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mdesaxe

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About mdesaxe

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    Caumont-sur-Durance, France

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  1. This is the start of my construction of a 1:700-scale model of the escort carrier Battler at the time of its participation in Operation Avalanche, the landing at Salerno. The basis is the Tamiya kit, itself a modified re-issue of the Pit-Road original, of USS Bogue. This kit definitely shows its age. My hull was replete with mould shrinkage and also featured very odd bulges along the sheer just abaft the fo’c’sle. The fit of parts also was not very good: the various separate decks required filling and there was a large void between the fo’c’sle deck bulkhead and the main deck. Green putty and plastic strip dealt with the voids. Unfortunately, filing and sanding eliminated much of the moulded detail but that turned out not to be too great a loss, since most of it was not quite correct, so I eliminated all of it.. I also decided to excise the vastly-overthick bulwarks forward. Before doing so I stuck masking tape over the outside of the bulwarks and cut around the upper edges to make patterns that I transferred to thin plastic sheet to replicate their shapes. Several corrections were required to obtain a more accurate hangar. The after bulkheads are not parallel to the centerline but rather to the line of the after gun sponsons. Rather than cutting off these bulkheads I filed the back of the moulded angle at 45 degrees until the bulkheads could be bent to the correct orientation. The aft transverse bulkhead does not have the roller doors featured in the kit, so it was replaced with plastic sheet. The kit’s forward face for the hanger is completely wrong, so I rebuilt that area with plastic sheet. I also added the 20mm clipping room and ammunition trunk abaft the fo’c’sle. A small deck still needs to fill the angle – it will be added after I have installed the watertight doors inside the space. All the sponsons suffered from shrinkage. Filling this destroyed the moulded reinforcements, so I will have to add new ones from plastic strip. I also reshaped the sponsons to give them flat faces rather than bulges where this was necessary. My next step is to replace all the detail using photo-etched parts, brass turnings, and scratchbuilt parts from scrap. This may take a while because I have a more than full time job and also have to travel quite often, so this may not be a very entertaining thread. Maurice
  2. RN Escort Carrier Battler

    All the Bogue class were built on the same hull - the Maritime Commission's standard C-3 ship. Every set of published dimensions differs but that is almost a necessary function of the fact that everyone measures differently (I'm not being sarcastic - it's a fact that such basic dimensions as length or beam can be measured from and to different points). I compared all Hobbs's dimensions for these vessels to those published by the US Navy and found that the only point of complete agreement was that the hangar was 260 x 62 x 18 feet!! According to Hobbs, the flight deck of the Attackers was 442 x 88 feet and of the Rulers 450 x 80 feet (it seems improbable that the Navy would want narrower flight decks!). According to the US Navy, all of them were 442 x 88 feet. A wikipedia article (with flags all over it saying it needed verification) mentions that the flight decks were lengthened as part of the Royal Navy's upgrade program, but I have never seen that stated in other documentation. PS - Even the US Navy can't agree about dimensions! Another of its publications lists the flight deck of the Bogue class as 442 x 80 feet! In reality, if you want to turn the Pit-Road or Tamiya Bogue or Tracker into a Royal Navy version (or a US Navy, for that matter) there are bigger changes necessary than lengthening the flight deck by 3 mm or so (if that longer deck number is correct). The hangar sides aft by the 4 or 5-inch gun platforms should taper towards the stern parallel to the taper of the platforms and there are no roller doors in the aft bulkhead. The forward face of the hangar in the kit bears no resemblance to the real structure there. There should be a rectangular extension ahead of the elevator into the erstwhile cargo hatch well. The fo'c'sle does not have a solid aft bulkhead across it - there is a passageway below its deck slightly to starboard amidships and there is a small boxy extension back from the bulkhead that contains the 20mm clipping room and an ammunition trunk. Weapon outfits were all over the place and also changed during the war. Battler, for example, was delivered with American 4-inch 50 caliber low-angle guns aft (the same guns as used on the flush-deckers) but had British 4-inch HA guns by the time of the Salerno operation. Sensors also changed during the war. Finally, the bridge needs significant modifications, since the British carriers had an open bridge with different platform arrangements. I am indeed building Battler from the kit. My principal hesitation about posting is the prevailing habit on all these fora for people to put up random comments that do not really advance matters (I do not become upset when what I post does not receive umpteen responses). My other hesitation is that I build quite slowly because I have a more than full time job and have to travel quite frequently, so I'm not sure how entertaining it will be. Maurice
  3. RN Escort Carrier Battler

