Women Warriors 131

Beautiful Women in Ukraine Army - Ukrainian Military Girls
USAF Security with C-130s
US Marines
Turkish AFV
Israel Defense Forces IDF
USAAF Flight Nurse WWII
LCDR Paige “PUFN” Blok, VFA-32, F/A-18 Pilot
War Photographer Margaret Bourke White on B-17 Flying Fortress Engine
Israeli Police
ATA Pilots

To see more Women Warriors, click on the tags below:

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Comparison Build Part II

All three kits received Tamiya cockpit tubs from the spares box, fitted with Eduard photoetch seatbelts. The RLM 66 interior color makes the details hard to see in the photograph, but the Tamiya cockpits are definitely an improvement.
For the older Hasegawa kit, I moved the cockpit opening 3-4 mm forward, cut off the sliding canopy section, and rebuilt everything with sheet styrene. The nose section is also bulkier than the other kits, but I didn’t see a good way to correct that so I left it alone.
All three fuselages together. I had intended to fit the AML Ta 152 tail to the Tamiya kit, but after cutting off the Tamiya kit’s tail I discovered the AML tail piece was thinner than the Tamiya fuselage. It fit much better with the Hasegawa kit so that’s where it wound up. You can also see the old Hasegawa kit has had its molded-in exhausts cut out and replaced with spares from a Tamiya kit, a big improvement.
Earlier I mentioned that the rear of the engine and the accessories were visible in the wheelwell of the Dora, so I had to cast some parts for what can be seen there. The mold is made up from Lego blocks with masking tape to seal the bottom and hold the parts in place.
Here are the major components ready for plumbing. The ammo boxes on the left are roughed out of plastic sheet, the engine components are castings.
Here are the pieces in place. This is a tight fit both on the real aircraft and in the model, but it is the only way to get this detail right. It is one of the signature characteristics of the Dora but hard to see for casual viewing.
Here is the old Hasegawa kit with some enhancements to the surface details. A simple trick to make panel hinges is to take a piece of round stock and squeeze it with pliers. The serrations of the pliers will imprint the hinge pattern on the stock and you’re done!
The newer Hasegawa kit also received the hinge trick. Fit is excellent on this kit, it still makes for a convincing model and is easy to build. The PE decking piece aft of the cockpit is from an old Eduard set, number 72052. This set also provided panels for the wheelwell interior and oleo scissors for the gear legs.
Here is the underside of the Tamiya kit, showing the improvements to the wheelwells. The molded-in wheelwell “roof” was cut out with a Dremel tool and the sides boxed in with sheet stock. I found a number of PE flap sets in the stash, not entirely certain how I came to have so many but I decided it was time to start using them up.

Part III here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2021/08/27/focke-wulf-fw-190d-9-comparison-build-part-iii/

How to Tell the Iowa Class Battleships Apart

When the Iowa-class battleships were recommissioned during the 1980s they generated a considerable amount of public interest and were very popular subjects with photographers.  The Navy obliged and made them available for access by the media which resulted in a large number of pictures available today.  However, the similarities between the ships have resulted in many of these photographs being mis-identified both on the internet and even by authors who should know better.  In this post I will point out a few of the more easily identifiable differences which will allow battleship fans to make a proper identification.

