B-36 Peacemaker Strategic Bomber
Last updated: December 23, 2015 - More decals, final painting, touch up and complete
Introduction - Convair B-36 Peacmaker Strategic Bomber
The initial genesis for the design of what would becomae the B-36 Bomber traces back to the dark days of 1941 as it became clear that the United states would have to become directly involved in World War II. In those days, before Pearl Harbor, there was the very real prospect that Germany would defeat Great Britan and thus control all of Europe. In that event, the United States was going to need a bomber aircraft that could perfrom missions all the way across the Atlantic. The long range heavy bombers then in operation, or actively being developed, the B-17, the B-24, and ultimately the B-29 did not have that type of range. All would fall short.
In the event that Great Britan fell, the United States needed a bomber that could fly unrefueled, perform its bombing missions, and then return to the United States until such a time as America could gain a foothold in Europe. The roundtrip from the potential fields in New Foundland to Belin was approximately 6,000 miles. But the US wanted bombers that could also take off from fields in the continental United states in the event they were required. On April 11, 1941, eight months before Pearl Harbor, the American trans-oceanic ranged strategic bomber design competition started. It was seeking a 450 mph top speed, a 275 mph cruising speed, a service ceiling of 45,000 ft., and a maximum range of 12,000 miles at 25,000 ft. After significant industrial review, these initial requirements proved too demanding and on August 19, 1941 the specifications were reduced to a maximum range of 10,000 miles with a 10,000 lb bomb load, a cruising speed of 240+ mph, and a service ceiling of 40,000 ft, which was above the maximum effective altitude of all of Nazi Germany's typically deployed anti-aircraft Flak guns.
As the war progressed, and the tide of war turned in favor of the allies, production of vast numbers of B-17s, B-24s, and then B-29s took top priotity in order to exceed attrition rates and continue the massive bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan. Just the same, the Army Air Corps kept pushing for a new long-ranged bomber to reach Japan from its bases in Hawaii. So, the development of the B-36 resumed in earnest. The US Secretary of War decided to waive normal army procurement procedures, and in July 1943 ordered 100 B-36s before prototype aircraft were ever built or tested. The first aircraft delivery for this order was to be in August 1945, with the last being in October 1946. The first aircraft was unveiled by Convair on August 20, 1945, five days after Japan surrendered. With the immediate emphasis reduced, this aircraft did not fly for the first time until August 8, 1946.
She was a huge aircraft, as well she would have to be to meet the requirements.
She has six massive pusher piston engines mounted on a wing that spanned 230 feet. To this day this is the largest wingspan of any mass produced combat aircraft in history. The massive wing was seven and one-half feet thick and had a service pathway to the piston engines internally that allowed the engines to be worked on by the crew while in flight. The aircraft dwarfed the B-29 Superfortress which was the largest World War II bomber aircraft and which had delivered the nuclear bombs to Heroshima and Nagaskai that ended World War II.
Intially, the cockpit was designed similar to the B-29, being flush to the cigar shaped fuselage. Here is a picture of a B-29 compared to the intial B-36:
After World War II, relations with the USSR soured rapidly. Even though the US and her allies had worked together with the USSR to defeat Nazi Germany, the USSR itself developed into another brutal dictatorship that had visions itself of formenting communist revolution throughout the world and ultimatly controlling the world. Once the USSR developed nuclear weapons of its own, the need for the B-36 became paramount. Now, the massive weapons load, the tremendous range, and the relative high speed and high atlitude of the B-36 became the natural tool to deter the Soviet Union.
The United States formed the US Air Force as a separate, indepenedent service branch in 1947 and all B-36 bombers were immediately transferred to the USAF. Modifictions were made to make the aircraft suitable for the new task of deterring the USSR. Her cockpit was redesigned and placed atop the fuselage. She got more powerful engines. In her new role of strategic deterrance, she became operational in 1949 and more orders were placed with production runs that would continue through 1954.
