Thursday 24 February 2022

ProModeler Bf 110 G Maj. H-W Schnaufer


" last completed model. Bf 110 G as flown by Maj. H-W Schnaufer, Kommandeur IV./NJG 1, early 1945. This is the old Monogram/ProModeler kit. after market includes Eduard color etch. Master turned barrels and radar antennas. Decals are a mix of kit and Print Scale..."

 From Eugen 'Dora' - in Dnipro, Ukraine...thoughts your way..

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Oblt. Friedrich Schwab Staffelkapitän 3./NJG 3


Friedrich Schwab joined the army in 1931 and transferred to the Luftwaffe in 1934. He started pilot training on the outbreak of WWII, receiving his night fighter training from July to October 1941. By September 1942, he was a Staffelkapitän in NJG 3 and promoted to Hptm. He transferred to Schulgeschwader NJG 101 as an instructor and was appointed Kommandeur of the Nachtjagd-Ausbildungs-Gruppe. Below; Schwab seen preparing for a sortie in his Bf 110 C/D..

Post-war Schwab founded 'Schwab Versand' (1954) in Hanau (near Frankfurt am Main) which grew into one of Germany's largest catalogue, mail-order and (later) on-line retailers, prior to undergoing 're-organisation' by parent group Otto in 2020. He died aged 79 in July 1992. 

Sunday 20 February 2022

Building the new IBG Models Fw 190 Dora 9 (Early Production Cottbus) - Part 1 (build review)


A few years ago there was some talk of Eduard 're-inventing' the 72nd scale scene and while their Spitfires, Fw 190s and Bf 110s were good, IBG models with their PZL series and now their new Dora family really seem to have taken up the '72nd scale' baton in a big way. I was keen to see how well this one would go together - the in-box appraisal elsewhere on this blog really got the juices flowing. 

First up, note the incredible 'finesse' with which the parts are molded. The fuselage halves especially are the thinnest I've ever seen on a 72nd scale kit. 

Eleven -part Jumo engine in 72nd scale - some 48th scale Doras don't feature this level of detail. Some 48th Doras don't even have engines or open wheel wells. A fair proportion of this detail will be visible through the open wheel wells.

Cockpit assembly is straight-forward, includes decals and etch for belts, pedals etc. The decals don't settle down well over the molded console/instrument panel detail. Note the opened coaming hand-holds - as molded. 

Both cockpit and engine are assembed together with the upper cowl MGs and inserted between the fuselage halves. I deviated a little from the assembly instructions by securing the engine bearer arms first before adding the engine. Location of the exhaust ejector stubs is a little vague (and they are incorrectly numbered too). 

The engine firewall is nicely detailed too although mostly hidden behind the MG magazines. This part makes up the rear wall of the undercarriage well.

I must admit that I was a little worried about the whole assembly fitting into the fuselage halves - the new tool Airfix 48th Mustang is a bit tricky in this respect too - but there were no problems with this kit and the exhaust ejector stubs lined up easily enough too. Level of detail for a 72nd kit is impressive - it looks tricky but goes together pretty well.  

Below; fuselage halves together with no issues and the lower wing section test fitted - stages 1-11 out the 22 build stages now completed so I'm approximately half-way through the build. Note the very restrained surface detailing- apparently the rivets and panel lines are a 'deal-breaker' according to some. Which is ridiculous. They certainly don't worry me. In fact the fuselage 'strengthening strips' - barely discernable here - should be a little more prominent in my view and I will probably add some plastic card strips to replicate this..

Saturday 19 February 2022

B-17 F-95-BO, "Battle Queen – Peg of my Heart" Regensburg mission, August 17, 1943 - I hate 'colorised' images #2


I don't much care for colorized photos although the net (and certain publications like Andy Saunder's dreadful 'Iron Cross') are full of them. This particular image though caught my eye as being quite well done, although with everyone wearing 'blue' or 'white' its obvious that the 'colorizer' (I'm not calling him an artist ..) got tired of shuffling pixels around..

