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  1. When considering the use of jet fighters by the Fleet Air Arm, the service initially pursued the use of the de Havilland Vampire. However, whilst they felt naval pilots would be capable of flying the type on and off carriers, they felt that it wasn't suitable as a frontline fighter because of poor engine response and limited endurance. Despite this conclusion, it was felt useful as an introduction to jet flying for naval pilots. As a result 18 FB5s were converted into F20s, with various mods for carrier operations, and used for training purposes by units such as the Naval Jet Evaluation and Training Unit, from late 1949 until the mid 50s. Meanwhile, the Admiralty turned to the Supermarine Attacker as its first frontline fighter. This machine seems to have been a retrograde step with its tail wheel undercarriage and wing mounted guns. It quickly acquired a huge ventral tank to improve range, but was never a great success, being quickly replaced by the far superior Hawker Sea Hawk, which in itself was already obsolete as a fighter when it was ordered instead of the more advanced Hawker P.1081. My question is, why didn't they pursue development of the Sea Vampire with Venom type wingtip tanks and more powerful engine, instead of the Attacker?
  2. Another quick scratch conversion for me, the De Havilland Sea Mosquito prototype LR387, based on the old Airfix kit (1972 origin, 2007 issue) with new parts from the spares box (nose, arrestor hook), putty, sprue and plastic strip. I bought this kit back in 2008 because it came with the 4 blade propellers and hubs, and with a mind to building a Sea Mosquito, have steadily accumulated references and parts for it over the years. Decals are mostly from the spares box, with Xtradecal supplying the prototype "P"s (I chose the prototype to get around the issue of larger elevators and engine intakes, plus I prefer the look of the type B roundels on the upper wings). The radome is an old torpedo and the torpedo comes from an Airfix Beaufighter, but I have no idea where the perfectly fitting arrestor hook came from and can only assume there must be another kit in the stash somewhere that is missing its hook ! Oleos were beefed up with sprue to represent the Lockheed Pneumatic ones fitted on the Sea Mosquito, with the wingl fold represented by a scored line and plastic strip fairing. Paint is hand brushed Humbrol enamel with Klear, followed by W&N matt varnish. I also used a little decal softener for the fuselage roundels where they sit over the two longitudinal strengtheners. Although it is an older Airfix kit, I was pleasantly surprised by the good fit, but I removed most of the rivets on the wings and reduced many of those on the engine nacelles. The kit cockpit is very bare, so it received quite a lot of sprue and card-based "gubbins" to reflect the radar displays and naval radios. The nav lights were cut out and filled with 3 layers of Krystal Klear, the first one receiving the appropriate colour from a magic marker. It wasn't entirely successful, but its an approach I will try again. So there we have it; a long delayed project, but another unusual naval aircraft added to my collection!
  3. WWII Pilots of British Naval Aviation (32118) 1:32 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd As if flying in and out of an aircraft carrier wasn’t dangerous enough, during WWII the enemy tended to shoot at you if you got in visual range, and the brave British Naval fliers kept going out when bidden, often in biplane aircraft that were arguably long overdue for replacement, such as the Fairey Swordfish. Their crews were truly legendary, and frequently suffered heavy casualties, despite the German gunners having trouble predicting their advances with their automated gun directors because they were so slow. When a torpedo bomber is lining up on its target however, flying straight and steady is required for accuracy, giving the enemy gunners a comparatively easy target to aim at. The Kit This figure set is a new tooling from ICM to place on or near your 1:32 British Naval project from WWII, whether it’s a Stringbag or not. The kit arrives in a slim top-opening box with the usual captive flap on the lower tray, and inside is a single sprue in grey styrene that contains parts to make the three gentlemen that are depicted on the box art. The three figures include a rating, a pilot and an officer, all looking in (presumably) the same direction as if they are watching a colleague coming in to land. The rating is shielding his eyes against bright sunlight, and the officer is pointing in the direction of the object of their attention, while the pilot is stabilising his parachute on one shoulder, with the other hand in his pocket, wearing full flight gear that includes boots, jacket and flying helmet plus goggles. The parts for each figure are found in separate areas of the sprue for ease of identification, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise clean-up of the figures once they are built up. The sculpting is typically excellent, as we’ve come to expect from ICM’s artists and tool-makers, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the parts of the model. The pilot’s Mae West life vest is separated from the front of the figure to ease moulding, and his ‘chute is made from an additional three