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Hugh Thomson

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About Hugh Thomson

  • Rank
    Newbie
  • Birthday 09/15/1956

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

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  1. Just FYI the RAF Museum has sent me three photos of FP536. All taken in April 1942 and its 99.9% certain (as far as I am concerned) that she is in a USN blue grey/neutral grey finish with the fuselage roundel painted on the nose (presumably over the US star). Interestingly there is an enlarged red/white/blue flash on the rudder (not the fin).
  2. My brother and I have dropped down to see the old RAAF flying boat base at Rathmines, off Lake Macquarie, and a RAAF PBY-5 Catalina is also planned. One question - I think some time back Academy released their PBY-5A in Oz with RAAF markings. Do you know if these markings are for a foliage green ASR example?
  3. Yes. That is on my list. I've the DK decals set for RAF and Commonwealth Catalinas and a foliage green RAAF ASR PBY-5A is next on my list. Never understood why the RAAF painted an ASR aircraft foliage green - doesn't make much sense to me. I've two Academy PBY-5As in my stash and one is earmarked for the RAAF and another for 321(Dutch) Squadron in Ceylon, 1942. At the moment I am seeing what I can do with the old Airfix PBY-5A (which is quite a bit younger than me to be honest) and I'm now awaiting a white metal undercarriage and brass machine gun barrels from Hannants and ebay respectively. It will never be as good as the Academy kit but I quite enjoy the exercise - add to which working with an old kit helps build my rather mediocre skills.
  4. Thankyou everyone for your comments. I had intended to build a 1/72 scale model of FP536 as a Catalina IIIA (i.e. PBY-5A) of 131 OTU. This was consistent with a recent 'Warpaint' profile and a much older Airfix Painting Guide (1990s). Based on the Aircraft Movement Card it seems that FP536 went to 131 OTU in March 1943 (after service with 210 and 330 Squadrons) was passed to Saunders Roe in May 1943 and returned to 131 OTU in September 1943. Do I now complete FP536 as a PBY-5A/Catalina MkIIIA of 131 OTU - given the small window in which she may have been present in that unit as an amphibian? Or should my PBY-5A be finished as a fairly anonymous US Navy example or perhaps an early Catalina IIIA of 330 Squadron in 1942? Will have to think about this. My instincts are to go with 330 Squadron (using the DK decals for such an aircraft). The RAF Museum was kind enough to locate the Aircraft Movement Card for FP536 and send me a copy as a pdf. But I don't think I can post a copy of a pdf. I have asked the Museum if they have a photo of FP536 in their collection - you never know.
  5. I have been doing some research on the small number of PBY-5A Catalina aircraft that were taken on by the RAF. Only 12 of the amphibian version - called the Catalina IIIA - were acquired. I have obtained the Aircraft Movement Card for Catalina IIIA FP536 - which shows the various units which took this particular aircraft on charge. What is interesting is that in the Aircraft Movement Card the 'A' in 'Catalina IIIA' under the heading 'Type' has been struck out and there is a note which reads "Conversion to flying boat Beaumaris SRoe 14.5.43". I know Saunders Roe had a facility at Beaumaris which modified Catalinas for RAF service. But this sounds as if FP536 was converted to a pure flying boat i.e. the undercarriage was removed. Has anyone every heard of this conversion? Just by way of background it looks like FP536 was written off (Category E) in 1944 when it was with 131 Operational Training Unit.
  6. I am going to start building a model of the PBY-5A Catalina and I would like the aircraft to be in RAF markings. Based on my research I understand only 14 or so PBY-5As were acquired by the RAF where they were known as the Catalina IIIA. So far I have seen two photos of a Catalina IIIAs in RAF service - both looked like they were in delivery markings of USN intermediate blue and light grey (the roundel was of the pre-July 1942 with the wide yellow ring). However the old Airfix PBY-5A was issued at one point in time with markings for Catalina IIIA FP536 of 131 OTU, the aircraft wearing a scheme of what seems to be dark slate grey (DSG) and extra dark sea grey (EDSG) upper surfaces and sky undersurfaces (with the dividing line running along the lower part of the hull). I rather like the idea of using a DSG/EDSG scheme instead of the USN markings (I can use the DK decal set to build a 333 or 321 Squadron PBY-5A in USN colours). A bit of surfing the internet suggests that a number of Catalina IIIAs were used by 131 OTU but I cannot see any photos of these aircraft wearing a DSG/EDSG scheme. It would make sense of course if the IIIAs were painted in these colours but I am trying to get some sort of confirmation. Does anyone have any evidence i.e. a copy of a photo in a bok, which confirms that Catalina IIIAs were in DSG/EDSG? I am not a rivet counter but its mortifying when you find that you have used completely the wrong colours/markings (I mean not a shade wrong - but completely). The model then feels like a failure.
