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REVIEW
Focke Wulf Fw 190
TedMamere
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Moselle, France
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Posted: Friday, July 06, 2007 - 08:07 PM UTC


For someone wanting an affordable and well illustrated profile book about the Fw 190, Histoire&Collections' latest publication, while not the most exhaustive on the subject, is a reference to consider, especially if you need a good starting point for your next Butcher Bird project.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
thehannaman
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 07:09 AM UTC
Hello, Jean -Luc
You mentioned the "Models and Planes" version at the end of your review. I was able to find the english version at my local hobby shop here in New York. It is awesome! The work in there is staggering. Do you know if they are going to be doing and more of this series for other aircraft?
TedMamere
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 07:25 AM UTC
Hi Justen!

So far it's the only one in the serie and I didn't saw H&C advertising for another one yet. But I agree with you that the models featured are awsome. I wanted to review the book but as it was an older one I just included it in this review. The book don't features the latest Eduard kits though and the Fw 190 V1 model in it isn't the 1/48 scale Legato resin kit but a 100% scratchbuild model!

Jean-Luc
CaptainA
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 12:00 PM UTC
With all the Eduard FW 190 Superkits in my closet, this book looks pretty good. Thanks Jean-Luc
alpha_tango
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 06:45 PM UTC
Hi All

I have sent a private message about my disappointment about this books to Jean-Luc. I do not want to cause trouble, but he has asked me to post my remarks here too. So be it and I am open to discuss this:

I have three of this series( Bf 109 1+2 and Ju87) and I think they are not worth the money (even if it is just 14 Euro) It is just a collection of profiles from decal sets, old books and mags. No historical research went into it so it is just a cash cow and to be taken with a shovel of salt ... I would not recommend it as a basis for models!

To make things clearer: the profiles were just copied and not evaluated for correctness. Many of the Bf 109 stuff is plain wrong.

Just my two Euro cent.

best wishes

Steffen
FalkeEins
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 07:50 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It is just a collection of profiles from decal sets, old books and mags. No historical research went into it so it is just a cash cow and to be taken with a shovel of salt ... I would not recommend it as a basis for models!



.for somebody with 'no language skills' Steffen, you have a lovely way with words !!
sorry J-L, I have to agree with Steffen - for a book based exclusively on a collection of aircraft profile drawings the artwork has to 'look right'; here it simply doesn't. The forward fuselage looks far too 'chunky' and there are heavily shaded panel lines where none exist, thats before even getting down to details...
As the intro in the original French edition stated ( I read this in one of the authors Bf 109 books) these books were essentially assembled from a variety of well known English language sources and designed for non-English speaking enthusiasts. There seems ultimately little point in offering a translated edition, aside from the motives tthat Steffen so eloquently outlines...the bottom line... even Osprey does this sort of thing better..!!
SGTJKJ
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 07:53 PM UTC
Jean-Luc, Very nice review of the book.

I noticed (like Steffen noticed on the 109 and Stuka books) that the FW 190 book contains some profiles I have seen other places before at Kagero among others, so it is likely that this is also the case with the Bf. 109 and Stuka books. However, whether they are historically corect I do not know.

Even taking the above into account I think the books are excellent value for money and I have just ordered the FW 190, Bf 109 vol. I+II and the French airforce vol. I+II books.

Maybe I will feel the purchase was a mistake when I see the books, but I doubt it. I will just use the profiles as inspiration and if I make a model that is not totally historical correct based on the profiles, then so be it. I know not everybody feels like me, but I am in the hobby for fun - and a degree of historical accuracy

Starts.
The question of historical accuracy is difficult to pin down exactly. At Armorama there are big discussions on whether red primer was used as a camouflage colour on German tanks at the end of the war and whether dark grey was introduced again as a forth camouflage colour at the end of the war. Truth is that nobody will ever know FOR SURE. My point is if you are having fun and sticking to the overall guidelines the target is archieved.
Ends
FalkeEins
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 07:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Jean-Luc, Very nice review of the book.

