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  1. Morning all! It's only taken approximately three years to get to this stage, but my Dynavector Wyvern is finally finished. This was my first venture into the world of Vacform kits, and Dynavector did not disappoint. I chose this as by all accounts it is one of the best kits to use as an introduction to vac kits. The fit of the parts is absolutely superb, and once the necessary surface prep was done in order to get parts to match up, this went together with far less hassle than a lot of the injection moulded kits I've built. My build is by no means perfect, in terms of improvements I could've removed the aircraft lights and replaced them with appropriately coloured clear plastic. I deliberately chose not to overly detail the undercarriage bays as this build was more about testing my ability to build a vacform not my ability to superdetail. I've also missed off the windscreen wiper as my attempt to scratchbuild one looked a bit too 'agricultural' for my liking, so some room for improvement there certainly. Lastly the decals from Berna were a bit of a nightmare, many of them are grossly oversized and they refused to conform to the model without masses of Mr Hobby Setter and Softer. In terms of lessons learned from the build, first and foremost is that Vacform kits are not hard! Picking a good brand such as Dynavector or Aeroclub helps no end, but they are no more difficult than many injection kits (stand fast Tamiya shake and bake kits...) so really ought to hold no fear for anyone! After all if I can manage it, I'm certain anyone can! As always, constructive criticism is more than welcome, without it I'll never improve. So without too much further ado... Kit: Dynavector 1/48 Westland Wyvern Decals: Berna Decals - Wyverns Extras: Compass Rose Resin - Cockpit Tub + Airscale Instrument Decals, CMK Wyvern wheels & Pavla Martin Baker Mk.2 Seat Paints: Xtracolor EDSG & Sky, Humbrol Roundel Red and various shades of Alclad (undercarriage and undercarriage bays) To all those that looked in on the build (as glacial as it was in terms of progress) thank you for all the words of encouragement! Now it's just a case of deciding what to tackle next... Scimitar? Swift? Thanks for looking in folks, Regards, Nik
  2. Airfix's superb 1/48 Seafire 17, one of my older builds which i thought i'd share as i haven't finished anything lately. This is a shake and bake kit that went together very easily, and was a relaxing build. Loads of options available OOB - wing fold, ordenance, positional flaps. It all there without aftermarket, save seatbelts. Hope you like!
  3. Have today completed three McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantoms in 1/48th scale, I didn't set out to do this originally but it just happened that way. The first is a 1/48th scale Hasegawa kit P17, the Royal Air Force Phantom FG.1 which I discovered contained the extendable nose gear of the original Fleet Air Arm F-4K so I obtained a copy of the ancient Almark Decals sheet A48-1 'McDonnell-Douglas F-4K/RAF Phantom FG.1' and decided to construct VT867 as VL152 operated by FAA 767 Sqn. I love the yellow 'Iron Budgie' on the tail fin and might even have seen one of these in the air at the 1970 Yeovilton Air Day when I was just 12 years old. It turned out like this: The end result does not look too bad however I have had this on the 'shelf of shame' for several years. I admit I am not the most detail conscious of modellers and I managed to put the forward undercarriage bay in the wrong way round. This pushed the entire cockpit module upwards which meant that the seats would not fit and the canopies would not close. I gave up and moved on to other things which was a shame as the air brushing went very well and I was also pleased with the standard of the jet exhausts. The Almark decals were another challenge, I don't know how old they are but compared to photos of the aircraft in service they seem to be very 'heavy' and I gave up when I found I had added an ejection seat triangle to the side of the jet air intake! However, I was still interested in her and I would take her of that shelf, I wanted to get her finished! The breakthrough came when I was working on an old ESCI F-4J, I decided to swap the ejection seats. The Hasegawa seats add much needed presence to the otherwise bare ESCI cockpit while I could cut the ESCI seats down to fit the restricted space in the faulty F-4K. It worked well as seen here: This build also represented another first for me, the addition of an Eduard detail set, FE262 for an FGR Mk.2. I was sort of ok with it until I discovered that some of it didn't fit because of the mistake with the front wheel well (never mind her not being an FGR Mk.2!!) so I gave up on that as well. In fact, at the end, it was worth a try: In the end I forced the issue of the front wheel well by cementing the gear to the front of the well, it isn't accurate but it does still give that unique impression of the Fleet Air Arm Phantom raised up to take off from the Eagle or the Ark Royal. Even after the setbacks I wanted this Phantom to carry a full load of armament. The kit did not include any missiles so I added some AIM-7E Sparrows and AIM-9J Sidewinders from a Hasegawa weapons set, I have no idea how I ended up with AIM-9J Sidewinders on this FAA Phantom, I think they should have been an earlier mark but, hey, they look good! So, mistake after mistake, if you know anything about FAA Phantoms you will probably point and laugh. However, the funny thing is, I am really pleased with the end result and she looks good and she has a guaranteed place in the display cabinet. And one day I am going to make another F-4K Two more Phantoms to come... Michael
  4. Hello, I was reading earlier that the Fleet Air Arm used Sea King helicopters in the SAR role alongside the Wessex since the 1960s, and that both participated in rescues during the tragic 1979 Fastnet yacht race. I know Wessexes at the time were painted in Dayglo Red/Extra Dark Sea Grey, would the Sea Kings have been the same? Many thanks, Conor
  5. Windscreens Detail and Scale say no F4U-1s were delivered with a flat windscreen as per F4U-4s. However, from photo’s I have seen at the FAA museum and on line, it appears that some FAA Corsair Mark IV’s (FG-1Ds) of No. 1846 Squadron appear to have had flat windscreens. KD696 '111/D' and KD865 ‘112/D’ did but KD750 ‘117/D’ and KD780 ‘122/D’ didn’t (see http://www.thescale.info/news/publish/Corsairs-HMS-Collossus.shtml and http://www.thescale.info/news/publish/Royal-Navy-Corsairs-Capetown.shtml. I’ve seen KE serialled corsairs and they don’t either. Am I imagining things? In his article on Commonwealth Corsairs (Scale Aviation Modeller International August 2000), Richard Caruana thought some Corsairs had the flat windscreens too, although it appears he thought all the airframes with clear blown hoods had them. Tail wheel fairings With the gear down & doors open it was split in two with half on each door. It wouldn't be until the doors were closed that it would look like the one piece. It was only sheet aluminum and it was a fairing behind the exposed wheel to reduce aerodynamic drag. Previously the tail wheel fork was entirely in the fuselage when retracted. But later (because of the extension), part of the fork protruded outside the fuselage when retracted, prompting the aerodynamic fairing to the rear. Not all machines with the taller gear had the fairing and it is difficult to spot the fairings on the tail wheel doors when looking at machines with undercarriage down. Seems linked to a modification which lengthened the tail wheel gear by 6.48 inches to improve visibility. See http://masseyaero.org/projects/corsair/corsairbits.html for detail photos. This can also be seen on late USN and NZ machines. Exact serial of introduction not known but seen on F4U-1A JT505 (see p463 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45). 'Detail and Scale' say the taller gear was introduced on the F4U-1A from BuNo 50080 (so in batch JT195-JT564) but that the associated fairing was a feature found only on late FG-1Ds. However JT505 is an F4U-1A built by Vought and that has the fairing. The photo of JT565, a F4U-1D built by Vought (see http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?88114-F4U-Corsairs-RN-Photo-s) also clearly has the taller gear and fairing. Anyone throw any more light on these.
