Wednesday, 19 September 2018

new AIMS releases - the home of Luftwaffe modelling on the net!

 Just received news from John MacIllmurray of some new AIMS releases - 3 new Luftwaffe products and another 6 on the way - here is the breakdown - you can see them in more detail at the AIMS website

1/ 72 Ju 88 P-1 conversion available now
1/32 Ju 88 P-1 conversion available now
1/48 Bf 110 G-2 and G-4 update set for Eduard kits available now

1/72nd Ju 88 P-1 conversion set

1/48 Bf 109 F/G/K hatches and latches coming soon
1/32 Bf 109 F/G/K hatches and latches coming soon
1/32 Bf 109 G-6 and G-10 Revell Oleo leg housing update set - coming soon
1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 decal sheet covering late war Bf 109's

Two subjects from the late-war Bf 109 decal set, visit John's site (link below) to see the other subjects on this attractive looking sheet. Note 'Defence of the Reich bands' not on the 48th or 32nd scale sheets

You can read more about the Luftwaffe modelling accessories and decal sheets created by John at AIMs on this blog here. It goes without saying that John is an enthusiast (and very skilled) modeller himself and provides us lesser mortals with a fantastic product at a reasonable price so please do support him!

 As you can see I have used his decals and some of his resin products on my own models and can happily vouch for their accuracy, ease-of-use and keen pricing -yes, I buy them too!

Friday, 14 September 2018

2./JG 2 Schwarm Focke Wulf Fw 190 victory stick - ebay photo find #265 - EDIT (new 'Dans le ciel de France' Erik Mombeeck)

courtesy Oliver Rogge is this nice JG 2 grouping - these pilots are enjoying the spring sunshine in front of their (presumably) new Fw 190 A fighters while admiring their Abschuß-Stöcke or 'victory sticks'. Note too a (red? or US ?) star is clearly visible at the top of the victory stick in the lower image. One of the pipe-smoking pilots is wearing a French-style beret! This appears to be Fw. Karl Schweikart of 2./JG 2 who can be seen smoking and wearing a beret in a number of pictures in Erik Mombeeck's JG 2 history (1942). During April/May 1942 2./JG 2 was based on the Channel coast at Le Havre (Octeville). All the pilots are wearing life jackets.

below;  ".. a little souvenir of my aerial victory, loyally yours, on the Channel front, 21 May 1941,

 So 'Günther' in the image below - serving on the Channel front- would appear to be the pilot leaning on the victory stick above and admiring his victories (including the 'star') in the photo at bottom.

I can find no ID for an Unteroffizier pilot fitting the description named Günther; (either Vorname or Nachname) returning a victory in May 1941 with JG 2 .  One possible candidate I suppose;

Günther Behrendt, 4./JG 2, Spitfire, 16h35, 1st    (but this victory is dated 24 June 1941)

Of course the Fw 190 did not enter service with JG 2 until much later on. The first loss was September 1941 with JG 26.  However thanks to suggestions from several correspondents I did find this in Erik Mombeeck's history of JG 2 (Vol 2 - 1941) 

A letter from Uffz. Günther Keil addressed to his family in late July 1941;

"..I have some surprising news for you. I am being sent back to the Channel  - either to Galland or to the 'Richthofen'. The transfer is going ahead at any time. According to orders from the higher-ups, each Gruppe must designate a pilot with at least three victories and who has previously taken part in engagements over England. Of course, no one was willing to go, but it looks like I am fated to do so. I am obviously very moved at having to leave my comrades with whom I have shared so many joys and sorrows for almost a year during the battles over England and Russia..."

'Günther' is therefore presumably Fw Günther Keil. Keil had claimed a number of victories flying in combat over England and then Russia with 8./JG 3 - hence the 'red star' at the top of his victory stick.. Keil returned his 5th victory on 14 April 1942 with 2./JG 2.  2./JG 2 were in Le Bourget during the last week of May 1942 converting onto their new Fw 190 As before returning to Triqueville. Stk. was Hptm. Siegfried Bethke.

