Published on
January 13, 2022
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Richard A. Franks
Other Publication Information
Portrait Soft Square Bound; 8.25” x 11.75”, 256 pages
Product / Stock #
Provided by: Valiant Wings Publishing - Website: Visit Site

Valiant Wings Publishing was founded in 2010 under the guidance of Richard A. Franks and Mark Peacock. Valiant Wings has released several series of primarily airplane monographs [Airframe & Miniature, Airframe Album and Airframe Detail series] with the first Airframe Album dedicated to the Heinkel He 219 ‘Uhu’ released in 2012.

Valiant Wings Publishing’s editor, Richard A. Franks, and in this case the author of The Westland Whirlwind, has recollections of making models at the age of eight. The first aircraft Richard ever built was an Airfix blister-pack 1/72nd Fokker Dr.I Made in an afternoon, resplendent in 'Post Office Red' and with the decals applied whilst the paint was still wet so that there were lots of fingerprints! While working in the real world, Richard started to submit work for publication in magazines which led Richard to working for such titles as Model Art International, Scale Models, Scale Aircraft Modelling, In Scale, and Scale Aviation Modeller magazines. Richard became the title of editor of the latter in 1995 and continued with that title for the next decade, before leaving it to take the reigns of Model Airplane International from its launch in early 2005. Valiant grew much quicker than originally anticipated, resulting in Richard A. Franks dedicating his talents to Valiant Wings in 2014.

Illustrator and author, Richard J. Caruana’s first aviation illustrations were published in 1970 by Ermanno Albertelli of Parma, Italy. These were soon followed by a 15-volume history of the Italian Air Force during WWII published by Edizioni Bizzarri of Rome commissioned by the Italian Air Force. ‘Air International' was the first UK publication to publish Richard’s work in 1976, followed by 'Air Enthusiast' and 'Aviation News'. Between 1984 and 1991 Richard set up and managed Modelaid International Publications, which for ten years produced a specialized aviation monthly magazine,'Modelaid International' (later Air Forces International). Richard’s color illustrations have been featured in many other magazines and book titles.

The front cover features a color illustration by Jerry Boucher for this first edition’s cover. The in-flight Messerschmitt Bf 110E-2 represents W/Nr. 3769. LN BR as flown by Ofw. Theodor Weissenberger of 13,(Z)/JG 5 on the 24th of April, 1942. Ofw. Weissenberger claimed two Pe-2s shot down during this air battle, but in fact on one of Pe-2s out of the 95 IAP flight was damaged. Ofw. Weissenberger received return fire in the engagement, lighting up one of his engines to the point where he had to make a forced landing. Richard Caruana delivers the rear cover with nine color Squadron badges.

I counted 377 color pictures and 553 black and white photographs (including contemporary operation manual line drawings). There are also 254 line drawings and 51 color illustrations plus scrap views by Richard J. Caruana of the Bf 110, including side, top, and bottom views. Richard Caruana serves up eight pages of the 1/48th scale line drawings at the back of this monograph. Wojciech Sankowski and Juraj Jankovic contributes one hundred and eight 3D isometric views of all of the prototype and production airframes in Chapter 8 on ‘Building A Collection’.

Richard A. Franks kicks off with a thirty-five page Preface that addresses the development of the Messerschmitt Bf 110. This Preface includes the evolution of the heavy fighter concept along with each of the major variants. Next up is a review of operational service divided into theatre activities. Service and / or operations in additional countries is also discussed, followed by a review of current surviving airframes. A typical page from this section is illustrated on Page 50 that discusses some of the Bf 110D variants. Here you can see a Bf 110D-0 with the huge ventral fuel tank that carried 1,050lt of fuel and 106lt of oil. You also can see the three side profiles that line up with each variant discussed in the text. The Camouflage & Markings section covers color callouts accompanied by color side profiles and scrap detail illustrations by Richard J. Caruana. Page 89 features a period black and white photograph and a period color photograph of Bf 110s in Iraq. The color photograph would certainly be an interesting Bf 110E to model with its Iraqi national insignia and tail flashes to go with its yellow nacelles and shark mouth on a white nose.

