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tonyot

1/72nd Airfix Blenheim Mk.IV, Group de Bombardment 1 "Lorraine", Free French Air Force, Syria 1941-42.

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Posted (edited)

Hiya Folks,

              Well the old Airfix Blenheim kit had one of the best Roy Cross paintings ever as its box art;

27255531337_496c4c1e53_h.jpg71237854ca18a2ee96a3e649a9725e76 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

And Airfix have re released their brand new kit with artwork that takes a nod and pays tribute to Roy Cross`s expertise with this lovely image on the box,.... thankfully with the correct blue cross of lorraine in place,.... whih is repeated on the decal sheet;

 27255530957_cb4c10b23a_b.jpgblenheim-mk-iv--roy-cross--for-2017--mid by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Having always liked the scheme and wanted to build one, the fact that the blue crosses were included in the kit,.. and that fact that I have just finished a model of the units final operational type in WW2, a Mitchell Mk.III,..... here we go!

Here is the kit;

41225048465_b8acbc5b7a_k.jpgDSCF3368 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

28253417148_99aa581ac1_k.jpgDSCF3369 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

A closer view of some of the key parts, note the blue cross of lorraine on the decal sheet;

41225047995_922cf51449_k.jpgDSCF3370 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

I have bought two additional after market sets which will help,.... a propeller set from SBS Model as the kits items are not the greatest, especially around the hub which is small and quite simplified,.... and the bulged windows from Alley Cat which are a `must' for most Mk.IV models as for some strange reason Airfix added flat windows which were seen on only a very few Canadian Bolingbrokes;

28253415928_c832aaac16_k.jpgDSCF3371 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

41225047495_5f808cfc3a_k.jpgDSCF3375 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

28253415058_80102da526_k.jpgDSCF3376_NEW by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

I shall add some photos of the real Blenheims shortly to discuss colour schemes.

 

Cheers,

          Tony

Edited by tonyot

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Posted (edited)

Hiya Folks,.... the real thing;

 

Most of the original Blenheim`s supplied to the Group de Bombardment 1 "Lorraine" arrived wearing the the temperate bomber scheme of Dark Earth, Dark Green and Sky;

41225387395_e6ef4b99b0_b.jpgblenheim free french tls by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

But they were progressively re painted in desert colours of Dark Earth, Dark Green and Azure Blue, some retaining the RAF serial on a rectangle of the original colour and some having the serial re applied. The Cross of Lorraine was applied to the fuselage and under the wings but it does not look as if this was applied to the upper wings too,. and a Group number was usually added to the fin, again some had this on a background of the original camouflage... here is a selection of photos; 

Here is the subject of the Airfix decals,. Z7633;

42080366322_8eaff51e7a_b.jpgFree-French-Blenheim-MkIVF-Groupe-Lorraine-Zx533-Faya-Aleppo-Damascus-Syria-1941-01 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

And some others;

42126321091_d288c0ffcf_z.jpgimageproxy by Tony OToole, on Flickr

41225386355_1ee4678fc2_z.jpgguerre-desert-16 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42126320941_80bfa5a283_b.jpglorrai10 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42126321861_53b0c1a247_b.jpgFree-French-Blenheim-MkIVF-Groupe-Lorraine-No-14-Faya-Aleppo-Damascus-Syria-1941 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42126322081_c85bd8fe3e_b.jpgFree-French-Blenheim-MkIVF-Groupe-Lorraine-No-4-Faya-Aleppo-Damascus-Syria-1941-02 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42126322341_e96f741c8f_h.jpgBlenheim IV, free french North Africa c1941 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

This great photo of the men of the unit is also rare in that it also shows the upper wing,... and there is no sign of the cross of lorraine;

42126321501_6bd604140d_b.jpgFree-French-Blenheim-MkIV-Groupe-Lorraine-No-12-Faya-Aleppo-Damascus-Syria-1941 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

28253742088_d2e417a419.jpgjpg_biblio_st_pereuze_lorraine_devant_blenheim054 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

There is an excellent film featuring the unit here;

 

Long after the war in 1959, one of the units Blenheim`s, T1867 was found in the desert in Chad near to the border with Libya and Sudan by French troops;

41225387665_f469eb4129_b.jpgfrench found 59-3 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42126322731_f1da92352f_b.jpgfrench found 59-1 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Unfortunately it was burnt by its discoverers;

