Saturday, July 28, 2018

DFS230 Gliders: Huma 1/72nd scale

I've had a hold of these models for an awfully long time. I remember being so excited when I saw them and snapped three up straight away. I've long had a fascination for German  Fallshirmjaeger operations since listening to my Grandfather Tom talk of fighting them in Crete 1941. A long intended staging of WWII Crete Rapid Fire games has now gotten a little closer with my construction of these three DFS230 gliders.
Before continuing, I recollect looking at the reconstructed glider inside fort Eben-Emael in 2012 and wondering at the daring of these soldiers. I'm currently reading Anthony Beevor's Arnhem and I have to say that anyone prepared to land in enemy territory under fire in any of these WWII gliders has a degree of fatalism greater than the common soldier. I've done two civilian static-line jumps myself but a glider? These Fallshirmjaeger rode inside straddling a bench-seat grasping each other's waists. I can only imagine how cramped it must have been - bloody agony. Also if the glider got into trouble in the air there were no parachutes ... mental.
Anyway, the Huma model (German company) is quite straight forward - especially when I realised I was to dispense with the undercarriage which was jettisoned after take-off. My models are flying in and will be landed. Having said that, the cock-pit construction was a bit of a mystery and I just left them out. My pilots will be fighting on the table-top mostly.
The other mystery was the decals. I had no idea what they are specifically representing and in spite of hours of trawling the internet I could find little reference to unit organisations. So, I have gone with each of the options provided - in fact there are four in the set. From the photos of DFS230s on Crete some are very plainly marked indeed but I went with unit organisation numbering all the same. What the decal set does not offer (and not for the first time) are tail swastika decals. This is all too typical of western European manufacturers these days and I find it quite irritating. It's an air-brushing of history - the denial of an inconvenient truth and I find it's falsehood disturbing. Airfix seems to do this also nowadays. Am I really supposed to have on hand a sheet of various sized swastika decals to make up the deliberate inaccuracy of an 'historical' model? So, be warned - they lack this option. Having said that, from my observation of on-line photos it seems they were likely as not to have them on the DFS230 tail-plane anyway so happily I feel I can get away with it this time.
The blurring of the upper into the lower pain schemes was achieved with wet and dry-dabbing a tiny sponge. The decals themselves were extremely robust and I could handle them a great deal - even trim them which you will need to do to squeeze them onto the thinning fuselage. You might also need to pull them apart once they are floated off the backing paper as they are imperfectly separated. I set them with Microsol, and matte coated them before pin-washing the panel detail and then dry brushed to catch the highlights. After a final overall matte coat (these will be handled a bit) they were done.

2 comments:

  1. Very cool models of one of my favorite aircraft - I have a resin one in 1:48th scale made in Germany - it didn't come with swastika decals due to laws there - I had to find some on the net later. http://wabcorner.blogspot.com/2010/11/dfs-230-glider-and-gran-sasso-raider.html

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  2. Thanks Dean. Yep .. swastikas ... no magic for me but I suppose the Europeans have just cause. At least we have work-arounds.

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