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About Seahawk

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  1. Seahawk

    451 Sqn PRU Spitfire IV

    Slightly O/T, but the rings used in India to differentiate dark blue roundels from the dark blue overall finish on PR Hurricanes (and also Mitchells) were Yellow: see Thomas: Eyes For The Phoenix eg pp.182, 183.
  2. Seahawk

    SAAF colour Sky Blue

    Not sure I or, more importantly, Ron Belling can help you then. Ron's unique contribution was his personal observation and recording of aircraft in South Africa. He does say a little bit about colours in North Africa and Italy but nil about East Africa, I'm afraid.
  3. Seahawk

    What new stuff have you bought/been gifted?

    Don't worry: it won't stay that tidy for long.
  4. Seahawk

    SAAF colour Sky Blue

    Ron Belling, in his excellent A Portrait of Military Aviation in South Africa, suggests (p.155) that a number of Sky Blues were used on South African aircraft. What aircraft type are you interested in and in what timeframe?
  5. Seahawk

    US radial engine crankcases: colour?

    I think that's what I happily used for years and years: the colour looked right to me and I liked the semi-gloss finish. My doubts only started when I used it up.
  6. Seahawk

    Airfix SAM-2 reissue

    I think its rarity has caused this kit to be bathed in the rosy light of nostalgia. It wasn't that good when it first came out: I remember being disappointed by the quality of the one I bought on sight when it first appeared.. At the very least the wheels need to be replaced by ones that look a bit more ZIL-like (ISTR Scammell tank transporter ones being suggested).
  7. Seahawk

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    Top tip - well, potentially. Could come in handy for varnished wood finishes on WW1 aircraft. My experiences with Tamiya and Humbrol Clear Orange haven't been wholly successful.
  8. Seahawk

    Fairey Battle TT

    Oops! Of course: Air Britain's The Battle File: all you ever wanted to know about the Battle except how to model it. Certainly complements Huntley on the operational side. Plus individual aircraft histories.
  9. Seahawk

    Fairey Battle TT

    As far as the airframe itself goes, I can't think of a better one than Ian D Huntley's Fairey Battle (SAM Publications Aviation Guide no.1). I believe Huntley worked for Fairey at one time so had access to a lot of archive material. Full of interior shots. Plans are by Richard Caruana but not sure how much influence Ian had over them. Not so good on in-service history. The book came out in 2004 so may not be so easy to find nowadays.
  10. Seahawk

    US radial engine crankcases: colour?

    Thanks everyone for your engagement. Pat D's photos illustrate the problem: the first could pass for Engine Gray (but has the colour been affected by Kodak's lush colours?), the second shows the bluish tinge several of you have picked up on, the Fortress engines look pretty close to the colour we now know as Gunship Gray (but preserved artifacts) and the last is close to Neutral Gray (but a preserved artifact) The oracle, Dana, has spoken and the answer, as far as he has been able to ascertain from a limited paper trail, is the colour we now know as Engine Gray 16081. Thanks, Dana. PS There appears to be something unusual on the wing pylon of the A-20 in the background of Pat's 5th photo. What is it?
  11. Seahawk

    RAF B-17 with large ? nose gun ( 40mm ? ) and chin mod

    The aircraft is Fortress IIA FK185, ex USAAF (4)1-2514, ex NR-E of 220 Sq and the gun a 40mm Vickers S gun in a Bristol B.16 nose turret. The experiment was a response to the inadequacy of forward-firing Fortress armament (one 0.30" Browning that frequently jammed after the first round) against U-Boats, culminating in the loss of Fortress II FA704 "R" of 206 Sq to U-417 on 11 Jun 1943: no doubt the crew, which included the squadron CO, made their views known forcibly after drifting around in heavy seas for 3 days! The aircraft was taken from service with 220 Sq, whereupon the NR codes (aft of waist window) were painted out (though still faintly visible) but the individual letter E (forward of waist window) retained and repeated in a darker colour on the new nose. The aircraft was tested at A&AEE from December 1943: 700 rounds were fired. During trials all other armament was removed. The aircraft was subsequently converted back to standard configuration and arrived with 251 (Met) squadron on 4 April 1945. The gun had limited traverse and elevation and was sighted by a gunner in the gondola under the gun. I seem to recall that sighting the gun was the main problem with the installation: it wasn't as simple as just pointing the aircraft at the target. I could be wrong about that though in Stitt's book a 220 Sq crewman says it was unusual to have the time to correct the fire even of the 0.30" gun during an attack. A port side view of FK185 at A&AEE in Feb 44 in Mason The Testing Years and Stitt: Boeing B-17 Fortress in RAF Coastal Command Service shows very heavy weathering, especially to the fin, exposing the Olive Drab paint and original serial underneath. Stitt even has photos, from the Boeing archive, of the internal arrangements. Like Admiral Puff, ISTR some nice drawing of the installation in Planes or Wingspan: the sort of off-beat subject that Planes in particular excelled in.
  12. Seahawk


    Not an altogether new idea: see John's Gospel Ch 2 v10.
  13. Seahawk

    US radial engine crankcases: colour?

    One of those questions you always thought you knew the answer to! I have long assumed that the crankcases of US radial engines were painted, logically enough, in Engine Gray FS16076 (or its predecessors). However Xtracolor X128 Engine Gray is very dark, near black. Looking at photos, it appears to be a lighter colour, closer to Gunship Gray FS16118. I have seen photos of preserved engines or aircraft where they have appeared to be even lighter, more like Neutral Gray. However one never knows the effect of flash and preserved artifacts are not always in authentic colours anyway. So, was there a standard colour for the crankcases of US radial engines during the WW2 period (with special reference to B-17s and Hellcats)? Many thanks in advance.
  14. Seahawk

    Fairey Battle TT

    Pretty much except that a. no artwork is shown on the engine cowling panel aft and below the exhausts; b. on Howley's artwork the DE/DG demarcation forward of the fuselage roundel slopes the other way, dropping down from the rear edge of the canopy in a wavy line to reach the demarcation with the silver about where the vertical panel line is on the MAX drawing; and c. Howley's Dark Earth area at the tip of the nose is smaller. I have no idea who is (more) right.
  15. Seahawk

    Fairey Battle TT

    David Howley illustrated the aircraft both before capture (as "8" of 4 Bombing & Gunnery School) and after as Eire 92. As Eire 92, the aircraft is depicted with the lower surfaces repainted in a light colour (probably aluminium) vice black. The upper surfaces have partially repainted, mostly by expanding green areas to cover over the RAF markings though some Dark Earth has been used as well. The Dark Earth areas on the port side of the nose have also been painted out in Dark Green. The nose art appears only on the Eire illustration: a bit surprising - I would have expected something in Gaelic. NB this is artwork, not photos, but the late David Howley was one of the most meticulous artists.