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The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152

The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2012 Title The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152
Author Richard A Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2011 ISBN 978-0-9567198-2-9
Format 128 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £17.95

Review

Valiant Wings is back with their third title - the Fw 190D & Ta 152. In their first title, the Me 262, Richard Franks pulled together all of the information useful for the modeler as well as aviation enthusiast into one book. This information ranged from the different versions of the Me 262, the visible details that distinguish each version, the camouflage used on these aircraft, versions that never left the drawing board, and then a look at the kits, details and decals available for this subject. Richard repeated this formula in the Typhoon/Tornado title and provided more excellent matieral all under one cover.

The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152 continues in the same footsteps of their previous titles and provides that one-stop knowledge inside one cover. Take a look at their coverage:

  • Airframe Chapters
    • Evolution: Fw 190D
    • The Fw 190D Series
    • The Ta 152C Series
    • The Ta 152H Series
    • Projects and Drawing Board Designs
    • Camouflage and Markings
    • Colour Profiles
  • Miniature Chapters
    • Fw 190D & Ta 152 Kits
    • Building a Selection
    • Building a Collection
    • In Detail: The Focke Wulf Fw 190D and Ta 152
  • Appendices
    • Fw 190D and Ta 152 Kit List
    • Fw 190D and Ta 152 Accessory List
    • Fw 190D and Ta 152 Decal List
    • Bibliography

I have a particular interest in the long-nosed Focke Wulf/Tank designs as a friend of mine had flown the Mosquito during World War II and was never really concerned about Luftwaffe interceptors as their 'reconnaissance' Mossie could outrun anything the Luftwaffe could get up to their altitude - until the Ta 152H and they nearly bought it on their first encounter. The engineering that went into the interim design that would become the Fw 190D was impressive as was its performance but the Fw 190D was only an interim step toward what would be the Ta 152C. When you add the high altitude engine with the long wings of the Ta 152H, there was no better interceptor available over Europe. Fortunately these aircraft came online too late in the war to make a difference and there was insufficient time for the surviving Luftwaffe pilots to transition into this new type effectively.

Coverage starts with a look at the later Fw 190V series which employed converted Fw 190A airframes with different Jumo 213 engine and propeller combinations until definitive variants were developed (Fw 190D-9 through D-15). The title continues through the Fw 190V and now Ta 152V series with different combinations of DB 603 engine and propeller combinations until successful combinations of powerplant and armament configurations defined the Ta 152C series. This coverage extends through the Fw 190V and Ta 152V variants that married up the Jumo 213E with a highly modified airframe with cockpit pressurization and long wings to render the ultimate high-altitude interceptor - the Ta 152H series.

Next, the author walks you through the important aspects of these aircraft from a modeler's point of view before taking you through the kits and then those all-important details you'll want to capture or highlight in your own builds. In their 'Build a Selection' section, they review a number of kits in each scale that are currently available including the definitive Zoukei-Mura 1/32 Ta 152H and Hasegawa 1/32 Fw 190D series. This is followed by an innovative 'Build a Collection' concept which goes through the various prototypes, production, and drawing board projects, highlight the details/changes needed to replicate each variant, then provide recommended kits in each scale to get your started.

In the 'In Detail' section, the title walks you through the differences in these aircraft from a modeler's perspective with nice photos either pulled from the history files or contemporary photographs of the National Air and Space Museum's Ta 152H in storage as well as Paul Allen's restored Fw 190D-11.

While you might find much of this information online or in the various titles out there on the Fw 190D/Ta 152, getting to the information you might need quickly and efficiently may be like the optimistic child in the famous tale who is digging through the pile of poo looking for the pony. While I pride myself on having a great research library, digging through various titles to try to pull together some useful information takes time and that is time away from the hobby bench. Useful titles like this one gather all of that information useful to the scale modeler and transforms it into knowledge at your fingertips.

This title is well done and should be on your bench before you undertake your next Fw 190D or Ta 152 build. I look forward to seeing what is coming next from this team as this format continues to be very useful as well as an excellent value.

My sincere thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.

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