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Swords of the Unjust (2 x 1/72 IBG Fw 190D-9)


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"The enemy has committed every conceivable crime against humanity, culture, and civilization. They are, in fact, so spiritually corrupt as to boast about it in public. They plunder honest and decent nations to fill the pockets of their own money barons. They let millions go hungry and hundreds of thousands starve to reduce them to political inactivity. They murder huge numbers of women and children, hoping through their unbelievable barbarism to weaken the will and destroy the confidence of their husbands and fathers. They bomb and burn more than two millennia of Europe’s cultural treasures. What other crimes could they commit to earn the disgust, the hatred, and the deep contempt of the entire world? Who has the right to speak of war crimes and historical justice, the enemy or we?"

 

-- Joseph Goebbels, “Vor einem neuen Jahr,” Das Reich, 2 January 1944 (trans. Randall Bytwerk)

 

 

"The order came to provide 25 workers. People from the employment office [Arbeitsamt] came from [Kremenets] and specified the relevant people; recruitment cards were delivered to them, but no one came forward, they all had taken flight. Then the German Gendarmerie came and started setting fire to the houses of those who had fled. [Svidrov’s] house was set ablaze first, and right after it the [Valushas’] house. The fire burned very fiercely, because it had not rained for two months, and in addition, the haystacks were standing in the yards. You can imagine what went on there. People ran up to put out the fire; they were forbidden to do so and were beaten and arrested. As a result, 6 farms burned to the ground. Here the flames are raging, and the Gendarmes go around setting other houses on fire. The people fall on their knees and kiss the Gendarmes’ hands, but the Gendarmes start beating them with rubber truncheons and threaten to burn down the whole village. I don’t know how it would have ended if [Ivan Zapurkany] had not intervened. He promised that workers would report by the following morning.

"During the fire, the militia went through the adjacent villages, seized the workers, and took them into custody. Wherever they found no workers, they locked up the parents until their children appeared. Thus they caused havoc all night long in [Bilozirka].

"The same thing took place in other villages too, such as [Shushkivtsi], [Molotkiv], Osnyky, [Moskalivka], so that the fires continued day and night. The workers who had not yet turned up by that time were supposed to be shot. All our schools have been closed, and the married teachers are being sent to work here, while the unmarried ones are being conscripted for work in Germany. Now they’re catching human beings the way dogcatchers used to catch dogs in earlier times."

 

-- Antonina Sidielnik, letter from Ukraine to a family member working in Germany, intercepted by German authorities c. October 1942

 

 

"Immediately I was struck by the high quality of my new mount. It was one of the group that came from the Focke-Wulf factory at Sorau in the 210 Werknummer series. Its construction and finish was superior to some of the others. The joints of aluminium sheeting and the riveting were very smooth to help reduce drag."

 

-- Leutnant Heinz-Karl Ossenkop, 2./JG26

  

 

  The thin-lipped armorer,
       Hephaestos, hobbled away,
    Thetis of the shining breasts
       Cried out in dismay
    At what the god had wrought
       To please her son, the strong
    Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles
       Who would not live long.

 

-- W H Auden, "The Shield of Achilles"

 

 

"The 29th [of December 1944] dawns with the clearest possible sky, and very early in the morning, the aircraft reporting post informs us of large numbers of enemy fighters aloft, all of them Spitfires, the most feared of our enemies."

 

-- Feldwebel Fritz Unger, 11./JG54

 

 

And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

 

-- 1 Samual 15:33 (King James Version)

 

 

The Gross-Rosen concentration camp system was centered in lower Silesia, in a town which first appears in the historical record in 1291 as Rogoźnica before vanishing into the borders of various other rapacious central European states for many centuries. In 1945, after the war ended and Poland's borders were once again redrawn, it would become Rogoźnica once more, but during the interwar era and the Second World War, it was Groß Rosen. Gross-Rosen had begun life as an outpost of Sachshausen in Oranienburg, one of the oldest of the concentration camps, where 100,000 were killed between 1936 and 1945, before being spun off into its own camp system in about May of 1941.

