Sunday 25 April 2010

Focke Wulf 190 aces in 72nd scale, Priller, Linz, Weik

Revell A-8 in the markings of Hans Weik, IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 ace (36 vics) with added Panzerplatten side armour and Scheuklappen (blinkers) on the sides of the canopy

some more Fw 190s in 72nd scale

Günther Migge's NJGr.10 "Kognakpumpe" 'White 9' Neptun radar equipped Fw 190 night fighter in 72nd scale.

Italeri A-8 in the markings of JG 5 ace Lt. Rudi Linz, Kapitän of 12./JG5 KIA on 9 Feb 1945 at the controls of Fw 190 A-8 WNr. 732183 'Blue 4'. Posthumously awarded the RK.

MPM Fw 190 V1 (Fw190 prototype)

  Above - Priller's A-8 from the old Airfix 'Aces' boxing and below, Italeri Fw 190 Dora being refurbished !

More Fw 190 aces in 72nd scale on this blog here

Saturday 10 April 2010

Ray Littge 352nd FG 'Miss Helen'

The main reason for this blog was simply to create a space where I could post a pic or two of my completed builds - my 'virtual model shelf'. I like to try and portray reasonably accurate representations of 'actual' aircraft in history, and while this might look like a 'Luftwaffe kit blog' I'm hoping to post some of my other builds here. My aviation enthusiasms range widely from French inter-war fighters to Predator drones over Afghanistan. I'm also hoping to post some armour stuff here too. I build kits for the sheer fun of it. No other aim. For example I have no intention of writing an opinionated critique of the new Airfix Sea Harrier or Spitfire IX (both of which look like great kits by the way - I've only built the Spit so far) or even of providing a long discourse on weathering techniques or similar modelling topics. While these subjects do interest me and I am always looking to learn and add a technique to my repertoire, I'll leave the descriptions of how to do that to all the 'experts' out there. So in between kits here's another of my Italeri P-51s in 1/72nd scale.

The famous 'Blue-nosers' -the Bodney-based 352nd FG - had been deployed to forward airfields at Asche and Chievres in Belgium during December 1944. The aircraft represented by my model, 44-72216, was assigned to Captain Raymond H Littge of the 487th FS as his personal aircraft and featured the 'bue nose', the squadron markings of a blue rudder and "HO" codes and the individual code letter " M " which was underlined as this was one of two aircraft with the same code letter. Littge's previous mount 44-11330 'E Pluribus Unum' is thought to have been written off in Belgium, so he named his new aircraft 'Miss Helen' after his girlfriend Helen Fischer, who he went on to marry after the war. Littge was no rookie pilot as evidenced by the kill markings on the canopy frame - he already had 10½ confirmed kills, one of which was a Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter, and four other ground kills gained during strafing runs over German airfields. The exact number of missions flown by Littge in this aircraft is unknown, although he was at the controls of this machine on 17th April 1945.

On this date the 352nd FG were tasked with providing an escort for B17's launching a follow up attack upon the marshalling yards at Dresden in south east Germany.

At 11:15 hrs fifty two P-51s were taking off under the leadership of Col James D Mayden, commander of the 352nd FG. Lead by Lt Col W T Halton, the 487th FS contributed 18 aircraft to this large force. Capt Littge was leading 'Red Flight' flying in Miss Helen.

The 352nd joined the bombers at 20,000ft at 13:05 hrs, flying to the south of Fulda. The formation of bombers came under attack from Me 262s making their usual head-on passes, the P-51's also came under attack and one was left damaged. The Me 262 was more than a match for the P-51 and the Luftwaffe suffered no casualties. When reaching the Filders area, 24 fighters lead by Mayden left the B17's and swooped down to their briefed patrol areas to find enemy airfields. They came across the airfield at Plattling. Large numbers of aircraft were parked on the field including IV./JG 300 with their Me 109s. The first eight P-51s made a low pass to draw the flak, eight others including Littge's 'Red Flight', hit the flak positions, while the rest provided top cover. For half an hour each flight took it in turns to make passes over the airfield after a left-right traffic pattern had been established.

