Hungarian Fighter Colours 1930-1945 Vol. 1

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Dénes Bernád & György Punka
Other Publication Information
Hardcover, 188 pages, 275+ b&w and color photos and 44 color profiles
Product / Stock #
White (Rainbow) Series 9119

This book takes a look at colors and markings of fighter aircraft of the Hungarian Air Force from 1930-1945. This is the first of two volumes. The following aircraft are covered in Volume One: Fokker D.XVI; Fiat CR. 20 and CR. 20B; Avis I-IV; Fiat CR.30, CR. 30B, and CR. 32bis; Fiat CR. 42 and CR. 42CN;, and Messerschmitt Bf 109D-1, E-3, E-4, E-7, F-2, and F-4. There are many black and white photos used to illustrate these planes, as well as beautifully drawn color profiles. Most of these are side views, but some also include top views. The authors also include quite a few wartime color photographs as well as color photos of aircraft parts and relics that have survived into modern times.

Chapter One covers the markings and codes used on Hungarian aircraft from 1919-1945, starting with post-WWI when their Air Force had to be organized and operated in secret due to the treaties signed, and continuing on to the end of WWII. In this chapter each photograph is numbered and referenced in the text. It gives a good understanding of the various markings used and reasons for the changes.

Chapter Two discusses the camouflage and colors used from 1930-1945, and again the photos are numbered and referenced in the text by those numbers. A nice touch is the table on page 37 that shows the colors in their German, Hungarian, and English names. In 1938, it was decided to unify the colors used by combat aircraft in Hungary, and these colors were Stone Grey, Earth Brown, and Dark Green for the topside, with Light Blue to be the underside color. The authors have also included the approximate Federal Standard (FS) numbers for each of these colors, which is most helpful.

From here, the book goes into a brief history of each of the aircraft covered in the volume as well as the colors and markings used by each of these aircraft. The authors dispense with numbering and referencing in the text for each photograph, and now provide a caption for each photo. A chapter is dedicated to each aircraft type and these cover the next 118 pages.

Volume One concludes with various appendices of tables showing the aircraft types in service with the Hungarian Air Force, its organization from reconstruction until the end of WWII, and an approximation of rank equivalents comparing the Hungarian Air Force with those of the RAF,USAAF, VVS, and Luftwaffe.

In addition to the information on all these various aircraft, the book’s highlight is the inclusion of wartime color photos and color photos of surviving artifacts. When you couple these with all of the beautiful color profiles that MMP has become known for, this is really an excellent book.

I really liked this book! The authors have provided a well-researched and interesting book. It is one that provides a lot of information for the modeler, the between-the-wars historian, the WWII historian, and the immediate post-war historian…in addition to the general aviation historian! For the modeler, there are a lot of interesting color schemes and aircraft schemes that one does not see done that often. I have always liked the triangular tri-colored Hungarian national marking, as they are unique and will perk up interest in a model, be it in a collection or at a contest. Most of the subjects by Fiat and Messerschmitt are readily available in all the popular scales for modelers to build subjects detailed in this book. I can enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone with an interest in aviation history, Hungarian Air Force history, or anyone who even thinks that he may want to model any of the aircraft covered within. I eagerly await Volume Two!

My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy and IPMS/USA for the review opportunity.


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