Airbrushing scares some modelers, but there are those who enjoy it. Simon Harrison is one of the latter. "I love an afternoon spent with an airbrush," he says. Simon notes that two aspects make or break a model: a straight, square build and an appealing paint job. "Having an eye for the right finish is critical, as that's where the art lives," he says. Focused on 1/48 scale World War II fighters, Simon especially enjoys building Luftwaffe aircraft. "I love the myriad of colors, the pervasive undercurrent of conjecture when it comes to selecting them, the ensuing employ of liberal amounts of artistic license, and the no-nonsense look of the prototypes," he says, even if the schemes can be challenging. "When I joined IPMS, I found that good Luftwaffe modeling tended to separate the wheat from the chaff". A musician, music teacher, and bookkeeper from Wainwright, Alberta, Canada, Simon spends a lot of time turning sows ears into silk purses, as he puts it. "I'll happily hack old swap-meet kits apart, graft in bits from various manufacturers, saw things into shards, and generally run amok," he says. "At the very least, if a kit s good, I'll add antennas, brake lines, wing lights, seat harnesses and brass-tube gun barrels. Sprinkling some eye candy about in cockpits is fun, too." For painting, Simon keeps an arsenal of three Badger airbrushes. lie got his first 25 years ago, a single-action Model 200 that he still uses every time he builds. "Its reliable, indestructible, and predictable," he says. "I also have a Model 200NII that I use for clear-coating and large-area coverage, and a Model 150-F that's a gem for intricate work."
This HobbyBoss kit comes with a full interior but starts with the frame and running gear. There are many pieces that build the full undercarriage which is very detailed. The only part of the running gear I didn't like were the vinyl tires so I switched to resin tyres and hubs from Alliance Modelworks. This set also included a really nice spare tyre without the cover which looks so much better than the kit spare, but it also comes with a 'covered spare' if you want of those as well. After the frame and running gear, the interior is next in line for assembly. This went together without too much difficulty, though there were some pin marks that needed to be filled. The kit does supply a complete engine, etched screen that separates the crew compartment from the engine compartment as well as etched empty hand grenade holders and crew gear. This makes for a very nice interior even though you don't get to see much of it through the turret structure. Next is the rest of the hull exterior. I originally found a wartime photograph that shows a 222 with two fuel cans stored in metal racks on each fender which is want I wanted to do, but that wasn't going to work with the Black Dog accessories set I purchased for the large bundle of gear for the rear deck. In fact the bundle of gear is made for the Tamiya 222 kit which has one fuel can on either side of the rear hull and the gear goes around those fuel cans. To overcome that I used Magic Sculpt to make some additional tarpaulins that take up the excess slack between the Black Dog gear and the top of the vehicle. And taking a cue from the Black Dog set, I made my own spare fuel can rack for the front of the vehicle from four Tasca fuel cans and plastic stock.
In 1934, Austrian manufacturer Steyr merged with Austro-Daimler-Puch to form Steyr-Daimler-Puch and were primarily producers of high-end civilian cars. At the outbreak of war, Austria had been annexed the year before by Germany and formed part of the Third Reich. Steyr-Daimler-Puch went into full military vehicle production for the war effort including the production of the Steyr Raupenschlepper Ost (RSO). One of the war machines which had already been conceived and produced 8-years earlier by Austro-Daimler Puchwerke AG was the ADGZ (M35 mittlerer Panzerwagen), a heavy 12-wheeled armoured police and reconnaissance car designed for the Austrian army. Several of the ADGZ vehicles had been pushed into German military and policing service before the outbreak of war. At the outbreak of war, several ADGZ vehicles formed part of the attack on Poland in September 1939. The PzKpfwSteyr ADGZ armoured cars were assigned primarily to Police detachments and SS units. By 1941, the SS ordered an additional 25 ADGZ vehicles and these were pushed into service on the Eastern Front and in the Balkans with the 7th SS Freiwillingen-Gebirgs-Division 'Prinz Eugen' for anti-partisan purposes. Sources are short on details regarding the number of ADGZ armoured cars produced, but close approximation was 53 in total between 1934 and 1942 (25 produced in early 1942 for the SSand 38 produced for Austrian Army by 1938).
