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Hispano Aviación HA-1112

Hispano Aviación HA-1112 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2019 Title Hispano Aviación HA-1112
Author Eduardo Manuel Gil Martínez Publisher Kagero
Published 2019 ISBN 9788366148338
Format 80 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $29.95

Review

Post-WWII versions of Nazi Germany’s legendary Messerschmitt Bf 109 surprisingly saw frontline Spanish service until the mid-1960s.

Now author Eduardo Manuel Gil Martínez tells the spellbinding tale in Hispano Aviación HA-1112 from Kagero – available in North America from Casemate.

Over 80 picture-packed pages, the saga succinctly surveys Spain’s attempts to marry Hispano-Suiza and, later and more successfully, Rolls-Royce Merlin engines to the German airframe.

The final “Buchon” variant – the only Bf 109s with four-bladed props – finally entered operations in, astonishingly, 1957. Survivors played Luftwaffe Messerschmitts in 1969’s epic, “The Battle of Britain”. And many remain in museums and warbird circuits.

Over 130 photos, detail shots, and a dozen color profiles illustrate the effort. Development notes, service commentary, armament remarks, and extended captions further augment the account. And tables and references complete coverage.

Surprises abound.

Did you know that early, Jumo-powered Bf 109 variants in Spanish service actually survived until July 1955? I didn’t, either. Want the official name for Buchon’s vivid “cobalt blue” finish? You’ll find it here. And how were condoms used in aircraft maintenance? See page 35.

But totals on page 5 make no sense. Many intriguing photos appear too small to glean useful details. And that’s Rüstsätze – not “Rüstsätse”.

Text, moreover, proves wearisome to read. Some diction frankly borders on bizarre. And some sections actually defy discernment. But attention to context – and grasp of history – help divine much of the book’s awfully opaque English.

But most modelers doubtlessly buy Kagero titles for pretty pictures – not for proper prose. And this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s certainly a colorful project reference!

My sincere thanks to Casemate for this review sample!