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December Releases from Alpine Miniatures

December 2010 Figure Releases from Alpine Miniatures:

35111 1/35th Waffen SS Grenadier Late War #1
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Sang Eon Lee

35112 1/35th Waffen SS Grenadier Late War #2
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Sang Eon Lee

35113 1/35th Waffen SS Grenadier Late War Set (2 Figures)
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Sang Eon Lee

Die Wacht am Rhein Waffen-SS Soldat

16011 1/16th Waffen SS Grenadier “Kampfgruppe Hansen”
Sculpted by Yukio Honma / Boxart Painted by Man-Jin Kim

S0002 1/35th “Die Wacht am Rhein” Waffen SS Set (4 Figures)
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Calvin Tan
Special Limited Edition is only available in limited quantity of 200 sets. Each box is individually numbered, autographed, and stamped.

Taisho German Motorcycle Riders

The Japanese company Taisho Modeling has released a resin 1/35th scale figure set for the Lionroar Zundapp motorcycle kit.

YH35015WF: German Motorcycle Rider Set with Spare Heads (for Lionroar Zundapp KS750)
Taisho WW2 German Zundapp Motorcycle Riders - 1/35th Resin

New Mid Tiger I

New “Mid” Tiger I announced from Cyberhobby — full name: Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I MID Command Version January ’44 Production.

Befehlstiger -- Tiger I Command Version

Continue reading New Mid Tiger I

7.92-mm Maxim Light Machine Gun MG 08

The following report on the German Maxim light machine guns was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

7.92-mm Maxim Light Machine Guns MG 08/15 and 08/18
(MASCHINENGEWEHR 08/15 and 08/18)

Maxim Light Machine Gun MG 08/15

The 08/15 machine gun was standard in the German Army in World War I. It was still in use as a second-line weapon in World War II, and large quantities of reserve stocks were captured by the Soviet Army. Although it lacks the improved characteristics found in later machine guns, the MG 08/15 has certain basic characteristics which still make it an effective weapon. It is a water-cooled weapon fitted with a rifle-type shoulder stock and designed to be carried by one man. However, the water-cooled barrel adds to the weight and required maintenance.

Continue reading 7.92-mm Maxim Light Machine Gun MG 08

German Butterfly Bomb

A warning about the dangers of the WWII German “Butterfly Bomb” (Sprengbombe Dickwandig 2 kg or SD2) from Booby Traps, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington D.C., 1944.

German “Butterfly Bomb”

The “butterfly bomb” is the German’s favorite bomb against personnel on beaches, in camps, and against airfields. It is small and light, and can be dropped in great numbers from airplanes. One plane can carry several hundred of these deadly little devices with no trouble at all. As each bomb descends, the fist-sized iron ball full of explosives swings free at the bottom of a rod about the size of a lead pencil. The unfolded fins on the top of the pencil-rod are whirling in the air and turning the rod, thus arming the bomb.

Some “butterfly bombs” explode in the air just above ground, some on hitting the ground, and some incorporate delayed action (about 8 to 30 minutes) which makes everything just dandy for the persons who have to come out after the raid to fight fires. See figs. 8 and 9. That should be enough, but the end is not yet. Part of the crop of “butterflies” will not go off at all until someone disturbs them—picks them up, treads on the wings, or the like. Often the bodies of the bombs will have buried themselves in the soft earth. The only part visible will be the brightly colored (green and red, or green and yellow) upturned wings, like the lovely discarded shells of some crabs or lobsters. What a memento for the office desk back home—but pick it up and you won’t get back home!

As an example of how the “butterfly” can let you down: One night last spring in North Africa the Germans raided a forward area of ours where there happened to be a P.O.W. (prisoner of war) cage full of Germans we had captured that day. Jerry dropped hundreds of “butterfly bombs” and one of them drifted into the P.O.W., settling to earth without going off. Naturally the German prisoners were greatly relieved and shied clear of their own infernal machine. But next morning was a different story. Three of our allied soldiers guarding the P.O.W. came across the little yellow wings, and the pencil rod, and the iron ball.

German Butterfly Bomb

Figure 8. Danger lurks for the inquisitive in the form of the German anti-personnel bomb known as the "butterfly." Here is one of these bombs, lying as you might find it in the field.

“A-ha!” said one of the guards to his pals. “Something new has been added.”

And while the other two held onto the little iron ball, he tried to unscrew the yellow wings, and up went all three—the German prisoners, watching from a distance, were delighted.

Sprengbombe Dickwandig 2kg SD2

Figure 9. "Butterfly" in tree. Stay away from this kind of a situation. The bomb may explode through a time device or as a result of any disturbing pressure.


Vehicle Paint Problems

Vehicle paint problems from Army Motors, Vol. 6, No. 5, August 1945.

Jeep Paint Markings

Dear Half-Mast,

We’ve had a lot of trouble with gasoline-soluble paint, used to paint the large service command insignia on administrative vehicles and the national symbol on tactical vehicles. The nomenclature is Paint, gasoline-soluble, lusterless (paste), white; Fed. Stock No. 52-P-2732. This problem came to a head at our last inspection by the CG, who was able to wipe the things off by hand. We’ve also found that rain causes them to run and wash away or fade.

How can we prevent this?

— Lt. R. W. G.


Dear Lieutenant,

It’s now okay to use Enamel, synthetic, stenciling, lusterless, white (Fed. Stock No. 52-E-8400-275) for the star on all motor vehicles assigned to tactical units and AGF installations, and on administrative vehicles in theaters of operations as directed by the theater commander. Says so in AR 850-5 (15 Feb. 45).

This white enamel should also be used for registration numbers. If yours are still blue, AR 850-5 says repaint ’em by 15 Aug. 45.