HAVING BEEN at the helm of Britain at War Magazine since its launch in May 2007, it is with a degree of emotion that I am penning this, my last "Dugout". Having had the exciting and rewarding opportunity of being part of the organisation at Key that has created the UK's best-selling military history monthly, I am moving on to pastures new. Reflecting on the last eighty-nine issues, I can certainly say that I have learnt a lot and enjoyed many remarkable opportunities. Not least of these have been those occasions when I have been able to listen to those men and women who were there, the veterans of the Second World War about whom so much of this magazine depends. It is appropriate that I should thank all those that who have helped make my time as Editor so rewarding. My immediate editorial team, John Grehan and Mark Khan, have been there from the start, whilst Geoff Simpson and Ken Wright have assisted me for many years. A band of regular and knowledgeable contributors has also ensured that nothing was too much trouble. I would also like to thank my wife Leanne, who has not only had to contend with the irregular hours, but has faithfully read every word of the magazine's content. Then, of course, there are the magazine's readers, many of whom have also shared the experience from Day One. Whilst I will carry on writing for the magazine, I am handing over the reins as Editor to Andy Saunders, someone whom I have known for many years, and who has a lifetime of interest in, and expertise of, military history. Please be assured that Britain at War is in safe hands with the team at Key continuing to provide you with the same breadth and depth of content as it does today.
The stand-up of Electronic Attack Squadron 143 (VAQ-143) 'Cobras', to be equipped with Boeing EA-18G Growlers, had been planned for October at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. "A new date has not been set and will not be set until after the completion of the environmental impact study," said Cdr Jeannie Groeneveld, public affairs officer for commander, Naval Air Force, US Pacific Fleet. The navy currently operates three expeditionary VAQ squadrons and is planning to expand the force to five units with VAQ-144 'Roadrunners' scheduled for stand-up in October 2015. It is not known if the delay with VAQ-143 will postpone the activation of VAQ-144. The expeditionary VAQ squadrons deploy to land bases in support of joint operations. The navy also operates ten carrier-based VAQ squadrons, one of which may become available for the expeditionary role. Electronic Attack Squadron 134 (VAQ-134) 'Garudas', currently making the navy's last EA-6B Prowler deployment and involved in combat in Iraq from the deck of USS George H W Bush, is due to return to Whidbey Island late this year and begin transition to the EA-18G in 2015. Since the navy nominally has ten carrier air wings but only nine in operation, VAQ-134, as the tenth squadron, could be pressed into expeditionary service if the operational needs require it: the squadron had previously served in that role. Cdr Jeannie Groeneveld said that VAQ-134 is projected to complete the Growler transition in early 2016: "Depending on the myriad of domestic and international events that will occur in the next two years affecting government decisions and presence requirements, it remains to be seen whether or not VAQ-134 will return to the expeditionary role."
In the spring of 1945, barely after V-E Day, the U.S. government sent teams from various aircraft manufacturers to Europe seeking German aeronautical records. The searchers included Douglas aerodynamicists L. E. Root and Apollo M.O. Smith who were especially interested in delta wing and tailless configurations. Upon return to California, "Amo" Smith convinced the company to conduct wind tunnel tests based on Dr. Alexander Lippisch's work, notably the Messerschmitt 163. The tests at Cal Tech were encouraging, leading to Douglas Model 571. Chief engineer Edward H. Heinemann (already known for the SBD dive bomber and A-26 Invader) conceived a basic design of 600 square feet wing area and gross weight of eight tons. Despite the positive test results, the U.S. Navy — Douglas' main customer — expressed doubts about delta wings. Therefore Heinemann's men took matters into their own hands. They asked the company shop to build balsa models of two-foot spans in various delta configurations. Then some of the world's most accomplished engineers took themselves atop a building while others held nets on the ground. As Heinemann recalled, "We launched each model straight out, applying slight downward pressure on the leading edge of the wing. The pure flying wing model flipped over, out of control... But the others, all of which had shapes similar to the (future) Skyray, flew beautifully." In 1947, the Navy's fighter design branch expressed interest in the Douglas concept. One of the advocates was Lt. Cdr. Turner Caldwell, who that year set a world speed record in Heine-mann's D-558 Skystreak. Caldwell's boss, Cdr. A.B. Metzger, let it drop that the Navy might be interested in a carrier-based interceptor that could reach 40,000 feet in five minutes or less.
