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. There are separate fuselage halves for a G-2, while the box also allows the G-6 and G-14 to be built. 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. All in all a very fine package with the reservations expressed above.

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


The decal options include some interesting subjects. 'Black 10' W.Nr 380 352 of 2./J.G. 11 is illustrated on page 322 of Peter Rodeike's Jagdflugzeug 190 book. It was one of a small batch of A-8s built by Arado. Rodeike doesn't guess at a finish so I suspect there is no reason for it not to be standard RLM 74/75/76 whereas Eduard's call-outs are 81/82/83/76 (84). However the high demarcation and absence of any fuselage mottling whatsoever is interesting and makes an 81 finish more than possible in my view. While Eduard have just the top of the empennage in yellow, Rodeike suggests that the rudder was also in yellow along with the Rumpfband. Also on the sheet are two JG 300 subjects, including "white 6" flown by the last Staffelkapitän of 7./ JG 300 . The aircraft was finished in RLM 74/75/76 or possibly RLM 75/76/83 and sported the blue/white/blue Reichs defence band.

Build review on modelforum.cz page here

More from M Driskill on Eduard's 72nd scale Fw 190s

Eduard gives each sprue in their 72nd scale Fw 190s the number 70110, followed by a suffix letter. With the release of the new F-8 Profi, they have completed a family of sprues, designated A through J. The sprues' suffix letters and descriptions are listed below.

(Quick notes on my nomenclature: "Early" wing = MG FF cannon in outer bay; for the real-life A-2, 3, 4, 5. "Standard" wing = MG 151 in outer bay, smooth top surface; A-6, 7, early 8. "Universal" wing = MG 151 or MK 108 in outer bay, bump on top surface; A-8, 9 and F-8, 9. "Sturmbock" fuselage = full set of applique armor plate.)

The sprues:
A - big sprue of common detail parts for all variants
B - small sprue of ground attack parts
C - A-8 fuselage + universal wing w/MG 151
D - clear parts for all variants
E - A-8 Sturmbock fuselage + universal wing w/MK 108
F - F-8 fuselage + universal wing w/empty outer bay
G - A-5 fuselage + early wing w/MG FF
H - A-8 fuselage + standard wing w/MG 151
I - A-8 fuselage + standard wing w/empty outer bay
J - A-5 fuselage + early wing w/empty outer bay

Note, the narrow center bay of all the fuselage-wing sprues is identical. It has the rudder, tailplanes, and ailerons which are common to all variants; as well as all the variations of nose gun and top cowl panels. Think of it as kind of an extension of sprue A.

The kits released so far have these sprues:
A-8 Profi: A, C, D
A-5 Profi: A, D, G, J
F-8 Profi: A, B, D, F
A-8/R2 Weekend: A, D, E
A-8 Standard Wing Weekend: A, D, H
A-5 Heavy Fighter Weekend: A, D, G
A-8 Royal Class: Ax4, Cx2, Dx4, Ex2, Ix1.

Eduard just announced an A-5 Light Fighter Weekend for December. No doubt that one will have sprues A, D, J.

For a time, Eduard sold a "small overtrees" set that had only sprues A and D. One of those sets gives you all the plastic needed for the A-5 Profi kit to be two complete models, and similarly lets you use all five fuselage-wing sprues in the Royal Class boxing. It's a pretty awesome "fixer" set for a couple of leftover Hasegawa kits too, LOL.

It will be interesting to see what future variants Eduard comes up with! There will surely be a dedicated night fighter boxing since the antennas are on sprue A. Also note that sprue I has not yet been released in a normal kit, only the Royal, so perhaps a future A-6/7/8 Light Fighter is out there.

Below; here is my build of the A-5 'heavy fighter' variant in the markings of JG 2 ace Wurmheller

Monday 21 September 2015

Bundesarchiv photo report series # 2 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.


Fw Wolfgang 'Lumpi' Hundsdörfer's 2./ JG 300 Gustav 'red 10' - a commentary by Richard Goyat

A commentary on  Hundsdörfer's “Red 10” by author/illustrator Richard Goyat;

 ".. there are three pictures of Hundsdörfer's “Red 10”, all partial. This is the reason why the authors of the JG 300 history did not request a profile artwork of this machine in their JG 300 history "Bataille dans le ciel d'Allemagne" published by Larivière. 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 27, 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...."

also on this blog;

Friday 18 September 2015

Uffz. E. Poschenrieder's Messerschmitt Bf 109 E 7./ JG 53 - Battle of Britain film footage

A Battle of Britain period film clip depicting No.66 Squadron at RAF Gravesend during the Battle of Britain. The clip features several scenes from the crash site of Uffz. E. Poschenrieder's Messerschmitt Bf 109 E of 7. Staffel JG 53 after it had been shot down at Broomhill, Strood, Rochester on Monday 30th September 1940. Click once to watch the clip here..

 Uffz. Ernst Poschenrieder's wrecked aircraft was heavily souvenired by locals. The military guarding the downed aircraft also reputedly sold souvenirs taken from the Messerschmitt to the locals! Several of these souvenired items are now on show in the Kent Battle of Britain Museum...

