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About ColFord

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  • Birthday 08/21/1957

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    Canberra, Australia
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    Aviation, Allison-engined Mustangs in RAF Service

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  1. The early RAF Mustang Mk.I came with a ST-1A gunsight which was an export version of the N-2 gunsight produced by the Service Tool and Engineering Company. During the initial type acceptance and armament trials the RAF found the original style reflector glass was not producing an acceptable sight 'picture' for the pilot. As a result RAF arranged for a redesigned reflector glass and reflector glass holder section for the gunsight that overcame the shortcomings of the original. For details of the N-2, see this website: http://www.aircraft-gunsights.com/ Check out the pages 'US Gunsights' and 'Aircrafts and Gunsights'. On the 'Aircrafts and Gunsights' page under the photos for P-51; first photo is the ST-1A in Mustang Mk.I cockpit at NAA; second photo close up of ST-1A; third photo later type gunsight fitted to Mustang Mk.II; ST-1A with RAF modified head; ST-1A with another later form of RAF modified head in Mustang Mk.I late 1943; ST-1Ain Mustang Mk.I late 1943; from then on photos show later US gunsights in USAAF P-51B/C/Ds and RAF Mustang Mk.IIIs. The last photo in the photos of the N-2 gunsight shows the ST-1A in original form in the incomplete cockpit section of a Mustang Mk.I. The RAF modified top section introduced a slightly larger reflector glass and a more slim line top section, similar in many aspects to the reflector glass top section of other UK made reflector gun sights in RAF service in single seat fighters at the time.
  2. The A-36 has what has been commonly nicknamed a 'spear' pitot probe, out on the leading edge of the starboard/right wing. I think I see the mounting hole on the wing leading edge for it on your model. There should be an appropriate part on the sprues, although the original AM instructions still show the placement of the incorrect underwing 'L' pitot head, whilst the AM markings/decal instructions show it with the correct type of pitot head.
  3. Like how that radiator intake is looking, looks much better than the kit supplied item.
  4. When the Mustangs were repainted in the transition from the US equivalent Temperate Land Scheme colours as delivered, to the then applicable RAF Day Fighter Scheme, part of the repaint was of the undersides to Medium Sea Grey, and depending on paint stocks either Ocean Grey or a mixed grey. Normally in that instance, given the extent of the repaint RAF Dark Green would replace the original equivalent green. The latest research is pointing towards NAA not using DuPont paints on the Mustangs - the different US aircraft manufacturers had various paint suppliers so the DuPont colours are only at best an approximation of colours that NAA was actually using - but that NAA was actually using paints produced by Fullers, which including a range of very closely matched to RAF standards paint that had already been sourced and used by NAA for their production of Harvards for the RAF and supplied by Fuller to other US aircraft manufacturers on aircraft ordered by the UK and other Commonwealth nation governments eg Canada, Australia, New Zealand. The original underside colour for the Mustangs as delivered in the TLS equivalent scheme, was a very close approximation to RAF Sky, that appears slightly darker, more saturated in hue, with just the merest hint of a pale grey tone. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a light grey as that misses the green tones evident in the original colour.
