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  1. Following on from the WIP thread for this kit, here are photos of the completed model VP974, 11 Gp CF, Ouston, 1961 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VP974, 11 Gp CF, Ouston, 1961 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VP974, 11 Gp CF, Ouston, 1961 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VP974, 11 Gp CF, Ouston, 1961 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VP974, 11 Gp CF, Ouston, 1961 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is finished as a DH.104 Devon C.1 , VP974, of 11 Group Communications Flight at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in 1961. It had previously served with 13 Group CF which was at Ouston from 1955. In the late 1960's VP974 was converted to a Devon C.2 in which role it served until scrapped in 1980. Thanks for looking.
  2. This model is the next addition to my RAF Ouston project, and this is not intended to be a full work-in-progress thread. Rather I'm hoping that some kind viewer can help me out with the markings. Please! Here is the progress so far; Devon C1 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I also bought the "Transport Wings" resin Dove & Devon Seats TWC72041 set, as Amodel does not include an interior for the cabin. This photo shows the completed interior, although the colour scheme and internal arrangement for an early RAF Devon C.1 is something of a mystery! Two words of warning; the seats seem somewhat over-size, leaving no room for an internal aisle. This does not matter too much, as it is the side view through the cabin windows that is important. But in this respect the seat are also too high, and if I did this again I would set the scratch built floor lower. Also "Transport Wings" include templates for the floor and rear bulkhead, but the floor template is too narrow, and the rear bulkhead far too small. Devon C1 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I chose matt dark blue floor covering, medium sea grey side walls, matt white interior roofing, and dark blue leather seats. The photo of the real aircraft (below) seems to show a 'club-style' front seating layout, and other references state that the RAF Devon was a 7-seater, with J-type dingy occupying seat eight up-front (?). Devon C1 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Another mystery is the 'white' cockpit roof on some Doves and Devons. Some have it, some not, and then I realised that it is an internal sun-blind that is pulled forward as required. But I could not find any detailed photos, particularly to show if it is one blind, or two seperate ones, each side. I opted for one large blind, which does not go right to the back, there is a gap. VP974, FTCCS, Blackbushe, 31 May 59, Robin A Walker photo by Philip Pain, on Flickr VP974, Odiham, Sept 1964, Mike Hines photo by Philip Pain, on Flickr And here are the two photos I have been able to find of my chosen subject, VP974 of 13 and 11 Groups, RAF Ouston, early 60's. I could not have selected a more difficult Devon scheme!! Highly polished metal, with the dark blue trim outlined in very thin white. Worse still, the fuselage serial VP974 is outlined in white. This serial is where I'm hoping that someone can help me? I don't have the equipment to design and print my own decal for this fuselage serial, nor does it seem worth getting it just for this small job. So if any kind soul would be willing to help, I'd be most grateful, and happy to pay any costs. Thank you.
  3. AP507, 529 Sqdn, Ouston c 1943 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr AP507, 529 Sqdn, Ouston c 1943 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr AP507, 529 Sqdn, Ouston c 1943 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr AP507, 529 Sqdn, K6132, Ouston Stn Flt, L1525, 3 RSS, Ouston, 1940 - 43 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is a rather ancient mixed media kit with plastic main parts and rather crude metal bits for the rest. Much cleaning up was required, and most of the various struts were replaced with scratch built items. The propellor came from my long deceased 1950's Airfix Fokker DR.1 (the 'Red Baron'). The Avro 671 Rota was a licence built Cierva C.30A, and it is shown in 529 Squadron markings circa 1943. Based at Duxford but detached to calibrate 'Chain Home' Radar Stations all around the British Isles, including regular visits to RAF Ouston, Northumberland. The Rota would slowly circle a fixed target anchored in the sea at the limit of the Radar's range, and this was effectively at the 'front line' of contact with enemy aircraft. Therefore the Rota would have a fighter escort which also provided radio contact, the Rota not having a radio or an electrical system. At RAF Ouston in 1940 - 41 the fighter escort was provided by the Gloster Gladiators of Ouston's Station Flight. The RAF's Hurricanes and Spitfire fighters had proved useless for this task, as their Merlin engines would rapidly overheat at slow speeds. Thus the Gladiator was used, and at other places the Fleet Air Arm's Skua fighter. It all eventually proved to be unnecessary when, in 1942, an unescorted Rota was attacked by Germany's latest and deadliest fighter, two FW190A. They left having used up all of their ammunition, and the agile Rota flew home without a scratch on it. The other part of the 1941 radar calibration 'service' was the Bristol Blenheim Mk.1, used to simulate larger enemy aircraft, and L1525 is shown. It was on the strength of 3 RSS at Ouston, "radio servicing section" being a 'spoof' designation for this top secret radar calibration work. AP507 was a pre-War civil aircraft G-ACWP, and initially flown as such early in the War before being impressed as AP507. There were only 17 Rotas available at the start of the War, and with very careful maintenance, much rebuilding from spare parts, and the inherent safety of the design, 12 of them survived the War to be re-sold on the civil market in 1946. Four are on now on display in British museums, and AP507 is in the Science Museum London.
  4. It's taken me two months to wrestle with this kit, two steps forward and one backwards at every stage! It is a quite ancient offering from Aeroclub, mixed media with vacuform fuselage and very fragile canopy (you also have to cut out and make your own cabin windows and interior); plastic wings, tail and rudder, and white metal parts for everything else. It is, however, pretty accurate and the basic detail is good, although I had to make and add over 50 detailed parts and additions. VM365 Anson C19 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr There is also a 'back story' to this project. I'm in the following photo taken in 1962 at RAF Chivenor, and I'm rubbing shoulders with a fellow plastic modeller from long ago. Rodney Fawkes and me are second and third in from left, back row. We haven't had any contact since 1964, but three months ago he came across the "RAF Ouston Research" website that I've been doing, saw the reference to 131(F) Newcastle ATC Squadron and sent me an email. 131 (F) Sqdn Newcastle ATC, RAF Chivenor Summer Camp, September 1962 pw by Philip Pain, on Flickr We compared our more recent kit bashing efforts, and I listed the aircraft models still to do for my Ouston project, including an Anson C.19. Rodney then very kindly offered me his Aeroclub Anson kit, still in the box and barely started by him many years ago. Even better, he had a spare copy of our 1963 RAF Kinloss photo, which I never received at the time. Here we all are; I'm 7th from left back row, and Rodney is 2nd from right front seated. Cracking MOTU Shack T.4 behind; 131 (F) Sqdn Newcastle ATC, RAF Kinloss Summer Camp, Shack T.4, WB844, L, MOTU, 18 Aug 1963 pw by Philip Pain, on Flickr Rodney said that he had been planning to model Anson C.19 VM365, in which he had scrounged a flight to Aberdeen from RAF Ouston, they were collecting a captured deserter. VM365 suited me nicely as it was the last in a very long line of Ansons to be based at Ouston from 1941 - 1963. So here it is; VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VM365, 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1962 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is in what appears to be a rather plain Transport Command colour scheme, but 11 Group's Ansons were distinctive for their broader trim line curved up the fin. The prop spinners were also dark blue, rather than the more normal black. Unusually the engine cowlings were polished metal, including the first section of the nacelle. And here is the 11 Group fleet at RAF Ouston, consisting of Anson C.19 VM365 (Aeroclub kit); Devon C.1 VP974 (Amodel kit); and Meteor T.7 WL419 (Xtrakit kit); 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1961-63 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr 11 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, 1961-63 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Thanks for looking, and full credit to Rodney. But all I want for next Christmas is a modern mainstream kit of a late series Anson!
