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Tail-Dragon

Blenheim Mk IV Coastal Command question

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I'm working on the Classic Airframes Blenheim Mk IV, to be finished as a 404 Squadron machine, Coastal Command.  I think I have identified all the changes I believe I need to make as follows ...

- The bulged side windows,

- The rear view mirror for the pilot,

- The small oval windows behind the canopy,

- The flame hiding 'hedgehog' exhaust,

- The twin .30 cal. Browning machine guns in the turret,

- The unusual blast plate ahead of the gun pack, and,

- The non standard gun pack.

I do have a couple of questions for those who might know, though.

Have I missed any changes that I still have to make, and, what is the significance and the color of the semi-circular dark marking on the landing gear doors above the main wheel. It appears in all the photo's of 404 Squadrons Blenheim's.  Does the marking continue onto the wing or nacelle?

 

I hope someone may know, and thanks for your help, in advance.

 

Colin

 

Image5

 

Edited by Tail-Dragon
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I think the dark mark is actually just shadow. Notice how it continues across the tyre as well?

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2 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:

I think the dark mark is actually just shadow. Notice how it continues across the tyre as well?

No, it doesn't appear to be shadow, a shadow IS there, but it falls half way up the dark marking. The dark mark appears in all photo's of 404's aircraft doors.

 

Image9g

 

 

Image3

 

 

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In which case, I am wrong, and haven’t a clue! :bye:

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Before the 404 Squadron site disappeared, I downloaded some of the photos that were there. Colin, you may already have these, but I'll post them here, anyways.

 

49430110408_5a7afa9de1_b.jpg

 

49430810357_ea2fe1f9b3_b.jpg

 

49430110518_f2587d6400_b.jpg

 

49430810377_b9da1eafe9_b.jpg

 

49430810442_68fb3dba75_b.jpg

 

49430110588_2f2a4d6a00_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

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That is a very strange marking on the undercart fairing doors; the only thing I can think of is maybe they are in flight colors as an  aid in groundspotting each flight's aircraft for the erks?

Mike

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4 hours ago, Tail-Dragon said:

I'm working on the Classic Airframes Blenheim Mk IV, to be finished as a 404 Squadron machine, Coastal Command.  I think I have identified all the changes I believe I need to make as follows ...

- The bulged side windows,

- The rear view mirror for the pilot,

- The small oval windows behind the canopy,

- The flame hiding 'hedgehog' exhaust,

- The twin .30 cal. Browning machine guns in the turret,

- The unusual blast plate ahead of the gun pack, and,

- The non standard gun pack.

I do have a couple of questions for those who might know, though.

Have I missed any changes that I still have to make, and, what is the significance and the color of the semi-circular dark marking on the landing gear doors above the main wheel. It appears in all the photo's of 404 Squadrons Blenheim's.  Does the marking continue onto the wing or nacelle?

 

I hope someone may know, and thanks for your help, in advance.

 

Colin

 

Image5

 

The Gunpack is of the type used on Mk IV.  the Mk I gunpack was different., much shallower. The blast plate was  used with the Mk I type but as  the gunpacks were interchangable between marks  so Mk IV was seen with blast plates. 

 

Selwyn

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3 hours ago, Selwyn said:

The Gunpack is of the type used on Mk IV.  the Mk I gunpack was different., much shallower. The blast plate was  used with the Mk I type but as  the gunpacks were interchangable between marks  so Mk IV was seen with blast plates. 

 

Selwyn

The problem is, that gun pack does not resemble the drawings of the  Mk IV.f gun pack in the Squadron books ...

(see   https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/1-48-bristol-blenheim-mk-iv-defense-of-britain-atlantic.43917/page-3  )

 … nor the gun pack that is included with the Classic Airframes kit (which is the same style as the Squadron drawings).