The next section covers modeling with Chapter 6 covering Bf 110 kits of the last twenty years. I would note that any older kits are to be covered on a downloadable .pdf file from [although as of this review, this is not yet available]. Chapter 7 sees a selection of these kits illustrated with color photographs, built by Libor Jekl and Steve A. Evans as shown on Page 133. This page shows off Steve A. Evans build review of Revell’s 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 110G-2/R3. To help understand the wide variety of changes to the Bf 110, Chapter 8 utilizes the talents of Wojciech Sankowski and Juraj Jankovic where they use isometric illustrations to highlight the evolution of changes. I found this quite interesting and was no small task as this Chapter goes for thirty-six pages. An example of what you get is shown on Page 153 where legends address each change while the detail is shown on the isometric drawing.

Richard A. Franks provides photographic and drawing details, often what might be found in operation manuals in Chapter 9. This chapter covers each part of the airframe in detail with Page 217 highlighting part of the Fixed Armament details that alone covers six pages. Most of the period photographs and drawings are clear and accompanied by a good description. The first three Appendices comprise an exhaustive listing of kits, details sets, and decals of the Messerschmitt BF 110 along with representative color photographs. Page 246 shows off the first page of four that addresses Bf 110 accessories and masks. Appendix four addresses the extensive bibliography, again accompanied with color photographs of book covers. The last part of this tome is a fold out that extends to eight pages that features Richard J. Caruana’s 1/48 scale line drawings.

