Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Dans le ciel de France - In the skies of France -Erik Mombeeck's self-published history of JG 2 - Volume 4 - 1943

..four volumes of Erik Mombeeck's self-published history of JG 2...the latest tome in the series covers 1943 and the increasingly ferocious large-scale combats against USAF B-17s over France..

Volume 4 opens with II./ JG 2 still in Africa, while back in France Georg-Peter Eder is appointed Staffelkapitän of the new 'high-altitude' bomber-killer specialists 12./JG 2. On 28 March 1943 a force of over one hundred USAF bombers escorted by some eleven squadrons of Spitfires headed for the marshalling yard at Rouen. Attacking a box of B-17s from the rear and from a slightly higher altitude (6,500 metres) Eder poured his fire into a Fortress flying on the right hand side of the trailing 'box';

 "..Suddenly over the radio I heard someone call out, ' the boss has been hit!.' I was unable to respond; thick smoke filled the cockpit. I pulled back the side window to let the air in and caught sight of my badly damaged port wing! My fuselage was glistening with a slick of oil and I was trailing a plume of thick black smoke. Engine revs had dropped back to 1,200. I quickly chopped the throttle and set up to glide back into Beaumont. The smoke in the cabin had meanwhile dissipated but the smell of burning caught in my throat. Flames darted from underneath the engine cowlings. I was now over the western perimeter of the airfield at 500 metres and made the decision to jump while I still could. I unbuckled my harness, jettisoned the canopy and shot a last glance around the cockpit. Just then I saw it...on the floor of the cockpit between my feet, pieces of silk from my parachute. There was no way I could use it now. My chances of baling out had gone...."

 The full story of Eder's exploits against the bombers and his crash of 28 March 1943 - with photos - is continued in Erik's new book, Volume 4 'Dans le ciel de France - histoire de la JG 2' (French text)

Erik has done a fantastic job on these books, I recommend them highly. More info at http://luftwaffe.be

a friend recently messaged me regarding volume 4

"...Hi Neil, I must admit I haven't got volumes 2 and 3 yet. It's quite an investment for something I wasn't sure I'd be able to read. Vol. 4 covers the big raid on Ashford, so I thought it would be worth getting. It's surprising how much of the text I can actually understand. I'll have to save some money for the other two volumes now..."

I'm not of the opinion that language is a barrier to buying or reading these books either. Volume 1 is still
available in English translation, while Vols I & II are also in German. And I'm just blown away by the photos! (again!) - more 2./ JG 2 night-fighters anyone?

Monday, 5 October 2015

Ju 88 NJG 2 and KG 54, ZG 76 Bf 109 Dora, Henschel Hs 126 Aufklärer in Poland, KG 54 Totenkopf emblem - Ebay daily photo find #130

Click on the image to view large

neat view of Ju 88 C-2 "R4+EL" WNr 0736  of 3./NJG 2 crash landed by Flugzeugführer Fw Robert Lüddecke (front) on 22 November 1941 at Capodichino-Naples. Lüddecke had returned three night victories - Nachtluftsiege - at the time of the incident.

Three more from Michael Meyer's current sales.

Frontal views of a 2./ZG 76 Bf 110 B photgraphed in May 1939 in Olmütz/Silesia, where training and conversion onto the Bf 110 began. A good view of the radiator intakes under the power plants, the oval exit channels for the 20 mm shells under the nose, level with the wing roots, as well as the insignia of the propeller manufacturer VDM on the prop blades

On 1 May 1939 5./ZG 141 was re-designated 2./ZG 76. Two views of Gefr. Erich Zickler’s Bf 109 D, "red 12" of 2./ZG 76 seen in Pardubitz during the spring of 1939. Zickler later served with 6./ NJG 1

Michael Meyer's Ebay sales are here 

below; from the images currently on offer at koelsch333 Ebay sales and shown here courtesy of proprietor Marco. Click to view large. Go to link below to bid


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Eduard Bf 109 Gustav 1:48th - build review Grislawski's 'White 10' JGr. 50 Royal Class Bf 109 G JG 4 Bf 109 G-14

