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kiwitrogg

1/48 Revell B-24 Liberator GR.V.

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Hey All

 

Here’s a wee project I’ve been working on for a few months now, the first of my 2 RAF Liberators.  Hopefully this is fair interpretation (with a smidgen of artistic licence) of Liberator GR.V. BZ862 that flew with 354 Squadron from India between September 1943 and May 1944.

 

The kit is the Revell boxing of a B24D, Jerk’s Natural.  Additions to the base model include:

·        Belcher Bits belly radome

·        Squadron canopy.

·        True Details wheels.

·        Quickboost engines.

·        F.M. Halifax Bolton Paul rear turret transparency with scratchbuilt internal gubbins for the Quickboost B.P. Defiant .303 machine guns.

·        Lots of lead fishing weight !

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

I was looking for a Coastal Command Liberator wearing SEAC markings to build when I came across a photo titled ‘Geoff Tomlinson’s aircraft – Early 354’ on Ron Quirk’s website, in Jim Badgleys album ( 354 Sqn photos ). There is also a second in-flight photo of this aircraft in the album titled 'On Patrol over Bay of Bengal'. From the grainy photos I could tell that it was based on a ‘D’ variant, that it had the code letter ‘A’, and that it should make a suitable subject.  With no decals available in 1/48, my subject had to be reasonably easy to model. From there I discovered:

 

·        Code letter ‘A’ belonged to Liberator GR.V. BZ862 and it was usually flown by Sgt Tomlinson (later P/O) and his crew.  In June 1944 the aircraft was replaced on 354 Sqn by Liberator MK.VI. EW319, however it was transferred to 160 Sqn where in August 1945 it would go on to complete a sortie of 24hrs and 10 minutes with F/Lt Jack Muir and crew; this was a record at the time and definitely a subject worth modelling.

 

·        354 Squadron was a general reconnaissance squadron that flew Liberators from airfields in India and Ceylon from its formation in May 1943 until disbandment in May 1945.  They carried out armed patrols and convoy escort duties using Liberator Mks IIIA, V and finally VI.


First, here's my attempt at recreating to pose of 862 in the photo. 

 

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

There was something bugging me about the roundels shown in the photo, particularly with the relatively small centre circle. I think the answer came in a recently purchased (when I started the project) copy of Eyes for the Phoenix by Geoffrey J. Thomas.  The book details a period between Jun and September 1943 where the national markings evolved from the European style to the familiar SEAC two-tone blue. Apparently, when faded, the blue of the RAF Type B roundels blended into the surrounding camouflage leaving only a visible red circle that was sometimes tragically mistaken for Japanese markings. The book details the colours and measurements for the markings and after first applying roundels and fin flashes in the early trial white/blue (as they look to me in the photo), I later changed them to the later light/dark blue to better suit the timeframe. However I can’t be certain that this aircraft did actually wear this style of marking.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

I wanted the addition of the belly radome to be a feature of this build so I wanted to help minimise the clutter at the back end by making sure that it wasn't a tail sitter.  It took a lot of lead !

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

And here's where it all went.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Lastly, I'd bought the Belcher Bits conversion that also came with a Leigh Light.  I think it's a great little addition to the CC Liberator and this is my only opportunity to use it, so I have. I'm sure no-one will notice.

 

Liberator GR.V.

 

Thanks for looking, comments, corrections, good, bad or indifferent welcome  

Cheers

Gaz  :bye:

Edited by kiwitrogg

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Wow that's really nice.  A 1/48 B24 must be pretty big!

 

I don't think I've ever seen a model x-rayed before either.

 

Andrew

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3 minutes ago, Andwil said:

Wow that's really nice.  A 1/48 B24 must be pretty big!

 

I don't think I've ever seen a model x-rayed before either.

 

Andrew

Hi Andrew, thanks.  Yeah, it's big enough alright and takes up a bit of shelf space. I really like the way it's been engineered so that the wings detach for transport etc., they're not glued on at all, and it makes painting a fair bit easier too.

X-Rays, yeah well I find pictures better than words and it was a good little training excersize in calculating settings.  I did a couple of others for an Airshow last year.......people do ask how you can X-Ray a whole Spitfire :).  All good fun.

Cheers

Gaz

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absolutely magnificent. One of my modelling ambitions is to build a 48 scale CC Liberator

 

This is just stunning

 

Bruce

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2 minutes ago, pacificmustang said:

absolutely magnificent. One of my modelling ambitions is to build a 48 scale CC Liberator

 

This is just stunning

 

Bruce

Thanks heaps Bruce

For now at least, I think decals will be your biggest headache. Go for it ;)

Cheers

Gaz

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We see some outstanding build's  here on BM,now and then one turn's up that really stand's out for the standard of finish and here we have just

such a build,take into account the base kit and the size of the thing that's pretty outstanding Gaz! Way back in the mid eighties I worked with a

great bloke called Harry who was just seeing out his last year of retirement he had been an AG/WO  on Liberator's out in the far East after a few

tour's in Europe he'd have loved this.

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Flipping heck, that is a bit superb, & a bit huge too I reckon. I do like what you've done with it Gaz, I really like the SEAC CC camo, it's a beaut look.

Steve.

