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MilneBay

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Everything posted by MilneBay

  1. Well I must admit that to me the official British marking was for the first few years of the war a large yellow circle when an aircraft was viewed from the side and an oblique angle in the air. For the last pre-war year this was for all surfaces, no matter the viewing position. After the introduction of these changes this then became a thin yellow circle when an aircraft was viewed from the side and an oblique angle in the air circle.
  2. One thing I might add. Just be careful that you don't miss the little physical difference between the Seagull and the Walrus. The Walrus has an additional set of interplane struts at the inner leading edge of the wings, close to the engine nacelle. The Seagull V did not have these.
  3. Which one? Some years ago I built the Amodel camouflaged example - IIRC the refs I had suggested it was. However the Fury didn't see much service there. Only 3 apparently.
  4. That's a very impressive model. A question: Forgive my ignorance but what are those rectangular "fenced" compartments on the deck for?
  5. When the Frog kit first appeared on the market - way way way back I wasn't interested in the PV-6 so I used it for a scratched conversion to a Wapiti. Which I thought was more interesting. Now given that this transformation happened around 50 years ago I'm pleased to report that it is still on the shelf. However I did subject it to a rebuild about 20 odd years ago, so there it sits - not perfect but if you squint in a favourable light it looks like a Wapiti. I won't post a pic. But on the subject of the Everest aircraft about 12 years ago I built an original Frog Wallace as per the kit instructions. The rigging and the interior work were naturally the most difficult part, but unfortunately about 2 years after it was done I clumsily managed to destroy it. So this pic is all that remains.
  6. This is the Williams Bros kit I built about 30 odd years ago.
  7. Interesting and well done model. One thing I note is that the people in the little launch were probably drier than the monitor's crew
  8. Many many years ago back in the late 1960's I worked for the RAAF. I had a very very high security clearance which as far as I could ever work out had really nothing to do with the job I was doing. Regularly (this was during the Vietnam War days) I would receive ultra secret files with the raw data from RAAF bombing operations etc. Why, I have no idea as my job had nothing to do with mission planning or strike analysis. But because it was all so secret no one would ever tell me. All I know is that a messenger would come to my office, ask me to sign a form and hand me these files then disappear. A day or two later the same person would come, give me another form to sign and take the file away. This went on for some time. Then one day another messenger, equally uninformative, arrived and gave me a very large cardboard box. I signed the proffered form and he departed. Curious, I opened the box and in the pre-modern computer days I discovered it was a complete set of the punched cards which contained the parts breakdown for the Macchi trainers the RAAF was just bringing into service. Again I had no idea why I had received them - my job was in spares supply for civilian contractors and mainly involved arranging supply of parts to these contractors for the more sensitive equipment the RAAF operated. But the punched cards were a mystery because there was no accompanying instructions as to where I had to send them. And given the security rating there was no one in the section I could ask. The box of cards sat on top of two filing cabinets for about the next 15 months. Two cabinets because it was a very big box and because I could never find out what I had to do with them. Then one day there was knock at the door and a very red faced and cross RAAF officer stormed in, glared at me and exclaimed "You've got the bloody things!!!" grabbed the box and stormed out, still without any explanation. I had by this time, given the time I had worked for our glorious RAAF, come to consider that it couldn't be a serious organization anyway, so I took this episode as an indication of the ongoing in joke which only we who were involved would understand. Shortly after someone somewhere worked out that I wasn't the particular person with the very high security clearance who should be the recipient of all this unrequested highly secret information, and both the files, and boxes of punch cards, stopped arriving ........
  9. I would have thought that when the bullets started arriving was warning enough.
  10. Years ago I read an article by a British aviation journalist who had worked in the Hawker design office. His name escapes me but he said that he suggested to Sydney Camm that the Hunter would have been a more aesthetically pleasing aircraft if the fuselage section ahead of the intakes had been about 2 feet longer. He went on to suggest (tongue in cheek) that this was the reason why his design career at Hawker didn't prosper. When I read the article it struck me that this was why I never found the Hunter to be as aesthetically pleasing as others claim. It has a slight "no neck" appearance to me. To me it's a good looking aircraft but not quite the beauty that is claimed.
  11. Gentlemen I give you the AW Ape. Perhaps the most aptly named aircraft ever. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armstrong_Whitworth_Ape
  12. That's intrigued me for years - I've put it down to an effect of light catching it at a slightly different angle to the rest of the wing. Could well be wrong though.