    As far as the US Navy (which ordered them) both the Attacker-class and the Ameer-class carriers were the same class: the Bogue class. The differences were in the armament outfits (and the post-delivery modifications for Royal Navy service). Useful drawings illustrating the differences are here for Battler: http://www.hnsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/acv6.pdf and here for Puncher: http://www.hnsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cve53-d79.pdf Maurice
  4. RN Escort Carrier Battler

    I want to thank everyone for their assistance. I must admit that I still cannot access the royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk site either using a browser search or by directly pasting in the address. This despite trying four browsers (Safari, Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) on each of two computers (one running Windows 10 and the other Windows 7) that each have separate providers and physically are located 2 km apart. Maybe the site doesn't like foreigners! I am intrigued by the discussions suggesting it is possible to determine colours using light reflectance values observed within black-and-white photographs. Among the images I have of Battler there are several that were taken from very similar angles but the obvious differences in light conditions and reflectance from the ocean play havoc with the intensities of the shades of corresponding panels, so i wonder how this works. I've also observed similar wild variation in shades in photographs that were taken on the same day but from different perspectives. I'm not sure of the protocol for posting images on the site that may have copyright restrictions so I am cautious about putting them up to illustrate this. Maurice
  5. RN Escort Carrier Battler

    Thank you All the various browser I use to access send me a similar response to this website; either 'this page isn't working' or 'problem loading page'. This is the response I've received to all my requests of any kind from this site for at least the past month. Maurice
  6. RN Escort Carrier Battler

    I could not find a better place for questions about the RN's escort carriers, so I'm posting my question here. Does any one of our many knowledgeable members know the colours applied to HMS Battler at the time of the Salerno operation. I have well over thirty photographs of this ship that clearly show the pattern but, as they all are black-and-white, I don't know the colours. Alan Raven depicts seven American-built escort carriers in British schemes (plus one in what seems to have been a standard pattern originally painted up in the United States) but none of these is Battler. Malcolm Wright shows Battler, but the pattern he depicts matches none of the photographs I have from the period, so I don't really trust his colour specifications. Any assistance much appreciated. Thank you in advance. Maurice
  7. These booklets often were updated as a matter of standard US Navy practice. The booklet for Battler is notated as updated on May 5, 1943. Without having gone over the drawings in detail, I cannot determine if every British update is incorporated but Sheet 6 conspicuously illustrates the cofferdam around the avgas stowage that was part of the upgrade plan (it also appears on other sheets). Overall, I would be inclined to regard the booklet as representing Battler after modifications for Royal Navy service with British 4-inch HA guns. It is worth noting that the Puncher booklet does indeed show 5-inch guns, which have to be American since the British did not produce such a weapon. Maurice
  8. The Historic Naval Ships Association's website has the US Navy-issued booklet of general plans for HMS Battler available for download here: http://www.hnsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/acv6.pdf This illustrates many of the differences you mention, especially as the site also has the corresponding booklet for HMS Puncher from the later Ruler class: http://www.hnsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/cve53-d79.pdf The booklet, by the way, explicitly states that Battler carried two 4-inch guns. Maurice
  9. HMS Ben-my-Chree: UPDATE 20-08-17

