Interactive Gloster Gladiator
The Gladiator was the last biplane fighter in service with the RAF. Despite its obsolescence in 1939 it saw considerable active service in WW2, from the African desert to the snows of Finland. In this two-volume set, Alex Crawford tells the complete story of the Gladiator. Book 1 covers the development and operational history of the aircraft, with full details of all the units which flew the Gladiator, the many foreign users. Also, the technical specifications, details of surviving airframes and more colour schemes are presented. Book contain many photos, scale plans, and colour profiles. It represent the most detailed coverage of this classic fighter available, an invaluable resource for aviation enthusiasts and historians.
In addition there are some novel, active-movable 3D drawings, showing the internal details of this iconic fighter in stunning detail. Rounding off this profusely illustrated book are many extra colour profiles, showing more of the colours and markings applied by the users of this pugnacious warplane. Details photos and colour profiles are shown as interactive content specially prepared for iPad readers. Essential reading for all lovers of the Gladiator, and for modellers and aviation enthusiasts in general.
Book can only be viewed on an iPad using iBooks 2 or later. iOS 5 or later is required.
Military Book Review 2013-06-14
Gloster Gladiator (Interactive) by Alex Crawford
Published by Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) eBook 81 pages
This new book (or is it an app?) has been based on Alex Crawford’s excellent two-part history of the Gloster Gladiator. What you get now is an abridged version that is designed to take advantage of Apple’s iPad tablet. This is my first interactive book and I’m quite impressed with what MMP have produced.
There are a couple of editing issues, mostly with a few Polish words creeping in, but nothing that is too off putting. The photos are great as they can be expanded to full screen size, which makes them about double the size they are in the books. Also included are scale drawings of the different variants, as well as color profiles, all of which can be expanded.
The highlight for me is the chapter on the aircraft’s construction where CAD illustrations show the structures under the aircraft’s skin. The interactive format has been cleverly used to allow the reader to rotate and zoom in on the illustrations, which include the fuselage, wings and cockpit.
A color video is included of a surviving Gladiator being put through its paces.
If you have an iPad and have an interest in the Gloster Gladiator, you won’t regret buying this book. If you don’t have an iPad, I can thoroughly recommend Alex Crawford’s Gloster Gladiator volume 1 and 2 (which incidentally has 3D drawings and glasses included).
Well done to MMP for creating this eBook, this to me is the future of publishing and I hope more publishers produce interactive books of this quality.
Via my iPad from iTunes.
Scaleplasticand rail.com 2013-06-14
See the review below:
Review by Jim @ Scale Plastic & Rail
ITunes customer review (1st) 2013-06-14
Author: Alex Crawford
Drawings by: Marek Ryś, Artur Juszczak, Chris Sandham-Bailey
MMP (Mushroom Model Publications)
Reviewer’s Name: Dave Coward
This was passed to me by the Editor (Geoff) as he really needs to get with the `Cool Kids` and get an iPad as this is a downloadable electronic book. MMP announcement for the release of this is as follows: “MMP would like to announce that our first interactive book for iPad is available at Apple iBooks Store. Interactive book for aviation fans and modellers with moveable content. Book includes 3D interactive drawings, video, 3D animations, interactive drawings, scale plans, colour photos of the aircraft and B&W historical photos.” This first book covers the famous British biplane – Gloster Gladiator.
So what actually is this? Well to be honest, it’s the future!! As SMN is proving you can present so much more information in a far more inactive manner if you provide it in an electronic way, additionally it is far easier to store and transport and you have can have it easily to hand when you need it. The `book` comes as a downloadable file that you purchase through iTunes but the only real down side comes with the fact that it is only useable on Apple products (it’s primarily designed for the iPad) so you need to have the initial outlay for one of these devices. If you do have one though and want to know what it’s all about then keep on reading.
As MMP state in the preceding announcement it’s the first in a new series of fully inactive electronic books. What this means is you download it and you store it on an electronic device (Once you have bought it you can re-download it if you `lose` it or replace your iPad so no worries about it going missing). Once you open the book up on the iPad it initially looks like a normal book, its full colour and has a traditional layout but that’s where the similarities end. You need to experiment with it as a lot of the features aren`t that obvious at first as this is a new concept. The book is split into 7 Chapters covering the following subjects:
In RAF Service
Something for your Kids!!
The first chapter gently introduces you to how the book works. The layout initially looks like a conventional book but if you tap on a picture it will `zoom` out to fill the screen and you can further zoom it out by using your fingers to `expand` the image.