It depicts B-17 F-95-BO, Serial Nr. 42-30315, Marking: S, named "Battle Queen – Peg of my Heart" 8th Air Force, 390th BG, (569th BS), based at Framlingham, England following a belly-landing in Utzenstorf, Switzerland on 17 August 1943, the Regensburg mission. Image via the 390th BG Memorial musuem at Framlingham/Parham airfield and 'Increbile Colorization Photos'

The RAF-Waffe visit Framlingham, home to the 390th BG

Are colorized images 'fraud'?

Friday 18 February 2022

Gfr. Hans Dahmen 2./JG 300 Bf 109 G-6 - Ebay photo find #353

I./JG 300 Bf 109 G-6 seen at Bad Wörishofen, photo dated August 10, 1944. The inscription on the reverse of the photo - 'in friendship, from Hans, Bad Wörishofen, August 1944' - suggests that the pilot seated on the cockpit was one of Kommandeur Hptm. Stamp's 2. Staffel teenagers, 19-year old Gfr. Hans “Hänschen” Dahmen.. Dahmen's 'regular' machine was 'red 2'. Current bid is over 330 euros with two days to go, no doubt some 'mad Frenchie' keeping the bidding high. 

Edit- final selling price was a frankly quite mind-boggling 1,561 euros.....

Dahmen downed a bomber on 18 July 1944 and two more 15th AF Viermots fell to his fire on 25 July over Linz. He registered hits on a third B-24 during this action for an endgültige Vernichtung. Dahmen's Kaczmarek was Uffz. Wolfgang Hundsdörfer. Both Dahmen and Hundsdörfer brought down B-17s on August 22 raiding refineries in Austria but I./JG 300 ran into 31st and 52nd FG Mustangs. Gfr. Hans Dahmen was brought down near Raab. Some Hungarian villagers found him staggering along a track, blinded by blood pouring from numerous facial wounds. The windscreen of Dahmen’s Bf 109 G 6 had been shattered by several impacts, the shards ripping into the young pilot’s face and eyes.

Uffz. Dahmen was KIA flying against Soviet spearheads on the Eastern Front on February 3, 1945, his G-10 'red 14' brought down by anti-aircraft fire as recalled by Lt. “Timo” Schenk; 

" ..The Rotte Hundsdörfer- Dahmen was hunting over the Warthe, to the east of Göritz. Hans Dahmen, usually very cagey and wily, was flying as number 2 just behind Hundsdörfer, when they roared over a column of refugees. They hauled around at low altitude and straightened out flying parallel to the road.Suddenly the canvas awnings of two trucks fell away. Soviet anti-aircraft cannon mounted on the trucks opened up with a wall of fire. Although the fusillade missed Hundsdörfer’s Messerschmitt, shells slammed into the second. Hans Dahmen’s 109 went down out of control and crashed in flames..."

Photo portrait of Dahmen sold for 89 euros.

new-tool ICM Gotha Go 242 B Lastensegler glider


ICM new-tool Gotha Go 242 glider due soon in 48th. The total production of Go.242 gliders was 1528. The Gothaer Waggon Fabrik A.G., one of the manufacturers of the DFS 230, proposed a project for a twin boom glider featuring a rear loading door. It was 6m long, 2.30m wide and about 2m high, and could carry a load of two and a half tons, i.e. two and a half times the load of the DFS 230. Like the latter, it was intended to carry equipment (a Kübelwagen or an artillery piece could be loaded). It could also carry about twenty men with equipment, but due to its weight, the Go 242 could not be towed by the Hs 126 as was the case with the DFS 230. Its designated tug ship was the Ju 52. The Go 242 was first flight tested on 10 August 1940 and the first (known) loss was recorded on 18 March 1941 during a test flight (pilot uninjured, flight engineer killed). A few Gotha 242s reached the Eastern Front almost a year after the glider's first flight. In late September 1941, six Go 242 crews were placed under the command of Uffz Mirowski to form a Go-Einsatzkommando. In October, the latter left Eschwege for Smolensk (with their Ju 52 tugs) and were subordinated to VIII. Fliegerkorps. Given the bad weather and snow, no combat missions took place for a number of weeks. Further south, another Go-Kommando was assigned to Luftflotte 4. Composed of seven Go 242s led by Uffz Blessing, the detachment was sent to Kherson in mid-December, towed by two He 111s and five Ju 52s. Despite the more favourable weather, no missions were flown before the end of the year... )

Some 133 Go 242s were motorised and converted to the twin-engine Gotha Go 244.

