Wednesday, May 2

Read n' Reviewed: Wings of the Black Cross Special Number Two - Junkers Ju 87 Stuka From Eagle Editions

We were lucky enough to get the chance to read Eagle Edition's new special edition book . Written by Mark Proulx, this book features the Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bomber in exclusive photos, captions and coloured artwork profiles. See what we thought in our review...
Read n' Reviewed: Wings of the Black Cross Special Number Two - Junkers Ju 87 Stuka
From Eagle Editions
Written by Mark Proulx
48 pages 
A4 Portrait Format
67 photos / 10 colour profiles by Steve Diesley
Price: $24.95
Product Link on the Eagle Editions Website
Stuka Dive Bomber is the subject of our review today. Written and collected by Mark Proulx and published by Eagle editions in the US, this has been the culmination of a lot of gathering of information, pictures, wartime fact checking and new illustrations to form this forty-eight-page book we see before us. We got to reading it straight away, and here is what we thought.
The book's description:
This book comes with a shiny colour printed red and black motif in a portrait format A4 size. The pages inside are thick and semi-glossy stock, with colours inside, but mostly with black and white pictures. There are some profile artworks inside which we will look at, but for the most part, the book is a fairly large sized picture with captions describing the situation besides or underneath it. The book follows no real narrative other than showing off this aircraft through its operational history from the A model, right through to the last of the Stukas at the war's end.
The book starts off with a brief overview of what to expect and a history of the type's service and model variations throughout the war, a hint that some of these models of the gull-winged bird are very similar if not identical, and some other things to look out for in the book. there is also a handy reckoner in a plate of the aircraft code rundowns and which letters and numbers apply to certain units, a handy ready reckoner throughout this book's many examples.
Up to page six, we have more block text, these two pages you see underneath explain the camouflage of the Stuka. The author explains in this block text pair of pages about the evolution of the camo of the Stuka over its development from the pre-war years, to early war and then later on when the Stukas became night raiders. There is also a helpful table of both the Geschwader/ Stab Identification and the early and late Staffel identification. These help the reader identify not only the aircraft in this book but in their own research.
We switch from block text in the first seven pages into the pattern which predominates for the rest of the book. The picture and text in three or fours on each double page spread is what is supplied for the rest of the book. The pictures are of a smaller size, not massive page sized pictures, but they are all clear and there is some worth to be had from each of them. The author also gives his analysis of each of the pictures and the little pieces of information that can be gleaned from each one.
The book features the first set of ten coloured profiles by Steve Diesley. This is his first time doing work for Eagle Editions, and I think that he will be used again - the drawings are nicely in proportion and coloured , but they also have the wear and tear that is gleaned from each of the pictures that the aircraft depicts added, and that looks great to a modeller like me, it really brings them to life. The great thing here is these colour profiles match the pictures in the book, so if you want to model these there is a colour representation included. A great addition to the book.
We go from the very early Antons to the Berthas, the author mentioning the changes in the aircraft and markings along the way. There is a series of shots over four pages of a single Stuka that had crash landed nose down, along with another distemper painted version of the same aircraft marque. The good thing for us is that this B1 version is seen from every angle, so again just after these pictures we see the profile in colour from Steve Diesley. These images, explanatory text and colour profiles really elevate the book to a higher standard of quality for me.
We go through the B versions of the stuka and then the almost identical "R" models, then on to the change of the "D" versions of the stuka, the other really different looking Stuka design. We are already seeing a lot of these birds with exhaust shrouds and a night time scheme that cover the regular colour schemes.
What I did not show you were the addition of the emblems taken from the sides and other areas of the aircraft like unit badges etc. These are replicated by the artist and again, they add colour to the scenes and text from the author. 
We start to see more wrecked and crash landed Stukas through the late "D" models and "G" models that often have the twin 37mm Bordkanone that were used for attacks against tanks. We see also torpedo-laden Stukas for anti-shipping strikes. There really are a lot of details in here that are brought about in the small total of only forty eight pages.
That is one point that I must bring up - that the book is over so quickly. At only forty-eight pages, the book ends all too quickly for this reader, but I suppose it is better to shoot for quality than quantity, and this is what this book delivers from start to finish.

A great book with a lot of inspiration inside the covers, great for Stuka, WWII or aircraft lovers.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the great people at Eagle Editions for sending this book to us to read and review...