Pictures of the P-40 before basing

This one has been tough.  Of course, there have been two job changes and loads of snow taking me away from bench time.  But here are a couple of pictures before I base the model.  I’m thinking of a desert theme with some of the extras as parts.

This has been one of the more technical models I’ve built and I really liked the cockpit.  Fit was generally good on the model.  However, I didn’t like the landing gear doors, more specifically how they attached.  And, the particular model is at least 15-20 years old; I got the kit off of eBay.  I found sections of the model to be brittle…I can’t count how many times the radio mast broke off.  Some of the decals slid right off easily, some I had to wrestle with.  Hence…some of the angles of the pictures.

When it’s based, I’ll add some history.

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Sprue Cutters Union #28 – Road Trip

I haven’t written in the last two weeks.  Two weeks ago was a discussion on glue.  I’ve been using the Testors Red Tube and looking for something else.  I use Zap and Testors Clear Parts cement for special applications.  But I used the week to learn about different glues and what other members like.

And, I didn’t post on photography because I only use my Nikon DLSR.  Nothing special.

I don’t belong to a model club, I’m a stay at home modeler.  I think that there is a club in my area, but I don’t think I could get away with going out an extra night….I’m busy enough as it is.  However, I have driven to MosquitoCon.  Last year I took my son, and he loved it.  (I just found the date for this year, and I’m afraid I can’t make it.)

But that’s about it, I’ll drive to local events.

(Side note:  When I travel for work, I will stop and see the local modeling community – shop or show.)

Here are other member’s thoughts on traveling:

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Sprue Cutter’s Union #25 – Time Management

This week’s topic in the Sprue Cutter’s Union is time management.  How do I find or make time to model.

Quite a while ago, I painted Games Workshop Lord of the Rings tabletop figures.  For me, it was a great way to expand my love of Middle Earth and get into a new hobby.  I played the game, and painted figures for quite some time.  Then, most of my friends who played the game slowly moved away or stopped playing.  I found, though, that painting the figures after the kids (who were little at the time) had gone to bed and my wife was at work, was a great way to relax.  I could paint, listen to music, and unwind before bed.

Then, life got in the way.  The kids are growing up, which means many more activities; some that I share with them, and some that I chauffeur.  I put away the Lord of the Rings figures.  Many I sold on eBay.  I sold off most of the Citadel paints, and most of the tools.

Fast forward to almost three years ago.  I was looking for something to do, to unwind before bed.  I remembered that I built models almost 30 years ago, and I liked painting the miniature figures – so I looked at the hobby again.  And BAM, I was back.  So where do I find the time?

I generally have to make time.  The general plan is to try and get to the bench for a little every night.  Invariably, I’ll come home from work, make dinner, walk the dog, make lunches, do some chores, hang out with the kids.  Then it is to the bench.  That’s if I’m lucky.  Unfortunately, life has other ideas.  I block out the time, but I don’t always get there.  And I don’t want to model because I HAVE to, but because I WANT to.

This seems to work out pretty well, though I seem to take way longer to finish a build then I would like – and certainly longer than I’m capable of finishing.  And it plays havoc with group builds that I’m in.

Fortunately, I don’t have a stash.

Here are other Sprue Cutters’ thoughts:

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315 Fighter Squadron Patches

Images of patches for the 315 Fighter Squadron are below.  As I’ve come to learn, the 315th used a symbol of Bugs Bunny sitting on a cloud holding a machine gun.  Later in the war (around ’44?) the symbol was thought to be too humorous, and a new patch for the Crusaders was designed.  Here are some samples of the Bugs patch:

The Crusader patch:

Finally, I’ve seen this patch.  Does anyone know what it represents? (Not the wings, the blue patch.)

(All images have come off the web.)

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315 Fighter Squadron

I’m looking for any and all information on the U.S. Army Air Force 315 Fighter Squadron.  A brief history is here.  In working on my P-40, I went to research the fighter squadron and found that there is not a lot of information out there on the 315th.  (Googling it comes up with many many results for the famous Polish 315th that fought in the Battle of Britain.)

