David Knights' Weblog

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.

May 20, 2017

Zoukei-mura

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:14 pm
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Good news, ZM is entering the 72nd scale market.

May 11, 2017

Ki-44 decals

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:46 am
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I need more decals like I need a hole in the head, but these are cool.

May 5, 2017

Fokker C.VD

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:10 pm
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For modelers with an interest in the Norwegian campaign of WWII (such as me),  this kit will be most welcome.

May 1, 2017

As if I didn’t have enough decals

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:22 pm
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these are too tempting to pass up.

April 29, 2017

PZL-23

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:34 pm
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Looks like we will be getting a new kit of the PZL 23 to replace the old Heller Kit.

April 24, 2017

Nippon ’46

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:21 pm
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German “paper projects” are popular modeling subject.  These are usually referred to as Luft ’46 models.  Now we are starting to see Japanese “paper projects”.  I think the the popular term is Nippon ’46.  Here is an upcoming example.  Here is info on the Ki-87 in case you were curious.

April 12, 2017

Cool Hurricane decals

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:06 pm
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OK, I admit it, I am addicted.

April 3, 2017

Book review: First of the Few, 5 June- 9 July 1940

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:30 am
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Book review: First of the Few, 5 June- 9 July 1940
Author: Brian Cull
ISBN 978-1-78155-116-5
256 pgs
Review by D.M. Knights, IPMS/USA 17656, IPMS/Canada C6091

Brian Cull is one of my favorite aviation authors.  I believe I’ve read nearly everything he’s written, so I was looking forward to his new book, First of the Few.  This book covers the RAF operations (including FAA) from June 5th, the end of the Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) to July 9th, the beginning of the war over the Channel.  This is the time period where the RAF is fighting a retreat, covering the British troops as they evacuate from France.

While covering a time period of a little over a month, it was a hectic month with air operations continuing against the Germans while moving from base to base never knowing exactly when the French were going to capitulate.  The main focus is on the Hurricane squadrons which were part of the BEF and the AASF.  These squadrons had been fighting hard for over a month while constantly moving from base to base as the Germans advanced.  They had been badly decimated but still constituted the only air units which could protect the retreating British troops as they headed for the ports in Normandy and southern France to get out of France before the collapse that was inevitable after Dunkirk.

The stories of individual air combats are compelling and the author has done a good job of reconciling the records of the combatants, so that in many cases we know which pilot shot down another pilot in particular combats.  However, some of the most amazing stories are the pilots who had been wounded in combat and were recovering in France as they desperately made their way seeking any way to get out of the country.  Some pilots made their way, just like ground troops to the ports, while others stole planes from French air bases or civil airports and flew to either the Channel Islands, Britain or Africa.

Also covered in the book are the beginning of the Bomber Command’s strategic operations against both Germany and Italy.  It is amazing to read how small these initial operations were considering how big they became by the end of the war.

In addition to the 256 pages of text, the book has 10 pages of black and white photographs.  In one of the appendixes, the book lists all the Luftwaffe pilots who were released by the French after the armistice.  It includes a number of pilots who went on to become aces, in some cases many times over.

Mr. Cull has a follow-on book scheduled for release later this year.  Titled The Thin Blue Line, it covers the month of the air war over the channel in July and August.  It is unclear if he will continue on and cover the Battle of Britain proper.  I certainly hope he does. List price is $29.95 on Amazon, but shop around and you may find a better deal.

February 19, 2017

AIMS Ju-88P

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:30 pm
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I love AIMS stuff.  Even though the Luftwaffe isn’t my main area of modeling, the AIMS stuff is great.  Now they are doing a Ju-88P conversion.

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