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  1. Fairey Swordfish MkI, K8393/E5A flown by Captain Oliver Patch RM and Lieutenant David G Goodwin RN, No 824 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Eagle. No 824 Squadron was originally part of HMS Eagle's air group in the Mediterranean, and was transferred to HMS Illustrious just before taking part in Operation Judgement, the attack against the Italian fleet at Taranto, Italy, 11/12 November 1940. Operation Judgement was itself part of a larger series of operations under the codename Operation MB8. It's a complex story, best read on the Wikipedia page. The Swordfish, nicknamed the Stringbag for its ability to carry almost anything rather like the 1940s housewives' string bag, really needs no introduction. If you are unfamiliar with the aircraft, perhaps a start with the Wikipedia entry would be a good primer for you. The new tool (albeit nearly a decade old now!) Airfix kit needs some effort, but makes up into a tidy scale representation of the classic biplane. I was lucky to acquire this particular boxing containing the Taranto raid markings as a secondhand purchase from a fellow Britmodeller. I added a photo etched rigging set from SBS Models, but otherwise the kit is built out of the box. I had been anticipating this build for some time, being a bit worried at the parts count and, well, it's a biplane. I felt it would make a good entry into the High Wing Group Build, and so the die was cast. I needn't have worried, as the kit was well thought through, and built up with very little trouble if you take your time over it. If you want to see the WIP thread, the link is below. As well as the aftermarket rigging set, I used the kit transfers, ColourCoats enamels for the main camouflage, and Humbrol acrylics and enamels for the detail painting. I have one or two more models to build to complete this part of my Fleet Air Arm 1940 collection, though I have yet to acquire a Sea Gladiator.
  2. And we’re off!!! I am probably bitting off more than I can chew but I want to try and build two Hellcats in this Group Build. Both aircraft were flown by Pilots who went on to become Aces whilst flying with 1844 Naval Air Squadron FAA aboard HMS Indomitable. Trouble with two is that I’m a slow builder with not much time but we’ll give it a go.. I’m using the Eduard 1/48 Hellcat MkI & MkII kit(s). I won’t bore you with the sprue shots, just the box opening (after all there are several of this kit being built). I am going to attempt both the MkI and MkII though. I’m starting with the MkI first. The specific aircraft I am building is FN411/R5°E. This aircraft was used by Sub Lieutenant Edward (Tug) Wilson to destroy two Ki-45s on 12.01.45 during air strikes over Nicobar Islands (Operation Millet). SLt Wilson was a Volunteer in the South African Naval Force serving with the FAA. Once I have the cockpit safely installed in the fuselage I will start on the MkII. This will be another 1844 aircraft flown by a distant cousin of mine Sub Lieutenant William (Bill) Atkinson during Operation Iceberg again building and installing the cockpit in the fuselage before moving the two aircraft along in parallel. The build starts in the Cockpit and I have gone with the coloured etch for the panels (you get decals as well but I’ll save them for a couple of weekend editions I have). So this is my day’s work (stopping for the GP)... Thanks for stopping by.
  3. I found this thread from a decade ago about the alterations which Blackburn's staff made to F6F-3 Hellcats destined for the FAA. Is this information still representative of current knowledge? It mentions a Blackburn chart: is that viewable online? I have Bert Kinzey's book about Hellcats, but it hardly mentions the FAA Hellcats: do any books cover them well? Did anyone ever find out where that map pocket went? If you can answer these questions, you have my earnest thanks and big respect.
  4. Not one of the usual suspects for a Beaufighter kit, firstly a Merlin engined option and one from High Planes Models. Last but not least all three options in the box are Fleet Air Arm options. The FAA used Beaufighters in a number of secondary roles especially in and around Africa; fleet requirements and convoy protection being the main ones. The HPM kit will take a bit of work to get it knocked into shape, the majority of the kit is a hard plastic with a fair amount of flash but under that there's a fair amount of nice detail. Vac formed canopies (in duplicate for the crack handed like me), white metal undercarriage and a transfer sheet with three options. And some etch. Fairly basic instructions, and colour call outs for three options. Once the starting pistol goes I see a bit of sanding in my future.
