by: Jean-Luc Formery [ ]
The book includes about 220 pictures. More than the half are "in progress" pictures while 50 are photos of finished models. There are also 26 pictures of boxart or book covers, 11 walkaround pictures and a few pictures of Kurt Tank's plane in real operational condition. All are in color (even the WW2 ones) and of good quality. There were no printing issues on my sample.
At the beginning of the book, on two pages, you have a very brief history of the Fw 190, some comments about the different variants and the way to obtain them with the kits available. But there are no 3 view plans and the author seems to expect that you know your stuff when it comes to figure out the differences between the various versions of the plane.
Next, there is a list of basic tools and materials needed to achieve a nice model, as depicted in the book. There are small chapters about: lightning, glue and adhesives, paints, airbrushing, buffers, sanders and polishers, cutters and scribers, measuring and etched-metal folding tools.
At the end of the book there is also a color reference chart with 10 samples of various RLM colors. I think these samples are made to be cut out and used during the painting process. The idea is not bad and it could prove useful as a starting point, but I doubt a CMYK print can be fully trusted and personally I wouldn't use them without restriction.
The build articles
This is a big part of the book. Following models are featured in a build article:
- Revell's 1/72 Fw 190 A-8/R-11 kit built with the addition of a Squadron vac-form canopy and true Details resin wheels
- Hasegawa's 1/32 Fw 190 A-5 kit built out of the box except for the pre-painted seat belts by Eduard
- Dragon's 1/48 Fw 190G-3 kit built with the addition of a new engine cowl by Cutting Edge and a new resin seat by True Details
- Tamiya's 1/48 Fw 190A-4 kit built with the addition of Cutting Edge's corrected main wheels and a True Detail resin seat
- Hasegawa's 1/32 Fw 190 F-8 kit built straight from the box apart from Eduard's pre-painted seat belts
- Hasegawa's 1/32 Fw 190 A-8/R-8 kit built with many aftermarket sets by Eagle Parts (cockpit), Fablight (Rammjäger conversion) and Eduard (etched exterior and landing flaps)
Obviously, the author's choice was to add as many pictures as possible. The balance between text and photo is clearly to the advantage of the latter. This is a good thing in my opinion as there is often nothing better than pictures to show a particular technique. In the book you can find a lot of useful tips. From basic ones to more advanced ones, always supported by, in most cases, step-by-step sequences. The text, as previously said, is not the most important part of the book but the author knows how to transmit his enthusiasm for the Fw 190 which seems to be one of his favorite aircraft... a feeling shared by many others!
There is also a chapter about making a diorama to go along with your model but it is not very detailed. This is okay, as the book is about building the Fw 190, so this chapter should be seen as an idea starter. A nice addition is also a small photoscope (walkaround) with detail pictures of a real aircraft. I wish there would have been more and bigger pictures included but it's better than the "nothing" you can find in similar books.
A list of reference sources (books and websites), Fw 190 "survivors" (museums and collections) and Fw 190 kits (based on a Hannants catalogue?) can be found at the end of the book.
Osprey's Title "Modeling the Fw 190" is a great book packed with a huge amount of pictures and information. The beginner will be happy to see that some models are built straight from the box and will find in it a great source of information which will allow him to build a nice model of the Fw 190. I would highly recommend this book for an intermediate modeler, as there are techniques used that need some developed skills.
Had there been 3 view plans and more walkaround pictures I would have given the book an overall rating of 100%!
Thank you to Osprey Publishing for kindly supplying the review sample.