  5. Just finished, and a very nice kit, although I'm annoyed with myself for rushing it and not spotting two errors. The spine in front of the fin is too long, and I only realised when trying to fit two aerials in the space between the spine and the rear of the cockpit. I think that the rear cockpit is a bit too long as well. The other fault is the two missing interior canopy pulleys which are very obvious on the real thing, located on the upper fuselage inside the rear canopy. WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr WG220, Durham UAS, RAF Ouston, 1955 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is a Boulton Paul Balliol T.2, WG220, of Durham University Air Squadron at RAF Ouston in Northumberland in the winter of 1955-6. The RAF had a surplus of unwanted Balliols, and it seems to have been something of an experiment to issue two to Durham UAS, the only UAS to get any, but given up after only a few months. The Balliol has been described as "not for novice pilots", and "something of a handful in the wrong hands". However present day warbird operators (including the BBMF) greatly regret that none were saved for future use, as its Merlin 35 engine, side by side seating, and challenging habits were ideal for its intended role - an advanced trainer for aspiring piston-engined fighter pilots. The two DUAS Balliols WG220 and WN128 do not seem to have had any unit markings, and the red propellor spinner was a relic of its previous service with 238 OTU at North Luffenham, where they acted as targets for trainee radar operators in Bristol Brigands.
  6. For those who may remember my previous attempt to create a Wellington Mk.XVIII (T.18) of 62 OTU at RAF Ouston, 1945, this new build is intended to produce its predecessor the Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), also with 62 OTU at Ouston in Northumberland. The starting point for this new conversion is this excellent booklet; Anson (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The top of the cover shows my chosen subject, complete with radar aerials. Inside the booklet is the following photo of one of these A.I. Ansons; Anson (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr And that is it! Unlike the Wellington T.18 where I eventually had six or seven photos to work from, here I have just one post-war photo, and a single side view illustration. The only information in written descriptions is that there were two radar trainees, plus an instructor, and that the A.I. radar installation was similar to that on early Beaufighters and Mosquito night fighters, with an arrow head aerial on the nose, and two vertical aerials near each wing tip. Absolutely no information regarding the internal layout - was there one radar position that the two trainees took turns at using? Or two radar positions, one for each trainee? Where did the Instructor sit? This all matters, because the interior of a Mk.1 Anson is very visible. Were the two clear view escape hatches on top of the fuselage retained? And the bomb-aiming clear view panel in the nose? I've also got the excellent "Anson File" book by Air Britain, but it contains no photos of the A.I. version, and no additional information. The post-war photo (above) gives some clues, and in particular there appear to be one or two additional partitions within the fuselage. So I'm going to opt for two radar positions, unless anyone knows different? The photo also shows that apart from the A.I. aerials, there were other aerials that seem very similar to those on the Wellington T.18. The main aerial mast above the cockpit was removed. The forward sloping aerial under the nose suggests that the bomb aimer's glazed panel would become solid. The photo also appears to show, more clearly in the booklet, that NK291 had a prominent astrodome in place of the forward top fuselage escape hatch. The side view illustration doesn't show an astrodome. My guess is that these Ansons were converted from various Mk.1s, and retained features from their particular donor aircraft. I also think that 'stray daylight' from various windows didn't matter, because these were going to be Mosquito or Beaufighter crew members, and in those aircraft the A.I. operator sat in an open cockpit, with the radar screen encased in light proof rubber cover. 62 OTU had three constituent squadrons, A, B, and C, with a total complement of over 50 Ansons. Apparently 'C' squadron didn't operate the A.I. version. So how many Anson (A.I.) were actually produced? The Air Britain "Anson File" doesn't identify the A.I. aircraft, but does record those that served with 62 OTU. The Wellington T.18 production run was 80 aircraft, and each of those could carry four trainees. So there must have been more than 80 Ansons, perhaps well over 100 aircraft? It was a significant version, and they were the only Ansons to equip a Fighter Command OTU. All of the Beaufighter and Mosquito night fighter squadron radar operators were trained at RAF Ouston, and RAF Usworth (Sunderland) before 1943. This model uses the Airfix Anson Mk.1, not the best choice but it should knock into shape. The initial work being to alter the engines to remove the cylinder helmets; add the lower intake, (fashioned from scrap sprue); and reshape the lower part of the cowlings, including adding a notch for the external exhaust pipe. Anson (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr
  7. Just finished the Airfix Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV, but not without difficulty. This was due to trying a new (to me) make of acrylic matt varnish, which reacted badly to what was underneath it. I did some test paints on spare plastic beforehand, but the problem didn't show up till the real thing. Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, Ouston, c 1943 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The aircraft is a Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV of 289 Squadron, a target facilities unit headquartered at Turnhouse, Edinburgh in 1943, but with many detached flights at various northern airfields for anti-aircraft gunnery training. Aircraft Z5880 (Rootes built) was chosen for the model because it was delivered new to 7 AACU at RAF Ouston, Northumberland, before joining 13 Group AACU at the same airfield. That unit morphed into 289 Squadron, and Z5880 remained at Ouston as part of a detached flight. It eventually went to 410 Squadron (nightfighters) at nearby RAF Acklington, before becoming a maintenance training airframe in late 1943. An eminently suitable subject for my 'RAF Ouston Research' website project, and also to illustrate the continuous role of Anti-Aircraft training. However photos of 289 Squadron aircraft are rarer than 'hen's teeth', and all that I could find were a Miles Martinet in standard tug markings, and a Hawker Hurricane with a striped rudder. Records also state that 289 Squadron was such a large unit, that they used numbers as well as letters for their codes. So in a complete 'flight of fancy' I have combined these scant facts into a colour scheme for the aircraft. Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, L1525, 3 RSS, RAF Ouston (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Z5880, 289 Sqdn det, L1525, 3 RSS, RAF Ouston (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Also, I foolishly decided to 'improve' my earlier Blenheim Mk.1 (L1525, 3 RSS, RAF Ouston, 1940) with a coat of the new matt varnish, and this time the roundels decided to part company from the model! So another rescue job, and both Bristols were finished together today. I think I need counselling!
