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Seafire FR Mk 47***FINISHED***


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Hi,

 

Not sure when I will make a start on this but here is one that has been in my stash for a few years now,

DSC02825

It is one of a series of related kits SH released in 2012 including the Seafire 45 and 46, and is probably related to a group of late Spitfires they also released. It replaced a Rareplanes vacform version I bought back in around 1980 which never was quite completed. The box contains some nicely detailed plastic including numerous alternative parts - props, canopies etc, and the artwork depicts a machine painted in the wartime scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Sky - they say they are not entirely sure it was ever painted in this scheme and also include the later EDSG over Sky scheme seen on the Korean War versions. Being SH it remains to be seen how well it goes together.

 

More as and when I get going.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • 1 month later...

That took a bit longer than expected but with 2 GB now finished I had better make a start on this - less than 6 weeks to go! Here's the plastic and as you can see there seems to be a lot of it!

DSC03119-crop

This is one of a series of Special Hobby Seafire kits and so there are a lot of parts on the sprues that will not be used for this build. For example there are 5 rudders,3 canopies, 2 sets of exhausts, rear bulkheads, wheels, joysticks, horizontal tail surfaces, spinners and guns, and no less than 16 prop blades - 2 different 5 bladers and the 6 blade contra prop for the FR 47. SH also provide a centreline drop tank, 2 of the wing mounted blister type "combat tanks", stubs for up to 6 sets of double stacked rockets (but no rockets) and 2 Ratog packs. One negative feature is that they do not explain which if any of these parts are applicable to the 3 versions they provide markings for, and if you want to use some of them like the rocket stubs you have to drill out locating holes without any guide marks - just a slightly vague drawing giving the measurements. Mine will probably have some tanks though I need to do a bit of research first. As I am also building a Korean War Firefly 5 and Sea Fury, I will not give the Seafire any ground attack weaponry.

 

The decals are fairly comprehensive but although they provide red and yellow stripes for one taking part in an excercise, they have not provided the black and white stripes for the one during the Korean war which is a little tedious. The cockpit and wheel wells construction is identical to the Xtrakit/MPM F22 I am building in parallel, though the sprue layout is different so they are not as I initially though from the same mould as MPM and SH are part of the same group.

 

More soon.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Hi Charlie,

 

For the first one or two raids it seems the Seafires accompanied the Fireflies from Triumph and fired their own rockets, as one is reported to have been damaged by debris when it got a bit too close. However once the USN carriers fully deployed with their longer ranging planes, it was decided that the Triumph would stand further off the coast and the Seafires reverted to CAP duties - prior to that she had been going quite close in due the short range of her aircraft, or so I have read in one or two books.

 

I would like to do the Korean War one, but the prospect of the stripes is putting me off a little, given that we now only have 5 weeks left. We will see.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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2 hours ago, PeterB said:

I would like to do the Korean War one, but the prospect of the stripes is putting me off a little, given that we now only have 5 weeks left. We will see.

Hi Pete,

AFAIK during their brief Korean War deployment on Triumph, they all wore stripes. But don't be too put off, it's just some careful measurement, masking and some B&W paint!

Seafires didn't last long in the Korean conflict because of the attrition rate, mainly caused by damage on landing. The poor pilot could bend them even making a decent landing, but slightly off-centre was enough to cause skin-wrinkling. The Spit was never designed for carrier work and was always a compromise. By the time they got to the FR47 it was really far too heavy. Fantastic looking plane though!

Best wishes,

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The FR.47 never did carry the wartime colours, and AFAIK only the prototype had the low demarcation EDGS top, given that the first prototype didn't have the extended carburettor intake maybe more than one...

 

The only reason they were in the Korean war at all was because the last carrier not to be re-equipped was the nearest.  Which possibly had its basis in pushing the oldest and obsolescent stuff far abroad where it was less likely to matter.  The carrier also operated Mk.I Fireflies, and some of them were in TSS.  By the time their tour was over (both types) there weren't enough left in Navy Yards to sustain another tour, had anyone wanted to.  Which seems unlikely.

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Hi Graham,

 

SH say they have included one in the old 3 colour scheme as Eric Brown mentioned it in a book of his. I have looked at quite a few pics and whilst the Mk 46 does initially seem to have been in that scheme, the Mk 47 did not, with the possible exception of one of the early "test" ones (I believe there were no prototypes as such) which does look as if there might have been 2 colours on the upper surfaces though it may well just be reflections in a high gloss Extra Dark Sea Grey finish with the low demarcation line. Of course Brown was a test pilot so it could be he was talking about one of those early machines which he flew during carrier trials. Whatever the case, mine will be plain EDSG with a fairly high demarcation.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Here I disagree with Brown, heresy though it may be but colour schemes was never something he was particularly interested in - the Mk.46 was produced in the short period where the approved scheme was EDSG over Sky with a low demarcation.  None of the photos, even clear ones, show the Mk.46 in TSS.    His mention of it is in the In The Cockpit book on the type.