  6. Folks, A little elf told me that Santa is bringing me the 1:48 Hasegawa Mk5 limited edition Sea King for Christmas. This kit comes with the barn door FOD shield and larger radome but not sure about the starboard extended sponson. I intend to make it a long term build and build it is a HAS6, airframe number XV711, callsign 09, as shown below. I will be sourcing the various after market PE etc as well as some scratch building.. but I am wondering what's the best way to go, in order to obtain the decals ?? It must be the aircraft shown below, as it was the last Sea King I crewed back in 96 and the picture below shows us at Old Warden back in July 1996 Is it best to TRY and make my own decals in order to supplement what's in the kit, for example the serial numbers and the claymore etc.. or are there companies/experts who can make 1:48 scale decals to order ?? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank You
  7. One of the kits I am working at in this period is the nice Airfix Fairey Swordfish that I consider a true masterpiece especially when we think of the price and the quality. This plane is one of my "best of all" and in the past I already built an Airfix one and a Matchbox one while the Frog is still sitting on the stash. Now I've begun two versions, the classic torpedo version Mk.I and the Mk.III where I am going to use the Pavla resin detail set no. U72.134 Well, no problem with the Mk.III where I'm following the Pavla instructions sheet and where the navigator place is occupied by the "electronic", maybe electric radar equipment. But ........ then ...... My great concern is about the navigator seat position. I've several books about the Stringbag but I didn't find a clear picture of this seat. I assembled, maybe unfortunately, too much in a hurry trusting in Airfix instructions leflet. I've thought it's a British company, it's a British plane they know very well their work ..... But the in any case before closing the interiors I must solve my doubt. Now I have still a lot of work to do because I have to detail the side panels and so on .... Is it the navigator seat POSITION correct? In this position it's quite under the bulkhead that divides the pilot seat from the navigtor one. Not to easy to seetle in. Surely more confortable than standing in the Atlantic Ocean winds anyway. The second question is about the safety belts of these seats. Also in this case I didn't find clear and interesting pictures. I hope that some of you Merry Gentlemen can help me to complete these Navy glories..... All the best from Italy Ezio
  8. Navy Bureau Numbers and aircraft serial match up Now I know there are dangers in assuming a logical BuNo/serial match up, but I thought I’d have a go. I used Joe Baugher's US Navy/US Marine Corps Aircraft Bureau Number database and cross referenced it with the data provided by Sturtivant and Burrow in their book ‘Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945’, published by Air-Britain Publications. Doing this, I came up with following; Hellcat I Production Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat I Serial Numbers: FN320-FN449 & JV100-JV221 BuNo to serial relationship 04850-04859 = FN320-FN329 04945-04954 = FN330-FN339 08894-08903 = FN340-FN349 08954-08963 = FN350-FN359 09029-09038 = FN360-FN369 25778-25787 = FN370-FN379 25868-25877 = FN380-FN389 25958-25967 = FN390-FN399 26053-26062 = FN400-FN409 26148-26157 = FN410-FN419 65962-65971 = FN420-FN429 66082-66091 = FN430-FN439 66222-66231 = FN440-FN449 40111-40120 = JV100-JV109 40266-40285 = JV110-JV119 40421-40430 = JV120-JV129 40597-40605 = JV130-JV139 40771-40780 = JV140-JV149 40946-40955 = JV150-JV159 41121-41130 = JV160-JV169 41306-41325 = JV170-JV189 41826-41831 = JV190-JV195 42332-42344 = JV196-JV208 42845-42857 = JV209-JV221 I’m not sure why FN420 to FN449 seem to be later build airframes than the JV serialled airframes. Can someone explain this? Hellcat II Production Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat Mk II Serial Numbers JV222-JV324, JW700-JW784, JW857-JW899, JX670-JX964, JX968-JX999, JZ775-JZ821, JZ912-JZ946, JZ960-JZ964, JZ970-JZ978, JZ981-JZ994, KD118-KD152, KE118-KE159, KE180-KE214, KE215-KE229 and KE230-KE265 BuNo to serial relationship 58220-58232 = JV222-JV234 58733-58795 = JV235-JV297 58996-58999 = JV298-JV301 69992-70014 = JV302-JV324 70015-70037 = JW700-JW722 70238-70287 = JW723-JW772 70463-70474 = JW773-JW784 70475-70512 = JW857-JW894 70688-70692 = JW895-JW899 70693-70762 = JX670-JX739 71163-71237 = JX740-JX814 71638-71712 = JX815-JX889 72113-72187 = JX890-JX964 77259-77290 = JX968-JX999 77291-77337 = JZ775-JZ821 77792-77826 = JZ912-JZ946 78446-78450 = JZ960-JZ964 78456-78464 = JZ970- JZ978 78467-78471 = JZ981-JZ985 78422 = JZ986 78473-78480 = JZ987-JZ994 79006-79040 = KD118-KD152 79514-79555 = KE118-KE159 79273-79307 = KE180-KE214 79708-79722 = KE215-KE229 79723-79758 = KE230-KE265 Hellcat II(NF) Production Serial Numbers JX965-JX967, JZ822-JZ827, JZ890-JZ911, JZ947-JZ959, JZ965-JZ969 (possibly), JZ979-JZ980, JZ995-JZ999, KD103-KD117, KD153-KD160, KE160-KE179 BuNo to serial relationship 72989-72991 = JX965-JX967 77338-77343 = JZ822-JZ827 77680-77681 = JZ890-JZ891 77695-77696 = JZ892-JZ893 77705-77706 = JZ894-JZ895 77715-77716 = JZ896-JZ897 77725-77726 = JZ898-JZ899 77745-77746 = JZ900-JZ901 77750-77751 = JZ902-JZ903 77760-77761 = JZ904-JZ905 77765-77766 = JZ906-JZ907 77780-77781 = JZ908-JZ909 77790-77791 = JZ910-JZ911 78365-78366 = JZ947-JZ948 78375 = JZ949 78385-78386 = JZ950-JZ951 78395 = JZ952 78405-78406 = JZ953-JZ954 78414 = JZ955 78425-78426 = JZ956-JZ957 78435 = JZ958 78445 = JZ959 78451-78455 = JZ965-JZ969 78465-78466 = JZ979-JZ980 78890 = JZ995 78891 = JZ996 78895-78896 = JZ997-JZ998 78910 = JZ999 78914-78915 = KD103-KD104 78933 = KD105 78935-78936 = KD106-KD107 78950 = KD108 78955-78956 = KD109-KD110 78970-78971 = KD111-KD112 78984-78986 = KD113-KD115 79000 = KD116 79005 = KD117 ? = KD153 79221 = KD154 79225 = KD155 79231 = KD156 78235 = KD157 79511-79513 = KD158-KD160 79253-79272 = KE160-KE179 Some of these airframes were definitely delivered as Hellcat II(NF)s, whilst others are noted as NFs by Sturtivant but Baugher states that they were delivered as Hellcat IIs. Perhaps they were used by NF units but not converted, or perhaps they were converted in the UK, once they were delivered? Airframe modifications Richard Dann’s F6F Hellcat Walk Around, published by Squadron/Signal Publications, provides specific BuNos in relation to airframe mods. For example on Hellcat Is, the cannon fairings were deleted, slanted radio masts