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Mini-Topcolors 35 "Fw 190s over Europe, Part I"


Mikester
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Mini-Topcolors 35 "Fw 190s over Europe, Part I"


Janusz Światłoń and Maciej Góralczyk
Kagero Publishing


Available from Kagero for €14.10

 

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Kagero's latest installment in it's Mini-Topcolors series is "Fw 190s over Europe, Part I". Powered by a BMW radial engine the Fw 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Bf 109. The 190 was used by the Luftwaffe in a wide variety of roles including fighter/bomber and ground attack. When the Fw 190 started flying operationally over France in August 1941, it quickly proved itself to be superior in all but turn radius to the RAF's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V. The 190 wrestled control of the skies away from the RAF until the introduction of the Spitfire Mk. IX in July 1942 restored qualitative parity.

 

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The Fw 190 made its air combat debut in the East in November/December 1942; though Soviet pilots considered the Bf 109 the greater threat, the Fw 190 made a significant impact. The fighter and its pilots proved just as capable as the Bf 109 in aerial combat, and in the opinion of German pilots who flew both, provided increased firepower and maneuverability at low to medium altitude. The Fw 190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force), along with the Bf 109 and went on to play a prominent role in the defense of the Reich and is one of the most recognizable of all single seat WWII fighters.

 

Although arguably not as famous (infamous?) as it's counterpart the, the Bf 109, the Fw 190 remains a popular subject amongst modelers and and model manufacturers. "Fw 190s over Europe, Part I" provides eight color profiles of the Fw 190A in locales ranging from Norway to sunny Italy. The format is familiar, 20 pages done in soft cover landscape, four view color profiles expertly done by Janusz Światłoń, a short narrative on the aircraft and a sheet of decals printed by Cartograf. Let's take a look inside the covers.

 

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A closer look at the profiles (stand by for more on this later):

  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3; W.Nr. 0130 541, flown by Oblt. Adolf Dickfeld, Kommandeur of II./JG 2, San Pietro, Italy, 20 November 1942,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3/U4; W.Nr. 0135 346, 'Red 9', flown by Fw. Oskar Sahre of 5.(F)/123, St. Pol, France, early March 1943,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-5Y; flown by Maj. Hans Philipp, Kommodore of JG 1, Jever, Germany, summer 1943,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-7; flown by Hptm. Rolf Hermichen, Kommandeur of I./JG 11, Rotenburg, Germany, March 1944,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R2; W.Nr. 682 181, 'Yellow 2', flown by Fw. Hubert Engst of 6./JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, November 1944,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-9; 'Blue 7', Stab II.(Sturm)/JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, March 1945,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3; 'White 12', flown by Fw. Ernst Mayer of 9./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, late March 1945,
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8; W.Nr. 960 542 of Stab/JG 4, Germany, late spring 1945.

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Note that "White 12" is an A-3 still soldiering on in 1945. Amazing when you take into account that the average lifespan of a Luftwaffe fighter at this point in the was was measured in hours!

The decal sheet is standard Cartograf quality, enough said. Printing is superb, being both in perfect register, beautifully thin, and with both accurate colour and minimal carrier film.

 

Fw_190_over_europe_pt1_decals.jpg

 

So what do we think?

There's good news and bad news here. I'm a "good news first" kind of guy so we'll go with that first. Eight beautiful color profiles and a sheet of Cartograf decals bundled into a nice package. So what could the bad news be? If you're like me and an owner of Topcolors 14 "Fw 190 at War" that feeling of deja vu you have is not your imagination. Five of the eight aircraft here were already featured in "Fw 190 at War". I find this a little perplexing since I can think of numerous Fw 190 schemes that either never have been done or that are on sheets that are long out of production. Based on this I'm recommending this book with an "*", the asterik being if you already own "Fw 190 at War" you're not getting a lot of new content here and it may be of limited interest to you. Otherwise, definitely worth adding to your library.

 

Recommended*

 

Thanks to Kagero for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

Mike O

 

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