The confrontation between the US and her allies (The West) and the USSR and her allies (The East) was named the "Cold War," after the Berlin airlift of 1948, and particularly after the Soviet Union's first successful nuclear bomb detonation in 1949, the B-36 was the only American aircraft with the range and payload to carry all of the United States nuclear inventory from airfields on American soil to targets in the USSR. In order to carry the largest US nuclear weapons, the bomb bays had to be combined and the modification to allow this was called the "Grand Slam Installation."
Soon, B-36 bombers were available in numbers and operating from US air bases in the United States and from air bases of allies in Europe and the Western Pacific.
Despite its capabilities, the B-36 was designed in the era of piston engines driving propellers. In the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, the jet age was ushered in. The "jet age" actually started towards the end of World War II when the Nazis introduced the first production jet fighter, the Me-262 twin engined fighter. But it began in earnest at the end of the 1940s and into the 1950s. In order to increase speed and range, the B-36 underwent a transformation that brough it into the jet age. In addition to its six massive psiton engines, four jet engines were added. These were house outboard of the piston engines in a single nacelle on each wing which housed two of the jet engines.
Because of its unique nature with so many piston and jet engines, the crews of the B-36 often indicated that they had, "Six turning and four burning."
Despite this, as time progressed in the 1950s, the B-36 was rapidly becoming obsolete. It was too slow...and as time went on, was simply not capable of penetrating growing Soviet defenses with the high degree of success required for its nuclear delivery requirements. However, it's first jet rival, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet, which became fully operational in 1953, lacked the range to attack the Soviet homeland from North America without aerial refueling and could not carry the huge first-generation Mark 16 and Mark-17 hydrogen bombs.
So, the B-36 served on, and General Curtis Lemay, the head of the US Air Force Strategic Air Command, kept the B-36 force, through intense training and development, an effective force to deliver nuclear weapons. During this time, the B-36 was the heart of the Strategic Air Command force. Its maximum payload was greater than any other bomber in the US inventory, including the newly developed B-52 which entered service in 1955. Although the B-36 was slow and could not refuel in midair, she could fly missions to intercontinental targets and stay aloft for up to 40 hours at a time. In addition, through the mid and late 1950s, the B-36 maintained a phenomenal cruising altitude which made it possible for her to fly above the capabilities of most Soviet interceptors of the day, as well as their ground-based anti aircraft guns.
Nonetheless, the introduction of the B-52 in 1955 changed everything. This was clearly the aircraft that would replace the B-36. The B-52 was faster, it could fly as high and higher, and it could be refueled in mid-air giving it essentially unlimited range. Through the late 1950s the B-52 fleet grew, supplanting the B-36, and in 1959, the last B-36 strategic bomber aircraft were retired.
In addition, supersonic intercontinetal bombers were being developed, including the Mach 2 B-58 hustler, which went into service in the 1960s, and the even faster, higher flying and very exotic B-70 Valykerie, which was canclled.
with the advent of Intercontinental Ballist Missiles (ICBMs) beginning in the 1960s, aircraft like the B-36 were rendered completely, irrevocably obsolete. The newer, faster jet bombers served on due to America's desire to maintain a triad of nuclear deliver options, but the B-36 had seen its day.
Jimmy Stewart Military service (including the B-36)
I have had this model for some time but did not intend to build it for a couple of more years. However, over the Thanksgiving break this year (2015), I once again watched the old movie, "Strategic Air Command," starring Jimmy Stewart. The movie features the B-36 heavily and I was moved to go ahead and move up the B-36 in my build queue. I am writing this part of my model review as a tribute to Jimmy Stewart.
Many people do not know it, but in addition to Jimmy Stewart being one of my favorite all time movie stars, he was also a great American patriot and military hero.
Though already a very successful movie star when World War II broke out, he was also a very successful aircraft racer. It was one of his hobbies and he was very good at it, winning numerous races, medals, and honors in the late 1930s.
