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Hugh Thomson

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About Hugh Thomson

  • Birthday 09/15/1956

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  • Location
    Martock, Somerset
  • Interests
    History - aviation, naval, military, political.

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  1. I completely agree. So it's fingers crossed. Though knowing my luck someone will now produce a 1943 photo of FP536 when in service with 131 OTU which clearly shows the aircraft still in USN colours. Regards Hugh
  2. Hi Scott, Thanks for your suggestion. I looked at the Aviaeoology set for my PBY5A but (a) the kit is in black plastic so building a white Canso would have been quite a challenge; and (b) Cansos seem to have operated with a profusion of radar aerials all of which I would need to scratch build and I just don't have those skills (in particular to do the towel rail aerials on the fuselage sides). But I do have two Revell PBY5 kits so a Catalina MkI with 413 or 422 Squadrons using the Aviaeology set is definitely on the cards. Regards Hugh Hugh
  3. Hi Mike. My Catalina IIIA FP536 is now in the paint shop with an EDSG and DSG uppersurface so the die is cast. With the benefit of hindsight I should not have tried doing this using an old Airfix PBY5A - its been a very slow process not only in building a new interior, sanding off the rivets and dealing with fit issues but also loss of motive, a sense of what's the point plus other commitments and life generally. I admit that there are always other kits to do which don't offer quite such a challenge so its easy to get diverted. Some Australian contacts suggested that the RAAF converted PBY5As to PBY5 standard and if you look at the adf-serials.com.au site you will see photos of a number of aircraft that are said to be PBY5As but rather more resemble a PBY5 i.e. there is no sign of an undercarriage. Apparently, it was all about getting rid of unnecessary weight - the RAAF didn't need the undercarriage and with no undercarriage there was an opportunity to improve performance, in particular increasing the range. I must admit that I rather enjoy these little problems. Working out why an aircraft is as it is can be more interesting than building the kit. Regards Hugh
  4. Nils, Thanks for your input. Yes. Got that. I have a USN PBY5A and didnt want another aircraft in the same finish. There is some indication that the RAF may have repainted at least one PBY5A/Catalina MkIIIA (FP536) in extra dark sea grey and dark slate grey in 1943 so I went for this option (with my fingers crossed). REgards Hugh
  5. Hi Jason, I ended up doing PBY5A/Catalina MkIIIA FP536 in service with 131 OTU in 1943, with an EDSG and DSG uppersurface. The photos of FP536 in the RAF Museum seemed to confirm that FP536 was at least initially delivered in 1942 in standard USN colours with some oddly placed national markings (that must have been done in the US as they are so inconsistent with RAF practice e.g. the fin flash was placed on the rudder). The few photos I found of other PBY5As in service with the RAF - where it was known as the Catalina MkIIIA - in 1942 all seemed to point to the aircraft being then finished in USN colours. However it seemed logical to me that after over a year in service the aircraft would have been repainted in RAF EDSG and DSG. The Airfix model of the PBY5A/Catalina MkIIIA issued in the 1970s included this option while the Hall Park book on the Catalina has a coloured profile of FP536 in exactly this finish. However I admit that I have not obtained any other confirmation of the aircraft's 1943 appearance. I used the old Airfix kit for this purpose - I remember building this kit as a young boy in about 1970 and I wondered how it would build now. Not a good choice - I suggest you stay with the Academy kit. I've sanded off the rivets, built an interior and battled with various fit issues. So FP536 is still not finished - though to be honest I'm a slow modeller as I have other commitments and there were times when I regretted my decision and the kit was put to one side. Anyway she is now in the paint shop but I doubt whether she will be finished for another couple of months (life is going to interfere yet again and my presence will be required elsewhere for a few weeks). Way back when I started this I was originally going to build a white RCAF Canso. However research showed me that these aircraft were equipped with radar when very early in service and this involved a whole host of radar aerials including some 'towel rail' types on the side of the fuselage, all of which were well beyond my scraatch building skills. Add to which the old Airfix kit I bought on ebay was issued in black plastic which would make a white finish very difficult. Mind the Academy PBY5A suffers from the same problem i.e. its finished in black plastic. At that point I began to look at other alternatives. I didn't want to do a Catalina in service with 330 (Norwegian) Squadron. These aircraft appear to have