I’ve written away for copies of the records that the Air Force has.  And, I’ve got issues 2 and 3 of volume 1 of Spearhead, the newsletter of the 324th Fighter group coming to me.

However, I’m looking for any kind of records…digital would be great, as would copies of pictures and records.  Surprisingly, there are not (m)any pictures online of the 315th.  In fact, there is not a web site dedicated to the 315th Fighter Squadron or 324th Fighter Group.  It appears that at one time there was a 324fighter.com (or org,) neither site is in existence and could not be found in the Wayback Machine.

I’m looking for the book Odyssey of the 324th Fighter Group.

I’m looking for volume one, issue one of Spearhead, the newsletter of the 324th Fighter Group.

I’m looking for patches of the 315th (and 324 as well.)

Contact me if you have any information

Posted in 315 Fighter Squadron, 324 Fighter Group, Reference | 5 Comments

Sprue Cutters Union 23: Something to Talk About

It’s been a while since the Sprue Cutter’s Union had a topic, and this week is an interesting one.  I look forward to reading some of the ideas from my fellow Cutters.  The topic this week:  What three topics would you like to see addressed?  It took me a while to come up with some topics, and I admit one is stronger than the others.  And since I joined the Union later, I don’t know if they have been addressed.  My three topics are:

  1. If you could work on the other side of the hobby what would you do?  And, by other side of the hobby, I mean or include:  retail, manufacturing, marketing….or something else.
  2. What got you into the hobby, or brought you back in if you have come back to modeling?
  3. What are your causes of “modeler’s block” and how do you get over it?

I can’t wait to discuss some of these topics and suggestions from others.

Here is what others had to say:

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A Destination for Primary Documents

Before Christmas, I received an early Christmas gift from an unlikely source.  I’ve been trying to research the 315th Squadron’s history using primary sources.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a website dedicated to the 315th.  When you google the 315th, there are many links devoted to the famed 315th of the RAF; the Polish squadron that served with distinction during the Battle of Britain.

However, since going to Sicily, and building a P-40F for a 1943 group build, I’ve been learning and researching as much as I can on the Army Air Force’s 315 squadron.  As I can tell, they most probably served and participated in the invasion of Sicily.  The plane I’m building is Lt. Richard Lander’s “Gwenn.”

One great site for research is ArmyAirForces.com, a site that “exists to help you research the United States Army Air Forces of World War II, the individuals who served in it, and the units these brave men were assigned to.”  There are all kinds of links to help researchers find specific information, like:  Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR), Accident Reports, Personnel Records, Unit Histories, etc.

I found a link buried in the Unit Histories section that talked about a private organization that has set up a searchable index of Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) documents.  That searchable index can be found at http://airforcehistoryindex.org.  Here, you are able to search over 550,000 documents.

Better yet, if you click on the “obtaining documents” link, you will find instruction on how to obtain the information on cdrom.

Another great link are the forums at ArmyAirForces.com. Here, you will find a sub-forum for every unit that served with other researchers both looking for and point people towards research and information.  Also, there are forums for reunion announcements, surviving planes, amongst others.

So, how does this fit in with an early Christmas present?  Back in August, I emailed the contact looking for two sets of records, both on the 315 Squadron.  Two days before Christmas, I received a cdrom in the mail of a .pdf document of one of the reels.  Woohoo!  Now, I ordered two documents knowing that one document was listed as very poor/unreadable in parts.  Sadly, that was the document that arrived.  However, I’m waiting, and hoping that the second arrives.  Were these documents unclassified, thereby taking extra time?  I have no idea.  But if the second comes, it will be like having a second Christmas.

I wholeheartedly support and recommend these services to other researchers.  They are great references for finding and obtaining information.  And it beats driving to Washington D.C. or Virgina to manually retrieve records.

I hope this helps fellow researchers.

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