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  1. Hey All Here’s a wee project I’ve been working on for a few months now, the first of my 2 RAF Liberators. Hopefully this is fair interpretation (with a smidgen of artistic licence) of Liberator GR.V. BZ862 that flew with 354 Squadron from India between September 1943 and May 1944. The kit is the Revell boxing of a B24D, Jerk’s Natural. Additions to the base model include: · Belcher Bits belly radome · Squadron canopy. · True Details wheels. · Quickboost engines. · F.M. Halifax Bolton Paul rear turret transparency with scratchbuilt internal gubbins for the Quickboost B.P. Defiant .303 machine guns. · Lots of lead fishing weight ! I was looking for a Coastal Command Liberator wearing SEAC markings to build when I came across a photo titled ‘Geoff Tomlinson’s aircraft – Early 354’ on Ron Quirk’s website, in Jim Badgleys album ( 354 Sqn photos ). There is also a second in-flight photo of this aircraft in the album titled 'On Patrol over Bay of Bengal'. From the grainy photos I could tell that it was based on a ‘D’ variant, that it had the code letter ‘A’, and that it should make a suitable subject. With no decals available in 1/48, my subject had to be reasonably easy to model. From there I discovered: · Code letter ‘A’ belonged to Liberator GR.V. BZ862 and it was usually flown by Sgt Tomlinson (later P/O) and his crew. In June 1944 the aircraft was replaced on 354 Sqn by Liberator MK.VI. EW319, however it was transferred to 160 Sqn where in August 1945 it would go on to complete a sortie of 24hrs and 10 minutes with F/Lt Jack Muir and crew; this was a record at the time and definitely a subject worth modelling. · 354 Squadron was a general reconnaissance squadron that flew Liberators from airfields in India and Ceylon from its formation in May 1943 until disbandment in May 1945. They carried out armed patrols and convoy escort duties using Liberator Mks IIIA, V and finally VI. First, here's my attempt at recreating to pose of 862 in the photo. There was something bugging me about the roundels shown in the photo, particularly with the relatively small centre circle. I think the answer came in a recently purchased (when I started the project) copy of Eyes for the Phoenix by Geoffrey J. Thomas. The book details a period between Jun and September 1943 where the national markings evolved from the European style to the familiar SEAC two-tone blue. Apparently, when faded, the blue of the RAF Type B roundels blended into the surrounding camouflage leaving only a visible red circle that was sometimes tragically mistaken for Japanese markings. The book details the colours and measurements for the markings and after first applying roundels and fin flashes in the early trial white/blue (as they look to me in the photo), I later changed them to the later light/dark blue to better suit the timeframe. However I can’t be certain that this aircraft did actually wear this style of marking. I wanted the addition of the belly radome to be a feature of this build so I wanted to help minimise the clutter at the back end by making sure that it wasn't a tail sitter. It took a lot of lead ! And here's where it all went. Lastly, I'd bought the Belcher Bits conversion that also came with a Leigh Light. I think it's a great little addition to the CC Liberator and this is my only opportunity to use it, so I have. I'm sure no-one will notice. Thanks for looking, comments, corrections, good, bad or indifferent welcome Cheers Gaz
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