I noticed (like Steffen noticed on the 109 and Stuka books) that the FW 190 book contains some profiles I have seen other places before at Kagero among others



..Kagero gets a fair amount of criticism in some quarters ..but their artwork is miles (kilometres) better than this...
alpha_tango
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 08:45 PM UTC
Hello Neil and Jesper

as I wrote, I do not want to start a war over this.

I agree on Neil's account that Osprey does this kind of thing a level higher than H&C (BTW not all Ospreys are bad .. but unfortunately the Lw books )

Jesper, I see things a little different. Of course every model is some kind of artists impression of a certain subject. But when you consciously start from a wrong profile (information) it is just history fabrication. It is inevitable to use a little educated guesswork here and there and also the model kits cannot be 100% correct. But the keyword here is "educated" !!

The crew of H&C knows for sure that some (many) of the stuff they published here is wrong, but they just copy the profiles because it is easier and takes less time do it to generate money.

Here I am at a point where my English is not good enough to precisely explain my point. I hope it makes sense though. I would recommed to check the Classic Publ. series. They are a bit more expensive, not free of errors and some people more knowledgeable than me have criticised them thouroughly, but I think this is a far better start than (the) profile books.

If you still want to buy them .. just do it .. I have done that too but after a few examples I found it was a waste of money.

best wishes

Steffen



SGTJKJ
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 09:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hello Neil and Jesper

as I wrote, I do not want to start a war over this.

Jesper, I see things a little different. Of course every model is some kind of artists impression of a certain subject. But when you consciously start from a wrong profile (information) it is just history fabrication. It is inevitable to use a little educated guesswork here and there and also the model kits cannot be 100% correct. But the keyword here is "educated" !!

The crew of H&C knows for sure that some (many) of the stuff they published here is wrong, but they just copy the profiles because it is easier and takes less time do it to generate money.

best wishes

Steffen



Hi Steffen

No war at all I seriously appreciate other opinions and I think all opinions on the books/colour profiles should be put forward. I would probably not realise that some of the profiles are wrong if you did not tell me.

I think we see things differently, but not very differently. I would never base my model on a profile that is pure fiction or basically all wrong. Let me give some examples to illustrate my point:

What I would NOT do
I would never paint a plane in obviously wrong colours or camouflage scheme. Fx. I would never do a FW 190D in desert colours. I would never use early war balken crosses on a late war machine unless I had a photo to prove it.

What I would do
I am not so focused on "minor" details. If the aircraft is numbered "red 9" I could use "red 6" or "blue 9" without feeling I messed up my model. Use a slightly lighter or darker shade of any basic colour. These kind of details I am not so worried about.

Steffen, based on your knowledge what kind of mistakes are in the H/C books? Fundamental mistakes like totally wrong camouflage or "red 9 in stead of blue 9" mistakes?

Thanks for sharing your feed back and knowledge
TedMamere
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 10:04 PM UTC
Hi all!

Thanks all for you constructive comments on that one. At last people know what they'll get if they buy the books after reading all this!

Again, I'm not a Luftwaffe expert (I'm not a an expert at all) and can be considered more a "relaxed modeller" when it comes to accuracy. I still think it's a good base for beginners. But of course, for more serious modellers it is probably better to check other sources. I know I will buy the forthcoming titles as well. The next one will be about the Hurricane.

Jean-Luc

P.S. I have somewhat edited the review and for example erased the words "accurate" and "high quality profils" given the remarks of Steffen and Neil.
alpha_tango
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 10:43 PM UTC
Hi Jesper

We are going some way off topic, but I think this is bearable for this thread. (Jean-Luc?)

Of course things are not easy when it comes to c&m (=camouflage and markings). And German colours and markings belong to the better researched areas than lets say Russian or Chinese. OTOH see what debates are about the shades of olive drab which is just one colour (one should think)..

I mostly try to base my model on a certain original and try to come as close as I can. I have explained elsewhere that i think people are fighting wars and not machines, so I try to represent aircraft of certain pilots. This needs a good amount of research and does often need an educated guess as not every aspect of one single airframe is covered in photos. For those asumptions i need books like those by Merrick or Ullmann.(e.g.) Sometimes I do rely on a profile, like just recently for the Fw 190A-4 of W. Nowotny (JG 101) from LiF 11 (which is of course backed up with some photos).

