David Knights' Weblog

August 19, 2017

Me-109D

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:14 am
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This looks good.  This will fill a hole in the 72nd scale universe.

July 19, 2017

PZL 37A

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:44 am
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IBG is filing some big holes in early WWII aircraft.  Can’t wait for this one. 

July 12, 2017

A must for NEI modelers

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:31 am
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We’ve been waiting for a CW.22 for a while.

June 16, 2017

A PZL-P.11

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:26 am
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Looks like Arma will continue its PZL fighter series and release a PZL P.11.  Great news indeed.

June 15, 2017

AMG early 109s

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:26 pm
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Looks like we are getting close to the release of the AMG early model 109s! 

June 8, 2017

Book review: The Life of Maverick Ace Adrian Warburton

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:12 am
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Book review: The Life of Maverick Ace Adrian Warburton
Author: Tony Spooner
208 Pgs
ISBN 978 0907 579434

Adrian Warburton was one of the most unusual personalities of WWII. He was an average pilot at best.  He never seemed to master the concept of torque generated by piston engines on takeoff.  He took a bride early in the war and then abandoned her and never looked back.  He was a reconnaissance pilot, who at one time was the highest scoring pilot on the island of Malta.  Adrian Warburton was all this and much more.

The author, Tony Spooner, served briefly with Warburton during his time on Malta.  He left such an impression on the author that he felt compelled to write a book chronicling Warburton’s life.  It is good for us readers that he did as this book provides an insight into one of the most unusual personalities of WWII.

The son of an RN officer, Warburton grew up in relative privilege. When WWII came, he became an RAF pilot, though he was only rated as average, due in large part to his poor takeoffs and landings.  He served without distinction in the UK and his personal life there was a mess, with a marriage that seemed to be motivated more by a desire that someone should benefit from his eventual death, rather than from undying love. He also ran up debts he could not pay, a nearly unpardonable sin for an RAF officer, even in wartime.

In order to avoid embarrassment to Warburton, his commanding officer arranged to transfer him to Malta to get him away from his problems.  This had a profound effect on Warburton’s life.  Once in Malta, Warburton became synonymous with the resistance of the island thru his exploits.  Flying a twin engine Martin Maryland, he began flying recon missions all over Sicily, Italy and North Africa.  In the process he shot down numerous enemy aircraft and gained a reputation for always coming back with the photos that were needed.

After the Allies drove the Axis from North Africa and invaded Sicily and then Italy, the pressure on Malta was relieved.  In many ways this had a profound effect on Warburton and once the pressure of constant danger was off the nerves that would have long ago gotten to lessor men finally seemed to catch up with Warby as he was known to all associated with him.

Flying from Europe in preparation for D-Day, Warby disappeared over Europe while Flying a F-5E (the recon version of the P-38) When the author wrote this book, Warburton’s ultimate fate was unknown.  However, party inspired by this book a number of people teamed up and in 2002 the crash site of Warburton’s aircraft was located and some of his remains recovered.  Those remains were buried in England shortly thereafter in a ceremony attended by high ranking RAF officials and Warburton’s wife.

This short review fails to do justice to this book and all of the detail it provides on this most interesting of WWII personalities.  I highly recommend picking up a copy.  You won’t regret it.

June 7, 2017

Book review: The Doomed Expedition

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:05 pm
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Book review: The Doomed Expedition
Author :Jack Adams
Publisher :Leo Cooper 1989
286 pgs

This book covers the British army efforts in the ill-fated but endlessly fascinating Norwegian campaign.  The author has a special knowledge of the subject as he was a participant as a member of the Sherwood Foresters battalion and was deployed to Norway during April and May of 1940.

While the invasion of Norway is often times referred to as the first Air-Land-Sea combined arms operation in history, this book’s focus is just on the British Army efforts in Norway.  It does cover allied army efforts (French, Polish and Norwegian) insofar as they were connected to the British efforts. The book also touches on the naval and air efforts of the allies from time to time but by no means presents the complete history of those efforts.  The book also only lightly touches on the political and strategic issues which led up to Norway being involuntarily dragged into a conflict she wanted no part of and tried hard to avoid.  As much of the political story doesn’t reflect well on the leaders of the United Kingdom, it is understandable that a British author might not want to dwell upon this area.

