Bf 109 Late Versions Book Review
by Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||October 2010||Title||Bf 109 Late Versions|
|Author||Krzysztof W. Wołowski||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||96 pages, softbound||MSRP (BP)||£19.99 ($37.00 USD)|
Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in the U.K. Their books are printed in Sandomierz by their associate Stratus Publications in the English language. Stratus also publishes books in Polish. This book was sent to me from Stratus.
The most produced fighter aircraft in history, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 is a source of constant fascination to airdraft enthusiasts and modellers. In this volume the camouflage and markings applied to the last few production variants is discussed and illustrated in detail. Differences between the various late model G’s and Bf 109K’s are described, with scale plans, and the colors applied by the various factories are explained and illustrated. The book includes many photos, and full color drawings of many individual aircraft.
The 109 served from 1936 to 1945 and even beyond. After the war the Spanish Air Force built it as the Hispano Aviación Ha 1112 ... with a Rolls engine. It was also built by Avia in Czechoslovakia as the S-199 with a Junkers 211 engine for use by the Czech Air Force and Israel. Towards the end of it’s production life, there was great variation between subtypes and between manufacturers, a confusion of airframe details, equipment, engines and the like.
In this book, the author seeks to clarify the situation with regard to late production Bf 109G’s and –K’s, with a special focus on the colors and markings applied at the factories. Details of various subtypes are explained and illustrated, and the “official” color schemes are shown in color profiles.
The book is profusely illustrated with 16 color photographs (5 at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio) and many black and white wartime photos. There are line drawings of 9 different tail unit variants and line drawings of cockpit variants. A page of color patches, called out in RLM numbers and German names is included.
The first chapter is on the Bf 109G-5/AS. It includes a 2-view color illustration, a black and white wartime photo of Kurt Tank and Hptmn. Gunther Specht looking over Specht’s 30 kill total marks on the tail of his 109 and a 1/48th scale profile line drawing.
The second chapter is on the Bf 109-6/AS. It includes 1 black and white wartime photo, 2 1/48th scale profile line drawings and 6 color profile illustrations.
The third chapter is on the Bf 109G-14. It includes 2 color wartime photos, 12 black and white wartime photos, 2 color 3-view illustrations, color illustrations of the tops and bottom of the wings, 4 1/48th scale profile line drawings and 5 color profile illustrations (one of these in captured British markings and one in Hungarian markings).
The fourth chapter is on the Bf 109G-14/AS. It includes a black and white photo of a 109 in Croatian markings, a color 3-view illustration, 4 1/48th scale profile line drawings, 1 color wartime photo and 11 black and white ones (1 photo is in the Croatian markings, 1 is in captured British and 1 in Italian markings)
The fifth chapter is on the Bf 109G-10. It includes 2 wartime color photos, 16 black and white wartime photos (the majority of which are of wrecks), 6 1/48th scale profile line drawings of cockpit variations and 2 of air scoop variants, 123 color profile illustrations (1 in Italian marks, 1 in post-war Yugoslavian marks, a 4-view of one in Hungarian marks, a 4-view of one in Luftwaffe marks and two in Czechoslovakian marks – one of these is Czech post-war marks)
The sixth chapter is on the Bf 109K-4. It includes 19 color profile illustrations (one of these is a 3-view), 2 color wartime photos, 4 1/48th scale profile line drawings, color illustrations of the upper and lower wing surfaces, 14 black and white wartime photos (some of these are also of wrecks),
These chapters are followed by a page of 5 color illustrations of upper camouflage schemes, 2 pages that have 3 large line drawings showing stencil marks and their locations on the 109 and a page of bibliography. The book is 96 pages in length, soft-cover and in 8 ¼” x 11 ¾” page format.
All I can say, when I opened the cover on this book and saw all the wonderful color profiles etc….was a great big WOW! If you like the 109 as much as I do, this book is a must for modelers and aviation historians and enthusiasts. Very, very highly recommended.