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Acklington

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  1. Many thanks for the comments. I forgot to mention another problem, the main wheel axles don't extend far enough to actually glue the wheels on! So I had to make and add axle extensions.
  2. Recently finished, but just some quick photos on an indoor background; XD220, 618, 736 Sqdn Lossiemouth, Acklington B of B, 15 Sept 62 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XD220, 618, 736 Sqdn Lossiemouth, Acklington B of B, 15 Sept 62 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XD220, 618, 736 Sqdn Lossiemouth, Acklington B of B, 15 Sept 62 (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XD220, 618, 736 Sqdn Lossiemouth, Acklington B of B, 15 Sept 62 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The first airshow I ever attended was the 1962 RAF Acklington Battle of Britain display, and the 736 Squadron aerobatic team from Lossiemouth were lined up with their six Scimitars. I remember them well, the only active Scimitars I ever saw, but no spotters logbook in those early days. The full serials list has since been found on the web, plus some photos which show three different variants of Scimitar - some with refuelling probes - some without - and one with the early non-radar nose. None of the six had drop tanks fitted, which was normal for aerobatic displays. So I've picked '618' XD220 for my model, and this just happens to be one of only three surviving Scimitars - it is now on the USS Intrepid museum in New York harbour. The Xtrakit model is a bit of a nightmare, it looks like a Scimitar, it is painted like a Scimitar, but put a tape measure anywhere near it, a Scimitar it ain't! The wings are too short, at the roots; the tailplane is too large, also at the roots, and the tail and wing tips are all the wrong shape. The lower fin trailing edge needs extending to a correct shape, and there are other inaccuracies, most of which I have ignored. I do intend to add the drop tanks to the model, as optional 'clip-on' extras, just like the real thing, but I haven't done this yet as their pylons need correcting. I had to make my own squadron markings for the model, and the double lightning flashes on the fin were a challenge. I eventually did this by taking a strip of masking tape and freehand cutting it in half with scissors, the two halves then being angled apart on the model. This took many trial & error attempts to get right, and both sides of the fin are somewhat different. At the last count I used 37 individual strips of masking tape on this model! But the end result more or less matches my 59 year old memory.
  3. Latest effort, just finished. This is an old limited-run resin and white metal kit, but accurate and nicely detailed. The contra-rotating propellor came as a solid bit to be glued on the front, but after much work has been made to rotate as two separate props. The vacuform canopy also took a lot of work to carefully cut out and fit - the canopy on the real thing was fully faired and blended with the fuselage. R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (13) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (20) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (22) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I did this model for no other reason than the M.B.5 was a great looker, and during it's brief life from 1944-48 it's qualities were greatly praised by test pilots and mechanics. However it had been too long in the making, and jet fighters were already in advanced development. The M.B.5 was never fitted with armour or guns, which would have somewhat degraded its competitive edge, and the wing aerofoil section dated from 1927, giving it a compressibility issue at high speeds. But with more (and earlier) development it could have become the best British piston fighter of WW2. R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (23) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr R2496, RAE Farnborough, 1945 (27) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr These two photos compare it with a contemporary Supermarine Spiteful F.14, and a standard Spitfire F.14. Also with a P-51D Mustang (the original Airfix Mustang kit) because the M.B.5 was once described "as a Mustang on steroids".