changed to vertical and the lower cowl flap was deleted after BuNo 26195, the exhaust fairing was deleted after BuNo 40235 and provision for HVARs was made from BuNo 42185. Using the above BuNo/serial info, this suggests that; The last 30 FN serialled Hellcat Is FN420 onwards? would have had the above changes and the R-2800-10W engine. The first 10 JV serialled Hellcat Is up to JV109? would have had the exhaust fairing. The last 82 JV serialled Hellcat Is JV140 onwards? would have had the R-2800-10W engine. The last 26 JV serialled Hellcat Is JV196 onwards? would have had provision for HVARs. For Hellcat IIs, the forward spine light was deleted after BuNo 70289 and the small rear windows were deleted after BuNo 71662. This suggests that; The forward spine light was deleted from JW773 onwards The small rear windows were deleted from JX840 onwards. Cowlings It is stated that the F6F-5 introduced a redesigned engine cowling which fitted more tightly around the engine and reduced drag, contributing to the variant’s improved performance. Looking at drawings and photos, I can’t perceive any difference between a late production F6F-3 (minus the lower flap and exhaust fairing) and an F6F-5 cowling. If you were to park the two next to each other, could you tell the difference? Edit - just corrected my maths
  9. Phew, just returned back to the South West after an extended and unbelievably busy week in Rosyth and Edinburgh. What an experience: the pinnacle of my professional career (so far) and honestly, I am still bursting with pride and to cap it all I encountered the legendary Eric Brown as he stepped off the VIP bus and headed to his seat - my all time personal hero and possibly the most deserving VIP there (apart from HM of course). The ship looked fantastic, she utterly dwarfed the equally fantastic looking ILLUSTRIOUS, and the vast number of genuinely interested and knowledgeable kids at the ceremony bodes very well for the future of UK engineering (I was manning a stand and they certainly kept us on our toes!). Everyone attending received the obligatory "gizzet" bag which included a superb "lego-style" kit of the ship; we built one on the stand (its very small, but actually quite complicated) and I fully intend to have mine on my website soon and in attendance at the next Yeovilton model show!!!! No F-35, RN Historic Flight, Seafire or Sea Vixen because of the decidedly dodgy weather (having attended the rehearsal on Thursday my expectations were high), but I fully expect the F-35 at Fairford next weekend! FredT FLY NAVY
  10. Hey all! I just picked up a Magna Models Spearfish, still sealed in its factory stapled bag, and found it wanting of propellers. That and one of its resin landing gear doors. Anyone here know the contact info for Magna? I've looked online but those cites only go to resellers and not the company itself. Failing that, what's a good source for the big Rotols the Spearfish used? Is Chris57 still active on this forum? I messaged him after a fellow Britmodeller listed him as Magna's UK sales agent. Alas, no response yet so I thought I'd put this out here for a wider viewing. Thanks, Madoc
  11. Apologies for this monster post! This subject has been touched upon in previous posts, but I thought I’d try to collate everything and add my own research, since this might affect the modelling of specific airframes, for example those within the AE9** and AF9** serial ranges present during operation Pedestal and those airframes which took part in operation Torch. I'm sure there are Hurricane experts out there who will be keen to put me right where I have misunderstood, assumed in error or just plain got it wrong! Where I have a query, I have put a '?' To briefly summarise the Royal Navy classification of UK built Sea Hurricanes... Sea Hurricane Mk.Is : all had Merlin IIIs and DH Hurricane prop/spinners. The latter was required to address aft Centre of Gravity shift issues associated with the carrier equipment fit. They fell into three classes, depending on the accelerator/arrester fit. Mk.Ia - catapult spools but no arrester hooks. These were used on the CAM ships. Mk.Ib - catapult spools and arrester hooks. These were used on the fleet carriers such as Indomitable, Eagle and Victorious. Mk.Ic - no catapult spools but with arrester hooks. The Mk.Ics replaced the standard 8 guns with four cannon and were intended for use on escort carriers, but this didn’t happen. All evidence suggests that only one or two prototype examples were tested, and these reverted to standard armament because of the weight of the weaponry (added to the weight of the naval equipment) eroded performance to unacceptable levels. The lack of one on Pedestal was confirmed by pilots and an armourer from 880 Sq. Sea Hurricane Mk.IIs : all had two stage Merlin XXs and the lighter Rotol Hurricane units were usually fitted as per RAF machines as the longer (extended by 4”) noses provided the required forward C of G shift. They fell into two classes Mk.IIb - with 12 guns (sometimes 8 guns?) Mk.IIc - with four cannon This reflects RAF terminology. However, these aircraft were only used from escort carriers without accelerators, so it is quite possible that they did not possess catapult spools. The Mk.IIb and Mk.IIc didn`t have a pilot`s head rest because this assembly was designed to protect the pilots neck during a catapult launch, so maybe they were not fitted with catapult spools either? Canadian built machines : The Royal Navy didn’t differentiate between Canadian and British manufactured machines, referring to them as Mk. Is or Mk. IIs according to whether they had Merlin IIIs or Merlin XXs (or 28/29s if they were retained?). This is not surprising since I imagine operationally, there wouldn't have been fundamental differences between Canadian and UK built machines, especially when UK Merlin engines were fitted. Some references, for example the Airfile publication on Operation Torch, and the Aviation Workshop book on the Hurricane, refer to Sea Hurricane Mk. Xs and XIIs being used during operation Torch, but I don’t think these were designations recognised by the Royal Navy? Perhaps the last of the Canadian manufactured machines kept their Merlin 28/29s and they kept their canadian designations accordingly? The first production batch of Canadian Hurricanes (P5170 – P5209) were 40 Merlin II or III powered Hurricane Mk.Is. They were not re-designated as Mk. Xs when this designation was introduced. These used engines and Watts or De Havilland propellers imported from the UK. According to sources (see below) The