This photograph is likely the most confusing to observers, and has been identified as all four of the Iowa class in various corners of the internet, if it is identified at all. This is in fact the USS Iowa (BB 61), taken early in her re-activation process. What is confusing to many is the Iowa carried a very prominent American flag painted on the top of Turret One for most of her service in the 1980’s. The flag was painted in June 1984, which dates this picture as being early in her service or a precommissioning trial. Iowa carried non-skid bands atop Turrets Two and Three. The area covered by the non-skid on the fantail for helicopter operations is unique to each of the sisters, on Iowa it extends forward to a line just short of the Turret Three barbette.
Compare the previous photo to this similar shot of USS New Jersey (BB 62). The non-skid on New Jersey’s fantail wraps around Turret Three, with an irregular area of teak decking around the Turret connecting the deck vents. Also note the helicopter deck markings are different, with the landing circle offset to port. The tops of her Turrets and 5” gun mounts are painted in Haze Gray. Also visible on her fo’c’sle are the circular bases for the quad 40mm gun mounts, which are unique to New Jersey, on all other Iowa-class the gun mount bases were removed and planked over with teak.
USS Missouri (BB 63) carried the least amount of teak on her fantail, the non-skid extends all the way forward to the break in the superstructure. Her helicopter pad markings match Iowa’s, and she has her hull number painted atop Turret One.
USS Wisconsin (BB 64) retained the most teak of any of the sisters. Only the helicopter deck and ramps themselves were covered in non-skid. Also note the difference in flight deck markings, with angled stripes painted at the forward corners. Her Turrets and 5” gun mount tops also appear to be painted Haze Gray in this photograph.
New Jersey firing all 21 guns simultaneously off both beams. New Jersey was the only Iowa recommissioned for service during the Vietnam War, and this left her with a uniquely shaped superstructure top to support her electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite. On New Jersey this is two rectangular projections to the beams, all other Iowas received a wrap-around structure. The circular remnants of her 40mm gun tubs are visible on the deck.
Compare the superstructure in previous photograph to this shot of Missouri off Sidney, Australia in October 1986. Missouri displays the rounded upper superstructure and supports for the SLQ-32 ECM common to the other ships. Also of note is the bullwork at the extreme bow to block the wind, this “plain” shielding was common to the Pacific Fleet Battleships New Jersey and Missouri.
The Atlantic Fleet ships had different bow configurations. Here is a shot of Wisconsin (left) and Iowa (right) in mothballs. These were originally tubs for two single 20mm gun mounts and were not removed during their reactivations. Note that they are each different, with the tubs on Iowa projecting further over the beams.
A detail view of Wisconsin’s bow, showing the smaller tub configuration and wind deflector.
Iowa was unique in carrying a large American flag atop Turret One. This was painted on by the crew in June 1984 and is visible in many aerial views of the ship.
This photograph of Missouri working through a heavy swell reveals her hull number painted atop Turret One. Neither New Jersey nor Wisconsin carried identifiers on their Turret tops. The white markings on Turret Two are applied to fittings and trip hazards for the UNREP gear used to transfer stores and ammunition from other ships.

Tamiya Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 of Oberstleutnant Gerhard Michalski in 1/72 Scale

Gerhard Michalski opened his account by downing a French MS 406 on 31MAR40 with 6./JG 53.  His Gruppe briefly participated in the invasion of the Soviet Union, but was withdrawn to the Netherlands and later to Sicily.  He was very active over Malta and achieved 26 victories there before being shot down into the sea by Spitfires of No. 126 Squadron RAF on 15OCT42.  He was rescued and returned to duty, only to be shot down again over the sea by a Spitfire of No. 72 Squadron RCAF, this time he was rescued with injuries.  After his recovery he rejoined II./JG 53, by now stationed in Austria on Reichsverteidigung (Defense of the Reich) duties.   He was again shot down and wounded on 01MAY44.  He finished the war as Geschwaderkommodore of JG 4 with 73 victories, only to be killed in an automobile accident in February 1946. The model depicts Michalski’s Fw 190D-9 when he was serving as the Geschwaderkommodore of JG 4 at Neukirchen, German, in April 1945.


Renault FT Book Review

French Light Tank Renault FT US Six Ton Tank M1917

By Witold J. Lawrynowicz

Series: Armor Photo Gallery # 15

Softcover, 72 pages, drawings, and photographs

Published by Model Centrum Progres, January 2006

Language: English

ISBN-10: ‎ 8360672008

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-8360672006

Dimensions:  8.0 x 11.2 x 0.2 inches

The Renault FT was a French light tank which saw initial service during the First World War.  It is notable for introducing what has since become the standard tank configuration – a rotating turret containing the main armament, engine to the rear of the hull, and driver in the front.  Over 3,000 were produced in France, with several other nations producing copies of the design.  Although obsolete by the standards of WWII, there were several hundred still in service during the Battle of France, and captured examples were retained in Wehrmacht service in secondary roles through the end of the war.

This book is number 15 in the Armor Photo Gallery series and is intended to be a visual reference for modelers.  Two-thirds of the pages are devoted to well-captioned full-color photographs of preserved vehicles presented in a walk-around style.  There are two tanks presented – a Renault FT in the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire in Brussels and a U.S.-built M1917 which was at the West Point Museum.  The two vehicles exhibit a number of construction differences which the captions point out.

Also included are drawings in 1/48 and 1/35 scale, but nothing for 1/72 scale enthusiast.  There is a short history of the type and several pages of black-and-white photographs of the tanks in service. I purchased this book at a model show, and was not familiar with the series at the time.  These happy little discoveries are one of the best reasons to go to shows, you can always find something you didn’t know you needed!  It is a quality publication and judging by what is listed on Amazon, somewhat sought after.  Recommended.

