This is the Zvezda Panzer IV Ausf. H in 1/72 scale, kit number 5017 released in 2018. I replaced the hull Schürzen with sheet plastic and I added Zimmerit made with Mr. Surfacer 500. A nice kit and loads of camo schemes to choose from. Decals are from Kagero Top Colors 32 and depict a Panzer IV from the 116th Panzer Division in Normandy, August 1944. I found the mixed camo patterns of the hull Schürzen and the rest of the vehicle interesting.
Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper
By Martin Pegler
Hardcover in dustjacket, 333 pages, well-illustrated, notes, and index
Published by Osprey Publishing, October 2004
Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches
Ever since the first human hurled the first rock mankind has placed a premium on those who could aim a projectile accurately at the longest possible range. Any group which could damage their enemies before their enemies could damage them enjoyed a significantly higher probability of not only defeating their opposition but also living to fight another day themselves. The sling, the spear, and the bow were eventually replaced by the firearm in the 1500s, but early firearms were inaccurate, unreliable (especially in wet weather), and slow to reload. The standard military tactic was to overcome the limitations of the single musket by gathering dozens or even hundreds of soldiers together and firing in volleys against similar masses of opposing soldiers, the volleys often being followed by a charge with the bayonet.
Not all muskets or musketeers were created the same, and some were much better at hitting their targets than others. Shooting competitions were organized which helped disseminate both knowledge and technical advances. It was soon realized that individual sharpshooters could be a useful augmentation to the massed fire of standard military formations and the concept of the specialized sniper was born.
This book traces the evolution of the military sniper from the first employments during the 1500s to today. A major part of the history is devoted to the technological development of the rifle, and later the telescopic sight as improvements in accuracy extended the range of the rifle past the limitations of open sights. The author describes the evolution of the equipment well, and many of the illustrations focus on the different weapons, optics, and ammunition. The tactical employment of sniper teams and their tactics are detailed, as well as the counter-sniping role. Throughout the author has related accounts of how snipers were used in various conflicts and utilized anecdotal descriptions from the actual combatants when available.
This is a good primer on the history of military sniping, being well-written and well organized. It does not bog down in excessive technical descriptions of the weapons and optics involved, but highlights the evolution of the weapons in a logical manner. The use of first-person accounts keeps the narrative interesting and keeps the reader looking forward to the next page. An excellent book which I can recommend to anyone interested in the topic.
Photographs taken at the Air Zoo, Kalamazoo Michigan.
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Red 4 is a Focke-Wulf D-11, piloted by Lt. Karl-Heinz Hofmann from the airfield protection flight of JV 44, based at München-Rein in April of 1945. Most profiles show a White <58 marking under the Red 4, and the EagleCals sheet includes this marking. After studying the photographs of Red 4 I decided to leave it off. Photographs where the <58 can be seen also show the Balkenkreuz to be badly weathered, with streaks of black showing through the white bars. Some of these pictures were taken after the aircraft had sat outside in the elements for several months. My rational is that in April 1945 the paint would have been fresh and the underlying layers of paint would still be obscured. The inscription reads “Der nächste Herr – dieselbe Dame!”, which means “The next man, the same woman!”.
This is a simple conversion from the standard Tamiya D-9 kit, the differences are a resin propelled and carburetor intake scoop along with modifications to the wing and fuselage armament. Decals are from EagleCals sheet #14.
This is Trumpeter kit number 07249, the Sd.Ah.116 Tank Transporter. This was normally seen with the Sd.Kfz. 8 or Sd.Kfz. 9 FAMO halftrack being used as the towing vehicle with various types of loads – lots of diorama potential with a little research. I used this one to test various weathering techniques and was happy with the results, although there is much room left for improvement. I have posed the trailer with a previous build of a StuG III which was one of the more common vehicles transported.