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Mike

TopDrawings 63 – Bf.109G-5/6/8/12/14 (9788366148086)

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TopDrawings 63 – Bf.109G-5/6/8/12/14 (9788366148086)

Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK

 

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The Bf.109 was reaching the end of its potential for development as Britain and Germany fought the Battle of Britain, but the designers still managed to squeeze yet more from the ageing airframe, so much so that it lasted until the end of WWII, although in fewer numbers due to the attrition both of pilots and the factories in which the aircraft were made.  The Gustav was perhaps the pinnacle of development, refining the design, streamlining the airframe and taking advantage of engine developments despite the limitations of the basic design.  The G series can be broken down between early and late, and to an extent the K-4, which was the only sub-variant of the attempt to standardise production that reached service and can be lumped into the Gustav's orbit, as it was effectively concurrent, and the last wartime development of the type.

 

We have kits in all scales from almost every manufacturer due to the popularity of the type (along with the Spitfire).  The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand.  With this edition, you get a set of masks for the Tamiya Bf.109G-6 in 1:48, which is the latest kit of the type.

 

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The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Czech on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within.  The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, with the rear cover devoted to additional profiles including the ungainly two-seater G-12, but in addition you get a sheet of loose A3 plans printed on both sides in 1:48 with the differences between the covered sub-variants picked out in grey.  The first half of the bound plans show the variants with several pages devoted to the G-6, and one of the G-5, after which the colour profiles are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the two on the rear cover.  After the break there is another page on the G-5, then the G-14, which is also shown on maintenance stands with the tail held high by two tripods and a cross-bar.  After that we skip back to the G-8 and finish with the G-12, which as already mentioned has an additional cockpit behind the standard one for training and VIP transport purposes.  Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that shows rocket packs, the differences in tail units, props, weapons carriers and so forth.

 

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Conclusion

These books are essential for the modeller that likes to compare their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the masks a useful bonus if you happen to have succumbed to the new kit from Tamiya.  You might also be interested in TopDrawings 67, which covers the rest of the G series and the short-lived K-4.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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