  5. A short history of FD535 'X' (extracted from No.268 Squadron History) FD535 41-37437 was delivered at North American Aviation, California on September 9, 1942. It departed the USA on September 29, 1942 and arrived in the UK on November 26, 1942. It arrived for reassembly by Lockheed AC at Abbotsinch on January 26, 1943, before being issued to 19MU on March 24, 1943. On August 24, 1943 it was issued to 405ARF before being issued to No.170 Squadron on September 30, 1943 as one of their original NA Mustang Mk.IA aircraft on conversion from the NA Mustang Mk.I. FD535 flew a number of operational sorties with No.170 Squadron and with that Squadron’s disbandment in early 1944 was passed to No.268 Squadron. The first recorded sortie for FD535 with No.268 Squadron was on February 3, 1944. F/O Fraser (an ex-170 Sqdn pilot) flew FD535 on a photographic reconnaissance sortie of NOBALL targets near Rouen that was aborted due to bad weather over the French Coast. FD535 was modified at unit level with the installation of a vertical camera installation in the rear fuselage, to compliment the F.24 oblique camera installed behind the cockpit. FD535 flew 139 operational sorties between February 1944 and the end of December 1944. On November 18, 1944 FD535 was damaged Cat AC and was passed to 412RSU for repairs, being returned to Squadron service a week later. About December 11, 1944 FD535 was temporarily withdrawn from service for major servicing and was returned to Squadron service on December 24, 1944. From the beginning of January 1945 until April 13, 1945, FD535 flew a further 40 operational sorties. In this timeframe, consistent with camouflage and markings policy in effect for 2TAF, FD535 had the propeller spinner painted black, the rear fuselage sky recognition band was over painted and the upper wing and under wing roundels were modified to Type C1. On April 13, 1945 F/L Mayne in FD535 X took off at 18.32 hrs to conduct a contact car co-operation sortie in the Papenberg area, the sortie having to be abandoned due to bad weather. This was the last recorded operational sortie for FD535 X, one of No.268 Squadron’s longest serving aircraft and one of the Squadron aircraft to be modified with the vertical camera installation. It would soon be passed to 412RSU with Cat B damage and shortly afterwards be re- categorised as Cat E and Struck Off Charge on May 3, 1945. During its time with No.268 Squadron between February 1944 and mid-April 1945, FD535 ‘X’ had flown 179 operational sorties, a remarkable achievement.
  6. Tony, If you want to do a Mustang Mk.IA, WW2, RCAF pilot, standard canopy, then there are a few aircraft/pilot combinations that are open covering from mid-1943 until November 1944 when RCAF pilots were with No.268 Squadron RAF flying Mustang Mk.IA aircraft. Last of the RCAF pilots attached to the Squadron was 'tour expired' mid November 1944, and like most of the others before him then did a short stint as an instructor at an OTU before being repatriated home. The basic c&m scheme remained the same over that period, with the main variation being the application of the 'distinctive markings' for D-Day and the period afterwards as they were eventually reduced up to the end of 1944 and some of the detail items on the aircraft eg external rear vision mirror, antenna fit, and for specific aircraft if they had just the single oblique, dual oblique or oblique and vertical camera installations. If you look at the Mustang Mk.I thread referenced in my earlier reply you will find some information there, as well, have a look at the Mustang Group build running currently, both in the chat and references, plus the build threads for some of the RAF Allison Mustangs in the GB for some of the finer detail stuff. That will also point to references in terms of IWM photos that can be viewed online for camera installations and other detail stuff. There is also a few other threads on RAF Allison Mustangs I have responded to here at various times covering sub-type specifics. HTH.
  7. And as I have pointed out multiple times both here and other modelling websites, FD465 / N is spurious, a number of researchers have looked into history of this particular airframe and it never saw RAF Squadron service and certainly never got a Malcolm Hood. We don't know where AM came up with this one. Back when it first came out, it was queried with AM and they never gave an answer.
  8. Ah, been there, done that before. With benefit of a further three and a bit years of research and digging, basic reply is, Mustang Mk.I - NO; Mustang Mk.IA - limited, trials aircraft and possibly a couple still in service that had been through major overhauls late 1944 to early 1945; Mk.II - varies depending on aircraft and when. Initial Mk.IIs issued to No.II(AC) Sqdn in May-June 1944 still had original canopy, those issued later July 1944 onwards would likely have Malcolm Hood, those with original canopy going back in for major servicing or repairs would likely get Malcolm Hood added at that time. By early 1945, the Mustang Mk.IAs serving with No.268 Sqdn - sole remaining user, more likely to have original style canopy, except for a couple of possibles that had been back for major overhaul/repairs, the Mustang Mk.IIs; greatest majority would have Malcolm Hoods, odd one or two still had original canopy. Photos in 2TAF came from me and were used by authors with my permission. There are other photos and profiles of Mustang Mk.IIs with Malcolm Hoods in vols 3 & 4 of 2TAF series.
