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Giorgio N

Stranger on the Town: foreign gear and people in British service or use

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After having the "Brits Abroad" GB voted last year (and I hope this will be a good one), I started thinking of other ideas for a GB capable of attracting modellers with the most different interests. And at some point I realised that the best idea I could propose was exactly the opposite of what I had proposed in 2017: a group build dedicated to foreign stuff in British use !

British armed forces have been using a lot of foreign built or designed equipment over the years. The RAF used plenty of French aircrafts in WW1 and a many US types in WW2 and in the postwar years. The Royal Navy pressed into service a number of captured vessels in the sailing age and this continued over the years while during WW2 they used a number of US built ships. The British Army used many US vehicles of different type in WW2 and a number of foreign designed ones in the postwar years. And let's not forget that a huge number of foreign designed small arms were and are used by all services and the police forces.

Then of course there would be all the civilian vehicles, be they German and Italian sportcars or Scandinavian trucks or Japanese city cars. As long as they have a British plate on and are to UK specifications, they would all be fine for such a GB.

Ideally the rules would be the same applied in the Brits Abroad GB but reversed: anything of non British origin used by either a British armed force or a civilian service or simply registered in Britain. And for figure modellers, any figure that displays as part of the equipment an important item of non British origin.

Of course some work will be devoted to clarify all the various license build and similar issues but I'm sure we can get a solution that would make everyone happy.

 

Then I wondered, what about the people ? The British Army employed whole units of foreign troops for many years (and in a sense they still do with the Gurkhas) and many foreign volunteers fought in British forces during WW2. Maybe they should also be considered, this would expand the scope of the GB quite a lot. To be honest I don't expect I'd see many figures of Hessian or Hanoverian troops in North America, but aircrafts of Polish pilots may be popular. Of course this would lead to one question: what to do with Commonwealth personalities ? Would a Canadian or Australian pilot be eligible ? Some may say yes as they are not British, at the same time they were accepted in the RAF in the same way as British citizens so had a different status compared to others... in any case, I'm open to suggestions and willing to listen to opinions on this.

 

I realize that should this GB get through the poll, it would occurr in 2019.. and that, if things go as planned, would be the year of Brexit... to me in a sense this is quite a funny coincidence, as celebrating foreign things and people in the same year of an event that was in part due to people's feelings about foreigners would be pretty ironic. But I believe that we at BM are people with a good sense of humour, so this could be for both the pro and against parties a way to make fun of the whole thing. To keep some humour I'd actually like to name this GB following a comment I heard a while ago on a train: Those Bloody Immigrants!

Not sure if the moderators would agree with this, please let me know if it would be acceptable of you feel it's too strong. I would still go ahead checking for interested parties, whatever the name I think it would be a good idea for a very inclusive GB.

 

Interested modellers:

1) Giorgio N

2) Plasticsurgeon

3) Aeronut

4) Corsairfoxfouruncle

5) Wez

6) Zebra

7) Col.

8) CliffB

9) Rabbit Leader

10) Jabba

11) Grey Beema

12) Beard

13) Botan

14) Sabre_Days

15) TEMPESTMK5

16) 1903flight

17) Robert Stuart

18) Paul J

19) Caerbannog

20) stevej60

21) SleeperService

22)...

 

 

 

 

Edited by Giorgio N

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Just having a quick look through my stash.  qualifying hits:

Italeri RAF Chinook,

Airfix Grumman Martlet - FAA, but this has US markings for Op Torch,

Special Hobby Baltimore, 

Oh and let's not forget my NEW Airfix Phantom!   

Would vote, and support this one!

 

Deliberately not considering more modern multi-national products like:

Tornadoes, Typhoons,  Harrier GR7 etc

Similarly Commonwealth Forces WW2 stuff - that looks similar to RAF/FAA.  

 

I've just read that the T-10 version DHC-1 Chipmunk was built under license in the UK.  I've got 2 of those in my stash.

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In my late father's papers from his time serving with the 51st Highland Division (June - November 44) there are references to a German half track being used as a regimental ambulance. A number of German soldiers who were of non-German origin (Italian and Mongolian) were given parole and remained with the regiment as Officer's mess servants instead of going in to the POW cage.

After the fall of le Havre a complete Luftwaffe searchlight unit was also given parole and supplied the regiment with electricity and lighting until 'swopped' to another unit for a three tonner full of Benedictine!

