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LIMITED EDITION COLLECTIBLE AIRCRAFT SCULPTURE FROM THE BRITISH STUDIOS OF DIVERSE IMAGES



HAND-CRAFTED ENGLISH PEWTER MODELS IN HISTORICALLY ACCURATE FINISHES AND MARKINGS

CollectAir has a limited stock of some of the acclaimed limited-edition aircraft sculptures crafted by the British firm of Diverse Images of Cullompton, Devon. These coveted models, up to now, have only been available by mail order from England. Now you can order a limited selection of these fine painted pewter dioramas from CollectAir and see them displayed at our Santa Barbara gallery. Ordering information is presented at the bottom of this page.

I have searched worldwide for fine, hand-crafted, newly made aircraft models in scales which permit shelf display in your office or home and which are unique in that they are distinctive and very limited in quantities produced. Now, classic World War II combat aircraft (and a few others) have been added to CollectAir's offerings through the artistic and detailed diorama presentations crafted by Diverse Images in 1:72 and 1:144 scales.

Please note that models for sale are limited to those on hand. Also, many of the models offered on this page have been withdrawn from production by Diverse Images - literally "struck off charge."

The Historical Aircraft Collection by Diverse Images is a new and exciting way to celebrate the great airplanes and their crews from World War II and the Korean War. These finely made models are the esthetic counterbalance to the ubiquitous, high production, die-cast metal and plastic toy-like airplanes; the "toys", or play-sets, have their place in the market but they don't serve discriminating collectors who want quality and collectibility in their model presentations, not more "K Mart air forces". Secondarily, but also very important, is the fact that the exquisite models offered by Western and Diverse Images are priced at much less than one would expect for such quality and limited production. Visually stunning Diverse Images diorama-mounted, English pewter models of World War II fighters in 1:72 scale are priced, for the most part, in the range of only $200 and less and these are detailed with open cockpits, landing gear, propellers, antenna posts and the like along with accurate finishes and markings. The English pewter structure assures the owner of these miniatures that they are, in fact, durable and long lasting creations; Diverse Images has further added to the durability of these gems by using reinforcing hard brass wire imbedded in such parts as the landing gear legs.

You can proudly display these dioramas with the satisfaction that each is limited to between 100 and 250 examples, and only 60 to100 for special edition dioramas, worldwide. Your limited edition model presentation will be a unique visual experience for guests in your office or home and will enhance other artifacts, paintings and memorabilia associated with the WWII era. You can be assured that your collectible Diverse Image diorama will not show up at the local hobby shop, KMart or flea market.

Tim Staples, the dynamic Managing Director of Diverse Images, is the son of a World War II RAF pilot who flew a Boston V with 13 Squadron in Italy; it's no coincidence that this Boston V is offered as a 1:144 scale diorama in his father's markings.

Boston V.

Tim has the following to say concerning his company and goals: "Diverse Images is a privately owned British company, the vast majority of our work is carried out in our Studios in Brighton where we sculpt, cast and paint our models. We are proud of the fact that not only do we manufacture our own models but, unusually, we are also responsible for all our own research and origination. Our aim is quite simply to produce the definitive model collection of 'classic' military aircraft.

"We are tremendously proud of our connections with Aircraft Societies, ex RAF Air and Ground Crew, their Associations, along with individual historians and archivists without whose help many of our projects would not be possible. The greatest compliment is that many of the individuals who crewed these aircraft have signed numbered editions of the aircraft they were involved with.

"After sculpting and the production of metal masters, moulds are made and the model cast in solid English Pewter. Individual castings are then cleaned and assembled using jewellers soldering torches for larger parts. After priming, base colours are applied by airbrush; the models then have the finer details painted by hand. Decals are originated on our own computer system, printed by silk screen and put on by hand. Finally, a protective coat of varnish is applied. All models are then mounted on a wooden base replicating the theatre of operation for the individual aircraft. These bases are used primarily for protection; we could not achieve the levels of accuracy and detail for smaller parts without taking these steps. All of our aircraft have propellers reflecting the correct pitch and size. Our model of the Beaufighter 1f even has A1 radar aerials reproduced in .004 brass inserted into the wings and nose with tweezers. When needed, particularly slim parts aare often strengthened by the insertion of a brass wire, a detail important in the maintaining of quality. Finally models are dispatched in specially designed boxes capable of handling deliveries to all parts of the world."

If you would like to see photos of the Diverse Images manufacturing process then click here to Visit the Diverse Images Studios. This link will be repeated at the bottom of this page.

Diverse Images models have been chosen for display by various RAF Squadron Mess and several museums have them on display. The British distributor for the Breitling Company ordered these models as promotional displays for a Mosquito and a Lancaster watch. The company has been given space and excellent reviews by publications such as Aeroplane and Flypast. The Stirling diorama is going on display in Leeds City Hall to accompany the Victoria Cross won by Flt/Sgt Aaron. Sixty-five of the Diverse Images models were procured by Air Displays International for the Biggin Hill Airfair in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Just a few examples of the acceptance of these fine models in Britain.


CollectAir is proud to offer the following models as our current selection of aircraft - subject to availability as they are all limited to stock on hand - some may have been sold. These "picks" are presented as the curator's choice. Ordering information is presented at the bottom of this page. All prices exclude shipping and any applicable sales tax.

FOCKE WULF Fw 190A-8 (III./JG 54)

The Fw 190A-8 is finished in the scheme and markings of the Ground Attack aircraft in the River Oder section of the Defense of Berlin. This machine was flown by Heinz Schmidt and it has IV Staffell markings when in fact it was a III Staffell aircraft and although III./JG 54 was the last of the Green Hearts, it has no marking. The three Roman numeral ones are thought to have been an indication of a Tactical Leader but it cannot be confirmed; Schmidt was not. The wartime photo below shows this actual airplane; note that the white diagonal bar on the fin/rudder was the marking to identify these aircraft. The price of this limited edition model is $175.00.

The following short biography is offered in order to place a pilot in the cockpit of this fine model. Heinz Schmidt was born in Halberstadt, Sachsen-Anhalt, 1922 . His first real link with aviation was when he became a Junkers aircraft apprentice. When war broke out in 1939 he joined the Luftwaffe and was trained as an airframe mechanic. He made several applications to remuster as aircrew, but his superiors said that an ex-Junkers apprentice was more use to the Luftwaffe on the ground than in the air ! For the duration of the Battle of Britain, Heinz Schmidt served with KG 77 and also experienced the opening phase of the Russian Campaign in 1941.

In that same year his application for pilot training was finally accepted and he quickly found himself on the way to Flugzeugfuhrerschule A/B 23 at Kaufbouren for primary flying training. From biplanes he progressed to twin-engined aircraft and finally qualified on the Do 217. In 1943 he was posted to KG 100 where, to his total disgust, he was required to fly the 'lame' He 111.

When Goring called for Luftwaffe bomber pilots to volunteer for fighter pilot training in 1944, Heinz Schmidt lost no time in getting away from KG 100. His twin-engine training paid dividends and he quickly learnt to fly the Bf 110 with ZG 101 at Memmingen. To his great delight a posting followed to ZG 76 and the Me 410 Hornet, an aircraft that he loved to fly and greatly respected.

