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woody37

Blackbird Avro Manchester Mk.I (Airfix Lanc conversion)

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that looks fantastic Neil!

You have convinced me to to the L7381 livery too. I particulary like the wavy camouflage on the fuselage.

Your best so far.

Cees

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Cees

If that is the HK fuselage being converted to the Manchester then I am pulling up my chair in anticipation of great things to come . . . :popcorn:

Here are a few photos how I went about scratch building my Manchester wings and engines

Manu

Thanks for the pics, the way you did your engines is the same as I did on my scratched 1/48 version.

I did the wings different however as the Manchester wings taper more than the Lancaster wings.

I once had an modelling article where a Matchbox Lanc was converted by cutting out a triangular

section out of the wing. That is how I did it then, and will do it again on the 1/32 project. It is basically

cutting off the wingtip (done that already) then cut the outer wings lengthwise and removing

triangular section according to scale drawing. Difficulty is keeping the aerofoil consistent.

Cheers

Cees

20160106_193509_zpsqwaqtznb.jpg

Edited by Cees Broere

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Cees

Those are only a few photos, I have/used the 72nd scale plan of the Manchester and cut the wings several more times before that were right.

Glad we had the same train of thought regards the engine builds.

Good luck with the build

Ian

Woody

The heavy stains on the Manchester just tells me how hard those Vultures worked . . .

the builds looks great in that mini diorama :goodjob:

Ian

Edited by Mancunian airman

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Beautiful work, Neil! I love how this has come out. Your paint work is exquisite, weathering spot on. Well done that, man! :)

Cheers,

Bill

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Cheers guys.

Focus is now on bringing the bits to life. Here's some of the airfield stuff painted although still need a coat of matt varnish.

91_zpspbq8mnkr.jpg

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Hi Guys,

Seen my new edition of "Manchester" being used as a reference on your website. Fonthillmedia has done me proud I believe & the final quality of the product is worthy of my prolonged & intensive efforts. Fortunately reviews so far are positive.

As Neils model evolved I've been wondering (hoping) that he's got the scale span of the tailplane correct? Ouch if not. Everyone still seems to think that the Mk1 had a 28 foot span tailplane with triple fins,whereas the Mk1A had an extended 33 foot span tailplane with twin "Lancaster" endplane fins & rudders. This is quite wrong & only the first 20 airframes had the shorter,28 foot tail before the better,more successful, longer-span unit was introduced.There were something like 155 Mk1's with 33 foot tail & triple fins.

Y'all might not have been aware, but a few of the photo's/pictures were deliberately chosen with the "modelling freaks" in mind. I'm just a Manchester freak myself not a modelling freak anymore.There is a shot of an external compartment beside the dinghy stowage for Emergency Rations. (A bit small to model at 1/72nd scale). After the First Edition I had correspondance from an RAF serviceman in Germany with drawings of contrasted details to the engine nacelles he'd eyeballed from the photo's (I'd not noticed!) So I sent these on to colleagues in Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. With modellers in mind I've had these redrawn & now publish them in the Second Edition,together with R-RHT commentary on the why's & wherefore's. Hopefully these will guide your endeavours

Were you to read these comments you'll see that much of the minutii remains unknown & may never be now. Engines & their services were, at the time, a shared Rolls-Avro responsibility.

Neil has elected to recreate L7381 EM-R of which I never traced a photo.(I can't see anything wrong with your offering,Neil!) You may wish to learn that when I did my book launch in an independent bookshop here on 30th September a gentleman stood up after my PowerPoint talk ended holding a very familiar-looking small denim blue hardbacked book.He told us it was the flying logbook of his 19 year old uncle who had been rear gunner in L7381 on the fateful night in August 1941 when it was shot down. I have his name in the Squadron records.

My book is dedicated to these young men & I always speak of them very respectfully (anyway) But further to this near-relative on 30th September, I gave the same talk back in May 2015 at Lincoln University at the behest of the International Bomber Command Memorial Centre/Lincolnshire Aviation Society. Afterwards a couple approached me & the gentleman said:- "This is the niece of S/L Rainsford killed in an 83 Squadron Manchester in March 1942.The family never found out how he was killed. Can you tell her?" Fortunately, & as so often,I could.