But he came from a patriotic family, where his grandfathers and father had served in the US military. So when it became apparent to him that war was inevitable, he went down and inlisted in the US Army in March 1941, over eight months before Pearl Harbor. He did not ask for any favors though he had a college degree, was 33 years old and was very well known. No, Jimmy Stewrart enlisted as a simple private.
Jimmy Stewart enlists and is sworn in
When it was learned that he had significant flying experience, in addition to a college degree, he was transferred to the Army Air Coprs. At 33 years of age, he was already six years older than the maximum age for new pilot recruits, but because the need was great, and because of his experience, this requirement was waived and he was inducted as a pilot. He was commissioned a Lt. in the USAAC in January 1942, one month after Pearl Harbor.
He wanted to go fight, but because of his age and noteriety, he remained state side, training others. In that role he was steadily promoted through Captain and to Major. But he continued to put in for combat duty, and finally, in 1943 it was granted.
He was transferred to England in command of the 703rd Bomber Squadron, flying B-24 Liberator bombers against Germany. while flying for the 703rd, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts leading major bomber raids against the heavily defended 3rd Reich. He was promoted to the Operations Officer for the entire 453rd Bomber Group and continued flying combat missions.
Jimmy Stewart with one of his crews of a B-24 Liberator
In January 1944 he was prmoted to Lt. Colonel and assigned to the 2nd Bomber Wing as the Executive Officer, the second in command of the entire bomber wing. While commanding, he continued to seek out and fly comnbat missions. He was very much liked by the flyers, who recognized in him an individual who did not have to serve, and who set aside his noteriety for the better good and put himself at risk just like the rest of them. During 1944, as a result of his actions while flying against the enemy, Jimmy Stewart earned a 2nd Distignusihed Flying Cross and the Croix de Guerre from the French.
Jimmy Stewart being presented the French Criox de Guerre
He also earned the Air Medal with three Oak Clustrers during this time. In March 1945, he was promoted to a full colonel and in May 1945, he was given command of the entire 2nd Bomber wing in England of the US Army Air Coprs. He was one of only a few people who rose from the rank of private to that of Colonel in four years time. In all, he successfully flew 20 combat missions against the Germans.
After the war, and returning home, he remained in the reserves. He became a US Air Force reservist when the US Air Force was created in 1947...but Jimmy Stewart, though back acting, was not done serving his country.
Throughout the 1950s, as a Colonel, he served and became qualified to fly the B-36 Peacmaker. This was the largest US bomber ever created, and the heart and sole of America's first line defense and deterence against the Soviet UNion in thoughout the 1950s. But Jimmy Stewart was an excellent pilot and had proven his capabilities as a decorated combat verteran.
Jimy Stewart with a crew of a B-36 Peacemaker
When the new jet bombers began coming out, with the B-47 being the first, he became qualified in that aircraft as well. He flew those aircraft for the Strategic Air Command, and as a reservist he would have been ammong the first called up to combat in the event of war.
Jimmy Stewart in the cockpit of a B-47 Stratojet
In July 1959, Jimmy stewart was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. He continued to serve, and continued to qualify. He became qualified to fly the B-52 Bomber, which became operational in 1955, and still serves as a part of the US Air Force bomber arsenal today. He also becoma qualified to fly the 1st Super-soninc bomber, the B-58 Hustler. You can see an GREAT video about the B-58 Hustler, witGeneral Jimmy Stewart landing one and then talking about it at the following youtube link:
Jimmy Stewart's last official military flight as a US Air Force officer, was a combat mission in the B-52, where he flew as a US Air Force command observer in February 1966 over Vietnam on an Arclight mission against the North Vietnamese. As was his nature, he sought no accolades or press for this action. Very few people knew about it until much later. He was, afterall, a very successful, well known, and popular actor at the time. But this did not stop him from continuing to put his life on the line for his country.
Jimmy Stewart with the crew of the B-52 he flew with in 1966 over Vietnam
Jimmy Stewart retired from the US Air Force as a General in 1968, after 27 years of service to his country.
