Monday, May 27

Wings of the Black Cross X (number ten) - gets a read and a review today...

Eagle Editions in the USA are a well-known authority on WWII aviation and especially of German aircraft so their publications are always much anticipated. Number ten of their “Wings of the Black Cross” has just arrived and I have high hopes – written by Mark Proulx and with some excellent images in the previews we saw we anticipated its arrival and now we can show you what it looks like in our review..

By Mark Proulx
36 pages
B&W + 2 colour photos
Profiles Illustrated by Thomas Tullis
ISBN 978-0-9794035-9-0
Sales price: $19.95 + P&P

So number ten comes around – you would think that there were no more images to show people but no – the Author Mark Proulx – who assists on many of the decal work for Eagle Editions (and whose work we have a pretty high opinion of already) - comes to us with another offering of German aircraft from WWII captured - quite literally in many cases - in the latter stages of WWII.

This is a thirty six page book in an 8.5" X 11” Portrait format. The cover is a very glossy softcover with images from the book which fit in with the earlier books in the series. The book is thin in size but filled with either one or two pictures on each page and some insightful text describing the circumstances and aircraft particulars of each of the aircraft in the photos – sometimes as well aircraft on the peripheries and often the peculiarities of the aircraft in the frame, more than a few times my attention was drawn to something I would have missed if it weren't for the text.
These photos are of an excellent quality. There are some average looking shots here in the quality of the photo – not the subjects – and a few of these pictures look so clear they could be of a model on a base in monochrome. The Fw 189 with a “Spaghetti” pattern and several others are of note for their absolute clarity of focus.

There are also some pictures to add to the earlier books – either they were unknown or couldn’t fit into earlier books they are a welcome addition here. It is often commented on what page they were in the earlier books as well so this helps you combine your information(s) together.
Talking of order – no this book isn’t really divided into a section by section “fighter/ nightfighter/ bomber/ recon” type of thing – there are some grouped shots from the same scene but mostly the aircraft are spread out all over the book. This does not for one take away from the book’s appeal as it makes you look at every page and take the aircraft on each subject’s merits rather than say you skipping past a section on torpedo bombers etc. I like the approach.  
I did recognize as well the He-111 from Eagle Editions that has made it into the book – both sides of the aircraft are on show and it will really help anyone who wants to model that aircraft – Eagle Editions supply a list of the aircraft on their website that are included in the book – they are:

Rare photos of a Bf 109 as flown by Oblt. Josef "Pips" Priller
Two photos of a Bf 109 E-1 of III./JG 26 "Schlageter" from late 1939.
Two photos of a Bf 109 K-4 with W.Nr. I had thought the spray-painted style of numbering was a fiction until seeing the three digits behind the balkenkreuz in the photos.
A photo of a Bf 109 G-6 with W.Nr. applied on non-standard places.
A photo of a Bf 109 E-3 belonging to Oblt. Josef "Pips" Priller.
Photos from the Neubiberg dump site with two Me 262's, including W.Nr. 111728 and the tail of W.Nr. 110376, plus "White 7."
A Wright Field photo of an Me 262, W.Nr. 111711.
Two photos of a Me 262 A with the unconfirmed W.Nr. of 130015 with a large V015 on the side just ahead of the cockpit.
Two photos of a He 177 A-5 found in France in 1944.
A photo of the second prototype Ar 232 fitted with defensive armament. This version has two engines as opposed to four in later versions.
A photo of an Ar 232 B with Air Min 17
Four photos of the Ju 288 V2.
Two photos of Me 410, 7A+KH in a derelict state.
A photo of  a He 219 A-010 V17.
A photo of Ju-290, 9V+AB at Brunnthal in derelict condition
But that's not all of it. There are some Fw-200 photos
several aircraft in British markings - these are particularly interesting as well..

…Hey did I mention profiles? The thirty odd pages of aircraft pictures and text give way at the end of the book to eight full colour profiles by Aviation illustrator Tom Tullis. These are some well-known aircraft in with some others I hadn't seen before. The drawings are first class and well painted here. There are little captions that tell you the marque of each aircraft and the page they are featured on (with more text to flesh them out)
This to me is a research book – but more so it is an inspirational book. It is a book that you can well imagine the masters of modelling you see at shows going to for their inspiration, their idea nucleus. You know it isn’t always coming from their minds – it often comes from great books like this one.

Adam Norenberg

This book is available now from Eagle Editions - thanks to them for the inspiration this book gives