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RAAF Beaufighter 21 Cowling ring colours query (pics included)


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Hey all,

Doing a bit of research while building Tamiya's 1/48 Beaufighter Mk.VI as a RAAF Mk.21.

Although I've decided on my scheme I'm intriqued by what I have uncovered during my research.

The Cowling ring colour has always intrigued me having seen a few built models as well as profiles and actual wartime pics.

Just a bit of background on RAAF Beaus to make sure we're all on the same page

a/c coded A19-xxx are British built in the form of I's VI's and X's delivered Down Under.

a/c coded A8-xxx are Aussie built Mk.21's which is what all the following pics are of.

 

Pics are from the net, mostly Aust War Museum website and ADF serials page (great for tracking individual RAAF aircraft).

I'm hoping someone can shed some light on the variations.

Why the different colours, was it different a material around the cowlings, some sort of protective coating or something else?

 

Cheers,

Look forward to any responses on this matter.

 

The variations that I've come across so far.

White cowling ring with white engine cooling gills (with grey or silver/aluminium prop)

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This variation was done at the production stage as proof from this pic

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White engine cooling gills only but cowling ring with two distinct different coloured rings

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Black cowling rings (colour wartime pic)

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Black, White and maybe bronze? (Very weathered and peeling prop)

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My final one is the commonly seen bronze coloured cowling ring (not definite in this pic but possible)

hIOKA9B.jpg

 

This is the scheme I'll be doing. I'm going with black outer edge then white inner.

jv5JJFd.jpg

 

 

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The A19-xxx series being British manufacture had a few versions of the Bristol cowl exhaust ring.

Most if not all A8-xxx series had late power-eggs shipped from Britain to be installed on the Mk.21 airframes. 

414326706.jpg

Hope this doesn't muddy the waters too much. 

G

 

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I believe the Mk21 Australian built aircraft used a heat resistant paint, hence why the cowling rings are painted black. The ‘bronze’ cowling is actually heat affected metal and so would appear in various shades of blue, red, orange etc.

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For the love of whatever deity you prefer, do not paint Bristol engine exhaust collector rings Bronze! Or copper either. If you search the forum, you can find lots of information ( pictures ) showing what they looked like. 

In some cases, the rings were over-painted, to cover the glow, especially at night or if a Coastal Command aircraft, then a white was used. I'm not sure just what the Australians might have used.

 

 

 

Chris

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I've seen photos of Bristol collector rings that had darkened significantly. While I agree that they're not homogeneously bronze or copper, I would say that bronze at least could be a component of a paint mix to replicate them.

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33 minutes ago, Muddyf said:

All I have in my shed is a clapped out lawnmower.... 

 

Jealous of UK

I like awake at night dreaming about having a  a clapped out lawnmower!

 

Selwyn

(Even more jealous of Manchester)

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34 minutes ago, Muddyf said:

All I have in my shed is a clapped out lawnmower.... 

 

Jealous of UK

Then you are better off than me. Wonder if my SWMBO can beat that.

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Cheers guys, (Vanroon, Muddyf, Seawinder) all those details make the picture all that much clearer.

 

dogsbody, I swear I didn't touch the bronze paint!  😬 (as I slowly push that bottle of paint further away)

 

Navy870 - handy for sure

 

Mower still works, dosn't get out much, wallabies do most of that work now.

 

But still so many variations. Obviously they were all made and painted the same but once they were out in theatre things then got repainted damaged, changed over etc.

For instance the Beau in the first pic is serial A8-1, the first beau 21 built in Oz. The factory shot then shows A8-222 and the rudder 0f A8-215 with the same white cowling ring and exhaust cooling gills. I also have a shot of A8-354 with same factory painted ring and gills. But many beaus between these ranges have either black or combo of black, white & bronze/heat discoloured.

 

Cheers agian.

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3 hours ago, Muddyf said:

All I have in my shed is a clapped out lawnmower.... 

 

Jealous of UK

So, what color is the exhaust? 😜

Mike

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3 hours ago, NAVY870 said:

Handy having one in the shed.

Aww- now you're just showing off, Steve! That is a beautiful Mk 21, BTW! Just out of curiousity, what is that parked behind the Vampire in the background? Thanks for posting the photo- I have saved it for future reference!

Mike

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3 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Aww- now you're just showing off, Steve! That is a beautiful Mk 21, BTW! Just out of curiousity, what is that parked behind the Vampire in the background? Thanks for posting the photo- I have saved it for future reference!

Mike

T22 Sea Vampire and Beaufort cockpit

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2 hours ago, NAVY870 said:

T22 Sea Vampire and Beaufort cockpit

 

Now he’s just showing off! 😃

 

At least we know who to pester for cockpit photos when Airfix release their Beaufort!

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While it's not a Beaufighter, here's what I tried on a Blenheim...

I painted the ring and the front part of the exhaust Tamiya metallic grey, then the main part of the exhaust Tamiya dark iron, blending it into the front part of the pipe.

Then I masked off the leading edge ring, and fogged on heavily thinned light earth brown, heavier to the rear, and blending into the dark iron.  Looks (to me at least)

better than Bronze!

 

Image43

 

Image45

 

Image44

 

 

 

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Tail-Dragon, that's great! One of the best, if not THE best painting of a Bristol collector ring ever. In particular, I like how you have also painted the inside of the ring to match the outside colours. This shows you have a good understanding of how the collector ring works. Many modellers just paint the whole inside the interior colour.

 

Also, that Mercury engine looks great, too. Most realistic!

 

Well done!

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Thanks! If I was doing it again, I might us a darker 'flat earth' thinned more, and biased more to the rear portion of the ring, but overall, I'm pleased with the effect.

 

Colin

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