Full title: ”Fw 190s over Europe Part I”
Authors: Janusz Światłoń, Maciej Góralczyk
Series: miniTopColors #35
Amongst late April releases from Kagero Publishing we can find two more booklets from the miniTopColors series. Both are dedicated to the World War II Luftwaffe machines. One of them, which is the 35th issue of this series, will be presented in this article.
As the title says this publication presents eight painting options of the famous German fighter. Selection of the available drawings consists of the following mahcines:
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3; W. Nr. 0130 541, flown by Oblt. Adolf Dickfeld, Kommandeur of II./JG 2, San Pietro, Italy, 20 November 1942
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3/U4; W. Nr. 0135 346, 'Red 9', flown by Fw. Oskar Sahre of 5.(F)/123, St. Pol, France, early March 1943
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-5Y; flown by Maj. Hans Philipp, Kommodore of JG 1, Jever, Germany, summer 1943
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-7; flown by Hptm. Rolf Hermichen, Kommandeur of I./JG 11, Rotenburg, Germany, March 1944
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8/R2; W. Nr. 682 181, 'Yellow 2', flown by Fw. Hubert Engst of 6./JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, November 1944
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-9; 'Blue 7', Stab II.(Sturm)/JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, March 1945
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3; 'White 12', flown by Fw. Ernst Mayer of 9./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, late March 1945
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8; W. Nr. 960 542 of Stab/JG 4, Germany, late spring 1945
For each artwork publisher provides a decal sheet printed by Cartograf with the individual markings in three most popular scales: 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32. Decals provided by Kagero are planes names, unit emblems, chevrons and bars, individual plane numbers and “werk nummers”. Publisher gives us one extra decal of the III/JG 5 emblem in all three scales. What I slightly miss are spinner spirals which are seen on few of these birds in very different styles and sizes. Other markings, like German crosses or stencils, will have to be provided from other sources – original kit decals or other aftermarket sets.
Quality of the decals is superb. It shouldn't be any surprise as they were printed by Italian Cartograf. Colours are very good, especially of the planes numbers, and have nice saturation. There is also absolutely no misalignment of any colour, border or outline.
Painting schemes are presented in the 20 page guidebook. Their author is a well known artist - Janusz Światłoń. Planes are depicted on four-view large colour profiles but lower surfaces are reduced only to the wings. Drawings show a lot of individual planes characteristics, first of all individual markings, but also a lot of weathering, dirt and paint “chipping”. Few unit emblems are presented also on the enlarged drawings what enables reader to catch their details. As it is presented above selection of the depicted machines covers a long period of war, from November 1942 to March 1945 what enabled authors to present many types and versions of the Butcher Bird in different paintings, including one A-9 in a temporary winter camouflage.
From my personal point of view selection of the birds is quite interesting. Each plane has its own taste, something eye-catching or unique. Some are attractive to the eye because of the contrast between dull grey tones of the camouflage with vivid yellow, blue or brick-red large numbers or big colour emblem. This brings a piece of life to the mostly dark and gloomy collection of Luftwaffe planes.
As we can notice a still growing trend amongst kit producer of selling only trees of plastic parts, for example Eduards over-trees or AZ Models joy-packs, series of miniTopColors provides us very interesting and good quality decals with markings, enabling us to finnish our kits in a bit more unique painting scheme than this provided in the original kit boxing. It's a perfect solution if you want to create a larger collection of some type of plane, battle or unit.
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