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    Short Sunderland & All things RNZAF

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  1. Thanks Chris I have something for you, I had planned to post this later but now is just a s good as any I see your FAA Build WIP with a Skyraider. From my Dads Collection an RN Carrier visiting Auckland (can't recall what Carrier this is) but She has a Skyraider on the stern, one for you I have a couple of extra's I'll sort and post later Regards Alan
  2. Hi All, Bit more to this little saga before posting kit sprues etc For New Zealand in the 1950's, it was a period of adjustment/growth. New Zealand didn't have a large Lend Lease debit, as the United States considered all the help it had from New Zealand during WWII as part of payment. For example the likes of Bases/Camps constructed in New Zealand and places like Fiji (Lauthala Bay/Nandi/Nausori), from which the US Army, USAAF/USMC/USN operated from during the Pacific campaign. RNZAF Lacala Bay (Lacala pronounced Lauthala) - 5 Squadron Short Singapore's in Main Hangar (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) RNZAF Nadi (Nandi) - RNZAF Headquarters building - Nadi is now Fiji's main Airport (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) RNZAF Nausori - with either Vincent or Vildebeest being serviced - Nausori is now also an Airport (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) Those who have seen "Sands of Iwo Jima" and Marine Sgt Stryker (John Wayne's character) mentions (in scenes from movie) "Camp Paekakariki" (he even says it correctly ) where US Marines were quartered before they went to the main Operating Areas - (phonetically it sounds like Pie- kock -a -re-key) USMC Camp Paekakariki Other things, like supplying material - wood/concrete/land/foodstuffs. My Paternal Grandfather was a Market Gardner before being called up for service, supplying the US Military Hospital in Avondale, Auckland (now Avondale collage) with Fruit/veges. All these activities went toward helping minimize the Lend Lease debit to pay. So with that New Zealand in the 1950's was in a great position to advance in it's Economy/Defence spending and so forth. For those with 10 minutes time to spend, a film shot in 1955 New Zealand 1955 for those with around 30 minutes a little more cheesy colour film 1950's New Zealand However with the good comes the trials/challenges, 1951 was a horrendous year for Auckland/Wellington City. in 1951,The Ports of Auckland/Wellington Wharfies went on strike for 151 days, essentially stopping incoming and out going goods via shipping into/out of the Country - not good for the local or national economy. To this end the New Zealand Government called in the Cavalry, the Armed Services (Air Force/Army/Navy) to man the Auckland/Wellington Wharves. New Zealand had it's own "Civil issues", some younger Kiwis joined up to a movement/gang called Bodgies & Widgies (to me James Deans wannabe's) Link - Bodgies & Widgies These "Individuals" took a dislike to the Young Men/Women of our Armed Services - there were in Auckland at the time, 3 RNZAF Stations (Ardmore/Hobsonville/Whenuapai), 1 Naval base (Devonport) and 1 Army Camp (Papakura). On the weekends many Service Personnel (including my Dad) would have leave and frequent Auckland City (Queen Street especially). These Bodgies and Widgies took to beating up our Service personnel, and the New Zealand Police were seemingly unable to stop this. The Air Force, Army & Navy decided enough was enough, planned an little get together, and told the Police that "We" will be going through the streets on Friday Night, "look the other way". My Dad recounted that teams of Air Force, Army and Navy personnel went down through Auckland City, any Bodgies found were given a bit of a "Biff" around the head, then the hand shears came out and they were given a "Hair Cut" Not short back and sides........... The Bodgies and Widgies never touched the Armed Forces again. So onto Aircraft related themes New Zealand has long been associated with Fly Boats - the Walsh Brother trained pilots for the RNAS and RFC during WWI here in Auckland on single engined flying boats The below Film gives a brief history of the Walsh Brothers, The below is on YouTube, but I have the CD Wings on the Waitemata The 1950's continued that association with the likes of the Sandringham and Solent Flying boats plying the Tasman and Coral routes. This photo from my Dads Collection is of Solent Mk IV ZKAMO "Aranui" at Lauthala Bay circa 1960 The Lap of Luxury was the order of the day (photo taken during refurbishment) Solent Flight Deck - Similar but different to Short Sunderland So with that, the RNZAF, as mentioned in my initial post above purchased 16 refurbished Mk V Sunderland's to replace the aging Catalina fleet NZ4109 at Lauthala Bay with Catalina NZ4053 in the main hangar - cross over with Old & New (Note this photo is circa 1953, so NZ4109 is reasonably new - no Codes on sides of fuselage yet) (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) Some additional Catalina photos for my Dads collection This is a scene, I can never tire of Catalina either being beached or going into the water at Hobby I have more photos, but I'll share them next installments, this is about model kits right? The Sprue shots etc of all three models Avenger The Plastic is not that great, compared to the older kits by Monogram Kit Assembly Instructions - Note I also have the original one I built as a teen with folding wings Folding wing version - kit still has the parts too - who knows maybe I'll do it that way Mustang (P51-D) This is also the Monogram kit, not a lot of parts, but better plastic Of Note in the above photo, is the "Cuffed" Propeller, I ordered an "Un-Cuffed" one to use on my build Of Note only one RNZAF P51-D Mustang had a "Cuffed" propeller, and that was NZ2413 (subject of a current Build) Canopy - not a lot there Kit Instructions Now one thing to note and I have to give considerable thought to this (once bitten twice shy type thing) The kit lower wing has the main Spar at an angle (not correct) as in photo below Now I have a 1/32Hasegawa P51-D Mustang I'm currently trying to complete, to which had the same issue. I decided on that one to redo the main spar - major headache - The photos below show the end result but, in 1/48 hmmm.......... Model of NZ2413 (one with "Cuffed" Propeller) Finally Catalina Fuselage - Major Surgery there with main wheel wells but been there done that Old Panda Kit I did some surgery on sometime ago The fuselage also has this cutout, which is important for the "Target Towing" role This kit has the "Stub" exhausts - RNZAF Catalina's (unless with a shroud) had Exhaust Stubs I chose this kit over the Academy/Revell kit, as the Engines/cowls are better, more correct, size wise Kit Transparencies Finally Kit Instructions - pretty basic but that's OK Well I'll leave it there for today - More soon Thanks for looking in Regards Alan
  3. Nice Hope you will do a WIP along with showing us your decal engineering? When I lived in Aussie, I lived, pretty much across the road from RAAF Laverton Thanks/regards Alan
  4. Hi Bob, The Above Harvard's more than likely are wearing the very short lived "White" Fern Leaf on the RNZAF Roundel (from 1957-58), before changing to the Standard Silver Fern from 1958 - Nov/Dec 1970 This Short Blog from the RNZAF Museum, gives a Brief History of the more modern RNZAF Roundels ( I know the Author, Great Guy and very knowledgeable ) Brief History of RNZAF Fern Leaf Roundel Now where to buy them? You could try Ventura here in New Zealand, but current Covid Levels may restrict any postage to your part of the World (sorry) Ventura NZ Hannants do stock them if that helps? RNZAF Fern Leaf Roundels - Hannants Hope that's of Help? Regards Alan
  5. Hi Bob, I currently don't have any other photos from my Dad's collection of NZ1029 but this is from the RNZAF Museum, and a little more clearer? NZ1029 at RNZAF Wigram - Rear Fuselage band is Yellow (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) These colour photos are of NZ1027 behind NZ1029 in photo above will give you an idea of Colour scheme (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) Hope the above of some help? Regards Alan
  6. Hi Chris, Thank you, glad you like the photo/information - more photos to come My daughter was really chuffed, my Dad passed before she was born, but she has always had a close connection to him, and at least yearly we (she and I) make the pilgrimage to MOTAT to see her Grandpa's plane - she has her own model Sunderland, which we have been building together Thank you, glad you like the photos, more to post soon Hi Anthony - PM'ed/Emailed you When I looked at the photo of NZ2426, I initially thought it was HSS on the fuselage, and the traditional Natural Metal Prop cone, but now you've got me curious - the Rudder looks different too though that could just be the lighting - said to my Wife, I'm gonna need another Mustang kit - got to build that one I'm glad you will get to see NZ2423, do you think Brendon will finish her in her in the 42 Squadron scheme or No. 2 Wellington Squadron colors? Thanks/regards Alan
