Saturday 30 August 2014

Latest Airfix 'Dogfight Double', a selection of colourful Emils from "Avions" n°189 & 190 and the latest issue of "Avions" no. 201

Airfix continue to go from strength to strength with their new tools and re-boxings. They are also releasing some great new 'Dogfight Doubles'  - I well recall my first ever model kit which was one of these; the 'Mosquito vs Me 262' from the early 70s! As pointed out by Tony O'Toole on Britmodeller though, the latest Airfix "Dogfight Double" gift set rather improbably pits a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb (No. 229 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Qrendi, Malta, December 1942) against a Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 (aircraft flown by Oblt. Joachim Müncheberg, 7./JG 26 “Schlageter”, Gela, Sicily, Spring 1941). Müncheberg did indeed claim a number of Spitfire Vs in December 1942 ..but as Kommodore JG 77 over Tunisia at the controls of a Gustav. During his time over Malta the only British fighters present in theatre were Hurricanes and Fulmars with the odd surviving Sea Gladiator. He certainly didn't meet Spitfires over Malta in his JG 26 Emil "white 12"! Of course that may well not be the point of a "Dogfight Double" - I mean two aircraft that would have run up against each other in combat ? Hats off to Airfix though; two great 48th scale kits, paints and glue for less than a single Tamiya 48th scale fighter!

You might of course not be intending to use the kit decals at all; perhaps you are considering some other colourful Emils as alternatives to the box option - note I'm not saying that these Emils would have met a Spitfire V in combat either!

The following selection is courtesy of the leading aviation history magazine "Avions"  (..and "Avions" editor/manager Michel Ledet) Over the course of two 'special' issues (nos 189 and 190) devoted to the Bf 109 Emil, authors Jean-Louis Roba and Christophe Cony and illustrator Thierry Dekker presented some 50 pages of rare Emil images and artworks .. a small taster follows...back issues can be ordered at the "Avions" secure site  (English spoken!). You can also view PDF extracts for each issue at that link...

Below; a Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 of 2./JG 26 force landed on a French beach on returning from England during the Battle of Britain..

Above, a machine apparently destined for North Africa, until diverted to the 'new' Eastern Front, this is  Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B (W.Nr. 2060) of 2.(J)/LG 2 seen at Mizil, Rumania, in June 1941. This aircraft was lost with its pilot, Hans Guse, on 10 July 1941 after tangling with I-16 fighters and DB-3 bombers over Tighina (south-west of Tiraspol)..

"Red 15" Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 of 2. Ausbildungsstaffel/ JG 77 in flight over Rumania in late 1941. Note the absence of pilot head armour. I. ErgGr./ JG 77 would shift to Mariupol in the Ukraine during January 1942 and fly ground-attack sorties until April 1942..

Above; two Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 sub-types ('black3 ' and 'black 4') of 2.(H)/Aufklärungsgruppe 14 preparing to get airborne in North Africa in late 1941. This unit was the first Luftwaffe recce Staffel to arrive in North Africa during February 1941 and operated successfully in this theatre until late March 1942, with only one recorded loss to British fighters. During April 1942 2. (H)/ 14 returned to Austria to re-equip with the Bf 109 F-4/ R3

Below; Cvitan Galic climbing down from "green 15" his Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 of 15.(Kroat.)/JG 52 seen in Mariupol, Ukraine. (WNr. 950 ??) Note the armoured windscreen. Cvitan Galic was the second highest scoring Croatian ace credited with 38 confirmed victories.. He later flew the MS.406 in anti-partisan duties. He was finally killed by strafing Spitfire IXs of No. 2 Squadron SAAF on 6 April 1944 at Zaluzani airfield near Banja Luka..

..and my personal favourite and minus the swastika, in itself something of a rarity  - a housed Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 of 2./JG 51 in February 1942. The aircraft is probably being serviced or/and undergoing repairs - the Hakenkreuz appears to have been overpainted...

Meanwhile the latest issue of "Avions" is just published (issue no. 201) - and is absolutely superb again from the team. Articles include the Wildcats of HMS Searcher vs JG 5 during March 1945 ( "Last combats of the Wildcat in Europe,  Spring 1945"), part III of Lennart Andersson's history of the Junkers K 47 (forerunner of the Ju 87 Stuka) and part II of a magnificent feature on D-Day 6 June 1944, replete with a great selection of superlative Dekker artworks! Bravo Thierry !

"Avions" have also released their own version of "Luftwaffe rudder markings" compiled by Philippe Saintes. For 14 euros you get an 80-page A-4 softback featuring some 20+ artworks and around 100 photos on glossy paper - day & night aces covered include Franz Blazytko, Heinz Bretnütz, Wolfgang Falck, Alfred Held, Harald Jung, Erbo Graf von Kageneck, Josef Kraft, Hans Krug, Helmut Lohoff, Werner Machold, Alfred Müller, Paul Schauder, Georg Schirmböck, Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, Adolf Steidle, Karl Willius and more. Recommended ! Go here to order a copy!