As with all coverage of the Norwegian campaign, the author is faced with the challenge of how to tell the story of operations in three divergent and only slightly connected areas (Navrik, Bodo, and Central Norway).  Different books take different approaches to this problem.  This author has chosen to tell the story by operational area rather than strictly chronologically.  The author resolves any confusion this creates by periodically reminding the reader what was occurring in other operational areas at the time where necessary.

The details of the story of the British efforts in Norway are compelling and frustrating at the same time.  It’s the story of bravery and incompetence and reaction rather than action.  At the time of the German invasion the British were prepared to move in a number of army units to “peacefully” occupy parts of Norway.  Yet, when the Germans struck, the British dithered and their half-hearted response came more than a week after the Germans had invaded, giving the Axis forces time to gain their balance and consolidate their hold on the initial invasion areas.

The Brits committed troops piecemeal and never in a concentration sufficient to achieve their aims.  In many cases, the upper echelons of command had no clear idea of what their aims even were.  As always in war, the troops were the ones to suffer.  They arrived in theatre without supporting equipment such as tanks, radios, sufficient anti-aircraft and regular artillery.  In the face of the overwhelming air superiority of the enemy, these deficiencies doomed the British efforts to failure even before they began; Thus, the title of this book.

While not strictly a book related to modeling, the stories are sure to provide some inspiration and could well lead a modeler to build a model or two from Operation Weserübung.

June 3, 2017

Neat news

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 2:04 pm
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Japanese WWII trainer to be produced again. 

May 30, 2017

Early 109s

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:48 pm
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Man, these look good

May 23, 2017

Book review: The Mitsubishi Zero, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (A6M) “Zeke” in World War Two. (Combat Colours No. 9)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:36 pm
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Book review: The Mitsubishi Zero, Type 0 Carrier Fighter (A6M) “Zeke” in World War Two. (Combat Colours No. 9)
Author Nicholas Millman
40 pgs
ISBN 978-1-908565-57-0

The magazine, Scale Aircraft Modelling, publishes a series of “books”, really more like pamphlets, that look like magazines.  The series is called Combat Colours and features a particular aircraft or time period and is focused on paint colours and markings.  In regard to this issue, No 9 in the series, it covers the thorny subject of the colours of the iconic A6M Japanese Zero fighter.

This particular subject is one that has been the subject of much debate over the last 20 years or so, especially as it applies to the early A6M2.  For years the early Zeros were thought to be a light gray.  However, more recent research has revealed that the original color was a taupe, somewhat akin to RLM02, and weathered, due to chalking, to a light gray.  The author of this volume, Nicholas Millman has dedicated many years to the study of the colors and markings of Japanese aircraft.  He has previously authored several of the best books in the Osprey book series, on aircraft like the Ki-27. Ki-43, Ki-44 and Ki-61. He also runs a highly informative website called Aviation of Japan.  http://www.aviationofjapan.com/

Mr. Millman, standing on the shoulders of giants such as Don Thorpe, Ian Baker, Robert Mikesh and James Lansdale, has brought together much of the latest research and organized it in a very easy to understand manner.  There are discussions of many of the different camouflage schemes the Zero wore throughout its career. All of the detail areas such as cockpits, props, cowls and undercarriage are discussed in separate sections. The author deserves credit for laying out his research and conclusions and acknowledges where there are alternate interpretations.

This pamphlet is lavishly illustrated with many black and white photos as well as colour side views as well as several colour charts.  The downside of all these colour illustrations and charts is that it has driven the cost of the pamphlet above what you might expect for, what in essence, is a 40 page magazine.  The retail price of this issue of Combat Colours No.9 is $23.  While this might seem steep, I can say that if you are at all interested in the Zero, this book is well worth it, constituting the latest thinking on the subject of how to paint you model of the Zero.

Highly recommended.

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