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For anyone seeking photos of the FAA 808 Squadron during Operation Sunfish, this is a good selection of IWM Photos...

 

http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/ESCORT/Galleries/KHEDIVE_Gllery_2.htm

 

And this is the history of the carrier, HMS Khedive

http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/ESCORT/KHEDIVE.htm#.XYznr-f0lBw

 

This is an excellent photo of K 6J, the subject of the airforce kit, on deck, being loaded with RPs. Note: no bombs, although some photos show empty bomb racks and no belly tank. 

Indeed, note of the photos I've found show the belly tank in use, so I'm going to leave it off.  

 

Also, the photos show the white undersurface stripes continuing over the flaps and elevators, but not on the upper surfaces. Airfix show the white bands finishing at the wing edges, and not extending over the flaps and elevators.  Also the white fin band goes over the rudder, again not as suggested by Airfix. 

Some A/C show a white edge to the upper wing roundels, others do not. 

I'll believe the photos, I think. But more research is needed! 

808 Squadron was disbanded in 1945, but then resurrected as 808 Squadron, RAN and is still active. 

 

The detail of the bomb racks shows the Airfix parts leave something to be desired. A bit of scratch building here, I think,to make an empty rack. 

Or does anyone know of an after-market bomb rack?

 

Edited by 224 Peter
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Hey Peter 

 From those photos it looks like the FAA did use the British rockets. ...hmmm. Looks like your going to have to scrounge up some rockets and rails from an Airfix 1/24 Typhoon or Mosquito. Maybe check Ebay for the rail parts. You can use Master Model's rockets, there better any way.  Maybe someone on here can make a cast of the rail parts for you and cast them from resin? Just a thought.

Ron G 

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Brilliant idea, THANKS!! 

I have the 1/24th Typhoon... so as I plan to do a "Bombphoon" I can take the rockets and rails from that. 

The Hellcats in the photo have 4 rockets each side, the kit has 3... so new mounting holes anyway. 

 

 

Edited by 224 Peter
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Just got hold of this kit. Your build looks good. Do you think the kit undercarriage is man enough for the job? I had to switch to metal for the 24th Mosquito.

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27 minutes ago, Ratch said:

Just got hold of this kit. Your build looks good. Do you think the kit undercarriage is man enough for the job? I had to switch to metal for the 24th Mosquito.

It is well engineered, a large and positive locatingv area for the leg, but the complete kit is approaching 2lbs...so how long will it last?

Aerocraft are producing a set in brass: I've ordered them.  

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I filled in the belly tank locating holes, fitted RAF/FAA style bomb shackles and fitted rocket rails from the Typhoon, the spacing is exactly as on the Typhoon wing.

Neither rocket rails of bomb shackles will be fitted with armaments as the model is intended to show the A/C as it would be just after landing, ready for re-arming. I will fit the igniter tails from the back of the rails. 

 

I'm not sure if the rails are correct, they are the early style ones used on the Typhoon in 1943/44, but as it was early 44 when 808 Squadron arrived on the carrier from Belfast I'm guessing that the FAA, as ever, would get the hand me downs from the RAF. 

 

Still some work to do, re-painting parts of the underside and the ailerons, which came out a different shade from the wing and flaps: most odd. 

but progress is being made. 

I'm assuming the rocket rails would be sky but with the upper surface in-front of the wng the appropriate upper surface colour. Any suggestions, welcome! 

 

spacer.png

 

Talking about U/C legs, they can be seen bottom right. The flat "paddle" on the ends of the legs slots into the space at the L/E of the wheel bay. There is plenty of contact area and this is unlikely to break: there is also a diagonal brace. My concern is if the oleo part of the leg is strong enough to support the A/C. 

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2 minutes ago, Crankycraftsman said:

Hey Peter 

 I believe that they would have been painted sky, but the round part of the rails should be a silver/gunmetal color with the ends med dark grey.

Ron G 

thanks Ron! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A further update! 

 

Painting is essentially complete, a mix of airbrush and paint brush. 

 

Hellcat-121019.jpg

 

The next stage is to fix the cowling ring and panels in place, make sure everything lines up and then spray with gloss varnish, apply the transfers and seal in with matt varnish, before a bit of weathering. Photo references show that there was quite a bit of exhaust and hot air staining and the colours looked a bit "washed out", probably because the A/C spent most of the time on deck in the tropics. 

 

To try and compare tones in B&W photos with the model I did a bit of editing, this is the resulting photo.

 

spacer.png

 

Compared with this photo from the carrier deck it looks about right, although the white is, perhaps, a bit too strong.  the difference between grey and green, in B&W, is almost negligible. 

 

spacer.png

This photo is Copyright IWM. 

 

I'm still waiting for the Brass U/C legs from Aerocraft, it seems that they had some mould issues.  there is no hurry, the legs can go on last of all. 

 

 

Edited by 224 Peter
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Amazingly, all the cowl panels fit!