I include his brief military history here because he flew the B-36 Peacemaker, and because he was a truly great American, in addition to being a wonderful and talented actor.
What's in the Box - Nvember 30, 2015
Tamiya began building large, 1/72 scale model vessels back in the 1980s and has been doing so ever since. They make OUTSTANDING 1/72 scale model kits.
Monogram has historically been one of the better model builders in the United States.
They put out several versions of the aircraft in 1/72 scale, and this version, kit number 5707 is my favorite.
It is the largest 1/72 scale aircraft model ever made, and is a truly huge model. It comes with seven sprues (six molded in gray and one in clear plastic) with about 150 parts. The two fueslage halves are separate parts.
There are a number of nice features and details. The props can all be built to turn, the guns (in the nose and tail) can move, the bombay can be shown open with a significant conventional bomb load. One issue is that the long connecting tunned between the nose cockpit area and the after section which includes the tail gunner and a rather large crew area, is missing. So if you want to be accruate you will have to scratch build that. I intend to show the bombay open with some nuclear weapons and the long tunnel that traverses through it.
The parts have a decent amount of detail, including the cockpit area. There is very little flash (although the model I have was produced in the 1980s). I purchased a couple of sets of aftermarket decals from Warbird. Number 72003 which gives the standard maintenance stencils and walkway stripes for the B-36 including all of the stripes and warning markings for the aircraft, and number 72032 which includes aircraft markings for the "Broken Arrow" aircraft (which I will not build), and the "City of Ft. Worth" aircraft, which I intend to build.
These are excellent decals and each sheeT has a MRP of $14.99. I found mine on ebay for $8.99 each.
Here is the model with its box, the parts, the decals and the instructions:
The Build - Cockpit, Radar, Navigator Stations, plans for tunnels and armament - December 5, 2015
I began this session by doing a little research on how the cockpit should appear, and then gathering all of the parts for the cockpit, and forward crew areas (navigator and radar operator stations).
This also included the two forward 20mm cannons in their auto turret on the upper nose of the aircraft.
I then painted all of these parts to match the photos I had seen...although most of the photos were from a B-36 being refurbished for a museum and some of the parts (like the head rests, straps, etc.) were not there.
It is interesting because with the B-36 the interior was still painted similar to the World War II bombers with a green painting for the interior, black instrumentation, with white dials, and with olive drab seats. I made the headrests black, and the straps a gray with aluminum colored clasps.
Once this was completed, it was time to paint the interior of the fuselage halves and then attach the two flight decks to the fuselage. There is also a view port on each side with instrumentation to do navigtion by obseving the stars or the heavens.
This is looking pretty good.
The following pictures are meant to show what I intend when I deal with the bomb bay.
There is a tunnel that connects the forward crew areas of the aircraft with the rear crew areas. In the rear areas you have access to the rear gun turrest, but also have soome bunks, comm equipment, and a small galley.
Anyhow, I intend to put the access tunnel through the bomb bay as it existed on these aircraft which is not included in the model. You can see the tunnel in the first picture, and then how it goes through the bomb bay in the second, with the overall location in the third. Then, I intend to replace the numerous conventional bombs that come with the kit with a Mark 17, Hyrdodgen bombs from the 1950s.
When introduced, the B-36 was the only aircraft that could carry the Mk-17 and I intend to put one in the bomb bay for this aircraft. I know that there is a company that makes 1/72 scale Mark 17s, I will just have to find it and see if they still have them...or scratch build my own.
Anyhow, I hope in the next session to add the tunnel, and then add the rear gun turret and then glue together the fuselage halves.
The Build - Bomb bay, Access Tunnel, Fuselage assembly, painting the fuselage - December 9, 2015
I started this session by gathering the parts for the bomb bay, including the access tunnel I created, and then painting them.
I made the access tunnel by simply finding a felt-tip marker with the right diamter housing, cutting it to fit, and then painting it. Hehehe...no need to get too fancy.
