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Book Review
Focke Wulf Fw 190
Focke Wulf Fw 190 (from 1939 to 1945)
  • 00147

by: Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]


_ORGINPUB:
AeroScale

Introduction
The 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 book
This 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.

Conclusion
Histoire&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 collection
Other 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.
SUMMARY
Highs: Affordable price. High number of profiles. Easy to read.
Lows: Computer fonts on some profiles. Lack of color description sometimes.
Verdict: A good starting point for someone wanting basic informations about the Fw 190.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 978-2-915239-24-9
  Suggested Retail: 15€50
  Related Link: Fw 190 book at Histoire&Collections' website
  PUBLISHED: Jul 07, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.63%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.83%

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.

Copyright ©2019 text by Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi Jesper We are going some way off topic, but I think this is bearable for this thread. (Jean-Luc?) Of course things are not easy when it comes to c&m (=camouflage and markings). And German colours and markings belong to the better researched areas than lets say Russian or Chinese. OTOH see what debates are about the shades of olive drab which is just one colour (one should think).. I mostly try to base my model on a certain original and try to come as close as I can. I have explained elsewhere that i think people are fighting wars and not machines, so I try to represent aircraft of certain pilots. This needs a good amount of research and does often need an educated guess as not every aspect of one single airframe is covered in photos. For those asumptions i need books like those by Merrick or Ullmann.(e.g.) Sometimes I do rely on a profile, like just recently for the Fw 190A-4 of W. Nowotny (JG 101) from LiF 11 (which is of course backed up with some photos). I know people who rather build unnamed aircraft as those known and precisely attributed were often of high ranking officers or successful fighters. E.g. a friend of mine does not want to heroise these people so he rather bullds generic a/c (but he also relies on researched data and photos) Jesper, i think you overestimate my knowledge here. I am no Luftwaffeknowsitall. The H&C book contains many bigger and minor mistakes that are much to many to approach every single one ... somthing in the category why Aeromaster is often called Errormaster? There are wrong captions, profiles, markings, emblems ... the problem is, that you never know if and what is right or wrong and you have to research it yourself (at least there could be a source where they got it from). There was an announcement a while ago on 12 O'clock high where some authors wanted to make a book just consisting of profiles on H.J Maseilles machines .. (no photos) but each and every would have been based on actual photos wich would be cited (there are many photos published) .. I do not know what became of this project, but this is something I could live with. Also Cleas Sundins books are of a certain value as he has some photos attached (but there are also some wrong profiles in this books) .. at least those are his own interpretations/ artworks and not copied. ... sorry this was rather long and still does not fully cover your question and remarks best wishes Steffen
JUL 11, 2007 - 10:43 PM
Hi Steffen Thanks for your quick reply. I think we can allow us self to move a little of topic. I sometimes take a more generic approach and makes genric planes as your friend although probably not based as much on indepth research as him. I will try to examine the books and see if there is a basis for some of my luftwaffe planes in my stash. Thanks for your comments. BR Jesper
JUL 11, 2007 - 10:55 PM
Hi again Steffen! I found what you've said very interesting... off topic? I dont' know? Maybe we are getting here more into the "philosophical" aspects of modelling. Obviously you try to model the Machine of a man while Jesper and I we only try to model a representative machine. I may hurt some but I don't build models to remember the pilots or these kind of things. For me it's an egoistic hobby. I already said to Rowan that sometimes it makes me feel incomfortable to have fun with a subject that is so morbid. But I enjoy it that way. I won't search for months for the exact shades of colors, the exact markings or modify every little detail on the kit because it was so on the real plane. To sum up, I prefer a inaccurate good looking model rather than an accurate bad looking model. I say that because I've seen in magazines people completely replace the "inaccurate" fabric structure of a plane yet leaving the ejection pin marks in the wheel wells and cockpit. In a recent magazine I saw the model of a Fiat CR 42 which was modified because the cowling was too small "according to plans" and yet the plasticard used was not sanded to shape, some struts between the wings were broken, the paint was badly applied, some seams not filled and the decals peeled of!? But yes, the plane was "accurate"... To return on topic, about the FW 190 book, I would say what I said about the 1/32 scale Dragon P-51D model: never trust only one review! Finally, having said all that, the best model is an accurate good looking one! Jean-Luc