Held in place with blu-tac so I can mark the camouflage edges before painting.

 

 IMG_0044.jpg

 

The cooling gills are fixed, all the other parts are removable. 

 

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5 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

A further update! 

 

Painting is essentially complete, a mix of airbrush and paint brush. 

 

Hellcat-121019.jpg

 

The next stage is to fix the cowling ring and panels in place, make sure everything lines up and then spray with gloss varnish, apply the transfers and seal in with matt varnish, before a bit of weathering. Photo references show that there was quite a bit of exhaust and hot air staining and the colours looked a bit "washed out", probably because the A/C spent most of the time on deck in the tropics. 

 

To try and compare tones in B&W photos with the model I did a bit of editing, this is the resulting photo.

 

spacer.png

 

Compared with this photo from the carrier deck it looks about right, although the white is, perhaps, a bit too strong.  the difference between grey and green, in B&W, is almost negligible. 

 

spacer.png

This photo is Copyright IWM. 

 

I'm still waiting for the Brass U/C legs from Aerocraft, it seems that they had some mould issues.  there is no hurry, the legs can go on last of all. 

 

 

I think the white looks fine.  The difference, I think, is the sharpness of the image. Maybe fuzz it just a little?

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Just caught up with this. You’re doing a great job. A brave man using a hairy stick on some of that camo. Looking really nice though. So much detail straight out of the box. Would you see any need to add any extras you think? 
 

All the best.

John.

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10 hours ago, Crankycraftsman said:

Hey Peter 

 Just got a Gmail from Aerocraft that said he shipped me my stuff, so yours may be in the mail too.

Ron G 

Ditto! 

Good news. 

 

Peter

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10 hours ago, The Spadgent said:

Just caught up with this. You’re doing a great job. A brave man using a hairy stick on some of that camo. Looking really nice though. So much detail straight out of the box. Would you see any need to add any extras you think? 
 

All the best.

John.

I rattle can primed, airbrushed the sky and sea grey, also much of the interior green. The green I brush painted to get a hard camouflage line, then applied a light second coat with the airbrush, keeping away from the edges. This seems to soften the brush painted finish. Overall I'm pleased, though there is some touching up to do on the trailing edges: the B&W photo makes this very clear. 

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8 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

I rattle can primed, airbrushed the sky and sea grey, also much of the interior green. The green I brush painted to get a hard camouflage line, then applied a light second coat with the airbrush, keeping away from the edges. This seems to soften the brush painted finish. Overall I'm pleased, though there is some touching up to do on the trailing edges: the B&W photo makes this very clear. 

Interesting technique. Seems to have worked really well.  I do love the riveted skin detail that Airfix have got on this kit. You’re really doing it justice. 🤗

 

Johnny

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The skin detail was, I thought, overdone, but with a couple or three coats of paint it looks perfect. 

I'm reasonably satisfied, a few minor problems, I've broken off the longer wing gun barrels due to clumsy handling. It is a big, heavy model. So I guess I'll have to find some 1/24th 50 caliber brass barrels. Suggestions anyone?

 

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Hey Peter 

 You can use the 1/24 scale Master Model's brass/aluminum barrels for the P-47. I have them, you just need to mount the tips a little different then how they were on the P-47. I can't post a picture here, sorry. Let me try to explain. The P-47's tips are recessed in the aluminum piece and the Hellcats were not, if you get the Master barrels you will see what I mean. You will need a piece of Alum./Bass tube for the inner gun, as those are recessed into the wing.

Ron G 

Edited by Crankycraftsman
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1 hour ago, Crankycraftsman said:

Hey Peter 

 You can use the 1/24 scale Master Model's brass/aluminum barrels for the P-47. I have them, you just need to mount the tips a little different then how they were on the P-47. I can't post a picture here, sorry. Let me try to explain. The P-47's tips are recessed in the aluminum piece and the Hellcats were not, if you get the Master barrels you will see what I mean. You will need a piece of Alum./Bass tube for the inner gun, as those are recessed into the wing.

Ron G 

I had a look at the photos on the Master Models website and understand exactly what you mean. On the Hellcat there are only 3 per wing, one is completely recessed, so that will need recessing, one just protrudes and one sticks out. So I only have to find something to use as the barrel for the outer gun. 

Ordered from Hannants today, should be here for the weekend. 

 

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The Aerocraft brass undercarriage legs and wheel door set arrived, plus a pair of tyres that look like tyres. 

What can I say?  

They are works of art, the brake pipes re a delight. They fit perfectly, as do the doors, which are scale thickness. 

Most importantly they are solit and as cast brass, MUCH stronger than the plastic legs. 

 

I've finished painting the cowls, so the aircraft is ready for a coat of gloss varnish, prior to decals. It is beginning to look like a real aircraft. I'm happy. 

I estimate it will be ready for inspection in November!! 

 

 

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