This book is one of MMP’s Spotlight series and deals with the Me 163 Komet.
The book begins with a brief two-page history of the development and deployment of the Me 163.
The bulk of the book consists of 40 color plates illustrating many of the color schemes used on the Me 163 with a couple of plates for the DFS 194 development aircraft and the Me 263. The Me 163A test aircraft and many of the Me 163B prototypes were painted in overall RLM 76. Several of the plates show different prototype configurations and some of the aircraft have dark red anti-corrosive paint patches on them evidencing either repairs or places where the paint has worn through to the underlying primer. The plates also include Me 163B V41 in overall RLM 23 Red flown by Maj. Wolfgang Spate.
The color plates covering operational aircraft show a lot more variation in colors than what I was expecting. While most of the aircraft were painted in a two-color scheme on the upper surfaces over RLM 76 undersides, others were overall RLM 76 on the undersurfaces and on the fuselage with RLM 70 or 71 patches and two-color splinter scheme on the wings. For fully camouflaged aircraft, the colors for the upper surfaces varied apparently quite a bit as the plates list several different combinations: 70/71, 74/75, 82/75, 81/82 and 81/83. There are a several plates illustrating a couple of variations of the upper surface paint schemes.
There are also plates illustrating schemes applied to captured Me 163s operated by the United States, the Soviet Union, France and England after the war, included a Me 163S trainer in Soviet markings. The French aircraft is particularly colorful being overall silver with red fuselage spine, tail and underbelly fairing.
I enjoyed finding out about the many color variations seen on the Me 163 and highly recommend this book. Thank you to Casemate Publishing for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.
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