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Old Man

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Everything posted by Old Man

  1. Sounds reasonable, Graham. It does make for an odd look, though, which of course we modelers do love....
  2. Again, Gentlemen, thank you very much for your assistance. So it would seem this picture was taken no earlier than some months into 1945. Someone misread a CU abbreviation as Communications rather than Conversion. There's no particular reason to connect the aeroplane to the Digri base. How long did the SEAC roundels linger post-war? The thing which puzzles me even more now is why the does the machine retain the turret? Hard to see any use for it in such a rear echelon unit.
  3. Again, gentleman, thank you all very much. As you may guess, this is a modeling project, and the subject in the photo is just too weird to pass up. Late service, odd finish, and still with the turret, operating in an out of the way patch. I'm not trying anything too detailed, just a pretty much OOB pass at an old Airfix Anson. So, there was no such unit as 1331 Communications Flight, but there was a conversion unit of that number. There was an umbrella Communications Squadron, whose machines could be anywhere in theater .... and possibly operated detached flights? Would a facility like Digri operating multi-engine machine have use locally for transitioning pilots to multi-engine operations? Though I can't see a lot of similarity between an Anson and a B24....
  4. Thank you, Geoffrey. Glad to have the service dates, and further details.
  5. Thanks, Tony. The picture is a bit fuzzy, and I'm glad to see confirmation the old style cowlings were still in use. Your picture gives a good look at the oil coolers added later to the type.
  6. Thank you, Graham. Seems to be the usual can o' worms. Glad of the help sorting it out.
  7. This picture appears in the 'Warpaint' number on the type. It is captioned as EG645 of 1331 Communications Flight at Digri. All I can find about this unit is that it received a Harvard trainer in 1943 while based at Risalpur in the Northwest Frontier. I would like to know more about the unit and if possible the machine. Digri in Bengal seems to have been a base for RAF Liberator bombers, some of which did 'special duties' rather than bombing missions. EG645 was built as a Mk. I, and to my eye in this picture seems to have the tear-drop bulges on the cowlings.
  8. Thanks a lot, Paul. Learn a new thing every day. I'd never heard of it, and there were a lot of those built.
  9. I was thinking something based on a 504 K, myself. Glad I wasn't alone....
  10. Saw it on a social site that has nothing to do with aeroplanes or modeling, so no caption information. It baffles me.
  11. These came out of the factory in a handsome scheme: aluminum dope fabric and pale grey metal surfaces.
  12. Nicely done, Sir. Whatever might be said of the kit's accuracy (and trust me, there's lots) this old Heller kit is so superbly engineered I would far rather build another one than any of the new modern ICM kits. Great model.
  13. Definitely still interested --- it's pretty much my favorite patch, and just about my whole stash. I agree with broadening the scope to bring in more people, a general 'anything between 1919/1939' will still keep the focus where desired.....
  14. Thanks a lot, Russ! I'm fairly chuffed about the camouflage on this myself. Soft demarcations are a kind of holy grail when you paint with a brush,
  15. Thanks, Steve. I appreciate your tracking it down. I'm glad you liked it.
  16. Wonderful job, Adrian! It's quite a project, and you're just the man to do it.
  17. Thanks. Not a patch on your cobbles! I've got a number of these I swap around. There's some concrete bits, arid ground, various sorts of grass. I use colored grout for dirt. Dribble it over white glue. Greys and some browns and tans.
  18. Shaping up nice, and commendably quick. Good work.
  19. Thanks, Pete. Good to have a second on the decals. I'm always prepared to believe it's me and not the product. That's pretty much what I wound up doing, just get the boogers on the plastic, flood with water and sort of paint them into place with a soft brush. I start with some Future down for setting.
