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Bill Koppos
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For December 7th

December 7, 2013 · in Aviation · · 14 · 2.1K

The day all Hell broke loose, and changed the lives of millions. This represents one of the few U.S. machines to gain the air that morning. Lt. Phil Rasmussen managed to take off (legend says still in his pajamas) and knock down a Japanese bomber before receiving a hail of lead in return, bringing his holed and tailwheel-less airplane down and living to tell about it.

Still in it's un-warlike colors, the P-36 was being used as a trainer with one gun mounted. Alclad II White aluminum is the main shade, with tinted panels added.

Later on, I thought I would add some figures to display with the plane, and modified some Airfix 1/32 Marines to (somewhat) look like pre-war U.S. army. "Soup-plate" Helmets were stolen from a British set. I tried to give them a hurried, snap shooting look. One guy is holding a .30 cal. Browning barehanded so I wrapped his left hand up to prevent burns.

I know the pics are poor but this was a while ago before I improved. They are in the American Airpower Museum now so I can't get new ones yet.

Here's to those who serve, past and present.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Nice clean build Bill. A good clean build representing the reaction as opposed to the panic it could have been.

  2. An appropriate post for this day, Bill - and a nice job on the build ...(AND the of the many areas in which I lack talent).

  3. gorgeous...i've got one of these...very fine work

  4. COOL! Very nice job you've done!

  5. Very nice looking scene, Bill. Very appropriate for this day of the year. I will need to read some more. I had read of the Warhawk(s), I believe, that got airborne but hadn't heard of this Hawk doing the same. Nice conversion on the figures.

  6. Bill,
    Outstanding build and your finish is superb. I really like what you have done with this kit.
    Rasmussen would be very pleased with this homage you have paid to him.

  7. Just had former 1st Lt. Norval Heath out at Chino today to speak, telling us what it was like to dodge a strafing Zero as he drove across Wheeler Field to get to the hangar of the 19th Pursuit Squadron, to see all their P-40Bs go up in flames as two Zeros strafed them, "Just like in the movie" as he put it.

    He had quite a time at the museum today - walked in to see the P-26, the first fighter he ever flew, then walked outside to see the F-104, the last airplane he flew in his USAF career. How's that for a range of experience?

  8. Very nice work there Bill.

  9. Bill, One word for your P-36 "BEAUTIFUL"

  10. Great build and I love the history / story behind it! Plus that's one elegant looking bird!

  11. It's always good to see a model built by someone who has such a feel for the prototype, this is really nicely built and finished, Bill.

  12. Thanks Gents, very glad to hear positive feedback.

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