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Everything posted by fishplanebeer

  1. Dear All, My next project will be a BoB Bf/Me 109E but need some help please. I have the Tamiya E3 and the ICM E3 as well but not sure which would be the better and if either can also represent the E1 or E4 version? In this scale the difference between an E3 and E4 would presumably be almost 'invisible' so it should come down to identifying a specific subject from research and applying the relevant decals? As for the E1 my basic understanding is that this variant was armed with wing machine guns so lacking the under wing cannon bulges but could also have had the later cannon installed as well, plus the more heavily framed canopy possibly retro-fitted, so again a question of research and decals for a specific example I guess. My knowledge of the Bf/Me109E is not minimal but neither is it exhaustive so I've always been somewhat confused by the differences seen when it comes to the canopy framing as I'd always assumed the early style was on the E1 and early E3's only and also that all E1's only had wing machine guns. However I have many photos which entirely contradict these assumptions, such as E4's with early style canopies and examples described as E1's but with guns (cannon) protruding from both wings. Kind Regards Colin.
  2. All I know is that I bought a Spit 1b a while ago in a box from a non-UK or German/American maker and it was very poor in my IMHO, and as I really can't see a big appeal for this version it must be the same one. Luckily I managed to sell it as a job lot as it was well beyond my skills, especially given the very poor canopy and crude moulding, so I'm still of the opinion that the KP version is the same one. My modelling skills are very modest and I prefer to build 'out of the box' if at all possible but also happy to invest if the basic details are there, such as the Special Hobby Kittyhawk Mk.1A (my current project) which is well worth the effort and quite superb. However this 'unknown' Spitfire 1b' was well beyond my level of skill when I bought it and I seriously doubt it has been radically improved given its niche appeal so my interest is now at an end. Just think, how many decent Spit Mk1a's are out there at the moment (a big seller)? Not that many given that the Tamiya kit has a major long standing issue with the canopy and the Airfix kit has over sized panel lines, and let's not even mention the recent Revell Mk2a which is/was a major disappointment. So logically new up to date Spit 1b and 2b moulds seem rather unlikely given their very niche appeal and limited sales volume/revenue, especially for folks like me who expect a reasonable level of accuracy for £13 quid, so I will keep my wallet closed for the time being. Of course KP/AZ/Airfix etc..etc.. could always issue a nice MkXII as well, long over due and just as significant.
  3. Many thanks for all the inputs, greatly appreciated. My interest is primarily in the Spitfire 1b (KPM7255) and IIb (KPM7256) which are described as 'new moulds' but I have my doubts as I previously bought a 1b (can't recall the brand but suspect this is the same kit as nobody else has ever done this version) and it was awful with rubbish canopy and very heavy handed moulding. Poor even when I compared it with my vintage Frog and Revell Spitfire kits from the 60's! I'm also interested in their Vb's (7274 and 7258) but at almost £13 a pop from a well known retailer I'm loath to end up with a bin filler when the Airfix Vc is due out later this year (but any ideas as to when as Airfix have not replied to my recent enquiry). This will be at a much lower price with presumably pretty good moulds, accurate outline and well defined detail, albeit probably with deep panel lines. Kind Regards Colin.
  4. I'm probably out of the recent look with latest manufacturers but who are these people and are their kits just re-issues of previous ones issued by others, or are they actually brand new moulds? Based upon a well know web site they are not cheap so hoping they are totally new but I have some doubts, so before parting with my cash can anyone clarify the origin of their kits please? Kind Regards Colin.
  5. Dear All, In the process of building the Airfix MK1a Spitfire and Arma Hurricane Mk1 in 72nd scale as part of my Battle of Britain project but as usual my biggest problem will be obtaining a realistic finish to the exhaust manifolds. I'm not after any trade secrets but just a good method to avoid them simply looking obviously just gun metal or brick red! Kind Regards Colin. Ps. any ideas on when the much anticipated Revell Ju88A-1 will be issued?
