New tool Airfix 1/48 Stuka B-1 finished as an Italian R-2 captured/stolen by the RAF in 1941 (some Hurricane pilots went out and appropriated it after noticing it unattended in no-mans land having force landed due to running out of fuel). The B-2/R-2 propellor, exhausts, and bomb rack are all in the B-1 box. The B-2 engine cowls though are not, which is why they aren't on the model
The guns were removed from the captured aircraft, so the wing gun fairings were drilled out to remove the barrels, and the mount and ammunition cans left out of the rear cockpit. Decals by LF Models (which turned out to be a little too thin, I'd probably paint the white cross on the tail if I did this again), and some of the more prominent piping added to the engine with solder.
The kit is mostly brilliantly engineered (there are poorly placed sprue gates and ejector pin marks in a couple of places, and a few sink marks) and is one of the best fitting kits I've ever built. There are a couple of missing instructions though - there is no instruction to add the rear gunners back support strap despite it being included as a part and shown fitted, and there is no guidance at all on fitting the bomb cradle with the cowls off. Aside from those minor criticisms it was a really enjoyable build.
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 27, 2017 14:45:26 GMT 12
It's really interesting to see the Italian and RAF markings together. There were a number of captured Stukas that seemed to be used as hacks so they must have been a reasonably good aircraft to fly, but the photos of those ones show the old markings as obliterated and the new management's markings over the top. Was this particular aircraft perhaps taken under RAF management after the Italian capitulation and realignment with the Allies?
Was this particular aircraft perhaps taken under RAF management after the Italian capitulation and realignment with the Allies?
No, as I alluded to in the OP it was "pinched" after a raid's worth of Italian Stukas force landed after running out of fuel in the Western Desert in September 1941. They came down inside British held territory, so a pair of RAF officers set out to locate and acquire one. Three days later after a bit of a desert adventure they flew it back to their aerodrome, with a Royal Navy officer in the gunner's seat who they had picked up along the way (he had been doing a bit of sightseeing of the land war while on shore leave).
The full account of the heist was published in "They Flew Through Sand" (1943, ISBN 9780951607817) by Squadron Leader George Houghton (), and reproduced in "Freedom's Battle: The War in The Air" (1968, ISBN 978-1845950842) edited by Gavin Lyall, the latter of which I have a copy of.
Great build Sam, and nice to see a Stuka in something other than the 'usual'
Thanks Joe. Axis aircraft aren't really my thing modelling wise. This one was done as part of my club's annual Build the Same Kit (BSK) competition so the subject and scale aren't my usual. I started looking for captured or foreign operator schemes before I'd even got the kit, and this one fit the bill nicely