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ragnarec

1/48 Mustang Mk I - No II (AC) Squadron

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Third 1/48 Mustang I in the group build if I'm correct!

 

I'm using AM's A-36 boxing as a starting point. Not the best option - I known - but I somehow became the owner of the kit many years ago, and as I have no particular interest in the A-36, the idea of converting it to a Mk I came up. I have pieced together some references during the years, and with the added aid of the vast knowledge of fellow britmodellers, it should be possible to make a reasonably accurate replica. 

 

The plan is to finish the model as an aircraft from II (AC) squadron. There were some Norwegians attached to the squadron during WW2, and I intend to finished the model as an aircraft flown by one of them. I have codes/serials in my pile of references somewhere, I think.

 

I guess the first thing I should do is to order the Ultracast conversion set. It will get me the correct armament for the wings, as well as a new propeller. The rest has to be done by me, like the narrow carburetor intake above the nose, the adjustable radiator intake under the central fuselage, the camera installation behind the seat. And possibly much more.

 

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Ragnar

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Good evening Ragnar

 Welcome aboard it is a very interesting build

Have fun

All the best

Patrice

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The current plan is to build XV-X, serial AM112. This plane was flown by the Norwegian pilot Lt. Anton C. Hagerup on several operations. He served with II (AC) squadron from October 1942 until May 1943. 

 

I think that I have read somewhere that the picture below, together with a lot of other II squadron Mustang pictures (some in colour), was taken during the summer of 1942, and that the squadron code XV was later removed. My question is then if I should omit the XV for an aircraft representing the period Hagerup served with the squadron? Anyone knows?

 

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Edited by ragnarec

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RAF Army Co-operation Command Squadrons operating the N.A. Mustang Mk.I, the direction to remove the Squadron identification code letters and only to retain aircraft individual identification letter, came into effect in November 1942.  It was introduced fairly quickly and uniformly.  The majority of the photos of the Mustang Mk.Is of No.II(AC) Squadron that are shown with the Squadron XV code letters in place were taken just after the Squadron took delivery of their Mustangs and the Squadron was visisted by Air Ministry/RAF Offical Photographers, newsreel crews and representatives of the press including Flight Magazine - article published in Flight Magazine in July 1942 issue was available as a download which includes additional photos.  That visit produced the great majority of the photos still in circulation today, as well as a newsreel "introducing" the Mustang, that is on the IWM website and that has been included in a number of documentaries made about the Mustang. 

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Note that if you're doing AM112, that's an NA-83, and probably has a "filter-shaped" intake atop the nose.  I'm not sure that Acc Min's A-36 is quite the right shape, but you wouldn't need to go back to the "straight" intake.

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2 hours ago, gingerbob said:

Note that if you're doing AM112, that's an NA-83, and probably has a "filter-shaped" intake atop the nose.  I'm not sure that Acc Min's A-36 is quite the right shape, but you wouldn't need to go back to the "straight" intake.

Ok, tanks. That is new info for me. I always believed that Mk I and IA (P-51) had the same, narrow intake duct, and that the broad duct came with the A-36 and subsequent versions (Mk II / P-51A).

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Test fitting of parts in the cockpit. The radio should be replaced by a TR9D unit i believe? Then I need to fabricate some seat armour. And finally a representation of the F24 camera with mounting. I am quite uncertain regarding how everything should look. I have found some pictures online, but it's often difficult to know the exact Mustang version they represent. Was the camera setup more or less the same on the Mk I, Mk 1A, Mk II, and F-6A/B?

 

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I've already removed the carburettor intake trunking, but that was possibly a mistake? The cut-off parts have been salvaged from the dustbin, and may be reattached. I have cut out the wing speed brakes, and plan to plug the holes with plastic card.

 

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 Ragnar

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Okay,

 

Go to the Imperial War Museum website and search for the following photos, "right click and save"

 

CH17401

CH17402

CH17406

CH17407

CH17411

CH17415 - shows right hand side view of fuselage near cockpit, rear side of early camera installation and the HF radio installation - No.II(AC) Sqdn Mustang Mk.I same photo session as timeframe you are interested in.

CH17416

 

FRE14837 - has HF radio installation showing through quarter window

FRE14835 - cockpit, camera installation, No.II(AC) Sqdn aircraft for timeframe you are interested in.

FRE11499

FRE14880

FRE14909

FRE14840

 

Those photos are typical for the early Mustangs with No.II(AC) Sqdn from mid to late 1942, especially the early style oblique camera installation with the port quarter window replaced with a sheet metal version with the 'funnel' cut out to accommodate and support the camera lens.  One of the photos is a close up of the carburettor intake trunking, you can see from that it is not as 'fat' as that on the A-36 or P-51A.  It is not as straight sided as the initial trunking on the AG serialled Mustang Mk.Is, but not as obviously 'swollen' as the A-36 and P-51A trunking - somewhere between the two.

