One of the things I like best about our readers is that they’re sticklers for accuracy: if we publish a photo of a plane that has incorrect markings, the letters pour in! A few years ago, a reviewer followed the box art and placed the stars and bars insignia upside-down and reversed the upper and lower wing markings, and the poor guy is still hearing about it. Lately, we’ve seen more ARFs that come with inaccurate insignia already attached, and that’s a shame–especially when it’s a nice-looking scale plane.
And what about insignia, like swastikas, that are deeply offensive to many people? In Germany, displaying a model WW II plane with a swastika would get you on the fast track to a trip to jail. We’ve wrestled with swastikas on planes in the magazine, trying to balance sensitivity with scale fidelity. Only once have we removed a swastika from a printed image, and that was on a sport-scale model that had a swastika that was incorrectly placed — on its upper wing, if memory serves. We have even published a cover with a plane that had a swastika on its tail, understanding that while it might offend some, it was a beautifully detailed scale model of a WW II fighter that deserved its place in history.
So, when do you think it’s ok to remove a scale marking from a plane like the Stuka pictured here? I’d like to hear your thoughts. Next up, my thoughts on risque WW II nose art.