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BD1944

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    WWII aircraft, priorities being US & UK fighters.

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  1. I was still in the Scouts when it came out, so late '50s looks about right. They did a Camel too. Apart from the U/C and radiator, the windscreen had too much rake, the exhausts were rather Florentine, and - worst - the wing was in the wrong place. The fuselage profile was pretty much spot on and the length perfect for a Mk. II - but from the nose to the wing L/E was perfect Mk. I. Hence the result looks odd however much you fettle all the small details - but remember, its only competitor was Airfix's original Mk. IV (RP) .... BD 30/5/18
  2. A product of its time, but (for its day) a beauty. We all built lots of them and modified them into everything from the F-2 to the K-4! I believe it was Frog's all-time best-seller, and deserved to be. BD 30/5/18
  3. I hope I'm not too late with this - but among all the scholarship above, nobody has mentioned that the "L" serialled Hurricanes had - uniquely - five-spoke wheels. Airfix provide only the definitive four-spoke version, and the Spitfire tyre was smaller. I used bathtub sealant to make a mould from Airfix's excellent Spit' wheel hub, partially drilled out the Hurricane wheels, and inserted Milliput mouldings. Took a few goes to get it right, but went OK in the end. BD 30/5/18
  4. Hi, gang: Bri Derbyshire here, last to hear about everything as usual. Just got involved with Eduard's 1/72 Spit VIII and its U/c choices. Of course all my gen (up to and including Uncle Trevor's opus) lists only 3 types of Spit' U/c - Vickers splined, late C/Brom fwd links, Mk.21-series aft links. Naturally I turned my nose up at Ed's aft links ... but thought I'd better check. I found all the 2012 stuff - but of course all the photos have been deleted. Still, I'm OK with the hypothesis that there was an interim, flat-scissor aft-link conversion kit to beef up the splined leg, as illustrated on the bright greeny-blue leg from Argentina (which I can't find now.)* I found a pic of a door (Spits in preservation, Scale Models, 10/69 p.16) with a small pip on the aft segment, which I thought might be relevant, but the only contemporary Spit I can find with said pip - for sure - is "Lonesome Polecat." So I'm still at sea. I'd be most grateful if anyone who posted relevant pics on this thread could contact me, with a view to furthering my education. Regards, BD. * OK, found it - B.
  5. BD1944

    Martlet Mk.I

    Don't the pages just fly by ..... Back on page 3 I announced my rediscovery of the varied carb. intakes on Martlet IIIs. Well, here's another pigeon among the Wildcats. Look up http://warbirdsresourcegroup.org/pix_for_wix/grumman/10F4F4USSCHARGER.jpg which gives you a photo of some nice folded F4F-4s aboard Uss Charger (if it works, this one:-) and look at the top cowl lip behind the top propeller tip near front and right of centre. Now that's even more weird ... Somebody, somewhere, must know what went on .... these aren't even early-production -4s, surely .... or must we man the ouija board? (shakes head, gibbers quietly) - Bri.
  6. BD1944

