Friday, 25 March 2011

new from Kagero - Topcolors 20 'In Defence of the Reich' & Topcolors 21 'Messerschmitt 109 in North Africa'

'Topcolors' continues with No. 20 'In Defence of the Reich', featuring 8 colour profiles of the Luftwaffe’s most formidable fighters; the Messerschmitt Bf 109, which first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's fighter force; and the Focke Wulf 190, which quickly proved to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V when introduced into service during 1941. Units covered here include the special Moskito-Jagd Staffel 10./JG 300, the Sturmgruppe of JG 300 as well as machines from JG 1 and JG 11. As far as I am aware Staffelkapitän 10./JG 300 Karl Mitterdorfer's 'White 1' with its fantastic cowl 'comet' emblem has only previously been available on a couple of very expensive Lifelike and EagleCals decal sheets. The 'raison d'être' of this series is the stunning A-4 size decal sheet printed by Cartograf for all 8 painting schemes in 3 scales - simply unbeatable value. And with Kagero of course you get a nice A-4 landscape booklet with your decal sheet. The booklet is packed with colour artwork profiles, featuring both sides of the aircraft and a top view. Quite simply superb! Available from

 Also just published is Topcolors 21 featuring the Bf 109 in North Africa. Subjects include rarely seen JG 77 options covered photographically in Jochen Prien's German language history of this Geschwader - so unlikely to have been seen by many. And a little scoop here - if you are planning on getting Erik Mombeek's new Luftwaffe Gallery (issue 2) due imminently, then Topcolors 21 will complement it perfectly for the modellers reading this.

The latest in the 'Monograph' series features the early A-D variants of the Bf 109. Another superbly done title, this volume discusses its origins and early development with detailed coverage of changes made in all its variants and sub-variants, including the special modifications for the foreign recipients. The initial production models of the A, B, C and D series were fitted with the relatively low-powered, 670–700 PS Junkers Jumo 210 series engines. A handful of prototypes of these early aircraft were converted to use the more powerful DB 600. No 'freebies' are included here although I should just point out that a nice selection of decals for ZG 2 Doras can be found in Kagero's 'Bf 109 over Poland' in the 'Air Battles' series. Otherwise there is plenty of well-written text covered the type's operational history in Spain and Poland including many first-person accounts newly translated from rare and obscure German -language titles. A must-have for Luftwaffe enthusiasts!