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Graham Boak

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Everything posted by Graham Boak

  1. The pattern on the engine cowling looks very much like how I paint my Spitfires, and whereas I must admit to a certain free-hand approach I did think that I was following the normal pattern. I can imagine differences arising in the way that a painter will move from a side to a top because of the curve, but that's really guessing. I must admit not having allowed for this repaint of roundels in SEAC Spitfires, but then views of the upper surfaces are not exactly common. Something to consider on my next two.
  2. For the example shown, what has happened is that the large B roundel on the upper wing has been painted over in Dark Earth paying no respect to the intended pattern, which should have included Dark Green. The RAAF did not have such small roundels, so this effect does not occur so obviously, but local differences could still have appeared. There is a qualification about some RAAF Spitfires, where local rules in Australia differed from those ruling in the combat zone. There is a story (told in Kookaburra's RAAF Camouflage and Marking) of a unit having to remove the camouflage from their Spitfires for a bare metal scheme, only to have to replace the camouflage when arriving in more northern territories. It seems likely that this unit would be unlikely to produce an exact match to the original pattern. Perhaps Magpie22 can say more on this? Incidentally, the RAAF required that the finish, of whatever kind, be polished smooth so that a dry cheesecloth would slide off of its own accord. How long this lasted in New Guinea is another question altogether.
  3. It is news to me that there was a distinct pattern for SEAC Spitfires. Can you please enlarge upon this?
  4. Something of a hoary old chestnut this one. The problem with the undercarriage is not that the engine is encroaching on its space but that the heavier engine is pushing the cg forward and so that the u/c is thus too far aft - as is the wing. To correct this needs a longer fuselage and/or a bigger tail. (Conjuring up pictures of a Delanne Whirlwind? Free offer for the WIF enthusiast.) However, the problems haven't finished there. The Merlins require larger propellers, so a wider span centre-section is needed and a taller undercarriage. This will provide more room for a wider span radiator but as the Whirlwind (probably) had a shallower wing than the Mossie we are looking at an even larger span increase. Or perhaps a thicker centre-section, which wouldn't help the drag. Then there is need to consider where to put the additional fuel and oil. Size and weight are steadily increasing. This isn't a Whirlwind any more. If this begins to sound like a Welin, if perhaps somewhat less extreme, that should be no surprise. ............ The Whirlwind had two real problems. Firstly, Westland's slow development times. It was too late for the battle where it really could have shown any value. This can read across into expectations for developments. Secondly, the production aircraft couldn't match the prototype's performance. This was generally blamed upon the engines, but a recent suggestion was that the Dh propellers suffered from compressibility problems - the prototype had Rotols.
  5. Agreed, but i thought that was outside of Ian's question on interior colour. I was fairly sure that he would have been aware of that anyway. If not, it'll be a nice surprise when he gets it.
  6. Source SAM May 2018: Colour Conundrum Grey Green 1924-1945. The correct name is Grey Green not Interior Green, which was a WW2 US colour. To precis the article, discussions for such a colour began in 1924, and by 1930 it was in RAF Vocabulary of Stores as 338/54 (338/55 is known to have been introduced in October 1930). Paul Lucas raises the question whether this was the same colour as in WW2 use, for there is considerable evidence for a lighter green in use prewar and the early war years. Light Grey Green is also recorded as a name in this period., including its presence in Dupont RAF Equivalents as 71-036. IT is suggested that this colour was present in BS381(1930) as Silver Grey. There are a number of varying accounts of such a colour in use, certainly well into early Spitfires and even a mention on a Tempest drawing. However, it seems that it was officially superseded by Grey Green in 1937 as part of the introduction of the standard camouflage schemes. Grey Green has been recorded on a crashed Blenheim (build date August 1940). Paul did attempt to see inside the suspended IWM Spitfire but was unable to come to any conclusion. It would be interesting to know what the recent restorers have found, especially the one dug up from Dunkirk beach. At the moment it seems that the key dates are 1930 and 1937. but the article lacks any direct reference to FAA subjects.
  7. Logical assumptions are a lot fewer than WAGs. It's a lot easier to distinguish the dross.
  8. A test aircraft could well have unpainted parts, which would not necessarily read across to the production. Diversion: is that a Gulfhawk in the background?
  9. Ditto Peter Malone for the real gen. However, looking at that photo the codes don't seem to be pure white, perhaps a light shade of Sky? There's no reason to suggest Sky spinner or band, these being UK Fighter Command requirements not RAAF.
  10. Funny that. I always thought that the S-99 family were Messerschmitts.
  11. I've a lot of sympathy with those finding the rise in kit prices painful, and largely agree with them. However, there are only so many times it needs to be said in any thread (or indeed in any forum?), and modellers can express their agreement with the original poster by *liking" it without wasting a posting or testing the patience of others. The same applies to those who look at a model and comment "Wow!" (or equivalent) on it without making any actual constructive comment at all. By all means "like" the model, or even send a pm to the modeller if you really really like it, but gratuitous inflation of the site does no-one any good.
  12. I don't know of any colour US Dark Tan, the Sand colour seen on P-40Fs (sorry, not Es) is quite light and would not have been seen as dark. Any P-40Ks are more likely to have been in either the British colours or OD. The comment that US Middle Stone was more yellow does seem to appear in the colour photos, particularly those of 112 Sq where it is a distinct yellow compared to the MAP colour chip. However, photos of British aircraft in the desert also seem to show a yellowish colour - if not as strongly so as the 112 Sq Kittys. As for the Dark Earth, the early US attempt(s) at this colour were somewhat lighter than an ideal match, but later aircraft were painted in a clearly darker shade.
