Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Capt. John Pugh in 1/72 Scale

John Pugh opened his account on 08APR44, a Bf 109 downed while escorting a bombing raid to Brunswick.  He was part of the 357th’s contribution to the shuttle missions to Russia.  He ended the war with six confirmed victories, four Bf 109s and two FW 190s.  He survived the war and retied as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1947.

Serial Number 42-106473 “Geronimo” P-51B-10-NA Capt. John Pugh 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals

Bell P-39 Airacobra Color Photographs Part II

A beautiful photograph of two early Airacobras. The camouflaged aircraft in the foreground with its engine running is a P-39C which appears to have no guns fitted. The natural metal aircraft in the background is one of the thirteen YP-39s built. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
The 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron did its advanced training on P-39Ns at Aiken Army Airfield in South Carolina. This is a fine study of one of their aircraft.
Pilots of the 118th TRS pose on the nose of one of their P-39Ns. The squadron deployed to the CBI where they finished the war flying Mustangs.
Another 118th TRS Airacobra provides a good view of the insignia on the “car door”, as well as standard markings for the Summer of 1943.
The flightline at Hamilton Field, July 1943 showing a P-39N of the 357th Fighter Group. Several Liberators and a Flying Fortress are visible in the background.
Five color photographs of the same aircraft, a rarity and a boon for modelers. The P-39 was known as the Airacobra I in Royal Air Force service. This is AH621, running up her engine at Buffalo New York in 1941. She was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force for evaluation but crashed on 26NOV41. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
The aircraft is painted in the RAF Day Fighter scheme, U.S. equivalents of Dark Green and Dark Earth with a very light substitute for Sky on the undersides. Note the unusually high demarcation of the underside color. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
The Royal Air Force ordered 676 Airacobras, receiving their first in September 1941. The USAAC decision to eliminate the turbosupercharger limited their effectiveness over Europe, the RAF reporting poor climb rates and a drop-off in power at altitude. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
Only No. 601 Squadron flew the Airacobra in Royal Air Force service, and they only flew one operational mission before the type was relegated to training and other secondary duties. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
Approximately 200 of the RAF order was diverted to the Soviets. The Airacobra was enthusiastically received by the VVS, which operated almost exclusively at low altitude. Another 200 were requisitioned by the USAAF after Pearl Harbor and sent to the Pacific as the P-400. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)

Part III here:

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Capt. John “Pappy” Medeiros in 1/72 Scale

John Medeiros’ Mustang wears a field applied camouflage of British colors, RAF Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray and carries an impressive tally bombing mission markers.  Medeiros was credited with one aerial victory, a Bf 109.  This aircraft was shot down on 19SEP44 by an FW 190A-8 piloted by Lt. Gerhard Vogt of 5./JG 26.

Serial Number 43-6813 “Pappy’s Answer” P-51B-7-NA Capt. John “Pappy” Medeiros 364 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-03 decals

Give Me Tomorrow Audio Book Review

Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War’s Greatest Untold Story – The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company

Authored by Patrick O’Donnell, Narrated by Lloyd James

Audiobook, 6 hours and 10 minutes

Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Language: English


George Company of the First Marine Regiment was one of the formations which was hastily put together and rushed to Korea in response to the North Korean invasion.  Many were Reservists, and several had never even been through boot camp. They were landed at Inchon in September 1950 and helped liberate Seoul.  With the North Korean forces in retreat, they then landed at Wonson to the enemy’s rear and advanced North to the Chosin Reservoir.

There two problems faced the Marines.  A record-cold North Korean winter was setting in, and the Chinese had been infiltrating divisions of “volunteers” South to support the routed North Korean Army.  MacArthur and the United Nations Command had persistently discounted reports of contact with Chinese troops, but by the end of November even MacArthur was forced to concede that more than a dozen Chinese divisions were encircling the U.N. Task Force at Chosin.  Legendary Colonel Chesty Puller, commanding the First Marines, reportedly said, “They’ve got us surrounded, the poor bastards.”

The U.N. troops conducted a fighting retreat to the South.  The Chinese attempted to cut the roads and trap the American and their allies using roadblocks and ambushes but were unable to stop them.  During the withdrawal seven Chinese divisions were destroyed, both sides reportedly losing more casualties to frostbite than to enemy action. The author uses personal interviews to tell the story of the Marines of George Company, their battles are related from the perspectives of the individual Marines involved.  This is a great piece of history from a forgotten war, and brutal chapter in the history of the Marine Corps.  Highly recommended.

