This book is number 6 in the ‘Airframe Album’ category by Valiant Wings Publishing. It contains 114 pages, and is printed on high-quality glossy paper. The book contains many period photographs and diagrams, as well as a few period colour photographs. It also contains several colour profiles and a few modern colour photographs as well.
The book is broken down into four sections and three appendices. The first section is a technical description and contains a detailed coverage of construction and equipment. Section 2 outlines the evolution of the aircraft from prototype to production and onto projected variants and includes 3-D diagrams showing the differences between all the variants. Section 3 is all about camouflage and markings with many colour side profiles, notes and photographs. Section 4 contains detailed builds of two models, one in 1/72 scale and one in 1/48 scale. There is also a preview of the upcoming 1/32 scale model. The three appendices contain a kit list, accessory and decal list, and a bibliography.
Before we actually get to section 1 there are some information pages. These contain the usual publishing information, although they also managed to squeeze in a couple of photographs of a mockup of the V1 prototype. Next is a glossary of terms and then the preface. The preface runs to 10 pages and is a brief overview of how the FW 189 came to be and the different variants that were produced and planned. There’s an overview of the operational use of the aircraft from the introduction of trainers in 1939 to the end of the war. The use of the type by the Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian and Slovakian air forces is also briefly covered. The last page of the preface gives details on the specifications of several of the prototype aircraft. Throughout the preface are many period photographs of the different variants.
Section 1, the technical description, is itself broken down into seven groups. The groups are fuselage, undercarriage, booms and tail, wings, engines cowling & propellers, weapons and miscellaneous. The fuselage section starts with many interior cockpit photographs and diagrams of the prototypes before moving on to the cockpit interiors of the three production variants, A, B and C. There are four pages dedicated to the canopy of the FW 189A, before it moves onto the exterior of the main fuselage for the various types. There are various diagrams and photographs of components fitted inside the aircraft such as fuel tanks and electrical and radio components. The undercarriage is covered in a lot of detail with photographs and exploded diagrams of the various types of undercarriage that could be fitted. There are even some photographs of the floats for the proposed float plane version of the B series. There is detailed information on the interior of the tail booms and the various components that were fitted inside each one and the tail itself is covered in sufficient detail to scratch build one from the inside out. The wings are shown being manufactured and also how they fit to the cockpit along with how the ailerons and flaps were constructed and fitted. There are detailed photographs and diagrams of all the engines that were fitted from the first prototypes through production and test aircraft. The various exhausts and cowling types are also covered. The fixed armament is shown in detail including views of the weapons themselves inside the wings along with the ammunition boxes. The other weapons are described with several photographs and diagrams of the various fits and mountings of both dorsal and rear machine guns and also underwing ordinance. There are some very good photographs of the cameras fitted to the FW 189 both in and out of the aircraft. Finally the diagrams showing all the various access panels on the aircraft along with a diagram showing all the various covers in place and the control locks that were used. There’s even enough information to show an aircraft on jacks if you so wish.
Section 2 covers the evolution of the aircraft from the initial V1 all the way through to the FW 189G over 15 pages. Each version of the aircraft is shown in a 3-D diagram with notes pointing out the differences on this particular type. This covers all the prototype aircraft some of them in several different versions, along with all the production and proposed variants, many of which were never built.
Section 3 covers the various camouflage and markings used by the aircraft. It starts off with a disclaimer on just how hard it is to be absolutely certain exactly what colours are used when looking at black-and-white photographs, especially when one considers that the colours themselves may even have varied from aircraft to aircraft. There are many photographs of all the different, and interesting, paint schemes that the aircraft used and many notes on various colour schemes. There are several very interesting colour schemes displayed in this section and quite a few with winter whitewash. The colour schemes used by the aircraft in service with foreign air forces, including some captured by the Soviet Union, also mentioned. There are 6 pages of colour profiles along with a few modern colour photographs of the production engine in a museum, albeit on a different.
Section 4 contains two very detailed builds of models of the aircraft. First is a Condor 1/72 FW 189A-1, built with several aftermarket parts with a faded and worn whitewash colour scheme. This build goes into quite a lot of detail over five pages. The second build is of the Great Wall Hobby 1/48 FW189A-2. This build is done straight out of the box and is also in a faded whitewash colour scheme. This build to goes into quite a lot of detail and covers four pages. Finally there are some preview photographs and images of the 1/32 scale model due to be released in early 2015 by HPH.
There are three appendices attached to the end of the book. Appendix 1 contains lists of all the models of the FW 189 that have been released, or are due for release in the near future. Appendix 2 lists all the aftermarket accessories that are known to be available for models in the various scales. Appendix 3 is a bibliography of all publications and documents that contain information about the FW 189.
This book is an excellent asset to anyone wanting to know more about the FW189 aircraft itself. It goes into great depth and detail on all aspects of the various types of the aircraft, both internally and externally. In short, if you’re building an FW189, then this is the book for you.
Many thanks to my wallet for the book. 🙂
Paul Tosney – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com