Coffee break 2

Here we go again. This time, the coffee break is hosted by Bill Banks who is going to tell us about a relatively unknown episode of late WWII - I certainly didn't know about it.

Bill says:

The last flight of the Luftwaffe

An interesting incident at the end of WW2. The Germans called it Self Sacrifice not Kamlkaze. Full of photographs of the pilots involved and their history, Imagine nibbling away at the tail plane of a B17 with your prop with the tail gunner down below. On EBay £2 to £4 post free or borrow this when we meet again.


I would like to add my tuppence worth to this by recommending a book that I loved.

Big Week - the biggest air battle of WWII. 

It was to be the battle to end the air war once and for all.

During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces launched their first-ever round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany.

The aim was to smash the main factories and production centres of the Luftwaffe and at the same time draw the German fighter force up into the air and into battle.

Big Week is the knife-edge story of bomber against flak gun and fighter, but also, crucially, fighter against fighter. Following the fortunes of pilots and aircrew from both sides, this is a blistering narrative of one of the most critical periods of the entire war. Big Week was the largest air battle ever witnessed, but it has been largely forgotten – until now.

OK. I hope that you enjoyed your coffee. Until next time - when one more of you offers some ideas to keep us busy but to stop us modelling - grin.

Our first virtual coffee break!

Peter came up with this idea to keep people interested between virtual meetings. Peter has been reading and interesting book and has asked that it be publicised to all the members. Here we go:

The Kamikaze Hunters by Will Airedale.

This is a very exciting read revealing the involvement of the British Pacific Fleet operating along side the Americans in some of most fierce operations of the Pacific War - a subject that may not be known to many enthusiasts and modellers alike. Giving details of the the training of Fleet Air Arm pilots in the USA and then forming air groups on the British carriers and becoming part of task force 56, Much of the operations were against heavily defended ground targets detailing the excitement and action involved in such operations as well as some mention of the humour that came to the fore from time to time.

For the modeller this is a appetite wetter for modelling British Avengers known in the Fleet Air Arm as Tarpons and Corsairs all made in kit form by Hasegawa. All in all a good read in lock down times. 

This reminded me of a book I read a few years ago by one of my favourite authors from my youth. I am referring to John Winton. He wrote some very funny books about the Royal Navy but two books stick in my mind - one is HMS Leviathan - The aircraft carrier Leviathan is the biggest, most powerful vessel the British Navy has ever commissioned. The showpiece of the navy, however, has limped from one crisis to another, from technical problems to dissent among her massive crew. Commander Bob Markready vows to whip it into shape. - a good read if you can get it - try Abe Books. However, the book that I am referring to with relevance to Peter's book is "Aircraft Carrier". This is a fictional story about activities around the Sakishima Gunto (south of Okinawa) during the last few days of the war.

April 1945. High in the sky above the Sakishima Gunto - the chain of Japanese-held islands running between Formosa and Okinawa- a flight of Corsair fighters from a British aircraft carrier has destroyed a flight of Japanese Nakajima fighters. This story captures the intensity of the last few months of the war in the Pacific. For RNVR lieutenant-commander and squadron leader known as Skipper, there is a personal problem to be decided. His captain has suggested he accept a permanent commission in the Royal Navy after the war is over. But at home in Wiltshire his father is eagerly waiting for his only son to come home from the wars.

Well, I hope that you enjoyed our little break. If any one has an idea for the next one, please contact me

April 2020 - Our first virtual meeting

Because of the Corona virus lock down, no meeting took place on 2nd April. So that we didn't miss a chance to get together, a virtual meeting was called. This meant that anyone who had completed a model (or indeed was still working on a model) and would have brought it to club could still show us their efforts, Eight members delivered photos and descriptions to the webmaster in time to appear on the April meetings page.

As I haven't seen the models themselves, I am reliant on what each member has said. I have to say that some were more terse than others! Taking them in the order that they appear on the web site...

Peter Carlo

Peter shows us a couple of images of a pair of Trumpeter 1/35th scale Russian unguided ballistic missile vehicles - a Frog 5 and a Frog 7.

John Ovenden

Next up is a very nice diorama from John  based upon a Great North Rad resin diorama base. The figures come from a MasterBox set. The diorama shows a group of German soldiers having a meal from a mobile kitchen. The title of the diorama is "Meal Break". John provided a lot of view so I have chosen a few.

Bill Banks

Bill always goes for the difficult older kits. These two presented here are no different.

Bill says "Have completed 2 planes.....Republic P47D Thunderbolt. I enjoyed the build.early Airfix 1.72. An interesting aircraft with a twin  Wasp radial engine also turbo charged. It was the heaviest fighter in WW2. It held the world speed record for prop planes at 509mph at one time. This was a local plane based at Boxted. Its fuel consumption was high so it was fitted with reserve tanks. These were interesting as they were made with laminated  plastic coated paper in order not to give the enemy scrap metal when dropped. Later used for dealing with flying bombs and target towing.
No 2.  Vultee Vengence Mk11 (A31) Also radial engined. These engines do interest me. The strange wing shape is due to the centre of gravity being wrongly calculated and rather than alter the wing root the wing design was amended.The last plane to carry the Vultee name..merged with Consolidated and became Convair."

Jeff Adams

Jeff's description is as follows:
 "Please find attached two photos of my KV2, which I finished recently.

It is 1/35th scale and the kit is by Zvezda.