Saturday 5 February 2022

He 219 crew use of ejection seats - the loss of WNr.290070 on the night of 3-4 February 1945


".. A survey of the period July 1943 to the end of hostilities shows that at least 24 airmen successfully ejected from the He 219. This figure is somewhat conservative, and it is possible that as many as 32 airmen successfully ejected.." 

The following text amendments forwarded by author Ron Ferguson concern the loss of WNr. 290070 on the night of 3-4 February 1945. Pilot Hptm Rességuier de Miremont was hit by return fire from a Lancaster and bailed out safely near Roermond

Thursday 3 February 2022

Fw 190 A-6 2./JG 2 Lt Detlef Großfuß


During the first half of 1943 2./JG 2 based in northern France at Triqueville found itself in almost constant action facing up to Allied incursions. Losses were heavy -  in May and June, the Staffel lost 7 pilots (6 killed and seriously injured) for "only" two victories. On the afternoon of 15 May 1943 Staffelführer Hannig was downed by Spitfires after claiming his 98th. The new Kapitän was Oblt. Karl Haberland, returning to the front after a serious injury received with JG 3 on May 17, 1940. Shortly afterwards the Staffel moved to Tours to be trained as night fighters and in August the pilots received the Blindflug Schein III. On August 9, 2./JG 2 were airborne on their first night interception sortie but as Ofw. Josef Bigge wrote, "..the radio and navigation communication worked perfectly but, although I flew about for 45 minutes, I could not locate the enemy. I landed at 1:20." 

 One of the 'best' pilots of 2./JG 2 was Lt. Detlef Grossfuss. Of the 19 night victories claimed by 2./JG 2 before the end of the year (11 Halifax, 5 Lancasters, 1 Stirling, 1 B-17 and 1 unidentified four-engined aircraft) no fewer than 7 fell to the guns of Grossfuss.

Below; Großfuß with EK I and 'black 13' repainted in 76 overall for 2./JG 2 night sorties, northern France summer 1943. 

Bundesarchiv caption   "..Frankreich.- Pilot Detlef Grossfuss mit Orden (Eisernes Kreuz) vor Flugzeug Focke-Wulf Fw-190 A-6 2./JG 2 stehend, auf der Tragfläche ein Hund; Luftflotte 3..."

Also on this blog;

'Black 14' from 2./JG 2 in overall hell-blau-grau 76 finish 

More on 2./JG 2 during the spring of 1943 under the one-legged Oblt. Karl Haberland on this blog at the link below

Wednesday 2 February 2022

I./JG 1 Fw 190 black/white checker cowl - ebay photo find #352


 Belly-landed Fw 190 'yellow 6' of 3./JG 1 with apparently pristine black/white checker cowl.  No surprise there as all JG 1 checker cowls were black/white irrespective of Staffel or Staffel Kennung. 

Also on this blog;

Lt. Eberhard Burath  I./JG 1, April 1943 here

More on JG 1 checker cowled Fw 190s here

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Bundesarchiv photo report series #3 - Fw 190s of Schlachtgeschwader 3

 More BA photos are available to view and reproduce on non-commercial web sites. These recent finds from PK reporter Doege are dated 09 March 1944. None of these images are labeled 'Fw 190' or 'Ju 87' ...

9 March 1944, Estland, Dorpat (?).- Fw 190s of Schlachtgeschwader 3 in white winter camo prior to a sortie (.. mit weißem Tarnanstrich auf verschneitem Flugplatz, vor dem Start ) according to the caption although the absence of any ordnance suggests otherwise...however with Ju 87s of an unnamed Schlachtgeschwader also getting airborne from the same field in this sequence this was possibly a Stuka escort mission