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Acklington

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  1. Many thanks for the comments everyone, they are much appreciated. I mixed the exhaust ring colour using bright silver, bit of gold, and matt black. Gave it a good buffing once dry.
  2. Here's an old kit, I must have had this unmade model since 1980, or earlier. P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (26) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (28) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (35) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The kit is basically accurate and goes together well. However there are many details missing, so I added an instrument panel, control stick, cowling brace supports, aerials, guns, better light bomb carriers, rear windows (to see the balance weights), landing lights, and pitot tube. It is an addition to my RAF Ouston, Northumberland project, and throughout the war Ouston was a base for target training aircraft for the many AA guns defending Tyneside. Sadly, however, photos are zilch, so once again I have had to make assumptions regarding the colours and markings. Lysander Mk.II P9099 is known to have served with no less than three of the target units at Ouston, starting in May 1941 with 7 Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit; then 13 Group Target Towing Flight, which later became 289 Squadron. None of these units had code letters allocated at Ouston, and neither did the aircraft have individual ID markings, other than the serial number. I have assumed that in its earlier days P9099 might have remained close to its former operational configuration and colours, as it was only used to calibrate the AA guns for height and speed. It was not a 'target towing' aircraft. However, in 1942 it left Ouston to be converted to a TT Mk.II, at which point it no doubt adopted black & yellow target towing stripes. It was then issued to 41 OTU at Old Sarum, before being crated for shipping to the Middle East. It never made it, being lost at sea en-route in January 1943. So somewhere on a seabed it still resides, although the official 'loss date' of 8th January 1943 does not match any recorded shipping losses on that date. It is perhaps the date the paperwork was done, not when the ship sank?
  3. Many thanks for the comments everyone, they are much appreciated. And could I just add that the range of a Hurricane Mk.1 came from the Putman book "Hawker Aircraft since 1920" by Mason. Regarding the 'stevej60' quote (above), I've just tried googling 'Gustav Pultiz' but nothing relevant came up. Do you have any further details steve? I'd be interested. Also, I can appreciate your frustration re finding 55 OTU code letters, with three constituent 'squadrons' to choose from, 'UW'; 'EH'; and 'PA'. The OTU did seem to specialise in Slav pilots (Czechs and Poles), so there might be surviving logbooks in those countries, if you google in the correct language? For example, I was getting nowhere trying to find photos of Ouston based Miles Masters, until, as a longshot and knowing that several went to France when 80 OTU closed, I tried googling in various schoolboy versions of the french language, and bingo! And the french hadn't even repainted them after delivery!
  4. Many thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated. I've now added a new "introduction" at the start of this thread. This is because when I came to fully write up the story of the Defection, new information came to light. It really does have all the makings of a classic double or triple-bluff spy thriller. The link the revised story can be found here https://sites.google.com/view/raf-ouston-research/the-czech-defector
