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can anyone help, i have been asked to build a 1/72 scale baltimore as flown by 223 squadron in Egypt 1942. my mates dad worked on them. can anyone recommend which kit to go for, i have seen a couple on ebay, what colours to use, and any markings to use. i have not built a plane for many a year, but want to get it as good as i can for him. thanks.

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I am no expert on the period or the aircraft but I am pretty sure the Baltimores used in the desert war would have been camouflaged Middle Stone / Dark Earth / Azure.

In 1/72 you have two choices, the old basic Frog kit (re-issued by several East European companies: Novo, etc.) or the more recent one issued by Special Hobby and Azur.

David

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Frog will be raised. I have read a review of the Special Hobby/Azur one that says its panel lines are recessed.

David

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The newer kit is far superior to the old Frog one, always assuming that you could get one with clear transparencies. An experienced modeller can turn any pig's ear into a silken-ish purse, but given how you describe yourself I wouldn't recommend that you try it, at least under these circumstance. The new kit will take longer to make, but less time to end up with a good result.

The version provided is probably a bit late for 1942, but I doubt that this will matter. Only the turret (and perhaps the cowling intakes?) will differ anyway. Look for a response from Tony O'Toole, who did a superb run of model Baltimores a few years back. It might be worth dropping him a PM.

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thank you for your responses, i have lots of time for advice and research before i commit myself. leaning towards the newer kit at present. the built up model looks great. would the decals be from a set, or made from several sources ?. i can do decals myself.

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I wouldn't worry about raised/recessed panel lines, I'm willing to bet your mate wouldn't notice one way or the other. He'd just be happy to know that you took thevtime to do something nice in memory of his dad.

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Hello GriffsRW,

The SH kit is obviously the better product for accuracy and surface detail etc. but to get the best out of it you might need to get back up to speed with a couple of mainstream off the peg kits since this (Special Hobby) is a limited run multi media product which will not build itself by merely shaking the box. Why not get yourself a Frog kit or perhaps one of the cheapish Russian made versions which were made from those old Frog moulds? You can then, perhaps, build that and follow it up with a SH kit if you feel confident with it. Then you'll have a choice of two to choose from. I just looked on E Bay and all the kits on there are Frog or Frog derivatives with the Novo ones being Russian made (Frog Spawn) and the Frog and Airlines ones (link below) being from the UK or US Frog factory. If you have trouble getting a kit send me a PM since I'm sure I must have a couple stashed away upstairs.

Good luck., Nige B

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VINTAGE-LINDBERG-MARTIN-BALTIMORE-BOMBER-FIGHTER-PLANE-KIT-/131545205340?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1ea0b48a5c

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Nige.

just ordered a special hobby kit as you were writing your reply. very good advice to go for the cheap one first, although i have not done planes, i have been continuously doing 1/24 cars since the mid seventies, so i think i will ok on the construction side. i have just got to get the reference work in to help me get it to where i would like it to be. if you think of any links, please point me in that direction. thanks for your help, much appreciated. when i make a start, i will post its progress on here.

richie.

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I have my doubts if any of the more recent incarnations from the Frog moulds are actually easier to build than the SH kit, as kits from the USSR/Russia/wherever are usually full of flash, mould misalignments and warpage. The clear parts in the ones I have from some 20 years ago are certainly nowhere near clear. Unless someone has thoroughly taken care of the moulds in the meantime, I'd say they are probably far beyond driven. As the Baltimore is not particularly rare, it'd probably make more sense to build a Frog original. But then the Frog kit bears something like a passing resemblence to a Baltimore only, as far as I can say...

Regarding references , there's not much in printed form. There was a combined Profile on it & the Maryland, there's the Ali Stranieri book from Bancarella Aeronautica (which I must get one of these days), and then there's a probably hard to obtain booklet by a Greek publisher on Baltimores in Hellenic Air Force service, in Squadron in action style; author should be Michail Solanakis. As there's a lot of interior detail in it, it looks to be well researched. As I goz mine from the Aviation Bookshop, I'd turn there if this may be something for you.

Regarding colours, did that Sq operate in the bomber or GR role ? Slightly later Baltimores operating from Malta with (IIRC) 69 in the GR role had Coastal style paintwork. There's a glorious close up of one of their birds in in what should be Pictorial History of the RAF Vol. II by John Taylor and Philip Moyes published by Ian Allan in the early 70s.

Edited by tempestfan
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There is the Monografie Lotnicze N0.97 Martin Baltimore. The downside is that it's written in Polish with photo captions in both Polish and English.

Balt.jpg

Chris

Edited by dogsbody
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page Tony O'Toole here on BM. He wrote a series of articles on Baltimores for MAM, and will I'm sure have your answers.

Plus he's a damn fine modeller and has build all the Baltimore kits too

Jonners

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page Tony O'Toole here on BM. He wrote a series of articles on Baltimores for MAM, and will I'm sure have your answers.

Plus he's a damn fine modeller and has build all the Baltimore kits too

Jonners

I've dug through the mag stash and found those two MAM issues. Reading now.

Chris

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Cheers everybody for your kind words about my articles in MAM from way back when!

