Dragon Jagdtiger with Zimmerit

New poster from Dragon for their upcoming release of 1:35th Sd.Kfz. 186 Jagdtiger Porsche Production Type with Zimmerit (Item no: 6493).

Jagdtiger Zimmerit Dragon

Sd.Kfz. 186 Jagdtiger Porsche Production Type with Zimmerit

Bendix Chin Turret

Bendix manual on the Operation and Maintenance of the Bendix Chin Turret for the B-17 Flying Fortress:

Operation of the Bendix Chin Turret


Two Caliber .50 M-2 machine guns.
Ammunition Capacity 450 rounds per gun.

Speed of Turret
Slow speed (tracking) ¼° per second to 12° per second.
High speed (slewing, with high speed button depressed) ¼° per second to 33° per second.

Turret Complete (no guns or ammunition) 438 lbs.
Ammunition 33 lbs. per 100 rounds.
Guns 65 lbs. each.

Gear Drive
Speed Reducer ratio 25-1.
Azimuth gear ratio 50-1.
Elevation gear ratio 42-1.
Azimuth gear train reduction 1250-1.
Elevation gear train reduction 1050-1.

Electrical Requirements
24 Volt D.C.
Peak starting current motor amplidynes 1280 amps.
Maximum current draw running full load 92 amps.
Maximum current draw running no load 40 amps.

Drawing of B-17 Flying Fortress


The Bendix Chin Turret Model “D” is an electrically driven power turret, mounting two caliber, .50 M-2 Machine Guns, equipped with recoil absorbing mechanism, firing solenoids, and manual gun chargers.

The turret is designed to be mounted in the Bombardier’s Compartment and to be operated by the Bombardier to protect the forward approaches to the ship. The guns rotate 172° in azimuth (86° to the left and to the right of forward) and swing from 26° above horizontal to 46° below horizontal. Switch limits are adjustable. The turret is mounted at floor level in the Bombardier’s Compartment. The guns extend below the fuselage at the nose of the ship. The lower assembly, with the exception of the gun barrels which protrude through covered slots, is enclosed in an aluminum, movable housing to minimize wind resistance. Plexiglass windshields seal the space at the floor of the ship around the turret.

B-17 Bomber Chin Turret

Continue reading Bendix Chin Turret

RC Tanks

rctank.jp has interesting videos and photographs of 1/4th, 1/6th and 1/8th-scale, radio-controlled tanks including a nicely detailed Tiger I.

Me 262 from Valiant Wings

The Messerschmitt Me 262 by Richard Franks: Valiant Wings Airframe & Miniature Series

The Messerschmitt Me 262

Valiant Wings has published The Messerschmitt Me 262 by Richard Franks. The Messerschmitt Me 262 is the first volume of their new series of aviation books, the “Airframe & Miniature Series”.

Me 262 is 116 pages with 40 pages of technical information, 10 pages of full-color profiles, 20 pages of walk-around images and technical diagrams, 5 pages of camouflage and markings, and 25 pages of model information. The volume includes over 200 photographs, color side views and four-views by Richard Caruana, and 3-D isometric views of all variants by Jacek Jakiewicz.


Saints and Soldiers

The movie Saints and Soldiers is available to watch for free in its entirety on Hulu. Saints and Soldiers tells the story of a platoon during the Battle of the Bulge which struggles to return to Allied territory after the Malmedy Massacre.

Japanese WW2 Pistols

A short guide for U.S. soldiers to WW2 Japanese pistols from Soldier’s Guide to the Japanese Army, Special Series No. 27, Military Intelligence Service, War Department, Washington, DC, November 1944.

Small Arms: Pistols

The Nambu 8-mm pistol resembles the German Luger outwardly but its mechanism is entirely different. Although both this pistol and the Model 26 (1893) 9-mm revolver are still in service, they are being replaced by the Model 14 (1925). The Nambu pistol is a semiautomatic, recoil-operated, magazine-fed hand weapon. Its eight-round magazine fits into the butt and is held secure by a catch similar to that on the U.S. service automatic pistol (M1911 or M1911A1 Colt .45). A wooden holster which has a telescoping section is used both as a holster and as a stock which may be attached to adapt the pistol for use as a carbine.

