Monday 29 January 2018

Sunday 28 January 2018

new Special Hobby Me 209 V1 in 1/72nd scale ( and a build of the Huma kit)

Special Hobby have released a new Me 209 kit. While I haven't seen it, it does look very similar to the 'old' Huma kit, even down to the lack of cockpit detail and the rather thick single-piece canopy. None of the control surfaces are provided as separate parts. SH do provide separate exhaust inserts which were not present on the Huma model..

More on the Special hobby blog here
Below; my build of the Huma kit;

Continuing my on-going series of ‘Luftwaffe’ types that can be easily finished without an airbrush, this my Huma Me 209....piston-engine speed record holder until the late '60s when it was overtaken by a modified Bearcat. The 209 was apparently an evil little aircraft which featured an incredibly small wing (and horrendously high loading) and a ‘novel’ cooling system dispensing with radiators to reduce drag - hot coolant was evaporated via holes in the wing so that the machine left a trail of steam behind it. Engine life was pretty short as the 200 gallons of coolant "evaporated" in 30 mins...

Like all Huma kits this is reasonably molded if a little tricky to assemble. The cockpit was bare so I've put a bit of 109 etch in, not that any of it can be seen. Fit is not brilliant overall, but you do get two sets of wings and two cowls in the kit (for the V1 and the 'military version ', the V4). Finished appropriately enough with a BMW blue automotive paint rattle can for a super glossy smooth finish..

Sunday 21 January 2018

Eduard's new Fw 190 A-4, Lt. Eberhard Burath of I./JG 1 in April 1943 - Royal Class 'Early Versions' in-box video review

..great build of the new Eduard Fw 190 A-4 by 'Jet and Prop' editor Matthias Becker and fresh from his desk in JG 1 markings. This aircraft was flown by Lt. Eberhard Burath of I./JG 1 in April 1943. Eduard have cleverly offered this markings scheme in their new Royal Class edition of this great kit - and reproduced the 'devil in the clouds' emblem in accordance with recent research- see below. Evidently the model was built before the kit decals were available. There is only one known picture of this machine, showing the port side. Matthias is convinced that on this pic one can see that the Balkenkreuz has the white framing only above. As per instructions the Balkenkreuz was 'filled-in' with RLM 75 and not in black.

Below; Eduard artwork for the decals offered in their Royal Class boxing of this kit - note the colours of their 'revised' 'Teufel ueber den Wolken' badge and the fuselage Balkenkreuz filled in with RLM 75. My personal preference would be for a red spinner - note the similar tone to the frame of the Maltese Cross below the cockpit. Some artwork shows a green-tipped spinner, also a possibility for a Stab machine. See photo below.

Incidentally Peter Rodeike presented evidence in Jet and Prop 1/12 that the JG 1 Gruppenabzeichen featured a red devil on a yellow sky background

During October 1942 on completion of his fighter pilot training and aged 24 years old, Eberhard Burath was posted to JG 1 and would remain with this unit until March 1945 . He would claim six Viermots shot down during this period. He was initially assigned to 11./JG 1, based in Mönchengladbach. By February 1943, Burath was fulfilling the role of Gruppenadjutant in I./JG 1. On 21 May 1943 I./JG 1 was scrambled twice against USAAF four-engine bombers. Up from Deelen the Fw 190s were unable to locate the incoming bombers and put down in Schipol. They were airborne again as the bombers returned from their targets in northern Germany. Burath later recalled;

" 12:21 we were scrambled again against the bombers on their egress. This time we were correctly vectored onto them. At around 100 km north of Ameland we ran into their formation as they were headed in a north-westerly direction for home. I was flying as Rottenflieger to Hptm. Schnoor. We overtook the bombers and turned into them to set up a head-on pass. I  was too low and from this difficult angle could only bring fire to bear on the right outer B-17. I held on for three long seconds, letting him have it from all barrels -  with no visible effect. On landing I must have looked more than a little surprised as Hptm. Schnoor congratulated me on my first victory! But I had other matters on my mind. As we had broken off from the enemy formation I had seen a Fw 190 plunge into the sea and then a parachute pop open overhead. I had set my stop-watch and flew back on a reciprocal course and noted where I had overflown the coast. Oblt. Munz was missing, my old room-mate from Mönchengladbach. I was determined to look for him and, when my aircraft had been made ready, took off again a short while later on my own. Heading out over the coast I started the stop-watch  and quartered the sea left and right when I arrived over the area. I soon caught sight of a yellow object on the waves - a dinghy being tossed up and down on the stormy waves !  To my angry disappointment I saw that it was empty. I orbited overhead in tight circles; " Hans, Mensch, where are you?" Nothing. The red low-fuel level warning lamp flashed on. 68 minutes. An air-sea rescue plane had been sent out. I returned to refuel and then rendezvoused back out over the sea with the Seenot-Wal. This time, 73 minutes. By now it was getting dark and soon the air-sea rescue craft had to break off its search. The loss of Munz affected me deeply - had he seen us searching for him? And what must have been his despair as we turned back for home?  Six weeks later his body was found washed up on the beach at Sylt. A better friend I never knew..."

