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The Messerschmitt Bf.110 – Airframe & Miniature #17 ISBN: 9781912932207


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The Messerschmitt Bf.110 – Airframe & Miniature #17

ISBN: 9781912932207

Valiant Wings Publishing




The Bf.110 started life in the mid-30s as a Zerstörer, a heavy fighter that had a fair degree of success in the early days of WWII, but once the Battle of Britain began it was found to be too slow to cope with the Spitfires and Hurricanes that it encountered across the English Channel/La Manche whether it was supporting bombers or acting as a heavy fighter chaperoning the lumbering Stukas in their destructive terror missions.  It was decided that they needed their own escorts to help reduce losses, and as a result the production lines for the -D model was put on a low priority, with the intention of replacing it with the Me.210, but that’s a whole ‘nother sad, extended story that ended up with the Me.410 Hornisse much later.  As a result, the Bf.110 soldiered on until the end of the war, generally used away from the dogfighting at the frontline, or in tasks where top speed and manoeuvrability wasn’t an absolute priority.


The -F was fitted with more powerful engines with double the power of the first production variant, and that compensated entirely for the additional armour and equipment that was now carried by the revised design.  After the Me.210 was deemed to be irretrievably flawed, the -G variant was created with enhanced armament and other changes, but some pilots weren’t particularly enthusiastic about it.  This was the final service variant, as the -H was cancelled before it reached prototype, but there were a myriad of sub-variants and field-conversions used as night fighters, light bombers, ground-attack, tank destroyers with a 55mm Bordkanone slung under the fuselage, reconnaissance and of course the heavy fighter, with various ranges possible by varying the tankage.



The Book

The book is perfect-bound with 256 pages on glossy paper, tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day.  It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski and Juraj Jankovic, plus models by Libor Jekl and Steve A Evans. If you're familiar with the series, you'll know that the tome is broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. 







Airframe Chapters


1. Evolution – Prototype, Bf.110A-0 & B Series

2. Evolution – Bf.110C & D Series

3. Evolution – Bf.110E & F Series

3. Evolution – Bf.110G & H Series

4. Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles


Miniature Chapters


5. Bf.110 Kits

6. Building a Selection

7. Building a Collection

8. In Detail: The Bf.110


Engines, Cowlings & Propellers

Oil, Fuel & Coolant Systems





Electrical Equipment

Miscellaneous Equipment




I. Bf.110 Kits

II. Bf.110 Accessories

III. Bf.110 Decals

IV. Bibliography


A concertina sheet of 1:48 Scale plans are held captive in the rear cover (equivalent to 8 pages printed on both sides)










The scale plans are nicely thought out, and fold out sideways with the left-hand edge glued to the inside cover, and the isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski and Juraj Jankovic that pick out the differences between variants and sub-variants are a dream for anyone like me that struggles to remember the details that separate the marks.  As usual with the photographs in these titles, they're excellent for the most part, and as good as they can be for the occasional slightly grainy one that is all that remains of this or that variant.  Afterall, there's only so much that modern photo editing software can do.  The builds by Libor Jekl and Steve A. Evans are all first-rate too, with three Eduard kits in 1:72 – A Bf.110G-4 in detail, and a C/D and G-2 in summary, plus two Revell kits in 1:48 (G-2/R3) and 1:32 (C-2/C-7), both by Steve A Evans, all of which wouldn't look out of place on competition tables at the highest level.









This book is brimming with interest and information, with something for everyone – the modeller, the aviation enthusiast or history buff.  My personal favourite parts are the variant isometrics as previously mentioned, but there is so much to enjoy and it’s all good.


Very highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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