2021 Indianapolis Roscoe Turner IPMS Show – 1/72 Scale Models

Yesterday marked the first IPMS show I was able to attend since the beginning of lockdowns.  Ironically the last show I attended was also hosted by the Indianapolis IPMS chapter over thirteen months ago.  The club moved the contest site to the Boone County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Indiana.  The new venue provided ample space to spread out and increase the size of the contest and vendors’ areas and still provide for wide isles.  There was considerable pent-up demand, this was Indy IPMS’ biggest show on record with 119 vendor tables and 904 contest entries!  Everybody was happy to get out and had a great time.  Several categories were just overwhelmed, single engined aircraft in 1/72 and 1/48 scale each had over three dozen entries!  It was great to catch up with everyone and it was a fine day out!  This is just a sampling of what was on the tables.

Additional photographs here: https://imodeler.com/2021/04/2021-indianapolis-roscoe-turner-ipms-show/

World famous podcasters Mike & Dave from Plastic Model Mojo recorded their episode 36 from the event, their new show will drop Friday.  All Plastic Model Mojo podcasts available here:  https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/

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Mike (R) & Dave (L) from Plastic Model Mojo

Women Warriors 113

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IDF
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Serbian Army 2K12 Kub SAM
ww449c_USARMY_Specialist Jenny Martinez
US ARMY Specialist Jenny Martinez
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Italian Army B1 Centauro Tank Destroyer
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IDF
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IDF Mercava
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Serbia
(from right) 1Lt Julie “TIMBER” Ayres, Capt. Mary “GINGER” Melfi, and Capt. Tally “VIXEN” Parham, three of the five female fighter pilots from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing that flew in combat missions in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from this forward-deployed air base in the Middle East, walk together down the flightline on May 3, 2003. Lt Ayres and Capt. Melfi, from the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron out of Seymour Johnson A.F.B., NC, are weapons system officers on the F-15E Strike Eagle. Capt. Parham, from the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron out of McEntire, SC, is a fighter pilot on the F-16CJ and is part of the S.C. Air National Guard. The 379th AEW is credited with flying 3,440 sorties and delivering over 1,500 tons of ordnance during the combat phase of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. (RELEASED)(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. DERRICK C. GOODE)
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ATA pilots
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Russian Paratrooper
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IDF
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Japan
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US Coast Guard SPARs
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IDF
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US Army
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Italy
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WASP pilot Shirley Slade
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Takom MAZ-537 Tank Transporter Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

MAZ537_11
Here is the chassis for the MAZ tractor. Internally I have added a printed resin engine to fill the space. Externally the molded-on grab handles have been replaced with wire and the boarding ladders have been braced with plastic stock.

MAZ537_12
Here is the cab piece in place, a really beautiful slide-molded piece. The cab is just posed for the picture, I left it loose throughout construction to be able to paint the interior and set the driver figure inside.

MAZ537_13
The tractor with the trailer. The PE is the best way to represent the mud guards at the front of the trailer, they are a little fiddly but not bad as PE parts go. I did not use the PE grab handles on the sides of the foldable ramps at the back of the trailer, preferring wire stock because it is round and can be set into holes so it won’t be knocked off. Along the sides of the trailer frame are tie-downs which are present in some photographs.

MAZ537_14
Basic camouflage colors. This is a scheme worn by a transporter of the Afghani Northern Alliance, I like the contrast between the tractor and the trailer.

MAZ537_15
This is a test-fit of the Trumpeter T-55. One thing to watch is to make sure the tank’s gun is elevated sufficiently to clear the spare tires mounted atop the trailer “goose neck”.

MAZ537_16
I covered the paint with Testors Glosscoat and then added markings from Star Decals sheet 72-A 1050, then shot everything with Future (Klear). Future is an acrylic and provides some resistance to the oils and washes I use for weathering.

MAZ537_17
Here the oils have been blended to simulate dirt and distress to the paint. The oils are relatively forgiving, they can be blended to achieve the effects desired or removed with a little thinner if you make a mistake. The engine and the floor of the cab are toned with oils.

MAZ537_18
Here are the tractor and trailer with a misting of tan “dust” and sealed with a flat coat. The MAZ is in the markings of the Afghani Northern Alliance. The figure is from Paracel Miniatures, which I will show in detail next week.

