Tamiya Focke-Wulf 190A-2 of Oberleutnant Egon Mayer in 1/72 Scale

Egon Mayer fought entirely in the West.  He was credited with his first victory, an MS 406, during the Battle of France.  His JG 2 “Richthofen” fought in the Battle of Britain and remained on the Channel Front.  Mayer scored steadily against the RAF, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross in August 1941 after his 21st victory.

As the American presence grew, Mayer was promoted to Hauptman and commanded III./JG 2 as Gruppenkommandeur.  He identified the nose armament of the American heavies as a defensive weak point, and developed the head-on attack which became the preferred Luftwaffe interception tactic.  On 23NOV42 he was credited with two B-17’s and a B-24 using these tactics.

On 01JUL43 Meyer was appointed Geschwaderkommodore of JG 2.  He continued to lead his pilots on interceptions of American heavy bomber raids and was able to score consistently.  On 02MAR44 he was leading an attack on a B-17 formation when he was shot down and killed by an escorting P-47.  His final tally reached a total of 102, and included 51 Spitfires and 26 heavy bombers.

The model represents the Fw 190A-2 of Oberleutnant Egon Mayer of 7./ JG 2, at  Theville France, June 1942.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of Oberleutnant Friedrich-Karl Müller in 1/72 Scale

Friedrich-Karl “Tutti” Müller claimed his first victory, a French Curtiss Hawk during the Dunkirk evacuation in May, 1940.  His score improved to ten during the Battle of Britain, but he was forced down into the English Channel due to fuel exhaustion.

Müller served in all the major theaters where the Luftwaffe was engaged.  He claimed 89 victories against the Soviets and 51 against the Western Allies, including 24 heavy bombers, for a total of 140.  He was killed on 29MAY44 when his Bf 109G stalled while coming in for a landing.

The model represents Müller’s Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 in the markings of Stab III./JG 53 in October 1940.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of Major Adolf Galland, Stab/JG 26 in 1/72 Scale

Adolf Galland flew ground attack missions in He 51’s with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, and in Hs 123’s during the invasion of Poland.  Both of these were biplane types, but Galland repeatedly made requests to be assigned to fighters.  He was able to arrange a transfer to JG 27, then flying the Bf 109E, and was seconded for a time to JG 53 where he was tutored in fighter tactics by Werner Mölders.  Galland claimed his first aerial victories, a pair of RAF Hurricanes on 12MAY40, and added a third on a later sortie that day.

Galland’s success continued, and he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 in June, rising to command the entire Geschwader in August.  In September, he was awarded the Oak Leaves after achieving his 40th victory.  During October he claimed a further eight victories, all fighters, which brought his total to 50.

The model depicts the Bf 109E-4 of Major Adolf Galland while Geschwaderkommandeur of JG 26 at Audembert, France, in October, 1940.

2021 Year in Review

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!

The display area of the 2021 Military Modeler’s Club of Louisville IPMS show.

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/

Mojovians Dave and Mike in front of an Fw 190 replica at the Cincinnati IPMS show at the Tri-State Warbird Museum.

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: 

https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

Guess what? If you can see the ribbing on interior of a Fortress it should be Natural Aluminum, with only rare exceptions. Interior Green is for Warbirds!

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

Trumpeter T-55

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

Brengun Yak-1

Arma Hobby Yak-1b x 3

Hasegawa Yak-3

Dakoplast Yak-7 x 2

Valom Yak-7

Emher Yak-9

Hasegawa Fw 190D (old tool)

Hasegawa Fw 190D

Tamiya Fw 190D

Dragon Messerschmitt P.1011 x2

Dragon Julia

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.

Arma’s P-51B/C

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).

Takom’s 16″/50 turret

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.

The mighty White River

May you each live long enough to build every model in your stash!