At the end of 1944 ZG 76 was disbanded and its pilots formed the nucleus of the new III./JG 54, 'The Last of the Green Hearts'. Operating from Muncheberg, near Berlin, the unit's Fw 190s saw intensive action against Russian ground targets such as, road and rail supply columns, flak positions, armour and the bridges across the River Oder.

A few weeks before the war ended, III./JG 54 was also disbanded and Heinz Schmidt packed his bags and headed for JG 2 'Richthofen' which had just re-equipped with the Fw 190 D-9. Happy though he was to fly this excellent fighter, the realities of having to fight an overwhelming enemy with no fuel and ammunition only served to strengthen his will to survive at all costs.

When the post-war German Air Force was activated in the mid-fifties, Heinz Schmidt returned as an instructor and trained hundreds of young pilots on the Havard Mk IV and Fouga Magister at FFS 'A' Landsberg. Some ten years later he was commissioned and joined the Flugdienststaffel (Facilities Squadron) at Kaufbeuren, the same base where he had learnt to fly back in 1941. His final years before retirement in 1977 as a Captain were spent flying the 'the most harmless aircraft of his career', the Dornier Do 28 and the Piaggio Pi 149.





MESSERSCHMITT Me 262A-1a (11.JG7)

Me 262A-1a Yellow 7. The aircraft flown by Oberfeldwebel H Arnold in April 1945 of Jagdgeschwader 7 Nowotny from Brandenburg, near Berlin; Heinz Arnold was an ace with 42 victories. Wingspan 6.82ins (173.4mm) Weight 11.25ozs (320grams). Model price is $205.00. This model is a 1:72 scale version of the 1:1 scale airplane displayed in the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum. The -1b model is the same as the -1a with the exception of wooden launching racks under the wings for R4M rockets.

This A-1a/R1 model, work number 500491, was surrendered at Lechfeld and became one of "Watson's Whizzers", a group of Me262s tested by Col. Harold E. Watson's group of fighter pilots who became an Air Force Intelligence Team unofficially known as the "USAAF's first jet squadron." It was given the designation FE-111 at Freeman Field following a brief stop at Wright Field in August 1945. The airframe was turned over the the Smithsonian in 1950 and restored in 1978; it currently is the center attraction of the NASM Jet Gallery. Further information on this machine and it's restoration can be found in the Smithsonian Press book, Messerschmitt Me 262 - Arrow to the Future, by Walter J. Boyne (1980). Internet information is available on Watson's Whizzers at http://www.stormbirds.com/squadron/planes/888.htm.






MESSERSCHMITT Me262B-1a/U1 Wk Nr 110306 "Red 6"


This 1:72 scale model of the Me262B-1a/U1, Wk Nr 110306 "Red 6", of 10./NJG 11 and flown by Fw. Karl-Heinz Becher, Schleswig-Jagel in April 1945, is now available for $215.00.

During the closing stages of WWII the German high command realised too late the potential of the Me262. Several development programs had been started but that of the night fighter was the only one to see fully operational service. Initially issued with single seat modified fighters 10. Staffel Nachtjagdgeschwader 11 was formed in October 1944 at Burg near Berlin. In command was Maj. Gerhard Stamp with Fw. Karl-Heinz Becher being one of the first to arrive (previously with II./NJG 10) at this point the units using single seat aircraft were coordinated with ground based radar and searchlights, it was not until March 1945 when they would receive six new two-seater Me 262B-1a/U1's each equipped with radar.


March 1945. "Red 6" prepares for night mission from Burg.


However it would not be long before Becher would claim his final victory, a 418 Squadron Mosquito flown by F/Lt Graham. Heavy bombing of the base at Burg forced the unit to roll their aircraft to the nearby Lubeck-Leck autobahn where they could operate from before finally moving to Schleswig. During May the advance of the allies soon resulted in the and surrender of 10./NJG 11 and the handing over of the aircraft to the British. After examination, the aircraft were over-painted with RAF markings before being shipped for testing. Red 6 was then handed over to the Americans who gave it the designation FE-610 when it became one of "Watson's Whizzers", a group of captured Me262's tested by the Americans.


FE 610 at Freeman Field AAF, Sept. 1945. Norm Malayney collection.

The aircraft was later given the number T2-610 and formed part of a flying circus for a while before disappearing in 1950, presumed scrapped. In its time the Me262B-1a/U1 represented the pinnacle of aircraft technology in service with the Luftwaffe.


FAIREY SWORDFISH

What a wonderful combination; an exquisite example of an historically important World War II biplane modeled in painted pewter along with outstanding signatories on original aircraft fabric, and in an edition of only 100. All for $595.00. SORRY, THIS EDITION IS SOLD OUT

This incredible pewter model of the Fairely Swordfish Mk I depicts the airplane, "H" W5984, of Lt. Cdr. Eugene Esmonde VC, DSO of No. 825 Squadron. Constructed from 58 individual parts, including photo etched rigging, the Swordfish is mounted along with a torpedo trolley and a stainless steel squadron plaque. In addition, a piece of signed linen skin from a Royal Navy Historical Flight Swordfish is mounted under a sheet of clear acrylic. The fabric is signed by three of the five survivors of the Swordfish raid on German battlecruisers during the German "Channel Dash" in 1942: Lt. Cdr. Pat Kingsmill DSO, Lt. Cdr. Edgar Lee DSO and Donald Bunce CGM. A four-color leaflet accompanies the model; the leaflet contains archive photos of the three signatories and newspaper accounts of the Channel Dash. This model production is limited to only 100 examples. Five special examples are being presented to the Swordfish Trust to help them raise funds to keep their aircraft flying. This is a most significant model and one that will be treasured in the future. Order yours now for the price of $595.00 SOLD OUT.


Many more Swordfish Mk I photos - see below.

The British Fairey Swordfish MkI torpedo bomber, powered by a Bristol Pegasus IIIM3, a rather antiquated-appearing, fabric covered biplane, was an unlikely candidate to be the most important airplane of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm during the dark days of 1939-1941. The "Stringbag", as it was known, entering service in 1936, was used for just about everything; it was primarily a torpedo bomber but also did minelaying, reconnaissance and bombing. Open cockpits for the pilot and the observer and gunner/wireless operator and only able to make slow, lumbering attack approaches, yet it was very maneuverable and handled well. Fighter cover or the cloak of nighttime darkness was the only real protection the Swordfish crews had with the exception of its ability to outmaneuver faster aircraft. An obsolete and vulnerable airplane, by 1939 standards, but which distinguished it's crews and went on to fight to the end of WWII. Bombing, submarine patrol and mine laying in early 1940 during the Norwegian Campaign led up to the Swordfish being effectively employed against German E-boats during the nine days of the evacuation of Dunkirk 815 Squadron and 819 Squadron were equipped with Swordfish for their battles during the perilous evacuation.

