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1-48 Avro Anson, 280 ASR Sqn, Classic Airframes [Finished]


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So now for a long awaited NON-GB build - it seems I've spent most of this year building things for GBs, so it made a bona change this week to have a vader at the bijou stashette.

Now I have had a long-running project which involves building all the various aircraft my father .There is more about the project in this thread from 3 years ago: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234926820-long-term-project-the-aircraft-of-my-father/

So having built several things from Dad's 81 Sqn and 5 Sqn, I thought I'd turn my attention to the start of his career in the RAF when he was stationed at South Detling airfield, from Feb 1942 to June 1942, During this time there were visits from Mustang 1 equipped 239 Sqn and 280 Sqn an Air-Sea Rescue Squadron, newly equipped with the Avro Anson Mk 1.

Research led me to this page which purports to show profiles of the 280 Sqn aircraft: http://www.rafweb.org/Squadrons/Sqn%20Markings/SqnMark271-299.htm#280

However as with all drawn profiles you need to take them with a pinch of salt. That said, with nothing else to suggest otherwise, I'm going to adopt the colour scheme shown here.

Squadron codes for 280 Sqn were "YF" and I'm yet to find a photo of an Anson sporting a YF squadron code. This means finding a suitable serial number is going to be a bit of guess work...

So research aside, lets look at the kit...


This is an interesting kit - its mixed media so you have some Injection Molded plastic and some resin and some PE.


I did forget to take the sprue shot before starting so this has had some pices assembled as you can see on the middle-right. I picked up the paint masks from Eduard some time ago as there is a lot of glazing in this kit - speaking of which...


and here is a close up of most of the resin


The two largest pieces of resin are already attached to the cockpit floor.

So thats the kit. I may consider making a diorama to fit in with what I've done before on the larger 1:32 models so I can have a figure representing my Dad - I've got the new Airfix sets so I'm sure something can be arranged there :)

Edited by Kallisti
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Don't want to be a killjoy but the kit is an early Anson which has a different windscreen arrangement, much more sloping , than the later production types. This makes it much less likely to have been in service in 1942. I believe all K and L serialled machines had the original sloping windscreen and all other product batches had the more upright vee version. I would be happy to be corrected on this. Certainly none of the Ansons produced at the Yeadon factory had the earlier screen.Of course a good photo would be great.

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Thats one of my main problems here, a distinct lack of any evidence about anything to do with 280 Sqn. I found a scan of the Warpaint series book by Alan W Hall about the Avro Anson and it has three paragraphs about Air Sea Rescue Ansons on page 16! No profiles or any detailed info apart from a mention of dinghys under the wings and later on a Lindholem "D" type dingy under the fuselage.

I found a list of Anson orders (http://britishaviation-ptp.com/avro652_2.html) and one entry in particualr seems relvant:

Delivered between July, 1941, and February, 1942.

This shows a list of AW and AX serials, so its likely that the stock of aircraft for 280 Squadron, formed in Feb 1942 was from this batch. It looks like these were all built at Newton Heath. If this kit is too early then sadly I'm just going to have to make do with it - I'm still not certain about the colour scheme - the only other green and blue/grey colour scheme I've found was in the Warpaint book for an RNZAF from 1944 :(

Oh well at least it will be different...

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Started building earlier this week and initial focus is of course on the cockpit and cabin. Lots of messing about with resin here to build the instrument panel, and various sets of controls and displays. Here are some photos, first with an overall view of whats been done:


Close up of the Instrument Panel. This has been detailed using airscale instrument decals


Next you can see a row of instruments on a panel on the starboard cabin framework


Next a resin sprue with several instrument panels still attached - these are still drying after a coat of Micro Set

Finally, the radio operator's position


As you can see, the cabin has had a liberal wash to give it a dirty look. This is gradually being dusted off to tone it down a bit before things start being closed up. I had a look at the Eduard masks today, oh boy thats going to be fun! Better get on with that job sooner rather than later...

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Well, things have moved on in the last week to the stage where the fuselage has been closed up and the wings and tailplanes are being attached:


As you can see the canopies have also been masked in prep for painting. The internal framework has been assembled, but this is incredibly fragile as its made from resin... one of the most annoying aspects of this kit is the amount of resin that makes the construction just so much more difficult. I guess thats what you get with limited run kits...


You can see the Mr Surfacer being used to fill gaps in the wing joint and the gaps in the fuselage joint. Speaking ow which, this was a very tough fit to get the fuselage to fit around the cockpit insert...


The underside, showing the fuselage joint again and the badly fitting wings! There are no locating pins or guides on any part, which can make assembly tricky, particularly if things need to line up later in the build process!!! Keeping the wings horizontal as well was tricky with the lack of location guides...


