Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a of Hans Waldmann, 3. / JG 7, Kaltenkirchen, Germany, March 1945. Revell of Germany kit.
Hans Peter Waldmann scored the majority of his 134 victories flying the Bf 109 with JG 52 on the Eastern Front. In early July 1944 Waldmann and the rest of 4./JG 52 had been transferred to the West in Defence of the Reich, flying with II./JG 3 over the Invasion front. He flew Jabo missions along with fighter sweeps, adding seven American and RAF aircraft to his score. In November II./JG 3 was retrained to fly the Me 262 and became I./JG 7. Waldmann claimed two Mustangs on the Me 262. On 18MAR45 JG 7 was ordered to intercept American bombers raiding Germany despite heavy cloud cover. Waldmann collided with one of his wingmen in the clouds and was killed.
Walter Nowotny scored his first two victories on 19JUL41 against Soviet Polikarpov I-153s but was shot down by a third. He subsequently spent three days in a raft in the Gulf of Riga until he washed ashore in Latvia. Most of his subsequent victories came while flying the Fw 190 with JG 54. He became the first Luftwaffe pilot to be credited with 250 victories, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Nowotny was given command of a unit tasked with developing tactics for the new Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter. The type had been rushed into service and suffered from several “bugs”. On 08NOV44 Nowotny claimed an American P-51 and B-24, but crashed in his Me 262, possibly due to an engine fire. He was 23 at the time.
Nowotny had a superstition and insisted on wearing his lucky “victory pants” whenever he flew, the same pants he had worn after his first victories and three days afloat in the raft in the Gulf of Riga. The only time he failed to wear them was on his last sortie when he was killed.
Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff was one of the legends of the Luftwaffe, having flown throughout the entire war on every major front. He flew a total of 993 sorties and was credited with 176 victories. He was shot down himself on twelve occasions but only bailed out once, preferring to crash land his aircraft due to a mis-trust of parachutes. He scored six of his victories while flying the Me 262 with JV 44, but two weeks before the end of the war his jet crashed during take-off, leaving Steinhoff with severe burns. After the war he became a General in the West German Air Force. He died in February 1994 at the age of 80.
Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a of Rudolf Rademacher, 9. / JG 7.
Revell of Germany kit. Rudolf “Rudi” Rademacher opened his account flying with 3./JG 54 “Green Hearts” on the Eastern Front. He flew as a wingman to Walter Nowotny with 1./JG 54. His best day was 05JUL43 when he was credited with seven victories. He was transferred to 1./Jagdgruppe Nord as an instructor where he continued to score and was wounded while attacking a B-17 in September. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross and after recovering from his injuries he joined 11./JG 7 and learned to fly the Me 262. He scored at least sixteen victories with the Me 262, Toliver places his final tally at 126.
I present three dioramas (or are they vignettes) featuring Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftracks in 1/72 scale. The first is a Planet Models resin kit with Black Dog accessories. The figures are mainly from Preiser set 72505, augmented with others from one of their Luftwaffe sets. The crew has taken a break for lunch in the shade of a tree. The dog is painted to resemble one of my own.
This scene is the Revell FAMO towing an Italeri sFH 18 Field Howitzer, both very nice kits. The cargo is mainly Value Gear in the bed and Black Dog tarps on the fenders. Figures are a mix of Preiser and modified artillerymen from the Italeri kit. Value Gear here: http://valuegeardetails.com/UniversalStowage72.html
I have recently developed an affinity for tank transporters (like I needed another rabbit hole to climb in) so there will likely be more like this scene in the future. This is the Trumpeter FAMO and transport trailer with a Zvezda Panzer IV. Figures are from the CMK set designed for the FAMO and a few from Caesar, Value Gear stowage in the bed again. I like the casual poses, particularly the bored guy on the back of the trailer.
Here is Revell’s FAMO offering from 2005, their kit number 03141. Tracks are link and length. I found this kit to be well molded and engineered and a pleasure to build. The canvas rolls on the fenders are from Black Dog resin, the cargo load in the bed is a mix of Value Gear resin bits.
For this build I’ll be assembling a small batch of the German army’s largest halftrack – the 18-ton Sd. Kfz. 9 “FAMO” using kits from three different manufacturers. Each manufacturer has taken a different approach to their kits and I’m interested to see how each one builds up and how they look when complete.
This is a conversion of Revell of Germany’s excellent Junkers Ju 88C-6 kit into a cannon-armed P-1 version using an Aimes conversion set. This set consist of a vacuformed gondola, resin nose and canopy combing, brass gun barrel, and decals – a nice package.
The Ju88P-1 carried a 7.5 cm PaK 40L semi-automatic Bordkanone in a large gondola under the fuselage. It was intended for use against ground targets and as a long-range bomber destroyer. Forty Ju-88P were produced, but the heavy cannon affected both speed and maneuverability making the aircraft vulnerable to interception.