Messerschmitt Bf-109G in Detail




Wydawnictwo Militaria


Scott Van Aken


All English


You know, probably one of the top ten, perhaps even top five aircraft subjects in the world is the Messerschmitt Bf-109. It is a favorite subject of many modelers, aircraft historians, and aviation enthusiasts around the world. There is something about Willy Messerschmitt's cramped little fighter that just draws interest. Face it, it really was not that outstanding a fighter, other than the fact that it stayed in production for such a long time. Think about it. It really didn't handle that great, especially at speed, when the controls were so stiff as to make any kind of radical movement nearly impossible. It had a real problem with range and probably more were damaged in ground accidents than to the enemy in the air! Yet it continues to fascinate.

In the last decade, there has been a major push to get as many heretofore rare and unusual planes back to display condition or even into the air. Much of this is because of the will to do so and the increasing number of people who have the monetary means to do so. The 109 has been a recipient of that, and not just ex-Spanish CASA's modified, but bonafide Messerschmitt products, many rescued from lakes and the forests in what used to be the Eastern Front.

This particular close up is the fifth in a series called Militaria in Detail. The publisher has been producing enthusiast books for years. In fact, Poland in general has been a source for many truly excellent books on military equipment. This particular book is written entirely in English except for a short blurb in the very front of the book. Of course, with a book of this type, there written word is very much just a small part of it. The major focus is on photographs. And there are a huge number, the vast majority of them in color. They are in color as they are of current or recent-past flying and museum aircraft.

Three airframes are the subject of this work. The first is the ill-fated Black 6 Bf-109G-2, which was almost totally destroyed in a crash by an unqualified pilot a few years back. Fortunately, there were a number of photos taken of the plane. Most are of the overall plane taxiing and flying with some of the engine and the interior.

Next is another Bf-109G-2 that is preserved in the Berlin air museum. Like Black 6 it is in desert tan. Interestingly, it carries a swastika on the tail. Wonder why all the fuss about model kits? This aircraft has more external photos, though more of a close-up variety than Black 6.

A flying Bf-109G-5 is the next subject. 109 fans will recognize FM+BB as it was probably the first flyable DB powered 109 to visit the European airshow circuits. Like Black 6, there are flying shots, but there are also a lot more engine photos and close-ups of those items that make the G-5 different from the other variants.

The final aircraft in the series is a Bf-109G-6. However, this one is much different. The aircraft is currently undergoing restoration, so there is plenty of opportunity to see what the guts of the plane looks like. In fact, nearly half of the photos are dedicated to this aircraft. If you want to see what the wing structure looks like without the skin on it, it is here as are images of the fuselage detail and other parts normally hidden on a completed aircraft. There are also shots of some of the equipment originally on the plane when it was recovered. It would have been very nice to have some info on where it was found and its previous owners, but that isn't included.

Next is a section on the obligatory scale drawings. Seems like no Eastern European aircraft book is complete without them! As usual, they are very well done. The final section has period black and white photos from various sources of the 109 when it was doing its job. None were new to me, but the choice of images is good and portrays a variety of G models.

Overall, I have to say that this is one of the better books on the 109. Especially so if you want to do some super-detailing of your next model or wish to do a diorama where the aircraft has sustained damage and you want to show structure. Recommended to all and highly recommended to the detail freaks!

Review copy courtesy of Air Connection. They have a full selection of Polish and other Eastern European products. When you shop there, say Modeling Madness sent you! Thanks for your support.

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