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Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. Ignorant (from my dictionary) : Lacking knowledge; having no understanding or awareness. As far as I'm concerned, admitting ignorance of a subject carries no disgrace (I am ignorant of German aircraft, calculus, the theory of relativity, nuclear physics, and many other subjects.) I've spent many hours, finding out that, from Autumn 1942, Supermarine, Hawker & Bristol spent time on filling rivet holes and panel lines, sanding them smooth and then painting them, making the chances of there being black lines under the paint non-existent. If someone asks about pre-shading, I start with the premise that they might not know that fact, possibly pretentious, but it saves a lot of time; I do not say that they shouldn't weather on top of the finish, which is how I always preferred to do my own models. After several house moves, I have no models left. "Wonderful finish" "Superb model" when the model has glaring errors does the modeller no favours, in fact it's downright insulting, and, if that means that I should not pass on information about the real item, which I feel might be beneficial to others, then I want no part of it. Not sadness, aggravation, since you fail to grasp that, to me, how others finish their models is irrelevant, but if "positivity" means asking for my approval for using techniques completely at variance with what really happened, forget it, I'm old enough to remember how this pre-shading malarkey started; an American modeller first used (only) gloss varnish on panel lines, and a piece of cloth to buff over the paint, so that there was a beautifully subtle (and extremely faint) variation in tone and nothing more. We always went by the simple maxim, "if you see the weathering before the model, it's too heavy," but that now seems to have been discarded.
  2. I do most humbly apologise; I did not realise that, having reached an age when I feel my hand skills are no longer good enough, it also precludes me from having an opinion and trying to help a questioner. Perhaps you would care to show any occasion when I've said that a modeller shouldn't do what he likes with his own kit? Funny, really, since I always strove to get photos of real aircraft, and make my models look as much like them as possible, which is why I supplied that horrifyingly negative photo of a real aircraft.
  3. I've used this photo, many times, to illustrate what a well-used airframe can look like. Black dirt does not ooze through panel lines, and it seems to be generally forgotten that many panels were overlapped, substantially riveted, then covered by two or three coats of paint. Add in that the overlaps, as far as possible, went from front to back, the deepest gauge, on the fuselage, was less than .75mm, and less than .5mm on the wing, and the question has to be, how would thick black dirt a. get through, then b. stick there?
  4. All spitfires were supplied with this locking device, and it was normally stowed to the right of the seat (where you can't see it.) When not in use, the elevators had a maximum droop of around 23 degrees, remembering that, when parked, the tailplane wasn't level to start with. Drooped elevators were very common, largely because the pilot would push the stick forward before getting out.
  5. The modification went onto the production line from 16-7-42, so, even if BM243 didn't have it when built, it should have been fitted during a major service, and it is, in fact, shown as having wing stiffening fitted before going to 453 Squadron.
  6. Without a modification ledger, like Vickers' item for the Spitfire, it's impossible to say exactly; the mirror addition was modification 179, and 177 was around November 1940. Supermarine began fitting one to the Spitfire on 24-9-40.
  7. There was nothing laid down, though it can be sometimes seen that the C.O. took the letter "A," and, when there were only two flights, A-M were used by "A" Flight, with N-Z going to "B" flight. Once wartime losses came into the equation, though, most of the convoluted plans went out of the window. A team of erks seem to have (largely) looked after the same letter, so, if it was lost, or worn out, the next airframe, given the same letter, was usually issued to them. A former 609 Squadron rigger told me how "his" Spitfire was always "PR-A" (but not the C.O.'s this time.) "The prat plane, we called it" was what he said. At first, pilots generally seem not to have had a personal aircraft (though there were exceptions,) so that, when pilots went on leave, others could fly their regular mount, which could lead to some recriminations if it got abandoned and dumped in the sea. Dowding's first "system" involved painting the Squadron number on the fuselage or fin, with red numbers for "A" flight and red/white for "A" Flight's second section, blue & blue/white for "B" Flight, green & green/white for "C" Flight, but, if a pilot was promoted from (for example) "C" Flight's second section to lead "B" Flight, the numbers had to be completely repainted. This probably was the reason for going over to letters, since it didn't matter where they flew.
  8. This is another reason why I'm often loth to get too pedantic on some subjects; there might not have been a Ib, but Supermarine did plan for it, since it appears, on at least three occasions, in the Vickers Spitfire/Seafire modification ledger, dated as late as August 1941. The item, below, is the cocking lever fitted to early cannon-winged Spitfires, which enabled the pilot to leave cocking of the cannon until combat was joined. Due to the normal practice of guns being cocked on the ground, leaving the breeches open, they often froze solid, making them inoperative. Specially-made rubber covers (not condoms) were tried, but the freezing temperatures turned them solid, causing them to break up, and enter the barrel. According to the ledger, under Mod 417, it was planned for the "IB, IIB, VB & VC." This item was deleted, possibly when the heating system improved, but the remains of the pipework can be seen in the Vb (and IX, believe it or not, which means it could have been a converted V airframe) Pilot's Notes, and on the wall of the Hasegawa 1/32 Vb. What we don't know is whether the original Mk.I cannon wings were kept, and modified to "proper" IIb & Vb standard, or simply removed and replaced with the genuine article, which is why I said "old wings" in the Mk.I context.
  9. This might have absolutely nothing to do with it, in which case I apologise, but, on the Spitfire IX, they suffered a spate of windscreens misting over during turns at height, and this was put down to exhaust particles freezing onto the glass, being a mixture of a longer nose, and disturbed airflow due to the odd bumps on the upper cowling. Deflector plates, above and behind the exhausts (similar to those used for combatting glare in 1940) cured the problem, but seem to have been rejected (more blockage to view, perhaps?) since they were never fitted, but I have read that exhausts were angled downwards slightly, maybe to cure the problem. If the Hurricane had the same trouble with the Mk.II nose, and also needed its exhausts angled, there would have been a need for separate items (and part numbers) for the port and starboard sides.
  10. Yes, it does; they're the slightly flashed-over triangles tight against the wheel wells. It's possible that trying to mould them as pure holes would have risked damage to over-thin plastic. I've seen it said that there were removable covers for those holes, which kept the cases in place until they could be removed after landing, but all the photos I've seen just seem to show black holes. On L1007, the first cannon-armed airframe, there appear to be thin fairings over the shell ports, but there's no indication (that I've seen) to say whether the next batch of 30 sets had the same set-up. Legend has it that, when 19 Squadron finally gave up on their aircraft, they were converted back to having A wings; it's possible the old wings were turned into "proper" B type, but that's another mystery yet to be resolved. L1007; the cannon fairing is not easy to see:-
  11. Edgar