I then glued these parts in place and then dry fit the fuselage halves to see how they would fit. I found that with the tunnel, it conflicted with the large support spar that the model has for the huge wings to attach to the model, so I had to trim that spar a bit to make it fit.
Once this was completed, I then added come more of the navigation instrumentation to the view ports on the aft halves of the fuselage, then inserted the wing support spar into the right fuselage half, and then glued the two fuselage halves together.
It went together very well, but there are some seam issues you will want to either file or sand down to improve the look. All in all, though it came together nicely.
At this point I decided to paint the upper portion of the entire fuselage, including the vertical stabilzior. This is painted in the Strategic Air command (SAC) Silver color. I used Model Master Silver.
This is looking very nice at this point. It is really a large model. The wing span is actually quite a bit wider than the aircraft is long so it will be really testing my table to even be able to get it on here! LOL!
I will paint the lower portion of the fuselage (about the lower 1/3) in flat white per the SAC color scheme at the time in the next session. I hope to get the engines built and attach the horizontal stabilizors during that session.
The Build - Horizontal stabilizers, lower fuselage, canopy, prop engines, main wings - December 14, 2015
I started this session by building the horizontal stabilizers and then adding them to the aircraft. Pretty straight forward, but the span of these are as big or bigger than most full wing spans on 1/72 scale fighter and attack aircraft models.
I then painted the lower fuselage in the flat white as it was in service. I used Model Master Flat White. It took a full three coats to get it covered adequately. I then touched up the bomb bay, the rear gun turret area, etc.
Looking pretty good.
At this point I decided to paint the canopy and the forward nose section. These come in clear plastic and you have to mask and paint the supporting structure. I masked the larger areas, and then used a fine brush to paint the straight lines freehand. They turned out very well.
I will not permanently attach these until the model is completed...but I wanted to dry fit/tape fit them to see how it was looking. I'm pretty satisfied with the results.
I then assembled and attached the prop mounts for the six large piston engines that the B-36 uses. These are massive engines, but on the B-36 they were "pusher" engines, meaning the propellers were mounted on the back of the wings and the blades orientd so that they "pushed" the aircraft forward, rather than being mounted in front of the wing and pulling the aircraft forward like most aircraft.
Once these were mounted and dried, I was then able to glue the large wings together. These wings are massive. In real life they are 7' thick at the root and actually had access tunnels to the engines. The engines could be feathered and stopped for a crewman to perform basic maintenance if necessary while in flight. At least, that is what I have been told, I have no idea if that ever happened.
Once they dried, I then did a quick dry fit of them to the aircraft just to show the overall size of the aircraft now. As I say...it is stretching my build area pretty much to the max.
She is coming right along.
In the next session I will paint these massive wings, paint the props, build and paint the jet engines and their nacelles, build the langing gear, and then hopefully attach all of that to each wing preparatory to actually atttaching the wings to the aircraft. If time permits, I will attach the wings in the next session.
The Build - Jet engines, landing gear, propellers, paint wings, main assembly - December 17, 2015
Lots to do in this session.
I started off by building the jet engines in their nacelles. There are two out board jet engines underneath each wing, both in their own nacelle on each side.
...and they are way out there under each wing...I mean WAY out there.
I assembled each nacelle and then painted them, with the distinctive red front on each nacelle.
Then it was time to build the landing gear. I did this by first gathering, assembling, and painting the ten tires. These are large tires, the main gear standing around 6' tall each, four of these large tires to each main gear.
Once those were built, I then assembled and painted the landing gear themselves, and the doors (including the bomb bay doors). I then painted and assembled the propellers for each of the six piston engines.
All of these various parts and assemblies were looking good and so then it was time to fully paint both wings. There is a specific portion of the underside that is flat white, with the rest being silver.
So I painted the wings and let them dry, and then added the main landing gear and their doors.
Once this was completed I added the large wings, with their landing gear to the main fuselage.