 

Gross-Rosen's network of subcamps supplied slaves to vast swathes of German industry, including Sigla Sicherheitsglas G.m.b.H. in Gross Kunzendorf, which produced the "KUDO" (KUnzendorf DOppelglas) safety glass used in Fw190 and Ju87 windscreens (slaves from Buchenwald manufactured Fw190 wings and undercarriages for Junkers at Niederorschel, about 450 kilometers away), as well as Focke-Wulf proper via their Sorau factory complex, about five kilometers from Gross Kunzendorf and serviced by the Alsau subcamp. Interestingly, at least one of the Gross-Rosen subcamps (Brieg) was guarded primarily by ground troops from the Luftwaffe, with only a handful of SS personnel; the slaves there were occaisonally rented out to local farmers to work in their fields. 

 

Focke-Wulf was not an early-adopter of slave labour in the German aviation industry. They had focused their initial efforts in establishing partnerships with French aviation firms in the occupied portion of that country, particularly Technique du Chatillon and SNCASO, initially in 1940 to work on civilian airliner projects for the postwar era, expected to come soon; after the loss of the Battle of Britain and the invasion of Russia, the relationship metastasized, and soon Technique du Chatillon, SNCASO, and Morane-Saulnier were all involved in the production of Fw190s. Skilled French labour was in the process of being scooped up by Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz Ernst Sauckel for his "foreign labour" program in Germany, thereby ensuring that Focke-Wulf, deprived of a major source of manpower, would turn to Erhard Milch's Jagerstab and its partnership with the SS to secure a ready supply of slave labour for their factories. In this they were following in the footsteps of Heinkel and Daimler-Benz, which in 1942 had made the first requests specifically for Jewish slaves to work assembling engines and airframes for the troubled He177 program.

 

By 1944, Sorau was one of the most important of Focke-Wulf's directly-controlled and widely-scattered aircraft factories, though large complexes run by other firms, such as AGO in Oschersleben or Fieseler's factory in Kassel (the latter producing at least 2,000 Fw190s, about 10% of the total built) contributed heavily. Sorau (also home to much of the Ta152 development programme) and Cottbus were the first two Focke-Wulf facilities scheduled to begin production of the Fw 190D-9, an "interim" design until the Ta152 was ready for pime-time. Sorau would finish the first production-standard 190D-9, W.nr. 210001, near the end of August 1944. 

 

Focke-Wulf Cottbus was another of the factories erected during that firm's eastward dispersion in 1941 to avoid RAF Bomber Command's attacks. After the war, one of the plant's hangars was disassembled and painstakingly transported to Virginia Beach in the United States. During reassembly, an inscription was found etched on one of the hangar's beams:

 
"Anusia Waclaw Worked Here, 10.14.1944.”

 
Anusia is the Polonised version of the Hebrew name Hannah. Cottbus relied heavily on slave labour from Sachsenhausen, centered in Oranienburg, through its Lieberose subcamp 25 kilometers from Cottbus.

 
As the Russians approached Cottbus, the slave labourers at Lieberose were sent on a death march back to Sachsenhausen, 165 kilometers away. It's entirely possible that Anusia Waclaw was on this march, if she wasn't already dead:  the Germans left behind the bodies of 753 slave labourers unceremoniously dumped into a mass grave, one of the largest -- outside of a concentration camp proper -- ever unearthed in Germany.

 

As an interim type -- intended to replace the aging Fw190A series until a more advanced design could enter production, in much the same way as the Spitfire IX had replaced the Mark V during development of the Mk VIII and Mk XIV -- the Germans intended a rate of production of four 190D-9s per day, split between Focke-Wulf Sorau and Cottbus, Arbeitgsgemeinschaft Roland in Nordenham, Mimetall in Erfurt, Fieseler's plant in Kassel, and lattermost, Concordia in Aslau. It would take the Germans until November of 1944 to reach their four-a-day production target, and it would only sometimes be met thereafter. By comparison, the Castle Bromwich works alone, which accounted for about half the Spitfire production capacity in the United Kingdom, produced slightly more than ten Spitfires per day, and the mammoth Willow Run plant in the United States at peak efficiency turned out a B-24 every sixty-three minutes. Total production of the Fw190D-9 is unknown; German industry reported 670 complete by the end of January of 1945 (though German production figures also include aircraft that underwent repair and rebuilding at the factory*), and J. Richard Smith and Eddie Creek, in their three-volume history of the Fw190, estimate "at least" 1,200 Fw190D-9s were produced, though for the last 550 or so off the production lines, there was little fuel to fly them with; it's possible as few as 900 of the total output ever reached the Luftwaffe. Regardless of how many saw actual use, the 190D-9 would become the last major piston-engined fighter fielded by the Luftwaffe, while the Ta152  almost wholly failed to materialize.

