Search the Community
Showing results for tags '81 Sqn'.
Hmm I appear to have been somewhat remiss in documenting my latest project, which is a follow up - or rather a prequel to my recent Hurricane IIc project. In October 1942, my Dad was posted to 81 Squadron which at that time was in Gibraltar, awaiting the launch of Operation Torch to invade North West Africa. At this time 81 Squadron were flying Spitfire Vc which were adapted to the Tropical configuration by adding a Volkes filter at some point. So my source kit is the HobbyBoss Spitfire Vb Trop and to convert to the Vc I'm using the resin C wing conversion from Grey Matter Figures. Obligatory sprue shot Some of the aftermarket - the wings and some other bits turned up later The most glaring problem with the kit is the tailplanes which are metal on one side and fabric covered on the other! This is easily fixed by the QuckBoost update. I've also sourced fabric seat belts from HGW and metal cannon barrels from Masterworks, plus some Eduard PE for the exterior. Now comes the major admission - I appear to have all the photos taken int he early part of the project. I'd been keeping a photo record of the cockpit progress, but all the pics seem to have vanished, so all I have left are those I've taken very recently which you will see is some distance into the build!!! For this build I am going to do another diorama with my father in like I did with the Hurricane, but this time it will be set in Algeria in winter 1942, so no shorts and bush hats! The first thing I need to decide is what will my father be doing? For the Hurricane it was easy - open up the sides and have him fiddling around with the main junction box behind the cockpit. The HobbyBoss kit comes with an openable radio hatch and a crude representation of the radio set, however my dad wasn't a radio tech but an electrician. While building the cockpit I realised that the 3 lights that are on the port sidewall are only represented by small blobs in this kit... bingo, Dad is obviously replacing these lamps!! That means he'll be standing on the port wing leaning over the side if the cockpit. Although this kit comes with an engine and removable cowelings, the engine isn't a very good representation of a Merlin 45, so I'm going to leave it closed. The main work is going to be replacing the kit wings with the resin wings. So to begin - a lot of work was put into the cockpit, the Baraccuda resin set is very nice and although intended for a Mk IX, it'll pass for a Vc. I also used an Eduard Zoom set for the instrument panel. So here are some photos taken this evening to show the cockpit. There is a bit of dust from sanding the wing joints which I'll need to flush out with some air and the control stick is missing as it fell out during assembly so I left it out for now! The cloth seatbelts were superb and took staining very well and I would recommend them to anyone who has the patience to assemble them properly!! and here is the radio hatch - I did superdetail the radio but you can't see it in the small opening. I did add some placards from the airscale set to try to make it a bit more interesting and there will be a PE door from the Eduard set to fit later. So what of the wings? Well let me tell you they are beautifully cast but a total bugger to fit! For a start they come with the tips missing so you can add your own LF, high altitude or normal ones. Problem here is that the HobbyBoss kit, unlike the Tamiya kits come with the wing tips moulded on! So you need to cut the wing tips off. Then you find that the wing chord and width of the resin wings are just a little bit smaller than the wings that come in the kit! Fortunately, I have a Tamiya Spitfire VIII in the stash, bought when I thought my dad was with 81 Sqn in Burma. I'm still planning on building an 81 Sqn Burma Spitfire VIII but will build that with the high latitude wings as they first used when being posted there in late 43 early 44. So I can use the normal wing tips from the VIII to match up with the resin wings as their chord is slightly thinner. However they are still about 4 mm too wide when joining up. I solved this with some careful trimming and sanding as you can see above. Now when it came to attaching them to the fuselage, you need to cut up the kit lower wing section to provide the under-fuselage joint. I managed to mess this up a bit and had to insert extra triangles where I'd been too eager to cut and got the shape wrong. The upper surface fit is quite good but again the resin wing is about 6 mm narrower than the original kit part. The