Eagle Editions have recently published the latest in the their series of Wings Of The Black Cross Specials. Whereas the standard volumes cover a range of subjects, the Specials focus on a single aircraft type - in this case the Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka".
Written by noted Luftwaffe historian Mark Proulx, the book comprises 48 pages printed on high quality gloss stock. Mark draws on his extensive private collection of original photographs to detail the Ju 87 from its introduction through to the last survivors at the very end of the war. There are 67 photos, each printed to a generous size and accompanied by a detailed and informative caption.
The operational history of the Stuka is related concisely in a page and a half. While this may seem brief, it really doesnít need more, because itís been covered extensively in other books, and the whole point of this volume is to be a photo album. What is extremely handy, though, is a set of four tables explaining the identification codes used. True, the excellent captions accompanying the photos identify the subjects precisely where possible, but itís good for any Luftwaffe enthusiast to understand the code system and so be able to differentiate the units.
Obviously, the photos vary in quality - these are "snap shots" for the most part, taken by amateur photographers and capturing everyday scenes. But they are all printed in such a way to bring out the maximum detail. Pretty much the whole gamut of the Ju 87's career is illustrated, from pre-War exercises, through the fighting in Europe, North Africa and, of course, on the Eastern Front, and ending with the surrender of the most famous Stuka pilot of them all, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, as he led a flight of SG2 aircraft to Kitzingen when most deliberately ground looped their machines.
What is particularly useful for modellers is that many of the scenes were covered from different angles, allowing you to piece together details of the camoflage and markings along with the equipement fitted.
Supporting the photos and bringing many of the aircraft pictured to life are 10 high quality colour profiles by Steve Diesley. This is Steveís first work for Eagle Editions and it really is excellent. I look forward to seeing more of his artwork in future.
Considering how famous the Stuka is, it's somewhat surprising that we don't see more models of it here on Aeroscale. This Wings Of The Black Cross Special may help rectify that, as it's a timely reminder of what and interesting and challenging subject it can be.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Many rare photos accompanied by detailed captions Top quality colour profiles.Lows: None noted.
Verdict: Wings Of The Black Cross Special #2 will have great appeal for modellers and Luftwaffe enthusiasts alike.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...