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JasonC

1/48 Pathfinder - Tamiya Mosquito B.IX

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Don't know how this one passed me by before, but I'm following now. Those nacelles look fantastic.

 

I used to think Eduard masks were somehow cheating too, but I got over it! Masking is one of my three modelling bugbears (the other two are wheels that come in halves, and painting propeller tips!) and pre-cut masks produce a much better result than I ever would without them. And less time spent masking means more time spent on more enjoyable aspects of modelling.

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25 minutes ago, zebra said:

Don't know how this one passed me by before, but I'm following now. Those nacelles look fantastic.

 

I used to think Eduard masks were somehow cheating too, but I got over it! Masking is one of my three modelling bugbears (the other two are wheels that come in halves, and painting propeller tips!) and pre-cut masks produce a much better result than I ever would without them. And less time spent masking means more time spent on more enjoyable aspects of modelling.

 

We share the same bugbears - but I've taken to painting propeller tips first before painting the rest of the blades and it makes it much quicker and easier :)

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1 minute ago, SovereignHobbies said:

We share the same bugbears - but I've taken to painting propeller tips first before painting the rest of the blades and it makes it much quicker and easier

 

I've been doing the same. But I still shudder at the memory of painting all 24 red and white blade tips on the Shackleton!

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That looks very good. Just thank your luck stars you didnt use the the 1/48 Revell as a base. You would have no hair left by now. 

Edited by Drift

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4 hours ago, SovereignHobbies said:

Lovely! I do now regret not taking you up on the offer of a pair of engines back when you were looking to get these cast. What are your plans there long term? I think these would sell for a good while to come FWIW.

No big plans. I managed to shift most of three batches of castings, but interest has tailed off a little so I'm wary of being stuck with a load of unsold (or slowly selling) nacelles. Plus I'm not really a business and all the packing and correspondence takes valuable modelling time!

 

3 hours ago, zebra said:

I've been doing the same. But I still shudder at the memory of painting all 24 red and white blade tips on the Shackleton!

I tend to use the same method as Jamie for prop tips: prime, then white, then yellow, then mask the tips (2mm width tape will give the requisite 4-inch tips in 1/48). But yes, I can see how multi-colour tips would be a hassle!

 

3 hours ago, Drift said:

That looks very good. Just thank your luck stars you didnt use the the 1/48 Revell as a base. You would have no hair left by now. 

Thanks. I must say the Revell kit didn't get much consideration given its issues, and the fact that there's a Tamiya alternative. I like what you managed to accomplish with it though!

 

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Just had a look at your previous nacelles thread and am becoming very inspired to have a go at resin moulding myself, so thanks for posting. 

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As do I! :D 

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More progress in two days than in the last couple of years!

 

49151252653_2681e27331_c.jpg

 

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As an aside, for the main colours in this scheme I've been using the Mr Color 'RAF Mid to Late WW2 Set'. Generally fine as far as it goes, but a little thick and in need a lot of Levelling Thinner to spray acceptably. (I will admit that this may be down to the fact that I've sat on these paints for two or three years now). 

 

Anyhow, when the masks came off it became apparent that some touch ups were needed. Since this paint/thinner combination stinks to high heaven and I'd used up my time alone in the house, I had a rummage in the paint stash for a less noxious option. What I eventually found was a bottle of old (and I mean old) Aeromaster Ocean Grey. I can't put a precise date on it, but I would guess that it's the best part of 20 years young. That stuff is incredible. There was no sign of drying and I probably could have sprayed it straight, though in the end I did add a little Vallejo thinner. The finish was matt but rather pleasantly smooth, and it seemed to spray better than the Mr Color (in my setup at least). Plus it was a good enough match to the Mr Color that the touch ups are essentially invisible. A win all round.

 

I'm now looking at those old paints and thinking they'll be my go to choice for the next Day Fighter Scheme I do. Plus I appear to have some US Olive Drab as well. Happy days.

 

J.

 

 

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I couldn't resist taking the masking off the canopy to see how it had fared. I'm genuinely amazed that after almost three years it came off pretty much perfectly. I'd coated it with Klear (or equivalent) prior to masking, and so was expecting the tape to pull that up along with some paint. Rather relieved that that wasn't the case.

 

The nose transparencies were painted over on many of the Oboe carrying aircraft, so they'll remain as you see them here. 

 

49159400423_b875c28080_c.jpg

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Looking great Jason and this resurrection has reminded that I’ve got a set of your lovely Mossie nacelles so really need to dig them out and stick them to a model :)

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Some ancillaries prepared earlier. Mainwheels are Ultracast, and I think the mudguards are Quickboost. Tamiya would have you build the wheels into the strut assembly when the strut halves come together, but I've drilled out the wheels and removed the axles to allow them to be added later.

 

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Nice work Jason

 

Good to see this one back. I still have two of those lovely 2 stage merlin sets to play with. 

