I have a number of books on the Hydraulics, and others by the same author which are worthy publications. Sadly this one did not, for me, get anywhere near making the grade and after a very brief look I returned it as unacceptable.
Whilst appreciating that, by definition, the material available to the compiler has to be 40+ years old I was also conscious that the geographical sphere of operation for the Warships can generally be relied upon to throw up good photographic output. In acknowledging that there are some good pictures and that the compiler is taking on a challenge to find previously unpublished items my view is that the good content is much in the minority and outweighed by too many which are fuzzy, grainy or simply dull (and in one or two cases, notably an indoor shot at Swindon works, a combination two or even all).
There is great reluctance on my part to make comments such as this as I would never wish to discourage authors/compilers from producing new works but in this case I almost feel that this respected author may have let himself down. This is a book which will appeal to the most avid 'Warship' fans but for me (who is quite keen) it did not represent value for money. The 2 Star marking reflects credit for the effort in the first place, and appreciates that there are at least some good photos.
Compared to the quality and pre-press standard of, for example, the Ian Allan albums which this matches in format and style, this book disappoints. The publisher should have given each photo some colour balance, brightness, tone and levels enhancement with Photoshop which in nearly all cases would have made the photos better. It looks cheap and if the price was likewise cheap that would be OK, but it's not good value as it is.
When I started trainspotting in c1970 the Warship class was already a rare breed and if I remember correctly there was only sixteen of them listed in the trainspotting book. I saw a grand total of eight,three in Cardiff,four in Bristol and one in Swindon. I really can't understand the negativity of some of the reveiws about this book.I ordered a book on Warships in colour and that's exactly what I received.Perhaps I'm not a die hard purist and certainly I haven't seen a great deal of other books on this matter to compare the quality of the pictures or if they've been published before but I'm more than happy with this purchase. It's nice to see D601 Ark Royal in all its glory. I remember this mini Warship well at Woodham's scrapyard in Barry where we used to play in it. Great memories.