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Vildebeest bombs again


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A week or so ago I asked if the Valom Vildebeest kit cames with bombs; OK it doesn't.

But the Valom Vincent kit does - four racks and bombs under each wing, So if you want a Vildebeest bomber, use the Vincent kit. ( It            even comes with a torpedo (no rack tho'- but's not too hard to scratch bu      ild) It seems that Vildebeest didn't carry both bombs and the torpedo rack.

 

As to Vildebeest torpedo attacks I concur that only at Kota Bharu on 7th December  did vildebbest use torpedos during the Malayan campaign, but I've read somewhere that the few surviving Vildebeests carried torpedos with them when they evacuated to Java, and seemingly carried out torpedo attacks on Japanese invasion convoys as they neared Java.

Now colours; YEARS ago when I built the Contrail Vac-form Vildebeest, I gave it Dk earth/Dk Green upersurfaces with Lt Earth/Lt Green shadow-shading, over Lt blue Undersides (probably the same blue seen on the colour Blenheim pics) and have never seen pics to contradict this. This was after all the official RAF camo scheme drawing for the VB.

Black undersides? Hmmmm, yes- that makes sense, they were used as night bombers after all,  But none of  the Malayan Vildebeest pics I have show this conclusively. it could just be the very bright Malayan sun leaving very dark shadows underthe wings

One last point - the only two pic I have a VBs captured by the  Japenese, possibly in Java, both show light-coloured undersides, both have torpedo racks and neither has wheel spats. (Both are from more-or-less 'head on', so neither show any seials or codes.)

 

I hope m ramblings here don't bore too many people!                           

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Actually I have almost finished Vildebeest, even with ready riging, which is just waiting for solving problems you have touched: armament of Singapore ones and colour of undersurfaces...

Regards

J-W

 

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12 hours ago, JohnMacG said:

 But none of  the Malayan Vildebeest pics I have show this conclusively. it could just be the very bright Malayan sun leaving very dark shadows under the wings

I think this picture (Post 112 on that thread) does not show shadows but in fact a Night undersurface. Most likely the wheel spats are Night too.

https://photobucket.com/gallery/user/erussell2000/media/cGF0aDovdmlsZGViZWVzdF9hcC5qcGc=/?ref=

 

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Not convinced.  The link takes me to an photo showing the aircraft with covers on the upper fuselage (not just around the cockpit) and a disruptive camouflage on the sides of the fuselage.  It was taken on ortho film where the yellow of the outer roundel comes out as very dark - as does the red in the roundel and in the Dark Earth part of the camouflage.  It is perhaps worth checking that this  is the DE part not the DG!  I don't think that it gives any guide to the underside.  Is this really the photo you intended to link to?

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I suppose the question is what colour does Night appear on ortho film and do Sky, Sky Grey, light grey, dark grey, Aluminium, Azure  or any blue look the same.  I don't think anyone would argue for red or yellow undersides.

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I agree with Alan that the photo of K4167 shows black undersides with Type A roundels.  Another similar photo posted on RNZAF Proboards seemed to show an aircraft with black undersides but without roundels.  It should be noted that these photos were taken prior to May 1940 as evidenced by the lack of a fin flash and no yellow surround to the fuselage roundel.  I also have a photo of a Vildebeest in Ceylon with black undersides (Ceylon being in the same Command as the Singapore-based Vildebeests).  

 

For most of their combat operations, the Vildebeests operated at night so it would make sense for them to retain black undersides.  In addition, Dark Green, Dark Earth upper surfaces with black undersides were the standard camouflage for bombers in Far East Command, at least that's how most Far East Blenheims were painted in late-1941.  The primary exception was 27 Sqn which was a fighter unit, although a few reinforcement airframes apparently retained desert camouflage. 

 

So far so good...but, as always, there's a fly in the ointment.  There are at least 2 photos of captured Vildebeests on Java showing light-toned undersides without underwing roundels.  Given that the Endau Raid took place in daylight, it's possible that aircraft undersurfaces were given a quick overspray of (possibly) pale blue which might account for these light-toned undersides (with lack of time to mask national markings explaining the lack of roundels under the wings of the captured airframes).  However, this is just conjecture with no solid evidence to suggest it's correct.  Equally, we have no positive info about when the change was made from black to light (perhaps pale blue?) undersides. 

 

That's about as much info as, collectively, we've been able to amass about Vildebeest undersides.  

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8 hours ago, LDSModeller said:

Close up shot

Close up of Vildebeest

Besides colours on this photo interesting is gunner position showing later Fairey spport for gun, not the WWI style mounting.

2 hours ago, mhaselden said:

So far so good...but, as always, there's a fly in the ointment.  There are at least 2 photos of captured Vildebeests on Java showing light-toned undersides without underwing roundels.  Given that the Endau Raid took place in daylight, it's possible that aircraft undersurfaces were given a quick overspray of (possibly) pale blue which might account for these light-toned undersides (with lack of time to mask national markings explaining the lack of roundels under the wings of the captured airframes).  However, this is just conjecture with no solid evidence to suggest it's correct.  Equally, we have no positive info about when the change was made from black to light (perhaps pale blue?) undersides. 

Indeed, so trying to conclude: it is sure that in 1940 some (all?) Vildebeest based in Malaya have Night at bottom surfaces and after collaps of Singapore escaped to India/Ceylon machines reveal light undersides. But we dont know if re-paint happend still in Malaya or already after escape? I've heard that there are some photos taken by Japanes of overtaken ildebeest - is there any chance to see something about the bottom colour from them?

The photo given by Ed with Vildebees (with Night undersurface I think) shows rather no torpedo but Vincent type fuel tank under belly? Am I right?

Cheers

J-W

 

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Java not India/Ceylon as they are considerably too far.   It is very unlikely that anyone bothered to repaint undersides during the retreat.  However at much the same time Blenheim units in the UK were operating aircraft with a mix of ones having Night or light undersides.

 

Alternatively, the RAF did have an easily removed black distemper for night operations.  There could well have been stocks of this at Singapore.

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Not sure the distemper would apply for the pre-May 1940 photos.  The pics were probably taken during routine torpedo training rather than a specific exercise.  Also, Far East Command didn't do a lot of night flying in large part because very few airfields were night-capable (after rain, many turned into quagmires, which makes night landings entertaining bordering on lethal).

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  • 1 year later...

Just found this. Looks like light colors on wheel spats and their struts

Source

http://aviadejavu.ru/Site/Arts/Art9794.htm

 

Quote

The RAF's first operational use of the Albacore was in Malaya when a few were used alongside the Vildebeeste of 36 Squadron. One of these lies derelict in Singapore, a mute testimony to that ill-fated campaign.

54-2.jpg

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13 hours ago, TISO said:

Just found this. Looks like light colors on wheel spats and their struts

Source

http://aviadejavu.ru/Site/Arts/Art9794.htm

 

54-2.jpg

 

Thanks for sharing that interesting image.  Unfortunately, the quality is so bad that it's really hard to draw definite conclusions from it, except that it clearly has a large flash occupying the entirety of the fin, and that it's a 36 Sqn machine.  It's even difficult to tell whether the underside of the upper wing is black or a light-toned shade. 

 

Certainly the wheel spats appear lighter than the metal parts of the fuselage but, again, it's not clear we can draw any really tangible conclusions from it.  Perhaps we're seeing Light Earth/Light Green as per the shadow compensation scheme?  

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