 

Look forward to to more progress. 

 

James

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A little historical interlude in lieu of much modelling progress…

 

My grandfather’s cousin, J.A.T. (Jack) Simpson, was a navigator in the RCAF and I’m fortunate to have inherited his wartime log book. He spent most of his career in 109 Sqn on Mosquitos, having started on Halifaxes in 102 Sqn. In total he flew 84 operations, not counting aborts*. In addition, during his time at 22 OTU (Wellingtons), he participated in the third ‘Thousand Bomber’ raid on Bremen as his first operation. He came away from his wartime exploits with the DFC & bar.

 

* By way of example, on 18th October 1942 the log book entry reads “Engine trouble: landed at base full bomb and petrol load: plane on fire”. This was not counted as an op, which seems a little churlish. Given his eventful time on Halifaxes and the overall rate of attrition in the Main Force, one can’t help but feel that the transfer to a Mosquito squadron did wonders for his future prospects.

 

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The logbook is a trove of interesting and somewhat mysterious nuggets. I’ve transcribed the operational entries (i.e. not training and check flights), and these are presented below.

 

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Although not mentioned by name, my assumption is that the majority (if not all) of the Mosquito sorties were Oboe missions. Indeed, many of the non-ops flights are logged as ‘SD Test’ or similar, which I assume is something like Special Device(?). In addition, there are some aborted ops marked as ‘Gear u/s’. A lot of the earlier (Oboe) ops have what I presume to be bombing error estimations, e.g. ‘200x error 1min’.  I’m guessing the first figure is in yards, and the second is time (rather than angular). I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows for sure. The last use of this notation is in March ’44.

 

For interest, here's a chart of the different types he flew, and when.

 

49199215317_7a84276b1d_z.jpg

 

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I’ve decided to paint my Mosquito as B.IX, serial LR511. F/Lt Simpson flew 11 ops in this aircraft, the most of any he and his pilot flew during their tour. There appear to be at least three options for the individual aircraft letter – I’ve chosen ‘W’* as it seems likely that LR511 was so marked when Simpson & Smith flew her in Mar/Apr 1944 (as per AIR14/3460 – records of aircraft damaged by enemy action).

 

* actually now 'N', see post #47 below

 

49199395252_14d17d0216.jpg

 

These are some of the photos I have from Jack Simpson's small collection of wartime material. 

 

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Top left: a Whitley, (s/n N142?) presumably during training. 

Top right, bottom right: the same Mosquito B.XVI, F/Lt Simpson on wing

Bottom left: F/Lt Simpson (& pilot?) wth Mosquito B.IV (probably  DK333) featuring the well known Grim Reaper nose art

 

And finally what I believe is another B.XVI. Notable in this picture is what I think is the external Oboe antenna (for the later 10cm system), beyond the lower prop blade on the port engine.

 

49198103313_fb43226fc7_z.jpg

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Fascinating stuff Jason, thanks for sharing all this - with spreadsheets and everything! This build is a wonderful way to honour your grandfather's cousin.

I've got a build or two with canopies masked for over a year now too, so seeing your results is encouraging.

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4 hours ago, Cookenbacher said:

Fascinating stuff Jason, thanks for sharing all this - with spreadsheets and everything! This build is a wonderful way to honour your grandfather's cousin.

I've got a build or two with canopies masked for over a year now too, so seeing your results is encouraging.

Thanks Cookie. It seems that I can't get away from spreadsheets, even in my free time!

 

Sadly the photos don't give much clue to the finer aspects of 109 Sqn markings; they all seemed to like posing at the nose rather than next to all those interesting markings on the fuselage! It does at least show that many if not all of the later machines had Medium Sea Grey undersides. Though I'm still not sure whether these particular MSG machines would have had red or Sky squadron codes, so it might come down to a best guess.

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This is interesting. Searching online for '22 Operational Training Unit' I've found Jack Simpson in the listing for 19 Course, (Apr-Jul 42). 

 

http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.uk/marg/men_of_22otu.htm#19_course

 

A scan down the list shows quite how hellishly dangerous it was to be in Bomber Command at that point in the war.

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Having thought about it, I've decided to model the aircraft as HS*N. My assumption is that the record of the individual aircraft letter in AIR14/3460 would have been how the aircraft was marked when it was recorded as damaged, therefore LR511 would have carried 'N' between (approximately) 7th April and 31st August 1944. She's thus likely to have been HS*N when Smith and Simpson last flew in her, on 24th May 1944.

 

I broke out the Silhouette Portrait cutter (that was bought about 18 months ago!) and got up to speed with how to run the thing. Having done so I ran off a set of masks for the larger markings. The letter on the nose now sprayed (in Sky).

 

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Upper wing roundels done! For lack of out of the bottle options, both colours were homebrew mixes.

 

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