The sections include:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Note
  • Author’s Note
  • Glossary
  • Preface
  • Pre-Production
  • The B-Series
  • The C & D Series
  • The E & F Series
  • The G Series
  • The H Series
  • The Bf 110 in Action
  • To War
  • Blitzkreig
  • France
  • The Battle of Britain
  • The Balkans, Greece, & Iraq
  • The Mediterranean & North Africa
  • The Eastern Front
  • Defence of the Reich & Final Days
  • Foreign Service
  • Croatia
  • Hungary
  • Italy – Regia Aeronautica
  • Rumania
  • Captured & Evaluated
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • USSR
  • Survivors
  • Complete
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Complete – Composite
  • Denmark
  • Components
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Soviet Union
  • United Kingdom
  • Airframe Chapters
    • Chapter 1: Evolution - Prototypes, Bf 110A-0 & B Series
      • Prototypes
      • Bf 110 V1
      • Bf 110 V2
      • Bf 110 V3 – Initial Form
      • Bf 110 V3 – Revised Form
      • Bf 110 V4 & V5
      • Bf 110 V6
      • Pre-Production Series
      • Bf 110A-0
      • B-Series
      • Bf 110 V7
      • Bf 110B-0
      • Bf 110B-1
      • Bf 110B-1 with TG 65
      • Bf 110B-1 with MK 101
      • Bf 110B-1 (V9)
      • Bf 110B-2*
      • Bf 110B-3*
    • Chapter 2: Evolution - Bf 110C & D Series
      • C-Series
      • Bf 110C-0
      • Bf 110C-1
      • Bf 110C-1/B (Sturzbomber)
      • Bf 110C-1/U-1
      • Bf 110C-1 W/Nr.959, D-AEG
      • Bf 110C-2 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110C-2/B (Sturzbomber)
      • Bf 110C-2/U-1*
      • Bf 110C-3 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110C-4 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110C-4/B
      • Bf 110C-4 W/Nr.3243
      • Bf 110C-5 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110C-5 Aufklarer (rearward firing guns)
      • Bf 110C-5/N Aufklarer
      • Bf 110C-6 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110C-7 Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110C* Tropical (Tropenausrustung)
      • D-Series
      • Bf 110D-0
      • Bf 110D-0/R1 Langstrecken Zerstorer
      • Bf 110D-0/R2
      • Bf 110D-0/B Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110D-1 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110D-1 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110D-1 Zerstorer central drop tank
      • Bf 110D-1/U-1
      • Bf 110D-2 Zerstorer or Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110D-3
      • Bf 110D-3 with central drop tank
      • Bf 110D-3 with Spanner Anlage
      • Bf 110D-3/U1*
      • Bf 110D-4 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110D Night Figher
      • Bf 110D* Tropical (Tropenausrustung)
    • Chapter 3: Evolution - Bf 110E & F Series
      • E-Series
      • Bf 110E-0
      • Bf 110E-1 Zerstorer or Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110E-1 with Spanner Amlage
      • Bf 110E-1 with RZ 65
      • Bf 110E-1/U1
      • Bf 110E-1/U2
      • Bf 110E with ‘Dobbas’
      • Bf 110E-1/R1
      • Bf 110E-1/R2
      • Bf 110E-2 Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110E-3 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110E-3 with RF A sight
      • Bf 110E* Night Fighter
      • Bf 110E* Tropical (Tropenausrustung)
      • F-Series
      • Bf 110F-0
      • Bf 110F-1
      • Bf 110F-2 Zerstorer or Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110F-2/M1 (MG 151s)
      • Bf 110F-2 with MG 81Z
      • Bf 110F-2 with RZ 65
      • Bf 110F-3 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110F-4
      • Bf 110F-4/U1
      • Bf 110F-4 with FuG 202
      • Bf 110F-4 (radar antenna test)
      • Bf 110F-4 (revised rudders)
      • Bf 110F* Tropical (Tropenausrustung)
      • Bf 110F-4 Rustsatz
    • Chapter 4: Evolution - Bf 110G & H Series
      • G-Series
      • Bf 110G-0 Zerstorer or Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110G-0 on skis
      • Bf 110G-1
      • Bf 110G-2
      • Bf 110G-2 (revised rudders)
      • Bf 110G-2 with WGr.21 (M5)
      • Bf 110G-2 with MK 101
      • Bf 110G-2/R1 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110G-2/R2 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110G-2/R3 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110G-2/R4 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110G-2/R5 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110G-2/R6
      • Bf 110G-2/R7
      • Bf 110G-2/U1
      • Bf 110G-2/U7
      • Bf 110G-2/U9
      • Bf 110FG-2* Tropical (Tropenausrustung)
      • Bf 110G-2 with DB628
      • Bf 110G-3 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110G-3 Kampfflugzeug
      • Bf 110G-3/R1
      • Bf 110G-3/R3
      • Bf 110G-3/U1 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110G-3* Tropical (Tropenausrustung)
      • Bf 110G-4 (Early)
      • Bf 110G-4 W/Nr.5678 (DV + IZ)
      • Bf 110G-4 (Lichenstein C1)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 202 – Variant 1)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 202 – Variant 2)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 220 – Variant 1)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 220 – Variant 2)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 202 – Variant 3)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 202 – Variant 4)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 202 – Variant 5)