  8. This is an early Blenheim Mk.1, L1525, of 3 Radio Servicing Section 72 Wing at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in October 1940. The airfield was not officially opened until March 1941, but 3 RSS moved in far earlier and flew off the grass areas from 13th October 1940. L1525 didn't last long, and crashed on take-off from RAF Horsham St.Faith (now Norwich Airport) on 24th October 1940, the three crew were injured but safe. L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (20) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (34) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (36) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (42) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (43) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (50) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (53) by Philip Pain, on Flickr L1525, 3 RSS 72 Wing, Ouston, October 1940 (58) by Philip Pain, on Flickr So what was L1525 doing down in Norfolk? This is what got me intrigued. There was little clue in its unit "3 RSS", nor in it reporting to 72 (Signals) Wing which was based at nearby Hallington Hall in Northumberland. But digging further revealed that 72 Wing was part of 60 Group, which is when it got interesting. RAF's 60 Group were entirely responsible for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the 'Chain Home' radar system thoughout the War, and 72 Wing was responsible for all the radar installations from the Firth of Forth right down to Suffolk, including on the West coast and the Isle of Man. So L1525 was actually a radar calibration aircraft and "3 RSS" was a spoof designation. There is no known photo or description of L1525, so I have drawn heavily on Michael Bowyer's two books on Bombing and Fighting Colours, Michael being a meticulous wartime spotter. My colour scheme for L1525 is consistent with the many Blenheims that he saw during the 1940 period of rapidly changing and inconsistent changes to official markings. Basically L1525 retains its pre-War top colours complete with the pre-War practice of displaying the serial on the rudder. As an 'odd' serial number it has the type B camouflage pattern. It was initially used by the makers Bristol for trials work, before joining 601 Squadron at Northolt, and this was a fighter unit, although there is no record of L1525 having had the extra gun pack of the Blenheim 1F fighter version. This was during the Battle of Britain period so L1525 would have had its undersides repainted in the 'half black / half white' recognition scheme. But that scheme was soon dispensed with, and 'sky' (duck egg green) undersides were mandated instead. At this time colours would be mixed locally and there was much confusion regarding what 'duck egg green' was supposed to look like, with local shades varying from blue to green. Bowyer describes the previous straight demarcation line frequently being overpainted in duck egg green with a wavy pattern. Also control surfaces were usually to be painted at Maintenance Units so as not to affect the delicate balance of the controls. With a 'local' paint job they would be left in their previous half black / half white colours. Bowyer describes how the supposedly plain underside scheme would frequently have prominent roundels added, where the aircraft was at risk from 'friendly fire'. In general the pre-War bright roundels were retained, but modified locally to add yellow rings, plus a tail flash on the previously bare fin. These locally applied markings rarely conformed to official standards. Finally, L1525 would have carried code letters with 601 Squadron, and these have been crudely painted over with fresher paint. I have assumed that L1525 would have retained its armament, given that the enemy was still very active in British skies, and its crash at Norwich confirms that the gun turret was occupied with a third crew member. My next one is the Airfix 1/72 Blenheim IV, also at RAF Ouston - another challenge colour wise!
  9. Following on from last month's Revell 1/72 Vampire FB.5, I carried on and have just finished a second one. Mainly because I don't like Vampires, or models of them, so the sooner it was out of the way the better! For this model I used one of the decal options from the Modeldecal Vampire sheet. VZ305, RLS, 607 & 608 Sqdns, Ouston, 1954-5 (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VZ305, RLS, 607 & 608 Sqdns, Ouston, 1954-5 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VZ305, RLS, 607 & 608 Sqdns, Ouston, 1954-5 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VZ305, RLS, 607 & 608 Sqdns, Ouston, 1954-5 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VZ305, RLS, 607 & 608 Sqdns, Ouston, 1954-5 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VZ305, RLS, 607 & 608 Sqdns, Ouston, 1954-5 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is a DH Vampire FB.5, VZ305, of 607 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in 1954-55. It was flown by Wing Commander R.L.Smith, and Wing Commanders were allowed to use their initials in place of normal code letters, thus 'RLS'. He was also in charge of 608 Squadron at RAF Thornaby-on-Tees, so their colours were painted on the starboard side, and the aircraft was further embellished with painted rudders. The aircraft was also unusual in having PRU blue undersides, which would normally indicate that it had previously seen service with the 2nd TAF in Germany. However VZ305 only ever served with UK based squadrons, so perhaps at some point it had been earmarked for Germany, but never made it? There is a Vampire "VZ305" flying today - the airworthy Norwegian example - but it carries spurious marks and the original VZ305 was scrapped after RAF service. Thanks again for looking.
  10. Finished yesterday, this is the Revell kit boxed as a Vampire F.3 but containing the necessary parts for a FB.5 or FB.9. The kits sprues show that it originated as an MPM kit. Goes together nicely although I had to remove some of the interior to create room for a large lump of lead. There are Modeldecal and Xtradecal sets of Vampire decals available, so a wide range of different RAF Vampires can be modelled. VV617, A, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, c 1955 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VV617, A, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, c 1955 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr VV617, A, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, c 1955 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I chose FB.5 VV617 'A' of 607 Squadron RAuxAF at RAF Ouston, Northumberland, circa 1955. Which is when the problems started because 607's colours were 'Stone' and 'Mauve', the 'stone' being a sort of sandy colour, not yellow. But yellow is what you get on the decal sheet, so I've had to live with that. Photos of 607's Vampires are very thin on the ground, and the very few black & white images show markings variations that don't coincide with the decal sheet or various drawings on the internet. The photos show that the squadron badge was placed on a shield, colour unknown. Also one photo shows painted tips to the external fuel tanks, colour unknown. Various sources say that the nosewheel door was painted, either mauve, or stone, but can't agree. The very few photos seem to show silver nosewheel doors, but that could have changed over the years. What does seem to be the case is that 607 were fond of using their mauve and stone paint, probably also for the letter 'A', rather than yellow. So when in doubt I've gone for mauve for the details, which I had to mix myself. Thanks for looking.
