nightwitches.jpg

POLIKARPOV U-2LNB

Scale 1:48 - Styrene

A light bomber from the all female 46th 'Taman' Guards Night Bomber Regiment. The specific plane was photographed in the Berlin Region in April 1945 and is painted with a slogan in honour of pilots Tanya Makarova and Vera Belik, who had been killed in combat.

Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber
Polikarpov U-2 Night Bomber

HISTORY

The Polikarpov U-2 was initially designed as a flight instruction aircraft, but its reliable, uncomplicated concept made it incredibly versatile. It operated in many roles, as a low-cost ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, psychological warfare and liaison aircraft during war, proving to be one of the most versatile light combat types to be built in the Soviet Union.


As a ground attack plane the U-2 could carry only two bombs at a time, so eight or more missions per night were often necessary. Although the U-2 was obsolete and slow, the pilots took advantage of its exceptional maneuverability; it also had a maximum speed that was lower than the stall speed of German fighters which made it very difficult for German pilots to shoot down.

download.jfif

THE FEMALE REGIMENTS

Before the beginning of the war Marina Mikhaylovna Raskova was already a famous pilot, having performed several record flights. When the war began, she used her influence on the Soviet leadership to found three all female air regiments which would eventually fly over 30,000 sorties in World War II and produce at least 30 Heroes of the Soviet Union.

NIGHT WITCHES

Of the three regiments founded by Raskova the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th "Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, was by far the most famous. The regiment flew harassment and precision night bombing missions. They flew over 23,000 sorties, with many pilots having flown over 800 missions by the end of the war and became the most awarded female regiment in the Soviet air force. Thirty-two of its members died in the war.

The title 'Night Witches' was given to them by German units that often attributed to them supernatural abilities.

popova-obit-1-jumbo.jpg
Tanya Makorova and Vera Belik

REVENGE

The slogan on the side of the plane reads ‘Revenge for our fighting friends Tanya Makarova and Vera Belik’. The two women had been killed in action on the night of 25 August 1944, during their 813th sortie, when their plane was attacked by a German fighter over Ostrołęka, Poland.

10006.jpg

PAINTING THE SLOGAN

IMG_5560.JPG

The slogan was scanned and resized to fit the scale. It was then printed on paper and attached piece by piece on the fuselage.

For the thicker letters a mask was cut from frisket film and the letters were sprayed on by airbrush.

IMG_5561.JPG
IMG_5588.JPG

For the thinner letters, small holes were punctured on the paper and used to trace the letters on the fuselage.

The letters were then drawn freehand with a brush, following the dots.

IMG_5590.JPG

RESOURCES

BOOK

Pennington, Reina. Wings, Women and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II. Univ Pr of Kansas (2007)

WEBSITE

KIT

ICM. Polikarpov U-2. 1:48

ALL MY PROJECTS

Copy of model-104.JPG

WOODEN SHIPS

Wood, linen and bronze

model-12.JPG

HISTORICAL MODELS

Styrene and resins

model-40.JPG

SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY

Styrene and resins

GET IN TOUCH

Drop a line if you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, criticism or anything else.