Above: My second armor diorama. A Panzer IV is ambushed in the hedgerow country of Normandy after hitting
an anti tank mine. Note the rolled out tread in the foreground. Any thoughts the German tank crew may have had about fighting
it out have been quieted by the flame thrower in the right foreground. Better a POW than broiled alive! The tank commander
is covered by a GI with a Garand in the foreground center, while the driver is staring at the barrel of a Thompson in the
hands of the GI to the left. The kit is Tamiya, the GIs are Tamiya, the rest is me!
Above: Lend Lease in action. A P-39 Airacobra in Russian service. Not a very popular plane with the Americans
(who used it as designed - a fighter), the mid engined Bell aircraft was well liked by the Russians (who used it for ground
attack) because the Oldsmobile-built 37mm cannon was very effective against German light armor. With two .50 cals in the nose
and four .30 cals in the wings, German troops also had much to fear from the P-39. The tanker trailer is scratchbuilt from
a prescription medicine container. Typical of Russian vehicles and aircraft, a patriotic slogan is painted on the side of
the trailer and the fuselage of the Airacobra. The snow is baking powder, sprinkled over the trees after they had just been
sprayed with dull coat. Repeat this procedure several times to build up the snow layer.
Above: A B-25H gunship is serviced somewhere in the South Pacific. The brainchild of Paul "Pappy"
Gunn, a USAAF colonel in the Southwest Pacific, the evolution of the Medium Bomber gunship/skip bomber (B-25's and A-20's)
was a devastating development for the Japanese. The original glazed nose of the earlier B-25's, home to the bombardier, was
removed (as was the bombardier) and replaced with 4-6 .50 caliber machine guns and a 75mm cannon. "Twin packs" of
2 machine guns each were added to the fuselage sides. Add the two fifties in the top turret, and there you have it. With the
10 forward firing .50 caliber Brownings and a 75mm cannon, these gunships could rip a small freighter in half or annihilate
a row of aircraft in seconds. Small coastal ships literally vaporized under the withering firepower of these low flying predators.
Pilots flying them often said the aircraft "stood still" when all the guns opened up. The 75mm had to be loaded
manually, and this slow firing gun was deleted in later models. Pappy Gunn also developed the tactic of "skip bombing".
The gunships would attack vessels at mast head height, opening up with the guns to keep the enemy gunners "preoccupied".
Then, from just a few hundred yards out and maybe 100ft or less above the water, the bombs would be released by the pilot
and "skipped" over the water into the side of the target ship. The tactic was terribly effective and the effects
devastating. This model is a "breakaway" model - the tail section comes off, the windshield glazing can be
removed, and the fuselage opens to show interior detail. The searchlight trailer in the foreground is wired and lights up