I won the kit last year at the 2019 Mafva show.
It is an OK kit, but I would not recommend buying it. 
The Trumpeter alternative, is much better in all respects.
I used the kit "rubber band" tracks rather than the link and length ones (also in the kit) because the latter had many knock-out marks from the moulding process.
In order to achieve the characteristic track sag, I used metal wires (old guitar strings) which were positioned through a series of holes drilled in the lower hull sides. This provided a downward tension on the tracks between the upper return rollers.

This is not a new technique, as I remember it from articles written for Airfix magazine in the 1970s! 
The model was constructed relatively quickly and most of my time was spent on painting and weathering. I used my new Airbrush (Sparmax 0.2 nozzle) to try and achieve the look of faded winter whitewash. The remnants of paint are whitest at the top of the vehicle and tone down to mud and earth lower down on the tracks. There is a figure of a Russian tanker in the top hatch, but I only detailed the head - because very little else of him is visible."

Peter Terry

"Frog kit of the Douglas Boston 1/72 scale i purchased it at the last St Ives Brampton Show as part of my Golden Oldie kit builds from a second hand dealer “no parts missing”so the build was with out drama. Two choices of markings one Canadian night fighter version from a squadron based in Essex and the second one is Australian Air Force South West Pacific as seen completed in the images.

I am all ways amazed at how well the older kits hold and with modern day paints and finishes enable you to make a good model. 

David Pennington

My effort comes from some time ago. 

Special Hobby 1:48 Supermarine Seafire Mk.XV. "Far East Service"This was purchased to complement the 1:48 Hawker Sea Hurricane. I was a bit wary, having had problems in the past with these supposedly short run kits. However, it went together reasonably well. There was one difficult moment. I was working on the cockpit and released the front bulkhead from the sprue. I left it on the table whilst I did some other work on the seat. When I turned back to it, the part had disappeared. Now the first thought was that the "carpet monster" had it but lots of searches by both me and my wife failed to find it. In the end, I used the rear bulkhead as a model and created a new one.Everything else went according to the instructions and I had no further issues, including using the Eduard seat belts.

The serious problems came when I started to put the decals on. I chose a set of markings for early 1946 but the first decal that I tried to put on the plane broke up into little pieces. Because all the markings in the kit used these decals, I wasn't able to complete the aircraft. The way out was to buy a new set of decals. Soon, from my regular suppliers, came a set of Kits World decals for Seafires. On arrival, I realised my mistake - all of the aircraft on the sheet were bubble canopy versions. Back to the ordering page and a set of Model Alliance decals arrived shortly after. These are for the same style of Seafire as I had but - not quite -. However, these were the only two sets of decals available for the Seafire so I had little choice but to go with the later set. The only FAA one that fitted the colours that  had painted the model was SW912, "134/T' of 804 NAS, HMS Theseus, 14th Carrier Group, February 1947. This was probably a bit too late for my model, which is a Seafire F Mk XV. However, beggars cannot be choosers. As it is, I am very happy with the final result. The model took a lot of work, being from a short run manufacturer but ended up very tidy.

Geoff Woods

Geoff is a figure painter "par excellence" and, now he has retired he is spending more time on the hobby.

1st is a Castle Miniatures, 75mm of a Landsknecht Doppelsoldner

Stormtroopers, Officer, Light Infantry.Foot Guards 

Nuts Planet Roman Aqualifer 1/10 scale

0830 Artists Preservation Society 75mm Welsh Fusiliers 

Troop 54 54mm French Guard  1805

Colin Ovens

Colin has presented us with the only WIP (work in progress). 

I'm in the throes of building an Airfix 1/72 Bristol Blenheim If fighter... almost every article and almost everyone I've spoken with about this kit have warned me that building it is an "interesting experience" - to put it politely! They are right!

Don't get me wrong - I am enjoying the build, but it is certainly not a "shake 'n' bake" kit! The parts are beautifully detailed and crisply moulded, but major sub-assemblies have a marked reluctance to fit as well as hoped... Arthur Banyard's "Modeller's Article" on our website makes it clear. Peter Terry called me about ten days ago, and during our chat he asked how the Blenheim was going, and I told him how far I'd got, and that I thought I was past the awkward bits; then he told me, in a sombre tone, that I had still got the engine cowlings to come. They were quite easy - if you are good at juggling jelly!

As you can see from the photos taken ten minutes ago (sorry about the shadows!), the masking for the extensive glazing (by Montex) is in place, and a coat of RAF Grey Green (Xtracrylix XA1010) has been applied to represent the canopy's interior framing, and the engines (with those b****y cowlings) are built.

 The model will be painted and decalled before the installation of the engines. When completed, the model will represent a Bristol Blenheim If of 29 Sqn, at RAF Digby in Lincolnshire in late July 1940.

Airfix rate this kit as "Skill Level 2". If you want to build a half decent model from it, and not just stick the bits together, hoping to produce something that looks rather like a Blenheim, I would rate this kit as being "Skill Level 4" because of its inherent construction problems.

All the best.


Well, that's it for the first, maybe unique, virtual club meeting. Lots of photos and lots of interesting details. Oh, and lots of really good modelling. Let's hope that this is the only virtual meeting but I bet it won't be! Thanks to all that contributed their time and effort.

Modelkraft Show 8th May 2022

 Well, it was a long way to go - a good 2 hours in the car and I was lucky that I wasn't involved in the set up as some of them were up ...