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Graham Boak

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Everything posted by Graham Boak

  1. Graham Boak

    1/72 P-51D and Spitfire IX

    I don't know how many of you visit 1/72 Aircraft News, but I haven't seen these mentioned anywhere else. https://www.72news.eu/2019/03/waltersonsp-51d-mustang-spitfire-mk9.html After a quick look , I have to say that I've seen less convincing representations. Perhaps less so of the Spitfire, with trailing edges looking too thick and maybe wrong in shape. Price will be interesting.
  2. Graham Boak

    Vol 2 All the Spitfire questions here

    Radio aerial? Protruding flash nozzles on machine guns? Unarmoured windscreen. No pilot armour.
  3. Graham Boak

    Matilda II in Braille scale - any good?

    The ESCI tanks weren't significantly better than the Airfix ones of the same generation, which includes the Matilda. I believe that the Airfix Matilda was indeed 1/76, Airfix generally being a lot better at keeping close to scale than Hasegawa, for example.
  4. Graham Boak

    Nose art

    It's an American bomb, a Brown ing machine gun: these and the combination of a coloured cowling with bare metal alternate gills also seems American - I'd suggest looking in the 9th AF or perhaps into Italian-based units.
  5. Graham Boak

    Spitfire V, b vs c wing and UC details, and prop variants

    A superb book, if a little uncritical of the RAAF in places. He didn't seem to be aware of the earlier decision in the UK to recommend Rotol propellers for high altitude operation because of these very failures of the DH propellers at high altitudes and constant rpm - hence the recommendation (which he did notice) to vary the power settings regularly to ensure free movement of the pitch control. He notes that this would have created problems in the formation interceptions, but not doing so was quite clearly worse! It is difficult to find other operations of the Mk.V at these altitudes, but examples can be found from Malta and North Africa of aircraft returning early because of propeller problems or cannon jamming. These appear much rarer at these lower operating altitudes than in PR or Darwin operations, but this could be an artefact of the historian not being primed to highlight them - or of course my eye primed to be picking them out when they really were uncommon. Perhaps we have here a failure of Allied Intelligence sources to notice and report on the high altitudes of Japanese bomber operations, though in fairness there had probably been few cases outside China where these medium bombers had been seen operating at such altitudes and ranges. The still-prevalent discounting of Japanese technologies (not entirely unjustifed), the Zero aside, possibly helped here. Who'd have thought, in the UK at that time, that the Japanese bomber force would present problems so much more difficult than the Luftwaffe did?
  6. Graham Boak

    Matilda II in Braille scale - any good?

    I didn't have the Fujimi Matilda, but as I remember the Fujimi tracks were fairly poor, even by the standards of the time.
  7. Graham Boak

    Spitfire V, b vs c wing and UC details, and prop variants

    I'm not sure how you can change the rake angle without changing the hinge geometry. However what is missing from this account is the replacement of the bulge in the upper wing by a thicker hence stronger smooth surface. This means that the wheel had to sit slightly lower, so that the leg no longer fits so well into the well. Hence the raised curve on the wheel door.
  8. Graham Boak

    Matilda II in Braille scale - any good?

    I had the Airfix one when it first appeared and thought it rather nice. I didn't have the ESCI one because I held and still hold that 1/72 kits are decidedly bulkier than 1/76 - remember to cube the difference in scales when dealing with 3D objects! (I agree that you have to be careful about just what scale is claimed for a model, but have found that that kits labelled as 1/72 are more likely to be 1/68th rather than 1/76.) In the "good old days" of course you had to bend the rules a little for softskins, or your army would be totally without support. Even then, just try fitting Opel Blitx conversion parts to an ESCI kit when they are designed for the Airfix - presumably vice versa would be even more odd in appearance.
  9. Graham Boak

    Harvard Trainer kit?

