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Duncan B

Info on Grumman F3F-2 required

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I am currently building the Accurate Miniatures Grumman F3F-2 over in the Grumman GB section but have no reference material on this type at all so have lots of questions for anyone who has some knowledge of this type.

 

I am aware that VF-6, onboard the USS Enterprise, were the only USN frontline Unit to operate this subtype of the F3F so the fin and tailplane would have been painted 'True Blue' as the identifier for that vessel but would the struts holding the tailplane have been painted the same colour or painted aluminium? 

 

Did the section markings have any white or black borders to them (some squadrons/types seemed to have them and some didn't from what I can see online)?

 

it there a list of BuNo's for the individual aircraft online that I can use to identify particular aircraft (I'm still deciding on which individual aircraft to make but it will be one of the Section Leaders aircraft)? A pointer to any photos of them online would be a bonus too, I have searched but don't seem to find many photos at all even though Accurate Miniatures state there are many good photos online.

 

Any pointers will be greatly appreciated, many thanks in advance.

 

Duncan B

 

 

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5 hours ago, Duncan B said:

I am currently building the Accurate Miniatures Grumman F3F-2 over in the Grumman GB section but have no reference material on this type at all so have lots of questions for anyone who has some knowledge of this type.

 

I am aware that VF-6, onboard the USS Enterprise, were the only USN frontline Unit to operate this subtype of the F3F so the fin and tailplane would have been painted 'True Blue' as the identifier for that vessel but would the struts holding the tailplane have been painted the same colour or painted aluminium? 

 

Did the section markings have any white or black borders to them (some squadrons/types seemed to have them and some didn't from what I can see online)?

 

it there a list of BuNo's for the individual aircraft online that I can use to identify particular aircraft (I'm still deciding on which individual aircraft to make but it will be one of the Section Leaders aircraft)? A pointer to any photos of them online would be a bonus too, I have searched but don't seem to find many photos at all even though Accurate Miniatures state there are many good photos online.

 

Any pointers will be greatly appreciated, many thanks in advance.

 

Duncan B

 

 

Duncan,

 

Off the top of my head, there's these three:

Squadron Signal in Action No. 160  on "Grumman Biplane Fighters"

Squadron Signal 6156 "Navy Air Colors v1 1911-1945

"The Official Monogram USN & Marine Aircraft Color Guide, v1 1911-1939

 

The 2nd and 3rd references provide excellent info and color drawings of the cowling, fuselage, and wing markings used to identify the various sections within a squadron as well as to identify the host aircraft carrier. If you can't lay your hands or eyeballs on any of these, you can send me a pm and I can try to find what you need from my copies if that will help you. (Gotta be a Lexington F3F, though! Just kidding!)

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
corrected spelling

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2 hours ago, Duncan B said:

I am aware that VF-6, onboard the USS Enterprise, were the only USN frontline Unit to operate this subtype of the F3F so the fin and tailplane would have been painted 'True Blue' as the identifier for that vessel but would the struts holding the tailplane have been painted the same colour or painted aluminium? 

 

Did the section markings have any white or black borders to them (some squadrons/types seemed to have them and some didn't from what I can see online)?

 

Hi Duncan,

 

The F3F-2 was in service with VF-6 (blue tail) as you mention, and also with the two Marine Fighting Squadrons, which make nice models because they still used the blue-white-red rudder marking on a silver tail.

The tail plane struts were painted in VF-6 colour.

Black borders were used with all section colours except black obviously.

 

Two other books that I can highly recommend are, for photos, 'Carrier Fighters' Vol. 1 by J.V.Mizrahi (1970) and, for colour drawings, 'Wings of the Fleet' (On Target Special No.8) by Peter Freemen. Both out-of-print but available through Ebay.

 

Cheers, Michael

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I have managed to find a photo online of the aircraft I wanted to build, 6-F-13 so I now know the BuNo and have a more accurate impression of the details.

 

It turns out that this particular aircraft had a small winged turtle badge in white on the top of the fin which I will need to make if I can find a decent image of it to replicate. Also the wing walkways were wider than I have seen on other photos, extending right up the wing root fairing. It's a black border to the green section markings and there is an "E' with a small capital N in front of the cockpit (Excellence in Navigation I'm guessing?). Interestingly the tailplane struts are only painted blue on the top 25%. Looks like I've got enough information to have a go at this one.

 

Duncan B

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Hi Duncan,

 

The little turtle means that the plane has flown over the equator. I don't know that photo but often you can isolate a specific emblem via Photoshop and print it in the right scale (as long as it's not distorted in the picture). The turtle should also be displayed by many other aircraft of the period, so maybe you can find a decal sheet that includes it.