 

The camera and radio installations developed over time, so by about mid 1943 the 'standard' had pretty well been set, with the installation on the Mustang Mk.I being pretty much standardised to the oblique camera with the lens pointing out through a cutout in the port quarter window and the VHF set.  That arrangement/installation then largely carried over - well over 90% the same to the oblique installation for the Mustang Mk.IA and then the Mk.II.  In the timeframe of the Mustang Mk.IA they started to do some variants and refinements on the oblique camera installation to make it more versatile and also to add the ability for the camera to point out either port or starboard, again carried over from Mk.IA to Mk.II and could be retrofitted to Mk.I - that's geting to late 1943 to early 1944 timeframe. 

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Thank you very much for additional information, @ColFord! I really appreciate that you take the time to give comprehensive answers to my "silly" questions. Some new (to me, at least) and some well known photos on the IWM site. The good thing is that it was possible to download many of them in high resolution. 

 

Regarding cockpit colours, the consensus seems to be Interior Green, with Bronze Green for the seat and some kind of dark green for the seat armour. I have an old pot of Humbrol 151, which is supposed to represent Interior Green, but I think it may be too bright? Any good paint matches for Interior Green and Bronze Green?

 

Ragnar 

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I believe that some seats were delivered by sub-contractors painted Dull Dark Green, a colour similar to Bronze Green I think. I use  Tamiya XF-26 Deep Green to represent DDG.

 

John

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4 hours ago, Biggles87 said:

I believe that some seats were delivered by sub-contractors painted Dull Dark Green, a colour similar to Bronze Green I think. I use  Tamiya XF-26 Deep Green to represent DDG.

Thanks for info! 

 

Regarding radio set, the radio shown in the picture below looks very much like what I believe is known as "wireless set no 19". This type of radio was used by the Army I think, and it makes sense that aircraft operated by Army Cooperation Command were equipped with such units. But this possibly old news? 

 

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Ragnar

 

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Yes, Wireless Set No.19, one of a number of different HF sets that were fitted to the RAF Mustang Mk.Is of Army Co-operation Command in 1942.  Set would likely have been fitted up until late second half of 1942, a hangover of the rado equipment they had been using in the Lysanders and then Tomahawks.  Given much of the activity in those early days was exercises with various Army commands and units, the provision of the No.19 set was one of the options at the time. There was also a set similar to the No.19 that was of Canadian manufacture that was trialled, but didn't provide any clear advantage over the No.19 set.  For those units that started operations over occupied Europe, then communication within the RAF control and command structure was more important, so that's when the TR.9D set went in, and then later the equivalent VHR set as being used by the mainstream Fighter Command units at the time.  It was an evolutionary thing. In the various ACC Mustang Squadron records, from arrival of the Mustangs until late 1942, there are lots of notations regarding various radio sets being swapped in and out depending on what the aircraft were being tasked to do.  There was on occasions a tone of exasperation about the changing back and forth of radio equipment and the additional work this was putting on Squadron ground crew - particularly where certain gear would be put in, then the Exercise would be called off at the last minute and the work of putting the previous radio gear back in would start anew.  By the end of 1942 the RAF command was taking a harder line and trying to standardise the equipment being fitted and used, and making sure that the ACC Mustang units could clearly communicate with other RAF aircraft and ground control in the sectors where they were based.

 

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On 19/01/2020 at 11:24, ColFord said:

Yes, Wireless Set No.19, one of a number of different HF sets that were fitted to the RAF Mustang Mk.Is of Army Co-operation Command in 1942.  Set would likely have been fitted up until late second half of 1942, a hangover of the rado equipment they had been using in the Lysanders and then Tomahawks.  Given much of the activity in those early days was exercises with various Army commands and units, the provision of the No.19 set was one of the options at the time. There was also a set similar to the No.19 that was of Canadian manufacture that was trialled, but didn't provide any clear advantage over the No.19 set.  For those units that started operations over occupied Europe, then communication within the RAF control and command structure was more important, so that's when the TR.9D set went in, and then later the equivalent VHR set as being used by the mainstream Fighter Command units at the time.  It was an evolutionary thing. In the various ACC Mustang Squadron records, from arrival of the Mustangs until late 1942, there are lots of notations regarding various radio sets being swapped in and out depending on what the aircraft were being tasked to do.  There was on occasions a tone of exasperation about the changing back and forth of radio equipment and the additional work this was putting on Squadron ground crew - particularly where certain gear would be put in, then the Exercise would be called off at the last minute and the work of putting the previous radio gear back in would start anew.  By the end of 1942 the RAF command was taking a harder line and trying to standardise the equipment being fitted and used, and making sure that the ACC Mustang units could clearly communicate with other RAF aircraft and ground control in the sectors where they were based.

