Published on
June 13, 2022
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Richard A. Franks
Other Publication Information
Softbound, 256 pages, color profiles, B&W pictures, pull out scale drawings, free download of extra material on the publisher website.
Product / Stock #
Airframe and Miniature No 11
Provided by: Valiant Wings Publishing - Website: Visit Site

The excellent books on the Bf-109 by Richard A. Franks have been out of print for a few years now, so Valiant Wings decided to reprint and expand on the original book by issuing the Second Edition of The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Late Series (F to K including the Z series).

The book is divided on the following sections

  • Airframe Chapters
  • Bf-109F
  • Bf-109G
  • Bf-109 H, K, and Z series
  • Camouflage and Markings
  • Miniature Chapters
  • Bf-109F-G series kits
  • Building a selection
  • Building a collection
  • In detail, Bf-109F to K
  • Appendixes
  • Bf-109F-K series kit list
  • Bf-109F-K series accessories list
  • Bf-109F-K series kit decal list
  • Bibliography

The first section of the book (Airframe Chapters) describes the evolution of the airplane, focusing on the main subvariants but not necessarily including all the “one-offs” for each variant and specifically indicating whenever data is contradictory and explaining why some data source over another is chosen.

This section also includes a gorgeous chapter on camouflages, with dozens of color profiles and accompanying B&W images. The research that went into all those profiles needs to be commended. There are also some experimental and one-offs airframes highlighted in the chapter. It should be pointed out that the camouflage section covers all fronts where the Bf-109 operated and most (if not all) secondary operators, like Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Rumania, Finland, etc.

The next section (Miniatures) is written with the modeler in mind, as it has full build sections (with plenty of in-progress pictures) for the following kits

  • 1/72 Fine Molds Bf-109F-4
  • 1/48 Tamiya Bf-109G-6
  • 1/48 Eduard Bf-109G-5
  • 1/35 Border Models Bf-109G-6 (an un-usual scale)
  • 1/32 Revell/Hasegawa Bf-109G-4 converted to G-12
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Bf-109G-6

All the construction articles include plenty of tricks, tips and advice on how to build those kits, with many of those tricks applicable to any other model.

This section also includes an in-depth look to the airframe evolution, from the Bf-109 V22 (prototype for the -F series) all the way to the Bf-109 K-12 (two-seater never built but designed). Probably every single “one-off” every built is listed in here. In this section (Building a Collection) you have every difference and change on the airframe relative to a previous airframe so if you are ever trying to make a conversion, or to improve a kit out of the box, that section will tell you exactly what part (or parts) need to be modified.

Next, there is a very detailed walk-around chapter with plenty of pictures and diagrams to super-detail your next project.

To round off the book, there are a series of appendices that list all kits, decals and accessories available in the market. The second edition of the book includes all the kits and details that are available in the market since the printing of the first edition.

Finally, a set of fold-out drawings in 1/48 scale, including the F-4, G-6, K-4, G-12 and standard modifications to the -F and -G fuselages is included.

This book is highly recommended for modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike. Perhaps the best endorsement I can give this book is that after I completed the review for the Late series, I decided to purchase the book dedicated to the Early series so I will have the complete set in my reference library.

I would like to thank Valiant Wings and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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