Shipcraft #12
Essex Class
Aircraft Carriers
of the Second World War
by Steve Backer

reviewed by Timothy Dike

Shipcraft has released number 12 in it's series of books for ship modelers. This one is timely with all the Essex class kits now on the market. Author Steve Backer does a great job of explaining the differences in the class and pointing out the subtle changes that the ships underwent during the war. The book begins with some design and history with lots of photos to illustrate the text. Next is a kit review section that discusses the books that are now on the market. Steve's background in kit reviews allows him to point out the details that are important to the typical modeler. Aftermarket details are covered as well. 
The photo coverage provided by A.D. Baker III gives you a good sampling of the differences in the Essex class. A gallery of some of the best ship models from some of the best modelers is included with nice sharp images. Note I have reduced the images quality for display on the web. The images in the book are much better than what you see on your screen. I am especially pleased to see that the late Wally Bigelow's award winning build is prominently featured. 
Also included are color profiles showing the camouflage worn by various ships illustrated by Steve Wiper. Some really informative line drawings provided by Alan Raven that identify the many features of the ship. 

This is Shipcraft #12 Essex Class Aircraft Carriers of the Second World War by Steve Backer with a list price of $22.00 US. There are 64 pages total with over 190 photos, well over 100 of those in color in this soft cover format. With so many Essex class kits out there, this book will not only save you time in picking the right kit for your project, it will help you build it and detail it in style. 

This one is available in the US direct from Classic Warships. Check their website for this and other Ship Craft books.