    Be careful about just which example you flew in (a photo will help - or do you have its identity?), because you can make some Harvards from a Texan kit. The final part of the canopy, behind the second pilot, is the key difference, and a longer version was fitted to the Mk.I (forget it) and the Mk.IIB built in Canada. Many of the kits available are for T-6Ds ( which means Harvard Mks II, IIA and III) or postwar T-6Gs/Harvard Mk.4s which are different in other ways, but can be modified to look like earlier Harvards. I believe that the majority of the current flying versions in the UK and elsewhere (at least outside of Canada) are T-6s of some kind, so you would be safe with most T-6 kits. Differences are the canopy, the exhaust, spinner or not, aerials and tailwheel. Pretty small beer except the rear section of the canopy. The T-6 family has an amazing number of variations, but as you are talking about a current warbird in RAF Yellow, that simplifies the matter immensely.
  10. Graham Boak

    Hurricanes and (long range) fuel tanks

    Hurribombers were used before this in North Africa, but only with Light Store Carriers and 60lb bombs (at best). One of the Hurri units in the Desert were using the fixed long range tanks for intruder-type missions, which would again be in the first half of 1941. These are described in early volumes of the new Chris Shores et al Mediterranean Air War (or whatever it is called exactly).
  11. Graham Boak

    Advice needed to build an Il-2

    The only SMER Il2 I know about is the single seater, which is their own tooling. It doesn't seem to have anything that looks like the Vista style of the Fulmar to me... it is considerably finer in part thickness, surface detail, and number of parts. The Vista Fulmar, apart from being pretty accurate in Outline, is more like Matchbox on a poor day. .
  12. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    The blister was on early Halifaxes and a flat window seen later, if at all. I entirely agree about the failures of the Revell instructions (and their detail parts!) which I put down to the confusion as described before. It seems pretty clear that those writing the instructions simply didn't know enough about the aircraft. By this stage the turret was fitted flush. I don't remember why that raised fairing was there at all, possibly because of the reuse of actual Defiant turrets? However, the photos showing them all are for considerably earlier production - 6 months?
  13. Graham Boak

    Question about specifications for Yak-9V

    The other various 2-seat versions of the Yak range were the same length as the single-seaters. It becomes an interesting question with the standardisation on the aft cockpit on the 9T and the 9M, supposedly the basis for the 9V, but it would be of no difficulty with earlier builds of the 9 or a reversion on the production line to the earlier main cockpit. This would certainly be a lot easier than designing and building a longer fuselage. Sorry I can't be more definite.
  14. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    Tim, this late into production it will have been a BP Type A 4-gun turret.
  15. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    It's the sheer variation that makes the Merlin Halifax so interesting as a modelling subject, and being an ex-Handley Page apprentice has no influence there. Honest. (I actually spent more years at Chadderton/Woodford than at Radlett, just.) Unfortunately for Mark, the range of external modifications being introduced on five different production lines and in-service all peaked around winter 1944! Despite this, I still think we can be very confident about the appearance of LK730, just not 100%. 95+.
  16. Graham Boak