Women Warriors 174

Kurdish YPJ
USMC in Afghanistan
Heather “Lucky” Penney, USAF F-16 Pilot
Major Mariya Smirnova HSU, CO of the Night Witches
WAVE with SNJ, Texas1943
ATS anti-aircraft gun crew, London 1944
Royal Navy
Royal Australian Air Force security
Soviet Sniper Roza Shanina, credited with 59 kills
US Navy F/A-18 pilot LT Tremel
ATS with AAA spotting scope
WASP Dorothy Olsen with P-38 Lightning

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IBG Scammell Pioneer Tank Transporter Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

This is the IBG Scammell Pioneer Tank Transporter with TRCU30 Trailer, part of a family of Scammell truck kits released in 2020. I purchased the kit as part of my on-going fascination with tank transporters, this will be the third one I’ve constructed recently. I am hoping to knock this one out fairly quickly while waiting for the big box of Arma Hayates to arrive from Hannants.
Tank transporters build up into large vehicles when finished, and this one will be no exception. There are lots and lots of parts, ten sprues altogether. The box contains two copies of the sprue on the bottom left, four copies of the sprue on bottom right in order to account for the fourteen wheels of the prototype. I found it odd that there are no spares, you’d figure one would be carried. Both the cab and the frame have to be built up from their respective components, no slide molded wizardry here.
The final two sprues. The parts are well molded and sharp, but there is a mold seam on most parts which will need the attentions of an Xacto knife. Mold attachment points are on the thick side but clean up well. On many kits the photoetch fret is used to enhance detail, or provide an alternative to molded pieces. Not here. In this case the PE parts are required to complete the model and many are part of the structure.
This is the cab interior. The seat supports are PE which makes them a bit flimsy. The only way to ever see them would be if the doors were cut out and posed open. The various shift and brake levers were provided as PE parts, I replaced them with 0.015” round stock because it’s easier to work with and the levers weren’t really flat.
This is the state of the construction after Step 20 (of 35). Many of the PE parts are brackets to hold various rollers and pulleys. One set defied my attempts at alignment and was replaced with plastic card. I have left off several pieces of PE from the engine as they will be invisible with the hood panels in place. If you wanted to leave off the side panels and wire the engine it would be impressive, otherwise it is wasted detail.
Here the tractor section is complete except for the roof pieces which I will leave off so I can paint the interior. The white cover behind the cab is provided as PE. That was not going to work for me so I fabricated a replacement from Evergreen sheet. There is a mold seam down the centerline of all the tires but that can be removed with a sanding block.

Part II here:

Bell P-39 Airacobra Color Photographs Part I

The Bell P-39 Airacobra was originally intended to be a high-altitude interceptor, featuring a turbo-supercharger and heavy armament centered around a 37mm cannon firing through the propeller hub. To allow for a heavy concentration of guns in the forward fuselage, the engine was mounted behind the pilot and drove the propeller via a long transmission.
Wind tunnel tests resulted in several refinements to the design, and Bell delivered a total of thirteen YP-39 development aircraft, one of which is seen here. The USAAC preferred aircraft optimized for low-altitude work, so the turbo-supercharger was dropped from the design. This Airacobra is unarmed.
Bell submitted a modified design for competition for a U.S. Navy requirement for a carrier-borne interceptor. The result was the XFL-1 Airabonita, which was designed using a conventional tricycle landing gear configuration. Note the tailhook under the fuselage.
The Airabonita failed its carrier qualifications due to weak landing gear. Only a single prototype was produced.
A flight of P-39Ds, the large “buzz numbers” on the forward fuselage denoting training aircraft. Note the prominent exhaust stains along the length of the fuselage.
A pair of P-39Cs of the 8th Pursuit Squadron are seen here participating in the 1941 Carolina Maneuvers in 1941. The red cross markings are carried in six positions and designate the aircraft are part of “Red Force”. The individual aircraft numbers are repeated on the leading edge of the wings. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
A posed photo purportedly showing the loading of the guns of a P-39C armed with a 20mm cannon firing through the propeller hub. A close examination reveals the “armorer” on the wing is a Captain. Modelers note the overspray where the white band on the nose was masked off. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
P-39Ds at Selfridge Field during the Summer of 1941. They belong to the appropriately-named “Cobras” of the 39th Pursuit Squadron, 31st Pursuit Group.
A close-up showing the emblem of the 39th Pursuit Squadron on the “car door”, along with details of the fuselage.
Diorama bait as a P-39F of the 54th Fighter Group is being serviced in the open at Adak, Alaska. The effects of the harsh environment are evident in the condition of the paint and weathering of the camouflage.

Part II here:

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Leonard “Kit” Carson in 1/72 Scale

Leonard Carson was the leading scorer of the 357th Fighter Group with 18.5 aerial victories and another 3.5 on the ground.  His P-51B was named “Nooky Booky” by his crew chief. Carson kept the name for luck as his aircraft were replaced, finishing the war in a P-51K named “Nooky Booky IV”.  His best day was 27NOV44 when he claimed five Focke Wulf FW 190s during a single mission.

Serial Number 43-6634 “Nooky Booky” P-51B-7-NA Leonard K. Carson 362 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Major John C. Herbst in 1/72 Scale

John “Pappy” Herbst was an American who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and was sent to England with the Eagle Squadron.  He claimed a Bf-109, but this was unconfirmed.  Herbst commanded the 74th Fighter Squadron in China, and flew both the P-40N Warhawk and P-51B Mustang in combat.  He was credited with 18 victories over Japanese aircraft, making him the second highest scoring pilot in the CBI behind Tex Hill.  He survived the war, but died in July 1946 while giving a flight demonstration in a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star.

Serial Number 43-7060 “Tommy’s Dad” P-51B-7-NA Major John C. Herbst 74 FS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-176 decals