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The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Part 2: 'F' to 'K' Variants

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Part 2: 'F' to 'K' Variants Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2007 Title The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Part 2: 'F' to 'K' Variants
Author Lynn Ritger Publisher SAM Publications
Published 2007 ISBN 0-9551858-1-5
Format 224 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £18.00 (Approx $36.00 USD)

Review

Most modelers are aware of Scale Aviation Modeler, one of the nicest hobby publications in print (in my humble opinion) and other fine titles from SAM Publications, the parent organization. One series you may not be aware of is called the Modeller's Datafile. There were nine titles in the series, each one a wealth of information. If ever there was a 'one-stop-shop' for reference, detail, and hobby information on a given subject, these datafiles are it. Imagine one of Bert Kinzey's Detail and Scale titles (another fine series) on steroids. The first nine in the series are:

  1. Mosquito
  2. Hurricane
  3. Spitfire Part 1
  4. Lancaster
  5. Spitfire Part 2
  6. Beaufighter
  7. Lightning
  8. Meteor
  9. Bf 109 Part 1

And for what it's worth, I've purchased every one in the series.

So while attending the 2006 IPMS/USA National Convention, there was author Lynn Ritger promoting Datafile 10 - Bf 109 Part 2. Of course I pre-ordered a copy! I later saw him with laptop in-hand and he showed me some of the artwork that would be part this new edition. I had to resist the impulse to order a second copy.

Well, fast-forward almost a year and the tenth Datafile is now released. Was it worth the wait? Oh yes!

I am by no means an expert on the Bf 109 and with Bf 109 Part 1, the author gives you a head start on understanding the subject. Part 1 only covered the initial prototypes through the Emils (Bf 109E). Part 2 picks up the coverage with the Bf 109F through the Bf 109K.

The coverage in Bf 109 Part 2 includes:

  • Type Development
  • The Channel Front
  • African Stars, Mediterranean Sun
  • One Steppe Beyond
  • The Boars' War
  • Defence and Defeat
  • Training Operations
  • Foreign Users
  • Detailing
  • Armament Development
  • Bf 109F-4 Walkaround
  • Bf 109G-4 Walkaround
  • Bf 109G-6 Walkaround
  • Bf 109G-10 Walkaround
  • Modelling the Bf 109
    • Kit Listing
    • Accessories & Conversions
    • Decals
  • Bf 109 Survivors
  • Bf 109 Airframes & Production
  • Bf 109 Bibliography

As with each of the previous titles in the Modeller's Datafile series, this title is very well illustrated with a variety of period photographs, photos of museum examples, detailed drawings and scrap drawings to bring out specific details/features. What is even more impressive is the number of color photographs that came out of World War II. It is amazing to see some of these color schemes in real color!

If you only want to buy one reference on a given subject or aircraft series, these are the ones. Okay, with the Bf 109 and Spitfire, you'll need Parts 1 and 2, but there is a load of territory to cover with those two subjects in particular. As with the previous titles in this series, this latest is definitely a must-have. If a tornado came through tomorrow and I needed to replace my technical library, each of these titles in the Modeller's Datafile series would be the top on that list.

Definitely recommended!

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