The Tiran 5 was a product of the iDF's ability to re-engineer equipment recovered from the battlefield, and during 1967 when they fought battles against their surrounding Arab neighbours in what became known as the 'Six-Day War' many Russian built T-55's were captured. These tanks were later modified with upgraded parts, including the 105mm L5 guns, better diesel engines, additional turret storage and additional machine guns, and these became known as the 'Tiran 5' and were then used in action during the 'Yom Kippur War' of 1973 fighting against their previous owners! They continued to be used well into the 1980s before being retired for training purposes and later sold on to South America and the Lebanese Army where they are still in use today. The Tamiya kit comes in a sand coloured plastic rather the usual green of the original T-55 release, and contains pretty much most of the original sprues plus a couple of additional ones that make up the new parts. So, lets begin. We start with the lower hull by adding the axles and ensuring they are aligned, and we follow this with the front and rear hull plates and details, and some blanking parts are included for the rear hull where the original fuel tank carriers went.
The Saab what? Those of you who have bought this magazine for the Mustang on the cover be of good heart. There is indeed an article in here on the A-36 Apache - Mr Dick Clark's excellent rendition of the Italeri issue of the Accurate Miniatures' tooling, a kit as good today as it was when first released round about the time I gave up photographing the sad remnants of the railway network and took up modelling after a lapse of some twenty years or more. This article is a shameless piece of signposting for our excellent new Datafile release, which I can thoroughly recommend, but is also present here as it is a fine out-of-the-box build of an up-to-the-minute kit release by one of the mainstream names you can expect to see on the High Street shelves - if any such still exist in this day and age. Mr Clark's work also appears in sister magazine Model Aircraft this month, where his Do 17/Defiant/Bf 109 trio make for a cracking read, and I am only disappointed that I couldn't feature it in both titles.
In 1911, the Greek Government appointed French specialists to form the Hellenic Aviation Service. Six Greek officers were sent to France for training, while four 'Farman' type aircraft were ordered. All of the six graduated from the Farman school in Étampes near Paris, but only four served subsequently in aviation. The first military flight was made on May 13,1912 by Lieutenant Dimitrios Kamberos and in June he flew 'Daedalus', another Farman aircraft that that had been converted to a seaplane, setting a new world average speed record of 68mph and with it the foundations of Greek Naval Aviation. During September of the same year, the Greek Army also fielded its first squadron - the 'Aviators Company'. On October 5, 1912, Kamberos flew the first Greek combat mission, a recce flight over Thessaly on the first day of the Balkan Wars, and during the same day a similar mission was flown by German mercenaries in Ottoman service in the Thrace front against the Bulgarians. The Greek and the Ottoman missions flown during the same day were the first military aviation combat missions in a conventional war. In 1930, the Greek Aviation Ministry was founded, establishing the Air Force as the third branch of the Armed Forces, and eventually the Hellenic Army Air Service and Hellenic Naval Air Service were amalgamated to form the Hellenic Air Force.
The Tiger ll's first experience of combat was with the s.H.Pz.Abt. 503 (503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion) 1st Company, during the Battle of Normandy. The King Tigers of the '503 were up against Canadian forces during 'Operation Atlantic', which ran in conjunction with the British 'Operation Goodwood' of July 18th 1944. This sequence of well known photos shows an abandoned Tiger II (Porsche turret) of s.H.Pz. Abt. 503 and the Bergepanther that was towing it, after having broken down on the N816 Trun road (D916 today) near Vimoutiers. In the two very similar images it is being passed by a column of Canadian vehicles that includes a Universal Carrier, Staghound armoured car, Jeeps, trucks and a military motorcycle, possibly a Triumph 3HW. The tank is zimmerited and would have been painted in the standard three-colour camouflage of Dark-Yellow, Olive-Green and Red-Brown. The ladder on the side that distinguishes this particular vehicle might have been used for observation or simply for the crew to climb their Tiger's imposing hull in order to get aboard. The scene is ideal for dioramas as all the vehicles are available in 1:35 kit-form and any combination could be used to recreate the Canadian column and abandoned German AFVs.