  9. Ragnar, have a look at the previous page to that discussion/thread I linked to here on Britmodeller in my last reply, in particular post #106 by Troy which shows some top down views of the intake trunking on early Mustangs. Further down on that page are some technical diagrams from the Erection and Maintenance Manuals of the intake arrangements. Your Type 35 camera control unit looks good!!
  10. Looking good Ragnar, but one little thing to add before you close it up. The Air Ministry Type 35 camera control box on the cockpit floor just to the left of the base of the control column. (If you google Type 35 camera control, it will bring up photos of the unit.) See location #37 on the cockpit photo from the pilot's manual here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44133-a-few-mustang-mki-questions/page/6/ Regards.
  11. Ragnarec, That is looking very good. Like how the Falcon Clear Vax canopy includes the fuselage section, always one of the fiddly bits when building the AM kit using the kit tansparencies. FYI, Imperial War Museum has recently added some more early Mustang photos, this time aircraft of No.170 Squadron RAF, during a visit by a senior Army officer in November 1942, and a couple include reasonable close ups of the early 'funnel' style camera mount as featured on your subject aircraft. Have a look at CH.25229 and CH.25230. Also good as they show some of the areas of wear and tear on the paintwork around the cockpit.
  12. Lovely work on that camera installation. Toryu, no panels to hinge. Access to the oblique camera installation was via the open cockpit canopy for minor stuff, otherwise removal of the rear perspex quarter windows (or sheet metal equivalent on one side in this case) to access the camera and lens and associated radio gear tucked further behind them in the fuselage.
  13. I will be in for a couple of these as well. I know that they have engaged with the "Typhoon & Tempest Guru" who has assisted them so ably on their early Typhoon and Tempest V releases for this and the future Tempest VI release, so expect good accuracy, detail and a good choice of c&m options, and maybe a special edition boxing with another good reference book included. The long wait now begins.
  14. At that stage, January 1943, most of the ACC Mustang squadrons located in the forward operational areas and flying operations over the continent, were "affiliated" with the local Fighter Command Sector station for the Sector they were based within, or the sector station that had coverage for the area that they would be operating into. In this instance, No.II(AC) Squadron was based at Sawbridgeworth, within the North Weald Sector and so utilised that Sector's controllers. So certainly would have been using VHF, and most likely TR1143 which was what was being used by FC Squadrons at the time. In that timeframe the 'norm' would be Day Fighter Scheme camouflage with later national markings with reduced white and yellow segments, sky propeller spinner and rear fuselage id band, yellow leading edge id strip from armament position outwards, no squadron codes, only individual aircraft id letter in sky usually aft of the fuselage roundel. May have had, under the nose of the aircraft, between the nose 0.50 muzzles and below the gun camera window if a NA-83 Mustang Mk.I, small black circle with aircraft id letter in white. So pretty much as it appearred in the photos from July 1942, without the Squadron codes, may have been looking a little scruffy by that time, especially wear around wing roots forward and aft of the cockpit and around the rear quarter window areas from where ground crew would be accessing the oblique camera equipment and radio equipment.
  15. The Russians received, reportedly, ten North American Mustang Mk.I aircraft - these pre-date the P-51 designation, which came in with the subsequent 4 x 20mm cannon armed P-51, which was the Mustang Mk.IA in RAF service. The P-51A, was two variants after the Mustang Mk.I : Mustang Mk.I - no US designation, P-51/Mustang Mk.IA, A-36, then P-51A/Mustang Mk.II in order of production by NAA. No record of the Russians officially being given any further examples of the early Allison engined Mustangs, other than the ten Mustang Mk.I from British orders. However, returning to the planned Arkmodels LA-9 I think that I'll be keeping my options open to purchase one when it is released, having seen the Breitling Fighters example flying at Wanaka in NZ during 2004 and it was a most impressive performer. Hope someone does an aftermarket decal sheet to model the Breitling Fighters example. LA-9 Wanaka 2004 by Colin Ford, on Flickr
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