wing thickness is also thinner but this isn't so prominent. Here are the wings fitted and the cannon bulges added (these come as separate blisters that need gluing to the right places. Notice also the pencil marks to show where the cannons and machine gun ports need to go on the leading edge) Here is the underside where you can see the triangular in-fills I had to add where I'd made mistakes The trickiest part here was getting the dihedral right and I think I might have overdone this just a little - judge for yourselves here: So thats the progress so far. Its been about a month and a bit elapsed time but I haven't been rushing... Oh I almost forgot, I'm also building another of the iconair accumulator trolley kits to go with the diorama, but this time I'm doing it in RAF blue (ish) and adding a small motor on top as was seen on many airfields like here: (Copyright IWM Archive, used here for reference only) and here it is so far I used a piece from the Tamiya 1:35 US Maintenance kit which has a compressor with a small engine on top. I cut of f the engine and stuck it on top of the accumulator trolley. I doubt if it is 100% accurate but its a decent representation of the sort of thing they would have had. Oh and there will NOT be another PE toolbox in this diorama - I had enough with the one in the Hurricane dio
This is another in my series of builds "Aircraft my Father Fixed". Up to now I've built mostly the aircraft my Father worked on while in Burma in the latter half of WWII while attached to 5 Squadron. Before that he was with 81 Squadron from their entry into Operation Torch at Gibraltar Oct '42 up until Sicily had been pacified in Oct-Nov1943 whereupon he was transferred to Cairo en-route to India and 5 Squadron. Funnily enough, 81 Squadron followed his his wake a couple of weeks later and ended up based 5 miles down the road in India, re-equipping with Spitfire VIII, hence why we have a Christmas dinner menu from 81 Sqn in 1943 in my father's effects. Anyway, back to Tunisia in the spring/summer of 1943. Up to that point, the squadron had been equipped with Spitfire Vb Trop and Vc Trop (hence my earlier abortive attempt to convert the Hobbyboss Vb Trop to a Vc Trop), however these were beginnign to be outmatched by the German aircraft. The Tropical filters used on the V series had an unfortunate side-effect of reducing overall performance of the engine. So in May '43 81 Sqn started receiving Spitfire IXs. At this point they were based in Tunisia at Souk-el-Khemis airfield and subsequently moved to other airfields in the general vicinity. From reading Alan Peart's book "From North Africa to the Arakan" you get to see that conditions on these airfields were basic to say the least. So I want to try to capture a snapshot of the activity of the groundcrew in these conditions in my diorama. Build thread viewable here So here are the photos of the finished build: Made it in time for the Farnborough club meet tomorrow! Phew!
Inspired by robvulcan and PC2012's builds it is now my turn to have a bash at a large scale detailed Spitfire. This is another in my series of builds "Aircraft my Father Fixed". Up to now I've built mostly the aircraft my Father worked on while in Burma in the latter half of WWII while attached to 5 Squadron. before that he was with 81 Squadron from their entry into Operation Torch at Gibraltar Oct '42 up until Sicily had been pacified in Oct-Nov1943 whereupon he was transferred to Cairo en-route to India and 5 Squadron. Funnily enough, 81 Squadron followed his his wake a couple of weeks later and ended up based 5 miles down the road in India, re-equipping with Spitfire VIII, hence why I have a Christmas dinner menu from 81 Sqn in 1943: Anyway, back to Tunisia in the spring/summer of 1943. Up to that point, the squadron had been equipped with Spitfire Vb Trop and Vc Trop (hence my earlier abortive attempt to convert the Hobbyboss Vb Trop to a Vc Trop), however these were beginnign to be outmatched by the German aircraft. The Tropical filters used on the V series had an unfortunate side-effect of reducing overall performance of the engine. So in May '43 81 Sqn started receiving Spitfire IXs. At this point they were based in Tunisia at Souk-el-Khemis airfield and subsequently moved to other airfields in the general vicinity. From reading Alan Peart's book "From North Africa to the Arakan" you get to see that conditions on these airfields were basic to say the least. So I want to try to capture a snapshot of the activity of the groundcrew in these conditions in my diorama. So to begin