  11. Finished a couple of days ago, this is the latest addition to RAF Ouston's Harvards, a Revell 1/72 T-6G Texan kit, converted to an RAF Harvard. The work involves making a longer rear end to the canopy, using an Airfix Canadian Chipmunk canopy, plus using the old Airfix Harvard kit long exhaust, removing the various hard points for the Texan's weapons, and various small detail changes. KF193, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, Sept 1951 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr KF193, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, Sept 1951 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr KF193, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, Sept 1951 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr KF193, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, Sept 1951 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr KF193, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, Sept 1951 (22) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr KF193, 607 Sqdn, Ouston, Sept 1951 (26) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is finished as KF193, one of three Harvards used by the Spitfire equipped 607 (County of Durham) Squadron at RAF Ouston, and seen in the colours it wore at the September 1951 RAF Acklington Battle of Britain display. RAF Ouston's Harvards could fill a book, and the following photos show the schemes built so far - 22 SFTS KF314 'FCIT' all yellow in 1946 - KF373 'RAN-A' still in wartime camo, ex-22 SFTS but now 607 Squadron's first aircraft in 1947 - and KF193, also ex-22 SFTS but repainted in modern post-war colours with 607's new code letters 'LA' following transfer from Reserve Command to Fighter Command in 1951. KF193 did not wear the usual post-war yellow 'T' bands on wings and rear fuselage, and the position of its fuselage roundel shows that it never had done. Ouston Harvards (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Ouston Harvards (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Ouston Harvards (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Ouston Harvards (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I've identified two further schemes which will follow in due course - FX280 'RAN-B' all yellow, 'C' type roundels; and wartime camo/yellow 'FCJA' of 22 SFTS, serial nor yet found. I'm also searching for an example in post-war silver/yellow 'T' bands, but no luck with a photo so far. Durham UAS is a likely contender. Any help with photo sources would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for looking.
  12. Just finished, the latest addition to my RAF Ouston project, Gloster Gladiator Mk.1 K6132 of 13 Group Communications Flight, RAF Ouston, Northumberland, April 1941. K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (13) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (18) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (22) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (28) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132, 13 Group Comms Flight, Ouston, April 1941 (30) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr And here is how the model looked during construction! K6132, rigging St Johns, Oct 19 w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is a recent Airfix kit, so accurate and nicely detailed. Nevertheless it did fight me most of the way to completion! Also the Mk.1 didn't have the under-cowling oil cooler intake, so this was removed and the gaps plugged. K6132 was only the fourth Gladiator built, and initially served with 72 Squadron at Church Fenton. There it became the mount of James Nicholson, who subsequently went on to win the only Fighter Command VC of the war. It was while he was flying it that the Munich Crisis led to K6132 being hastily and somewhat crudely camouflaged, and it adopted the codes 'RN-S', serial number probably deleted. There is a photo of Nicholson flying it as such. 72 converted to Spitfires, and K6132 was one of three Gladiators allocated to 13 Group's communication flight in April 1941. The Group HQ was in Newcastle, and the three Gladiators became the first aircraft to use the still incomplete RAF Ouston, flying off the grass areas. After a year or so with 13 Group, K6132 moved on to the RAE at Farnborough, where it survived until 1945, probably the oldest Gladiator to see the end of the war. "Three Gladiators", sounds a bit like 'Faith, Hope, and Charity', but in Geordieland they would have been "Pet"; "The Lads"; and "Man" (as in 'wi i man!'). K6132, Valentines Postcard w by Philip Pain, on Flickr K6132 was also used for a set of photos taken by "The Aeroplane" pre-war, and the view shown was made into a Valentines Postcard (my own collection). It is thus the most common image of a Gladiator to be found on the internet. For the colour scheme I have assumed the 'Munich' camouflage (without shadow compensation shading), with 1940 sky undersides. Then during the winter of 1940/41 the 'half black' under wings recognition markings were re-introduced on fighters, until ordered to be removed on 22 April 1941. So perhaps these were the only Ouston-based aircraft ever to wear (very briefly) this recognition feature. I have also just attached the prop spinner with blu-tac, as many Gladiators flew without a spinner. Thanks for looking.
  13. Here's an old kit, I must have had this unmade model since 1980, or earlier. P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (26) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (28) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9099, 13 Group AACU, Ouston, June 1941 (35) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The kit is basically accurate and goes together well. However there are many details missing, so I added an instrument panel, control stick, cowling brace supports, aerials, guns, better light bomb carriers, rear windows (to see the balance weights), landing lights, and pitot tube. It is an addition to my RAF Ouston, Northumberland project, and throughout the war Ouston was a base for target training aircraft for the many AA guns defending Tyneside. Sadly, however, photos are zilch, so once again I have had to make assumptions regarding the colours and markings. Lysander Mk.II P9099 is known to have served with no less than three of the target units at Ouston, starting in May 1941 with 7 Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit; then 13 Group Target Towing Flight, which later became 289 Squadron. None of these units had code letters allocated at Ouston, and neither did the aircraft have individual ID markings, other than the serial number. I have assumed that in its earlier days P9099 might have remained close to its former operational configuration and colours, as it was only used to calibrate the AA guns for height and speed. It was not a 'target towing' aircraft. However, in 1942 it left Ouston to be converted to a TT Mk.II, at which point it no doubt adopted black & yellow target towing stripes. It was then issued to 41 OTU at Old Sarum, before being crated for shipping to the Middle East. It never made it, being lost at sea en-route in January 1943. So somewhere on a seabed it still resides, although the official 'loss date' of 8th January 1943 does not match any recorded shipping losses on that date. It is perhaps the date the paperwork was done, not when the ship sank?
