George “Ratsy” Preddy opened his account while flying P-40s in defense of Darwin with the 9th Pursuit Squadron, 49th Pursuit group. He was credited with two shared against Japanese aircraft, but was hospitalized after a mid-air collision with another P-40. Upon recovery, he was eventually assigned to the 487th FS, 352nd FG flying P-47 Thunderbolts from Bodney, England. Preddy was credited with two victories in the Thunderbolt, and earned a Silver Star for breaking up a Luftwaffe attack against a formation of B-17s.
In April 1944 the 352nd converted to the P-51 Mustang and Preddy began to score steadily. He scored four on a single mission on 18JUL44. His best day was on 07AUG44, downing six Bf-109s during a single mission.
Preddy was rose to command the Group’s 328th Fighter Squadron as a Major. During the Battle of the Bulge the Squadron was operating from a forward airfield located at Asche, Belgium. On Christmas day he led a flight of ten Mustangs on a patrol. Preddy downed two Messerschmitts, then pursued a lone Fw 190D flying over the front at low altitude. Two other P-51s joined Preddy as they pursued the Focke Wulf at treetop height. The aircraft crossed over American lines and were engaged by an M3 halftrack of the 430th AA Battalion mounting quad .50 machine guns. All three P-51s were hit. Two Mustangs were downed, including Preddy’s. He did not survive the crash.
George Preddy was credited with 26.83 aerial victories, making him the eighth top-scoring U.S. ace.
“Cripes A’ Mighty”, piloted by Major George Preddy,328 FS, Bodney, Norfolk, Dec. 1944. Airfix kit, Eagle Strike decal sheet IP7208.
2021 saw a return to some degree of normalcy, but as with any great disruption there have been some re-definitions of just what that means. There was a return to live in-person shows which was sorely missed. What has changed with the shows is now they are bigger and better attended, with more vendors, more model entries, and an overall increase in quality of the builds. Fewer group activities have translated into additional modeling time for many people, and for socially introverted types this appears to have been a good thing. It has certainly resulted in more and better models on display at the shows!
I was able to go to three shows this year, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati. All three were held in new venues, and all three were very successful and saw half again as many entries above what was normal for the club, if not more. Many inspiring and innovative builds, and fellow modelers are always happy to share new techniques and tips to try out. The guys at Plastic Model Mojo have taken their show on the road, and I was able to sit down with them and catch up in person, in addition to listening to their podcasts while I model. Plastic Model Mojo here: https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/
For bibliophiles the news is still not good. Publication dates on many new books have slipped. The secondary and overstock markets have fared little better, with fewer selections and higher prices all around. After two years the Half Price Books traveling blow-out sale is still nowhere on the horizon, and I’m starting to wonder if it will ever return. Hopefully soon!
Blog Statistics and News
The Inch High Guy blog has completed year three! A big thanks to all who visit on a regular basis, whether new or old. I am happy to report that I again managed to make a post each day, although there were a couple of near misses. The blog received 139,675 views and 55,483 visitors, up from 73,992 views and 26,731 visitors last year. The most popular post again this year was “Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Interior Colors Part I” with 3,267 views:
Models Built in 2021
34 completions, 24 aircraft and 10 vehicles. In addition I painted 42 figures, 14 horses, and constructed 8 diorama / vignette bases. Everything was built to 1/72 scale as is my preference. The mosaic has a picture of each build, construction posts and additional finished pictures can be found by searching the blog.