  5. Just viewed this, excellent model, and I love the first 'outdoor' photo. A very fine tribute.
  6. This is an update to my original thread on this model. I have now finished writing up a history of the Czech Defector, and to do so I searched various Czech websites, using 'google translate' to try and confuse me further! There is plenty of information, but it appears that no one has ever tried plotting his flight path on 'google earth' and measuring the distances. RAF Ouston to the village of Ortho, Belgium = 450 miles. Still air range of a Hurricane 1 with Rotol propellor = 425 miles, and that is without him starting off with a training exercise with a Polish pilot. Result, it just didn't add up, and there was a strong smell of rats! More digging, and I'm now claiming to have revealed a very carefully planned defection, designed to protect his UK (RAF?) handler, combined with a second flight that same day so the Gestapo could frighten civilians into not helping Allied airmen. My stab at this story can be found here sites.google.com/view/raf-ouston-research/the-czech-defector It still needs a bit of tidying up, but hopefully it will be of interest, and it just shows where a plastic aeroplane kit will lead you! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just finished, another limited run kit from Poland. Beautifully detailed and accurate, but what a b**** to persuade to go together! I think that the trouble with these CAD models is that there is no built-in tolerance between the parts, they might fit perfectly on the computer, but not in real life. Anyway, a very interesting story to this Hurricane; W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (24) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (26) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (12) bw by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is a Gloster built Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 (with Rotol propellor), serial W9147 of 55 OTU based at RAF Usworth, Sunderland in 1941. It was the 'personal' aircraft of 55 OTU's commander, Wing Commander K.W. Gough AFC and carries his pennant below the cockpit. 55 OTU was a very large outfit and as a result they made much use of nearby RAF Ouston, Northumberland, as a satellite airfield. It was at Ouston on 18th September 1941 that W9147 was being flown by one of 55 OTU's Instructors, Sergeant Pilot Augustin Precuil, a Czech. He took off with a Polish pilot pupil for a training flight, and later the Pole returned alone, to report that he had last seen W9147 diving down to the sea where he lost sight of it. The RAF inquiry concluded engine failure as the likely cause and Precuil was listed as missing. No doubt Wng Cmdr Gough would have been annoyed at the loss of his aircraft, but probably even more so when it subsequently turned up on public display in the Reich Aviation Museum in Berlin! 55 OTU W9147_in_Berlin_Museum by Philip Pain, on Flickr Precuil was working for the Gestapo, and after defecting in W9147 he landed in Belgium near the Ardennes, damaging the propellor and probably shock-loading the engine. He was hid by Belgian farmers that first night, and in the morning he revealed himself to the Germans and betrayed the Belgians. One report says that two were immediately executed, another that the family was imprisoned. Precuil collected a reward and was put to work infiltrating prison camps and openly assisting in the interrogation of allied airmen. At the War's end he was arrested, tried, and hanged for Treason in April 1947. W9147 didn't last as long, an RAF raid on Berlin in November 1943 destroyed much of the Reich Aviation Museum. There are some unexplained aspects to the story. Precuil apparently got married to a British girl some three months before he defected. Maybe he made a bad choice, but then she was a Sunderland girl (I'm from Newcastle, which has a better football team). Also, why defect when he did? The Hurricane was of no intelligence value to the Germans, and neither was Precuil currently in a security sensitive post, nor had he been. Perhaps he got spooked that his game was almost up, and the opportunity of being at RAF Ouston, where any odd behaviour was less likely to be noticed, plus having the WingCo's aircraft, and a rookie pilot in tow, all became too good an opportunity to miss? Finally, it seems that the British security service files on the incident are still sealed. Some comments on the colour scheme for W9147. Another modeller on the web has done it in grey/green/medium sea grey with sky codes, and this is presumably because those new colours were introduced in August 1941, a month before Precuil defected. However, the grainy photo from the Berlin museum appears to show W9147 still in pre-August colours with grey code letters. There is no contrast between the sky rear fuselage band, and the underside sky colour. The present day Berlin Museum also has an impressive 1/72 diorama showing the original Reich collection of aircraft, and included is a brown/green Hurricane. However, what may be possible is that by 18th September 1941 W9147 may have acquired yellow leading edge strips, which were mandated from 14th August 1941 as a new recognition feature. If so, my model is correct for pre-August 1941. Thanks for looking, and I will be writing up the full story of Augustin Precuil on my "RAF Ouston Research" website which can be found here sites.google.com/view/raf-ouston-research/home
  7. Finished today, an Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Mk.1/II kit, completed as one of the rare Mk.Va versions. The Airfix kit has all the necessary parts to make a Va, and indeed they have re-issued the model as such. P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (18) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is Spitfire Mk.Va P9448 of 81 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland on 7th February 1942, and there is quite a story to this aircraft. It was originally built as a Mk.1a, first flown at Eastleigh on 4th April 1940. It was issued to the ETPS at Farnborough for medical and negative G trials. It then went to 72 Squadron on 4th June 1940, based at RAF Acklington, Northumberland. This was the height of the Battle of Britain, and it probably participated in 72 Squadron's response to the major but disastrous Luftwaffe raid on the North East on 15th August 1940. Among 72's pilots was a New Zealander, Ronald Thomson, and he was part of a flight detached to RAF Woolsington (now Newcastle Airport) on the night of 26/27th June 1940, when he downed a Ju88 caught in searchlights, one of the very few night time Spitfire victories. He was not flying P9448 on that occasion, but he was flying it on 1st September 1940 after 72 Squadron had moved to Gravesend. He and P9448 were attacked and shot down by a Messerschmitt 109, and Thomson suffered multiple wounds from canon shell fragments, but he glided down for a crash landing. Unfortunately the field he chose had been strung with anti-invasion cables, and P9448 was wrecked and subsequently declared a write-off. Thomson returned to 72 Squadron six weeks later, and P9448 went back to the manufacturer to be rebuilt as a Mk.Va with the larger Merlin 45 engine. History then repeated itself as the 'new' P9448 was issued to the RAE for high G medical black-out trials. After that it went to 53 OTU at Heston. On 26th June 1941 it was one of a number of Mk.Va's collected together to form the initial equipment of 81 Squadron (just back from Russia flying Hurricanes) at RAF Ouston, and P9448 was once more in Northumberland. It survived with them until 7th February 1942 when it ran-off the runway at Ouston, hit a snow bank and flipped over on to its back. This time it was not repaired. There is a photo of P9448 on its back at Ouston in the snow, in the "Action Stations" book No.7, and as far as I can tell this is the only photo in existence of an 81 Squadron Mk.Va. This photo means that the markings on my model are pretty accurate.