I know people who rather build unnamed aircraft as those known and precisely attributed were often of high ranking officers or successful fighters. E.g. a friend of mine does not want to heroise these people so he rather bullds generic a/c (but he also relies on researched data and photos)


Quoted Text

Steffen, based on your knowledge what kind of mistakes are in the H/C books? Fundamental mistakes like totally wrong camouflage or "red 9 in stead of blue 9" mistakes?

Thanks for sharing your feed back and knowledge



Jesper, i think you overestimate my knowledge here. I am no Luftwaffeknowsitall. The H&C book contains many bigger and minor mistakes that are much to many to approach every single one ... somthing in the category why Aeromaster is often called Errormaster?

There are wrong captions, profiles, markings, emblems ... the problem is, that you never know if and what is right or wrong and you have to research it yourself (at least there could be a source where they got it from).

There was an announcement a while ago on 12 O'clock high where some authors wanted to make a book just consisting of profiles on H.J Maseilles machines .. (no photos) but each and every would have been based on actual photos wich would be cited (there are many photos published) .. I do not know what became of this project, but this is something I could live with.
Also Cleas Sundins books are of a certain value as he has some photos attached (but there are also some wrong profiles in this books) .. at least those are his own interpretations/ artworks and not copied.

... sorry this was rather long and still does not fully cover your question and remarks

best wishes

Steffen
SGTJKJ
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 10:55 PM UTC
Hi Steffen

Thanks for your quick reply. I think we can allow us self to move a little of topic.

I sometimes take a more generic approach and makes genric planes as your friend although probably not based as much on indepth research as him. I will try to examine the books and see if there is a basis for some of my luftwaffe planes in my stash.

Thanks for your comments.

BR
Jesper
TedMamere
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 11:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

We are going some way off topic, but I think this is bearable for this thread. (Jean-Luc?)



Hi again Steffen!

I found what you've said very interesting... off topic? I dont' know? Maybe we are getting here more into the "philosophical" aspects of modelling.

Obviously you try to model the Machine of a man while Jesper and I we only try to model a representative machine. I may hurt some but I don't build models to remember the pilots or these kind of things. For me it's an egoistic hobby. I already said to Rowan that sometimes it makes me feel incomfortable to have fun with a subject that is so morbid. But I enjoy it that way. I won't search for months for the exact shades of colors, the exact markings or modify every little detail on the kit because it was so on the real plane.

To sum up, I prefer a inaccurate good looking model rather than an accurate bad looking model. I say that because I've seen in magazines people completely replace the "inaccurate" fabric structure of a plane yet leaving the ejection pin marks in the wheel wells and cockpit. In a recent magazine I saw the model of a Fiat CR 42 which was modified because the cowling was too small "according to plans" and yet the plasticard used was not sanded to shape, some struts between the wings were broken, the paint was badly applied, some seams not filled and the decals peeled of!? But yes, the plane was "accurate"...

To return on topic, about the FW 190 book, I would say what I said about the 1/32 scale Dragon P-51D model: never trust only one review!

Finally, having said all that, the best model is an accurate good looking one!

Jean-Luc
alpha_tango
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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - 11:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text

(...)To sum up, I prefer a inaccurate good looking model rather than an accurate bad looking model. I say that because I've seen in magazines people completely replace the "inaccurate" fabric structure of a plane yet leaving the ejection pin marks in the wheel wells and cockpit. In a recent magazine I saw the model of a Fiat CR 42 which was modified because the cowling was too small "according to plans" and yet the plasticard used was not sanded to shape, some struts between the wings were broken, the paint was badly applied, some seams not filled and the decals peeled of!? But yes, the plane was "accurate"... (..) Jean-Luc



Hello again

sind wir also wieder bei DEM Thema .... das hatten wir doch schon mal ... und ich hatte dich damals also doch richtig verstanden, das Du meinst, meine Modelle wären unterirdisch schlecht (ich lasse die Fäkalsprache erst mal weg ... Sch..modell usw.)

