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Rod Blievers

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About Rod Blievers

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  • Birthday 10/01/1946

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    SE Qld, Australia

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  1. Patrick: The difference with the Canadian gear mounting/rake is generally not appreciated. The point of tire contact for a Canadian-built Chipmunk is 3 or 4 inches (depending on your reference source) further aft when compared with a UK-built specimen. The Canadian legs are subtly more vertical and the mount position is an inch further aft; very hard to appreciate unless you see the two together.
  2. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, I hope I didn't imply otherwise? If so I apologies, certainly not my intent. I HAVE written my own book Mike, well part of one anyway! Check out "Chipmunk - the Poor Man's Spitfire", arguably the definitive work on the mighty Chipmunk, now hard to get hold of and expensive to boot, which is why I had high hopes for this publication. This is a book intended for "normal modellers", not known as "rivet counters" without reason, and surely they would all definitely be interested in colour schemes, markings and airframe details? I never discussed the lengths of the 3M tapes, merely their differing presentation - again surely any modeller would be interested in this. My point about the UK-centric text and using your argument - why devote 6 lines to the Mk.23 when it's a variant "with no model available of it that I've ever heard of"? And yet at the same time there's a wonderful opportunity missed to lay out (again for modellers) the many differences - apart from the obvious canopy - between the UK-built T.10/T.20/Mk.21/Mk.22 series and the bubble canopied DHC-1B's. I'm not sure about the ethics about this Mike, but I did write an extensive illustrated article on the Chipmunk differences on the HyperScale website - is it kosher to post a link to this?
  3. I'm sorry, but I must disagree with your rather gushing comments about the publisher's "inability to produce a bad one". If you know anything about Chipmunks, then the shortcomings with this publication are sadly all too obvious. Even the front cover disappoints; an appallingly inaccurate drawing of a Canadian-built T.30 in the corner and a photo of two UBAS Chipmunks which really begs for a more informative caption. This one photo rewards careful study; yet there's not a word here about the two different styles of application of the 3M fuselage strips, two different styles of anti-dazzle panels, the not that uncommon appearance of white canopy frames combined with the overall Light Aircraft Grey scheme and finally the spinners marked in the university scarf colours. Not a word! The drawings are, frankly, rubbish! The colour profiles feature some suspect shapes while completely missing some details, nowhere is the narrow-chord rudder shown, while some of the captions are debatable. The centrepiece line drawings again have dubious shapes, and either omit some details or just get them plain wrong. Just as one example, not all UK-built Chipmunks had the rectangular battery access panels on the upper rear fuselage as drawn. But worse, much worse, are the depiction of the Canadian "T.30". Apart from the canopy the draftsman has simply recreated a T.10 without u/c fairings. Despite what some, including Airfix, believe a DHC-1B-2-S3 or -S5 was NOT just a T.10 with a bubble canopy. There are a myriad of external differences - this is a gross miss-representation of what the later Canadian-built Chipmunks looked like. The author has produced a comprehensive (if for obvious reasons compressed) history of the type. Sadly though, my initial disappointments with the drawings are confirmed here as there are errors and omissions. The Canadian-built variants are poorly served; there's no clear description of the differences (indeed the DHC-1A gets scant mention) and the author implies that all DHC-1B's sported the bubble canopy and were all "T.30's" - this is not so. There is no description of what very different aircraft they were externally, for instance of the six panels that form the engine cowlings, four of them are different on Canadian-built Chipmunks. The sub-type that was referred to as a "T.30" was actually the DHC-1B-2-S5 (the final Chipmunk variant produced anywhere), and this isn't even mentioned. For a book purporting to be intended for modellers, I thought the description of the various RAF schemes poor. As examples; not all Chipmunks left the factory with the yellow bands (i.e. those intended for the RAFC Cranwell did not), there's no discussion of why the Light Aircraft Grey colour came about, while there's only a vague and incomplete description of the differences between the two Red/White/Light Aircraft Grey schemes. The latter is I believe important as most modellers aren't even aware of the two different schemes in the same colours. Understandably perhaps, the text seems very UK-centric. The agricultural Mk.23 gets six photos and 36 lines of text whereas the conceptually similar but structurally very different Australian-built SA29 Spraymaster, which had an equally "interesting" gestation, gets a mere 2 lines! And there's no mention at all of what constituted the Mk.21 nor how the Mk.22 or 22A designations came about! Offsetting all this, the author has provided some wonderful period photos from his own collection. I particularly liked the colour photos of various UAS badges which are linked to specific aircraft and dated too. From experience I'm aware of the effort that went into this. When I first heard of this book's imminent issue I had hoped that it could/should have filled the void of reasonably priced Chipmunk references, but to me it represents a missed opportunity.
  4. Is 7/10 maybe being a bit generous here Paul? Even the front cover gives it away; an appallingly inaccurate drawing of a Canadian-built T.30 and a lovely photo of two UBAS Chipmunks which really begs for a more informative caption; not a word here about two different styles of application of the 3M fuselage strips, two different styles of anti-dazzle panels, the not that rare appearance of white canopy frames on an overall Light Aircraft Grey Chipmunk and the spinners marked in the university scarf colours. I've already alluded to the drawings; let me repeat they are very poor! The colour profiles feature some suspect shapes while completely missing some details, nowhere is the narrow-chord rudder shown, while some of the captions are incorrect. The centrepiece line drawings again have dubious shapes, and either omit some details or just get them wrong. Just as one example, not all UK-built Chipmunks had the rectangular battery access panels on the upper rear fuselage as drawn. But worse, much worse, are the depiction of the Canadian "T.30". Apart from the canopy the draftsman has simply reproduced a T.10 without u/c fairings. Given the myriad of external differences between the two this is a gross miss-representation. The author has produced a comprehensive (if for obvious reasons compressed) history of the type. Sadly though, my initial disappointments are confirmed here as there are errors and omissions. The Canadian-built variants are poorly served; there's no clear description of the differences (indeed the DHC-1A gets scant mention) and the author implies that all DHC-1B's sported the bubble canopy and were all "T.30's" - not so. There is no description of what very different aircraft they were externally, while the sub-type that the "T.30" actually was (the DHC-1B-2-S5) isn't mentioned. For a book purporting to be intended for modellers, I thought the description of the various RAF schemes poor. As examples; not all Chipmunks left the factory with the yellow bands (i.e. those intended for the RAFC Cranwell did not), there's no mention of why the Light Aircraft Grey colour came about, while there's only a vague and incomplete description of the differences between the two Red/White/Light Aircraft Grey schemes. Most modellers I know love "oddball" schemes yet there's no mention of the handful of Chipmunks that wore a hybrid combining features of both of these schemes. Understandably perhaps, the text seems very UK-centric. The agricultural Mk.23 gets six photos and 36 lines of text whereas the conceptually similar but structurally very different Australian-built SA29 Spraymaster, which had an equally interesting gestation, gets a mere 2 lines! And there's no mention at all of what constituted the Mk.21 nor how the Mk.22 or 22A designations came about! Offsetting all this, the author has provided some wonderful period photos from his own collection. I particularly liked the colour photos of various UAS badges which are linked to specific aircraft and dated too. From experience I'm aware of the effort that went into this. It could/should have filled the void of reasonably priced Chipmunk references, but to me it represents a missed opportunity.
  5. Be wary gents, from the preview it would appear that the drawings and some of their captions aren't as good as they should be.
  6. If you're intending modelling a Chipmunk with the RAFC Cranwell from the first period (they replaced their Chipmunks with the Prentice in 1955) note that most, if not all, did not carry the yellow wing bands.
  7. I have little knowledge of AAC schemes, but I'd think they'd have more or less paralleled the RAF. Initially overall High Speed Silver with yellow bands, the bands were replaced in 1959, the process taking around 2 years. Initially painted DayGlo panels, fairly quickly replaced by the 3M DayGlo adhesive strips. In 1966 polyurethane Light Aircraft Grey replaced the cellulose Silver, but the first Chipmunks didn't appear in this scheme until 1969 (and in B&W photos it can be very hard to tell the difference - one clue is that a few Grey aircraft sported white canopy frames). The first permutation of the Red/LAG/White scheme (with red leading edges & wingroots, while the elevators remained in Grey) appeared in 1970, but this didn't appear on AAC Chipmunks. The second, more common permutation (with red elevators, outboard wing "blocks" and grey wingroots) was actually promulgated in 1971 but only appeared towards1974.
  8. Rod Blievers