parts, plus his goggles are separate too, as are the straps under his chin, depicted undone in this boxing. The other figures are each detailed with their own accessories, the officer having a folder moulded into his right arm, while the rating is carrying a can of paint moulded into his hand, with a separate paintbrush resting across the top of the lid. The instructions are a combined painting and assembly guide, using black numbers to identify parts for the figures, and red boxed letters for paints, cross-referencing the letters against a paint chart on the opposite side that gives names of paint colours in Ukrainian and English, plus ICM’s own paint codes. From these you should be well able to determine which paints to use if you don’t happen to have the necessary ICM paints to hand. Conclusion Detail is excellent, as are the poses and cloth drape and folds over their limbs, making this a compelling figure set to add that human scale to your 1:32 project. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Couple of models I have just managed to finish up. The Korea pair should have been completed as part of the "Here comes the Fleet Air Arm" Group Build but unfortunately I became unwell and was unable to finish them until now. Not quite up to my usual standard but I am hoping to get back there. Anyway - here we go.. First up Supermarine Seafire 47 VP480/180P 800 NAS, 13th CAG, HMS Triumph. Korea Aug 1950 13.08.50 Armed Reconnaissance Chinnampo Harbour Korea. Flown by Lt RA "Dick" Peters. Airfix 1/48. Barracuda replacement bonnet. Airscale instrument decals. Colour Coats Enamel paint. OOB Decals. Next For six decades, the credit for the first jet kill by a piston engine fighter in Korea had gone to Lt Peter “Hoagy” Carmichael. This was accepted fact however, recent research has proven beyond doubt the actual pilot who bagged the Mig-15 was another pilot in Carmichaels Flight, Sub Lieutenant Brian “Smoo” Ellis. Ellis has now been given official recognition for his amazing feat of airmanship. Hawker Sea Fury FB.11. WJ223/O106 802 NAS, HMS Ocean. Korea 09.08.1952. Mig-15 Destroyed SLt Brian "Smoo" Ellis. Airfix 1/48. Barracuda cowling & engine. Eduard interior and exterior detail sets. Paint:- Colourcoats enamel Markings:- Fundekals Did go quite as hoped. Fitters need to do a bit more cleaning on the airframe Last up Eastern Built Wildcat V JV384 6*F 882 NAS, HMS Searcher Operation Hoops May-1944 06.05.44 0820 2x BV138 Shared Destroyed with JV538/7*X(?). Off Vevang Norway. S/Lt John Arthur Cotching Cotching was killed two days later whilst attacking flak ships defending a convoy. He had previously served in Orange Section, ‘A’ Flight, 806 NAS HMS Indomitable Operation Pedestal Aug-1942 12.08.40 S.79 Destroyed, Re.2001 Destroyed. Grumman Martlet MkII AM968/8M. Kit:- Hobby Boss FM-1 1/48 Paint:- Colourcoates Enamels Markings:- Mix of what I had available. Thanks for stopping by..
  5. Definitely my last build of 2023 ! This is the Special Hobby kit of the Percival Pembroke, which also includes parts (cabin interior, nose, short wing tips) for the earlier Percival Sea Prince T.1, as used by the Royal Navy's 750 Sqn to train navigation and ASW. A rather obscure aircraft (although 41 were built), the Sea Prince saw wide use by the RN, in Culdrose, Lossiemouth, Brawdy and Hal Far (Malta). As well as radar (with multiple displays for the trainees), it has a small bomb bay and wing pylons for practice weapons. Sea Princes were used from 1951 until 1977 when they were finally replaced by the Jetstream. The earlier short-nosed Sea Prince C.1 and later long-nosed C.2 were used for transport and logistic purposes (Valom has a kit out for this variant). The RAF also operated an upgraded version of the Prince with extended wingtips and a greater range/payload, known as the Percival Pembroke. It's quite a difficult kit to build, requiring lots of filling, sanding and then filling again, but it's definitely worth it, although I really hate brush painting that fluorescent paint ! Merry Christmas to all! FredT
  6. I am looking into the aircraft flown by SLt John Arthur Cotching DSC RNVR . I have already completed the conversion of a Tamiya F4F-4 to a Martlet II to represent AM968/8M, 'A' Flight 806 NAS HMS Indomitable, Operation Pedestal Aug-1942. Used by SLt JA Cotching† to destroy S.79 and Re.2001 on 12.08.42. Now I am building the Hobby Boss Wildcat FM-1 to represent Wildcat V JV384 6*F of 882 Squadron, HMS Searcher May ’44. Cotching shared in the destruction of 2 x BV138 during Operation Croquet. I know this aircraft as it is identified in Aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm 1939-1945 .Ray Sturtivant who states:- JV384 882 Sqn ('6F') from 09.43. 2 x BV138 Shot down in sea shared with other Wildcats, off Vevang 0820 06.05.44 S/Lt JA Cotching. I am tyring to find a picture of the Wildcats aboard HMS Searcher in May that show how the aircraft were marked. Should the markings be S6F? SF? '6F', Etc?. HMS Searcher was part of the strike group assigned to Operation Tungsten for the attack on Tirpitz in April ’44. There were six carriers in total: two fleet carriers; Victorious and Furious and four escort carriers; Emperor, Pursuer Searcher and Fencer. My understanding is that when multiple carriers server together the aircraft were to carry the Carrier letter. I have seen photos in the IWM Photo Collection of Emperor’s aircraft carrying the large ‘E’ and Pursuer’s a large ‘P’ HELLCATS OF THE FLEET AIR ARM ATTACK ENEMY SHIPPING. 