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MarkH206

Revell Halifax Mk II - I'm stuck on which bits to use

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I'm building (well just scratching my head really) a 77 squadron Halifax Mk II from January '44 at RAF Elvington and have been trying to figure out the options in the Revell kit.  I have a few period photos but they are not clear enough and I'm pretty ignorant on the Halifax in general so any help much appreciated. 

 

I've worked out some of the options from searching here (and elsewhere) but I have not been able to find out if these parts are suitable for my build:

- what is part 123 in step 92; some sort of aerial ?

- parts 152, 153 and 154 look like fuel dump pipes like on the Wimpy - were they phased in/out at some point?

- exhausts! exhausts! My photos don't help at all.

- what is part 124 behind the tail wheel (is that a winch?)

- and part 125 at the rear behind the rear turret

 

I've got an AML resin set of replacement radiators, spinners and props and the Revell (Eduard) p.e. set.

thanks

Mark

 

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Fuel dump pipes were phased out by 1944.  I don't have the instruction sheet immediately to hand (I'll try digging it out later) but I suspect that part 124 will be not needed.  I strongly suspect that you will need the "saxaphone" type exhausts.  Could Part 125 be a Monica aerial - I can't think of anything else that fits behind the rear turret.  Keep it (probably).  The tailwheel was fixed down - the Revell main and tail wheels are too small anyway.  While you are at it remove (or don't fit) the seat for the flight engineer behind the pilot.

 

January 1944 is an awkward time to make comments about because there were a lot of changes going on and a wide variety of fits were possible and even seen on different aircraft in the same squadron at the same time.  Despite this, if you can say which aircraft you are making that might help.   Are you doing a series 1a engine with the smooth radiators or a Series 1(Special) with the lumpy ones?  Does your aircraft have the Tempsford nose (not provided in the Mk.II kit but is in the Mk.III which didn't have it, but that's typical of this kit) or the later revised nose?  Similarly triangular fins or square ones?

  

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25 minutes ago, MarkH206 said:

 

- what is part 123 in step 92; some sort of aerial ?

- parts 152, 153 and 154 look like fuel dump pipes like on the Wimpy - were they phased in/out at some point?

- exhausts! exhausts! My photos don't help at all.

- what is part 124 behind the tail wheel (is that a winch?)

- and part 125 at the rear behind the rear turret

 

 

 

- Part 123 is a handrail that was fitted to the upper fuselage between the two escape hatches. Not on later aircraft.

- Parts 152, 153 & 154 are fuel dump pipes. Again, not fitted to later aircraft, but you need to check photos to be sure which one had them or didn't.

- Can't really help with the exhaust pipes without a photo of at least one engine cowling. I'd say the saxophone style is most likely. Be careful with Revell's instruction!

     They would have you fit those exhausts with the horn on the lower side. the horn should be on the upper side.

- Part 124 is the hitching point for glider towing. Definitely NOT fitted to bomber aircraft.

- Part 125 is the Monica radar warning aerial.

 

 

 

Chris

 

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That's great - thanks to both Graham and Chris.  Unfortunately I only have generic pics of 77 sqn Halifax's for roughly the right period so am using educated guesswork for my plane (LK730  KN - G) which was one of four lost on a mission to Magdeburg, Germany on 21st Jan '44.  I think that means triangular fins and the noses look like that provided in the kit. 

 

This pic comes from the 77 Squadron Association and is captioned HR723 KN - M November 1943.  Clear view of the exhaust  - I'm tempted to use this as a basis

 

sS76UWKl.jpg

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Posted (edited)

The larger fins were fitted to Bomber Command aircraft between November 1943 and March 1944.  I've no idea of the sequence in which the squadrons were visited by the modification party.  They will have appeared on production aircraft in late 1943.

 

Those are what we term saxophone exhausts, or at least one variety thereof.

 

LK730 is listed as being a Mk.V, which means a different undercarriage (a Dowty levered undercarriage not the Messier example shown above).  This is provided in the kit but not identified,  The aircraft will have been delivered not long before its loss, which I would suspect means large fins.  

 

I recommend asking your local library to get you a copy of Ken Merrick's "Handley Page Halifax:From Hell to Victory and Beyond"  There's a very useful picture of LK640 on page 62, looking very like HR723 above other than the undercarriage.  You can't see the fins on that one either.

Edited by Graham Boak

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20 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

LK730 is listed as being a Mk.V, which means a different undercarriage (a Dowty levered undercarriage not the Messier example shown above).  This is provided in the kit but not identified,  The aircraft will have been delivered not long before its loss, which I would suspect means large fins.  

 

I recommend asking your local library to get you a copy of Ken Merrick's "Handley Page Halifax:From Hell to Victory and Beyond"  There's a very useful picture of LK640 on page 62, looking very like HR723 above other than the undercarriage.  You can't see the fins on that one either.

That's interesting - and slightly depressing at the same time.  I had checked the squadron ORB for Jan '44 which shows LK730 as a Mk II. Would you say your ref is a better bet for the Mk than the ORB?

 

Thanks for the suggestion for the book.

