The Messerschmitt BF 109 A comprehensive Guide "F to K" Variants

Published: September 9th, 2018     
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Book Cover
Author: Lynn Ritger
Reviewed by: 
Jarrod Booth, IPMS# 44739
Company: SAM Publications
Other Publication Information: 224 pages, color side profiles, detail drawings, and photographs of components
Price: $25.00
Product / Stock #: 04995

The Bf 109 is one of the instantly recognizable aircraft of the Second World War, and it is iconic as one of the Luftwaffe's most potent warplanes.

This book was originally published in 2007 and written by Lynn Ritger. It remains one of the most informative texts for the enthusiast and modeler. This updated version includes all new model builds, aftermarket accessories and decals. As the pages are turned, the reader is greeted with a plethora of mostly black and white period photos, color side view pictures, detailed drawings and various references for the modeler to take note of.

The book follows the development of each variant from F to K, theatres it performed in, and details some of the ground crew and pilots who operated them. Tables are included in each section that document a list of aircraft, pilots, dates and what happened to them. These are a sobering read and bring reality to mind as one reads: "pilot was killed", "missing", "captured", etc.

Color side views, engine development and color photos follow to provide the modeler and enthusiast a feast for the eyes and a valuable reference.

Chapter 8 follows in similar fashion to detail foreign uses of the Bf 109 through to captured versions in US, British and other markings. This section also lists tables from each country showing aircraft/pilot losses.

The next section shows detailed diagrams from official Messerschmitt factory manuals. Each model from F to K is shown on two pages each and highlights features specific to that variant.

Armament is the subject of Chapter ten and here we are walked through the upgrades and types of equipment used as the 109 was developed and improved.

Chapters eleven through fourteen focus on walk around photos and information. All these are museum aircraft and show extensive detail of different parts of the aircraft - perfect for the modeler to further detail their work.

All this fantastic detail and information leads the reader, and specifically the modeler, into Chapter fifteen. Here we are presented with current model kits from Revell, Zvezda, Eduard, Tamiya and Trumpeter, ranging from 1/72, 1/48, 1/32 and 1/24 scale. Each scale is represented by a different manufacturer, and construction notes from each builder are informative and detailed. Included are any aftermarket items used.

Appendices follow for the modeler showing the latest kit listing, accessories and conversions, and decals. "BF 109 Survivors" then show a complete listing of technical specifications of each 109 variant. Appendix V Bf 109 Airframe and Production detailed list of other technical information. A Bibliography ends the Appendices with a list of books, journals, and periodicals that will be useful to those who wish to learn more about this remarkable aircraft.

This is a "must have" publication for anyone interested in the Bf 109, its variants, history, and technical data. It is something I will find valuable in my next Bf 109 build.

Thank you Sam Publications and IPMS for the opportunity to read and review this great book.

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