70 years ago one of the greatest modeling events of all time took place, an occurrence where inspiration in all its forms collided as a monumental assemblage of dust, grease, destruction and camouflages. This event continues to provide modelers from all over the world a great source of reference and motivation within our hobby. Of course the significant event is the Second World War, and in particular this summer marks the 70th anniversary of one of the more important episodes of the war; The Battle of Kursk. We will let military and political experts debate the causes of the war and dissect the order of battle because the truth is that within the pages of TWM we don't care too much about the causes of the conflict, we only care about the references, the inspiration and our models. Joking aside, the Second World War has provided us an almost infinite variety of camouflage patterns, colors and dirty effects from all types of terrain. And so it should come as no surprise that we have chosen to pay tribute to all modelers who, like us, feel a special attraction in Operation Citadel, or The Battle of Kursk, with this special edition showcasing ideas and techniques from some of the world finest modelers.
The New Year of 1943 was to see a change of role once again for the RAF airfield at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland, and during the week commencing January 21 Wg Cdr N.M.S. Russell of No 15 Group visited the station to discuss a proposal to operate Consolidated Liberators from there. This proposal would bring Aldergrove back into the forefront of Coastal Command operations in the Atlantic where the U-boat fleet was crippling Allied convoys. The units moving into Aldergrove would begin to change that. On February 10, Wg Cdr PA. Gilchrist DFC, the commanding officer of No 120 Sqn, and Wg Cdr L.H.C. Auys, the chief technical officer at Ballykelly, arrived at Aldergrove to discuss the move of 120 and 220 Sqns from Ballykelly to Aldergrove. Four days later the main parties of both squadrons arrived from Ballykelly and a Boeing Fortress of No 220 Sqn flew the first sortie from Aldergrove on the 15th landing at Nutts Corner on its return. In February 1943, No 86 Sqn was operating from Thorney Island with the Liberator Mk III. By February 23, the squadron was detaching aircraft to Aldergrove for operations, the Liberators returning to Thorney Island for inspections. The first No 86 Sqn sortie from Aldergrove was an anti-submarine escort flown by Sqn Ldr R.B. Fleming in Liberator Mk Ilia FL931/M.
Military Engineering vehicles have always been one of my favourite subjects, for one reason, that they combines both the characteristics of armour and engineering vehicles. It couldn't be cooler than to build some heavy steel and complex machinery structures at the same time! The successor to the M3 Lee-based M31 tank recovery vehicle was the M32, The first variant, the M32B1, which was built on the early M4A1 cast hull, is a true beauty, and it is also one of my dream subjects. I believe that most of you have already read dozens of reviews of this stunning kit. So I'm not going to repeat the Basic information "again", just explain some of the most important features that Tasca has brought to us. 5 new sprues are included in the box, they contain the newly tooled subassembly turret, the main boom, the A-frame, interiors, tool boxes and some unique hull fittings. The details are top quality and correctly based on the early M4A1 cast hull and VVSS suspension. The kit contains nearly 400 new parts, including some of the finest details I've ever seen on an plastic model, over 20 more steps on the construction guide, so read the instruction booklet carefully and be patient when building this kit. Thanks to Tasca and their efforts with this complex and ambitious model, I can finally forget my old, inaccurate Italeri M32 and all those annoying resin conversions. It's time to enjoy some serious details and accuracy.
The Shuttleworth Collection's Westland Lysander IIIA V9367 took off from its Old Warden base on December 3 for a flypast over a new memorial at Tempsford, Bedfordshire, where two special 'ops' units were based during World War Two. The memorial, unveiled on the day by HRH The Prince of Wales, bears the names of 75 women from 13 different nationalities, who worked as saboteurs, wireless operators and couriers with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The monument was built following a successful campaign led by Tempsford resident Professor Tazi Husain to recognise the achievements and sacrifice of the women involved. The Lysander, painted in the colours of a Tempsford-based 161 Squadron machine, was flown by the collection's chief pilot Roger 'Dodge' Bailey. The aircraft was built in Canada in 1942 and used by the RCAF as a target tug. After the war it entered civilian hands, arriving in the UK in October 1971. Following restoration, it flew again as G-AZWT in December 1979, painted as V9441, a Lysander of No.309 (Polish) Squadron. Grounded in 1986, it was purchased in 1998 by the Shuttleworth Collection and has since been fully restored, repainted and fitted with a long-range dummy fuel tank and ladder to represent V9367 'MA-B' of 161 Squadron.
IT WAS A TOUCH JOB, working at the New York Navy Yard—better known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard—during World War II. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a week. Workers hardly got a break. Solomon Brodskv, a packer in the yard's vast supply depot, remembered those years. "There were days I felt like a zombie," he recalled. "You work; there was a war. I had my kid brother in the war. So you feel like you're working for him." It was much easier to see what the yard did than to see what was done to the yard to make it all happen. But a tremendous effort had been required to transform the aging facility into the nation's greatest warship manufacturer. Its dramatic facelift symbolized the stunning prewar expansion of American shipbuilding facilities, the necessary first step in the creation of the nation's mighty two-ocean navy. The United States Navy had entered World War II unprepared for a global fight and then was severely weakened by Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. But it did have a system of shipyards scattered from the Central Pacific to the East Coast. Led by the Brooklyn yard, these facilities raced to produce massive battleships and aircraft carriers capable of ruling a new age of naval warfare. The story of the Brooklyn Navy Yard begins in 1801, when President John Adams established five naval shipyards on the young nation's East Coast. The Brooklyn yard was one of them. Six decades later, early in the Civil War, it made its name when it turned out the Union ironclad Monitor in time to halt a rampage by the Confederacy's Virginia through the otherwise wooden Union navy.