  20. At the time of the Munich Crisis, the Morane-Saulnier MS406 was the pride of the Aviation Militaire of France. A pre-production batch had begun service trials several months earlier, and the production version reached first-line units in December, 1938. The MS406 was designed around the Hispano-Suiza moteur-canon, a twelve cylinder vee engine of 860hp, geared to accommodate a 20mm cannon firing through the propellor hub. This combination was already employed by the Dewoitine D.510, a fixed-gear open-cockpit low-wing cantilever monoplane of all-metal stressed skin construction, in wide service since 1936. The MS406 was of fully modern configuration, with a retracting undercarriage and an enclosed cockpit, but its fuselage aft of the cockpit was fabric covered, and the rest clad in hinged or screw-on panels. The wings were covered in a laminate of plywood between sheets of aluminum. The MS406 was appreciable faster than the earlier Dewoitine, reaching 300mph vs the 250mph of the latter, at roughly the same altitude. This was enough to match the early marques of the German Messerschmitt 109, but much slower than later models of the German fighter, which predominated by the time war broke out. In combat, the MS406 proved manouverable enough to defend itself, but suffered from lack of armor and armament that performed poorly. Its weapons were fired by a pneumatic system, which introduced a lag between triggering and shooting that badly affected accuracy, and the drum-fed cannon and machine guns (one in each wing) were prone to jams. Replacement of the MS406 was underway in the final weeks before Petain signed the armistice with Hitler. Some continued in service with the Vichy regime, a few pilots defected from Syria flying Moranes, and served with the English in the Middle East so long as they could be kept airworthy. Vichy machines engaged Allied aircraft in the Middle East, and Thai and Japanese aircraft in Indochina, where one escadrille was equipped with Moranes originally intended for delivery to Nationalist China. Finland received some examples of the MS406. These came to be fitted with more powerful Soviet engines of 1100hp, which put their best speed up to about 325mph. Similar results were obtained with a 1000hp motor employed by the Swiss, who built a good many on license. This model represents a Morane of 5th Escadrille, GC III/6, in the spring of 1939, when the unit was established on the type. Morane-Saulnier MS406 No163, military serial N483, was flown then by Pierre Le Gloan, a military pilot for six years already, who as Adjutant was commander of the escadrille. He swapped this machine for another MS406 in October. The unit was re-equipped with the new Dewoitine D529 in June. Before the armistice he was accorded ace status, credited with four German and seven Italian aeroplanes. Adj. Le Gloan remained with his unit under the Vichy regime, and engaging the English in Syria was credited with six RAF machines. When Vichy units in North Africa went over to the Allies, he led briefly a unit equipped with the P-39 Airacobra assigned to off-shore patrols. His engine broke down, he was forced to land, and when he did, he forgot to jettison a belly tank, which ignited a conflagration in which he perished. I do not know that the camouflage pattern is just right --- French camouflage was applied rather freestyle, and without several photographs of a machine to hand guesswork is all there is. Full size upper-surface roundels, and fuselage roundels, were not employed until early in 1940. The kit is the RS boxing of the MS406 in 1/72 scale. It's a good enough kit, but not an easy build. Canopy, however, fit extremely well, and fit of the big pieces was good. The troubles were little things with the interior, and radiator assembly, and landing gear door. All colors but the green are home mixes, the green is MM Green Drab. To get an over-spray effect, I mixed adjacent colors, brushed a thin line of this at the demarcations, then went back with washes of the base color on either side of the line. I used a Print Scale decal sheet, and cannot say I recommend them. They were extremely hard to handle, being quite prone to fold over on themselves. If the sheet had not contained some duplicates (for 'N' and '8' on the under-surface) I would have had to choose another subject. Their blue is too dark and pure, and I painted over that. Wife made the final serials for the rudder (the first off the sheet having balled up hopelessly), and a roundel center to touch-up one of the little ones. I supplied raised surface detail, by putting 0.01" strip in the recessed lines on the fuselage, sealing them down with Tamiya extra-thin, to represent the hinged fastenings. I got a little carried away, as the nose actually had seams, even gaps, between its screw-on panels. But many of the engraved lines on this kit really ought to be raised. Here is the WIP thread, from the 'French Fancy II' GB, for anyone interested in greater detail: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235100066-cest-fini-morane-saulnier-ms406-rs-models-172/
  21. Juste pour info: Here are a couple of pictures from the old Profile number on the MS406, showing the raised seams. On review, I think I did get a little overenthusiastic around the nose. But aft of the exhaust it's clear things are raised.
  22. C'est fini! Some more pictures in the gallery, and I will be doing an RFI presentation when I know a bit more about the subject. This was flown by Adjutant Pierre Le Gloan of the 5th Escadrille, GC III/6, at Chartres in May of 1939. Adj Le Gloan seems to have been something of a character.... This is brush painted, with a blend of adjacent colors put in at the demarcations, backed by washes of the base color on each side of the line. I went along some, but not all, of the raised seams and 'ribs' with a sharp graphite pencil on one side only before a second coat of spray matte. As I have been a bit critical of the kit, i want to point out that the canopy fit very well, and needed little adjustment of mating surfaces. It's an important consideration for me, as I am no good at all at blending canopies to the fuselage. I make sure of the fit, paint and Future dip, then stick the thing on with white glue. Wife made the serial numbers on the tail (No 163) as one of the Print Scale decals for this balled up hopelessly. She also did some small roundels, which let me make good a couple of little slips painting over the blue on one. . Despite difficulties, this kit does build up well, and I'm glad to have the model. I intend to do another, from the Vichy unit in Indochina in 1941. An odd little patch, that. I expect I will scan the Print Scale sheet's Vichy stripes decal, and do them 'homemade' on white sheet that's a bit easier to handle. I cannot imagine the originals going down smoothly....
  23. Morane-Saulnier MS406C1, 5th Escadrille, GC III/6, Chartres, May, 1939. (RS Models boxing, 1/72) I have a fondness for subjects from the brink of the great horror that commenced in September 1939. There's something almost innocent about them.... Build thread is here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235100066-cest-fini-morane-saulnier-ms406-rs-models-172/ This is brush-painted, with a blend of colors at the demarcations, followed by washes of the base color to either side of the line. Raised detail added. These are both techniques I wanted to practice. After the decapitation of my voltigeur I'm glad to have got this in on time. Here's the RFI thread, with some more pictures and a write-up.
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