Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

The Ju 88P-1 was given a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to check the seamwork and any problems addressed. This aircraft had yellow recognition panels under the wings and a yellow fuselage band. The undersides are painted in the standard RLM 65.

The upper surfaces carried an RLM 70 / 71 splinter pattern. Making tape is from the hardware store, nothing fancy.

Here the basic painting is complete. I post these pictures with the paint jars used to help me remember the paint colors later.

The entire model was sprayed with a coat of acrylic Future (Klear) to seal in the decals prior to applying the panel line wash.

After the wash I glued most of the fiddlybits in place. The pitot tube was made from Albion Alloys tube with a 0.004” Nitenol tip. All these details will be painted before the final flat coat is applied so they look uniform.

Here is a close-up of the canopy, it is clear enough to see much of the interior detail. I have gotten into the habit of looking at the instructions through the clear pieces before beginning construction to determine how much detail will be visible on the finished model. If I can read the instructions I know that the effort required to dress up the interior will not be wasted.

The finished model, and another odd Ju 88 variant for the collection. The Revell kits are gems and there are several variants and camouflage schemes from which to choose. A word of caution though, Revell’s old tool kit is still in circulation and is crude by comparison so check Scalemates to make certain you’re getting the new tool.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/R6 of Leutnant Walter Krupinski in 1/72 Scale

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/R6 of Leutnant Walter Krupinski, 6. /JG52 Russia, OCT 1942.  Kit is from Fine Molds.

This model depicts the Bf 109G-2/R6 of “Graf Punski” early in his career, at the that time he had amassed fifty victories.  Subsequently he was brought down by a Taran (ramming) attack by a Soviet pilot in an I-16.  He was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 7. Staffel, where Erich Hartmann, who was to become the world’s highest scoring ace, flew as his wingman.  Krupinski was promoted to Hauptmann and took over command of II./JG 11 in the West.  The Gruppe was active over the invasion front in France, where Krupinski scored ten victories before he was wounded for the fifth time in August.  After recovering, he commanded III./JG 26 until that Gruppe was disbanded in March.  Krupinski finished the war flying Me 262 jets with JV 44, where his final two victories brought his total to 197.  Walter Krupinski survived the war.

















USS Choctaw, Civil War Ironclad Ram


The USS Choctaw was built at New Albany, Indiana in 1856, originally as a merchant steamer for trade along the Mississippi River. She was purchased by the U.S. Army in 1862 and converted into an ironclad ram. In 1863 she entered service with the U.S. Navy for action against the Confederacy along the Mississippi and its tributaries. A very fine photograph given the era, note the crew’s laundry drying on the lines forward.

The Choctaw was large for a river steamer, with a length of 260 feet (79 meters) and displacing 1,004 tons. Propulsion was via a steam engine which drove two side wheels. This gave her an unusual profile and a blistering maximum speed of two knots.

Choctaw was given iron armor and a ram on her bow. She carried six guns – one 100 pound rifle, two 30 pound rifles, and three nine inch cannon. Some depictions show an additional gun on her deck in a carriage mount.

At the end of April 1863 Choctaw saw her first combat, a diversionary attack on Confederate positions around Haynes’ Bluff, Mississippi. She was hit by Confederate artillery 53 times during this action, some of these hits penetrating her iron armor. Fortunately casualties among her crew were light. She continued to operate in the area, burning Confederate shipping and yard works there in May.

On 06-07 June she, along with the gunboat USS Lexington, supported Union troops during the battle of Milliken’s Bend. Confederate troops of Walker’s Texas Division (“Walker’s Greyhounds”) were attempting to relieve the siege of Vicksburg. Union forces of the USCT African Brigade and 23rd Iowa Infantry, supported by the gunboats, defeated the Confederates, the Choctaw rescuing many Confederate prisoners from the Mississippi. This was the first major engagement fought by a black brigade during the Civil War. Comparing this to photographs, this is a very detailed and accurate engraving.

In May of 1864 Choctaw participated in the capture of Fort DeRussy along the Red River in Louisiana. It was her last major action of the war. She was decommissioned at Algiers Louisiana on 20 July 1865 and sold to a civilian buyer. This engraving is not nearly as reliable as the previous example, the artist has omitted significant details and has combined features of the Choctaw and USS Lafayette, which had a similar general appearance.

