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80 years ago today, Lt. Herbert Huck, Gefr. Georg Kerkhoff, Uffz. Paul Plischke and Fw. August Skokan of 9.KG26 based in Stavanger, Norway were briefed to attack the airfield at Leuchars in Fife with shipping and dock facilities in the Firth of Tay as an alternative target. They departed mid-morning in Heinkel He-111H-3 1H+FT but there seems to be some confusion over whether this was in the company of other aircraft or alone. We will examine this later. We next hear of the Heinkel approaching the city of Aberdeen from the North, a good 60 miles northeast of its intended target. One possible explanation is that the crew had opted to minimise their time over the North Sea, making landfall over the nearest part of Scotland to Norway, then making their way to Leuchars inland avoiding the massed defences and radar sites around the firths of Tay and Forth. Their hopes of remaining undetected en-route to the target were frustrated by a raid earlier that day which had left the Observers Corp, responsible for tracking enemy movements inland, on full alert and able to sound the alarm in time for the three Spitfires of yellow section, 603 (City of Edinburgh) squadron to be scrambled from RAF Dyce (now Aberdeen Airport) and intercept the intruder. The Heinkel flew across Aberdeen towards the sea, harried by the Spitfires and jettisoning its bomb load  until reaching the sea it turned southwest, possibly deterred by the barrage of fire coming from the defences on the coast and ships in the harbour. Pilot Officers J. R. Caister and G.K. Gilroy and Sergeant I. K. Arber finally delivered the coup d'grace over the city's Duthie Park and the Heinkel plummeted into a nearly completed ice rink on South Anderson Drive striking the top of a tree on the way. All four members of the crew were killed instantly. Eye witnesses related how one crew member was hanging out of a hatch on the aircraft when it crashed, presumably attempting to bail out. 

 

Friday 12th July 1940 was known as Black Friday in Aberdeen for many years afterwards because of the bomb damage caused that day. Hall Russell shipyard was struck along with a nearby bar where many of the yard workers were spending their lunch killing 25 and injuring close to 100 men, according to council records. Several other areas in the city also received damage with further loss of life. 

 

As you can imagine, this was a memorable event for Aberdonians and growing up, I often had the tree the Heinkel had hit pointed out to me. Right enough, it did have a bit of a lean and a truncated look to it. So when I saw that this group build was coming up, I decided that I would build the doomed machine as it might have appeared before setting out on its last flight. To my surprise, I discovered that this would not be the first time 1H+FT has appeared on Britmodeller. @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies built this very aircraft here and I will be brazenly appropriating some of his findings such as the fact that the aircraft appeared to be carrying its full serial on the underside of its wings. As Jamie says in his build, there doesn't seem to be much information available about this aircraft so much of this build will be based on hopefully not too wild surmise. I'll be building the ICM 1/48 He-111H-3 as one of the few things about this incident there seems to be much consensus on is that the Heinkel was indeed an H-3 and this was the only model of that version I could find readily available. I'll be building it OOB apart from some PE harnesses.

 

Finally, a personal note. Seconds before plunging into the ice rink, the Heinkel narrowly missed the houses of the Ruthrieston area of the city. At the time there was speculation that Lt Huck had made heroic efforts to avoid the houses, though others maintained that he was instead trying to reach the open fields beyond the ice rink or had mistaken the rink for a factory and had decided to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Fatherland. It's equally likely that Lt. Huck had been killed or disabled by that point and the aircraft was out of control. Whatever the truth of this, the fact is that my mother, who would have been 7 at the time, was living in one of the houses under to the doomed aircraft's flight path and a small alteration in its course might have resulted in me never existing at all, a small matter in the great scheme of things but pretty important to me. Makes you think.

 

More soon,

Craig.

