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First and last

Hey All,
The First and Last build idea was an idea suggested by fellow iModeler Paul Barber. Hope to see more of the groups additions soon.
The aircraft I chose for my FIRST and LAST builds are based on the so-called “career” of a WW2, USAAF, pilot from training to the end of the war. But to take it a little further I wanted to build a few examples of aircraft flown by a group of pilots, selected to evaluate German jets, known as Watson’s Whizzers, during Operation LUSTY (LUftwaffe Secret TechnolgY). Interesting side note. All the pilots chosen were experienced combat pilots who all flew P-47 Thunderbolts.
This was a fun project and I thank Paul for letting me be a part.
I hope you enjoy my tribute to these USAAF pilots…..

First:
USAAF cadet pilots at some point during their primary training were likely to fly a variant of the Boeing Stearman biplane.
Kit: Silver Wings, 1/32, Stearman PT-13D, Kaydet, All resin construction.
I bought this kit several years ago because the designation PT-13 is used when powered by a Lycoming, R-680, radial engine. I am a Designer/Drafter at Lycoming and I wanted a model “powered” with a Lycoming engine.
Aftermarket Added: RB Productions US Seatbelts White
Scratch built: Turnbuckles, Wood propeller and Air duct to the engine.
EZ-line for the rigging.
Paints used: Mr. Color 329, Yellow, MRP 384, True Blue
Instead of the kit decal I opted to paint the Vertical Stab Flash colors: AK Real Colors R004 and Mr. Color 68, Red
Kit Decals.
Lightly Weathered with Artist Oil Wash for darker recesses and Artist Oil Drybrush for highlights.

LAST: Build 1:
Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a/U3 “White 30”(Wk. Nr. Unknown).
Watson's Whizzers 222, "Marge", later renamed "Lady Jess IV". White 30 was shipped to the USA on HMS Reaper, designated FE-108, then transferred to the USN where it was allocated BuNo. 121443. It was written off at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland on its first test flight on 7 Nov 1945.
Kit: Hobby Boss, 1/48, Me 262 A-1a/U3
Aftermarket Added: True Details Seat, Eduard Brassin ME-262 Wheels
Removed and repositioned the wing slats to the extended position. Added interior canopy details.
EZ-line aerials.
Paints Used: Vallejo Model Air, RLM 76, 81, 82.
Cutting Edge Decals CED48159
Lightly Weathered with Artist Oil Wash for darker recesses and Artist Oil Drybrush for highlights.

LAST Build 2:
Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a (Wk. Nr. 110639). "White 35". One of 15 aircraft modified under contract by Blohm and Voss for use as a dual-control two seat trainer.
Watson's Whizzers 555, "Vera", and later "Willie". "Vera" was used to train most of the American pilots who were tasked to fly the captured aircraft. White 35 was shipped to the USA on HMS Reaper. This aircraft went to the USN Armament Test Division at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland in Dec 1945 where it was designated USN (Bu No. 121448). Originally on display at NAS Willow Grove, PA, restored, transferred to and currently on display at the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, FL.
Kit: Hobby Boss, 1/48, Me 262 B-1a
The kit is designated as the trainer version but the rear cockpit parts are identical to the Hobby Boss night fighter version so I modified the rear cockpit with a scratch built panel and sides.
Aftermarket Added: True Details Seat in front cockpit, Eduard Brassin ME-262 Wheels
EZ-line rigging aerials.
Paints Used: Vallejo Model Air, RLM 76, 81, 82. Vallejo Metal Color Aluminum
Cutting Edge Decals CED48159
Lightly Weathered with Artist Oil Wash for darker recesses and Artist Oil Drybrush for highlights.

