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    Tacoma, WA, USA

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  1. Lovely little thing. Glad to hear that it’s a good straightforward kit.
  2. Nice clean Heinkel. I’ve got one of the new Airfix kits waiting in line to be built. Thanks for the motivation to get it nearer the top of the pile.
  3. F4U-1 “Bubbles” After grinding away on one particularly difficult short-run model I decided to pull an “easy” kit out of the stash. I selected Tamiya’s 1/72 scale F4U-1 “birdcage” Corsair. Of course, the subject I chose to model ended up being a challenge in itself. “Bubbles” was a particularly well photographed Corsair based at Guadalcanal in 1943. Sources disagree on whether she was assigned to the USMC’s VMF-124 or VMF-213 but I am inclined to believe the later. Regardless, her very well used appearance and distinctive weathering pattern (apparently she was a leaker) drew me to attempt to duplicate her as closely as I dared in a model less than 6 inches long. Built out of the box with addition of Eduard seatbelts and some scratchbuilt details such as the engine spark plug harness out of fine wire. Antenna wire is EZ-Line. Paints are mostly Vallejo Air Acrylics, with some AK and Tamiya colors here and there. Weathering was a combination of acrylic washes, AK chipping mediums, salt, and Tamiya weathering powders.
  4. Correct, the drillich trousers like most German non-tropical trousers up until 1943/44 have no built in loops for belts. They have cinches on either side of the waist and buttons for braces.
  5. Profile Publications #215 shows a B model Recce aircraft with the cutout on the underside taken up by a bulged fairing in place. I am going to presume that it is additional fuel perhaps?
  6. The photo posted by @JackG shows the often mixed uniforms used by german troops in the Mediterranean theatre. While there were specific uniforms for Africa, they were often supplemented with suitable items intended for continental use due to the inadequate and inconsistent supply situation that plagued the Afrika Korps from the start. The pith helmets shown are all of Luftwaffe pattern: (photo from germanmilitaria.com) ...the metal insignia has been removed, as was often the case since they are only held on by a few fragile aluminum prongs. The man all the way to the right with his back turned to the camera is wearing "Drillich" trousers. They were intended as an inexpensive work uniform and are made from un-dyed linen twill. When new, they are something of an 'oatmeal' color. However, they fade to white as they age. Here is a pair of them from my collection, in the Luftwaffe pattern (which differed from the army pattern in having pocket flaps). I added sheet of white paper for white balance: The shorts worn by most in the picture are of the several styles worn by troops in Africa largely conforming a standard pattern but with several variations in pocket and waistband details. They could be made from several materials, mostly linen or cotton twill, but could be found in poplin or other weaves due to the many manufactures producing them. All are a tan color, Army examples generally being more olive-tan, Luftwaffe tending more toward yellow-tan, and navy tending more towards the orange end of the spectrum. Here's a set pair from my collection that are Luftwaffe marked: The long trousers used by the Luftwaffe started out essentially the same as the above short trousers, except longer. Later they adopted a Luftwaffe-specific pattern with a large pocket on the left leg (copied from the British BD uniform) and bloused cuffs: (photo from germanmilitaria.com) A couple chaps are wearing the continental wool 'flyer's cap" produced in Luftwaffe blue-grey wool. An example from my collection is shown in the above photos with the shorts.
  7. Thanks. The case is a 6”x8”x6” plastic piece for displaying “mini helmets” which I didn’t know were a thing. I stumbled onto the cases at a local art shop on sale for under $10. I think I found a good use for them…
  8. Interesting that 42-5951 has had the National insignia changed with the added bars and red outline. I wonder if that was done at the depot or by the unit?
  9. Thanks @silberpferdthat helps immensely. Those photos at very least it solve the questions of front MG mounts and of whether the early National insignia without bars remained on that block even though they weren’t shipped overseas until after the regulation changed in June of ‘43.
  10. Thanks all, I've ordered a few of the books mentioned in this thread, among others that I found. If nothing else, who doesn't like an excuse for more books? With the references at my current and incoming future, I should be able to make a reasonable representation of what 42-5944 looked like at least before it left the United States. I'm still holding out hope that I can find some decent photos or references as to how she, or at least other similar-production-block aircraft looked as assigned to and in operation with the 419th BS /301st BG. I have Osprey's "B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the MTO" so I can decipher the basic group markings, but even these most basic markings seemed to have been in transition between when this aircraft was assigned and when she was lost.
  11. @Giorgio N all good points, I didn’t post the helmets as an example of AAF colors, but rather to demonstrate the variance that was found “acceptable” by the wartime US materiel inspectors. The helmets were simply the handiest things to pull out of the collection at the time to proffer my argument. As pertains specifically to USAAF OD 41, I’ll go after Dana Bell’s work on the subject: “Each supplier had to send a sample for evaluation, after which USAAF would send a critique concerning any failure of the standards. But there was no requirement for the corrected paint to be resubmitted, nor any evidence that Wright Field ever rejected (with the exception of the IR paint) any companys’ paint.” So, while there was a specific standard, the actual application thereof was somewhat lacking. I can say with a bit of authority from collecting WWII junk for 30 years, that color variation of American equipment is the norm. That is not to say that one, or I, should accept something so wildly off from the standard as to be noticeably absurd. As an aside specific to the, admittedly off topic, helmets, the standard for the M1 helmet changed late in 1944. The helmet in the back with the darker shade exhibits all the other hallmarks of production prior to that change (design of the chinstrap attachments, the rolled edge material, the shape of the stamping, et al) that I can safely assume that the color is of the earlier standard although “off” in color. Oddly, the one in the foreground that looks faded isn’t. It was unissued and I personally removed it from its original wax paper wrap when I acquired it, it had been sitting on a shelf inside a basement for 40 years.
  12. I work in the restoration industry (my day job is classic cars and my home shop is wooden boats) and I have always had a rough time reconciling the differences between how a “rule” or “regulation” says something should be and the way it manifests in actual practice. Because they are rarely the same, especially when dealing with items made with lengthy and large production runs and many suppliers. I have often had the opportunity to work with un-restored original items that were “wrong” and it’s always a conversation with the customer whether they want it “right” or “original”. As a modeler, am I attempting to create something that is an “ideal” by-the-book representation or as it actually was in this real, inconsistent, world?
  13. I’ve wanted to build an accurate model of a specific B-17F for some time and have been trying to collect references on and off for a while now. Instead of all this piecemeal, not particularly scholarly, information, is there a better way? Is there a proper reference volume for the production block variations and field modifications within the B-17F model? I’ve found the “B-17 Production” series by David Gansz, but as far as I know the three volumes only cover the B-17G. Specifically I’m looking for references pertinent to B-17F-35-VE s/n 42-5944. Info from various online sources (which are obviously copied-n-pasted across sources) show: “Delivered Long Beach 28/5/43; Tinker 5/6/43; Presque Is 15/6/43; Orlando 9/7/43; Patterson 19/7/43; Assigned 419BS/301BG Cerignola 16/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; {46m} Missing in Action Blechhammer 30/6/44 with Chas Dodrill, (10 Returned to Duty); ditched Vis Is, all survive.” I have found no other references or pictures of the specific aircraft, although I have collected some good images and information of other 301BG aircraft and operations. My reason for building this particular aircraft is that years ago I acquired a grouping from the estate of Captain Charles Dodrill. In my collection of WWII uniforms I have his flight jacket, flight suit, field jacket, and other small items related to his time in the 15th Air Force. I’d like to make a model of the plane to display alongside his flight gear.
  14. Thats a looker. You've got to be happy with that.
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