Valiant Wings Publishing | Airframe Album 16: The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
Valiant Wings Publishing has just released the 16th instalment in its Airframe Album series, entitled The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (inc. Me 210 & Me 310): A Detailed Guide To The Last Zestörer. In common with previous titles in the series, this one is authored by Richard A. Franks, a well-known name in modelling and aviation publishing.
The first thing that strikes you with this book is the terrific cover art by Arkadiusz Wróbel. The presentation of material in this book is impressive throughout. Photographs are generally clear and crisply reproduced, as are the isometric line drawings by Wojciech Sankowski. The colour profiles by Richard Caruana are handsomely rendered.
The content itself is organised into five main sections plus an introduction and appendices:
- 1. Technical Description
- 2. Evolution - Prototype, Production and Projected Variants
- 3. Projected Development of the Me 410
- 4. Camouflage & Markings
- 5. Model
- I. Me 210/Me 410 Kit List
- II. Me 210/Me 410 Accessories, Decals & Masks List
- III. Bibliography
It should be evident from the list of contents alone that this title is aimed squarely at the modeller. There's plenty here for aviation enthusiasts and Me 410 aficionados too, but the emphasis is on providing the modeller with copious data and as much detail as possible.
The Technical Description section of the book is packed with period photographs, technical drawings and contemporary restoration images. The airframe is covered pretty comprehensively from nose to tail, with special emphasis on those areas of the most interest to modellers: cockpit and engine.
The section on the evolution of the airframe gives a concise but very clear overview of the development of the Me 210, and its eventual evolution into the Me 410. New to this edition of the series is a dedication section on projected developments of the Me 410, which are dealt with separately, as none ever made it past the drawing board.
The Camouflage and Markings section covers the type's use by the Luftwaffe, as well as its use by foreign air forces, and post-war evaluation by enemy powers. A decent selection of period photographs is accompanied by a selection of colour profiles. A stencil placement guide in 1/48 scale is also included.
I'd like to see larger versions of some of the photos, but that's a perennial constraint that all aviation publications have to deal with, and hardly a criticism.
The final of the main sections of the book features but a single model build, which sees Steve Evans tackle the Meng 1/48 scale kit. Apart from some very well done additional wiring on the engines, Evans turns out a very nice example straight out of the box.
It's a shame that there aren't more model builds featured in the book, as there have been with previous instalments in the Airframe Album series, but it's not explicitly a modelling instructional series in any case, so I can understand the decision from that perspective.
The final section is the Appendices, and these follow the customary pattern for this series of books, in outlining what options the modeller has in terms of kits, accessories and decals for producing a scale replica Me 210 or Me 410. The HpH resin kit is obviously the main contender in 1/32 scale or greater, though a couple of vacuform kits do loiter in the dusty shadows of history, along with two versions of the long-defunct Scratchbuilders resin kit.
The book rounds things out with a bibliography of existing titles covering the Me 210/410, which serves as a handy launch pad for further research into the type.
Here's a small selection of sample pages, courtesy of Valiant Wings:
This is a detailed, comprehensive and modeller-friendly title. If you're building, or intend to build, a model of the Messerschmitt Me 210/410 in any scale, this book will prove invaluable, and I highly recommend it. It will certainly come in handy when I eventually tackle my HpH 1/32 scale kit!
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2020
This review was published on Sunday, November 29 2020; Last modified on Sunday, November 29 2020