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So just some thoughts going round in my head for possible future builds. Torpedo bombers based in Malta? wellingtons, swordfish and Beauforts, I know of but have very little knowledge and can find very little reference info (it’s malta so that makes sense) as to what they looked like. I know wellingtons were 38 and 221 sqn and worked at night so pretty much guarantee black lower surfaces. But any info on marks? I’ve found a few pics of wellies being loaded with fish and they appear to have their front turret removed. swordfish were, 815, 828 (mainly albacore?) and 830 from what I can find and preformed many roles, recce of shipping, mine laying, and assault of shipping with torp’s and bombs. I’m sure I’ve seen a few profiles of them as black with camo uppers, maybe one with an M on it’s tail? beaforts I have a fair idea on, and have transfers for two options.... but no kit.... any way any info on wellingtons and swordfish flying out of Malta world be helpful? Anyone build any representations of these? cheers in advance Rob
I visited the new exhibition spaces at Brooklands which as well as the semi-restored Loch Ness Wellington has a forward fuselage that is open to invited visitors. I was able to go inside and see what it was like. A couple of photos, the first of the cockpit looking to where the turret would be, the second from behind the main spar, looking forward. The silver main spar replica only goes half way across to make access easier. To my left the canvas stretcher is folded up and above my head on the left are the oxygen bottles. Just in front of the frame is the Navigators position and between him and the pilot is the Radio Operator. The floor is not original, the fuselage had been cut off at the bomb bay and the rest used as a chicken house. The new structures are bright aluminium, the original dull or painted. Likewise the hand rail was not there. All of this should be helpful for anyone super detailing the Airfix kit. I urge anyone making the Airfix kit to go to Brooklands!
Having learnt a lot from browsing the Britmodeller forum, I thought I should return the favour by outlining the planning and building stages I'm going through to create my model. I hope it's interesting and helps others to approach their modelling tasks. I hope to build up this topic with a series of postings over time. I'll start here with a bit of the history leading me to this point. My Dad served as, amongst other things, an air gunner with Bomber Command during WW2. He earned his DFM from 30 missions. 29 of them he was a mid-upper gunner and one a tail gunner. The tail gunner trip was to Peenemunde - to bomb the V1 /V2 research station. The other trips included several to Berlin and a round trip to Cannes. You can imagine he has a few stories about incidents on different missions, as well as life generally. It was his 94th birthday the other day and we talked over a fair bit. After taking Dad to London to see the Bomber Command Memorial, I decided I wanted to make a model of one of his aircraft. Dad's operations were with 76 Squadron, flying from Holme-on-Spalding-Moor. I knew from talking to him that the Halifax aircraft he went on ops in had Merlin engines, Dowty undercarriage, rectangular tail fins and the later perspex nose as well as, I was pretty sure, H2S. This made them the Mk V Halifaxes. Squadron records confirmed that they were Mark V, but bizarrely my Dad's log book says in the header they were Mk IIs. As that header is in the same ink and hand as that of the officer signing off the log, you would expect it to be right. As a double check, I looked up every serial number from the log book in the production records - these confirmed them as Mk V in every case. It just shows that you need to check all your facts. To emphasise the point about research and validation by cross checking: I have gathered various books and photos to inform my build and get the details right. I will be making two models. The first is a practice run to get my skills up - it will be the Matchbox kit and represent the one he was in over Peenemunde. The second, for a diorama, will be the aircraft he was in most, depicted for the Cannes op using a newer Revell kit with some after market amendment. There don't seem to be any photos of either aircraft, but the latter was LK646 part of the same batch as LK640 - an aircraft whose photo has been much published. The largest print is in Bruce Robertson's Halifax Special. There is also a colour profile of it in Osprey's Halifax Squadrons. The only bit of the Osprey colour image I was put off by was the old style tail fins. My understanding was that manufacturers were putting the late fins on by then. The photo misses the tail off. My Dad tells me that LK646 arrived with rectangular fins and that 76 was fully rectangular fins on main operational aircraft by that point. I will put dates and details in a future post. Well, I showed the colour LK640 to my Dad, thinking the only difference he would highlight would be the tail fin. No, he also listed the absence of an H2S dome; the need for a Vickers k gun in the nose; and, a perspex blister aft of the H2S dome, which he used for watching out for fighters from below. So, even very close in batch numbers from the same manufacturer, the details can vary markedly. Further, most relevant photos suggest that the aircraft code letters appeared on the undercarriage. I would have planned to put them on my model if Dad hadn't said they weren't on his plane. That's a preliminary post from me, my first on the forum. Future post should add detail and show how my builds get on. Cheers Andrew