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825

Martlet Mk1 ++++ Finished ++++

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Posted (edited)

Here is my third contributio, AZ Model's version of the first FAA model of the Martlet/Wildcat. These were aircraft redirected from Belgian and French orders for, at that time, the new Wildcat. They differ in they were engined with a Wright Cyclone engine and on arrival in the UK had to have their equipment changed to British equipment. 

 

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Three options offered, including an erroneous RAF version, I'm also not sure that this livery is correct and the serial is definitely wrong. I'll look in the transfers stash and see if I have something more accurate. 

 

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There are about 30 parts on two sprues, moulding is not too bad at times but there's a bit of flash and some pretty large moulding pins. Also there's a resin engine and a small clear sprue with a canopy and the two underside windows. 

 

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Simple instructions. Some of the colour call outs are not right. Especially some of the interior colours and the undercarriage. And a nice transfer sheet albeit with probably wrong serials for the British one. 

 

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Now to get some paint on. 

Edited by 825

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Posted (edited)

Some paint onto the parts. I have deviated from the instructions which suggested interior green for all the interior parts and white for the undercarriage. From my reading Grumman built aircraft had bronze green cockpit interiors and Grumman Gray elsewhere. I used an Xtracrylix Deep Bronze Green which I will matt down and Light Gull Gray for the Grumman Gray which should be reasonably close. In the Wildcat/Martlet the undercarriage bay and some of the struts were in the underside colour will the remaining struts were an enamelled heat resistant black. The undersides of these aircraft were said to be Duck Egg Blue so I've used Revell Aqua Colour Hellblau which has an appreciable greenish tint without being a light green like sky. Satin black Humbrol 85 sufficed for the enamelled black. 

 

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The upper colours are still uncertain but said to be Extra Dark Sea Grey and Light Sea Green, but probably US equivalents, although Grumman's colours were pretty close British colours. However these early Martlets were diverted from Belgian and French orders so may have differed. The Greek aircraft were a different kettle of fish and yet another colour controversy. The box colour schemes gives FS34092 for the green and FS36081 for the Grey. A bit more r search needed but Revell's Seegrun looks in the right place for the moment. 

Edited by 825
FS number wrong

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Hi,

Probably totally wrong but I have read that the the ex Greek Mk III were diverted straight to the desert when Greece fell, and pics show them in a desert Middle Stone? type uppers over Azure Blue? unders though Kagero mention an initial scheme in all over blue which was apparently deemed to be unsatisfactory. As to the Martlet Mk I, I have seen quite a few references to the use of "Extra Dark Sea Green" such as on Skuas, and indeed the "RAF Museum Chips" in my ruddy expensive  RAF colours book do indeed include a chip of that colour - dark slightly bluish green which IPMS Stockholm suggest is close to FS34092 - Humbrol 149 being one of their suggested paints, together with Tamiya XF27, Xtracolour X114 and Mr Colour H302 - I have to say that their FS colour does not look quite blue enough to me but that could be my monitor." In Detail and Scale" have a couple of colour pics in their Wildcat volume - the Martlet I in the FAA museum seems to be in standard Dark Slate/Extra Dark Sea Grey but a "pre delivery" shot does look like it might have been Extra Dark Sea Green/Extra Dark Sea Grey or Grumman US equivalents over what looks like a pale blue.

 

Entirely up to you of course.

 

Pete

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You are right about the Greek aircraft being diverted to the Western Desert, but the earlier overall colour is much more likely to have been the standard USN light gray than any blue.

 

Having looked closely at the FAAM.s Martlet, it certainly appeared to be in a dark green rather than Dark Slate Grey, which I take to be the delivery scheme although in service it probably was repainted.  I don't know of any reference to Skuas (or indeed any aircraft other than prewar trials examples) in Extra Dark Sea Green - references please?  I must admit thinking that Humbrol 30 was Dark Sea Green. certainly a lot nearer that than Dark Green.  The colours of these early Martlets have been discussed on this forum several times, so a little digging might prove worthwhile.  I think that there may have been an article in SAM, or perhaps Model Aircraft Monthly?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Graham,

 

References 🙂 - an article I remember reading years ago in Scale Aircraft Modelling,  Scale Aircraft Modelling International, or Airfix Model World most probably, which discussed whether Skuas used in the Norwegian campaign were painted Sea Green and Grey comes to mind - can't remember what they concluded but I seem to recall they mentioned the remains of a shot down example. Also some mention elsewhere of Coastal Command flying boats (Sunderlands?) with Sea Green as well I believe, though like you I am dubious. One of these days I must get round to cataloguing my magazines as I have several hundred of the ruddy things and I often have problems finding the article I want - like Topsy they just grew and grew. I suppose having collected info on planes (and ships, tanks and trains) for over 60 years I really should have been more organised. As to the Martlet III I was quoting the Kagero book on the Wildcat. The pic of the FAAM Martlet in the 1988 D&S book on the Wildcat does look like the normal scheme but like any museum item I suppose it could have been repainted - perhaps more than once, I remember having a discussion with the curator of the Tank Museum (Peter Willey) about some of their colour schemes and he admitted they just used paint that was to hand in the early days, so maybe it was not accurate - the so called Caunter scheme shade "Silver Grey" is a good example -most illustrations show it as a bluish grey but it is now believed to be a greenish colour ( as per Jamie's Colourcoats)! Last time I saw their Matilda II it was still blue. I also asked David Fletcher OBE (then librarian) about the 3 tone scheme they were painting on the TOG II* during one of my visits as I had never come across it before - he was adamant it was correct! As I have said many times before colour schemes are a minefield!!