It has certainly been a month to remember in the historic aviation world with a variety of highpoints. In the quarter of a century since the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Avro Lancaster triumphantly returned to the skies the Aeroplane team has repeatedly been asked whether we thought the 'Lane' would ever visit the UK. In fact, it's probably fair to say if we'd had a pound for each time we'd been asked we could have paid for the ferry flight ourselves! We all lived in hope that one day we'd see the aircraft share the skies with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's PA474, and this month that dream became a reality. I'd like to go on record to thank those who have made this possible, from the people funding the project to the crews maintaining, flying and looking after every element of the trip. I'm sure I speak on behalf of the entire British aviation community - and many who count themselves more as casual onlookers - when I say that we are eternally grateful for your efforts to share your aeroplane and bring her to the Lancaster's spiritual home of Lincolnshire's Bomber County. Elsewhere in the world, those who made the trip to Oshkosh (see page 68) saw the much-anticipated return of a Fairey Gannet to the airshow scene alongside new restorations and completed projects including a Lockheed Vega and Gee Bee QED. But for me, the highlight of the show was the jaw-dropping line up of seven Lockheed 12s... Only at Oshkosh!
Evgeniy Georgievich Pepelyaev was born in the town of Bodaybo in the Irkutsk region, the centre of the famous Lena gold-mines, on 18 March 1918. Evgeniy's father, Georgiy Georgievich Pepelyaev, was a worker who travelled from one place to another and assembled and repaired various gold mining hardware: diesel engines, steam-boilers, generators, etc. In 1928 the Pepelyaevs left Bodaybo and stayed at various places - in Novosibirsk, Chuvashia, and the Petropavlovskand the Semipalatinsk regions - over a period of few years. Evgeniy had to study in a new school almost each academic year. In 1934 he entered the Omsk Railway Construction Technical School, but he did not graduate from it, as in 1935 his elder brother Konstantin, an instructor in the 8th Military Pilots School, took Evgeniy, who had been dreaming of becoming a pilot since childhood, with him to Odessa. When in Odessa, Evgeniy worked at aircraft repair shops and simultaneously started attending a flying club. He entered the Odessa Military Pilots School under special recruitment in August 1936. In 1937 cadet Pepelyaev was among the first to complete the flight training program on the U-2 aircraft, and in January 1938 he started mastering the 1-16 fighter powered by the M-25 engine. By November 1938 he had mastered take-off and landing on the 1-16, basic aerobatics, and some aerobatics stunts such as loop, wingover, climbing turn, and spin. He had also learned certain air combat manoeuvres and practised firing at ground targets.
Initially, it was one of a pair of aerodromes built close to each other in Cambridgeshire. There was already a small Home Defence landing ground at neighbouring Fowlmere, but Duxford was to dramatically increase military activities in the region. Work began on October 15, 1917, despite significant opposition from landowners who were concerned about the scale of the project. The first military personnel moved in during March 1918, although neither Duxford or Fowlmere was complete at that stage. American troops were billeted in a brick hut, while temporary wood and canvas Bessonneau hangars were constructed to house their aircraft. Although they were built as training depots, both Duxford and Fowlmere were first used as mobilisation stations, officially becoming Training Depot Stations from September 1918. Alistair Rabys history of Duxford describes the arrival of new air cadets at this time: ''On that course was Flight Cadet G R W Williams, who recalls they were about 60 strong. There was still a shortage of accommodation, and several of the newcomers were sent to an annexe at Thriplow Manor, a couple of miles away. The following day they were brought by a Crossley Tender [the standard personnel carrier at the time - ED] for breakfast in the Officers' Mess, of which they were probationary members. "Once the cadets had crossed the road to the airfield the first step was a trip to the stores to draw flying kit. This consisted of thigh-length sheepskin boots, a long leather coat with fleece lining, fur-lined helmet, goggles and fur-lined mittens with silk gloves. Then, with five others, Cadet Williams was allocated to a flying instructor, Lt Geoffrey Dorman. From then his programme alternated, weather permitting, between flying in the morning, and afternoon lectures, reversed next day."