 

The first Luftwaffe unit to receive the Fw190D-9, known to its pilots as the "Dora 9",  was III. Gruppe of JG54, lead by the "experte" Robert "Bazi"** Weiß, on 20 September 1944. While Luftwaffe Jagdgeschwaders are often compared to RAF fighter wings, in general, they seem very much larger, since a full-strength fighter geschwader could conceivably have upwards of 120 aircraft. The four constituent Gruppes, each of thirty or so planes, were closer in size to RAF fighter wings, and seem to have typically been the largest tactical formation of a jagdgeschwader to fight together as a single unit, just like an RAF fighter wing of three or four squadrons. III./JG54 had been sent west at the start of 1943, becoming a de facto part of JG2. On the Ostfront, JG54 had done quite well; it was the third highest-scoring Jagdgeschwader in the east. JG26's veterans, however, were unimpressed. III./JG54 struggled to master the more complex tactics and more rigourous flying required against the USAAF and RAF, and they were eventually shifted away from the Channel Front and subordinated to JG1 for Reichsverteidigung duties. When the Allied invasion of France commenced in June of 1944, III./JG54 was thrown into the fray, and it quickly became clear that even over a year in the west was not enough to prepare them to withstand the coruscating fury of Anglo-American air power. Within a short period of time, Weiß advocated, in an unconscious echo of Leigh-Mallory's "Big Wing" proponency, that his aircraft shouldn't risk flying over the Allied beachhead unless at Gruppe strength. After the conclusion of the Normandy Campaign, the remnants of III./JG54 were pulled out of line to rest and refit. 

 

The Gruppe only returned to operations for Wacht Am Rhein, the last-gasp Ardennes Offensive in the winter of 1944/45. Their debut was not an auspicious one: on 27 December 1944, 486 (New Zealand) Squadron's Tempests got the drop on the unit and their new fighters, shooting down six for the loss of Flying Officer B M Hall (from Dannevirke on the North Island) and his aircraft. Three pilots were killed and two injured, among the former an officer, Oberleutnant Paul Breger. This was just the overture.

 

On 29 December 1944, III./JG54 was the subject of a shattering experience, "Black Friday", from which the Gruppe never recovered from. At least fifteen Fw190D-9s were lost, and thirteen pilots were killed, including the 121-claim (all but 26 in the East) "Bazi" Weiß. The 79-claim (all but 25 in the East) "experte" Oberfeldwebel Whilhelm Philipp escaped his aircraft, but broke his spine in the process. He never flew operationally again. So gutted was JG54 that to field enough aircraft for Operation Bodenplatte, a few days away, it had to be loaned Fw 190s from JG26. During their attack on the nearly abandoned Grimbergen/B-66 Airfield during Bodenplatte a few days later, III./JG54 lost a further nine pilots to marauding Spitfires from 308 (Polish) Squadron and a surprisingly spirited defense by the RAF Regiment, organized on the ground by the Polish ace Wing Commander Aleksander Gabszewicz DSO DFC VM. For administrative reasons, the survivors would become IV./JG26 in February of 1945 and follow that Jagdgeschwader into oblivion. 

 

The first aircraft I'm building is "Yellow 9"/W.Nr. 210128, flown by Oblt Eugen Schreiner, a bomber pilot transferred to fighter operations as the Luftwaffe's fortunes ebbed. He and his aircraft both were lost to a Spitfire from 331 (Norwegian) Squadron on Black Friday, on what was his second operational sortie in fighters. 

 

A handful of poor-quality images exist for this aircraft, taken after its loss. The "best" one is copyrighted, and hosted on Facebook (not a great place to store stuff, by the way), and may be found here.

