Sunday, January 13, 2013
EVERYONE READING THIS WILL UNDERSTAND what I'm about to say, although I'm not exactly sure how to say it. You'll understand because you wouldn't have picked up this issue and started reading it unless you agreed with us on one intangible fact: there is something about the Luftwaffe and its airplanes and pilots that has an undeniable attraction that is far stronger than all other Axis airplanes and airpowers combined. Now that I've made that statement, don't forget that I can't explain it. In survey after survey, the Bf 109, Me 262 and Fw 190 far outstrip, for instance, the Japanese Zero or the Italian Macchi 202, both very respectable airplanes, in popularity. The majority of aviation enthusiasts know names such as Erich Hartmann, Hans-Joachim Marseille and Gunther Rall well. But, other than possibly Subaro Sakai (actually Japan’s fourth highest ace), few can name even one Japanese ace. Why is that?
at 8:04 PM
Unknown by many of today's warbird lovers, the North American P-51 Mustang was not originally developed for the United States. In 1940, it was the British who contracted with North American Aviation to design and build an advanced fighter in just 120 days that could help Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). It would be faster, nimbler and carry nearly twice as much fuel as the Spitfire. Add a 75 gallon droppable belly tank and the new Mustang would have over six hours of range. The original P-51s were fitted with the Allison V1710 engine but lacked power and range at high altitudes. A suggestion from the British modified the P51 with the Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine and was designated the P-51B (and subsequent P-51C and most popular P51D Models). Compared to the Allison, the Merlin offered an automatic two-stage barometric blower system giving it an increase in speed of over 100mph at 30,000 feet. The Mustang is credited with destroying nearly 5,000 enemy aircraft holding top honor of all fighter aircraft in Europe.
at 6:42 PM
Eduard first announced their 1/48 MiG-21 kit several years ago. At subsequent industry and model shows they gave us tantalizing glimpses of CAD renderings. From these early images it was difficult to tell much, but given Eduard's access to the real article for research, modellers have held out high hopes for the definitive 1/48 Fishbed - and they have not been in any way disappointed with the final product. Eduard has wisely listened to modellers' inputs, and they seem to have covered all bases in this kit when it comes to detail accuracy and the subtle differences between variants. This first release is the widely used and widely exported MF variant and its essentially identical Soviet Air Force equivalent, the SM. The kit features a beautiful box top painting of a pair of Egyptian MiGs over the Great Pyramids. It comprises eight dark grey sprues, one clear sprue, a set of masks, two sheets of photo-etch (one coloured), plus a bonus of "Brassin" UB-16 rocket pods. A full suite of weapons, both air-to-air and air-to-ground, is provided; as is a full compliment of drop tanks. A number of items labelled "not for use" are applicable to future variants, and will be great additions to the spares box.
at 6:40 PM