JUL 11, 2007 - 11:30 PM
Hello again sind wir also wieder bei DEM Thema .... das hatten wir doch schon mal ... und ich hatte dich damals also doch richtig verstanden, das Du meinst, meine Modelle wären unterirdisch schlecht (ich lasse die Fäkalsprache erst mal weg ... Sch..modell usw.) Honestly I do not get your point in this very passage .. if it has pinmarks in the cockpit (that were not there in the original ) it is not - NOT - accurate .. same goes for broken struts and the other stuff you mentioned. Of course I do not replicate every screw and scratch but I base my model on a certain original and then we can discuss how much I failed. (see also my comment in the MiG-21F13 thread ... and remember when we discussed the mold seam line on the KG of my eduard Fw 190 A-8) E.g. Rowan has problems to find proper pictures for the Fw 190 A-6 he wants to build so he guesses how far the crate was beaten up .. I am perfectly o.k. with that. When someone builds a Bf 109 F with a red cowling I would ask for proof. viele Grüße Steffen
JUL 11, 2007 - 11:51 PM
Hi again Steffen! No! Not again! Of course I wasnt' meaning you! I'm sure you know that! I fully understand your philosophy to build models from a specific pilot and therefore why you don't like the H&C books. I perfectly respect that and think it's a noble motivation to build models. I just wanted the people who read this to know what kind of modeller I am so they are not mislead by my reviews. Would you have written the review, the book would have received a bad rating, so this replaces things in perspective. Jean-Luc
JUL 12, 2007 - 12:23 AM
Hi Jean-Luc Well, that is the problem. The HC book pretends to be a book that has researched data on Planes and Pilots and it has not. BTW there is nothing noble about building "heros" it is just my way of modelling. I like to know the story of the pilot and the highly decorated pilots are better documented than the 18 year old boy that does not survive his first or 5th mission. Those who survived surly had skills but also a bunch of luck (I have read that in every biography I own). (of course the German part above was just fun) best wishes Steffen
JUL 12, 2007 - 01:50 AM
Very interesting reading through peoples replies to this thread. Its obvious that many of the contributors have researched Luftwaffe subjects over the years and have amassed information. If, as stated, the book is a collection of profiles from decal sets, old books and magazines, then for a new or returning modeller with an interest in building FW-190's this appears to be an excellent cost effective purchase and a good starting point for further,more detailed research. Just my thoughts Nige
JUL 12, 2007 - 04:41 AM
Hi Nige, ..I don't have a problem with that...perhaps not 'excellent' but certainly 'one to consider ' perhaps as Jean-Luc says....looking at Jean-Luc's scans I will say that there are some machines illustrated that can only be seen in rare or foreign language sources such as the old Docavia on the Fw 190 or the German language Jet & Prop magazine ...although that particular profile could have been copied from the Eagle Editions decal sheet....from my perspective though there's no new material there that I can see, but much that has appeared elsewhere and been better rendered.. ...I also noticed a profile of the machine Rowan is currently hoping to build fro mthe new Eduard kit (Schott's JG 1 A-6) ...we've already established elsewhere that there are no complete overall photographs of this aircraft - not even in the German language sources - so there's one 'made-up' profile to start with... a little licence in a model build is one thing (as we've already explored - I'm all for it, my 'skill-level' doesn't allow me to do anything else!) - but personally I wouldn't want to invest in a 'reference source' if I knew that the artist had conjured much of it from his imagination...
JUL 12, 2007 - 06:22 AM
Hi All some final remarks as we are going to discuss this to death. I think the standings are clear. I wholeheartedly agree. If this is the case I at least want to know what are the picture sources and which part is approximated. E.g. Lifelike (decals) do a good job citing sources. A very nice/new approach can be found in Profiles in Norway 3: Messerschmitt Bf 109T (I only have the German edition of vol 3, so I can only speak of this) . Kjetil Aakra has some camouflage schemes in this booklet where only those parts are shown, that can be proven by photographs (of course there are also full profiles and also some that are "fictional" but he clearly states this) i think we should agree to disagree. Most of the board members seem to like this books. I (and maybe Neil) think this is a rip off without any use ... et in terra pax! Steffen
JUL 12, 2007 - 09:23 PM
   

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