Finally, on the PE fret there are some pieces to represent the aileron hinges and actuators. These do not go on very easily and although it isn't obvious in this photo there are superglue remnants around the hinges that look pretty bad. I'm about to replace these PE hinges with thin plastic card strips as they will glue easier and the actuator can be replaces with plastic card and wire I reckon and look better (and be more robust) than what you see here...

Have I said recently how much I hate superglue? Is there anything else that can be used to fix resin together?


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Looking forward to seeing you getting the rear canopy section on. When I did mine the framing stopped the canopy fitting over it and sitting properly. My solution was to take off all the top section and just leave the stantions, trimmed them down until the canopy fitted perfectly. The two upper V shaped sections were made from stretched sprue white glued into the top of the canopy underneath the top windows. Not accurate but it looks spot on as nobody can pick my kit up and look inside anyway. Hope yours goes well.



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More progress, firstly with the fitting of the rear canopy:


This went on reasonably well, it fitted over the internal framework without problem. There are gaps on the roof front and back which I've used Mr Surfacer 500 to fill. The Starboard side is a little inset from the rest of the fuselage but I couldn't really do anything about that. I've sprayed a coat of primer now and that showed up a few issues which I'm in the process of filling, sanding and checking.

Next, I removed the PE on the wings as I said I would and replaces with thin plasticard, much happier with them


Now the next job is to involve some scratch building. 280 Sqn were an air-sea rescue outfit, so the Anson would have had some modifications to support this role. In particualr, under the winds would have been droppable life raft fittings. Now I can find absolutely nothing about these fittings on an Anson, but there are photos of the same thing on Lysanders:


and in a great deal more detail


So this gives me a good idea of what this fitting should look like and I'll use some artistic licence to attach them to the underside of the Anson's wings. To begin with, I started some scratch building last night:


I'll continue with this tonight to get it looking more like the photos...

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Nice job so far and I have a few of these to build myself but having just put an Oxford together I`m a little shy of another similar build at the moment!

Re the dinghy`s,........if they were not fitted inside the small bomb bays inside the wings and lower fuselage then I would say that ASR dinghy`s were simply thrown out of the door? I think I recall a photo showing this occurring during an ASR exercise so I would guess that the dinghy`s were probably stowed inside the fuselage. You could always fit your lovely scratch built items onto a Defiant, Lysander or a USAAF Thunderbolt as all three types employed these,



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Re the dingy fittings, given that the Anson carried its external bomb load under the fuselage, that's where I'd put them if I was building it. Just a suggestion 'cos I couldn't fabricate those pieces like you have. Really enjoying your posts as it took me 5 years to finish my Anson( one of the Green/ Pacific Blue ones you mentioned earlier).

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Just picked up on this thread, I've built two of these kits and thoroughly enjoyed both though they are quite challenging. I'm surprised that your main section canopy went on with no problems, neither of mine did, in fact in the second one I did what Paul (Honeybee) did and removed the horizontal sections of the framing since it's not visible anyway. I'll look in Air-Britain's Anson file later to see if there's anything in there about ASR Anson's.

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No pictures of any 280 squadron Ansons, this is the closest I can get, but it's useful perhaps for some of the detail like the astrodome, the Bristol turret etc.?


On the 280 squadron entry the Anson file states:

No. 280 (ASR) Squadron

Bases: Detling 10 Feb 1942 - 31 Jul 1942, Langham 31 Jul 1942 - 2 Nov 1942, Bircham Newton 2 Nov 1942 - 25 Sept 1943, Thorney Island 25 Sept 1943 - 21 Oct 1943. Aircraft Mk 1. Codes: YF (possibly also used MF).

Many of the 280 squadron Ansons are in the AX serial range, AX635, 636, 639 etc

Hope this helps rather than confuses!!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm, just realised I hadn't updated this thread with photos I took last week! Senior "moment" I suspect - a moment thats lasted several days... sigh...

Never mind, so first up are the scratch built raft dispensers :


At the top is the main unit, below that are the rails that hang under the wings and at the bottom are the "folder up rafts" made from milliput. Since then the rail has been attached to the underside of the aircraft and the main unit has been painted.


Underside of the Anson painted with XF-21 Sky


Upper surface camo is XF-81 RAF Dark Green and XF-82 RAF RAF Ocean Grey 2. Next is weathering, Klear and decals...

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Catching up a bit now since I hadn't posted for a while... decals and weathering:




I got the order of steps a bit wrong on this one in that I weathered it BEFORE putting Klear on and then did the decals after, so this means the decals will need some additional weathering. Doh! I've ground to halt though because as the observant among you might have spotted I've used medisum sea grey squadron codes and these essentially disappear when applied over the medium sea grey paint! So I've ordered a set of sky squadron codes from Hannats which hopefully will arrive in the next couple of days so I can finish this off.

There are no stencil decals provided with the kit, which is a bit disappointing as I'm sure there will be all manner of stencils all over this aircraft. I do also need to add the bracing wires on the tail as Max pointed out above.

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