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  1. WWII Luftwaffe Late War Colours Acrylic Paints (AK11718) AK Interactive This is a new set from AK Interactive’s new 3rd Generation Acrylics, this time depicting the common colours used by the Luftwaffe during the later period of WWII when supplies were short for every aspect of the Nazi war machine. There was a development of colours to protect their aircraft on the ground from the overwhelming Allied bombardment, and standards became a little more lax (laxer?), partly because aircraft were being made in smaller factories and workshops to spread their effort around so that it wasn’t as vulnerable to enemy action. Records became sketchy too, partly due to the destruction of many records as the Allies rolled over their territory both by the Germans themselves as part of their "scorched earth" policy, and by damage to the infrastructure during the fighting. There is a lot of conjecture about shades thanks to this and other factors, and it’s a cause of many an online argument when people come to virtual blows interpreting black and white photos as one shade or another, or assuming every regulation was followed to the letter despite the situation. The set arrives in a cardboard box with a clear plastic inner tray containing six 17ml bottles of paint to which I’m going to add glass beads, as I like those because they make paint mixing easier. The design of the packaging is simple and based on an overall white theme, with the usual orange AK logo with the negative silhouette of an AK-47 in the centre prominently displayed, as well as the Air Series logo that refers to the fact that this is an aviation set, not an airbrush specific set (someone else's branding of their pre-thinned paint has a similar name). That’s something that could otherwise be misinterpreted. The 3G Acrylics brand logo is also present, with the product code above and the strapline “Scale Reduction Factor” below. This refers to scale colour, which can be a divisive theme, although I’m personally OK with that. Essentially, it refers to the perceived lightening of a colour applied to a scale model, as if seeing it through “scale air”, or aerial perspective, which reduces the saturation of any colour over distance - a well-known technique used in art, especially to depict the effects of distance in scenery and other distant objects. Some folks may not subscribe to it however, and that’s ok too. While there are six bottles in the box, there are only three RLM numbers depicted, which might be confusing initially, but there are a number of variations on some codes. In the box there are the following shades: AK11828 RLM76 Version 2 AK11829 RLM76 Late War Variation AK11835 RLM81 Version 1 AK11836 RLM81 Version 2 AK11837 RLM81 Version 3 AK11838 RLM82 I won’t comment on which of the versions are “correct", but you have options to paint your model with any of the well-known alternatives that have been researched by AK. I’ve sprayed out each of the colours on a spoon that has been prepared by buffing with a fine grade polishing stick that keys the surface at a microscopic level, giving this new acrylic paint extra adhesion, which is very effective. This new generation also brushes extremely well, which I tested with the FAA set I reviewed recently. They scratch with heavy fingernail pressure of course, but it takes effort that no other acrylic would resist, and some would definitely scratch up much more easily. Masking and tearing it off roughly also results in zero paint damage providing you have prepped the surface properly of course. In action the paints spray well, using the usual light coats initially, then thicker coats once the misted-on colour has dried a little. Again, the prepped surface and the paint are tough as old boots as far as acrylics go, and scratch testing them brings off very little in the way of paint. I also ran a sanding test on this set, and rather than just peeling off like most acrylics do, these sand off gradually, lending their use to any touch-ups or screw-ups you might perpetrate without having to substantially strip-back the paint as part of the preparation work. Conclusion A useful set for the Luftwaffe enthusiast or just your average modeller that wants to paint their late WWII Luftwaffe model without having to hunt down the relevant shades individually. Convenience is king. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. When the Do335 prototype first flew in October 1943, it was clear that a potentially outstanding long-range fighter was in the offing. The question for the RLM was how to best employ it, as the war situation at that time had made the concept of a long range fighter-bomber somewhat superfluous. In a rare outbreak of pragmatism, it was decided to concentrate on development of the '335 as a bomber destroyer. The Luftwaffe's single engined fighters were having difficulty in carrying sufficient heavy weaponry to counter the 8th Air Force bomber fleets that were inflicting increasingly serious damage on Reich industry; performance of these heavily armed Pulk zerstorers rendering them vulnerable to the US long-range escort fighters appearing on the scene. Conversions of existing twin-engine fighter-bombers such as the Me410 were even worse. The Do335, fitted with heavy armament, having a reasonable endurance, and with high performance from it's efficient twin-engine configurations suggested a solution. 10. and 11. Staffel of IV(Sturm) Gruppe, JG3 began exchanging their FW190A-8/R2s for the B variant of the '335 in March 1944 and quickly worked up to operational status, perfecting their repeated dive and zoom slashing attacks to break up the bomber stream while remaining fast enough to cause a serious problem for the escorting fighters to intercept. The '335 may have been fast and heavily armed, but it would be at a serious disadvantage in traditional fighter versus fighter combat manoeuvring. It was shaping up to be a torrid Summer for the 8th Air Force . . . regards, Martin
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