14 MAY 1944, ON BOARD THE ESCORT CARRIER HMS EMPEROR, OFF NORWAY. HELLCAT FIGHTER BOMBERS FROM THE ESCORT CARRIER HAVE TAKEN PART IN ATTACKS ON ENEMY SHIPPING OFF THE COAST OF NORWAY.. © IWM (A 23781) IWM Non Commercial License but I have not found a photo from Searcher confirming if a large ‘S’ was on the aircraft for this period (but possibly for Jul ’44 in the Med see below). FIGHTERS OVER PURSUER. 20 JULY 1944, ON BOARD THE ESCORT CARRIER HMS SEARCHER IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.. © IWM (A 25042) IWM Non Commercial License FIGHTER AIRCRAFT OF THE ESCORT CARRIER HMS SEARCHER 20 JULY 1944, ON BOARD HMS SEARCHER IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.. © IWM (A 25041) IWM Non Commercial License KEEPING FIT AT SEA. JULY 1944, ON BOARD THE ESCORT CARRIER HMS SEARCHER WHEN THE SHIP'S COMPANY WERE ON DECK FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING.. © IWM (A 24588) IWM Non Commercial License There were two squadrons aboard Searcher 882 and 898. It was common practice to identify the senior fighter squadron on a carrier with ‘6’ the next ‘7’ etc. Thus 882 should have been marked ‘6’ and 898 ‘7’. If I look at photos of Emperor’s aircraft which was 800 and 804 squadrons, the two squadrons seem to be differentiated by white codes for 800 aircraft and red lined white for 804 rather than ‘6’ & ‘7’. The photo I have seen of Pursuer’s aircraft at this time just seem to have an aircraft ID i.e. no ’6’ or ‘7’. From the photos of aircraft on Searcher in the Med above I am thinking that maybe it should be 'SF' on the fuselage and '6F' on the cowling. Given the Sturtivant Identified the aircraft specifically as ‘6F’ does anyone have a photo of 882 Sqn in or about May ’44 to confirm how it was marked? @iang, @EwenS, @Lee Howard any ideas?
  7. Seafire F.Mk.XV FAA & RCN (SH48233) 1:48 Special Hobby A Navalised Spitfire was on the Admiralty's agenda even before WWII broke out, but it took until the end of 1941 before a viable conversion was actually constructed due to the rigors of carrier-based service that take its toll on any aircraft that embarks. The initial Merlin-engined Seafire Mk.Is reached the front line at the end of 1941, but these were quickly superseded by the more capable and battle-ready Mk.III, although it was 1943 before it saw its first real combat experience. As the Spitfire design was further developed, these improvements were eventually passed on to the Seafire, including the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine with the corresponding lengthened nose and four-bladed propeller, which resulted in the F.Mk.XV, a Navalised Spitfire Mk.XII, of which over 2,600 were built. It was the direct successor the Mk.III, somewhat surprisingly given the difference in Mark, but the Spitfire’s Mark designations have always been a bit flaky, so why shouldn’t its ship-based sibling have the same characteristics? The Mk.XV was equipped with a Griffon VI engine that could output around1,850hp at 2,000 feet, with the single-stage supercharger contributing to that impressive figure, driving the four-bladed prop with aggressive blade shape, which made it an excellent interceptor for the dreaded Kamikaze attacks that were becoming common at the time the XV came into service. It was replaced by the Mk.XVII, which was essentially a Seafire Mk.XV modified with longer and stronger landing gear and stronger main spar to cope with the extreme pressure of carrier landings in rough seas. The type also had a cut-down rear fuselage and tear-drop canopy synonymous with late model Spitfires, a larger tail fin to restore some of the stability lost by the removal of the spine, and a more streamlined curved windscreen. The Kit This is a reboxing of the 2012 tooling from Special Hobby of their Seafire Mk.XV with new decals, of the type that can be made carrier film free after they are dry. The kit arrives in a blue/white/grey themed top-opening box that has an attractive painting of the subject wearing a high demarcation FAA scheme, whilst flying over islands far below. Inside the box is a resealable bag with three sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, a large decal sheet that also has a sheet of printed acetate and a Photo-Etch (PE) fret in its bag, plus the instruction booklet that is printed in colour on glossy paper, and has the painting and decaling profiles on the rear pages, also in colour. Detail is good, with finely engraved panel-lines and rivets, cockpit interior and plenty of raised and recessed features around the model. Construction begins with the instrument panel, which is a lamination of two PE panels plus acetate dials that are aligned behind the dials to simulate their faces. This is applied to the cockpit frame with the foot well cut-out after removing the moulded-in detail, then installing the compass on its bracket under the centre of the panel. If you’re not a fan of PE, you can leave the raised detail on the kit’s panel, and apply two decals over it instead, being sure to flood the decals with plenty of decal solution to ensure it settles down smoothly over the detail. The rudder pedals are fitted with PE retainer straps on top, then are glued to the rudder mechanism, adding the two-part control column