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Francis Macnaughton

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About Francis Macnaughton

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  1. Best bet for a Type 21 is to use an Airfix 1/600 (preferrably an issue with the exocets) and the dedicated PE set from Atlantic models
  2. You could start by looking at the excellent Dan Taylor sets: https://www.dantaylormodelworks.com/vehicle-crews-52-c.asp
  3. Bekra Model shop, Queen Street, Newton Abbot, Devon They took over during lockdown from the previous owner and are still working to build a full website: https://bekramodels.co.uk/ They are fairly traditional with radio control and railway taking about 2/3 rds of the shop, but cover the main plastic kit manufacturers including Airfix, Revell, Tamiya, Italeri, Trumpeter etc as well as a good range of paints, glues, fillers and tools. They are also close to the large Cricketfield car park which is handy for large purchases.
  4. Perhaps have a look at the instructions for the old Matchbox 1/72nd release which could also be built as HMS Bluebell with only minor changes in fittings: http://www.matchboxkits.org/product_info.php?cPath=88&products_id=430
  5. Good to see that things are really progressing now. What chance that this will inspire a manufacturer to release a kit I wonder?
  6. I always make the resin feed to a two part mould go straight down to the bottom then up through the actual moulding (using scrap bits of 2 - 3 mm square section plastic strip for the runners) as this is much better at eliminating air bubbles in the actual moulding.
  7. There is one here comparing it with the Revell version but in German: http://www.modellmarine.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5856%3Atrumpeter-deutsches-schlachtschiff-bismarck-1350&catid=69%3Atru&Itemid=1 Google translate gave a readable version with a helpful conclusion that the Trumpeter kit is one of their best in 1/350th but that the Revell one holds up well against it and is still good value for money.
  8. I had seen Gordon Brooks's plot of the attack before and noted a number of points that I think are wrong, presumably because he has no other info than recollections provided by individuals on the various ships. While still serving I was able to check my own memories against an official publication that analysed all the Falklands incidents and made a note of the key points. From this, I see that at the time of the initial detection of the attack at 1936 Ambuscade was heading approximately North as one of the anti-submarine screen and the westernmost ship of the Task Force. Conveyor was about 2 miles to the east and Hermes about 7.5 miles to the east north east of us. Brilliant was about 2 miles West of Hermes, presumably as the goalkeeper to intercept aircraft and missiles aimed at Hermes. The first actual detection of the Etendards was by Ambuscade's UAA1 ESM operator who spotted the characteristic 2 or 3 sweeps of the Etendard Agave targeting radar and he called out "Handbrake 315" on the AAW coordinating circuit to all ships. The aircraft were about 28 nm to the North west of Ambuscade at this stage. They then popped down to low level again while they passed the target position to the missile before popping back up to release them at about 22 miles from us and I think they would have been spotted on radar by several ships at this stage. In the meantime as part of the preplanned response, we had fired off a pattern of distraction chaff and turned to port towards the south south west so that we were opening from the chaff and in the optimum direction to minimise being "seen" by the missile homing head when it switched on a few miles short of the programmed target position and started to search. As a result the missiles were glimpsed passing fairly close to the North of us. By this stage, with Conveyor having turned to a North East heading at the original alarm she would have been close to the downwind track of our chaff and inevitably in just the wrong place for her own safety. The first of Gordon Brooks's plot charts is OK as far as Conveyor and Ambuscade are concerned but I would strongly dispute the positions shown for Hermes and Brilliant. The claim that Hermes had been the programmed target just doesn't add up as she was well to the left of the initial missile track and at considerably greater range from the likely homing head switch on position than would be expected. Exeter would only have detected the Etendards after the second pop up (I assume she was further over to the East than Ambuscade and Conveyor) so would not have raised the original alarm. The whole of the second plot chart bears little resemblance to what happened and appears to be based on reports from personnel on the upper deck who did not have the full picture on the distances the different ships were apart. The bit on another page about staff on the bridge on Hermes being able to read the markings on a sea skimming missile travelling at high subsonic speed is just utter rubbish. Ambuscade working out that Hermes was the target is simply not true and there is plenty on the Ambuscade Association website to refute that. Finally, the suggestion that Conveyor was deliberately manoeuvered to save Hermes is not one I support. If nothing else, it would require very precise manoeuvering and station keeping to be effective - something that is not exactly a feature of a large merchant ship being controlled over a radio circuit. It would make more sense to keep the approaches clear so that Brilliant as the goalkeeper could have a clear shot at any missiles that come within range of her Seawolf system. The loss of Atlantic Conveyor was a tragedy for all concerned and had a very significant impact on the progress of the campaign ashore but it was the result by chance of being at the wrong place at just the wrong time rather than any plan to save a carrier.
