Valiant Wings Publishing: FW-190 (Radial Engine)

Author:

Richard A Franks

Publisher/Distributor

Valiant Wings Publishing

Price

20.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 240 pages, A4 Format, softcover,
ISBN: 978-1-912932-08-5, Airframe and Miniature #7. Revised edition

Thanks to growing interest in this aircraft from modelers, kit makers and those who provide accessories and detail parts, enough new material has been gathered to justify a revised edition of this quite popular subject. 

The 190 was not with out its early teething troubles, mostly related to the BMW 801 engine which had the rather unsettling habit of catching fire. For this reason, early 190s were limited in production until a more reliable engine was finally developed for the 190A-3 series. The 190 was later developed into in-line engine versions, but that is outside the scope of this book. The basic radial engine version was constantly improved and upgraded as the war went along, staying in production until the very end.  

Valiant Wings has continued with their successful format of not only providing information on the aircraft subject, but also on available kits, accessories, and books. Build articles using some of the kits and conversion sets listed are also provided.

The book starts out by providing information on the history of the type, starting with the prototypes, of which there are an almost bewildering number. What makes this book special is that there are drawings and photos of these planes, with each successive improvement noted in the drawings. Each plane has a bit of a history involved with it that gives some pertinent information on the aircraft in question, that includes the colors of the airframe. We get that full color profiles in this section.

 Next is the 'Miniatures' section of the book. Here were have a run down of all the kits built by current manufacturers. This does not include those that are really only for collectors, so while the number of manufacturers may be small, the listing of various boxings is quite large. This includes a review of the series and a conclusion of the worth of the series. I found it interesting that Hasegawa was basically given a brief mention and that was it. It seems odd to me as they have an extensive line of FW-190 boxings and their kits are part of the builds. True, they are not currently in production, but they are readily available in the second-hand market. It moves into a section of build articles covering some of the various kits. I very much like the way this was done as the same person built all the 1/72 kits, another did the 1/48 and 1/32 version. This allows a comparison of the merits of each kit to be done by the same person so we get his point of view on each scale. Of course, new to this edition is the recent Eduard line so that alone adds to the page count.

There is next a selection of drawings showing the differences between aircraft. Since the FW-190 was built in such numbers and with so many development prototypes, this section is one that modelers will find to be worth its weight in gold, as they say. There is also a huge section that has detail images of the aircraft taken from both museum planes and from the official technical manual for the FW-190. The bibliography is quite large, listing all known books on the 190.

The book is rounded out with 1/48 scale plans of four variants of the 190; the prototype, the A-3, the A-6,the A-8, the F-9 and the S-8. These are provided as large fold outs.

 This one is the most ambitious undertaking by Valiant Wings so far and makes for the most comprehensive reference I have yet to read on the type. I can easily see this one selling out quite quickly, so if you have any interest at all in the round motor 190, then this is a book you really must have in your reference collection. Most highly recommended.

December 2019

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