  5. Grumman Hellcats in FAA service - when did they turn Blue? Hi all, I want to use to the collective brain to try and resolve a little dilemma for me. On the theme of Fleet Air Arm Aces I intend building a few more Hellcats representing aircraft of 5th Navy Fighter Wing Pilots (1839 & 1844 NAS) and I have hit a bit of a dilemma. I have as WIP at the moment a MkI and an MkI of the FN999 and JW999 Serial range but I intend to build a couple more:- Hellcat II JX814/W132 - ‘Tony’ destroyed, ‘Oscar’ destroyed 12.04.45 SLt WMC Foster. Hellcat II JX886/W126 - ‘Judy’ Shared destroyed 06.04.45 SLt TE Wilson. Both of these victories were during Op Iceberg April ‘45. JX814 & JX886 were both allocated in 03.45. My question is, should these aircraft be in TSS or GSB? I have not seen any photos of either JX814 or JX886 but the common view is (and repeated in artwork in Andrew Thomas’ Royal Navy Aces of WW2) that if they are Iceberg aircraft they are in TSS but should this be the case? I have a still from a film taken on HMS Formidable showing the Corsairs being serviced, in the background is Hellcat X119 that is identified by Sturtivant as JX772 the aircraft flown by SLt Atkinson to destroy three ‘Grace’ bombers on 25.07.45 (also written into Atkinson’s log book). The aircraft being allocated to 1839 NAS 06.45 and reallocated to 1844 NAS 07.45 - it is painted Dark Blue. If JX814 and JX886 have a higher s/n that JX772 should they not also be in GSB or was JX772 built out of sequence or repainted? (or is my my sequential build assumption wrong?).. If it helps I think JX814 and JX886 are in the BuAer Group 71638-77112 and JX772 in group 71163-71237 but my maths might have failed me.. Hope someone can help or I will just go with TSS which seems to be the scheme at the time.. Thanks in advance..
  6. Hi All, My latest completion is Special Hobby's Fairey Fulmar. The Fulmar was a carrier-borne reconnaissance & fighter aircraft operated by the Fleet Air Arm during the earlier years of the war, eventually being replaced by single seat aircraft such as the Sea Hurricane, Seafire and Martlet. Despite being slow relative to these aircraft, the Fulmar acquitted itself well in combat throughout the Mediterranean theatre, and at its peak equipped 20 squadrons of the FAA. The SH kit allows for 5 schemes. I have chosen to complete as N2015 of 805 Sqn, which flew from HMS Eagle during 1941. Here's a link to a photo of N2015 (kindly added to the WIP by @Grey Beema - thanks GB!): https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205046496 Here is a link to the WIP if anybody is interested: This scheme was notable for a few reasons: - The white sunscreen applied to the pilot's glazing - The lighter covers for the wing machine guns (which I mistakenly omitted) - Most notably, the locally applied 'spaghetti' camouflage applied to the leading edges and lower surface of the cowling. This was applied in order to confuse enemy troops during ground attack sorties This was one of my most complex paint schemes to date - sadly, it is almost certainly incorrect! @iang supplied some information during the WIP (thanks very much Ian!), which strongly suggests that N2015 had a Sky underside, rather than the B/W & Sky as I've depicted. Furthermore, the leading edges would have been painted in Sky, and the 'spaghetti' elements applied with paints which would have been in store onboard Eagle, such as Roundel Red and Dark Slate Grey. If anyone is considering this scheme I would strongly recommend that you have a look at Ian's very credible advice. I did briefly consider respraying to the correct colours but decided that I would likely make matters worse so pushed on regardless. The kit is the usual SH fare, with vague fit and engineering, but lovely surface detail. The resin cockpit, whilst beautifully detailed, was a woeful fit so much cursing and sanding was expended in getting the thing to fit. With all that said, I'm not displeased with the overall outcome. Anyway, on with the photos: Here's a final shot with another FAA Merlin-powered stablemate: I'm glad I've given this kit a bash - although it's a little frustrating to have knowingly finished the scheme incorrectly, I still think it looks pretty good, and it's good to have the type in my collection! Thanks for looking, Roger
