Women Warriors 205

Naval Officer
French Medic
Uruguayan A-37 Pilot Maria Etcheverry
Norwegian Navy
1LT Jessica Pauley with Bradley
WRENs with Supermarine Walrus (IWM)
Donna Tobias, USN Diver 1975
Israeli Navy
Madeline Swegle, LTJG USN
U.S. Army
USAF SSGT Erin McLoughlin C-130 Loadmaster
Rozalia Wróbel from Wołkowysk in Galicia, Polish Women’s Auxiliary Service (IWM)
Spanish Civil War Republican Fighters
Second Officer Helen Harrison, ATA, Nov. 1942. During the war in April 1942, at age 32 Helen was the only Canadian recruited by Jackie Cochran for the British Air Transport Auxiliary where she served until March 1944.
Royal Australian Navy Boatswains Mate Stephanie Went, HMAS Toowoomba (FFH-156)
Chinese soldier with Norinco QBZ-95
Royal Australian Navy pilot Natalie Davies
Kurdish YPJ
ww419_USAF_pilot_Martha McSally
USAF A-10 Warthog pilot Martha McSally
US Navy Nurse Jane Kendeigh on Okinawa, February 1945
Air National Guard Major Nicole Mitchell, her civilian job is a TV news meteorologist
USAF CAPT Jennie Swiechowicz, 393 BG B-2 Spirit Pilot
IDF with Merkava MBT
RAF Pilot
WASPs with B-17

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Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Build Part I

Fine Molds began releasing their Messerschmitt Bf 109 series of kits in 2005. They boxed all the later variants from the F-series through the K, inserting a bewildering variety of combinations of small sprues to portray the versions desired. These were an immediate hit. Tamiya has recently released a G-6, but opinions vary as to how big of an improvement over the Fine Molds release it is (which speaks volumes).
These are the basic sprues in the G-6 boxing. An interesting feature which has been copied by other manufacturers is the engine molded under the cowling. This has allowed Fine Molds to account for additional versions by substituting cowling panels while allowing for the option of displaying an exposed engine.
If you like parts for the spares box and want to build a G-4 or a G-6, the Finnish boxing is the one to get. This one has the maximum number of secondary sprues, and all the original parts are still there on the main sprues. You can basically build any G-6 with the parts in this box with the exception of the tall tail varieties.
The side wall detail in the cockpit is basically raised lines with little depth. This benefits from some basic scratch building to beef up the detail. The large round structure represents the trim wheels. The real trim wheels were spoked, but I find that the spoke detail is largely hidden by the pilot’s seat and difficult to see from most angles in any case so I represent them with disks for closed canopy builds.
The cockpit under a coat of paint and with Eduard PE seatbelts. The yellow tube is a fuel line with a sight glass, a prominent detail which is not difficult to add with a piece of solder.
If you study photographs of Bf 109s it is very difficult to find one on the ground with the flaps in line with the wing, and is almost impossible to find one without the leading-edge slats deployed. These were spring loaded and intended to automatically extend at lower airspeeds to increase lift. A Bf 109 just doesn’t look natural without the slats and flaps repositioned so these were all cut out. If the Fine Molds kit could be improved, separate slats and flaps would get my vote!
The fit of the Fine Molds kit is excellent, and here it is with the flaps and slat re-attached. The inner flaps on the 109 are split to allow for the radiator exhaust, the pilot could control the engine temperature by varying the effective aperture at the trailing edge of the wing.
I made canopy masks from Tamiya tape and using Montex masks as templates. The Montex masks do not adhere well, and this especially true if there are any curves involved. I have had trouble with these, every time I’ve tried to use them they’ve lifted off so I’m going with the Tamiya tape for this build.

LS Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa “Oscar” LCOL Takeo Kato, CO of the 64th Sentai in 1/72 Scale

Takeo Kato opened his account while flying Ki-10 “Perry” biplane fighters during the Sino-Japanese War in 1937-38, where he was credited with nine victories over Chinese aircraft.  After rotating out of China, he was part of a Japanese delegation which traveled to Europe to inspect Luftwaffe units.  At the beginning of the Pacific War he was the Commanding Officer of the 64th Sentai, which frequently clashed with British units and the American Volunteer Group.  On 22MAY42 he and his group intercepted a Blenheim IV from 60 Squadron RAF.  Kato’s Oscar was hit by return fire and crashed into the sea.  He was credited with 18 aerial victories at the time.

Dunkirk Color Photographs, Hugo Jaeger Collection Part III

These are color photographs taken by German photographer Hugo Jaeger.  They are currently held in the Life Magazine archives.  These were likely taken in May – June 1940.