    Mine (bought about a month ago from Amazon UK) cost 38.48 including international shipping to Provence. A P.S. for Thorfinn: My older daughter is an undergraduate at Goucher College. Maurice
  10. On the topic of two batteries, a situation from the 1950s might be the basis for an explanation. Austin Healey 3000 two-seater roadsters (Model BN7) used a 12-volt electrical system but were fitted with two 6-volt batteries in series behind the seats to provide the necessary 12 volts. Did these Bugattis use 12 volt or 6 volt systems? If the former, perhaps that's why they seem to have needed two batteries. Maurice
  11. RN Armed Trawler Equipment

    Thank you all for your input. I have managed to locate the builder's drawings for the trawler before its conversion. The box turns out to be one of the fish hold hatch covers. The hold was converted into accommodation space for the much enlarged crew. The hatches before and abaft the one in the photos were converted into companionways. The vent was installed to improve ventilation. The odd circular covers on the top and side were there so that the trawler crew could load fish without opening the entire hatch at sea and risking swamping the hold. There actually were four covers originally; the foremost also was retained unchanged. Thanks again, Maurice
  12. RN Armed Trawler Equipment

    Trying again with photos Success!!
  13. RN Armed Trawler Equipment

    Can anyone identify the "box" behind the sailors in these two photographs (taken aboard HMT Bedfordshire 1941-1942)? The box was on the port side roughly amidships on the deck that was fitted over what had been the fish hold. http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/mdesaxe/media/Z940-11.jpg.html http://s1192.photobucket.com/user/mdesaxe/media/Z940-9.jpg.html Thank you, Maurice
  14. I recently came across this amazing WIP while looking for detail information to help a friend of mine who is scratch-building a Royal Navy armed trawler from the 1941-1942 period. I must admit I am most impressed by the workmanship this WIP exhibits and the detail the GLS sets provide. I must also confess I was taken aback by Mr. Parkins’ dismissal of olympic1911’s suggestion that the bottom boards the GLS set provides for the dinghy were incorrect. He argued that he’d been “doing it since 1976” and that the “Late Great John Lambert” had run his eye over them (I had the pleasure of meeting John Lambert and having several conversations with him about Royal Navy small craft, so I have the greatest respect for him and his accomplishments) and presented what I’m afraid to say is a totally incorrect explanation for the fact that his product, in this case only, is actually a “negative” of the real thing. Bottom boards in small wooden boats are present to keep people’s boots OFF the bottom of the boat so that they don’t become wet when it leaks, as small wooden boats tend to do. They are wide with narrow gaps between them so that water does not accumulate on top of them. The arrangement in the GLS set would be positively dangerous – having a boot trapped between the thin slats could cause a fall if the boat lurched, which could well result in injury, breaking or twisting an ankle, or falling overboard. The correct arrangement is shown in this scan from the AoS for HMCS Agassiz, by John McKay and John Harland, both of whom are very well respected researchers and draughtsmen. I must also note that I do have very solid practical experience to back up these assertions. I paid for my undergraduate studies at university by working in a boatyard on the Thames (a few years before Mr. Parkins began photoetching) where I mainly built lapstrake dinghies very much like the boat on this corvette and also have enjoyed a career as a maritime museum curator for well over twenty years, during which time, among my other duties, I have supervised a large working boatshop that conducted small craft restoration work for the museum itself and multiple other museums that did not have the advantage of such a facility. In the interests of full disclose, I must add that John Harland is a good friend of mine.
  15. FAA Pacific Theater Corsair paint question

    Again according to the Blackburn documents, the Idlewild facility handled virtually all modifications from early 1943. Much of the necessary material was sourced locally with the exception of specific British equipment, such as radios and seatbelts. By this time the use of "equivalent paints" (for want of a better expression) was pretty much standardised for US types destined for the FAA (Wildcats and Avengers from Eastern, Corsairs from Vought and, later, Goodyear). Given that most external modifications were minimally invasive (small scoops on Corsairs, for example) and the major external changes - like clipped Corsair wing tips and domed observer windows on Avengers - were incorporated on the manufacturers' production lines, I would image that Blackburn simply used US-sourced matching shades for any necessary external touch-up after making changes rather than repainting entire airframes. I did not find any information, however, on paint procurements in the Brough archives. Maurice
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