the books contents
This book is number 32 in the Osprey Modeling series. It is 100% Osprey. There are 80 pages of instruction, reference, step by step pictures, photo walk-arounds and valuable cross reference material. The focus of this volume is the Messerschmitt Bf 109, specifically the B, C, D, and E versions. This nicely covers the variants used in Poland and France in the early stages of the war and also in North Africa and over Britain in the Battle of Britain.
This book outlines six individual builds. Each build is impeccably outlined and detailed.
You find out how to build
1. Hobbycraft’s 1/48th scale Bf 109B
2. Hobbycraft’s 1/48th scale Bf 109E-1
3. Matchbox’s 1/32nd Bf 109 Emil
4. Tamiya’s 1/72nd Bf 109E-3
5. Hasegawa’s 1/48th Bf109E
6. Tamiya’s 1/48th Bf 09E
To help you through the six builds you will find a brief history of the plane. To enhance the history section a simple chart of variants and the different characteristics of each is included. If you have limited access to kits you will find a long list of every model in the subject area(s). This is nice because it includes the manufacturer, kit number, and comments (if any) on the kit.
Each build section includes sidebar boxes that outline the kits used. There isn’t a single OOTB build here. Each of the six includes at least two kits or a major modification to the base kit. The result is a fairly long list per build.
The author, Brett Green, does a good job of explaining his goal at the beginning of each project. You know why he has selected the kits and techniques covered. There is good solid research justification for each modification he does to the kits. This leaves you with a good historical perspective on why things are done the way they are.
From a modeling perspective there is a large body of techniques and skills included. Kit-bashing (the combination of two or more kits to make a complete model) is done with the majority of the projects. Resin After-Market upgrades are used and explained. Washing and weathering are nicely detailed. The tools to use for these techniques are also discussed.
The builds are all moderate skill level and above. From the quantity of kit-bashing it’s an accurate appraisal. All of the modifications are wonderfully detailed in step by step photos. One thing I like about the photos is that Brett literally draws on the model to highlight a feature. This really helps to make sense of the text explanations. You can see this in the review photos.
I recently reviewed another of the “Osprey Modelling” series and became a fan of the individual subject series books. This book hasn’t changed my mind. It will give an aircraft modeler a number of skills that they can use across all aircraft types, not just the Me. 109. The knowledge transfer from author’s research to the reader is immense. I was overwhelmed a few times with the sheer volume of data. I had to re-read sections to make sure things ‘sank in’. I like the fact that this book can act as both a modeling source and a research source.
If you have read any Osprey Modelling book you know that these are not simply reference manuals. They are all written in a style that is unique to each author. Brett Green is an accomplished modeler and knows the subject mater inside and out. For that I was pleased and I was able to gather a large sum of information. I am not, however, a fan of his writing style. I found it a bit hard to read at times. It did not flow or capture me. This is purely a style issue; the content is fine.
One thing I need to bring up is the targeted audience. There is one build in the book that was categorized as “Moderate”. All remaining five were above that. That says two things to me. 1. The kits used could stand a bit of work to build a good solid representation of the subject. 2. The techniques in the book will be above an average builder.
Site Related Messerschmitt information
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 has gotten some Armorama.com site traffic. Here are some related items you can find on our site.
The following Classic Airframes kit is mentioned in the book in the kit table. I think based on the release date and build schedule for this book this kit could not be used.
Classic Airframes Bf 109 review
Classic Airframes news feature
Eagle Parts Bf 109 correction set review (late version aircraft)
Fotcut photoetch detail set review
Osprey Modeling Manual 17 review
I'd like to thank Osprey Publishing for this review sample.