 

This one has a smoothly curved upper edge blending into the fuselage, and a rounded lower edge. The drawings and kit parts have a distinct, sharp edged, double box look with  2 different angles on the front plate.  It also lacks the 2 bulges on the sides.  It also does not correspond to the Mk I.f type.

 

As to the blast plate, I've not been able to find any drawings or photo's of a Mk 1.f with a blast plate, and one is not included with the Airfix Mk 1.f kit. The blast plate does not appear to have been consistently fitted to all the Mk IV.f's, either!

 

I'm left wondering if there were multiple different attempts at fitting ventral guns to the Mk IV.f, and Squadron and Classic Airframes decided to show only the one.

 

Oh, bother!

 

 

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7 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Before the 404 Squadron site disappeared, I downloaded some of the photos that were there. Colin, you may already have these, but I'll post them here, anyways.

Chris

Thanks very much, those are excellent photo's and have been saved!

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19 hours ago, Tail-Dragon said:

The problem is, that gun pack does not resemble the drawings of the  Mk IV.f gun pack in the Squadron books ...

(see   https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/1-48-bristol-blenheim-mk-iv-defense-of-britain-atlantic.43917/page-3  )

 … nor the gun pack that is included with the Classic Airframes kit (which is the same style as the Squadron drawings).

 

This one has a smoothly curved upper edge blending into the fuselage, and a rounded lower edge. The drawings and kit parts have a distinct, sharp edged, double box look with  2 different angles on the front plate.  It also lacks the 2 bulges on the sides.  It also does not correspond to the Mk I.f type.

 

As to the blast plate, I've not been able to find any drawings or photo's of a Mk 1.f with a blast plate, and one is not included with the Airfix Mk 1.f kit. The blast plate does not appear to have been consistently fitted to all the Mk IV.f's, either!

 

I'm left wondering if there were multiple different attempts at fitting ventral guns to the Mk IV.f, and Squadron and Classic Airframes decided to show only the one.

 

Oh, bother!

 

 

Zoom in on aircraft "U" on the left  in this image https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205229851 it has a blast plate fitted if you look carefully. The plates were I think an add on when skin damage became apparent  The deeper gunpack took the guns further away from the skin to prevent  this.

 

If the squadron book drawing does not match the aircraft  images then they are wrong!

 

Selwyn 

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Thanks!  Excellent photo, I'd never seen the blast plate on anything but the 404 Squadron Mk IV.f's before. 

The only reference I'd had for the Mk IV gun packs was the Squadron book and the Classic Airframes kit, I guess Squadron got it badly wrong, and Classics copied the mistake.  Apart from the photo's above, you wouldn't happen to have any reference's or drawings for the correct gun pack, would you? I'm sort of set on doing a pair, 404's Blenheim and their later Beaufighter side by side, and the Blenheim is hard to find info on!

 Things would be much easier if only Airfix would release a 1/48 Mk IV.f to go along with their excellent Mk I!

 

Thanks,

Colin

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37 minutes ago, Tail-Dragon said:

Thanks!  Excellent photo, I'd never seen the blast plate on anything but the 404 Squadron Mk IV.f's before. 

The only reference I'd had for the Mk IV gun packs was the Squadron book and the Classic Airframes kit, I guess Squadron got it badly wrong, and Classics copied the mistake.  Apart from the photo's above, you wouldn't happen to have any reference's or drawings for the correct gun pack, would you? I'm sort of set on doing a pair, 404's Blenheim and their later Beaufighter side by side, and the Blenheim is hard to find info on!

 Things would be much easier if only Airfix would release a 1/48 Mk IV.f to go along with their excellent Mk I!

 

Thanks,

Colin

 

All I have on Mk.IVF gun pack drawings. There may be better out there, but I haven't come across them yet.

 

49439783672_c4033e3a5c_c.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, dogsbody said:

 

All I have on Mk.IVF gun pack drawings. There may be better out there, but I haven't come across them yet.