At the river Seine my father 'acquired' a VW car and a German lorry which he filled with telephone equipment all loaded and driven back by the previously mentioned Mongolians.

He also recalls that the unit markings (and Allied Star) had just dried when a mortar round reduced the VW to scrap and regretted choosing the VW rather than the Tiger tank that was available.

This was just one regiment, so there must have been many others who 'acquired' stuff along the way.

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Well. as people start to show interest, I'd better put together a list... will update the first post ASAP

 

 

1 hour ago, theplasticsurgeon said:

Just having a quick look through my stash.  qualifying hits:

Italeri RAF Chinook,

Airfix Grumman Martlet - FAA, but this has US markings for Op Torch,

Special Hobby Baltimore, 

Oh and let's not forget my NEW Airfix Phantom!   

Would vote, and support this one!

 

Deliberately not considering more modern multi-national products like:

Tornadoes, Typhoons,  Harrier GR7 etc

Similarly Commonwealth Forces WW2 stuff - that looks similar to RAF/FAA.  

 

I've just read that the T-10 version DHC-1 Chipmunk was built under license in the UK.  I've got 2 of those in my stash.

 

All good options ! And the Chipmunk would no doubt be eligible, even if built in the UK I'd still treat it as a Canadian aircraft

 

1 hour ago, Aeronut said:

In my late father's papers from his time serving with the 51st Highland Division (June - November 44) there are references to a German half track being used as a regimental ambulance. A number of German soldiers who were of non-German origin (Italian and Mongolian) were given parole and remained with the regiment as Officer's mess servants instead of going in to the POW cage.

After the fall of le Havre a complete Luftwaffe searchlight unit was also given parole and supplied the regiment with electricity and lighting until 'swopped' to another unit for a three tonner full of Benedictine!

At the river Seine my father 'acquired' a VW car and a German lorry which he filled with telephone equipment all loaded and driven back by the previously mentioned Mongolians.

He also recalls that the unit markings (and Allied Star) had just dried when a mortar round reduced the VW to scrap and regretted choosing the VW rather than the Tiger tank that was available.

This was just one regiment, so there must have been many others who 'acquired' stuff along the way.

 

Fascinating bit of history, wonder how many similar facts occurred during the war. There's a lot of scope for potential subjects, captured equipment would be very eligible if used like this. I've yet to think of captured equipment that was only tested, but we can see what people think and decide

 

55 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Ok count me in i think i can find something with wings or tracks that qualifies. 

 

That's great ! Will add you to the list

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Giorgio, depending on when the GB ran, I would be in so count me in for now!

 

RAF Sabre...

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Nice idea. Plenty in the stash that would count - on holiday at the moment so I'm separated from the stash but Mustang, Fortress, Alpha Jet (in Qineriq markings), Dakota all come to mind. Plus a good reason (like I really need one) to buy an Airfix Phantom. So count me in.

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There are a few US subjects in my stash that will benefit from Fleet Air Arm markings in the future so count me in please. Off-hand it'll maybe a Corsair, some Hellcats, a few Wildcats...

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9 hours ago, theplasticsurgeon said:

Just having a quick look through my stash.  qualifying hits:

Italeri RAF Chinook,

Airfix Grumman Martlet - FAA, but this has US markings for Op Torch,

Special Hobby Baltimore, 

Oh and let's not forget my NEW Airfix Phantom!   

Would vote, and support this one!

 

Deliberately not considering more modern multi-national products like:

Tornadoes, Typhoons,  Harrier GR7 etc

Similarly Commonwealth Forces WW2 stuff - that looks similar to RAF/FAA.  

 

I've just read that the T-10 version DHC-1 Chipmunk was built under license in the UK.  I've got 2 of those in my stash.

Disregarding the Chippie from my consideration,  my thoughts were straying a bit there.

 

I've just opened the Phantom. Wow!  Flaps, slats, spoilers, extended nose gear,   exactly how I want to depict a launch scene!

Count me in.

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I'd certainly join in with an airliner or two.

Cliff

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OK - It probably needs a sexier GB title, however there must be a heap of subjects that quality even though we all know - "British is Best"!!

Count me in Giorgio, I'm happy to make up the numbers.

 

How's these for potential possibilities - Mitchell's, Bostons, Marauders, Mustangs, Kiityhawk's, Dakota's, Fortress', Catalina's, Hellcats, Martlet's and Tarpons (no - I said TARpons!!).   