  7. Hi All, It's mid Spring here in the Antipodes, and that means Summer is around the corner. My 488 Sqn Buffalo build is slowly wending its way to completion (another update soon) I have given some thought to my Summer projects, and the following ideas came to mind 1) Kick start my RNZAF Sunderland MR5 Build - I put that aside last Summer as there are a number of issues to sort to make it a correct MR5 , the impetus for this was a visit to MOTAT with my Daughter and a very special visit for with her Grandpa's Sunderland. It was her 16th Birthday, and because she is a descendant of a Serviceman who served on NZ4115, the Awesome MOTAT Volunteers went all out to get her a tour of NZ4115. My Daughter sitting in the cockpit/flight deck the "Tour Guide" was a Sunderland Navigator who served in the RNZAF/Lauthala Bay the same time as her Grandpa RNZAF Sunderland MR5 Build link So Earlier this year in the ANZAC Group build, I started a Memory Lane build with an RNZAF Avenger Target Tug build - NZ2504 was a Gate Guardian at RNZAF Base Te Rapa, and we used to see her in our travels (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) So, that along with some photos my Sister sent to me from my Dads collection, I decided to do some target Tugs from the era, my Dad began his RNZAF Service, the 1950's. Before I reveal the other two aircraft, a little history as I like to do in my builds. Obviously the 1950's was still "Post War", but while that is true, 1950 began a period of "Modernization" for the RNZAF, my comments are validated by this Book in my collection The Architect for the Modernisation was AVM Nevill who took over form AVM LM Isitt. Upon his recommendations the New Zealand Government agreed to order new(er) aircraft (this came with newer Schemes/Roundels and so forth). AVM Nevill CAS (Graduate of Duntroon and member of NZPAF/RNZAF since 1930) (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) AVM Nevill was followed by CAS AVM Carnegie (RAF) taking over in 1951 (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) So the following were ordered (Best part is I can use my Dad's photos) Bristol Freighter ( photo date circa 1958/59 note Fern Leaf on Roundel of Harvard - RNZAF Station Wigram) DH Devon (Photo at RNZAF Station Whenuapai) DH Vampire (RNZAF Station Wigram - Note Kiwi on Roundel so after Nov/Dec 1970 when changed to Kiwi) This Photo is definitely early 1950's, Note the Vampire in main hangar at RNZAF Station Hobsonville. Note the Auster with floats HP Hastings (NZ5801) I have flown on a Hasting (only young mind you, between Whenuapai and Fiji), this particular airframe when SOC, parts were donated to MOTAT (including flight deck (I have a photo of this, but can't find it at present) below is the power egg from this Hastings Last but not least Short Sunderland Mk V/ MR5 - this is 1960/61 at least, only one code letter, foremost Sunderland is NZ4107 - Lauthala Bay So on with the history blog, the 1950's saw New Zealand and our Armed Forces in overseas conflicts, namely Korean war, Malaya Emergency, where RNZAF Aircraft flew Fire Dog Missions (Bristol Freighter/Dakota), we lost a few aircraft and crews there Other events were of note the London to Christchurch (New Zealand) Air Race this is a photo of an RAF Canberra at Harewood Airport (previous RNZAF Station Harewood) from mt Dads collection From the RNZAF Museum Archives a close up/additional Photos Pilot & Navigator (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) RAF Guards to keep the Colonials in check (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) This Race/ending in Christchurch, has a personal family connection (other than my Dads photo) This next photo from the RNZAF Museum, is of the then New Zealand Governor General Sir Willoughby Norrie presenting first prize to the RAF Canberra crew, - I am related to him through my Paternal Grandfather (Great Uncle) (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) Anyways on to what other two aircraft I am going to build? Well next aircraft is a 42 Squadron Mustang, again inspired by Dads photos this is one of Dads photos of an RNZAF TAF Mustang (No. 3 Christchurch Sqn at Wigram) A photo of my build topic - the NMF scheme will test my modelling skills (Used for Illustration Purposes only) Finally - the third aircraft is an RNZAF Catalina based at Lauthala bay circa 1951 My discussion with the RNZAF Museum, give me three aircraft there at the time, being NZ4050, NZ4046, and NZ4055. I don't have a photo of NZ4050, but my Dad has photos of both NZ4046/4055 NZ4046 - on the hard at Hobsonville NZ4055 in the main hangar Lauthala Bay -Note twin guns in "Eye Ball" turret OK, lastly the box art and I'll leave it there for tonight Avenger - yes that's a Queen Mary with it (see Original Photo of NZ2504 above) Mustang Last but not least the Catalina - Yes it's a PBY5A - The RNZAF flew PBY5/PB2B-1's, so major surgery there Well I'll leave it there tonight, I have more history/photos to share, so more soon. Thanks for looking in Regards Alan
  8. Hi Butch, Happy to help out RNZAF Fighter Aircraft of WWII in the SWP area of Operations, has always been a big favourite of mine A few builds underway or done RNZAF P40E-1 (NZ3008 (HQ-B) and NZ3036 (HQ-Q)) as in this RNZAF Photo (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) NZ3008 - "Umslopogaas" - 1/32 Revell kit NZ3036 - To be painted in (upper colours) RNZAF "Pacific Scheme" - 1/48 Promodeller kit This is an RNZAF F4U-1 Repaint NZ5347 - 1/72 Frog Kit RNZAF Corsair Line up NZ5360 "Struggle Buggy and NZ5347 far right (both Repaints) (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) NZ5347 - behind "49" (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) I have a few other as well such as a WWII RNZAF Sunderland Mk III Regards Alan
  9. Hi Chris, I don't have any with me, would have to check my Dads photos, to see whether he took any. If I find any, I'll post them Regards Alan
  10. Hi Mark, Thank you for that, I just checked the site, unfortunately for the foreseeable future there won't be any mail from the US to NZ (shipping issues), so bummer I do have some 1/35 bolt heads, but will have to check sizes Thanks/regards Alan
  11. Hi Chris, Thanks for comments on my build post, glad you like them As I mentioned my Aunt had one (a Port Wine colour if I Remember correctly) - had for quite some time. The story I alluded to, was my Aunt had gone to pick my Dad up from RNZAF Hobsonville, in her car. While there, one of the young Airmen took a shining to her, and tried to get fresh with her (my Aunt was like my Grandmother, didn't suffer fools gladly), and when she went to drive off stepped in front of the car, so she drove over his foot - apparently he was the object of mirth for quite the while (from my Dad) Regards Alan
  12. Thanks Chris - re the elevators, lot of work, but they should look good (as long as I don't mess it up ) Quick question, re your avatar, is that a VW wagon? if so my Aunt (Dad's sister) had one much the same (different colour) Story to that Thank you, glad you like - yes Hutch certainly was a right character, he along with Flt Lt Mackenzie, and Squadron Leader Clouston decided one morning to carry out a surprise mock bombing attack on the Airfield (in Buffaloes) the Coolies carrying out working on the field all got the fright of their Lives......... Thanks John, pretty sure I did position the control "appropriately" Hi Mark, No I haven't heard of that particular book, would make for interesting reading I would think In Graham Boak's post above, he mentions Vic Bargh (a Kiwi with 67 Sqn), there is a book named "Ketchil" a Biography by Neil Frances about Vic Bargh's time in South East Asia I had meant for years to buy a copy, but just never got around to it, however (Thanks to my Wife) a copy is en route to me here in Auckland, so once I have had a read through, we'll see if it has any additional info on Buffalo Night Fighters Vic Bargh below with some squadron mates - interesting photo....... (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hi All a quick update of sorts As usual, a little bit of history to go along with the Build So around this time 1941(or close to), 488 Squadron were actually in Singapore. In Graeme Clayton's book Last Stand Singapore - 488 Squadron, from his Father Bert's Diary, recorded that everyone was aware that at some point the "Balloon" was going to go up, a war with Japan was inevitable. Squadron Leader Clouston and his two Flight Commanders were Battle of Britain veterans, all with kills under their collective belts. All three knew it was imperative to train up their pilots for the coming fight, so a thorough training regime was put in place to ensure the pilots of 488 Sqn had a chance. 