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  1. Following on from so many kind comments about my silver Skua, I feel brave enough to share some photos of my second model of this quirky aeroplane; this time in more war like colours... The Skua's "finest hour" has to be, I think, the attack on the cruiser Konigsberg on 10th April 1940. This is my attempt to reproduce an aircraft from that strike - and in particular the machine flown by Lieutenant Commander William "Bill" Lucy. There are not a huge number of easy to find references on the Skua in general, and I could not find any photos of the Skua's from the date of this mission. There are some from the later, disastrous attack on the Scharnhorst in June, by which time I think some changes had been made to the markings/colours - but I make no claims to be an expert on the numerous variations in Fleet Air Arm camouflage and markings that seem to have been a feature of the early war years in particular. By way of a quick explanation, I have used the tail code A6F on the basis that: A is for Ark Royal; and although the mission was flown from Hatston in the Orkney Islands, I read somewhere that 803 NAS was only recently and temporarily shore based, and therefore unlikely to have received the code L. 6 (along with 7?) is for a fighter squadron and, despite its various shortcomings and better performance (relatively at least) as a dive bomber, I think that Skua's were classed as fighters. The kit includes the code A8F - my reading is that 8 was for various training types/squadrons and so I converted the 8 to a 6 with a touch of black and Sky Grey paint. F was the individual aircraft letter - I think I picked this up from the book by Richard Partridge who flew Skua's on both missions referred to above... As fighter aircraft the undersides are marked with the black/white scheme often seen on early Hurricanes, Spitfires etc. I know some photos show these markings on early war Skua's, but whether they were there for the mission in April 1940 I really don't know. Other points of interest (?) are: the crew who come from the Tamiya Swordfish kit. The pilot was a relatively easy fit; the observer had to have some rather drastic surgery to squeeze him into the rear cockpit. So too did the "clam shell" opening part of the rear canopy - most of the centre section had to be cut away to fit around the observer's head - it's not the neatest of jobs when seen close up. The observer's Lewis gun is a lovely resin one from Eduard. I stole a 500lb semi-armour piercing bomb from a Wellington kit and, as with the silver model, scratch built a bomb crutch to replace the inaccurate kit one. Skua's had a large and very prominent sight that filled most of the centre section of the windscreen - Special Hobby have not included this in the kit and I failed to replicate it... Enough waffle - some pictures! Cheers, Nick.
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