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It is listed as such in three separate books that I have looked at.  One is the reference above, probably the best book on the Halifax; the second is Air Britain's The Halifax File, which lists the service history of each individual aircraft - the loss details agree with your comment above; and the third is Bomber Squadrons of the RAF, which under 77 Sq lists LK730 as a Mk.V KN.G.  The squadron was operating a mix of Mk.IIs and Mk.Vs at the time.  Built by Fairey, as a matter or interest.  I don't think that there can be any doubt.

 

The Dowty undercarriage was introduced because Messier couldn't produce enough of their undercarriage, which was a forging requiring what were scarce skills and workshops.  It turned out to be slightly weaker, so the Mk.Vs were limited in maximum take-off weight.  This might lead to some differentiation in allocations within the unit for specific raids, but often not.  In all other matters they were just like the Mk.II.  I haven't looked at using the Mk.V undercarriage parts in the kit (it's a bit buried under other boxes at the moment whilst my modelling room gets a new ceiling) but I have no reason to suspect that it won't be a simple substitution.

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For the Dowty undercarriage, use Part # 211. It's only shown in the B.III instructions:

 

40442041013_8d07798692_b.jpg

 

 

Chris

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A MkV with Hercules engines.... who knew.  Yet another great bafflement of Revell's Halifaxes, that they put both undercarriages in the Merlin engine boxing, but mention the MkV only in the Hercules engine one.  Isn't the 'Z nose' only in the Hercules boxing too?

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Thanks chaps- that's great info. So I've now got LK730 as a Mk V (which I now understand to be broadly similar to the Mk II - maybe whoever compiled the ORB wasn't bothered by the differences).

 

This means: 

- rectangular tail fins

- Dowty undercarriage 

- the nose in the kit (please don't tell me I might need to find a different one!)

- saxophone exhausts (?)

 

I'm now confusing myself with turrets so there might be another daft question.

Thanks again for the help.

Mark

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Posted (edited)

Yes, the Mk.III kit did provide the Tempsford or Z nose..  If you look further you'll find evidence of planned wing bomb bays.  It seems that the contracted toolmaker got out of hand and had to be reeled in, making the resulting kits something of a mish-mash.  Perhaps that explains why the kit does at least provide an excess of turrets, so some for the spares box - or Hudson kits.  None of which would matter too much had he not made such a mess of the engines.

 

I would also add that Halifaxes carried the lighter bombs three across not two. which takes a little work on opening the outer bomb bay doors and adjusting the hinges to get three carriers across.  Fairly easily doable, but why?  I'd also round off the edges on the asymmetry immediately before the canopy, to make it look a little less as though a cheese slicer had been at it.  

 

The nose is right.  Not 100% sure about the rectangular fins but likely.  You want the four gun top turret.  (Boulton Paul Type A as on the Defiant.)

 

Besides, if you did the triangular fins with the refined nose it doesn't look right and someone would be bound to say "that was never done!"  Yes it was - but earlier in 1943.  Quite a lot must have been built like that.

Edited by Graham Boak
adding comment on triangular fins.

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Posted (edited)

There is a picture of LK735 on page 32 of Bruce Robertson's 'Halifax Special' ( do you have that to hand Graham?).  There are some interesting points.  The square window above and to the left of the navigator's (triangular) window appears to be retained.  At the time that the photograph was taken (guessing winter 44/45) it has rectangular fins and the late glazed nose.  Most interesting of all, its squadron mate in the background has the raised surround around the mid-upper turret (available from Freightdog). Saxophone exhausts.

 

Now to find another LK730-ish aircraft to look at the turrets...

 

 

Edited by Vicarage Vee

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Can go get it - Yes, that looks convincing and as these were withdrawn in February 1944 and the aircraft was built towards the end of 1943, I reckon that's very likely to be a close match  to LK730.  Playing devil's advocate, it still isn't proven 100% but ...  Note the lowered landing light under the wing.  Also note that this aircraft has the Merlin 22 engines with the smooth cowling.  So probably so too did LK730.  These are very much as good as production Merlin Halifaxes got.

 

Page 37 has a photo of KN.G but that's MZ987 in December 1944 (a round wing-tipped Mk.III built by Rootes).  For one moment there I was carried away.

 

The raised fairing for the dorsal turret was seen on earlier aircraft, for example DT serials.  I wouldn't expect it on such a late example.  

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Posted (edited)

The Halifax could carry 4 bombs across as well:

 

Bombs

 

Also note the Window chute.

 

Jari

Edited by Finn

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Posted (edited)

That surprises me.  There is a DVD from Flyingzone Publications which is a Halifax Mk.III manual giving approved bombloads - I do have it installed but it is refusing to run on my computer (I suspect a W10 compatibility) and I can't find what I did with the original.  It will reappear someday...  However, good luck trying to get 4 bombs across in the Revell kit - could these possibly be 250lb?

 

Presumably those bombs with exposed lugs are US bodies (I thought that the US ones were on the side) with dual lugs.

 

PS it is a CD-ROM not a DVD and won't run.  Now to search for an older computer.

