Josef “Sepp” Wurmheller opened his account during the “Phoney War”, a Fairey Battle on 30SEP39. His fortunes were mixed during the Battle of Britain, where he claimed four further victories but was shot down himself on three occasions. His most successful day was during the Dieppe Raid on 19AUG42, when he was credited with seven victories over four sorties.
The majority of Wurmheller’s victories were scored in the West, 93 in all including 56 Spitfires and 21 four-motor bombers. He was briefly deployed to the East where he added 9 Soviet aircraft to his total. He was dogfighting with Allied fighters on 22JUN44 when he collided with his wingman, both German pilots were killed. Josef Wurmheller’s final score was 103.
The model represents the Fw 190A-5 of Josef Wurmheller while assigned to 9. / JG2, France, July 1943.
Franz Eisenach scored his first victory on 08NOV42, a Russian-flown P-40. He continued to score steadily, his best day was on 14SEP44, when he claimed five Il-2 Sturmoviks and four Pe-2s. He was wounded seriously enough to require hospitalization on three occasions – once while crash landing after being shot down by Russian fighters, another bailing out wounded after his aircraft was hit by flak, and lastly after being injured during a bombing raid on his airfield. Eisenach survived the war, and was credited with a total of 129 victories, all in the East. The model depicts the Fw 190A-8 of Major Franz Eisenach, Gruppenkommandeur of I. / JG54, at Schrunden, Courland, November 1944.
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:
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!
Walther Dahl claimed his first victory on the opening day of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. He continued to score against the Soviets, his total reaching 51 victories by July 1943, when he was assigned to the West as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 3. He successfully made the transition from East to West, although he was shot down by RAF Spitfires on 17AUG43 had had to make a belly landing in his Bf 109. The Luftwaffe became more and more desperate to stem the flow of Allied bombers, and Dahl took command of JG 300 in June, 1944. JG 300 was formed as a special unit whose pilots were to close in on American bomber formations to point-blank range, ramming their targets if necessary. While these tactics were sometimes successful, they were also costly to the Luftwaffe, especially if Allied escort fighters were present. Dahl was one of several prominent Jagdflieger who locked horns with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, being relieved of command on 30NOV44 for refusing Göring’s order to intercept an American raid in poor weather, only the intervention of Adolf Galland preventing his court martial. Dahl was quickly reinstated and promoted, and continued to fly combat missions until the end of the war. He was credited with his last victory, a P-51 Mustang on 26APR45, bringing his total to 128.
The model depicts Dahl’s Fw 190A-8 of Stab /JG 300, at Jüterbog, Germany, December 1944.
This rather uniquely camouflaged aircraft was originally assigned to III./JG 11 but suffered damage. After repairs it was re-assigned to 2./JG 301 and was repainted with JG 301’s Reich’s Defense fuselage band, but with the order of the colors reversed.
Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 W.Nr. 211934 was assigned to Stab II./ JG 6 and was surrendered to American forces at Fürth, Germany. It was photographed extensively there and so is one of the better documented Doras.
This model was built from the old 1976 issue Hasegawa kit. The kit has been superseded by subsequent molds but I had it on hand and decided to update it as best I could just for the fun of it. Decals are from an Aeromaster sheet and performed flawlessly.
Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 W.Nr. 500647, better known as “Brown 4” is a popular subject with modelers due to its unusual camouflage and being fitted with the tail assembly designed for the Ta 152. The camouflage has been interpreted in a variety of ways. The source photographs were taken at Celle in April 1945. They are in black and white, and show Brown 4 missing her cowling panels and canopy. My model most closely follows the profile in the JaPo Fw 190D volume, but with RLM 75 under the wings which I feel is a better match for the photograph. This is the Hasegawa kit with a resin tail and decals from AML.
Paul-Heinrich Dähne fought throughout the Second World War, much of it with JG 52 on the Eastern Front. His final score stood at 99 aerial victories. He was killed on 24APR45, just three weeks before the end of the war. He was attempting to eject from a Heinkel He 162, the ejection seat fired but the canopy did not jettison properly.
The model depicts Dähne’s Fw 190A-8 in the markings of Gruppenkommandeur II./JG 1 at Mecklenburg, February 1945.
At the beginning of the Second World War, August Lambert was a Luftwaffe flight instructor. His first combat assignment was with Schlachtgeschwader 1, a ground attack unit. He flew his first mission on the Eastern Front on 23APR43 claiming a Soviet aircraft destroyed, but this was not confirmed. During the Crimean Campaign II./SG 1 was hard pressed by the advancing Red Army and Air Force, and air-to-air encounters increased sharply. Lambert scored steadily during the campaign. On 17APR45 Lambert’s flight was jumped by American P-51 Mustangs of the 55th Fighter Group an he was killed. His final tally was 116 aerial victories and over 100 vehicles destroyed.
The model depicts Lambert’s Fw 190A-5 assigned to 5./SG2, Southern Sector of the Soviet Union, late 1943.