  14. This is an update to my original thread on this model. I have now finished writing up a history of the Czech Defector, and to do so I searched various Czech websites, using 'google translate' to try and confuse me further! There is plenty of information, but it appears that no one has ever tried plotting his flight path on 'google earth' and measuring the distances. RAF Ouston to the village of Ortho, Belgium = 450 miles. Still air range of a Hurricane 1 with Rotol propellor = 425 miles, and that is without him starting off with a training exercise with a Polish pilot. Result, it just didn't add up, and there was a strong smell of rats! More digging, and I'm now claiming to have revealed a very carefully planned defection, designed to protect his UK (RAF?) handler, combined with a second flight that same day so the Gestapo could frighten civilians into not helping Allied airmen. My stab at this story can be found here sites.google.com/view/raf-ouston-research/the-czech-defector It still needs a bit of tidying up, but hopefully it will be of interest, and it just shows where a plastic aeroplane kit will lead you! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just finished, another limited run kit from Poland. Beautifully detailed and accurate, but what a b**** to persuade to go together! I think that the trouble with these CAD models is that there is no built-in tolerance between the parts, they might fit perfectly on the computer, but not in real life. Anyway, a very interesting story to this Hurricane; W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (24) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (26) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr W9147, 55 OTU, RAF Ouston, 18 Sept 1941 (12) bw by Philip Pain, on Flickr It is a Gloster built Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 (with Rotol propellor), serial W9147 of 55 OTU based at RAF Usworth, Sunderland in 1941. It was the 'personal' aircraft of 55 OTU's commander, Wing Commander K.W. Gough AFC and carries his pennant below the cockpit. 55 OTU was a very large outfit and as a result they made much use of nearby RAF Ouston, Northumberland, as a satellite airfield. It was at Ouston on 18th September 1941 that W9147 was being flown by one of 55 OTU's Instructors, Sergeant Pilot Augustin Precuil, a Czech. He took off with a Polish pilot pupil for a training flight, and later the Pole returned alone, to report that he had last seen W9147 diving down to the sea where he lost sight of it. The RAF inquiry concluded engine failure as the likely cause and Precuil was listed as missing. No doubt Wng Cmdr Gough would have been annoyed at the loss of his aircraft, but probably even more so when it subsequently turned up on public display in the Reich Aviation Museum in Berlin! 55 OTU W9147_in_Berlin_Museum by Philip Pain, on Flickr Precuil was working for the Gestapo, and after defecting in W9147 he landed in Belgium near the Ardennes, damaging the propellor and probably shock-loading the engine. He was hid by Belgian farmers that first night, and in the morning he revealed himself to the Germans and betrayed the Belgians. One report says that two were immediately executed, another that the family was imprisoned. Precuil collected a reward and was put to work infiltrating prison camps and openly assisting in the interrogation of allied airmen. At the War's end he was arrested, tried, and hanged for Treason in April 1947. W9147 didn't last as long, an RAF raid on Berlin in November 1943 destroyed much of the Reich Aviation Museum. There are some unexplained aspects to the story. Precuil apparently got married to a British girl some three months before he defected. Maybe he made a bad choice, but then she was a Sunderland girl (I'm from Newcastle, which has a better football team). Also, why defect when he did? The Hurricane was of no intelligence value to the Germans, and neither was Precuil currently in a security sensitive post, nor had he been. Perhaps he got spooked that his game was almost up, and the opportunity of being at RAF Ouston, where any odd behaviour was less likely to be noticed, plus having the WingCo's aircraft, and a rookie pilot in tow, all became too good an opportunity to miss? Finally, it seems that the British security service files on the incident are still sealed. Some comments on the colour scheme for W9147. Another modeller on the web has done it in grey/green/medium sea grey with sky codes, and this is presumably because those new colours were introduced in August 1941, a month before Precuil defected. However, the grainy photo from the Berlin museum appears to show W9147 still in pre-August colours with grey code letters. There is no contrast between the sky rear fuselage band, and the underside sky colour. The present day Berlin Museum also has an impressive 1/72 diorama showing the original Reich collection of aircraft, and included is a brown/green Hurricane. However, what may be possible is that by 18th September 1941 W9147 may have acquired yellow leading edge strips, which were mandated from 14th August 1941 as a new recognition feature. If so, my model is correct for pre-August 1941. Thanks for looking, and I will be writing up the full story of Augustin Precuil on my "RAF Ouston Research" website which can be found here sites.google.com/view/raf-ouston-research/home
  15. Just after Christmas I was delighted to find this kit on Ebay. It was released in 2017, but somehow escaped my attention. Proctor (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Proctor (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr It comes with no less than five military options, and includes optional parts for all the early Proctors, plus the Vega Gull. However the only canopy included is for the Proctor 3. It has etched brass parts, canopy mask (for painting), no less than three tail wheels, two propellors and spinners, and a pile of optional seat parts, none of which are explained in the instructions. The overall quality and detail is excellent, but as I soon discovered it requires very careful and fiddly assembly, and if parts are not trimmed exactly to fit there are knock on problems later on. The extensive instruction sheet compounds the problem by not clearly showing where some parts are meant to fit. I'm not going to illustrate all of the build, so this will be a short thread; Proctor (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This photo shows the best part of a week's work. There are no less than 60 parts already assembled in this photo! The interior colours took quite some research for my chosen model, and no interior colour guidance is given in the instructions. The propellor was unlikely to rotate, or likely to fall off, so I'm making a new shaft, etc. Proctor (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr There is one obvious error in the kit, which does not include the curved underside fairing for the engine. Yet strangely one of the assembly drawings in the instructions does show it. So I fashioned mine with modelling putty, having first put the kit's engine exhaust in place. Painting is now well underway.
  16. Finished today, an Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Mk.1/II kit, completed as one of the rare Mk.Va versions. The Airfix kit has all the necessary parts to make a Va, and indeed they have re-issued the model as such. P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (18) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr P9448, 81 Sqdn, Ouston, 7 February 1942 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is Spitfire Mk.Va P9448 of 81 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland on 7th February 1942, and there is quite a story to this aircraft. It was originally built as a Mk.1a, first flown at Eastleigh on 4th April 1940. It was issued to the ETPS at Farnborough for medical and negative G trials. It then went to 72 Squadron on 4th June 1940, based at RAF Acklington, Northumberland. This was the height of the Battle of Britain, and it probably participated in 72 Squadron's response to the major but disastrous Luftwaffe raid on the North East on 15th August 1940. Among 72's pilots was a New Zealander, Ronald Thomson, and he was part of a flight detached to RAF Woolsington (now Newcastle Airport) on the night of 26/27th June 1940, when he downed a Ju88 caught in searchlights, one of the very few night time Spitfire victories. He was not flying P9448 on that occasion, but he was flying it on 1st September 1940 after 72 Squadron had moved to Gravesend. He and P9448 were attacked and shot down by a Messerschmitt 109, and Thomson suffered multiple wounds from canon shell fragments, but he glided down for a crash landing. Unfortunately the field he chose had been strung with anti-invasion cables, and P9448 was wrecked and subsequently declared a write-off. Thomson returned to 72 Squadron six weeks later, and P9448 went back to the manufacturer to be rebuilt as a Mk.Va with the larger Merlin 45 engine. History then repeated itself as the 'new' P9448 was issued to the RAE for high G medical black-out trials. After that it went to 53 OTU at Heston. On 26th June 1941 it was one of a number of Mk.Va's collected together to form the initial equipment of 81 Squadron (just back from Russia flying Hurricanes) at RAF Ouston, and P9448 was once more in Northumberland. It survived with them until 7th February 1942 when it ran-off the runway at Ouston, hit a snow bank and flipped over on to its back. This time it was not repaired. There is a photo of P9448 on its back at Ouston in the snow, in the "Action Stations" book No.7, and as far as I can tell this is the only photo in existence of an 81 Squadron Mk.Va. This photo means that the markings on my model are pretty accurate.