  4. AP507, 529 Sqdn, Ouston c 1943 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr AP507, 529 Sqdn, Ouston c 1943 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr AP507, 529 Sqdn, Ouston c 1943 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr AP507, 529 Sqdn, K6132, Ouston Stn Flt, L1525, 3 RSS, Ouston, 1940 - 43 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is a rather ancient mixed media kit with plastic main parts and rather crude metal bits for the rest. Much cleaning up was required, and most of the various struts were replaced with scratch built items. The propellor came from my long deceased 1950's Airfix Fokker DR.1 (the 'Red Baron'). The Avro 671 Rota was a licence built Cierva C.30A, and it is shown in 529 Squadron markings circa 1943. Based at Duxford but detached to calibrate 'Chain Home' Radar Stations all around the British Isles, including regular visits to RAF Ouston, Northumberland. The Rota would slowly circle a fixed target anchored in the sea at the limit of the Radar's range, and this was effectively at the 'front line' of contact with enemy aircraft. Therefore the Rota would have a fighter escort which also provided radio contact, the Rota not having a radio or an electrical system. At RAF Ouston in 1940 - 41 the fighter escort was provided by the Gloster Gladiators of Ouston's Station Flight. The RAF's Hurricanes and Spitfire fighters had proved useless for this task, as their Merlin engines would rapidly overheat at slow speeds. Thus the Gladiator was used, and at other places the Fleet Air Arm's Skua fighter. It all eventually proved to be unnecessary when, in 1942, an unescorted Rota was attacked by Germany's latest and deadliest fighter, two FW190A. They left having used up all of their ammunition, and the agile Rota flew home without a scratch on it. The other part of the 1941 radar calibration 'service' was the Bristol Blenheim Mk.1, used to simulate larger enemy aircraft, and L1525 is shown. It was on the strength of 3 RSS at Ouston, "radio servicing section" being a 'spoof' designation for this top secret radar calibration work. AP507 was a pre-War civil aircraft G-ACWP, and initially flown as such early in the War before being impressed as AP507. There were only 17 Rotas available at the start of the War, and with very careful maintenance, much rebuilding from spare parts, and the inherent safety of the design, 12 of them survived the War to be re-sold on the civil market in 1946. Four are on now on display in British museums, and AP507 is in the Science Museum London.
  5. Just finished after a six week struggle XK885, Western Comms Sqdn, Andover, March 1966 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885, Western Comms Sqdn, Andover, March 1966 (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885, Western Comms Sqdn, Andover, March 1966 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885, Western Comms Sqdn, Andover, March 1966 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885, Western Comms Sqdn, Andover, March 1966 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885, Western Comms Sqdn, Andover, March 1966 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This was the first Pembroke I ever photographed, when it visited RAF Ouston, Northumberland, on 31st March 1966. The photos I took were invaluable in adding the 1966 suite of aerials, nothing like the later lumps and bumps that adorned surviving Pembrokes. XK885 was one, and survives as a museum exhibit, after an abortive attempt to join the American register as N46EA. XK885, 3 star, Western Comms Sqdn, Ouston, 31 March 66 (5) fw by Philip Pain, on Flickr And here are a few W-I-P photos, just to show that has an interior, which can't be seen, but just as well as the Pembroke had rear-facing seats? The fuselage trim line I had to do before adding the engine cowlings. Also the basic structure, with the troublesome wing extensions of different aerofoil, I reinforced them with metal staples. The engine cowlings are a poor fit topside front and rear, which shows, as does the top wing root joint, horribly visible. The engine cowling fronts need opening out, and the propellor hubs are too long at the rear, they should be part of the engine structure. And however much nose weight you think you need - double it! I only just got away with it. XK885 w-i-p (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885 w-i-p (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr XK885 w-i-p (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr My reason for doing this kit in a rather plain and simple colour scheme, so that it could join my early 1960s Devon C.1 and Anson C.19 XK885, VP974, VM365, RAF Ouston, c 1963 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Thanks for looking.
  6. Many thanks for the comments everyone. The collar on the canopy was just milliput filler, smoothed to shape before it dried. For the silver/high speed aluminium finish I use "Blackfriar" extra bright silver from the local hardware shop. I've had the same tin for decades, and still two thirds full. It is not a 'natural metal' finish, but can be made to mimic NMF by adding humbrol gloss dark sea grey, plus drops of black or other colours to mimic different metal panels. However, Canberras were never NMF, always silver painted.
  7. Original FROG Canberra PR.7 kit bought and made in 1960. Consigned to 'spares' box by late 1970s, but slowly worked on for next 10 years and fully restored and improved by 1995. The 'flat' mainwheels were cut off and Matchbox B-25 Mitchell wheels added, all raised rivets and panel lines removed, and hinge lines scored in. A 'collar' was added to the rear of the canopy. The original FROG engine cowlings are too bulbous, but have been retained. They are closer to the one-off Sapphire engined experimental version. The colour scheme was chosen to be close to and a tribute to the original FROG markings. WH778, 31 Sqdn, Laarbruch Germany, c 1956 (11) by Philip Pain, on Flickr WH778, 31 Sqdn Laarbruch Germany, c 1956 (10) by Philip Pain, on Flickr WH778, 31 Sqdn Laarbruch Germany, c 1956 (6) by Philip Pain, on Flickr WH778, 31 Sqdn Laarbruch Germany, c 1956 (4) by Philip Pain, on Flickr WH778, 31 Sqdn Laarbruch Germany, c 1956 (2) by Philip Pain, on Flickr Thanks for looking.
