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Airframe & Miniature 5 Early Series (to E-9 including T) and 11 Bf.109 Late Series (F-K & Z)


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Airframe & Miniature 5 Early Series (to E-9 including T) and 11 Bf.109 Late Series (F-K & Z)

A Complete Guide To The Luftwaffe's Famous Fighter

Valiant Wings Publishing

 

There won't be many folks that have an interest in WWII aviation that would say "Bf.what now?", and a great many of us have a fondness for this aircraft, despite what it represented at the time.  They are just pieces of metal and rubber, afterall.  The Bf.109, a product of the Messerschmitt works was a pre-war design that went on to serve valiantly (excuse pun) to the end of the war, and went through many variants, including a Zwilling twin, and a T that was supposed to serve on the still-born aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin.  Even though it was supposed to be replaced on a number of occasions by supposedly better aircraft, it soldiered on alongside the Fw.190 to the very end, and as a Spanish Casa, and in other foreign service even beyond.  A few original airframes still survive, but if you see a 109 in the sky at an airshow, it's most likely the previously mention Casa that sports a Merlin engine, with exhausts high on the modified cowling.

 

This is a series of two books, the first of which covered the early 109s and was released in 2015, now joined by its sibling that covers the later marks up until the end of production.  They also cover the oddities mentioned above, which will be of interest to anyone that is interested in the almost or what-if possibilities of this versatile airframe.  I can't seem to find our original review of Number 5, so in the interests of completeness, and the fact that the early edition has been republished due to demand, packed with even more information and photos.

 

Both books are perfect bound in a card jacket and printed on glossy paper with spot colour throughout.  The author for each one is the prolific Richard A Franks, with Richard J Caruana providing the colour profiles as usual with this interesting series.  Pasted to the rear of each volume are a set of plans that will be of great use to any modeller that likes to compare and contrast their plastic replicas with profiles and plans.

 

 

Airframe & Miniature 5, Bf.109 V1 to E-9 including T-series – ISBN: 978-0-9567198-7-4

 

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Consisting of 208 pages, it details the development of the 109 from early design work, prototypes, initial production and the early marks that saw service during the expansion of the Reich, and the Nazi's "dry-run" of their Blitzkreig warfare during the Spanish Civil War, and finally in the early part of WWII when it was tested against the British Spitfire and found to be a reasonable match during some modes of flight, but in need of improvement if it was to keep up with the steady development of the fabulous Merlin engine and the Supermarine engineers constantly improving on the original design.   The pages are broken down as follows:

 

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Airframe Chapters

Evolution

10

Bf.109B series

14

Bf.109C & D series

26

Bf.109E prototypes

33

Bf.109E production

41

Bf.109 T-series, projects and one-off conversions

55

Camouflage & markings

61

Colour Profiles

81

 

Miniature Chapters

Bf.109V1 to E-9 and T-series kits

92

Building a selection

108

Building a collection

126

In detail: The Bf.109

148

 

Appendices

Bf.109V1 to E-9 (including T-series) kit list

191

Bf.109V1 to E-9 (including T-series) accessories list

195

Bf.109V1 to E-9 (including T-series) decal list

199

Bibliography

207

 

Fold-Outs

Scale plans – V1, B-0

Fold Out A

Scale plans – D-1, E-1, E7 Trop, T-2

Fold Out B

 

 

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Airframe & Miniature Volume 11 – Bf.109 Late Series (F to K including the Z-series) ISBN: 978-0-9957773-0-9

 

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With an expanded page count up to 240 pages, this volume documents the struggle to develop the 109 past the point that it probably would have seen if it weren't for the changing tides of war and the whirlwind that Nazi Germany reaped after its failure to conquer Britain, and the declaration of war by the American after Pearl Harbour shook them from their isolationist reverie.  The changes involved many dead-ends, including V-tail, retractable oil cooler, skis, wide-track undercarriage and just about any kind of aerodynamic of mechanical updates that the engineers thought could give them advantage over the Spitfire and eventually the Mustang, Thunderbolt and many other late war heavy fighters. 

 

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The page breakdown is as follows:

 

Airframe Chapters

Evolution – Bf.109F Series

24

Evolution – Bf.109G Series

41

Evolution – Bf.109H, K and Z series

62

Camouflage and Markings and Colour Profiles

69

Miniature Chapters

Bf.109F to G series Kits

110

Building a Selection

119

Building a Collection

135

In Detail: The Bf.109F to K

166

 

Cockpit & Canopy

167

 

Fuselage

177

 

Engine, Radiator, Cowls & Propeller

179

 

Supercharger Intake

182

 

Cowl Types

187

 

Oil, Fuel, Coolant, Oxygen, Hydraulic & GM-1 and/or MW50 Systems

190

 

Wings & Flight Controls

194

 

Tail

199

 

Undercarriage

203

 

Armament, Ordnance & Drop Tanks

206

 

Camera, Radio & Radar Systems

216

 

Miscellaneous

221

     

Appendices

Bf.109F to K Series Kit List

222

Bf.109F to K Series Accessory List

228

Bf.109F to K Series Decal List

233

Bibliography

239

 

1:48 Scale Plans Fold-Out

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Conclusion

As we have come to expect from this series, indeed any of the Valiant Wings publications, the text is interesting, the photos of high quality, and the drawings are crisp with lots of informative captions.  The colour profiles are of high quality, and the isometrics that show the differences between marks are my personal favourites.  There is plenty to interest the aviation enthusiast as well as the modeller, but the modelling section is great for us plastic fiends, with models of the highest quality being showcased with tips and tricks to obtain similar results (talent willing!), with all major scales represented from many manufacturers.

 

This series has become a great source of knowledge for those of us that don't know everything already, and with them in hand, you are poised to do a better job of your latest 109 project, especially if you're looking at detail.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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