  7. I think I have some sort of explanation. And it was sort of in front of me all the time. Page 374 of CH Barnes 'Handley Page Aircraft of 1907' refers to the use of Harrows at Martlesham Heath circa 1937 and then says "...and Dunlop wing and tail deicing had been installed on K7028 for trials at the RAE." I wonder whether the photo attached to the comment by Phoenixii was taken at Farnborough and the yellow reflects K7028's work at the RAE testing deicing equipment. Think I had best build my Valom Harrow as K7006 of 37 Squadron. It sounds a safer bet. If K7028 was at the RAE with a yellow finish god knows what other bits and pieces were hanging off the aircraft. Thanks everyone.
  8. Thanks. I'll have a look. I can see one entry which suggests that the aircraft possibly served in a Bomber/Gunnery School but I'll run thru the others this evening.
  9. I have bought the 1/72 Valom kit of the Handley Page Harrow MkII. It includes decals for a Harrow MkII of 37 Squadron, K7006, in early 1939 and a Harrow MkII of 24 Maintenance Unit, K7028 in 1940. The aircraft from 37 Squadron, K7006, appears to be in standard bomber camouflage - dark green, dark earth uppersurface and black undersurface. However the aircraft from 24 Maintenance Unit appears in drak green and dark earth uppersurface and all yellow undersurface (with the yellow running up to a quite high line on the fuselage). Its K7028 that intrigues me. The yellow would suggest some prototype or training role aircraft. Does anyone have any info on K7028 - perhaps in an Air Britain book on RAF serials. I have very little material on the Harrow - just an entry in the Putnam/Barnes Book together with whatever else I can dig up on the internet. My inclination is to model the aircraft of 37 Squadron, K7006, as I feel very comfortable with the background history. But if I could get some info which explains the yellow undersurface for K7028 that might make a more attractive finish. I have attached a link to the Hannants site which shows K7006 and K7028. https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/VAL72118
  10. Thanks. I'll wait. There's no alternative for me. Mind. Sometimes we have to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait................ I'm still waiting for the 1/72 Trumpeter MiG-19 which has been 'due' for about the last four years if I recall correctly.
  11. Yes. Looks like Italeri copied someone's photoshop of a 'what if' IAF Su-34. Bit annoying that Italeri do not make this clear. So back to Russian stars. I think I'll get the new Begemot decals for the Su-34 and select an aircraft from this set. Your Su-30MKI looks great regardless of the markings. By the sound of it, converting Trumpeter's Su-30MKK to an 'MKI' is beyond my skill set.
  12. I think its a figment of Italeri's imagination. See the comment here: https://top.quora.com/Why-doesnt-India-buys-SU-34-Fullback-fighter-bomber
  13. Hi. The link takes you to a modelling site with a picture of the decal alternatives which includes what is said to be an Indian Su32FN of the Indian Defence Research Wing https://www.super-hobby.co.uk/products/SUKHOI-SU-34-SU-32-FN.html#gallery_start I have posted a note on the Bharak Rakshak (Indian Air Force modelling) Facebook page with a request for any info on this aircraft (assuming it exists - and I believe Italeri has made mistakes before).
  14. I have ordered the 1/72 Italeri Su-32/34 - it includes markings for Russian Air Force Su-34s and an Su-32FN of the Indian Air Force Defence Research Wing in 2015. I am inclined to build the Indian Air Force example but can't really find any references to this aircraft. I can see from the internet that Sukhoi built the Su-32FN for the Chinese and Indian market and that India flirted with the idea of acuiring the Su-32/34 for a while but seemed to ultimately decide on obtaining more Su-30s instead. Does anyone know anything about an Su-32FN operated by the IAF Defence Research Wing? My assumption is that the IAF acquired a single example from Rusia for some testing of the type but that is just an educated guess. The 'anorak' in me wants to be sure that I am building a model of an aircraft which has some basis in fact (and Italeri have made mistakes in the past).
  15. Excellent photo. Again I think the undersurface is a light colour and my guess - as above - is that it's yellow. Where did you get the photo? As an interesting aside it seems that a lot of early Hampdens did not have a D/F loop.
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