  8. Many thanks for the comments everyone, and a Happy and safe New Year to all. Also glad to see that the ATC memories rang a bell with so many - a marvellous (and free!) organisation back then.
  9. It's taken me two months to wrestle with this kit, two steps forward and one backwards at every stage! It is a quite ancient offering from Aeroclub, mixed media with vacuform fuselage and very fragile canopy (you also have to cut out and make your own cabin windows and interior); plastic wings, tail and rudder, and white metal parts for everything else. It is, however, pretty accurate and the basic detail is good, although I had to make and add over 50 detailed parts and additions. VM365 Anson C19 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr There is also a 'back story' to this project. I'm in the following photo taken in 1962 at RAF Chivenor, and I'm rubbing shoulders with a fellow plastic modeller from long ago. Rodney Fawkes and me are second and third in from left, back row. We haven't had any contact since 1964, but three months ago he came across the "RAF Ouston Research" website that I've been doing, saw the reference to 131(F) Newcastle ATC Squadron and sent me an email. 131 (F) Sqdn Newcastle ATC, RAF Chivenor Summer Camp, September 1962 pw by Philip Pain, on Flickr We compared our more recent kit bashing efforts, and I listed the aircraft models still to do for my Ouston project, including an Anson C.19. Rodney then very kindly offered me his Aeroclub Anson kit, still in the box and barely started by him many years ago. Even better, he had a spare copy of our 1963 RAF Kinloss photo, which I never received at the time. Here we all are; I'm 7th from left back row, and Rodney is 2nd from right front seated. Cracking MOTU Shack T.4 behind; 131 (F) Sqdn Newcastle ATC, RAF Kinloss Summer Camp, Shack T.4, WB844, L, MOTU, 18 Aug 1963 pw by Philip Pain, on Flickr Rodney said that he had been planning to model Anson C.19 VM365, in which he had scrounged a flight to Aberdeen from RAF Ouston, they were collecting a captured deserter. VM365 suited me nicely as it was the last in a very long line of Ansons to be based at Ouston from 1941 - 1963. So here it is; VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is in what appears to be a rather plain Transport Command colour scheme, but 11 Group's Ansons were distinctive for their broader trim line curved up the fin. The prop spinners were also dark blue, rather than the more normal black. Unusually the engine cowlings were polished metal, including the first section of the nacelle. And here is the 11 Group fleet at RAF Ouston, consisting of Anson C.19 VM365 (Aeroclub kit); Devon C.1 VP974 (Amodel kit); and Meteor T.7 WL419 (Xtrakit kit); 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1961-63 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1961-63 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Thanks for looking, and full credit to Rodney. But all I want for next Christmas is a modern mainstream kit of a late series Anson!
  10. Just finished, and a very nice kit, although I'm annoyed with myself for rushing it and not spotting two errors. The spine in front of the fin is too long, and I only realised when trying to fit two aerials in the space between the spine and the rear of the cockpit. I think that the rear cockpit is a bit too long as well. The other fault is the two missing interior canopy pulleys which are very obvious on the real thing, located on the upper fuselage inside the rear canopy. WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is a Boulton Paul Balliol T.2, WG220, of Durham University Air Squadron at RAF Ouston in Northumberland in the winter of 1955-6. The RAF had a surplus of unwanted Balliols, and it seems to have been something of an experiment to issue two to Durham UAS, the only UAS to get any, but given up after only a few months. The Balliol has been described as "not for novice pilots", and "something of a handful in the wrong hands". However present day warbird operators (including the BBMF) greatly regret that none were saved for future use, as its Merlin 35 engine, side by side seating, and challenging habits were ideal for its intended role - an advanced trainer for aspiring piston-engined fighter pilots. The two DUAS Balliols WG220 and WN128 do not seem to have had any unit markings, and the red propellor spinner was a relic of its previous service with 238 OTU at North Luffenham, where they acted as targets for trainee radar operators in Bristol Brigands.
