Women Warriors 180

U.S. Army
IDF
Russia
USAF
Poland
Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh Indian Air Force
USAF F-16
Colonel Oveta Hobby, Commanding Officer, WACS
Spanish Civil War
WASP Lillian Yonally with USAAF Douglass A-24
Beautiful Women in Ukraine Army - Ukrainian Military Girls
Ukraine
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Royal Australian Navy
ww517c_Lian Kirton and Vigo UK
United Kingdom dog handler Lian Kirton and Vigo
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Turkish Special Police
ww517e_Russia
Russia
Norway
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IDF
ww519_IDF
IDF
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WASP pilot Millicent Young with AT-6 Texan
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Germany
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Russia
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Venezuela
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WASPs with B-26 Marauder
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IDF
Sweden

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People’s Liberation Army Air Force
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WASP Susie Winston Bain
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Arma Hobby Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate “Frank” Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part IV

Japanese aircraft often sported multiple painted bands and panels, and many of their squadron markings are geometric shapes which are relatively simple to mask off. On the down side I have come to the realization that the Mr. Hobby thinner reacts to the adhesive in the generic masking tape I have been using, causing some colors to seep underneath. On this batch I’m using Tamiya Tape for the hard edges, which appears to have solved the seepage problem.
A few of the Hayate production run came from the factory uncamouflaged, some during the pre-production series and another run supposedly due to a shortage of paint. Photographs show a few of these received mottled camo in the field, but the field-applied mottling on a Hayate is rare compared to other JAAF types. One of the builds in this batch will be in an Alclad Aluminum NMF. On the NMF aircraft I paint the markings after laying down the Alclad, otherwise the textures and tones can show through the finish. All the builds got Mr. Color 58 Orange Yellow wing ID panels and Mr. Color 137 Tire Black anti-glare panels.
The initial factory applied camo was either Olive Drab over Gray Green or Dark Green over Gray Green. Good luck differentiating between the two in black and white photos, and you can find little agreement between profile artists. On this example I went with Arma’s color call outs using Mr. Color 304 over 128. The white bands were used by some units on home defense duties.
Late in 1944 paint shortages resulted in Nakajima switching to dark brown as an upper surface camo on some production runs. According to Ian Baker there were three browns used, and variations within those. The brown on this model is a mix of Mr. Color 42 Mahogany and 22 Dark Earth, with a few drops of Red added for good measure. Mixes with 131 Propeller Color or 520 Lederbraun would result in a similar tone. 128 Gray Green was used on the undersides, and Baker indicates that the browns lightened with white were also used on the undersides. The unit markings on the tail were masked off, and the chipping is a base coat of Alclad with stippling of a liquid mask, then the finish paint layer was pulled off with masking tape.
I used the kit decals for the Hinomarus and stencils, and some of the unit markings. There are ample stencils in both red and yellow options. All the decals performed flawlessly, but several are long and thin so they take some fiddling to get them straight.
The underwing stores were secured directly to the wing and steadied with a series of sway braces. The larger braces are provided in the kit and were used on the drop tanks. The smaller braces were used with bombs, and are missing from the kit. Mine are made from wire, and while not perfect they will look the part over the bombs and drop tanks.
The models were given an acrylic wash using Tamiya German Gray over Testors Glosscote, and sealed with Dullcote. I had issues with the Glosscoat pulling off the paint if I masked over it, the Glosscote didn’t bond well to the Mr. Color paint. I’ll likely shift to a different gloss next build.
The Hayate had an unusual radio antenna arrangement, which I replicated with my standard go to 0.005” Nitenol wire. Resistors are gray paint. Photos show this particular aircraft had lost all the paint off the upper fuselage. Chipping was done by stripping the camo off of an undercoat of Alclad, supplemented with sponge and brush chips.
Here are all six finished models together. IJAAF aircraft are one of my first modeling fixations, so this build had some strong nostalgic elements. If the aftermarket blesses us with some interesting decal sheets I could see myself building more!

SUMMARY

This is another strong release from Arma, coming close on the heels of their P-51B/C Mustangs.  The fit is excellent, and the surface details are finely engraved and look just right.  Many of the parts go together with that satisfying “click” which I just love.  The decals performed flawlessly, and there are enough stencils on each sheet to do two aircraft which supplies spares and insurance against mishaps.  There are six marking options provided, all are attractive aircraft.  The geometric nature of IJAAF unit markings makes masking certain tail markings an option – two of my builds feature painted unit markings.  For those planning to build this kit, here are some construction notes:

  1.  The cockpit tub and engine can be inserted after the fuselage halves are joined.  Doing it this way will allow the fuselage to be glued from the inside and ensure the cockpit is seated properly.
  2. The forward fuselage has two tabs which must be removed for the wings to seat.  Easy to fix, but this is not noted in the instructions.  Also, the PE wiring harness will show its raised detail if it is installed opposite from the way shown.
  3. Missing are the carburetor splitter plate and bomb shackles.  Making these are not difficult but they are unexpected omissions given the level of detail of the kit.
  4. The engine cowling is effectively four panels and a front ring.  These are a little tricky to align so plan on taking your time here.
  5. The rearmost section of the canopy does not fit into the slots in the fuselage.  Carefully cut the tabs off the bottom of the clear piece.
  6. The pilot’s seat needs some help.  I drilled holes in mine which improved the looks substantially but it still has some shape issues.  Eduard has already announced a 3D printed replacement which should be coming along soon.
  7. If I were recommending references my first choice would be Aero Detail 24 with Kagero Monograph 18 following close behind.  There are also a number of Japanese language references which are useful, but you will soon begin seeing the same material again and again.
  8. The Kabuki tape masks worked great, they definitely made construction easier.