 

 

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As an Aberdonian myself I'll be keeping a close eye on this build as it's one I have always intended to do. I've done a fair bit of research on this incident over the years including talking with eye witnesses. The crew are buried just a few miles away in Old Dyce Kirkyard at the back of Aberdeen Airport (formerly RAF Dyce), sharing their final resting place with Allied aircrew in the military section of the cemetery. Unlike most German airmen they were never re-interred at Cannock post war. That's an interesting snippet about your Mother's near miss. My mother was involved in a similar incident at around that age when her parent's house was very narrowly missed by a 612 squadron De Havilland Vampire near Brimmond Hill which is just a few miles away. As you say, it certainly makes you think !

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Good luck with your build Craig, especially with the family history.

 

My mum had a near miss with a V2 years ago, it redeveloped a big part of the Eastend of London just yards away from where she was living.

 

cheers Pat 

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27 minutes ago, Dandie Dinmont said:

 I'll be building it OOB apart from some PE harnesses.

Very interesting project Craig,  I will also be building this kit in the GB and I would recommend a canopy mask to help with all that glazing.  Greg @Greg Law started this build earlier this year and has some helpful tips on tackling this kit.  Here is the kit and extras that I have assembled ready for the start of the GB.  The Quickboost u/c doors are a waste of time as there is not much difference from the kit parts, but that's the fun of buying online. :penguin:

IMG_1325

Less than 2 weeks to go, see you there.

Bob.

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Hi Craig, do you have a copy of that Luftwaffe Crash Archive Vol.1? That's where you'll find the photo of the wing underside wreckage showing the ID codes, as well as the upper/lower camouflage demarcation line on the fuselage.

 

Good luck :)

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Fantastic choice, I second @Retired Bob's comment about the canopy masks. The moulding is a little tight when attaching the fuselage to the wings, it will fit with a little force.

 

defiantly builds into a nice aircraft.

 

image.jpg

 

image.jpg

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14 hours ago, Capri3 said:

As an Aberdonian myself I'll be keeping a close eye on this build as it's one I have always intended to do. I've done a fair bit of research on this incident over the years including talking with eye witnesses. The crew are buried just a few miles away in Old Dyce Kirkyard at the back of Aberdeen Airport (formerly RAF Dyce), sharing their final resting place with Allied aircrew in the military section of the cemetery. Unlike most German airmen they were never re-interred at Cannock post war. 

Thanks. One of the things I've found puzzling as I've found out more about this incident is was 1H+FT carrying 4 or 5 crew? As I understand it, 5 would be the normal compliment for an H-3 and one comment I found online claimed that there was indeed 5 crew, all interred in Old Dyce Kirkyard but the war graves records don't contain anything that looks like it might be the 5th crewman. Have your own researches cast any more light on the matter? I'd be delighted if you could share anything else your research has thrown up in the thread!

 

Craig.

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6 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Hi Craig, do you have a copy of that Luftwaffe Crash Archive Vol.1? That's where you'll find the photo of the wing underside wreckage showing the ID codes, as well as the upper/lower camouflage demarcation line on the fuselage.

 

Good luck :)

Thanks! I looked for a copy of the book after reading your original build but being an Aberdonian born and bred, quailed at spending £25 on it! I've since read some of the pages available online and it does look pretty interesting so I may yet pick it up. Was this where you found out that the aircraft in question was built by Arado or are there other sources of information available?

 

Thanks,

Craig.

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Hi Craig,

 

Information is pretty scant otherwise, but yes the Arado Works manufacture claim was in the same book. There are 2 sides of A4 and 3 photographs of the wreckage and a further aerial photograph of the crash site which you've probably seen before. There's a lot of scorching on the wreckage, but the rear fuselage is unburned and you can clearly see the demarcation line of the upper and lower paint terminating at the leading edge of the tailplane. Two photographs show an oblique view from front and behind of the port side of the fin which appears very dark with a light area of paint flaked off. No evidence of the swastika can be seen on either, but not having it seemed harder to justify than assuming the paint on the fin was scorched and peeled so I added it on mine anyway.