and an actuator rod going aft, then gluing it to the front of the instrument panel frame, adding a footwell bulkhead to prevent the viewer being able to see through into the engine compartment. The fuselage frame behind the seat is detailed with head armour, circular head cushion, and seat frame so that the seat can be fitted through the rest of the seat armour, then adding the PE four-point seatbelts, which have separate adjustment straps, painting them to enhance the details. The fuselage halves are prepared by adding the ribbing inserts plus some small details from styrene and PE, including the usual twin silver cylinders and throttle quadrant that are synonymous with the Spit. After detail painting, the fuselage is closed around the two cockpit assemblies, threading the linkage under the seat, and fitting a rod and roll-over frame to the next station behind the seat. The fuel filler cap on the nose in front of the cockpit is also inserted from within at this point. The lower wing is full span up to the joint before the tips, which has the very bottom of the cockpit moulded into the centre as raised ribbing, adding the landing gear bay inserts and ribbing, plus a triple line of recognition lights in the rear. The upper wings include the wingtips to obtain a fine cross-section, then building up the individual four blades of the prop on the back plate, and covering it with the pointed spinner, setting it aside until later. Before the wings are joined to the fuselage, the twin Griffon cowling bulges are applied over the exhaust slots, the single-part elevators and rudder are fitted to the tail, then the arrestor-hook ‘stinger’ is made up from two parts, using different fairings to depict early and later versions, which involves shortening the hook for the latter option. The wing assembly is then mated to the fuselage, and the single-part ailerons are installed in their cut-outs, deflecting them for a more candid appearance if you wish. Flipping the model over, the large rectangular radiator fairings are fitted with cooling flaps and inserted into their corresponding recesses after putting the radiator core inserts front and rear, using the raised lines in the bottom of the pathway to assist with positioning. A two-part chin intake is assembled and glued over the interface between the cowling and wing leading edge, and the tail-wheel with moulded-in strut is fitted at the rear, adding the two bay doors to the sides. An arrestor wire defecting frame is built from a straight rod and triangular support then glued into position in front of the wheel bay, a pair of dipole aerials are inserted under the starboard wing, with the L-shaped pitot probe under the port wing, but before any of this fine work is done, there is a fairing on the lower fuselage sides that must be sanded flush with the surrounding area, leaving the small holes unfilled to accept small circular lights in them. The main gear legs are each chunky single parts with separate two-part scissor-links, which have captive bay doors on the inner side, making a choice of hub inserts between a flat or four-spoked options, which are trapped between the wheel halves and slipped over the stub axles at the bottom of the legs. The legs are angled forward more aggressively than its land-based cousin, and plug into the bays on two chunky pegs. The instructions point out that there were often two anti-slip markings painted on the border between the hubs and tyres to detect whether the tyres were moving on their rims, which would presumably end with the valve being ripped away. Due to the nature of carrier-based operations, drop-tanks were often carried to extend range, with a two-part centreline tank included, suspended at an angle from two separate struts to avoid striking the deck. A pair of short pylons or bomb crutches are fixed under the wings, just outboard of the main gear bays, right next to the brass ejection chutes for the 20mm Oerlikon cannons, the barrels of which are inserted into the leading edge of the wings in the next step. The prop is installed on its axle, and exhaust stubs are added to their slots, moulded as a continuous part without hollow exits. They are circular and of a size that should make it easy enough to make a depression in the centre and drill out each one. A small intake is applied to the top of the engine cowling by placing it over the guiding lines engraved into the fuselage, with a choice of two styles of aerial behind the cockpit. Speaking of the cockpit, the windscreen is glued at the front of the cut-out, adding a rear-view mirror to the apex, then fitting the fixed rear portion into position. The canopy has a PE opening mechanism fixed to the leading frame, and can be posed open or closed. The cockpit door can be posed open or closed, with a fine PE opening mechanism glued to the top edge, hinging along the bottom edge. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and both wear a high demarcation scheme with Extra Dark Grey over Sky or Sky Grey. The first decal option has an interesting variation from the norm, as it has a replacement outer wing that is covered in green/grey Temperate Sea Scheme camouflage, a much larger roundel on the upper wing, and a different style underneath. From the box you can build the following: SW912, 134T, No.804 Sqn., HMS Theseus, 14th Carrier Air Group, February 1947 PR479, AA-B, No.883/No.1 TAG, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Joint Air Training Centre, RCAF Rivers, Manitoba, Canada, September 1948 The decals are printed using a digital process and have good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut loosely around the printed areas. This means that the carrier film on their decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier film free, making the completed decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the carrier film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and saves a good quantity of precious modelling time into the bargain. Conclusion It’s good to see this kit back on the shelves, and the two decal options are just that little bit out of the ordinary, which is quite appealing too. The muscular lines of the Griffon-engined Seafire lends itself well to the Naval schemes, and the carrier-free decals are great news. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Hello. My very first time posting on here, so go gentle with me. Like so many model makers I have accrued quite the stash over the years and in mine was a poorly started Airfix Hellcat I had bought back in the 80’s. Some of the parts were missing, but I love the Fleet Air Arm livery on the Hellcat in the box art. I happen to find an Academy Hellcat I had bought in the early 90’s so I thought I’d put the two together. The Academy 1:72 kit isn’t great, but I think it went together better than the old Airfix kit would have. https://www.flickr.com/photos/199168357@N03/53197617733/in/album-72177720311301613
  9. Hi Gang, After some deliberation have decided that I will be building an Eduard Grumman Hellcat Mk.I (F6F-3) in 1/48th Scale So far have got a Techmod Decal set for the aircraft and am planning to use the scheme for 800 Naval Air Squadron aboard HMS Emperor in September 1944, I fancy doing an aircraft with the Invasion Stripes in the Extra Dark Sea Grey/ Dark Slate Grey/ Sky scheme. Am off on my hollibobs next week so the build will begin when I return. I intend picking up one of the new Eduard Brassin Look Instrument Panels, some Eduard Resin Tyres and a set of Master Brass Barrels for the aircraft too. Many regards Matt
  10. This is a conversion of the Hasegawa Hawker Hurricane MkIIb boxing to represent Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.IIb JS355 800 NAS. HMS Biter Operation Torch, Nov ‘42 Lt Cdr JM Bruen This is the last aircraft Bruen scored an air to air victory in. I should do a family shot as I have built an aircraft, flown by Bruen of each type he scored in Skua, Fulmar, Sea Hurricane I and Sea Hurricane IIb. Kit: 1/48 Hasegawa Hurricane IIB Work done:- · Removed Lower kit fuselage and in its place grafted in the lower fuselage of the Airfix 1/48 Sea Hurricane I kit which was adapted to fit. · Fixed the curvature of lower fuselage walls which was missing from the Hasegawa kit. · Reshaped the top of the engine cowling to better represent the rounded top of the Hurricane nose. · Sanded the wing tips to the triangular cross section. · All control surfaces removed, reshaped where necessary and refitted slightly animated. · Various lumps and bumps removed from the cowling to better represent the Hurricane IIb. · Pilot harness from paper. · Paint is Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats enamels. · Nationality Markings are sprayed using homemade masks. Serial number is homemade decal. Stencils are kit decals. Big call out of thanks to @Troy Smith for his help and advice. The Hurricane Guru. I hope I got it about right (though I need to sort out that prop blade tip). The stencils have silvered which is a shame as I thought the surface was smooth enough but note to self to do it better next time. Lastly the aircraft of its display base. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I need to go figure what I am going to build in the Fleet Air Arm Group build now...
  11. I have bitten the bullet and made the first cuts on the 1/48 Hasegawa Hurricane IIb to make the conversion to a Sea Hurricane IIb. The aircraft I want to model is Hawker Sea Hurricane IIb JS355 of 800 NAS, HMS Bitter, Operation Torch Nov 1942. On 08.11.42 the aircraft was used by Cdr JM Bruen to destroy a DW520 over Oran airfield. This is the last Aircraft I will model of those flown by Cdr Bruen having already modelled his Skua, Fulmar, Sea Hurricane I. Following the instructions given to me for this conversion by @Troy Smith (to whom I must give great thanks), I have sliced off the lower section of the fuselage from each fuselage half. I then cut the Airfix lower fuselage section which has the recesses for the arrestor hook to shorten it slightly (I cut it wrong the first time) and it is taped in place at the moment. I need to figure out where to score on the inside to try and get a bit of a curve on the fuselage side wall at the bottom as Troy suggested, which I think will be about bottom longeron level. Once done I'll build out the cockpit then follow the instructions. I assume that the dog kennel needs to be reshaped so as to not have the recess that Hasegawa built into it and shaped more like the Airfix version? The wing tips sections will need to be reshaped to give a flatter profile in the span I also need to drag around in the spares box for some four spoked wheels. After that its glue and lots of filler... Thanks for looking in..