 

IPMS Stockholm mention a couple of shades of "Sea Green" pre-war and Extra Dark Sea Green during WWII and as I said it is in the Arms & Armour "RAF Museum Series" Vol 3- RAF colours book" so it seems to have existed but I have no idea if or when it was used. On the face of it a dark bluish green would perhaps seem a good colour for over water so I suspect it was used on at least some aircraft pre war or maybe early war, maybe experimentally so I would be interested to hear what info you have?

 

Hi 825, sorry to hijack your thread.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

 

Edited by PeterB

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Thanks @PeterB,and  @Graham Boak for your contributions. I'm going to build one of the early aircraft and not one of the Greek aircraft (but may need to switch if I can't get some markings. I do have a fair amount of Martlet transfers but a lot are for the later Marks). So any and all contributions will be welcome and helpful in getting to some conclusion. I'm tempted at the moment to use the Revell Seegrun and Xtracrylix Dark Compass Gray which is close to non-Grumman Extra Dark Sea Grey equivalent (works well with Olive Drab on Corsairs for Temperate Sea Scheme). Everything still needs another coat, as well as matting down some of the Gloss finish, so still time to research and decide. I also need to find some suitable markings in the stash. 

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Interior parts and engine given some dry brushing treatment to give a bit of depth and lift details. 

 

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I've also found some aftermarket transfers on an Xtradecal sheet. 802 NAS on HMS Audacity; original colour scheme and on active service. 

 

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And the cocpit interior and bulkheads added. The lower fuselage windows are in as well fixed with some Kleer. The undercarriage goes in before the fuselage is closed up and I suspect there will be a bit of fiddling and probably some rude words but that's for later. Seat belts from thin strips of Tamiya tape. 

 

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My final word on the subject - "Light Sea Green" is interesting - I have only come across Dark and Extra Dark Sea Green and the kit FS number for "Green" matches IPMS Stockholm's "Extra Dark". Clearly the "Sea Greens" are subject to come confusion/uncertainty. Looks like Grumman painted their version before delivery and then the FAA overpainted at least part of it in different colours - 2 versions of Extra Dark Sea Grey and one or more variants of Sea Green makes modelling this plane fun so do whatever you like and ignore us rivet counters!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Thanks @Peter B I certainly don't think the green is at all a light colour. I'll have a look at the IPMS Stockholm's pages and I've also had a look at the FS numbers and chips online to see what it looks like. I've looked at the walkround and pictures of the FAA Museum's Martlet but I'm not 100% sure how acccurate the colours on it are. The grey definitely looks like a dark blue and the green a bit bright. It also seems to be a Gloss finish which does change, to the eye, the hue of blues, greys and greens. 

 

Anyhow some further work done. I decided to drill out the engine mounting plate and the rear of the engine to add a piece of wire to both help line it up and fix it in place. A dry fit showed that this should work. 

 

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Undercarriage on, took a little bit of fiddling but eventually went in. The instructions aren't too clear. Now the fuselage closed up. 

 

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Dry fitting of the fuselage was great but once some glue was added it added it all went pear shaped. Well not literally pear shaped but seams and gaps appeared everywhere, despite fettling, pushing, tape and some brute force. Well, out with the sanding sticks and filler. Though the Martlet is a pain for cleaning up seams due to the circular panel lines. The photo makes it look a lot worse but work will be needed. 

 

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I decided to stick the tailplanes on as well. Final fit was good but the tabs needed trimming and the holes enlarged. 

 

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Nice to see this one underway! It’s looking good.

 

Rob

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Looks the business, must have been tricky to land with that undercarriage, the wheels look really close together !

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Some paint on the upper wings. The Xtradecal colour scheme is different from AZ's. I've done the second but think I'll amend it to the first. 

 

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Resin engine installed. I spent some time ensuring the fit was good before drilling out both the rear of the engine and the mounting block on the bulkhead. A short length of wire  was fixed first to the engine and once dry the engine was slid into place with some cyano on the wire and mounting block. Seem s to be a solid and strong fit. I'll add the cowling tomorrow, let's hope the fit is as good as anticipated. 