In July 1940, twelve Swordfish from the carrier HMS Ark Royal attacked the French fleet in the harbor at Oran, Algeria. The battle cruiser Dunkerque was put out of action.

815 Squadron, with their Swordfish, went aboard the carrier HMS Illustrious in June, 1940 and headed for the Mediterranean to join the carrier Eagle and its Swordfish and Gladiator squadrons. Fulmars and Skuas were also onboard. A Swordfish squadron, 830, was based on Malta. On the night of November 11, 1940, twenty Swordfish attacked the Italian fleet in the harbor at Taranto, sinking one battleship outright, leaving another sinking and seriously crippling another and damaging three cruisers - all for the loss of only two Swordfish. This was the first major victory for the British in WWII and it was accomplished completely by Swordfish.

Swordfish from the Eagle also flew with the British Army in the Egyptian and Libyan deserts. Swordfish were heavily engaged in battles in the Med and in the defense of Malta.

In May, 1941, the carrier, HMS Victorious, with nine Swordfish of No. 825 Squadron and six Fulmars, was engaged in the famous chase of the German battleship Bismark, along with Swordfish from the Ark Royal Squadrons 810, 818 and 820. The Swordfish from the Victorious, flying in terrible weather, were credited with crippling the batleship with torpedo hits allowing the Home Fleet to sink the ship with gunfire on May 27, 1941. This daring raid, led by Lieutenant-Commander Eugene Esmonde, incurred no losses.

Meanwhile, the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were raiding commerce in the Atlantic and were subjected to repeated raids at their Brest harbor by the RAF Bomber Command. The Germans wanted their ships to return to Germany and a "breakout" through the channel was carefully planned for February 12, 1942. The ships, including the Prince Eugen, departed Brest very early in the morning for a dangerous run to Kiel through the gauntlet being prepared by the British. Again, Esmonde, now flying a Swordfish MkI, "H" W5984, of No. 825 Squadron from Manston aerodrome in Kent, took off at 12:25 with five other "Stringbags" to attack the German fleet.

Limited Edition print, "Escort to the Scharnhorst", by Simon Atack, showing the battleship in 1943. Available for $110.00. Print is co-signed by Matrosen Obgefreiter Wilhelm Alsen who was a gunner and aircraft recognition specialist on the Scharnhorst; he was one of only 36 survivors when the battlecruiser was sunk by the British on December 26, 1943.

Promised Spitfire air cover had not arrived and by the time Esmonde led the squadron into attack, Adolf Galland's Bf 109s and Fw 190s along with AA fire from the battlecruisers, destroyers and E-boats proved to be too deadly for the slow Swordfish bombers. Esmonde's attacking aircraft was hit at 50 ft., losing part of a wing and then was finished off by a Fw 190. He crashed into the sea killing all three crew members. The second Swordfish in the first subflight, piloted by Brian Rose, also crashed into the sea. Rose, injured by a shell, and his observer, Sub-Lieutenant Edgar Lee, got out and into a rubber dinghy. The third aircraft, badly damaged, piloted by Sub-Lieutenant Colin Kingsmill was able to drop a torpedo before also crashing into the sea. Kingsmill, his observer Sub-Lieutenant "Mac" Samples, and the gunner, Leading Airman Donald Bunce survived and were quickly picked up by a British MTB. There were no survivors in the second sub-flight as all aircraft were destroyed.

Esmonde was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the attack; this was the first Victoria Cross to be awarded to a member of the Fleet Air Arm. The four surviving officers were awarded the DSO and the air gunner Bunce was awarded the CGM. Admiral Ramsay wrote that "In my opinion the gallant sortie of these six Swordfish constitutes one of the finest exhibitions of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty that the war has yet witnessed." German Vice-Admiral Otto Ciliax aboard the Scharnhorst described the action as "the mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day."

The Swordfish began another career as an anti-submarine patrol airplane, flying off escort carriers and the small, short-deck Merchant Aircraft Carriers (MAC) ships to patrol convoys through to the end of WWII. The last Swordfish was delivered in August, 1944.

Several suggested book references: To War in a Stringbag by Commander Charles Lamb. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - The Elusive Sisters by Richard Garrett (shown at left). British Naval Aviation - The Fleet Air Arm, 1917-1990 by Ray Sturtivant. Fairey Swordfish in Action by W.A. Harrison and Don Greer, Squadron/Signal #175. Pursuit - The Chase and Sinking of the Battleship Bismark by Ludovic Kennedy. The Attack on Taranto - Blueprint for Pearl Harbor by John W.G. Wellham (1995). Bring Back My Stringbag by Lord John Kilbracken DSC. The Incredible Stringbag and Me by John Neale DSC DFC. The last three books may be ordered from the Leeds Swordfish Trust at www.swordfishleeds.com whose Swordfish "donated" the fabric patch signed by the crewman. Channel Dash by Terence Robertson, 1958, gives a very detailed account of all the Swordfish crews mentioned above and is the best description of the action.

More Photos The "Fleet Air Arm Archive - Index of Naval Aircraft" has an excellent article on the Fairey Swordfish. A link to this website is given at the end of the additional pictures of "H" W5984. Click here to Go to the Diverse Images Annex for many more photos of the Swordfish Mk. I model.



MESSERSCHMITT Me 109E-4N JG 26

The aircraft of Oberstleutnant Adolf Galland of JG26, the "Schlageter". You'll notice an interesting example of scale viewing in the photos below. Models are usually viewed from a distance of maybe one foot or so; this model is 1/72nd the size of the real aircraft, so that the same viewing distance for a full size example would be around 72 feet. The same camera was used to take this side view of the model as was used to photograph a Me 109E-3 at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying about three years ago. Notice that the same level of detail appears to the viewer in each photo, a real testimonial to Diverse Images' handling of necessary detail on their sculptures. Price of this model is SORRY, THIS ISSUE SOLD OUT






SPITFIRE Mk Vb 303 Sqn.

Spitfire Vb Flown by Polish ace Jan Zumbach and featuring colourful, detailed markings and an unusual extended rear view mirror. Zumbach flew a number of different serial number Spits, all with "RF-D" code. This one, EN951, was previously used by no. 133 "Eagle" Squadron and flown for 27 missions by F/Lt Don Blakeslee before being turned over to 303 Squadron in September, 1942 and flown by Zumbach until his departure in December. "RF-D" continued to fly with 303 Squadron until June, 1943. Price of this model is SORRY SOLD OUT.





de HAVILLAND DH 88 Comet Racer 'Grosvenor House'

Winner of the London to Melbourne Air Race in 1934. The model is in 1:72nd scale. The following information is from the Shuttleworth Collection website:


1934 DH88 Comet G-ACSS. In 1934 Sir MacPherson Robertson offered a prize of 10,000 for the winner of an air race from England to Australia to mark the centenary of the foundation of the State of Victoria. Most entrants for the race were in existing aircraft designs, however de Havillands wanted to win the race and so designed an aircraft for this purpose, work starting in February. The DH88 was designed, built and flown in a total time of nine months to enter and win the MacRobertson Air Race in October of 1934.

