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Graham Boak

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Everything posted by Graham Boak

  1. The bulges came in with the Merlin III, because of the fittings for the vacuum pump (replacing the venturi) and control unit for the constant speed prop. However the actual kit wasn't immediately fitted - it wasn't needed for the variable pitch DH prop and the Rotol constant speed prop was running late. I believe it was the first batch of 50 that received the Merlin Mk.I, though this should be confirmed, and the one-piece ring was removed as this batch was updated.
  2. I would suggest that this was still to original build standard with a single piece nose-ring.
  3. A rumour forum, not a want list. I don't think claiming that this is a rumour because you want it to be one really counts.
  4. 17 Sq RAF and one of the RTAF squadrons, as part of the post-war Occupation forces. EDIT Hmm, 11 Sq comes to mind too. END EDIT I think the book to look in is by Paul Lucas, and is his Postwar RAF fighters Overseas volume for Guideline. As I recall, the problem was the shortage of thinner and other supplies so a scheme had to be hurriedly sorted from what they could do.. I'll try to get a look for it tonight.
  5. To expand on Jamie's text, I have Air Britain's Aeromilitaria for the last quarter of 1988, and this gives individual histories of each example. On 30th June 1944, only 38 Devastators remained, including the four that returned to Pearl with the fleet after Midway. Those in frontline units VT-4 and VT-7 had been replaced by Avengers in the following two months. None saw any other frontline service. The others went to AT/OT (Advanced training/Operational training) units and served through to late 1943 before being stricken off charge in January 1944, those that survived that long. A number spent their last few months in Technical training role, but the times quoted for these are so short as to suggest either that they went there sooner, or were considered too obsolete to be useful. A couple of airframes seem to have lasted in test centres until autumn 1944, but we can suspect these were tucked into the back of a hangar and just remembered when a survey was carried out. One of these was 0272, whose early history is unknown until finally being used (supposedly) for test purposes at Mustin Field for at most two months before being s.o.c. at the end of September 1944. So a few did last into the 4-colour scheme, but as Jamie said, they are unlikely to have been repainted. It would be interesting to find colours and markings of example(s) in training, but this sort of thing is rare in American publications. There is at least one example of a Kingfisher with yellow upper wings in the blues, so maybe for the TBD too... No-one was particularly interested. For a bit of context; after the battles in summer 1942 the USN was down three carriers and the IJN five, not counting damaged. There was thus something of a lull in fleet carrier activities for a year, and with Avengers flooding off the production line there was enough for all current and forming frontline units, and training units despite a growth in numbers of them too. So really there was little need for small numbers of tired examples of such an obsolescent type anywhere.
  6. Interesting about the FAA units, but the use by a Station Flight is clearly just a hack role. EDIT Significant numbers, all Mk.II or Mk,.II Trainer, were handed over to the FAA late in the war. A small batch in 9/43. then more from 9/44 and the most significant amounts in 1945. They were used in training units (7xx squadron numbers) rather than operational ones, presumably in advance of the FAA getting Mosquitos. END EDIT The blue centre implies SEAC, and these were preceded by a modified or not modified RAF roundel without the red centre, but that can also describe the wartime RAAF roundel - generally with more white showing than in SEAC but that's not always true of the earlier SEAC variations. In this period (1943) the yellow surround was often still present, particularly when a large amount of white remained. The white stripes are later. Some Beauforts, were indeed sent to India to provide anti-shipping capability given the lack of surviving Vildebeestes, but seem to have stayed in what had become quiet areas. As a major FAA base that had already been attacked by the Japanese, Ceylon was clearly seen in great need. I guess I actually had the combat zone on the India/Burma border in mind, but I did only say that I hadn't seen any. (A dig through all my references may even prove that wrong.)
  7. Aircraft are complicated things, and so are human beings. bringing the two together is a recipe for trouble.
  8. The unsuccessful PR Blenheim with smoothed surface and clipped wings was certainly present in the old Profile, and has reappeared many time down the years. I'd be surprised were it not in Graham Warner's epic volume of the type. Which all Blenheim enthusiasts should have. In my turn, I haven't seen a Beaufort in SEAC markings. Are you confusing these with RAAF roundels? The RAAF offers you a wide range of Beaufort variants, and Beaufighter colours. However, the Indian AF didn't have its own markings before independence, and I don't recall reference to them having Beaufighters before or after. The final Coastal Command scheme for Beaufighters was Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky.
  9. What you overlook is that such conventions change with the years, and what you do mention makes quite clear that there has been considerable progress towards greater accuracy in models as the hobby has aged. A significant number of modellers may not care about this, but a significant number of modellers do. The very success of Eduard's 1/72 Spitfire, to name but one example, is a sign of this, as can be shown if needed) when comparing it with the original Airfix Spitfire of 1956, and its progressive replacements (from all companies) down the decades. Not that this has always been a straight line or without temporary regression, at least in the case of specific companies. Thus increasing accuracy is not only possible but even shown to prove a success, where fads such as moving parts (which always leave unrealistic joins) had faded. But they come and go, and no doubt will continue to do so. It seems logical that accurate models will outsell inaccurate ones, because those who don't care will buy both, but those who do will only buy the latter. Thus accurate kits will be more successful in the long term, and this is exactly what we have seen. There are of course competing matters such as ease of build vs complexity of detail and the fine-ness limitations of progressive technological change. I think we have reached a point where the hobby is capable of producing multiple tiny parts that are approaching the limits that the wider market can cope with, but simplicity and accuracy are not diametrically opposed. By the way, there was some time spent in the recent Hornby TV programme showing the designer of the 1/48 Vampire adding rivets. Thankfully not to the exterior. So not just to the 1/24th range.
