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Graham Boak

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Everything posted by Graham Boak

  1. That clearly isn't an Opel Blitz, but a tractor unit and a long trailer, possibly one designed for the job? Perhaps posting this on Missing Lynx could bring a much fuller answer. Preferable the Braille Scale sub-forum for 1/72 modelling. I can't see enough of the tractor unit to identify it, though I wonder if it is one of the Ford 917 series? There are a number of 1/72 scale models of German trucks, but of course this could be a beute French type or even Czech. PST do a trailer body for an earlier Ford: although a box type it could be modified to a low-sided example such as this. There are however many different German types available in resin.
  2. I've no great desire to repeat all the implications of this argument, but would like to answer a few of points you raise. The career paths of aviation officers in the RN was entirely a matter of the Admiralty to decide: the restriction on promotion was based on their lack of "General Duties" (i.e. ship handling) experience. This is something that could have been adjusted as part of their career development. As for the comparative performance of aircraft, the point is clear that as long as the RAF had control, the FAA received comparable or superior aircraft to anyone else. It was when the Admiralty took over that this fell behind. This is simply because the nation had greater priorities - specifically the generation of the fighter defences of the UK which saw much more attention in the late 1930s than the design of heavy bombers. And the Admiralty's priorities were its battleships not its aircraft. It is difficult to see this being much different whichever service controlled the procurement from whatever date. For specific aircraft design: the Admiralty called for two-seat fighters to fulfil the escort fighter role. The second crew member was required because of the operation of W/T equipment, as opposed to R/T. This in turn was required because of the RN's insistence (not unreasonably, in my opinion) on radio silence for its operations. That the US did not enforce such but relied upon radio beacons is why US fighters could be single-engined for other than local air defence. Technology moved on from the design position of the late '30s. In this case it is difficult to criticise the Admiralty's 1930s decision other than with the knee-jerk reaction of "two seat fighters bad". The situation was more complicated. The Barracuda was designed for the Exe, which RR was unable to develop in time. It was one of the engines cancelled, alongside the Vulture and Peregrine, to concentrate on the Merlin and to a lesser extent, the Griffon for the Firefly. RR had too many irons in the fire to cope. I would suggest that it would have been a better decision to put the Griffon in the Barracuda and dump the Firefly, but that's largely with the benefits of hindsight. It is possible, I haven't seen it argued, that the Barracuda was delayed like other types by Beaverbrook's post-Dunkirk restriction on types receiving priority, but that's hardly the RAF's fault. The Admiralty's insistence on ideal vison for gunnery spotting was to blame for the high wing and awful undercarriage - Fairey's low wing design project of the period look much more reasonable and suggest a more rapid development period. The standard line that the RAF was to blame for all the shortcomings of the FAA simply doesn't hold water. I recognise that the relationship between the RAF and RN between the wars was not ideal, but that in part had its origins in reactions to the Admiralty (and War Office) attempts to have the RAF disbanded altogether. However, I think we should stop here because once the basic points have been aired then this really has little to do with the main theme of this thread, not least because of the broad spread of reasons, causes and personalities involved. On which we have barely touched....
  3. I have found that when a posting appears to be hanging, opening up the site in another window will show that the posting has gone through successfully already, so I just close the first window and carry on. This is using various Windows PCs - not a mobile.