Three orders for DH88s were received: G-ACSR was painted green and raced by Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller on behalf of Bernard Rubin; G-ACSP was painted black and gold and was named 'Black Magic', it was owned and raced by Jim and Amy Mollinson; the third Comet to be entered was G-ACSS painted scarlet and named 'Grosvenor House' ;it was entered by the hotel's managing director A. Edwards.

For the race the pilots of G-ACSS were C.W.A. Scott and Tom Campbell-Black. In the race G-ACSS arrived first in Australia and qualified for both prizes, one for fastest speed and one for the handicap race; however the race rules prevented both prizes being awarded to the same aircraft and so G-ACSS only received the main speed prize. Of the other Comets G-ACSR finished fourth and left for England as soon as it arrived carrying news-reels of the event. On its return it had set a new out-and-back record arriving back at Mildenhall thirteen and a half days after it left at the start of the race. G-ACSP retired from the race with engine trouble.

After the DH88's success, G-ACSS was evaluated by the RAF as K5084 and appeared as such in the 1936 Hendon Pageant, however it suffered several accidents in the hands of the RAF and was sold as scrap. However, it was bought by F. Tasker and restored at Essex Aero Ltd at Gravesend, it was renamed 'The Orphan' and gained fourth place in the England-Damascus Air Race of 1937. After this G-ACSS was renamed 'The Burberry' and set a new record for the out-and-back times to the Cape, and also set a record when it travelled from England-New Zealand and home again in only ten days, twenty-one hours and twenty-two minutes. After these record breaking flights G-ACSS was abandoned at Gravesend and spent WW2 stored there. De Havilland apprentices statically restored the last surviving Comet Racer for the 1951 Festival of Great Britain, where it was displayed hanging from the roof. It was given to the Shuttleworth Collection in 1965 and a restoration to flying condition was begun.

However this proved too expensive for the Collection and an appeal was launched for sponsors. About fifty organisations supported the project and restoration was carried out at RAE Farnborough and then at the British Aerospace works at Hatfield. This culminated in the first flight in forty-nine years on Sunday 17 May 1987. 'Grosvenor House' continued to fly from Hatfield until it was closed in 1993. G-ACSS was transported by road to Old Warden where it was kept in a taxiable condition, however the length of the runway was too short to allow G-ACSS to fly. Now the runway has been lengthened and it is hoped that G-ACSS will return to the air once more during 2002. The Shuttleworth's Collection DH.88 Comet Grosvenor House did make it back into the air in October 2002 for a fifty minute test flight. Unfortunately, an undercarriage collapsed on landing at Bedfordshire aerodrome causing damage to the airplane. It is expected, however, that G-ACSS will return to the air sometime in 2003 or 2004.

Specifications: Height: 10ft, Length: 29ft ,Wingspan: 44ft ,Engines: two 230hp DH Gipsy 6 R, Max Speed: 237mph. The price of this excellent piece is SORRY WITHDRAWN FROM SALE.





N.A.C.A. Circular No. 27, dated October 1934, detailed the structure of the De Havilland Comet. Click on the drawing below to view a 3-view of the Comet as it appeared in this N.A.C.A. circular.

A detailed multi-view drawing of the D.H. 88 Comet "Grosvenor House" appeared in the December 1972 issue of the British magazine Aero Modeller. You can view and print out this excellent drawing by clicking here. Use the back arrow to return.



SHORT STIRLING III 218 SQN. SPECIAL DIORAMA - EDITION OF 200

Short Stirling III (218 Sqn.) flown by Flt. Sgt. A.L. Aaron, V.C. Limited edition of 200 only, produced as a diorama featuring a tractor with bomb trolleys and a petrol bowser; the base size is A4 (8.25 ins x 11.75 ins). The model is accompanied by a special numbered stainless steel plaque. The price of this outstanding diorama is only $335.00 SOLD OUT.

The R.A.F. website, www.raf.mod.uk/, is beginning a comprehensive series on the Bomber Command 1939-1945. All Bomber Command aircraft are profiled along with histories of all squadrons and operations. The following brief on Flt/Sgt. A.L. Aaron, V.C. is from the R.A.F. site.

The second Victoria Cross for No. 218 Squadron personnel, for gallantry during a raid on Turin, was posthumously awarded to Flight Sergeant AL Aaron DFM of No 218 Squadron. During a raid on the Italian city in August 1943, Aaron's Stirling was attacked by a night-fighter. The navigator was killed; Aaron himself had his jaw shattered by a bullet as well as being wounded in the chest and one arm. With one engine out and two others damaged, Aaron placed the bomb-aimer in control of the aircraft and set a course for North Africa. Five hours later, after being restrained from taking over the pilot's seat again, Aaron assisted the bomb-aimer in making a wheels-up landing at Bone. All the crew survived except Flight Sergeant Aaron who died nine hours later of his wounds.

The Stirling was the first four-engine bomber to enter service with the Bomber Command.






AIRBORNE ASSAULT - Stirling and Horsa Glider

This outstanding diorama features the Short Stirling "glider tug" in the process of hooking up a Airspeed Horsa glider in preparation for the assault on Arnhem in September 1944. The aircraft are modeled in 1:144 scale. This diorama is in a limited edition of only 60 and is signed by Brigadier Mike Dauncey DSO. The British Glider Pilot Regiment was a unique organization formed in 1942 and disbanded in 1957. Glider pilots were trained airmen in both power and gliders and became a fighting soldier following landing. The following comments are from an article by Stephen L. Wright, Flying Soldiers.

It was at Arnhem that the Regiment's members made their greatest sacrifice. Major General Roy Urquhart, O/C 1st Airborne Division, wrote to Chatterton, 'they [the glider pilots] played all kinds of parts but everything they were asked to do they did wholeheartedly. I'm afraid your losses were rather heavy.' Over 1300 pilots landed in Holland and of these 229 were killed and 469 wounded or taken prisoner.

The story of Lt. Michael Dauncey is eminently suitable as an example of the exploits of the Glider Pilots at Arnhem. Dauncey flew as second Pilot to S/Sgt. Alan Murdoch. Their 'load' was a contingent of the 1st Air Landing Light Regiment, R.A. The flight was, on the whole, uneventful and the landing straight out of the text-book. Mike Dauncey's role was in support of the Light Regiment.

On Saturday, 23rd September, Lt. Dauncey and two paratroopers raced over to the German line, some thirty yards away, and brought back eight prisoners, a machine gun and a collection of Luger pistols. Sadly, his luck was not to hold out much longer. The following day, in an attempt to view enemy positions more clearly, he was hit in the eye by a piece of shrapnel. It was not until the evening that he was able to be led down to the Regimental Aid Post. He could not be helped so slept the night away and left the next morning on a tank-hunting mission. He narrowly escaped being driven down by a tank and then found himself in a fire-fight with a German armed with a Bren Gun. Dauncey replied with his Luger and received a bullet in the thigh. His leg was dressed by a couple of Airborne soldiers and the three took shelter in a slit-trench. Looking round to see what had landed on his blind side, Lt. Dauncey was hit in the face by the explosion from the object, a German grenade. His jaw was broken in two places and, although he could think clearly, he was very weak. He returned to the R.A.P. and was, eventually, treated.