  17. After a run of difficult models, I fancied doing something simple for a change, at least that was the plan! So here is Airfix's 1974 model of the Spitfire Vb, which has been released and re-boxed several times. It is a reasonably accurate kit, although much simpler than today's CAD generated models. EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr EN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I had to find a replacement for the canopy, as mine had bad air bubbles. Also fitted a larger oil cooler (from a more modern Airfix kit), and scratch built two heating pipes coming out of the rear of the exhausts. The marking became a big challenge, as the real machine had obviously started life with 1941 style roundels (and their brighter colours), before being partly repainted into the mid-1942 scheme. Also the code letters were a funny size, which I couldn't quite find a match for. The letter 'M' is always difficult, as no matter how many M's you have on decal sheets, they never include the one you want, so I made mine using letter 'V's. It is a Spitfire Mk.Vb serial EN821 of 243 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in July 1942. It was being flown by their commander Squadron Leader Allan E.Johnston when the "Aeroplane Magazine" took a series of photos, which have since been widely published. Does this one look familiar to you? 243 Sqn Ouston 1942 original by Philip Pain, on Flickr You will recognise it as the following art print that has become the most common Spitfire painting to adorn living room walls; Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mark VB of 243 Squadron by Philip Pain, on Flickr And then the story of EN821 gets even more interesting. Later on in 1942 it moved on to 65 Squadron, before being returned to manufacturers throughout 1943, for various updates and mods. In February 1944 it was transferred to the Fleet Air Arm, but apparently it was not 'navalised' or hooked, just being intended for shore based training. It was issued to 808 Squadron at RNAS Lee-on-Solent, and then on D-Day 6th June 1944 it was shot down by an enemy aircraft over Le Havre while spotting and gun-laying for Royal Navy warships. Sadly Sub Lieutenant Cogill was seen struggling to bail out, but he was killed. Most versions of D-Day say that the Luftwaffe was nowhere to be seen, but 129 allied aircraft were lost during the invasion. It must have been a rare event for an aircraft to fall to a Luftwaffe fighter. It is not known if EN821 wore navy camouflage, but it would undoubtedly have had full D-Day stripes.
  18. Just finished, my take on the very nice Brengun Typhoon (early car-door); DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (52) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (51) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (48) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (27) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr DN439, 198 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, Jan 1943 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is a Hawker Typhoon 1b, DN439 of 198 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in January 1943. The squadron was still working up during their brief three week stay at RAF Ouston, and their intended role was fighter interception. Only later on in 1944 did 198 Squadron become one of the leading exponents of ground attack and close support, using rocket and bomb equipped Typhoons. In early February 1943 198 Squadron moved to nearby RAF Acklington and were declared operational. It was 16th February 1943 on an operational scramble that DN439 swung on takeoff, ground looped and was wrecked. The pilot W/O W.L. Mount was unhurt, but DN439 had lasted barely a month from new. New identification markings for Typhoons had been introduced in December 1942, to try and reduce the number being shot down in mistake for FW190s. Thus the prominent underwing stripes (NOT 'D-Day' markings), yellow uppersurface bands, and black ring around the spinner. My code letter 'E' is not confirmed, but records show that another 'E' served with the squadron, probably arriving not long after DN439 was wrecked, so likely to be a replacement 'E'. The Brengun kit is a very nice 'cottage industry' example, accurate and finely detailed, but like all limited run kits it needs extra work to put together. It contains parts for both early and late Typhoons. The markings were made up from Xtradecal sheets, and the kit's decals were not used.
  19. Just finished today, although I'm not at all happy with it. This is the re-boxed MPM kit and while the surface detail is excellent, the fit of many parts was abysmal and the wings/tail are far too thick. I'm really kicking myself for not doing a massive sanding down before joining the halves. Also had to pinch correct sized wheels from the 1/72 Revell Havoc kit. It also took nine separate lumps of lead squeezed into various places to stop it tail sitting. The Special Hobby kit is for a Boston IIIA, but contains all the necessary parts to do the earlier mark III, but without the relevant instructions. So it was quite a guessing game, and referring to various reference books for the Boston didn't help given the bewildering variations between RAF Boston 1, II, and IIIs , Havocs, A-20B and Cs. Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston III, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Douglas Boston, AL275, 226 Sqdn, RAF Ouston, 4 Aug 42 by Philip Pain, on Flickr 226 Squadron was detached from their base at RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk, to RAF Ouston, Northumberland on 4th August 1942, to take part in Army Co-operation Exercise "Dryshod". By the end of that first day they had lost three of their Bostons in accidents, and AL275 'MQ-Z' belly landed in a field some four miles to the west of Ouston when the engines cut. Sgt W.E.Burns was flying and there were no injuries. The markings on this Boston consist of pre-May 1942 roundels and grey codes, over painted to conform to the revised regulations for roundel sizes and code colours. This Boston was built by Douglas and shipped to Liverpool, roaded through the streets and assembled at Speke. It is not (yet) known if it flew again after its accident.
  20. Following on from the WIP thread, it's finished, but not without some difficulty. The exact colour is something of a mystery, there is a colour photo of it on the internet, but it doesn't help much, looking like a faded shade of PRU blue. So I just went with my notebook description from 1966 i.e. "medium blue". I found a tin of "Revell" number 50 which seems to do the trick. Also my later 1968 photo shows a light faded colour. These are the two photos, both taken by me at RAF Ouston; G-AIHD (DX241), WD332 no engine, RAF Ouston, 4 Jan 66 by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD (DX241), WN948, RAF Ouston, 15 Aug 68 by Philip Pain, on Flickr The other difficulty is that I somehow cracked the windscreen, presumably applying too much pressure when gluing. I then tried to find how to buy spare parts from 'Dora Wings' in Czech land, but I'm getting nowhere. So the crack remains for now, disguised with some black paint. G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (22) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (25) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr G-AIHD, Airwork manager Knox, RAF Ouston, c 1962 (28) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr At RAF Ouston this Proctor was owned by Mr T.G.Knox, the Airwork Ltd manager responsible (as a civilian contractor) for maintaining the RAF Chipmunks. It was wfu in September 1963 but continued to languish in the back of the main hangar for a few more years. By 1968 it had been given to the RAF Firemen to burn on the fireground. However, I never realised until researching this week, what an interesting history it had. Built in 1942 as an RAF radio trainer with the serial DX241, it was demobbed and converted for the civil register as G-AIHD in September 1946. Its first owner was the Lancashire Aircraft Corporation Ltd, possibly operating on air