Wednesday, November 30

Review - Kagero miniTopColors no.26 Battle of Britain Part III - Decal and Book set

For the other part of Kagero’s miniTopcolors release this month is the German’s turn – the great aircraft of the Luftwaffe at the part of the Battle of Britain are covered here in reference and decal for – have they run out of ideas on this the third part of the Luftwaffe B.O.B. trilogy?
Let’s have a look!


Kagero - miniTopColors no.26 Battle of Britain Part III
Written by: Maciej Goralczyk, Janusz Swiatlon & Arkadiusz Wrobel
English and Polish text.
Pages: 20
Decal schemes: 8
Decal scales: 1/72, 1/48 & 1/32
ISBN: 978-8362878055
RRP: 12.80 Euro - Currently on sale!
 The latest in the MiniTopcolors series No 26 “Battle of Britain Part III from Kagero features eight aircraft all from the Luftwaffe each in a double page soft covered spread in landscape A4 format (of 20 pages) – those  are the facts – lets delve a little deeper.

Of the eight aircraft from the German WWII Luftwaffe six are E Model ME-109s, there is one BF 110C and an Heinkel He 111P2 ( just in time eh?) and of these aircraft all – yes all have a decal to match their schemes which are represented on two pages for each aircraft. The planes are shown in side and top down views with the exception of the He 111P2 which is shown on a lovely two page spread in the middle of the book (watch for the staples boys) – Which is almost good enough to put on your wall!
All of the decals are made in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales, though again the He 111p is the sole stand out in that there are no decal choices for the 1/48th kit of this type included – I suppose it may have been a space thing as the more “hot” item was a new 1/32 Revell He 111P rather than any of the choices of this aircraft in 1/48th which are not as “popular” right now lets say!
This book/decal combo is the third in the series of all Luftwaffe aircraft which I prefer over RAF types to be honest – and I think is good sense as if you want spitfires - well they are in another book . The only thing that is a little odd is the mixture of types – as many like to specialize and have a few choices of that particular aircraft type. I suppose the choice for something different is here if you want it and it’s a plus or minus depending on if you have a few different schemes to find for alternative aircraft.
The aircraft double page spreads also have on them the close-up mascot and emblems from each aircraft so you can see their peculiars – I would not mind a few more pictures instead of these but with the limited space format they are more eye-catching than a black and white picture that I suppose you could not tell a real aircraft colouring from anyway so Kagero have made the commercially sensible decision here.

The profiles are skilfully illustrated and look great with the weathering of each aircraft included. The references for these aircraft are as well in the front of the book on the first page so if you need to go deeper into the subjects you can.
The aircraft in this edition cover many prominent Luftwaffe types – they are in order of appearance…

  • Bf 109 E-3; 'White Chevron', flown by Hptm. Hubertus von Bonin Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54, Eindhoven, early summer 1940
  • Bf 109 E-4; W.Nr. 5274, 'White 15', flown by Ofw.Werner Machold of 1./JG 2 Beaumont-le-Roger, summer 1940
  • Bf 109 E-4; W.Nr. 1159, 'White 7', flown by Lt. Josef Burschgens of 7./JG 26, Caffiers, 11 August 1940
  • Bf 109 E-4; 'White 11', flown by Lt. Alfons Raich of 7./JG 3, Desvres, September 1940
  • Bf 109 E-4; 'White 8', flown by Hptm. Hans-Karl Mayer, Gruppenkommandeur of I./ JG 53, Etaples, September 1940
  • Bf 109 E-4/B; 'Black 6' of 5./JG 51, Mardyck, autumn 1940
  • He 111 P-2; W.Nr. 2149, coded 'G1+JL' of 3./KG 55, France, summer 1940
  • Bf 110 C-2; W.Nr. 3533, coded 'L1+LL' of 15.(Z)/LG 1, crew: pilot - Oblt. Otto Weckeiser, radio operator - Uffz. Horst Brugow; Socketts Manor, Oxted, 27 September 1940
The decals to match these aircraft are printed by Cartograf the industry leaders (well one of them) and SHOULD go on pretty well – they are strong in colour density, sharp and are well reproduced and are in register and you see this in most reviews – but how can most people actually tell about the set they are reviewing?

Well we will have a look of how they adhere to a plastic kit – I have tried this time some 1/48 decals of tactical numbers and emblems in a few different contrasts to see how they go.

The decals held against the light to show you thickness before they are applied – notice the thickness here and the minimizing of carrier film – Good! I don’t much care for excess carrier film so that’s a box ticked already for me.
As you can see the thick decal has thinned out nicely and adhered to the plastic while conforming correctly around the rivets and also into the creases as shown here. These surfaces have been coated with future and weathered over FYI so they look like the real thing..
 The white is not at all see-through and the colour integrity is there to see.
A great book/decal set especially for lovers of the Bf-109 and Battle of Britain aircraft. The national markings re a minor omission but sometimes hard to track down your specific aircraft, so check you can get them. Otherwise a great match up of modeller’s reference, decals and a short and informative read – I liked it a lot.

Thanks to Kagero for supplying us with this decal and book combo