    D H Chipmunk

    Tweeky - yep, and if you look at my photo there's one (WG478).
  9. Rod Blievers

    D H Chipmunk

    Technically they're spin recovery strakes - they improved recovery (marginally) but had nothing to do with spin entry, however DH themselves called them "anti-spin strakes"! These were retrofitted (rather quickly) to the RAF Chipmunk fleet in 1958 - the RAF's last non-straked Chipmunks were those that returned from 114 Squadron on Cyprus in very early 1959. They remained fitted from then on. So the only RAF Chipmunks without strakes were in the overall silver/yellow bands scheme.
  10. John Aero: Sincerely thank you for that succint and highly informative posting - you've certainly clarified the Gull/Proctor lineage for me.
  11. I stand ready to be corrected here, but I thought the Proctor also had a wider fuselage than the Gull series? The front seats were side-by-side in the Proctor, staggered in the Gull.
  12. Absolutely spot-on, Selwyn! I know a (now very elderly) gent who worked with Bader at Shell, and he's never had a nice word to say about him. But, in his day, he was a very effective leader.
  13. It's virtually identical to the front panel - message sent....
  14. Great model Alex, it brings back a lot of memories of the 1:1 scale "Tribarge". Just to clarify, the Union Jack started disappearing off the fins of Cathay aircraft several years BEFORE 1997 (much to the angst of the staff - the Hanover really was coming...), but since the L.1011 was scheduled to have been out of the fleet before 1997 possibly they retained theirs until their demise. The change from VR-H** to B-*** registrations occurred a few years after 1997. It's possibly a bit simplistic to state that the L.1011 was replaced by the A330 - many Tristar routes were then flown (initially at least) by the B747-200/300, as they in turn were being displaced by the B744 on the Long Haul routes.
  15. Paul - sorry if this is a bit late, but the DHC-1B had the more vertical/subtly thicker exhaust stack.
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