Women Warriors 187

Russian Soldier Olga Sizova
Maj. Jennifer Orton, a combat search and rescue CSAR pilot with the 39th Rescue Squadron flies the HC-130PN
Aviation Electricians Mate 3rd Class Michaela Zadra and Aviation Electricians Mate 3rd Class Brittany Felix reseal a panel on the wing of an F/A-18F Super Hornet USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, over Avenger Field, Texas PT-19
WASP pilot
US Army
US Marines
Russian Paratrooper
Canadian WRCNS aboard transport ship
Carey Lohrenz, US Navy F-14 Tomcat Pilot
ATA Spitfire Pilot

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North American B-25 Mitchell Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part IV

This is the Hasegawa B-25J with the canopy and nose pieces in place. My B-25J will be a strafer with the nose glazing painted over which allowed me to add weight in the nose. This view also gives an impression of what will be visible through the canopy.
This is one of the Airfix B-25C, this one will also be a strafer. The canopy masks are from ASK. The resin gun pack on the fuselage side is from Quickboost, it is a style not included in either kit but is needed for certain aircraft. The Evergreen panels represent the extra armor applied to this particular aircraft.
As things move along various sub-assemblies are painted so they will be available at the end of the build. I generally tape the smaller bits to cards for painting and to ease handling.
Here is a comparison of the main gear doors, The Hasegawa doors on top are just slabs but the Airfix doors are thinner and better detailed. I’ll make some replacements for the Hasegawa doors from sheet plastic. The main landing gear bay doors on the B-25 were normally closed, they only opened when the gear was actually cycling, so no need to add any detail to the bays.
I checked the Seamwork with Mr. Surfacer 1000, corrected any flaws and re-primed. This is the Hasegawa B-25H. I noticed some flow lines in the plastic on the Hasegawa kits. This is not an issue on a camouflaged model, but on a Natural Metal Finish the flow lines can show through if you don’t use a good primer.
Three of my subjects will be strafers from the 345th Bomb Group. These are beautiful aircraft with interesting combat records, but the intricate nose art makes them difficult to model. I’ll be using the DK Decal sheet for the markings. On DK’s web page they provide a PDF file so modelers have some chance to mask off the underlying colors correctly. Here I have printed out the PDF and laid Tamiya tape over the patterns to cut out the masks.
Here are the masks after some careful cutting.
The masks applied to the model for “Dirty Dora”. Even with the masking templates there are half a dozen ways this can still go sideways and ruin the models.

Hasegawa Mitsubishi G3M2 “Nell” of the 901 Kōkūtai in 1/72 Scale

This is the Hasegawa G3M2 “Nell”.  The subject aircraft was found on wrecked Naha Airfield on Okinawa on 1 April 1945 and was extensively photographed by American troops. It was assigned to the 901 Kōkūtai, a maritime patrol unit which was equipped with several different aircraft types.  The “C” marking on the fuselage side was a visual aid to formation flying while on anti-submarine patrol; at the proper distance the “C” would appear to be a closed circle.

The model was built out of the box, with only tape belts added to the interior.  Hinomaru were painted using Maketar masks, the remaining markings are kit decals.

Douglas TBD Devastator Color Photographs

Here is a beautiful photograph of a TBD Devastator from a series taken for LIFE Magazine. This TBD is from Torpedo Six aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6), likely taken in 1940. Aircraft assigned to Enterprise carried blue tail surfaces, Enterprise’s call sign was “blue base”. Note how the Orange Yellow paint wraps around the leading edge of the wing, this was done to smooth the airflow.
Enterprise’s flight deck was stained Mahogany with Yellow markings, this was stained Deck Blue shortly before the U.S. entered the war. The object on the port side of the Devastator’s fuselage is a camera, used as a training aid to evaluate practice attack runs. The aircraft in the background has the mounts in place but no camera.
A flight of Torpedo Six’s Devastators off Hawaii, giving a nice view of the “Yellow Wings” scheme which was carried until December 1940. 6-T-16 is trailing a radio antenna.
The Devastator first entered Fleet service in 1937. While it was considered state of the art for its time, the pace of advancements in aviation rendered it obsolescent by the time the U.S. entered the Second World War. Midway would be the TBD’s last use in combat.
A portion of Yorktown’s airgroup seen ashore at a Naval Air Station, most likely North Island. In the foreground is the TBD of the commander of Torpedo Five, as indicated by the red fuselage band and cowling. The aircraft in the background are Northrop BT-1 dive bombers, just visible beyond them are three SBC Helldivers.
This is a still from the movie “Dive Bomber” and shows a TBD in the overall Light Gray scheme. The Light Gray scheme was only used until 20AUG41, when it was directed that carrier aircraft be painted Blue Gray on their upper surfaces.
While no Devastators are preserved in museums today, RV Petrel photographed this TBD on the bottom of the Coral Sea. This aircraft is from USS Lexington (CV-2) and was lost when the ship went down on 08MAY42. The preservation of the aircraft is remarkable, and shows her camouflage and markings to good advantage.
This is a screen grab from the John Ford film “Torpedo Squadron No. Eight” which was shot aboard USS Hornet (CV-8) on 15MAY42. Plane handlers run on either side of the aircraft carrying the wheel chocks. Modelers should note the wavy separation of the Blue Gray as it wraps under the wing.
Commanding Officer of Torpedo Eight LCDR John Waldron (right) and crewman RMC Horace Dobbs pose in front of their TBD. Waldron led Hornet’s Devastators in their attack against the Japanese Fleet at Midway, all fifteen of their aircraft were lost. Only one man, ENS George Gay, survived.

