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Valiant Wings Publishing, The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Radial-engine Versions


JeroenPeters
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Valiant Wings Publishing

Airframe & Miniature No.7

 

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Radial-engine Versions

 

By Richard A. Franks

 

ISBN 978-0-9575866-4-2
 

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I am blessed to live about 10 minutes from one of the largest aviation stores in the world. This gives me the opportunity to visit this store every single weekend and browse through their extensive book offer and actually flip through the pages of whatever book covers what I plan to build. The thing I as a modeller look for are detail shots, walkaround photo’s, a clear overview of versions within a type, colour profiles and scale drawings. A generic book covering history and some black and white ww2 photo’s just aren’t enough. You can have 10 books like this on one subject and still miss that one detailed undercarriage photo you’re looking for. This Airframe & Miniature title (subtitle ‘for the enthusiast and modeller’) is clearly by and for modellers. Looking at the colophon this is confirmed. Daniel Zamarbide and Jerry Boucher are involved in this publication.

 

The Fw-190 is one of those planes (like the Bf109) you can be an expert on and still learn every day. Numerous versions saw the day of light in rapid succession during ww2. Field modifications and the fact that this plane was used as fighter, fighter bomber, ground attacker, torpedo plane and night fighter doesn’t make things easier for the modeller that wants to get things right, without even being a rivet counter.

 

Evolution, the F and G series and conversions

The book starts with a clear and complete overview of the evolution of the prototype and A-series. Every type shown with a line drawing profile and photographs. I guess this is a great way to check in what area the Fw-190F-8 version differs from a Fw-190F-3. Every thinkable variation is present and they cover over 55 pages.

 

 

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Camouflage and markings

Categorized for the modeller the next pages address where which RLM colour goes. Sharp and colourful prints focus on the cowling, exhaust area, wings and tail bands and these are followed by a nice selection of colour profiles. The only remark I need to make here is that It would have been great to have a upper- and underside profile with every profile. As a modeller this is something I am always looking for in reference material.

 

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Fw-190 kits

Through the years almost every large model company has released their version of the Fw-190A in every thinkable scale. Each with their own accuracies and in-accuracies. This book cover most of them. From the 1/144 Mark 1 Models, to the 1/24 Airfix one. It describes elements like the plastic that is used, accuracy, decals, etc… When we look at 32nd scale, Hasegawa is still the way to go. Their first A was the A-8, released in 2004  which was followed by about 10 other A-versions up until 2010. I’m sure a reprint of this book in a year or two will include the coming Zoukei Mura offering in 1/32…

 

Building a Selection

After all this talk about versions, colours and kits, it’s time to build one. One? Well, a whole selection actually. Libor Jekl starts with a couple of well documented build reports on 1/72 A’s, followed by Daniel Zamarbide who works his magic on the 1/48 Eduard offering. This model is renowned for it’s complex construction. There’s also a 1/32 Hasegawa model built by Steve Evans who points out how to deal with some in-accuracies on this kit. Quote: “This is the fuel filler access panel. Fill that sucker!”

 

From building a Selection we arrive at: Building a Collection. This section point out exactly in what way a version differs from the next. I’ve always liked this feature in the old AeroDetail books.

 

 

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In detail

Another feature always made me buy the AeroDetail books are the walkaround photo’s and schematic drawings. Close-ups of the canopy rails, aerial antenna, instrument panel, stencilling, etc.. Very useful stuff. This is the part that I use the most during a build. There’s almost 60 pages of drawings and colour photo’s (mostly taken of the NASM Fw-190). The drawings are taken from the original Luftwaffe manual.

 

In the back of the book you’ll find a fold out technical drawing in 1:48 scale of the V-1 version, A-3, A-6, F9/R1, S-8 and A8/R2. Enlarge these drawings with 150% and you’ll have…. That’s right: 1/32 scale!

 

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Verdict

This is the book you buy when wanting to build a Fw-190 radial engine kit. The highs: Very complete. Written by and for modellers. This book might be all you need as a reference when it concerns building alongside the kit’s construction manual.

The lows: thin paper that can damage easily when fumbling the book during a modelling session. Colour profiles don’t include left, right, upper and lower profiles.

If I had to give this book a mark from 1 to 10, I’d give it a 8,5. Definitely looking much forward to their next title.

 

Highly recommended

 

Our sincere thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the review sample.

To purchase directly: www.valiant-wings.co.uk

 

Jeroen Peters

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