Keil was KIA on 20 June 1942 in heavy fighting with large numbers of Spitfires over the Channel, only a short while therefore after these photos were taken. There are two accounts of the combats that took place that day in Erik Mombeeck's 'Dans le Ciel de France' Vol II (1942). In a letter to the family his Staffel comrade Karl Schweikart wrote;

Günther must have told you that since he has been with us he has returned four victories and so had seven Abschüsse  - but he was not the sort of pilot who was 'Abschußgeil' - desperate to return victories - as we say...on the morning of the 20th he was happy and good-humoured, but he did say to me, 'Karl, if the Tommies come over today then I'm going to get one..' Well they did come...we sighted a large formation of Spitfires over the Channel and set out after them..Günther was leading.."

more pictures of Keil on offer from Oliver here

While on the subject of Erik Mombeeck's history of JG 2 'Dans le ciel de France' it would appear that Volume 5 covering the year 1944 will be available some time towards the end of the year. Cover image below..more info and pre-orders at

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Die 'Starfighter Affäre' - Der Spiegel magazine 5/1966

..just posted on my 'Jet and Prop' blog, the story of one of the most infamous crashes of the whole 'Starfighter Affäre' - the day the entire aerobatic Schwarm of Waffenschule 10 was lost at Nörvenich on 19 June 1962 practising for the commissioning ceremony of the new JBG 31 and the introduction into Bundeswehr-Luftwaffe service of the F-104 Gustav.

In " Der Tod war schneller " I have translated for the first time in English an interview with Luftwaffeninspekteur and former KG pilot Werner Panitzski as published in Der Spiegel magazine 5/1966. It is of course a story that involves familiar names such as Krupinski, Rall, Steinhoff, Josten, Hrabak, Kammhuber etc etc..
Der Tod war schneller

Monday, 10 September 2018

latest issue of "Avions" No.225 - Lela Presse

..has arrived and is very well done too. A 'Luftwaffe Special' issue of sorts. Contents include;

- Sharks in the Blitzkrieg: ZG 76 in May-June 1940 (full story). By Jean-Louis Roba.
- Hans Philipp, "The Krasnogvardeysk Eagle" (end). By Philippe Saintes, with the participation of Christophe Cony.
- The last fight of Hauptmann Bretnütz (complete story). By Mikhail Timine.
- Manfred von Richthofen, the Ace of the First World War (end) 3rd part: the demise of the Red Baron. By David Méchin and Christophe Cony.
- Fernaufklärer over France during the "Phoney War" (Part 1). By Pierre Brouez.

Excellent value at 12 euros, see a PDF extract and order on the publisher's website here

JG 54 Gustav 'white 1' Feldwebel - ebay photo find #264

on offer here

Fotoabzug = "repro" - ebay photo find 263

.. it is me or are there a lot of 'repros' appearing for sale on ebay at the moment... ironically I notice even certain 'well-known' repositories of on-line images are adopting 'privacy' mode to prevent unscrupulous ebay sellers from copying and then offering 'their' treasures for sale in repro format.

" Sehr schöner Fotoabzug einer Zerstörermaschine vom Typ Bf 110 des ZG 1 oder SKG 210, aufgenommen 1943/44 in Italien. Sehr schön sind das Staffelabzeichen in Form einer Wespe und viele Details zu sehen..."

So while the repro above appears to be quite nice ....there are plenty of others being offered out there of more mediocre quality.

Below; poor quality copy/repro of a photo of the Friedrich flown by the Kommandeur of III./JG 3 August 1941 currently on offer at 85 euros here - yes I've seen the nice sharp original photo and it's not this!

To quote a recent correspondent;

  " ..I'm sending you a copy of something that is really starting to irritate me on eBay: the same photos sold by our usual Ukrainians and a ridiculous German calling himself H******en in more than mediocre quality. These people will apparently stop at nothing to earn a few Euros, to the point of selling unspeakable crap. The original was very clear, as you will see...Not only is the well drying up, but it would appear that all and sundry are pouring their garbage into it. You're going to tell me "nothing new under the sun" and you wouldn't be wrong..."

Friday, 7 September 2018

Stabsschwarm JG 51 Russland Feldflugplatz - ebay photo find #262

courtesy Oliver Rogge

Unusual marking on this Stabsschwarm JG 51 machine Russland Feldflugplatz. Note the emblem on the cowl cover under the port wing.

Me 109 F-2 "schwarze 1" assigned to the Staffelkapitän of 2./JG 51 Lt. Erwin Fleig

on offer here

More on Erwin Fleig on this blog;