  6. Great, thanks and Kind Regards. In 72nd scale any subtle changes would be invisible. Thanks Again. Colin
  7. Do you know if the rear fuselage fairing was changed around the turret or was it just a simple case of the FN20 unit being replaced by this new lighter version? Kind Regards Colin.
  8. Dear All, Am I correct in thinking that the original standard FN20 4 gun turret in the Lanc was at some point replaced by a similar one later in the war that was lighter but otherwise carried the same armament and looked very similar? I'm sure I read some where that PA474,the 'BoB' Lanc, has this later mod version, always assuming it ever existed? In 72nd scale the difference, if any would be undetectable, but just interested from the point of historical accuracy as to whether this upgrade ever happened or have I just been mislead? Kind Regards Colin.
  9. Dave, My reference source is the wonderful book by Macdonald Press, 'Fighter Squadrons of the RAF & Their Aircraft' dated 1969 and bought when new by me when I was ten years old so not perhaps the most up to date reference these days but damn good none the less. It doesn't include the serial for GE-D but your photo nails it and I agree that the tone looks more like Sky than MSG so I'll go with this instead. Plus the latest reply would also seem to confirm this as well. Many thanks. Kind Regards Colin.
  10. Dave, Brilliant, thank you so much! I'm assuming the codes would have been MSG and not the very dodgy green in the kit and that the other score markings relate to vehicles destroyed on ground attack missions? Kind Regards Colin.
  11. Dear All, Just bought an old Heller Spitfire XVI kit, not the original one in silver livery but the later re-boxed version with camo finish. To my mind it is still a very good kit, albeit with raised panel lines, but the kit instructions do not confirm its identity so need some help if possible please? The squadron codes of GE confirm it to be from 349 squadron who used these Spits around the time the war ended and then subsequently disbanded and became of the fledgling Belgian Air Force but the serial number is incomplete, starting with TB and ending ?0. Also the personal marking are curious as they seem to indicated a SL pennant, victory markings and an inscription of 'Winston Churchill' so no idea which SL this relates to. My only guesses are Lallemand and Van Der Velde who both flew with the unit. I'm guessing the former as he was active with the unit during WW2 but there again so was Van Der Velde before he became SL after Lallemand. Kind Regards Colin.
  12. Chris, Sorry, I obviously confused my pneumatics with my hydraulics so you are absolutely correct on this, though still not sure which engine powered the mid-upper as all 4 seem to have had a particular role to play in powering the various systems on the Lanc. Kind Regards Colin.
  13. Jure, Thank you but have no idea how to do this being of a certain age, but the reference is there is anyone can find a copy of the book which is well worth buying as it includes excellent 72nd scale drawings for the BI. On a final note re' colour schemes all the pics I've seen of early BI's suggest that the internals of the turrets were painted in Interior Green so that they tend to stand out somewhat. I presume at some point they were painted black to blend in with the overall colour of the Lanc but the early ones definitely seem to be in this standard interior colour. And by the way when the press were first given access to the Lanc there was a shortage of .303 mg's so apparently broom poles were used as substitutes to create the desired effect! A bit 'Dad's Army' but in March 1942 morale was vital. Kind Regards Colin.
  14. Dear All, Sorry to pester but how can I insert a jpeg from my desktop into the post please as I've never done this before and can't find this option anywhere? Kind Regards Colin. Ps. forgot to mention that the BVII had the FN 82 rear turret fitted which housed two .5mg's
  15. Dear All, It seems the serial numbers on the early Lancs were indeed red and not grey so an error on my part and now will be much easier to now sort from the various decal sheets from Xtradecal amongst others, although the sea grey codes and A1 roundel will still require further investigation. On a more general note I've now found an additional photo of the ventral turrent installation on R5556/KM-C which is featured in the long out of print Aero Data International No 10 - Avro Lancaster B1 (page 193) so will copy and share shortly. Not brilliant but at least it's evidence that it was installed at some point and adds to those that have already been gratefully added to this thread. Just to add that the BX seems to have been a standard BIII fitted with Packards but shipped with no turrets installed, these being done in the UK once they arrived, so initially the mid-upper turret would have been the standard FN version in the normal position and not the Martin version in the more forward location. However later BX's were subsequently fitted with the Martin turret in the more forward position when the turret finally became available. The early lack of supply of this turret resulted in the BVII, basically planned as a standard BI/BIII but fitted with the new turret in the more forward location, having the normal FN turret installed so making them the BVII interims/or just standard BI/BIII's. The Lanc 'Just Jane' at the LAHC is an example of a BVII with the forward turret position but sadly has no turret fitted, just a plexiglass representation but great to have a taxy ride in! The benefit of the Martin turret was that it had the heavier calibre .5mg's and was powered by on-board batteries so not relying upon the pneumatic power from the engines. I can't recall exactly which engine provided power to this turret but clearly if it was disabled then the turret would be u/s. Kind Regards Colin.
