Women Warriors 169

U.S. Army
Norway
Latvian soldier with FN MAG
Norway
U.S. Army
USAF C-130
U.S. Army
USAAF Flight Nurse Margie Bedell Burke
ATS
Canada
ww473_IDF
IDF
ww473_USArmy_in_Afghanistan
US Army in Afghanistan
ww473c_IDF
IDF
ww473d_Ukraine
Ukraine
ww473e_Gilboa M43Carbine
Gilboa M43 Carbine
ww473g_Italy
Italy
ww474_Sweden
Sweden
ww475_USMC
US Marine
ww476_WAVEs
US Navy WAVES
ww476Poster
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US Army
ww274
Swedish soldier with Carl Gustav
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1LT Clancly Morrical, 36th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot, Osan Korea
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ATA with target identification scope
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IDF
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Indonesian Police
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France
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Australian Army Woman’s Medical Service
Poster019

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Arma Hobby North American P-51 B/C Mustang Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part V

After painting, I applied a layer of Testor’s Glosscoat to protect the paint and provide a nice, smooth surface for decaling. The kit decals provide the markings for Major James Howard’s “Ding Hao!” which was high on my list for subjects. I left the broom markings and crew name decals off to depict an earlier version of his aircraft. The decals performed flawlessly. The kit’s stencils and national insignia were used for all twelve builds, the wing insignia needed a little extra Micro Set & Sol to pull down over the raised details but that was it.
Here is part of the P-51B/C decal stash. Remember the good ol’ days when Squadron would send out their monthly fliers and actually mark down prices on things? This is where the trouble began. The Eagle Strike and AeroMaster sheets were likely picked up for just a couple of Dollars and thrown in with the rest of the order, and I’ve been waiting ever since to use them.
Props-Are-Us was also having a sale! Props are a lot of work, I did the blades early in the build and painted the spinners along the way.
All the models got the dangly bits under the wings. There is no positive attachment point for any of the options, so they were all pinned in place using bronze rod. The drop tanks will also need the plumbing as this was external, here represented by beading wire and solder.
Late in the build I discovered the vinyl masks had bit me again. This time, one of the transparent vinyl masks had popped off one of the quarter panels unnoticed. The transparent part had received the brunt of all the airbrushed layers from primer to gloss. Gently stripping it fogged the plastic, so it was sanded back, buffed out, and re-painted. If there is any doubt remaining, I hate vinyl masks!
What’s better for the modeling mojo than finishing a model? Finishing twelve! It’s very efficient to build in batches, the major downside is it delays the gratification of seeing your project completed.

SUMMARY

For reasons which defy logic, 1/72 scale modelers have never had an accurate P-51B/C Mustang until now.  All previous releases have had one fatal shape error or another which was impossible to un-see and difficult to correct.  Arma has hit this one out of the park, and it should be a license for them to print money well into the future without any of the inflationary consequences when the U.S. Government does it.  The kits are accurate, well-detailed, and provide all the optional parts the average modeler could ever want.  The engineering is superb, the only fit issue I encountered was a step at the forward edge of the windscreen which needed sanding.

My boxings were the “Expert Set”, which include a fret of photoetch and a set of masks, and here is where I will pick a nit.  The PE fret adds little, I used the radiator parts but they are impossible to see without flipping the model over and using a flashlight.  I used the PE seatbelts too, but nothing else from the fret.

The vinyl masks were a disaster.  I understand there were supply chain issues when Arma released this kit and they were a victim of the global Kabuki tape shortage, but the vinyl masks tried their best to ruin an otherwise excellent modeling experience.  They (mostly) stuck fine to the flat panels, but pulled off of anything with a curve. In the end the PE and vinyl masks were a mixed bag and significantly raised the price of the kit.  Masks ARE a good idea however, I sincerely hope Arma includes a set in future boxings – this time using Kabuki tape, including inner and outer masks for the open panels, and (here’s a thought) making the seatbelts out of Kabuki tape instead of PE.

I understand Arma’s Ki-84 kit is currently selling even better than their P-51B/C Mustang.  I have a batch on pre-order, and am looking forward to building those as well!

Build posts Part I here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51-b-c-mustang-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Tamiya Vought F4U Corsair of LCDR Tommy Blackburn in 1/72 Scale

John “Tommy” Blackburn was an Annapolis graduate and was serving as a flight instructor when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He commanded VGF-29 aboard USS Santee (CVE-29) during the Torch landings.  Most of their Wildcats got lost in bad weather, Blackburn himself spending three days in the water before he was rescued.  He was then reassigned to command VF-17 “jolly Rogers” on the new F4U Corsair.  At the time the Navy decided that the Corsair was unsuited for carrier operations and VF-17 deployed to an airfield on Ondonga, New Georgia in October 1943.