Her profile was dominated by the armored housings for her twin side wheels and low freeboard. Photographs often show her being assisted by river tugs, her low speed and river currents undoubtedly made her difficult to maneuver.

An interesting Tom Freeman painting which shows the deck layout and details of the stays and rigging. The Choctaw’s color has been interpreted in various ways, while Freeman has chosen a dark blue overall here, others have opted for black or gray with wooden decks.

Here is a contemporary photograph, an atmospheric view with a small house on the riverbank in the foreground. Note again the tug assisting aft.


Two views of the crew. Compliment was 106 officers and men.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 of Unteroffizier Günther Josten in 1/72 Scale

This is the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 of Unteroffizier Günther Josten of 1. /JG51 at Bobruisk, Belarus, Spring 1944.  Kit is from Fine Molds.

Günther Josten got a late start for being one of the highest-scoring Luftwaffe Experten, opening his account on 23FEB43.  The next month his Staffel converted to the Focke Wulf Fw 190, the type upon which he was to score most of his victories.  He was credited with 178 victories, all on the Eastern Front.  One of his more unusual victories for an Eastern Front pilot was a USAAF B-17 sent to bomb Warsaw in support for the Warsaw Uprising.  Josten’s most successful day was on 25APR45 when he downed nine Russian aircraft.  At the end of the war he was the Gruppenkommandeur of IV. Gruppe of JG 51.  Josten survived the war.
















Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Kagero Monographs Book Review


Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A, S, F, G

Series: Kagero Monographs Special Edition Book 12

By Krzysztof Janowicz, translated by Neil Page, drawings by Maciej Noszczak, profiles by Janusz Światłoń and Arkadiusz Wróbel

Hardcover, 272 pages, heavily illustrated, 26 color profiles, line drawings

Published by Kagero, February 2020

Language: English

ISBN-10: 83-66148-72-6

ISBN-13: 978-83-66148-72-7

Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.0 x 11.75 inches

Dozens of books on the Focke Wulf Fw 190 have been written.  Most modelers with even a passing interest in the Luftwaffe will likely have a few on their shelves.  In my case more than a few, and a new volume is published almost every year.  So the question arises, do we need another book on the Fw 190?  Need is probably not the best word, but there are a number of things to recommend this book.

The text begins with the technical history of the type, beginning with the evolution of the “A” series fighter variants.  “F” and “G” fighter-bombers follow and the differences between the mission optimization is addressed well as these were not all intended to have the same roles, the “F” series being what we might call close support while the “G” were optimized for longer-range strike missions.

The narrative then shifts to descriptions of the Fw 190 in service.  This is arranged by theater rather by unit and includes detailed descriptions of individual actions along with first-hand anecdotes from the participants.  These flow logically and are easy to follow.

The text is augmented by a huge number of photographs.  There are literally pictures on every page.  These are reproduced well and are nicely captioned.   Many of these are factory photographs of details and sub-assemblies which will be of particular interest to modelers.  The bulk are of the Fw 190 in service at the fronts, some of which are familiar, others not.

The major strength of this volume lies in the drawings.  This section opens with a selection of Focke Wulf technical illustrations showing the various internal systems.  This is followed by several pages of 1/48 scale line drawings of all the developments of the series, with supplementary details in 1/24 scale where useful.  Next is a series of 1/72 scale drawings, but this time attention is drawn to the changes between variants by shading the modified areas.  As if all this weren’t enough, these are three additional sheets of drawings included as loose inserts, one set in 1/48 scale and two in 1/32.  Rounding out the artwork are twenty-six full color side profiles, several of which are supplemented with color plan views.

All in all this makes a vey nice package for the Luftwaffe enthusiast.  The narrative is nicely written and there is a lot of visual interest in the selection of the photographs.  The drawings are very useful for identifying the plethora of modifications and will certainly help sort out the confusion in identifying sup-types.  The pricing of this book makes it very attractive and I can recommend it without reservation.




Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

The Revell Ju 88 kits go together without any drama. The fuselage spine is molded as a separate piece which allows all the filler cap detail to be molded in. Kits with a more traditional fuselage split cannot capture that detail because of the mold angle.

A little surgery is needed for the P-1 conversion, the white area here is plastic card to fill the hole where the bomb sight was removed. The Aims conversion kit has resin replacement pieces for the nose, but I chose to use the C-6 kit parts with gun ports filled for ease of assembly.