  16. Sorry, Just to add that the only pic I have found of the ventral turret in place is the well known one of the second prototype DG595 that is featured in the 'Lancaster At War' book by Garbett and Goulding. All other pics I have of early Lancs show no sign of it at all and if it was installed then presumably an eighth crew member would have been required to operate it but I cannot find any reference to a 'ventral gunner' ever being part of the crew? Kind Regards Colin.
  17. Dear All, I'm now minded to make the model as KM-M, serial number R5493, as this was apparently the first Lanc to be lost on operations during a 'Gardening' sortie over Lorient in March 1942. Same issue applies in terms of a source of codes and serial number in medium sea grey so any help would be greatly appreciated although I'm assuming the squadron codes would have been larger than the individual aircraft letter as shown in all the photos I have of the early 44 Squadron machines. Kind Regards Colin. Kind Regards Colin.
  18. Chris, I only intend to omit the ventral turret as I cannot find any photos of it actually being in use/installed. The mid-upper will be there but just minus the coving as this was not a feature of the very early Lancs and I think wasn't introduced until a few months after it originally entered service. I think the Lanc came into service around March 1942 and the mid-upper turret coving added in May but my dates could be not exact. In terms of the actual Lanc I intend to build I'd like to do an early one from 44 Squadron that flew on the Augsburg raid but decals are proving to be a problem with the codes and serials being the early medium sea grey. I cannot find any after market decal sets that would suit and I'm no expert in terms of making my own, plus the 'A' fuselage roundels are also a bit tricky to find in the correct size so any suggestions please. Kind Regards Colin.
  19. Many thanks for the feedback so far, much appreciated. My plan for the build is to use the windows and needle blade props provided plus only adding the nose/port pitot tube with no other aerials that were found on later examples. Plus I will be leaving off the dorsal turret coving, using the flatter bomb aimer nose blister from the Revell kit and applying a distinct matt overall finish. I have considered adding a ventral gun turret but can't find photos of any examples where this was fitted so will desist from this as I have no evidence to support the precise nature of its installation and location. I'm assuming the rear turret in the Airfix kit is the original FN20 (?) variant and not the lighter/modified version as fitted to the BoB Memorial Flights PA474, so this should also be OK I think? In terms of scheme it will be an example from 44, 97 or 106 Squadrons, all of which operated this early version, so much more research required on my part here to build a specific aircraft. Kind Regards Colin.
  20. Dear All, The next kit on my bench is the excellent Airfix Lancaster BIII which I intend to build as an early BI instead but not sure of all the differences between the two versions so any input would be great. My understanding is that the BI and BIII were identical, apart from the early BI's, as Avro built the airframe to the current spec irrespective of the origin of the engines that would subsequently be fitted to it. Apparently the Packard Merlins came with a superior tool kit and the yanks tweaked the carburettor so that the flight engineers panel instrumentation was slightly different but externally a mid/late production BI would look exactly the same as a BIII and only by referencing the serial number can you confirm the mark. As far as my early BI is concerned I intend to fit the shallower bomb aimers blister, borrowed from the Revell kit, omit the mid-upper turret coving and give it a distinctly matt finish so is this all that I need to do as not sure about the side windows and the rear FN turret in the kit? I know early BI's definitely had the side windows showing but later BI's and BIII's appear not to have them so were the simply painted over or did Avro delete them from the fuselage at some point I wonder? I've read much about the apparent differences between the BI and BIII such as the presence of paddle blade props and H2S randome but this does not seem to be correct as the Lancs used on 'Chastise' were all BIII's but definitely had needle blade props. And as for the Canadian BX's they presumably had Packard Merlins and included some bespoke changes to the bomb bay doors but otherwise were effectively BIII's? Any input/knowledge would be greatly appreciated before I make a start in order to ensure that the finished model is as accurate as possible. Kind Regards Colin.