  12. My first completion of the Year (started last year). Subject:- Grumman Avenger MkIIJZ186/Q*4P. 854 NAS HMS Illustrious. Operation Meridian II Jan-1945. On 29 January, Operation Meridian II, an air strike against the oil refinery at Soengei Gerong, Sumatra, was undertaken. Having dropped their bombs on the target the Avengers escaped at low level. On escape they were attacked by the defending fighters. The squadron CO was attacked by Japanese fighters, following behind Lt GJ Connolly fired his forward firing machine guns destroying one Ki-44 'Tojo' and damaging another. Lt GJ Connolly (pilot), Lt RE Jess (Observer), Unknown (TAG). Model:- Hobby Boss Fleet Air Arm Avenger MkI/II. 1/48. Observers cockpit is scratch built (inc seats and panels). Pilots cockpit detailed out. Lower cabin is detailed (torch, and magnifier is required). Scratched up some machine gun barrels. Extra bombs provided. Wing fold mechanism scratch built. Observers domed windows crash moulded (best not really studied). Paint - Xtracrylics. Markings - Various Generic. Some photos Its not medal winning - but I hope you like it. Thanks for stopping by:-
  13. After the news that Airfix are to release a 1/48 Gannet, I decided it’ll need some companions before I buy one, which gives me plenty of time to build this apparently excellent Sea Vixen kit, then see if I can find the new tool FAA Buccaneer for about £50 on eBay. Wishful thinking unfortunately. Anyway, I had actually listed this Vixen to sell myself, but having had no offers I’m now pleased it didn’t sell! This will be my first Fleet Air Arm kit in 1/48, and I must confess I’m less familiar with the squadrons, serials, etc than for RAF aircraft of the same era. I haven’t decided which markings to use yet, but as the schemes appear identical I don’t think I need to decide until it’s time for the decals. There’s a chance I may yet look for aftermarket decals. The by now very familiar box. Lots of plastic! Looks like it’ll be pretty big too, about Phantom size at a guess? Paint ready, for much later. Any errors or difficulties I need to know before starting? Also, does anybody happen to know a list of the serials/codes for 893 or 899 Sqn Sea Vixens when embarked? Not sure how quick progress will be as I’m currently rehearsing for my next play and it’s the Six Nations starting this weekend! All comments, input and banter welcome! And yes, I’ll probably be back onto a 1/72 inter-war biplane after this big beast!
  14. John Martin Bruen was a true Salty Sea Dog. Born in Dublin 20/12/1910 (just up the road), the son of an MP, joined the Royal Navy in Sep '24 and served on various Battleships and Cruisers as he rose up through the ranks. He gained his flying certificate Oct '31 and was appointed as a fighter pilot in 802 NAS on board HMS Glorious in Jun '36 and stayed until Jun '38 . In Oct '38 to Apr '39 he served with 801 NAS on HMS Courageous. Aug '39 saw his re-appointed to the newly formed Fleet Air Arm and in Jun '40 he became CO of 803 NAS flying Skuas off HMS Ark Royal. During the war Bruen Destroyed 4 enemy aircraft, shared in the destruction of 4, damaged 2 and shared 2 damaged. He scored victories in the Blackburn Skua - Mers-el-Kébir Fairey Fulmar Hawker Sea Hurricane MkI - Operation Pedestal Hawker Sea Hurricane MkIIb. - Operation Torch He retired from the Navy 20.12.55 and died 20.04.67 in Birmingham My Objective in this GB is to:- build the Fairey Fulmar the Bruen used to destroy a Ju88 21.03.41. I am planning to do some Origami to this aircraft - so it is not exactly going to be out of the box. If that all goes well, I also intend to build the 1/48 Hasegawa Hawker Hurricane MkIIb but converting it to a Hawker Sea Hurricane MkIIb by inserting the Airfix underside under the rear fuselage (wish me luck with that one) to model the aircraft Bruen flew to achieve his final victory. Anyway - that's the cunning plan for this GB
  15. Looking for help please from anyone with current RN Jungly Merlin knowledge. With the conversion from HC3A to HC4A, most external differences between the HC3/HC3A have gone, The UK HC3 had a four-tank fuel system compared to five for the former Danish HC3A, and the respective cockpit and window layouts were significantly different. Externally, the HC3A could be easily distinguished from the HC3 by its distinctive nose cone, which was designed to enable a laser obstacle avoidance system to be fitted in addition to a weather radar and electro-optical device. The MLSP eliminated most of the differences including the nose cone that was such a distinctive feature of the HC3A. In this respect, the engine and transmission rating structures and the nose mounted electro-optical/infrared device are now common for both types. Elsewhere, the HC4A received a hydraulic rescue hoist to replace the original electric hoist, the cabin port door now slides rather than pushes open and the cabin egress windows are now standardised across the fleet to the HC3 configuration to improve emergency egress. However, the HC4 retains the HC3 heavy-duty cabin floor and four-tank fuel system whereas the HC4A retains the HC3A standard floor and five-tank system. This means there are still some external differences between the HC4 and HC4A. For example on the port side, the number of external refuelling points on the HC4 are two and they seem to have covers. On the HC4A there are 3 external refuelling points which do not have any covers. I have it in my head that the external cargo carrying systems are also different, presumably linked to the different cabin floor specs, Is that right?. If I wanted to convert an HC4 to an HC4A, what other changes would I need to make? Any views or advice would be gratefully received.
