Bf-109K Camouflage and Markings


Tomas Poruba & Kees Mol




Scott Van Aken


English text with Czech supplement


Ok, I admit it. I'm a 109 junkie. I can't help myself. For some reason, I tend to be attracted to any model, decal sheet, aftermarket part, painting, or book on the 109. While I do tend to waffle between early, mid and late war 109s, I am still hooked on them. 

Late war Luftwaffe aircraft in general have held a fascination to not only myself, but a large number of people. Thanks to the greater freedom of information transfer from areas in Eastern Europe that were previously closed to Western eyes until 1990, a great deal of new material has come to light concerning many facets of German WWII aviation. Even in the last few years more and more material has been made available. The writers, who also collaborated with the 1997 Bf-109K history, have had to amend information based on new findings.

I mean, this book is just about as esoteric as stuff gets, but I loved it. The authors have done a superb job of researching the information, going back to primary sources as good historians should. They have been able to make some sense out of the confusion of standards and conflicting orders to piece together a real pattern in determining camouflage trends amongst the different batch numbers of the 109K. 

They have also been able to to add clarity to the colors probably used and give understandable reasoning when they fill in blanks that are a bit hazy due to lack of concrete data. As with many late war camo books, a lot of coloring info is garnered from photos of wrecked aircraft. 

The book is very well illustrated with color profiles as well as the source photos for the profiles. Some of these photos are in color, a real treat. There are also photos of recovered airframe bits to support theories and ideas.

About 1/3 of the book is either appendix, charts or the Czech supplement. There are several pages of serial number lists, by individual aircraft, annotating known information on that particular aircraft. A few pages of RLM color information and how colors were determined from b&w photos is also included. This is a must-read as it clearly shows the difficulty in determining color information.

It is not a book you can sit down and read in one sitting. One needs to read it in short segments. Not because the material is dry, just because each section needs to be fully digested and understood before continuing on.

I will admit that it is not a book for everyone. If you have trouble going through technical details or just want a pretty picture book of profiles, you might want to look elsewhere. However, if you have a real interest in the 109K and want to build your model as accurately as possible, then this book along with the earlier 109K history, is one that you will use over and over again as a ready reference.

Review copy courtesy of  your wiser, but poorer editor.

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