Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown; a story for the generations. For Bernie.

  • 385 posts
  • Last reply 3 weeks, 6 days ago
  • 1/48, diorama, Luftwaffe, USAF, WW2
Viewing 31 - 45 of 385 posts
  • Sebastijan Videc said 5 months, 3 weeks ago:

    What an awesome project! I’ve first heard of this story when listening to Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton when they released a song ‘No Bullets Fly’ a few years ago. Of course I had to immediately read the ‘Higher Call’ book and was amazed, especially by the story, morale and career of Franz Stigler. So from the info from the book, are those decals correct to depict kill markings on the rudder? As from what I remember, he didn’t wore them after returning from African theater.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Hi Sebastijan. Great to hear from you and I really appreciate you sending the post, especially as this project has been a bit of a ‘sleeper’ recently. I look at these ‘planes every day and think, “if only I had the time…”

    In terms of Stigler and the ‘Kill markings’ I believe he kept the markings on his Gustav after returning from Africa but refused to have any more added as he’d stopped counting. This was due to a mixture of ‘war fatigue’ and the disgust he felt seeing ‘superior’ fliers in JG 27 lying and ‘cheating’ about their kills to gain medals and glory.

    I will get to this build later, although it’s currently ‘parked’ the story, and the project, is still very much on my mind.

    Hope you are well, Sebastijan, and it’s great to ‘meet’ you!

  • Sebastijan Videc said 5 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Likewise, David!

    Yeah, the kill marking thing escaped me a bit, so I wasn’t totally sure. I would love to build his Messer one day and there are a couple of Eduard’s G6s waiting in the stash… I’d just wished a day had at least 36 hours 😀

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Sebastijan, I said to my wife just the other day that there’s no problem in life that couldn’t be solved by a having a 30 hour day.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Just breathing a little life into this WiP; it’s a very important ‘diorama’ to me (love the B17, the story, and the Bf 109) but ‘time being the enemy of all men’ it’s just hard to prioritise.

    But, yesterday a key component fell into place when I found and ordered this.

    Meet 2nd Lt. Spencer ‘Pinky’ Luke, co-pilot.

    And here is the actual crew of ‘Ye Olde Pub’ – Spencer is second from the left in the front row.

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for operations across the period beginning 28 May 1943 to 31 July 1944. The second was awarded to the 1st Bomb Division as a whole for flying without fighter protection to bomb aircraft factories at Oschersleben on 11 January 1944.

    The 379th was comprised of four (4) Bombardment Squadrons (All B-17’s)
    1) 524th – Squadron Marking: WA
    2) 525th – Squadron Marking: FR
    3) 526th – Squadron Marking: LF
    4) 527th – Squadron Marking: FO

    (Details from Imperil War Museum)

  • Tom Bebout said 5 months ago:

    Glad to see you woke up on this build. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    “Glad to see you woke up on this build” – how that made me laugh, Tom. I’m glad to wake up on it!

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Just gathering more research for this and thought I’d share a few more photos. Also gives some traction to the motivation.

    These fortresses were just sponges for punishment and I’ll tell you, replicating the hammering that ‘Ye Olde Pub’ took is a lot of fun. Between this and the Wilcat diorama I’ve been working on, I’m starting to get a real buzz for ripping planes apart.

    — Image [pic9] not found —

    Neil Foster just put me on to the idea of using aluminium foul for some of the stressed skin damage (which in the quick experiment I did looks great in scale). Also, looking at the photos I need to add some ripped out wiring.

    7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 5 months ago:

    These old Forts took a beating for sure. I am always amazed at what some of these planes went through and still managed to make it home. About 15 years ago I met a gentlemen who flew B-24’s over Europe. He told me that he still loved the B-24 because he always came home in it. I asked him about his opinion on the B-17, and in a typical pilot fashion he replied that the B-24 was faster, carried a heavier bomb load at a higher speed and a higher altitude than the B-17. He threw in the ringer when he said that they made more of them too !!! He had his points ……..
    I have had the opportunity to crawl through both types and both seem quite cramped inside, even more so when you think about how much more awkward it must have been when wearing combat flight gear and a parachute !!! Some guys supposedly set their chutes next to them since it was so cramped inside these planes.