488 Sqn was at that time sharing the airfield with 243 Sqn and a NEI Squadron also with Buffaloes. Bert's diary records that the training was very competitive between the three Squadrons. With intense training comes mishaps. The Airfield perimeter fence (being the monster that it was ) developed an appetite for thingy s hanging off Buffaloes such as under-carts and more especially tail wheels. In a short amount of time at least 7 airframes were damaged by this monster, or it's cohorts the Perimeter landing lights - One luckless pilot collided with one on approach, and it took out the belly glazing, he thought someone had thrown a beer bottle at him...... One particular day, 488 Sqn and the Dutch Squadron had gone off to train together. Whilst away a tropical down pour had deposited some 15cm (6 inches) of water on the airfield. Upon return, the Dutch pilots knew what to do, the luckless Kiwis also didn't, and at least 5-6 aircraft ground looped. (Edit)The pilot of this particular Buffalo I'm building, ground looped during landing damaging the propeller and wing tip, when another aircraft cut in front of him also landing. From this Photo below, you can see how the rain water builds up (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) Dutch Buffaloes at Kallang (Copied from Wikipedia) Squadron Leader Clouston (again from Last Stand Singapore) wanted the Airfields defenses shored up, so trenches and defensive positions were dug/put into place (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) So with history lesson over, on with an (albeit small) update on the model. Whilst dealing with the Tail feathers and wings, I decided to carry out some other work. I have placed the canopy on to see how it would look - as you can see the rear section doesn't sit so well The forward glazing (wind shield) didn't sit so well either - deal with that later The rear section glasshouse is too narrow for the rear decking So I added some shims to the side of the rear decking The Shims caused the rear glasshouse to sit properly, as in wide enough, but not low enough I had to (very carefully) scrape some of the area where the rear glass house sits, so it will lower it Now sits lower and better to the eye I'll deal with the sliding part of the canopy later, few issues there too To finish of with the fuselage modifications, the Buffalo had fuselage bolts. Sometime ago Jim Maas kindly pointed out that the Buffalo had wing bolts (10 each side). In 1/72 scale not so noticeable, in 1/48 scale a little more so noticeable, and in 1/32 very much so The below is a photo (side view) showing an RAF Buffalo with the bolts - you can see them along the top of the wing, on fuselage side - 453 Sqn Buffaloes Sembawang 1941 (Used from Wikipedia) Below I have enlarged the area with a screenshot where the bolts are Below are RAF Airframe riggers screwing in/tightening the bolts on a Buffalo from Life Magazine So Accordingly, I had to add these in, certainly before addition of the wings to fuselage This was a little harrowing (trying not to mess it up). I marked out each bolt with a pencil, then with my pointy scribing tool marked each "Hole" before using a drill in one of my pin vices (drill is about .5mm) to create the "Bolt Hole" I will use some rod to replicate the bolt heads (this will come once the aircraft is pretty much done) Well that's all for today, more soon Thanks for looking in Regards Alan
  13. Given that the RAF/Dominion Aircrews in Singapore had a number of Aces, it was more the Japanese had overwhelming numbers, which won the day. If the Buffalo Pilots could get sufficient height against the IJAAF aircraft then the fight was pretty even. When The IJN Zeros turned up in Jan 1942, then different ball game, but the IJN pilots didn't have it all their own way then either. Regards Alan
  14. Hi Jan, Sorry Missed this one Operation Deep Freeze has been/is a big part of Harewood Airport in Christchurch, here in New Zealand, and when living at RNZAF Wigram quite regularly saw either USN/USAF Aircraft at Harewood for Deep Freeze (Harewood was previously an RNZAF Base, now International Airport). Operation Deep Freeze had an RNZAF Connection at one point, with RNZAF Stores (Store 4) at Weedons (not too distant from Wigram), I recall my dad visiting Weedons on occasion USAF Stores at RNZAF Weedons (RNZAF Official - Air Force Museum of New Zealand - Used with Permissions) Thanks for sharing your build with us, look forward to more Regards Alan
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