  11. Many thanks for the comments everyone. One issue I didn't mention was the font style for the large serials and code letters. None of the Xtradecal or Modeldecal sheets I had matched the 'square' style of the real thing. I'd almost given up when I found a long forgotten sheet of RAF inter-war numbers and letters which were almost spot on. The only thing missing was the letter 'M' which was not used between the wars. Also the code number '8' could only be achieved by adding an up-side-down '3' on top of another '3'.
  12. I started this at the same time as my previous Martinet (Magna Models). The Pavla one is also a limited production kit, mainly plastic, but with resin parts and vacuform canopy. It appears nicely detailed in the box, but everything goes rapidly downhill from there on. It is the wonkiest model I've ever made - nothing is straight! And I did try hard to thin the wingtips, not that you'd notice ........ MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (18) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (21) aw by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, APS Acklington, 1949 (23) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is MS924 of the Armament Practice Station at RAF Acklington, Northumberland circa 1948/early 1949. All RAF Fighter Command squadrons visited Acklington for live firing practice on the Druridge Bay coastal range, and the Martinets towed target gliders, banners and drogues. MS924 was fitted with an internal electric winch, so didn't have the external wind driven winch (see my previous Martinet model). MS924, SN260, XE869, APS Acklington, 1949 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr MS924, SN260, XE869, APS Acklington, 1949 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr By 1950 the Tempest TT.5 was replacing the Martinets, and the APS also had DH Vampire T.11 for live firing training. Also plenty of Meteors - that is a model still to come. In 1956 the APS closed and Acklington became a fighter station once more. At the same time the former Druridge Bay range was re-opened to the public, and this must have been when we made an early family outing to the fantastic sand dunes and long sweeping beach. The dunes were absolutely full of 20 mm canon shells (inert heads), and as kids we could collect them by the bucket full. Sadly I never retained a few as souvenirs, and a few years later the dunes had been completely swept clean.
  13. Many thanks everyone. I've been left with nothing but admiration for the TTO (Towed Target Operator) in the back seat. The 'seat' folds up against the right fuselage wall, the shoulder harness being strung from a beam across the rear of the cockpit. After take-off the TTO gets down on the floor where there is a permanent very large hole, and he sticks his arm out to thread the cable and attach the drogue, which I assume is in the 'target box' between the exhausts. He then operates the propellor/winch device, with the drum of steel cable being mounted sideways inside his cockpit, at face height, and inline with the propellor device. The propellor is rotated to face forward in to wind, and the model shows it in the stowed position to reduce drag. A hole in the floor, a drum of steel cable whizzing round in front of your face, and a trainee Biggles firing canon at you from behind. Delightful. Many Martinets had a different winch, electrically driven off the engine, with no external propellor device. The large electric winch was mounted on the cockpit floor, nicely placed with the whizzing steel cable between the TTO's legs! Some 1200 Martinets were built from 1942, seeing widespread world service including the Fleet Air Arm and foreign users, and they remained in service until 1955 when they were replaced by the Tempest TT.5
  14. I've had this resin kit unmade for decades, but finally gave it a go. There are only about eight lumps of resin main parts (some were warped), plus rather crude metal bits for the various details. There are no decals provided. The poorly detailed vacuform canopy I swapped for the spare vacuform canopy from the Pavla Martinet kit. Considerable trimming was required to fit it to the Magna model as the Pavla one has part of the fuselage structure incorporated into the canopy moulding. The metal Magna propellor was also made to rotate, with difficulty. HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr HP147, Ouston Station Flight, early 1943 (25) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The model represents Miles Martinet TT.1, HP147, delivered new in early 1943 to RAF Ouston Station Flight in Northumberland. This aircraft went on to serve with 1490 (Fighter Gunnery) Flight, also at Ouston, before re-joining the Station Flight. Subsequently it was transferred to the nearby RAF Acklington Station Flight, followed by 1 Air Gunners School at Pembrey, and finally the Central Fighter Establishment. It was struck off charge in January 1947. This is another addition to my 'RAF Ouston Research' project and website.
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