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Patrick Martin

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    Military aircraft - anything without 'strings'

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  1. I like everything about this build. The metal work, the idea of the 'display', it is just right is so many ways - great work. PM
  2. I can show you all sorts of bare metal Herks where the metal panels (tail, fuselage, nose, etc.) over the years appear very different in colour. Pick your subject go from that. PM
  3. Its horrible - been working on mine on and off for years - and before you spend hours trying to figure out the colours - the green Argi paint is Fiat car paint!
  4. Just waiting for this topic to come up. This is where the Airfix was 'out'. I did offer my services at Telford. Special Hobby got it right in their 1/72 Vampire kit. There were at least two complete sets of bat noses over the years. The window/band was installed well before the bat nose came along. The window was added because the ADF loop was installed in the nose and just did not work well through the metal. It had been installed sometime (we think) in 1949 but they can be seen in photos of Operation Sweebriar during 1950. The real guy to talk to on all of this is Jerry Vernon (the one and only true RCAF historian) , who kept notes on two tours with 442/443.... his notes to me on the subject are as follows: " Remembering the history…..the first 4 Mustangs arrived at 442 in the late Fall of 1950 (I was there on my bicycle!!). More arrived in the early Spring of 1951. The Vampires were removed from 442 and used to form new RCAF pre-Sabre fighter squadrons and for Chatham OTU. They had unpainted noses when they first arrived in the Spring of 1948, but I don’t think for too long. See photo in 442 book, which I think you have. In the 1940s, the Vampires had hand-painted noses; and I don’t think any two were the same. The ears were all different sizes, eyes and noses were different, and maybe the teeth too. Many different colours were used. Coded “BU”: BU-V, BU-W, BU-X, BU-Y, BU-Z, had “City of Vancouver Squadron” on the booms. I have copies of several 1949 photos at an air show in Spokane showing nose closeups. There is a good article in an old Radom Thoughts (I have a copy), by Rick Johnson I think (Hangar Bookshelf squadron books guy), but I think it is mostly about scheme No. 1. When they returned in 1952, they were still coded “BU” with new-painted noses….not sure if any of them were the same 4 aircraft. Ended up with 8 aircraft. The new nose paint, I think, was still hand-painted but was a lot simpler and with a lot less colours. At one point, it may have been changed from BU+letters to BU+123(??). That’s when I was there as an AC1…and your dad was there too?? See his photos with the Globemaster in 1953. At some point the “SL” code came in and “Royal Canadian Air Force” on the booms. May have also been SL+123 for a while?? I have several photos from 1953 Summer Camp at Paine Field. Has “last 3” on the nose and small format ”SL” on the booms by then. Later new nose paint was much simpler, only 2 or 3 colours, probably identical images on aircraft and could be sprayed on with a template rather than hand-painted. But compare 012, 018 and 074 and you will see differences in ear centres, eyes and teeth. I’m damn sure there was no orange then, but there was orange, green, etc. on scheme No. 1. The paint job that was on the one at Langley was not right!! The guy claimed he worked there and had been involved in painting them, but it was a combination of schemes and looked more like Haida (local Indigenous Tribe/Band) art!! dates: 13 Jun 49: Letter refers to trial Radio Compass installation in 2 Vampires of 410 Squadron. Amend the trial to cover 4 aircraft. 15 Nov 49: Privy Council approves $ 99,250 for DeHavilland Canada to install Lear ARC-10R Radio Compass in 79 Vampire aircraft….probably all they had left by then!! 24 Jul 51: Air Ministry interested in RCAF opinion of the Lear Radio Compass in Vampire aircraft. So…trial installation in 4 aircraft in the Summer of 1949 and did all of them in 1949/50. “ My father was also there at the time and did take photos as well. I have yet to invest the time on how to post photos here. So if anyone is really keen on the subject, (or any other specific aircraft) send me a private note with which aircraft (even by serial) or scheme and I send you whatever you need. I did cover all this sort of 'stuff' in a couple of finish and markings books complete, with photos and drawings (shameless plug); ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE, Aircraft Finish and Markings, 1947 - 1968, Vol.1 & 2 (ask for them at the Aviation Bookshop event). Whoever did the research for the Special Hobby kit got it spot on. So often I end up laughing aloud when I see the inaccurate marijuana look alike maple-leaf knock off roundels. Patrick Martin
  5. If Arma had the distribution numbers (sales) of a new Airfix 1/72 kit for a new a single engine prop aircraft, could/would the price drop to under ten pound? If Airfix could release a single engine prop aircraft a month like Arma is doing (recently), for under ten pound, what would that do for Airfix? Maybe Airfix should be talking to Arma 1/72 people ...... I have plenty of suggestions ..... Pat Martin
  6. Anyone try to do Clint Eastwood's Firefox in kit form?
  7. Seen the new AirDoc book just on VF-111 Sundowners Phantoms?
  8. It is very hard to make book sales of on military aircraft topics (or civil) without a pointed nose or, shame to say but, didn't cause enough damage in this world. How many copies could you sell of a 300 page book on the Fokker S.14 Machtrainer, the PZL I-22 Iryda or the IA-63 Pampa? The vast majority of aviation writers go for topics that will grab the attention of larger audiences over several countries (more variants, paint schemes, photos, history, users) and most importantly to interest more publishers to believe in the project - to sell more copies. Chances are greater of recouping some sort return of time and or funds on yet another Fw190/Spitfire than the above three topics. So does a first time Canadian writer want to start a two-year full time project on the Canadair 'two-door' (Tutor) or do another Avro Arrow (groan) book? Pat Martin
  9. Gee it looks like my dad's photos from his time with 43rd RTR in India, he had the Blackpool tram badge on the side of his. Rare to see mention of CDL anywhere. Pat Martin
  10. The Sky sample (on my monitor) does not look like anything like the sky I am used to seeing or illustrating. On the Hannants/Xtracolour - I have been buying their stuff before Pontius was a Pilot (Pilate), OK the eighties. Used to be fine when crossing the pond every couple years when you could bring back very small jars of the stuff after asking an airlines's permission each time. But my two year supply his about to run out..... So for those that have mixed it to spray, what works the best that can be acquired on the western side of the pond? PM
  11. And while talking of Xtracolor ... anyone in North American figured out the best thinner to use with the paint when they run out of their Hannants supply? PM
  12. Going back well over a decade Canada became a level 3 partner of the F-35 and has invested hundreds of millions in the program (depending on who tells you - between 150 and 600). The current government campaigned (and promised) not to buy the F-35 in 2015. But oddly kept quietly paying dues into the program since. The Canadian fighter requirement was always a split between air defence/interceptor and fighter/strike. The Air Defence role in Canada always needed range and second engine back up. Distances between airfields (not just up North) are far greater in Canada than central Europe. The fighter/strike role was far less popular with voting politicians since the withdrawal from European bases. Even so the Hornet fleet has become something of what the Brits and French call a ‘campaigning force’, with Hornet use over the Iraq, Balkans, Libya, and deployments to eastern European borders. The first Hornet delivery was in October 1982 (the last in September 1988), and even going through a couple upgrades and ever diminishing numbers, we end up currently with around 65 aircraft well used. Currently they could be between 34 and 40 years old, then add in ex RAAF aircraft, which was a case of buying hours - to delay buying a new type. This has coming for a long time.
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