  7. Hi All, My next project will be Special Hobby's 1:48 Fairey Fulmar. This aircraft was introduced into service with the Fleet Air Arm in 1940, and continued the tradition of two seat aircraft employed by that service, the act of navigation whilst flying considered beyond a mere pilot. Powered by the Merlin III, the Fulmar MkI was underpowered compared to its single seat RAF equivalents. Nevertheless, the aircraft saw combat in a variety of theatres and at its peak equipped 20 FAA squadrons. Here's the box art: And the sprue shots: There's also a couple of frets of PE: And a quite extensive collection of resin parts, mainly pertaining to the cockpits: The decals look to be in good register and are highly glossy (and a little bright to my eye?): 5 schemes are catered for in this boxing. I'm going to complete as N2015 of 805 Sqn FAA, HMS Eagle, which was operating in the Mediterranean in February 1941: I can find no photos of this aircraft, but have no reason to doubt the efficacy of the scheme. It is quite interesting as the leading edges and underside of the cowling are painted in a locally applied 'spaghetti' scheme, which was apparently employed to cause confusion during ground attack sorties. In addition, the pilot's upper canopy had a white sun shade installed. I have also seen a version of this scheme with a straight 'Sky' underside - does anyone have any definitive references for this scheme? I may choose to omit the night/white elements to simplify the scheme, but would appreciate any input on the accuracy as presented. Anyway, onwards and upwards with the build! Thanks for looking, Roger
  8. Another off the bench today. Hawker Hurricane Serial unknown / AK°U. 213 Sqn RAF which seems to have become the regular mount of Sub Lieutenant Dennis Jeram RN. SLt DM Jeram was seconded to 213 Sqn RAF after completing OTU Course No7 (Naval) in June 1940 and fought with them during the Battle of Britain. On 11.08.40 Jeram Destroyed a Ju88 and also probably destroyed another whilst flying this aircraft. Flying this same aircraft, on 15.09.40, he destroyed a Do17. Jeram went on to fly Martlets during Operation Torch in 1942, Operation Husky in 1943 and commanded 1839 NAS flying Hellcats in the Pacific. The model - Airfix 1/48 MkI (Sea Hurricane boxing - all the same bits in the box) OOB. Paint - Hataka RAF Set (to do a comparison with Xtracrylics). Markings, Box, Spares Box and generic sets. I’m not really happy with the finish. I just could not get the right satin finish for my liking. Not the right staining.. Oh well - next time... Here are the pictures:- Thanks for looking in..
  9. Hi all, Hot off the bench today Blackburn Skua II L2927/A. 803 Naval Air Squadron HMS Ark Royal, Mediterranean, July 1940. Green Leader and Squadron CO Lt JM Bruen. Special Hobby 1/48 Kit, Paint - Hataka / Xtracrylics. Markings - Mix of kit, spares, generic and made. Scheme:- Ark Royal interpretation of the order to paint the undersides of the aircraft Sky (without having seen Sky Paint). I need to thank @iang for all his time and help in identifying what this aircraft probably looked like.. 803 NAS HMS Ark Royal Operation Catapult Mers-el- Kébi (French Algeria). Dakar 03.07.40. (1830) Curtis Hawk Damaged. (1910) Moraine 46 Damaged. (1930) Breguet Br.521 Damaged. 06.07.40. Shadowing flying boat Shared Destroyed 09.07.40. Air strikes against Cagliari planned. Z506B Shared Destroyed. 02.08.40. Air strikes against Cagliari. Z01 Shared Destroyed. 31.08.40. Operation HATS. 1/3 Cant Z501 Shared Destroyed, ½ S.79 Shared Destroyed, off Balearic Isles. Off now to prep for the Hellcat Group Build in which I’ll be building a Hellcat with a family connection.. Thanks for looking in..
  10. G'day all, Here is my attempt at the Airfix Phantom FG.1 in FAA colours. This is the first jet I have done for quite a few years and given the amount of decals on this thing, it will be the last jet I do for a long time yet! I used the Eduard interior set along with Aerocraft Models Detailed Intakes for the intake splitter plates and engine grills (correct name?) at the aft end. The Aerocraft set adds that little bit of extra detail that was lacking and any fit issues you see are from my inexperience in plastic surgery. The detail set comes with enough intake plates and grills for 2 aircraft, so once I have recovered from the latest decalling session I may have to get another kit to wack these onto..... which will be a couple of years down the track. The main issue I had wasn't until I went to put on the 'R' decals onto the vertical stab. After a quick look at some photos, it was then I realised that these FAA jets shouldn't have the antennas attached (I think that's what they are). Oh well if I don't tell anyone, no one will notice right? Just for added interest which might not be accurate, I dropped the Ailerons and Speed Brakes slightly as that is what I saw in a few photos when these were parked. Plus you can't argue with a full missile load either. Thanks for looking. I'm beginning to notice a little trend going on here........
