Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Thomas Gunn Miniatures: April Releases

What follows is a slightly amended copy of the latest TGM newsletter to land in my inbox. As you will soon learn, this month sees a bumper release from the team, albeit with a focus firmly fixed on the two world wars. Without further ado, here is the news with a few accompanying images

GW016 Rolls Royce Armoured Car

The Rolls Royce AC was borne from an Admiralty requirement in 1914 to provide armoured support for Naval ground troops being employed in France and Belgium at the time. Several squadrons were formed with one going to France, one going to Africa and two being sent to Gallipoli. In April 1915 all the RNAS AC were handed over to the Army Machine Gun Corps and the paint schemes changed over to 3 tone camouflage and a dull green pattern. The Rolls Royce AC is an iconic vehicle from WW1 and one we are very proud to have in our inventory.

GW016A comes in a grey early war finish with RNAS markings.
GW016B comes in a late war 3 tone British army camouflage scheme and is suitable for the Western Front.

Limited to 100 pieces each version, priced at $125 and available late April.

GW013 WW1 German Pilots

To balance out things for the German side we have introduced our first WW1 pilots, Karl Rommel and his rear gunner. Karl was the younger brother of Erwin Rommel and served with the Luftstreitkrafte (German airforce) on the Western and Middle Eastern fronts. Karl flew a Rumpler 2 seater reconnaissance aircraft during his service but was invalided out of the air force after contracting malaria, which left him permanently paralysed.

These two fantastically detailed pilots looking up at the heavens are limited to 100 sets and priced at $69. Available in late April along with all our other releases.

Wings of War 001 Rumpler Aircraft

Naturally we cannot have a couple of pilots released without an aircraft and so it’s with great pleasure I announce the return to full scale aircraft production at Thomas Gunn. Our first aircraft will be a Rumpler 2 seater made from wood and beautifully detailed whichever way you look at her.

The Rumpler was an exceptional aircraft with an excellent service ceiling that allowed its crew to operate in comparative safety, knowing few Allied aircraft could reach them. It served on the Western, Italian and Middle Eastern Fronts and also saw service as a seaplane variant.

With a real life wingspan of 41ft and nearly 28ft long this makes this an exceptionally big model in 1/30 scale. We have only made 10 in this version with another 10 coming later in the year in different livery and markings. This plane is priced at $500 including the two pilots.

V Series 001 Fiesler Reichenberg

Moving on now to WW2 we have a stunning release in the form of a completely new series starting off with a piloted version of the V1 - The Fiesler Reichenberg! A late war development of the unmanned Doodlebug, the Reichenberg was intended to be a more accurate guided missile, with the pilot ejecting to safety just as he cut the engines and aimed the missile at its intended target!

The chances of survival were deemed so slim that the project and unit was disbanded 1 year after its formation, before any operational sorties were carried out. However manned flights of the Reichenberg were made at the Peenemunde research institute, mainly by Hannah Reitsch.

No V1 Reichenberg would be complete without Hannah and so as a matter of course we have included her with our V1 along with Erich Warsitz, Heinkels chief test pilot and one of the technical experts behind jet and rocket testing at Peenemunde.

Hannah attained fame prior to WW2 as a world record breaking glider pilot with some of her records till standing as of 2012! One of only 2 women to be awarded the Iron Cross first class she quickly became a favourite of Hitler and was a committed follower of National Socialism. Hannah was the first women in the world to fly a helicopter, the FA 61, which she flew regularly at the 1938 Berlin Motor Show and also the first woman to fly a rocket propelled aircraft - The ME 163 Komet.

Towards the very end of WW2 she made a daring flight into Berlin with Robert Ritter Von Greim in a Fieseler Storch to meet, and some say rescue, Hitler. Von Greim was badly injured during the inbound flight and the two barely made it out of Berlin before the Soviet army closed in on the bunker.

Figure two as mentioned before and holding an umbrella on a rainy day in Peenemunde is Erich Warsitz. Warsitz was an exceptional civilian pilot who was the first person to fly a Rocket propelled aircraft - the HE 176 and also the first to fly a turbojet propelled aircraft the HE 178 in 1939.

Warsitz was granted the rank of Luftwaffe Captain during WW2 and survived the war only to be kidnapped by the Soviets whilst he was living in the American sector in Berlin! Refusing to assist the Russians in their development of jet aircraft he was sentenced to 25 years in a Siberian Gulag!

Fortunately Warsitz was released after 5 years imprisonment, thanks mainly to the efforts of Germany’s Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and he died in Switzerland aged 76.

This first release is priced at just $159 with just 100 sets available in late April. The set comes with both personalities mentioned above and a prototype Reichenberg V1 on its trolley.

The 100 Club Series – 002 Eduard Dietl

Our Club Figure this month is Generaloberst Eduard Dietl holder of the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Dietl was wounded 4 times during WW1 whilst serving with 5th Bavarian Infantry Regiment and went on to serve with the German 3rd mountain Division during the invasion of Norway in WW2.

Dietl was killed in an air crash whilst aboard a JU52 in 1944. The Club Figure is free to all Gunn Club members who spend $150 or more with us through our website or who pick up the telephone and call us!

So that, as they say, is that for this month from the team at TGM. Until next time, happy hunting!

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