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  1. The step is basically the thickness of the metal skinning. I'm away from my references at the moment, so I can't check, but working from memory, I believe the thickness of the skinning on the Bf 109 is 0.75 mm. Add some tolerance, and you get a step in the order of 1 mm - that would be around 0.03 mm in 1/32. Taking into account covering by primer & paint, it probably should be slightly more on a scale model, but anything over 0.1 mm will look somewhat overscale. I have to admit I'm a bit mystified by the entire discussion over open vs closed slats. The slats were free moving - they did not have any mechanical actuation, they were not spring loaded; they were simply opened or closed automatically by the airflow while in flight. As a consequence, on a parked aircraft, they can be in any position - from fully closed to fully opened, and even balanced somewhere in between. On the ground, it is possible to pull them open or push them closed by hand. On the Bf 109, the slats generally tend to be closed on the ground. However, as said before, it is perfectly possible for them to be open, as documented in many photos. In fact, you can quite easily find images of parked aircraft with one slat open and one slat closed, and of aircraft with one or both slats just slightly displaced, not opened fully. In the case of the Me 262, parked aircraft are much more commonly seen with open slats than in the case of the Bf 109 - but, yet again, this doesn't mean they have to be open. The difference between both types may in part be due to the difference in orientation of the slat rails while on the ground as pointed out in this thread earlier - in the Bf 109, the rails are approximately horizontal, while on a parked Me 262, they are angled downwards. Consequently, while on a parked 109 the slats are neutrally balanced and hence less likely to be displaced, on a Me 262 there is a bigger chance of them sliding open under their own weight. However, there is another thing to consider here. The different ground angles of the Bf 109 and Me 262 also mean that the airflow patterns over the wing are different after the aircraft has touched down and is with its three wheels on the ground. Immediately after touching down, the aircraft still has significant speed, and there is still significant flow over the wing - strong enough to operate the slats. So, I can imagine that the airflow over the wing of a Bf 109 immediately after landing causes the slats to retract, while on a Me 262, due to its different ground angle, it causes them to open. As a result, most Bf 109s have their slats closed when parked, while most Me 262s have them open. Bottom line: slats can be open or closed on the ground, both are possible - there is no 'wrong' position for the slats on a parked Bf 109 or Me 262. Anyway, just my 2 ct...
  2. That's incorrect. The first serial production Ar 234C-3, W.Nr. 250001, was test flown on 30 January 1945. The highest known W.Nr for the Ar 234C-3 is 250012, and it is estimated that ca 15 aircraft were built before the Alt Lönnewitz plant was captured in mid-April 1945. Apart from four series aircraft that went to Rechlin, BMW, SAGOS and K.d.E. for testing, and a few airframes retained by Arado for development work, the other machines were sent for operational use with III./EKG 1 and III./KG76; likely, the test machines originally retained by Arado were later also turned over to III./KG 76 (likely four aircraft). After III./EKG 1 was disbanded on 29 April 1945, its machines were supposed to be transferred to 1.(F)/100; while it's not clear to what extent this really happend in the final days of the war, the two Ar 234C-3 machines found at Prague at the end of the war (W. Nr 250001 and 250012) may have belonged to 1.(F)/100, having been transferred from III./EKG 1. Use of Ar 234C-3 machines is documented for both III./EKG 1 and III./KG 76, with Lt. Stellbrink of III./KG 76 being killed in a crash while flying an Ar 234C-3 on 28 April 1945. In addition, there's also a loss record for an Ar 234C-4 operated by 1.(F)/123 being shot down near Böblingen on 04 April 1945. So, while only a limited number of Ar 234C series aircraft were produced before the war ended, they did see limited service in the final days of the war - and they were most definitely flight tested. For further details, see: Brown, D.E., Poruba, T. & Vladař, J. 2012. Luftwaffe over Czech Territory - 1945. IV. Messerschmitt Me 262 Production & Arado Ar 234 Final Operations. JaPo, Hradec Králové, 158 pp.
  3. To get this thread back on track: for those interested, Chandos Publications has announced a new in-depth publication on the He 219 for late 2020, which is being billed as the 'ultimate' work on the type: https://www.chandospublications.co.uk/heinkel-he-219-book-confirmed-for-late-2020/ Also, in addition to the titles mentioned earlier, there's Roland Remp's book: Remp, R. 2000. Heinkel He 219: An Illustrated History of Germany's Premier Nightfighter. 160 pp. Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA.
