Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Eduard news for September - Limited Edition Reichsverteidigung Dual combo

From the Eduard media/distributors leaflet for September 2018.

Due in September is a 48th scale Limited Edition Reichsverteidigung Dual Combo kit containing the first of the new-tool late-war Fw 190 variants, in this instance the Sturm Fw 190 A-8/R2 with a Bf 109 G-6/G-14 in the markings (13 options) of the units engaged in home defence during 1944. The Fw 190 A-8/R2 is a new tool, the first of the late sub-versions, which were among the best sellers of the 'old' Fw 190 family.  Eduard's media leaflet is available to download here for more on this exciting Dual Combo and the artwork for the 13 decal options!

A photo of Lt. Hans Weik's IV./JG 3 'white 1' was first published in the Prien history of IV./JG 3 and Peter Rodeike's Jagdflugzeug 190. This is  probably the only Sturm machine to display rudder victory markings. Peter's original German language caption reads;

 "..  Fw 190 A-8/R2 of Staffelkapitän 10./JG 3 Lt. Hans Weik photographed during July 1944, probably on the airfield at Memmingen. Details of note on this 'white 1' are the overall black finish to the cowl which displays a small Geschwader emblem and the white-outlined 'eagle wing' Alderflügel. The canopy is fitted out with the armoured glass 'blinkers' although the windscreen is lacking the 30mm glass quarter panes. The IV. Gruppe wavy line features on the white RV fuselage band while the rudder sports several rows of white Abschußmarkierungen kill markings - Weik had achieved his 34th on 13 May 1944 claiming a B-17 shot down. (The first eleven victory markings were topped with a Soviet red star ) Note the aperture of a gun camera in the wing leading edge. The upper engine cowl MGs have been removed and the cowl gun troughs have been faired over.."

Plenty of Brassin for the above, detailed in the leaflet. A new Brassin set for Eduard's 72nd scale Fw 190 A-5 is released too.

The U12 Rüstsatz comprised underwing gondolas each containing a pair of MG 151 cannon, one of the few armament Rüstsätze to reach operational status. The decals are for Staffelkapitän 2./JG11 Erich Hondt’s A-5 WNr 410 266 ‘schwarze 13' (see pic below, via J-Y Lorant). The numeral was black with a red outline. Hondt's machine displayed the so-called Schwarmführerstreifen or red diagonal stripes of a Schwarm leader along the fuselage sides appearing as a 'Vee' from above. The aircraft did not have a yellow Rumpfband although this sometimes features on artworks and models of course. In fact Hondt wrote a letter to his parents describing this machine and its colourful finish which was published in Jochen Prien's JG 1 & JG 11 history; painted with the red 'V', the white tail etc - but no mention of a yellow fuselage band at all. He doesn't mention a possible red spinner either. That's not conclusive by any means, far from it. Hondt was shot down and the aircraft lost on 8 October 1943 - this is before fuselage bands were introduced though. See also a small article by Peter Rodeike's in Jet and Prop 3/12 - he is also of the opinion that there was no yellow band at this time. The nice clear print of this machine below tends to show that the 'brighter' and 'clearer' the picture the less obvious is any change of colour towards the rear fuselage..

 My build of the excellent Eduard Fw 190 A-5 'heavy fighter' in 72nd scale is here


crash landed Battle of Britain Emil 8./JG 27 - ebay photo find #258

A different view of the scene published in the Prien/Rodeike/Stemmer history of III. and IV. Gruppen of JG 27. Note the virtually undamaged prop blades suggesting that the pilot of this 8. Staffel machine - 'schwarze 13' - has attempted to glide home to the French coast either after running out of fuel or after sustaining damage that has caused the engine to seize. The location is Cap Griz Nez (between Calais and Boulogne), the date, on or around 27 October 1940. Although appearing in the loss lists as an E-4 there appear to be no wing-mounted MG FF. WNr. is 2794.

Below;  III./JG 26 Emil with 'Hellhound' emblem under the cockpit.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Photo album Ofw. Günther Kurth 4./Seeaufklärungsgruppe 126 Crete/Aegean 1943-44 - Arado 196 - ebay photo find #257

nice photo album featuring Arado 196 pilot Ofw. Günther Kurth and his Seeaufklärungsgruppe 126 crew on Crete. Includes his first victory confirmation credit slip - a Beaufighter downed on 01 June 1944 - and a newspaper clipping recalling the action.

 " .. a bold feat of arms by our Arado crews -  an Arado 196 recce Staffel on Crete claim four Beaufighters shot down. Our crews had flown cover tirelessly throughout the day over a German convoy steaming north of Heraklion ...(.....) but during the early evening of Thursday a raid at altitude by a large formation of bombers protected by fighters was followed moments later by an attack from 18 Beaufighters. Within a matter of minutes four Beaufighter torpedo bombers were shot down, three plunging into the sea and the fourth breaking off trailing a banner of smoke and crash-landing on the coast..(..) Several more sustained heavy damage resulting in the enemy attack being broken up...(...) time and again the German machines covering the German ships parried the attacks despite the enemy machines' far superior firepower and speed....."