Hasegawa Mitsubishi G4M2 “Betty” of the 708 Hikotai of the 762 Kokutai in 1/72 Scale

This is Hasegawa’s Mitsubishi G4M2 Type 1 Land Based Attack Bomber Model 22, Allied reporting name “Betty”.    It is marked as a machine of the 708 Hikotai of the 762 Kokutai.  This unit was decimated in the Philippines in 1944.  Insignia are painted using Maketar masks, the tail codes are from the kit and were well behaved.  I also used a canopy mask set which is very helpful with the greenhouse canopies.  You can see into the cockpit area through the canopy and to a lesser extent into the nose and tail positions.  It wouldn’t be a total waste to detail these areas although not an absolute requirement either.  The most useful reference I found was the Revi volume, very thorough with a separate plan sheet in 1/72 scale and color side profiles.  My subject is from one of the profiles in that book.

Military Modelers Club Louisville 2022 IPMS Model Show

Yesterday was the Military Modelers Club of Louisville 2022 Model Show, held at the Triple Crown Pavilion & Convention Center.  There were 452 model entries, only slightly down from the MMCL club record of 481 entries last year.  The club is justifiably famous for their outstanding raffle which is always a highlight.    Meeting up with fellow modelers is always a good time, among many others I got to hang out with Mike & Dave of Plastic model Mojo fame and finally got to meet Warren (Dixieflyer) in person!

Mike and Dave record an interview with Stu Cox, MMCL President at the Military Modelers Club Louisville 2022 IPMS Model Show. Plastic Model Mojo homepage here: https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/

Women Warriors 186

U.S. Army Soldier Lizzie Willis
USMC in Afghanistan
Senior Airman Haelie Egbert, F-16 mechanic, Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing
U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk
Alicia Makoutz, USAF C-130 Pilot
Hellenic Air Force F-16
WRENs testing a Lewis gun. (IWM)
ATS manning a spotting scope for AAA guns.
Canadian WACS with C-47
US Army
Australian soldiers aboard HMAS Adelaide (L01)
Kurdish YPJ
Royal Observer Corps
Royal Australian Navy helicopter pilot Lieutenant Natalie Davies with AH-64 Apache in Afghanistan

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North American B-25 Mitchell Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

There are two challenges for this build – preventing the models from being tail-sitters and the nose art. My worst-case scenario for getting enough weight in the Mitchells was this glass-nosed B-25C – all the others will be strafers and therefore weight can be added far forward in the nose.
Here the fuselages have been closed up. At this point I sanded seams and re-scribed any lost panel lines as the model is easier to handle. I went over the re-scribed lines with MEK to remove any burrs.
The main gear legs are the fulcrum point, just like a see-saw. Any weight aft of the main gear legs contributes to the model being a tail-sitter, any forward helps keep the nose down. Adding weight loads the main gear, but contrary to popular belief if the balance is perfect the nose gear bears no weight at all.
My build is a marginal case, but I think I’ll be okay when all the parts are on. The model will stay where you put it, either on the tail or on the nose. I will leave a way to get more weight into the engineer’s station if I need to.
Hasegawa just says to “use ballast if not using support”, and waits until the final step to remind you. They do provide a step stool to prop up the tail if you need it. This is the nose for the B-25H, which is the best place to start as it is as far forward as you can go. I glue the BBs in place with 5-minute epoxy, which will flow out of the gun holes if not sealed off.
The BBs are epoxied in place. This is a good chunk of weight at the end of the nose, and is therefore more effective than anything added further aft.
The Hasegawa B-25H will not be a tail-sitter, I used about 65 BBs in all due to being able to use the nose.

Hasegawa Grumman F4F-4 of MM1 Donald Runyon in 1/72 Scale

Machinist’s Mate First Class Donald Runyon grew up on a farm in Alamo, Indiana and joined the Navy at the age of twenty-one.  He earned his wings as an enlisted Naval Aviation Pilot.  Assigned to VF-6 operating from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) in August of 1942, he scored a total of eight victories in the Wildcat during the Guadalcanal Campaign, including three Aichi D3A Vals and an A6M2 Zero on 24AUG42.  Rising to the rank of Lieutenant, he added three more victories during a second tour with VF-18 aboard USS Bunker Hill (CV-17).  Runyon survived the war, an ace with eleven victories to his credit.