Vehicles on the beach at Dunkirk. It is estimated that the British left behind enough equipment to fully outfit more than eight Divisions. To put this in perspective, this left only two equipped Divisions to defend England.
Abandoned rangefinder and equipment with French military truck in the background.
Vehicles pushed off the road outside Dunkirk. The Germans captured vast amounts of military transport.
Bofers 40 mm anti-aircraft gun on the beach.
The tidal plain littered with ammunition, abandoned vehicles in the background.
French Navy Destroyer L’Adroit was hit by an He 111 on 21MAY40. Her Captain beached her and ordered his crew off the ship, all survived. Her forward magazine later exploded which severed her bow.
British troops captured at Dunkirk.
General destruction at Dunkirk.
Similar scene moving down the wharf with abandoned vehicles on the left.
Burned out vehicle and general destruction of the city.

Hugo Jaeger color photographs part I here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2023/01/18/invasion-of-poland-1939-color-photographs-hugo-jaeger-collection-part-i/

Damn Lucky Audio Book Review

Damn Lucky: One Man’s Courage During the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History

Authored by Kevin Maurer, Narrated by Holter Graham, interview with John Luckadoo

Audiobook, 8 hours and 20 minutes

Published by Macmillan Audio, April 2022

Language: English


John “Lucky” Luckadoo, like so many Americans, joined the military after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  He trained as a pilot, and after completing flight school was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group as a co-pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress.  The Group deployed to England in June 1943, when the Eighth Air Force’s bombing campaign against Germany was just gaining strength.  A combat rotation was considered to be twenty-five missions, after completing those the crew would be rotated home.  Unfortunately, Allied fighters did not have the range to escort the bombers all the way to many targets and the Luftwaffe was still a formidable force.  Statistically, the odds were against the bomber crews surviving to reach the magic twenty-fifth mission.

Aside from the fighters and the flak, flying itself is a dangerous endeavor.  In formations there is always the risk of collision, and weather is always a factor.  One under-appreciated aspect is the environment at 25,000 feet is inherently hostile.  Without the proper protection hypothermia or hypoxia can be deadly, and the crews had to function in that environment for up to twelve hours at a time.  On one occasion Luckaloo’s B-17 suffered relatively minor damage to the nose section over a target.  Unfortunately, damage to the metal skin of the aircraft directed a stream of freezing air directly under the instrument panel.  He had no choice but to leave his feet on the rudder peddles while the airstream progressively froze his legs throughout the return flight.  He returned frostbitten, but Doctors were able to save his legs.

This book follows Luckaloo’s career in the USAAF, both with the 100th BG and after his rotation back Stateside as an instructor pilot.  As the war ended he was working up with a B-29 group for deployment to the Pacific.  This is a well-written first hand account of the bomber offensive during the decisive period of the air war.  Recommended.

Women Warriors 204

US Army pilot Paige Ziegler with CH-47 Chinook
WREN Mechanic
Detroit National League for Womens’ Service WWI
U.S. Army
Czech Republic
U.S. Army AH-64 Apache
Resistance Fighter, Hungarian Uprising 1956 with PPsH
Royal Navy WRENS boat crew. (IWM)
ATS anti-aircraft gun crew (IWM)
US Air Force
Seen here -  Air Trooper (A Tpr) Lauren Morgan
British Air Trooper Lauren Morgan with AH-64 Apache Longbow
ww415_U.S. Army Captain Elizabeth McNamara_Iraq2011
U.S. Army Captain Elizabeth McNamara with AH-64 Apache, Iraq 2011
ww416_First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
First Aid Nursing Yeomanry dispatch riders
ATA Pilot Maureen Dunlop with Royal Navy Fairey Barracuda
Indian Pilots with MiG-21
Nancy Harkness Love in the cockpit in 1928, she would lead the WASPs in WWII

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Fly Fiat G.50 Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

For once, the Mr. Surfacer 1000 revealed no surprises. There were a few panel lines to clean up but that was it.
The camouflage is one of those intricate patterns which the Italians were known for, consisting of Sand (Giallo Mimetico 4) with mottles of Brown (Marrone Mimetico 1) and Green (Verde Mimetico 2). Undersides are Light Gray (Grigio Mimetico). I thinned the paint with Leveling Thinner and the Mr. Color went on well.
Decals are from the kit, which provides markings for four aircraft.  There are options for Croat and Luftwaffe machines, and two in Italian colors.  I had a hard time deciding between the markings used here and the ones on the box art.
The ailerons have mass balances both above and below the wings, so care must be exercised when handling the model to avoid breaking these off. There is a pitot tube on each wingtip, I made these up from Albion tube. The navigation lights are positioned on the leading edge of the wings, I made these from stretched clear sprue and colored them with Micro Krystal Klear and food coloring.
There are no surprises with this kit, it builds up quickly and looks right when done. I really enjoyed this one and will have to get more so I can do some in Finnish markings.

More completed photos here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2023/01/31/fly-fiat-g-50-freccia-of-the-1540-gruppo-autonarno-in-1-72-scale/