There are some great line drawings and underneath the main drawing you will see `thumbnails` of other views which you can touch and these will expand to fill the screen. Again each of these can be further expanded – all very clever.
When you get to the sections covering the service life of the aircraft there are some really nice 2D colour images and underneath each image is a list of Squadrons, if you touch each Sqn number the image morphs into that Squadron’s aircraft. There are also numerous period pictures and underneath each main picture are several thumb nails each of which can again be expanded to fill the screen by touching them along with a narrative under each. There is even video embedded in the book of the aircraft taxing and flying.
Don`t be misled that this `book` is all about the inactive features, the words that go with each page are comprehensive and well researched, the technology just adds another dimension to the book.
When you get to the construction section things really start to get clever. There are rotational 3D CAD drawings of the airframe that can be moved and zoomed in at will. This is where the book really comes into its own. The interactive cockpit is truly stunning. You not only get colour photographs but you also get a CAD drawing of each side and you can `touch` each instrument dial and the book will tell you what it is!!! This doesn’t just stop here as the whole airframe is covered in as much detail – just amazing. The final section is a bit `gimmicky` and as it says is for the kids as it is and electronic picture game, personally I think the book doesn’t need it and it almost takes away the seriousness of what it really is – the first of a new generation of inactive reference books.
This link shows in video things that a thousand words cannot convey!!
I`m seriously impressed with this and hope it’s the start of a series of these publications. I know we all like the feel of a real book in our hands but let’s be honest about this, how much room do all those books take up in your house and how much grief do you get when you buy another one – well here`s the answer, these books provide more information, are cheaper and don`t take up any physical space –it`s a win win scenario!!! What’s more if you really need a hard copy you can just print it off by screen saving off the iPad. It’s the future modellers !!!
A note from Geoff…
Thanks for this review Dave, everyone reading this will appreciate your objective insight. I have to say that when we all looked at this download recently I was seriously impressed – the range of interactive features really does reinforce what you have said – I would add my endorsement to Dave’s review. Geoff C.
SMN Quick summary Star rating out of 5
By Michael Benolkin
Review And now for something different...
I have been using the Apple iPad for years now and it has become an essential tool for may things, but it still hasn't realized its full potential. One dream I have is to be able to carry my reference library all electronically. The resolution and screen size of the iPad makes this a very comfortable tool for reference and I use an older one at work to carry a virtual reference library of technical manuals and engineering standards. While my colleagues get good upper-body workouts lugging their binders to meetings, I simply search my iPad for the obscure reference in question and enjoy the envy of my peers. What would happen if my hobby technical library was also available electronically? There are a variety of standards available from the iBooks format used by Apple to the Kindle format used by Amazon, both of which operate nicely on the iPad. For that matter, PDFs are also easily viewed on the iPad, but I digress...
Mushroom Model Publications has translated their first title from hardcopy to electronic. This is the Interactive Gloster Gladiator and it is the electronic version of their Volume One hardcopy title. If they would have simply translated that title into electronic form, I would have been happy. They didn't stop there.
Gladiator This electronic version is fully interactive using the touch screen interface of the iPad quite effectively. Not only can you flip between pages, but some pages have multiple images you can view. Simply tap a thumbnail and the full image or color profile comes into view with its associated caption.
As with the hardcopy version, coverage of this title includes:
In RAF Service
You can see in the image below Chapter 1 and the thumbnail view that is scrollable across the bottom. You can page through the title like a hardcopy if you wish, or you can use the menus to jump to specific chapters.
While none of this sounds too fancy, wait until you get to the construction section. This is full of scrap drawings of different parts of the aircraft. If you tap the image, a 3D viewer activates and you can rotate and zoom the graphic to examine details from almost any perspective. Nice!
Some of the graphics and images allow you to zoom in closer, others do not. Some consistency here would be nice. The narrative and captions are all in English, but for some reason, the section titles are in Polish.
This is a great first effort from MMP and I'm sure these will only get better with experience. Can you imagine an entire MMP library on your iPad? Can you imagine how handy that would be and how little shelf space (none) it would require? At under 13 Euros, this electronic copy is superior in content yet cheaper than the hardcopy. If you're a novice iPad user, you may not realize that these titles are backed up on the iTunes server under your account so if anything happens to your iPad, or you simply buy the next generation iPad, all of you purchases will transfer to the new or reset system. Welcome to the new age of electronic media!
This title can be purchased on the Apple iTunes online store. Full details of all MMP publications can be found on their web site at: www.mmpbooks.biz
My sincere thanks to MMP for this review sample!