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 218V/R)
      • Bf 110G-4 with FuG 216 & FuG 101
      • Bf 110G-4 (FuG 227)
      • Bf 110G-4 with RZ 65
      • Bf 110G-4/U1
      • Bf 110G-4/U5
      • Bf 110G-4/U6
      • Bf 110G-4/U7
      • Bf 110G-4/U8
      • Bf 110G-4/U9
      • Bf 110G-4/R2
      • Bf 110G-4/R3
      • Bf 110G-4/R4
      • Bf 110G-4/R6
      • Bf 110G-4/R7
      • Bf 110G-4/R8
      • Bf 110G-4/R8 W/Nr. 140655 (G9 + AA)
      • Bf 110G-4/R9
      • Bf 110G-6
      • H-Series
      • Bf 110G-4 W/Nr. 730040
      • Bf 110H-1
      • Bf 110H-2
      • Bf 110H-2/R1
      • Bf 110H-2/R2
      • Bf 110H-3 Aufklarer
      • Bf 110H-4 Nachtjager
      • Bf 110H-4/U8
      • Bf 110H-5 Zerstorer
      • Bf 110H-6 Nachtjager
      • Bf 110H-1
      • Bf 110H-1
    • Chapter 5: Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles
      • Luftwaffe Servoce
      • Pre-War and Early WWII
      • New Markings
      • Transitional Scheme
      • Revised Scheme
      • Grey Scheme
      • North Africa & The Mediterranean
      • Iraq
      • Eastern Front
      • Simplified National Insignia
      • Night Operations (Nachtjagdwaffe)
      • Late War Revisions & Bf 110G-4 Night-Fighters
      • Messerschmitt Bf 110 Stencil Marking Details
      • Bf 110 in Foreign Service
      • Croatia
      • Hungary
      • Italy – Regia Areronautica
      • Rumania
      • Captured & Evaluated
      • United Kingdom
      • United States of America
      • USSR
  • Miniature Chapters
    • Chapter 6: Bf 110 Kits
      • The Bf 110 in Scale [Table]
      • 1/72 Scale
      • Airfix (#A03080) Bf 110C-2/C-4
      • Airfix (#A03081) Bf 110E/E-2 Trop
      • Eduard Bf 110C & D-Series
      • Eduard Bf 110E & F-Series
      • Eduard Bf 110G-Series
      • HobbyBoss (#80292) Bf 110 Fighter
      • Italeri (#1205) Bf 110D-3
      • Italeri (#1039) Bf 110G-4/R3
      • 1/48 Scale
      • Dragon/Cyber-Hobby Bf 110D-Series
      • Dragon/Cyber-Hobby Bf 110E-Series
      • Eduard Bf 110C & D-Series
      • Eduard Bf 110E & F-Series
      • Eduard Bf 110G-Series
      • Monogram (#85-5933) Bf 110G-4 ‘Pro-Modeler’
      • Revell Bf 110G-4
      • Revell Bf 110G-2
      • Revell (#04530) Bf 110G-2/R3
      • 1/32 Scale
      • Dragon (#3203) Bf 110C-7
      • Dragon Bf 110D-Series
    • Chapter 7: Building a Selection
      • Eduard/72nd (#7086) Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 by Libor Jekl
      • Revell 1/48th (#04530) Messerschmitt Bf 110G-2/R3 by Steve A. Evans
      • Revell 1/32nd (#04961) Messerschmitt Bf 110C-2/C-7 by Steve A. Evans
    • Chapter 8: Building a Collection
      • [Duplicates the list of variants in Chapter 1 using isometric drawings to highlight variant differences]
    • Chapter 9: In Detail: The Bf 110
      • Cockpit Interior
      • Canopy
      • Main & Aft Fuselage
      • Engines
      • Cowlings
      • Propeller & Spinner
      • Oil System
      • Fuel System
      • Coolant System
      • Wings
      • Control Systems
      • Vertical Fin & Rudder
      • Tailplanes & Elevators
      • Main Undercarriage
      • Tailwheel
      • Armament – Fixed
      • Armament – Rear Cockpit
      • Armament – Additional
      • Ordnance
      • Sighting
      • Drop Tanks
      • Radio
      • Radar
      • Camera
      • Miscellaneous Electrical
      • Tropical Equipment
  • Appendices
    • Appendix I: Bf 110 Kits
    • Appendix II: Bf 110 Accessories & Masks
    • Appendix III: Bf 110 Decals
    • Appendix IV: Bibliography
  • 1/48th Scale Plans

Richard A. Franks serves up yet another must have model reference. The 256 pages is not exactly an easy read, but as the subtitle claims, this is a ‘Complete Guide to the Luftwaffe’s Famous Zerstorer’. I spent nearly two weeks reading this reference and discovered tons of notes that were new to me. Intending as a comprehensive guide for Bf 110 models, it certainly achieves that as it covers all models of the Bf 110 in the last twenty years. Of course there are more model kits that are older, and this is addressed as a supplement available for download. The detailed drawings and period photographs provide amazing detail that can be used to detail up any model kit. The Richard J. Caruana color illustrations in conjunction with the Camouflage and Markings chapter make sure you get the correct colors on your kit. There is absolutely more than enough contemporary photographs to inspire your next build. Wojciech Sankowski and Juraj Jankovic isometric illustrations help organize on the myriad of variations that can be considered and makes for a nice evolutionary presentation that is quite valuable. If you have any interest in modeling the Messerschmitt Bf 110, put his tome on your list to acquire!

My thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!



Add new comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Is there an issue with this Review?

We appreciate the feedback. Please include your email if you want us to follow up with you.

Please include your email if you want us to follow up with you.