Hello Griffsrw,

Just for interest 223 Sqn was the first operational RAF unit to use the Baltimore and it had recently been an Operational Conversion Unit training crews destined for the Maryland and Douglas Boston. It became fully operational in the light bomber role with the Western Desert Air Force (later known just as the `Desert Air Force’) by May 1942.

Regarding your initial query,.....it is hard to say but for a 223 Sqn Baltimore from 1942 I would probably build your Special Hobby model with the open gun positon as a Mk.I/II without a turret. It should be in desert markings with Sky or light blue undersides.Here is my model;

Baltimore%20model%204_zpsquqnnqn2.jpg

Some Mk.I/II`s flown by 223 Sqn were;

Mk.I-AG696, AG703, AG732

Mk.II- AG742, AG777, AG800

Air Gunners complained that the Mk.II’s factory designed dorsal gun mount and ammunition feeds were so cumbersome that they made the twin .3in guns almost impossible to use, so after a formation of 223 Sqn Baltimore`s was decimated by Bf109`s these were replaced in the field by an arrangement mounting a pair of British built .303in Browning’s instead, however some sources state that the Baltimore Mk.II was fitted with twin Vickers .303in K Guns so there may have been more than one locally devised conversion.

In June 1942 223 Sqn began to receive its first Baltimore Mk.III and this variant had an increased defensive armament of 4 x .303in Browning machine guns mounted within a British Boulton Paul A.Mk.VA turret, which was similar but not totally identical to those fitted to the Defiant and later Halifax variant’s. These Baltimore Mk.III’s were the last to be paid for directly by the British government and this large batch of two hundred and fifty aircraft enabled more squadrons to be re equipped with the type,

Here is my model of this variant, wearing 454 Sqn RAAF markings;

Baltimore%20model%205_zpscwvp6cer.jpg

Some Mk.III`s used by 223 Sqn were;

AG838, AG850, AG851, AG941, AG975, AH139

After the Mk.III, the next version to serve with 223 Sqn was the Mk.IIIa which was provided under Lend Lease and this one was fitted with the Martin mid upper turret mounting twin .5 Brownings. This variant began to enter service with 223 Sqn during January 1943, so it is out of your time frame. Just for interest sake this is what it looked like, my moder wears 13 (Hellenic) Sqn markings;

Baltimore%20%20model%206_zpsbwecl1ag.jpg

And to finish off the set here is a Baltimore Mk.IV wearing Italian Co-Belligerent markings;

Baltimore%20%20model%207_zpsltcc12os.jpg

The Baltimore Mk.V introduced a different rudder with a mass balance at the top and a flat armoured windscreen which made night flying easier. Crews did not like the new rudder and the fins from written off earlier versions were often swapped over!

Here is a list from my article detailing the variants and the serial blocks;

VERSION, SERIAL`S & NUMBERS BUILT

Mk.I

AG685-AG734

50

Mk.II

AG735-AG834

100

Mk.III

AG835-AH184

250

Mk.IIIA

FA100-FA380

281

Mk.IV

FA381-FA674

294

Mk.V

FW281-FW886

600

I hope that this is of help and thanks again to everybody for their kind words about my article,......gosh that was going back some time now wasn`t it!!!

Cheers

Tony

Edit- Sorry the table didn`t survive transfer but the info can still be seen!

Edit-Edit- I meant to say,.....for the Mk.I, II & III don`t use the hand rails provided in the kit for the side of the fuselage, this was only introduced on the Mk.IIIa and only on one side!

Edited by tonyot
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tony.

thanks very much for your kind input, i am sure it will be an invaluable source of information and inspiration. kit should be with me in the next few days.

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Tony, finding those two MAM issues in my mag stash was nothing. They are only from 2008. I have some magazines going back to the early 70's.

Chris

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Hiya Chris,

I had a mag stash like that but I had to have a cull as I had run out of room so with certain mags I cut the best articles out and binned the remainder and the surviving magazines now fill a filing cabinet,.....although it is time for another cull very soon!

I had every SAM since day one and still have most of them but I binned most of the more recent ones as there was nothing that I`d go back to again afterwards, although it seems to be picking up again,

Cheers

Tony

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kit arrived today, i will now ask my mate if he can see which turret his dads plane had, that should tie down the mark of the model, kit details look sharp and i am looking forward to doing it now. i have to get a few things off my bench first which are almost done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh wow, one of these is on my future projects list - my Dad was also in 223 squadron - one of the ground crew along with his brother. I had one of the Frog versions when I was a lad (far too many years ago), and I've got both the 1/72 Azur and 1/48 Classic Airframes versions.

I inherited some interesting (small) photos from then, along with (believe it or not) 223's Christmas meal menu from 1942.

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  • 4 months later...

i am going to build this kit over the christmas holidays, it will be 'z' identical to tony's. could anyone please suggest what colours would be used in the build, local shop has some humbrol paints on offer so i may use them, zinc chromate for the interior ? i also have a refueling set, so would like to incorporate one vehicle into a scene, would the aec or the bedford be used and would the aircraft sit on a concrete hard-standing whilst it was on the ground. thanks for any help.

Edited by griffsrw
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