 

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I've repainted the wings to the Xtradecal's scheme. In the meantime I've looked at a lot of resources for the colour scheme. There are two sources of colour pictures, those of NXG2 which I think was the prototype/demonstrator and the FAA Museum's Mk1. The museum say that they think the paint on the wings is the original, but unfortunately I couldn't find pictures of the upper  wing surface and the underside is in shadow. However, they say that they had to do some work for the fuselage as it was repainted at some time and had been stripped down to the aluminium. Their forensic work on original paint chips has led to the colours the fuselage was painted and they believe its close to the original. The grey is a neutral dark grey and the Sea Green is more blue than the FS equivalents we've discussed here. Also most sources say the finish is Gloss and that does make a difference to the final hue. I'm no colour expert and with the current situation making it difficult to get supplies, I've gone with what I've got in the stash. The green is Revell's Seegrun which isn't very close when applied but it's a matt finish and when polished up its close to that on the FAA Martlet and NXG2. The grey I've used  Xtracrylix Gunship Grey which might be a tad on the light side but has, to my uneducated eyes, about the right hue. In the photo below there's only a single coat of grey and apart from one patch on the port wing the Seegrun is not yet polished, but the difference in colour resulting from a quick session with polishing stickers is apparent. A little more work is required but I'll stick with these colours. 

 

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Now got the cowling ring on but despite the usual careful dry fitting it doesn't quite fit and some filler will be required. I'd get it nice and well fitting but despite copious solvent and taping down it shifted. I find the plastic quite resistant to my current preferred glue - Mig Ammo, but once it does take it is pretty solid. 

 

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However, after filler and careful cleaning up of everything and a lovely join between the cowling and ring produced, I have found that the cowling ring is not central and the engine has lined up off centre and certainly not straight. The picture below does over emphasise it but it will have to be eased off and re-affixed correctly. Frustrating and not what would be desired. 

 

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Apart from the woopsy with the engine, coming along nicely.

 

AW

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That looks very nice and I’ll tag along if I may.

 

Just a thought on the ‘RAF’ option. I have the On Target ‘Britain Alone’ by Paul Lucas.
 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8153744-britain-alone

 

He describes this as an example of the Tropical Sea Scheme and gives the colour call-outs as US paints, namely Sea Green 28 and Flag Blue 24 for the uppers and Light Blue 27 undersides. The side view in the book is similar to yours, but the wavy demarcation goes below the roundel and through the underwing porthole.

 

Regards

 

Trevor

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Trevor @Max Headroom I've got that book buried somewhere as well and never thought about looking in it. Or for it probably more appropriate. The scheme on the box is for NXG2 which is the demonstrator or first pre-delivery airframe so there may have been some changes once delivered. The Xtradecal profile is for an active service aircraft on HMS Audacity and has a slightly different pattern albeit with the same colours. 

 

I've done some more work today. First the cowling ring was filled and sanded, then polished. A quick coat of the underside paint showed some minor blemishes which have been filled but still to be sanded down. The wings have been added and I'll leave it well along to firm up as it's a butt joint. 

 

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Edited by 825
Photo replaced

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Underside masked and the first coat of green on the upper surfaces. 

 

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Fuselage green complete and now some grey added. I've used Gunship Gray which seems OK. Not as blue as the profiles but closer I think to the grey on the FAA Museum's Martlet Mk1. Anyway let's see what a couple of coats looks like and then some Gloss varnish for transfer application. References seem to suggest these aircraft had a Gloss finish and certainly NXG2 pictures look glossy. However, I think that Gloss will be too much for a little plane like the Martlet so I'll use a satin varnish as the final coat. But that's still a little away. 

 

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Lovely job so far, annoying about the engine but you appear to have that under control 

 

Rob

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22 hours ago, rob85 said:

Lovely job so far, annoying about the engine but you appear to have that under control 

 

Rob

Thanks Rob. To fix the engine, I just prised it off and stuck it back on. Sounds like it took seconds but it did take a wee while as the engine bulkhead came loose as well so it needed fixed as well. 

 

Now I've got the painting done and was about to gloss it up with Klear to put the transfers on but felt unhappy with the wing roots. Some way the light catches it looks like there are trenches there. So masked of the area using some scrap masking tape to get some Perfect Plastic Putty on. 

 

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Its a pity as the masking had done its job well on the 'wavy line' demarcation. Not a great photo as the scrap masking tape has got in the way a bit. 

 

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 Now with PPP in the gap and smoothed off with a damp cotton bud. You can see the port wing has a significant gap

 

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Touching up done and given a coat of Klear in preparation for the transfers. 

 

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Now with transfers on. The Xtradecal transfers performed beautifully. 

 

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Undercarriage now complete, along with the exhausts. Will need some time to firm up and then I'll tidy up the paint. I've trimmed nearly all the remaining parts but still have to mask the canopy. I did have to trim the rear a bit to ensure a good fit but I'll mask it first before affixing. 

 

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Hopefully not much longer now. 

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