Tamiya Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero of Saburo Sakai in 1/72 Scale

Saburo Sakai is the most well-known of the Japanese aces in the West, thanks to the publication of books in English of his exploits by Martin Caiden and by Henry Sakaida.  He opened his account in China where he scored four victories.  He was part of the force which attacked US airfields in the Philippines on 08DEC41 (local time).  Over Guadalcanal he was wounded by rear gunners of a formation of SBD Dauntless dive bombers which he mistook for Wildcats, the mistake cost him an eye.  He survived the war and was credited with 64 victories.  V-103 was one of the aircraft flown by Sakai while a member of the Tainan Air Group.  The remains of this aircraft (and those of its’ last pilot) were discovered on Guadalcanal in 1993, and Sakai himself has verified that this is one of the aircraft which he flew while with the Tainan Air Group.

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Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando Color Photographs Part III – Exterior Details

All photographs from the NASM Hans Groenhoff collection.

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Technicians make adjustments to the Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51 radial engine on this C-46A. The inside of the nacelle is in natural metal with stenciling visible.

 

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Another view inside the engine panels, this time on the port engine. The panels locked up out of the way allowing for easy access.

 

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A view from under the nacelle showing the arrangement of cooling slots and cowl flaps. Curtiss engineers located the cowl flaps on the underside of the nacelle so as to not disturb the airflow over the wing and thus reduce lift.

 

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Hydraulic fluid leaking through the fuselage panel seams can be seen in many photos showing the underside of the nose. The streamlined teardrop fairing housed the direction-finding antenna and was commonly called the “football”.

 

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Another staged photograph of troops and Jeeps being loaded into a C-46. This angle gives a good view of the Curtiss Electric four-bladed propellers.

 

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This photograph would be interesting enough just for showing details of the cargo door interior, but what is particularly fascinating is what is being loaded – the nose section of a Sikorsky R-4 helicopter. The R-4 was the world’s first helicopter to enter large-scale production.

 

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This view gives a good impression of the size of the C-46’s vertical stabilizer.

 

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Nice details of engine maintenance, including the configuration of the work stand.

 

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A Curtiss technician on top of the starboard nacelle showing details of the exhaust and cooling arrangement. Exhaust staining and oil spills are weathering opportunities for skilled modelers.

 

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A C-46E showing the Troop Carrier Command logo on the nose. Note the stepped “airliner” windscreen and three-bladed prop of the “E” model.

Hasegawa Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero of Shoichi Sugita in 1/72 Scale

Shoichi Sugita was credited with his first arial victorie on 01DEC42, a B-17 Flying Fortress.  He formed part of the escort for the transport carrying ADM Isoroku Yamamoto on the day he was shot down.  T2 190 was an A6M3 Type 32 assigned to the 204 Kokutai at Rabaul in May, 1943, and wears a field applied mottled camouflage.  In August of 1943 he was himself shot down but escaped by parachute, although badly burned.

Chief Petty Officer Shoichi Sugita flew the Kawanishi N1K2 Shiden-Kai with the 343rd Kokuti operating from Matsuama, Japan in March 1945.  CPO Sugita was credited with approximately seventy victories, including seven in the Shiden-Kai.  He was killed on 15APR45, shot down while attempting to take off by US Navy F6F Hellcats.  His Shiden-Kai is modeled here:  https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/hasegawa-kawanishi-n1k2-shiden-kai-%e7%b4%ab%e9%9b%bb-violet-lightning-george-in-1-72-scale/

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Underwater Warriors Book Review

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Underwater Warriors

By Paul Kemp

Hardcover in dustjacket, 256 pages, appendices, notes, bibliography, and index

Published by Naval Institute Press 1996

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1-55750-857-7

Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches

Midget submarines were used by all the major naval powers of WWII except for the United States.  The Italians, British, Germans, and Japanese all fielded small submarines, manned torpedoes of various types, or what would now be called swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs).  These generally were deployed against enemy shipping at anchor or in harbor, and utilized standard torpedoes or mines to sink their targets.  While not technically suicide weapons (at least in most cases) the operations were extremely hazardous and often resulted in the death or capture of the crews.

The author begins with Bushnell’s Turtle of American Revolutionary war fame.  While unsuccessful as a weapon, it had some basic success as a submersible and proved the concept.  Strangely, the successful CSS Hunley is not mentioned, although this may be due to the discovery of her wreck happening after publication of this book.  The first modern operation covered in detail is the sinking of the Austro-Hungarian battleship Viribus Unitus by the Italians during the closing days of the First World War.

