Can’t help it. Gotta show off some of the scale models I’ve put together recently (and some not so recently). When I was a kid, I had dozens of model planes hanging from my ceiling posed in dramatic dogfight poses. The airspace above my bed was a combat zone…
A couple years ago, I returned to model building after a very long absence. And now I have new airspace to hang the “Ajax air museum”… in my two grandsons’ rooms.
The ‘WWII wing’ of the museum hangs above Desmond’s crib in St.George, UT. He’s only 2, but already he knows almost all their names (but has trouble saying “Defiant”). My other grandson, Atticus, cares for the ‘modern jet wing’ in Logan, UT.
I get a lot more out of the hobby now, as I research each aircraft. There’s a story behind each one. I’ll be trying to mesh that in, as I add to this blog and the airpower tour…
This Mark Ia Spitfire is from 92 Sqdn (‘QJ’ code), based at RAF Biggin Hill in September 1940. Biggin Hill was a frontline base taking the brunt of Luftwaffe attacks.
Do you know what the yellow diamond marking is?
I’m fairly proud of how this Spit turned out. I tried several new detailing techniques (new to me, anyway), including using a “wash” to replicate oil stains on the underside. Looks pretty good.
And here’s a Hurricane MkI, the other Battle of Britain standout for the RAF. Many claim it was the sturdy, reliable Hurricanes which really saved the day, not the glamorous Spitfires.
They always said the Hurricane an excellent “gun platform”, with its eight .303 machine guns mounted closer together on the wings than on the Spit. The more concentrated firepower could chew up German bombers faster.
This one wears the ‘AE’ code for 402 Sqdn, a Canadian unit. BTW, do you know what that block of red is on the wing leading edge?
Defiant turret-fighter of 256 Sqdn, in night-fighter garb.
Typhoon MkIB, the great Brit ground attack fighter-bomber. This one wears the ‘ZY’ code of 247 Sqdn.
Mosquito, the ‘wooden wonder’. This one’s a Mk XVIII Fighter Bomber version, also known as the ‘Tsetse’. You can’t see it here, but it wears the ‘EG-T’ code for the Commander of 487 Sqdn, RNZAF, Wing Cdr ‘Blackie’ Smith.
This Mk XVIII sports the 6-pounder Molins gun, which you can see protruding from the bottom of the nose. I used a small carbon-fibre tube to create the gun muzzle. Not sure if 487 Sqdn Mossies were ever fitted with Molins guns, but hey, sometimes you have to make history.
Enough RAF birds. Enter the Luftwaffe…
Ju-88, the ‘Schnell-bomber’.
Me-262, the world’s first operational jet fighter. This one is part of JV44, the unit formed in late 1944 with the Luftwaffe’s best-of-the-best fighter pilots to combat the American bomber offensive. This is ‘white 3’ flown by General Adolf Galland, the Commander of JV44 and the remarkable leader of the Luftwaffe day fighter force.
FW-190D, the long-nosed ‘Dora’, also with JV44. The Doras were formed into the ‘Parrot Flight’, responsible for defending against marauding Allied fighters while the jets were taking off and landing.
They were called the ‘Parrot Flight’ because of their bright red undersides.
Can you say why JV44 used such a garish paint scheme?
Ta-183 ‘Huckebein’ (crazy raven). German prototype jet that never flew before the war ended, but introduced swept wing aerodynamics to US and Soviet aircraft designers.
Remind you of any famous Soviet fighter?
And let’s not forget the Japanese…
Japanese A6M ‘Zero’, one of the Pearl Harbor raiders. This was the lead aircraft of Division I strike force from the Akagi on December 7, 1940. Flown by Lt. Saburo Shindo.