 

It is the only aircraft lost by III./JG54 on 29 December 1944 that we have any photos of, however, and conveniently, it's one of the IBG kit decal options. It was one of the first Fw190D-9s built, either at Focke-Wulf Cottbus or Sorau. It has the early five-piece gun cowl (a staggering five variations of this cowl exist in total, most of the later ones involving fewer pieces in an effort to simplify production) and older-style flat canopy characteristic of early Fw190D-9s. 

 

This brings us to "Black 8"/W.nr. 210968, a Sorau-built Fw190D-9 of II/JG26 flown by Unteroffizier Karl Fröb. This aircraft crashed into Lake Schwerin in northern Germany on 17 April 1945, possibly through pilot error, and parts of it were recovered on 15 November 1990. It now resides in the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin, where it is being restored. I said "possibly due to pilot error" advisedly, for there seems to be a lot of conflicting information between Donald Caldwell's book on JG26 (which gets a little fuzzy whenever the Top Guns of the Luftwaffe are getting kicked into their hats), the ol' Internet, and 2nd Tactical Air Force Volume III by Christophers Shores and Thomas. The lattermost source suggests Fröb disappeared on a ferry flight of I Gruppe of JG26, rather than the II Gruppe listed for the aircraft in Crandall's The Fw190D-9 Dora Volume II, potentially by a Tempest V of 80 Squadron; the squadron claimed three aircraft, and a 401 Squadron Spitfire IX claimed a fourth; according to Caldwell, I/JG26 lost six aircraft and two pilots, the RAF Tempest NV991 and her pilot, F/O LA Smith DFC. There is apparently a more full account of "Black 8"/W.nr. 210968's loss in Green Hearts: First in Combat with the Dora 9, by Axel Urbanke, which runs about $50 used. I will include a note from Future Me if he decides to buy the book solely for researching this build.UPDATE FROM FUTURE ME: I am deeply indebted to SafetyDad, who provided much information on the loss of "Black 8"/W.nr. 210968. According to  Fröb's Rottenführer, Karl Heinz Ossenkopf, the JG26 fighters were possibly (Ossenkopf was shot down subsequently himself and could not with certitude remember the precise reason JG26 had gone aloft) on a low-level frie jagd in support of the doomed 11. Armee, which had been encircled and which would surrender four days later. They were bounced by Spitfires and attempted to elude them by diving to wavetop height over Lake Schwerin. It appears that a cannon shell then hit Fröb's aircraft, causing its engine to seize. At such low altitude, there was almost no time to react, and the Fw190 plunged into the water. Fröb apparently unstrapped himself and ejected the sliding hood, but his body has never been recovered; it seems likely he was flung clear of the aircraft as it crashed while attempting to escape it and killed, either by the impact or drowning.

 

Like Yellow 9, Black 8 is an early-production aircraft, this time definitely from Focke-Wulf Sorau, again with the five-piece gun cowl; Jerry Crandall's profile of it suggests that it also had the old style "flat" sliding hood. An interesting note regarding this airframe is that the main landing gear legs appear to have been finished by different subcontractors, the port being painted with RLM02, and the starboard with "Light Gray", and each with its own dataplate, one of those little reminders of how widely dispersed German industry was by this point in time. 

 

52051049835_c65d00e93e_h.jpgPXL_20220504_190148156 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

My disordered bench is as cleared as it will ever be. I think in general dedicating a build, at my skill level, is more of an insult to the dedicatee than a tribute, but if this is for anyone, let it be for Anusia Waclaw, whose name, etched in a beam in the building she worked on for her enslavers, may be the only trace left behind that she ever existed. 

 

Let us begin. 

 

 

 

 

 

* If Civilian Repair Organization in Britain's efforts can be considered a guide -- the equivalent of 79,000 aircraft were returned to service from 1940 to 1945 through their efforts -- repaired aircraft could constitute a quite substantial total of the production figures for the 109 and and 190 during Speer's "Armaments Miracle" from 1942 on.

 

** Bazi is a Bavarian endearment that roughly equates to "little rascal".

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Construction begins with the Jumo 213 engine, which can be seen looking up through the gear bay of the 190D-9. How much of the engine can actually be seen in 1/72 scale is rather open to question. The kit more or less gives you the full engine with all the greeblies.

