Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1 ‘Concept Note SWS II’ from Zoukei-mura

Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1 ‘Concept Note SWS II’

124 pages, Colour and Black & White, with fold out plan.
Available directly from Zoukei-mura for ¥3300
ISBN 978-4-903596-07-5

フォッケウルフTa152H-1コンセプトノートSWS II

ISBN 978-4-903596-07-5


Before I begin proper on this review, I feel that I need to explain that I do have an ‘interest’ in this book, so to speak. That interest being that my completed Ta 152 kit and build article are published within. It will be a little strange to review this with that in mind, but the reasons for doing so will become plainly evident during this article.




When Zoukei-mura released their much anticipated 1/32 Ta 152H-1 kit towards the end of last year, I think those of us who knew ZM enough through their previous release already knew that they would produce a ‘Concept Note’ title for this, as they did with their Shinden release. To that end, we haven’t been disappointed.

造形村が、昨年末、待望の1/32 Ta152H-1キットをリリースした時点で、震電の時にも出版されましたから、震電以来、造形村を良く知る方は、このキットにもコンセプトノートが出るだろう事をもうお察しだったかと思います。という事で、我々のアテが外れる事はありませんでしたね。



The idea around the ‘Concept Note’ book, is to present not just a tome in which to show various examples of that model in built stages, but to also give a source of rare and immaculate reference photographs, sketches and text, plus notes from the kit designers themselves on how to get the best from their kit release with a ‘warts and all’ pictorial, full of hints and tips. If you’ve seen the Shinden book, you’ll both know this and what an excellent reference it is for those who are simply just Shinden fans.


The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 book comes in with a slightly larger page count than its predecessor, and again as beautifully presented with a glossy cover, protected by a high quality textured sleeve jacket depicting a semi-transparent build of the Ta 152 kit, and then bound with a beautifully produced narrow ‘slip’ with the title and company logo.



The book is divided into a Foreword, Afterword and 4 intervening chapters, these being:

  • Chapter 1: Explaining the craft itself
  • Chapter 2: Creating a kit while investigating the actual craft
  • Chapter 3: Various Ways to Approach Enjoyment of the Ta 152
  • Chapter 4: Expanding the World of the Ta 152, Even Wider, Even Deeper


  • 第一章:実機解説
  • 第二章:実機を検証しながらキット製作する
  • 第三章:さまざまなアプローチによるTa152の楽しみ方
  • 第四章:より広く、深く広がるTa152の世界


Looking at the opening pages first will give you an idea behind the genesis of this kit, and the mind-set of those who developed it, including the initial concept of Mr Hideyuki Shigeta, whose idea to create the Ta 152 kit was the teams inspiration. Just to ease minds though, the text in the majority of this book is given in both English and Japanese, so please don’t fear a book you won’t be able to read if you don’t speak Japanese! Some opening words from the Development team will explain to you their ideas and reasoning behind wanting to bring this rare, yet iconic machine to life through their kit.




In the intervening pages, until the first chapter proper, we are treat to a full colour gallery of photos of the Ta 152 model, finished by the Zoukei-mura team themselves, taken on an atmospheric black background, with some text notation included.


The first opening chapter is every Ta 152 fans dream! Good photographs of the sole surviving Ta 152 are uncommon, with the Eagle Editions Ta 152 book being the best book to date solely for the developmental history of the Ta 152, with some great photographs too. This book, however, is written by a team who designed a model kit, and as a result, the photographs and sketches inside are aimed at the scale modeller.

最初の章は、まさしく全てのTa152ファンの夢です!現存する唯一のTa152の良い写真というのは一般的ではありません、Ta152の開発史のみについてのEagle Editions のTa152本が、素晴らしい写真も掲載されており、唯一の良い本でした。しかし、コンセプトノートはモデルキットをデザインしたチームが執筆した訳ですから、結果、掲載されている写真やスケッチはスケールモデラーにうってつけなのです。



A brief history of the Ta 152 is given, and then the Pièce de résistance of this book really begins with detailed explanations of all the different areas of the Ta 152’s construction, systems and design. As well as a vast number of high quality and high resolution photographs taken by the Zoukei-mura team which show the Ta 152 as never before, excellent accompanying text explains the various shots, highlighting, where applicable, the various technical aspects of this machines design, and pointing out the differences, where they may occur, between the H-0 machine studied, and the H-1 machine which was produced as a kit.


One major difference between the versions is the wooden tail of the H-0, and the unparalleled access the team have been given, extends to opening all the various hatches and ports to get closer and more detailed shots of these rare areas than you will have seen to date. Interesting is the picture showing the tail-wheel gear door open on the wooden fin, showing the crude construction of the access door etc.



The Ta 152 used for study, as most modellers will know, isn’t in a state of completion; the wings are stored separately from the fuselage. However, access had been granted to access these wings and many rare photos were taken of various construction aspects, including the main spar, wheel bays and the interior forward area, just aft of the engine cowl. These pictures as a treasure trove of welcome information for what is still quite a mysterious machine to Luftwaffe fans.


