January 2014
CAC Boomerang


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PoppySelected WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:

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

Throughout the month Allied aircraft continue to bomb occupied Europe, the USAAF by day and the RAF by night.

4 Jan 1944 - The Red Army enters occupied Poland. 10 days later Soviet troops commence an all out offensive at Leningrad and Novgorod.
17 Jan - Allied forces begin their first assault on the monastry at Monte Cassino, Italy.
19 Jan - Operation Cuthroat - Australian Forces launch a major offensive to capture Shaggy Ridge in the Ramu Valley, New Guinea
20 Jan - The Royal Air Force drops 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin
22 Jan - Operation Shingle. US, Canadian and British forces mount an amphibious landing at Anzio. The landing achieves complete surprise and is largely unopposed, but hesitation, over caution and delay by the US commander allows Field Marshall Kesselring to prepare a counter attack whilst the Allies dig in on the beach. The allies remain trapped in their bridgehead until May 1944. Note: Denis (Baron) Healey (Labour Politician, Chancellor and Defence Secretary) was Military Landing Officer for the British beachhead at Anzio. Eric Waters, father of rock band Pink Floyd's Roger Waters was killed on the beaches during the assault, referenced in several Pink Floyd albums. Actor Audie Murphy, the most decorated US combat soldier, also served at Anzio, as did the wel lknown british film maker Alan Whicker.
31 Jan - US Marines land at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

CAC13 Boomerang, 4 Sqn Royal Australian Air Force
Shaggy Ridge, Ramu Valley, Finnisterre, New Guinea, January 1944


Airfix 1/72 out the box

The Airfix Boomerang is an old kit, simple and rather crude, but still entirely buildable. My list suggests it was first issued in 1965, but mine is a 1990s issue, with typically poor Heller-era decals and "censored" box-art.


The kit is very easy to assemble; my only issues were the windows behind the cockpit (my old bottle Micro Klear PVA glue is now micro cloudy it seems!) and the slightly misaligned decals. Wing and tailplane fit isn't brilliant either

During the early years of WW2, Australia began to be alarmed by the prospect of British-supplied aircraft becoming unavaialable and with the Japanese threat growing they commenced several programmes to build british designed aircraft locally and develop their own indigenous designs.

The Commonwealt Aircraft Corporation Boomerang was one of the latter, evolved from the Douglas Harvard and CAC Wirraway. Intended as a fighter, it found its niche in the close ground support role over the jungles of New Guinea and then during the Bougainville campaign, where it operated in a close team arrangement with Corsair aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The Ramu Valley–Finisterre Range campaign, was a series of actions against the Japanese army, fought by Australian and US forces in New Guinea during WW2.

The campaign began with an Allied offensive on 19 Sept 1943, and concluded when Allied troops entered Madang on 24 Apr 1944.The central geographical and strategic feature of the campaign was the imposing "Shaggy Ridge", running north-south in the Finisterre mountain range and this was the scene of heavy fighting in December 1943 and January 1944 during Operation Cutthroat. RAAF Boomerangs provided close air support to the ground forces. Flying in pairs (one to observe the ground, the other to observe the air around them), their tasks included bombing, strafing, close infantry support and artillery spotting.

Faslane Naval Base, Strathclyde, Scotland 2009.

Bronco 1/350 out the box

Completing my set of current Royal Navy submarines, this is Bronco's Vanguard class SSBN. The coparative size of this kit when sat alongside my ASTUTE and TRAFALGAR class kits is illuminating; in real life, these are BIG boats

Armed with the awesome destructive power of up to 16 Trident D.5 missiles, with potentially 192 independently targetted warheads, th e4 boats of the class, HMS VANGUARD, VICTORIOUS, VIGILANT and VENGEANCE are the largest submarines ever built for the RN. Exceptionally quiet, they currently provide the UK's Continuous At Sea Deterent (CASD) force, with one submarine always on covert patrol in the depths of the oceans.

So far as is known, the on-patrol submarine has never been detected by either friend or foe. Indeed in 2009, VANGUARD actually collided underwater with the equally quiet French Navy SSBN TRIOMPHANT. Neither was aware of the other's presence!


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Background Image: HMS VANGIARD at Faslane