    Martlet Mk.I

    This thread started out Mk. I, but other marks have crept in, and our various favourite articles have been aired, so how about some Mk. IIIs for a change? Claudio forwarded me some useful places to look (thanks, mate) including https://www.flickr.com/photos/billchilton/albums/72157623826178790/with/4508960044/ and I've been working through them. Photos on this site are numbered (1 - whateve)r per album (or similar) but site pages pay no attention -so go first to p. 2 Photo 61, then onwards (not back!) to nos. 26/29/33/39. Here are a number of indubitable 805 sq. Martlet IIIs, some of them well known and some not. They all have the fixed wing, with rod pitot and close-grouped pair of guns: they all have the bulge for the (absent) R-1830-86 intercooler, and the large single cowl flaps. So far so good - but at least a couple of them (including AX744/D and HK142) have NO EXTERNAL LIP INTAKE. This is supposed to be an invariable F4F-3A recognition feature, from Dick Hills' article of the '80s. There were overlaps, but in general the production sequence at the time was supposed to be: Group B F4F-3 - no bulge, 2 cowl flaps, int. intake Interim Martlet II, later redesignated III - no bulge,2 cowl flaps, ext. intake (at least on AM958, the only one on film: but now I wonder...) Group C F4F-3A - bulge, 2 cowl flaps, ext. intake, mixed in with Group D F4F-3 - bulge, 8 cowl flaps, int. intake Proper Martlet II - folding wings, bulge, 2 cowl flaps, int. intake F4F-4 - folding wings, bulge, 8 cowl flaps,ext. intake Are we to guess that Grumman were in the process of deciding that there was no difference in performance between internal and external carb. intakes; deciding the external was cheaper, or easier: and using up old stock on passing airframes at random? At this time, if there wasn't an 1830-86 ready to fit, they put in an 1830-90 and added an A, or called it a Martlet, so random isn't all that far-fetched ... Any ideas will be gratefully clutched at. BD
  7. This isn't strictly relevant to this topic, but the thread is still live .... I'm involved with Wildcat ammo covers, trying to convert somebody else to The Cause - namely that the two inboard guns shared a cover. I've pointed him in vain to the technician putting an ammo box into a space too small for even one row of Dzus fasteners between the boxes (let alone two) and to the "oops" moment aboard USS Copahee, and the retreating FM-2 in "Wings of the Navy." Please, MDriskill - I know you're another True Believer - could you post (or point us to) some of the photos which you have, in the past, claimed as proof of the point? The earlier the BuNo. the better .... Regards, BD STET! I've just seen "Even more wildcat stuff" - Thanks, MD ...
  8. Ref. Seahawk's ref. 1, "6-H" and its twin hooks. This puzzled me once, but I worked out that there are NO hooks - the single standard hook has been left astern (maybe on the aft lift edge?) and the sides of the A-frame have become independent. I hope the pilot either made a successful go-around or survived the barrier - a Glad almost certainly wouldn't! Anyway, what's nerdy about getting things right? BD
  9. You're right about the prop - P&W Martlets had the Curtiss, usually with the bullet fairing (but not the real Mk.IIIs.) Wrights had the slightly shorter, much fatter HamStan (but not FM-2s & Mk. VIs) . FAA codes always read left-to-right whichever side: ABC, A*BC or AB*C as convenient. E & OE!. Airfix's hood is duff because it's trying to conceal a really serious fuselage error - the side-view outline's not bad but the fuselage barrel is too fat from firewall to tail. This submerges the lower edge of the spine = the crease is to bowed up in the middle = the canopy rails are too high at the back, See http://www.geocities.jp/yoyuso/fm2/fm2e-1.html and/or try to apply an appropriate US star in the right place and compare same with a photo. They can't be made to match. Crying shame! I love the U/C, but hack it so the whole assembly can be fed in from under, later. Leave off part A3 and run plastic rod from just above the aft end of the keel to the inner forward fuselage cheeks instead. Saves tears before bedtime! As for taper on the real sliding hood .... I can't make my mind up either. Is it similar to the Hurricane, which flexes as it moves on tapered runnersfrom open to closed? I ended up with an open, cold-wrapped hood and it still looks awful. Curses.
  10. I think this is AM954, the first of the Interim Mk. IIs, which was not delivered but retained by Grumman for development testing (read: troubleshooting?) I can't find my reference for this offhand but it's in my synopsis notes. For a decent version of THE photo of AM958, see http://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/f4f-wildcat/grumman-martlet-mk-iii-am958/ which shows the top lip intake (just) and the lack of supercharger blister. I think it's fair to say the Mk. II(int)s were effectively pre-production F4F-3As. (They seem to have been redesignated as Mk.IIIs in July 1941.) The Martlet II was ordered in its own right (not a windfall like the Mk. I) and the RN took Grumman's advice about the "best" engine: but they couldn't have the '1830-76, it wasn't cleared for export. Presumably the performance of AM954 with the commercial '1830 was good enough for the USN to order the stop-gap F4F-3A with the military equivalent, the '1830-90 - and provision to retrofit the -76 when they became available. I think we've identified a second Mk. II(int) photo. Not bad for nearly 75 years on!
  11. BD1944