A couple of years ago I was approached by a friend who mentioned that he had pitched my name to a guy interested in having a 1:24 Hurricane built up. 1:24? "Good lord" I thought. "Didn't my friend remember that I'm a 1:48 guy?" What did people do with 1:24 scale models? I imagined my cat sitting in the cockpit. My friend put me in contact with Jim, a Continental Airlines pilot. He explained that he had recently acquired the skeletal remains of Hawker Hurricane shot down in May of 1940 just off the coast of Dunkirk and was wondering if I could recreate the aircraft in a model. Jim had done quite a bit of research on the aircraft and even made a trip to England to speak with surviving family members and friends of the pilot, an early Battle of Britain ace, RHA 'Dickey' Lee. Richard Hugh Anthony Lee was born in London in 1917 and was educated at the famous Charterhouse School. He joined RAF Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in September 1935, graduating in July 1937. He survived the shoot down in P3311, only to be killed a short time later in another Hurricane while chasing several Bf'109s out to sea off the coast of England, northeast of Marston. Lee, who was only twenty-three at the time of his death, was one the leading scorers for No.56 squadron.
US GOVERNMENT officials confirmed that Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft carried out an air strike on the night of October 30/31 on the Syrian port city of Latakia. The target was a shipment of Russian S-125 (SA-3 Goa) surface-to-air missiles. Unconfirmed reports suggest that up to four aircraft undertook the raid. The weapons were reported to be en route to the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. Syrian rebels reported loud explosions, apparently from inside an air defence facility in the Snubar Jableh area of Latakia. Israeli aircraft have carried out several air strikes on Syria this year. In the first attack, on January 30, it is believed the target was a shipment of SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles in trucks next to the Jamraya Scientific Research Center in Damascus. Later, on the night of May 2/3, IAF fighters struck a shipment of weapons apparently destined for Hezbollah and reported to have been conventional surface-to-surface guided tactical ballistic missiles, possibly Iranian Fateh-110s, which were stored at Damascus Airport. Some reports suggest that IAF aircraft may have used stand-off weapons for the attack, remaining outside Syrian airspace and firing whilst still over Lebanon.
It is perhaps odd to think that, until 2013, it has been at least a couple of decades since there has been a running example of the A27M Cromwell in the UK. Whether with hindsight we would judge the Cromwell to have been a 'good' tank (whatever that means) when compared to its contemporaries is debatable, but it was historically important in a vehicle sense if only because it first went into action in Normandy in June 1944 with the Desert Rats, the 7th Armoured Division, and went on to become the most numerically significant British cruiser tank of WW2. Nevertheless, for too many years and despite there being examples in museums and overseas, we haven't had the opportunity to see or hear a Cromwell at full tilt in the country of its birth... until now. For at the inaugural War and Peace Revival last July, Rick Wedlock's Cromwell, the result of some three years of restoration work, made its public debut. The project started back in 2010 when Rick heard of a Centaur being offered for sale by dealer Ian Galliers. 'I thought I must have it,' recalls Rick, 'so took the morning off work and drove down to Shrewsbury to see it.
When first announced I greeted the new 1:32 release from Tamiya with indifference as I was hoping for a Merlin engined aircraft, a Hurricane maybe, or perhaps even a Mosquito! On the other hand, I had thought that they may have tackled a 109; now that would be cool! The birdcage Corsair, as a modelling subject in this large scale didn't really enthuse me, that may have been due to the fact I still remember my efforts with Trumpeter's F4U-1A offering trying to shoe horn in a resin cockpit, correcting the exhaust layout and then tackling the 5mm gap at the trailing edge caused by a resin wheel bay set! When David offered me the chance to build this model for the magazine I had second thoughts. The more I pondered the more I got enthusiastic about the possibility; I did a bit of research and found some really heavily weathered land based USMC aircraft. Weathering is my passion and the more I looked, the greater the inspiration built up and the more enthusiastic I felt about the project. So a quick email to David and a plain white box winged its way down the A1. I say plain box as this was a pre production sample, complete with huge photocopied instructions! Just as I was about to start, Roy Sutherland of Barracuda Studios very kindly offered to send some of his resin and decal upgrades for the kit. I'll be showcasing those as I go so stay tuned.