Women Warriors 179

Kurdish YPJ
USAF with F-16
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Kelsey Casey sits in the cockpit of an AV-8B Harrier at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, March 27, 2019.
Mrs. Nancy Harkness Love, founder of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. (Photo courtesy of The Women’s Collection, Texas Women’s University.)
Polish Home Army Warsaw Uprising 1944 with Błyskawica submachine gun
Kurdish YPJ
US Army
United Kingdom WWI
New Jersey National Guard
F-15 pilot Captain (now Colonel) Samantha Weeks, 12thFS in Alaska
Australian WASPs with C-47

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Arma Hobby Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate “Frank” Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

With the cockpit and engine assemblies in place it is time to cut off the tabs behind the engine so the wing piece will seat properly. The tabs are not shown in the instructions and I don’t see why they were added as the engine limits the spread of the forward fuselage.
Even with the wings on there are still several components to add to the construction. There are two sizes of oil coolers to choose from, and both have the radiator inside represented with PE. In this case the PE will be visible on the completed model, although the radiator texture could have just as easily been represented in plastic.
I found the cowling pieces a bit fiddly and had to sand them in most cases to get them smooth. The cowl flaps and exhausts are separate pieces and really look the part when in place. I plan on leaving the horizontal stabilizers off for now on most of these to ease painting. Fit was excellent overall using MEK, the main component in most “thin” glues. I had several seams which did not need filling or sanding, but I have never had a build which didn’t need a seam or two addressed somewhere.
The kabuki tape masks went on without a hitch. The fit of the clear parts left something to be desired. The rear section is designed with a tab which is to fit into a slot in the fuselage, but the tab is bigger than the slot. I shaved mine off with a hobby knife, and used Perfect Plastic Putty to address any remaining seam. This particular build will be in an overall NMF so I attached the horizontal stabilizers.
The finish was checked with Mr. Surfacer 1000. Any seams which still remained were sanded back and panel lines and rivets were re-scribed, then primed again to be sure.
The fiddly bits were cut off the sprues at the same time as the cockpit components, allowing them to be worked on in parallel with the primary assembly path. The bronze rod “handles” on the drop tanks will be the main anchor points when it comes time to mount them to the model. The rods are placed so they can also represent the fuel lines from the tanks.
Wheels and props were also cut from the sprues and cleaned up on the first day of construction, allowing them to be painted and decaled while other assemblies were drying.
This is the nose after any needed cowling panels have been rescribed and rivets replaced with a needle. At this point I noticed that the splitter plate in the carburetor intake was missing. This is an easy fix with a piece of plastic card.

Part IV here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/08/05/arma-hobby-nakajima-ki-84-hayate-frank-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-iv/

Sleuthing With Books I Can’t Read

You can make the argument (and many have) that we are in the Golden Age of scale modeling.  I believe this to be true, despite what the “death of the hobby” crowd might say.  Furthermore, this is also the Golden Age of information.  Inputting keywords into a search engine on a cell phone or computer instantly reveals information which could previously only be gained by experienced researchers with access to vast archives of information.  This only gets easier and more powerful as new technologies are introduced.  What follows is one small example.

The story starts with an old decal sheet, specifically SuperScale Decals No. 72-714.  This was dug out of the decal stash for potential use on the new Arma Ki-84 Hayate build currently underway.  I was initially attracted to another scheme on this sheet, but found an error in those markings and soon shifted my attentions to the bottom aircraft pictured here, a Kamikaze from the 58th Shinbu-tai.

SuperScale Decals 72-714

I remembered seeing the kanji inscription somewhere.  While searching for Ki-84 photographs on the internet I came across these two photos of the pilot posing with his aircraft, one of which associated him with the 57th Shinbu-tai, not the 58th.  Who is the pilot, and which is his unit?

I read once that only 6% of the population regularly buys books.  I have made it my personal mission to make up for the other 94%.  In other words, I have a book-buying compulsion and have built up a large library over the years.  If you are a fan of Japanese aircraft you will invariably wind up with several Japanese language references, full of photos and diagrams along with text that few Westerners can decipher.  One of these is Famous Airplanes of the World 19.

Famous Airplanes of the World 19

Inside were the two photographs, along with a caption in Japanese which could potentially answer all my questions.  The Japanese use Arabic numbers, and inside the text block both 57 and 58 can be seen, but which unit is it?

The page of interest

Enter the Google Translate app, and this is where the technology gets truly amazing.  I first heard about this at a model show.  The app allows you to translate any text you can take a picture of.  I installed the app on my cell phone, and shot a photo of the Japanese caption from FAOW 19.  Here is what came up:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic!

