Top Drawings is a really nice series of books from Kagero Publishing that are aimed specifically at the modeller who loves and needs to get the detail on their models just right. The latest one I have obtained a copy of looks at the Heinkel He 111 and is the first of a series on the Heinkel He 111.
This offering from Kagero is a soft back book written by Maciej Noszczak. This is a duel language offering with English on the left of the page and Polish on the right of each page where there is dedicated text. The cover is made from a light card with a gloss finish and inside there are 17 pages of high quality matt paper plus three further pages covering additional titles available in the series. The book is presented in a portrait style throughout.
The book begins with a short written introduction and that is the only pure text in this title as its purpose is to provide accurate visual reference material. The material is presented in the form of scale drawings and colour profiles. Included with this release are three fold out sheets on the Heinkel He 111 and two sets of masks. The masks offer German crosses in 1/48th for models generally and canopy masks for the 1/72nd scale He 111 P2/H6 from Airfix.
The title offers 12 pages of scale drawings in four scale which are 1/96th, 1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/24th scale and these cover the aircraft in up to six plains. The aircraft is covered from the sides, front, back, top and bottom but for the most part it is side on views. As regards the different scales used I was initially disappointed, but it needs to be mentioned that 1/96th and 1/72nd scales are the main ones used for the aircraft drawings overall with 1/48th and 1/24th used to highlight specific details and areas.
This title being the first of a series looking at the Heinkel He 111 covers the early aircraft prior to the addition the glazed nose which makes the Heinkel He 111 so memorable. I would say that about half of the drawings cover these early versions before moving onto the early P models of the Heinkel He 111. The colour profiles are a nice break in the title as it starts you thinking about things other than just detail. The fold out sheets are a mix of 1/72nd and 1/48th, mostly 1/48th and so with the kits from ICM in 1/48th scale a nice inclusion.
This offering from Kagero as part of their Top Drawings line of books looking at the Heinkel He 111 is not a title for the person interested in reading about the aircraft; it is a title aimed very specifically at the modeller looking to build an accurate representation of the Heinkel He 111, the early models that is and enabling the checking and improvement of the details provided with the model. The scale drawings also enable the modeller to check the accuracy of the main parts of the aircraft model with the cross sections of the fuselage being a big plus for accuracy checks. I think the inclusion of the fold out sheets and masks make this title worth the cost. I would also say that this title is a must for anyone looking to tackle a Heinkel He 111 prior to the glazed nose being incorporated.
Highs: The fold out sheets and masks make this title worth its price.Lows: The price is at the top end but it is worth every penny if it covers the Heinkel He 111 that you are working on.Verdict: I have become a big fan of these titles from Kagero as I feel that make improving a model easier than it may otherwise be.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...