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54 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Here I disagree with Brown, heresy though it may be but colour schemes was never something he was particularly interested in - the Mk.46 was produced in the short period where the approved scheme was EDSG over Sky with a low demarcation.  None of the photos, even clear ones, show the Mk.46 in TSS.    His mention of it is in the In The Cockpit book on the type.

Hi Graham,

 

Presume that was a Typo as I have seen a pic of Mk 46 LA542 in TSS in the Warpaint book (unless that is another optical illusion). Let's face it, Brown flew so many planes including numerous marks of Spitfire and Seafire so he could be excused for getting the paint schemes mixed up between the Mk 46 and FR 47.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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I was looking at that page in the book yesterday (In the Cockpit, p120) and wondered about the TSS / EDSG question. Is it possible that the text accompanying the photo was not written by Capt Brown? I have his other books and he never struck me as being particularly interested in plane colour schemes. It may have been added by an editor for the modelling readers, and there is the colour profile of a Mk.46 in TSS on P135.

But I'm getting a bit lost here, does Brown say the FR47 was in TSS? I can't see it sorry!

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Hi Charlie,

 

Not read the book myself but SH say "According to Seafire from the Cockpit by Eric Brown, these early Seafire Mk47 might have carried two-tone upper camouflage scheme as depicted here - if you do not agree use only EDSG for upper surface". Does the profile of the Mk46 show TSS? Not too bothered anyway as my FR47 will be in the later scheme, but Graham said the Mk 46 was in plain EDSG, though I think that could be a typo and he meant FR47. All of the late Seafires switched to the later scheme anyway at some point I think.

 

Pete

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I meant what I wrote.  The Mk.46 was in low demarcation EDSG and the Mk.47 (prototype apart) in EDSG with high demarcation.  Granted, some room for manoeuvre on early examples.  My recall says Brown (or whoever wrote that bit) was referring to the Mk.46 - I'll dig out the book - but if he believed that the low demarcation EDSG didn't exist, then he would indeed assume that any low demarcation would be TSS, and this would cover the earliest Mk.47s.  However dates are available from Bruce Robertson's work for Harleyford giving the dates of introduction of EDSG(low) and EDSG(high), and the production Mk.46 falls into that slot.  As do early production Sea Furies, the Mk.10 in particular, but no-one has ever suggest they were in TSS.

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The profile of the Mk.46 on p135 is TSS. Not really possible to tell from the photos on p119 and 120 whether they are 2 colour. I could send you scans of the profile/photos if you're interested. Rather not post on here for copyright reasons.

 

So, if I have this right, SH are saying that Capt Brown's book, Seafire From the Cockpit, gives an example of a FR47 in TSS. I can't see mention of this in the book on the obvious pages. Looks like SH misread it.

 

Interesting as this discussion is, I don't think it's applicable to your build Pete which will be an FR47 in Sky/EDSG, high demarcation (possibly with stripes ^_^).

 

Cheers,

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I have the book, thanks.   if the profile shows that, then I don't believe the profile is correct.  Sorry if the very idea comes as some kind of shock...  Memory suggests that the Mk.45s were in TSS, but of course any of them could have been repainted to later standards at some stage.

 

I entirely agree about the relevance to a service Mk.,47!

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Hi Charlie,

 

Don't bother with the scans as this is entirely academic - mine will probably be in the late high demarcation EDSG over Sky sceme. I can probably do the stripes on the wings with decal strips but the fuselage may have to be masked and painted, and I have to be in the right frame of mind to go to all that bother as I am currently suffering from modelling exhaustion - might just go for the one from 1833 RNVR with exercise stripes in July 1953, or maybe the one from 894 on Ocean in 1948 with the low demarcation, just for a change. Alternatively I do have an FR47 of I believe 804 in 1949 on the Xtradecal Seafire sheet - must look it out. As to the Bruce Robertson book Graham mentions, when I was a lad it was considered the bible, but now I find that although it is good, other authors work does not always agree on certain points. Having said that I have always found him reliable on dates for colour changes on UK planes.

 

Graham,

 

If you have the Warpaint book on the Griffon engined Seafires you may wish to have a look at the pic at the top of Page 20, which is claimed to be LA542, a Mk 46. I must admit that I have found one or two errors in the Warpaint books so even Alan Hall was not infallible. According to Robertson's invaluable book on RAF/RN serial numbers, LA542 was certainly in a batch of Mk45 & Mk 46 and is listed as the latter. It may be an optical illusion as I said previously but it does look as if the upper surfaces were two colours to me, though I am not unduly concerned as I am not building one of those.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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LA542 was the second Mk.46, with a first flight 5/11/45 which I think may have put it into the TSS period.  Will check.