  16. Well I've tried to do a search and haven't found anything, (boggles the mind as to why) so I'm a gonna run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes it. What I'm proposing is this.. A big ol' cuppa Fleet Air Arm. It can be any subject spanning the years 1914 to present. Doesn't matter if its Vac, resin, biplane, prop, airbag, jet you name it if it FAA its in, also ANY Equipment on land or sea used in direct support FAA , it's predecessors, or successors is eligible. And God willin and the creek don't rise maybe be lucky to get this in for next years bunfight for the 2023 season. So who with me? anyone? Bueller... Bueller... Bueller... 1. LorenSharp .2.@Grey Beema 3. @Jb65rams 4. @Paul Bradley 5. @TEMPESTMK5 6. @DaveJL 7. @Col. 8. @franky boy 9. @zebra 10. @stevehnz 11. @mackem01 12. @Dermo245 13. @Corsairfoxfouruncle 14. @TonyOD 15. @bigbadbadge 16. @Thom216 17. @CliffB 18. @theplasticsurgeon 19. @alt-92 20. @vppelt68 21. @Marklo 22, @Evil_Toast_RSA 23. @Bobby No Mac 24. @wellsprop 25. @zegeye 26. @Tim R-T-C 27. @JOCKNEY 28. @reini 29. @Broadway 30. @galgos 31. @bigfoot 32. @Dunny 33. @Steve 1602 34. @Derek D. 33. @mil 24 34. @GREG DESTEC 35. @Ngantek 36. @PeterB 37. @Grandboof 38. @Rafwaffe 39. @Maginot 40. @Chewbacca 41. @Procopius 42. @Paul J 43. @mick b 44. @Ray S 45 @2996 Victor 46. @Louise 47. @Mark 48. @Navy Bird 49 @2996 Victor 50. @Christer A 51. @Wicksy 52. @Hairy Stickler 53. @Geo1966 54. @Beardybloke 55. @Karearea 56. @Mattp7999 57. @rafalbert
  17. Hi all, Continuing my Fleet Air Arm jet aircraft build, I recently completed Classic Airframes 1/48 Sea Venom. I was very lucky to find this on ebay and I paid the price for the rare kit (most expensive kit I have ever bought...), however, its my favourite British jet of the 50's one of my favourite British aircraft. The kit was overall good in fit, although every part required some cleaning up. I replaced the (albeit rather nice) kit resin ejection seats with some even finer and more detailed resin seats. In addition, I CAD modelled and 3D printed the undercarriage as the kit parts weren't brilliant. Brush painted with hataka acrylics and weathered using Mig panel line wash plus some weathering powders. Decals were from the kit, I really like this striking scheme with suez stripes and tip tank stripes. All done, aside from a windscreen wiper and an aerial or two... Thanks for looking! Ben
  18. 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.
  19. I've come to the conclusion that I prefer smaller models. This is the Heritage resin kit of the Grob Tutor, which is very straightforward, with 6 resin parts, 4 white metal parts and a vacform canopy (plus spare). The kit provides decal options for a wide variety of RAF training Sqns and University Air Sqns, plus the Royal Navy aircraft of 727 Naval Air Sqn who operated initially out of Plymouth airport and then moved to RNAS Yeovilton. I added the missing Fly Navy tail marking from a Model Art set. Small, simple, but fun to build and a good looking result. an ideal "over Xmas" build ! and the real thing..... FredT
  20. And so the big Airfix Hellcat is finished. This is the build story.... The journey started in late June 2019, and with a 9 month interruption, it is done. It isn't perfect but it pleases me: very light weathering, some fading on the upper surfaces. It is probably what a WWII carrier aircraft looked like. It is big, and it is heavy. The problem is "what do I do with it?" From the front three quater perspective, with the nose fully buttoned up, the Hellcat exudes an air of brutality! This is my favourite photograph! And with the cowlings removed the massive engine is exposed.... Now from above... And from the front....it is all about the weapons....! And talking of the weapon load this is a close up. The bombs and rockets are British, not the US ordnance supplied in the kit. There is more on this topic in the Work in Progress thread. Apologies for the blob of BluTac, it holds the lower cowl panels in position! So, there we are.... Comments, criticism and suggestions are appreciated, it is the only way to learn Now on to finish the 1/24 Harrier FGR3 build started in 1972.....(I think)
  21. No, not the Marvel film, but the final stages of WW2 and a nod to VE Day - this is the FROG Grumman Avenger, first released 47 years ago, in 1973. This was a 1974 issue, and the decals are original, for Fleet Air Arm 857 Sqn of the British Pacific Fleet, embarked in HMS INDOMITABLE. It is very similar to the Academy kit, albeit with raised panel lines instead of engraved. Mine had warped somewhat in the box, particularly the starboard wing; I managed to fix it reasonably well, but the wings seem to have more dihedral than I think they should. Whether this is the result of my fix, or the rather vague wing root joints, or perhaps a feature of the original kit, I'm not sure. The markings are a little suspect as the fuselage roundel is a smaller version (they did change) and it still carries the Eastern Fleet tail flash. Perhaps it reflects the early days of the BPF. Nevertheless, this is a reasonable kit that builds relatively easily, albeit that some planning ahead is needed in places and confirms that if you want a quick modelling fix, the older FROGs are still worth building! And with my Academy build from a few years back.
