Pictures from the Louisville 2019 IPMS model show hosted by the Military Modelers Club of Louisville (MMCL) yesterday. This is always a great show, and this year saw one of their biggest contests with 360 entries. This club is famous for their hospitality and also for their raffle which is arguably the best in IPMS Region 4. A great day out and the unofficial start of summer, here is a selection of some of the 1/72 scale entries.
As an aside, it has become somewhat popular in the mainstream media to repeat the narrative that the federal government has neglected infrastructure maintenance here in the U.S. Speaking solely from my own experience yesterday, I can offer an empirical datapoint to the contrary. My route from Yorktown to Louisville was about 175 miles (280 km) but I encountered numerous and extensive highway renovation projects along the way. Long stretches of I-69 and I-65 were being widened and improved, and many areas not currently under reconstruction on those highways had only recently been renovated. Numerous notices warned of detours in both Louisville and Indianapolis for additional projects which were not along my route. The bridge on I-65 spanning the Ohio River into Louisville is new, as is the “spaghetti bowl” of highways feeding it. The small bridge across the raging White River close to my home is also being renovated. Quite a bit of highway maintenance is being conducted. Maybe I’m just special but I doubt it.
All that aside, here are some great models to enjoy!
by Leigh Neville
Hardcover in dustjacket, 336 pages, illustrated
Published by Osprey Publishing, August 2016
Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
In Modern Snipers, author Leigh Neville describes the deployment of snipers in the “War on Terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Police and counter-terrorism units are also covered. The book catalogs several engagements, describing the tactics and techniques used and the outcomes of each mission. There is a particular focus on the rifles and optics used, each weapon is described in the text and again in great detail in the last chapter of the book. Information on the differences and similarities of the sniper training methods of the various nations and services involved is presented as well. There are several first-hand accounts from the snipers themselves, but these are rarely more than a few paragraphs.
This book is a good general overview of current sniper employment, told in anecdotal format. This is not an “I was there” type of read, but more of a listing of engagements. The particularities of sniper field craft are not covered in detail, there are few details on camouflage measures or the types of hides used by the various teams. Information on site selection or security elements are only mentioned in passing.
Overall, Modern Snipers is a useful book as it covers the current conflicts and presents information on several specific incidents. It is not an “action” book, but there are several other sniper biographies available which cover that aspect well for those who are interested. It is a useful book on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not the only book on the subject you should have in your collection.
This is the venerable but still quite buildable Monogram P-6E Hawk. The old Monogram kits are well detailed and feature several innovations which make them easy builds for biplanes. Starfighter Decals offer several resin bits and marking options which really give these kits a new lease on life. This one represents a P-6E of the 94th Pursuit Squadron in 1934.
This is the ESCI M6 3/4 ton truck. A bit clunky by today’s standards but it can still be built up to a presentable model and is a useful subject. This one shares molds with the other members of the ESCI M6 family which means it also shares the problems of ejector pin marks and mold seams. There are fit issues with several of the parts, so this is not a straight-forward build. Be sure to mount the rear springs to the bottom of the bed instead of the frame or the model will sit much too high.
Taranto 1940: The Fleet Air Arm’s precursor to Pearl Harbor
by Angus Konstam, illustrated by Peter Dennis
Series: Osprey Campaign Book 288
Paperback, 96 pages
Published by Osprey Publishing November 2015
Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.9 inches
The raid on the Italian fleet anchorage at Taranto was an example of how the actions of a small group of men can have a profound impact on a military campaign. On the night of 11 November 1940 twenty one Swordfish torpedo bombers launched from the HMS Illustrious conducted a nighttime raid and sank three Italian battleships, crippling their fleet and altering the balance of power in the Mediterranean.
This is book number 288 in Osprey’s very successful Campaign series. It follows the established format with a plethora of photographs, maps, and three double page illustrations by Peter Dennis. It is only 96 pages in total and thus a quick read, but the subject is covered well and the writing is interesting. I found the complexity of the overall British plan fascinating, and the individual actions of the flight crews are described in detail. Recommended.