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 of Oberleutnant Heinz Bär in 1/72 Scale

Werknummer 3714 was the Bf 109 E-3 of Heinz “Pritzl” Bär while at Saint Ingevert airfield in France, September 1941.  He was assigned to 1./JG 51 at the time.  Bär was one of the “Old Hares” of the Luftwaffe, flying from the beginning of the war through the end.  He amassed more than 1,000 combat sorties, and survive being shot down himself 18 times.  Various authors differ slightly in the number of victories credited to him, Toliver and Constable put his total at 220, including 16 on the Me 262.


Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 of Leutnant Hermann Graf in 1/72 Scale

This is Hermann Graf’s Bf 109 E-7 of 9. / JG 52 at Byelaya Tserkov, Ukraine, August 1941.  JG 52 would go on to become the most successful fighter wing in history with over 10,000 victories, and produced the top three highest scoring aces of all time – Erich Hartmann (352), Gerhard Barkhorn (302), and Günther Rall (275).  Graf was the first pilot to achieve a total of 200 victories, his final tally was 212.


Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 of Leutnant Walter Rupp in 1/72 Scale

Walter Rupp landed this aircraft at the RAF aerodrome at Manston, Kent after suffering combat damage on 17 October 1940.  Rupp became a PoW.  The Aircraft was assigned to 3./JG 53 “Pik As”, who were ordered to remove their unit insignia because they were out of favor with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring at the time – the unit applied the red “bandage” marking in protest.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 of Eduard Koslowski in 1/72 Scale

This Bf 109 is finished in the early-war scheme of 02 / 71 / 65.  It was assigned to 9. / JG 53 and piloted by Eduard Koslowski, who achieved a total of twelve victories.  During the first months of the war the Germans experienced several “friendly fire” incidents.  As a result some Luftwaffe units began to apply oversized insignia to their aircraft, there are even some examples of aircraft wearing both large and small Balkenkreuz.  This appears to have begun in October but had ended sometime in December. This aircraft displays the oversized insignia on the upper wings.


Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 of Joachim Müncheberg in 1/72 Scale

Joachim Müncheberg joined the Luftwaffe in 1938.  His service took him through all the major campaigns fought by the Luftwaffe – the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, the Mediterranean, and the Russian Front.  He scored the majority of his victories against the Western Allies, including an astounding 46 over the Supermarine Spitfire.

In January 1941 he was transferred along with 7./JG 26 to Gela, Sicily to operate against the RAF on Malta.  He scored repeatedly against the Hurricanes there, adding another 25 victories to his tally. The RAF eventually having to disband No. 261 squadron due to severe losses.

Müncheberg was credited with a total of 135 victories.  He was killed on 23MAR43 when he collided with his final victim, an American-flown Spitfire over Tunisia.  Joachim Müncheberg was 24 when he died.

The model depicts the Bf 109 E-7 of 7. / JG 26, as flown by Müncheberg while at Gela, Sicily, March 1941.


Tamiya Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 of Oberleutnant Hans Dortenmann in 1/72 Scale

Hans Dortenmann received Werk Nummer 210003 in September 1944, one of the first Doras issued.  He flew this aircraft until JG 26 surrendered to the British at Flensburg on 06 May 1945.  Dortenmann destroyed his “trusty crate” by throwing a grenade into the cockpit rather than see it captured.  He was credited with 39 aerial victories, including 18 in Werk Nummer 210003, making him the highest scoring Luftwaffe ace on the Dora.

The model depicts the aircraft as it appeared during February – March 1945.  Dortenmann was issued this Dora while with 12./JG 54, after several reassignments and reorganizations Dortenmann commanded the same men as part of III./JG 26 when the war ended.  The aircraft markings also evolved along with the organizational changes, earlier iterations saw 210003 camouflaged with RLM 75 / 83 uppersurfaces (repainted to RLM 82 / 83 in the field), formation number changed from red to black 1, early style canopy replaced with the blown style, and vertical tail painted yellow to allow easier identification by his Staffel.  This is the Tamiya kit with EagleCals Decals.