 " ..this aircraft was belly landed by the 7./JG 53 ace Hermann Neumann at Bologne 10 days earlier. Poschenrieder, a new pilot was given it after repair only to get shot down in it too. I have said that it likely still carried Neumann's victory tally on the fin and was always told "they would have been painted over before Ernst took the aircraft over" well there they all are clearly still applied... The aircraft stayed on the potato field for some time. One of the soldiers who was tasked with guarding it was trying to make a quick buck selling bullets from the aircraft to the locals. Well the pilot maintains that he let off all his ammo prior to crash landing, which rather upset the farm workers in the fields as they thought he was trying to shoot them. Anyway the soldier was sneakily selling his own bullets as ones that came from the aircraft...."

Elsewhere, following his book launch at Hawkinge reported here earlier this week, Christer (Bergstrom) and his party of Swedes and one Dane departed Folkestone and headed up to the Shoreham (Kent) Aircraft museum where Christer placed the memorial cross onto Hurricane P3860 in which the 23-year old 607 Sqn pilot John Lansdell was shot down on 17 September 1940. The young Hurricane pilot baled out but succumbed to his injuries.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Aces and pilots of III./ JG 54 (2) - Gustavs in the Defence of the Reich - Reichsverteidigung 1944 - Wochenschau Nr. 721

In an item devoted to the 'Schlagkraft unsere Verteidigung'  - ('..the striking power of our defence..over 200 British and American aircraft shot down in one 48-hour period..') the weekly news broadcast shown in German cinemas on 10 June 1944 incorporated footage of the fighters of 8. Staffel JG 54 on an Alarmstart. This footage was most probably filmed at Lüneburg earlier that year. Among the featured aircraft was Bf 109 G-6 "Schwarze 8", probably the machine flown by Uffz. Günther Sahl, shot down on 9 April 1944 over Schleswig Holstein (WNr. 26 048)- identified on p283 of Prien JfV 13/I Reichsverteidigung 1944. Note the blue fuselage band with its black Gruppenbalken, the white outline fuselage cross, an over-painted Kennziffer directly aft of the 'black 8'  and the green heart featuring the Gruppen emblems below the cockpit.

Also featured in the broadcast footage is a Bf 109 G-6 Kanonenboot likewise probably lost on 9 April 1944! This is a 'White 1' with Gondelwaffen - the underslung MG 151s. Note the 7./JG 54 emblem on the cowl and the absence of the FuG 16 D/F loop antenna. 'White 1' was most likely flown here by the Staffelkapitän Oblt. Rudolf Klemm - compare with the much clearer images on page 284 of the Prien JfV 13/I.

Klemm had been appointed Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 54 on 1 February 1944 and had accumulated 27 victories at this time. He recorded his 32nd victory on 8 April. On 9 April III./ JG 54 intercepted large bomber formations over Kiel. Klemm was shot down and wounded at the controls of Bf 109 G-6 “White 1” WNr. 15 573- falling to the P-47 escort. In total III./ JG 54 lost seven Bf 109s for one P-47 claimed on 9 April 1944. Klemm returned to the Eastern Front with JG 54 later that summer. ..

Also on this blog

Aces and pilots of III./ JG 54 - Gustavs defending the Reich, Lt Eugen Zweigart
Pauke! Pauke! IV./ JG 3 and Sturmstaffel 1 in action against the US 8th Air Force, 11 April 1944

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Christer Bergstrom's book ' The Battle of Britain -an epic conflict revisited' (Casemate) - book launch for the 75th anniversary Battle of Britain 15 September flypast

..after watching the 75th anniversary Battle of Britain flypast on the cliffs at Capel (between Folkestone and Dover and site of the Battle of Britain Memorial) we moved on to Hawkinge for the launch of Christer Bergstrom's new book, ' The Battle of Britain -an epic conflict revisited' (Casemate) at the Kent Battle of Britain museum. The book certainly looks impressive and the paper quality is reasonably good - the artworks are very nice and there is a good selection of interesting pics. The text is very readable (not cluttered with details such as WNr. etc..) and the presentation is in a diary format. There are over 500 'notes' at the rear of the book.
A couple of points that struck me while dipping in and out of the contents;
- the contribution that Bomber Command made to the RAF's success in the Battle of Britain - RAF bombers operated throughout the summer over Germany and the occupied countries, kept the pressure on psychologically, directly contributing to the 'indecision' in the Luftwaffe leadership ...(London vs. the airfields).
 - the 're-appraisal' of combat losses on both sides - the RAF's being much higher for the four months July to October
 - the re-evaluation of the performance of the Bf 110 units, which enjoyed better 'kill' ratios than the 109 units; " the Bf 109's alleged superiority over the Bf 110 finds no support in these statistics.."

More on the book from publishers Casemate here

I was impressed with Christer - a very engaging and genial character- and his new book looks to be excellent. Here Morten (Jessen) and I are clutching our copies while I struggle to hold onto Lady (my Pomeranian) who has just spotted 'Scramble' the museum cat - nearly had a 'dogfight' on our hands!

Elsewhere on the Air War Publications blog Morten reports on his trip around some of southern England's Battle of Britain sites, including a day at Audembert and other Battle of Britain sites in northern France.