Author Bryan McDermott has published his second reference work on the ’FW190 Radial Engine Paint, Markings, and Production’ this time looking at the Arado produced Butcher Bird

Bryan McDermott second book ’FW190 Radial Engine Paint, Markings, and Production’ – Arado follows up his earlier book of the production of the radial engine Fw 190 by Norddeutschen Dornier Werk [NDW]. This volume deals with the Fw 190 A-3 to A-9, and F3 to F-9 built by Arado, the second highest producer of the type. Bryan has spent 34 years sifting through documents and photographic collections from government and private sources in the US and Germany. Researching the manufacture of the Fw 190 is a complex task and the author has done well to compress as much information as possible within the 250 pages. The research begins with a brief history of Arado starting from production during WWI. There is a detailed look at production of the Fw 190 by Arado and the subcontractors. The political and military background is discussed and the not insignificant problem of Allied bombing in destroying production facilities as well as aircraft. This resulted to the widespread dispersion of manufacturing. The dispersion of the Arado factories adds to the complexity when you consider there were two sources of wings, three sources of tail assemblies, three sources for the fuselages, and at least three sources for the engines and engine cowlings just for the F-8 production alone. Then there were five airfield that dealt with final assembly and testing. Not to mention covering the development and evolution of the production, airframe, engines, markings and paintwork.

The book includes many maps, aerial photographs, and reports from Arado as well as from the occupying Allied forces.

The Arado production of the Fw 190 covered in this book is split into variants: 

.FW 190A-2- A-6 Production.

FW 190F-8 and F-9 Production.

  • Arado FW 190F 580,000- 583,285 Production.
  • Arado FW 190F 583431-584425 Production.
  • Arado FW 190F 584521-587180 Production.

The numerous separately manufactured sub-assemblies such as the fuselage, weapon cowl, wings, fuselage, and tail are all looked at, with notes on any evolution in appearance. The pre-painting of the sub-assemblies adds even more interest to the completed aircraft creating at times a mismatched look.  The size and positioning of markings as well as stencils is discussed. There are numerous images that the author has acquired over the last thirty-four years, some of which that have not been seen before. The author has picked out individual aircraft as subjects for further study. The studies include a short history, component identification, camouflage and marking. Included are colour profiles and photographs of the subject.  There are several additional illustrations depicting the various upper wing, vertical and horizontal tail, and fuselage camouflage patterns.  These provide an excellent visual cue, though there are no indications on the illustrations of the paints used. These are noted in the body of the text. An interesting subject picked out by the author is FW 190F-8/U2 W, Nr. 426050 that was used to test the suitability to carry the LTF5 an LT1200 torpedoes.

A constant throughout the book is the quantity and quality of primary resources utilised by the author. The author has studied sources from Arado, the Luftwaffe, Allied Air Forces, etc. The original written documentation from the manufacturers is included along with a translation. Equally impressive is the fifty high quality black and white photographs that have never been published. The author has created several colour profiles featuring some of the aircraft in the photos. You can see for yourself the numerous variations in markings and the sometimes-mismatched appearance of camouflage schemes. You can even attempt to draw from the photographic evidence marking options of your own to create a distinctive unique model. The aerial images provide a sense of the desperate conditions that Arado faced in trying to produce any aircraft let alone keep up with quotas.

As mentioned, the author covered the NDW production of the Fw 190 in the first volume. You can see a review of this book here. Future publications by Bryan McDermott will feature other Fw 190 production factories including Fiesler and AGO.


This is such a well-researched, detailed, and fascinating look at the production of the Fw190 A/F built by Arado. The manufacturer faced incredible challenges to build the Fw 190 under wartime conditions. Arado tried to adapt and the author details of how Arado went about it. As with any good research, primary source material including documents and photographs are utilised and there is much evidence of this within the book. The author has gone to the trouble of translating the documents into English. All in all, this is a superb reference and one I can highly recommend for any aviation historian or modeller.

FW 190 Radial engine paint, markings and production. ARADO

Publisher: ‎ Nickells Publishing (2023)

Editing and Formatting : Bryan McDermott

Illustrations: Bryan McDermott

Cover design: Bryan McDermott

ISBN 979-8-9873779-2 - 5

Language: ‎ English

Paperback: ‎ 250 pages

Available in print or digitally on Kindle from Amazon.

The review is off a PDF copy of the book supplied by Bryan McDermott. My thanks to Bryan for the copy.

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