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MarkH206

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About MarkH206

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  1. Seventeen year old John Gillespie Magee had an American father and a British mother and was visiting the US in 1939. Because of the outbreak of war, he was unable to return to England for his final school year, and instead went to school in Connecticut. He earned a scholarship to Yale but instead volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He gained his wings in Canada in June 1941 and was then sent to No. 53 Operational Training Unit at RAF Llandow, in Wales. On 18th August 1941 he recorded in his logbook: "Climb to 33,000 feet" He found this Spitfire flight so exhilarating that he wrote a 'ditty' about it and sent it in a letter to his parents. He was nineteen. That letter is held at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. On 23rd September 1941 he was assigned to 412 Squadron based at RAF Wellingore, Lincolnshire. The next few months saw convoy patrols and cover for a bombing raid on Lille. These sorties were interspersed with other activities: firing practice, formation flying, dog-fighting practice and being at readiness. In November the squadron was visited by King George VI. On 11th December 1941 this all came to a tragic end for John Magee. The squadron Operations Record Book records this in typically blunt fashion: “Pilot Officer Magee was fatally injured when engaged in Cloud flying. His aircraft Spitfire VB AD291 collided with an Oxford from Cranwell” The squadron had been practicing formation flying above the clouds. John Magee was part of a flight of four “letting down” through the cloud cover. Sergeant Pilot Dwayne Linton was part of that flight. Magee was #3 and Linton was #4. Sergeant Linton had caught sight of an Airspeed Oxford trainer approaching at right-angles. He warned his flight and two were able to get out of the way. However John Magee's Spitfire and the Oxford collided. John Magee got out of the cockpit and jumped but was too low for his parachute to fully open. The pilot of the Airspeed Oxford, Leading Aircraftsman Earnest Aubrey, was also killed. He was a student pilot flying out of RAF Cranwell, a short distance from RAF Wellingore. The squadron's ORB for 13th December 1941 tells us: “In the afternoon pilots attended the funeral of P/O Magee. Pilots also present at a lecture by G/Cpt Grumbull (this is unclear and I may have the name wrong) in the evening on “Caution in Flying” And that letter? Time hasn't been kind and the writing is now rather faded but it is still legible. He had called that poem 'High Flight' and it has ensured the name of John Magee will be long remembered. The first and last lines: Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. It isn't possible to list here all the references to that poem in the last eight decades or so but these perhaps give an indication of the impact it has had. The poem is in full on the back of the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial. Portions are on many of the headstones in the Arlington National Cemetery. It is on panels at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the National Air Force Museum of Canada, in Trenton, Ontario. It is the subject of a permanent display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, in Dayton, Ohio. At RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, a memorial to two Red Arrows pilots, killed in August and November 2011, has an interpretation of the poem. Meghan McCain quoted the poem at the end of her tribute to her late father, John McCain. Astronaut Michael Collins took a card with the poem on it for his Gemini 10 flight and included it in his autobiography. It has been set to music many times and referenced in numerous TV shows and films. John Gillespie Magee, who reached the grand age of nineteen and a half, has his own Wikipedia page with the poem in full: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gillespie_Magee_Jr. This then is my attempt at Spitfire Mk Vb serial AD291. I used the Airfix 1/72 kit as I believe it is still an accurate representation of the Vb even though it was produced in 1974 (not long after I stopped modelling the first time around). I opened the pilot's door and added more detail to the cockpit with an Airwaves p.e. set which didn't fit as well as I'd hoped - much of it needed surgery to fit. The cannon barrels are from Master and are a work of art - I almost didn't want to paint them. I also got a Falcon vac-form canopy as I wanted to have the cockpit open. My first go at one of those. The kit has nice restrained raised panel lines except around the nose which had deep trenches and huge rivets – I removed all of that. I reduced the fabric effect on the tail and opened the under wing intakes and the exhausts. Paints are Ultimate acrylic primer with Tamiya acrylic and Xtracrylic for the camouflage. As this is December 1941 I have the Fighter Command markings of Sky fuselage band and spinner with yellow wing leading edges. That yellow is a little bright for my liking. Thinned paint and not enough coverage I think. I got a set of stencils from profimodeller which worked great. I painted the wing black walkway lines. The serials are from Aviaeology with codes and roundels from various Xtradecal sets. I didn't find any photos of AD291 and I've guessed that the codes may have overlaid the serials a little (there's a lot of stuff on the side of a Spitfire). Here's the pics:
  2. I've had a look at this and I am completely confused as to how to use it or even what it is for. I cant see any useful info like FS, ANA or BS codes. Nor any mention of paint brands for modellers. Have I missed something? Mark
  3. I'd like to help but I think I'm confused (that happens easily I'm told). I may be being daft - but is there a question? Mark
  4. I often have a look at the books that Hannants have available - their search engine is very useful. This is a search for 'Hawker Typhoon'. Make sure you check the 'exact match' box. Mark https://www.hannants.co.uk/search/index.php?adv=1&product_category_id=&product_division_id=&manufacturer_id=&product_type_id=all_books&code=&scale_id=&keyword_search=Hawker+Typhoon&exact=1&setPerPage=25&sort=0&search_direction=asc&save_search_name=&save_search=
  5. I too can recommend the Arma hobby kit. Plenty of options in the box. There are a few builds here to look for. The 'Expert' boxing is good if you can get it - nice p.e. and some canopy masks. One pic of mine.
  6. MarkH206

    Post war Blenheim

    Wikipedia says the Finns used them post war as you suggest: "After the war, Finland was prohibited from flying bomber aircraft by the Paris Peace Treaty, with Finland's Blenheims being placed into storage in 1948. However, in 1951, five Blenheims were re-activated for use as target tugs, with the last flight of a Finnish Blenheim taking place on 20 May 1958" So a Finnish target tug perhaps? Mark
  7. Do you have a preference for type of paint - acrylics or enamels?
  8. A rule that has always worked for me is to let stuff dry (cure) overnight. Hasn't let me down so far. When I get a bit frustrated with waiting for paint to dry I sometimes build something else. Mark
  9. Another small challenge I found was getting the connections to work between the wings, the wing struts and the undercarriage to the fuselage. That I seem to remember was a fair bit of trial and error along with the 'just do it and hope for the best' approach. The undercarriage needed some brass rod to strengthen the join to the fuselage. And it looks like such a simple aeroplane. Good luck! Mark
  10. I've built it. There are a few fit problems - most noticeably wings to canopy which definitely needs strengthening. There's some gap filling to be done and there's a step at the rear of the canopy to sort out. You'll need replacement decals of course. This is what I did at the wing root. The canopy is so thick you cant really see through it so don't worry too much about internal detail. Its a bit of fun (mostly) Mark
  11. Ultimate Airbrush Thinner has this on the label: "Specifically formulated to work with ALL acrylic modelling paints" The emphasis on ALL is as it appears. I've only used it on Ultimate primers so cant comment on that claim. Mark
  12. I use blu-tac too. This is what I did for my 1/72 Hurricane. Mark
  13. I have used a brown wash which I was happy with. Not too dark though. Mark
  14. I thought about how best to get those bits together for a while. In the end I used blu-tack on a piece of card to hold the parts steady and ca glue. The end result is sturdier than it looks when the bits are still on the sprue and the assembled gear fits firmly into the slots in the nacelles. Mark
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