Valiant Wings - Airframe & Miniature 5: The Messerschmitt Bf109 Early Series

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VLW-AM5

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  • Soft Cover
  • 208 pages packed with vital information that no active aviation modeler should be without
  • 40+ pages of technical information
  • 20+ pages of walkaround images and technical diagrams
  • 5+ pages of camouflage and markings
  • 25+ pages of model builds and modeling information
  • 200+ photographs including wartime images
  • Color side views and four-views by Richard Caruana
  • 3D isometric views of all variants by Jacek Jackiewicz
  • Extensive 1/48 and 1/72 scale kit builds
  • Two sets of fold-out 1/48 scale plans

The book is broken down as follows:  

  • Evolution.  This short chapter examines the first three Bf 109 prototypes (the V1, V2 and V3), describing key identifying features of each airframe before moving on to a similar treatment of their camouflage and markings.  The text is backed up by selected period photos – some of them familiar, others less so – and black-and-white port profiles of the three aircraft, a formula that is repeated in chapters 2 to 6 below.
  • Bf 109 B series.  A number of B series pre-production machines are described in the same manner as above, before outlining the differences between BFW-, Fieseler- and Erla-built production Bf 109 Bs.  It’s worth noting here that some aspects of early Bf 109 production and nomenclature remain contentious, and I suspect that not all readers will agree with Franks’ analysis of these subjects in this and other chapters.  As a non-experten, however, I found the information as presented to be a useful untangling of the Bf 109’s complicated early development.
  • Bf 109 C and D series.  Another short chapter that deals with these two variants that saw limited production and are frequently confused with one another.
  • Bf 109 E Prototypes.  This fascinating section provides the most detailed coverage I have yet seen of the Bf 109 E prototypes and pre-production machines.
  • Bf 109 E Production.  Think you know your Bf 109 Es?  This chapter covers the E-1 to the E-9/N Trop and everything in between, and is an essential starting point for anyone wanting to conduct further research into this variant.
  • Bf 109 T Series, Projects and One-Off Conversions.  This chapter presents a helpful chronology of the development of the Bf 109 T, before briefly examining the Bf 109 S two-seat trainer and the sole Pratt and Whitney-engined V21 and Spanish Hispano-Suiza-engined E-1 conversions.
  • Camouflage and markings.  Here Franks tackles head-on the potentially controversial subject of early Bf 109 camouflage.  He begins with a detailed look at the colours of Bf 109s in Spain before turning the evolution of camouflage on Luftwaffe machines, and then concluding with a discussion of the finish applied foreign-operated Bf 109s.  Then comes the icing on the cake:  14 pages of full colour profiles, overhead views, stencil placement guides and unit badges, which will be useful to anyone looking for inspiration for a Bf 109 project.
  • Bf 109 V1 to E-9 and T-series kits.  The first of the modelling-specific chapters, this section describes – as completely as possible – all kits of early Bf 109s that have so far been released; it’s an extremely useful resource to which I know I’ll be referring frequently.
  • Building a Selection.  Exactly as described:  well-known and talented modelers Libor Jekl and Steve A. Evans build and paint selected 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 Bf 109 kits, describing the pluses and minuses of each along the way.
  • Building a Collection.  This 22-page chapter highlights, by way of front-quarter view grayscale drawings, the key identifying features of all Bf 109 variants from the V1 to the V21.
  • In Detail.  This chapter uses a combination of technical drawings and period and contemporary photographs to provide what can only be described as a super-walkaround of most early Bf 109 variants.