So now we have lots of information to go on!  The pilot is 2Lt Tetsujiro Karasawa, and the unit is confirmed as the 57th Shinbu-Tai.  The 58th Shinbu-tai citation from the SuperScale sheet is debunked.  We also have a date and location of the photograph, which has implications for the colors used for the camouflage scheme.  There are some “clunky” areas in the translation, such as “Ensign” (a naval rank) instead of Second Lieutenant, but this is a treasure-trove of details.

Using the new information in a keyword search reveals a few profiles which take a stab at the camouflage, and even a few models which have been built in this scheme.  Below is the profile I found most compelling:

57th Shinbu-tai, aircraft 20

So, using an old book and some new tech I was able to find an interesting scheme for the Arma Ki-84.  The Arma decal sheet has the “Winged 57” tail marking, and the SuperScale sheet has the kanji inscription for the fuselage.  As a bonus, the skull and crossbones markings for the 58th Shinbu-tai are useable, and accurate without the fuselage inscription.  A fun little rabbit hole!

IBG Scammell Pioneer Tank Transporter in 1/72 Scale

IBG’s Scammell Tank Transporter is a bit tedious to assemble, requiring the use of several photoetch pieces as integral components of the structure.  Once past that it builds up to an impressive finished model.  I used the kit decals which represent a Scammell Pioneer from GHQ Middle East Forces, 8th Army, 372nd Tank Transporter Company of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), North Africa, 1941.

Construction here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/06/24/ibg-scammell-pioneer-tank-transporter-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

13 Hours Audio Book Review

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi

Authored and Narrated by Mitchell Zuckoff

Audiobook, 7 hours and 43 minutes

Published by Hachette Audio

Language: English


Most Americans are broadly familiar with the attack on the US Diplomatic Compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 that claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.  Libyan Jihadists conducted pre-planned, coordinated assaults on the Diplomatic Compound and nearby CIA Annex.  The security for the compounds was known to be inadequate to repel a concentrated attack from even a lightly-armed force, and repeated requests to improve security had been rebuffed by the State Department.  After the attack, false narratives and political mis-direction, only a few months before the November elections, resulted in Congressional hearings where the Secretary of State’s testimony consisted of the words “I don’t recall” more than fifty times.

But this book is not about Washington politics or the lack of accountability which persists to this day, as the author explains at length in his preamble.  This book is about the six Global Response Staff operators who were hired to provide security to the American diplomats and CIA agents in Benghazi.  These GRS members were not mercenaries as they are sometimes portrayed, they are highly trained ex-Rangers, ex-Marines, and ex-SEALs who continued to serve after leaving the military.  While vastly outnumbered, they fought without outside support for thirteen hours.

The author conducted interviews with the surviving GRS operators to reveal a minute-by-minute account of the actions of these men as the events unfolded in Benghazi that night.  The story is told entirely from their perspectives as they fought for their lives and to protect the Americans they were sent there to defend.  This is a gritty narrative of a small group of highly-trained soldiers defending against a larger, but less professional, assaulting force.  If you are looking for a “boots on the ground” account of a prolonged small unit action, I can recommend this book without hesitation.

Women Warriors 178

Kurdish YPJ
RAAF F/A-18 pilot
USAF Capt. Christin Mastracchio inspecting B-52 flaps
Senior Sergeant V. Mityushkina and Sergeant Major N. Zalka, Soviet Army, WWII
Partisan fighter Sara Ginaite pictured in Vilnius in July 1944
WASP pilots with P-51 Mustang
US Air Force F-15 pilot Major Ashley Rolfe
WASP pilot Vivian Cadman with P-39
HRH Princess Elizabeth

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Arma Hobby Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate “Frank” Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

Construction starts with the cockpit! Or in my case, the cockpit, stores, engines, wheels, and props. Here are the cockpit tubs all built up and painted Mr. Color 126, cleverly named Cockpit Green. The cockpits were given a black wash and drybrushed with silver. The instrument panels are decals, and look convincing.
There is molded-on sidewall detail, dressed up with a throttle and some parts from the PE fret. The cockpit opening is narrow which will hide much of this, so I decided what Arma provided would be enough for these builds.
The engines were primed and then shot with Alclad Aluminum. The gearboxes are painted Blue Gray, and then the engines are washed with black and brown to bring out the details.
A little test fitting revealed that both the engine and cockpit assemblies could be inserted after the fuselage sides are joined. This allows better access to glue the fuselage from the inside and makes aligning everything easier.
At this point in construction you have to decide whether the canopy will be displayed in the open or closed position as the cockpit opening pieces are different. I’m going with open canopies on mine so that there is more opportunity to see the cockpit detail. I would recommend inserting the cockpit assembly at the same time as the fuselage opening piece. The top of the instrument panel should touch the underside of the fuselage when seated properly and it’s easy to mount it too low.

Part III here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/07/29/arma-hobby-nakajima-ki-84-hayate-frank-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-iii/