Evacuated to the Eye Hospital in Utrecht, Dauncey received excellent treatment. From here he was moved to the St Antonious German Prison Hospital. As in the case of Jock Bramah, whom he met earlier, Mike Dauncey effected a movie-style escape. With a Major from the Black Watch, he climbed down knotted sheets, scaled a barbed wire fence and headed into the darkened streets. Aided by brave civilians, the two men stayed with a doctor and his family until February. They were then helped to reach the Allied lines. Mike Dauncey returned to the U.K. where he continued to pursue his army career until retirement in 1976.

AIRBORNE ASSAULT - Arnhem September 1944 Diorama is priced at OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES. Photographs of this diorama featuring the Stirling and Horsa can be seen in the photo gallery of Annex 2 by Clicking here to see photos..

SPITFIRE PROTOTYPE

The beautiful lines of the Supermarine Spitfire are evident in this model of the prototype designed by R.J. Mitchell. First flown by Vickers' chief test pilot, "Mutt" Summers, on March 5, 1936 at Eastleigh, Hampshire. K5054 was in bare metal on the first flight but was painted in this light blue soon afterwards. The price of this historic piece is $155.00. SOLD OUT

The Spitfire was the design creation of Supermarine designer Reginald J. Mitchell, famous not only for the Spitfire but for a series of flying boats and the successful Schneider Cup Trophy seaplanes. R.J. Mitchell was able to witness the first flights of the Spitfire prototype, as offered here in this fine Diverse Images model, but sadly, as a victim of a long standing cancer, he never saw the production Spitfire fly.

The April 2001 issue of Aeroplane has a "First-Hand History" article concerning the Supermarine Aircraft Works at Woolston during the period 1935-1945. Written by Charles Jurd, who, along with his wife, worked at the Woolston works of Vickers-Supermarine, originally in a part-time clerical postition. A keen observer and possessing an interest in aviation, Mr. Jurd documents Supermarine as the Spitfire was entering production.

He was able to occassionally "take a surreptitious look at what was happening on Mitchell's drawing board..." and he describes R.J. Mitchell's office as follows: "His tiny wooden office was just large enough to contain his board and a few filing cabinets, while outside sat his secretary, Miss Cross, in an equally small office. Adjoining this was a small boardroom, the whole being situated in the top of the roof of K shop with all its clattering racket of rivet guns on hollow metal hulls. This, then was the working environment of one of the world's greatest aircraft designers, and it tells us much about the man himself. Both he and Miss Cross treated me with kindness, but I little realised then that I was witnessing the last few months of the great man's life." Celebrate this great airplane for only $155.00.





BOSTON V

This Douglas A-20 Boston V was based in Italy in 1945 and was used in bombing raids in support of the 8th Army. The Managing Director of Diverse Images, Tim Staples, is particularly proud of this model inasmuch as it is the 13 Squadron Boston flown by his father, an RAF pilot in WWII, pictured at left. Also shown below is this Boston V with members of A Flight 13 Squadron gathered for a picture. Not a generic A-20, this is a real airplane celebrating history. Price of this 1:144 scale bomber diorama is Sorry, sold out.





P-51B 336th FIGHTER SQUADRON

This P-51B was the mount of Col. James A. Goodson, USAAF. Col. Goodson became a member of the Eagle Squadron in 1940 and in September 1942 was transferred to the 4th Fighter Group's 336th Squadron where he flew more than 100 missions including the Normandy invasion. He was shot down during a low-level mission in July 1944 and spent the rest of the war in a German prison camp. Col. Goodson scored 32 victories, including 15 air-to-air. In civilian life, Col. Goodson is retired as Vice-President of ITT. This P-51B model is priced at $165.00.





"GROUND ATTACK D DAY", Mustang P-51B's of 353rd FIGHTER SQUADRON - A Diorama


An outstanding diorama featuring P-51B's fully loaded with bombs and emblazoned with D-Day markings. The aircraft are in 1:72 scale. The hectic tumult of constant raids by ground attack aircraft in support of the landings is shown in the organized chaos of the advanced landing ground at Lashenden in Kent. Featuring two silver and one olive drab aircraft of pilots Jack T. Bradley, John G. Montigo Jr. and Felix M. Rogers. The diorama also includes a solid silver hand engraved plaque and a space for veterans signature(s). This diorama, Ground Attack D Day, is limited to an edition of only 50 and is priced at $1500.00. Please note that this diorama has been SOLD OUT by Diverse but CollectAir has one for sale. Many photos of this diorama can be viewed in the Photo Gallery Annex 2. Click here to view photos of the P-51B Diorama in Annex2.



Spitfire HF Mk VII MD188/PB - Wg Cdr Pete Brothers, Culmhead Wing, June 1944.


A special limited edition of only 60, each signed on a vellum signature slip mounted on the base under an acrylic cover. This Spitfire VII flew as top cover on D-Day and is being offered as a Special 60th Anniversary issue. Flown by Air Commodore Pete Brothers CBE DSO DFC*. This special model is priced at SORRY SOLD OUT.


Spitfire Mk IXC ML407/OU-V


This Spitfire Mk IXC ML407/OU-V was flown by Flying Officer Johnnie Houlton, No 485(NZ)Sqn, Selsey, June 1944. This excellent model in 1:72 scale is available for $175.00. Many photos of this Spitfire IXC can be viewed in the Photo Gallery Annex 2. Click here to view photos of Johnnie Houlton's Spitfire Mk IXC in Annex2.


MITSUBISHI A6M2 "ZERO"

This was the lead fighter from the Japanese carrier "Akagi" as it appeared just prior to taking off for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The carrier deck wood planking is replicated on the base. Price of this fighter is $OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES.





SCRAMBLE! A Battle of Britain Diorama

This intricate diorama, Scramble!, is the first of Diverse Image's large dioramas; this 54 Squadron piece features three Spitfire 1a's in the Summer of 1940 as they are in the process of being manned during a fighter scramble. On an exceptionally good day the squadron could get twelve fighters in the air, but damage and mechanical difficulties usually limited the active number to maybe seven or eight. The photo above shows an overhead view of the diorama; note the dispersal buildings, pilots, ground crew, and even a few arm chairs, all in the process of the feverish action taking place during one of many scrambles each day during the particularly difficult days of August, 1940 as the Luftwaffe concentrated bomber activity on the many fighter bases, specially those near London.