For any other national symbol, as directed by the Commanding General, ASF, for vehicles assigned to service command installations, gasoline-soluble paint will still be used. Likewise for unit identification markings, tactical markings, and weight-class markings—which ain’t necessarily permanent.

— Half-Mast


Tail Warning Radar

Summary of Tail Warning Radar AN/APS-13 from Radar Observers’ Bombardment Information File, July 1945.

Tail Warning Radar AN/APS-13

Radio Set AN/APS-13 is a lightweight radar set which gives an airplane pilot, or any other aircrew member who can see or hear it, a visible and audible warning that a hostile airplane is behind or approaching from the rear.

The usable range of this set is from 200 to 800 yards, and within an area extending up to 30° on both sides of the airplane and from 45° above it to 45° below it. The set doesn’t work above 50,000 feet or below 3100 feet. Ground reflections determine the lower limit.

Tail Warning Radar AN/APS-13

The main units include the antenna, transmitter-receiver, indicator light with brilliance control; warning bell, ON-OFF switch, and test switch. The set operates on 27.5 volts, which is the primary aircraft power supply.


1. Turn the power switch ON.

2. Wait at least three minutes for the tubes to warm up, then hold the test switch up. If the indicator lights and the warning bell rings, the equipment is operating properly. You can adjust the intensity of the indicator light with the rheostat.

3. You must set the GAIN CONTROL correctly. Adjust the screwdriver control on the front panel of the transmitter-receiver so that the receiver sensitivity is well below the level at which the tube noise can trigger the relay and give a false warning. If you reduce the sensitivity too far, however, it won’t detect aircraft within the required range. Have a competent radio technician check this before you start out on a combat mission.

Caution: The warning bell must be where the pilot can hear it clearly but where crew members cannot hear it; they might mistake it for the bailout signal.


Take the “HE” Out of Summer’s Heat

“Take the ‘HE’ out of summer’s HEAT!” from Army Motors, Vol. 6, No. 3, June 1945.

Take the HE out of summer's HEAT!

Hot weather can stop your vehicle just as dead as a burst of hot steel—it takes a bit longer, that’s all. Summer-wise GI’s will bear down early and often on vital items like these:

  • COOLING SYSTEM—Drain antifreeze, flush system, install rust inhibitor. Check cylinder-head and filler-cap gaskets, thermostat, fan belt, pressure-relief valve, hose connections. Police up that radiator core. Look for leaks everywhere and always.
  • AIR CLEANERS—Keep elements clean—with solvent. Maintain proper oil level (if any).
  • FUEL FILTERS—Drain and clean element frequently.
  • MANIFOLD HEAT-CONTROL—Switch valve to summer position.
  • ENGINE—Wipe off heavy dirt and grease.
  • VALVES—Adjust timing and clearances with extra care.
  • BATTERIES—Watch electrolyte level. Water must be added more often in summer months.
  • TIRES—Keep air pressure what it should be. Check tires when they’re coolest—and don’t bleed them when they’re hot.


XB-42 Experimental Bomber

A report on the Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster experimental high-speed bomber from the Air Force magazine Impact, Vol. III, No. 8, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Washington, D.C., August 1945.

XB-42 is First in 400-Mile-per-Hour Class

Although there is no present requirement for the plane pictured here, its approach to the basic problems of bombardment is so unusual that it is felt that IMPACT readers will be interested in hearing about it.

Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster Bomber

Nose view reveals XB-42 as our sleekest bomber, with no turrets or engine nacelles to interrupt streamlining.

The traditional American bomber, the B-17 or B-24, is a large, relatively slow plane capable of carrying a moderate tonnage a long distance. It is less efficient as a freight car than its British counterpart, but it is more heavily armed and armored. This means a loss of range or load, also of speed because added turrets, etc., do not improve streamlining. The B-29, the B-32 and yet-unborn monsters like the B-36 are basically like the B-17. They are faster, better armored, but are still “flying fortresses,” depending on their inherent durability to keep them going. Increased armor or range means more weight and more gas, which means bigger engines, which means bigger wings, which again means more weight, etc. The result of all this is that the plane gets larger and larger as its efficiency improves.

However, the bigger you are, the better target you make. Perhaps we are on the wrong track in bomber design. There is no sign of this yet, the B-29 being well able to take care of itself against present countermeasures. But the development of new anti-bombardment weapons. such as the German X-4 and Viper (IMPACT, Vol. III, No. 7). could conceivably prove its wrong.

XB42 Mixmaster Experimental Bomber

Side view shows counter-rotating pusher props, flexible wing guns. Maximum speed is 410 mph at 27,100 feet.

Hence the B-42, which depends primarily on speed for safety. It is small (35,702-lb. gross weight), is beautifully streamlined, has a laminar-flow wing, with its two engines in the rear so as not to lower the efficiency of this wing. It has no gun turrets, thus saving weight, which is used instead for gas or bombs (it will carry up to four tons internally). The theory behind this is simply that high speeds multiply gunnery problems. Closing speeds between two high-performance aircraft make nose attacks impractical. Deflection shots do not pay off. This leaves level and pursuit curve attacks from the rear. To combat these are remote-controlled flexible guns in the wings, aiming aft. Furthermore, one pass is about all the conventional fighter can make. By the time he is back in position, the B-42 is many miles away. Intercepters are given very little time to reach the B-42’s altitude. In addition, its speed and maneuverabilility permit violent evasive action.

A ground-attack version has fixed nose guns in various combinations ranging all the way from eight .50 caliber guns to one 75-mm cannon and two .50s.


P-61 Black Widow Guns

Northrop P-61 Black Widow Gunnery Equipment from P-61 Pilot’s Flight Operating Instructions:

P-61 Black Widow Guns and Gunnery Equipment