  11. Hi All, My next project will be Eduard's Dual Combo boxing of the Hellcat (so I'm moving in quick succession from the Stringbag to this beast!) The boxing allows for building a MkI and a MkII. Here's the box art: Here's the sprue shots: You can see that the MkI fuselage has a rear quarter window, whereas the MkII does not: There's also some beautifully cast resin wheels: Here's the transparent parts, the PE etch and some masks: Finally a most comprehensive decal sheet, which allows for 3 MkI and 3 MkII schemes. For the MkI I have chosen JV131, which as part of 800 Sqn FAA operated from HMS Emperor in June 1944 in support of Operation Overlord: I've turned up a couple of shots of JV131: Hmmm - can't quite place my finger on it, but something is missing . This will be finished in the standard EDSG/DSG over Sky, with the distinctive red cowling (and of course the invasion stripes!) For the MkII I will be modelling JX814 of 1844 Sqn FAA, operating from HMS Indomitable off Okinawa in April 1945. Here's the scheme: I can't find a pic of JX814, but here's another MkII from 800 Sqn: This will be completed in the ANA equivalent colours of Olive Drab, Dark Grey and Sky Grey - I will also depict the overpainted roundel on the starboard wing. These airframes became very worn as can be seen from this shot: I shall do my best to depict something similar. Anyway, on with the build! Cheers, Roger
  12. Hi All, My latest completion is Hobby Boss' Grumman Avenger, or the Tarpon as it was initially known in FAA service. Although the Hobby Boss kit is generally pretty good in terms of detail and fit, there are a few notable omissions to present an accurate FAA aircraft. I therefore made some modifications to the original, including the following: - Scratch-built the observer's position, including radar scope and chart table - Plunge moulded blister windows for the lower side positions - Scratch-built an instrument panel following a PE disaster Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: I've chosen to model the aircraft as JZ257 of 849 Sqn, which was operating from HMS Victorious as part of the BPF in January 1945. Although I have not found a photo of JZ257, here's a couple of shots of BPF Avengers: The cockpit and observer positions were painted Bronze Green, with the rest of the interior in Interior Green. I chose to complete the undercarriage in white, as I felt that there was sufficient contrast in the above photos to suggest that it was not the underside colour used. The kit decals were dispensed with and I used the lovely Xtradecal 'Yanks with Roundels Part 3'. Paints were EDSG Mr Hobby, DSG Vallejo and AK Interactives Sky Anyway, on with the pics: This one has sat idle for over a year, so I'm really pleased to have got it over the line. It's a beast of an aircraft and I'm glad to have it in the collection! Thanks for looking, Roger
  13. Hi All, Hot on the heels of my finished Tarpon is this lovely pair! This was Eduard's Dual Combo, which allows the construction of a MkI and MkII aircraft, which have assorted minor variations. Both aircraft were built OOB, as the Eduard offering is very comprehensive with decals for 6 aircraft, masks, PE and resin. Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: The MkI was completed as JV131 of 800 Sqn, which flew from HMS Emperor during the D-Day landings. Here's a couple of photos of JV131: The MkII was completed as JX814 of 1844 Sqn, which was operating from HMS Indomitable off Okinawa in April 1945. Although I could not find a photo of JX814 here's another aircraft from 1844 Sqn: And here's another shot showing the battering these airframes withstood: Both models were sprayed using aqueous acrylics; Mr Hobby EDSG, Vallejo DSG and AK Interactives Sky. The MkII had the roundels oversprayed as per the convention for BPF aircraft. Anyway, on with the pics - firstly the MkI: Here's the MkII: Here's a couple of the pair: Finally here's a couple of shots with the Tarpon which was completed concurrently: This was a very pleasurable build, and the fact that I dragged the Tarpon over the line was an added bonus! Thanks for looking, Roger
  14. On the 12th April 1945 two 1770 Squadron Fairey Fireflys; DT941/S276 (Lt Thomson and S/Lt Miller) and DV119/S281 (S/Lt Stott and Lt Ward) took off from HMS Indefatigable at 07.45 on 12 April on a DUMBOCAP to rendezvous with, and provide cover for, a USN Mariner on ASR duties off Yonakuni Shoma searching for a downed Pilot after raids by the Fleet Air Arm on Northern Formosa during Operation Iceberg Oolong. During the Escort mission the two Fireflies engaged with five Ki51s and shot down two each. With two enemy aircraft confirmed destroyed and 3 confirmed shared destroyed (from earlier in the year) S/Lt Stott became the top scoring Firefly pilot. My model represents the aircraft of S/Lt Stott and Lt Ward. It is the Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Firefly I, built out of the box (with the exception of a few bits of wire and some markings). Paint in Xtracrylics slightly lighted to mimic