Messerschmitt Bf 109F – G-4

HT Model Special No. 914
By Jozef And'al
HT Model, ©2007
ISSN 1335-3667
Softbound, 168 Pages

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

The latest from HT Model returns to the famous Bf 109 family, with this title covering the F model through to the G-4. As such, it forms a great complement to their existing titles, nestling between their book on the Bf 109B, D, & E and their book on the Bf 109G-6. Like those earlier titles, this book presents the aircraft in an incredibly thorough manner, making this a title well worth having.

The book begins with a brief overview of the variants covered. Each variant gets a small text description, generally only a line or two. Following this is another small section outlining the foreign users, including those nations that captured aircraft. It is here that the text effectively ends, and the real meat of the book shows up. In earlier HT Model publications, the pages were packed with photos and drawings, sometimes as many as a dozen per page. That is not the case here, but that is not to say that the content is any less. In fact, the page count is higher because those same photos that would have been printed smaller to fit more on a page are now much larger, with maybe six photos per page. The result is that the detail is much more visible, making this an outstanding reference.

The photo pages (and drawings: this book has many excellent drawings from service manuals, also printed at a decent size) start out with the canopy. Three pages of drawings and 22 photos illustrate nothing but the canopy, and the rest of the aircraft gets equal coverage. From the canopy the book moves to the cockpit (21 pages of photos and drawings there), then on to the guns and the engine. At this point, the book is almost halfway done, so you can imagine just how good the coverage is on those subjects. The rest of the book covers the fuselage assembly, both inside and out, interior fittings such as the radio, wing assembly and internal structures, including the radiators and landing gear, and tailplane details. Virtually no angle is left unseen in these pages.

But wait, there's more! Following the detailed photo and drawing coverage, there are several pages devoted to the foreign operators of the Bf 109F – G-4 family. While their usage in the Luftwaffe is amply covered in other books, the photos presented here offer a slightly different view, and present some attractive alternatives to a German Bf 109. Finally, there is a small photo section outlining museum examples of the type, of which there are a fair number. While the photo coverage is basically finished at this point, the book continues on with several pages of detailed scale drawings, followed by several more pages (as well as the inside front and rear covers) of nice color profile illustrations.

For those who love Messerschmitts, there is no reason whatsoever that you should not get this book. The detail is outstanding and will make detailing and painting your next Bf 109 kit much easier. Highly recommended. My thanks to HT Model for the review sample. Visit their website for a local distributor.

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