Henschel Hs 129. Hasegawa 1:48

This is a 1:48 Hasegawa kit which I made many years ago. This small twin-engine ground attack aircraft has always been one of my favourites and deserves a place on any aircraft modeller’s bench. Besides, my Luftwaffe collection needs building up! I wanted to make it look more weather beaten and worn than it was when I originally made it. I am not 100% sure but I believe this is the B-2 version. The aircraft has the most unusual triangular shape, rather like a Toblerone bar! I believe the technical term is ‘trapezoidal’. This was to help deflect shells or bullets but it made for a very restricted space inside the aircraft and there was hardly room for the pilot’s instrument panel some of which was located outside the cockpit! Even the gunsight is mounted outside on the nose. The cockpit was encased in a heavily armoured ‘bathtub’ to protect from ground attack fire.

The aircraft was progressively upgraded to mount heavier ordnance including a cannon under the belly. Although it was not a very successful design with poor performance it was used to great effect as a tank buster on the eastern front.

North African front
30mm MK 101 cannon I believe
This is what I want to own one day. The Zoukei-Mura Henschel Hs 129 B-2 in 1/32. The ultimate in injection moulded scale modelling. A snip at 22, 472 yen or £150 sterling. One can but dream!
Doing what it did best as a ‘Panzerknacker’ destroying Soviet tanks. 1 minute and 29 seconds of pure joy this video!

Ju-87B-1 Stuka. Airfix 1:48. Battle of Britain.

The unmistakeable Stuka preparing for action

One of the most famous and easily recognizable aircraft of World War II, the Stuka needs no introduction. I made this model a few years back and decided it definitely needed a place on my site! It was a fairly straightforward build as I recall with not too many parts. I decided to liven it up a bit with a yellow-nose version and this 6./St.G 77 sports a RLM 04 yellow cowling and spinner cap.

By the time of the Battle of Britain in 1940, tactical coloured markings accompanied the revised sizes of Balkenkreuz to make aircraft recognition easier in the busy skies of the Channel and South coast of England.

The famous gull-winged Stuka was the main weapon which Göring turned against the RAF fighter bases. But the easy victories of the past campaigns had been won in the absence of adequate fighter opposition, and RAF pilots found the Stuka an easy prey (see clip at end from Battle of Britain movie). Severe losses in operations throughout August destroyed its reputation as the all-conquering weapon of the Luftwaffe, and the Ju-87 was withdrawn from the spearhead of the attack.

The ‘Trumpet of Jericho’ sirens are clearly visible on this particular aircraft, usually they were not installed or capped off to reduce drag by about 20mph. The aircraft is in the standard RLM 70/71 over 65.

Well Manfred, how about another bombing mission on Exeter!?
Box art
Battle of Britain ‘Stukas v Spitfires’

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 by Eduard 1/48 scale.

This kit is by Czech manufacturer Eduard, the first I have made by this particular manufacturer. It’s a very high quality kit and not too expensive. It is called a Weekend edition as it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of their more advanced kits which have lots of photo-etch parts. I am not a great fan of photo-etch, its very fiddly and a lot of the time you can hardly see the extra detail anyway as it’s usually hidden away in the cockpit or fuselage.

The Me109, as I am sure you are all aware, was the German workhorse fighter which bore the brunt of Luftwaffe front line duties in the Second World War. It was designed by Willy Messerschmitt and conceived as an aircraft with the best possible performance for the specified weight, size and aeordynamic qualities. It was a relatively small aircraft and incorporated some revolutionary features for the times such as low wing design, retractable landing gear, wing slats, landing flaps, weapons firing through the propeller hub, etc

The first combat use of the Bf109s was in the Spanish Civil War (December 1936). By the invasion of Poland in 1939, it was probably the best fighter in continental Europe. However, during the Battle of Britain it’s first weakness was revealed: the inability to carry drop tanks which severely restricted its range. However, its Daimler engine did have fuel injection unlike the Spitfire which only had a carburettor and so the engine didn’t cut out like the Spitfire’s Merlin during a dive.

The ‘F’ or ‘Friedrich’ variant took on an offensive role in North Africa and in operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR. It was followed by the ‘G’ version and then the ‘K’. By the end of the war, the development of the Me109 was exhausted even though it had largely kept up with the foes it encountered.

After the war, some Me109s saw service with the Swiss air force until 1949, and many flew in the Czechoslovak air force though with a different power plant in some cases. They also served in the fight for the independence of the newly formed state of Israel and Finland only retired theirs in 1954. Spain didn’t retire its re-engined Bf109s until 1967. Many of these were used in the film ‘Battle of Britain’ (1969), starring Laurence Olivier, Robert Shaw and Michael Caine.

This model depictsBf 109G-4/R6/trop flown by Lt. Franz Schiehs, CO of 8/JG 53, Tindja Tunisia, April 1943. Oberleutnant Schiehs shot down 55 enemy aircraft and was awarded the Knight’s Cross on June 21st 1943. On September 2nd, 1943, he led an attack of American bombers over Mount Vesuvius, an event from which he did not return. It is assumed he was shot down by an escorting American P-38. The camouflage scheme is the standard RLM 78 and RLM 79 with RLM 04 yellow. It carries the white theatre band around the fuselage towards the rear for the Mediterranean theatre of operations. Yellow was used on the Eastern Front.

Diorama German airfield in Russia Spring 1942

The aircraft is a Messerschmitt 109f of Oberleutnant Max-Hellmuth Ostermann of the 8/JG54 Grunherz (Green heart). The motorbike is a Kettenkraftrad and the Luftwaffe crew are in winter uniforms.

This is an Me109f version in 1 48 scale made by Russian manufacturer Zvezda. The figures and accessories are from a Tamiya kit, though the figures are actually made by Ukrainian manufacturer ICM.