Aeromaster 48-222
'Operation Bodenplatte Pt 1'

Units: Various




Scott Van Aken


This is a sheet of the type I like. There are several aircraft on it, the schemes are interesting in a late-war Luftwaffe sort of way, and it has 109s on it!! This sheet covers several aircraft that took part in the rather I'll planned 'Operation Bodenplatte' on New Year's Day 1945.

For those of you not familiar with this scheme, the idea was to gather fighters from all around the rapidly shrinking Reich and to have them attack and bomb Allied airfields in western Europe. Were everything to go well, a huge number of Allied aircraft would be caught on the ground and destroyed, along with their supplies, work shops and other equipment. The resulting chaos and destruction would allow Germany time to have a bit of breathing space. This would allow them to concentrate more aircraft on the Eastern Front and slow down the Soviets.

Well, it didn't work as planned. Co-ordination, a key to this whole thing, was lacking. Some aircraft were shot down by their own A-A as they flew over the front lines at low level. Some arrived late after the first wave had attacked and were mauled by alerted Allies, some just plain got lost and never did attack while others failed to participate at all. The end result was a rather large loss of fighters and pilots at a time when the Germans could least afford to lose them. Most results were poor, though a few places were heavily damaged by the attacks. It did nothing to lengthen the war.

There are five planes on this sheet, most in late war colors.

First is a Bf-109G-14, Blue 2 from 16./JG 53. It is in RLM 81/83 over RLM 76. There is evidence of older codes being painted over on the sides. The decal sheet gives you some 'splotches' as part of the sheet. Nice touch.

Another Bf-109G-14, this time from 12./JG 53 is also in RLM 81/83/76, but has a yellow lower cowling. Both planes have the black Reich Defense band on the rear fuselage.

Switching to FW-190s, here is an A-9 from 2./JG 1. No color info is given in the write-up, but it appears to be in RLM 81/82 over 76 with a red fuselage band.

The 190A-8 from 5./JG 4 is in RLM 74/75/76 and sports the black and white rear fuselage band. These bands are given as decals, which is a real help.

Finally, a FW-190D-9 from an 'unknown unit'. Yellow 2 has part of a white band showing under its RLM 82/83/76 camo.

All of them are interesting schemes and will be fun to paint. I'd recommend Tamiya for the FW-190s and Hasegawa for the Bf-109G-14s though there are other kits that can be used. There is also a second partial sheet with more insignia and data decals.

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