Unusual shots of the fuselage interior with cables and services passing through the protective red cloth ‘boot’, into the tail of the machine, are amongst photos which will surely delight modellers and non-modelling enthusiasts of this machine.



As well as this, and those superb sketches of the different systems and armament of the Ta 152, a section within the first chapter is also devoted to the paint used for the aircraft, delving into different aspects of the application of the RLM colours, and also showing these colours on a ‘chip’ table. Colour representation looks very good, despite the usual problems associated with precise colour reproduction in print.


Chapter 2 deals with the construction of a complete model Ta 152, showing the various sequences in colour, with developer text accompanying, which not only explains the best way to achieve a successful result, but also gives tips and hints on how to achieve this with different techniques, again highlighted for ease of understanding. The kits instruction manual can only give so much information, and seeing how the guys who know this kit the most intimately would do it is a real eye opener, even to a seasoned modeller. Any modeller who says he knows it all or professes his own genius isn’t open to new ways of achieving a result. A good modeller always plagiarises ideas, and there is plenty here to plagiarise.




Yet more photos of the real Ta 152 are interspersed with the build sequence so that  you can draw useful comparisons to your own work without having to flick back and forth for information. A photo showing the arrangement of the feed chutes for the fuselage mounted MK108 cannon is useful due to its relatively complex nature. Nowhere have I seen detail like this, and you most surely can’t go wrong both assembly and finish of the various sub-assemblies of your own Zoukei-mura kit.


Again, the unprecedented access that ZM have had on this machine makes this book worth the money alone. This really is a Luftwaffe modellers dream. I can’t stress that enough. Every minutiae of detail, down to the windscreen wash tubes and their route down into the area forward of the canopy, are shown.


Tips on painting and finishing the model are also shown. Several of the models in this book, created by the developer/finishing team, I saw personally while in Kyoto, and the standards are very high. You could certainly do far worse than to follow the tips supplied to you in this chapter.



Chapter 3 is an amalgamation on builds of the Ta 152 kit, created by various modellers globally, mine included, and kicks off with an amazing ‘Bare-Metal’ foil finish of this kit, by expert modeller Naoki  Kobayashi. In his build, he explains the various ways he completed the internal areas of the model, before then explaining his absolutely stunning all-metal finish.


An amazing ‘conversion’ of the Ta 152 kit to Fw 190V-29/U1, by modeller Michihiro Tamenori provides some excellent and inspirational reading. This is followed by a build of ‘Yellow 7’, by myself, ‘Long Winged Eagle’ by David Francis, an a fantastic build of ‘Green 9’ by French builder, Jean-Paul Poisseroux, with some fabulous diorama setting photography.

モデラー、為則通洋氏によるTa152キットのFw190V-29/U1への素晴らしいコンバージョンは秀逸で刺激的な読み物です。そして、私の作例「Yellow 7」、デイヴィッド・フランシス氏による「Long Winged Eagle」、フランスのモデラー、ジャン-ポール・ポワセロゥ氏による優れたジオラマ写真付きの「Green 9」と続きます。

Chapter 4 is actually quite a small chapter, and unfortunately, written only in Japanese. This shouldn’t be an issue though as it’s almost a ‘bonus’, written as a fictional story regarding the men involved with the Ta 152 in the closing stages of the war. A few nifty artworks are included here too.



Finally, the Afterword is ZM’s Presidents thoughts on the Ta 152, and it’s concept, and the looking forward to of the A-1H Skyraider. Adjacent to this is a fold out drawing of the Ta 152 in 1/48 scale, with special attention given to specific areas which are labelled, and cross sectional reference is also given.


So what do we think?
For the reference material alone, this book is a goldmine and worth every penny of its asking price. Couple this with the developers build article and extra reference material, then you really are onto a winner. The different modellers interpretations of the kit too are an inspiration and add the icing to an already stunning looking cake. Very highly recommended.


Our sincere thanks to Zoukei-mura for the review sample used here, and to Bailey, Kayo and Ken. To buy this directly, click THIS link.


For those who pre-ordered their copy of this book, a choice was given of 4 different ‘Photo Sets’, each including 3 quality pictures taken by the ZM team while studying the Ta 152 for their kit. The options were ‘Wings’, ‘Cockpit’, ‘Engine’ and fuselage. These are presented in a beautiful textured paper wallet, complete with the SWS logo printed in silver. Zukei-mura have said that any left after the pro-orders would be distributed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and they will try to give you the set you want until they have none left. Of course, if your set isn’t remaining, they will send a different set. These bonus items are fantastic, and below you will see a small reproduction of what these sets look like, without compromising the copyright of the photos.





In short, if you want this book, order now to try and secure yourself a set of these photos for your collection.



Many thanks to Volks USA for the wonderful translation of this review into Japanese.