completed airframes were exported to the UK in between march and November 1940 and six airframes (P5180, P5182, P5187, P5203 and P5206) were subsequently operated by the Royal Navy. P5187 as a Sea Hurricane Mk. Ia and the rest as Sea Hurricane Mk. Ibs. Designation for the next Canadian production batch was then switched to the Mk X. The Mk. X, XI and XII designations were used to identify Hurricanes manufactured in Canada. References state that these were manufactured with American manufactured Packard Merlin single-stage, two-speed 28/29 (Merlin XX equivalent) engines. Canadian built Hurricane Xs converted to Sea Hurricane standards were often classified either Mk.Ia or Mk.Ib by the RN depending on the accelerator/arrester fit. Those which were re-engined with merlin XXs were classified as Mk. IIs. This is where the confusion starts…. Most references state that Mk. Xs were manufactured with the single-stage, two-speed Merlin 28. This means that they would have had to have the Mk.II 4" nose extension required to accommodate the single-stage, two-speed Merlin. In which case why did the Royal Navy classify these long nosed airframes as Mk. Is when they classified other long nosed (Merlin XX powered) airframes Mk.IIs? Long and short nosed Sea Hurricane Mk. Is? On the face of it the Sea Hurricane Mk. I designation did not relate to the engine and therefore in theory you could have had both long and short nosed Mk. Is. The only engine which seems to prompt a Mk. II designation was the Merlin XX. But is that really the case? It is conceivable that all Sea Hurricanes sourced from Mk. X airframes did have the Mk. II extended nose. On carriers, where parts storage was limited, you would have thought they would have used the same DH Hurricane prop/spinners used by their short nosed companions, rather than the Rotol set-up usually seen on Mk. IIs? The oil spill ring was on all versions from the Mk.II onwards, but it can also be seen on late Mk.Is. It was certainly on some Sea Hurricane Mk.Is during Pedestal, so this isn’t necessarily an identification clue either. So (unless the Mk. Xs had the later articulated tailwheel) you would be relying on spotting the subtle 4” differences in the nose panels between the cockpit and the exhaust stack to spot the long nosed machines. However, photographic evidence tends to discount long nosed Mk. Is (see below). Long and short nosed Mk. Xs? It is claimed in another posting that the first production batch of Mk. Xs were in fact built with Merlin IIIs and that Hurricane XIIas were all rebuilt aircraft that started out as Merlin III powered RCAF Hurricane Xs or Sea Hurricane conversions of, which were rebuilt to XII standard with Packard Merlin 28s and associated longer noses, but retained the eight gun wings for their lifetime. I assume that early Mk. X Sea Hurricane conversions were therefore delivered to the RN with the Merlin IIIs and short noses they were originally manufactured with, hence the Mk.I classification. If they were delivered with the long nose and then fitted with Merlin IIIs during the Sea Hurricane conversion process, you would have thought they would have retained the long nose (is that possible?) to help address the aft C of G issue? As stated above, the first production batch of Canadian Hurricanes were 40 Merlin II or III powered Hurricane Mk.Is, fitted with engines imported from the UK. They were not referred to as Mk. Xs. Designation for the second Canadian production batch was then switched to the Mk X (Mks. X upwards were allocated to Canadian built machines). I believe that that designation related to the country of manufacture and not necessarily the engine they were built with? First production batch of Mk. Xs Looking at Francis Mason’s book on the Hurricane and the Hurricane production details therein, then cross referencing with Sturtivant’s Air Britain book on FAA aircraft 1939-45, I note the following; Production of the first Mk. X batch was split into three parts. Jackson says the first two parts of the first Mk. X production batch were built as Mk. Is with Merlin 28s and 8 gun wings. Some being subsequently re-fitted with Merlin XXs in the UK and re-designated Mk. IIs. The third part was built as Mk. IIbs with Merlin 28s and mostly shipped to Russia. Part 1 All of the first part (AE958 – AE977) were shipped to the UK in June 1940 before being converted into Sea Hurricane Mk. Ibs in 1941. Four airframes were lost en route and four were initially delivered to 401 sqdn in Sept 1940 before (according to Sturtivant) also being converted to Sea Hurricanes Mk. Ibs in 1941. Part 2 The second part (AF945 - AG344) were shipped to the UK in August 1940. 21 of the first 22 were converted to into Sea Hurricane Mk. Ibs in 1941. The exception was AF961 which was fitted with cannons and used by 43 sqdn RAF. Sturtivant concurs with this, although a couple of airframes (AF958 and AF975) are described as Hurricane Is rather than Sea Hurricanes, despite being delivered to the Royal Navy. Of the remaining airframes from this part, some were converted to Hurricane Mk. IIbs by 13MU Henlow through the fitting of Merlin XXs and some of these (AG292, AG332, AG334, AG335 and AG340) were used by the Royal Navy. AG292, AG334 and AG340 were later converted to Mk. IIcs. Those not converted to either Sea Hurricane Mk. Ibs or Hurricane Mk. IIs , remained classified as Mk. Xs but many had 12 gun or 4 cannon wings fitted. Part 3 The third part (AG665 – AG684) were shipped to the UK in 1941 as Mk. IIb equivalents. The first six frames stayed in the UK, the rest were shipped to Russia. Of those that stayed in the UK, three airframes (AG666, AG667 and AG669) were used by the Royal Navy. Two (AG666 and AG667) were subsequently converted to Mk. IIcs in 1942. Sturtivant refers to the aircraft as Hurricane Mk. IIs and concurs with Jackson. No mention of fitting Merlin XXs is made but that isn’t to say it didn’t happen as per previous UK Mk. X to Mk. II conversions. Discussion Building Hurricanes as Mk. Is but with single-stage, two-speed Merlin 28s, seems to be a contradiction. This would suggest that the first part and at least some of the second part were built and exported as Mk. Is with Merlin IIIs (perhaps those engines leftover from those imported for the first Canadian production batch of hurricane Mk. Is?). Photos of Sea Hurricane Mk. Ibs in the AE958 –AF982 serial range confirm that there were no substantive differences in appearance between them and other UK built Sea Hurricane Mk. Ibs. There are photos of such airframes (AF974 7●D, AF955 7●E