Arma Hobby FM-2 Wildcat x 3
Azur Martin B-10
Takom MAZ-537 Tank Transporter
Airfix Spitfire Vc x 4
Vickers Mk. VI light tank resin print
Cunningham T1 light tank resin print x 2
Arma Hobby Yak-1b x 3
Dakoplast Yak-7 x 2
Hasegawa Fw 190D (old tool)
Hasegawa Fw 190D
Tamiya Fw 190D
Dragon Messerschmitt P.1011 x2
Revell Fw Fitzer
Revell Ho 229 (repaint)
First to Fight Polish TKS Tankette
ICM Sd.Kfz. 222
First to Fight Sd.Kfz. 247
Dragon Krupp Protze Kfz. 70
Italeri sK 18 10.5 cm Field Gun
What’s Ahead in 2022
This has been a year of exciting announcements for 1/72 scale modelers. The new Focke Wulf Fw 190D series from ICB looks spectacular, and it even includes an accurate wheelwell for the first time in the scale. The family will cover all the Dora subtypes. Flyhawk released a new tool SBD Dauntless which will fix the dive brake issues with Hasegawa’s kit, and will hopefully continue to be available – something which can’t be said for several Hasegawa kits. To top it off ICM and Special Hobby have both just announced a new-tool Ki-21 “Sally” for late 2022, a subject which has long been on the list of several modelers. The Sally was strangely missing from Hasegawa’s new-ish series of Japanese twins, modelers who had to have one searched for the MPM or 1976 Revell kits.
The big news for many modelers is that Arma is now shipping their P-51B/C kits. The previous attempts from Academy and Hasegawa both suffered from fatal, difficult to correct shape issues. Finally, for the first time, an accurate P-51B/C is on the way! This kit should prove to be a license to print money for Arma, here’s hoping it is a windfall for them! I have long agitated for this subject, so to put my money where my mouth is I have placed an order through my Local Hobby Store (support your LCS!) for one. Case. For starters.
Now Arma, if you’re listening, we could sure use an accurate Ki-43-II Hayabusa “Oscar” in 1/72 scale.
The second big release (for me) has a much more personal connection. Takom has announced a U.S. Navy 16”/50 caliber triple turret in 1/72 scale, packaged as Turret One from USS Missouri (BB 63). This kit has parts for the rangefinder which was later removed from the first turrets, but with a few modifications could represent any of the main battery turrets on the Iowa class battleships. Now for the connection part – I served in the Navy, Missouri was my ship, Turret One was my turret. 1/72 scale Missouri’s in both the WWII and 1980’s configurations are on my bucket list, and this kit makes that project one step closer. If the appropriate 5”/38 Mark 28 mount is ever kitted that would cinch the deal (the 1/72 scale 5”/38 Mark 38 mount included in Takom’s 1/700 Gearing class kit has an unarmored gun house, appropriate for destroyers but not battleships).
Lastly, we have purchased a wooded plot of land along the scenic White River, where we intend to build an energy efficient (net zero) home. This is obviously a time-consuming project, and will inevitably impact time available for modeling and blogging. In fact, the effects have already begun to be felt as I have been busy on the property cutting down the invasive Asian Bush Honeysuckle which is crowding out the native trees. Hopefully there will still be opportunities for modeling, but the pace may slow a bit. If I miss the daily posting on the blog in the coming months this will likely be the reason.
May you each live long enough to build every model in your stash!
Sgt. George “Screwball” Beurling was the highest-scoring Canadian ace, with 31 credited victories, the majority of which were scored over Malta. BR323 was one of the Spitfires he flew with 249 Squadron at Malta, achieving 5 victories with this aircraft in July 1942. The dual drop tanks on the centerline were a field improvisation, the blue camouflage was applied in theater and has been interpreted in several ways.
This is a Spitfire Mk. Vc Trop of the Royal Hellenic Air Force in the post-war natural metal finish. Hard to resist a NMF Spitfire!
More completed Airfix Spitfires here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2021/05/27/airfix-supermarine-spitfire-mk-vc-trop-of-sgt-george-beurling-in-1-72-scale/
This is a No. 249 Squadron Spitfire Mk. Vc Trop defending Malta in the Summer of 1942. Many of the Malta Spitfires were re-camouflaged locally and the colors used are still debated. This example was finished in an overall “dark blue”, I have chosen Insignia Blue for my model.
More completed Airfix Spitfires here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2021/05/25/airfix-rhaf-supermarine-spitfire-mk-vc-trop-in-1-72-scale/