The AVG »Flying Tigers« diorama 1/48
The story of American Volunteer Group (AVG) in China is legendary and well known. For my Flying Tigers diorama I chose the scene from Loiwing in the Southeast China in april 1942. It was one of rare occasions, where different pilots and planes from all three squadrons of AVG were represented in support of the evacuation of British and Chinese armies from Burma.
The planes are Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2 (also known as P-40 B). I deliberately chose two different kits – it is always interesting to compare different kits representing the same plane. The one on the left is Trumpeter, when issued about a decade ago considered the best kit in 1/48 scale. The one on the right is the old classic Monogram, first moulded close to half a century ago. When that old box is opened, one would almost want to cry, seeing the poor contents. Compared to contemporary standards it really is a poor sight. But I always feel a chalenge to make a decent model out of old kits, and this one is an excellent base, having a fairly accurate shape and dimensions. For Trumpeter kit not much was added (Aires cockpit, Squadron canopy, Master machine guns), but the Monogram has quite some aftermarket stuff added: a new spinner and cockpit (old set, forgot ther name), Loon models wheels, pitot tube and cowl flaps, Eduard flaps, Squadron canopy, Moskit exhausts and Master machine guns. A thorough work was devoted to engrave all the panel lines which were originally raised and I am quite satisfied with the result. The decals are from old Aeromaster 48-07B set (from 1996) with 10 different AVG markings. One important value of this set are the stencils for wing root and the prominent Prestone stencil, found close to gun sight in front of windshield (seen on numerous photos). As far as I know no other manufacturer includes this important detail decals in their sets.
The planes represented are Nr. 7 of Robert Neale, the commander of the 1st AVG squadron (the Adam & Eves) and the Nr. 75 of Bill Reed from the 3rd squadron (Hells Angels). This was the only known AVG plane which included the RAF roundels on the wings besides the Chinese ones (documented on photos).
The Jeep is from Tamiya, figures are from Wingz, Airwaves, DesKit, Gaso.line and Eduard.
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.