Kagero's Last Hope of the Luftwaffe


Jacek Pasienczny, Simon Schatz and Arkadiusz Wróbel






Scott Van Aken

Notes: 18 pages, softbound, 10 ¾ x 8 inches,
ISBN: 978-83-62878-71-0-1

For TopColors #37, Kagero has chosen to feature jet and rocket powered aircraft that were operational during WWII, albeit the last year of the war. Like earlier books in the series, it is a bit difficult to categorize. Is it a book with a huge decal sheet or a huge decal sheet that has the world's largest color and markings guide? The sheet offers only the unique markings for each subject as the modeler can use the kit sheet for the common stuff.

The art work is superb, with the right and left side profiles filling one page. For the 163 and 262, you are provided with an upper plan view with the underside of the wings alone to show paint and markings. Since the 162 has either solid color or unpainted wings, this is not shown but described in the writeup that accompanies each set of markings. By doing so, the number of aircraft provided has been increased to ten from its usual eight.  Each one of these subjects is based on photos and Kagero provide the references for the origin of these markings. Naturally, there is some conjecture involved, especially where the images are not complete, but they are based on the norms of the unit in question and are as accurate as they can be. Some of the schemes provided will be a challenge to paint, but will result in a superlative model. I have darkened the sheet so that the white bits can more easily be seen. In this set are:

- Messerschmitt Me 163 B V53; W.Nr. 16310062, 'White 9', flown by Uffz. Kurt Schiebeler of 1./JG 400, Brandis, Germany, early August 1944,
- Messerschmitt Me 163 B; 'White 10', flown by Lt. Hans-Ludwig Löscher of 1./JG 400, Brandis, Germany, late February 1945,
- Messerschmitt Me 163 B V52; W.Nr. 16310061, 'Yellow 1', flown by Lt. Reinhard Opitz, Kapitän of 7./JG 400, Nordholz, Germany, April 1945,
- Heinkel He 162 A-1; W.Nr. 310003, 'Yellow 5' of 3./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945,
- Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120067, 'White 4' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945,
- Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120028, 'White 3' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945,
- Heinkel He 162 A-2; W.Nr. 120231, 'White 6' of 1./JG 1, Leck, Germany, May 1945,
- Messerschmitt Me 262 A-2a, W.Nr. 110613, '9K+DK', flown by Ofw. Hermann Wieczorek of 2./KG 51, Rheine-Hopsten, Germany, 25th February 1945,
- Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a, 'Yellow 2' of 3./KG(J) 54, Prague-Ruzyně, Czechoslovakia, May 1945,
- Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a, 'White 34' of III./EJG 2, Brunnthal, Germany, May 1945.

To modelers, a highlight of the book is a superbly printed decal sheet that offers the unique markings for each subject in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales. Fortunately for us all, at this time in the hobby's development, there are quality kits of nearly all these planes available.   The sheet itself is printed by Cartograf so you know that you are getting one of the best around.

In all, it is a great offering and one that Luftwaffe fans should not pass up.

November 2013

Review book courtesy of the fine folks at www.kagero.pl . Visit them for more books.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.