  10. The usual act would be to place a patch, either pre-prepared (if such existed) or a doped piece of fabric, over the opening for the guns. I can't claim to have seen this on Mk.XIIs specifically, but it would be very surprising if no such protection was employed..
  11. However, as the Mk.V could be adapted to take oblique or vertical (see 40 SAAF in Italy) I see no reason to doubt that such a fit could have been obtained if required.
  12. Adam: Argentina already operated fixed-undercarriage Hawk 75s, so yes this would have been an obvious choice. However remember than many of these fighters had flown to Algeria, so only a fraction of those delivered would still be available. Pat; I don't think that the BMW 801 was a low (or even lower) maintenance engine. The Bf.109 was however a low cost production item. As this is a What If, perhaps we could consider the Bf.109X with its Pratt&Whitney, although this would then double Argentina's supply problems! Manufacturing machine tools is major activity and not for low-technology companies such as Argentina at this time. As they were to find with their post war designs, when machine tools (and engines) were available on the world market again. On this general subject, I recall being a green apprentice commenting, to my boss "It's a good job aircraft don't have to carry their own paperwork!" This is not allowing for the time taken to set up the production lines and build the jigs and train the staff, manufacture and assemble the parts. The other question is how Argentine was going to pay for these supplies - presumably not just aircraft but precious tanks, trucks, artillery would all be needed. Argentina made its money from beef, either as frozen steak or corned and tinned. No doubt Germany would he happy to get such, but how? Were the Atlantic open to such trade, Germany would have already won the war in the West and have no reason to support Argentina in its local territorial ambitions.
  13. The white hinomaru surround would not be present on front-line aircraft with light grey underside, which is what Airfix assumed this to be. The orange-yellow underside is for training units, as I presume you know, and the white would thus be required for visibility.
  14. Artwork was shown in advertising for Vichy French DB-7, if not for other examples including early British ones. I don't recall seeing reviews or further mention.
  15. Av Usk were (I think) a model shop/dealer which branched out into a line of well researched transfer sheets - the instruction sheets were several times the size of the transfers. They then produced a number of reasonable standard kits of small aircraft that were generally considered wanted at the time: the Typhoon comes to mind but I have the IK.3 and one (at least) Japanese floatplane - the Pete but I may have a Dave too. I don't have a full listing of their range, but they did climax with the B-32, which I think was entirely injected plastic but seems to have over-stressed them as they shortly after disappeared.
  16. The best suggestion I have using these letters is FJTK. The allocated codes for the CG were FJR, FJS, FJT ,FJU ,FJV , FJW and FJX. The T as a prefix was for Technical Training Command, but the second two letters are not included as codes ibn Combat Codes.
  17. Aviation Usk did a Dominator. I never had one but the rest of their range was injection moulded and I'm pretty sure this was too. The Tu.4 needs little more than a gun barrel change - ok, may gun barrels changed.
  18. As another engineer, I must admit to jumping to the "cut-back" reason immediately. Otherwise the whole rear-end would have had to be different. I do feel that understanding why something needed to be done is a great help in understanding just exactly what was done.
  19. The point was that rivets in 1/72 scale are impossible to represent properly and are better omitted. I was not (only) thinking of 1960/70 models, as over-rivetting has been a fad for much loner than that.
  20. I'm not sure that model companies' budgets run to scanning an aircraft just on the off chance.
  21. It appears to me that there are numerous models with flaws that could have been corrected by a study of what was done badly before, and at discussion groups such as this one are one of the best means for discussing such matters, and of finding out who can advise. Not always those present on the forums but certainly those others credited on the forums, and as significantly which sources cannot be trusted. Avoiding such a source of information seems foolish. I can think of numerous Hurricane models with rivets. None of them benefitted from them. This appears to be a good working principle in small scales.
  22. No argument about the aircraft, but the ship was a lot older and weary. There remained the Navy's problem of mannjng. She wasn't scrapped when she was because of the air wing. Reality isn't a matter of simple decisions based on desirability.
  23. Yes, had Britain at the time had the economy to fund such a fleet, with the public's willingness to pay for - and not least man - it, then there is no doubt that such a fleet would have been much more effective. But that requires rather large, and not particularly credible, changes in post-war history.
  24. Now for a real "What If" Beaufighter lets combine the prototypes with Griffon engines, four gun top turret and the twin tails. Or a bit more - lower the top line of the fuselage so that the turret can be lowered to give less drag? Have the plans of the "slim-line" or "sports" Beaufighter project been published anywhere?
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