From Kagero we have the newest tittle in their 3D series – Monographs 3D Edition No 47 - Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe vol. II in which the popular in depth Monograph series is added to with excellent 3D computer renders of the aircraft it is depicting. Is the 3D innovation helpful to modellers or a distraction – Is it good or a gimmick? Let’s look at it more and see. (Ohh – and no need to bring your glasses with this lot!)
Kagero - Monographs - 3D Edition No 47 - Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe vol. II
Written by: Marek J. Murawski, Marek Ryś
English and Polish text.
Pages: 100 with 58 pictures + 29 in colour + 48 3D Renders
Format: Soft cover A4 (210x297 mm)
ISBN: 978 83 62878 08 6
RRP: US$28.29 from The Kagero Bookshop online
Kagero have delivered to us the second in their Monograph series on the Me 262 but this time with an added twist – fourty eight computer renderings of two different ‘262’s with internal and external views – close ups and portraits of these ground breaking planes. This book follows on from Part I of this series which explains more of the origin and initial beginnings of the aircraft along with scale plans.
I must say that the 3D parts aren’t the whole book – there is a lot more to this title – history, tactics, and operational records, a full colour walk around and aircraft profiles. So ill go through each section part by part to better illustrate what is inside.
In a softcover A4 format this book is at the start no different from other titles in Kagero’s range. Glossy paper and a very nice looking book from the title to the excellent photographs chosen well to reflect the text without a lot of digging for what you are reading about. The photographs in the first section I think will be well known to most Me 262 “experten” but are welcome to most as they illustrate effectively what is being described in the text. I like the fact that the 100 pages are just in English text as to have half of the space lost to a translation seems a waste to me - dual text just makes reading a book a chore (unless you only understand the non English text that is) – there are no glossary points to flick backward and forward too which is nice. This book is easy to read and sometimes a little brief – but not ever vague and the best parts are in the pilot accounts as always it seems to me.
The first part of the book revolves around the production and experimental aircraft in the series of the history of the Me 262, of which a lot is made of each of the different variants of pre-production craft. This is an informative though brief rundown of each variant and does describe the good and bad points of each variant for the main part.
Me 262 in combat covers the rest of the pages in this - the 43 page of the book that is filed with text and black and white photos. Several units and their operations are described in detail here and by far this is the best “text” part of the book. Pilot’s accounts on both of the allied and German side are really interesting and draw you into the book. It is a shame there isn’t more of this – just full of pilot accounts on their experience would be a unique selling point. I am glad that this part I in the book. There are also four colour shots of the ‘262 at the rear of this section that are excellent.
The next part of the book is the showpiece of the tittle. There are thirty five pictures of the ‘262 both in portrait and in close up and in detail. The computer animation is very impressive - you could say if you built a model to this standard you would be doing a great job! The outsides of the model are shown off very nicely from all angles, there are two aircraft shown here – both the day and nightfighter versions camouflages are exposed and are a great help to a modeller.
The insides of the cockpit and the gun bays are shown in great detail and again are a boon to a modeller building this as a kit. I am not 100% sure about all of the colours – but lests face it no one else can be either – but the detail shown here is really well presented and accurate to pictures of the aircraft I know
Radars of the nightfighter are shown here both externally and internally which was an eye opener to me. It does get you in the mood to make your own version and it’s a great inspiration to those who may be pondering details and what option to use on their kit.
A gimmick or great - I for one thing the addition of this 3D series of diagrams is a great success and hope that Kagero keep doing this as I like it very much. This is not the end of the book though – Ohh no still twenty pages of good stuff – next is the colour walk around…
The walkaround is in full colour and the single subject is a Me 262 B-1a Werke number 110 639 Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1a at the Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum at NAS JRB Willow Grove - this is a pristine two seat ‘262 of which there are several pictures already available on the internet – but not many in a series like this around. The pictures of this restored bird are excellent and show all internal spaces that you would need to model like the engine intakes, gun ports and wheel wells – but unfortunately they do not show the insides of the cockpit and the gun ports – this would have been a good counterbalance to the 3D pictures – Still the gallery is good to have
The last part of this book has several top down and side on profiles in colour of the Me 262 - These are the same aircraft of which were shown in the 3D section and are really just icing on the cake.
All in all a great book and worthy tool to a modeller – a little more of the pilot stories will always appreciated if there would be a part three – though I cannot imagine how much more of the aircraft you could uncover after these to editions! Nice work and recommended from me to all and especially any Me 262 fans out there.
Thanks to Kagero for supplying us with this book