Luftfahrtverlag-Start is a publishing company based in Germany that has been in operation since 2002. At the moment Luftfahrtverlag-Start produce hard backed books and paper backed magazines covering all arms of the German military in World War 2. In this review I will be taking a look at U-Boot Im Focus Edition No 10. This, as the title indicates, is the 10th edition of a magazine that looks at the U-Boats in a slightly different way.
When my postman struggled up my path with what turned out to be a very heavy parcel, my interest was piqued to see exactly what had arrived. Inside a very well packed box, I found 2 books and 2 magazines from Luftfahrtverlag-Start, each of which was individually wrapped. In the belief that this is the usual way Luftfahrtverlag-Start package and post their products, it tells me they like their products to arrive in the best possible condition. The magazine consists of 48 pages, 50 if you count the fact that the inside of the front and rear cover also contain information and images. It has also been confirmed by Luftfahrtverlag-Start that all of their books are posted out in this way, and that makes postage costs passed on realistic.
These magazines from Luftfahrtverlag-Start are bilingual, with both German and English text provided. The cover is made from a good quality card with a gloss finish, which should protect the magazine during the thumbing through that it is likely to be subjected too. The paper inside is of a very good quality with a satin finish and which takes print very well.
This magazine series from Luftfahrtverlag-Start is not your typical magazine in that they actively encourage the participation of readers, a little bit like a print version of a website. Now obviously there are issues with that approach relating to the time it takes to get the information from the reader to the publisher and then reprinted via the magazines. It is pointed out by Luftfahrtverlag-Start that some errors do occur despite their best efforts, however with Luftfahrtverlag-Start more than happy to print corrections once investigated results in a magazine where the reader is not just along for the ride, they can also actively take part in the magazine's progress.
In true magazine form the publisher looks at a number of U-Boats and their crews, and provides information on actions the boat took part in; stories about the crew usually look more at the captains. The photographs in the book are very clear and sharp considering their age, and offer a good selection of images of the boats and their crews. The graphics in this magazine will be a godsend for anyone who wants to build a specific U-Boat covered in an issue, as graphics of the artistic emblems are supplied which could be scanned and printed as decals once resized. For the vignette modeller, there is a great selection of images of the crews performing various tasks which would make excellent vignettes with portions of the U-Boat included.
If German U-Boats of World War Two are your area of interest, and if you wish to have some input on what is covered, this magazine series could be for you. I am impressed with the quality of the images in the magazine, especially as I suspect choice is limited. The graphics also rate very highly due to their clarity which provides details that may not be obvious in photographs. While U-Boats are an area of the hobby I do not follow closely, I found myself genuinely interested in reading/looking at this magazine.
I have not listed a price for the magazine as it varies depending on the purchasing option chosen.
Highs: I like the idea of a magazine that actively encourages the participation of their readers and includes a good selection of material.Lows: There are no obvious lows I can think of.Verdict: If U-Boats are your thing or if you have a passing interest, this magazine could be just what you are looking for as an affordable option to some of the books on the market.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...