by: Jean-Luc Formery [ ]
IntroductionThe Focke Wulf 190 is probably one of the most popular subject in the model kit industry. Kurt Tank's famous plane can be found in any scale and meanwhile in any variant one can think of, from the first prototype to the "Dora" and everything in between. This popularity makes it necessary for the modeller to have good references about the Fw 190, that will allow him to build an model of the emblematic Luftwaffe fighter. One of these references is Histoire&Collections' ninth book in their "Avions et Pilotes" (Planes & Pilots) serie: Focke Wulf Fw 190 (from 1939 to 1945).
The bookThis new H&S publication is a small, almost squarish (20 X 24 cm), soft cover book of 84 pages in total. It's format is very close to the well known Osprey books, but slightly larger and a bit shorter. My sample was well printed and the overall quality of manufacture is good.
When I opened the book for the first time, I was surprised not to find a table of contents at the beginning of it. In spite of the fact that separation in chapters is rather clear, it would not have been superfluous to include a summary I think. Anyway, since it is not present in the book, I give you an overview of the book's content below:
Pages 04 to 09 - Difficult beginnings: the prototypes and the A-0.
Pages 10 to 19 - The first Anton: variants A-1 to A-4.
Pages 20 to 45 - Versions of maturity: variants A-5 to A-9.
Pages 46 to 49 - Stenciling and camouflage guide: for the Fw A-3 and the Fw D-9.
Pages 50 to 59 - Friedrich & Gustav: variants F and G.
Pages 60 to 73 - From to Anton to the Dora: variant D.
Pages 74 to 77 - The Ta 152.
Pages 78 to 81 - Versions and variants: side profiles with differences between the Fw 190 types.
Each chapter is composed of some historical text with B&W reference pictures, explanations about the differences between the variants (including Umrüst Bausätze and Rüstsätze) and several profiles. Depending on the Focke Wulf type, the amount of text and profiles can vary. For example, the Ta 152 is covered on 4 pages only (two of text and two of profiles) while the A-5 to A-9 variants are covered on 26 pages (6 for the text and 20 for the profiles).
In total you will find about 40 B&W pictures in the book and 180 profils. The latter are divided as follows:
- Prototypes = 5 profiles (V1-V1-V5-V7-V9)
- A-0 = 3 profiles
- A-1 = 2 profiles
- A-2 = 3 profiles
- A-3 = 7 profiles
- A-4 = 8 profiles (one of a captured aircraft in British markings)
- A-5 = 12 profiles (one is a French produced NC 900)
- A-6 = 12 profiles
- A-7 = 12 profiles
- A-8 = 41 profiles (one of a captured aircraft in US markings)
- A-9 = 3 profiles
- F-2 = 5 profiles
- F-8 = 19 profiles
- G-3 = 4 profiles
- D-9 = 36 profiles (one is the V53 prototype)
- D-11 = 3 profiles
- D-13 = 1 profile
- Ta 152 = 8 profiles (including the V3 and V7 prototypes)
As you can see, the A-8, D-9 and F-8 variants are the most covered. Maybe the excellent Eduard and Tamiya kits have influenced the authors and publisher of this book, who knows... the profils are nicely done apart for some of the code numbers which have a distinctive computer font style. However, don't expect to find some unknown or mysterious Fw 190 in this book, all the aircraft featured in this publication are more or less well known by the Luftwaffe enthusiasts. The captions for each profile are precise but in some cases the colors used are not mentionned. This is particularly annoying for the aircraft which don't have the classic RLM 74/75/76 camouflage.
The paint and marking guide is a nice addition, however it would have been nice to include more camouflage schemes and more Fw 190 variants. The last chapter of the book, which is composed of 22 profiles, shows the differences between each variants and will prove usefull if you want to analyze a photograph of a specific aircraft or if you don't want to make mistakes while building your model.
The B&W pictures in the book are not of much use I must say and there are no walkaround or detail shots for the modeller who wants to add more details to his model. But obviously it is not for that that this book was made. There are also no detailed three view plans other than those used for the painting and marking guide.
ConclusionHistoire&Collections' latest profile book about the Fw 190 is probably not the most exhaustive publication on the subject, far from it. However, for someone wanting an affordable and well illustrated profile book about the famous Luftwaffe fighter of Kurt Tank, it is a reference to consider, especially if you need a good starting point for your next Butcher Bird project.
Other book in the same collectionOther books have been published in this collection and they are very similar in quality and content:
n°1 - Messerschmitt Me 109 Part 1 (1936-42)
n°2 - Messerschmitt Me 109 Part 2 (1942-45)
n°3 - Curtiss P-40 (1939-45)
n°4 - Junkers Ju 87 Stuka (1936-45)
n°5 - P-51 Mustang (1940-1980)
n°6 - Mirage III (1955-2000)
n°7 - French aircraft 1939-42 Part 1 (from Amiot to Curtiss)
n°8 - French aircraft 1939-42 Part 2 (from Dewoitine to Potez)
n°9 - Focke wulf Fw 190 (1940-45)
n°10 - Hawker Hurricane (1937-50) to be published...
Another book about the Focke Wulf has been published by H&S in another collection (Planes and Models) and is focused on modelling the Fw 190. There are some very interesting build articles in it written by well known spanish modellers (Andrada, Gimeno, Soler and Martinez).
All the books mentionned above are available in English.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AeroScale.