My Marine F3F-2 also has the black walkways extending up the wing root. Only 25% of the strut painted? Sounds to me like a shadow was cast.

Are you sure the excellence category is 'N' not 'M'? I have never heard about excellence in navigation - but who knows?

 

Cheers, Michael

Edited by Toryu

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Joe Baugher lists the F3F's in his US Navy and US Marine Corps BuNos--Second Series (0001 to 5029) page. If you're not aware of these pages, see Joe Baugher's home page for lists of USAAS/USAAC/USAAF/USAF, USN & USMC, USCG aircraft tail numbers.

 

I don't know about "a lot" of online photos, but I've managed to collect 421 F3F photos. I'll troll through them later today to see if I can find anything. Many of the photos I have probably came from Wikimedia Commons Category:Grumman F3F. That's a good source of photos, as they're usually well identified. Ginter didn't go an NF Series book on the F3Fs.

 

HTH

-- 

dnl

Edited by dnl42

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3 hours ago, dnl42 said:

Ginter didn't go an NF Series book on the F3Fs.

 

I believe one is in the works..... F2F + F3F.  Will be the definitive reference for sure.

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1 hour ago, Roger Holden said:

I believe one is in the works..... F2F + F3F.  Will be the definitive reference for sure.

Woohoo!!!!

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12 hours ago, Duncan B said:

It turns out that this particular aircraft had a small winged turtle badge in white on the top of the fin which I will need to make if I can find a decent image of it to replicate.

Does this look like the image you've seen ? 

pcqzUaM.jpg

If so the article was in this magazine ? 

v2hwY4N.jpg

 

I will keep looking for a better image. 

 

Dennis

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Yep, that’s it. 

IMG_4850-600x428.jpg

If you zoom in it’s above the BuNo on the fin.

 

Thanks for all the info Folks, I am a newbie to this particular era so it’s all appreciated. 

 

Duncan B

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7 hours ago, Toryu said:

Hi Duncan,

 

The little turtle means that the plane has flown over the equator. I don't know that photo but often you can isolate a specific emblem via Photoshop and print it in the right scale (as long as it's not distorted in the picture). The turtle should also be displayed by many other aircraft of the period, so maybe you can find a decal sheet that includes it.

My Marine F3F-2 also has the black walkways extending up the wing root. Only 25% of the strut painted? Sounds to me like a shadow was cast.

Are you sure the excellence category is 'N' not 'M'? I have never heard about excellence in navigation - but who knows?

 

Cheers, Michael

Ah so that’s what the turtle is for, I thought it might have been a zap from another Unit. 

It could be an ‘M’ beside the ‘E’.

I have also wondered if it is a shadow on the strut so would appreciate any input into that.

 

All excellent stuff and I am grateful for all the replies. 

 

Duncan B

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Hello @Duncan B just in from Fine scale modeller they're doing a 4 part series on US Naval aviation colors and markings. Starting with interwar markings. Theres is a color chart with different paint brands for comparison as well. Dont know if you have access to FSM ? Let me know and i can try to photograph some of the info ?

 

Dennis 

 

edit: here are my thoughts on the strut. I feel it is painted. If you look at a close-up of your photo.

inZnplH.png

The color matches the horizontal stab. It gets darker in the shadowbut matches the lower color. In this photo ⬇️ in my opinion we can see they're clearly painted to match on the planes. The darker color passes over the aluminum in the background and there isnt shadow on these. 

9amtihq.jpg

 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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I found 2 examples of the turtle on Wikimedia commons:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grumman_F3F-1_(0253)_4-F-10_(12865620035).jpg

320px-Grumman_F3F-1_(0253)_4-F-10_(12865

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grumman_F3F-2_(0998)_6-F-13_(5797161114).jpg

320px-Grumman_F3F-2_(0998)_6-F-13_(57971

Edit: Just noticed you already found the 2nd image. :)

Edited by dnl42

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10 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Hello @Duncan B just in from Fine scale modeller they're doing a 4 part series on US Naval aviation colors and markings. Starting with interwar markings. Theres is a color chart with different paint brands for comparison as well. Dont know if you have access to FSM ? Let me know and i can try to photograph some of the info ?

 

Dennis 

 

edit: here are my thoughts on the strut. I feel it is painted. If you look at a close-up of your photo.

inZnplH.png

The color matches the horizontal stab. It gets darker in the shadowbut matches the lower color. In this photo ⬇️ in my opinion we can see they're clearly painted to match on the planes. The darker color passes over the aluminum in the background and there isnt shadow on these. 

 

 

Yes, I think you are correct about the strut being 100% painted. The more I look the more obvious it's a shadow at the top which includes a shadow of the aerial wire too.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the FSM series, I will have to track them down.