and AE966 7●F) taken during or around the time of operation Pedestal. The Squadron/Signal book ‘Fleet Air Arm’ by Ron Mackay has several large photos of Pedestal deck scenes. Graham Boak has studied Pedestal Sea Hurricanes in detail, publishing an article in Scale Aircraft Modelling January 2000 and submitting posts on this forum. He sees only short noses, De Havilland props and 8 gun wings. It might be that all the airframes from the first two parts were manufactured with Merlin IIIs, but that would mean that there were both short nose (parts 1 and 2) and long nose (part3 onwards) Mk.Xs. It has been said in other posts that there were in deed short and long nosed Mk. Xs. Those second part airframes converted in the UK to Mk. IIbs had Merlin XXs fitted so if they were exported as short nose Mk. Xs, they would have needed more than just an engine change. Alternatively they could have started fitting Merlin 28s in long nosed airframes post AF982 (during production of part 2). Photos of unconverted Mk.Xs in the AG101 – AG280 serial range would help confirm if they were exported with short or long noses. Looking at the Air Britain RN Hurricane records, the first of the airframes from the second part to be classified as a Hurricane Mk. II is AG292. This and several of the subsequent part 2 airframes and three from the third part (AG666, AG667 and AG669)) are classified as Hurricane Mk. IIbs even though they were operated by Royal Navy squadrons. This is not unusual since many of the subsequent (UK built) Mk. II airframes used by the RN are referred to by Sturtivant as Hurricanes, rather than Sea Hurricanes. Second production batch of Mk. Xs The two Royal Navy operated airframes (AM277 and AM288) from the second production batch of of Mk. Xs (AM270 – AM369) continue this pattern, being referred to as Hurricane Mk. IIbs. Jackson states that this batch was shipped to the UK in 1941 with Merlin 28s and 8 gun wings before being converted to Hurricane Mk. IIbs by 13MU Henlow in November 1941 through the fitting of Merlin XXs and 12 gun wings. Third production batch of Mk. Xs Interestingly, the three Royal Navy operated airframes (BW841, BW855 and BW856) from the third production batch of Mk. Xs (BW835 – BW884) are referred to by Sturtivant as Sea Hurricane Mk. Ias (BW841, BW855) and a Mk. Ib . Again, these were apparently manufactured with Merlin 28s and 8 gun wings. Most were shipped to Russia with others kept for RCAF service. Perhaps they ‘missed the boat to Russia’ and were impressed into training service by the Royal Navy? But why the short nose Mk. I designation if they were fitted with Merlin 28s? Did Sturtivant or the Royal Navy get it wrong, or were they imported with Merlin IIIs as per early production airframes? Jackson offers no airframe histories for this batch. No mention made of the fitting of Merlin XXs (or Merlin IIIs) in the UK, but that isn’t to say it didn’t happen as per previous UK conversions. Perhaps they retained their Packard Merlin 28s, thus attracting the Mk. I designation. Photos of other airframes from this batch would confirm whether they were built with Merlin IIIs (unless they were subsequently re-built as XIIas as suggested in other posts). First production batch of Mk. XIs (and fourth production batch of Mk. Xs?) References refer to Mk. XIs as similar to Mk. Xs (manufactured with Merlin 28s and 8 gun wings) but with Canadian specific equipment for RCAF use only. However Jackson states that the majority of the batch (BW885 – BX134) were shipped to the UK and onwards to Russia, although a few were retained for RAF use. Another sources states that a batch of fifty (Mk. XIs) were mixed in with Mk IIs (Mk. Xs?) on UK contracts. The latter scenario would seem to resolve the contradiction. Jackson gives airframe histories for three airframes (all RAF) only. Sturtivant identifies 8 Airframes from this batch which were operated by the Royal Navy ( BW886, BW900, BW911, BW921, BW929, BW991, BX126 and BX133). These are described as Sea Hurricane Mk. IIb (BW929, BW991, BX126 and BX133) and Mk. IIcs. No mention of the fitting of Merlin XXs, but that isn’t to say it didn’t happen as per previous UK Mk. II conversions. First production batch of Mk. XIIs (and second production batch of Mk. XIs Serials given are JS219-JS371 and JS374-JS468, no indication is given re the split between Mk. XIs and Mk. XIIs (perhaps first lot Mk. Xs and second lot Mk. XIIs?). Some were manufactured with Merlin 28s (Mk. XIs) and some with Merlin 29s (Mk. XIIs). What’s more, 185 were manufactured with 12 gun wings (Mk. XIbs and Mk. XIIbs) and 63 with four cannon wings (XIIcs). Again, no indication as to which airframes received which wings. Many shipped to Russia but some were retained. Sturtivant lists the following airframes as Sea Hurricane Mk. IIbs. JS265, JS272, JS274, JS297, JS314, JS320, JS324, JS328, JS331, JS336, JS348, JS356, JS357. All but JS314 were converted to Mk. IIcs soon after transfer to the Admaralty in August/September 1942. Other airframes are noted as Sea Hurricane Mk. IIcs from the start (JS222, JS225, JS226, JS231 – JS233, JS235, JS241, JS248, JS253, JS260, JS261, JS269, JS270, JS272, JS273, JS280, JS292, JS304, JS310, JS318, JS319, JS327, JS332, JS333, JS335, JS339, JS345, JS346, JS351, and JS353 – JS355). No mention of the fitting of Merlin XXs on arrival, but that isn’t to say it didn’t happen as per previous UK conversions. Conclusion So in conclusion, the first one and a half (possibly two) parts of first Mk. X production batch was delivered with Merlin IIIs and 8 gun wings. Subsequent airframes from the first and second production batches were delivered to the UK with Merlin 28s and 8 gun wings where many were converted to Hurricane Mk. IIbs through the fitting of Merlin XXs and, in some cases, 12 gun wings. Many were later converted to Mk. IIcs with cannon wings. The third production batch of Mk. Xs don’t fit the pattern since the three Royal Navy operated airframes are referred to as Mk. Is. It might be that; the Sturtivant references are wrong, they were fitted with Merlin IIIs or they were fitted with Merlin 28s and not re-fitted with Merlin XXs and the Royal Navy regarded these as Mk. Is, despite the longer nose. Subsequent Royal navy operated airframes from production batches of Mk. X, XI and XIIs are referred to as Sea Hurricane Mk. IIs by Sturtivant, although it is not noted whether they retained their Packard Merlin 28/29s or were re-fitted with Merlin XXs, once they arrived in the UK. For operation Torch, references tend to refer to cannon armed versions as Mk. Xs and 12 gun versions as Mk. XIIs, but it clearly isn’t that simple since all three versions were probably present with differing armament. .......I'll get my coat