fading. The nearest I could get to a photograph of the aircraft I wanted to model is this:- IMG_1454 It is probably DT941/S276 Lt Thompson & Millers' aircraft used in the same action, which I decided to use as the template for my own. Of note is the fact that the Carrier letter 'S' and the aircraft number '281' appear to be painter in Sky rather than white (unlike my decal set), they also appear to be narrower that the decal set I had. I printed up my own decals but decided they were to dark and over painted them in Sky. TBH I was not in the best humour building the aircraft and I think shows. The Observers canopy is a little narrow, I think if i were going to build another I would go for an after-market canopy and would consider a canopy mask. Anyway - enough wittering - Hope you enjoy the pictures:- IMG_0284 IMG_0289 IMG_0298 IMG_0299 IMG_0310 IMG_0311 IMG_0305 IMG_0306 Thanks for looking in...
  15. Hi All, My next completion is Tamiya's mighty Stringbag, which I will say from the outset is a superb kit. I've completed it as LS276, which flew as part of 836 Sqn FAA from Merchant Aircraft Carrier (MAC) Amastra in 1943. Here's a photo of Amastra, which was a coverted oil carrier: I couldn't find any photos of LS276, but here's another aircraft from 836 Sqn: These aircraft were unusual in that the 'Royal Navy' above the a/c serial was overpainted with 'Merchant Navy', initially as a joke but eventually a source of some pride. As my grandfather served in the Merchant Navy throughout the war I feel a small personal connection - these aircraft could well have been flying as part of the many convoys he sailed across the Atlantic. Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: The kit was built OOB with the exception of the Tamiya rigging PE set, which was veeeerrry fiddly. This build nearly ended up on the Shelf of Doom due to decal disasters, so I'm glad I had a word with myself and pushed it over the line. Anyway, on with the photos: Despite a myriad of minor imperfections and errors I'm pretty pleased with the way she's turned out, and she certainly has shelf presence. I might move on to something a little simpler next time though! Thanks for looking, Roger
  16. Hi All, I've had a couple of false starts in recent times, in part due to a serious slump in mojo. With my Beaufighter and Fulmar temporarily consigned to the 'meh' pile, I needed a serious motivational boost. I've been lusting after Tamiya's Swordfish for many a moon, so a couple of months back bagged the PE set, without having the kit itself! Then last week I received an email to say that the kit was back in stock at my (not very) LHS. Quicker than you can say 'Carrier-based Fleet Air Arm Biplane' I wielded my credit card details, and a nicely packed box arrived a short couple of days later. Here's the boxart: Here's the PE fret - a bit rich to have to pay extra for a kit this expensive, but there you go: For experts, indeed. Does anyone here know one? I've also invested in a set of Eduard seatbelts and an etch set - yes I know it's for a MkI, but I won't tell if you won't... Here's the lovely sprues - detail looks girt lush, as they say in Bristol: And the decals - typical Tamiya fare: I'm going to complete as the box scheme, which is LS276 of 836 Sqn FAA, which served aboard Merchant Aircraft Carrier Amastra in 1943. Here's a photo of Amastra, which was one of 10 Royal Dutch/Shell oil carriers converted to MACs: A limited search has not turned up any photos of LS276, but here's another aircraft from 836 Sqn: These aircraft were unusual in that the 'Royal' Navy was replaced with 'Merchant' - initially a joke played by the sailors on the aircrew, but eventually a source of some pride. As my Grandfather served in the Merchant Navy throughout the war, this will be my small tribute to him and all the other brave men who served in this often forgotten but critical service. Anyway, on with the build! Let's hope that the mojo returns, Thanks for looking, Roger
  17. While looking for VF-85 Hellcat photos for @Corsairfoxfouruncle, I found this excellent photo collection of USN and FAA Hellcats; some very interesting photos, many of which were new to me, and I hope to you, as well. Mike https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/f6f-hellcat/ https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/f6f/
  18. On 20.11.1941 Lt P N Charlton flying Hawker Hurricane I (Trop.) W9327 OL*W of the Royal Navy Desert Fighter Flight intercepted and destroyed three Ju87s. Later in the same flight Charlton was hot down by a 'friendly' Tomahawk, later awarded DFC by RAF. This is my representation of Charlton Hurricane. I must thank and both @Beard and @tonyot for their help with the general appearance of this aircraft. Kit is the Airfix 1/48 Hurricane MkI(Trop.) boxing, paint is Xtracrylics, decals came from the kit or from Xtradecal generic set, the Squadron codes were sprayed using templates I made. I hope you like these rather cruel photographs.. On the shelf with Sea Hurricanes and a Martlet MkII Thanks for looking in..
