A few years ago
I bought the first edition of this monograph. I had subscribed to Mushroom
Modeling Magazine and wanted to see what they could do in terms of a monograph
on a particular subject. After I received it, I swore never again. It was a
hodge-podge of non-information and semi-information, and pictures of restored
I received the expanded second edition of this monograph for this review.
Regretfully, I must report that it is about fifty percent more of the same hodge-podge
of non- and semi-information and more pictures of restored aircraft.
I will admit there is a better attempt at organization than the first edition.
There is now a table of contents. The monograph begins with an explanation of
Rüstsats. Generally, these are external modifications applied to the basic
airframe. In car buying terms, theses are the dealer installed options; as
opposed to the factory installed options, which, in the Luftwaffe, are referred
to as Rüstzustand and Umbausatz. The monograph then proceeds to describe the
subtypes of the 109 Gustav.
The problems begin when the author tries to described each of the subtypes in
what must be the fewest words possible. In the section on the G-1/2 we learn
that a larger wheel was used on the G-2 in 1942 resulting in the “Beule” (bump)
on the top of the wing. But what we don’t find out is that the geometry of the
landing gear and wheel also changed. There is also a line drawing of a G-2 with
the notation of the air vent added under the wind screen. But what we do not
find out is that some G-2s had it on one side, some on both sides and some G-2s
didn’t have it at all. We learn that the G-1 had a pressurized cockpit, but
there is no description of the silica-gel pellets that are obviously on the
canopy and windshield and no notation about the special intake scoop on the hood
for the pressurization compressor.
In the description of the G-5, there is only a notation on a line drawing that
“[t]his small bulge was also found on the G-6.” There is no indication that the
bulge was for the cockpit pressurization compressor and no warning that it was
only on some, but not all, G-6s.
In the case of the G-8, we are given a line drawing of a G-8 with a pressurized
cockpit and an external camera fairing on the bottom of the fuselage. After
speaking with an individual who is writing a book about reconnaissance carried
out by the Luftwaffe, I found out that such an aircraft did not exist. (Any one
have a different answer, Buhler, Buhler?)
When it comes to the G-10, an aircraft of many incarnations, there is no attempt
to break out and describe any of those various incarnations. All that we are
left with is a summary statement that they differed in several aspects such as
engine cowl shape, oil filter size and wheel well fairings. There is a drawing
of a long tail wheel equipped G-10 described as a short tail wheel G-10, there
are drawing of G-10s with different tails and rudders, with and without Flettner
tabs, all without any explanation or description.
As for photographs, there are very, very few pictures of the 109 G in service.
As to service, there is no discussion of the 109 G in service. There is a
“walk-around” section, but this is once again a hodge-podge of pictures of
restored aircraft. In the section on cockpits, most of the pictures are taken
from a distance through a closed canopy of a restored aircraft.
Finally, there are the profiles, all fifty of them, plus a couple of plane view.
Nothing special here. Some of the color descriptions I find to be questionable.
I simply cannot
recommend this monograph to either a beginner, who would learn preciously
little, or to someone more advanced, who would merely be frustrated. The
problems that I have pointed out above are only the tip of the iceberg. At the
moment , the best overall book on the late model 109 still appears to be the
Prien & Rodeike monograph, “Messerschmitt Bf 109 F,G, & K Series”.
A selection of the color profiles in this book may be seen on the
MMP web site
at Messerschmitt Bf 109G
All Mushroom Model
Publications books are
available direct from
who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)
distributors are Squadron/MMD, Australian distributors are Platypus
Publications. In Europe, the books are available from any good bookshop (via our
UK distributors, Orca). Contact MMP direct in case of difficulties.
Roger at Mushroom Model
Review Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 24 August, 2004
Last updated 23 August, 2004
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