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Conventi 06-05-2019 04:53 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
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Hi guys,

I´m happy to be back after some off-time due to urgent family issues. Unfortunately, my free time for modelling is now a bit restrained so expect fewer updates in the future - sorry. And I saw that due to server issues, a lot of pictures are missing again in this thread. Now using the attachment function. Unfortunately I cannot edit my older posts.

A handful of biplane fighters types were still in operational service when WWII started; most of them were phased out soon, like the British-build Gloster Gladiator. The last biplane fighter designed for the Royal Air Force, the Gladiator was already outdated when it first entered service in 1937 – the Hawker Hurricane was introduced only a few months later and the Spitfire was already in flight testing at the time. Nevertheless, the Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres in WWII, and was a major export success.

Two versions of the Gladiator were produced, the Mk I and the Mk II, the major difference was an updated, more powerful engine and a three-blade propeller for the Mk II. Nimble and maneuvrable, the Gladiator was a capable fighter aircraft but way to slow compared to the new generation of monoplanes; also it´s rifle-caliber arnament was relatively ineffective against heavily armored targets. For the RAF, the Gladiator saw extensive action with the 263 Squadron in Norway, but heavy attrition forced the British to evacuate – the remaining Gladiators of the Squadron were lost when their aircraft carrier was sunk on the way back to the British mainland.

Maybe the most famous role of the Gladiator was the defence of Malta, when the underequipped RAF base at Hal Far fought against the overwhelming air power of the Germans and Italians. Myth says that only three Gladiators, named Faith, Hope and Charity, were operational and took a stand against the attackers, but in fact there were more Gladiators avaiable, and they got their names after the campaign ended. However, the defence was successful and the Gladiator squadron was soon supplemented by new-arriving Hurricanes. Another major operation was in North Africa, where the Gladiator faced it´s Italian biplane counterpart, the Fiat G.42.

As mentioned, the Gladiator was a major export success in the late 1930s, which larger quantities delivered to Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Greece, China and others.
The Swedish Air Force took delivery of 37 Mk I (Swedish designation J8) and 18 Mk II (Swedish designation J8A). Shortly after the outbreak of WWII, they were declared obsolete and relegated to training squadrons. This J8 F8-10 of the 8th Squadron is shown as it looked like in late 1939. As Sweden was a neutral country in WWII, no Gladiators were lost in combat except a few operated by a Swedish volunteer squadron supporting the Finish Air Force in the 1940 Finish/Russian Winter war. These Gladiators had Finnish camouflage and were equipped with ski landing gears. The last Gladiators were retired from Swedish service in 1947, one is still on display at the Swedish Air Force museum.

The Gladiator is a part of the Airfix catalogues since ages; the old mould was finally replaced by a newy designed kit a couple of years ago and it is really nice and fine detailled. Assembling biplanes can always be a bit tricky, but this one was really easy thanks to a clever design by Airfix. Decals are from SBS models.

Conventi 06-05-2019 04:58 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
1 Attachment(s)
Tomorow, June 6th marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I´ve updated my Waco Glider diorama a bit. Really like this kind of diorama building, and I will start another one soon, also WWII, but with no aircraft.

vince1159 06-27-2019 02:44 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2

Originally Posted by Conventi (Post 1128544)
Tomorow, June 6th marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I´ve updated my Waco Glider diorama a bit. Really like this kind of diorama building, and I will start another one soon, also WWII, but with no aircraft.

That's a lovely job Conventi and a great little dio....

N3424V 06-27-2019 11:18 AM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2

I agree with Vince on the dio. Gladiator looks good.

Conventi 06-30-2019 04:04 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
6 Attachment(s)
Thanks guys ! Up to the next one.

Named after the „father“ of the US Air Force, General Billy Mitchell, the North American B-25 Mitchell was the primary medium bomber of the US Air Force during WWII. With almost 10.000 aircraft build, it saw action in almost every theatre in WWII.

A versatile design, the B-25 went through quite a evolution during its production, from a fast, lightly armored medium bomber to a heavy firepower gunship, and back to an advanced medium bomber design. The initial design went through a couple of updates, including arnament and defensive fire power upgrades, to make it ready for future combat use (when the B-25 was introduced, the United States were still neutral). The baptism of fire for the B-25 was a couple of months after Pearl Harbor, when 16 B-25 participated in the well-known Doolittle Raid, the first US attack on Japanese soil in the Pacific War. The B-25 was modified to be deployed from an aircraft carrier, and the actual raid did little damage but was a big moral booster for the Americans and a psychological setback for the Japanese who where almost undefeated up to this point in the conflict.

The Pacific Theatre remained the major operational area for the Mitchells; but level bombing was not the only task the B-25 was capable of, soon modifications were made for a designated strafer, or gunship version. With the B-25G and B-25H versions, the clear glazed bomber nose was replaced with a solid metal nose, and with a forward facing gun turret, the B-25 could fire up to astounding 10 machine guns forward, supplemented by a M-4 tank gun, one of the largest gun types installed on a WWII era aircraft. With this firepower, the B-25 was able to cause havoc on Japanese air fields and installations.

The B-25J version, as shown here, was the final and most produced version of the Mitchell. It returned to the medium bomber role but modification kits and field conversions for strafer noses were still avaiable. The major difference to earlier versions was the relocation of the gun turrent to the front area near the cockpit and a larger rear gun stand. As mentioned, the Pacific was the major operational area of the B-25 but it also saw action in China-Burma, North Africa and the Mediterranean. The USAAF did not deploy the B-25 in northern Europe but the Royal Air Force used them in larger numbers, and the Soviet Union on lend-lease basis.

Not unsurprisingly, nose art was quite common on USAAF B-25, but this B-25J of the 12th Bombing group, 12th Air Force based near Naples/Italy in 1944 is surely an eye-catcher even without the “classical” nose art. When the 12th Bombing group was reassigned to Asia, the painted a large farewell message on the wings: “Finito Benito next Hirohito”.

This kit is from Czech company AZ Model, but it is not a short run-kit, but a re-boxed Italeri mould. First released by Italeri in 1978, it is quite old and not so detailled as the newer Airfix or Hasegawa toolings, but quite nice, although certainly lacking in interior details. Nevertheless a fun kit and the decals were fine, too. Very nice kit and as one of the largest models I build in 1/72 scale, still on the search for a decent display place.

PT-TAA 06-30-2019 04:11 PM

Re: Some WWII Fighters in 1/72, Part 2
Wow, nice one! I have taken the decals to make exactly this one as a gift to my step father, but time constraints are hindering me to built 1/72 models again.:confused:

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