  4. When protesting the fleet, a bomber running away is a victory for the fighter - and there were a lot of fighters that could be outpaced by the Ju.88, including every contemporary carrier borne fighter worldwide. This included such land-based types as the Fulmar's later immediate replacement/supplement and only possible alternative. But we are comparing level top speeds of clean light aircraft. A loaded SM.79 cruising out in formation could not outrun a Fulmar, and a disrupted formation is much less effective. The job of a defending fighter is not to notch up kills but to defend the fleet: it is obviously better to do both but the priority is with keeping the ships on the water not under it. Stepping back, the problem facing the Admiralty and Air Ministry was between defending the fleet as well as possible or defending the UK as well as possible. Should significant numbers of Hurricanes have been ordered instead of Fulmars, at the expense of Fighter Command in the foreseen battles to come, and offering fewer fighters on carrier decks? I don't think so. Stepping even further back, should the Admiralty have given more thought to better fighters, perhaps instead of getting hung up on mere ownership? Yes, but given the doctrine that fighters were to chase away shadowers, and be taken below decks in the event of a real attack to clear the skies for the gunners, this seems unlikely to have produced any better result. It is fair to add that better fighters were being considered, including a folding wing derivative of the Spitfire (not the eventual Seafire), but the only available factory was Fairey's. Richard Fairey pointed out that designing, setting up for production, developing, and testing such a design would take much longer than placing the near-future Fulmar in production. Time was much more important than paper promises of somewhat greater performance. Personally, I think it would have been quicker to produce a folding wing Hurricane than any new design, but even that would have taken longer than the Fulmar meaning fewer fighters on carriers in the time of need - and run the later risk of production being diverted to Fighter Command in time of need.
  5. Rather than relying on one other person's ability to compare colours across chips when you already have Dana's, I suggest that you try to find a reference for the Dupont colour. The original identification was made by Nick Millman, and he does do a blog on USA colours of this period, but I don't have a link to it. I've had a quick look at his similar one on Japanese aircraft, but couldn't find anything that read across. He certainly approved the ColourCoats version of the colour, as shown on the Sovereign Hobbies website. Another source of the Dupont colour chart for British colours was available on Hyperscale and possibly still is, but my link to this is broken. This came from Nick anyway, so I think you'd be better trying to track down a contact address: there must be members on this site to have access to the blog - for example Dana Bell.
  6. I have to say that in my copy of the Monogram book the ANA610 looks far from the colour above, and my monitor is usually pretty good at colours. Here the green has entirely disappeared and it looks almost fawn.
  7. Birmingham was the only Town class cruiser to have a flared bow: all the others were like Southampton in having a knuckled bow. For a reference see British Town Class Cruisers by Conrad Waters.
  8. To be fair, not every Matchbox kit was up to the standard of the Fury. The capabilities improved more then the average - but when was it ever different?
  9. Graham Boak

    Paint Brushes

    Go to an art supply shop and ask their advice, but good sable brushes are what you are looking for. However, to be honest, I don't think that model-shop brushes are so desperately poor as to significantly affect the result. Assuming that they aren't dropping hairs into your finish, of course. But then I don't attempt to model to competition standards. As a Geordie, Cullercoats is well known to me as a seaside town on the Northumberland coast. Bit of a dump in my days up there but I gather it is moving up-market, always had a nice bit of coast anyway. But as they say about Northumberland, don't tell everybody how nice it is or they'll all want to come. The paints are ColourCoats, and they are pretty good too.
  10. I suspect modelling clubs are not actually making much (anything) in the way of money anyway, so I don't think that "had it good for many years" is a particularly relevant comment. However, I do think that all tables used at an event should be charged for (organising club excepted) so this would be an appropriate step. This would clearly include Special Interest groups as well. I would also suggest that this could be extended to the competition tables, competitors having to pay an entrance fee - my apologies to any who already do this! The alternative is to try increasing the entry charge - but it seems that many modellers haven't kept up with the rises in prices of anything since 1970. However this may be biased because I find such things secondary to whatever is available in the trading area. Not that meeting old acquaintances isn't fun in itself, and it's great to see interesting models (as opposed to yet more of the already over-familiar), but seeing what's new and extending the library/paint stocks/stash is what draws me out of my modelling room. Judging from the large carrier bags coming out of the halls, that's true for a lot of other people as well. I don't think that anything reducing the number of attending traders will be a way of increasing attendance.
  11. I think the roundel colours look fine: usual qualification "on my monitor anyway."
  12. I've got one too - but it's the Finch. (I also have the IAR-built one.) The Canuck was the popular term for the Canadian-built Curtiss JN (Jenny) of WW1 vintage, although I think the term has been used since more than once, including the CF-100.
  13. Yes there was -memory doesn't say who - but then the Fulmar was the top scoring FAA fighter of WW2. PS Try Osprey's FAA Aces of WW2 - or whatever it is called.