  12. Fairey Barracuda II - 810 Sqn Fleet air Arm, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, British Eastern Fleet Aircraft flown by Lt Cdr AJB Forde RN, CO of no. 21 TBR Wing during the strikes on Sabang on 19 April 1944. Another WW2 70th Anniversary build! Frog's Barracuda is a truly ancient kit, first issued way back in 1964 so it celebrates its own anniversary this year, exactly 50 years old !. Mine is the more recent (!) 1974-76 issue (only 40 years then). 19 Apr 1944 - Operation Cockpit - A combined British, Australian, New Zealand, Dutch, French and US naval force of Barracudas, Corsairs, Hellcats, Dauntless' and Avengers attacks the Japanese naval facilities at Sabang in Sumatra. The Barracuda entered Fleet Air Arm service in January 1943 as a replacement for the Albacore and Swordfish. Designed initially as a torpedo bomber, its novel Fairey Youngman Flaps could be extended behind the wing and reversed to act as very effective dive brakes. It was in the Dive Bomber role that the Barracuda saw most success and proved most effective. Following their success against the Tirpitz in early April 1944, Barracudas were soon in action again with the Eastern Fleet and Operation Cockpit, the first joint UK-US operations against the Japanese, in what proved to be a precursor to the formation of the British Pacific Fleet. Operation Cockpit was a diversionary raid requested by the US to reduce pressure on their forces to the East. In return for the loan of HMS VICTORIOUS (as USS ROBIN) in 1943 to fill gaps in the US Carrier Fleet, the USS SARATOGA was assigned to the British Eastern Fleet for its first foray back into the Pacific Theatre. The successful raids were then followed up in May with Operation Transom, this time against Surabaya, Java, although for these raids, the Barracuda were replaced by Fleet Air Arm Grumman Avengers due to the Barracuda's marginal performance in the hot, humid and high environment over Java. This is my second build of this kit; the previous one was a Russian NovoExport re-issue in a horrible brown plastic. It had no decals, so I sourced a set of Techmod replacements for an Op Tungsten aircraft, but they also included this Eastern Fleet version. This is the original FROG version, which comes with some entirely passable decals for another Op Tungsten aircraft, plus a British Pacific Fleet aircraft. The FROG kit is reputed to have a number of "difficult to resolve" shape issues and suffers very badly from a lack of cockpit detail, not least the lack of any deck beneath that large canopy. In fact there is a general lack of detail throughout, but it goes together reasonably well and until fairly recently it was the only Barracuda kit available; for the vast majority of us it may still be the easiest and most practical way to add a "Barra" to our collections!. I have made a number of changes: most obviously the deck beneath the cockpit. I also added an arrestor hook (a strange omission), placed a metal gauze filter in front of the rather bare engine intakes, added the retractable manual deck handling frames below the wings and constructed the two Yagi array radar antenna for the wings (plastic strut and the bristles from a brush). The kit's torpedo armament was replaced by a full load of 5 bombs for the type's more normal dive bombing role. The white tape on the after deck is a strip of paper (although the Frog decals do suppy one)- these tapes were a local modification to allow the rear crew member to release the catch on the dinghy hatch before ditching, introduced after several incidents where fuselage distortion (and the fact it was underwater!) had prevented it happening afterward. This isn't really the best of kits, but hey..... it's 50 years old and it looks like a Barracuda to me FLY NAVY FredT
  13. Continuing in my Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm theme, here's the latest progress on my A4-G Skyhawk. It's the Fujimi kit in 1/72 scale. I nearly didn't get this far as I was having a lot of doubt about my being able to do the camouflage. Some very helpful advice from fellow member Mumbles (Thank you Sam), who built the same scheme late last year, gave me the confidence to try out the blue tac sausages and tape method. In fact I used UHU white tac. I masked it free hand using an enlarged printout of the scheme as reference. Now if I did this again (and no doubt I will as I have a 1/48 TA-4G on the bench now) I'd keep the underside clean until after painting - no pylons, no undercarriage doors, etc. And here's the result! The greys are Gunze H61 IJN Grey (lighter) and H317 Grey. Lots more to do now but I'm now on the home stretch.
  14. From reading Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 and looking at previous posts, my understanding is as follows; 80 TBM-3 / TBM-3E serialled JZ635 to JZ720 delivered to the FAA in late 1944 and early 1945. US BuAer No.s indicate that the first 16 aircraft were TBM-3s and the final 64 were TBM-3Es. This would suggest a switch to TBM-3E from JZ651, but Air Britain picture of JZ654 http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1228480/ shows TBM-3 characteristics – indented lower cowl flaps, stinger gun position extant, MK5 zero length rocket launchers but no underwing rack for an AN/ASP-4 radar pod. Does this mean serial allocation didn’t directly reflect BuAer No.s (i.e. earliest assigned to earliest)? Most were delivered to S India and then some on to Australia for distribution to front line sqdns in the Pacific. A very few were used by front and second line squadrons, but service records for aircraft of this batch end in 1946, when they were returned or more likely dumped. Earliest MKIIIs seem to have been delivered in US TSS equivalent as per MKIIs. The FAA formally adopted SBG for US supplied aircraft from August 1944. The rest delivered in Sea Blue Gloss with an ant-glare Non-spectacular Sea Blue panel in front of the cockpit. Interior colours as per MKII. The already mentioned Air Britain picture of JZ654 with delivery number in Canada and the crown picture of JZ635 at the A&AEE on p82 of Profile Publications Profile 214 and in the book ‘The Secret Years - Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945’, show TBM-3s in TSS. A photo seen by others of JZ681 (a TBM-3E) show it to be in SBG, so were JZ series TBM-3s delivered in TSS and TBM-3Es in SBG or wasn’t it as simple as that?