Do a google search for  "Eduard Bf 109 Gustav build review" and see how many of these kits have been built - not many by the looks of it! My first-look in-box review from July 2014 comes up second right behind hyperscale.com

...one whole year after starting one of the three I bought I'm just putting the final touches to my first one. Firstly, you have to say that it is an incredibly nice kit - the amazingly good surface detailing is especially impressive. The Eduard Profi-pack boxings are first-rate; everything you need from etch to masks is in the box and the build experience is thus extremely nice. Eduard's Gustav can really be made to look the part. Provided of course you don't stand it next to any other 48th scale Bf 109s, Aside from the 'over-scale' issues the other big problem in the kit though is the very poor undercarriage legs which are overly long and simply plug in and point down; you have to work hard to achieve a decent 'sit'..more of this build on my modelling blog here

1:48th scale Eduard Bf 109 G-6 finished in the markings of the Staffelkapitän 1./ JGr. 50, Oblt. Alfred Grislawski, late summer 1943, Wiesbaden-Erbenheim. Ex 9./ JG 52, Graf's 'Red Hunter' badge appears below the port cockpit side. Grislawski's garish rudder scoreboard featured a representation of the RK decorated with the pilot's initials and his score at the time of the award -  '40'. In September 1943 the last three of the further 72 victory Balken were B-17s. Grislawski was credited with a B-17 from each of the forces on the Schweinfurt-Regensburg raid, 17 August 1943. He claimed his third B-17F on 6 September 1943, south-east of Stuttgart- see photo below. His rudder and its scoreboard is on display at the Speyer Technik museum. Grislawski accounted for some fourteen Viermots in his career in the defence of the Reich.

Below; here's a look at the contents of Eduard's Bf 109 G Royal Class boxing - wing and fuselage parts for four kits are in the box although only two cockpits are provided. The piece of genuine G-14 ( Lt. Hans-Helmut Linck III./JG 4 shot down and WIA 11 September 1944 ) comes mounted on a wooden stand. The Brassin in the box is for a set of Br. 21 rocket tubes

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

new-tool Eduard Fw 190 A-8 in 1/72nd scale - in-box review

new-tool Eduard Fw 190 A-8 in 1/72nd scale

" ...I'm a dyed-in-the-wool 1/72 guy, and the 190 is my favorite machine of all time. I've collected kits, references, and built models of it for nigh on 50 years, and I can tell you that THIS KIT IS EXCELLENT! As you can see, lots of internal detail, bits for versions to come (night fighter goodies, etc.), and multiple choices of many components..." M. Driskill on britmodeller.com  here

In-box video review of the 'Profipack' by Viktor Mullin - a single click to view here


Monday, 21 September 2015

Bundesarchiv photo report series Gruppenkommandeur I./ JG 53 Jürgen Harder, Italy 1944

In 2006 REVI magazine published a feature in three parts devoted to Kommandeur Jürgen Harder of I./ JG 53. Part 1 is posted here on The Luftwaffe Blog courtesy of Jan Bobek. REVI is the leading Czech aviation magazine. The Harder article and some superb artworks courtesy of Anders Hjortsberg featured over issues 62, 63 and 64. Click to view large.

Original caption from REVI 64 article: " Gruppenkommandeur Harder poses with somewhat constrained Oblt. Erich Thomas (above left) in front of one of his 2./JG 53 Bf 109s parked at Maniago, Italy in early 1944. This Staffel was the only unit of Harder´s Gruppe equipped with 21 cm rockets. Thomas was in command of 2. Staffel from February 1944 until the unit´s disbandment in April 1945. He scored his final (15th) victory in May 1944 when he shot down a four-engined bomber. Afterwards, in flights against VVS, his score remained unchanged. In final days of war he served with II./JG 52.