 

52051326659_e4f6dce1b8_h.jpgPXL_20220505_023916131 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

52051090131_f49b99626d_h.jpgPXL_20220505_023942363 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

52050076657_d16606432f_h.jpgPXL_20220505_030526805 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

The fit was adequate, especially assuming that a lot of this isn't going to be seen. 

 

Next came the cockpit tubs, with teeny-tiny photoetch rudder pedals.

 

52050105912_d7bdd34c66_h.jpgPXL_20220505_032513417 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

52051395674_c8f543fce9_h.jpgPXL_20220505_032520040 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

Midway through the process of bending the third rudder pedal, I absent-mindedly sheathed my scalpel in one of my meaty thighs, bringing the proceedings to an abrupt halt. Fortunately, no damage appeared to have been done, and operations resumed.

 

52051685615_b056882e63_h.jpgPXL_20220505_034938824 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

Folding tiny rudder pedals is about the most frustrating thing on earth after raising my children. 

 

The seats (which are a very tight fit in the tub) and control columns were added as well; tomorrow we'll probably put some paint on things.

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A fascinating prologue to your build, or I should say, builds, Edward. It’s right and proper to remind ourselves of the true cost, the human cost, of these machines we recreate in miniature.

 I don’t think that Anusia Waclaw would mind your dedication, she clearly wanted to be remembered, rightly so.

So maybe for her and the thousands of others who perished in similar circumstances.

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Room for one more?

I look forward to watching you work your magic on these as they become superb replicas!

 

    Stay safe           Roger

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The backstory turned my stomach; it's important that we who build Luftwaffe kits (myself very much included) remember just how vile the regime that created these aircraft was.  Your dedication to the history of the aircraft is commendable, and the I'll follow your build with great interest.

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18 minutes ago, zigster said:

This is not an easy build. I would strongly suggest, that you (and anyone planning to do this kit) check Marco's tips on:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/72nd_aircraft/fw-190d-from-ibg-no-corrections-but-alterations-up-t12419.htm

Zig

Thank you -- the link doesn't seem to work for me, however, is it just something on my end?

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Posted (edited)

Strange! I've just copied link from the address page in my browser?!?!

Try "hard way" - link to 72 ac:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/72nd_aircraft/?sid=8ccb397273586bedaa2cc789df842efd

Then go to: IN Progress Models, then second from the top:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/72nd_aircraft/fw-190d-from-ibg-no-corrections-but-alterations-up-t12419.html

zigster

Looks like don't like hotlinking from other forums / grups etc.

 

Edited by zigster
extra info
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5 minutes ago, zigster said:

Strange! I've just copied link from the address page in my browser?!?!

Try "hard way" - link to 72 ac:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/72nd_aircraft/?sid=8ccb397273586bedaa2cc789df842efd

Then go to: IN Progress Models, then second from the top:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/72nd_aircraft/fw-190d-from-ibg-no-corrections-but-alterations-up-t12419.html

zigster

 

 

That works for some reason, a bit round about but I can get there. 

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One more chair pulled up, sir!

 

(Too early for a beer since it is 06:37 AM in my neck of the woods and it will most likely be Frowbned Upon at the office today, but breakfast coffee will have to do.)

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Glad, you got there! Hope it helps a bit.

zigster

Mr Hook, an early beer helps surviving a boring day in the office, just don't breathe into your supervisor :-)))

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There are a lot of different photos of Jumo 213s in varying states of preservation, and no two seemed quite the same to me. Since I figured most of this will be invisible, I just went with something that broadly conformed to the pictures I saw in a very general sense only. I then did a quick Agrax Earthshade wash, purely for your benefit, to improve your viewing experience.

 

 I also painted the teeny-tiny photoetch seatbelts, glued them on, and wheedled them more or less into position.

