Valiant Wings Publishing: The Messerschmitt Bf-110

Author:

Richard A Franks

Publisher/Distributor

Valiant Wings Publishing

Price

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

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

Notes: 256 pages, A4 Format, softcover,
ISBN: 978-1-912932-22-7. Airframe and Miniature #17

In the period before WWII, the concept of a heavy fighter gained adherents in several of the major air forces of the world. Germany was one of those and developed a competition in the mid 1930s for such an aircraft. This was won by Messerschmitt which proved superior to entries from Henschel and Focke-Wulf. It was not only to escort and protect bombers from enemy fighters, it was to be used as a fast light bomber itself and to be the basis for a photo recon aircraft. At the time of its development it, and a number of other projects in Germany and around the world were hampered by the lack of a powerful engine. So it was with the 110. The earliest production versions were powered by Daimler-Benz DB.600 engines, but by the time of the first operational type, the 110, the DB.601 was available and provided more power. As with all aircraft that remained in production a fairly long time, the airframe evolved in both major and minor ways. While a failure at its intended role, it turned out to be an excellent night fighter and was also very useful for any operations that required decent range. Though production was supposed to be terminated mid war and replaced by the Me-210, the failure of the 210 meant that the 110 was kept in production until 1944 with the type being flown until the end of the war.

Valiant Wings' series of Airframes and Miniatures is the flagship book in their current library of publications. It provides the full gamut of information on the subject which includes a background history, a brief look at the different variants, the camouflage schemes worn by the aircraft (which includes a lot of full color profiles), and a set of detail drawings of each different variation on the scheme, which for the 110 takes up a lot of pages. In addition to this, you have a fairly complete modelers section which looks at the current crop of kits for the 110, then a build section which in this case includes the Eduard 1/72 kit, the Revell 1/48 kit, and the Dragon 1/32 kit. One section I particularly like is the 'building the 110' set of drawings which starts with the prototype and then proceeds to show every external detail change, no matter how small. A real boon for those who want to get things just right. Then there is a detail section which uses both images from extant airframes as well as a plethora of period photos and drawings from the technical manuals. Next are listings for all the different kits ever done on the 110 as well as decals, accessory sets, and books. The last pages of the book are 1/48 plans for several versions in a huge multi-page fold-out. 

Overall, this makes this THE book to have on the Bf-110. The amount of information is incredible. It is one of my favorite book series and is quite welcome at this time as I am building several 110s, so it makes for a great reference. It is a book for which I can easily provide my highest recommendation.

October 2021

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