Aviation Historian 15
M.Nelson - A Model Prisoner
Luftwaffe officer Unteroffizier Peter Muller poses with his handmade Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor model during his internment as a prisoner of war at Camp 13, near Murchison in Victoria, Australia, after his wartime capture in North Africa. Little is known about Muller, other than he was originally from Bayenthal, a suburb of Cologne, and that he was registered as Prisoner No 41597 at Murchison, where he had arrived by the end of December 1942.
The Condor is able to stand on its own undercarriage, but a stand of Australian Cypress was also built by Muller or possibly one of his fellow inmates.
LEFT The cockpit, with fully functioning control column and tail wheel lever. RIGHT If the inner propellers are turned, the main wheels extend from their engine nacelles.
Still in exceptional condition, Muller’s Condor model takes pride of place in Rod Cauchi and Kathy Kasz’s Hunters & Collectors antique shop in Mittagong, New South Wales.
Muller’s exceptional craftsmanship resulted in some exquisite touches, including the appearance of curtains in the cabin windows and formation lights - red on the port side and green to starboard - on the wingtips. The registration D-ALVA is spurious, never having been taken up on the German inter-war civil register.
LEFT The attention to detail is remarkable, and includes handpainted Lufthansa insignia on the nose. MIDDLE The inner engine nacelles incorporate fully retractable mainwheels. RIGHT The door to the cabin opens and closes with a working latch.
Even among all the other antiques in Hunters & Collectors, the Condor model is quite a conversation piece, with a span of some 43in (110cm), a length from nose to tail of 33 1/2in (85cm) and, on its own undercarriage, a height of 10 1/2in (27cm). Including the stand the model is 16 1/2in (42cm) tall.
Although its total singularity and irreplaceability make it priceless, Muller’s striking Condor model is for sale, and is listed in Hunters & Collectors’ catalogue at AU$22,000.