  15. I make the following humble observation. I welcome any comments and corrections TBF-1 and TBM-1 (FAA MKI) Radio mast on top of the canopy sloped backwards slightly and was positioned on leading edge of cockpit bulkhead. Antenna lead in was below the rear canopy. TBF-1C and TBM-1C (FAA MKII) On American aircraft, the radio mast on top of the canopy was moved further aft and stood vertically. Antenna lead in was moved to the fuselage side below the turret. Illustrations of FAA MKIIs often show this revised radio mast position. However, photographic evidence seems to indicate that the vertical and re-positioned masts as per TBF-1C and TBM-1C were not fitted to FAA MKII machines. This might be due to the FAA specific crew layout not requiring a change of mast position between the two MKs or it might be that when Blackburn fitted the FAA required folding masts, they fitted them as per MKIs. However MKIIIs seem to have been delivered with re-positioned masts as per the TBF-1C and TBM-1C, so the reason is unclear. Photos of possibleTBF-1C and confirmed (according to Sturtivant and Burrow) TBM-1Cs seen with TBF-1 and TBM-1 masts include; FN912 Scale Aircraft Modelling May 84 TBF-1C? JZ114 Model Aircraft Monthly Aug 05 TBF-1C? JZ150 Internet – Britmodeller forum TBF-1C? JZ159 Air Britain Squadrons of the FAA TBF-1C? JZ229 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 TBF-1C? JZ396 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 TBM-1C JZ401 Aeroplane Monthly Nov 02 TBM-1C JZ434 Scale Aircraft Modelling Feb 94 TBM-1C JZ466 Model Aircraft Monthly Aug 05 TBM-1C JZ496 Scale Aircraft Modelling May 84 TBM-1C JZ497 Aeroplane Monthly Nov 02 TBM-1C JZ535 Aeroplane Monthly Nov 02 TBM-1C JZ541 Air Britain FAA Aircraft 1939-45 TBM-1C JZ594 Scale Aircraft Modelling May 84 TBM-1C JZ614 FAA in Camera 1912-96 TBM-1C
  16. Ah-har me hearties (Buccaneer talk), first full week of the year, first fully finished model This is the old FROG offering with Modeldecal markings and a very small amount of photoetch (for the air brake and ejector seat handles). Other minor changes include a few sprue inspired cockpit details (although I eventually forgot to add my carefully crafted Observers windscreen before the canopy....grrrr), plus paper roll intake trunks (remarkably successful) and straw jet pipes to fill the gaping hole from front to rear that is the model's interior. The air brakes use Airwaves photo etch, plus a little plastic card and sprue (Frog's left and right side aren't identical). Not entirely successfull as I thnk I have fitted them too far forward - however its a learnign experience and the next one I will get right! The weapons (Bullpups and 1000 lb bombs) come from the spares box. And here she is with the rest of the fleet (so far): At this stage I think I prefer the FROG to the other two, with its slightly more convincing nose profile, although it is very obvious that the vertical tail surfaces are rather compressed: FredT
  17. Hello Folks, Here is a model that I`ve been wanting to build for ages and I`ve finally finished it! This famous photo depicts Vultee Vengeance Mk.IV Target Tugs of 721 NAS amongst other Royal Navy Hellcats, Corsairs Sea Otters and Reliants at an idyllic Pacific location said to be at Ponam on Manus in the Admiralty Islands, where they provided Fleet Requirements Facilities for the British Pacific Fleet.; And although the camo pattern isn`t 100% spot on, here is my model of the nearest Vengeance, HB416, using the Special Hobby Vengeance Target Tug kit as a basis with BPF markings from the spares box and brush painted as usual; Hope you like it, All the best Tony O
  18. Two linked models leaving the bench this month, both Vought Corsairs, both Hasegawa 1/72, but also very different: The first is a Chance Vought F-4U Corsair Mk.1, from the British Delegation at Roosevelt Field, New York in the late summer of 1943. and alongside the rest of my growing fleet of Corsairs: The second is the A-7A Corsair, as used by VA153 US Navy onboard the USS ORISKANY on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin toward the end of the Vietnam war. And alongside the Crusader that I built last month: FredT
  19. Went on a tour of RNAS Culdrose today (guess where I'm on holiday!) - it was great to be able to see behind the scenes at a live Naval Air Station, even if we were mostly confined to the coach. Although August is their quiet time, there was a fair amount of flying going on: Merlin Mk1 Sea King Mk7 Sea King SAR Mk5 King Air Avenger We saw into most hangers including one full of shiny black Hawk T1s! All lined up with engineers fiddling with stuff. Saw plenty of Sea Kings being serviced as well. Was nice to see a handful of retired Sea Harriers that they use for aircraft deck handling practice - they fire them up & taxi around as well as having the guys push & pull them with tractors. Tour guide was very knowledgable and we also had a more detailed tour of the base fire station including the kids having a go with the hoses on the tenders - one's remote controlled via a joystick in the cab and the other's a bl**dy great jet on the roof! Am staying between Truro & Falmouth and we see the grey & red SAR Sea Kings overhead a lot - one buzzed by overhead at breakfast time (my camera was inside unfortunately!) and I've just heard one now overhead (pitch black though). Haven't downloaded my photos from today yet but if I get any decent ones I'll post them. £30 for a family ticket - worth it IMO. For more info see http://www.fleetairarm.com/culdrose-air-station.aspx Cheers, Andrew p.s. can't believe they're privatising SAR soon :-(
  20. 765 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, RNAS Sandbanks/Poole, July 1943 Airfix 1/72 with Aeromaster Decals The Kingfisher entered USN service as an observation scout aircraft in 1940,but also saw widespread service as a search and rescue aircraft. Over 100 were supplied to the Royal Navy from the summer of 1942 under lend-lease arrangements. Able to fly from either land (with a conventional fixed undercarriage) or from catapult equipped ships at sea (when fitted with floats), Fleet Air Arm Kingfishers were operated from British Merchant Cruisers in the South Atlantic and Eastern Fleet, as well as being used as trainers in the West Indies and at home. Powered by a P&W Wasp Junior radial engine which gave the seaplane a top speed of 150+ knots, the Kingfisher was capable of carrying 500lb of bombs in racks beneath each wing. The old Airfix Kingfisher kit was first released in 1967 and very highly thought of in its time. Mine is an early issue in a T3 box which means it is very crisply