The deployment produced thirteen aces, including Blackburn with 11 victories.  His best day was on 06FEB44 when he claimed four A6M Zeros.  He survived the war and eventually rose to command the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVB-41) in 1958.  He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 1962.

This is the F4U-1A Corsair of LCDR Tommy Blackburn, Commanding Officer VF-17, operating from Ondonga, New Georgia, November 1943.

North American P-51C / F-6C Mustangs of the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron Color Photographs

The 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was assigned to the 23rd Fighter Group operating in China. They were equipped with the North American P-51C Mustang as well as the F-6C, a reconnaissance version fitted with cameras. The F-6C carried the full armament of the standard P-51B/C, four .50 caliber machine guns and bomb racks. This is 43-25185, wearing the 118th’s distinctive lightning bolt markings.
Another photo of 43-25185 from a slightly different angle. Note the dirt on the 500-pound bombs beneath the wings. On 20JAN45 Lt. Glenn Geyer was shot down by flak in this aircraft while attacking a Japanese airfield. With the help of the Chinese, he was able to evade capture for three months until he could return to his unit.
A shot of 118th aircraft at Laohwangping. The unit painted on the lightning bolt markings in October 1944, and soon added the yellow borders to make them more prominent. Note the variation in the propeller spinners. Two of the aircraft wear the overall dark green camouflage commonly seen on Chinese Air Force aircraft.
A close-up of the nose of an overall dark green Mustang. Note that the gear legs and inside of the gear doors also appear to be painted, the wheel wells likely are as well. The pilot posing in this photograph has been identified as Lt. LeRoy Price.
Another view of the same aircraft seen in the previous photo, this time with Lt. Fred Poats. While there is a tendency when looking at photographs to associate the pilot with the aircraft, sometimes the pilots took turns posing with their friends, passing the camera around.
Lt. Poat’s assigned aircraft was named “Lady Marion”, seen here being guarded by a Chinese soldier. She was a P-51C-10-NT, serial number 44-11102.
Another view of “Lady Marion”. Note the absence of the yellow trim on the lightning bolt markings. Just aft of the lettering can be seen the outline where a pin-up had been laminated to the fuselage but has been blown off. A new “Lady Marion” has replaced her on the port landing gear cover.
Another Chinese infantryman providing security for a 118th TRS Mustang. This aircraft also lacks the yellow trim to the fuselage markings, but sports a yellow-black-yellow spinner.
A Chinese civilian crosses the airfield with an oxcart. The Chinese personnel seen in these photos would make an interesting and unusual figure set for modelers.
A 118th TRS Mustang comes in for a landing, carrying two 75 gallon drop tanks finished in Neutral Gray. The Mustangs in China were equipped with the HF/DF loops on the spines, and did not have access to the Malcolm hoods commonly seen on Mustangs based in England.

Eduard Grumman F6F Hellcat of LT Richard Stambook in 1/72 Scale

LT Richard Stambook flew various types of carrier aircraft during the war, transitioning from the SBD Dauntless to the F4F Wildcat, and eventually flying the F6F Hellcat with VF-27.  His best day was during the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19JUN44 when he was credited with four – three A6M Zeros and a single D4Y Judy.  He scored his final victory, a Ki-45 Toryu “Nick” on 18OCT44. One week later the USS Princeton (CVL-27) was struck by a single bomb dropped by another D4Y Judy, the subsequent fires eventually leading to her loss.  Stambock survived the sinking and the war, an ace with eleven victories.

This model represents the F6F-3 Hellcat of LT Richard Stambook, VF-27, USS Princeton (CVL-23), October 1944.

Unsinkable Audio Book Review

Unsinkable: Five Men and the Indomitable Run of the USS Plunkett

Authored by James Sullivan, Narrated by Jacques Roy

Audiobook, 10 hours and 9 minutes

Published by Simon and Shuster Audio

Language: English

ASIN: B08BPJJ6QJ

USS Plunkett (DD-431) was a Gleaves-class destroyer which was commissioned five months before the Pearl Harbor attack brought America into the Second World War.  Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, she participated in the Torch landings in North Africa, the Invasion of Sicily, and the Anzio landings.  Off Anzio she came under sustained attacks from German aircraft, and was eventually hit by a 550-pound bomb which killed 51 of her crew.  After repairs Stateside, she rejoined the Fleet in time for the Normandy landings, the shelling of Cherbourg, and the invasion of Southern France.  She was on her way to the Pacific when the war ended.

This book tells the story of Plunkett from the perspectives of five members of her crew.  There are basically three threads to each story – the home front before and during the war which gives the men’s civilian backgrounds as well as those of their families; the wartime experiences and shipboard operations; and finally the author’s visits with the men and their families many years later to gather information for the book.  I found all three perspectives interesting for different reasons, but jumping between the five men and three timelines strained the continuity of the story.