So we don't have any surviving Manchester aircrews (as far as I know) but do still have families towards whom one needs to conduct oneself in a sensitive & respectful manner. (Oh dear.Didn't really intend for this to get "heavy")

I did convert an Airfix Lancaster into a Manchester using a "Contrail" kit probably in the 1970's & still have it today. I didn't mind "sacrificing" the Lanc because it was an early kit &,as a boy,I'd painted it with gloss paint. The Contrail kit was disappointing & I threw most of it away.I only used the centre fin & engines. The tailplane was the scale 33 foot "Lanc" version anyway. I cut & smoothed the existing Lancaster tail fins making them into smaller "Manchester" end fins.

I cut off the rather clumsy mid-upper-turret fairing from the Lanc & cannibalised the FN7A mid-upper turret off an Airfix Sunderland which had suffered a severe accident. It rotates & the guns elevate. Quite how I filled the apperture left by removing the mid upper turret fairing on the Lanc kit I don't recall. I cut a pair of spanwise wedges from the Lanc wings to match the greater taper of those of the Manchester.I must have reduced the span of centre section to match that of the Manchester. I did use the mentioned (in your posts) article by Alan Hall but also a wartime 1/72nd scale Manchester 3 view passed onto me by an uncle.

I knew the mainwheels were slightly oversize & the rear turret not quite right but I've lived with it.

I chose to mark it as L7378 EM-A of 207 &, later, other Squadrons as this aircraft undertook more operational sorties than any other.

Turning back to the book, the only omission I'm aware of is that I singularly failed to find pics of Manchesters carrying 25 OTU or any of the HCU units.Examples of the latter did once exist in private hands but are currently presumed lost for ever. Ephermera or what? This is irresponsible. For this reason all my research material is being donated to the new Avro Heritage Centre & Museum at Woodford. I have also now taken on board on the Dutch website you found more pics of L7380 on the beach at Ameland,which I'd never seen before. Well done!

Manchesters never reached Coastal Command units, though I've seen drawings of aircraft so marked. Ditto never saw civilian service. A weird & wacky option might be the stillborn prospect of them finding an expendable use with the Americans in North Africa,unit unknown,as recounted in the book. Make what you can of the book. It's the best we're likely to get at this distance after the war.My research has only highlighted one possible surviving airframe but this used to lie in the forbidden waters of the French nuclear submarine base in Brest Harbour! Happy modelling!

Rob Kirby

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Interesting information about the Manchester, Rob, and best of luck with the book (I'm a fellow 'Fonthiller', with a book on the Il-2 Shturmovik out, and another on the Soviet Lavochkin fighters of World War II on the way, and hopefully many other titles after that). I've always been interested in the Lancaster family, and it's good to see a book just on the Manchester now available.

Best Regards,

Jason

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Hi Rob,

It's great for you to post here, most appreciate your input. The copy I have is the second edition that Andy (General Melchett on here) loaned to me for the purpose of the build. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable as well as informative read, I'll be getting my own copy when I reluctantly hand Andy's copy back! For anyone interested in the Manchester or that period of Bomber Command, it certainly gets my recommendation, it provided a huge inspiration throughout this build. I studied the engine differences section quite thoroughly, your drawings were very useful. I made the assumption (rightly or wrongly) that the aircraft was configured the same as L7380 which has many photo's of it following it's crash landing after being shot down. I left the engine arrangement as per what came in the conversion kit. Given the on going development in squadron service by RR and Avro, I guess we will never know if this is correct, but I can live with that.

I've just measured the conversion tail plane and it is scaled to 28', I presumed that all the three 'tailer's' were of the 28' dimension, so today is a learning. To confirm, are you saying there is a high likelihood that the existing Airfix tail planes could be used, but with the three Manchester tails fitted? I don't want to try and remove the tail planes now, they are well glued in so I'm going to pretend I'm still ignorant!

