The following introduction is written by the author of this title ‘Andy Evens’.
Born out of Anglo-French accord and later discord, the SEPECAT Jaguar became one of the most capable and formidable fast jets of the 20th Century. The Jaguar has served with distinction in the Close Air Support and Reconnaissance roles in the Royal Air Force and Armée de L’Air, and enjoyed some export success with Oman, Ecuador, Nigeria and India, who are now the last operators of the aircraft. Slated for retirement from RAF service in the early 1990’s, the Jaguar was suddenly thrust back into the spotlight with the Gulf War, and proved to the decision makers just what a capable and versatile aircraft they had, and one worth future investment rather than just the scrapman's torch. This new Datafile from SAM Publications is not only an account of the Jaguar's airframe, operators, roles and systems, but also a celebration of a much-loved aircraft, and one sadly missed in our skies. Includes full details of the aircraft in service, comprehensive walk arounds, colour profiles, scale plans and how to model the Jaguar in popular scales.
This title from Sam Publications covering the Sepecat Jaguar is written completely in English and covers the Jaguar over 200 pages. The contents in the book break down as follows:
Design and Development
Jaguars for Export
Jaguar at War
Colour Side Views
Modelling the Jaguar in Popular Scales
While I Telford this year for the Scale Model World Event I was given a number of title by SAM Publication for review. One of these titles covering the Jaguar is at the top of my list due to having grown up watching this aircraft in the skies above me in Wiltshire. The book starts with a brief history into the circumstances that finally resulted in the beautiful aircraft the Jaguar. The section then continues to cover in some depth the Jaguars trials as a carrier borne strike aircraft for the French Navy, and I have to say I enjoyed this section a lot as an area I had no knowledge of until reading this title. From what I have read here it would seem the Jaguar showed a lot of promise in this role and was only cancelled due to the old evil, a lack of money. I did find myself wondering if the F18 Hornets undercarriage was influenced by the Jaguars design.
Moving onto the section covering the Jaguars in RAF service finds a boon in glorious eye catching colour schemes that I know many modellers would love to replicate. The section begins at the beginning with the Jaguars introduction into RAF service with No54 Squadron in 1974 and follows it through its 33 years of service with the UK and its last flight in 2007. That was not the end of the Jaguar as it continued to serve in training ground operations at RAF Cosford, only retiring in August of this year.
The highlights in terms of eye candy for the modeller in this section are the various finishes that were applied to the Jaguar. The area covers everything from the standard green and grey seen regularly around Wiltshire to the finishes I never saw as used in Norway, the effectiveness of some of these finishes in Norway are extremely effective. The most colourful offering covers a Jaguar in its standard grey camouflage that is peeling back to reveal the Jaguar skin beneath, a truly stunning colour scheme. For stunning simplicity the deep gloss black finish also gets good coverage at the end of the section.
The section covering the Jaguar in French service is quite short being only 10 pages long, I am unsure if this is because details are more closely guarded or it was felt that the likely reader would be less interested in the French service. On the plus side taking this area into account with the part covering the carrier borne trials does provide a fair level of detail, but there are no sexy colour schemes here.
The export market for the Jaguar looked to be wide open, but the Jaguar often lost out to the Dassault Mirage family; it is not made clear to me at least, if it was monetary considerations or that the Jaguar failed to meet expectations of the potential customers. This section does however do a good job of covering the successful exports to India, Nigeria, Jordan and Ecuador.
Jaguar at war is quite a big part of this title and starts by covering the use by France of the Jaguar in conflicts in Africa, most of these conflicts are short sections in the book; however Operation ‘Epervier’ does come in for a deeper level of information. One part tells how a pilot was injured by an anti-aircraft round passing through the cockpit of his Jaguar and grazing his head through his helmet, now that has to class as close. I am sure no-one will be surprised that it is the French and RAF Jaguars conduct in the first Gulf War that comes in for the most cover. The Images Andy Evens supplies of the artwork on RAF Jaguars are a particularly nice inclusion. This section of the book also looks at the missions flown over the Balkans as that area of Europe fell into conflict with the collapse of the Warsaw PACT.
The colour side views section of this title does a good job of covering both British and French Jaguars, and I am pleased to see that export offerings of the Jaguar are also covered.
The walk around section of the book covers three aircraft and the weaponry has not been forgotton either. The aircraft covered are:
Jaguar GR.3 XX764/GE
Jaguar A 11-Y/A21
Jaguar ACT XX765 RAF Museum Cosford (my favourite)
Modelling the Jaguar covers the following builds:
Revell 1/48th scale GR 1 RAF Service
Kitty Hawk 1/48th scale Jaguar A French Air Force
Revell 1/48th scale GR 1A
Revell 1/48th scale Jordanian GR 1A
Hasegawa 1/72nd Scale GR 3 RAF Artic Camouflage
This offering from SAM Publications comes to a close with what I think of as technical data. First we are provided with line drawing side views to help the modeller identify the various aircraft variants. We are then given a series of technical drawings covering specifics of the Jaguar. The last part we are provided with brings the book to a close with a bang, a four page double sided foldout of 1/48th scale drawings and cross sections.
If you are building or planning to build a Jaguar, then this title will really help you find any information you seek. It does not matter which countries forces you wish to represent it is covered inside this title. The price of £19.99 is a very low price for what you get and worthy of being added to your library.
Highs: Excellent value for money and covers all of the aspects I would want as a modeller.Lows: Nothing obvious.Verdict: This is a great book addition to a great series of books.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...