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Wings of the Black Cross No.10


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Wings of the Black Cross No.10


Mark Proulx
Eagle Editions
Available from Eagle Editions for $19.95

 

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For those that do not know this series, Wings of the Black Cross are short books (this one is 36 pages) covering the Luftwaffe, containing many rare and previously unseen photos. Compiled by Mark Proulx, these books are from the Eagle Editions stable run by Jerry Crandall, which many of you will already know from the Eagle Cals decal series.

 

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The format is a relatively simple one: there are typically two pictures per page, accompanied by a brief description, of a particular Luftwaffe subject. The aircraft are not displayed in any particular chronological order, or indeed by type. There is a particularly heavy emphasis on late war subjects, with the pictures often taken at Allied 'dumps', where airframes were quite literally piled up after the war. That being said, the spread of subjects in this volume stretch from various transport, reconnaissance and bomber types, to the more common fighters that one would expect to see. Some of the aircraft are experimental prototypes or quite rare production models, and there are pictures from North Africa and German occupied Europe, as well Germany and Austria immediately post war. Some of the pictures are quite grainy, whilst others are of stunningly good quality.

 

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In addition to the photos, there are also some beautiful colour profiles at the end of the book. There are six here, and they are all of subjects whose photographs are in the book. The profiles are side-on, single side only, but come with short descriptions as to colours and particular features. I am usually rather suspicious when it comes to profile renditions - experience and research has shown the majority of profiles one sees are inaccurate and sloppy, but in this case I think that Ms Proulx and Crandall have enough experience of Luftwaffe subjects that we can use these profiles with a fair degree of confidence. Of course, one can never be 100% sure unless one has pictures covering a subject from a number of different angles, so there is scope for a bit of modellers discretion and interpretation should you wish.

 

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Understandably I won't describe all the pictures in the book, but here is a list of just some of the types covered - it is quite large as you can see:

  • Bf109 E, G and K
  • Fw189; Fw190 A and F
  • Fw200; Me262
  • Bf110 D and G
  • Me262; Me410
  • He111 H
  • He177
  • Ju88 A, G and R
  • Ju288
  • Ar196
  • Ar232
  • Ju52
  • Ju290...and so on

In amongst all of the above there were a few subjects that really stood out for me. There is a Bf109 G-6 with short tail, Erla haube and large upper wing bulges which makes for a most unusual combination, but nonetheless eminently doable in all of the main modelling scales given a few spare parts. For fans of jets and natural metal finishes, there is a Me262 which was surrendered by a 'defecting' test pilot near war's end, although how you represent the puttied and in-filled panel lines will require some thought and perhaps additional references. The Ju52 looks almost like a Luft 46 creation - it appears to have a Bf109 G series nose section and engine grafted on the front in place of its regular engine! Finally, I quite like some of the Luftwaffe's larger aircraft, and there are quite a number of shots of both Fw200 and also the He177.

 

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Conclusion
A great little book. If you just like perusing interesting photos of Luftwaffe subjects, then you'll find plenty to keep you occupied. I think the book's real value, however, is to modellers: for those seeking to make something that isn't a Marseille 109 or a Rudel Stuka, or if you are just looking for inspiration, then this book - and this series - is well worth it.

 

Highly recommended

 

With thanks to Jerry and Judy Crandall at Eagle Editions for the review sample. To buy directly, click THIS link.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

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