42126322481_6f4a99dc52_b.jpgfrench found 59-6- set on fire by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Here is some info in French about the aircraft and the three crew men who were stranded and died, pilot Sgt Le Calvez, Observer SLt Claron & Radio Op/AG Sgc Devin;

http://aviateurs.e-monsite.com/pages/de-1939-a-1945/morts-de-soif-dans-le-desert.html

 

Cheers for now,

                     Tony

 

Edited by tonyot

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Hiya Folks,

               Started construction this morning,.....beginning with pre painting the interior parts on the sprue;

41234717705_9fb1510c76_k.jpgDSCF3381 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42089004272_329c5962e2_k.jpgDSCF3382 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

41234716625_e727dba9a6_k.jpgDSCF3383 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Then the wings were started, with the internal spars and undercarriage bay supports;

42089002702_d48a7ec7bf_k.jpgDSCF3384 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Then the cockpit was assembled;

42089001422_1b6bacb3c5_k.jpgDSCF3386 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42135445181_02a05e06c5_k.jpgDSCF3387 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

And so was the rear fuselage;

40328736540_a8b2951c1c_k.jpgDSCF3385 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

And the parts were put together with the wings, showing the main breakdown of the kit;

42089000042_b6b3c49bdc_k.jpgDSCF3388 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Here is the main airframe together,.... ready to be left aside to dry before sanding;

 41234713955_aa2958fd36_k.jpgDSCF3391 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42088997702_e5e98b625e_k.jpgDSCF3392 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Having build a couple of the new Airfix Blenheim`s before, which had soft plastic,..... the plastic on this kit is much harder, better quality and the parts fit together much better than I remember,..... so well played Airfix!

 

Cheers for now,

                     Tony

 

 

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Another great build for all us admirers to follow Tony. Once again, thanks for the collection of reference photos and I’ll watch the video after I get some spare time and settle in for the day. The missing clear side canopy bulges are rather annoying, but it’s nice to see some AM products available to help correct this omission. 

 

A FF Blenheim would not have been high up on my wants lists, but something tells me it might be in a week or too!! 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

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40 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Another great build for all us admirers to follow Tony. Once again, thanks for the collection of reference photos and I’ll watch the video after I get some spare time and settle in for the day. The missing clear side canopy bulges are rather annoying, but it’s nice to see some AM products available to help correct this omission. 

 

A FF Blenheim would not have been high up on my wants lists, but something tells me it might be in a week or too!! 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Cheers Dave,..... it is so nice to have knowledgeable blokes like yourself onboard and your comments are always much appreciated. Sorry if I`ve made you want to buy something that you weren`t interested in before,.... I have a tendency for doing this,.... but it is never intentional!!!

 

Cheers

        Tony

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Go easy on the “knowledgeable” line there Tony - that’s hardly fitting for a hacker like me! Actually it’s good to explore other subjects rather than the typical staple diet of regular Allied themes, so no apologies are necessary. We are all students of history at heart and it’s nice to learn something new every now and again. Keep ‘em coming my good friend. 

 

Cheers.. Deve

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Good morning Tony

Very nice start on a very interesting subject 👍

 But please tell me where you find the time to build all these kits and post the pics of your builds ? 

 

Best regards

Patrice

 

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But... But... Tony, it's a French kite!!!

Did you take your pills?

Or did you misread FFAF for FAA?

 

(Bad) jokes appart, it seems you're on your way to another splendid build.

There's so much to do with a Blenheim. 

Got both the I & IV from Airfix, together with some excellent Xtra decal sheet, and I just don't know which one I'll build.

Certainly not RAF or FFAF, but it doesn't help much for the choice...

Well, looking forward to your next WIP post.

;)

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9 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Actually it’s good to explore other subjects rather than the typical staple diet of regular Allied themes, so no apologies are necessary. We are all students of history at heart and it’s nice to learn something new every now and again. Keep ‘em coming my good friend. 

It is always nice to stretch the envelope or things would get boring, we are definitely students of history mate in this hobby and anybody who say that they are not learning anymore is probably somebody you would like to distance yourself from and who might have to have rather wide doorways in their home! 

 

1 hour ago, TEMPESTMK5 said:

 But please tell me where you find the time to build all these kits and post the pics of your builds ? 