  13. I must admit that when I built my selection of Battle of Britain aircraft I tried to cover some of the proposed variations of Sky over the period. I admit that the hue chosen may not have been correct for a particular aircraft, in the strict sense of an accurate model, as it was more an exercise in trying to depict changes over time so earlier BoB aircraft had the most subtle differences while towards the later period the colour used on the models became more standardised. Correct or not I soon found that while the broad concept of Sky as a colour (to my eye a very pale yellowish green grey) seemed to be apparent the variations were quite numerous. But then it was an exercise surprisingly lacking in scientific data but remarkably backed by anecdotal "data"
  14. The top unglazed part, was able to be lowered inside the bottom section. This was to allow the turret to rotate as required. It's up to you how you want to position it. For convenience sake I placed the turret with the guns down and facing aft with the section raised. However in operation its position was linked to the turret rotation, as was the rear faired section, so those factors will define how you want to depict it. All the pics show these in various positions so its up to you.
  15. I have fond memories of the old KP kits - so many interesting subjects and with a bit of work they could be turned into nice models.
  16. Just remove the tail fillet and fill and rescribe as necessary - however the prop may be a problem. IIRC the Korean War aircraft had the uncuffed prop. As for disrespect - we are talking about plastic kits, not war graves.
  17. Apparently the proposed tactic to be used was a version of the kamikaze method, except that at a certain point when the pilot pulled up, the fuselage detached from the wing. Obviously this was a feature that did not survive the first pre-flight briefing of the test pilot.
  18. Yes by early 1945 it was a bit late to undertake any projects that couldn't be completed in a few weeks. Not with 3 million or so very upset Russians about 10 kilometres to the east and a very large number of equally cross British and Americans a few kilometres to the west. Hitler and most of the OKW were either busy deciding which designer cyanide capsule suited their fashion sense, or which American army unit was the closest so they could surrender to it. While Kurt Tank was booking seats on the first available aircraft to Spain as was Willy Messerschmitt. I suspect that the remaining design staff, those whose drawing boards still had legs to stand on, were spending time worrying about food and passing the time by doodling imaginary designs on what little paper was left and then flight testing the design by folding these into paper darts. Of course when the Allies finally rolled in they discovered all these doodles and preserved them as evidence of the advanced state of German aircraft design. Which was good for the designers because on the strength of these they got shipped off to America or Russia to be well fed and housed, which was far better than taking up a new career in recycling bricks. So the fact that none of these Luft46 designs actually ever got built is probably self-evident given their origins and the depth of thought that went into them. But as you point out it wasn't only the Germans who came up with these flights of fancy. One need only look at some of the projects studied during the 50s as the Cold War got going. The saving grace with a lot of the stuff was that they never ever got near to the stage when some poor hapless test pilot was asked to actually fly one. Edit: I forgot the Bachem Ba 349, that death trap which on its first test flight (vertical) killed the pilot. Not a promising beginning for a not very promising idea to begin with.
  19. Which is precisely what I said if you read it. Napkinwaffe describes the vast majority of them all including the Ta 183 and the Me P.1011 - but no flight test equals no real proof of effectiveness. And even if the flight test was managed they would still need a year of test flying and ironing out the problems before they got to production. Model makers fall all over these imaginary sketches and build wonderful back stories about Luft46 without any understanding of the aerodynamic issues involved or the demonstrated over reach of German jet engine construction. Take a look at some of the proposed "developments" of the Ta 183 just for aerodynamic and structural hilarity - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Super_Lorin . First attempt at violent manoeuvre and the thing would shed its engines. And for a good chuckle the coal burning Lippisch P.13a, - the only fighter that may have required a fireman. One need only look at how long the latest wunderkind of the US aviation industry the F35 has taken to achieve rather limited test status, and that's working in the always highly charged atmosphere of the US aerospace industry, to get a grasp of the reality. It seems like whole generations have been born and died since that project got underway. And that's not in a working environment where your design team faced a continual day and night bombing assault. I suppose these strange imaginary designs were a way of relieving the daily threat of death or injury. Best way to treat the Napkinwaffe is to accept it as a joke - which it was. Fritz "Hans!!! Look what I've just designed" Hans "What is it?" Fritz "It's the Tank Ta 232, it's revolutionary combination of forward swept wings, combined with a V2 which uses non-strategic materials like papier mache, old fireworks and will fly at 4,000 kph and carry a crew of three" Hans "Wunderbar Fritz, you will win the Knight's cross with Oak Leafs and Schnitzel, it will be the ultimate New York bomber" Fritz "Stuff the Knight's Cross just give me a decent feed of schnitzel, oh hell, here come the bombers again!!!"