  21. Sorry again but apparently the BI also had RR Merlin 22 or 24 engines whilst the BIII also had Merlin 38's and 224's. Absolutely no idea about the differences between them as I'm no expert on Merlins but my source is the excellent Harleyford Press book on the Lanc that dates back to the 1960's (a real gem) so hopefully this means something to somebody out there. Kind Regards Colin.
  22. Sorry but just to add that the Revell kit has the flatter bomb aimers blister included in its parts so one could always contact them to obtain a spare on the basis of it being broken or missing. There will be a small fee involved of course but well worth it if you want to convert the Airfix Lanc into an early version, and as the Airfix kit has the mid-upper turret coving as a separate item then a very early version is also possible by simply leaving it off. So perhaps Airfix should re-title the kit as a BI/BIII? Kind Regards Colin.
  23. A thread based upon the excellent Airfix Lancaster BIII would be good so happy to start as I have one in my stash. Like the Spitfire it had Packard built equivalents which effectively turned a BI into a BIII but otherwise was identical to those with RR engines but came with much better tool kits plus some changes to the flight engineers panel . Packard apparently tweaked the carburettor arrangement to improve performance and this resulted in new dials/instruments to monitor in-flight performance but this is based purely upon comments in the books/comments by Garbett and Goulding in their 'Lancaster At War' series of books. I'm not 100% sure but I think the RR engine was the Merlin XX and the Packard Built version the Merlin 28 but stand to be corrected (I'm assuming the Canadian built BX would have had the latter). A mid/late production BI would be identical to a BIII as all later airframe mods applied to both and indeed the Lancs used in Chastise in May 1943 were all BIII's with needle blade props so the Airfix kit can be built as either type I think. Of course the early BI's would have had the shallower bomb aimers blister, possibly a very matt paint finish and even lacking the mid-upper turret coving (very early examples) but otherwise one has to refer to an individual aircrafts serial number to establish its true identity. Many myths have been written about the various differences between a BI and BIII, such as the presence or not of paddle blade props, Hs2 randome and the covering of the fuselage windows, but all these mods/upgrades were made on the production line irrespective of which engines would ultimately be fitted so as far as Avro were concerned they were still making the same aircraft, the same as Supermarine with the MK9 and MkXVI Spitfire. Again I'm very happy to start a new thread and stand to be corrected and learn more. Please let me know. Kind Regards Colin.
  24. So, going back to my original post, I think what we have from AZ is either an LF or HF Mk9e Spit depending upon how you wish to model it and based upon photos of actual examples. But presumably it could also be an LF Mk16e as well as there were no external differences between the two and I will probably go this route as actual examples are more plentiful. It seems the Mk9 in low back configuration was not very common but at least I now know that it existed and I also now know the correct configuration of the 'e' wing, so this has been a real learning curve for me. Many, many thanks again for the wonderful and illuminating feedback. Kind Regards Colin.
  25. Many thanks for the amazing and detailed feedback on this. I've been 'interested' in the Spit for the past 55 years and always thought the 'e' wing had the .5 mg located outboard of the cannon bays, roughly where the 1st .303 mg was in the 'c' wing. Not sure why but certainly never realised it was housed in the inner cannon bay until now, so I've definitely learned something new after all these years. Old dog and new tricks although I still can't understand why an HF version with the 70 series Merlin would then have its wings clipped which would reduce its altitude performance/lift , albeit the reduced drag and weight would have made it slightly faster and improve its rate of roll. Kind Regards Colin.
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