More information about 54 Squadron below, along with many more pictures in the Annex, but first a comment on the appeal of the diorama approach to historical art. Many of you own paintings or the more affordable limited edition prints of Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. Many of the earlier prints distributed during the late 1970s and into the 1980s have increased in value to the point where the so-called secondary market values have approached the price of this pewter diorama. In my opinion, the value of a piece of paper, printed in many hundreds, containing photo-mechanical lithographic process printed color dots (the same process as magazine illustrations) will never equal the intrinsic value of cast pewter carefully and skillfully painted in the same historically accurate colors. The print is forever etched into the two-dimensional mold and will never change (only through fading!). A diorama can be viewed from an infinite number of locations; each view is different, each view is a unique interpretation of the scene taking place within your "camera lens" as you direct the action. Lighting and placement puts you in command of how the piece plays out in your mind's eye. This is the beauty and significance of three-dimensional sculpture regardless of the material used.


The detail photo above shows Spitfire KL*B, Kiwi, of Flt. Lt. Alan C. Deere, the best known of all New Zealand fighter pilots. Deere accounted for seven fighters and one bomber shot down just during the Battle of Britain alone. On August 31, 1940, Deere, along with two other 54 Squadron pilots, Sgt. J. Davis and P.O. E.F. Edsall, were all hit, while they were attempting takeoff, by a stick of bombs dropped by a German bomber on their base at Hornchurch. Three damaged aircraft but no injuries!



Shown above is a detail from the 1989 Jerry Crandall Limited Edition Print, "Al Deere Kiwi II - Spitfire IA." Red Leader, Flt. Lt. Alan C. Deere, engaged a Bf 109 head-on during a patrol in the Dover-Deal area on July 9, 1940. Neither pilot giving in, the Bf 109 struck Deere's propeller as depicted in this painting. The engine seized, controls jammed , and Al Deere crash landed the burning airplane and scrambled to safety after breaking loose the jammed canopy. This print is available from CollectAir for $125.00.

The complete and distinguished history of 54 Squadron can be researched at www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/54to72.html. The RAF's Hornchurch Sector, 11 Group, was close to London and squadrons based there were in the forefront of action during the Battle of Britain, many times being assisted by squadrons from 12 and 13 Group to the north. Squadrons were moved around to provide aircraft near the coast for incoming Luftwaffe attacks. Secondary fields such as Manston, Gravesend, Windsor, Lympne and Rochford were considered forward fields and 54 Squadron would have frequently operated from one of these satellite airdromes. The diorama could represent any of these grassy fields, so typical of the scenes from famous movies such as "The Battle of Britain" or "A Piece of Cake".

An interesting sidebar to 54 Squadron. An American, Hal Gray, was ferrying Hudsons to England in early 1940 as a contract pilot with the RCAF. Hal joined the RAF, checked out in a Spitfire Mk 1a and was assigned to 54 Squadron where he flew during the Battle of Britain. Injured, he eventually returned to the U.S. where he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Hal Gray was sent to Australia and assigned to the newly formed 475th Fighter Group, 431st Squadron where Hal flew P-38s to the end of hostilities with Japan.

Spitfire Mk 1 N3173, KL*N, of this diorama was flown by Pilot Officer Colin Gray. Spitfire P9389, KL*A, was flown by Squadron Leader James Leathart.

This superb diorama is limited in number to no more than 50; as true connoisseurs of this art form are also limited, you can be one of a very few in the United States to possess such an elegant example of Diverse Image's work. The September 2003 issue of Flypast magazine, #266, has a piece on "Scramble" on page 42. The price for Scramble! is $1500.00 and is sturdily boxed for shipping. To view many more photos of this work, click here to Go to the Diverse Images Annex. Please note that this outstanding piece is now SOLD OUT by Diverse, but this diorama is available at CollectAir.


BATTLE OF FRANCE Diorama


This Hurricane Diorama, "Battle of France", features three aircraft of 87 Squadron in France in late 1939; two of these Hurricanes were flown by famous pilots Dennis David and Roland Beamont. Only 50 examples of this diorama will be constructed.



P47D (Bubbletop) 506th F.S.

P-47D as flown by Major Hal Shook from Winkton, England in June1944. Price is $195.00.







F-86F SABRE of the 25th F.I.S., KOREA

Stunning F-86F aircraft of Major John Glenn USMC Korea. Price is $OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES. The late Ted Williams, the last .400 hitter, was John Glenn's wingman in Korea.






John Glenn's F-86F in Korea. A USAF photo.



HURRICANE Mk I 242 Sqn.

The aircraft of Sqn. Ldr. Douglas Bader. Price is $195.00. This model also represents a Hurricane currently flying in the U.S. The following information is from the Pacific Flyer: Southern California became the home of a Hurricane Mk1 in 2002 as part of the Friedkin Family Chino Warbird Collection, exhibited in Chino's Air Museum Planes of Fame. The Hurricane AE977 was a Canadian-built airplane delivered to the RAF in 1941 and later converted to a Sea Hurricane Mk.X for the Royal Navy where it was damaged in late 1942 and stored. The aircraft was restored in 1996 by Hawker Restorations, Ltd. and given the Mk 1 markings of Douglas Bader's 242 Squadron aircraft circa 1940. It was flown in England before coming to the U.S.






CURTISS P-40B HAWK of the A.V.G. "FLYING TIGERS"



This P-40B, Number 68, P-8109, was flown by Charles H. Older of the A.V.G. 3rd Squadron. Older was credited with 10.25 victories. Price is $175.00.

Hawk 81-A-2 number '68' (CAF serial P-8109), assigned to Third Squadron Flight Leader Charles Older, Kunming, China, early May 1942. The shark mouth on this aeroplane is representative of the more intricate designs seen on many Third Squadron aeroplanes, featuring unusually thick black lips, white teeth and a red tongue, with the inside of the mouth filled in with a mixed light grey, the pupil of the eye was red. The markings also included a small inscription near the cockpit, which read PILOT/C H.OLDER, and one of Stanley Regis' red and white' Hell's Angels' figures. It was also adorned with the red/white/blue pinwheels on the wheel covers added in Kunming in January. A Disney 'Flying Tiger' decal was added some time after March 1942. Five kill markings were carried at this time, but by late May these were replaced with a line of ten smaller flags. This aeroplane was apparently flown by Robert Hedman on his famous 25 December 'ace in a day' mission, and it was also used by Ken Jernstedt in the 18 March attack on the Japanese airfields at Mudon and Moulmein, with Bill Reed at the controls.

Source: Osprey Aviation Books, Aircraft of the Aces Vol 41. ISBN 1-84176-224-5







SPITFIRE Vb of the 336th F.S.

This Spitfire Vb was regularly flown by 2nd Lt. Don Gentile. The price is sold out. Gentile was a volunteer in the Eagle Squadron and scored his first kills with two Fw-190s over the Dieppe beachhead.. As a Captain in 1944, Don Gentile, flying a P-51B "Shangri-La", was with the 336th FS (VF) of the 4th FG. He scored 21.83 aerial victories with the Spitfire Vb, P-47 and P-51B. In April 1944, Gentile unintentionally flew his P-51 into the ground, wiping out the fighter during an exhibition for the press; the CO sent him back to the States for the rest of the war where he participated in War Bond drives. Gentile was killed in a P-80 test flight.






SPITFIRE Mk1 234 Sqn.

This Spitfire Mk1 was flown by Wing Commander Bob Doe in the Battle of Britain. The price of this Spitfire is $OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES.





