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North American Harvard I.


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Happy first labour day for 2018...!!!!


My Hawker Fury came to a hiatus until my local music shop restocks some Fender electric guitar string, wich I use for rigging 1/48 biplanes...

Meanwhile, I'd like to resume the work with the Harvard I. 

I decided to use an old Sierra Scale Models vacuform kit (BC-1 or Wirraway, can't remember), and lots of leftovers from some Ocidental Réplicas Harvard. Having learnt about the MDC's conversion inccuracy, the vacuform seemed a very nice option, so I took advantege of the day off, and removed the main parts from the plastic sheets....the fit is better than expected, surely better than that on some limited run kits

I assume the interior parts would be quite similar (cockpit frame, floor rails, etc...), but what about the seats...???? Given the fact that the Ocidental parts are of any use, wich seats would be right for that early trainer...???? Would the early style P51 seats fit the part..???

I'm trying to keep my budget to a minimun, so the Ultracast option is not in my mind by now, specially because I'm planning to place an order for some Belcher Bits kits, and my expenses are very limited...so must trust my spares box....

The other challenge are the decals. Will have to dig into my decal surplus, three binders full of odds and ends accumulated through the years....

Any good colour profile, pic, etc....???

Best regards.....

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Beware the Harvard and all its manifestations from earliest NA-44 right through the to the strictly postwar T-6G and Harvard 4.  There are more minor variations and pitfalls than I can keep track of.  They all look so similar but they are all so different.  I find time well spent on research and there is a lot of information on the web - free!


One tip about Belcher Bits, you might find their Harvard I kit interesting.  Mike includes a full Ocidental kit in the box as a basis for the Mk I conversion.  No, I'm not suggesting you buy one but he has published the instruction sheet on his site and it is well worth a read. 




He suggests using the Ocidental kit parts for the interior and that makes a lot of sense.

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4 hours ago, mackem01 said:

What markings do you intend to finish her in?

Well, my options here are somehow limited. I'd like to go for a camouflaged machine (D.E./D.G. over Trainer yellow). My spare decals binder must provide everything....!!!!


3 hours ago, RJP said:

you might find their Harvard I kit interesting.

In fact, I'm planning to get some Belcher Bits products, just waiting for Mike returning to work. He told me he was going to be shut down until the new year.....surely by this month's end I'll get back in touch with him...

I know what you mean about those variations when we talk about  AT-6s...the more I read about them, the more confused I am....and, needless to say, the early variants are the most interesting to my eyes....



Best regards....

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I think I'll try to build this aircraft, but that small badge under the canopy is driving me crazy.....don't know what's it like.....The caption says "RAF 2nd FTS".......any help would be great..Should her be fitted with a starboard wing machine gun...???

The picture makes me guess thera was a "blind flying hood" in the rear seat...Am I wrong...????

TIA and best regards...



Edited by Artie
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Lovely picture.  "2nd FTS" should be just 2 FTS, for No.2 Flying Training School.  I'm sorry that I don't have  a picture of the badge, but Harvard Mk.1 N7032 carried the individual number 2.


From memory, when I made a 1/72 one of these following Alan Hall's instructions, decades ago, the stripe on the fuselage is red.  Also note that there is a gas detection patch on the rear fuselage, and the aircraft is fitted with slats on the outer wing.  Yes, that does look like a blind flying hood, but I wouldn't expect any armament.  The large replacement panel on the fuselage side, with fresher paint (and taped/doped edges?) is unlikely to be typical.

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didn't notice the outer wing slats, even after watching the pic over and over again....now you've mentioned, I've noticed them.....nice detail to be added....thanks for your input..

On the other hand...


No outer wing slats, but fitted with starboard machine gun...

any idea about serial number of this plane...???? Would the leading edge slats look like these..??



Edited by Artie
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P5813, coded D at 6 SFTS (Service Flying Training School - a renaming of 6 FTS)  6/1940 to 9/1940, then sent to Rhodesia.


I would expect them to be the same as those tried on USAAC BT-9s, but can't confirm that.  The slats were recommended by A&AEE after discovery of the aircraft's nasty spin habits  (as indeed did the USAAC with their BT-9s) but they proved to be at best only a partial solution, and (I believe) were later removed.   N7000, the first Harvard Mk.I used for trials, had the slats by 1/39 but was lost the following month whilst on spin trials.  Bit of a hint there.   Final production BT-9s (and presumably the French NA57s and NA64/Yales) had washout on the outer wing instead, but I haven't heard of that on later Mk.1s.  I guess that it is possible - the subject is a bit esoteric and not covered in most histories of the type.  The real solution came with the T-6's wing revision and longer fuselage.


So you are going to find photos of RAF Harvard Mk.Is with and without these slats.  It is possible, even likely, that P5813 and her close sisters never had them.  N7033 was with 2 FTS/SFTS from 3/39 to 7/40,  then 15 SFTS until being sent to the Middle East.


PS  A lovely lineup of BT-9Bs  - I think without checking they must be Bs, certainly pilot-training variants.  What's often missed are the lower canopy and flat windscreen panels.  And slats, of course.


Early Mk.Is were in Yellow overall, although I haven't seen one with additional service markings.  It seems likely that some existed, but precise dates for the introduction of camouflage on training aircraft have escaped my references.  Ones sent to Rhodesia and the ME were also seen in Yellow overall.

Edited by Graham Boak
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  • 5 years later...

I am not sure if this is too late to be of interest but I just came across these photos in the New Zealand Herald newspaper of Harvard N7032 packed up for shipment to Britain. The date of the newspaper was 12th of January 1940, and the caption read:


Aeroplanes being packed at an American factory for despatch to the Allies. British purchasing officials have stated that they will require a minimum of 10,000 more American aeroplanes in the next 18 months to assure air supremacy over Germany.



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On 1/2/2018 at 8:45 PM, RJP said:

Beware the Harvard and all its manifestations from earliest NA-44 right through the to the strictly postwar T-6G and Harvard 4.  There are more minor variations and pitfalls than I can keep track of. 

May I draw your attention to my post re FAA Harvards 


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/4/2018 at 12:48 AM, Artie said:

maybe not so difficult to hand paint.

Have you tried to print it as home made decal? You can scale it to the proper and print it on regular ink color printed on an appropriate clear decal, then secure with varnish. I have only small experience with it, but it works. 

Here is a squadron emblem on Duck printed that way 






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