Part I of the construction here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=21008&action=edit&calypsoify=1

Hasegawa Grumman F4F-4 of LCDR Jimmy Thach in 1/72 Scale

This is LCDR John “Jimmy” Thach’s Wildcat which he flew during the Battle of Midway.  After the loss of USS Lexington (CV-2) at Coral Sea, VF-3 was quickly re-assigned to USS Yorktown (CV-5) for Midway.  Thach was credited with three Zeros while flying this aircraft, but it was pushed over the side after Yorktown was damaged.  Thach survived the war with six victories.  In addition to several Squadron commands, he served as Captain of three aircraft carriers.  Jimmy Thatch retired from the Navy in 1967 as a full Admiral.

This is the Hasegawa kit 51324 (AP24) F4F-4 Wildcat, built with the True Details resin cockpit & wheelwell sets.  This kit has been re-boxed several times with various stock numbers, but all versions contain the same sprues for the F4F-4.  The kit is excellent, but including the True Details set is almost a requirement to dress up the rather Spartan cockpit and close up the otherwise empty wheelwells.  I added some wire & Evergreen details to the interior and wired the engines.  Tailwheels on the carrier-based aircraft were scratched to better represent the solid wheels used there.  Starfighter decals sheet 72-114 was used for the markings.

Lockheed F-5 Lightnings of the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group Color Photographs

A pair of F-5 Lightnings of the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group prepare for take-off from their base at Mount Farm, England. Cameras replaced the gun armament in the nose. These F-5s carry the remnants of Invasion Stripes under the booms. (Imperial War Museum photograph)
Another F-5 with Invasion Stripes, this is 44-23709 finished in the standard Olive Drab over Neutral Gray camouflage. Lockheed finished F-5s in Haze, and then Synthetic Haze, before reverting back to the standard OD/NG, and ultimately Natural Aluminum.
At the unit level, some USAAF reconnaissance aircraft in Egland were repainted using Royal Air Force stocks of PRU Blue, or even Azure Blue in some cases. The “Florida Gator” carries sharks’ mouths on the outer sides of her engine nacelles, but not the inner sides.
43-28333 of the Group’s 13th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron carries the name “Lanakila”, which is Hawaiian for “Victory”. While Hawaiian names were a fashion in the Pacific Theater for a time, they were relatively rare in the ETO. (Imperial War Museum photograph)
A beautiful in-flight photo as an F-5 from the 14th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron takes off from Mount Farm.
A 13th PRS Lighting, this is 43-29009 at Chalgrove Airfield. The port access panel on the nose camera bay is open. (Imperial War Museum photograph)
A nice shot of two Lightnings taxiing at Chalgrove, revealing several details of the disbursal area of interest to modelers wanting to construct display bases or dioramas.
Likely the same aircraft as the previous photograph, this aircraft is devoid of serials or formation numbers, but displays blue spinners and red panels.
An interesting shot of cameras being installed in the nose bay of an F-5, the camera cases are sitting on the ground. Details of the propeller markings are also visible.
The same aircraft as the previous photo. Drop tanks are in place.

Hasegawa Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat of LT Butch O’Hare in 1/72 Scale

This model represents the F4F-3a of LT Butch O’Hare of VF-2, “White 15”, BuNo 4031.  This is the aircraft O’Hare flew on 20 February 1942 while defending the USS Lexington (CV-2) from Japanese bombers.  He and his wingman were the only two Wildcats in position to defend Lexington from an attack by nine G4M “Betty” bombers of the 4th Kokutai, but the wingman’s guns jammed and would not fire.  Undeterred, O’Hare made four deflection passes through the Japanese formation.  He shot down three Bettys and damaged four others.  One of the damaged Bettys (carrying the flight leader, LCDR Takuzo Ito) attempted to crash into Lexington but missed, another ditched on the return flight.  O’Hare was credited with destroying five aircraft to become the Navy’s first ace, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.

Markings are from Mark’s Starfighter Decals sheet 72-142 USN Hit & Run Raids Feb-Apr 1942.  All behaved flawlessly. The model got the Quickboost resin -3 wings, and the scoop on the top of the cowl was filled with superglue and sanded smooth.  The True Details cockpit and wheelwell set was also used.