taxi and joy-ride work out of Blackpool. It served with LAC throughout the period of the Berlin Airlift 1948-9, and while there is no record that it participated, it seems to have been the favourite mount of LAC's Chief Pilot and Operation Manager, Squadron Leader W.I."Wally" Lashbrook DFC, AFC, DFM, and it was he who organised the legendary participation of 24 of LAC's Halifax freighters in the Airlift. He commuted regularly between Bovingdon and Wunstorf in Germany, and may have used this Proctor to do so? In any event this Proctor became his favoured mount in subsequent air races, and his first success with it was on 22 August 1950. He flew it in the Air League Challenge Cup at Sherburn-in-Elmet but was unplaced. He then flew it later the same day to Yeadon and won the Yorkshire Aeroplane Cup Trophy Race at an average speed of 161.5 mph. He also entered the Proctor in the Daily Express Air Race at Hurn on 20 September 1950, beating the only Halifax ever to air race, G-AKEC (averaging 267 mph at sea level!), but losing out to some stiff competition including Jeffery Quill in a Spitfire F.22. On 11-12 July 1952 Lashbrook entered the Proctor in the National Air Races at Woolsington, competing in the Kemsley Challenge Trophy, but again losing out to some illustrious competitors including Group Captain John Cunningham in a Vampire FB.9 WR211. The prizes were presented by Field Marshall Montgomery. On another occasion at Sandown on 18 June 1950, Lashbrook had raced the Proctor against others including Peter Townsend in Hurricane G-AMAU/PZ865 (also painted bright blue overall). Lashbrook gave up flying in 1953, but the Proctor was still racing in April 1959, being seen as race '66' at Oxford. Also of note in the Woolsington air races, was a Mr.T.G.Knox, flying Proctor G-AMBS to win the Kings Cup Handicap Race. He subsequently became the final owner of Proctor G-AIHD. Knox also won the Air League Challenge Cup Trophy Race on 20 August 1955, this time flying Proctor 3 G-ALCK which is now preserved at Duxford as LZ766. Lashbrook deserves a book in his own right, and suffice to mention that he also flew 29 bombing raids over Germany in Halifaxes; managed to crash land a shot-up 35 Squadron Halifax near Tollerton in complete darkness with minor crew injuries; led the first airbourne para raid 'Operation Colossus' in Whitleys to destroy an aqueduct in southern Italy; was shot down in a Halifax in 1943 over the French Belgian border, but escaped through the French resistance 'Comet' escape line over the Pyrenees to Gibraltar, helping to bottle the Champagne harvest on the way; was a close friend with fellow 1930's Aircraftsman "Ross", later Lawrence of Arabia; and lived to the age of 104, collecting an MBE on the way for sports services the the Ayshire Army Cadet Force. Proctor G-AIHD was sold by LAC in June 1953, and subsequently became part of Airwork Ltd's fleet, and in 1956 was based at Sunderland/Usworth with fellow Proctor 3 G-ALCK. G-AIHD is also known to have appeared at air displays including RAF Acklington B of B Display on 20 September 1958, and Coventry on 15 July 1961. I'm really pleased to have brought this forgotten Proctor 'back to life', so to speak.
  21. Following on from completion of my Anson airbourne interception trainer, here are photos of the assembled 62 OTU fleet, at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in March 1945. The Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528 '45', is about to be retired, to be replaced by the Wellington Mk.XVIII (T.18), ND113 '27', with Hurricane IIc, LF363 'F' to act as a target. 62 Operational Training Unit, RAF Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr 62 Operational Training Unit, RAF Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr 62 OTU had over 50 Ansons, replaced by 29 Wellingtons, and they trained all of Fighter Command's night fighter crews. Non-radar equipped Ansons acted as target aircraft, until replaced by 23 Hurricane IIc aircraft. The OTU was split into 3 squadrons, and 'A' Sqdn had white numeral codes commencing '1' to '18''; 'B' Sqdn had light blue numeral codes commencing '32' to '47'; and 'C' Sqdn (the target aircraft) carried single letters commencing 'A', also possibly painted light blue. Hurrican IIc LF363 still flies with the BBMF at RAF Coningsby, and it is not known what code letter it had at 62 OTU. So 'F' has been applied, this being it's known letter when earlier being with 309 (Polish) Sqdn. By 1947 LF363 is known to have lost its guns, and I suspect that they might have been removed at 62 OTU, as there would have been no requirement for a target aircraft to have them. I'm hoping for some definite confirmation before removing the gun barrels from this model. These models at RAF Ouston are part of my project to model all of the main aircraft types based there from 1941 to 1974. So far 31 models have been completed, and they can be found on my "RAF Ouston Research" website at https://sites.google.com/view/raf-ouston-research/models-of-oustons-aircraft
  22. Following on from my work-in-progress thread for this Airfix Anson, here are the photos of the completed model; Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr Avro Anson Mk.1 (A.I.), DJ528, B Sqdn 62 OTU, Ouston, March 1945 by Philip Pain, on Flickr 62 OTU at RAF Ouston in Northumberland was Fighter Command's only Anson equipped OTU, responsible for training all Beaufighter and Mosquito Nav/Observers. The Anson airbourne interception trainer was equipped with A.I.Mk.IV, and based initially at RAF Usworth, Sunderland, before moving to nearby RAF Ouston in 1943. From early 1945 the Anson was replaced by the Wellington Mk.XVIII (T.18). 62 OTU had a complement of over 50 Ansons, and the OTU was split into three squadrons; 'A' Sqdn applied white two digit codes; 'B' Sqdn light blue two digit codes; and 'C' Sqdn supplied the 'target' aircraft (not A.I. equipped) with single white code letters. It was a daily sight over Northumberland to see pairs of Ansons chasing each other around the sky.
  23. Following on from the WIP thread for this model, http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235035905-172-raf-walrus-from-matchboxrevell-kit/&tab=comments#comment-3004200, here are the completed photos;Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (38) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrWalrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (41) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrWalrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (50) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrWalrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (56) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrWalrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (59) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrWalrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (61) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrWalrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (68) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrJust a comment about the accuracy of the scheme, as it is based on a partial photo of some erks stood in front of the rear fuselage, and obliterating most of the code letters. The 'FA' and the hyphen are correct, and the colours are red, unlike some RAF Rescue squadrons that used yellow. However, the individual code letter 'B' could be a 'D' or even a 'G' as only a bit of a curved letter can be seen. RAF Rescue squadrons only had a few aircraft each, to include the Walrus and Defiants, later replaced by the Anson. The highest letter known for 281 Squadron is an Anson coded 'F'. As the Walrus came first, early alphabet letters are likely, thus choosing 'B' for this model of Z1768. This kit is the Revell re-issue of the Matchbox kit, and to improve the detail of the kit, some 130 individual additions/corrections were made. It is fully rigged using nylon thread and, as shown in the WIP thread, the rigging was first attached to the inside of the parts, before construction, and then pulled through and secured after gluing parts together. Thanks for looking.