  14. I don't think the "so" belongs in that sentence. The problem with Amazon (and its kind) is much less tractable. Not do I think that being required to allow for tax is "jumping through hoops" but a proper way of dealing with the problems of funding a complex civilisation.
  15. The changes are to stop tax-dodging importers affecting the sales of home companies. Time to turn to the likes of Amazon?
  16. I don't know the kit: some sources say the H-3 had this position but other photos show it without (e.g Romanian ones). However if you have a photo then whatever sub-variant it is claimed to be is of little importance.
  17. Correct: I was misreading the spine on a tall shelf....
  18. Sky from US paint manufacturers: the Dupont colour was called Sky Type S Grey and is slightly different to the UK colour. It is available from Colourcoats. Do not accept any FS number for Sky, or indeed for pretty well any wartime colour. It may be the closest in the FS, but that needn't mean much.
  19. 60 years old or merely 40/50? Certainly there was considerable improvement in the moulding over this period.
  20. I would be happy using the early H props for a P. but there are other differences, noticeably the forward part of the gondola: solid, transparent with gun or armoured glass with gun. It really does depend upon which sub-variant you want to do, but I'd agree that an H-6 kit would not be the most suitable.
  21. 274 Sq went back to the UK in April 1944: if this aircraft was ever with the squadron it wasn't for long. Possibly it was allocated on paper to the unit before realising that it was leaving. The new Shores books only cover up to July 1943 but the next one is overdue. I wouldn't expect the aircraft to feature unless it was successfully involved in an important action, which appears to be unlikely. MK402 is not listed as being with 237 Sq. in Fighter Squadrons of the RAF, but if it wasn't mentioned in its Aircraft Record Card then this wouldn't have been known. It should be added that aircraft movement records are known to have been inadequate in this theatre, possibly due to now-lost records. It is not listed in Squadrons of the SAAF nor in Spitfire Squadrons of the SAAF. The latter book shows Mk.IXs as predominantly, but not universally, retaining the Sky band. It should be said that it also has a comment that after May 1944 aerial combat was rare to non-existent. so it seems unlikely that confusion with Axis markings was any problem. I didn't notice any Spitfires with red bands: such markings, red and yellow, were seen on USAAF Spitfires around the time of their replacement by P-51s but on RAF/SAAF aircraft? More information please. The RAF didn't recognise the terms ETO and MTO: Spitfire Squadrons in Southern France were part of the Desert Air Force (1st TAF) in the Mediterranean and such operations were well clear of other RAF operations in Northern France. MA402 is one possible source of confusion but as this was written off in August 1944 this seems unlikely.
  22. This is almost certainly the Takara mould. They also did (for Revell) the Ki.49 Helen, K.45 Toryu, Irving night fighter, and Frances bomber with both engine variants. I believe they later did a Skyraider but I never saw that. These were all genuine 1/72 kits. The released Peggy, Nell and Dinahs were LS. The Peggys were 1/75 and the Nells thought to be that but when I much later got one the span and length came out to 1/72: the Dinahs were a little later and lovely kits - they have been resold as Arii. Hasegawa did do the Nell, Frances and Peggy but considerably later. I never did compare the size of the LS and Hasegawa Nells - the Nell fuselage does seem remarkable small for the crew numbers. Yet another sunken ship carrying model tools.... That was the Frog Scimitar - or was it Lincoln? Or was it Aurora - no, that was a train crash.
  23. Have a go at the search routine: there was a recent thread on the subject which quoted directives and (in my opinion) sorted it out. But yes you will see either colour used, at least early on. I'd rather not stick my neck out as to which was both more common and correct, for fear of memory fade, nor willing to dig out all the references and retype them - sorry about that, but it is all here. By the way, it is just Dewoitine.
  24. Use Azure Blue rather than the too-light Sky Blue. This is not a criticism of Colour Coats version of Sky Blue, but of the use of it on Malta. Azure Blue should be easier to find as it is more commonly available in paint ranges. ,
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