Nambu 8-mm Pistol and Shoulderstock

Nambu 8-mm pistol and shoulderstock.

A grip safety just in front of the trigger guard catches the trigger in its forward position and prevents any rearward movement unless the safety is depressed.

To load and fire, a magazine is inserted into the butt and shoved home until the magazine-catch locks. To move a cartridge for firing, the cocking piece is pulled to the rear and let snap forward again. The pistol then can be fired by squeezing the grip safety and the trigger at the same time.

To unload, the magazine catch is pressed, allowing the magazine to drop out of the butt. The cartridge in the chamber is extracted by pulling the cocking piece to the rear as far as it will go, and letting it snap forward. As a safety precaution this operation should be repeated several times.

The Model 14 (1925) 8-mm pistol is an improvement on the Nambu and uses the same kind of ammunition. Its design is original but the workmanship is rather poor. Unlike the Nambu, the weapon is not fitted for a shoulder stock. Other identification features that distinguish this weapon from the Nambu are the absence of a leaf sight, horizontally grooved wooden grips on the stock, and the absence of a recoil-spring housing on the left side of the receiver.

Japanese WW2 Pistols Nambu and Model 14

Nambu and Model 14 8-mm pistols.

The weapon is a semiautomatic, recoil-operated, and magazine-fed. It has no slide; the barrel is extended to the rear and carries the ejection opening and sear for the bolt lock. The bolt moves inside this barrel extension, and energy for the forward movement is supplied by two coil springs situated one on either side of the bolt inside the barrel extension.

A safety lever is located on the left side of the receiver just above the trigger. When this is in the forward position the pistol can be fired; when in the rear position, the action is locked.

To load and fire, a loaded magazine is inserted into the well in the butt, while the safety lever is in the forward position. The cocking piece then is pulled rearward as far as it will go, and permitted to snap forward. The pistol then is loaded and ready to fire. It can be unloaded by pressing downward on the magazine, with the safety lever in the forward position. The button on the right side of the stock must be released, after which the magazine can be extracted. The cocking piece is pulled all the way back to eject a cartridge from the chamber.

Latest pistol model in use by the Japanese Army is the Model 94 (1934) semiautomatic 8-mm pistol. The quality of manufacture is poor in comparison with the Nambu and the Model 14.

Japanese WW2 Model 94 Pistol and Magazine and Holster

Model 94 (1934) 8-mm pistol, magazine and holster.

This weapon is easily identified by its cramped grip, short barrel, and the slide which covers the entire barrel. It is semiautomatic, recoil-operated. and magazine-fed. The magazine is box-shaped and fits into the butt in the usual fashion.

A safety lever is on the left side of the receiver. When it is in the horizontal position, the pistol can be fired; when it is pulled backward and up to the vertical position, the safety is operative.

The pistol is loaded by inserting a magazine into the butt until the catch clicks. With the safety in the horizontal (fire) position, the cocking piece is pulled to the rear as far as possible and then permitted to snap forward. To unload the magazine, the catch on the left side of the receiver is pressed inward and the magazine is extracted. The piece is “cleared” by working the slide back and forth several times, as would be done with the U.S. automatic pistol.