OK, an old laptop (twice replaced) running XP... don't you just love computing?  None of the bomb stowage options in the manual suggest 4 across of anything.  The photos of an empty bay show triple carriage. So what are we seeing?  Could it be a twin carrier on the centreline?  or is it just a propaganda fix?

Edited by Graham Boak

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That, and the vertical stagger with the inboard ones lower.  I don't know of an official twin carrier, but it wouldn't be beyond the means of an EO/armourer to rig one up.  At least for a photo - but why bother unless it was real?

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Revell only has the lower bomb door as separate pieces that can be shown open. In reality, there were two doors that opened. Revell omitted the upper doors.

 

32471021607_0252f80dd7_b.jpg

 

 

The above image is from Aerodata International No.7.  Drawing by A. Granger.

 

 

Chris

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The upper doors are there, moulded integrally with the fuselage, but there is a groove inside for cutting through them to prop them open.  (Another planned feature that never got into the instruction sheet.)  You then just need to move the hinges for the inner doors outboard a little to allow 3 abreast bomb load.

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9 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Revell only has the lower bomb door as separate pieces that can be shown open. In reality, there were two doors that opened. Revell omitted the upper doors.

And you can have a whole lot of fun making your own 😃 if you are so inclined!

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Thanks Graham. I never noticed that. It's  been a while since I looked at my kits. Guess it'll be razor saw and Xacto blade time if/when I get to one of those.

 

 

 

Chris

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This is incredibly helpful - thanks to all.  After taking a deep breath I have actually started cutting plastic - so only three months to go (with a following wind).

 

I now realise I may have the wrong radiator/propeller set from AML - which states it is specifically for the Mk II and has Gallay radiators:

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/AMLA7241

 

AML also do one for the Mk V - with Morris Block radiators:

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/AMLA7244

 

Any advice?

 

Also any thoughts on whether the AML main wheels are better than the kit ones?

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/AMLA7239

 

Thanks

Mark

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Mk Vs do seem to typify the mix and match nature of Halifax modifications.  Looking at the picture of LK735, the port inner looks like it has a Gallay radiator. What do you think it looks like Graham?

 

The AML wheels cannot be worse than the kit ones.

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2 hours ago, Vicarage Vee said:

Mk Vs do seem to typify the mix and match nature of Halifax modifications.  Looking at the picture of LK735, the port inner looks like it has a Gallay radiator. What do you think it looks like Graham?

 

The AML wheels cannot be worse than the kit ones.

 

That's definitely a Galley radiator in that photo, but that aircraft also has the Messier undercarriage, not the Dowty type. Yes, the Mk.V Hally does seem to be a bit of a mish mash of mods, doesn't it?

 

 

Chris

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VV:  LK735 appears to have a matched set to me - both visible engines have Morris block radiators.  I would have said that these radiators meant Merlin 22 engines and different engines wouldn't be mixed on the same aircraft.  However Merrick claims that some Gallay radiator-ed aircraft had Merlin 22s... I presume he had some evidence for that.  Whether this meant that aircraft with Morris block radiators could have had Merlin XXs, I don't know but have some difficulty in understanding why.  Even so, aircraft with mixed engine combinations would still fly, just present more work for the pilot and flight engineer.  I doubt that it would be done, I've not seen any examples of it, but the bottom line is that it wasn't impossible.  The two marks of engine weren't that different.  So also you could have had mixed radiator combinations: never say never if it is possible but it is very unlikely.  (Stronger adjectives are not permitted on this site.)

 

Mark:  Regardless of AML's headings, the radiator fit is a function of time not Mark Number.  Early Mk.IIs and Mk.Vs had Gallays, late Mk.IIs and Mk.Vs had Morrises.  We do know that later on Coastal Command were pressing for more Merlin 22s because of the failure rates of their Merlin XXs (which were probably getting a bit old by then).  To me this implies that they were planning on upgrading their existing airframes, but as discussed above that may not be relevant to the external appearance.  (I bet it was a very strong hint.)  Without knowing when the Fairey production line switched engines/radiators, we can't say for sure that LK730 didn't have the early combination - although obviously finding a photo of an earlier Fairey serial with the later combination would pretty well close the matter to all but the most pedantic.

 

Re AML wheels:  I don't know because I haven't got them.  I do know that at least two companies were selling aftermarket wheels of the right size before AML, so there'd be little excuse for AML to pull the old trick of simply copying the kit wheels and selling them as in some way improved.  Assuming they would...but similar things have been done.  I don't think that the White Ensign wheels have been picked up by anyone, but maybe.  They also gave you a proper tailwheel - do AML?  Freightdog are still selling their mainwheels, and again I haven't bought their tyres but would trust them from experience with other offerings.

 

However:  I was about to add that if this bothered you, Mike Bowyer's book Bombing Colours includes a page of six Merlin Halifaxes seen at Middleton St George and Croft, each one being different in some way.  In April/May 1944 they all had Morris radiators, including LL175 - which is earlier but a Rootes-built example so not quite as informative as I hoped when I saw it!  (It and another example didn't have H2S, if you want something else to throw into the mix?  No?)

 

Chris:  We aren't looking at the same photo.  LK735 is in Halifax Special page 32, it quite definitely has Dowty undercarriage and Morris radiators.

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