For those of you interested in World War One aviation you are probably familiar with Windsock Worldwide, a publication of Albatros Publications, Ltd. out of the U.K. If you are a modeler of World War One aviation and not familiar then you might check them out at your soonest. In addition to their bi-monthly Windsock magazine, Windsock publishes “Data Files” dealing, in detail, with specific single subjects. The bi-monthly Windsock magazine deals with more than one WW-I aircraft subject and always includes at least one highly competent and detailed review and build article. As a modelling publication and reference series on WW-I aviation subjects they are second to none, unequivocally.
The subject of this review is the new series publication (this is billed as “Windsock Worldwide WWWI Modelling Special No.1”) It deals with the newly released Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale German Gotha G.IV (www.wingnutwings.com), a twin-engine medium class bomber. Like every other kit produced by Wingnut Wings, this kit is absolutely spectacular and should be the benchmark for others to strive for.
For some reason there is no table of contents. This subject is arranged by a Forward describing the intent and background for publishing this reference. The forward is followed by Parts 1 through 5 and ends with a Reference page. Save for the inside and outside back covers there is no advertising.
- Part 1 - Turk’s Cross: A description with highly interesting narratives of Gotha missions over London Bothe from the bomber crew and the targeted populations' viewpoints. These are general descriptive overviews accompanied by more detailed personal accounts. Absolutely fascinating reading! There is a small group of mission prepping photos, an inflight over Belgium “London Bound” photo and a strike photo from 14000-ft. showing several smoking bomb hits. Several ground photos show the damage done to the building struck. An epilogue ends this section with a description of the political fall-out and effects of these Gotha air raids. Footnotes are included for further reference.
- Part 2 - G.IV "Aeroplanatomy": This part is introduced by a fascinating little tidbit concerning King George V and how he abandoned his royal family name and changed it to Windsor. The rest of Part 2 describes the evolution of the twin engine bombers from design concepts and development, weapons, defensive armament, strategic uses and several short bio’s of persons key to the development. Included are line drawings of the Model 14 “Parabellum” with a skeletal view of the fuselage showing the gun positions. You will also find in this section detailed line drawings and sketches of the gun mounts, bomb dimensional drawings and photos of the bomb types and sizes along with photos of the bomb mounting and stowage. Especially interesting are the cut-away sketch of the bombardier/nose gunner position and a photo of an actual bombsight; not to mention the photo of a simple night sight mounted outside of the position. This section ends with two more cockpit photos, one with annotations, and a photo showing maintenance crew filling oxygen bottles prior to a mission.
- Part 3 - Wingnut Gotha: Inside the Box: This part covers a detailed description of the parts including the decals sheet and markings and the photoetch fret. Once again, no detail is spared.
- Part 4 - Building the Wingnut Gotha: Here is the purpose of this publication plain and simple. Twenty pages of step-by-step, detailed and highly understandable writing accompanied by color photos illustrating each item discussed in the text. Paints and tools used, and the in order used, are especially helpful. Excellent descriptions of techniques make for even better learning as you follow along. I really don’t think a builder using this modelling special to build a Wingnuts Gotha will need any more information to obtain a contest grade model from an already contest grade kit. Each assembly step is numbered and tied in with the accompanying photos. You can’t go wrong.
The build article is broken in the middle by a delightful centerfold profile of two Gotha’s in totally different markings. It then continues with the engine nacelles and engine detailing. Painting, detailing, decalling, rigging, etc. follow. What has been a huge problem for me in building WW-I kits is the rigging. The instructions in this book take a mystery out and have added to my epiphany “why didn’t I figure that out” life-moments.
- Part 5 – Other Gotha’s….: Here are two pages of a short history of past Gotha kits going back to the Aurora kits to what is available now and the near future. Included is a discussion of photoetch sets, and resin kits. The section concludes with a matrix chart of “Gotha Model Kits – 1994 to date.”
Interspersed in several locations throughout are “Gallery” pages showing period photos of various machines. Most of them seem to have met some unpleasant fate as they are usually pictured crunched in front of a hangar or an airfield. One, in particular shows a line of ground crew in front of a crashed aircraft. The wing is vertical to the ground and the line of men in front clearly demonstrates the monster wing span of the Gotha.
So there you have it. You can build a great model of this Wingnuts Wings kit straight from the box, but with this Modelling Special from Windsock Worldwide will ice the cake for anyone.
I would like to thank Albatros Productions/Windsock Worldwide and IPMS/USA for my copy for review. Windsock issues and specials are difficult to find in the U.S. but can be purchased direct from their website. I can recommend Byrd Aviation Books as a U.S. reliable source www.byrdaviationbooks.com