 

Duncan B

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Now that I see the picture, it's definitely a shadow on that strut. The sun is coming from the upper right side and casts a shadow of the rudder tip on the strut. The shadow continues on the root of the horizontal stabilizer. The small band in the middle of the strut is the shadow of the antenna tensioning wire. I tried to reproduce the light situation on my model below (Aeroclub 1/48 vacuform model of 1-MF-1).

On 6-F-13 the complete tail and strut are True Blue with respective light and shade variations on the photo.

Michael

 

44369782420_2e71975545_z.jpg

 

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13 hours ago, Toryu said:

Now that I see the picture, it's definitely a shadow on that strut. The sun is coming from the upper right side and casts a shadow of the rudder tip on the strut. The shadow continues on the root of the horizontal stabilizer. The small band in the middle of the strut is the shadow of the antenna tensioning wire. I tried to reproduce the light situation on my model below (Aeroclub 1/48 vacuform model of 1-MF-1).

On 6-F-13 the complete tail and strut are True Blue with respective light and shade variations on the photo.

Michael

 

44369782420_2e71975545_z.jpg

 

You’ve done a great job on replicating the shadow, I’m convinced you are correct. 

Thanks for going to that effort. 

 

Duncan B

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The white E outlined in black is for Battle Efficiency. Earned by demonstrating wafighting capabilities during annual training exercies. Back then it would have included accuracy in hitting a towed target with their guns as well as accuracy in hitting a ground target with their bombs under various mission sets. 

 

Im not familiar with use of the N, because navigation was (is) a fairly critical skill for survival at sea. 

 

M usually means maintenance and is usually black (keeping aircraft up & ready for combat). S is for safety and is usually green in color and is achieved with no accidents (rare back then). 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Greenshirt said:

M usually means maintenance and is usually black (keeping aircraft up & ready for combat).

 

According to 'The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide' Vol.1 by John Elliot p.176, 'M' stands for individual gunnery efficiency (M = machine gun). Not to be confused with the unit efficiency penant where 'G' stands for gunnery.

Consequently 'M' is the most widely seen symbol on fighters. During the thirties only 'B', 'M' and 'T' were awarded. There was a separate 'C' symbol for communication - not as an extension but instead of the 'E'.

Edited by Toryu

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1 hour ago, Toryu said:

According to 'The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide' Vol.1 by John Elliot p.176, 'M' stands for individual gunnery efficiency (M = machine gun). Not to be confused with the unit efficiency penant where 'G' stands for gunnery.

Consequently 'M' is the most widely seen symbol on fighters. During the thirties only 'B', 'M' and 'T' were awarded. There was a separate 'C' symbol for communication - not as an extension but instead of the 'E'.

I find that odd but other than my experience in the 80s in USN carrier squadrons I can’t refute Elliott. 

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There is a new Ginter book in the works....on the F2F and F3F.  Also another on the F4B

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On 1/13/2019 at 5:30 PM, ltdann said:

There is a new Ginter book in the works....on the F2F and F3F.  Also another on the F4B

Hey there, welcome aboard!

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Here is the history of 0998:

02/09/38   AirBatFor NAS Norfolk
02/10/38   VF-6
12/14/38   Forced landing, NAS Norfolk Pilot Tomamichel
08/11/39   AirBatFor San Diego
10/19/39   VMF-2
01/20/40   Landing mishap, USS Yorktown Pilot E W Seeds
02/23/40   Landing mishap, USS Yorktown Pilot Floyd Parks
06/10/40   VF-6
02/27/41   AirBatFor NAS San Diego
03/03/41   NAS Miami
03/10/41   AirBatFor NAS San Diego
03/10/41   VF-6
04/14/41   AirBatFor NAS San Diego
04/16/41   NAS Miami
08/01/42   NAS Corpus Christi
12/30/42   NRAB Norman, OK
05/23/43   Stricken
 

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On 2/14/2019 at 3:01 AM, ltdann said:

Here is the history of 0998:

02/09/38   AirBatFor NAS Norfolk
02/10/38   VF-6
12/14/38   Forced landing, NAS Norfolk Pilot Tomamichel
08/11/39   AirBatFor San Diego
10/19/39   VMF-2
01/20/40   Landing mishap, USS Yorktown Pilot E W Seeds
02/23/40   Landing mishap, USS Yorktown Pilot Floyd Parks
06/10/40   VF-6
02/27/41   AirBatFor NAS San Diego
03/03/41   NAS Miami
03/10/41   AirBatFor NAS San Diego
03/10/41   VF-6
04/14/41   AirBatFor NAS San Diego
04/16/41   NAS Miami
08/01/42   NAS Corpus Christi
12/30/42   NRAB Norman, OK
05/23/43   Stricken
 

Thanks for that info, very interesting life it led.

 

Duncan B

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