Women Warriors 130

Beautiful Women in Ukraine Army - Ukrainian Military Girls
Royal Australian Navy
ww517c_Lian Kirton and Vigo UK
United Kingdom dog handler Lian Kirton and Vigo
Turkish Special Police
WASP pilot Millicent Young with AT-6 Texan
WASPs with B-26 Marauder

People’s Liberation Army Air Force
WASP Susie Winston Bain

To see more Women Warriors, click on the tags below:

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Comparison Build Part I

One of the highlights of getting to go to the model shows are the vendor tables. Some are retail businesses or manufacturers and others are fellow modelers reducing their stashes. A good deal on an Fw 190D series kit is hard for me to pass up, these are a few show finds. The top kit was first issued by Hasegawa in 1992. It has been re-boxed several times and can still be built up into a nice representation. Also inside the box was another partially-started Hasegawa Dora from the earlier 1976 tool, which is a little rougher and has some accuracy issues. The lower box is Tamiya’s 2000 issue, with all the fine points we’ve come to expect from Tamiya.

The Tamiya kit has everything on a single sprue.  The parts are crisply molded with fine, recessed detail.  I’ve built several of these, really the only major vice is the shallow wheelwells with the closed center panel.  The real Fw-190D series deleted the center panel in the wheelwell to allow room for the engine accessories.  This is a common problem with Dora kits in 1/72 scale, many modelers let it go as the wheelwells are hard to see during normal viewing.
Here are the sprues for Hasegawa’s 1992 issue Dora. This is a nice kit, though not as finely molded as Tamiya’s. Hasegawa’s business plan is to re-use and re-release their kits in different versions, thus maximizing use of their molds. This kit shares parts with their radial engined Focke-Wulfs but with different fuselage pieces.
One of the oddballs from the end of the war is a variation of the Dora fitted with the tail of the Ta 152. There were three known aircraft in this configuration, Brown 4 is the best known and most popular among modelers. AML makes a conversion piece complete with decals. There are many interpretations of the paint scheme on this one, but this unique variant is hard for me to resist.
Here are the three fuselages compared, the 1976 Hasegawa kit on the top, 1992 issue in the middle, and Tamiya on the bottom. The earlier Hasegawa kit is showing its age. The rear sliding section of the canopy is molded as part of the fuselage, and the cockpit opening is too far back. The later Hasegawa and the Tamiya kits match up well in shape, with the Tamiya being slightly better detailed.
Here are the wings compared. Tamiya’s wing on the top again shows some fine detail, but the Tamiya engineers measured a museum aircraft fitted with a D-11 wing assembly, which has only a single shell ejector opening between the wheelwells. Hasegawa’s newer kit has the exhaust recess seen on the radial engine Focke-Wulfs because of the parts sharing. No shell ejector openings for the cowl guns at all on this one. The previous owner of the older Hasegawa on the bottom had already glued the wings together which will make opening up the wheelwells a little more interesting than usual!
Here the 1976 Hasegawa fuselage is compared to Tamiya’s. The cockpit opening is too far back, and I decided to simply cut off the rear section of the canopy and replace it with a better one from the spares box so I could pose the canopy open. The old kit will need some help with surface detail as well, and the molded-in exhaust stubs just aren’t working for me. Not the best kit to start with for a show-stopper, but improving the old kits is a good exercise and can be fun too!

Part II here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2021/08/20/focke-wulf-fw-190d-9-comparison-build-part-ii/

Hasegawa Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 of Hauptmann Robert Weiß in 1/72 Scale

Robert “Bazi” Weiß claimed his first victory while flying with 6./JG 26, a Spitfire in September, 1941.  He was transferred to 1./JG 54 on the Eastern Front, scoring slowly until he fell ill and was hospitalized in the spring of 1943.  He returned to combat in July, scoring steadily until transferred to the West with III./JG 54 to oppose the Allied invasion of Normandy.  He was promoted to Gruppenkommandeur III./JG 54, which fought against ever increasing Allied opposition.  He was shot down and killed on 29DEC44 by a Norwegian-flown RAF Spitfire of No. 331 Squadron.  “Bazi” Weiß was credited with 121 victories at the time of his death. The model represents the Fw 190 A-8 of Robert “Bazi” Weiß, Stab III./JG 54 at Villacoublay, France June 1944.