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Graham Boak

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About Graham Boak

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  1. The early Mk.VIIs were coming off the line at the same time as the early Mk.VIIIs, so there's no hint there. The one in the Smithsonian was an early one, does anyone have views of this that show the cannon bulges?
  2. That's fine, but doesn't make clear that the wider cannon bulge was also present on many Mk.VIIIs (and Mk.IXs, presumably Mk.VIIs too) that only had one 20mm in each wing. It may be a working (as opposed to watertight) assumption that F.Mk.VIIIs and F Mk.IXs (i.e. early production) had the wide bulge, whereas LF variants (i.e. the greater majority) had the narrow. Mk.VIIs are interesting. They came in two main batches. The first are generally shown in pre-service photos as having the Day Fighter scheme and a round rudder; The later ones are seen in the High Altitude Fighter scheme with pointed rudders. I wonder if the early ones had broad bulged whereas the later ones had narrow?
  3. To the person who visited Transport Models this morning before I did and picked up their last copy - gee thanks. I may forgive you with time.
  4. Yes, this argument has been made above based on older references. However, because the photographs that show a strong difference between the outer wing and the central fuselage do not show the tips, and the photos of the record attempt do not clearly show the colour of the outer wings, we are unable to confirm it. We do have evidence that there was a change of wing. There isn't much wiggle room left, but still some.
  5. I've picked up my Sparrow and can confirm no long side windows - now to find if these were on the aircraft from the start or a later modification. If so, they may appear on the Normandy boxing, but I'm not betting on it. I've spent an entertaining hour trimming the sprues and trying to make full sense of the instructions and the excess parts provided. I eventually worked out that six peculiar parts were flap hinges: there is no mention of such on the instructions but there are pairs of holes under the wing. However, there are also similar holes for the aileron hinges but these are not provided. I'm still not sure what a couple of the parts are for but they don't seem to belong on the transport. I've yet to compare the kit to the Contrail fuselage, so have that joy to come. This does mean that I have a spare (part-trimmed) Contrail kit with some rather nice spare turrets thrown in. Edit: The Valom fuselage has a similar nose (which I'm not convinced is too wrong) but the proper blunt tail end not the more aerodynamic shape provided by Contrail. The Contrail kit doesn't have extra windows down the fuselage either. The photo I have of B.BJ has extra windows under the wing, but more like airliner windows than the long strip seen on the 1944 machines in the WIP thread. I suspect that this is an individual airframe variation, no idea why. Either way, there are additional windows forward missing from the kit.
  6. I suggest warming up to this by doing the HP51 first.
  7. Scale hasn't been mentioned, but there are a number of good (if not yet perfect) kits in 1/72 (and, I thought, in 1/48) that will give you a Mk.II with a Vokes - a Mk.I with a Vokes is quite another matter in 1/72, as the two fairings are different. Perhaps this is what you meant? I entirely agree that getting the camera bulge (bulges?) right would be even more difficult.
  8. The RAF used their Mitchells as medium-level bombers. Taking large aircraft into the intense flak environment low-level wouldn't fit. The ORBs of the Mitchell squadrons are available for study - anyone seriously offering this idea is able to try to find any low-level missions. There's never been any suggestion I've seen, in a number of dedicated books, on use with the shipping-strike squadrons of Coastal Command.
  9. Light leading edges may be removed de-icer pads - I've seen this on other aircraft but don't know about Mitchells: if you've seen black leading edges that suggests they were fitted. They wouldn't be yellow, no, that was an identification mark for fighters. The F suggests an attachment to a squadron, so there may be codes on the rear fuselage that aren't visible.
  10. They have undercarriages, just not the wells for them. Recessed markings.
  11. I'm not a collector, but I wouldn't have thought so particularly - it was around at the same time as the T-6/SNJ and SBD which dates it to the early 60s at the latest, but they kept coming out for a long time. Also perhaps an F4U, but I don't recall seeing that. The Spit 22 and Bf109G were around a few years later.
  12. The Mk.IIs were the B-25C and D: I don't think the solitary G would have been given a specific designation because it was basically just a D as far as airframe and engines were concerned, so would automatically count as another Mk.II.
  13. I think you are more likely to grow to appreciate the open intakes than to live with the nagging knowledge that it wasn't really like that with them shut. As for spoiling the lines, no more than the undercarriage surely? I must admit liking the looks of the Victor on the ground, with the nose crouching down low and the tail high ready to strike - thinking about it this way, do the open intakes add to the impression rather than subtract from it?
  14. The Frog decals were reddish-brown (some said terracotta) when Richard Ward took over producing sheets for them, and he was one of those behind Modeldecal. We didn't have the wide range of alternatives to the el-cheapo kit decals in those days. To satisfy yourself, try to get hold of a copy of Arms&Armour's British Aviation Colours of WW2, preferably at a less extravagant price that Abe Books are currently offering. Just make sure it has the colour charts in the back. Your local library should be able to help. I have one but not the Mosquito transfer sheet.
  15. A couple of qualifications to Tropicalised Mk.V Spitfires were equipped as standard with the TR Mk.9, as described in the Spitfire Mk.V Manual, from Arms and Armour Press. At some stage this was updated. The early Rotol examples were the metal blades, which lacked the thick blade roots. This has been seen on a photo of an aircraft downed during the Dunkirk operations.