom Model Magazine Special

Walrus & Stranraer


James Kightly and Roger Wallsgrove

with color illustrations by Bob Pearson


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Yellow Series No 6113 - Supermarine WALRUS & STRANRAER
ISBN: 83-917178-9-5
Media and Contents: Soft cover; B5 format; 128 pages plus covers
Price: USD$17.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Good overview with color 27 profiles and 1/72 scale fold out plans
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

Mushroom's "Walrus and Stranraer" Book is available online from Squadron.com 




I was familiar with the Walrus, but a Stranraer?  I had trouble even pronouncing it. 

This newest edition to Mushroom Model Magazine’s Yellow Series provides a concise overview of two aircraft that were actually closer to the core of Supermarine’s business than the Spitfire.

The amphibious Walrus and the flying boat Stranrarer owe their existence not only to Supermarine’s and Frank Mitchell’s history of providing Great Britain with maritime aircraft, but also to other Commonwealth nations – Australia and Canada. 

After a brief introduction, the authors take up the development of the Walrus.  Before the advent of radar, naval fleets required eyes in the form of spotter aircraft.  As better spotter aircraft were needed, one happened to be right under the Royal Navy’s nose, the Royal Australian Air Force’s Seagull, particularly the Seagull V.  The Royal Navy quickly adopted the Seagull and changed its name to Walrus. 

The book covers the brief life of the Walrus as spotter, dive bomber and fighter, and goes on to give an account of Walrus survivors and how to tell a Mark I from a Mark II; rivets play an important part in that. 

The book then addresses the second marine aircraft, the multi-engine Stranraer, the successor to the Southampton.  As the case would be, the Stranraer was merely an interim aircraft until the Sunderlands came on line.  If it were not for Canada, the Stranraer would be even more obscure. 

The heart of this book is the extensive walk-around using photographs of three restored Walruses, supplemented with vintage photographs and pictures from manuals.  The Stranraer is given a similar treatment.  While restored aircraft always carry the danger of incorrect restorations, I believe the authors do deal with this quite well.  For example, they clearly point out that the preserved Stranraer has engines different from the original aircraft. 

The book is filled with excellent pictures, not only in the walk-around section, but also in the text section.  There are also well done profiles, although there is one that I would question. That one is of a Walrus Mk. I that took part in Operation Torch, it is in Dark Earth and Middle-Stone with US marking.  While many RAF aircraft carried US marking during Torch, it would seem odd for a maritime aircraft to be in the desert scheme.  But then again, the rumors of Dark Earth and Middle-Stone Swordfish never have been put to rest. 

Granted these aren’t sexy aircraft, but this is a nicely done book on one little known aircraft and one virtually unknown aircraft.  The large foldout drawing of both aircraft makes a nice bonus. I definitely recommend it to those who appreciate aircraft with great personalities. 

I have not seen the Warpaint monograph on the Walrus, so I cannot comment on how this book compares to the Warpaint book.


A sample selection of pages from this book may be seen on the MMP web site at Walrus and Stranraer 

All Mushroom Model Publications books are available direct from the publishers, who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)  

North American distributors are Squadron/MMD, Australian distributors are Platypus Publications. In Europe, the books are available from any good bookshop (via our UK distributors, Orca). Contact MMP direct in case of difficulties. 

Thanks to Roger at Mushroom Model Magazine  for the sample.

Review Copyright © 2005 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Page Created 04 January, 2005
Last updated 10 October, 2005

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