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2 hours ago, stevej60 said:

We see some outstanding build's  here on BM,now and then one turn's up that really stand's out for the standard of finish and here we have just

such a build,take into account the base kit and the size of the thing that's pretty outstanding Gaz! Way back in the mid eighties I worked with a

great bloke called Harry who was just seeing out his last year of retirement he had been an AG/WO  on Liberator's out in the far East after a few

tour's in Europe he'd have loved this.

Hey thanks very much, I'm glad you like it.  I hope your mate Harry would have approved as well, he must have had a few memories both good and bad from his tour, I hope he shared.  From what I gather 354 Squadron was largely overlooked by the history books after the war, that's something that should never have happened given what those chaps went through.  There's a video on Youtube I found interesting  Quiet Heroes, Story of a Forgotten Squadron.

Edited by kiwitrogg

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1 minute ago, stevehnz said:

Flipping heck, that is a bit superb, & a bit huge too I reckon. I do like what you've done with it Gaz, I really like the SEAC CC camo, it's a beaut look.

Steve.

Cheers Steve, much appreciated. I've been promising this one for a while now haven't I.  I'm glad to be able to post it at last....as usual it's the fiddly detail bits that take the longest aye. ;)

Cheers

Gaz

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That is an excellent job. They are a bit of a beast aren't they? There is at least 6 ounces of lead in my 'J', and I have a 'D' still to do. Nice to see someone who is not afraid of acres of white paint. :door:

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40 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

That is an excellent job. They are a bit of a beast aren't they? There is at least 6 ounces of lead in my 'J', and I have a 'D' still to do. Nice to see someone who is not afraid of acres of white paint. :door:

Hey, thanks :smile:

Yeah, about that white paint.  I used half a bottle of Alclad white primer and microfiller. I'd spent some time with a Rosy Rivetter drawing rivet lines next to each of the raised panel lines to add a bit of interest.  I can now vouch for how good the Alclad is as a microfiller because it filled those rivets very nicely :lol:. Ah well.

Cheers

Gaz

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What a lovely build this is, it has the looks for sureB)

I love the subtle wheatering.

Funny to see it X-rayed, din't saw that coming.

It must take a lot of shelve room as well in this scale.

 

Cheers, Jan

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For an idea of size here's a picture I took nearing the end with the workmat giving an idea of size.  It's also wearing the previouse national markings at this stage.

 

20180408_204048

 

Thnks everyone for your feedback.

Gaz

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That is big and bl##dy beautiful I absolutely love it.

 

F.M. Halifax Bolton Paul rear turret transparency with scratchbuilt internal gubbins for the Quickboost B.P. Defiant .303 machine guns.       Any details on this part of the build?

 

Dave

Edited by fingers

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This looks great!  Great choice of subject to build from the base kit and a cleaver build all in all. 

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Superb Liberator there, great job. I like the peeling paint on the de-icer boots/leading edges

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You forgot to mention the most important thing... John "Jack" Muir was a Canadian.  That's right folks, the longest operational mission flown during the Second World War was done by a Canuck!!!  

Canada's Wings 2: Liberator and Fortress by Carl Vincent talks about the rather substantial number of Canadian flight and ground crews serving with the RAF in the CBI Theatre towards the end of the war; almost half of Liberator personnel were Canadian by the end of hostilites. 

Apparently several representatives from Consolidated visited the Liberator squadrons and were completely dumbfounded with how they were getting such long range from the aircraft!

My favourite excerpt from the book talks about the pilots flying out of Gander, Newfoundland.  The runway terminated at the edge of a cliff and with the Liberators overloaded with fuel and weapons, it was not the most enjoyable task.  As the story goes, A foreign officer was touring one of the squadrons and when he poked his head in the cockpit of one of the aircraft he commented to one of the Canadian officers about a button that was sewn on the seat cushion, to which the Canadian replied "The pilots sew those on there so they have something to hold on to during take off."

 

Great build by the way, I've always liked the Liberator.

I plan to recreate this aircraft in 1/72. Additionally, this scheme is offered in Eduard's Riders in the Sky special edition Liberator kit.

 

Edited by ANovaScotian

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10 hours ago, kiwitrogg said:

X-Rays, yeah well I find pictures better than words

220px-X-RayEyes_Rep.jpg:D

 

The finishing is stunning, with realistic paint chipping and a slight weathering, giving the appearance of a plane not too worn (I also make my models that way). A fabulous Liberator, with a cool Leigh light. Congratulations!

Edited by Convair

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Great Lib & a fascinating bit of history. Thanks for sharing.

 

Pete

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Wow you`ve done a superb job on this one Gaz,..... a really special model! Love the BP rear turret too,...... well done getting hold of the bits and pieces needed. This aircraft is one of the options in the very pricey Eduard kit too,....... is this one of the pics used as reference,... this copy coming from my own reference files;

39735292120_dfd8b20ebc_b.jpg354 Squadron BZ862-A. Later serving with 160 Sqn as J it flew a 23hr 3min round trip flight Minneriya-Malaya & returned on 29th July 1945 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

This aircraft flew from Minneriya to Malaya and return on the 29th July 1945, taking 23 hours 3 minutes,.... as you say, a record at the time.

 

I would add one thing which would make it look even better,..... just add a frame line to the pilots side window, as per the pic of this RCAF Lib...     

 

Image result for liberator raf  

 

Don`t worry about the bulged window,.....some had flat glazing too! 

 

Cheers

         Tony

Edited by tonyot

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Love it !  Always nice to see a B24 in an unusual scheme .  Great job

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