  8. An update to this project to create an Airbourne Interception trainer version of the Anson. Earlier on in this thread I had discussed the complete lack of information regarding the internal layout, and then went on to 'best guess' what the layout might have looked like. I have now found a description of what went on inside, and I'm pleased to say that I almost got it right. The description says that one pupil plus the instructor sat in front of the two radar scopes, with the instructor viewing the same radar return, and guiding the pupil towards a successful interception. The second pupil sat alongside the pilot, and listened to what the instructor/other pupil were saying, while also seeing visually the target aircraft (another Anson), and thus understanding how its position related to the radar tracking. So the layout and crew positions in my model seem to be correct, although the 'instructor figure' that I have shown alongside the pilot should be facing forward, and he should be a pupil. Anson (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I hope that this is of assistance to anyone thinking of doing a similar conversion in future.
  9. An update - not only did I incorrectly fit an aerial wire to this model, I also completely missed the obvious in the photos of the real thing i.e. it had the earlier style canopy, not the 'blown hood' of most Spitfire Mk.Vb's. So I've prised the wrong canopy off, and fitted the correct style. Here are a new set of photos, and I'll eventually delete most of the earlier photos; EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (25) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (28) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (35) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (44) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (47) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Ignorance is bliss where Spitfires are concerned, and the more that you learn about them the more you realise that you don't even know half of it!
  10. Drat! I did look long and hard for the little stub on top of the rudder, and wondered why it wasn't there. But I'm very glad to be corrected as I hate doing aerial wires. I'm also puzzled, in the "Aeroplane" photo above, by the apparent absence of the prominent canon blister on top of the starboard wing. It may have been removed by the censor, but why? Many thanks for the comments everyone, they are much appreciated.
  11. After a run of difficult models, I fancied doing something simple for a change, at least that was the plan! So here is Airfix's 1974 model of the Spitfire Vb, which has been released and re-boxed several times. It is a reasonably accurate kit, although much simpler than today's CAD generated models. EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I had to find a replacement for the canopy, as mine had bad air bubbles. Also fitted a larger oil cooler (from a more modern Airfix kit), and scratch built two heating pipes coming out of the rear of the exhausts. The marking became a big challenge, as the real machine had obviously started life with 1941 style roundels (and their brighter colours), before being partly repainted into the mid-1942 scheme. Also the code letters were a funny size, which I couldn't quite find a match for. The letter 'M' is always difficult, as no matter how many M's you have on decal sheets, they never include the one you want, so I made mine using letter 'V's. It is a Spitfire Mk.Vb serial EN821 of 243 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in July 1942. It was being flown by their commander Squadron Leader Allan E.Johnston when the "Aeroplane Magazine" took a series of photos, which have since been widely published. Does this one look familiar to you? 243 Sqn Ouston 1942 original by Philip Pain, on Flickr You will recognise it as the following art print that has become the most common Spitfire painting to adorn living room walls; Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mark VB of 243 Squadron by Philip Pain, on Flickr And then the story of EN821 gets even more interesting. Later on in 1942 it moved on to 65 Squadron, before being returned to manufacturers throughout 1943, for various updates and mods. In February 1944 it was transferred to the Fleet Air Arm, but apparently it was not 'navalised' or hooked, just being intended for shore based training. It was issued to 808 Squadron at RNAS Lee-on-Solent, and then on D-Day 6th June 1944 it was shot down by an enemy aircraft over Le Havre while spotting and gun-laying for Royal Navy warships. Sadly Sub Lieutenant Cogill was seen struggling to bail out, but he was killed. Most versions of D-Day say that the Luftwaffe was nowhere to be seen, but 129 allied aircraft were lost during the invasion. It must have been a rare event for an aircraft to fall to a Luftwaffe fighter. It is not known if EN821 wore navy camouflage, but it would undoubtedly have had full D-Day stripes.