  19. I hope you don’t mind me joining in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations Group Build with this offering. I am going to build the Special Hobby 1/48 Blackburn Skua using the ‘Norwegian Campaign’ boxing but it will be built as L2927/A of 803 NAS HMS Ark Royal, Mediterranean Aug ‘40. I’ll talk later in the build about why this particular aircraft but for now here are a paltry starting efforts. First off the box and sprue shots. Not many parts.. I thought I would start with the engine. Crankcase, cylinders and Exhaust are separate resin parts. All need fitting.. Then you slap some paint on, fit the exhaust collector ring, mounting frame. It is all a bit fiddly but slowly does it. The cowling was held together with tape and the engine assembly dropped in a regular intervals to make sure it fitted. The assembled unit, exhaust collector ring fitted into cowling/ front of the collector ring and some filling done (liquid sprue) to bring the two units together. . I need to do more work about joining the front and rear parts of the collector ring before painting up in scorched metal.. I also put the first coat of paint on some cockpit elements and decided to make the radios in the TAG cockpit a little more 3D.. . I’ve found a better picture of the radios so they might get a repaint (or printed front). Any comments welcome. Thanks for stopping by..
  20. Hi All, I've had a pretty reasonable year in terms of output - 12 models completed in all, so an average of once per month. It's not been that consistent really - I had a purple patch when I lost a job, and have slowed down since I got a new one! I hope you all enjoy, and let's hope that 2021 is a little less interesting! Anyway, down to business. First cab off the rank was Airfix' lovely 1:48 Boulton Paul Defiant, built as PS*V of 264 Sqn RAF, Martlesham Heath, June 1940: Next was an Airfix Sea Hurricane MkIB of 880 Sqn FAA, as flown by Lt 'Dickie' Cork DSO DFC from HMS Indomitable during Operation 'Ironclad', the campaign to recapture Diego Suarez in Madagascar, 1942. No WIP for this one, so there's an RFI link: Next, one of my favourite builds of the year, an Airfix 1:48 Supermarine Walrus, finished as an aircraft of No. 5 Communication Flight RAAF, based in New Guinea in 1943: Next, Tamiya's wonderful 1:48 Republic Thunderbolt MkII, finished in a SEAC scheme as RS*B of 30 Sqn RAF based at Chittagong, India, March 1945: One of my next favourites for the year, and my best attempt at some scratchbuilding yet, was Trumpeters 1:48 Westland Whirlwind, finished as P7116 of 263 Sqn, RAF Colerne, Winter 1941/2: Next up was a 1:48 Martin Maryland, presented as AH284 of 39 Sqn RAF, North Africa 1942 - probably my most challenging build of the year, and to my mind one with plenty of room for improvement: Next a change in scale for Airfix' 1:72 Vickers Wellington GR MkVIII, finished as HX379 of 172 Sqn, operating from RAF Chivenor in 1942: Next another 'quickie' build, Airfix' Hawker Hurricane MkI, finished as V6799 of 501 (County of Gloucester) Sqn, RAF Kenley, October 1940: Still with me?! A more unusual subject next - Academy's 1:48 Vought Chesapeake, finished as an aircraft of 811 Sqn at RNAS Lee-on-Solent in July 1941: I continued the FAA theme with a far more versatile aircraft - a 1:48 Special Hobby Fairey Firefly MkI, finished as Z1830 of 1770 Sqn FAA, which flew from HMS Indefatigable in July 1944: Next another challenging build - Eduard's 1:48 Westland Lysander, finished as a SEAC Special Duties aircraft V9289, a Lysander MkIIIA flown by 357 Sqn RAF, formed in Didri, India in February 1944: Last but certainly not least, Eduard's 1:48 Bell Airacobra, finished as A53-6 of 82 Sqn RAAF, based at RAAF Bankstown NSW in 1943: UPDATED 30TH DECEMBER My final build of the year is Special Hobby's 1:48 CAC CA-13 Boomerang, finished as A46-199 'Home James' of 4 Sqn RAAF, based in New Guinea in 1944, flown by Fl Lt Jack Archer: And that's the year done! I've really enjoyed being part of this great community over the last 12 months - the banter, positive comments and genuine support have been a real beacon in what's been a tough year for everyone. Thanks to those of you who have been so kind and supportive (you know who you are), and I look forward to sharing another year with you all! All the very best and season's greeting, and above all thanks for looking! Cheers, Roger