  4. Absolutely no specialist in any way on P-38s, but German Zeiss Revi 3, 12 and 16 reflector gunsights, and the Askania EZ 42 gyro sight had a small integrated bead sight, to act as a back-up in case the reflector sight malfunctioned (remember that these sights used rather fragile light bulbs). So, I suppose the ring-and-bead sights on these P-38s may have served a similar back-up purpose.
  5. Super! Still need to get the MiG-9 and La-9 and -11 sometime...
  6. Eagle Cals has a sheet with two JG 300 G-14/AS machines: http://www.eagle-editions.com/eaglecals-81-32-bf-109-g-14-as-and-g-10s.html . In addition, if you do some research, you'll likely be able to find a G-14/AS for which you can cobble together the necessary decals from different sheets. Do note that, apart from the presence or absence of chin bulges, there are also a couple of other things to look out for when building a G-14/AS. Later production machines have the larger Fo 987 oil cooler instead of the Fo 870 that's the standard for earlier G-series. However, a lot of G-14/AS machines do have the smaller Fo 870, so that's one thing to pay attention to. In addition, according to references, a few very late production machines also had the larger main wheels and associated rectangular wing bulges, and some aircraft were also (retro)fitted with the long tail wheel. For the G-6/AS 'Green 5' of Erg.JG 2 (the all-black Mosquito hunter), Start Verlag also offers a dedicated sheet with the markings for this machine in 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72: https://www.luftfahrtverlag-start.com/decals/ (scroll down almost to the bottom of the page).
  7. Actually, G-14/AS machines from production blocks 165000 and 785000 (Mtt Regensburg) and 462000 (Erla Leipzig) did have the chin bulges - simply a matter of standardizing on one lower cowling type for all 109 versions. In that case, it is usually possible to distinguish a G-14/AS from a G-10 by looking at the position of the oil filler point: the G-10 used a larger oil tank for its DB 605D engine, and the oil filler point is located higher than on earlier marks of the 109G using any of the DB 605A versions. However, this is not entirely full proof, as it has come to light that a small number of G-14/AS machines near the end of production apparently was also equipped with the larger oil tank that was normally reserved for the DB 605D-engined G-10 and K-4. On the right side, the port for the cold weather starting device was also located higher in the G-10, so this is another detail that helps telling G-14/AS and G-10 apart. Also, the cowlings used on G-10 aircraft produced by WNF/Diana, Erla and Mtt were all different - the difference between the WNF/Diana and Mtt cowlings is quite subtle, but the Erla cowl is very different: it is more streamlined and the lower cowl is widened, allowing the bulges to be deleted. When you see an aircraft with an Erla or WNF/Diana cowl, it's definitely a G-10, as these cowl types were not used on any G-14/AS aircraft. Of course, if the W.Nr of the aircraft is known, you can simply use that to look up which exact type it is, and who produced it.
  8. Fantastic news! Do you have any further plans for other Bf 109 sets (e.g. Mtt G-10 and WNF/Diana G-10...)? Any chance your Erla G-10 and Erla G-5/-6/-14 and Mtt/WNF G-6/-14 sets will be re-issued?
  9. Erik Pilawskii's 'Soviet Air Force Fighter Colours' (p. 117) says the following about I-16 interior colors: "Internal finish. The cockpit of the I-16 was somewhat different from its 'cousin', the I-153. At Gor'ki, interiors were usually completed in A-14 [steel] in the pre-war era. Examples of I-16s with AII Blue interiors are not at all uncommon, and, in fact, might have been the most popular option during 1940-41. A large number of I-16s also show unpainted interiors. Two surviving I-16s demonstrate Wood Finish [a blue-grey primer] interiors, again uniformly applied, and it is possible that a large number were also completed in the more usual manner, in which various items were left in their primed state." I think I've also somewhere seen AE-9 Light Grey quoted as the color for the interior - I'll see if I can dig out the reference. Hope this helps! Peter
  10. Hi Dave, Many thanks for your interest. Anyone interested in getting either a 1/18 or 1/16 Natter kit can contact Sven Schuessler via e-mail at svenschuessler@web.de. I've also sent you a pm. Kind regards, Peter
  11. The single best reference on the Natter is Brett Gooden's latest magnum opus Natter: Manned Missile of the Third Reich, which was published late last month. The book is the result of 25 years of research on the subject, runs at over 500 pages in length and has over 800 images - it pretty much includes every and any known Natter-related image, and also has a range of 3D renders of technical details provided by one of the engineers involved in the construction of the German replica. The amount of technical detail in the book is amazing - the technical discussion of the pole launcher alone covers half a chapter, and includes lots of photos and detailed diagrams. I have the book, and although it contains a few inaccuracies when dealing with other German projects, these do not detract in any way from its value as the ultimate reference on the Natter: it is a veritable gold mine. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the Natter or German WW II projects or aviation in general without any reservation. The only problem is availability: although the book only appeared at the end of June, the entire print run sold out within 10 days... However, because of the demand, the author is considering doing a reprint. If interested, more information on the book can be found here: https://www.nattermannedmissile.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/Ba349/ The pole launcher in the 1/48 Dragon kit (also reissued by Revell) is indeed pretty accurate, although it is missing some detail. Still, it could be used as a template for a larger scale version. Do note that this launcher can only be used with the operational Ba 349A-1 version, and the projected Ba 349B - the prototypes were configured to use the metal launch tower. The launch tower used for the prototypes is a more complicated affair, and appears to be less well-documented than the pole launcher; especially the details of the base of the tower seem a bit sketchy (I'm away from home at the moment, but when I'm back, I'll see what Gooden's book says about it). Dragon re-issued their Ba 349A-1 kit with the metal launch tower, which is incorrect, as the A-1 was designed to use the pole launcher; I can't vouch for the accuracy of the tower in that kit, as I don't have it. However, I suppose it could also serve as a pattern. Brengun also issued the launch tower as a photo-etch kit for their 1/72 and 1/144 Natter models. Again, I can't comment on accuracy, but I suppose it's pretty good. In addition, in January 1945, Bachem also designed a mobile transporter/launcher for the Natter. As a transporter, it could carry two Natters. As a launcher, it would be elevated at an 80 degree angle. It's a pretty simple design - basically a 12 m long metal launch ramp with outrigger wing supports and two wheels in the middle. This mobile transporter/launcher wasn't built anymore, but it could be used with the A-1 or B Natters for anyone inclined to do a Luft46 model instead of one of the airframes that was actually built. I think Brengun also offers a resin and photo-etch 1/72 version which could again serve as a template. And I agree with CATCplSlade: the 1/18 kits designed by the people on SSHQ are good, and are often quite heroic efforts. These models really are a labor of love on the part of the designers and tend to be pretty accurate; as an example, the Ho 229 and Me 163 kits were made using Arthur Bentley drawings, and their accuracy is excellent. They also offer tremendous potential for super-detailing (the interior of the Ho 229 is pretty basic, which is understandable given the extremely limited run nature of these kits; the Me 163 on the other hand is really well-detailed, and involved CAD designed parts for the smaller details). I think the Me 163 is still available for anyone interested.
  12. Indeed, it surprises me that no-one so far has come out with a pole launcher or launch tower for the Fly kits. That said, both launchers were mainly constructed from welded and bolted together sections of L, T and U-shaped profiles, so in principle it should be doable to scratch them - especially the pole launcher. In any case, I'll pass on the suggestion for a 1/32 version.
  13. Dear All, I have been a member on this forum for a while, but this is my first post here; so far, I’ve been a lurker. My main interests are German WW II aircraft, and Soviet/Russian aircraft from WW II until the present. I'm finally getting back into scale modelling after a very long break. I’d like to draw your attention to a model kit of the Bachem Ba 349A-1 ‘Natter’ rocket fighter in 1/18th scale that is currently being developed. The A-1 version was the initial production version for operational use. Three of these were tested in unmanned launches, and five operational machines were captured at the end of the war in Austria, one of which is now stored in the collections of the NASM. The model on offer was designed in CAD, apparently with the aid of some of the people involved with the building of a 1/1 scale replica that is currently on display in Germany. Masters were printed on an SLA printer, and used to produce silicone molds for resin casting. The model is available in both 1/18 and 1/16 scales, and a 3D-printed pole launcher is also being offered. The model was first announced on the Small Scale Headquarters forum; while this forum is mainly concerned with people who collect prebuilts, a few talented designers also occasionally offer limited-run resin kits of their own design (in the past, these have included a Horten Ho 229V3, Focke-Wulf Ta 183A ‘Hückebein’, Messerschmitt Me 163B-1 ‘Komet’, Mil Mi-24V ‘Hind-E’, Hawker Hurricane, and Henschel Hs 293A, all in 1/18). A test build of the Natter can be seen on this site here (scroll down; images of the CAD model are on the first page of the thread): http://www.warbird-photos.com/gpxd/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36920&start=25 I hope this will be of interest to at least some of you. Kind regards, Peter
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