Honestly I do not get your point in this very passage .. if it has pinmarks in the cockpit (that were not there in the original ) it is not - NOT - accurate .. same goes for broken struts and the other stuff you mentioned. Of course I do not replicate every screw and scratch but I base my model on a certain original and then we can discuss how much I failed. (see also my comment in the MiG-21F13 thread ... and remember when we discussed the mold seam line on the KG of my eduard Fw 190 A-8)

E.g. Rowan has problems to find proper pictures for the Fw 190 A-6 he wants to build so he guesses how far the crate was beaten up .. I am perfectly o.k. with that. When someone builds a Bf 109 F with a red cowling I would ask for proof.

viele Grüße

Steffen
TedMamere
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 12:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

sind wir also wieder bei DEM Thema...



Hi again Steffen!

No! Not again!

Of course I wasnt' meaning you! I'm sure you know that! I fully understand your philosophy to build models from a specific pilot and therefore why you don't like the H&C books. I perfectly respect that and think it's a noble motivation to build models. I just wanted the people who read this to know what kind of modeller I am so they are not mislead by my reviews. Would you have written the review, the book would have received a bad rating, so this replaces things in perspective.

Jean-Luc
alpha_tango
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 01:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I fully understand your philosophy to build models from a specific pilot and therefore why you don't like the H&C books.



Hi Jean-Luc

Well, that is the problem. The HC book pretends to be a book that has researched data on Planes and Pilots and it has not.

BTW there is nothing noble about building "heros" it is just my way of modelling. I like to know the story of the pilot and the highly decorated pilots are better documented than the 18 year old boy that does not survive his first or 5th mission. Those who survived surly had skills but also a bunch of luck (I have read that in every biography I own).

(of course the German part above was just fun)

best wishes

Steffen
lampie
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 04:41 AM UTC
Very interesting reading through peoples replies to this thread.
Its obvious that many of the contributors have researched Luftwaffe subjects over the years and have amassed information.
If, as stated, the book is a collection of profiles from decal sets, old books and magazines, then for a new or returning modeller with an interest in building FW-190's this appears to be an excellent cost effective purchase and a good starting point for further,more detailed research.
Just my thoughts
Nige
FalkeEins
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 06:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

for a new or returning modeller with an interest in building FW-190's this appears to be an excellent cost effective purchase and a good starting point for further,more detailed research.



Hi Nige,

..I don't have a problem with that...perhaps not 'excellent' but certainly 'one to consider ' perhaps as Jean-Luc says....looking at Jean-Luc's scans I will say that there are some machines illustrated that can only be seen in rare or foreign language sources such as the old Docavia on the Fw 190 or the German language Jet & Prop magazine ...although that particular profile could have been copied from the Eagle Editions decal sheet....from my perspective though there's no new material there that I can see, but much that has appeared elsewhere and been better rendered.. ...I also noticed a profile of the machine Rowan is currently hoping to build fro mthe new Eduard kit (Schott's JG 1 A-6) ...we've already established elsewhere that there are no complete overall photographs of this aircraft - not even in the German language sources - so there's one 'made-up' profile to start with... a little licence in a model build is one thing (as we've already explored - I'm all for it, my 'skill-level' doesn't allow me to do anything else!) - but personally I wouldn't want to invest in a 'reference source' if I knew that the artist had conjured much of it from his imagination...
alpha_tango
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Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007 - 09:23 PM UTC
Hi All

some final remarks as we are going to discuss this to death. I think the standings are clear.


Quoted Text

(...)but personally I wouldn't want to invest in a 'reference source' if I knew that the artist had conjured much of it from his imagination...



I wholeheartedly agree. If this is the case I at least want to know what are the picture sources and which part is approximated. E.g. Lifelike (decals) do a good job citing sources.

A very nice/new approach can be found in Profiles in Norway 3: Messerschmitt Bf 109T (I only have the German edition of vol 3, so I can only speak of this) . Kjetil Aakra has some camouflage schemes in this booklet where only those parts are shown, that can be proven by photographs (of course there are also full profiles and also some that are "fictional" but he clearly states this)

i think we should agree to disagree. Most of the board members seem to like this books. I (and maybe Neil) think this is a rip off without any use ...

et in terra pax!

Steffen