 The Bundesarchiv photo series depicts two aircraft at Maniago, Italy photographed on the same day in two different parts of the airbase. There are two photo series, one by photographer Wiedemann and another one done a little later by photographer Bayer. Of the two aircraft depicted, one is a ship belonging to 2./JG 53 equipped with W.Gr. 21, commanded by Oblt. Erich Thomas. In the image above Gkr Harder is pictured inspecting Thomas' machine - the rocket equipped Bf 109. The rocket equipped machine carries the Stammkennzeichen marking BS+... The often quoted BS+NA code should belong to a Arado trainer, not to a Bf 109 G-6. The second ship, below, is Harder´s Kanonenboot "chevron triangle" equipped with MG 151s. The Stammkenzeichen marking is not clear, visible is only +WA, often mistakenly described as +NA, due tothe fact that  the 'W' is partly obscured by the MG 151 gondola

Harder's 'chevron triangle' is a typically finished 1943-44 MTT Regensburg Gustav within the 160 000 or 161 000 WNr. range. Anders Hjortsberg artwork.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

magnificent BV 141 from Hobbyboss built by Pierre Giustiniani

This magnificent BV 141 is the Hobbyboss kit built by Pierre Giustiniani for the next issue of Wingmasters. Pictures posted here with Pierre's permission.

Amazingly good subtle weathering and painting. Easily the best rendition of this strange looking aircraft I have seen. Figures come from Revell's pilots and ground crew (originally issued by ICM) Motor, propeller, cooler ring, fan were taken from Eduard's Fw190 while the crane is modified from Airmodel products. Also included are Eduard's PE set and masks.


Bf 109 G mit Staffelabzeichen Fw Wolfgang 'Lumpi' Hundsdörfer 2./ JG 300

rare JG 300 image currently on offer on ebay.de. However this image is a reproduction from the original negative in the collection of Jean-Yves Lorant; " ...il s'agit d'un de mes tirages de mon négatif de reproduction...tiré sur mon papier cartolyne baryté à tons chauds Agfa Rekord-Rapid dans les années 1980! " 

While the seller is unknown to us, this is a reproduction on barite photo paper produced during the 1980s pre-scanner era - and as Jean-Yves points out, of pretty decent quality considering that it has not been produced with a scanner. During the early 1980s the authors of the JG 300 history used their bathrooms as improvised photo labs. A number of such repros were sent out to JG 300 veterans (Stamp, Dieterle, Gross ) and fellow authors/researchers such as Jochen Prien or Bernd Barbas.

Currently on offer at the following link. The original image is posted below - click to view in full screen mode!


The following commentary on this machine was prepared by JG 300 co-author Richard Goyat;

 ".. there are three pictures of Hundsdörfer's “Red 10”, all partial. This is the reason why the authors did not request a profile artwork of this machine in their JG 300 history. Too many uncertainties... However, until a photograph of the rear of this aircraft surfaces, I think this Messerschmitt may be rendered as follows:

 a) Aircraft type. Certainly not a G-10, but most probably a G-14/AS, as mentioned elsewhere re Gzik's “Red 2” (another 2./JG 300 pilot). Elsewhere in our book Fw. Hajo Riedel can be seen seated on the cowling of “Red 10”. Since Riedel was KIA on September 27th 1944, the series of photographs showing “Red 10” could not have been taken after this date. And according to the Luftwaffe's monthly strength reports and the nominative loss reports, the first G-10s didn't reach I./JG 300 before November 1944.

 b) Camouflage. Judging by the visible camouflage, this aircraft was most probably produced by MTT Regensburg. No great surprise here, since in September and October 1944, the bulk of known serial numbers worn by I./JG 300 aircraft was in the 780800-784000 range (MTT Regensburg). Knowing that it was most probably a MTT Regensburg aircraft, you can deduce the style of the unseen camouflage and national markings. In my opinion, “Red 10” must have been painted in a very similar manner as “Yellow 15” WNr. 783891 and “Yellow 12” illustrated on pages 6, 17, 18, 19 and 185 of Eagle Editions' JG 300 volume 2. The only big difference with these latter aircraft is that on Hundsdörfer aircraft, there are signs of heavy overpainting under and ahead of the red number 10.

 c) Markings. They are easily discernible on the three photographs from the spinner to the red “10”. The only other possible marking on such an aircraft was the fuselage band, which, if applied, was necessarily red in September 1944...."