  24. This one has been over three weeks in the making so far, and still far from finished. I decided to adopt a very unusual method of construction, but wasn't sure if it would work or not. So didn't post work-in-progress photos for fear of having to abandon it half way thorough, with much egg on face. I have an original Matchbox 1/72 kit of the Supermarine Walrus, but decided to use the later Revell re-issue of the kit, as it has better plastic, much less shrinkage on the parts, and comes with some of the stencil markings applied to the real Walrus. My chosen subject is an RAF Walrus Mk.II of 281 Squadron, circa 1942-43, based at RAF Ouston in Northumberland, and later at RAF Woolsington (now Newcastle Airport). And then the difficulties started! There are loads of photos and markings for FAA Walrus Mk.1 aircraft, but very little of any quality for the RAF version. The two preserved Walrus Mk.Is at Hendon (an Aussie Seagull) and Yeovilton are both metal hulled ex Navy examples, and seem to differ in many details from the RAF wooden hulled Mk.II. Reliable colour scheme information for the RAF machines is scant, and various 3-view drawings and side view profiles all lack essential detail, or are just wrong. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (1) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Started with the interior, which contained nothing, other than 3 crude seats. Didn't put too much effort in to it, as not much will be visible. The two side window positions were cut out and glazed. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (3) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr All scratch built, apart from the control column from an Airfix Anson. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (4) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Drilled holes for the rigging wires, and also used putty to create the missing aileron hinges. The Matchboc/Revell kit is reasonably accurate, but almost completely devoid of all the little details. In this photo I've got the inboard hinge in the wrong position, it has since been corrected. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Also drilled rigging holes in the wing floats. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (6) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The engine nacelle with some of the 16 holes drilled in it! Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (7) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The fuselage together, with filler applied and sanded. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (8) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is my unusual construction technique for this model - anchoring the rigging inside the parts, before gluing the bits together. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (9) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Same for the engine nacelle and associated struts. The bits of tape are to stop the rigging falling out, and to keep the correct rigging ends together. I did lose the plot several times, it was very complex! Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (10) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (11) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Unusual construction continues, with the floats painted, attached and fully rigged, before the painted lower wing half is glued to the top half. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr I've never before painted, decaled and varnished a fuselage before attaching anything to it. Also, couldn't find correct sized dull-red code letters, so applied white ones, to be over painted after in dull red. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (13) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr This is the top surface of the lower wing, again fully painted, decaled and varnished, before joining to the lower wing half. Much time also spent agonising over whether or not to apply 'shadow shading' to the lower wing surface (i.e. lighter shades to compensate for the dark shadow created by the upper wing). However, shadow shading was officially discontinued in 1942, so I concluded that new-built RAF Walrus aircraft were unlikely to have it. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Here is the engines nacelle and struts having the rigging wires glued to the fuselage, before attaching the plastic parts. The rigging would subsequently be pulled tight and glued. I would do this differently next time, and attached the rigging from inside the fuselage for greater strength and less visible super glue. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (15) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Having attached the engine nacelle & struts, the tailplanes were attached next in order to give a 'level datum' for the splayed undercarraige legs. This didn't work as planned and one wheel had to be prised off and re-attached to try and level the model. The u/c legs on the model have very weak attachments, and this didn't seem to make sense for the real aircraft either. It was only after carefully studying photos of the real aircraft that it was discovered that there are in fact two very small struts on the back face of the undercarraige legs, and these lock on to the fuselage when the wheels are down. They are invisible in most photos, and completely absent from all 3-view plans! Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The lower surface of the wing centre section was then attached, and the rigging pulled through and super glued. But not before much difficulty in trying to get the centre section 'straight and level'. This involved much bending of the struts which did not align properly, and it was not caused by the 3-degree offset on the engine nacelle. Note also that the front intake on the nacelle has been drilled out. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (17) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Then the top surface of the wing centre section was glued in place. It is perhaps debatable whether or not RAF Walrus had the four-wire sling on this top surface, as there would not normally be any requirement to hoist RAF Walrus back onto ships? Also regarding the top of the canopy, at least one of the preserved museum Walrus aircraft has only two (thicker) frames, rather than the three depicted on the model. Published plans and 3-view drawings are no help in resolving this. Finally, a late 'discovery' was that the kit wrongly has a second bilge pump pipe on the starboard nose, so this was removed and the paint repaired on that side. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (18) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (19) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr The kit's tail feathers are devoid of the various actuating rods, so these were scratch built and added. Walrus II, Z1768, 281 Sqdn, Ouston, 1942-3 (20) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr More missing details include the faired lower front struts, and the prominent blister under the rear of the engine nacelle. This is assumed to be some sort of 'sea spray guard' for the lower engine cylinders? That's all so far, but more to follow .............. Reply Quick Reply
  25. Finished this one two days ago, and here are the photos, followed by an interesting 'back story';Sea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (1) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrSea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (6) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrSea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (9) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrSea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (10) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrSea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (22) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrSea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (24) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrSea Hurricane IIc, NF700, 804 Sqdn, Ouston, January 1943 (27) w by Philip Pain, on FlickrThe kit was built 'out of the box', without modification, but the markings became one of my head banging exercises. I wanted a Sea Hurricane to join my RAF Ouston, Northumberland, collection, because 804 Squadron FAA were based there for a month in January 1943. This was the only time that the Navy ever used Ouston, and possibly they were doing trials or exercises with new built warships off the Tyne. I thought it would be easy to find 804's markings, given that it is well known FAA squadron, and I had a definite date to work with. Wrong!Sea Hurricane NF700 had an interesting history, and was originally built as a Hurricane Mk.IIc for the RAF with the serial number KW921. However it was retained in the factory and together with others was converted to become a Sea Hurricane IIc. Together with its six (later nine) companions NF700 was delivered to 804 Squadron and embarked on the aircraft carrier HMS Dasher. In October 1942 they sailed for the Mediterranean to join the American led invasion of French occupied North Africa. This was "Operation Torch", and to try and disguise the British participation, all aircraft taking part were painted with American 'stars' in place of the British markings. The theory was that the Vichy French defenders were more likely to capitulate to their 'friends' the Americans.HMS Dasher returned to Britain late in 1942 and 804 Squadron disembarked and spent brief periods at two FAA airfields before arriving at RAF Ouston. By then it is assumed that the "Operation Torch" markings would have been removed and replaced with 804's normal codes, as shown on the model above. After spending the month of January 1943 at Ouston, 804 Squadron moved to Northern Ireland at the beginning of February, and handed all their aircraft over to 835 Squadron, including NF700. The story does not end there, because 835 Squadron had the aircraft overpainted in 'Arctic white' and embarked on the aircraft carrier HMS Nairana to join the Arctic convoys to Russia. It was on this voyage in 1943, that NF700 was landing back on the carrier in rough seas, when the pitching ship made it strike the stern, and it ended up crashed on the flight deck with a broken back. It was classed as a write off, and would have been stripped of useable spare parts, and dumped over the side into the sea. Cold and deep Arctic waters have low oxygen levels, so even salt water corrosion is held at bay, and it is quite likely that the remains of NF700 still exist to this day in its watery grave off Norway.The 'white' Sea Hurricanes of 835 Squadron have been much modelled, and therefore serial numbers for NF700 were readily available. So this was the serial I chose for the model. However the individual code letter it wore with 804 Squadron is unknown, so I guessed at 'S7-A' on the thin assumption that 804's Commander would have chosen the new aircraft with the 'best' serial number for himself.Thanks for looking.
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