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The Messerschmitt
Bf 109 Early Series

V1 to E-9 including T-Series

by Richard A. Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe and Miniature No. 5

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Valiant Wings Publishing
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Early Series
V1 to E-9 including T-Series
Airframe and Miniature No. 5
Second Edition
by Richard A. Franks

ISBN: 978-1-912932-25-2
Media: 272 pages in A4 portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround ones, colour profiles, historical manual drawings, line drawings and model details.
Price:


GBP£25.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings

GBP£25.95 plus shipping available online from Hannants

and stockists worldwide.

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Beautifully produced on quality paper, well bound so that it can be opened flat, masses of great information - photos, drawings and colour schemes - and excellent lists of all things a modeller needs to produce the next masterpiece.
Disadvantages: None noted.
Conclusion:

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every early variant Messerschmitt Bf109 modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it whole heartedly.


Reviewed by Graham Carter


 

FirstRead

 

This is the latest upgraded edition in this popular series of modelling and technical books. First released in 2013 and now updated, hence the new ISBN. It is a solid A4 232 page volume, well bound with a glossy card cover and printed on quality glossy paper that allows excellent reproduction of images and drawings. The cover is adorned with another of Jerry Boucher’s commissioned illustrations, this time of Oblt Erbo Graf von Kagerneck’s Bf 109E-7 from 9/JG27. While primarily aimed at the modeller with around a quarter of the book taken up by kit reviews and builds, there is much to appeal to the historian and technically-minded person as well. This new edition contains some new information and images but primarily introduces some kit builds of recently released kits in the popular scales, as well as listing of newer accessories from a wide variety of manufacturers.

 

 

Following the familiar path, the volume begins with a Preface of four pages covering the story of the development of the Bf 109, with a few B&W photos and to illustrate early development.

Then chapter 1 covers the Evolution of the aircraft from prototype, through to production variants, while the following four chapters cover the production variants - the B series, C and D series, E prototypes and production. There are photos and drawings to show these different variants. Chapter 6 looks at the T-series and projects and one-off conversions, including fascinating ones with a Twin Wasp and the Spanish one with a Hispano-Suiza power-plant. Plenty of scope for a great range of interesting models here!

 

 

Next comes thirty-odd pages of info on Camouflage and Markings which provides information and photos or colour drawings by Richard Caruana of the schemes worn by examples from most users, including captured ones. This section includes a set of drawings that show the location of airframe stencils. The colours for those from the Spanish Civil War, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Switzerland are also treated.

The 25-page eighth chapter lists a selection of the available kits in all scales from 1/144 through to 1/24, with an assessment of the pros and cons of each, after which Chapter Nine presents nine builds. These start with the V1, a conversion to a 109A, an E-1 back dated from E-3, and E-4, E-7, all in 1/72 by Libor Jekl using Airfix, Special Hobby, MPM and Tamiya kits, then the Airfix 1/48 E-1/E-3 and Wingsy Kits E-1, from Steve A Evans. There follows two 1/32 builds by the same modeller of a 109 D converted  from the Special Hobby kit and an E-1 from Eduard.  Both builders are well known for the quality of their modelling and their clear photos and explanations of how they produce their models are worth a detailed read.

 

 

Chapter Ten, called Building a Collection, shows in isometric drawings by Jacek Jackiewicz and Juraj Jankovic all the differences between all the different variants and showing the versions with the slightly different canopy. These clearly annotated sketches are invaluable to the modeller although I occasionally think that it would have been useful to have had some undersurface drawings as well.

The Eleventh, ’In Detail’, section occupies some 44 pages and give the reader an enormous number of colour and B&W photos from modern and contemporary sources, along with German technical manual drawings and excellent notes. It covers most aspects of the airframes from the engine, propellors, cockpit, fuselage and wings, tail, undercarriage and so on. This is really a highlight of this and other volumes in the series and provides an invaluable source of information for the interested technophile or the super-detailer. 

 

  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Bf 109 Early Series Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Bf 109 Early Series Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Bf 109 Early Series Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Bf 109 Early Series Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Bf 109 Early Series Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Bf 109 Early Series Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
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There are then four appendices covering, in alphabetic lists by scale ( five full close-types pages!), all of the kits that have been available, Accessories (six pages), decals (ten pages )and a bibliography. The work that has gone into compiling these lists is quite astounding and the extent of these lists gives one a good idea of how popular these aircraft are as modelling subjects. 

Finally, the rear of the book concludes with two fold-out double-sided four-page sets of 1/48 scale drawings - sixteen pages in all - showing side and upper and lower views of different variants, and including some large format B&W images as well.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Bf109 modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it whole heartedly, especially if you missed the earlier edition. It brings together so much information that you probably have spread through several volumes and therein lies its usefulness.

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.


Review Copyright 2022 by Graham Carter
This Page Created on 1 July, 2022
Last updated 1 July, 2022

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