The Messerschmitt Bf 109
by Richard A. Franks
Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe and Miniature No.11
S u m m a r y
|Publisher and Title:
Valiant Wings Publishing
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Late Series
Airframe and Miniature No.11
by Richard A. Franks
||Soft cover; 240 pages in A4 Portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround ones, colour profiles and model details.
GBP£19.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings
and stockists worldwide.
||Detailed and comprehensive look at the late series Bf-109’s. Great historical B&W photos, good line drawings and current walk around photos. Dedicated modellers section.
This is a great, should have, reference for modellers of all scales interested in the late Bf 109 series aircraft.
Reviewed by David Couche
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is one of the most popular aircraft modelling subjects around.
Valiant Wings Publishing new release book goes some way towards unpicking the bewildering choices of variants and schemes available. This second volume follows the first volume covering the early versions published in 2013.
Release Number 11 in its Airframe & Miniature series, entitled The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Late Series (F to K including the Z Series): A Complete Guide to The Luftwaffe's Famous Fighter is authored by Richard Franks, and the illustrations are shared between Richard Caruana, Jacek Jackiewicz, and Wojciech Sankowski. At 240 pages, this is without doubt the largest of all the Valiant Wings publications. The book is A4 sized, on high quality glossy paper and is quite weighty. I do apologise for some of the grey areas on the sample pages but the size and quality of the binding gave some scanning problems…bad for reviewing but good for those who purchase this book.
This book contains a great wealth of period photographs of the Bf-109 in action during WWII and in general service for several nations that flew them. The photographs selected are all clear and crisp in nature, with details clearly visible. There are quite a number of coloured profiles produced by Richard Caruana, illustrating the many schemes of the Bf-109 and in liveries of the nations that also used this versatile aircraft. Complementing the photos and profiles are numerous line drawings taken from Flight Manuals of the Bf-109.
The contents are broken up into nine separate chapters, grouped into two distinct sections:
- Evolution - Bf 109F Series
- Evolution - Bf 109G Series
- Evolution - Bf 109H, K and Z Series
- Camouflage and Markings and Colour Profiles
- Bf 109 F to K-series Kits
- Building a Selection
- Building a Collection
- In Detail: The Bf 109F to K
Appendices at the rear of the book:
- Bf 109 F to K-series Kit List
- Bf 109 F to K-series Accessory List
- Bf 109 F to K-series Decal List
This book has been specifically written for the modeller so the opening preface and chapters give us the history and development in detail of the Bf-109 from the F to the K series aircraft. The preface alone is 18 pages of historical information including which units flew which versions etc with some excellent accompanying photographs of great detail. What is really useful is that they have supplied a full page glossary at the start to explain Luftwaffe terminology.
The Technical Description section of the book, being 47 jammed packed pages, covers the airframe quite comprehensively from nose to tail. The cockpit and engine section.is jam packed with photographs, technical drawings, excerpts from Sea Fury Flight manuals and photos of restored examples. These sections have provided that special emphasis for details that will be of most interest to modellers.
The Evolution chapters of 45 pages on the airframe gives a very clear overview of the development of the various F, G, K, H and Z from the initial version prototypes and pre-production airframes, right through to the multi-seat variants.
The Camouflage and Markings section (40 pages) provides many schemes used by the Luftwaffe in the various theatres and stages of the war. Included are schemes for the nations that had procured the airframes for their services such as Italy and Finland. There is a comprehensive explanation for each of the countries camouflage and colour schemes. It then moves into 8 dedicated pages of Richard J Caruana produced colour profiles as well as many other interspersed through the pages giving you, the modeller a great range to reference your builds from.
This brings you to the end of the general sections and onto the more modeller specific sections as a series of Miniature Chapters.
The first of these chapters is a look at Bf-109 F to K kits. This 9 page section looks at a range of more popular kits in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales from some of the major manufacturers such as Fine Molds, Eduard, Zvezda and Hasegawa in a good deal of detail including how the model parts are presented such as wings, fuselage, tailplanes, propellers and canopies as well as decal schemes provided.
The next section on ‘Building a Selection’ section of the book of 16 pages with many photographs of stages of construction, covers the specially commissioned kit builds, showing construction of the following;
Fine Molds 1/72 Bf 109F-4 by Libor Jekl
Eduard 1/48 Bf 109G-5 by Steve Evans
Tamiya 1/48 Bf 109G-6 by Steve Evans
Trumpeter 1/32 Bf 109G-6 by Dani Zamarbide
The next mini chapter is one of ‘Building a Collection’. This is a series of annotated isometric 3D line drawings by Wojciech Sankowski detailing the differences between the various development and production airframes of these Bf-109 series. This is a highly detailed section of 31 pages with a myriad of drawings within it. You will not be needing to find any more details on any specific version and variant in other reference material as it is so comprehensive.
Following along then is the ‘In Detail: The Bf 109F to K’ chapter of 55 pages of excellent visual references for these version incorporating walk around photographs from surviving aircraft in museums, historical photographs from flight and maintenance manuals as well as still more isometric 3D drawings, especially of the many versions of the engine cowls. Information in this section is presented in itemised sections such as cockpits, engines, wings and so on. Again, incredibly and comprehensively detailed.
Finally we hit the Appendices, again specifically for modellers, lists all Bf-190 F to K kits available,6 full pages of them, 5 pages of aftermarket accessories and a further 6 pages of aftermarket decals produced in all scales.
It’s good to see that there is also a bibliography including all previous book titles for the Sea Fury so you may chase up further information for your references.
To finish up this great book is a gatefold section of drawings in 1/48 scale by Jacek Jackiewicz on heavy non-glossy paper with full drawings of an F-2, G-6 and K-4 version of the Bf-109. There are also a number of smaller drawings with common variants for the G and K variants. The drawings also provide section drawings which is very useful at times.
This book has been deliberately produced for the modeller, providing an absolute wealth of reference photographs and detail, profiles and anything else one could wish for to produce and accurate, and even different, late series Bf-109. Whilst I’m not a heavy Luftwaffe builder, I do have a real liking for the F series and especially the tropical F-4 version, so this book will be future go to reference. I can’t recommend this highly enough to all wishing to build a late series Bf-109 in any scale.
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.
Review Copyright © 2019 by David Couche
This Page Created on 6 June, 2019
6 June, 2019
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