La nouvelle a claqué comme un monstrueux coup de tonnerre à la fin du mois de juin dans le milieu des warbirds : le Military Aviation Museum fondé par l'Américain Jerry Yagen à Virginia Beach, en Virginie, met en vente tous ses avions, soit près de 70 machines -la plus grosse collection de warbirds en état de vol aux mains d'un seul individu -, ainsi que ses bâtiments et son terrain. Quelques jours plus tard, le négociant spécialisé en avions anciens Platinum Fighter Sales a annoncé avoir conclu la vente du Boeing B-17G Chuckie immatriculé N3701G et du Focke-Wulf (Flug Werk) 190A8 immatriculé N447FW au Tillamook Air Museum de Jack Erickson, à Tillamook dans rOregon - les deux avions ont été convoyés en vol une semaine plus tard. Le Military Aviation Museum (lire Le Fana de l'Aviation n° 507) a ouvert ses portes en 2008 et donnait à voir à ses visiteurs 45 appareils de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale (quasiment tous en état de vol ou potentiellement, anglais, américains, allemands, russes) et 24 de la Première Guerre mondiale (tous des reproductions).
The Royal Navy has endured a long period of continual adjustment ever since it lost its global pre-eminence to the US Navy during World War II. But, in the Cold War decades, even as the size of its fleet seemed to decline inexorably, it remained unquestionably the most powerful Western navy after that of the United States. Today it faces a new world. The centre of maritime gravity has shifted dramatically eastwards. Although the US Navy will remain the most powerful in the world, nations such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and Brazil, with their expanding fleets, will increasingly influence naval affairs. The Royal Navy has to find its place in this world. The immediate post-Cold-War years seemed to offer the promise (at least as far as the Royal Navy was concerned) of Britain pursuing a maritime-centred expeditionary strategy. But then came the long land-based campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by economic crisis and austerity. The Royal Navy's operational strength has been squeezed significantly in recent years, and naval chiefs have complained of national 'sea blindness'.
War came to Sydney. Australia in the overcast evening of Sunday 31 st May 1942. Its prelude, in the early hours of the day before, had been a reconnaissance flight over the harbour by Flying Warrant Officer Susumo Ito and his observer in a Yokosuka E14Y 'Glen' floatplane launched from the Japanese submarine 1-21 lying 55 kilometres out to sea. Skimming low to allow his observer to sketch the anti-submarine boom net. Ito noted the concentration of Allied shipping in the harbour. There were several capital ships including the cruisers USS Chicago and HMAS Canberra, though not the Queen Elizabeth (Warspite) class battleship he had been given to expect. When searchlights began to probe the sky he pulled up to disappear into the 600m cloud base. Descending again, he flew over the great steel arch of the Harbour Bridge and noted the flashes of light from the welding activity at the Cockatoo Island dockyard before turning back to the east. There was little evidence that the country was on a war footing. The harbour was brightly lit and the ferries were plying their trade. Unknown to Ito. fighters had been scrambled from Richmond airbase to investigate, but they were called back when his aircraft was officially identified as 'friendly'.
AFV Club seem to have taken it upon themselves to give us nearly the whole collection of later F-5s and this particular version is another in the family tree. These particular machines have been around since the mid 1970s, upgraded in the 1990s by Israeli Military Industries and used by a whole host of nations. In the beautifully produced box you have nine sprues of neatly moulded light grey plastic, a separate rear fuselage half, some poly caps, a tiny etched fret and a single sprue of reasonably clear transparencies. You also get a single decal sheet containing the four versions on offer: three Chilean and one Moroccan. The plastic is well moulded although there is a little bit of flash on a lot of the components. The cockpit detail is excellent, as is the stuff in the wheel wells, and there are a couple of options in the box with open and closed auxiliary air ducts and various sizes of drop tanks, as well as the parts particular to the different nations. The external detail won't be to some people's taste because it is very 'rivety' although it's not really that bad, the panel lines are all neatly engraved and the overall shape is pretty accurate.
The use of air power in the Vietnam War would change the way wars were fought both in the Twentieth century and beyond. New technological advances and more sophisticated weapons made the Vietnam War a testing ground for the US military, and new tactics and approaches were used with varying degrees of success. Air power would now be used as a bargaining tool and Vietnam also introduced the attack helicopter as a vital weapon. The conflict began with the training and advising of the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF), and culminated with the Christmas bombing of 1972, and saw the US involved in the skies of Southeast Asia for over fifteen years. Consistent with US military as well as political objectives, the air war in Vietnam gradually increased throughout the campaign and air components from all four military services were utilised. Jet bombers and fighters were used extensively for the first time in the history of modern warfare, and a new age of warfare dawned. The North Vietnamese, with the help of the Soviet Union, had developed an extensive air defence network, and as a result the US suffered heavy helicopter, aircraft and pilot losses throughout the war.
Major funding issues did not stop the South African Air Force's first live fire Air Capability Demonstration of the year, at the Roodewal weapons range on May 9. Bombs dropped, rockets flew and dust was stirred, but austerity was evident everywhere, especially in the absence of the pride of the Air Force - the Gripen. The aim of the demonstration was to use airpower for interdiction, surveillance, air support and in-field mobility to defeat a simulated enemy. It a so showed the air force's operational capabilities, readiness and ability to operate with other arms of service, most notably the army and special forces in this case. The Deputy Chief of the Air Force, Major General Gerald Malinga, said that the airpower demonstrated how the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) can promote peace and stability in South Africa as we as the continent - air force officials said that airpower was essential in conflict prevention and merely having air support or a perception of it can prevent conflict.
When Tamiya announced a little over a year ago that they were to release the II-2 Shturmovik in 1/48 I was very tempted to go out and purchase one as soon as I could. Having built the Accurate Miniatures kit many years ago and knowing how good it was, if a little complex in its construction at times, I was intrigued as to how a well-known manufacturer like Tamiya would tackle such an important and influential aircraft. I, like many who model in 1/72, no doubt thought that it would only be a matter of time until it would be released in that scale. Well it took a while, but here it is at last, and I have to say it is a very fine piece of plastic engineering by Tamiya. The Russians, like many other nations, took a keen interest in the weapons and newly formed tactics being used in the Spanish Civil War. They were, after all, supporting the Republican side with tanks and aircraft and to a lesser extent men, mainly in an 'advisory role.' The numbers of aircraft supplied varies depending on source from 600 to 800 planes, and the lessons learned indicated a need for a new type of aircraft dedicated to the ground support role, tasked with infantry support in the roles of tank hunter and bunker busting.
This is going to be quite a small diorama setting, determined in no small way by the size of the main subject - the 1:35 Ontos, and having just finished 'Marines in Hue City' by Eric Hammel where the aforementioned Ontos was used with devastating effect in the close-quarter house-to-house fighting, it seemed like a good place to start. With the model being quite small overall, I decided to raise the 'height' of the base so that the Ontos stands taller when displayed. So, starting with a simple picture frame, backing board was glued in place, followed by some sides made from sheet balsa, as this is cheap to buy and easy to work with. Polystyrene sheet was then stacked and glued into place to give a nice level and compact area to work on. Celluclay was then evenly spread over the top of the base, and here I find spreading on a fine layer of PVA glue first helps the clay stay in place. This was then smoothed over with a damp brush. Fine sand was then sprinkled over the base, and at this point I also pushed into position the wall section I planned to add later, so at least it had a flat area for its location.