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    • Mike

      Switched Identities   18/06/17

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Graham Boak

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About Graham Boak

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  1. I suspect Italeri got their scheme from the profile painting in Squadron/Signal's second book on the A-26, No.134. There it is claimed to be of the 10th TRS 69th RG at Nancy, France in early 1945. The wingtips are yellow. I agree with you that this does not look like 9th AF markings (I can find no reference to anything similar in Rust's history of the Ninth) yet other than the number, it does not look like 13th AF use either. There is a colour photo on the front of Warbird Tech 22 Douglas A-26 Invader. but this is a warbird ("Hard to get!") and neither the serial nor the wingtips are visible. If the photo is captioned, I can't find it. More importantly however, inside there is a photo of this aircraft on page 25, captioned as being at Barrackpore, Calcutta, India in September 1945. It lacks nose art of any kind, and it is not clear (to me) whether the wingtips are painted or not. Further on, page 97 shows the tail of a 12th BG A-26 (CBI) with an in-unit number of 31 on a broad band, but this is thinner with the bulldog badge of the 82nd between it and the serial. Rudt's Historical Aviation Album 10th AF Story has no mention of A-26s. I suspect this is an aircraft of the 83rd BS 12th BG in India.
  2. It's having respect for, and giving credit to, original work and its originator. Linked to ideas such as copyright and intellectual property. I realise that such ideas are unfashionable and unpopular, at least on the internet and to the "I want it now, free" kind. Tough.
  3. Thanks for the clarification. Can I try your patience a little more? When I asked about structural differences between the Mk.VIII (vs Mk.XII) other than that required to take the new engine, I should have added the changes to take the new wing which you'd mentioned above. It (now) occurs to me that the Mk.VIII also has a larger main fuel tank, so presumably there are changes in that area too. My thoughts at the time were whether the term "a stronger fuselage" could possibly mean a general strengthening of the rear fuselage - heavier longerons or skins?
  4. Re Milicast: I'd entirely agree, but the request was for 1/72. Milicast are 1/76.
  5. I fear we are arguing the same point but using different words to describe it. I don't think that you are saying that there was any structural difference between the two batches of the Mk.XII. The table tells me that the Mk.XII did not have a Mk.V fuselage (aside from the modifications needed for the Griffon). The Mk.Vc was the then-standard production fuselage, so saying the Mk.XII has a strengthened Mk.Vc fuselage is simply saying that it has a strengthened Spitfire fuselage. The Mk.VIII also had a strengthened Spitfire fuselage: Other those differences driven by the engine, did the Mk.VIII simply use the flush-rivetted Mk.XII design? Or were there other structural differences? Six months does give a fair bit of space for further development. I think that this is confirming that the Mk.XII had its own fuselage and the stories that half were built from Mk.Vs and the other half from Mk.VIIIs is wrong. (Which is where this started.) Not least because the Mk.VIII production came later. The only difference between the two batches of Mk.XIIs is the tail section, and that was "Mk.V production standard" vs "Mk.VIII production standard" (but earlier.) If there were any additional differences between the Mk.XII fuselage and the Mk.VIII fuselage, and these differences appeared in the second batch of Mk.XIIs, then the original story has more credence.
  6. Whilst agreeing that STH is not without its flaws, when it is talking about an individual aircraft going to A&AEE for specific purposes, giving specific dates and describing details from the results, then it can't be dismissed out of hand. As for the wing, I appreciate seeing the interesting detail about the differences in wing design, but don't suggest that any of the Mk.XII had anything other than the Mk.Vc wing. The difference between us is whether the main fuselage of the first batch retained the Mk.V structure or that of the Mk.VIII. (Assuming for the moment that those are the only two options, rather than something intermediate.)
  7. According to Steven Bond's book, VT120 served with 257 Sq, 263 Sq, Biggin Hill Station Flight, 226 OCU, 209 AFS, Scrap 6.5.54. This is the same history as given for VT120 in Air Britain's RAF Aircraft SA100-VZ999. Bond gives the code of A6.C to VT122. It could be both are right, or was VT120 A6.G? The aircraft that ran out of fuel and crashed Sleights, Yorkshire, 11.12.50 was VT170. This has the history described in the link, but credited to VT120. Codes are interesting: 205 AFS was formed at a time when the four-figure system was in use, up until 1951. Combat Codes does not give a code for 205 AFS, but following the pattern of earlier Schools this would have been FMP.x. Presumably the change in system was foreseen so no allocation was made. It may not be an absolute rule, but I would expect all aircraft to carry an individual code, even if they lacked a unit one.
  8. Dave: "A Mr. Roe" is probably N.E.Roe of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. I don't know his official title but he was the consultant on performance matters. A very significant figure in the British industry/procurement loop. It is interesting to see early doubt expressed over the 12 guns. Despite being considered highly effective in strafing ground troops the outer guns were often removed in theatre in order to save weight, particularly when up against the highly agile lightweight Oscar. How much of this was passed back to the Air Ministry/UK is another matter. As an unavoidable rule, having weight outboard will increase the rolling inertia making the aircraft less agile. This was more clearly the case with the 4-cannon Hurricane: again, outside the UK one of the guns was often removed from each wing, On FR Hurricanes this permitted the fitting of a forward-facing camera. Again, they could be retained for their value strafing, or where enemy bombers were expected (eg night fighters and intruders). Jure: You can certainly rely upon AL Bentley's plans for the Mk.I. (And this isn't just my opinion.) Peter Cooke (and Edgar Brooks) has shown the increase in length for the Mk.II. The rest is just subtleties of details for a range of propellers and armaments, filters, tailwheels, radiators but nothing relevant to the basic shape. It would however be good to get a definitive account of the development of the Mk.IIA,B and B fighter-bomber.