In all 66 aircraft were destroyed in these attacks and a further 24 were badly damaged. Six of the destroyed aircraft were claimed by Littge, four Bf109s and two Me262s. During the initial attack on the AA defenses, Miss HELEN was hit badly with the oil tank holed and almost emptied, the manifold pressure line and two electrical lines were also hit. In all Ray Littge made seven passes at various parked aircraft. For this action, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Although the 352nd were to fly four more missions, it is unknown whether Miss Helen flew on any of these since the aircraft required urgent repairs after the Plattling attacks.

Thanks to JSM

Thursday 8 April 2010

Urban Drew 361st Fighter Group 'Detroit Miss' - red or blue trim?

Italeri 72nd scale kit with Microscale decals (Recommended reference, 'Aces & Wingmen' by Danny Morris (Spearman 1973 - despite its age still one of the best VIII Fighter Command books ever compiled..)

Urban Drew joined the US Army Air Force in October 1943 at the age of 18, and on finishing his flying training was retained as an instructor on P-51s. In May 1944 he sailed to England on the Queen Elizabeth, and was posted to the 375th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group at Bottisham, near Cambridge.
During his tour with the "Yellowjackets", "Ben" Drew completed seventy-five missions and was credited with six kills.

His most notable day in combat was 7 October 1944, when he claimed two Messerschmitt Me 262s, the first Allied pilot to destroy two German jets in air-to-air combat. What follows is his account of the incident.

'I was leading decoy squadron when I went down to join a fight that was going on under the box of bombers behind our box. When I got there the fight had been dispersed and I could not locate any enemy aircraft. I had left my red section with the bombers and I had just one flight with me due to a number of previous abortions. I couldn't locate our bombers so I joined up with some red tailed B-17s that were short on escorting fighters. I stayed with them until I spotted two enemy aircraft on the airfield at Achmer. I watched them for a while and saw one of them start to taxi. The lead ship was in take off position on the east-west runway and the taxiing ship got into position for a formation take-off. I waited until they both were airborne and then Irolled over from 15,000 Ft and headed for the attack with my flight behind me. I caught up with the second Me-262 when he was about 1,000 Ft off the ground, I was indicating 450 mph and the jet aircraft could not have been going over 200 mph. I started firing from about 400 yds, 30 deg deflection, as I closed on him, I observed hits all over the wings and fuselage. Just as i passed him, I observed I saw a sheet of flame come out of near the right wing root. As I glanced back I saw a gigantic explosion and a sheet of of red-orange flame shot out over an area of about 1,000 Ft. The other jet aircraft was about 500 Yds ahead of me and had started a fast climbing turn to the left. I was still indicating about 400 mph and I had to haul back on the stick to stay with him. I started shooting from about 60 degrees deflection, 300 Yds and my bullets were just hitting the tail section of the enemy aircraft. I kept horsing back on the stick and my bullets crept up the fuselage to the cockpit. Just then I saw the canopy go flying off in two sections and the plane rolled over and went into a flat spin. He hit the ground on his back at about a 60 degree angle. I did not see the pilot bale out. The enemy aircraft exploded violently and as I looked back at the two wrecks there were two mounting columns of black smoke. I claim two Me-262s destroyed.'

Before the end of his tour he, with two wingmen, destroyed the sole Blohm & Voss Bv 238 flying boat on the water on Lake Schaal in Northern Germany, of which he only found out the correct identity thanks to a BBC documentary in 1974, believing up to then that it had been a Bv 222 Wiking.
During his tour he commanded "A" flight, and then the 375th FS; after returning to the US he was posted to the Pacific, where he flew P-47s with the 413th FS, 414th FG based on Iwo Jima.
After the war he set up the 127th FG, Michigan Air Guard, and retired as a Major. Following his shooting-down of the two Me 262s Drew was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross, but the application was rejected for lack of confirmation; his gun camera had jammed, and his wingman had been shot down and was a PoW until the end of the war. In 1983 the claim was confirmed by both Luftwaffe and American Air Force records, and Mr Drew was flown to Washington to be presented with the Air Force Cross, which had taken the place of the DSC after the war; he became one of only two recipients of this award for actions in World War II.

