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About ClaudioN

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  1. Airfix Gladiator to Sea Gladiator Conversion

    This is what I also read about the origin of the name. The trick was that Blenheim Mercury engines were fitted with variable pitch propellers (visible in some pictures and also on the Malta model of N5519 above), whereas the standard three-bladed Gladiator prop was fixed pitch. Fitting Gladiators with Blenheim engines AND variable pitch propellers gave them a performance boost. The six-gun option was standard on FAA Sea Gladiators (not on interim Sea Gladiators, I believe), though never used AFAIK. It seems surprising that it found dangerous when tested: if it was an option, it should have been cleared during Sea Gladiator armament trials in 1939. Reportedly, the six-gun Bleariator was N5531. Claudio
  2. Fairey Albacore in Far East Service Questions ?

    I checked at last the third serial given in 'Bloody Shambles' vol. 2, X9106 that is the same as in the article posted by Tony in post #20 According to Sturtivant 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945', Albacore X9106 was with No. 822 Squadron from May 1942 and shot down in a raid on La Senia during Operation Torch. The serial of the 36 Sqn. aircraft would seem misreported, however I found a second group of four Albacores, serials X9024-X9026 and X9028 that went to 82 MU (Packing Depot), like the three before (T9133-T9135), and left for Singapore on 8 October 1941 aboard SS Derrymore. By December they must have just arrived, making a total of seven Albacores available there. Interestingly, the Derrymore was later lost to a Japanese torpedo on 13 February 1942 with 6 crated Hurricanes aboard. Reading Sturtivant one realises that at the time Albacores were indeed being sent out to lots of places around the world (Alexandria, Nairobi, Piarco, Trincomalee, etc.), providing reserves as the fleet carriers moved around. HTH Claudio
  3. Fairey Albacore in Far East Service Questions ?

    Tony, thank you for posting, I had never seen the article and it's the most detailed account I've read. Which magazine is it from? About the Fulmar, the image is in the IWM Collections: WITH THE FLEET AIR ARM IN THE TROPICS. JULY 1944, ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATION PUTTALAM AND ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATION CHINA BAY. MEN OF THE FLEET AIR ARM SERVING WITH THE EASTERN FLEET IN THE TROPICS.. © IWM (A 25334)IWM Non Commercial Licence The caption gives the time as July 1944, which matches your feeling quite well. Cheers Claudio
  4. Fairey Albacore in Far East Service Questions ?

    AFAIK, building up reserves at major Royal Navy bases around the world, after initial re-equipment of front-line squadrons was completed, was common practice. This had taken place before, e.g., with the Swordfish. In 'Bloody Shambles' vol. 2 Shores lists the serials of the three Albacores that took part in the raid on Endau: one, T9135, is confirmed in Sturtivant's book on FAA serials 1939-1945; the serial of another, T9184, is in a black-out block and might have been T9134. Not yet checked the third. Looking at Albacore serials in Sturtivant's book, one finds a group of three aircraft, T9133-T9135, that went directly from Faireys to a MU that acted as Packing Depot for dispatch overseas. The date was around May 1941 and nothing else is said, neither of T9133, nor of T9134. It is tempting to assume the three did go to Singapore together. Most of the following Albacore serials (around 40) refer to aircraft that were sent to the Mediterranean, where soon they were in action. Thinking of the Albacores in Singapore, we are perhaps too focused on the hectic days of the Japanese attack. Those aircraft were received when Singapore was still in peacetime conditions, with plenty of shiny new Buffalo fighters being assembled, powerful Blenheim bombers and Catalinas to patrol the approaches (everything untested by war, but supported by an amount of robust overconfidence, it seems). In a few months, RAF torpedo-bomber squadrons would be re-equipped with Beauforts. So, into storage the Albacores did go. 'Bloody shambles' vol. 1 gives December 12th, 1941 as the date when 5 Albacores were transferred to the RAF. I would say the FAA were quick to react, as in just four days from the first Japanese attack the Albacores were taken out from storage, possibly uncrated, assembeld, perhaps flight tested and handed over. Probably an experienced Vildebeest pilot could convert to the Albacore in a matter of hours, so the whole thing was fast, but seemingly not hurried. Assuming, as seems logical (but unproven), that standard FAA camouflage was applied, the Albacores' colour scheme would have been the same then in current use, i.e. TSS (EDSG/DSG/Sky), as there were little changes during 1941. Although these were not the mythical 'tropical' sea colours, the scheme arguably offered better concealment over the sea than Dark Green/Dark Earth so, why change? By the way, Coastal Command Beauforts at the start of 1942 were changing from Dark Earth/Dark Green to, exactly, EDSG/DSG. Just my two pence. Claudio
  5. Fairey Albacore in Far East Service Questions ?