  9. 1/144th WW2 subjects that would be contemporaries with the range of recent Revell 1/144th naval subjects would get my vote
  10. There was a bit about the Conveyor in the thread on HMS Glamorgan a while back:
  11. Superb result to judge by that latest shot, especially when you are working in 1/700th! I reckon you did well to use the Home Fleet grey scheme ( which is presumably how she looked at the start of WW2) as the scheme the kit is shown in on the box top is a bit of an oddity as it was only applied after Penelope had grounded in the Norwegian fjords and had limped to a repair area in order to be prepare for towing back to UK and therefore not really a fighting unit. There is some suggestion that by early 1940 she was in a Flotta scheme, possibly with green and brown, to provide better protection while anchored at Scapa but there is no picture known to date to show what this actually looked like.
  12. I usually join pieces with standard CA superglue or quick setting epoxy for larger joints.. This includes lithoplate to plastic card and wood. This has ample strength when making superstructure blocks for 1/200th warships It usually comes as about 0.2 and 0.35mm thickness and the thinner size is about right for platform coamings while the thicker material is good for the main superstructure walls
  13. Thanks - I was pondering the same point you make about track shedding because of the suspension being soft so working suspension is probably not worth pursuing. I fully understand that the track would have its limitations but I don't intend driving it around over great distances or challenging terrain. I have converted the Tamiya WW1 MkVI tank to RC and that runs quite well although the plastic used for the tracks appears a bit harder and stronger. The point you make about the Bronco way of linking the bits is exactly what I was after and steers me much more towards a Dragon M4A4 rather than hang on for Rye Field. The issue of access is one I am well used to handling s I have quite a collection of kits that have been converted, including the Italeri DUKW as the pictures show. That one was challenging on several fronts as I needed steerable front wheel drive and also had to keep weight down much more than a Sherman DD (200 grams versus over 700 grams). I imagine making the engine decking removeable would be the answer but I may well seal the cover with silicone once everything works as planned and use the turret route to access an on//off switch and a battery charging lead. Re paint on moving parts - I have used Tamiya acrylics on the wheels of the DUKW without any sign of wear so probably try similar.
  14. I would be very grateful for advice from anyone who has built the recently released Rye Field Models Sherman Firefly kit on how well the "working" features perform in terms of their effectiveness and likely durability. I am planning to convert one of the 1/35th plastic kits of a Sherman into a working radio controlled example of the DD amphibious version - including afloat - and ideally would wish to have a British example as at D-Day. This narrows it to a Sherman V which is a M4A4 variant and I originally intended to get the appropriate Dragon or Cybermodeler kit when I can track one down and use one of the accessory workable tracks sets rather than the usual rubber band type tracks. However, I also note that the recently released Rye Field Firefly includes workable tracks and suspension system which might improve the practicality of an RC model. As Rye Field have already issued a fair number of Sherman variants, I would probably wait until they hopefully added an M4A4 option to their range rather than covert the Firefly back to this configuration but I would like to get any feedback from anyone who has actually assembled the Firefly on how well the Rye Field bits work in practice and, if it was found to be difficult to make everything work reliably, whether they know of a better option for the tracks such as Bronco instead?
  15. Lithoplate is used by small scale local printers for newsletters and pamphlets etc - or at least was about 15 years ago when I last topped up my stock - and is then available as scrap after the current edition is superseded. As scrap it comes in quite large sheets (A3 and larger) with bare alloy on one side and the subject being printed on the other - my stock is all in a light grey background that is a good shade for warships. The sheets I have are 0.3 and 0.15 mm thick or thereabouts. It can be cut with scissors but this does cause it to curl at the edges so I usually score the edges of a piece several times with a new scalpel blade and then gently flex the sheet either side of the score back and forth so that the metal parts along the scored line quite cleanly after about half a dozen bendings, leaving the sheet still flat. You can then lightly score where you want a corner and bend it along the score line to whatever angle is required (I use a set of pliers without serrations to control this accurately) without unduly weakening the corner. It was so cheap (a £5 donation to the printer got me more than I am ever likely to use) that you can test a shape out to check the best way of achieving the result and throw it away when you make a mistake. Most of the superstructure and funnels of the HMS Abdiel I mentioned in the recent HMS Ajax thread here was from lithoplate although the decks were plasticard. The big question must be whether there are any printers still using this material that will let you have their scrap sheets - a quick on-line search suggests that there are in my neck of the woods at least.
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