represents "Queen of Hearts". While assigned to the 492nd
Bomb Group she was a veteran of 28 missions over occupied Europe. The Queen was
often regarded as to have one of the best crews in her bomb group. Her gunners
were also given credit for eight enemy aircraft blasted out of the sky.
Queen's tail gunner alone was credited with two kills. One being a FW-190, the
other a Me-109.
In spite of an
awesome combat career, The Queen's luck just couldn't hold out. On July 31, 1944
she had her throttles opened wide, her brakes released, and rolled for the last
time down the 5700 foot runway at her base at North Pickenham. The target for
the day was a chemical plant located at Ludwigshafen in Germany. Although
fighters were easily taken care of by the fighter escort, the flak could not be
so easily whisked away. Within seconds of dropping her eggs flak ripped her
The first hits took
a chunk out of the right wing and left the outboard engine on fire. With the
aircraft fast becoming harder and harder to control, the pilot decided it was
enough. Throughout the aircraft, the bailout bell sounded that the fight was
over. The fire rapidly spread igniting the fuel cells in the left wing leaving
it a raging inferno. Four chutes were seen to come from her as she was speeding
towards the ground as if not to be late for her appointment with her shadow.
Of her crew three
were taken prisoner (one treated for severe burns) and the fourth (bombardier)
was attacked by an angry mob after parachuting into a nearby field. Pitchforks
and pipes did what 28 missions facing daring German fighter pilots and countless
rounds of German anti-aircraft ammunition couldn't. July 31st
was also his birthday.
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The kit that I used
was a Monogram 1/48th scale B-24J. Seeing as how college is extremely
expensive no after market parts were added. It was painted with a mix of Plasti-Cote
acrylic enamel spray and Krylon chrome spray.
Using some good old
Yankee ingenuity I added armor plating around the cockpit area on both the pilot
and co-pilot sides of the aircraft. This was done using a small piece of copper
sheet. After cutting it to the dimensions required the plates were super glued
to the side of the plane. Rivets were added by dipping a small piece of wire
into a puddle of super glue and then placing a drop on the armor plate. After
the glue was dry, it was painted with Model Master Aluminum.
While painting the
propellers I devised a way to help make the process of painting, decaling, and
clear coating these things easier. Taking a Q-tip (cotton swab), I cut the
cotton ends off of it. I then was left with just the cardboard middle part which
happened to fit pretty good into the back of the propellers. Putting two to a
swab I got those out of the way pretty quick.
The decals were a
mix of custom, kit, and spares. Micro-sol and Micro-set were used in their
application and as always there were no problems. I love that stuff.
Overall the kit was
very good. I was very satisfied with how it went together. It is big, one of the
biggest I have in my collection, but it is beautiful. I recommend this kit to
all who would like an awesome replica of one of the most important aircraft of
the 20th century. It looks very nice out of the box, and I'm sure the
resin-heads and scratch builders would have a field day with it. Looking at it,
I can see why Reuben Fleet proclaimed that this aircraft would liberate the
oppressed people of occupied Europe.
images below to see larger images