Cutting Edge 72-114: Zircus Rosarius




See review


Scott Van Aken


As did the Allies, the Luftwaffe repaired damaged enemy aircraft that had landed more or less intact in their area of influence. These planes were flown by test pilots and when all the information they could gather had been obtained, these planes were put into a special unit called Zircus Rosarius and flown all over the country to active duty Luftwaffe squadrons.

The reason for this was to give those fighting against these specific types the opportunity to see the planes up close and to get to fly them for themselves. In this way, they could judge the strengths and weaknesses of the various types which would allow them to use this information the next time they encountered these planes in the air.

This set of sheets takes many of the same planes from the previous 1/48 sheets and puts them all in one place Afew of these planes are shown in various stages from initial capture through to complete repainting in Luftwaffe schemes: this being particularly true of the P-47D on this sheet. There are four different airframes and six different schemes on this particular sheet. When repainted in full Luftwaffe camo, it was RLM 74 upper and RLM 04 undersides and empennage. With all that yellow, these will make for excellent models.

There are no suggested kits, but you can find at least three high quality razorback P-47s, a couple of good P-51Bs and two really fine Mosquito IVs out there in 1/72 land. Thanks to the lack of bands and other form-fitting decals, just about any 1/72 kit of the type needed will work nicely.

Without further ado, here is what is on the sheet:

A Mosquito B.IV coded T9+XB in full Luftwaffe colors.

P-47D 42-22490 as flown by  the 358 FS/355 FG in original USAAF markings, Interim Luftwaffe scheme with bits of yellow and the US insignia overpainted with RLM 74, and in the final full Luftwaffe scheme

P-51B T9+HK in partially painted Luftwaffe colors with the underside and empennage in yellow and the US markings removed and replaced with German ones.

Finally, P-51B T9+CK in full Luftwaffe colors.

Review copy courtesy of

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