    British war census numbers WWII

    For 1/72/76 kits, Mike Starmer does sets which might save you some effort, or at least give you a guide to appearance, although as always you ideally need a photo. I don't know where it includes any Canadian options.
  17. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    VV: LK735 appears to have a matched set to me - both visible engines have Morris block radiators. I would have said that these radiators meant Merlin 22 engines and different engines wouldn't be mixed on the same aircraft. However Merrick claims that some Gallay radiator-ed aircraft had Merlin 22s... I presume he had some evidence for that. Whether this meant that aircraft with Morris block radiators could have had Merlin XXs, I don't know but have some difficulty in understanding why. Even so, aircraft with mixed engine combinations would still fly, just present more work for the pilot and flight engineer. I doubt that it would be done, I've not seen any examples of it, but the bottom line is that it wasn't impossible. The two marks of engine weren't that different. So also you could have had mixed radiator combinations: never say never if it is possible but it is very unlikely. (Stronger adjectives are not permitted on this site.) Mark: Regardless of AML's headings, the radiator fit is a function of time not Mark Number. Early Mk.IIs and Mk.Vs had Gallays, late Mk.IIs and Mk.Vs had Morrises. We do know that later on Coastal Command were pressing for more Merlin 22s because of the failure rates of their Merlin XXs (which were probably getting a bit old by then). To me this implies that they were planning on upgrading their existing airframes, but as discussed above that may not be relevant to the external appearance. (I bet it was a very strong hint.) Without knowing when the Fairey production line switched engines/radiators, we can't say for sure that LK730 didn't have the early combination - although obviously finding a photo of an earlier Fairey serial with the later combination would pretty well close the matter to all but the most pedantic. Re AML wheels: I don't know because I haven't got them. I do know that at least two companies were selling aftermarket wheels of the right size before AML, so there'd be little excuse for AML to pull the old trick of simply copying the kit wheels and selling them as in some way improved. Assuming they would...but similar things have been done. I don't think that the White Ensign wheels have been picked up by anyone, but maybe. They also gave you a proper tailwheel - do AML? Freightdog are still selling their mainwheels, and again I haven't bought their tyres but would trust them from experience with other offerings. However: I was about to add that if this bothered you, Mike Bowyer's book Bombing Colours includes a page of six Merlin Halifaxes seen at Middleton St George and Croft, each one being different in some way. In April/May 1944 they all had Morris radiators, including LL175 - which is earlier but a Rootes-built example so not quite as informative as I hoped when I saw it! (It and another example didn't have H2S, if you want something else to throw into the mix? No?) Chris: We aren't looking at the same photo. LK735 is in Halifax Special page 32, it quite definitely has Dowty undercarriage and Morris radiators.
  18. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    The upper doors are there, moulded integrally with the fuselage, but there is a groove inside for cutting through them to prop them open. (Another planned feature that never got into the instruction sheet.) You then just need to move the hinges for the inner doors outboard a little to allow 3 abreast bomb load.
  19. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    That, and the vertical stagger with the inboard ones lower. I don't know of an official twin carrier, but it wouldn't be beyond the means of an EO/armourer to rig one up. At least for a photo - but why bother unless it was real?
  20. https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-teasers/adelsons-same-color-illusion This is what I was thinking of, and what we are seeing in these photos.
  21. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    That surprises me. There is a DVD from Flyingzone Publications which is a Halifax Mk.III manual giving approved bombloads - I do have it installed but it is refusing to run on my computer (I suspect a W10 compatibility) and I can't find what I did with the original. It will reappear someday... However, good luck trying to get 4 bombs across in the Revell kit - could these possibly be 250lb? Presumably those bombs with exposed lugs are US bodies (I thought that the US ones were on the side) with dual lugs. PS it is a CD-ROM not a DVD and won't run. Now to search for an older computer. OK, an old laptop (twice replaced) running XP... don't you just love computing? None of the bomb stowage options in the manual suggest 4 across of anything. The photos of an empty bay show triple carriage. So what are we seeing? Could it be a twin carrier on the centreline? or is it just a propaganda fix?
  22. Graham Boak

    A recyling question

    This does vary across the country. Plastic recycling here (Fylde/Western Lancashire) is limited to "soft" plastics class 1 and 2. The common harder ones eg class 5 polypropylene and polystyrene are not recyclable locally. I strongly suspect that few councils have the ability to process our stuff. As I understand it, about the only thing that can be done is to grind it up into fragments and recycle it into second-grade material, for which there isn't a great demand anyway. Much of the stuff that was "recycled" was actually sent to China, and they have now rejected such imports. Short of landfill (not cheap or always available) the only option is to build bigger and better recyclers, which cost much money (you think we can avoid politics here?) but even then the result has only the potential based on the market for the end product. This seriously is a Big Problem, nationally and internationally.
  23. The marking were presumably added by 312 Sq but were retained afterwards and DU is recorded as the code of Skeabrae's Station Flight by this time. Whether this meant any practical difference in the operation of the high altitude specials is a fair question. I'm inclined to think that the outer ring was still yellow, but open to more convincing arguments. However it doesn't look that different to the ring on the Mk.V behind it. That ring does look different depending upon the background colour - it appears lighter against the Dark Green than it does against the Ocean Grey, the Ocean Grey being nearer to the Medium Sea Grey on top of the Mk.VII.
  24. Graham Boak

    Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

    Can go get it - Yes, that looks convincing and as these were withdrawn in February 1944 and the aircraft was built towards the end of 1943, I reckon that's very likely to be a close match to LK730. Playing devil's advocate, it still isn't proven 100% but ... Note the lowered landing light under the wing. Also note that this aircraft has the Merlin 22 engines with the smooth cowling. So probably so too did LK730. These are very much as good as production Merlin Halifaxes got. Page 37 has a photo of KN.G but that's MZ987 in December 1944 (a round wing-tipped Mk.III built by Rootes). For one moment there I was carried away. The raised fairing for the dorsal turret was seen on earlier aircraft, for example DT serials. I wouldn't expect it on such a late example.
  25. I'd have thought it near certain, and am surprised to see it suggested otherwise.