    1/72 Wildcat

    Ref. MDriskill's post, and the underwing gun/ammo panels on folding Wildcats: I've been banging on about this for nigh on 20 years, but nobody producing kits or drawings (except Jumpei Temma, qv) has taken this up. See the following for proof: http://war-tundra.livejournal.com/1680737.html pics 10 & 20: or Google "Wildcat, Barrier crash, Copahee, April 1943" & choose "Images" - pic 10 is the first shot. There's also a retreating Martlet VI on p. 51 of Brown's "Wings of the Navy" which shows the Mk. V/VI lengthened version. There's a clear shot under a red-outline FM-1, at (among other places) https://www.largescaleplanes.com/reviews/review.php?rid=944 (second pic. down.) Plus D&S 30, p.43 top R, (pic ref. 8522) which doesn't show the cover, but makes it clear that there's nothing between the two ammo boxes to fasten a cover plate edge to. I think JT (see http://www.geocities.jp/yoyuso/fm2/fm2e-1.html for the English version) has over-chamfered the cover plate corners a bit, but apart from that the lad's a genius.
  12. BD1944

    Martlet Mk.I

    The forward "ventilator" or whatever was later a hatch marked "enclosure release" - see D&S N0. 30, .p. 13, lower left (though this looks like a restoration, and may be a guess.) Your radio-cooler idea sounds very plausible, but would need an outlet too, if only through the tailcone. Who's got the full manual? Other trivia: MDriskill's post of 16/Nov/2012 reintroduced us to the mock-up TBF and No. 50. Barrett Tillman ("Avenger at War" p.12 suggests it's the 50th F4F. Seems reasonable to suppose it's really the 50th G-36A.
  13. BD1944

    Hellcat drop tanks

    The Grumman Hellcat carried a 150USG drop tank. I have identified 3 wartime styles (and one post-war.) Research is ongoing, but for now I call them Types A, B, and C. Type A was the most widespread. It had an external joint all round in the vertical plane, and a rather rounded, noticeably-tapered rear fin fairing. Next most common was Type B, with a similar vertical joint but an untapered, straight-edged fin fairing. The rarest (and possibly latest) was Type C, with its joint in the horizontal plane and the B-type untapered fairing. Post-War, the aft connection and fin fairing was sometimes replaced by an extra set of sway braces level with the windscreen arch, with the fuel connections just ahead of them. I suspect this was a mod. to carry the pylon tank off the F4U-1C and -4. Does anybody know anything about the manufacturers or designation of these?
  14. There are certain advantages in being retired, like being able to pursue one's bonnet bees NOW. After a bit of searching I found the relevant dimensions on JT's drawings to relate his cowling dimensions to the "root chord" mentioned in our favourite GA drawings - actually the L/E of the root chord, which is itself 97.63". This turns out to be 23.432" forward of the wing ref. line, or 20.59" forward of the "firewall" skin joint. After that, it's arithmetic. Bruce reckoned that cowl-to-L/E for 1830 engines was 14.625". JT makes it 14.412". Good enough, yes? Especially at 1/72 scale. The GA dimension for the FM-2 front end, 73.78", included a domed Curtiss hub. Subtracting the appropriate JT dimensions gives this prop a length of 24.3" from the cowl lip. (My own calculations and measurements from photos made it 25.88", but my sample's small and my photos fuzzy, so I'll take JT's.) Adding this to his F4F-4 cowl-lip-to-L/E figure of 54.3495" we get 78.65". The -3 GA gives 77.187" for a stepped Curtiss. Difference for dome fairing = 1.46". Personally I'd reckon about 2" or 2-1/2" extra, but again I won't argue. What this means is that, prop for prop, we should expect cowl-lip-to-L/E to be about 4 - 7/8" longer for an F4F than for an FM-2. Sorry, Bruce, that's about 10 times the tape error I'd expect over a couple of yards. If Cowl-to-L/E for the FM-2 is indeed 49.46" (vs. 54.35" for the 1830) then perhaps we should expect the Martlet I to be similar. I had several decent MI photos to go at, and a fair Mk IV, and my best estimate was 29.5" cowl (Vs. Seahawk's 28".) Add Bruce's 22" cowl-T/E-to-L/E and we get 51.5". But if Seahawk's admittedly hurried 28" is correct - and a tape on the ground is worth many a ruler on a photo - then 50" is near enough to 49.46" for my money. My estimate for the length of the HS prop is about 23.6". That would make the OAL of the Martlet I 343", i.e.28' - 7", damn near identical to the FM-2. Subject to revision by the man in site, of course .... BD
  15. May your Sabre never seize! I never thought it meant anything other, because aircraft drawings are traditionally always done at a scale of 1:1 - they are all "Full size drawings!" (so are mine - with CadCam your board is always big enough.) I shal away, one click, and try it. Thanks ... BD PS Bingo! Thanks again - BD
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