 

I believe Robertson was employed during the war (and for a while afterwards?) in a position where he saw all the AM communications about camouflage.  Otherwise it is difficult to see how he managed to be so well informed about a string of changes that have been proven correct by much later digging in the files.  The book I mentioned is the second of the two Harleyfords, on aircraft markings, although this information would perhaps have been better placed in the first - had it been available to the author.  I would agree that although an interesting read even nowadays, they no longer contain much that should be quoted as definitive (not that there was a lot actually wrong, but certainly incomplete).  However the chronology of changes in camouflage and markings is part that hasn't been superseded by any single source.  Expanded on, yes.

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Hi Graham,

 

I agree about Robertson book(s|) but some of the colour schemes in his 1956 Camo and Markings (mine is the 1966 reprint) would be considered a bit "iffy" these days - very dark blue patches over a slightly lighter blue on the wings of a 1940 Bf109, and single colour RLM 71 uppers on an HeIII from the same period for example. Of course we probably have access to more accurate info now, and colour printing technology has certainly improved a bit since then! Not a bad effort for the time but showing its age, at least as far as "Axis" planes go.

 

Pete

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It's a book I couldn't afford in those days, the pocket money wouldn't stretch that far. But more within my reach now - about £10 for the 1966 reprint, or £12 for the 1959 with dust jacket! I'm quite tempted, would you say that its still a useful reference book?

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it took me a long time too, and beyond pocket money days.  It rather depends upon how much you've got already, and what you are interested in.  Generally speaking you can do better, although not for the money!  The only thing I ever consult in them nowadays is the chronology in the rear of the second (Markings) book, but other peoples' use may differ.  if I didn't have so much else I might well use them more.  Depending upon your current finances, what have you got to lose?  Two coffee and cakes?    The main problem with them is trying to cover the whole world in two fairly thin volumes, with information available in the censorship-ridden early 50s..  If you are looking for the very last word in something as specific as (say) Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, then definitely no.  If you have wider inclinations and enjoy the odd interesting photo or fact, then worth a fling.  

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Hi Charlie,

 

I had the same problem when I first saw it in the 1960's but bought one a few years later. As Graham said, some of it is still pretty useful, particularly on the RAF. From what Graham said there may have been a second book on aircraft markings which could be better but I can't say I have come across it. I guess it depends on the period you are interested in  - for example the WWI and between the wars sections are not bad, and I suppose the immediate post WWII as well as that is when he was writing. Probably worth a tenner but entirely your choice.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Thanks Graham, 

 

Just noticed it on Amazon and ordered one for about £7 including postage - at that price who cares, but the lists sound useful. The picture of the Sabres looks familiar so I must have seen it at some time. Now all I have to do is smuggle it past my wife who thinks I already have far too many books! Suppose I had better make a start on building the kit now.

 

Pete,

Edited by PeterB
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Apologies: the chronology includes RAF and USAF but not FAA, at least for the required period.  So the information came from somewhere else.  I shall leave it to my subconscious, for my surface mind has currently no idea.  However wherever it was, it did include start dates for each of these schemes, so it wasn't just a vague reference.  I shall of course look in the first Harleyford - no.  Indeed, an almost complete lack of FAA information.  Very odd.  Even stranger that I'd never noticed that before.

 

Stepping back to Brown's comment: as it is quite possible he only saw the early Mk.46s, which would explain his presumption that they were all like that.

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Hi Graham,

 

A while back there was a debate  (Frog GB?) over when Fireflies stopped being in TSS and when the roundels changed to what we call type D, and I am sure I saw some dates in Robertson's original book. Must dig it out and check.

 

Pete

Later, the section on "Aircraft of the Royal Navies" (Chapter 4) confirms the earlier entry about following the RAF in introducing type D roundels which is previously listed as June 1947, and goes on to say that the wartime finish (TSS) remained in force until October 1st 1946, and then changed to EDSG with the low demarcation, and "less than a year later" that changed to a high demarcation. OK, not a list but useful anyway. Clearly, on anything other than new builds there would be a time lag and as I think you mentioned some Fireflies in Korea still had TSS.

 

That would seem to imply that the Mk 46 would be in full wartime paint and markings initially as Warpaint says the prototype first flew in September 1944 though it does not state when they entered service, such as it was. FR47 were, it says, produced between April 1946 and January 1949 with trials starting in December 1946, so I guess the early production ones could possibly have left the line in TSS if the dates are correct, but should have been repainted before entering service - who knows? On the face of it they would not have had type D roundels at first either.

 

Don't you just love the uncertainty about colour schemes!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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I bought the second book; Aircraft Markings of the World, 1912-1967. But I had to pay £7.95 on Abe Books :huh:

 

It seems strangely familiar which means that it may have been one of those books that I had but got rid of in my 'sensible years...'. 'I'll never need that book again', like the Air Enthusiast volumes :cry: - or its sitting in a box in the loft somewhere!

 

Ah well, as Graham said; 

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

what have you got to lose?  Two coffee and cakes?

 

Cheers,

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  • PeterB changed the title to Seafire FR Mk 47***FINISHED***

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