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About gingerbob

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    I always wanted to be a boffin when I grew up
  • Birthday 20/03/65

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    Bucksport Maine USA

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  1. While I was checking the second group of Mk.XII serials, I noticed a note to myself that the first 6 XIIs had 'dural' props, with the rest being 'wood'. I don't, however, have a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of that statement, without looking for corroboration. That second batch, by the way, were ordered as Vc (the production standard of the time), but with a caveat that some would probably be required to be fitted with Merlin 61s (thus becoming IXs). The orders (with serial blocks assigned) were frequently just "adding to the total on order", with particular groups of serials being divvied up between variants as plans evolved. Interestingly, I found a comment that the requested 100 Mk.XIIs were offset from Seafire IIc orders, which were reduced by 100 (at Supermarine, at least). This is not to suggest that Spitfire XIIs were "conversions" of Seafire IIcs! One interesting exception to the "common pool" ordering process, is that Supermarine (or rather Vickers) insisted that the Mk.VIII orders should be under a new contract, not just further orders under the existing contract. The VIII airframe was considered that fundamental a change to the production line. Of course, some muddling ended up happening, so it turns out not to be as cut-and-dry as was intended... Jeffrey Quill talks about the Griffon aircraft having (I think) stainless steel longerons, but whether that's true of the Mk.XII I don't know. I have no idea what is really different about the VIII fuselage (aside from the wing mount) compared to previous, nor do I understand how similar or different the VII structure is from the VIII- they are always associated in memory, but that may be another over-simplification!
  2. Yes, initially the intake started back from the spinner, as that shot on the ground shows. Same was true for the P-40D. Then, after the first few Mustangs, it was extended forward, but still "straight". The wider look, as shown by the aerial shot with US stars, introduced an optional filter- put it in or don't put it in. This came with the NA-83 (second batch of Mustang Is). I can't remember whether this was still the one for the A-36, but the P-51A (-5?) introduced a different system that allowed bypassing of the filter- same or similar intake shape, but with a door on the top, which you can just see (the dark area) on your P-51A shot. Your ICM P-51A may have the straight intake (don't remember)- if so, it is wrong. The P-51A also had a shallower radiator fairing, which the Accurate Miniatures kit (and no doubt ICM) failed to represent, except (as I recall) for a different intake lip, but that doesn't really do the job. The main thing with the wings is that the B had external stiffeners in front of the aileron- Acc Min left those off, but I don't know about ICM's wing. The cockpit also had some changes from one model to the next, if you worry about such things. bob
  3. While it is possible that this happened, I think it is far more likely that this is a misinterpretation of ailerons still in aluminium, which end up looking "white" against a black (shadowed) wing, and "dark" against a white wing.
  4. You are forgetting the Mk.VII, which came into (small) production about the same time that the XII did. Mk.XIIs were built as Mk.XIIs, though obviously using quite a few common parts. People are thrown off by the serial blocks (which I might have to have another look at) and the introduction of the retractable tailwheel. Note that a few very early PR.XIs also had fixed tailwheels, and it seems clear to me (which is to say that I'm applying reason, not documentary evidence) that this was just a change of production standard at Supermarine, as the basic tooling shifted to the VII/VIII airframe. That can be interpreted as saying the same thing as "fixed tailwheel until the new stern-end was available in sufficient numbers". All this talk of "conversions" in Spitfire production is, with extremely rare exceptions, misinterpretation and/or over-simplification. (I mean general talk, not pointing the finger at anyone in particular.) bob
  5. Well, the best I could manage was a dimensioned drawing of the Merlin II. No dimension for the cylinder spacing, but scaling from given dimensions results in 5 7/8" (Edit: or, on a second attempt, 6") for the Merlin.
  6. The annoying thing is that I remember trying to establish the cylinder to cylinder spacing- I think reasonably successfully- but don't know where to now find those results! I don't suppose it was in communication between us, Graham?
  7. Documenting one tiny step forward, I departed from the instructions by starting the crew area with the next bulkhead back: I figured this way I could squirt the basic interior color (whatever I decide that is) and then build on this both forward and aft. I did place this in the fuselage during assembly to make sure of alignment- it fits pretty definitely anyway, but I'm always in fear of building up a subassembly and then much later finding an 'oopsie'! I've joined a couple of Group Builds (with my usual lack of accomplishment), and also resumed my seasonal job, left my long-standing other job (deep sigh of relief, at least for the short term), etc etc. Now that we're settling into the summer rhythm, perhaps I can begin to get distracted by models again...
  8. I believe that the distance from cylinder center-to-center was also different on the Griffon vs. the Merlin, which would certainly matter from a model point of view.
  9. If you mean the museum example, I think that's the one at Dayton Ohio, Air Force Museum, or whatever "corporate branding" they are currently using.
  10. And now I can too! I thought it might be "one of those things".
  11. None of your links to images is working for me.
  12. Now that sounds nearly philosophical!
  13. In the ammunition bays between inner and "next pair" gun positions, if my memory is behaving.
  14. The RM___ serials are the unpressurised 19s, the P's are pressurised. Graham, I think my comments wandered away from my real question, which was [possibly rhetorical], "Hmm, just what structure DID they have to change on the Hurri to go from I to II?"
  15. No, it isn't, because that's a case of change of ownership, not just alteration of airframe. (Actually, that's only a half-truth, because there were Spitfires handed to the FAA- even "hooked Spitfires", I believe- that retained their serials. Conversion to "full" Seafire, which included different radio specs, etc, seems to have determined new identities, but still I think that was for record-keeping more than "crossing a line"- as in "we've gotten x many of what we actually need to suit our purposes- those others are just for training".)