Reviewed by Scott Spencer
Warship Perspectives titles are
available direct from the publisher only. Click here
for ordering instructions
|Eighty pages of sheer
delight! That's the best way to sum up Fletcher, Gearing
and Sumner Class Destroyers of World War Two, the first release in
the "Warship Perspectives"
series published by W.R. Press. The author, Jeffery Herne, has captured the details of
Fletcher, Gearing, and Sumner Class destroyers in a manner pleasing both to the naval
enthusiast and modeler. One of the first things I noticed is the absence of exhaustive
written details. In fact, the book has very little text at all. The story is
told visually through drawings and photographs of these important destroyer classes.
The drawings, by both Jeff Herne and Alan Raven, are both clear and functional, and generally very well done. The camouflage drawings and patterns in particular set this book apart. They not only show port and starboard schemes, but also the front/ rear turret and superstructure patterns. There are numerous drawings of radar fittings, guns, weapons and deck structures, as well as port and starboard "as fitted" profiles. While there are other books that describe the technical aspects in more verbose detail, this book's visual approach is most pleasing.
If there is a problem, it is in the quality of a few photos. This is likely attributable to deficiencies in the photo-reproduction process. And the same must be said for the color chip reproduction. While the book provided chips are excellent starting points, the limits of color printing simply cannot be ignored.
There are 8 pages of color. Seven of them consist of excellent camouflage patterns line drawings (both port and starboard). The eighth color page consists of 12 color chips.
One of the book's most impressive features is its comprehensive list of all Fletcher, Gearing and Sumner class ships. It includes hull number, name, camouflage pattern(s), commissioning date, bridge type (round or square), wartime fate, and miscellaneous comments.
If future Warship Perspectives releases are as good as this, then ship modelers and naval enthusiasts are in for a treat. Long out of print Profile, Ensign, and Man O'War volumes now command premium prices. Let us hope that Warship Perspectives fills this vacuum. This one is certainly a worthwhile reference for both experienced and neophyte ship modelers alike. I highly recommend it..