April 2015

Grumman Hellcat Mk.II

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Selected WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:

Between 2009 and 2015, I have set myself a general modelling theme based on selected 70th Anniversaries from WW2.

In Europe, the end is near with Allied forces safely across the Rhine and the Red Army approaching Berlin.

In the Far East, General Slim’s forces have opened up the road to Rangoon with the Japanese army fleeing east. The bitter fighting on Iwo Jima is over at last with appalling casualties, as US forces prepare to land on the island of Okinawa, supported by a massive Allied naval flotilla.

1 April 1945 - US Troops land on Okinawa; it is intended as the base for an invasion of the Japanese mainland.

11 Apr – Kamikaze attacks on Allied ships off Okinawa are taking their toll, with the Carrier USS Enterprise and Battleship USS Missouri both hit.

21 Apr – Soviet forces enter Berlin amidst fierce hand to hand fighting.

24 Apr – Berlin is surrounded.

28 April – Mussolini and his mistress are captured by Italian Partisans and hung from lamp posts.

29 Apr – Operation Manna – RAF and US aircraft drop food supplies to starving Dutch civilians. Local German forces agree a truce during the drop.

30 Apr.  Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide in his Berlin bunker. Admiral Donitz is appointed his successor.

Grumman Hellcat Mk.II

1844 Sqn, Fleet Air Arm, HMS INDOMITABLE

British Pacific Fleet, US Task Force 57, Okinawa.

Heller 1/72

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Background Image:  SR-71 at the IWM Duxford

Have a look at my RN Props pages for more Fleet Air Arm Aircraft models

Hellcats of the BPF played a full part in the Okinawa operations (Operation Iceburg), with Hellcats conducting extensive strikes (along with Fireflies and Avengers) on the Japanese airfields on the Sakisima Gunto and late on Formosa (Tiawan), whilst the Seafires conducted Combat Air Patrols around the ships of the f leet, attempting to stop the waves of Kamikaze suicide attackers.  

This is the older Heller kit, which is a long way ahead of the Airfix and FROG offerings, but which is easily eclipsed by that from Hasegawa, plus more modern mouldings from Italeri and Academy.  It builds without drama, although the plastic is very soft and thin.  The kit porvides markings for US Navy and French Aeronavale aircraft; for my build I have used mainly Modeldecal after market generic markings to mark it as the aircraft flown by RN Ace Sub Lieutenant Bill Foster, who shot down 2 aircraft on the first day of the Okinawa operation..