Another clipping features post-war Flottilenadmiral Paul Kriebel, Kurth's wartime Staffelchef. Kriebel was shot-down twice and achieved the Frontflugspange in Gold for more than 300 combat sorties.  He ended the war with the rank of Hauptmann beim Fliegerführer Ostsee. Post-war he flew Gannets and became Kommodore of Marinefliegergeschwader 'Graf Zeppelin' in Nordholz

on offer here

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Ju 88 Staffel auf Flugplatz Pleskau Süd - ebay photo find #255

 " ..As soon as this Staffel of Ju 88s had landed on the airfield at Pleskau Süd they were replenished with fuel and ordnance and airborne for the next combat sortie. Some 5 to 8 missions -sometimes more- were flown daily by each machine. That is the German Luftwaffe! .."   April 1942

via koelsch333 Ebay sales here

BV 138, Arado 96, Dornier Do 217 Nachtjäger --- ebay photo find #254

Bv 138 here 

Fotos stammen aus dem Fotonachlass eines Angehörigen einer Nachtjäger / Nachtjagd-Staffel der in Bad Aibling , Klagenfurt Prenzlau und in Chateauroux in Frankreich stationiert und eingesetzt war.
Photos taken from the album of night fighter Staffel member stationed and deployed in Bad Aibling, Klagenfurt Prenzlau and Chateauroux in France.

on offer here


Saturday, 30 June 2018

'new' KG 54 photo Me 262 B3(?)+AL, on airfield - sold for €3730 euros!

As a 'blogger' of ebay photo rarities I will obviously have to say something about the following, without, hopefully, wading too far into the debate, which I have kept well out of until the photo has been carefully scrutinised. Which it now has been. And to say that if Jean-Yves Lorant indicates that the photo is 'genuine' than that is usually good enough for me. The sceptics on the various forums got in first with their arguments about manipulation, distortion, perspective etc etc. Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of scepticism but these same sceptics are not usually 'photo specialists'. Sorry guys. And neither am I. But I know somebody who is!

" It is undoubtedly a fake in my opinion..."

" It is obviously a fraud which succeeded to fetch a large amount of money. The buyer should be made aware .."

It strikes me though that any Photoshop manipulation however professional could be detected under high magnification simply from a close examination - even size comparison - of the pixels ? The 'white arrow' flash on KG 54 training machines is already well known from other sources, although not admittedly in the single-seat variant.

and a response via Jean-Yves Lorant;

" I will keep you informed if/when I have the photo in question in my own hands. I am the official responsible for the 9.5 million private and official photographs of the French Air Force held in the archives at Vincennes castle near Paris. I have been manipulating and reproducing original photos for over forty years and I will know very quickly if it is a counterfeit..."

".. I was able to examine yesterday and scan in high definition the original photo of Me262 A coded " AL.."

 ...A manipulation by photoshop, even a very successful one will always leave traces and does not resist close examination. And there are two parameters that seem essential to me: the argentic grain of the photo, which seems totally homogeneous on this new photo according to Jean-Yves Lorant and the fact that the paper is suitably 'aged' with manufacturer's stamp. A digital manipulation transferred on a photo paper that has not existed for decades? The close examination of the original photo that Jean-Yves has now carried out failed to detect anything suspicious.

"...The original has many small scratches and imperfections as seen on original German photos of the same period. The picture is not sharp enough to read the Werk Nummer, nor the small 'B3' code of KG 54 that should be painted in front of the fuselage cross. The argentic grain of this print on old paper is perfectly homogeneous. This is obviously a perfectly original print..."

So, yes, this is a very rare and genuine photo of Me 262 A-2 "Anton-Luise" assigned to 3./KG (J) 54 armed with two 30 mm cannon and displaying the letters A (gelb) and L (schwarz) aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz. It is possible to make out the WNr, but not read it with 100% accuracy.

At the risk of seeming infatuated, I can safely state that there are few 'experts' in this field with as much knowledge of the subject as Jean-Yves Lorant - in his professional life he manages the French Armed Forces photo archive (SHD at Vincennes) - some several millions of images. As he wrote on LRG " I am not sure that there are on this forum people who can claim an expertise superior to mine in this domain ".

There are not Jean-Yves, have no fear... Even those that have seen hundreds of war-time Luftwaffe photos, well, their experience is small beer compared to your own!

To close the discussion.  A spectacular price has been paid for this one image - but as someone who has sometimes spent a lot more money on trips to Germany for much less spectacular results put it;

" ..given my age (61), I will certainly never have the opportunity to see others comparable to this one. If anyone knows who is the lucky owner of the other Me 262 photos from the same seller, please send me a message. I thank you in advance..."

Now the internet 'fakers' and 'plunderers' just have to decide what type of Hakenkreuz  - out of the six possibilities - to put on their 'copies'..

Meet Jean-Yves Lorant in my author interview here