ICM Sd.Kfz. 222 / 223 Scout Car Builds in 1/72 Scale

The Sd.Kfz. 222 / 223 / 260 / 261 were a series of light scout and communications cars built on the same chassis. ICM issued a series of kits covering each version in 2005, and Dragon followed suit with their kits in 2012 so the type is well represented in 1/72 scale. I have built ICM’s 222 before and they build up into very nice little models, so I couldn’t resist this pair when I found them at a show for only $5 each.
This is the main sprue, common to all kits in the family. The chassis is divided into upper and lower halves, fortunately the fit is excellent and there is no seem here. There is no interior detail at all, this is not an issue for the 222 or 223 but it might be for the 260 / 261 depending on how it will be displayed.
The versions are differentiated by small sprues and PE fret with specific parts for each, 222 on the left, 223 on the right. Care must be taken when separating the small parts, particularly with the delicate radio areal.
Assembly is straightforward and presents no problems. The kits build up quickly.
Smaller sub-assemblies are taped to a cardboard strip for painting.
I undercoated both models with a lightened mixture of Mr. Color Tire Black to represent Panzer Gray. Some of the areas where I wanted chipping were dabbed with liquid mask, then the exteriors were sprayed with Sandy Brown with a touch of Red added.
Additional chipping was applied with a brush. All the fiddly bits were attached and the models were given a thin light tan overspray to simulate dust. Here are the finished models together.

Completed photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2023/04/11/icm-sd-kfz-222-223-scout-cars-in-1-72-scale/

Mobeus USS Skipjack (SSN-585) in 1/72 Scale

USS Skipjack (SSN-585) was the lead ship of a class of six “fast attack” submarines built for the United States Navy.  She was commissioned on 15 April 1959.  With an Albacore streamlined hull and S5W nuclear reactor, she established what was to become the standard configuration for submarine designs which followed.   The class were the fastest submarines in the U.S. Navy until the introduction of the Los Angeles class.  The Skipjack design was modified to become the USS George Washington (SSBN-598) class ballistic missile submarine by lengthening the hull by 130 feet in order to carry 16 Polaris missiles.  The Royal Navy used the design for the after hull and propulsion section in their first nuclear submarine, the HMS Dreadnaught. 

The third ship in the class, USS Scorpion (SSN 589) was lost with all hands in the North Atlantic on 22 May 1968.  The cause of her loss has never been officially determined.

There are relatively few parts to this kit, but it definitely has “shelf presence”.  Length is just under 42 inches (106.5 cm).  I added crew figures to the sail to give the viewer a sense of scale.

Scratchbuilt Los Angeles Class submarine here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/uss-indianapolis-ssn-697-fast-attack-submarine-in-1-72-scale/

North Africa Color Photographs Part IV – Panzer Graveyard at Beja, Tunisia

Several interesting color photos of knocked out German tanks near Beja, Tunisia.  The area was known as “Hunt’s Gap”.  On 28FEB43 Panzers of Kampfgruppe Lang were engaged by British Churchills, one being credited with knocking out a Tiger.  Several of the German tanks maneuvered off the road where they encountered mines and soft ground, subsequently being subjected to a prolonged artillery barrage.  Over the next few days additional vehicles were lost in the same area, including at least one more Tiger, two American halftracks, and an American tank destroyer.  Both the British and the Germans reportedly set demolition charges in some of the abandoned tanks before these photographs were taken.

A general view as American G.I.s examine a Panzer IV.
A better view of the Panzer IV from the previous photograph with a track from a wrecked Tiger in the foreground.
More wreckage, the view from on top of the Panzer IV in the previous photo.
Close-up of the Tiger wreckage with the Panzer IV in the background.
Another wrecked Panzer IV, this is the one in the background of the other photos.
An engineer preparing demolition charges under a Tiger. Seems everyone got into the act of wrecking disabled Tigers.
The engineer inspecting his work. The Tiger hull has flipped over and is on fire.
View from in front of a Panzer III of sPzAbt 501
Rear of the burning Tiger.
Another view.

Part I here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2023/03/08/north-africa-color-photographs-part-i-a-war-correspondents-tour-of-tunisia/

Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu Helen in 1/72 Scale

This is one of a series of Japanese twins released by Hasegawa in the late 1990’s, the Ki-49 Helen from 1998.  Fit is excellent as you would expect from Hasegawa, and the design hides the minimal interior detail well.  A good set of canopy masks is a must as there is an incredible amount of individual transparent panels in many of the clear pieces.  The markings are of the 62nd Sentai in Japan during 1945.

Operation Mincemeat Audio Book Review

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory

Authored by Ben Macintire, Narrated by John Lee

Audiobook, 11 hours and 18 minutes

Published by Random House Audio, May 2010

Language: English


“All warfare is based on deception.”  – Sun Tzu

As the North African campaign was winding down the Allies faced a problem.  Sicily was the to be the next objective for the Allied advance, and it was the obvious choice.  So obvious that the Germans (or anyone else with a map) were sure to anticipate the invasion and reinforce the area.  If the Germans could be convinced that the landings would occur elsewhere, they might redeploy their forces, thus saving countless lives.

Operation Mincemeat was part of a deception plan designed to make the Germans think the main Allied landings would occur in Greece and Sardina, the landings in Sicily were to only be a feint.  The idea was one of many proposed by Naval Intelligence CDR Ian Flemming (yes, that Ian Fleming) in what was known as the “Trout memo” because of analogies to fly fishing.  The idea was a plot device in a spy novel Fleming had read, and was titled “A Suggestion (not a very nice one)”.  A corpse was to be dressed as a Major in the Royal Marines and dropped in the ocean near the Spanish coast where it would be sure to be recovered and turned over to German intelligence agents.  Handcuffed to its wrist would be a briefcase which included various papers, including sealed letters between British General Officers detailing Allied preparations for the Greek and Sardinian landings.

