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mhaselden

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About mhaselden

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  1. Careful, Nick...that's gusting perilously close to a discussion of rubber camo masks!
  2. Sorry for resurrecting this old thread but a specific question was asked about the colour(s) applied to the Buffalo's undercarriage legs. Just "found" (probably old news to many people) this rather over-exposed LIFE image from the famous shoot showing the unpacking of Buffalo W8202 at Seletar (click the link below). Note that the erk nearest the camera is holding the wing-end of an undercarriage leg. This pretty much tells me that the interior of the undercarriage leg was painted in something darker than the underside colour. http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/0da2dd49c3620050_large
  3. Thanks Nick. Are you suggesting that the Blenheims were repainted to the Oct 41 requirement for Azure Blue? If so, then the 27 Sqn Blenheim pics predate that order by 6 months. Agree entirely with your last comment - an absolute nightmare!
  4. Entirely agree, Graham but, equally, why bother when no other airframes in Far East Command wore serials on the rudder? Would seem a lot of fuss for no added benefit. Then again, it's the military, right?
  5. Nice find, Tony. May have to get a set of those for my Wirraway. They certainly look the part, although perhaps just a tad too skinny. Anyhoo...certainly closer than any other options that I've seen. Do you, perchance, have a sheet reference number so I know I'm buying the right thing? Many thanks, Mark
  6. Entirely agree that 151 MU could have been requesting RAF colours from Australian sources. This would make even more sense if (and I stress "if") my theory about shortages of Dark Earth in Singapore is correct. The reason so much attention was placed on Earth Brown and Foliage Green is because Mr Lucas put forward the theory that RAF Buffalos were painted in these colours at the factory, and that 151 MU's request for paint from Australian sources might be related to the need to match the RAAF colours. I find that whole thread highly speculative and focused on one or two pieces of information without looking across the broad swath of evidence that is available, much of which contradicts Mr Lucas' theory. The same problem occurred with his representation of Singapore-based Vildebeests which was based on a pre-war experiment with the Tropical Sea Scheme despite the fact that there's no evidence anywhere that it was actually implemented by operational units as a standard camouflage scheme.
  7. Hi Tony, Yes, several Far East Blenheims show serial numbers repeated on the rudder. The pic below shows a 27 Sqn machine, L8618 'PT-F', captured by the Japanese and still showing the fuselage fighter band and serial number on the rudder (photos of the starboard side of this airframe make it clear it was painted to match Far East fighter camouflage and marking standards. The continued existence of factory-applied serial numbers militates against any kind of overpainting of the standard DE/DG camouflage (IMHO): The actual shade of the actual colour of the starboard underside and fuselage band is clearly open to conjecture because we don't have any positive documentation describing what colour was applied. It could be standard MAP Sky Blue or it could be a locally mixed shade. From a modelling perspective, Sky Blue is probably "close enough" for most of us to represent this interesting scheme. Cheers, Mark
  8. Having seen this, I'm really looking forward to the RAF version. Skullduggery at Sculthorpe, here we come!
  9. I'd be very surprised if the Ansons used for ambulance work carried any guns...it rather goes against the Geneva Convention for anything wearing the red cross to be armed. Certainly Oxfords used as air ambulances had their gun turrets removed. It seems that photos of Anson ambulances are hard to come by but removing the gun would be entirely logical.
