The Me 163 Komet
A Detailed Guide to the Luftwaffe’s Rocket-Powered Interceptor
Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe Album No.10
S u m m a r y
|Publisher and Title:
Valiant Wings Publishing – Airframe Album No.10: The Me 163 Komet – A Detailed Guide to the Luftwaffe’s Rocket-Powered Interceptor
Soft-cover A4 format; 114 pages; black and white and colour drawings and photographs.
||£16.95 plus postage available online from Valiant Wings
and stockists worldwide.
||An interesting subject that is well presented, with clearly written text and well-chosen photographs.
This book is a welcome addition to Valiant Wings’ Airframe Album range. Its combination of historical background, technical description and kit builds is aimed squarely at modellers, but will also be of interest to aviation enthusiasts and historians. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Brad Fallen
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
The tenth volume in Valiant Wings’ Airframe Album series focuses on Messerschmitt’s rocket-powered Komet, which entered front-line service in May 1944 – before the Me 262 – but achieved little operational success. This notwithstanding the Me 163’s audacity of design and variety of colour schemes makes it an appealing modelling subject, and this book will be invaluable for anyone considering a Komet project.
Series author Richard A. Franks tackles the Me 163 as follows:
Preface/Introduction. The book begins with 18 pages of context for the technical information that follows. Franks traces the Komet’s evolution from the interwar designs of Alexander Lippisch and initially tentative Luftwaffe interest in the Me 163 to series production, operational service and the challenges that accompanied both. Planned future development is also covered, as is the fate of Me 163s in Allied hands and Japanese attempts at licensed production in 1944-45.
Chapter 1: Technical description. This chapter is a 34-page walk-around of the Komet, combining black-and-white period photos and technical drawings with colour photos of surviving Me 163s for a detailed examination of the airframe.
Chapter 2: Evolution: prototype, production and projected variants. The Me 163’s revolutionary design demanded an extensive development program, with numerous prototype and pre-production machines required to refine the technology to a standard acceptable for operations. Franks covers this evolution thoroughly, from the first pre-war glider to the numerous Me 163 B testbeds. Projected German and Japanese developments are also covered, with the detailed text and diagrams backed up with useful period photos.
Chapter 3: Camouflage and markings. Me 163 camouflage ranged from monochromatic prototype schemes to the variety of greens, browns, greys and blues seen on late war Luftwaffe aircraft. Most modellers will choose a subject from the latter period, and this chapter describes and illustrates the main colour combinations seen on Me 163s. There’s also an examination of Me 163 stencil and national markings, drawing on photographs of the Komet currently in the Australian War Memorial that were taken before its original finish was unfortunately overpainted in the late 1970s.
Chapter 4: Models. This chapter on models is a welcome addition to the Airframe Album series (there wasn’t one in the previous example I’ve seen, on the Bristol Blenheim). Four kits are built: in 1/72 Libor Jekl tackles PM Models’ DFS 194 and Special Hobby’s Me 163 A, while Steve Evans builds Trimaster’s 1/48 Me 163 B-1a and Meng’s new 1/32 kit of the same subject. All four builds are well written and photographed, and will be of great help to anyone working with these kits.
Four short appendices follow the main text, listing Komet kit, accessory and decal releases to date, as well as a bibliography for further reading.
The Me 163 Komet is a welcome addition to Valiant Wings’ Airframe Album range, as studies of the Me 163 are not thick on the ground. The book’s combination of historical background, technical description and kit builds is aimed squarely at modellers, but will also be of interest to aviation enthusiasts and historians. Highly recommended
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.
Review Copyright © 2017 by Brad Fallen
This Page Created on 23 August, 2017
23 August, 2017
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page