 

As noted in the thread shared by Brother Zigster, the instrument panel decals in the kit are wrong; they should be an RLM66 base with black dials, but unfortunately, as so often happens in this wonderful hobby, he posted the link to the thread seconds after the Solvaset had gone on. I have one Eduard set for this kit, and Yahu apparently do one as well (in general I prefer the Yahu instrument panels to Eduard's), so there exist aftermarket options. Given the way the IP will be shrouded, I'll probably just leave the decals on there and see how I feel about painting the side panels. 

 

52052395722_4ae5744523_h.jpgPXL_20220506_043724228 by Edward IX, on Flickr

 

 

9 hours ago, Courageous said:

I think you need a new cutting mat, those Jumos were quite camouflaged :coolio:

 

Stuart

 

I spill a lot.

 

 

24 minutes ago, zigster said:

Looks like don't like hotlinking from other forums / grups etc.

 

 

For whatever reason, it works fine now that I'm on my desktop. I also note, infuriatingly and en passant, that the diverging thread from the build thread regarding Yellow 9 strongly suggests the purported wreckage of it is for a different aircraft, with a pretty clear photo of the Werknummer to prove it, as well. And right after I bought not one, but two different bottles of RLM24 to do the tail band. 

 

At least I can console myself with the thread's spontaneous outbreak of one of my favourite spectator sports: Eastern Europeans waging a war of words in English. 

 

 

 

31 minutes ago, Hook said:

it will most likely be Frowbned

Didn't let the time keep you from a beer after all, eh?

 

8 hours ago, jackroadkill said:

The backstory turned my stomach; it's important that we who build Luftwaffe kits (myself very much included) remember just how vile the regime that created these aircraft was.  Your dedication to the history of the aircraft is commendable, and the I'll follow your build with great interest.

 

Allow me to strongly recommend Daniel Uziel's book Arming the Luftwaffe (recommended to me by FalkeEins of this parish, I believe), which is the only book-length treatment of the subject I'm aware of. Germany's aviation firms went from being sources of national pride and model workplaces in the prewar era to a nightmarish subterranean wartime world, where a staggering 80% of the shop floor workforce was slave labour, and the SS could and did execute them where they stood at the slightest provocation. It's the unadorned and dispassionate notation of second- and third-order effects of this policy that really got me, e.g.:

 

Quote

Messerschmitt's Augsburg factory was forced to allow only half of its German workforce to have a Christmas leave, because its slave workers worked normally during the holidays and Germans were required to supervise them.

 

 

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I'm in, and another fascinating lead-in story too. 

Onwards and upwards!

 

Ian

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I'm also joining the crowd at the bar/cafetiere.

Like others, I've been impressed with your intro and context setting - Anusia providing a very personal (and thought-provoking) contribution here.

No-one on either side profited at this stage from the continuation of the conflict - Green Hearts has pictures of Bazi Weiss taken just before the fateful day when he was killed, and the strain on his face from conflict is very evident.

Looking forward to your further progress

 

SD

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I normally try to sit at the front, due to failling hearing and eyesight, but its a bit crowded in here; happy to stand my round at the bar.

 

On a seroius note, I concur with @jackroadkill's sentiments.

 

Box On 

 

Strickers

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On 5/5/2022 at 4:48 AM, Procopius said:

The enemy has committed every conceivable crime against humanity, culture, and civilization. They are, in fact, so spiritually corrupt as to boast about it in public.

When I read that first part I honestly thought it was a quote from Churchill! How could a man be so brainwashed that he would believe that with his party's record of human attrocieties?

Simple.....

It just goes to show how powerful propaganda is, and we should do well to remember that, even today....

 

Ian

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Newcomer here, I really enjoyed your mustang build, and having a look though your previous work. The build logs are great of course, but also the historical context, and the refreshingly honest reflections on the trials of family life. With two ragemonkeys of my own, I can sympathise deeply with the difficulties of carving out any spare minutes to do your own thing, and the sense of resentment, however unreasonable and self inflicted, that can sometimes arise from that loss of agency. So thanks, basically!

 

I have one of the d-15 torpedo kits, so I'm very interested to see how it should go together without the addition of incompetence.  But more importantly, it's all too easy to think of these models in the abstract, to marvel at the clean lines and impressive engineering of the dora without considering horrific realities of how, and indeed why they were created; so I very much appreciate the context.

 

Cheers,

Andy

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