  21. Well, my parcel from Poland arrived on Wednesday, it took a wee bit longer than previous parcels from Arma Hobby, but considering the postal situation at the moment it was still reasonably quick, only 12 days. The sturdy card box contained one Expert Set FM-2 Wildcat and 3 sets of Overtrees neatly wrapped in bubble wrap, I've got a few sets of decals for Martlet/Wildcat VI's, so there's a fewe schemes for me to choose from. Wednesday afternoon the Expert Set was unboxed and had a good fondling whilst I perused a selection of references. Box and contents:- The overtrees supplied are just the two grey sprues and the clear sprue, nothing else. The kit comprises of a main sprue for the FM-2 / Wildcat VI release:- Plus a common sprue for this and the forthcoming F4F-4 release:- The clear sprue is also common with the F4F-4 release, as it contains the lower fuselage windows and wing landing light cover not used on this FM-2 / Wildcat VI release. Also shown here are the small etch sheet and the masking sheet for the canopy and wheels which are only included in the Expert Set:- And here's the decal sheet from the Expert Set which covers 5 US FM-2's, and 3 FAA Wildcat VI's, all of 882 NAS on HMS Searcher, 3 individual code/serials being supplied for the same basic scheme:- If you want to see photo's better than my phone snaps above, there's more on the Arma Hobby website, unfortunately the links they provide on this page for the instructions don't seem to work for me. Initial impressions? It looks like a top quality product, with pretty much all you'd need to build a well detailed model straight out of the box.
  22. Hi All, This is my attempt at Special Hobby's lovely Firefly MkI, modelled as Z1830 of 1770 Sqn FAA, HMS Indefatigable, July 1944. I have not found any photos of the actual aircraft, but apparently it was the first production Firefly MkI and thus has the 3-bladed propellor, early canopy hood and the unfaired Hispano cannon (that's SOOO unfair!). 1770 Sqn took place in Operation Mascot, which was the unsuccessful attack on Tirpitz when she lay at anchor in Kaarfjord, Norway. Here is a link to the WIP if anyone is interested: Special Hobby's kit is a lovely offering with the usual vague engineering and part callouts. There were a couple of 'improvements' made along the way: - Added instrument panel transfers as the one supplied with the kit was rubbish - Cut both canopies as they were presented in the closed position only - Addition of scratch-built navigation light and housing on the port wing - Addition of front antenna as there was no component in the kit Aside from that is was a very pleasurable build apart from a transfer drama - all fixed in the end. Painted in a mixture of AK Interactive and Vallejo acrylics. So onto the photos: And here's a final one with my recent Chesapeake - two aircraft with very different levels of success in their operational history: Thanks for looking, Roger
  23. Hi All, Flushed with the success of my recent Chesapeake build, what better than to follow up with another single engine, twin seat FAA aircraft?! This one was decidedly more successful than the Chesapeake, however. I have the Trumpeter kit in my stash, but following @85sqn's advice (thanks Nick!), I'm leaving the Trumpy kit where it is and building the Special Hobby kit instead, which looks to be a far superior offering (and largely accurate, unlike the former ). I'm planning to build it as Z1830 of 1770 Sqn FAA, which flew from HMS Indefatigable in July 1944. This aircraft participated in Operation Mascot, which was the unsuccessful attack on the Tirpitz at anchorage in Kaafjord, Norway. And so to the kit. Here's the box artwork: And here's the sprue shots - detail looks good! There's a few resin pieces, including the undercarriage bays and some beautiful exhausts: The transfers look pretty good (although the IP decal is complete bobbins) I wouldn't say that bears too much resemblance to the real thing - have to do something about that! Anyway, on to the build. The kit only provides for a closed canopy, so I bravely decided to see if I could separate the canopy components. I started with the pilot's canopy, as if I stuffed it up I could always build the other version - I'm not as daft as I look I used masking tape over the joint, and after a few nerve-wracking minutes with the razor saw ended up with this Next I taped up the Observer's canopy - the stakes were somewhat higher for this one as there was only the one component: The first cut is the deepest (cue the music): And here's the lot after cleanup: I was this relieved! Next I primed all the cockpit components and gave them a squirt of interior green: Lastly I turned my attention to the instrument panel. Here it is after painting and drybrushing: Out came the trusty Airscale instrument transfers: And here's the final result after Microscale Gloss over each instrument (it's not quite dry so is a little milky): Not unhappy with that. Anyway, that's all for today, Thanks for looking, Roger
