Saturday, December 3

Review - Vintage Eagle publishing – Captured Eagles Vol. I.

A really interesting book and decal set has emerged this month – from new publishing house Vintage Eagle Publications this is a book studying the aircraft that were surrendered to – found or “grabbed” by the allies at the closing stages of the European war against Germany in the west. Is it a book with lots of wrecked aircraft or a tale of secret technology stealing shenanigans or is it? Do you buy the book to compliment the decals or the other way around? Let’s have a look at the book today and see how it fares…

Vintage Eagle Publishing – Captured Eagles German WWII Aircraft Captured By the Allies - Vol. I.
Product Code: VE001B
Written by: Roger S Gaemperle
English text.
Pages: 71
ISBN: 97883033030077
RRP: €24.90 (First 2500 books individually numbered)

The first (as Implied by “Vol. I” in the title) of many books by new publisher Vintage Eagle is something that will no doubt please a lot of the model buying public – It is called “Captured Eagles German WWII Aircraft Captured By the Allies - Vol. I.” and is a seventy-two page page soft covered 297x210cm format book that comes either by itself as a stand-alone publication or you can choose to compliment it  with an accompanying set of decals plus some dry transfers printed by Hobbydecals to go along with them in 1/48 and 1/32 scales.

Today let us concentrate on the book as well apply the decals to something tomorrow – the book itself comes in an attractive glossy covered and striking green coloured package of black and white photos (85) with some six coloured snaps thrown in  of old and four new pictures of modern relics of these aircraft thrown in. There are eight colour profiles illustrated by the talented Simon Schatzto better illustrate the aircraft being portrayed in the book’s text..

A book like this is often a success when it is great text mixed with great and/or unseen photographs – well from the start I won’t josh you – the author has done both! Where a small description of the image is sufficient Roger gives you pretty much all you need to know on the subjects in the captions numbered to go along with them. Thankfully these captions are not separated from the pictures by too many pages. I have a few of these books about the last gasps of the Luftwaffe – and most of them tell you something you already have found out. This book shows you pictures you have never seen before and gives you a wealth of info on their story.

….About the photos – great! They all look like they could be of much larger print size and the reproduction here is flawless - the images look often like they have been taken only recently. Nearly every one of these snaps have never been published before and I like the way that the author explains his process of deliberation to access from evidence he has, and research which colour the aircraft in shot actually is. The case of the He 162s at the rear of the book and his explanation of how colours change when different types of film are used is just one example of this. The profiles to match this machine and other in the book are very well executed – with all of the explained peculiarities included. Top marks for such good artwork – and while we are on the artwork I liked the little cartoons in the book and thru the website as well which are in a “stars and stripes” comic format – they match the many pictures of American G.I.’s sitting inside cockpits gurning with German goggles on!

This book though is not all Americans looking at wrecked and captured German aircraft - Roger highlights little details of which you may not have noticed about features in shot as well as aircraft or features in the background. One I never would have spotted has hidden in a clearing by the look of it half a mile down the road – it is clear he has gone over these images in great detail with probably a large magnifying glass – I don’t know anyone else who would have any better knowledge on these particular aircraft at this time as the author has been able to glean from this precious source material.

To keep everything in a little bit of order the author has divided the book into several sections showing different classes of aircraft, they are –
·         Reconnaissance
·         Bombers
·         Ground attack
·         Destroyers
·         Fighters
·         Jets
·         Nightfighters
·         Mistel
·         Under Allied Flag

In each of these sections the author has a brief explanation of the uses for each of the aircraft and circumstances and places where they were captured or discovered. It serves as a good counterpart to the text which is numbered as are the pictures for easy recognition. The only thing I think would be made better in this book is sometimes the text is so much that the pictures are a page or so away from the description, not a big deal but it’s good to “drink in” the atmosphere of these pictures as you are pointed out things in the description sometimes.

Vintage eagle have also added a section on their website in their update section for every picture in the book so you can add any extra knowledge you know about that particular subject or the circumstances of it. I like this aspect of their work it shows that they accept they cannot possibly know everything about these pictures and knowledge shared is better than just handed out. Vintage eagle also offer you to enter in your pictures of kits made with their decals to be submitted to their site – so get crackin! Here is an amazing Fw 190 - the first as shown on their site - the gauntlet has been thrown down modellers...

Another Vintage Eagle title is in the works with some photos of a Ju 388 prototype, a JG 300 Bf 109 G-10 with Reichsverteidigung bands, an fw190D and also Bf 109G of Kampfgerschwader unit emblem on it as well as a study on the HS 129 and a plan for a pictorial on the ME 262 – the future looks good for this company.

I thought this book was on par with other similar books out there right now and in some ways – especially the breakthrough on the research on some of the aircrafts features and colours it really is one I’ll keep in my collection. A great book – I am looking forward to seeing how the decals fare on plastic…

– as for the decals that go along with it – they will be at this link for  both the 1/48th and 32 scales

The decal sheets to accompany this book in are available singularly or as a package with the book - the options are below..
Captured Eagles Vol. 1 is available in three forms, priced as follows:

Captured Eagles Vol. 1- Book - Price: €24.90
Captured Eagles Vol. 1 - 1:48 Decals - Price €14.90
Captured Eagles Vol. 1 - 1:32 Decals - Price €16.90
Captured Eagles Vol. I - 1:48 Combo - Price €37.90
Captured Eagles Vol. I - 1:32 Combo - Price €39.90

Thanks to Vintage Eagle Publications for supplying us with this decal and book combo