Authors: Maciej Góralczyk, Janusz Światłoń, Arkadiusz Wróbel
As the Battle of Britain is a great source of the interesting painting schemes for many models Kagero Publishing continues to supply us with more options to choose from.
Part two of the “Battle of Britain” series was already superbly reviewed on Aeroscale by Bill Cross HERE
The third part is published in the „mini” version which means there are „only” eight painting schemes on 20 pages. As the previous part was divided between RAF and Luftwaffe almost by halves this time Kagero have focused only on Luftwaffe Bf-109's. There are six painting schemes presented in the book, amongst which six are of 109's. The painting schemes are, in order of appearance:
- 1. Bf-109 E-3, „White Chevron”, Hptm.Hubertus von Bonin, Gruppenkommandeur of I/JG 54, Eindhoven, early summer 1940
- 2. Bf-109 E-4, W.Nr. 5275, „White 15”, Ofw. Werner Machold, 1/JG 2, Beaumont-le-Roger summer 1940
- 3. Bf-109 E-4, W.Nr.1159, Lt. Josef Bürschgens, 7/JG 26, Caffiers, 11th August 1940
- 4. Heinkel He-111 P-2, W.Nr. 2149, „G1 JL”, 3/KG 55, France, summer 1940
- 5. Bf-109 E-4, „White 11”, Lt.Alfons Raich, 7/JG 3, Desvers, September 1940
- 6. Bf-109 E-4, „White 8”, Hptm. Hans-Karl Mayer, Gruppenkommandeur of I/JG 53, Etaples, September 1940
- 7. Bf-109 E-4/B, „Black 6”, 5/JG 51, Mardyck, autumn 1940
- 8. Bf-110 C-2, W.Nr. 3533, „L1 LL”, 15(Z)/LG 1, Oblt.Otto Weckeisser/ Uffz. Horst Brügow, Socketts Manor, Oxted, 27th September 1940
Reproduced planes are presented in the typical form of the series. Each machine is shown on the two neighbouring pages, so when we unfold the book we see all drawings of the particular plane. Planes are shown in the both side views and a view of the upper surfaces. Lower surfaces of the wings are shown only partially just to depict the version and position of the balkenkreuzes or code letters. If the plane wore some other markings and emblems (individual kill marks, unit emblems, pilots mascots etc.) they are shown in the enlarged form next to the general view drawings. The He-111 is shown in the form of an artwork painting instead of side profiles. Only the small general pictures of the plane's silhouette shows the position of the code letters and large caricatures on the port side of the fuselage and rudder. I think that balkenkreuzes could be shown as well on the same pictures without any problems. Anyway, the description says the plane was finished in the standard pattern.
As we are at the descriptions, few words here. Descriptions are bilingual, polish and english. Not only the painting and colours used are characterized but sometimes also the circumstances of the planes loss or pilot's death. Description of the painting sequence of the real plane is quite useful so we can paint our models in the same way, what I think saves us time and makes the model's look more authentic.
Kagero has supported us with the large decal sheet in the size of 19x26cm. Decal, as other decals in the latest Kagero publications, was printed by Cartograf what I think guarantees its quality. The markings reproduced on the sheet are code letters, individual and units emblems, werknummers and kill markings. Similar to Bill I think it's a pity that the non-standard national markings, this time balkenkreuzes, are not reproduced on decals but I realize that the second sheet would be necessary then. Kagero have omitted the decals for the He-111 in the 1/48 scale, probably due to the lack of the good model of the P-2 version on the market or due to the lack of space on the sheet, I can't say definitely. Of course, as usual for Kagero, all other decals are made in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales.
That's what we can find in the publication. To sum up a bit few of my subjective thoughts. My general opinion about the book is very positive. The title for me is a bit misleading as I expected to find at least few RAF planes but this is not the problem. None of the presented painting schemes can be described as boring, stupid, dull or anything similar. I think there's enough of Galland's Bf-109 everywhere. From the other hand the given schemes are difficult to achieve on the model. Not only they are complicated, due to many repaintings of the original plane, but also usually consists of a lot of mottling, weathering and battle-wearying and requires painting over the previously applied decals. I am afraid many schemes may be too difficult for beginners or those who already have some experience but are not specialized in the painting of Luftwaffe fighter (just like me for example). From the “third hand” beginners are usually interested in building out-of-the-box kits with producer decals rather than looking for some “cool” schemes, however schemes of “White 11” and “White 8” together with Bf-110 looks as not impossible to be painted after some airbrushing training. Well, I am sure that the Luftwaffe enthusiasts or 109-fanatics will be absolutely delighted having this publication on their bookshelves. In my opinion the book is highly recommended to all interested in the Battle of Britain, at least just to widen the knowledge about the look of planes which struggled above the fields on Kent county. If you decide to build one of these planes, you will be the winner for the second time.
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