Valiant Wings Publishing | Airframe & Miniature No. 9: The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Second Edition)
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
UK publisher Valiant Wings Publishing released the first edition of The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil: A Complete Guide to The Luftwaffe's Fastest Piston-engine Fighter in 2016, and we reviewed it here on LSP at the time. This updated and expanded second edition contains an additional build of the Zoukei-Mura 1/32 Do 335A-12 kit. As with the first edition, the author is Richard Franks, and the illustrations are shared between Richard Caruana and Wojciech Sankowski.
The first thing that struck me when I picked up this book was how heavy it is; this new edition adds a further 16 pages to the original 144, topping out at 160 pages plus a gatefold section of scale drawings. It's extremely well printed on quality glossy paper, and the reproduction of all drawings and photographs is first-class.
The contents are broken up into nine separate chapters, grouped into two distinct sections:
- Airframe Chapters
- Evolution - Do 335 Prototypes
- Evolution - The A-series
- Evolution - The B-series
- Projects and Drawing-Board Designs
- Camouflage and Markings
- Miniature Chapters
- Do 335 Kits
- Building a Selection
- Building a Collection
- In Detail: The Do 335
There is also a preface, along with a collection of appendices at the rear of the book:
- Do 335 Kit List
- Do 335 Accessory List
- Do 335 Decal & Mask List
The sample images below (courtesy Valiant Wings Publishing) should give a good indication of the nature and style of the book's contents:
While not mentioned in the table of contents, the Preface weighs in at a substantial 20 pages (up from 14), and describes a potted history of the Do 335, and provides useful support for the subsequent technical information.
The sequence of chapters covering the evolution of the airframe spans 25 pages, and consist of brief summaries supported by crisply-rendered greyscale profile drawings. They are clear and easy to follow, and form a handy guide for discerning what features distinguished which variants.
The Camouflage & Markings section includes a cross-reference paint chart for both acrylics (Gunze, Lifecolor, Tamiya, and Xtracrylix) and enamels (Humbrol, Revell, White Ensign, and Xtracolor). This is a feature of nearly all Valiant Wings publications, and is very handy indeed.
The colour profiles that end this section are by Richard Caruana, and cover six pages in all. The artwork is very well done, and a small selection of non-Luftwaffe schemes is included.
Chapter 6 features a brief description of the commonly available Do 335 model kits. In 1/32 scale, all extant versions from both HK Models and Zoukei-Mura kit are covered. It's amazing to think that we now have several choices for 1/32 Do 335 kits, with more on the way!
The modelling section features a kit build in each of 1/72 (Revell/Dragon A-1 by Libor Jekl), 1/48 (Tamiya A-12 by Steve Evans, and 1/32 (HK Models B-2 by Dani Zamarbide) scales. These builds are extremely well done, and will serve as inspiration and guidance for our own Do 335 builds when we get to them. Evans' natural metal A-12 is particularly striking!
Added for the second edition is a terrific build of the Zoukei-Mura 1/32 Do 335A-12 kit, again by Steve Evans. Evans exploits the clear plastic the major airframe components of this kit come moulded in, and creates a 'half and half' build, with the starboard side painted as you normally would, while the port side is left in unpainted clear plastic. This nicely shows off all the internal detail the kit comes with, and is a great way to both take advantage of the kit's clear plastic, and ensure that all that internal detail doesn't go to waste.
Chapter 8 is called Building a Collection, and features a series of annotated isometric 3D line drawings by Wojciech Sankowski. These are designed to illustrate the salient differences between the various prototype and pre-production airframes as the series developed, and form a perfect companion to the earlier 'evolution' chapters.
Chapter 9, In Detail, features an extensive selections of photographs and diagrams, including a series of walkaround detail photos of the sole surviving Do 335. Many of the images have been published previously, but many more have not. The walkaround photos have been taken with a modeller's eye, which is not only welcome, but very handy.
The four appendices cover the usual list of available kits, aftermarket, decals, and mask sets, as well as a concise bibliography for further research.
At the very back of the book, secured inside the rear cover, is a set of 1/48 scale Do 335 plans in gatefold format. These are printed on heavy, non-glossy plain stock, and cover the following airframes:
- Dornier Do 335 V1
- Dornier Do 335 V3
- Dornier Do 335 M13
- Dornier Do 335 A-1
- Dornier Do 335 A-10
These are drawn by Richard Caruana and look very nicely done.
This second edition includes an additional 16 pages over the first, most of which deals with the 1/32 scale kit from Zoukei-Mura. Not being a Do 335 expert, I can't give a considered evaluation of the accuracy or veracity of the text itself, and so will leave that to more knowledgeable readers. All elements of the book ooze quality, however, from the clear photography to the beautiful profiles and the detailed scale plans. Contemporary photographs are plentiful and very nicely reproduced. Overall it's an impressive attempt to be the Complete Guide the title alludes to, and a worthwhile re-release for those who missed it first time around. Recommended!
© Kevin Futter 2018
This review was published on Tuesday, December 18 2018; Last modified on Tuesday, December 18 2018