Book Review
Airframe Detail 8 - Horten 229
The Horten Ho IX/Ho 229 (including the Gotha Go 229) - A Technical Guide
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

New from Valiant Wings comes a very interesting study of the Horten Ho 229 / Gotha Go 229. Written by Richard Franks, Airframe Detail No. 8 includes all the elements that have made the series so popular with modellers - combining a history of the subject with modelling specific material and an extensive ďwalkaroundĒ section.

The volume begins with an Introduction in the form of a useful 12-page history of the aircraft, tracing its roots back through Horten brothersí pioneering work with flying wing designs in the 1930s. The chapter traces the development of the jet-powered fighter and the plans for its production, before outlining the story of the only surviving example - the Ho IX V3 which was stored at Silver Hill for many years, including a period where is was exposed to the elements and suffered serious dilapidation, before being transferred to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Center where efforts were made to prevent further damage.

The Technical Description will undoubtedly be the reason that many modellers and enthusiasts buy the book, because itís a 30-page walkaround that covers the Horten in more detail here than Iíve found in any other book Iíve read. Thereís a mass of reference material here, with a combination of modern colour shots by Scott Willey of the V3 in storage, along with B&W period photos, plus illustrations of the various systems taken from manuals and post-war evaluation. The result is a real treasure-trove for anyone building a model of the aircraft.

The coverage breaks down into 5 main sections:

1 - Cockpit Interior & Canopy
2 - Centre-Section & Engines
3 - Undercarriage
4 - Wings
5 - Armaments, Sighting & Radio

Each is subdivided so, for instance, youíll find 4 pages devoted to cockpit shots, 6 pages covering the engines and their installations, another 5 pages of shots of the undercarriageÖ I think you get the idea; itís exactly what modellers want for detailing a kit.
Itís sad to see just how badly the only surviving example of this extraordinary aircraft has deteriorated, with rust and rot meaning that a significant amount of the airframe will have to be entirely replaced if a full restoration is ever undertaken.

Thereís plenty of inspiration for modellers in the 9-page camouflage and markings chapter, which includes a selection of profiles by Richard Caruana. Obviously, the aircraft never progressed beyond the prototype stage, so Richard takes the opportunity to explore some what-if colour schemes, ranging from how the aircraft might have looked in Luftwaffe, Hungarian and Italian service and after capture by the allies.

Thereís only one model build in this volume, but itís an excellent one. I always admire Libor Jeklís work, because he consistently manages to build 1:72 kits to such a high standard that you could easily mistake them for much larger scales. Thatís certainly true here as he tackles the 1:72 Zoukei-Mura model, which boasts a high level of interior detail that is scaled down from the companyís earlier 1:32 and 1:48 kits. I must admit Iíd never come across the kit before Liborís 7-page article, but the result is excellent as he builds it almost straight from the box, adding Eduard seatbelts and refining some of the smaller details.

Rounding everything off are 3 pages of appendices, with list of kits and accessories along with a useful bibliography.

Airframe Detail No. 8 will obviously be a very useful reference if youíre modelling the Ho 229 in any scale, but it will also appeal to aircraft enthusiasts and deserves a place on the shelves of anyone with an interest in the Luftwaffe.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: A nice balance between historical and modelling-specific material. The walk-around section is a goldmine of detailed shots for super-detailers.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: The Ho 229 has entered the realm of conspiracy theories with talk of "Luftwaffe Stealth Fighters" - but, whether you're a modeller or pure aircraft enthusiast, this book is a reasonably priced goldmine of factual information.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781912932108
  Suggested Retail: £13.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 09, 2020

Our Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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