The book is at its strongest when describing the wartime exploits of the Plunkett.  Her story is one version of the naval war in the European theater.  I have read that she may have been the only Allied ship to have participated in all the major landings in Europe.  Destroyers were the workhorses of the Navy, and she certainly was in the thick of things.  There is a definite bifurcation in the book, events before the bomb hit off Anzio are covered in great detail, later landings are given only a cursory treatment to close out the story.  I would definitely like to hear the fine points of her participation in the D-Day landings, Cherbourg, and Southern France, but they are missing.

Still this is an interesting tale of ships and the sea, and there is much which will be familiar to Navy veterans.  Recommended for anyone interest in naval history.

Women Warriors 168

Ukraine
Serbia
South Korea
Ukraine
USMC
USAF CAPT Zoe Kotnik with F-16
Spanish F/A-18 Pilot
Soviet Sniper Rosa Shanina
ATS
USN WWII
ww469_IDF
IDF
ww469b_Russia
Russia
ww469c_Ukraine
Ukraine
ww469d_IDF
IDF
ww469e_Lithuanian_Iron Wolf_Mechanized Brigade
Lithuanian Iron Wolf Mechanized Brigade
ww469g_RoyalNavyEngineeringOfficer
Royal Navy Engineering Officer
ww470_IDF
IDF
ww471_Norway
Norway
ww472_First_ATA_pilots_TigerMoth
First ATA pilots with Tiger Moth
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US Navy
ww270
IDF
ww271
USMC Sea Cobra Pilot
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WRENs moving submarine torpedo at Portsmouth, 29SEP43
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IDF
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USAF F-16 pilot Major Wendy Hendrick
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IDF
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ATA pilots with Hurricane
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Arma Hobby North American P-51 B/C Mustang Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part IV

Painting has begun! Many of the Mustangs in this batch will be in an overall Natural Metal Finish (NMF) or a variant. This is a misnomer in the case of the Mustang, as the wings were painted in an Aluminum lacquer to help preserve laminar flow over the wings after the panel lines had been puttied. I didn’t fill the panel lines, but the Aluminum lacquer was simulated by adding a bit of Alclad white primer to their aluminum. The fuselage, tail surfaces, ailerons, and flaps were Aluminum. The panels behind the exhausts were sprayed with Stainless Steel, cut with a few drops of Aluminum.
This is why I hate vinyl masks. The vinyl doesn’t like curved surfaces, here they have pulled up allowing the Interior Green paint underneath. Fortunately the kits provide both this type of canopy and the Malcolm hood, so there were spares to replace the worst of these. I used the vinyl masks as templates to lay out masking tape replacements, cleaned up the parts, and tried again. Hopefully Arma replaces these masks with Kabuki tape in future releases.
Loads of masking tape was used on these builds. First the camo, then the stripes, then antiglare panels and/or unit markings. Most of the models wound up getting three applications of tape before all the colors were on.
One aircraft wore a field-applied scheme using RAF Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray. The Dark Green is a mix of Mr. Color 340 Field Green and 123 RLM Dark Green, the Medium Sea Gray is 306. Something a little different from the rest of the herd!
The standard USAAF finish for the first few years of the war was Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. Sounds simple, but Olive Drab faded to a wide range of shades, and didn’t start out as a uniform color anyway. I filled the airbrush cup with mixes as I went down the line. In extreme cases the O.D. could fade to a shade close to the tan I used here but I didn’t go past a 50/50 mix.
Only rarely should something be truly black in scale, most black paint looks better if it’s lightened a little. The black on this model is a mix of Mr. Color Black and Tire Black. The base color here is Alclad Aluminum, with a lightened mix on the wings to simulate the Aluminum Lacquer. Stainless Steel was used for the exhaust panels, and the Bright Silver Candy Base was applied to the leading edges of the flaps.

Part V here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/05/20/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51-b-c-mustang-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-v/

Tamiya Vought F4U Corsair of 1LT Kenneth Walsh in 1/72 Scale

Kenneth Walsh enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1933 at the age of 17.  He was trained as a Naval Aviator in 1937, earning his pilot’s wings while still a private.  By February 1943 Walsh was a 1LT, serving with VMF-124 on Guadalcanal.  He opened his account on 01APR43 with a triple, scoring another three on 13MAY43 which made him the first pilot to make ace on the Corsair.  He continued to add to his score, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for 20 victories.  He returned to combat in 1945, serving in the Philippines and scoring his last victory off Okinawa on 22JUN45.  Walsh flew transports with VMR-152 during the Korean War, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1958.

The model represents the F4U-1 Corsair of Lt. Kenneth Walsh USMC, VMF-124, as it appeared while operating from Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, May 1943.