RPM Hotchkiss H35 French Light Tank in 1/72 Scale

This is the 2009 RPM issue Hotchkiss H35 light tank.  This is a small tank and a small model.  RPM have done a good job with this kit, it is crisply molded and without flash.  It is well detailed and features a really good start on the interior if you’d like to model the hatches open.  The tracks are one piece, but there are ample fiddly bits for those who might otherwise feel slighted.  The decals are printed on a continuous sheet of carrier film, I would advise trimming the film back as far as possible as it was a little reluctant to settle in.  The only real down side of this kit is the vague instructions which only add to the confusion of not having parts numbers on the sprues.  Other than that, a straight forward model which builds up nicely.

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The Arab Revolt 1916–18, Osprey Campaign 202 Book Review

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The Arab Revolt 1916–18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze

By David Murphy, illustrated by Peter Dennis

Osprey Campaign Series Book 202

Paperback, 96 pages, heavily illustrated

Published by Osprey Publishing November 2008

Language: English

ISBN-10: 184603339X

ISBN-13: 978-1846033391

Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches

Most readers are familiar with the story of the Arab Revolt because of T. E. Lawrence’s book “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” and its movie adaptation “Lawrence of Arabia”.  This volume in the Osprey Campaign Series puts those works into context and provides a broad overview into the strategic background of the actions in the book and the film.

In 1916 the Ottoman Turks controlled Arabia by fortifying a series of towns and strong points.  These positions were supplied by the Hejaz Railway that ran South terminating in Medina, which was heavily garrisoned.  Keeping the railway open was vital to the Turkish presence in the Middle East and as such was heavily patrolled.  The British and French realized that for a relatively small investment in advisers, material, and support the Arab clans could be incited to revolt against Ottoman occupation.  Suppressing the revolt would tie up Turkish forces and divert resources away from other theaters.

For their part, the Arabs fought for independence and self-rule.  Native to the desert, they were masters of the terrain and could traverse “impassable” regions, appearing without warning and melting back into the desert before they could be engaged.  Guerrilla warfare suited them well, and they conducted numerous raids against isolated garrisons.  The vital railway line was particularly vulnerable to this type of attack, being difficult for Ottoman forces to defend effectively and requiring immediate repair whenever the line was cut.  As Arab strength grew, larger-scale assaults were directed against cities and towns and the Ottomans were driven back.

This book is a good primer on how the Arabian campaign was conducted and the post-war political maneuverings that followed.  It is particularly relevant for those wishing to understand the progression from Arabia at the beginning of the last century into the chaos which is the Middle East today.  Overall a good introduction into one of the lesser studied theaters of the First World War.

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Tamiya Republic P-47D Thunderbolt Bubbletop Build Part II

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The particular Thunderbolt I’m modeling is the P-47D-30-RE of Major Glenn Eagleston of the 355th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, a rather well-known aircraft.  For an overall NMF aircraft there sure are a lot of colors to mask off and here are the first two, yellow on the cowl and the beginnings of invasion stripes under the fuselage.
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The masking tape is just regular household tape from the hardware store.  I have not had any issues pulling off the Alclad as long as the surfaces were properly prepared and the paint was allowed to dry overnight.
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The prop had a yellow hub, the easiest way to paint this is to punch an appropriate hole in plastic card and use that as a mask.
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All the panels have been masked and painted in this view.  The black invasion stripes are more faded than the other black markings.
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Here the landing gear has been installed and the model has been shot with a coat of Future (Klear) in preparation for decals.  The wheels are a natural place for the model to rest while drying, and the Future adds just a little bit more of adhesive to keep all the fiddly bits in place.
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Markings are from an old Super Scale sheet, 72-762, and performed perfectly.  I almost always have good luck with Super Scale.  You do need to double check their profiles though, this one missed the invasion stripes completely.
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After the decals dried overnight I sealed them with a second coat of Future and washed the panel lines.  I didn’t remove all the excess wash, but used it to dirty up the finish with faint streaking.  The model was then shot with a mix of Dullcoat and Glosscoat to make it look a bit more grimy.  The NMF still manages to shine through all the “dirt” which adds interest, at least to my eye.  The antenna wire is 0.004” Nitenol wire.