I don`t eat or sleep and have a small army of elves held captive in the cellar who help me! Seriously,.... I just plod away a few hours per day and while I have a certain paint colour out I`ll use it for multiple models.

 

1 hour ago, Antoine said:

But... But... Tony, it's a French kite!!!

Did you take your pills?

Or did you misread FFAF for FAA?

 

(Bad) jokes appart, it seems you're on your way to another splendid build.

There's so much to do with a Blenheim. 

Got both the I & IV from Airfix, together with some excellent Xtra decal sheet, and I just don't know which one I'll build.

Certainly not RAF or FFAF, but it doesn't help much for the choice...

Well, looking forward to your next WIP post.

;)

 Haha,.... I`ve built quite a few French aircraft,..... I`ve just finished a Lorraine sqn Mitchell and I have plenty more planned including a Halifax! I take enough pills per day anyway,..... around 20,.... so that might be the problem! 

I agree,... so much to do with the Blenheim,.... I did toy with making this as a Greek one,..... but I`ll leave that till another day as I`ve always liked this French unit and Roy Cross`s box art was a huge pull too,..... the fact that Airfix included the correct blue crosses was the final decider.

Whichever Blenheim you choose yourself,.... I`ll look forward to it,

 

Cheers everybody,

                         Tony 

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Blimey Tony there's no stopping you is there!

Great choice mate, have to agree about the original box art, it really is superb and certainly inspired me to buy a few when I was younger.

Looks like it should be built by next week!

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Tony, you are a model-building force of nature.

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I’m sorely tempted by this kit too, having already attempted three Mk. Is and a Mk. IV.  The box art is the main driver, being so reminiscent of Roy Cross’ original but having it’s own darker aspect.

 

One thing that Airfix have missed from their 1/72th Blenheim is the circular window in the W/OpAG’s ventral escape hatch on the starboard side just behind the bomb bay, as well as any indication of the hatch itself (nothing new here: every manufacturer to date who’s “done” a Blenheim is guilty of this little sin).  Airfix’s new 1/48th scale kit does feature it, as do the drawings in Valiant Wings’ publication on the Blenheim.

 

Thanks Tony for mentioning the Alley Cat transparency sets: I need to order some other bits from them, so I shall have to remember to include one or two of these too.

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19 hours ago, tonyot said:

Having build a couple of the new Airfix Blenheim`s before, which had soft plastic,..... the plastic on this kit is much harder, better quality and the parts fit together much better than I remember,..... so well played Airfix!

Yes, that was my experience as well with the UK-produced Mk.IV bomber version as opposed to all the ones that went before: felt like an altogether better product.  Mine is currently stalled trying to get the blister side windows, main canopy and fuselage to look as if they are part of the same aeroplane: I shall be intrigued to see how you get on.  Good luck!

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WOW French plane, very rare subject. This new kit looks nice.  

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Thanks Fellas,..... well a bit more progress;

 

The model has been sanded with a slight bit of filler added to the wing roots,.... and the engines have been built up too. Some people have struggled with the cowling panels but I have found that if you sand the end of the engine cylinders down a little, then the panels fit much better! I have left off the exhaust ring from the front in order to paint it separately and add it after the model is painted;

40351967990_140589d3d1_k.jpgDSCF3398 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

42112432702_95333e465c_k.jpgDSCF3399 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Then the engines were attached along with the control surfaces and the canopy. The canopy needed to be be held down by tape until it dried;

40351966750_e53a9341ce_k.jpgDSCF3403 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

40351966510_4fa2f3208a_k.jpgDSCF3404 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

As Stever said, the camera port in the bottom of the fuselage behind the bomb bay is not represented, although these could also be blanked off. As with my Bolingbroke conversion I shall be drilling a hole to represent this,

 

Cheers for now,

                     Tony

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In case anybody is interested,.... another MTO Blenheim that I have already built from the Airfix kit is this Mk.If fighter based in Greece;

41439122504_e32d62d1d6_k.jpgDSCF9579 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

And I also did a Bolingbroke conversion;

42160005921_84a831c8e9_k.jpgDSCF4903 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Note the Bolly has belt fed twin Browning .303in machine guns in the mid upper turret,.... I will need to source some for this model as the kit only includes drum fed Vickers K Guns,.... which will be a nice addition to the spares box!