P-51D MUSTANG "SCATVII" 434th F.S.

The P-51D flown by Major Robin Olds in March 1945 with the 434th F.S. (L2) of the 479th Fighter Group, 65th Fighter Wing. The price of this P-51D is $175.00.

Robin Olds scored nine aerial victories in the P-38, making him the top Eighth Air Force Lightning ace, and another four in the P-51. His 11 strafing victories took his combined total to 24, placing him the 17th in the Eighth Air Force's ace listing. This P-51D was the last of a series of consecutively numbered SCATs, and is typical of 479th FG Mustangs in having no Group nose colours, instead using only a red rudder (and a red cooler intake lip) to signify the 434th Fighter Squadron. Olds led the Eighth TFW's 'Wolf pack' in the Vietnam war, flying F-4C Phantoms lls, and added four MiG kills to his wartime total. His individual tally of kills was less important than his inspirational leadership of the Wing in this later conflict.

Source: Osprey Aviation Books, Aircraft of the Aces Vol 1. ISBN 1-85532-447-4






P-51D MUSTANG "JERSEY JERK" 361st F.S.

The P-51D flown by Captain Donald I. Strait of the 361st F.S., 356th F.G. Strait was credited with 13.5 aerial victories. The price of this P-51D is $175.00.

A briefing on WWII ace Donald Strait along with many more photos of this beautiful model in 1:72 scale are at the Diverse Images Annex Page. Check it out!



P-47D THUNDERBOLT RAZORBACK 61st F.S.

It's October of 1943 at Halesworth. This P-47D, "In the Mood" is the mount of Capt. Gerald Johnson, 61st F.S., 56th Fighter Group, 65th Fighter Wing. Own this handsome model for $OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES.

Johnson became the first ace of the 56th FG and the second in the ETO on August 19, 1943. He later flew with the 356th FG and helped initiate them into combat during their first two operational months. Johnson returned to the 56th, but was downded by enemy ground fire on March 27, 1944. His final score was 17 victories. He stayed in the Air Force and eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant General and commanded the 8th Air Force he once flew in as a fighter pilot.

A captain by the time he used this particular Thunderbolt to score 5.5 aerial victories, Gerald W Johnson was one of the 'Wolf pack's' most outstanding pilots. The machine sculpted was photographed in colour (in three-quarter front view), although just one poor snapshot exists to show the War Bond inscription. It was assigned to and flown by Gerry Johnson for his first confirmed victory on 26 June 1943 (an Fw 190), and he continued to use it until the end of 1943, although his final kill with the aircraft was scored on 14 October (another Fw 190). All Johnson's P-47s were 'razorbacks', and he achieved kills in at least five different aircraft.

Source: Osprey Aviation Books, Aircraft of the Aces Vol 24. ISBN 1-85532-729-5

Lt. Gen. Gerald W. Johnson, USAF (Ret) died September 9, 2002. Donations may be sent to the Lt. Gen. Gerald W. Johnson Fund, c/o Mighty 8th Air Force at PO Box 1992, Savannah, GA 31402.






The following photo is from Diverse Images showing a cut-a-way of the cockpit details of "In the Mood".




B-17G "VONNIE GAL" 527th B.S.

The new B-17G "Vonnie Gal" Diorama, edition of only 100. 527th B.S. This dynamic diorama includes a yellow radio jeep, a crew truck and a bomb truck and trolley. This particular aircraft has the long nose and turret of the "G" but the open waist gunner positions of the "F". The model features open waist gun positions and, as with the actual aircraft, you are able to see through the fuselage. This piece is now available and orders can be placed; the diorama is in stock. Price is Sorry Sold Out. The photo below is only one of many presented; to see all of the pictures of this remarkable diorama in 1:144 scale along with a little history of "Vonnie Gal", click here to Go To the Diverse Images Annex. Many photos of the B-17G are displayed along with added photos of other aircraft and sculpture.




TYPHOON 1b 137 Squadron



A Hawker (most built by Gloster) Typhoon Mk 1b in the markings of 137 Squadron during the D-Day invasion as flown by Flight Officer A.N. Sames. This outstanding model is equipped with a full complement of rockets and is exquisitely detailed. More photos following the text. This model is priced at $217.50.

Coded SF*S in May, 1944, this Typhoon stayed in service with No. 137 Squadron until December 31, 1944 when it was damaged and was returned to the U.K. for repair at Taylorcraft of Rearsby. SF*S then saw no further service and as countless others was scrapped in October 1946.

The following information is from various RAF internet sites. No. 137 Squadron was formed at Shawbury on 1 April 1918 as a day bomber unit but did not become operational before being disbanded on 4 July 1918.

On 20 September 1941, No. 137 was reformed at Charmy Down with Whirlwind twin-engined fighter-bombers, the second and last Squadron to receive this type. Operations across the Channel began on 24 October and in November the Squadron moved to East Anglia. The Squadron continued to operate Whirlwinds until June 1943 when the Squadron converted to Hurricanes equipped with 40mm cannon and rockets. In January 1944 conversion to Typhoons took place and No. 137 became operational with these on 8 February in No. 124 Wing at Manston. After taking part in anti-shipping strikes, the Squadron covered the landings in Normandy before beginning anti-flying-bomb patrols during June and July. On 13 August 1944, it moved to Normandy to provide ground attack support for the Allied armies and by the end of September had advanced into the Netherlands. Armed reconnaissance sweeps were carried out over Germany for the rest of the war and after a short period in Germany the Squadron was renumbered No. 174 on 26 August 1945.

The Hawker "Typhoon" almost did not see the light of day. Built to Specification F 18/37, the aircraft was to be powered by either the Rolls Royce Vulture engine or the Napier Sabre engine. The abandonment of the Vulture engine in early 1941 meant that future development relied on the Sabre engine, but production was held back to ensure a steady production of needed and proved Hurricanes. Eventually in 1941 Gloster Aircraft re-commenced production and two units, 56 and 609 Squadrons at Duxford re-equipped with the Typhoon and began the task of ironing out the bugs, which were complex. The Sabre engine was unreliable, rate of climb and performance at height was unsatisfactory and the rear fuselage had a nasty habit of coming apart - just the thing for an already nervous pilot to handle.

In November, 1942, the Typhoon suddenly came back into favour by demonstrating that it could catch and shoot down the fighter bombers of the Luftwaffe who were then engaging in low-level hit-run raids over southern England. In 1943 "Tiffy" squadrons shot up and blasted everything that moved in northern France-trains, trucks and tanks. If it moved it was hammered, and the aircraft, after D-Day 1944, with its ability to attack and destroy enemy ground forces with cannon fire, bombs and rockets provided 19 squadrons, 16 RAF and 4 RCAF, which became the "cutting edge" of 2 TAF in its close support of the Invasion armies as they moved through France and into Germany.

One of the "Tiffy's" prize achievements was the destruction of 175 enemy tanks in one day during the Falaise Gap operation. This Diverse Images 1:72 scale pewter model has the D-Day markings.

