|USS Texas BB-35
is the fourth of the Warship Pictorial
series from Classic Warships,
and it is the best yet. Steve Wiper, owner of Classic Warships, has continued to
successfully develop this format, and it shows in this fine softcover volume. Outwardly
similar in size and style to the Squadron/Signal books, it is far more useful.
The book opens with an operational history of the battleship USS Texas from authorization to her 1998 renovation. The many excellent photos and drawing follow and they are a real treat for ship modelers and naval enthusiasts. All of them are full page format, clearly showing many interesting details. Photo reproduction is excellent, and printing is of the highest quality. The pictures span the entire operational life of USS Texas, from her 1913 fitting out to a remarkable 1998 photo of her sitting in dry-dock. And they include many photos never before published. Small scrap view drawings of weapons are interspersed throughout the book, and the scale is indicated, a nice touch.
The Texas volume introduces color into the Warship Pictorial series, and it is very well done. Four 1/700th painting guides, reproduced in color, are included. They show her in overall gray (late '41), Measure 12 mod (Nov. '42), Measure 22 (Mar. '43), and Measure 31a/8b (Nov. '44). All of them are striking and are printed so well that the colors do not obscure the fine details of the line drawings. Each paint scheme also includes a color chip chart so that the modeler can match his paints to the drawings. And these aren't the only color pages. There are three two-page drawings showing Texas as built in Mar.1914, and at the end of her operational career in Feb.1945. Each of these drawings are in 1/350 scale, and appear to be correct. Once again, both the drafting quality of the drawings and their reproduction are excellent. They are more than sufficient for the modeler.
The color camo scheme is shown substantially smaller than actual size)
As in previous volumes, a set of 1/700 scale deck plans are included. They only add add to the wealth of information included elsewhere in this book, and will answer most of your design and construction questions. The drawings are crisp, clearly labeled, and a godsend for the superdetailer. The book ends with USS Texas vital statistics, and recommended references and resources. Overall, this is an exceedingly well presented package of the oldest surviving US dreadnought.
The book's visually appealing format and highly competent research should set an example for other nautical publishers. Steve Wiper and T.A. Flowers are to be commended. At a retail price of $11.95, it is an outstanding value. BUY IT!!
Other books in the Warship Pictorial Series:
#1: USS Indianapolis CA-35
#3: USS Louisville CA-28