LAST Build 3:
Arado AR.234 B-2 (Wk. Nr. 140312). One of three Ar.234's collected by Watson's Whizzers. Shipped to the USA on HMS Reaper. Assigned foreign equipment number FE-1010 and delivered to the Accelerated Service Test Maintenance Squadron, located at Wright Field, Dayton, OH. After evaluation the aircraft ended up at the Smithsonian's Paul Garber Restoration Facility, Suitland, MD for storage in the 1950's. The Smithsonian completly restored the aircraft from 1985-1989 and is now on display at the NASM / Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles International Airport and is the only Ar.234 remaining.
I had the privalge of seeing this aircraft twice during restoration and several times at the NASM. One of my favorites at Dulles, she's such a beauty!
Kit: Hasegawa, 1/48, Arado Ar234B-2/N Nachtigall.
To present this aircraft as currently on display at the NASM I vacuumed formed a new cockpit nose to represent the bomber version (without radar antenna holes as on the kit part). I also elected to use the scheme and markings as on display at the NASM provided with the Cutting Edge decals listed.
Aftermarket Added : Aires, Cockpit and Wheel Bays Set, Aires Wheels 4165, Eduard Luftwaffe Farbric Seatbelts
EZ-line rigging aerials.
Paints Used: AK Interactive Real Colors RLM 76ver2, RLM 81ver3, RLM 82, Signal Red and Vallejo Metal Color Aluminum
Cutting Edge Decals CED48202, Kit decals for the cockpit nose framing/rivets.
Lightly Weathered with Artist Oil Wash for darker recesses and Artist Oil Drybrush for highlights.

44 additional images. Click to enlarge.


26 responses

  1. Absolutely stunning Gary - when I look at the prop on the Stearman, then the paint job on the 262s and finally the Arado canopy work, it just emphasises why I view you as one of the best modellers on here. The builds are tight, the painting sensational and the attention to detail second to none! Thanks so much for joining in the fun!

    I'll get a couple up at the weekend - I have managed to tear tendons in my shoulder!

  2. Awesome collection, Gary.
    Each and ever single piece on those builds are perfect.
    Love that scheme on the 262A1-a.

  3. Outstanding work.

  4. This is a spectacular collection, Gary!
    All models are simply stunning!

  5. Really a beautiful collection of well done kits, of some very interesting planes. Wonderful subjects beautifully executed by you. Love the painting of Marge, very well done! I am curious about how well the Aires Resin fit into the Arado kit, I find in general Aires resin to look incredible and fit terribly.

  6. They all look great! Amazing work, nice job!

  7. I’m so glad you finally post your Stearman model on the front pages, it’s the best one I recall seeing rendered in any scale. Drop dead beautiful work Gary! Thumbs up

  8. Job well done Gary, great collection of fine modeling skills as well. Love that paint job on Vera.

  9. My old friend Bob Strobel was the first of Watson’s Whizzers to be dropped by himself at Lechtfeld at the end of the war. He flew both of the Me-262’s you have modeled. Bob told me that none of them in the Whizzers wanted to fly the Ar-234 because they weren’t thrilled with being right up front in the nose of the aircraft if they had to crash land. I miss my Wednesday lunches with a beer with my friend Bob.

  10. Gary, @gwskat
    These are all magnificent builds ! It is very hard for me to pick a favorite... I like the Stearman, and especially the hand crafted paper prop. It looks very realistic and lifelike. I learned something recently about wooden props, and I'll pass it on here. Typically when an aircraft with a wooden propeller is stored for any length of time, most owners will place the prop in a level position. This is done to supposedly keep it in balance. Otherwise, there is a small chance that if there is any moisture in the prop, this moisture can accumulate in the lower blade through gravity, and theoretically affect the balance.

    Now looking at the Luftwaffe jets... man this is another tough choice. The paint work is done to perfection, especially the mottling on the sides of the 262 #35. Then we have the random squiggly lines on the 262 #30... It too looks perfect !

    Top all of this off with the Arado jet... The clear bits you labored over allow us to see all of the hard work that you have put into this one. It also looks perfect. I think the main reason why you chose to build this was was the letters on the side of the fuselage... "GS" just happens to be your initials... How cool is that ?

    Well done my friend. You know I definitely pressed the "liked" button on these. They look great in the headlines section. I'll do my best to get my "F&L" posted soon.

    • Thanks much, Louis!
      Though I had messed around with trying paper for the prop, this one is a wood version.
      I never realized the initials on the 234 being those of my own...but I did use them because this is the one at the NASM...who knows, maybe they'll let me take it out for a burn around the patch now and then...LOL
      Take care my friend!

  11. What a nice idea for a build, they all look absolutely great!

  12. Great idea for a build,they are all beautifully done!

  13. A very cool collection - nice builds all! Well done.

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