The location for the gun gondola under the fuselage was marked off with a Sharpie and the black extended over the mating area. I find this prevents the edges of the clear parts from reflecting light, and the Sharpie ink will allow for a solid glue bond instead of lifting off like paint will do. The bomb bay doors have been filled and a new hatch opening scribed in.

The gondola is a clear vacuformed piece. It is thick so it took some time to separate from the sheet. I trimmed it until the fit was close then fixed it in place with Superglue. The seam was cleaned up with Perfect Plastic Putty.

The defensive armament is glued in place from the inside, I have cut off the barrels and will re-attach them at the end of the build. Sun curtains are made from masking tape and glued in place with Micro LiquTape.

The canopy seam was filled with more PPP. I like the PPP for delicate work as it won’t craze the clear parts and can be smoothed out with a wet cotton swab.

I like to fix the landing light covers in place before painting and fill any seams with superglue. This is easy to sand down at this point in the construction and buff back to clarity with an 8000 grit sanding cloth.

Before priming the clear parts received a coat of the interior RLM 66 color from the outside.

Here is the ventral gondola under a coat of RLM 66.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 of Obstlt Herbert Rollwage in 1/72 Scale

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 of Obstlt Herbert Rollwage of 5./JG 53 in Sicily, Italy, July 1943.  Fine Molds kit.

Herbert Rollwage opened his account on the opening day of Operation Barbarossa.  By the time the Pik As Geschwader transferred to the Mediterranean Theater in December 1941 his score stood at 11.  He was shot down and wounded on 10JUL43 over Sicily.  He rejoined 5./JG 51 on Reich Defense duties in Austria in December 1943.  He survived the war.  Some sources credit him with 102 victories including 44 four-engined bombers, but other sources put his final score in the eighties.










U.S. Coast Guard Hall PH Flying Boat Color Photographs

The Hall Aluminum Aircraft Corporation PH flying boats are an obscure type, little known even among aviation enthusiasts today. Nine PH-1s were built for the U.S. Navy, entering service with VP-8 in 1932. In 1936 the U.S. Coast Guard ordered nine of the PH-2 “Hall Boats”. (All photographs from the NASM Rudy Arnold Collection)

The aircraft were finished in the standard “Yellow Wings” scheme of the 1930s with Coast Guard rudder stripes. V164 was lost along with three of her crewmen on 15JUL39 while attempting to evacuate a crewman with pneumonia from the research ship Atlantis off New York City.

This photograph of V164 reveals several interesting details of her paint scheme. Note the black walkways on her fuselage and on the lower wing under the engines. The small trim elevators are also of interest.

Three USCG Hall PH-2s in echelon formation pose for the camera. The PH-2s were powered by two Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engines each producing 750 horsepower. These gave the flying boats a modest maximum speed of 160 mph (257 km/h) but an endurance of 20 hours.

The USCG ordered an additional nine Hall PH-3s which entered service in 1941. These featured a revised cockpit enclosure and more aerodynamic engine nacelles, along with gun positions in the nose and aft of the wing.

After the U.S. entered the war the Coast Guard was administratively transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the U.S. Navy, the Hall Boats receiving standard U.S. Navy camouflage and markings. Depth charge racks were fitted under the lower wings and the aircraft were used for anti-submarine patrols along the Atlantic coast in addition to their rescue duties.

As was common with most aircraft which were in service prior to the change, the Hall Boats retained the pre-war convention propeller warning stripes of red-yellow-blue.

Here a PH-3 has entered the water at the beginning of another patrol as the beaching crew remove the beaching gear (wheels) from the hull. Four depth charges are clearly visible under the lower wing.

A PH-3 in flight demonstrating the effectiveness of the Blue Gray camouflage.

A PH-3 drops a depth charge for the photographer. While the Hall Boats made no claims for U-boats destroyed, they were quite active in their original role and performed many rescues. They normally carried a crew of six and could hold up to twenty additional passengers.

The nose gunner at his position. He was obviously exposed to the elements when manning the gun, and he was tethered to the aircraft with a broad leather belt and cable, just visible around his waist.

An interesting in-flight sequence of the nose gunner firing his weapon, which has been fitted with a telescopic sight and a unique ammunition container.

Another view from a different angle which shows details of the wingtip float and insignia placement. The markings are standard for 1942-43 but there are no squadron codes or individual aircraft numbers applied.

The Hall Boats served the USCG into 1944 when they were replaced with PBY Catalina and PBM Mariner flying boats.