The Italians were certainly the first to capitalize on the midget submarine concept in WWII, using SDVs to sink the British battleships Valiant and Queen Elizabeth at Alexandria with their Maiale and covertly operating against Allied shipping from the tanker Olterra at Gibraltar.  The British copied the Maiale for their own Chariot SDV, and developed the four-man X-craft which were used successfully against the German battleship Tirpitz and the Japanese heavy cruiser Takao.  Germany was a late comer to the midget submarine game, employing a variety of types in an effort to disrupt the Allied invasion of Europe, without much success.  The Japanese developed their “Target-A” two-man midget to engage the U.S. Navy on the high seas in a climactic battle, but in the end used them mainly against ships at anchor or in harbor, the most well-known attacks being the Pearl Harbor raid and attack on Sydney Harbor.  More successful but less well known are the torpedoing of HMS Ramillies at Madagascar and the attacks on American invasion shipping at Guadalcanal.

The author also evaluates the different vessels and their employment from a technical perspective, tracing the development of each.  The smaller one-man submersibles, although tried on several occasions, were never able to be made practical for a variety of reasons.  The larger types such as the British X-craft and Japanese Target-A were designed by submarine officers and engineers and were quite functional, their main limitations stemmed from their deployment to the combat area which required the services of fleet submarines as transports.

This work fills a void as very little has been written about the operations of midget submarines, the author has done an excellent job researching the stories of the men involved.  These operations were quite secret at the time, and in some cases more information has only come to light recently – the details of the five Japanese mini-subs at Pearl Harbor being one example.  Overall this is a very well written book which I can recommend without hesitation, and one which fills a gap in the naval history of the Second World War.

Women Warriors 112

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Russia
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US Navy sailor from VFA-83 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
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Khazakhstain soldier with T-80
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US Air Force AC-130
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Georgia
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Belgian Naval Officer
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IDF
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USAF F-16 pilot Trena Savageau
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WASPS
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US Navy
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IDF
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Russian soldier with SVD Dragunov sniper rifle
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US Coast Guard SPAR
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Russia
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IDF
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IDF
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WASPs with AT-6 Texan, Waco, Texas
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Takom MAZ-537 Tank Transporter Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

MAZ537_01
Here is the Takom MAZ-537 Russian Army Tank Transporter kit number 5004 released in 2019. Takom has also released the cargo truck version of the MAZ-537 chassis, but this boxing comes with the CHMZAP-524Z heavy trailer. I have become fascinated with tank transporters and there are now a few in the stash, like I needed another rabbit hole to explore!

MAZ537_02
There are five main sprues in the box. Molding is crisp and features sharp, finely engraved details. These are the detail parts for the MAZ tractor. Sprue attachment points are well located and my example had no flash on any of the parts. One odd thing is the sprues are square in cross section.

MAZ537_03
Sprue “E” contains the main parts for the trailer chassis.

MAZ537_04
More trailer parts on sprue “F”. These are mainly the folding ramps at the back of the trailer and the supporting structure at the front.

MAZ537_05
Sprue “C” is the frame for the MAZ tractor. Wheels for both the tractor and trailer are rubber. There is a small PE fret, most of these parts make sense represented in PE and so were used. The main cab is a finely detailed example of slide-mold wizardry and a real gem.

MAZ537_06
I started construction with the MAZ chassis, but there is no reason why the trailer could not be built first if you felt the desire, or in parallel while waiting for glue to set. The parts fit together well without any surprises, but pay attention to the part numbers as some parts are quite similar.

MAZ537_07
After the MAZ chassis I skipped ahead in the construction sequence to rough out the trailer assembly. I wanted to get an idea of the size of this beast – just under a foot (30 cm) long! Massive for a 1/72 vehicle subject, but that is part of the appeal.

MAZ537_08
Test fitting revealed that the area inside engine enclosure could be viewed from the rear. Not obvious at first but sure to be seen by inquisitive people with tiny flashlights. I found a Cummins diesel which could be sized to fit on Thingiverse and printed a copy to fill the void. I know this is not the prototypical unit for the MAZ but it will do well for the viewing angle. File here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3774206

MAZ537_09
Here is the resin engine mounted in the bay. The fan boxes in the cab are made from spare Academy B-29 bomb racks as are the side details in the engine bay floor. More spurious details but they will serve for what will be visible and prevent the see-through look at the cooling vents.

MAZ537_10
The cab piece showing some added details. I shaved off all the grab handles and replaced them with wire, a simple fix which enhances the appearance of the model quite a bit. I carefully “rolled down” the windows in the clear doors with a Dremel tool, and opened up the roof hatch so I could pose a figure there on the finished model. The replacement roof hatch was made from parts from the spares box.