Macintire’s books are examples of how exhaustive research can be woven into a compelling story.  While the general story of Mincemeat has been told before as “The Man Who Never Was”, there are several details which were long classified and are only now being revealed in this book.  The attention to detail involved in creating a complete back story for the deceased Major is incredible.  The difficulties in obtaining and transporting what would appear to be a recent victim of an air accident and placing it in a plausible position to fall into German hands was a complex undertaking in itself.  This is a brilliant insight into the intricacies of intelligence operations and the dark world of covert operations.  Highly recommended.

Women Warriors 212

Kurdistan volunteer Joanna Palani
Royal Navy
Indian Air Force
YPJ with Moisen Nagant and Zagros 145
Czech Republic
Royal Air Force SAR pilot
WASP Nell Bright
Soviet Po-2 pilot
USAF Senior Airman Julie Breault, 97th Security Forces
Kurdish YPJ
U.S. Navy Pilot Madeline Swegle
Maj. Ashley Rolfe, Massachusetts Air National Guard 104th Fighter Wing
Soviet Maxim machinegunner
WASP Pilot Carol Elizabeth Wheeler
U.S. Army WAC
US Navy sailor from VFA-83 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
Khazakhstain soldier with T-80
US Air Force AC-130
Belgian Naval Officer
ww447_USAF_Trena Savageau_F16
USAF F-16 pilot Trena Savageau
US Navy
Russian soldier with SVD Dragunov sniper rifle
US Coast Guard SPAR
WASPs with AT-6 Texan, Waco, Texas

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

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109 Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

Prime time! Once the models are assembled it’s time to prime and check for flaws. I have a strip of scrap plywood with a series of holes drilled every few inches which is perfect to hold the models while the paint dries. Each model got a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000. Any flaws are sanded out and then re-primed on down the line until everything is smooth.
RLM 74 / 75 / 76 were the standard Luftwaffe day fighter camouflage colors for most of the war. If you’re building a big batch of Messerschmitts this turns out to be very convenient as the majority of the builds will be painted in some variation of this color pallet. In this case eight of the twelve used these colors.
Several Messerschmitts were camouflaged in Desert schemes at the factory and then sent to the Russian Front. This one was originally painted RLM 78 / 79 and then field camouflaged with RLM 71 Dark Green and RLM 75 on the upper surfaces.
Another rather interesting field-applied scheme is this one with RLM 70 upper surfaces oversprayed with loose bands of RLM 79 and bands of meandering 79 as well.
This is another scheme typical for Luftwaffe aircraft operating in the Mediterranean, RLM 78 / 79 / 80. The color of the “5” on the fuselage sides is the subject of some debate, being interpreted as RLM 02, RLM 79, or my choice here, RLM 75. This was sprayed using a paper stencil.
Decals were sourced from just about everywhere, including four sets which were included in books from the Kagero Top Colors series. Stencils are from the kit sheets, there were a lot of them but the field-applied schemes provided some relief.
Propellers are their own little projects, several variations of colors and patterns on display.
The models received washes to highlight the panel lines and dirty them up, along with varying degrees of oil streaking. I put a drop of a light tan in with the flat coat to vary the finish and simulate dust.
Building in batches takes advantage of efficiencies in construction and painting. These took just under eight hours per model which is a considerable time savings compared to building each one individually. Most of these will fill in gaps in my Luftwaffe Experten collection, although there are always a few with interesting schemes which manage to sneak in as well.

Part I here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2023/03/10/fine-molds-messerschmitt-bf-109-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Hasegawa Nakajima Ki-27 Nate of the 246th Sentai in 1/72 scale

This Nate is one of the earliest examples of an aircraft wearing home defense bands that I know of, it was assigned to defend the Osaka area in mid-1942.  It is seen depicted both with and without the yellow identification stripes on the leading edges of the wings, given the time frame both versions may be accurate as they were made official on 12SEP42.  This is a Hasegawa boxing of the Mania kit.

North Africa Color Photographs Part III – More American Equipment

An M3 Stuart light tank maneuvers during the battle of El Guettar, showing the fitting of an external fuel tank and stowage at the rear of the engine deck.
A rear view of the same Stewart. American tanks were renowned for their mechanical reliability, and important factor in desert warfare.
Another element of the mechanical reliability of American armored formations was the assignment of dedicated recovery and repair vehicles. This M31 was one of 200 produced using the hulls of M3 Grant tanks, and wears and interesting “scribble” camouflage and subdued yellow stars.
Hilltops provided a commanding view of the surrounding terrain.
Officers confer outside a USAAF mobile command post. Two items of interest are the tan and black camo on the Jeep and the field-applied camo on the command post which even extends to the canvas portions. (Hart Preston photograph)
This C-47 “Jupiter” appears to have suffered an airfield collision.
Liaison aircraft were used in many roles and could operate from even short areas of level ground such as roadways. (Robert Capa photograph)
A Piper Cub demonstrates its short-field capabilities. Interesting is the yellow cowling, a recognition marking normally associated with Luftwaffe aircraft in other theaters. (Robert Capa photograph)
A U.S. artillery position. The effectiveness of the overhead camouflage is questionable.
American soldiers “relaxing” with a camel ride.

Part IV here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2023/03/29/north-africa-color-photographs-part-iv-panzer-graveyard-at-beja-tunisia/