  13. P-40Fs based in the Western Desert with the 8th Army were in US colours of Sand with Neutral Gray underneath. The initial P-40Es sent to the US Army in Algeria were in the British camouflage scheme.
  14. For those who don't realise, "knacker" ducts are NACA (the predecessor of NASA) intakes, flush with the fuselage with the curved sides producing a vortex that draws air inside. They were initially considered as a low-drag alternative to standard intakes, but the poor pressure recovery meant reduced thrust, so were not adopted for production. However, they did and still do prove very useful as small air intakes for cooling equipment.
  15. My understanding was that the colour coding used for such things on the Fw190 was a surprise to the UK, which had had no such system. When was this AP first issued?
  16. In peacetime, only a very comparatively small number of civil aircraft will have got anywhere near militarily useful targets in the UK in order to carry out low-level oblique photography of any military value. A small number of photos taken over a wide period of time from hand-held cameras would be of little military use. This requires widespread and repeated operations. The Germans certainly did create a fine library of vertical photos of RAF airfields and other military targets in the UK, but these were largely taken by their Dornier 71Ps. Despite this, German intelligence of RAF deployments and strengths is commonly described as poor. The Germans split their photographic work between the Fernaufklarer with Dornier 17P on deeper penetration flights and vertical cameras, and Nahaufklarer doing close tactical work with the Army using hand-held cameras on Hs126s. With the exception of hand-held, these principles largely continued throughout the war with improved aircraft types. However, even with the adoption (after 1940) of fighter-type aircraft in the PR role they largely operated with vertical cameras. The Germans failed to adopt the low-level fighter-reconnaissance role in the same way as the Allies did, with side-mounted cameras on P-40s, Hurricanes, P-51s, P-38s and Spitfires. Possibly this is at least partially because of the success of the Fw.189 in the Nahaufklarer role on the Eastern Front, whereas such a type in Allied hands would have very low survivability. The low-level raid on Kenley was months after the decision to go to yellow surrounds. As such, it was irrelevant. None of the Dorniers carried fixed oblique cameras. Opportunistic photos taken on raids would be of little intelligence value (except perhaps purely by chance). Camouflage goes down the sides because of its value in wartime against low-level attacks. All of which is irrelevant to the main point. The Ministry ordered Yellow surrounds for visual identification when in the air. If visibility on the ground was ever considered a problem, this could readily be taken care of by the adoption of covering sheets. As indeed was seen elsewhere at various times in various Air Forces. Such measures can safely be left to local authorities. Other measures such as dispersal were far more significant.
  17. I don't doubt it. However. such work was rare to non-existent in April/May 1940. The Luftwaffe relied upon vertical cameras from some height - as indeed did most nations. It was some time before the values of fighter aircraft in this role, with sideways-looking cameras, was recognised and even then oblique-mounted cameras appear to have been rare in the Luftwaffe. It would not have been of any concern to the Air Ministry at that time. There was certainly no low-level reconnaissance of UK airfields. I would also suggest that in the event of such photos existing (perhaps from the French campaign), the circumstances in which they were taken would have meant the presence or absence of a yellow ring was irrelevant. If a yellow ring could be seen, then the aircraft would already be plainly identifiable as a Hurricane, Lysander or Blenheim. Or Morane, Dewoitine, Lez Mureaux.
  18. The upper wing roundels remained without the Yellow - these are the ones that would be visible (if any) in photo-reconnaissance work. The history of aviation is full of clashes between the competing demands of low and high visibility - camouflage vs markings. Which is most important when. Part of what makes the subject so fascinating.
  19. Following the logic above, why Canberra rather than Venom?
  20. it has been said that it was not white that was normally used, but light blue. And Blue (Azure Blue, presumably) undersides, but whether this was true of the Mk.XIVs I don't know.
  21. Phew! Just checked and there is a spare set of Mk.Vc upper wings in my box. Still don't know why...
  22. Without checking: isn't there a spare wing in the Airfix Spitfire Mk.Vc? Having said that, I can't imagine why... I shall go upstairs in an hour or so and maybe come back down screaming to remove this posting?
  23. This is selective misinterpretation. What I wrote was that a photograph wasn't sufficient evidence of ...77. And I stand by that. because of the many factors involved, it is impossible to be certain (by which I mean reasonably certain (not absolutely certain) which colours are present in a b&w (or even colour) photo without other evidence. I would point out that many b&w photos make light blue (or green) colours appear as white or very light grey - witness the undersides of RAF fighters in the Day Fighter Scheme which are known to have been in Medium Sea Grey. This has a fairly strong blue tint and is not even particularly light! Given the generally poor (to awful) quality of many of these just-post-war photos, it is simply impossible to be dogmatic about just which shade of light grey they show. Which to me eye, seems to be much the same arguments as you are using, except for the assumption than they must be 77. Go figure.
  24. I think that you mean MPM/Special Hobby. We are still waiting for FRROM-Azur's Battle.
  25. The Valiant was not a true V-bomber but an interim type, ordered because it could be rushed into service ahead of the others. After that, remember that all 200 of the others would be brought into service over a long number of years, and there would be a need to allow for peacetime attrition, dedicated training units, side-roles such as strategic reconnaissance, aircraft in long-term or short term overhauls, and line unserviceability. The number that could, even ideally, be launched was well below the buy number. Thin k more about how many squadrons at eight bombers per squadron? In practice, the role of the RAF was not to go deep but to clear the way for the USAF.s fleet arriving later on the scene.
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