    Scottish Aces of WWII

    The original "Aces High" was reprinted in 1994, under ISBN 1-898697-00-0; there then followed (logically) Volume 2 ISBN 1-902304-03-9, and then there was "Those Other Eagles," in 2004, ISBN 1-904010-88-1, which listed those who claimed 2 - 4.
  12. Edgar

    Spitfire Mk.XIV in 1/48th

    That was one of "Mr. Airfix" Trevor Snowden's dearest wishes; now that he has retired, all bets are off, though Hornby don't seem to have ditched the idea completely. At Telford I was told that his other wish, for a 1/24 Spitfire IX, is dead in the water, and will not be the next Airfix "big one."
  13. The cannon-armed wings always retained the outer compartments for the .303"s, even if there was nothing in them; it's likely that they had plain covers, with no bulges or ejection slots, and the leading edges might not have been drilled out, though this is problematical, since the tubes were a standard fit, and could have remained. It's still unknown (if the hole/tubes were there) if fabric patches or metal covers were used; as they came from Supermarine, the latter seems likely. The only visible difference would probably have been underneath, where the used shells of the cannon would have come out from beside the cannon, not from a hole near the wheel wells.
  14. Edgar

    Airfix 2016

    RAF vehicles went over to blue-grey (except ambulances) in November 1937
  15. It's difficult to be sure, but photographs in "The Spitfire in South African Air Force Service" appear to show smooth tyres in WWII, and treaded post-war.
  16. Edgar

    Airfix 2016

    Your glass is always half-empty, presumably; sorry to ruin your mope, but the Spitfire is all-new.
  17. Which (again) is at variance with what's in "Spitfire the History," and (presumably) what's On the aircraft movement card. Fairly academic for the questioner, though, since, either way, it's well into his required timescale.
  18. The IIb was being produced through to July 1941, e.g P8701 which went to 303 Squadron 4-7-41. Any IIb which survived past the (nominal) May cut-off point would probably have had them retrofitted, anyway, such was the mad scramble to have the old type replaced.
  19. Be very wary with the Hurricane canopy. During tests it was found that the original chattered open during flight, but also became immovable at high speeds; Hawkers got round this by having the front arch spread slightly and sprung, pulling together, and remaining under tension when closed. This had the effect of having the top line of the canopy angled down, when open, then lifting as the canopy was pulled shut. Peter Cooke found this out, during his researches, getting his clue from an overhead photo of a Hurricane with open canopy. Hawkers' drawings were never amended, and it was Peter's findings that led to Arthur Bentley having to redo his drawings. To be absolutely correct, manufacturers really need to supply two canopies, for open and shut options.
  20. Edgar

    D-Day stripes

    Or, if you use the other edge of the school ruler, 1/4" (that's a quarter of an inch,) which is equivalent to 6.35mm. not 6.1.
  21. This subject causes almost as much controversy as rivets. At the beginning of the war, aircraft camouflage colours were "blended," i.e. merged, but it was found that this was often done by lifting the gun away from the surface, so that paint was drying before it hit the surface, causing excess drag. At a meeting, early in 1940, Farnborough, who were the Air Ministry's source for camouflage, said that blending was a waste of time, so the Ministry sent a circular to all Resident Technical Officers, saying that mats could, in future, be used. This covered the manufacturers, and POSSIBLY the Civilian Repair Organisation, but probably not M.U.s., and certainly not the Squadrons. Mats probably caused ridges between colours, which needed smoothing down, but nothing like the roughness of the blending process, and a smooth finish was what the Ministry really wanted, but couldn't achieve with cellulose. Synthetic paint, in August 1942, was found to be smooth and matt, so was used until after the end of the war. Understandably, modellers often think of their model first, and the real thing second, and this is where the fun starts. Ideally, blended colours had a "join" only one inch (even half an inch) wide, which, in photographs, looks very prominent, but, divide that down by 72 for a model, and it comes to 1/3rd of a mm, or 1/2 a mm in 1/48, 3/4 of a mm in 1/32, even 1/24 is only 1mm, and spraying to those limits is really difficult (I've never managed it.) Ideally, taking all this into consideration, a model's finish should probably be hard-edged, but, as always, it's up to the individual, and long may that remain so.
  22. This is how Peter Cooke illustrated it in 1983, and he got his information from the (then) curator of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, who'd served, with the Sea Fury, on a carrier during the Korean war; the wheel wells were the same "Hawker yellow," as Danni and her father have described it, but standard zinc chromate will probably suffice.
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