Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
"Walrus and Stranraer" Book
is available online from Squadron.com
was familiar with the Walrus, but a Stranraer? I had trouble even pronouncing
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
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.
have not seen the Warpaint monograph on the Walrus, so I cannot comment on how
this book compares to the Warpaint book.
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
who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)
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.
Roger at Mushroom Model
Review Copyright © 2005 by
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Page Created 04 January, 2005
Last updated 10 October, 2005
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