    The final twist to this story ………

    The B-24 pilot became best friends with his next door neighbor ( who I also had the pleasure of meeting). She was a tiny little woman who still spoke with a broken English accent. She was German !!!!
    And she lived in a town that the B-24 pilot actually bombed during the War !!! Not once, but twice !!!

    He pulled out his log book and showed me ………

    Amazing how we can sometimes get along given the opportunity.

    He stayed in the Army Air Force and eventually flew F-86 Sabre jets in Korea.

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing your progress on this one Dave …… The aluminum foil is a great idea for battle damage.

    I have added a few pictures for you. I have quite a few of them, and if you need more please don’t hesitate to ask.

    The waist gunners position:

    The bomb bays

    And the nose …….

    The “radio room”

    And the “office”

    Are just a few of what I have taken.

    Thanks again David.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Great photos there, Louis – I’m particularly pleased with the waist gunner position as I’ll need to do a lot of scratchbuilding there (due to the fuselage being ripped open). Lots of detail and gives you a sense of how enclosed the spaces are even though the 17 herself looks huge from the outside. Nice to see you there, too.

    Don’t you just love this new facility of being able to add photos to threads? Adds another dimension to the enjoyment of posting. Anyway, coffee and off to work…

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    David, detailing the interior of the Fortress is a gigantic task, even more with the pics Louis added…superb photos, reminds me of the old Verlinden lock-on books (I think that was the name). Good luck for the rest of the build, gonna follow all the way, already got some popcorn

  • Louis Gardner said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    I got my popcorn too !!!!

    Thanks gentlemen for the compliments on the photos.

    This build is going to be a great one indeed. Sorry for the late reply but I just noticed that you replied about the 1:1 scale B-17 photos I posted here. If you need any more B-17 detail pictures I have “quite a few”…….

    Judging by the sheer size of these planes, you would really think that there was a lot of room inside, but quite the opposite is true. They are very cramped inside and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for the crew to move around inside. Now add a heavy insulated and heated flight suit AND a parachute, plus factor in the sub zero temperature at altitude. It’s no wonder why so many crewmen perished when a plane went down.

    They say that the 8th AF suffered more casualties than the entire USMC did during the War. Having had the privilege to go inside these flying museums now I can understand why.

    Ironically these planes are literally an oven inside when it’s hot outside and the plane is parked on the ground. Now imagine how hot it was while the planes jockeyed into position for the takeoff run on 1,000 plane raids. Astonishing to think about.
    And yes I really like it now that we can add photos in with our replies.

    Have a safe and happy holiday weekend. It’s Memorial Day Weekend here in the States. I’m going to start a few new building journals that will be dedicated to some family members and friends.

    I’ll be looking forward to the next installment …….

    Take care my friend.

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Hi Pedro and thanks for the encouragement. I realised when I took this on that there’d be a lot of work in the ‘fort. However, I’m resisting the ‘detail up’ kits available from Eduard (they do separate kits for engines, cockpit, bomb bay, waist, and tail) as it’d bust the kitty.

    My plans are to scratch detail the areas that are open, which will mainly be the waist. The Eduard 109 will just about build herself, and the other main part will be the base (which I have one or two ideas about).

    This build is right up on the bench after this weekend and I’m looking forward to kick starting her again.

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Here’s a few photos that show just how cramped and hostile the inside of a B17 could get.

    This second photo is a great shot, but again illustrates a darker truth behind the smiles; I can’t imagine the heat, chaos, and fear amidst all those cartridges and noise. And hell, I have teenagers.

    This last photo is one I find haunting. The look in this boy’s eyes says something about what he’s been through.

    Thanks as usual for the comments, Louis. If I need a specific answer to the ‘fort interior I know where to find you.

  • David A. Thomas said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    This is going to turn out great. Especially poignant given Bernie’s passing…

    I live in the Seattle area where most B-17s were built. A while ago I was sitting at a cage and looked–as if responding to the sound of a Cessna–and here was a lumbering B-17, passing right overhead, for all the world looking like she was heading out on another mission.

Viewing 31 - 45 of 385 posts