Revell Heinkel He 177 Greif Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

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The camouflage on this particular aircraft is unusual in that there was mottling on the undersurface. There is a lack of consensus as to what colors were used, here I have chosen RLM 77 Light Gray spots over an RLM 02 Gray Green base. Other representations utilize RLM 76 for the lighter shade and / or RLM 65 for the darker.

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Upper surfaces were the standard RLM 70 Black Green / RLM 71 Dark Green splinter pattern. I used plain old masking tape to duplicate the pattern shown in the Monogram Guide. A little tedious but the camo looks good when complete.

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Here are the paints used. The Mr. Color paints matched the paint chips in the Monogram Guide quite well, I mixed White with Mr. Color 306 to match the RLM 77 Light Gray chip. I sprayed slightly lightened mixes to fade the colors and break up the monotone colors.

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Anything which appeared weak or prone to breakage I have reinforced with bronze wire pins. The main wheel attachment points looked like they would not hold up well so they were strengthened before they had a chance to fail.

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The landing gear and exhausts are in place prior to the panel line wash. With the gear legs in place it is easy to see just how little of the wheel well interior is visible. If you wanted to represent the aircraft under maintenance the outer doors could be opened and wheelwell interiors built up.

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Upper surfaces are shown under a coat of Future (Klear) prior to the panel wash and weathering.

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The panel lines were highlighted with Tamiya wash. I decided to attach the smaller fragile parts at this point so they could be painted before the final flat coats. True to form, a few of these parts sacrificed themselves to the carpet monster and had to be replaced with homemade items. The teardrop-shaped mass balance on the left was shaped from sprue, the hinge on the right was made from plastic stock. It would be really nice if kits contained spares for these kinds of parts!

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This is what is visible through the nose glazing, not a whole lot. Color contrasts show through but not much more.

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Here is a view of the finished model. Decals are from Eagle Strike Productions sheet 72041 and represent an aircraft from II./KG 40 based at Bordeaux, France in 1944.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Heinrich Setz in 1/72 Scale

This is the Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Heinrich Setz of 4. /JG77 at Kastornoye, Russia, July 1942.  Kit is from Fine Molds.

Heinrich Setz was flying this aircraft when he scored his 100th victory on 24JUL42.  He scored three victories during the Norwegian Campaign and 132 over the Eastern Front.  In November of 1942 he was  transferred to the Western Front as Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG27.  Like so many other Luftwaffe Experten, the shift to fighting the Western Allies was his undoing.  On 13MAR43 he fought with Spitfires of the 127 Wing RCAF – he claimed two victories but was killed in a collision with a third Spitfire.  He was credited with a total of 138 aerial victories.

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Imperial German Navy U-9 Class Submarines

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The U-9 was the lead ship of class of four submarines built for the Imperial German Navy shortly before the beginning of the First World War. Small by the standards of today, they were 188 feet in length (57.4 meters) and displaced 493 tons surfaced. They were manned by a crew of 4 Officers and 25 enlisted men.

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At the onset of WWI submarines were unproven and were looked upon derisively by many naval traditionalists. They were not capable of operating for prolonged periods while submerged and could not dive to great depths. They were uncomfortable and tricky to operate, and often dangerous to their own crews.

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On 22SEP14 the U-9 encountered three Royal Navy cruisers patrolling the near the eastern end of the English Channel. These were cruisers of the Cressy class, HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue, and HMS Cressy, which were of an outdated design but still useful. The photograph is of HMS Hogue.

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Firing four torpedoes while submerged, U-9 hit two of the cruisers. She then reloaded her last two torpedoes and hit the third. All three cruisers sank. Within an hour the theoretical threat of submarine warfare had become a proven reality.

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U-9 returned to Wilhelmshaven to a hero’s welcome. As if to demonstrate that her accomplishment was not just a fluke, on 15OCT14 she sank a fourth British cruiser, the HMS Hawke. U-9 was authorized to display the Iron Cross on her conning tower, one of only two Imperial German Navy ships so honored (the other being SMS Emden). Painting by Willy Stower.

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U-10 was the second of the class, commissioned into service on 31AUG11. During the war she sank seven small commercial vessels. On 30JUN16 she was lost with all hands, likely the victim of a mine. Here she is seen operating with U-8.

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This is an interesting photograph showing a nest of submarines in port tied op near the barracks ship Acheron. U-11 is the center vessel in the foreground. This gives a good opportunity to compare details of the U-9 class design with other contemporary Imperial German Navy submarines.

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U-11 had a short operational career. She was mined off the Belgian coast on 09DEC14 and sank with all hands. She was not credited with sinking any enemy vessels.

U12
The last of the four sisters, U-12 was commissioned on 13AUG11. She torpedoed the minesweeper HMS Niger on 11NOV14, but was herself sunk by the Royal Navy destroyers HMS Ariel, HMS Acheron and HMS Attack on 10MAR15. Ten of her crew survived the sinking. Pictured is U-12 alongside an unidentified sister and a third submarine of a different class.

