Thursday, January 18, 2007

Luftwaffe 1946
US P-58 "Chain Lightning" (US-055)
The rules, Luftwaffe 1946, are reviewed in issue #8 of the HMG magazine, start with the premise that, for many reasons, the war in Europe has been extended into 1946. This allows all the major powers to expand their air forces to include jets. The P-58 was intended to be an improvement of the P-38 with the same speed but with much better defenses and significantly up-gunned. The pilot’s cupola is much larger than the P-38 and includes forward and rear firing guns and crew areas. Due to maintenance headaches and the end of the war, only one prototype was constructed.
Cleanly cast from a single piece of white metal any flash is cut or filed away fairly easily: it is a little harder to hand drill (I have drilled THROUGH the bodies of too many planes with my electric Dremel!) This is offset by the strength and sturdiness of the plane model itself – the 5 extended guns are sturdy and resist bending or breaking with normal handling, a problem I have encountered with lead or more thinly cast models. This is accomplished without making the plane looking clunky or chunky and after painting silver it really looks great! I tried my hand at the painting guide provided by the rules and painted in the detail lines. I found this much easier and quicker than I had initially anticipated. Using a very thin Windsor and Newton brush, I painted these lines in from a jar in which I had thinned some black paint (just enough to make it thin without being watery or wash-like.) The results look outstanding and worth the time; even so, I seriously doubt I will be lining the almost 400 other planes I’ve got though!This is a very nice looking figure. I’ll definitely be looking to get a wingman for this plane at the next convention!


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