I see. This means that by the time Hagerup served with the squadron, the no 19 set would likely have been replaced with a TR9D (or possibly a VHF unit?). 

 

Back to the cockpit colour. I have an article from RT/IPMS Canada by Bruce Archer about building the Mustang I, where the author states that "the basic colour of the interior is actually Dull Dark Green (DDG), and not Interior Green". Any comments about that statement? I thought "everyone" had agreed upon Interior Green??

 

Ragnar

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In the timeframe up until the end of 1942, more likely a TR9D, with some aircraft with a VHF unit, particularly those when engaged upon sorties over the Continent and not participating in joint exercises with the Army.  Early 1943 onwards more likely a VHF unit.

 

Cockpit colour is described as variously a "yellow-green" to a shade of medium green, which is consistent within variation for Interior Green.  Coaming over the instrument panel finished in either a dull dark green or matt/flat black.

 

 

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I've finally had time to start the actual building process. I've made a new opaque "window" for the port side by pushing the kit supplied clear window into some stock plastic sheet heated over a candle flame. I have ordered a new vacuum canopy, but it may take some time before it arrives. So I decided to make a new window for the starboard side from clear sheet using the same "heat & smash" method. The kit supplied window is thick and distorts the view inside. In the picture below, I have covered the new clear window with masking tape to prevent damaging during fit adjustments. 

 

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I have also done some historical research. I have download some ORB's for No. II squadron from IWM's website, and so far only found one case where Lt. Hagerup flew the Mustang over occupied territory. The date was January 3rd 1943. Hagerup, flying AM112, participated in a "Popular" mission together with Sgt. McLeod in AL972. The goal was to photograph the Dutch coast near Brouwershaven. The ORB states that "V.H.F. North Weald frequencies used". Which, as far as I can understand, means the aircraft must have been equipped with some sort of VHF radio gear. May be a TR 1143? Any better suggestions?

 

As I intend to build AM112 at a time when I have no photographic documentation, I need to resort to a bit of guesswork...

 

Ragnar

 

 

 

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At that stage, January 1943, most of the ACC Mustang squadrons located in the forward operational areas and flying operations over the continent, were "affiliated" with the local Fighter Command Sector station for the Sector they were based within, or the sector station that had coverage for the area that they would be operating into.  In this instance, No.II(AC) Squadron was based at Sawbridgeworth, within the North Weald Sector and so utilised that Sector's controllers.  So certainly would have been using VHF, and most likely TR1143 which was what was being used by FC Squadrons at the time.

 

In that timeframe the 'norm' would be Day Fighter Scheme camouflage with later national markings with reduced white and yellow segments, sky propeller spinner and rear fuselage id band, yellow leading edge id strip from armament position outwards, no squadron codes, only individual aircraft id letter in sky usually aft of the fuselage roundel.  May have had, under the nose of the aircraft, between the nose 0.50 muzzles and below the gun camera window if a NA-83 Mustang Mk.I, small black circle with aircraft id letter in white.  So pretty much as it appearred in the photos from July 1942, without the Squadron codes, may have been looking a little scruffy by that time, especially wear around wing roots forward and aft of the cockpit and around the rear quarter window areas from where ground crew would be accessing the oblique camera equipment and radio equipment.

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The opening for the camera lens has been made. The funnel was made by making a male plug from plastic sheet and then heat-&-smash mould the funnel over the plug.

 

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Ragnar

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You're displaying great modelling techniques here. How are you getting the windows clear again?

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11 hours ago, Toryu said:

You're displaying great modelling techniques here. How are you getting the windows clear again?

On "my" aircraft, the port side window was replaced by solid sheet metal with hole/funnel for the camera lens. So it is not supposed to be clear.  (On many aircraft, this solution was later discarded in favour of clear perspex with a hole.)

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The Utracast conversion arrived today! So now it's soon time to cut up the wings. But first thing to do will be filling in all panel lines and rescribing new gun access covers. And open up new shell ejection chutes under the wing.

 

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Ragnar

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Lovely work on that camera.

 

AW

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The whole installation looks excellent. It’s a pity that not much of it will be seen when everything’s together, still we know it’s there.

 

John

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