by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Erlk Mombeeckís Luftwaffe Gallery is one of the most distinctive reference series available on this ever popular subject, offering a different approach to what you find in any other books. What makes the series so unusual is that Erik picks a theme and explores it in detail with the collaboration of many well-known Luftwaffe experts and enthusiasts to present a combination of well chosen photos, informative captions and text, backed up with top quality design and colour profiles by Thierry Dekkar. The themes can vary from camouflage styles, unit histories or a particular type of personal insignia - and the choices are often refreshingly idiosyncratic, focusing on subjects that of often overlooked by other authors.
So, the contents of the latest 56-page volume include a rich variety of material:
Emblem Gallery: Raining Cats & Dogs
The most extensive section of the new book covers the use of cats and dogs as unit and personal insignia. Whether your taste is for the stylised or the ornate, there are some great examples to get the creative juices flowing, and in a number of instances multiple reference photos are provided along with a colour profile.
Camouflage Gallery: JG 2 Mottle Musings
Luftwaffe mottle camouflage came in many forms, from factory applied schemes through to hasty unit improvisations. One of the most distinctive was the dense dappling applied with a rag, brush or sponge. It must have been very time-consuming work on the full-sized machines, and itís a challenge to replicate convincingly on a model. The photos here are excellent and show some of the remarkable range differences in how these stippled patterns were produced. There are some interesting sprayed versions shown too, and the clarity of the photos allows you to pick out some really fine details as you look closer.
Markings Gallery: All In A Spin - Colourful Spinners
Luftwaffe spinners can be an interesting challenge for modellers, whether itís dividing the domed surface into precise segments, or applying a spiral. Some of the examples shown here are really interesting, from a star pattern, through a spiral that extends out on the propeller blades to one of the tightest spirals Iíve come across. Whether you mask your spinners or use decals, thereís some great inspiration among the photos.
Unit Gallery: Six Months With2./JG 2 - From Eagle To Owl
This unit diary follows JG 2ís transition from daylight operations and its reassignment as a nightfighter unit. Particularly interesting is a mention in a letter home from one of the pilots of the adoption of pale topside camouflage for nocturnal combat.
Unit Gallery: Wekusta 2 In All Weathers
Pierre Babinís study of Wekusta 2 is fascinating, as itís the first time Iíve read anything about this all-weather reconnaissance unit, based initially in Brittany in July 1940 and equipped with He 111Hs, ending its operations at Bordeaux-Merignac the He 177.
The style of the book is very readable, packing a lot of information into an easily accessible format that is a pleasure to browse through. Itís a book that deserves a place among the references of any Luftwaffe enthusiast. Recommended.
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