been operated in USN colours and I wanted my aircraft in to look a little more different and 'British' (I've nothing against the Norwegians). If you are going to try for an Australian Catalina try and get the DK Decals set for RAF and Commonwealth Catalinas or another DK Decals set for the Catalinas used by QANTAS during the war for the long and safe roundabout route from Western Australia across the Indian Ocena to Ceylon - might be difficult in the case of the former as they are no longer in print but Hannants has copies of the latter in stock. The RAF and Commonwealth set includes markings for a PBY5A/Catalina MkIIIA in service with 330 (Nowegian) Squadron or 321 (Dutch) Squadron in 1942 (the 321 Squadron aircraft were ex-Dutch East Indies machines, the squadron operating out of Ceylon doing a lot of work in particular for SOE in Asia ) both of which are in standard USN colours. But the set also includes an all over foliage green PBY5A used by the RAAF in the air sea rescue role out of Cairns in 1944/45. In fact I have this set and a foliage green RAAF PBY5A is on my 'to do'' list using an Academy PBY5A in my stash. If you go to the site: adf-serials.com.au you will see the serials for all RAAF Catalinas with photos of each aircraft where available. Imterestingly you will find that although many Catalinas are listed as being PBY5A amphibian types, the photos shown for these aircraft appear to indicate a PBY5 type i.e. a pure flying boat. My information is that the RAAF coverted many PBY5As to PBY5 standard i.e. they removed the undercarriage, thereby lightening the weight and improving the performance with ability to carry greater fuel (thereby offereing greater range). Sorry for the long email. I'm out all tomorrow so tried to get this done tonight though after a good meal at a little local restaurant I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box. Regards and best of luck. Hugh
  6. As fubar57 says it was an identification measure. Pilots found that if looking rearward the yellow leading edge made it easier to identify friend from foe.
  7. Thank you Jure. That was a bit of a dumb question by me. Sorry. I really should have read your comments more carefully. A good reason not to try and multi-task in the evening after a long day. Yellow leading edges it will be. Many thanks to everyone for commenting. It always amazes me how many people are prepared to help with questions like this (and it reassures me that there are other people out there who find this interesting so I am not alone!!).
  8. Thank you everyone. I think I am going to go for 'no' yellow wing leading edge. Seems logical to me but curious that some Spitfires also have the sky Fighter Command tail band. I'm not a rivet counter so I will call it quits at that.
  9. I am finishing a Spitfire VB (trop) of 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron in late '44 using the Balkan Models decals. The Squadron was operating in the Mediterranean region at that time (particularly an island in the Adriatic). The instructions show the aircraft in the 1941/45 day fighter scheme of ocean grey, dark green and medium sea grey, which I believe is correct. However the instructions also show the aircraft having a port and starboard yellow leading edge. That said I understood that the yellow leading edge was only adopted by UK based aircraft in Fighter Command. As 352 Squadron was operating in the Mediterranean I assume the yellow leading edge was not applied to this aircraft and the instructions are in error. Though I guess its possible that the aircraft were delivered 'second hand' from the UK where the yellow leading edge had been applied. I cannot find any photo evidence either way. Photos of 352 Sqdn Spitfires that I have seen don't show the leading edge. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
  10. Does anyone happen to know of any obvious external difference between the He-111H-3 and He-111H-4? I have the Italeri 1/72 'Battle of Britain' He-111H and the kit provides for an H-3. However, Printscale does some decals for an H-4 in France in early 1941, with a black undersurface, and I do like the idea of building an a/c engaged in night operations over the UK. Sadly, I cleared my He-111 references out in a house move 3 years ago so all I have are some photos to consider on the internet. It doesn't look like there are external differences but I don't trust the internet and bitter experience has taught me to check and check again before I commit myself. Thanks
  11. Looks like these are no longer in the Xtracolour catalogue. But I'll check my enamels. Thanks That looks doable. Thankyou.
  12. I'll get there in the end but I am a bit of a slow modeller so you may have something of a wait.
  13. Thanks. Its the Kuwait aircraft that seems the more difficult. The FS33303 colour is a bit of a challenge as I've never been great at mixing paints. There is always a mess, 'She who must be obeyed' gets annoyed and I get into trouble. Still, I will give it a go.
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