moulded in dark blue plastic with a very good fit across most of the parts and minimal flash. The kit builds easily and quickly, and whilst some parts (mainly the float assemblies) are a little fiddly, there is nothing that care can't address. I added a little scratch detail in the after cockpit which is very bare and fitted the two pilot figures to fill the gaps. The transparencies gave me a little grief since they do not fit particularly well and it is not immediately obvious in which order the rear set should be fitted. Airfix provide 3 options for the undercarriage; the fixed land based undercarriage, simple floats or floats with beaching gear attached. I chose the latter for this build in order to give the model something to sit on! Decals come from the Aeromaster Fleet Air Arm Part 1 sheet, for a training aircraft at Poole 70 years ago. Rather strangely, Aeromaster attribute it to 768 Sqn, but I am satisfied that this is wrong and it should be 765 Sqn. This kit has recently been re-released by Airfix with new transfers, including some for a land based aircraft of the British East Indies fleet. I don't know how well the mould has held up over the years, but if it is still as well fitting as the original then it comes highly recommended! FredT
  21. hi all, I’m after some help on an old chestnut that I know has caused some heated discussions both on this site and a few others. I see others have asked about bits and pieces of information on this subject before but this time I’m hoping once and for all (yeah right!) with this thread we can have some definitive answers.....maybe! FAA Avenger MkI/II (or Tarpon Mk I/II) versus TBF/TBM-1C Ok for starters, TBF-1C vs TBM-1C, so far form all he research I can find there was/is very little difference between the two. The TBF was manufactured by Grumman and the TBM was made under license by Eastern Aircraft (division of GM), plus for some bizarre reason each company decided to painted the interiors different, so this aside I can find no other differences between the two aircraft. I have read though that there was some issues with parts between the two different manufactured aircraft as they often weren’t interchangeable??? So for a coming build an Accurate Miniatures Grumman 1/48th TBF-1C is going to be the starting point. Tarpon (Avenger) Mk I/II vs TBF/TBM-1C First up the base model is going to be a -1C, so this will not have the single cowling mounted 30cal of the -1, but rather the wing mounted 50cal’s. This probably is the major noticeable difference other than the radio mast location changed between -1 and -1C. The Tarpon had a different Radio Observers windows, they were the round dome windows on each side rather than the flat ovals fitted to the TBF/TBM’s. Plus they had the second cockpit position for the Navigator, which had aircraft controls fitted (though it is mentioned that the control column was stored most of the time), in place of the radio gear normally found on the TBF/TBM’s. Other than those two details I cannot find any other major differences. Oh and for some reason they decided to change the name from Tarpon back to Avenger. Tarpon Mk I vs Tarpon Mk II Next the difference between are Tarpon Mk I and an Tarpon Mk II with respect to SEA operations and not Atlantic operations? Again only looking at the -1C aircraft (earlier TBF-1’s were also called Tarpon I’s), other than it seems the Grumman made aircraft are referred to as Tarpon Mk I’s and the eastern made as Tarpon Mk II’s. There seems to be very little differences between the two. I have an aircraft I want to build but again have run into this issue of whether it is a Mk I or Mk II! I have a set of Xtradecal markings for an Avenger II JZ257 of 849 NAS, HMS Victorious, British Pacific Fleet, Jan45. But a quick bit of research on the FAA archive web site shows this aircraft was actually an Mk I!! If anyone has a definitive guide to the aircraft serial numbers that would be a great help. I guess the main thing is to get the additional cockpit sorted out and correct as I can get it. I either have the bit required or can easily make them, I just need either some good photos (only have a couple) or some good draws showing some detail. Else I may just have to create something that looks the part....maybe! Have a few reference books, but there’s not a lot of info on the FAA Avenger/Tarpon. All help with any of these question/quires would be greatly appreciated and hopefully this won’t start a big argument!
  22. Hi All, A couple of photos of some Fleet Air Arm WIP. Brian
  23. DeHavilland Sea Vampire T.22 718 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, RNAS Stretton, 1956 Second completion for the month! Back in the 1950s, the Fleet Air Arm maintained a number of shore-based Volunteer Reserve squadrons. 718 was one such unit, operating as part of the Northern Air Division from RNAS Stretton (HMS BLACKCAP), midway between Liverpool and Manchester (you can still see the old runways just off the south side of the M56). Along with 767 Sqn, the unit's primary role was to convert RNVR Pilots to "modern" jet aircraft, using Supermarine Attackers and De Havilland Sea Vampires. Trained pilots would then join the operational RNVR Squadrons, 1831 (fighters) and 1841 (ASW) or augment regular FAA squadrons. The RNVR Air Branch was dissolved in 1957 in the wake of the infamous 1957 Duncan Sandys Defence White Paper; RNAS Stretton closed a year later. Having purchased 2 of these kits, I was so pleased with the first http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234937123-sea-vampire-t22-738-nas-lossiemouth/ that I couldn't resist starting the second in a different colour scheme. Rather strangely, this time I had a different problem, with the lower port wing stubbornly refusing to fit. I see that others have had the same issue and can only assume that I had placed the upper wing slightly differently, as this time the wheel wells obstructed the joining of the lower wings quite badly and had to be shaved down to fit. Not difficult to fix, but I don't understand why it didn't happen on the other kit. I also fitted the outer intakes after the wings this time; you have to force them into the gap, but it allowed a more accurate fit with none of the gaps I saw last time. Apart from the markings (Kit, Modeldecal and inkjet), ejector seat handles (wire) and seat belts (tin foil), the kit is built out the box. Paint is hand brushed Humbrol 24 (Yellow) and Metalcote Polished Aluminium, overcoated with Klear. A black and dayglo one next I think! Or maybe Blue and white, or even Green and white? FredT
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