The late versions of the popular 'Dora' were always sought after by modellers despite there only ever being a small number of production examples, of which only a handful ever reached operational units. Following the Planet Models resin kits back in 2005 that were really good, but an expensive choice for 1:72, about two and halve years ago RV Resin produced a range of several late marks of Fw 190D (despite the company name the kits were all plastic). These all suffered from minor shape errors (more on that later), but still seem to be a better option than conversions of D-9 kits. Now AZ Model have upgraded the RV Resin tooling and released them under their own label. Having the original kit RV Resin kit at hand I opened the red box that indicates AZ Model's new moulding technology and the inevitable question of 'what has changed compared to the original tooling' could be easily answered. The kit consists of two light tan-coloured plastic sprues of about 50 parts, two transparent parts and five resin items. One of the sprues is completely new and holds the revised fuselage plus a few other smaller parts like the pilot's head armour, separate fuselage front ring and undercarriage legs. The fuselage seems to be completely new (or at least the front part has been heavily modified), so now the position of the exhausts is correct (the original parts got this wrong, protruding some 2-3mm above the wing, while they should end approximately at the leading edge) as well as the total fuselage length, which was about 2mm short. Also newly tooled are the clear parts and nice additions are the exposed wheel wells, exhausts and supercharger intake, all supplied in resin.
Multiplex has been producing a line of foam RC model planes for a number of years, and their latest release, the Shark, is foam at its best. Distributed by Hitec RCD, the design, and the product, is really outstanding. The colorful, well-applied graphics complement the Shark's beautiful lines. A very versatile electric-powered scale-like sport flyer, this model has several excellent features. Our test model required a receiver, 3-channel minimum, and a 3-cell, l,000mAh LiPo battery to make it ready for flight. The motor and speed control come already installed. Servos and push-rods are also installed, and I found that they were correctly set up and adjusted. A hex wrench is included for making adjustments if needed. I used a Hitec Aurora 9 transmitter and a 7-chan-nel Optima receiver to control the Shark. This may seem like more radio than required, but it's nice to have the extensive capabilities the Aurora 9 offers. In stock configuration, the Shark is a 3-channel model, rudder, elevator, and throttle, and flies very well. There is also an optional kit offered to add ailerons, which includes two servos, extension leads, pushrods, and horns. The ailerons are molded into the wing and only require cutting the ends free. Pockets for the servos and slots for the servo leads are molded into the wings to help make installation easy.
The J2M3 Raiden, Allied code name Jack, was designed by Jiro Horikoshi in 1939 as a defence interceptor for the Imperial Japanese Navy; Horikoshi's other famous aircraft was the A6M Zero. The Raiden was designed specifically to counter the threat of high altitude bombers and was capable of high speed climb and was armed with four machine guns, however the shape of the aircraft proved to limit the aircraft's manoeuvrability. The Raiden was powered by a single KaseiType23 kou 14 Cylinder Radial Engine producing 1,850hp and had a maximum speed of407mph and range of 348 miles. It was armed with four Type 99-2 cannon in the wings. The inboard cannon had a fire rate of 190rpg whilst the outboard had a fire rate of 210rpg. The Raiden could also carry two 60kg bombs or 2 x 200L drop tanks. 307 J2M3s were built by Mitsubishi and 128 were built by Koza KK in Japan. The aircraft saw extensive use during the Second World war by the Imperial Japanese Navy and were used amongst other roles as interceptors for the US Boeing B-29 Bombers. The Zoukei-Mura kit of the J2M3 Raiden comes in a very impressive box, which contains nine sprues of grey and two of clear injection moulded plastic, one decal sheet, one masking seal sheet and one very impressive instruction booklet. The parts are superbly moulded with exquisite detail and clarity to them, are all individually bagged and sealed and have finely engraved panel lines and surface detail.The decal sheet is superbly printed with crystal clarity and registration.