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Graham Boak

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About Graham Boak

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  1. You don't see independents offering sale prices as low as we see the ones talked about on this site. Sales are much more common, and more generous, in the more general stores than in the dedicated model shop. These price cuts have to come from somewhere - we are not seeing the getting rid of old stock that's been hanging around for yonks. That doesn't mean that the franchises don't start with kits at MRP/RRP or whatever: after all, if they move at that price there's a larger margin for the retailer.
  2. I visit Preston's Transport Models fairly often, and I do think that they count as independent traders too. There are a fair few others around still. If a franchise includes providing kits at lower prices than other traders or buyers are offered (as seems more than likely seeing their cut-price schemes), then removing them will save Hornby money. If they can then increase their sales to match the income. Probably sacking a few travelling salesmen will help too. PS I think that you can guarantee that if the scheme had proven profitable, they wouldn't be closing it down.
  3. If Hornby are going to concentrate more on selling through their online business, I don't see how this will help independent shops. Surely on-line trade is more of a threat than a department stores offering a limited range of kits? Further, such stores have a role in widening the hobby, making kits easily available to people who'd never bother entering a specialist model shop. They are , I'd have thought, a prime source of newcomers who will develop their hobby to call on the services of specialist shops. I can see how such removing these concessions can be a quick way of making necessary savings, for if Hornby fail in the short term there won't be any long term for them. It won't bother me personally, I don't buy from such sources, but it seems to be a negative move for the future of the hobby.
  4. A bit late, I'm afraid, but I'd add that before getting too excited about 70/71 being "bomber colours" readily available to Dornier, bear in mind that the Do217 series were painted not in 70/71 but 72/73. Much as, regardless of role, Ju88 bombers (and a lot of fighters) were all painted in 70/71. Maybe this was because of the Dornier 217's origin as a seaplane, although that seems a little distant. More likely it is because of its initial use in attacks in the North Sea.
  5. It's a bit surprising, I'd agree, but hardly worth throwing your toys out of the cot and turning your back on all these apparently superb models. If they are that good, you can always open the canopy if you want one open. You can always drop the flaps if you want them dropped. You can flatten the tyres, if you like flat tyres. It's called modelling, and that really is just common sense. But as the man said: what is sense is not common, and what is common is not sense. PS I suspect they don't have pilots in them and who makes a plane without a pilot?
  6. I used to get Budvar and Budvar Dark from Laithwaites, but they seem to have stopped selling them now. Waitrose advertises the Dark, but currently unavailable. I have seen Staropramen in the UK but not sure where or when.
  7. The RCAF Expediter 3TM was a variant of the D18S. The 18S was the most successful prewar light variant, with 12 built (out of 39 total). It was followed by (amongst ones with different suffixes) the B18S, which was the basis of the F-2, C-45, C-45A and C-45C variants. F stands for Foto, which was used for what we call PR aircraft. The F-2s were used mainly for mapping work, including some brightly coloured examples (OK, at least one) in Alaska. A small batch of civil aircraft were built in 1944 as the C18S, and postwar all wartime examples (bar AT-11s/SNB-1) were eligible for registration as C18S. The main postwar variant was the D18S; the 1954 E18S was a considerable rework of the design, with the G18S following from 1960. I don't know what if anything happened to the F18S, I suspect that there's no such thing as an uncomplicated aircraft, but there's certainly no avoiding it for any type produced in such numbers for a wide range of uses over such a long time, particularly once the civil users and modifiers got hold of it. I suspect that a lot of the references simplify matters (and thus add confusion) because of an understandable lack of knowledge, and a less satisfactory unwillingness to check.
  8. It's good to see transfers appearing for the IAF, but you will hear that the I Sq IAF A.A example is in some doubt, and the green/grey camouflage is in considerable doubt. Except probably for R with the Sky trim. Also the white bands were not adopted until January 1945. and shortly after removed from the Hurricanes because of their predominantly low-level operations. I would have expected to see bomb carriers on the majority of these aircraft. It would be good if your kit provided a better example of these than the crudely mis-shapen things on the Revell kit.
  9. I've just looked at Wiki, but can't see where says that the Model 18S had a longer nose. It does say that the longer nose was introduced on the C-45F, considerably later. This is confirmed in Putnam's Beech Aircraft, where the C-45F was the last wartime/military production version, all later military versions were rebuilds. The extended nacelles were introduced on the civil D18S in 1947, as part of a general aerodynamic clean-up. Most of the Canadian aircraft were delivered between 1944 and 1951, and said to be variants of the D18S. This does imply to me that the longer nose and nacelles are correct for the Hobbycraft kit, but not for the PM one. I haven't found a reference to the inner wing, but suspect that this will have been present on the D18S (almost certainly) and possibly also on the C-45F, but not before. Memory is nagging at me that this has been discussed before, probably on this forum or Hyperscale, but not recently. I have not seen any reference suggesting (or denying) that the rebuilds adopted the kink in the leading edge. Depending upon just which example you want to model may well take a bit of digging, but I think it's safe to say that all but the very last wartime examples, including the "non-C45s", will have had the short nose, short nacelles and straight leading edge, as on the PM kit, whereas the postwar new-build (including RCAF) examples will be as the Hobbycraft kit. It's fair to add that the PM nacelles are very poor. PS memory has just prodded me that the Hobbycraft kit existed in two versions. Unfortunately both the ones I have are the same, later, style but possibly the kit exists with a straight leading edge, snub nose and round-tail nacelle fairings? Or some combination, anyway?
  10. No orders no yards - difficult to blame BAE Systems for the lack of orders from UK government. The total UK naval requirement simply isn't big enough to justify all the previously-existing yards, let alone to spread the orders about so all of them could have been kept viable. Given the erratic timescale of such orders, there may be difficulty in keeping even whatever's left going at a viable even workload.
  11. There are such things as mini-saws.
  12. Something else altogether.
  13. If the Il2 is also the SMER tooling then he's lucky, it's a good kit, though not up to the Tamiya/Academy ones.. The only original SMER tooling that I know about.
  14. MPM's own later Fw58 is very similar, but laid out on a more conventional sprue. I admit regretting having missed the Falke, which surprisingly hasn't reappeared anywhere.
  15. This raises the point about the value of the individual letter, particularly on night operations. Operationally it would seem to have been to be of little use outside of quick recognition in day fighting. For larger aircraft, it has a benefit in communicating by radio, it being easier to send a single letter rather than a serial - which would be of some intelligence value to the enemy. Fighters would use colour codes for sections and numbers anyway. It makes life easier on the blackboard in the Ops room (or wherever such was placed) - tonight we are sending out C, J and M. It would be a morale factor for the ground crew, who would normally be attached to a single letter, following a one-for-one replacement. It's a morale boost for the higher ranked/more successful pilot - I always fly D, it's my lucky letter. It's a bit easier for the pilot/crew going out to find their allocated aircraft among a widely-dispersed group of identical ones. It's a bit easier for those on the ground to identify returning aircraft a little quicker. Perhaps there wasn't a single good reason but a collection of smaller ones, hinging around security, identification and morale. PS perhaps it's simply a lot easier, under normal unit operations, to refer to aircraft by a single letter than rattle off a serial with all the possibilities of error and confusion. It does seem to have been one WW2 habit that has lasted, so it must have considerable value in practice.