  9. Try looking away from the injection-moulded kits into the many resin producers. There is a strong bias towards 1/76 amongst British producers, but Cromwell has recently changed over completely to 1/72 and may have something suitable. Yes, the Humbrol/Heller kits were the Airfix one rebadged.
  10. I entirely agree that the combination of the short nose and long fuselage gives the correct overall length, but not the correct division of nose and fuselage shape. Reverting to the 1/1 original, in the Mk.II it was the fuselage that was lengthened to accept the longer engine (extended at the rear only), the nose cowling remaining the same length. On the section between the cowling and the canopy, the length and number of fasteners increased. Find clear photos of this area so you can count the fasteners, and you'll see one more on the Mk.II. This was precisely the point of Peter Cooke's research, to establish the correct difference between the Mk.I and the Mk.II. However, right or wrong about the overall length, the shape of the wing-to-nose fairing is wrong for a Mk.I, being too long (semi-elliptical rather than more circular), but right for a Mk.II. Again, look at photographs of this area - Troy has published them on this site more than once. I produced one Mk.I from the basic kit by chopping almost 2mm from the front to the Hasegawa fuselage and reshaping the fairing, but this loses the location point at the front making life more difficult. If you have the short nose, it will be easier to fill the offending joins and rescribe, then file down the offending fairing and rescribe there. You presumably need to slightly relocate the exhausts: I don't have one to hand to check. Have you used the original printing of AL Bentley's drawings? Later printings were "stretched" by the copier, introducing errors. He has recently made them available directly from himself, and has confirmed to me that the original magazine-printed copies are correct. There is something murky about the early deliveries of the Mk.II. They were built at Hawkers to contract B62305/39, the first Z2308 in August 1940. Eleven of the first 12 went to 111 Sq, but do not seem to have lasted and are not recorded with this unit in Fighter Squadrons of the RAF. The first significant user appears to have been 421 Flt., used to find and shadow enemy bomber forces approaching the UK. The first conventional squadron to receive Mk.IIAs in significant numbers was 605 Sq, from November 1940 (according to FSR). Mason has three squadrons by December, 46, 303 and 605. The first two do not seem to have operated the Mk.IIA at all (according to FSR) and do not appear in the service history of the early aircraft of the this batch. The first MK.IIb was Z2885, which was retained for test purposes. The next several aircraft went to 242 Sq. FSR has 242 Sq with the Mk.IIb in February 1940, but of the sample serials, the first four are not Mk.IIb. The unit continued flying Mk.IIA until April 1941. (I suspect a simple misunderstanding of this batch.) Re the April 1940 decision to go with the B wing: according to Mason this was a decision to delay the introduction because of a fear of a shortage of Brownings in the forthcoming battle. Although Mason is looking increasingly dodgy on the development of the Mk.II, I think that this is probably reliable as it explains the delay in introducing this variant.
  11. From the date, you can then go through the appropriate Air Britain serial book to get the serial. It may be referenced in some of the Meteor books, perhaps Steve Bond's example from Midland Counties Publications. On the other hand, you could try one of the websites that specialise in such things - I would recommend http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?1-General-Category or perhaps http://forum.keypublishing.com/forumdisplay.php?4-Historic-Aviation Though it looks as though Selwyn has already found it.
  12. You are right about the SMER Spitfire MK.Vc: they also brought out new parts for a Hurricane Mk.IV.
  13. Not quite right: the initial/main issue of the kit has a nose section of the correct length for all Hurricanes. The fuselage section is the correct length for Mk.II and subsequent variants. Using the short nose does indeed give you to the correct overall length for a Mk.I but this has incorrect panel lines and the longer nose/wing fairing of the Mk.II on all variants of the kit. You also require (but don't get) a different radiator for the Mk.I, and the kit comes with the outer guns of the B wing - not fitted to Mk.Is. That this is the option most commonly found isn't Murphy's Law in action: Hasegawa's habit is to first release what becomes the main version of the kit, which becomes the standard and is often re-released. Subsequent versions appear once and never again. (There may have been exceptions to this, but not I think in their Hurricane releases.)
  14. I'm not convinced that's necessarily the right set of numbers, but if so then that's round about 1/6th of the total length of the manifold. That kind of difference should be visible (it's equivalent to one missing cylinder.). It is a fair match for the difference between a Hurricane Mk.I nose and that of a Mk.II, and that is visible. it's easy to be led astray by mistaking a small number for a small proportion.
  15. I thought about the Potez 630, but I wouldn't go so far as to say "considered"! I hadn't realised that SMER did any more than re-release it. This was actually inspired by the aircraft in the photo at the top of the link above. Did they provide an optional nose for the transport? If so, begging mode on. Does anyone have one spare?