Incidentally there is dispute over Ben Drew's aircraft markings. Most illustrations show the wingtip, fin tip and canopy rail in red - some claim that this would have been blue; indeed the 375th squadron colour was blue. This image (below) tends to indicate that the trim on Drew's machine was red; the same colour as the trim on the canopy rail. Note no tonal difference. At some point the a/c rudder was painted in the squadron colour. The aircraft name was on a red background....

Herman Graf's JGr. Ost Fw 190 A-5 (Hasegawa 72nd)

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Airfix Focke Wulf 190 A (in 1:24 scale) - January 2017

And built by Carl Hartill and seen on FB

Another edit of this page - although still no progress on my build(s). Instead I've photographed two completed 24th scale Fw 190s seen at the RAF Manston History museum. Neat decal scheme in the markings of JG 11 Kommodore Anton Hackl, but a shame the modeller didn't deal with that wing leading edge.

Given that this page seems to be one of the most popular on this blog, perhaps I had better start doing some more work on my builds. At one point I had three 1:24th scale Airfix Fw 190s in my collection but I managed to dispose of one, so I'm just left with the one seen below and another part started which is depicted in the bottom photo. Airfix re-released this kit during 2013 and I did in fact receive an email from their representative asking for opinions on possible new decals and schemes for the A-5 although I believe that they elected to go again with Hermann Graf's colourful JGr. Ost aircraft. They could quite easily have corrected Hajo Herrmann's aircraft ( finished example below, but now known to be 'Green 1' in standard day fighter scheme) after featuring the spurious black camouflaged night fighter on their box art for so long!

I bought the Verlinden 1/20th scale Fw 190 cockpit kit to use the etch on my Airfix build, since accessories in this large scale are so hard to come by. I also purchased an Eagle Strike decal sheet for the 24 scale Hakenkreuze. I reckon I started this one nearly two years ago now, but not much progress so far. I'm a little apprehensive about tackling the known problems on this kit - care needs to be taken with the engine so that it sits properly within the cowling and the gear legs/wheels can sit at the wrong angle and ruin the appearance of the sit. The Verlinden box is a stand-alone cockpit 'kit' which I may incorporate into this build ...

You may be aware that the engine is too 'long' on this kit. Thanks to a couple of builds on the Airfix Tribute forum I've stumbled on the solution to this - omit part 36, the rear of the crankcase, highlighted in the photo below. The BMW 801 is the example on display at Duxford - note the bright alu of the cylinder heads and the brownish on the photos for a closer view.

There are a number of good builds of this kit to be found on the Airfix Tribute forum including the following by James 'Paveshadow' check it out

Airfix Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 (1/72nd new tool)

A quick look at the new Airfix Bf109 G-6 before my Trumpeter Emil arrives! Neat box art, great decal options One of the three main sprues. There is no cockpit, which is a pain and the fuselage Beulen (bulges), normally supplied as two separate parts by other kit manaufacturers extend over the top of the engine cowl which completely ruins the effect. Otherwise this kit is not too bad - sadly could have been a lot better. Won't stop me from knocking it together quickly for another -mostly black - JG300 wilde Sau nightfighter version..

Below; Academy G-6 in 72nd scale. Not a bad kit in comparison. Pictures of Bartel's 'Kanonenboot' machine - taken at the time of his 70th victory - are well known, but when building my model I was still unable to ascertain what the upper wing camo might have looked like, or whether the aircraft had white wingtips - until I discovered the lower image in the Japanese Luftwaffe Warbirds Photo Album series (Vol I). Time for a bit of a re-spray...


Monday 5 April 2010

Academy 1/72nd scale Bf109 G-6 Heinrich Bartels, IV./JG 27, Kagero decals (4)

Meanwhile back in 72nd scale, although there are perhaps one or two things still to do, this Academy Bf109G-6 is finished. Scheme is Heinrich Bartels, IV./JG 27 (Kagero decals). I hadn't realised these were so small in 72nd scale - the spinner spiral I found impossible to mask, so did it freehand