Luftwaffe Over The Far North from Kagero

Luftwaffe Over The Far North : Part One
MINI TOPCOLORS #28
Kagero
By Maciej Goralczyk and Arkadiusz Wrobel
Available from Kagero for 72.00 zł
ISBN 978-83-62878-10-9
27.5 x 20.5cms, Full Colour Gloss Laminated Card Cover
18 Full Colour Pages Plus Decal Sheet

cover

Luftwaffe fans are certainly well catered for when it comes trying to find something different for the next model show or club night. Kagero with their MiniTopcolors #28 book have provided a further 8 painting schemes with a decal sheet to match! Printed in Polish and English, the options are:

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  • Messerschmitt Bf109E-7 'Yellow 7', Horst Carganico, Staffelkapitän 1./JG77, Petsamo, 1941
  • Messerschmitt Bf109E-7 'Red 19', flown by Josef Wirtz 5./JG5, Kirkenes-Hoybuktmoen, 1942
  • Messerschmitt Bf109F-4 'Yellow 10', flown by Fw. Hans Döbrich 6./JG5, Petsamo, 1942
  • Messerschmitt Bf109E-7, Hptm. Günther Scholz, Gruppenkommandeur III./JG5, Petsamo 1942
  • Messerschmitt Bf109G-2, Oblt. Günther Schwanecke, Stab II./JG5, Salmijärvi, 1943
  • Messerschmitt Bf109G-14 'Blue 11', flown by Uffz. Karl-Heinz Erler 16./JG5, Rygge, 1945
  • Messerschmitt Bf109G-6, Hptm. Franz Dörr, Gruppenkommandeur III./JG5, Gossen, 1945
  • Messerschmitt Bf110C-4, Oblt. Hans Kriegel, Staffelkapitän 7./ZG76, Stavanger-Sola, 1941

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The page numbering system counts the outside front cover as Page 1 and the colour profiles start on the Page numbered 4 (which is actually Page 2! – I will ask you questions later). The profiles are very well produced and with two pages for every option, you are treated to port, starboard, top and the important parts of the under-wing surfaces together with any relevant unit badges and other markings. The port and starboard views are in 1/32 scale.

You will see from the list above that there are seven Bf109 options and one for a Bf110. It is interesting to see that the publishers have split the colour profiles of the Bf110 between the last internal page (marked Page 18) and the outside back cover which shows the port and starboard fuselage views.

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The publishers have, as usual, assumed that the modeller has either the kit's main decal markings for swastikas and Balkenkreuz as they are not provided on the decal sheet which only has identifying letters and numerals together with any relevant identifying marks. The decals are in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales.

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Although the decal sheet is printed by Cartograf, I would have to say that these are from their slightly thicker period! Don't get me wrong, they are beautifully printed and the colour registration is exactly what one has come to expect from this manufacturer, it is just that they are more 'proud' than usual and they will probably settle beautifully. I commented recently on another decal sheet from Cartograf where the decals were so thin, it looked just like a page of print, but these are not the same. Strangely that was with another Kagero publication. That's the trouble with raising the bar on quality, we come to expect it every time.

So what do we think?
You can never have enough of Luftwaffe profiles and decals! So says a fan. Having said that, modellers are a really 'picky' bunch, and I include myself in this group. I feel that Kagero are providing us with very useful additional Luftwaffe after-market markings for which it is to be commended. However, 'spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar' comes to mind as I type this review. The page numbering system is strange, and the publisher has saved money by cutting down on the number of internal pages which necessitates using the outside back cover as the last page. As an ex publisher, I feel this is a retrograde step. I would also ask them to compare the Cartograf decals issued with this book to those issued with their Topdrawings #14 publication on the Arado Ar 196. There is no comparison in the quality - the difference is self-evident. It sounds like I am having a go here – I'm not really. I know there are important things like budgets, but continuity of quality is paramount for your customers. I am always very impressed with the superb print quality of books and artwork published by Kagero, a standard which many other publishers can only dream of achieving.

Even with my foregoing comments, this publication is to be recommended.

Our thanks, as ever, to Kagero Publishing for this review sample. Why not visit them on www.kagero.pl where this book/decal sheet can be purchased on-line for approximately UK£14.15

Peter Buckingham

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