  12. Many thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated. If you are intending to build one I should add a word of warning. I had a real problem getting the canopy to fit as the back end was sitting well proud of the fuselage. I had to shave the curved fuselage to a triangular shape and also shave down the aerial mount. It was only when trawling the internet for similar, that I found a comment that Brengun subsequently introduced a revised fuselage to solve the problem. I don't know if this is true, and I don't know how you can tell if you have the revised kit.
  13. Just finished, my take on the very nice Brengun Typhoon (early car-door); DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (52) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (51) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (48) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (27) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is a Hawker Typhoon 1b, DN439 of 198 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in January 1943. The squadron was still working up during their brief three week stay at RAF Ouston, and their intended role was fighter interception. Only later on in 1944 did 198 Squadron become one of the leading exponents of ground attack and close support, using rocket and bomb equipped Typhoons. In early February 1943 198 Squadron moved to nearby RAF Acklington and were declared operational. It was 16th February 1943 on an operational scramble that DN439 swung on takeoff, ground looped and was wrecked. The pilot W/O W.L. Mount was unhurt, but DN439 had lasted barely a month from new. New identification markings for Typhoons had been introduced in December 1942, to try and reduce the number being shot down in mistake for FW190s. Thus the prominent underwing stripes (NOT 'D-Day' markings), yellow uppersurface bands, and black ring around the spinner. My code letter 'E' is not confirmed, but records show that another 'E' served with the squadron, probably arriving not long after DN439 was wrecked, so likely to be a replacement 'E'. The Brengun kit is a very nice 'cottage industry' example, accurate and finely detailed, but like all limited run kits it needs extra work to put together. It contains parts for both early and late Typhoons. The markings were made up from Xtradecal sheets, and the kit's decals were not used.
  14. Many thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated. I spent much time agonising over who built the original! There are conflicting versions in different publications, not to mention equally conflicting versions of what airframe mods appeared on which aircraft. It really is a nightmare. I can't remember which sources I finally went with, but I was convinced that mine was Douglas built.
  15. Just finished today, although I'm not at all happy with it. This is the re-boxed MPM kit and while the surface detail is excellent, the fit of many parts was abysmal and the wings/tail are far too thick. I'm really kicking myself for not doing a massive sanding down before joining the halves. Also had to pinch correct sized wheels from the 1/72 Revell Havoc kit. It also took nine separate lumps of lead squeezed into various places to stop it tail sitting. The Special Hobby kit is for a Boston IIIA, but contains all the necessary parts to do the earlier mark III, but without the relevant instructions. So it was quite a guessing game, and referring to various reference books for the Boston didn't help given the bewildering variations between RAF Boston 1, II, and IIIs , Havocs, A-20B and Cs. Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr 226 Squadron was detached from their base at RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk, to RAF Ouston, Northumberland on 4th August 1942, to take part in Army Co-operation Exercise "Dryshod". By the end of that first day they had lost three of their Bostons in accidents, and AL275 'MQ-Z' belly landed in a field some four miles to the west of Ouston when the engines cut. Sgt W.E.Burns was flying and there were no injuries. The markings on this Boston consist of pre-May 1942 roundels and grey codes, over painted to conform to the revised regulations for roundel sizes and code colours. This Boston was built by Douglas and shipped to Liverpool, roaded through the streets and assembled at Speke. It is not (yet) known if it flew again after its accident.
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