  24. Hi All, This is my attempt at the Chesapeake, as the SB2U-2 Vindicator was called in FAA service. A batch of 50 Vindicators was originally earmarked for the French Navy, but following the fall of France the order was diverted to the FAA. The Chesapeake was modified to FAA standards, including an extra fuel tank, armour for both crew and 4 wing-mounted 0.303 machine guns. The aircraft were delivered to 811 Sqn at RNAS Lee-on-Solent in July 1941, where it quickly became apparent that the modifications to the aircraft had made it even more underpowered for their planned role of anti-submarine patrol. They were replaced within months by Swordfish and relegated to training duties or squadron hacks. Here is the WIP if anyone is interested. Academy's kit is a re-box of the Accurate Miniatures kit, and includes decals for 3 FAA aircraft as well as a French Aeronavale aircraft. The kit is nicely detailed, although the colour schemes are a little spurious, so good references are key - the decals however seem pretty accurate, down to the non-standard font used for the aircraft serial number. I chose to complete as AL924 of 811 Sqn FAA in July 1941. Here's a photo of the actual aircraft: Here's another shot of a sister aircraft which shows the unconventional font used on the serial number, which the kit decals capture correctly: Following @Dana Bell's references I chose to complete the interior in Dull Dark Green (Bronze Green) with natural metal and doped fabric fuselage sides. The pilot's head armour and headrest were scratch built, and holes were drilled in the wings to represent the 4 wing-mounted 0.303" machine guns. The kit was painted in acrylics using a speculative 'Sky' underside, and EDSG/DSG uppers in the standard TSS scheme as noted in the references - I chose to add doped linen patches for the wing guns, as I thought this to be most likely. Anyway, on to the photos: Although this aircraft had a short and undistinguished FAA career, it is certainly an interesting subject. The kit builds up into a lovely representation of the aircraft and those with more skill could go to town on the highly visible interior. I've thoroughly enjoyed building this interesting footnote in aviation history! Thanks for looking, Roger
  25. This is the first time in many years that I've attempted a group build of any type, and although my track record has been abysmal in the past, I am actually really looking forward to getting started on this. I'll be attempting a Corsair Mk.I of the FAA, JT228, code 6A of 1833 RNAS Macrihanish in 1943. The kit is the Tamiya F4U-1D in 1/48th scale. I'll be using Xtradecals "Yanks with Roundels" set X48102, and going with their recommendation that the aircraft was still in US equivalent FAA colours, so ANA 603 Sea Gray, ANA 613 Olive Drab and ANA 602 Light Gray. Probably Humbrol enamels for those, although I may test the Xtracrylix Olive Drab and see how that looks - either way, it will be brush painted unless I cannot get the effect I'm after with the camo demarcation. In addition, I have the Ultracast replacement seat with Sutton harness, and replacement exhausts. I'm still undecided about a replacement engine, but have time to make up my mind on that. The kit is un-started - I have kept it locked away in a cupboard to stop me even thinking about getting stuck in - but I will be studying the instructions between now and Friday to try and make sure I don't commit the usual Laidlaw stupidities. Well, I can dream. I'll be adding representations of the fuselage-side air intakes and the ventral exhaust, and will be clipping the wings to the "short short" position, as that's what I believe the Xtradecal instructions show. If anybody knows differently, I'd be grateful for the information. Kit, decals and resin bits: Decals/transfers/stickers: Resin bits: Runners:
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