with, the model - you've all seen plenty of sprue shots so I won't bother here, but at least here is the box: For the base I'm using a 300x300 wooden base supplied by one of my IPMS Farnborough colleagues from his website: http://www.ema-heritage.com/displaybases.html That should give enough space for the aircraft and some activity around it. Speaking of which, the donor kits for figures, materials etc include this lot: Yes I know there is 1:35 scale figures in there but my Dad was only 5' 5" tall, so they'll be okay On th eleft you can see some of the ValueGear stuff that I used in my Hurricane diorama earlier in the year. This stuff is superb, huge variety and excellent casting and detail. I picked up a set of crates as well which you can see in the glass ashtray in the top left. Above that is the IconAir accumulator trolley I built originally for the Hobbyboss build. I've added a small engine on the top of it to represent the generator that was fitted to many of them. This was sourced from the US Maintenance Yard kit from the compressor you can see at the bottom right of the box top picture. For the Spitfire I've got a collection of Decals for the inside and outside that will allow me to represent EN204 FL-L: (from the Osprey book "Spitfire Aces of North Africa and Italy) Note how the original "E" lettering has been badly overpainted to turn it into a "L" Here are the decals I'll use: There is a huge amount of aftermarket stuff for this kit and here is a selection of what I may or may not be using: There are wheels, seat, large cannon wing covers, cockpit door with seperate crowbar (not to be painted red!!), Cockpit upgrade set, cockpit stbd sidewall, "cloth" seatbelts PE Toolbox by Aber (just like the one I have in the Hurricane dio) and finally the PE set for the Hobbyboss Vb, but which contains some very useful bits for this build, eg the PE radio hatch door which will be used elsewhere on this build! I actually started this build a couple of weeks ago but haven't got very far because in the weather we've been having the man-cave shed is to flipping cold!! So I've come up with a cunning plan... Part of the delay was waiting for all the parts to arrive and also to do the research for the various things I want to do. Here is a sample of some of the reference material I've collected: This of course doesn't show the e-book PDF of Monforton's book or the other reference photos, sites etc that I've used and will be using. I've printed some of the engine photos and stuck them up: which gives away my cunning plan to get around the cold weather situation... move a lot of the modelling stuff into a temporary table in the lounge! All the airbrushing will still have to be done in the shed, but at least I can build and brush paint in comfort! I began on the figures as I was waiting. I picke dout two from the 8th army set and one form the Tank riders set: The Tank rider figure in grey had to have the top of his head rebuilt as I won't be putting a steel helmet on him, instead he'll get an RAF side cap at a suitably rakish angle! I began work on the engine and my aim is to add as much detail as I can bear to. The inspiration for that is the amazing Hornet build being undertaken by airscale in another thread here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234950214-hph-de-havilland-hornet-sea-hornet-f-mk22-tt202/ Truly magnificent stuff and if I can get anything approaching this, I'll be very happy! Progress so far: Its all a bit bland and OOB so far - well apart from the replacement resin rocker covers with the Rolls Royce logo on them. This will change as time progresses I hope. Now since I've got an accumulator trolley in The diorama, there should be somewhere for it to plug into: Voila! So of course there is also the question of the starboard rear panel I've been pestering people about on another thread... this one: As you can see I've successfully cut it out without causing damage to the surrounds and next to it is the PE Radio access panel from the VB PE set which is near enough the same size (its about 1.75 inches too tall, but that won't be noticeable when its hanging open. Here is the inside of it: which has superb fine detail. One of the things that my researches show for this access hatch is that the inner frame is very visible, with all its lightening holes present. So I'm going to have to scratch build that so that means removing the existing rib detail in the kit: So thats where I stand so far - bloody hell its taken an hour to write this post! I'd better get on with the rest of the day...