Ajax air museum on display

typhoon-3Can’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…

spitfire

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?

 

spitire-2I’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.

 

 

hurricaneAnd 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.

 

hurricane-2They 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-1Defiant turret-fighter of 256 Sqdn, in night-fighter garb.

 

 

 

 

typhoon-1Typhoon MkIB, the great Brit ground attack fighter-bomber. This one wears the ‘ZY’ code of 247 Sqdn.

 

 

 

mosquito-2Mosquito, 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.

 

 

mosquito-1This 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.

 

 

mustang-1US-made Mustang MkI, in RAF service with 309 Sqdn, a Polish recce unit.

 

 

 

Ju88-2

Enough RAF birds.  Enter the Luftwaffe…

Ju-88, the ‘Schnell-bomber’.

 

 

 

 

me-262-2Me-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.

 

dora-1FW-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.

 

 

dora-2

They were called the ‘Parrot Flight’ because of their bright red undersides.

Can you say why JV44 used such a garish paint scheme?

 

 

ta183

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…

zero-2

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.

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4 thoughts on “Ajax air museum on display

  1. The yellow diamond is a gas detection patch, carried by most RAF aircraft of the period. This was because of the fear, and assumption, that Germany would possibly use poison gas on attacks on Britain, and the airfields, and was born from the use of these chemical weapons in WW1.

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    1. Correct! Thanks Ron, for the insight. First time I saw one of these diamond patches was during a visit a couple of years ago to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. They give a pretty good tour, and the guide answered my question about the ‘chem patch’ when I noticed it on a Spit. The concern over chemical weapons during WWII has several interesting historical facets. For example, all civilians in London were issued a gas mask and were supposed to carry it at all times. In lots of 1940 photos, you’ll see them with the mask bag around their shoulder. I think they were fined if they didn’t have it (true?). It didn’t take long for people to relax, though, and the rules were deemphasized. As far as the yellow diamond patch on acft, I’ve only seen those on BofB Spits. Never spotted it on any other acft or vehicles. So I’m wondering if it was discontinued early on, or maybe they found another type of less-obvious detector?

      BTW, having deployed to Iraq, there were similar types of chem detector tape that was issued for vehicles and equipment. It was supposed to turn color depending on exposure to certain compounds. Also, we all got issued a huge bag of chem gear, incl MOP suits and mask, that almost everyone stashed somewhere to avoid lugging it around. I’ve seen containers chock full of issued chem gear bags, just being held until personnel came back through to redeploy stateside, where they’d have to turn it all back in.

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