An Army at Dawn Audio Book Review

An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943

Authored and Narrated by Rick Atkinson

Audiobook, 7 hours and 2 minutes

Published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Language: English

ASIN: B000083F5T

America entered the North African campaign with the Torch landings in November 1942, the first offensive for the Americans against the German and Italian armies.  America was new to the war but full of confidence, even though the commanders and their Divisions were untested.  The most complex of military operations are opposed amphibious landings, and Torch would be the first combat for the troops as well.  Adding to the complexity and confusion would be the opposition – Vichy French who were former allies, but who were obliged by the terms of France’s surrender to defend North Africa and who had a rather complex relationship with the British.

An Army at Dawn examines the North Africa campaign through a political lens.  Eisenhower, himself untested in combat, was appointed Supreme Commander and found himself in command of Gibraltar as well as Allied forces from a number of countries.  Most of the foreign units and their commanders had seen considerably more combat than their American counterparts.  Further complicating matters were the French, whose Generals were insisting on military control of Allied forces and administering the population and infrastructure of their colonies, all the while contesting the loyalty of rival French factions.  Adding to this, the inexperienced American Army, while eager and learning quickly, made numerous blunders and saw several officers replaced.

The author relates several of the battles of the North African Campaign, but omits others – Kasserine being one.  In some cases the engagements are followed in detail which gives a good feel for what the average infantryman encountered in North Africa, but these battles are related almost as anecdotes rather than unfolding in a series to determine the outcome of the campaign.  One does get the feel for the fluidity of the war in the desert though, with units sometimes rushing across great distances with only vague ideas of what they were to do when they got to their destinations.

This book is useful to illustrate the complexities of command at the upper levels, where Generals and their staffs vie for power and influence.  The political roles played by military commanders was surprising, not only within their own governments but with Allied governments as well – a real tightrope which had to be negotiated at the same time as managing the armies.  At times this appeared to be more important than the fight at hand and added another level of complexity to an already complex situation.  This book is not a typical military history of a campaign, but adds much more of the perspective from the senior command level than usual.

Women Warriors 179

USMC
Russia
Italy
Kurdish YPJ
IDF
USAF with F-16
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Kelsey Casey sits in the cockpit of an AV-8B Harrier at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, March 27, 2019.
Mrs. Nancy Harkness Love, founder of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. (Photo courtesy of The Women’s Collection, Texas Women’s University.)
Polish Home Army Warsaw Uprising 1944 with Błyskawica submachine gun
WASPs
ww513_Norway
Norway
ww513b_Kurdistan
Kurdish YPJ
ww513c_Sweden
Sweden
ww513d_USArmy
US Army
ww513e_Ukraine
Ukraine
ww513g_Romania
Romania
ww514_Norway
Norway
ww515_Ukraine
Ukraine
ww516_UK
United Kingdom WWI
ww516Poster
ww313
IDF
New Jersey National Guard
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F-15 pilot Captain (now Colonel) Samantha Weeks, 12thFS in Alaska
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Australian WASPs with C-47
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IDF
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IDF
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IDF
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ATS
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Arma Hobby Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate “Frank” Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

With the cockpit and engine assemblies in place it is time to cut off the tabs behind the engine so the wing piece will seat properly. The tabs are not shown in the instructions and I don’t see why they were added as the engine limits the spread of the forward fuselage.
Even with the wings on there are still several components to add to the construction. There are two sizes of oil coolers to choose from, and both have the radiator inside represented with PE. In this case the PE will be visible on the completed model, although the radiator texture could have just as easily been represented in plastic.
I found the cowling pieces a bit fiddly and had to sand them in most cases to get them smooth. The cowl flaps and exhausts are separate pieces and really look the part when in place. I plan on leaving the horizontal stabilizers off for now on most of these to ease painting. Fit was excellent overall using MEK, the main component in most “thin” glues. I had several seams which did not need filling or sanding, but I have never had a build which didn’t need a seam or two addressed somewhere.
The kabuki tape masks went on without a hitch. The fit of the clear parts left something to be desired. The rear section is designed with a tab which is to fit into a slot in the fuselage, but the tab is bigger than the slot. I shaved mine off with a hobby knife, and used Perfect Plastic Putty to address any remaining seam. This particular build will be in an overall NMF so I attached the horizontal stabilizers.
The finish was checked with Mr. Surfacer 1000. Any seams which still remained were sanded back and panel lines and rivets were re-scribed, then primed again to be sure.
The fiddly bits were cut off the sprues at the same time as the cockpit components, allowing them to be worked on in parallel with the primary assembly path. The bronze rod “handles” on the drop tanks will be the main anchor points when it comes time to mount them to the model. The rods are placed so they can also represent the fuel lines from the tanks.
Wheels and props were also cut from the sprues and cleaned up on the first day of construction, allowing them to be painted and decaled while other assemblies were drying.
This is the nose after any needed cowling panels have been rescribed and rivets replaced with a needle. At this point I noticed that the splitter plate in the carburetor intake was missing. This is an easy fix with a piece of plastic card.

Part IV here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/08/05/arma-hobby-nakajima-ki-84-hayate-frank-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-iv/