What your book really brought home was the shear danger than operating with the Vultures was. On summer nights, you mention of the temperature gauges in the red on 'healthy' engines and at high power settings, many a time, sparks would be seen being emitted as a norm too as well as glowing engine covers! Taking off with an aircraft full of fuel, explosives and oxygen without ability to maintain height on one engine with a high chance of failure of must of been nerve racking. One can understand why they were pleased to get the Lancaster with it's abundance of reliable engines.

Fortunately, I'm not too far from Woodford, so hope to get over to the heritage centre this year.

It's great that you have been able to make contact with a relative from this aircraft, it makes it that more personal. All to often, reading such a book makes you realise that individual losses are but a forgotten history if it wasn't for those still around now who have been impacted by the loss of loved ones in these tragic times.

Cheers

Neil

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Superb work as ever Neil, really glad the book proved useful, (great to read Rob's comments). I'm looking forward to seeing it in the flesh later in the month....Like the Stirling the Manc always seems to garner a lot of interest from folks at the shows in part due to their 'interesting' flying careers and parts failure rates but mostly because of their wonderful appearance. Just need to convince the good people at Airfix now, (I'm working on it !).

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Neil that is some wonderful work your doing. Love the distressed panel paint work. Looks stunning.

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Neil that is some wonderful work your doing. Love the distressed panel paint work. Looks stunning.

Agreed. I have only just spotted the work on the base and the airfield bits and bobs. Can't think of a better word for them than stunning. So stunning it is :)

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Agreed. I have only just spotted the work on the base and the airfield bits and bobs. Can't think of a better word for them than stunning. So stunning it is :)

Yes I just commented before I saw any of the Dio work but now I can see the whole thing its just brilliant. I Love dios I think it adds so much to the model. I am surprised we don't see more of them as when we go to great efforts to make a model look real seems silly not to try and give it something real to sit on :)

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Superb work as ever Neil, really glad the book proved useful, (great to read Rob's comments). I'm looking forward to seeing it in the flesh later in the month....Like the Stirling the Manc always seems to garner a lot of interest from folks at the shows in part due to their 'interesting' flying careers and parts failure rates but mostly because of their wonderful appearance. Just need to convince the good people at Airfix now, (I'm working on it !).

The last comment hardly makes it worthwhile us looking at doing conversions when you use it to pester Airfix to do a kit?

I guess maybe the modelling world really just wants more F-16 and 109 bits then?

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The last comment hardly makes it worthwhile us looking at doing conversions when you use it to pester Airfix to do a kit?

I guess maybe the modelling world really just wants more F-16 and 109 bits then?

This is giving me Dejavu. I seem to recall a similar conversation starting this way on Neil's Lincoln build which was exhaustive. Don't you learn ?

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This is giving me Dejavu. I seem to recall a similar conversation starting this way on Neil's Lincoln build which was exhaustive. Don't you learn ?

Yes, don't you?

From my point of view why should I invest money, which you don't, into these projects just to hear people bleat on about "I want Airfix to do it now" Some of you don't seem to appreciate what is out there. So why should I put my money up top produce things when there simply seems to be a lack of any thought to "oh good at least we;'ve got one of these now"

Actually Rob as you're not even a customer of mine why should I be bothered about your comments?

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I think, again Rob, you are missing the point of my comments.

Why should I be bothered to invest money in projects that simply have people wanting Airfix to do?

Hardly the way to get a good response from the cottage industry side of the hobby, where many modellers would be royaly screwed without it. If modellers don't support and back the cottage industry then they'll simply look at other projects and your market for options will narrow.

It's very easy for the likes of you sitting there making remarks, When you don't actually invest the money in masters, casting, decals etc to put things on the market. I think if you tried you'd see it's not all a walk in the park.

Business's like mine make that effort to produce good products, I take the financial gamble on a product, with my money? There's a good few out there who can talk a lot but won't actually put their hands in their pockets to produce something.

And yes it is a gamble as anyone in the business will tell you but we keep doing it. But when you simply see someone wanting Airfix to do it then have a think for a minute and see it from my side of things.

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Yes, don't you?

From my point of view why should I invest money, which you don't, into these projects just to hear people bleat on about "I want Airfix to do it now" Some of you don't seem to appreciate what is out there. So why should I put my money up top produce things when there simply seems to be a lack of any thought to "oh good at least we;'ve got one of these now"

Actually Rob as you're not even a customer of mine why should I be bothered about your comments?