Hasegawa Kawanishi N1K2-Ja Shiden-Kai 紫電 Violet Lightning “George” in 1/72 Scale

Another build of the 1977 Hasegawa kit, this example has had the chord of the vertical tail reduced to represent a late-production Shiden-Kai.  It is marked as the aircraft of Warrant Officer Kaneyoshi Mutoh of the Yokosuka Kokutai in February 1945 operating from Oppama.  Mutoh was credited with twenty-eight victories total, including eight on the Shiden-Kai.

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Canadian Escort Ships Colour Photographs

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A beautiful photograph of HMCS Arrowhead (K145) underway.  Arrowhead was a Flower class corvette, which were designed to provide a number of cheap, easy to construct convoy escorts and were based upon a commercial whaling ship hull.  Displacement was 925 tons with a crew of 85, maximum speed was a modest 16 knots.  Armament was light but sufficient, with a four-inch gun forward and a variety of lighter guns for anti-aircraft protection.  They carried depth charges and were later fitted with a Hedgehog projector for anti-submarine work.  Many were also fitted with minesweeping gear.  Ships of the class were named for types of flowers in Royal Navy service, Arrowhead being a flowering water plant.  HMCS Arrowhead was commissioned in November 1940 and survived the war.
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Another Flower class corvette, here is HMCS Midland (K220) airing her signal flags while moored to a pier.  She was a Canadian-build ship, being constructed (and named for) Midland, Ontario.  She spent her wartime service escorting shipping along the North American seaboard.  She was active in a countering a series of incursions by German U-boats into Canadian coastal waters collectively known as the Battle of St. Lawrence.
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HMCS Regina (K234) was named after Regina, Saskatchewan.  She was commissioned in January 1942 and had an active service career.  She was assigned as part of the screening force for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942.  Subsequently she screened convoys between England and Gibraltar.  On 08FEB43 she depth charged and sank the Italian Acciaio-class submarine Avorio off Algeria.  She later was part of the invasion fleet for the landings at Normandy.  On 08AUG44 Regina was rescuing survivors of the American Liberty ship Ezra Weston when she was torpedoed by the U-667, sinking with the loss of thirty of her crew.
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HMCS Restigouche (H00) was originally commissioned into the Royal Navy as the C-class destroyer Comet in June of 1932.  Original armament was four 4.7-inch guns in single mounts, eight 21-inch torpedo tubes in two quadruple mounts, and depth charges.  Later refits would reduce the numbers of main guns and torpedo tubes in favor of increased anti-submarine and anti-aircraft capability.  Maximum speed was a respectable 36 knots, complement was 165.
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Restigouche was very active during the Battle of the Atlantic, screening several local and trans-Atlantic convoys.  She was part of the screening force during the Normandy invasion, and participated in the sinking of three German patrol boats on 06JUL44 off Brest.  She survived the war and was scrapped in 1946.
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River-class frigates were designed to be larger, more capable, and more sea-worthy convoy escorts than the Flower class corvettes, while still being less expensive to build and operate than destroyers.  They were armed with a twin 4-inch mount forward and a 3-inch gun aft along with Oerlikon 20mm cannon, Hedgehog and depth charges.  They were four knots faster than the Flowers and had twice the range.  Pictured here is HMCS Waskesiu (K300), which was built at Esquimalt, British Columbia and commissioned on 16JUN43.  On 24FEB44 Waskesiu and HMS Nene engaged the German submarine U-257.  After multiple depth charge attacks the U-257 was forced to the surface where she was sunk by gunfire from Waskesiu.  She survived the war and was sold to India.
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HMCS Weyburn (K173) was another Flower-class corvette, built at Port Arthur, Ontario on Lake Superior.  She was commissioned in November 1941, escorting shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  She escorted convoys in support of the Torch landings in North Africa.  On 22FEB43 she struck a mine laid by the German submarine U-118 and began to sink.  The British destroyer HMS Wivern came alongside to remove the crew, but the Wivern was severely damaged when Weyburn’s depth charges exploded as she sank, killing many of the crew of both ships.

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Two interesting photographs taken from the crow’s nest of HMCS Thetford Mines (K459), a River-class frigate.  These views show details of the fo’c’sle, twin 4-inch gun mount, and open bridge which should be of use to modelers.  Thetford Mines participated in the sinking of U-1302 in St. George’s Channel on 07MAR45.  She survived the war.