Thursday 17 May 2012

Romanian Bf 109 Emil decals from Radu Brinzan & Airfix Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 Emil 1:72 scale

New from Radu Brinzan is this very nice decal sheet in the usual scales featuring seven Messerschmitt Bf 109 E aircraft of the Romanian 7th Fighter Group as deployed during Operation Barbarossa and the Battle of Stalingrad. Each aircraft features a slogan, a victory tally or both. More information about these aircraft can be found in the book "Romanian Fighter Colours 1941 - 1945 by Teodor Liviu Morosanu and Dan Alexandru Melinte published by MMP Books in 2010.

Radu Brinzan Productions

Elsewhere I've started building the new Airfix Bf 109 Emil in 1:72 scale

Saturday 12 May 2012

Me 110s ZG 76

Me 110 C  most probably belonging to 1./ZG 76 seen in Stavanger during the late summer/fall of 1940. In the background,  Do 17 "5D+BL" on the strength of 3./F)31.

Below; Me 110 C/D of II./ZG 76 mit Haifischmaulbemalung - with sharksmouth nose art

Above; Me 110 C "M8+ FH" of 1./ZG 76, seen probably in late 1939.
Me 110 C/D being retrieved following a belly-landing in Holland during 1940. Only the letter 'A' is visible from the machine's Verbandskennung.

Friday 11 May 2012

Focke Wulf 190 units with Panzerschreck - rare images of Fw 190s of 5./ SG 77

I was only discussing the subject of II. Gruppe SG 77 Panzerschreck toting Fw 190s with Jes Touvdal recently - here is his completed model for the recent BM Fw 190 group build. We concluded that there were only a couple of known (poor quality) partial photographic images of these machines, attributed to 5./SG 77 at Pardubice - in the JAPO 'Air War over Czech territory 1945' book.

Via John Manhro " Note the arrow motif on the cowling, blown hood of the F-8 and the II.Gruppe Balken. As the pictures show clearly the II. Gruppe bar and the "11" and "2" are black (imho) than I think we can say these are indeed 5./SG 77 aircraft. Staffel colour of 6./SG 2 = yellow and 4./SG 3 = probably white. The colour of 5./SG 77 was in my opinion black.."

Comment from John Manhro on TOCH posted on 12 May 2012;

" I did a check in Lfl. 6 documents all the way up to late March 1945. Early February 1945 the following units flew with Panzerschreck;
8./SG 1, 6./SG 2, 4./SG 3, 5./SG 77 (Pz.Schreck) -  (indeed there is also one report that says 6./SG 3 had Pz.Schreck but it does not list 4./SG 3 also, maybe a typo?)

The following units had Panzerblitz;

III./SG 4 (all three Staffeln), 13.(Pz)/SG 151, 1.(Pz)/SG 9 (Pz.Blitz). It seems that II./SG 151 had mainly Pz.Blitz but also a few Pz.Schreck Fw 190. Early Feb 1945 also 3.(Pz)/SG 9 was transferring to Pz.Blitz (completed mid March). This was followed in early March 1945 with transferring first 3./SG 1, 9./SG 77 & 6./SG 1 to Pz. Blitz. planned to be followed by 3./SG 77, 3./SG 4, 3./SG 3 & 6./SG 4. Need to check more files if that was completed too. 

Jes fabricated his Panzerschreck 1 parts from scratch, using some plastic tubing and plastic card, based on the diagrams in the JAPO Fw 190 A-G book as reference.

Kora models have produced resin detail Panzerschreck II parts (model photos courtesy Jes Touvdal)

More on Jes Touvdal's Luftwaffe fighters model collection

Thursday 10 May 2012

Focke Wulf 189 - original photos ...

Currently on offer on - same 'different' image, two different sellers. And another from the same sequence below..

and these on offer from roman69

More Focke Wulf 189 reference on this blog

Late-war fighter production - the He 162 underground factory at Hinterbrühl

The 'Seegrotte' or 'subterranean lake' at Hinterbrühl in the Mödling Bezirk south of Vienna in southern Austria is a leading tourist attraction in that part of the worldIn 1912 an underground blasting operation in the gypsum mine "Hinterbrühl" went awry resulting in millions of litres of water flooding into the lower galleries of the mine creating a huge underground  lake.  As a consequence the mine remained closed for years until a team of cave explorers discovered the unique natural spectacle in the 1930´s.

Towards the end of WWII the Seegrotte was requisitioned by Heinkel as an ideal 'bomb-proof' location for the production of the  the He 162 jet with upwards of 2,000 workers/slave labourers being employed  in the 'factory'. Many came from the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp, one of the first to be constructed from stone outside of Germany and one of the last to be liberated. The oft-reproduced picture above is published in the work ' Mauthausen, Horror on the Danube'. After the war the Seegrotte was re-opened as a tourist attraction. The following views are/were available as postcards..

