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  1. Hello all. Back in October I started on this build with little notion of the somewhat epic undertaking it would turn into. The new 1/72 tool of this aircraft from Special Hobby was itself a pleasure to work with (barring one or two necessary modifications), however, the more time I spent with this quixotic product of the Fairey shop, the more engrossing it became in all its FAA-baroque glory. The full tawdry detail of the various hackings and scratchings can be found here: ...along with the collected correspondence of a band of knowledgeable and supportive pals who kept me going on this through good days and bad. I thank you all. Two main challenges I set myself on this were to do an engine-reveal and to build a working main wing-fold mechanism at this scale. The two fundamental references I came to rely on were the IWM archive of Barracuda photographs (including many excellent close-ups), and Robert McCandless' superb volume: From the Cockpit No. 16: Barracuda, which Ex-FAAWAFU was kind enough to put me on to. The aircraft herself is built as one of the 829 NAS aircraft that took part in the Tungesten raid on Tirpitz in April of 1944. Some explanation of the figure in the cockpit for those who didn't follow developments in the WIP leading to this. (She's sculpted from scratch out of Milliput). Some time into the build I discovered images from a photo-shoot (dating from late 1944) published by Picture Post magazine, featuring a glamorously-depicted ATA pilot called Maureen Dunlop, posing with a Barracuda. (A search for her on the Getty Images website will yield a number of images preserved from this shoot). The ATA did not however represent the glamorous 'front' of aerial combat in WWII, and like many other areas of support activity - many of them involving women - have only very recently begun to have their rightful place in the historical narrative sufficiently acknowledged. These women flew military aircraft bravely in wartime conditions, frequently facing the endemic sexism of the services (and indeed the wider society) for their pains whilst doing so. Even the Picture Post cover treats her in a similarly sexist way ('glamour-pants' rather than brave pilot). She's shown in the cockpit here however, and very much in charge. Enough. Pictures in studio lighting: Overhead, wings extended: Overhead, starboard wing folded: Nethers: Starboard laterial, wing folded: Front, port: Midway, port: Front, downward: Tail: Rear, downward: Starboard rear: Starboard, overhead Port, rear: Front, low angle: Port nose, close-up: Port lateral, downward: Starboard lateral, close-up: Some daylight shots: Tony
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