The model has adequate support for these large wings, nevertheless, because they are so large (and also because of me having to notch the supports in order to make room for the access tunnel through the bomb bay), the fit had to be manually held tightly in place for several minutes on each side to minimize seam issues...which I did.
Once the wings were dried (and I let them dry almost 24 hours), I then went ahead and added the jet engine nacelles with their support to each wing, and the bomb bay doors.
After doing this I had to make up for my fogetfulness.
I had intended to add some lead weight behind the forward cabin bulkhead (between the main cabin and the bomb bay) to ensure that the model sat properly on its landing gear. Unless you add such weight, the model will want to tip back as its center of gravity would be behind the main gear.
But I forgot.
To make up for this, I added a total of twenty-six pennies, ten in the bomb bay, ten in the nose gear bay, and then another six in the nose cockpit behind the crew stations. I could reach all of these. I used some reguilar super glue to glue these together in groups of five and three, and then painted them appropriately before setting them in place with more super-glue.
Twenty six pennies is what it took me and the aircraft sits perfectly.
In the bomb bay, once I get the 1/72 scale Thermo nuclear bomb, you will not be able to see them. They can also not be seen in the nose. If you turn the plane upside down, you can see them in the forward gear bay...but they are not too noticable even then.
Once this was all done I added a dull coat and then added the main canopy, the nose canopy, and then the six bubble glass canopies at each observationn/gunner's station.
With all of the assemblies added and with the canopies added and the glass at the gunner's stations, the structural part of the model aircraft is complete.
That is one HUGE aircraft...and she is looking very good.
Over the next session or two I will be placing the numerous decals on the aircraft. The walk ways are long and intricate on the top of the wing.
But, at this rate, I am now hoping to be complete by Christmas.
The Build - Radar dome, Fuselage decals, and wing access walkway decals - December 21, 2015
In this session, I began placing the decals on this beast. Before I started that, I needed to paint the forward portion of the large radar housing underneath the fuselage.
Then I added the decals to the main fuselage. I am using the Warbird decal set for the B-36 that includes the specific decals for the "City of Ft. Worth" aircraft, Warbird set number 72032. It also includes the specific markings for the "Broken Arrow" aircraft (which designates and aircraft that either crashed with, or lost a nuclear weapon), which I am not using. GREAT set of decals....
Then it was time to establish the service walkways on the top of that huge main wing. Here I am using the Warbird details decal set for the B-36, Warbird set 72003 that includes all of the detail decals as well as the USAF and insignia markings. Many, many decals in this set.
This involved a LOT of straight lines, and also a lot of intricate areas around each of the six large engines, where maintenance people access the top side access panels for the engines.
I started off getting the major straight line portions of the walkways laid down. You want to make sure you cut the decals into managable lengths. Invariably I find, if I try to use long straight line decals, it either gets twisted, or breaks, or somehow gets adversly effected in the handling and placement. So I cut mine into lengths that are no more than 4-5 inches long and then piece them together. I have found that this is more mangable and gives me better results in the end.
Then it was time to begin the more intricate work of the access paths around each of the engines. This involves specific lines that surround the upper parts of the engine nacelles, and then provides access to the engine on either side, and on top of the nacells.
I cut out and organized the decals for each nacelle, and then added the walkways starting on the outer engine nacelles on each side progressing towards the inner nacelles. This was work requiring a lot of patience. Getting all three nacelles on eah side done required three days of work...working an hour or so, letting them dry, coming back and adding more, letting that dry...until the nacelles on each side in the same location were completed. Then letting that dry and starting on the next inboard nacelle.
In the process I added the USAF and insignia markings on the upper wings, and then later on the lower side of the wings.
Here's how all of that went went.
That was a lot of work...but it ends up looking very good. Also, I have to say, getting those Warbird decals sets was a God send. They do OUTSTANDING work, and allowed me to complete this (depsite the time) much more quickly and with a much more professional look than if I had tried to mask all of those walk way lines and then paint them in that fashion.
