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Éditions Heimdal: U-172 (French Language)

Book Cover for Éditions Heimdal's U-172

Éditions Heimdal is well known for producing excellent quality reference books even if the text is completely in French.  Fortunately, I am able to enjoy the language as these books are not cheap but, due to theexcellent research and large amount of photogrpahs, maps and illustrations, they are definitely worthwhile to the naval enthusiast to include in their library.

Crew and map

Luc Brauer covers the story of Carl Emmerman who took command of U-172 and covers the span from leaving the port of Kiel on April22nd, 1943 until November of that year when hetook a land posting.  From May 1942 to September 1943, U-172 sank 26 ships during combat patrols making it the 15th of all top U-Boote in tonnage for the period.

Onboard the sub.

Emmerman commanded U-172 during its first mission which was in the Caribbean, to the Cape in South Africa for the second, and then the center of the Atlantic for its third mission.  for the fourth mission, U-172 was sent to the coast of Brazil where it was the only one out of seven U-Boote engaged in combat to return.

Two page spread with logo insert.

There are over 250 photographs in this book, some by Emmerman himslef as well as Helmut Berndt (a war correspondent) along with several maps, color photographs and illustrations of the markings which adorned U-172.  

Loading arms such as torpedoes.

This 172 page hardbound book is distributed in the US by Casemate Publishers and the price is $41 USD.

Another logo and topsides on the sub.

One of the rare color photos.

Meeting another sub on the high seas.



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New Website Coming

New Website Coming soon:


If you'd like to see what it is, it's this.

Xenforo. I've posted on the Tip Jar thread the reason for abandoning the current software so let's get ready to move forward with our community. 

What do you need to know?

When the new site is up and running you will recieve an email to reset your password. User names and your profiles will transfer but not passwords.

To reset your password you HAVE to have a valid email account associate with your profile. 

Check and update your email account on your profile NOW. 

Do you have questions? Ask now! 

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John Bowrey


John William Bowrey

A few weeks ago, On December 9th, I posted messages on the Modeler’s Lounge that John Bowrey, a long time modelers alliance member and fantastic figure painter as well as one of the nicest men I have had the privilege to know was gravely ill and then, on December 12th, that John had passed away.

John had been very active in modeling, attended many shows and conventions around the country, and was a regular at Mastercon for many years. I never knew anybody that didn’t like John or, that John didn’t like. I also never heard John say a single derogatory word about anybody in the many years I knew him.

Shortly after that, Andy Fettes contacted me with the following request. “Bob, John Bowrey is the man that set me on the path to become the figure painter that I am today. So I think to repay him for his tuition, etc., I would be honoured to stand aside and rename the section in his honor”. Andy was speaking, of course, of the Fettes Figure Forum on our website!

I thought that was a very noble and humble thing to offer and I submitted his request to Bob Britt, who will be changing the Forum name to the “John Bowrey Memorial Figure Forum”. It has been my honor to have known such people as John, I learned a lot from him, he was a very selfless and modest friend and I will never forget him. May he rest in peace. I will notify his wife Maureen and son Gary of this. I am certain they will greatly appreciate Andy’s gesture. And then there is Andy Fettes. Thank you Andy, I know what John meant to you, it was similar for me. Having friends such as John and yourself, remind me daily that the world is full of wonderful and selfless people.

Bob Letterman

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Africa @ War 38: Selous Scouts


Back in 2011, the Africa @ War series released Peter Baxter's Selous Scout title as its fourth volume.  Now, with its 38th volume, the title is revisited as it has been expanded and revised.  See the Table of Contents below to get an idea of what you will find.

The text is quite informative and gives an indication of the formation of the Selous Scouts, named after Frederick Selous, were formed in 1973 and training was a rigorous as the USN SEAL teams.  They even have the Log PT as part of the regimen.

ZIPRA and ZANLA liberation movements feared the scouts who would conduct reconnaissance missions into Zambia and Botswana and raids into Mozambique.  They accounted for 68% of the guerrilla casualties during the 1970s Bush War.  Baxter points out that the principal weakness of the Rhodesian Army was its limited size so a Fire Force approach had to be used combining land and air assets.  However, the targets had to be found.  This is the reason for the scouts.

So, in sixty four pages, we find 167 photographs (inluding the new color images added for the revision0 several maps, and color profiles of the vehicles (land and air) used during this conflict.  While there are no color plates of the uniforms, many of the color photographs do show what a modeler would need.





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RMG IS Series Tow Cables

RMG has been producing a fine line of accessories in 1/35th scale involving resin, metal, paper, and plastic.  Made in Portugal by Ricardo Santos, he took on some of my ideas but this is not one of them.  As can be seen, the clear polypropylene box contains four resin eyelets, which are pre-drilled, two twisted and blackened tow cables, and a short length of copper wire.

Assembly is super easy.  Insert cables into resin eyelets after painting the latter pieces.  The parts are held onto the carrier by a very thin and fragile edge.  Two of the eyelets had come free with no damage.  The eyelets have tiny casting marks engraved, a was with diluted ink brought them out.  

The inner area shows the wedge but still need the thin metal strap (easily made from foil) used to keep the cable from sliding into the open area of the eye.  Some tow cables used coiled wire (included int his set) wrapped on the outside of the cable, entering the eyelet, for the same purpose.

The end of the eyelets are pre-drilled and the cable is simply twisted into place.  Whether counter or clockwise, it depends onthe subject.  see photos of the real item following the model part images.

While pre-drilled, I did use a slightly larger drill to insert the cable.


The thin wiree is to wrap around the cable areas where it enters the resin eyelets as seen on some post war tanks.  I have yet to see them in wartime photos of WWII.  The following is to help the modeler decide what to do with the cable eyelets as there are small variations seen since there were several contractors for the cables.

Below is a schematic from the manual with measurements and a cross section of the tow cable's loop.

My photo measuring one on an Polish IS-2

Here is another measured cable found on the Internet, at The Tank Master.

Source is on the photo, note the inside end of the eyelet where the wedge is driven into the end of the cable to keep it inthe eyelet and a short strap of metal welded over it to keep the cable, with wedge, sliding into the eyelet area.  

Side view of the short strap of metal welded over it to keep the cable, with wedge, sliding into the eyelet area should the brakes be applied.

On this example, note that the cable are not twisted where they enter the eyelet.

My photo showing a different inner end to the eyelet.

Chinese tow cable.


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