    As the Albacore was a torpedo bomber, its use to supplement the strength of RAF torpedo bomber units could make sense. In the Far East these were Nos. 36 and 100 Squadrons, both operating Vildebeests from Singapore, but the latter was receiveing Beauforts to replace them. 'Bloody Shambles', vol. 2 mentions that No. 36 Squadron, RAF on Singapore operated a few Albacores alongside its Vildebeests. Three participated in the second raid on Japanese ships at Endau, on 26 January 1942. Shores gives serials that, however, do not match with those in Air Britain books. I'd suggest they might have been T9133, T9134 and T9135. No. 27 Squadron was a Blenheim unit, operating mainly the Blenheim Mk.If. If an Albacore was ever flown by 27 Sqn. aircrew, I'd think that must have been out of chance or necessity. Could it be instead No. 273 Squadron RAF at China Bay, Ceylon? This squadron also operated a few Vildebeests before 1942. Albacores on Singapore are likely to have come form FAA storage there, so I'd agree with your assumption about naval camouflage. Edit: 'Bloody Shambles' vol. 1 confirms the Albacores came from RN storage on Singapore: 5 were handed over to 36 Sqn by the Royal Navy on 12 December 1941. ...so they might possibly have had time to take up OE squadron codes? HTH Claudio
  6. All the Hurricane questions you want to ask here

    I agree with your colour marking hypothesis. I have the even more drastic suggestion, that it may actually be a section identity within 800 Sqn. White (if so) appears to be on 6F, 6G, 6H, 6J (the '6' identifier is only present on the wing leading edge). Looking carefully, there seems to be some contrast between the ring right behind the spinner and the rest of the aircraft also on 6P. However, the shade of grey of the ring is darker on this aircraft, which makes me think it could be another colour. Claudio
  7. Northrop Gamma 2E and 5B

    You may already know this but, in case, here's a link to the first page of an article in "Flight" magazine of February 7, 1935: A 200 m.p.h. BOMBER
  8. All the Hurricane questions you want to ask here

    I'd agree with you. My guess is the aircraft is simply coded 'P' and comes from one of the escort carriers. Maybe 825 Sqn., HMS Vindex? There seems to be a rounded forward flight deck end. Found it: 825_Naval_Air_Squadron And it's an IWM picture, too: IWM A 22735 Period: March 1944
  9. 94 Squadron RAF Spitfire IX in high altitude scheme

    ... possibly, replacing Azure Blue with PRU Blue, or was the MSG/Azure Blue combination suggested by Eduard a Med theatre variation? Claudio
  10. 105 Sq Mosquito IVs in Day Fighter Scheme ?

    'Bombing Colours 1937-1973', by M.J.F. Bowyer includes the picture of crash-landed DK291. The yellow wing leading edge band is visible. The profile in the same book is for Mosquito IV Series II DK292 GB-B. Unlike DK291 in the picture, this one is drawn with 'C1 type' fuselage roundel and narrow white stripe on the fin flash. No underwing roundel. The caption says it served with No. 105 Sqn. from June to October 1942. Quoting from Bowyer: "Sky spinners and tail bands making the bombers look like fighters were therefore introduced, and some Mosquitoes even had the yellow wing leading edges. These features were only retained until July 1942. They were a nuisance on low-level operations, making the aircraft too easily visible". HTH Claudio
  11. Martlet Mk.I

    Thank you for the hint. So far, I've been able to find mention of decal markings in this thread: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973972-tomahawk-colour-question/&page=3 I'll look further. ...and sorry about stealing the joke, guess it comes natural to a modeller.
  12. Martlet Mk.I

    Thanks for the information, I didn't know such large decals were indeed possible. Er... how many gallons of MicroSet/MicroSol? Claudio
  13. Martlet Mk.I

    American aircraft for RAF HTH Claudio
  14. Martlet Mk.I

    I think Grummans used slightly glossier colours for the roundels.
  15. Still slightly unfamiliar with some facets of the English language. I'm under the impression that enjoy a privilege = get a service escaped me so far.