Modelling Luftwaffe Jets and Wonder Weapons

Published: January 11th, 2013     
Author: Brett Green
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney - IPMS# 8943
ISBN #: 978-1-78096-160-6
Other Publication Information: Hardcover, binder format, 192 pages, color and b&w photos
Price: $39.95
Product / Stock #: Modelling Masterclass 0
Product provided by: Osprey Publishing

This is the newest title in Osprey Publishing's Modelling Masterclass series. Written primarily by Brett Green (author of several other Osprey books and webmaster of the Hyperscale website), this book covers several model builds of Luftwaffe jets, as well as some historical information.

The book itself is in a very sturdy format. The covers are thick, glossy, and hard, and they enclose over 180 pages of text and photos. The pages are spiral bound, so this book lies completely flat when opened to any page - a very nice feature if you are using this reference at the model desk. All the pages are of medium-weight paper, and in a satin finish. All the model photos are in full color, and there are also many black and white photos in the historical sections.

There are 7 chapters in this book, as well as tables at the end listing references and available kits of the subject.

Before the proper chapters kick-off, there is an introduction section titled Dawn of the Jet Age. A brief history of the late-war situation regarding jet aircraft in Germany is covered, followed by a summary of what the book will present to the reader. Within this introduction then comes a section on the Heinkel He-280. First, the aircraft's development is described, leading into a comprehensive build article on Eduard's 1/48th scale He-280. Already in this introduction the reader is presented with some contemporary photos (in black and white) and a generous amount of high-quality color photos of the model, both in-progress and completed. This is as in-depth a build article as anything you would find online or in a magazine, perhaps even more so. I very much enjoyed being able to follow along with the build step by step. Approximately 12 pages are dedicated to this building section.

Chapter 1 is Up Close and Personal: the Jumo 109-004B Turbojet. The title does not tell the whole story here. The first section of this chapter is indeed dedicated to a description of the engine that powered many of the Luftwaffe's jets, and includes several color photos of engines in various museums. Following this is a 12-page team build of Trumpeter's 1/32nd scale Messerschmitt Me-262. Brett Green does the building and Chris Wauchop does the painting. As with the He-280, there are many nice color photos of the build in progress, as well as the finished product. Detailed, step-by-step descriptions of the work done are provided. This is another first-rate build and again is as comprehensive (if not more so) as any magazine or online article you could find.

Chapter 2, Into Service: Development of the Messerschmitt Me-262, begins with a 6-page history (again with photos) of this iconic fighter and segues into a section specifically describing the Me-262A-2a, Werknummer 500200 "Black X", and it's pilot, Robert Froehlich. This aircraft is currently in the collection of the Australian War Memorial museum. Approximately six pages are devoted to a description of this aircraft and its history, and interspersed throughout these pages are photos of a very nicely-built Tamiya 1/48th scale Me-262 built by Chris Wauchop in the markings of "Black X". It is here that I noticed a bit of a consistency issue with this book. While the previous two builds featured in the book go into great detail, here there are only some photos and very brief build comments within the photo comments. I guess the intention here is that the article is primarily about "Black X", and the model photos are just meant to augment the story. In any case, this was the first of several sections of this book that I felt were inconsistent in terms of the level of detail presented. Having noted this, the next section of this chapter is back to an in-depth build article. Over 10 pages describe Jeroen Veen's use of CMK's Me-262A-1/U3 conversion set on Tamiya's 1/48th scale kit. This is back to the style of the earlier builds in the book.

Chapter 3, titled The People's Fighter: Large-Scale Volksjaeger, has several pages of the history of Heinkel's He-162 fighter, with some nice color photos of surviving examples in museums, followed by a comprehensive build of Revell's 1/32nd scale kit. Brett Green does the build this time, and incorporates several aftermarket items. Once again, nice clear photos and extremely descriptive text let the reader follow the build over the course of 17 pages. This is followed by a small He-162 Model Gallery, showcasing builds of a Trimaster 1/48th scale kit, Tamiya 1/48th scale kit, and another Revell 1/32nd kit. Brief descriptive captions are included, but this gallery primarily consists of just photos.

Jet Bomber: Special Delivery is the fourth chapter, covering the Arado Ar-234. Hasegawa's 1/48th scale kits of the Ar-234B and Ar-234C are both covered here. 24 pages of text and photos are presented, and Brett Green builds both kits in beautiful detail as the reader follows along. Following this is a small gallery, consisting of a few shots of a Dragon Arado Ar-234C with a V-1 on top in 1/72nd scale.

Stranger than Fiction is the title of Chapter 5, and is devoted to the Me-163, specifically building the Hasegawa 1/32nd scale kit. 20 pages are used to describe the additional work and aftermarket sets added to this 1970s vintage kit to bring it up to today's standards. Beautifully clear color photos adorn every page. There is yet another small gallery at the end of this chapter, this time covering the Bachem Ba-349 Natter. A few museum photos, followed by a little diorama of Dragon's 1/48th scale kit, are presented.

Chapter 6 covers Vengeance Weapons. Museum photos of a V-1, as well as a Japanese Ohka (doesn't quite fit with the title, but along a similar vein), start out the chapter. This is followed by a 15-page build article on Bronco's 1/35th scale Fieseler Fi-103. After this comes a piece on a scratch-built Vidalwagen trailer for the V-2 rocket in 1/35th scale that will eventually be included in a diorama. The chapter ends with another gallery, this time featuring a 1/35th V-2 from Dragon and a 1/48th FW-190/V-1 Mistel.

The final chapter is Luft 46 and has 3 build articles. The first is Planet Model's resin 1/48th scale Heinkel P.1077 Julia. 13 pages of text and photos once again provide a detailed build article. The second article is a build of the Blohm und Voss P.211, again in 1/48th scale from Planet Models. This is another example of inconsistency (to me, anyway), as it is only 2 pages, which compares strangely to the large size of the other build articles. Continuing along the somewhat inconsistent path, the last few pages of this chapter describe the Focke Wulf Ta-183. Tamiya's (ex-AmTech) 1/48th scale kit is shown, but the build article is extremely short and ends rather abruptly, leaving me almost wondering if I was missing a page (which is not the case).

Finally there are 2 pages of selected references (which I found to be a useful list), and another 2 pages of all kits that have been produced fitting the subject matter.

I must say there are a lot of things I really liked about this book. It has very high production qualities, and I appreciate the spiral binding. I enjoy reading in-depth building articles in magazines and online, and most of the articles in here were at an even higher level. There are lots of good tips and techniques presented that apply to all kinds of modeling, not just Luftwaffe jets. The accompanying photos are all first-rate. These high points were only slightly marred by the abrupt ending of a few of the articles (particularly those at the end). I have no idea why this happened, but that inconsistency did take away a little from my enjoyment of this book. I think that was primarily because I was hungry for more!

I would definitely recommend this one to those interested in the subject, or even for those who just appreciate build articles that let you follow along, rather than just seeing a picture with a caption stating "here is my finished model."

Thanks to Osprey for the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it.

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