A 25 kilomètres des lignes soviétiques, à l'est de Kharkov que défend le corps blindé SS du général Hausser, le Kampfgruppe Peiper, dont il fait partie, a pour mission d'aller chercher les hommes de la 320. Infanterie Division qui sont presque encerclés par les Soviétiques et de ramener les 1 500 blessés. A cet instant, pendant que ses hommes reviennent au Sd.Kfz 251, l'inspection terminée, le lieutenant voit arriver un étrange cavalier. C'est un agent de liaison de la 320 Inf. Div. qui vient à sa rencontre. Aussitôt celui-ci l'informe du dernier mouvement des troupes ennemies. Cette scène, imaginaire mais tout à fait plausible, permet de mettre côte à côte un cavalier et un semi-chenillé devant une isba enneigée, lors de la formidable poussée soviétique depuis l'encerclement de Stalingrad de novembre 1942.
SWORD HAVE thankfully stepped forward and provided us with modern toolings of 1:72nd scale F-80's, producing versions of the P-80C and RF-80A. Both kits are identical apart from a clear moulded nose section for the RF-80. Some excellent resin parts are included for the seat, the airbrake bays, undercarriage bays, gunsight or camera controls, along with the nose leg lights. The main injection moulded parts boast neat and highly refined surface detail. One small note is that the sprue attachments are positioned in some awkward spots and are quite large, which requires some careful removal to avoid damaging them. Most of the parts require some cleaning up of seams and flash, however this is not a complex task at all. There are a couple of optional variations provided in the kits, comprising two different styles of nose wheels (spoked and scalloped), and two types of wingtip tanks, the 'Standard' 165 gallon type, or the 'Misawa' 265 gallon option. Two colour options are provided with each kit, the P-80C having overall Natural Metal options of 'Kansas Tornado' trimmed with blue, and 'Evil Eye Fleagle' trimmed in red (my chosen scheme). In addition, both of these schemes have minor differences available for modelling early or late schemes of said aircraft.
I have been modelling for some years now, building mainly German vehicles, singly or multiples set within a diorama. Recently I find myself drawn to American World War Two vehicles - softskins as well as AFVs - and my latest diorama is testament to this. I decided to call my latest inspiration The Road Into Germany', set in the final stages of the war. The idea for the diorama was a result of reading how the Americans under Eisenhower s instructions were ordered to bypass Berlin and head straight for the Elbe river in the Magdeburg area of Germany. There they would link up with the Russian forces who had been pressing their way in from the east with the intention of cutting Germany in two. In many of the towns that US forces passed through, the German army had already retreated leaving much of their equipment as well as the townsfolk to fend for themselves.
Early this past summer, a friend brought me back a new Italeri Panzerwerfer 42 auf Maultier kit from Germany. I dug hungrily into the box and found a very nice kit. The only thing that really held me back from immediate construction was it's most noticeable feature, the rocket launchers. But take heart, dear reader, we're building this sucker. The kit suffers the unfortunate consequences of the limits of injection molding. There are just some pieces that are too complex or intricate to be injection molded well. The 15cm mortar consists of basically two rows of five tubes held in place by four thin baffles. Italeri represents these pieces in four parts: top row (upper and lower) and bottom row (upper and lower). They look all right and are molded well, but they just look like plastic. Another problem arises when one considers that each tube gets its own ignition wire. These wires are also molded on and look like plastic walls between the tubes. There's got to be a better solution!
The truly creative among the Scale modelling movement are constantly searching for new subjects to replicate in miniature that will take them beyond the staple 'norms' of Spitfires, Mustangs and Me 109s - or - if you are a WW1 era buff, the SE5a, Sopwith Camel or Fokker D.VII. So we commend to all the creative types out there this month's 'Subjects for Scale7 presentation, the Boeing P-26 'Peashooter'. This was USA's first ever monoplane fighter to enter service and has a real 'presence' about it that is really worthy of consideration. We've not seen a flying model of the P-26 since the first ever World R/C Scale Champs, held at Cranfield, UK, in 1972 when one of the German Team (it was actually West Germany back then) entered one. Will anyone give it a go? The conundrum of the German WW1 'Lozenge' camouflage pattern has been raked over for decades and much careful and detail investigation has been undertaken by dedicated experts. In recent years fabric covering material has been made available for scale modellers but the range of scales in which the fabric can be supplied has been limited to 1/4 and 1/3rd scales.
I was lucky enough to get a bit of a sneak preview of the E-Flight Carbon Z yak 54 a couple of weeks before they hit the shops, when the Horizon Hobby UK boys came to Baldock to set up the new models in their rapidly growing range. My first impressions then were of "Wow, that looks like a lot of fun". Distributed to the shops via Horizon Hobby UK, this particular kit came to me as the Bind and Fly version, that is to say that in the box came an 'Bind 'n Fly' (BNF) airframe ready fitted with all airborne radio equipment, motor, speed controller and a four cell 2800Lipo and a charger. All I needed to do was bind this to my shiny new Spectrum DX8, charge the batteries - and fly! The Yak is also available in a 'Plug and Ply' version, which is identical to the BNF one, less the fitted Rx and supplied Lipo battery. The Carbon Z Yak 54 was designed by world champion Quique Somenzini and by the sound of things a lot of development and testing work went into the construction of this model before we get the finished kit to us in the shops.