Me 262 construction at the REIMAHG underground facility
Me 262 'forest-factory' production

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Kurt Tank's abortive 'Moskito', the Ta 154, I./NJG 3, Stade

Above top and below (click on the images for a larger view)  the Ta 154 V15, one of the first Ta 154 prototypes fitted with Hirschgeweih (antler) antennae array for the SN-2 radar. Fitted with radar aerials, exhaust flame dampers and heavy cannon, top speed was some 75 km/h less than hoped and in this configuration the type singularly failed to meet expectations. Aside from the well-known difficulties the Germans encountered merely constructing an all-wooden aircraft, testing of the type was fraught as the following rare account makes clear,

"....During the late summer and autumn of 1944 I was seconded to 3./NJG 3 at Stade and then detached to 1./NJG 3 at Grove in Denmark where I was entrusted with the calibration and harmonisation work on our airborne radar and electronics systems. At that time in Stade we had a Ta 154 'Moskito' undergoing trials. The machine was equipped with short voltage-driven antennae mounted in the wing roots (see image below of the Ta 154 A-2/U4). The original aerial array - long strut current-driven antennae mounted on the forward fuselage- resulted in loss of speed, hampered visibility and functioned only with difficulty. With the aircraft in this configuration, I was charged with incorporating a radio direction finding capability. Even on the ground, with the engines off, this proved impossible. In the air, the propellers interfered with the beaming pattern. Additionally, in my opinion, the voltage-phase antennae pulse calibration was never entirely successfully achieved. While carrying out our checks and inspections my assistants and I were often interrupted by the orderly officer’s cry “the Kommandeur wants to take her up!”. The aircraft itself must have been a lot of fun to fly. According to my information around twenty five Ta 154s were either built or under construction. They were produced in Bremen, Detmold, Hanover and in the East. Some machines were damaged on the ground in the summer of 1944 by Jabo attacks on Detmold and Hanover.  In April 1945 four Ta 154s were apparently stationed in Stade. Two of them were burnt out on the field and two were flown to Münster and Paderborn, where they were likewise destroyed. In early 1945 I was posted to 1./NJG 1, which is where radar and electronic calibration work was carried out on our best night fighter – the He 219..."  (Cordes via Boiten)

William Green in Air International, April 1989;

 " the Ta 154 may have achieved operational status with the Luftwaffe albeit in very small numbers. Production tempo had not even achieved a modest rate before the factories in the Posen area - Messegelaende and Kreising - intended as the primary production source were destroyed by fire during April and May 1944 after the completion of only a few series aircraft. First sortie with NJG 3 was flown on 19 November 1944 by Fw. Gottfried Schneider. One NJG 3 Ta 154 (D5+AD) that had made a crash-landing on 30 April 1945 was examined and photographed by Allied Intelligence. No Ta 154s were evalauted post-war. If the Ta 154 did not fully meet expectations, it was as Hans Sander later recalled; " easy to fly, handled well and was extremely agile for a twin-engined aircraft.."

Two views below of the Ta 154 V7 coded TE+FK

Crash photos of the Ta 154 A-2 of the Stab. NJG 3 coded D5+HD WNr. 320009 found belly-landed by the British in Stade during May 1945. This machine was one of only a handful fitted with Jumo 213 A engines with re-designed nacelles, integral flame dampers and wide bladed props. Note the antenna array repositioned from the nose to the mid-fuselage section, comprising four vertical aerials on top of and underneath the wing centre section. According to the British report the machine featured canted wingtips. Armament comprised two MG 151/20 cannon in the lower fuselage. See Flugzeug magazine issues 1 and 2/ 1988 " Einsatzerfahrungen mit der Ta 154 " - ' in combat with the the Ta 154' , article by Herbert Kruse..

Sunday 6 May 2012

Dornier Do 17 Z-5 of 1./KGr 606 over the Channel coast during late 1940

A Do 17 Z-5 on the strength of 1./KGr 606 seen over the Channel coast during late 1940. 1./KGr 606 was based in Lannion, Brittany, during late 1940.

Built to a total of some 1,700 aircraft between 1939 - 40 the Dornier  17 Z was of course the major production version of the Dornier Do 17 and appeared in several variants. These included the Do 17 Z-0  powered by two 900 hp (671 kW) Bramo 323A-1 engines and armed with three MG 15 machine guns. The Do 17 Z-1 had an additional nose-mounted MG 15 but was underpowered and restricted to a 1,102 lb (500 kg) bombload; this situation was rectified in the Do 17 Z-2 powered by 1,000 hp (746 kW) Bramo 323P engines capable of hauling a 1000 kg bomb load and touted up to eight MG 15 machine guns. Some 22 examples of the Do 17 Z-3 reconnaissance aircraft were built, each equipped with Rb50/30 or Rb20/30 cameras, and they were followed by the Do 17 Z-4 dual-control conversion trainer. 

The final bomber variant was the Do 17 Z-5 ( above) which was conceived as an anti-shipping variant and differed largely through the provision of flotation "cells" - designed to keep a ditched aircraft afloat for longer - and which took the form of inflatable bags stored in the rear of the engine nacelles and in bulges on either side of the nose, just behind the front glazing, seen deployed in the rare image below. These images are displayed here courtesy of Michael Meyer and are currently on offer on Ebay at Michael's sales page

Thursday 3 May 2012

BM Britmodeller FW 190 Group build

I have been intending to blog the super Fw 190 group build over at Britmodeller. With a list of prizes as long as your arm and some fantastic models already completed get over there now. Hosted by Rowan and Steve. Here's a quick scroll through some of my favourite builds so far, starting off with Tim's 3./JG 2 'yellow 7' from the Eduard kit completed with the decals from the Vintage Eagle Publishing 'Captured Eagles' book and photographed nearing completion. Below that, Lixfeld's Fw 190 A-8/R2 6./JG 300 'yellow 12' from the Airfix 1:24 scale kit from Steve

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Landscape Publications- PROFILE HANGAR new from Thierry Dekker

while not specifically devoted to Luftwaffe subjects this is the first in a nice photo/artwork album series from Thierry Dekker.. with some text by a certain FalkeEins of this parish....

Visit the new Landscape Publications site to see more of this title

Here's an 'unbiased' review on the Osprey Modelling news blog