  10. I have to agree with Nick and Jim on this one. I see no reason for the RAF Buffalos to be painted in RAAF colours. There was a need for 151 MU at Seletar to obtain RAAF dope colours for the Wirraways operated initially by 21 Sqn and later by W Flt. The Wirraways arrived in Singapore wearing RAAF camouflage, most likely Earth Brown and Foliage Green with painted aluminium undersides. These were the ONLY airframes in Far East Command to carry RAAF paint patterns, indeed the F540 entry "discovered" by Mr Lucas is for dope, which would most definitely be needed after major servicing of Wirraways due to the extensive areas of fabric covering on those airframes. The only other RAAF airframes in theatre were the two Hudson squadrons based, initially, at Sembawang. According to David Vincent's excellent 2-volume work on the type in RAAF service, these airframes were tagged onto an RAF order and so were painted in US equivalent colours per the standard MAP camouflage direction. This is borne out by the fact that these early Hudson airframes show both A and B scheme patterns. As Nick pointed out, what would be the point of repainting whole fleets of aircraft in the same pattern but with slightly different paint shades? That just doesn't make logical sense since the visible difference from several hundred feet away would be negligible. Variance in paint batches, coupled with the fact that the Buffalos and Hudsons were painted in US equivalent shades, probably from different manufacturers, is more than sufficient explanation for the variations we see in monochrome photos. If we look only at the monochrome LIFE photos, all taken by Carl Mydans in April 1941, we see that the Buffalo, Hudson and Blenheim images all appear to show relatively high contrast whereas the Wirraways show much lower contrast. This would seem to confirm my comments above that the only airframes in the Command that wore different camouflage were the Wirraways. Now...it is entirely possible that Far East Command suffered a shortage of Dark Earth. Some of the colour Blenheim photos show retouching of some airframes in a paint that is lighter than Dark Earth. This could be Light Earth or it could just be a different paint batch. However, further evidence of Dark Earth shortages may come from the Vildebeest squadrons. The scant photographic record of the Vildebeests suggests that the early camouflage pattern was very high contrast, with the lighter of the camouflage colours actually showing as a lighter tone than the MSG fuselage codes. Later images show a contrast more consistent with Dark Earth and Dark Green (although, as noted, the photographic record is extremely limited). I see no evidence for Mr Lucas' very attractive, but equally speculative, scheme applied solely to Vildebeests. Since the Vildebeests carried out very similar missions to the Hudsons, it would be sensible for them to wear the same scheme...so, sadly, we're probably looking at boring old DE/DG for the Vildebeests. Regarding the Blenheim MkIfs of 27 Sqn, one of the LIFE photos (sadly now virtually undiscoverable) showed a single Blenheim which had its entire undersides painted in a light shade. There is another photo showing at least one Blenheim of the Sqn still with all black undersides. However, these seem to be exceptions and that most 27 Sqn Blenheims wore the fighter identification markings specified by Far East Command (ie black port underwing and (probably!) Sky Blue fuselage band. There are photographs of a captured 27 Sqn Blenheim which still retained the these markings long after the Sqn deployed to northern Malaya. All the above is a long way of writing that most airframes in Far East Command almost certainly wore Dark Earth and Dark Green upper surfaces. Undersides for Hudsons and Wirraways remained painted aluminium. Undersides for bomber Blenheims were black and the official marking for the undersides of fighters was black port wing and Sky/Sky Blue starboard wing (plus a (probably) Sky Blue fuselage band). There were exceptions, not least the 488 Sqn Buffalo that had a wing replaced so the fuselage underside was split 50/50 Sky/Black but the wing was entirely Sky. However, the prior rules were "typical" IMHO.
  11. Good suggestion to use Tamiya XF-52 for RAAF Earth Brown. Certainly has the red component and appears slightly darker which would reduce the contrast with the green shade (whatever paint we decide is a good match for Foliage Green...and, yes, I know that's a can o' worms almost as wriggly as the Olive Drab one!).
  12. The photo posted by Troy was published in the MacKenzie's book "Hurricane Combat". It's a good read...and MacKenzie was a charming gent in-person.
  13. The overpressure would probably have a bigger impact on any carbon-based life forms inside the tunnels rather than on the tunnels themselves.
  14. Liking the contrast there, Tony. Your perseverance is being rewarded.
  15. Fantastic work Alessandro. Looking forward to seeing how you tackle the O-1. I have one of those in my stash awaiting my attention...so I may be taking notes on your build!