|Richard A Franks|
|Valiant Wings Publishing|
|£14.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk|
|Notes:||66 pages, A4 Format, softcover, ISBN: 978-1-912932191, Airframe Detail #1|
Valiant Wings has been providing second editions of several of their most popular titles and so we now have this one on the BV-141, which was their initial title in the Airframe and Details series. There is little new in this book from the first edition. The author acknowledges that just about every photograph available on the subject was used in this book.
As most of you are aware, the BV-141 along with the Ar-198 and FW-189 were all developed around a specification for a battlefield observation aircraft. The requirement was for a single engine aircraft so it is rather interesting that the winner of the contract was the two engine FW-189. The BV-141 was a massive aircraft and probably the reason it was not chosen was not due to its rather unorthodox appearance, though that may well have contributed, but because it was not all that stable an airframe. Because photographing would be part of the mission, you can see how important a stable platform might be.
This book covers the competition as well as the development of the BV-141, and all the information available on the various prototypes and preproduction aircraft. Most of the book is a technical description or a walk-around using extant photos and what has been located of the aircraft's technical manual. This describes everything from the airframe to engine to aircraft systems and weapons. It is followed by a camouflage and markings section. In this section, the consideration that there may have been at least one plane painted in RLM 71/02/65 is refuted as the standard scheme for these planes was RLM 70/71/65. It is thought that those who think, from a few images all taken a ground level and showing only the leading edge of the wing, that it had 02 upper surfaces was due to some bare metal panels. Recall that these planes were prototypes so there were often modifications and crash damage repair. However, one is free to interpret the images as one wishes since there is no overall upper surface or side images of the aircraft in question.
The last section is on modeling. In this one the recent Hobby Boss kit is built and critiqued. A short list of kits is also provided and since there is little in terms of aftermarket bits, it makes for a rather short section.
In all, it is another superb effort from Valiant Wings and a book that easily gets my highest recommendation. It is an absolute must for those who are planning on building a 141 kit and will provide a lot of interest for the Luftwaffe fan and those who just like the path less trodden.
Thanks to www.valiant-wings.co.uk for the review copy. You can get yours today at this link.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.