Friday, September 10, 2010

RAF Museum: Limited Edition Art and Book Review

Following on from my recent visit to the RAF museum I thought I would share with you some of the joys of the RAF Museum gift shop and online shop. Whilst we were there we discovered that the on site gift shop was not only reasonably priced - especially for a London attraction - but that it also carried some impressive artwork!

We decided to look for something a bit different from the gift shop and in the end found some Limited Edition Mounted prints of various aircraft, both from the museum and other sources. We were pleasantly surprised by them as all the prints were Limited to a run of 500 and signed by the artist and even better the price! only £15.00 a print. let me say again £15.00.

The art is a unique mix of photography and digital artwork that creates an eye catching image and really makes the pictures pop from the wall. The artists site is here: Lakestore and showcases some of his other artwork and other images available. As the art was so good I thought I would share it with you, links to the RAF Museum website are under each image.

Whilst at the RAF Museum my dad purchased the following picture of the Vulcan Bomber, one of the greatest Cold War pieces of equipment that was never used to its fullest, and in my opinion should still be in service:

As I'm sure you'll agree a very evocative image and certainly a very nice looking piece of art, the link above takes you to the page on the RAF shop website. Whilst there I also picked up a Picture for my office at home and almost picked up a second piece, however lack of cash at the time prevented me from doing so. Around a week ago I ended up getting some funds together and ended up ordering two more pieces from the website. So here below are the pieces I purchased:

The RAF Web shop was a real delight to use and the pictures I received as you can see are awesome. The shop sold all the prints with cream or black mounts on site but there is no choice option on the website so I emailed the shop requesting the black mount and three days later I received the prints with black mounts. I was very pleased with the shops service and speed, however the price was the most surprising feature with the pictures only costing £15.00 and postage only being £4.70 and super fast.

The RAF Museum web shop is located here: RAF MUSEUM WEB SHOP

At the same time I decided to order a book called "Life as a Battle of Britain Pilot" as it has been only my wish list for a while and the shop had it on offer for £2.50. I was pleasantly surprised as this was sent out to me before the prints and arrived only 2 days after order. The book is available here: "Life as a Battle of Britain Pilot" and my quick review of the book follows:

Life as a Battle of Britain Pilot by Jonathan Falconer
How did they spend a typical day? Pitched together in combat at 30,000 feet, which was the better machine – Spitfire or Me109? Read Life as a Battle of Britain Pilot and then ask yourself: would I have been up to the job?
Concentrating on the Battle of Britain and life as an RAF pilot during the battle this is a somewhat short book, only around 90 pages including contents etc, but despite that it is a very interesting read and helps give a general overview of the events and background of the Battle of Britain.

The book doesn’t really provide any new information or revelations about the Battle of Britain but it does condense all the things that most people know in to a neat bite sized introduction for people that don’t really know that much about the Battle of Britain and would like a nice straight forward introduction to the subject.

The book is laid out in simple sections discussing clothing, adversaries and other relevant areas but overall the sections do overlap somewhat and the distinctions become blurred. The information included is concise and to the point with little or no preamble, however some points do seem to be repeated throughout the book even though they don’t need to be. The book was well written and in a style that whilst factual was also flowing and did help draw you in to the book and keep you interested in the subject, something so many history books fail to do.

My only disappointment was that even though it was presented to be “life as a pilot” it really wasn’t, it was more a general overview of pilots life and their roles. It covered their uniform and conditions to a degree but a major part for me seemed to concentrate on the actual equipment and the comparisons of the planes and pilots skills. Still even with that in mind it does still bring home that 70 years after the fact we still owe so much to these young pilots who risked everything, often without even the correct equipment, and helped defeat a dangerous enemy. I felt it was an honest appraisal of the men and machines and the whole book was set off nicely with some excellent black and white photographs illustrating the information that was presented.

A solid four stars for this book, mainly because it was so short, I felt the book and subject lend themselves to a much more in depth book and could have been expanded to at least double, if not triple, the page count in the book. A good book and a worthy introduction to the subject and the turning point of the RAFs image in the public eye.

A good book with a well deserved 4 star rating
Available from:


Col. Hessler said...

The RAF museum looks like an awesome place,

Millest said...

really is, the good thing as well is there are two, the one here and one outside london, more in the midlands im lead to believe.
also with the upcoming battle of britain tower planned its a place that despite its shocking location (sandwiched between housing estates and a rail line) is looking to grow for the future.

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