Mitsubishi A5M4 Claude

The immediate predecessor of Japan’s most famous wartime product, the A5M continued to serve in a secondary capacity all through the War years.

Let’s take a look at one that was involved in the massive Midway operation.

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Posted in Fighter, Japan | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Messerschmitt Me 509

Although the Me 509 is often included on a list with “Luftwaffe ’46” subjects, that is truly inappropriate. Its more of a “Alt Luft ’43” subject.

As World War II was getting started, Willy Messerschmitt recognized his Bf 109 as an aging design.
Such was the pace of aircraft development at the time, that several projects were started to find a more advanced replacement.

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Posted in Fighter, Germany | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk

We’ve looked at the story of how the Japanese exploded across the Pacific at the start of the Pacific War a few times. Now let’s take a look at where the line finally held, and one of the most successful early pilots.

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Posted in Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Douglass TBD-1 Devastator

John C Waldron

The Devastator is best known for the sacrifice of it’s crews at the Battle of Midway. In particular, Torpedo 8 which lost all of their aircraft and most of their personnel in one attack.

Let’s look at a prime mover behind the well known story.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Grumman F5F-1 Skyrocket

Grumman’s entry into the “heavy fighter” sweepstakes was destined to never advance beyond the prototype stage. But its not an easy thing to dismiss it as a failed design.

Let’s take a look at an interesting design; in particular WHY it wasn’t built and if it plausibly COULD have been.

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Posted in Fighter, Hypothetical, USA | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Fiat CR.42 Falco

The main Italian fighter in service at the start of World War II was definitely more the ultimate expression of a past era than anything modern.

Let’s take a look.

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Posted in Fighter, Italy | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe

The float version of the Zero was perhaps the most successful floatplane fighter ever built.

This will also be the mildest sort of “hypothetical” build I can even imagine. The aircraft is real, its service by unit and location are accurate, its markings are accurate for its unit. Just one small detail is hypothetical, and there’s a serious history behind that too. You may guess from the pictures, the hypothetical is about — purple…

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Posted in Fighter, Hypothetical, Japan | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I

An example of a less than fully successful concept, the Defiant was one of the first generation of fighters that Great Britain had on entering World War II.

Let’s look an interesting idea that never fulfilled its promise.

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Posted in Britain, Fighter | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Theme Build 2

Hypothetical

I would guess the idea of “Hypothetical” builds immediately conjures thoughts of “Luftwaffe ’46” subjects for most of us. Back in the ’90s I think there were whole TV series built on this idea! Although such subjects do have some passing interest to me (really, who doesn’t like seeing outrageous jet fighters that never progressed past napkin doodles?!) I bet most readers will not be too surprised to hear I’m actually more interested in things with more plausibility. Especially aircraft that could have appeared in the middle of the War without such massive disruptions of the space/time continuum…

So for my first foray into this theme I won’t do any Luftwaffe ’46. You may not believe me when you see my list! In order (from least to most, errr, “hypothetical”) I will do an A6M2-N Rufe, F5F Skyrocket, Messerschmitt Me 509 and P-80 Shooting Star. If any of that makes you question my “least to most” claim, let’s just say I consider actual changes to War timelines more significant than production or engineering decisions.
As always, I won’t be giving away any more spoilers about my subjects until their individual posts drop.

I have built a few such models before. I think its occasionally fun to visualize things that never quite were. I also like it as an exercise in looking at how things came to be, and what it would have taken to change them. Hopefully this will be fun for all of us, or at least we can have a good argument about why I think its fun. I think these will all be pretty simple builds and will take about three weeks each.

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Panzer VI Tiger

Germany’s famous, and very heavy Tiger tank entered production Summer of 1942.

Time for a quick look at one of the very first to see combat.

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Posted in Armor, Germany | Tagged , , | 6 Comments