  20. Or as one modeller once called it the "Napkinwaffe". Most i.e. 99% of these strange designs were pure first concept sketches to wile away the time in bomb shelters, and most were never even subjected to any sort of aerodynamic analysis, let alone preliminary tests of models in wind tunnels. They all relied on jet engines of questionable serviceability and downright inferior or untested materials. The very very few that got as far as commencement of either a full scale mock up or prototype were usually destroyed by Allied bombs. IIRC four made it to production Ar 234, Me 262, Me 163 and the He 162, of which only the Me 262 was produced in significant numbers albeit small. And those had been in development from before the Allied bombing campaign and air superiority cranked up to overwhelming. The Ta 183 got as far as being unfinished as did the Me P.1101. When one considers how long it took the Allies, with their overwhelming production and testing capability, to bring into service the Meteor, P80, and Vampire* then we can see how really imaginary and unrealistic these concept designs by the Germans were. And how far by then the Germans were divorced from the reality of the final 2 years of the war. In the end the few designs that were flying were just more fodder for Allied fighters. * I left out the P59, but while that aircraft reached operational status (oddly the first US jet to achieve that) its design deficiencies were such (directional snaking, poor speed etc.) it was fit only for rather rudimentary training roles. So even it, which was an airframe built around British designed and supplied engines, demonstrates the problems besetting the revolutionary advances that jet propulsion offered and the actual time it took to overcome those.
  21. Aaaah the annual question. The reality is that if the law of a country restricts or bans public display of symbols or any other thing then if you reside in that country you either obey or take the consequences. I started building models well over 60 years ago. I have built models with swastikas on both German and Finnish aircraft. Aircraft with red stars both Russian and from other communist countries and there have been several Curtiss Jennys which had the US red star marking adopted by Pershing in 1916. There are British and Commonwealth roundels, US stars and bars, Japanese Hinomarus and all sorts of different national crosses, circles, triangles and what have you. I understand that any one of these may be offensive to some people and equally the same marking may not - I build the models and give them the appropriate markings. But I am alive to the fact that the swastika on the tail of my Luftwaffe aircraft while just a historically correct insignia to me, would have a much more traumatic significance to a survivor of Auchswitz. That is the reality of political and national symbols. Just as a red star may have a traumatic meaning to a survivor of the Gulag, or the Hinomaru to a survivor of Changi, Bataan or the Burma railroad. It's a complex and sometimes painful history we have and there is no escaping the effects that it has. You cannot suppress the past, either its good or its evil. To do so prevents us from understanding what benefit the good brings and what horrors the evil brings.
  22. MilneBay

    Scale issues

    The reason that pilot figures can be somewhat bereft of attention to scale is quite simple - they were only ever included in kits for people who didn't want to go to the bother of detailing the cockpit.
  23. Well back to the original question. Aircraft were built from a myriad of small components each of which went into the assembly of a larger component that in itself was part of an even more complex item. At each stage in that process from the creation of the basic materials e.g. aluminium alloys, bakelite, perspex, leather, harnessing for belts etc. to the machining, cutting and drilling of a frame part in an aileron or panel or seat, engine etc., the part and the ensuing assemblage of parts would be finished to a standard required for it's next step up the assembly process. And many of those parts e.g. instruments, guns, electrical components were sourced from outside vendors who also were following these basic production processes. Therefore each of those would then be inspected etc. as part of an ongoing process. Part of that process was painting - all parts would be painted at the outset as part of the process of protecting metal from corrosion. Then many larger assemblies would be prepainted in their external camouflage finish so that they would arrive on the assembly line at their designated time ready to be incorporated into yet another larger assembly or in the case of wings, moving control surfaces etc. so that they were incorporated into the basic airframe without minimum refitting. At the same time all the add on parts like electrical systems, cabling for controls, ammunition feed for guns, control panels and their myriad of circuits and instruments were all following the same manufacture and inspection processes. In effect everything from the raw material from which any item was made, through to a rivet, through to the final assembly was manufactured, inspected for defects and part of that process was the painting. And as the assemblies that were to make up the final product became more complex every effort was made to ensure that these would be a seamless "plug in" fit in the assembly process. So all the procedures governing the process were complex and part of that was constant inspection for defects. The final assembly of the complete aircraft reflected that basic process. And if that process required repetitive boring tasks (which most of it was) then the inspection process took that into account by removing the defective parts when inspected. Also as production lines developed these were monitored to find ways of cutting out waste either of vital material, or work, so those also were evolving. So would an aircraft leave the assembly line with a less than perfect paint scheme, well yes as perfection is generally unobtainable, however it would leave the assembly line with a paint finish that reflected the basic requirements of the inspection process at the time of production - and that would in itself would reflect what the AM felt was the achievable standard given the circumstances of war. Did standards fall, no, but the standards that applied reflected what was required as production and service requirements matured in the face of reality.
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