Book Review: Images of War. The Desert Air War 1940-1943


This book looks at the conflict fought in the skies above the Mediterranean and North Africa during the period from which Mussolini declared war in June of 1940 until the Italian armistice of September 1943.

Over the course of the book the author looks at the types of aircraft used by their relative air forces during the conflict, from the CR.32 & Gloster Gladiator biplanes of the Regia Aeronautica and RAF respectively during the early months; to the Douglas Boston DB-7’s of the SAAF and the Ju-87 Stuka’s of the Luftwaffe.

The book looks at the roles each type of the wide range of aircraft involved played during the various stages of the conflict and the conditions they and their crews were operating in.

Whilst the vast array of photographs included may not provide many opportunities for the modeller to examine the details of each aircraft, they are sure to provide plenty of inspiration for potential builds and dioramas.

Overall, I found this book to be a good introduction to an area of the second world war that I had not really spent much time looking at before, with the text providing a good amount of historical detail whilst the selection of photographs covers a good variety of subject matter helping retain a high level of visual interest too.

As always my sincerest thanks go to Pen and Sword Books for the copy to review, you can get your copy over at their website!

HMS Astute Reporting for Paint!

Main Hull of the 1:700 HMS Astute ready for paint
Main Hull of the 1:700 HMS Astute ready for paint

I haven’t forgotten about this kit, I finally have the hull seam somewhere near like respectable, well its close enough anyway. So here we have the main hull assembly and the prop ready and waiting for a coat of ever so boring Vallejo Black!

All Clamped up

The biggest problem I am having with these small scale subs is getting the hull halves to line up, and yet again despite my best efforts with clamps to get the halves in sync there is still a visible step in places so I have masked off the seam for some filler work with un-thinned Mr Surfacer 500.


Another Submarine!

Ok so whilst we are waiting for the decals to dry on the Seawolf I thought I might as well break out another 1:700 sub, this time in the shape of the Royal Navy’s HMS Astute by Hobby Boss!

Here’s the sprue and box shots, as you can see there’s not much to this one either although the part count is slightly higher than the Seawolf at least. I have to admit although I don’t have any past interest in Sub’s the models have made me look at them; I always like to do a little research on the subjects I model and they have kindled a maritime interest in me I must confess.

I can see more of similar subject matters adding themselves to my ever growing stash at this rate.



Hull Paint Finished, Time for Decals

So I got the top half of the sub painted black and figures I might as well get the few decals on before I do any touch ups and detail painting, so here we are adding the decals, once these are dry and settled I might actually seal them in before continuing on with the detail painting etc just to give them a little protection incase something goes wrong.

Painting the Hull Again!

Ok so the orange peeled paint was sanded and buffed to within an inch of its life and a new coat was laid down, this has gone a bit better than the last one but I am not entirely happy with it still but thats nothing new. It’s certainly passable so it’s time to move on.

Painting the hull

So after a quick coat of my new AK primer, which went through the airbrush without issue, it was time to get some paint on the hull of the Seawolf, now I have heard that modern paints mean the red anti-fouling has been phased out and replaced with a black version but wheres the interest in that so off I went and I bought a jar of Tamiya’s hull red.

However a quick coat of this and it looked way too brown to my eye so after googling for what seemed like hours I came across a recommendation of mixing your own from x-9 red and x-1 black, I cant remember the exact ration but it was something like 5:1, this got the shade looking much better to my eye but I must have had pressure too high on my compressor for the amount of thinners I had mixed in as you can see from the photo above the finish was terrible!

Out with the fine and extra fine sanding sticks it is then to get this buffed up enough to take another, this time hopefully better, coat!




Assembly complete

I know I haven’t posted for a while but it’s actually been because I have been at my bench hard at work for once, so expect a fair few updates over the coming days. First of all the Seawolf, here’s construction complete waiting for some primer.

Not liking the seam much but it is what it is!


Almost as many tools as parts

I know I said I wanted another quick build as a distraction but I am not sure there’s enough building to even count as a distracton! The sub itself only consists of 5 parts! Ok we still have the 3 parts for the stand left over but even still it made me laugh anyway.

Another new build

Well It’s time for another new build to begin, I picked up some kits for much cheap online the other day, got them all heavily discounted as there was superficial damage to their boxes. All the kits inside were checked by the distributor though so I had no hesitation in ordering.

Anyway I digress, there was a few Submarines up for sale and having never built one before I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my feet wet if you will pardon the pun.

So here is the first of the submarines I picked up. It’s a 1:700 scale USS SSN-21 Seawolf. I had no idea what to expect with these kits as I had never even looked at a model sub before but it seems at this scale theres seriously not much to them!

Still what little plastic is in the box is looking pretty nice. There’s no real flash or obvious moulding issues that I can see, theres an included display stand that already has the model description printd on it. The panel lines are engraved and at this scale I would suspect they are over scale, but if they were to scale they would be that fine you probably wouldn’t be able to see them.

Anyway lets get the sprue bag open and then glue out shall we!