Some 3,330 Typhoons were built, 3,315 by Gloster Aircraft, the final 3,000 odd aircraft having a clear bubble hood instead of the heavy framed cockpit with a car-type door on each side. Only a single, complete example of the Typhoon exists today; Typhoon Mk1B, MN235, is on exhibit at RAF Museum Hendon. This particular airplane was shipped to Wright Field in the U.S. in 1944. It later wound up in the Smithsonian inventory. It was traded back to England in 1967 for a Hurricane II.

images/ CollectAir has a rare "retrospecive" manual by Gloster Aircraft for sale which describes in detail, with photos, the process of revising the sectioned hood to a sliding hood (1943), "The Retrospective Method of Incorporating the Sliding Hood (Mod. 307) in Typhoon Mk.1B Aircraft", priced at SORRY SOLD. Also, for Typhoon buffs, and old, wood solid model fans, a "bread and butter" MAGNIFICANTLY CONSTRUCTED Typhoon, built by professional modeler and wood artist, Doug Emmons, is featured on the ARTICLES page.


RAF armourers load H.E. rockets onto a Typhoon in France, 1944. (Imperial War Museum)

Normandy Sunrise by Gerald Coulson. This Normandy scene is shortly after D-Day and depicts 174 Sqdn. Signed by three Typhoon pilots and priced at $245.00.

Hockey in the Duff or They Just Have to be Canadians by Ardell Bourgeois. This print is featured on the Art Prints Page.


TEMPEST V 150 Wing


This 1:72 scale pewter model of the Tempest V depicts the aircraft of Wing Commander Roland Beamont of the 150 Wing, Newchurch, as of June 8, 1944. This Tempest in D-Day markings is available for $195.00.

Beamont's career is featured several places on this website and a handsome bronze figure is also available as shown on the Diverse Images Annex page. Roland P. "Bee" Beamont received a short service commission with the RAF in January 1939 and served with 87 Squadron during the German invasion of France. He then served as a Hawker Aviation test pilot and began flying operational Typhoons with 56 Squadron following the test pilot service. Beamont became the commander of 609 Squadron in October 1942. Again serving as a Hawker test pilot in 1943, he was promoted to Wing Commander of the first Wing of Hawker Tempests with 150 Wing (referred to as "Airfield 150" at that point) in March 1944.

150 Wing was one of many that provided air cover over the Normandy area during June 1944. This Tempest model pictured above represents JN751/R-B on D-Day plus 2 when he was credited with a Bf 109G kill west of Rouen.

Following D-Day patrols, 150 Wing was the leader in southeast England defense against the German V-1 missiles during the Summer of 1944. Beamont became one of the top scorers against the V-1s with 32 credited. The Wing moved to Holland in August 1944 and Beamont was shot down over Rheine airfield on October 13th and was interned; he was flying NV768 when hit by flak. After the war, he retired from the RAF and worked as an experimental test pilot for Gloster (Meteor IV), English Electric, British Aerospace Corporation and later Panavia. He flew prototypes of the Canberra, E.E. Lightning F.1, TSR.2, and was the first flight pilot on the Tornado.

The early airfields (Advanced Landing Grounds) in southest England were planned to be summer fields only and as such were equipped with two metal mesh runways, canvas tents and available farm buildings as shelters for equipment. The Tempest Wing of Roland Beamont was located at Newchurch, the A.L.G. started in January 1943; by late 1943, three blister hangars were added. Abandoned in early 1944, Beamont moved his "Airfied 150" contingent of two Tempest squadrons to Newchurch soon followed by a third squadron of Spitfires and Typhoons by May 1944. The term "Airfield 150" was changed to "150 Wing" before D-Day. The D-Day patrols and later the V-1 missions over Kent were flown from Newchurch A.L.G. until the field was again abandoned on September 23, 1944 and demolished by the engineers.

Additional photos of the handsome steed of Roland Beamont, the Tempest V, are shown on the Diverse Images Annex page along with a list of Tempest "firsts" that Beamont achieved in JN751; click here to Go To the Diverse Images Annex.



Manchester Mk I L7301/ZN-D


Click here to Go to the Diverse Images Annex for photos and description of Manchester MkI model in 1:144 scale. With a 7.5" wingspan, this historic model is available for $OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES.



Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I


Click here to Go to the Diverse Images Annex for more photos and a description of the Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I of 264 Squadron. In 1:72 scale, this historic model is available for $205.00.



Whitley Mk V P5105/MH-K


Click here to Go to the Diverse Images Annex for photos and description of Whitley Mk V P5105/MH-K model diorama in 1:144 scale. Flown by Wing Commander J.B. Tait DFC, 51 Squadron, Luqa Malta, February 10th 1940, on Operation 'Colossus'. With a 7.0" wingspan, this historic model is available for $OBTAIN FROM DIVERSE IMAGES.



Hurricane Prototype K5083


Originally known as the "F.36/34 Single-Seater Fighter - High Speed Monoplane" the Hawker Hurricane was together with the Spitfire to form the backbone of RAF's Fighter Command. Using construction principles developed from Hawker's earlier biplanes the Hurricane was the brainchild of Sydney Camm (1893-1966) and unusually did not rely on a stressed skin but used doped canvas to cover its wings and fuselage a design feature which led to the Hurricanes ability to sustain significant damage from enemy aircraft. First flown on November 6th 1935 by test pilot George Bulman from Brooklands aerodrome K5083 began an intensive test program. Further flights were carried out in February 1936 at RAF Martlesham Heath and, on June 3rd the Air Ministry finally placed a contract with Hawkers for 600 of the new fighters. On June 27th the Ministry also sanctioned the name "Hurricane" for the new monoplane. This silver prototype Hurricane is priced at $155.00 SOLD OUT





Historic Aviation Figures


Limited Editions of 250 sculpted by Martin Perrott. 120mm

The following sculpture is an example of the fine work that goes into these pieces. Another Day, Another Mission is cast in English pewter and individually hand painted by Diverse-Images in-house artists. True British craftsmanship.

This sculpture is 5.11 inches in height and depicts an 8th AF Captain in 1943 as he readies for another mission. The price of this sculpture is $240.00. Note the fine detail in the clothing and equipment and the authentic coloration.





The photo below shows the new Waist Gunner sculpture entitled "Ready for the Fight" which would make a wonderful companion piece to the new B-17. Priced at (sorry, sold out). More photos of this realistic and thoughtful rendition of a young wartime USAAF enlisted man can be seen at theDiverse Images Annex Page. Check it out by clicking now!




WING COMMANDER ROLAND BEAMONT BRONZE FIGURE

Go to the Diverse Images Annex Page to see the first of Diverse Images bronze figures, an eighteen-inch full figure of the famous WWII pilot, Roland Beamont.




ANY OF THE ABOVE LISTED MODELS MAY BE ORDERED DEPENDING UPON AVAILABILITY - SEE BELOW FOR ORDERING INFORMATION


If you would like to see photos of the Diverse Images manufacturing process then click here to Visit the Diverse Images Studios.

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