  22. Good day to you all from glorious Nova Scotia! Hope you are all doing well. This is my latest release, built as part of the Corsair GB which finished last month. Although I did manage to get it up in the gallery, it wasn't 100% finished so here she is in her (technically!!) finished glory. This is the Tamiya 1:32 Birdcage kit, done up as a Fleet Air Arm Corsair Mk I JT190 of 1837 NAS, based on the Eastern board of the US. This particular aircraft belonged to Squadron CO and Fighter Ace Lt Cdr Jackie Sewell DSC RNVR. Ultimately the aircraft claimed his life during a training flight when he collided with his Senior Pilot S Lt David Watson RNVR in JT198 over Yarmouth, Maine. Both pilots lost their lives and they both now lie at rest at the Military Cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The kit was built more or less from the box, I added some fabric harnesses as they looked better than Tamiyas steel versions which aren't very flexible. I also added some cockpit stencils to add a bit of realism and interest to the standard cockpit. Points to note on the aircraft. JT190 didn't have clipped wings as it was a US based training aircraft, it also retained US harnesses and didn't have the rear view windows common in most Birdcage Corsairs. The aircraft is displayed having been pushed back for maintenance hence the tail wheel is meant to be reversed! The engine is a thing of beauty and really should be displayed so left the cowlings removeable. I added some ignition harnesses to the engine from wire. The insignia markings are painted, which was a great journey of discovery! The Royal Navy JT190 was from Xtradecal and I used the kit stencils. The internal paints were Mig Ammo, external were Vallejo for the sky, Model Master Gunship Grey from the EDSG and my own mix of Olive and Green for the Slate Grey. I used very fine thread for the aerials (if you can see them!). I think the weathering is slightly heavy but I am claiming artistic license for that! I also took liberties with the flaps which by rights should be stowed and the cowling flaps are closed where they should be open but the detail looked too complex and time consuming for this build! All that is remaining is the tape for the gun ports and also on the nose cowling there should be some sealing tape but I couldn't decipher the exact layout so left this out This kit was a truly wonderful build, the parts just fell together and the joins were nice and tight. In fact id anything didn't fit right it was down to me not fixing it in properly! If you want to follow along the build the link is below. Now the pics! JT190 in glorious technicolour (with a backward tailwheel!) And finally the Lt Cdr Jackie Sewell who inspired this build, RIP. Bob
  23. My 1/72 Phantom lockdown phasination is phinally over with the completion of my naval pair: Last to complete are my two RN Phantoms, one from 892 Sqn (ARK ROYAL) and one from 767 Sqn (RNAS Yeovilton). Both of these are Fujimi kits, pretty much "out the box" (except for the aircrew). The 767 one was a rebuild and tidy of a kit built just over 30 years ago, the 892 one is new: I have two of the new Airfix kits in the stash, but whilst I love the build options, I'm really less than convinced about the deep toy-like panel lines and prefer this set of kits by a very long way; if and when I build the Airfix ones, the panel lines will have to go. These are my usual finishing technique - hairy brush applied thinned Humbrol enamels, a Klear coat to help decalling, a light oily wash in the seams/engravings, then Windsor & Newton acrylic matt varnish to complete. The Fujimi kit is generally an easy build. As with all Phantom kits, you need to take care with the intakes and the wing to fuselage joints. Some preparation and care will avoid most problems. the newer kit was the upgraded mould with additional parts - e.g. air brakes and re-positioned auxiliary intakes - its wing halves didn't fit together quite as snugly as the RAF FGR.2 that I did last month, but they do fit with a little force. Please excuse the missing pitots on this one - they were there right up until I added the nav -lights! aaaargh.... Not quite worked out how to remedy this yet. The 767 yellow bird decal is somewhat smaller than the Airfix kit; I think Airfix have got it right here. The Royal Navy titles are also suspect - they are much larger than Airfix (& Italeri), but seem to match relative positions on the fuselage - perhaps the badly positioned auxiliary intake is confusing here, or perhaps letter size changed during service? and finally, a group shot of the whole "haunting" set together (numbers count etc....) ! Enough phantoms for now - a Buccaneer (HERMES - 801 Sqn) is nearly ready for decalling! FredT
  24. Here are two new "lockdown" builds, both Fireflies, but in the opposite colour schemes from normal: Firefly FR.1, 766 Naval Air Sqn, RNAS Lossiemouth 1949 (FROG/Novo with own decals). Firefly Mk.IV, 814 Naval Air Sqn, HMS VENGEANCE, 1949 (Airfix, with own decals and Airwaves wing fold) Enjoy and stay safe everyone! FredT
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