 

Cheers.. Dave  

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Feel free to hand me the conical hat with a big D on after answering my question but would a British Airways 747/A380 count as suitable? 

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I am sure that I can find something being an ex Phantom, Puma and Chinook engineer.

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On 12/1/2018 at 4:59 PM, Wez said:

Giorgio, depending on when the GB ran, I would be in so count me in for now!

 

RAF Sabre...

 

That's great Wez, I'll list you in the interested parties. We'll see then when and if the GB takes place.

A Sabre sounds good to me, always loved the markings they carried in RAF service

 

On 12/1/2018 at 9:32 PM, Col. said:

There are a few US subjects in my stash that will benefit from Fleet Air Arm markings in the future so count me in please. Off-hand it'll maybe a Corsair, some Hellcats, a few Wildcats...

 

Great to have you on board! The FAA benefited massively from the input of US types during WW2, all these are good subjects

 

On 13/1/2018 at 12:23 AM, theplasticsurgeon said:

Disregarding the Chippie from my consideration,  my thoughts were straying a bit there.

 

I've just opened the Phantom. Wow!  Flaps, slats, spoilers, extended nose gear,   exactly how I want to depict a launch scene!

Count me in.

 

With the new Airfix FG.1 now available and the FGR.2 coming soon, this GB could see quite a few of these kits. Makes sense, the Airfix kit seems to be great and these aircrafts have always been popular subjects. Now if any company released an Ark Royal catapult section...

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On 13/1/2018 at 7:31 AM, CliffB said:

I'd certainly join in with an airliner or two.

Cliff

 

Great, will add you to the list ! One of the reasons I proposed this GB was to give space to something different from military aircrafts, airliners fit pretty well here as a large number of US built types were used by British carriers.

 

 

On 13/1/2018 at 7:45 AM, Rabbit Leader said:

OK - It probably needs a sexier GB title, however there must be a heap of subjects that quality even though we all know - "British is Best"!!

Count me in Giorgio, I'm happy to make up the numbers.

 

How's these for potential possibilities - Mitchell's, Bostons, Marauders, Mustangs, Kiityhawk's, Dakota's, Fortress', Catalina's, Hellcats, Martlet's and Tarpons (no - I said TARpons!!).   

 

Cheers.. Dave  

 

Totally agree Dave, I'd like to find a good title. Please propose ideas, I'd like something catchy.

All your ideas are of course very valid!

 

On 13/1/2018 at 8:00 AM, dadofthree said:

Feel free to hand me the conical hat with a big D on after answering my question but would a British Airways 747/A380 count as suitable? 

 

No question deserves that conical hat here :D The answer is course yes ! US designed and built type operated  by a British company, perfectly eligible.

Should I add you to the list ?

A small note on airliners: my view is that if the aircraft is operated by a British company, then it is eligible even if the aircraft is not registered in Britain. As airliners today are often leased from companies located where the tax system is more favourable, there are plenty of aircrafts with markings of the airline of a certain country but registered in another one (very often Ireland). My idea here is that the operator counts, I don't care if the aircraft is officially owned by someone in a Caribbean tax haven

 

On 13/1/2018 at 7:45 PM, Jabba said:

I am sure that I can find something being an ex Phantom, Puma and Chinook engineer.

 

All nice choices to me ! I'd also count the Puma as a foreign product here, as in the end it was really designed by Aerospatiale before the agreement with Westland (in the same way as the Lynx is British to me and not French). All 3 are good !

Edited by Giorgio N

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OK I would like to have a crack at this.  I will probably do either a Martlet or a Hellcat operating off a US built RN operated escort carrier (pity there is no kit) flown by a Commonwealth aircrew.  Well that should just about cover it.  If I could figure out a Pilot that scored an air to air victory it would also support my collection theme...

 

 

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1 hour ago, Grey Beema said:

OK I would like to have a crack at this.  I will probably do either a Martlet or a Hellcat operating off a US built RN operated escort carrier (pity there is no kit) flown by a Commonwealth aircrew.  Well that should just about cover it.  If I could figure out a Pilot that scored an air to air victory it would also support my collection theme...

 

 

 

Sounds good, foreign aircraft and foreign crew !

Added to the list

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Following the suggestion of a fellow modeller, I've changed the name of this proposal to "Stranger on the Town", after the song by punk band The Damned.