Chris

Thanks very much, those are exactly what I needed!  Finding clear info on the Mk IV.f gun pack was very difficult, and it shows how very, very wrong both Squadron and Classic Airframes got it!

 

Much appreciation to both you (for the drawings and the excellent photo's) and Selwyn (for the clarification and photo) for the help.

 

Colin

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Hi

    What it needs is for a greek member to photograph and measure this

   might be the only existing raf blenheim IVf  gun pack ? 

 

 

http://www.ww2wrecks.com/portfolio/found-salvaged-and-preserved-a-blenheim-shot-down-in-crete-by-friendly-fire-on-april-28-1941/

 

 

or maybe when i retire in a few years i can do a trip to greece 

 

  cheers

      jerry

 

Edited by brewerjerry

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I have just been sent this photo by Carl Vincent, to post here.

 

His comment:  I attach a photo which gives an excellent close-up of the gun pack on the fighter Bolingbroke. As this was produced from drawings supplied by the UK Air Ministry in July 1940 it should be representative of the examples used on the fighter Blenheims. The gun pack used on the later coastal Blenheims is a mystery to me as to when/why/how it was adopted.

 

49439969148_a4193ae292_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Thank you and thanks to Carl Vincent!  That is a wonderfully detailed photo, and answers many questions. It clearly shows all the features seen on the 404 Squadron gun packs, the smoothly curved upper edge blending into the fuselage, the rounded lower edge. as well as the lack of bulges on the side.

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I do believe that the outer bomb bay doors are open in this picture, so if the side bulges are there, you can't see them. There are small bulges/blisters on the doors of regular Mk.IV's.

 

You can see the small bulges on the side of the early gun-pack.

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.103087296.1954498

 

And here:

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.69595216.19544989

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.140443507.1954498

 

 

 

Another with the early shallow pack:

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.171299936.1954498

 

 

 

Chris

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More excellent photo's, thanks.  Yes, you can see the shallow bulges on the outboard bay doors, and it seems the sides of the gun pod itself are straight. I find it interesting to note  the lack of blast plate on the first photo with the shallow gun pack, buts it's presence on the forth picture.  The second and third photo's with the deeper gun pack do not have the blast plate, I guess this corresponds with what Selwyn was saying.  The other thing I notice, is that some of the aircraft have the 'plane in Squadron' letter on the gear door above the dark painted curved section of the gear door, but not all (see my original photo with the marking but no letter).  These aircraft are slowing coming into focus for me.

 

Many thanks, again.

 

Col;in

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2 hours ago, Tail-Dragon said:

 

Hi 

    PM me your e mail, i have something that should answer some of your questions

  but can never work out how to post/upload here 

   cheers

      jerry

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45 minutes ago, brewerjerry said:

Hi 

    PM me your e mail, i have something that should answer some of your questions

  but can never work out how to post/upload here 

   cheers

      jerry

Drawings received, many thanks, they will help a lot!

 

Colin

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The colour photos taken by a Life magazine reporter in Malaya early in 1941 show the blast shield on the Mk.IF.   IIRC.

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Here is the picture that @brewerjerry sent to me.

 

49444754563_9570579578_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

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20 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Here is the picture that @brewerjerry sent to me.

 

49444754563_9570579578_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

Hi

     From the excellent book

 

 coastal dawn by andrew bird 

 

  well recommended it is a good read and well researched 

 

  cheers

     jerry 

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As a way of saying thanks to all, I would like to share some detail photo's I have taken of the Bristol Mercury XX at our local museum (sadly, no longer there).

The Mercury XX powered the Blenheim, Bolingbroke,  Lysander, Gladiator, Skua and many more ….

 

The photo's aren't the greatest, but they do have the kind of details modelers enjoy, hope you like

 

Picture 003

 

Picture 004

 

Picture 005

 

Picture 006

 

Picture 007

 

Picture 008

 

Picture 012

 

Picture 011

 

Picture 010

 

Picture 009

 

Edited by Tail-Dragon

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