I have had enough of your attitude mate. We went through this at length on the Lincoln Build were you took similar comments from me and then used it against me to stir up a massive debarkle which turned quite a lot of us against you. You ended up twisting every comment to be taken in the most extreme bad way possible seeming to play the victim card.

You seem to think that the modelling community owes you one some how.

You invest your money how you like some of us like resin others don't and some are allergic to the stuff even if Airfix did release a kit people would still enjoy making yours its a Niche market and you cant expect to make lots of money at it. You should be all to aware of this if your Business head is screwed on and it obviously is not as you are still spouting the same crap as before.

This is very sad as I remember last time whilst attacking me on this forum you where sending nice messages to me in PMs and then went back and deleted all your comments before contacting the mods. Pathetic behaviour to be honest and in the end you apologized and it was all sorted so I am really annoyed to see you trying to stir up the same kind of thing again.

I nearly was your customer and no I am not and I wonder why ? Like I said before you are not going to attract customers when you keep behaving like everyone owes you one.

Sorry to have to reply like this but someone needs to tell you to take your ego down a tad. Your more premadonna than many musicians I have worked with.

Chillout and enjoy your resin Business its supposed to be fun. :)

Edited by robvulcan

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well Rob

put your money where your mouth is and produce something then?

You're the one who started these comments and no the modelling community doesn't owe me something, it owes the whole cottage industry side something or you'd be stuick back in the 70's.

And don't take it as some personal attack it's not. You haven't been this side of it when you're looking at what to produce.

But clearly you seem in your own little world so yeah you go chill, and I've worked with plenty of musicians myself with my photography business. Ego....you make me laugh, if you actually knew me I don't have an ego, but I will defend my side of things, as I do with my photography side.

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Put it this way, as well as investing in the patterns for a new Lerwick kit we had looked at doing a brand new Fairy Hendon kit too. Any point now?

Yes!

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Hi Guys,

Seen my new edition of "Manchester" being used as a reference on your website. Fonthillmedia has done me proud I believe & the final quality of the product is worthy of my prolonged & intensive efforts. Fortunately reviews so far are positive.

Turning back to the book, the only omission I'm aware of is that I singularly failed to find pics of Manchesters carrying 25 OTU or any of the HCU units.Examples of the latter did once exist in private hands but are currently presumed lost for ever. Ephermera or what? This is irresponsible. For this reason all my research material is being donated to the new Avro Heritage Centre & Museum at Woodford. I have also now taken on board on the Dutch website you found more pics of L7380 on the beach at Ameland,which I'd never seen before. Well done!

Manchesters never reached Coastal Command units, though I've seen drawings of aircraft so marked. Ditto never saw civilian service. A weird & wacky option might be the stillborn prospect of them finding an expendable use with the Americans in North Africa,unit unknown,as recounted in the book. Make what you can of the book. It's the best we're likely to get at this distance after the war.My research has only highlighted one possible surviving airframe but this used to lie in the forbidden waters of the French nuclear submarine base in Brest Harbour! Happy modelling!

Rob Kirby

I hadn't realised that there was a new edition out - does that make the original more or less collectable? :-)

It's sad that so many private photos are either being thrown out by unknowing relatives, sold into the hands of private collectors who hoard them or (imo) even worse, ripped from the context of their scrap books and sold on ebay. Glad to hear your material is going to a safe location.

If only that airframe pulled out the quarry in the 50s had been preserved......

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Get a grip Fellas.

This is Neil's very impressive W.I.P. thread and not the place to start a slanging match

Let's keep the arguments for and against in private and leave this thread to be enjoyed for what it is.

A superb bit of model making.

Chris.

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Get a grip Fellas.

This is Neil's very impressive W.I.P. thread and not the place to start a slanging match

Let's keep the arguments for and against in private and leave this thread to be enjoyed for what it is.

A superb bit of model making.

Chris.

Exactly and if you knew what happened on Neil's last thread you would understand why I said what I said. But agree that's enough now.

The model is Fantastic the paint on them panels is so effective must have taken ages :)

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