(p314-315, Prien, JG 1 und 11, Teil 1 1939-43)

 On 26 July, Burath participated in an attack on USAAF B-17 four-engine bombers in the Leeuwarden area. In the ensuing combat, Burath’s Fw 190 was hit and he was forced to carry out a belly-landing in a potato field near Buitenpost. Burath was shot down again on 10 February 1944. While attacking USAAF B-17s over Braunschweig, his Fw 190 was hit. He successfully baled out, landing near Watenstedt uninjured. On 1 March 1944, Oberleutnant Burath was appointed Staffelkapitän of 4./JG 1. Burath was shot down again on 29 March. In March 1945, Burath was appointed Staffelkapitän of 9./JG 51. He recorded his seventh, and last, victory on 22 March, when he shot down a Russian Pe-2 twin-engine bomber.

In box video review of the Royal Class box for the new Eduard Fw 190 'early versions' kit; 14 markings options, two complete kits with resin accessories (wheels, cowling/tropical filters) and coloured cockpit etch, extraordinarily fine surface detailing of the plastic parts, a multitude of options, masks for wheels and canopies, a gorgeous A-2 print to frame and a beer glass with unique Fw 190 motif - a single click to view here


Only one of the superlative Jim Laurier artworks in the new Osprey JG 1 Aces title features the 'devil in the clouds' emblem - and appears in its 'previous' pre-Jet and Prop 1/2012 incarnation. At first glance Osprey appear to be repeating themselves in an effort to prolong their money-spinning series with another Luftwaffe subject - 'JG 1 aces' obviously  includes all those aces already covered in 'Fw 190 aces', ' Fw 190 aces in the defense of the Reich', 'Bf 109 Reich defence aces' 'Viermot aces' etc etc.. However long-time writer and artist John Weal has evidently been retired (he must be at least 80!) along with his slightly dated artwork so this volume is absolutely worth getting for Jim Laurier's superbly realistic profile views and Robert Forsyth's excellent text. While I suspect author Forsyth must have been involved in the three-volume series devoted to JG 1 published by Classic (author Mombeeck), those volumes featured Tullis artwork ..far too many red cowls! So this latest Osprey Aces title is absolutely worth getting even if you have the Classic series. My only 'gripe' here is with the rather sparse photo coverage - an effort has presumably been made not to re-hash previously seen images, but that doesn't leave much to chose from...

Below; a good view of what may have been Gkr. I./JG 1 Schnoor's Fw 190 A-7 showing the later red winged-one Geschwader emblem, black and white cowl stripes with red spinner and yellow lower cowl, Deelen in early 1944.

A big thank you to Patrick Crew of the "Decal Dungeon" for helping me out recently with a couple of very-hard-to-find Eagle Strike decal sheets featuring JG 1 subjects. Patrick's FB page is here

Also this blog

".....Hello, I´m very thankful to read your statement on your blog regarding your thoughts on JG 1 checker cowl colours with which I fully agree ! I´m the nephew of Fw. Bernhard Kunze (Fw 190 A-5 -White 1, WN 410055) and I maintain a web site devoted to Bernhard Kunze's life . I have researched the circumstances and details of Bernhard´s fatal crash at the controls of his 2./ JG 1 FW 190 A-6 (Black 1, WN 550884) on 5 January 1944 close to Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany. One thing I've come across very often is the very inconsistent discussion of the checkerboard colour of the fighters he piloted. Corrections of the sometimes wrong published profiles of Bernhard´s 190-checkerbord-colours are really needed. In writing to all the relevant publishers I have attempted to get the truth published - but a pity without success. Everyone should know - as you state - that black/white is correct - there were no black/yellow chequers on Kunze's machines. There were no exceptions at any time - all the different Staffeln of JG 1 were painted the same identical black/white colour combination irrespective of the Staffel or Staffel Kennung  ..."

Falk Börsch, nephew of Fw. Berhard Kunze (Fw 190 A-5 -White 1, WN 410055)