 

Cheers

          Tony

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Hiya Folks,..... well the model is all sanded and the canopy fitted, ready to paint;

41453041214_7353c06fb9_k.jpgDSCF3421 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

As mentioned previously, the engine exhaust collector ring will be painted separately and fitted after the model is painted. I`ll probably add the Azure Blue undersides first then mask them off and start with the upper surfaces,

 

Cheers

          Tony

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Posted (edited)

Good morning Tony

 Very good job again ..

 I think that you have already noticed that the Blenheim used by GRB1 Lorraine were fitted with 2 different types of lower front turret as you can see on the pics you had posted at the beginning of your post ...

 I am stiil amazed by the number of your simultaneous builds ...

By the way your build made me order this boxing but I don't think that I will build it soon because I don't want to compete with your build ...

 

Best regards

Patrice

 

Edited by TEMPESTMK5

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Patrice, you wouldn’t be the first modeller to open up their wallets after being inspired by one of Tony’s great builds. I bought an Airfix Mitchell two weeks ago and am now on the look-out for a couple of Academy Venturas. If I see a cheap Ju52 at our local swap meet this weekend, I’ll probably put that under my arm as well. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

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8 hours ago, TEMPESTMK5 said:

Good morning Tony

 Very good job again ..

 I think that you have already noticed that the Blenheim used by GRB1 Lorraine were fitted with 2 different types of lower front turret as you can see on the pics you had posted at the beginning of your post ...

 I am stiil amazed by the number of your simultaneous builds ...

By the way your build made me order this boxing but I don't think that I will build it soon because I don't want to compete with your build ...

 

Best regards

Patrice

 

Cheers Patrice,....... yes I`ve noticed and I`m still in two minds to go with the kit option or go for one with the earlier style of under nose turret,... which is the one that I prefer,....I`m going through my spare decals to see what I have that can be useful,..... especially as I want to build one with a number on the tail fin. Please do not let me put you off building your kit too,.... the more the merrier! The  GB1/17 `Picardie' unit responsible for policing Syria also used Blenheim Mk.IV`s,..... along with Mk.V`s and later Baltimore`s and the Mk.IV that I have seen wore a Dark Earth and Dark Green scheme,.... so something different.

 

5 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Patrice, you wouldn’t be the first modeller to open up their wallets after being inspired by one of Tony’s great builds. I bought an Airfix Mitchell two weeks ago and am now on the look-out for a couple of Academy Venturas. If I see a cheap Ju52 at our local swap meet this weekend, I’ll probably put that under my arm as well. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

 Ooops,.... sorry mate!

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Posted (edited)

Hiya Folks, another quick update;

 

I`ve got the first coat of Polly Scale acrylic Azure Blue on;

41470808864_e0f21342b3_k.jpgDSCF3444 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Along with a coat of Humbrol Middle Stone onto the majority of the upper surfaces;

40384791930_856951c424_k.jpgDSCF3443 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Adding a coat of Middle Stone to the majority of the upper surfaces now while also applying the undersides  will allow it to be drying now and make it quicker to get a 2nd coat on. The second coat can cover the entire airframe and due to the quicker drying time of the acrylic,.... masking tape can be applied over the underside colour then too;

41470803844_d81088e40b_z.jpgDSCF3455 by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Cheers

          Tony

Edited by tonyot

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Regarding the rear-firing under-nose turrets, the kit does come with both, though it only mentions the two-gun unit. The clear blister for the single gunned turret is on the clear sprue ( Part H-2 ) and the gun is Part D-10.

 

 

Chris

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8 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Patrice, you wouldn’t be the first modeller to open up their wallets after being inspired by one of Tony’s great builds. I bought an Airfix Mitchell two weeks ago and am now on the look-out for a couple of Academy Venturas. If I see a cheap Ju52 at our local swap meet this weekend, I’ll probably put that under my arm as well. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Good evening Dave

My problem is that I hardly resist buying new models when I see builds such as Tony's one ...

 

Patrice

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Tony your productivity is Orr inspiring.

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Hiya Folks,..... I`ve masked off the lower surfaces and added a second coat of Humbrol Middle Stone,..... 

27348834277_bafc996c8e_k.jpgDSCF3457_NEW by Tony OToole, on Flickr

27348833847_1bd78fed1d_k.jpgDSCF3458_NEW by Tony OToole, on Flickr

 

Cheers,

          Tony

     

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