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U-12s claim to fame is she was the first submarine to launch an aircraft. On 15JAN15 she left Zeebrugge with a Friedrichshafen FF.29 lashed to her fo’c’sle. The U-12 partially submerged allowing the floatplane to take off from the surface. The aircraft proceeded to patrol the English coastline and returned safely.

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In 2008 divers located the wreck of U-12 under 50 meters of water off the coast of Eyemouth, where she has obviously been a nuisance to fisherman working the area.

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Das Werk has announced an injection molded kit of the U-9 in 1/72 scale. The model will be 31.4 inches in length (79.7 cm) – large, but not prohibitively so. There will be nameplates and decals to build any of the four submarines of the class.

Amodel Messerschmitt Bf109Z Zwilling in 1/72 Scale

The Messerschmitt Bf 109Z was an actual prototype.  It was constructed from two Bf 109F fuselages, with the intent of producing a new heavy fighter and fast bomber design without interrupting production lines.  The aircraft was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid in 1943 before testing could commence, but performance estimates were impressive.  The Germans produced another Zwilling aircraft, the Heinkel He 111Z glider tug, and many more designs were given the twin treatment on paper.  On the American side the F-82 Twin Mustang saw combat in Korea.  Modelers have found these hard to resist and there are a great number of “whiffer” models based upon twinning two standard types.

This is the Amodel kit enhanced with several spare parts from Fine Molds Bf 109s.  The biggest change was substituting Fine Molds cowling pieces to beef up the noses.

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USN McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Book Review

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USN McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

By Peter E. Davies, illustrated by Adam Tooby and Henry Morshead

Series: Osprey Air Vanguard Book 22

Paperback, 64 pages, heavily illustrated

Published by Osprey Publishing March 2016

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1472804953

ISBN-13: 978-1472804952

Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.1 x 9.9 inches

This is the first book in the Osprey Air Vanguard Series which I have read.  Like most Osprey books, it covers a lot of ground in a small number of pages, so it is best thought of as a primer or an introduction rather than a comprehensive history.  The story of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom could easily (and does!) fill several volumes so it is wise that Osprey have focused on USN F-4s in this work while issuing a separate book on Phantoms operated by the USAF.  Having said that, this volume also covers Phantoms in US Marine, Royal Air Force, and Royal Navy service, so the USN in the title is a bit of a misnomer.

The first chapters are devoted to the developmental history and technical description of the Phantom.  This is well known among aviation enthusiasts but is useful for being concise – an example where the brevity of the format is a strength.  There is a description of all the major sub-types operated by the naval services, and then a history of the type in service.

Like most Osprey books, this one is profusely illustrated, mostly in color.  There are several pages of artwork including portraits of two aircraft and profiles of nine.  The profiles are reproduced to a much smaller format than either those in the Aircraft of the Aces or Combat Aircraft series and there is much less information presented in the captions.  One of the nicer presentations is one which I almost overlooked – the back cover is actually a gatefold which contains an annotated cut-away illustration of the Phantom.

Overall a nice package, the contents and quality of which would not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with this publisher.

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Revell Heinkel He 177 Greif Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

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The He 177 didn’t have a lot of transparencies for an aircraft of its size and most of that was concentrated in the nose. I have gotten into the habit of cutting off the gun barrels rather than breaking them off later, or worse, knocking the entire gun back into the model after it has been closed up. I have made sun curtains from masking tape fixed to the inside with LiquiTape.

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The He 177 was roughly the same size as a B-17, the wingspan was 103 feet or 17.2” (43.6 cm) in scale. The fuselage seam needed only a little filler but overall fit is excellent.

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The seams around the clear parts were filled with Perfect Plastic Putty. This is the ideal filler for areas like this as any excess can be removed with a damp cotton swab, eliminating the need for sanding.

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The transparencies were shot with a light coat of the interior color, RLM 66. On this model the dark camouflage colors would likely suffice if I were to skip this step, but you’d have to be careful that the light primer coat was not visible.

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The entire model was given a thin coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to check for flaws. Any seams are re-filled and sanded at this point and checked again.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2(Trop) of Feldwebel Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert in 1/72 Scale

This is the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2(Trop) of Feldwebel Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert of 4. / JG77 at Castell Benito, Libya, JAN 1943.  The model was constructed from the Fine Molds kit.

Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert was one of the Luftwaffe’s leading Experten, scoring a total of 174 victories.  He was unusual as he began the war as an enlisted man, rising through the ranks to finish as a Hauptmann (Captain) and was training on Me 262 jets with I. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 7 as the war ended.  He fought on the Eastern Front, North Africa, the Italian Front, and in Defense of the Reich.

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