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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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About torqueofthedevil

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  1. Whole of the west coast? I never saw or heard of the 'SAR is a secondary role' brigade north of Fort Bill. To me, the west coast doesn't even begin till about Torridon
  2. Bear in mind that there are effectively two 1/32 109Es made by Eduard - the Weekend kit and the main version. The Weekend version is fine if you're tight on time or budget, but some of the compromises inherent in a kit such as this struck me as a bit odd!
  3. A small point: IFR is Instrument Flight Rules! Refuelling equipment is usually referred to as AAR
  4. And Revell also did a D-11 at one point if memory serves
  5. I just found the fit of some of the parts difficult to achieve - but only because I was expecting more from a brand new kit which reviewers had said was on a par with the best on the market. Both the cockpit and the gun compartment need very careful test-fitting before you put a dab of glue near them, because without absolute precision, the fuselage doesn't fit at all. Like I said before, this says as much about me as the kit itself - I think I was careless this time because I was expecting a straightforward assembly without much effort! The end result was fine though
  6. Some years after first dabbling in the bigger scales, I am still surprised at how much bigger the larger scale models are when complete - I know that is a daft thing to say, but the sheer bulk of some of them is more than you might expect from simply comparing the basic dimensions. Having done a dozen or so 1/24 models, I have settled on 1/32 for the moment as the best of both worlds. The 1/24 kits are really impressive but they take so long (even for a deeply average modeller like me!) and they don't actually fit on a typical depth of shelf! I actually did the Revell 262B not long ago and didn't particularly enjoy it - mostly my fault, I'm sure, but I feel the rave reviews I have seen for the kit are a bit too generous. Conversely, I would recommend the Revell 1/32 Mosquito - very basic, but it goes together pretty well, it looks about right and it's a pretty impressive beast! I'm doing one in the Swissair scheme (Galland Circus eat your heart out - this thing is more colourful) and I like the idea of doing an American PR.XVI if I can manage to do some modifications - again, relying on a distinctive colour scheme to mask the shortcomings of the kit and the modeller! One word of advice - you can, if you wish, spend ages and ages on the cockpit, engines, gun bay etc, but don't feel like you have to use every part in the kit unless you have a huge amount of time to kill. The cockpit is definitely worth doing properly in the larger scales, but if you decide to finish your kit with every panel open, you will probably double the time taken. Nothing wrong with that, but you might feel like you have got a bit bogged down if you aim to create a competition winner first time out!
  7. No, the EHI 01 was an entirely separate project by a different outfit. The NH90 arrived somewhat later. Another similarity is that both types had major teething troubles, but not sure how much use that is from a modelling perspective!
  8. Not true - how about the grey BAe 146s? Only a tiny fleet, which only appeared long after the demise of the Andover, but they are quite useful nonetheless.
  9. If the Puma is replaced by more Chinooks, then there is nothing in size between Wildcat and Merlin, which is a pretty big void. I'm aware of the planned OSD for the Puma, but an extension is inevitable. A single type to replace Puma and both flavours of Merlin would make a lot of sense - NH90 maybe, or yet another attempt to get H-60 derivatives. And, funnily enough, both of these are more akin to Puma than Merlin, and all the better for it! I agree that the Puma HC.1 would have struggled in Helmand - but that's not why the Merlins went there! And of course the fact that every other type struggled is why the Chinook lobby is so strong. But while some in the Army would gladly bin everything apart from Chinook and Apache, wiser heads have so far prevailed, and so the Puma has managed to survive every attempt to get rid of it.
  10. The RAF doesn't think that - but the Army does. And while new Chinooks will be bought in the next few years, that's to replace the oldest Chinooks in the inventory, not the Puma. The Puma will be replaced in due course by something in the same class. And it's not strange at all that the RAF kept the Puma and got rid of the Merlin. The cliché about the Merlin being the size and cost of a Chinook but the capability of a Puma isn't strictly accurate - but it's not far off! Just look at what the Pumas are doing on Op Toral to see why the RAF is better off with Puma over Merlin. And the fact that the Puma airframe is much older doesn't really matter in this case - it's not as if the Merlin has ever been blessed with stunning serviceability rates. NB it's not as if it was the RAF's decision back in 2010, or that the decision was made purely on capability grounds, but it was in most respects a reasonable attempt to rationalize fleets across the services given the impending retirement of the Sea King.
  11. Whereas none of the GR1Bs got upgraded - that niche capability just disappeared
  12. Thank you Nicholas and Nick. Sorry for the slow acknowledgement, there's been a lot going on in the last few days!
  13. There may have been talk, but I don't think it ever translated into action - unsurprising really, seeing as no helicopter fleet in the world could prevent a flash flood like Boscastle. I'll check back through my photos but I'm not expecting to see any SACRUs in the last 12 years or so of the SAR Force. And fitting SACRUs or anything else to aircraft on SAR readiness isn't about popularity - it's about doing with what the tasking authority requires, which was usually life-saving but occasionally MAC-A or similar. What wouldn't be popular is to turn up to any task requiring USLs to be carried and then being unable to assist because the SACRU was u/s having been carried around over the sea for years gathering salt but not being used!
  14. SACRUs were removed from all the airframes apart from the pair in the Falklands, because they saw very little use and they got ruined by all the salt spray. The cables also created a snagging hazard in the event of a ditching; OC D Flt 202 Sqn from 2002-4 had been in the Wessex which ditched off Hong Kong ten years earlier and I suspect he may have highlighted this point. I can't recall exactly when this decision was made, but 2003-4 sounds about right; I don't think this policy was ever revisited (@rickoshea why would Boscastle have created a requirement for them to be refitted?). The SACRU could be refitted without undue delay when needed - this happened regularly on the OCU when the students reached the single USL sortie, but elsewhere on occasion too, such as at Boulmer in April 2008 for firefighting around Harbottle.
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