Still a lot of decals to go. I have the same types of walkways for the horizontal stabilizors, and then a LOT of "NO STEP" decals and other access panel and instructional decals for the aircraft.
I hope to complete all of that, the touch up, and then complete the model in my next session.
The Build - More decals, final painting, touch up and complete - December 23, 2015
There were still many, many decals to place on the model. The No Step markers, the Fuel Tank markers, Oil Tanks, etc.
First I started with the numerous decals around the walk ways on the main wing. This included the No Step markers as well as the eight wing fuel tanks and the oil tank markings. There were a lot of these markings, something like 36 of them on each wing. Then it was on to horizontal stabilizer walk ways and their markings.
Once completed I placed over 200 decals on this model. A number of them represented the walkway lines I cut up into manageable sections...but a lot of decals nonetheless.
I then painted some of the off-color sections of the fuselage. This includes two areas around the top of the fuselage painted in a steel color, located where the 20mm cannon turrets pop up. There are two of these turrets side by side fore and aft which have doors that slide down reveling them and allowing them to pop up. They are remote controlled. There are also two on the bottom of the aircraft behind the bomb bay. NOte: By the time the B-36J model was built, the remote turrets on the top and bottom of the aircraft had been removed.
Also a section around the front of the main wing.
There is a less noticable path along the top of the aircraft painted in an aluminum color. All of this blends well with the metallic silver of the aircraft...but at certain angles the lighting shows them very well.
When that was completed, it was time for some touch-up paint work, and to add another dull coat finish. I had intended to string the arial wires from either side of the front of the fuselage to the vertial stabilizer, but, though it is shown in the model instructions, in the later models of the aircraft like the City of Ft. Worth, I do not see them in the actual pictures of the aircraft...so I decided to leave them off.
Here are the completed model pictures:
...and here are a bunch of close ups:
...and a final set:
In the words of kids in North Central Texas when I was growing up..."that's mighty!"
So, that complees my 1/72 scale B-36 Peacemaker, dedicated to the great actor, and american hero, Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart, who flew them after World War II.
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, propbably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.
The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.
The US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25, Bronco Models 1/350 Scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Acadamy's 1/350 scale USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and another Flight IIA US AEGIS class detroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82...all of these models which I already own.
The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its centerp[iece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (one of which is already completed), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN (which is also already completed) and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will use tt to start building a Royal Navy ARG.
The French CSG was completed and is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle, R91. I also built the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, and the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These four vessels round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase it and add it to the CSG. One day, when the models come out, I will purchase two 1/350 scale Mistral Class LPDs so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.
The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class (which I own), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami and DDG-111 (both of which are Takinami Class DDGs which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. Should a 1/350 scale Osumi Class LPD be relased, I will buy two of those vessels and create a JMSDF ARG.
The completion of the Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which I own) the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Peter the Great, by Trumpeter (which I own), the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter, a Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDG, Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN, the new Yasen class Russian SSN, and the Zevzda Oscar II SSGN, all in 1/350 scale.
Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I built the model as the Sao Paulo and thus started a Brazilian group. I will need to find a 1/350 scale Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use which are not available at present. I did purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers and built those as a suitable airwing for the Sao Paulo.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.
Years more worth of work!
You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:
...and most of their surface escorts at:
FINE ALL-AMERICAN, LIBERTY ORIENTED BOOKS AUTHORED BY JEFF HEAD
Dragon's Fury - World War Against America and the West: Following great success in the War on Terror, politicians and analysts alike thought that future global conflict was impossible...but they were wrong. Journey into a possible future where Islamic terrorists sharpen their horrific skills & ally with Red China. In such a future, can the U.S. & western civilization survive?
The Stand at Klamatjh Falls: How rural western farmers and their supporters stood up to entrenched environmentalism, activist judges, and agencies of the Federal gGovernment in southwestern Oregon...and prevailed.
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