Pistols—Table of Characteristics

Nambu 8-mm

Caliber  0.315 inch
Principle of operation  Recoil-operated, semiautomatic
Ammunition  Semirimmed, bottle-necked case, roundnose bullet
Capacity of magazine  8 rounds
Effective range  50 feet
Muzzle velocity  950 feet per second

Model 14 (1925) 8-mm

Caliber  0.315 inch
Principle of operation  Recoil-operated, semiautomatic
Ammunition  Semirimmed, bottle-necked case, roundnose bullet
Capacity of magazine  8 rounds
Effective range  50 feet
Muzzle velocity  950 feet per second

Model 94 (1934) 8-mm

Caliber  0.315 inch
Principle of operation  Recoil-operated, semiautomatic
Ammunition  Same 8-mm semirimmed, bottle-necked cartridge as used in the Nambu and the Model 14 pistols
Capacity of magazine  6 rounds
Effective range  50 feet
Muzzle velocity  900 feet per second

See Also: Japanese Pistols, Revolvers, and Rifles, TM-E 30-480: Handbook on Japanese Military Forces


Tojo Fighter

An intelligence report on the Japanese Nakajima Ki-44 Shōki fighter (Allied codename “Tojo”) from “Eastern Air Command Weekly Intelligence Summary”, No. 31, March 30, 1945 published by Headquarters Eastern Air Command, Southeast Asia:

A crashed TOJO, examined by an ATAIU party at Meiktila airstrip, although it had been stripped of all the internal equipment and was badly damaged, revealed several facts of importance to TAI. The airframe and engine (Type 2—1450 HP Nakajima) were badly, damaged but showed no change from present information with the exception of one recognition feature. This was that the wing’s trailing edge was reported as having two straight tapers (one from root to end of flaps, and the second from this point to outboard end of aileron) instead of the gentle curve previously shown in silhouettes. The photograph above shows this.

Nakajima Ki-44 Sh?ki Tojo WW2 Fighter

The most interesting find was the two 40 mm cannon, one fitted in each wing. A brief report on these was given in a previous EAC WIS Summary, No. 30, 23 Mar 45, but photographs herewith, give a better idea of the mounting particulars. It is now believed that either 40 mm cannon or a 12.7 mm MG can be fitted in the wings of these TOJOs, but it is thought that the later models will all be fitted with 12.7 mm MGs, only.

Nakajima Ki-44 Sh?ki Tojo Fighter

Two pieces of armor were placed vertically, one behind the other, in the headpiece behind the pilot and one curved piece arranged to protect his shoulders was fitted around the curve of the fuselage. No back armor was found but mounting brackets for this were on the seat supports.

Photos by ATAIU.


WW2 Flight Sims for the Xbox 360

The number of WW2 flight simulations on the Xbox 360 is rather limited, despite the powerful graphics capabilities of the Xbox 360 system. A large number of first-person shooters are available covering the WW2 era (Call of Duty, Castle Wolfenstein, Medal of Honor, Brothers in Arms, etc.), but WW2 flight sims seem to have been almost completely overlooked.

Continue reading WW2 Flight Sims for the Xbox 360

Platoon Leadership vs. NCO Efficiency

Combat lessons from the troops on platoon leadership and NCO efficiency from Combat Lessons No. 9:

Platoon Leadership vs. NCO Efficiency

Orders Must Be Clear

NCO efficiency and squad accomplishment are materially reduced when combat orders fail to give full information and to specify clearly each assignment. Says an Okinawa report: “Junior officers often complicate combat orders. They forget about intermediate objectives which should be the next terrain feature, whether it be a hill, road, or an edge of a rice paddy. They neglect to tell each squad specifically what to do. They take on the responsibilities of NCO’s and scouts and then, finding it impossible to remain continuously in a control position, encourage bunching which results in needless casualties.

Orders must be Clear

Junior officers often complicate orders.

Leaders Are Not Scouts.

“In one regiment, five platoon leaders were killed because their scouts were not out. The platoon leader must realize that he is not a scout and that if he attempts to do that work, it will be at the expense of his control responsibility.

“Invariably, when trying to do their own scouting, the platoon leaders allowed their support squads to get too close to the leading squads and thus sacrificed the platoon’s maneuverability.”


Cyberhobby Tiger I Mid Command Version

Tiger Tank Plastic ModelGreat buildup and detail photographs from Dragon’s website of the new Tiger I Mid Command Version Cyberhobby kit: 1:35 Sd.Kfz.181 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Tiger I MID Command Version Winter 1943 Production.