The GB needed a cool name, this one is !

Still looking for more interested parties of course ! With the Airfix Phantoms now hitting the shelves I'm sure some will be happy to build theirs next year as part of a GB.

Or what about a British Sherman for those who like tanks ?

Should the GB go ahead I may try to build a British 109... no, not that kind of 109 with a prop at the front, but the one with the prop on the top: one of the 4 Agusta 109 used by 8 Flight AAC to support SAS counter-terrorism operations. Some of these came from far away as they were former Argentine machines captured in the Falklands, the others were purchased directly from Agusta.

8 Flight actually had quite a long history of using foreign types as had previously operated the Canadian built Beaver and the French Alouette helicopter.

Today the unit is named 658 Sqn. AAC and still supports SAS operations with a more recent foreign type, the French Dauphine 2.

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As well as Shermans, Lee/Grant, Stuart/Honey tanks, there ships like the town class destroyers (Campbletown), escort carriers like Battler or Biter.  Plenty to be going on with and not just aircraft!

 

I have just exhausted my knowledge of tanks and ships though...

Edited by Wez

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This is a great idea for a Group Build: it caters for almost every modelling genre, apart from Sci-if and railways (and I'm happy to be corrected there).

Even though I can't think of a way to fit a Spitfire in (unless a MkXVI counts as it had a foreign engine(?)), please count me in.

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18 minutes ago, Beard said:

This is a great idea for a Group Build: it caters for almost every modelling genre, apart from Sci-if and railways (and I'm happy to be corrected there).

Even though I can't think of a way to fit a Spitfire in (unless a MkXVI counts as it had a foreign engine(?)), please count me in.

Foreign squadrons, there were plenty of them!

 

Oh, count me in too.

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1 hour ago, Wez said:

As well as Shermans, Lee/Grant, Stuart/Honey tanks, there ships like the town class destroyers (Campbletown), escort carriers like Battler or Biter.  Plenty to be going on with and not just aircraft!

 

I have just exhausted my knowledge of tanks and ships though...

 

Not strictly tanks, but I may add a number of US built self propelled artillery systems, like the M40, the M107, M109 and M110. Then there were the missile launchers, like the MLRS and the Lance with its tracked M752 launcher.

 

36 minutes ago, Beard said:

This is a great idea for a Group Build: it caters for almost every modelling genre, apart from Sci-if and railways (and I'm happy to be corrected there).

Even though I can't think of a way to fit a Spitfire in (unless a MkXVI counts as it had a foreign engine(?)), please count me in.

 

That's great, I'add you to the list ASAP !

It is indeed an inclusive GB, I believe that GBs open to every kind of model are very interesting. I don't know how Sci-fi could be included but I know several railway subjects that were built abroad. The first is the "Pendolino" operated by Virgin. These trains were assembled in Britain but really most parts were built in Italy. Even if final assembly was done in Britain, I'd consider them of foreign origin. Then there are the trains used on the High Speed 1 line, that were built in Japan by Hitachi. What of course I don't know is if any kit exist of such trains, I'd guess they don't...

I don't know how I could add Sci-Fi to this GB unfortunately... unless anyone knows of foreign made props used in British produced Sci-Fi movies ? Now in a sense a Tardis could be considered eligible as afterall it comes from Gallifrey... :lol:

 

16 minutes ago, Botan said:

Foreign squadrons, there were plenty of them!

 

Oh, count me in too.

 

Great ! Will add you to the list

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Please count me in. I'm thinking probably a Royal Navy Corsair flown by a Canadian pilot (either Robert Hampton Gray, VC or else the RCN's first ace of World War II, Don Sheppard), or possibly an M22 Locust.

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2 hours ago, Beard said:

This is a great idea for a Group Build: it caters for almost every modelling genre, apart from Sci-if and railways (and I'm happy to be corrected there).

Even though I can't think of a way to fit a Spitfire in (unless a MkXVI counts as it had a foreign engine(?)), please count me in.

Could you build a later Packard Merlin version.  Then you have a foreign (even if license built) engine in your Spitfire....

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10 minutes ago, Grey Beema said:

Could you build a later Packard Merlin version.  Then you have a foreign (even if license built) engine in your Spitfire....

So a Mk.XVI of a Polish, Belgian, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand Sqn would fit the bill nicely, shouldn't have much trouble finding one of those...

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