 

The starboard wing was broken off near the root and is bent backwards and up, propped against masonry and shows the paint burned off most of the unsupported skins - the skin over the wing ribs and main spar is still there and dark, suggesting a fairly short-lived flash fire which removed the paint but not long enough to heat-soak the heavier structural members inside. The port wing is broken off outboard the engine. One photograph shows the outboard piece on a big lorry trailer to be removed from the crash site. It's sat leading edge down, with the fabric all burned off the aileron. The RLM65 paint is full intact but shows some dark sooty patches. The large balkenkreuz is intact and clearly visible, and outboard it, clearly visible, is the letter T in black. I figured that if the T was there underneath then I'd add the 1, H and F also. If someone has photos to prove me wrong, I'd genuinely be thrilled to see them because in years of hunting this is all I've ever found, apart from these:

 

http://www.mcjazz.f2s.com/BlitzBlackFriday.htm

 

IceRinkBomberCrash.jpg

 

IceRinkBomber.jpg

 

Neither of these two images are exactly the same as those in the book, although the photo I mentioned of the tail from behind was taken from a similar angle, although the photographer has moved to the right by maybe 10 feet or thereabouts and it was taken at a similar time, possibly by the same photographer. Most of the people in the above have moved out of frame and some RAF airmen have moved in, the fire hose is still visible but the jet of water is coming from left of frame. The warden in the tin hat on the far right of the above photo is standing with his back to the photographer mid-span behind the right elevator looking down at the tailplane.

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Thanks for that Jamie, really interesting. Have you seen the film at https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0238? If you can get past the riveting footage of battle scarred walls to about the 3:48 mark, there's some footage of the crash site obviously taken at about the same time. I don't think it shows any more than you already know but it's interesting to watch all the same.

 

Craig.

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Great project it's always an incentive when there's a local twist to a story and build and a reminder that it was a nationwide battle even though we in North

were spared more so than the south and midland's although I'm sure Hull had more raids than any other city by the war's end.

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Thanks for all the interest, kind words and pointers towards helpful information, especially the other builds of this kit.

 

Talking of the kit, here's a quick look at it:

 

The rather nifty Box art:

 

50109301036_0f89afdc19_c.jpg

 

Intimidating amounts of plastic:

 

50108730608_e1c4e06e5c_c.jpg

 

Still more intimidating amounts of plastic:

 

50109540722_3a85103ce9_c.jpg

If you're thinking "He's in trouble, there's only one propellor in that lot", then fear not, there's a duplicated sprue and I didn't think you needed to see both of them.

 

The paperwork:

 

50109540672_18a439d6d5_c.jpg

 

I looked at the other PE sets Eduard do for this kit but realised that as a PE tyro, tackling any of that stuff would have killed stone dead any chance of finishing this by the end of October.

 

I had been intending to use Tamiya acrylics since they were what the instructions specified but having read some of the articles on this site and others about the accuracy of various manufacturers hues, particularly some of the arcane mixtures of Tamiya paint recommended, I decided to go with Xtracrylic instead. I'm no Luftwaffe expert so this will probably be close enough for me. Having looked at all the glazing in the kit, and heeding the advice from you all, I've also ordered up the Montex masking set, another first for me.

 

I have to say, I'm a little intimidated by the task ahead of me. I don't think I've tackled something this big since I completely mucked up an Airfix 1/24 Spitfire 45 years ago. I've also no idea where I'm going to put it when it's finished. I would have preferred  a 1/72 kit but H-3s seem to be few and far between in that scale (or any scale for that matter). I did find a suggestion that one could buy the new mould Airfix P-2 and H-6 kits and combine them to produce a H-3 but I feared that would be pushing my skills to the limit, not to mention more expensive than the ICM kit.

 

As is probably obvious by now, not much is known about 1H+FT, other than it was a H-3. The kit comes which a fair amount of alternative weaponry but which to use? One of the marking options is for an aircraft from II.KG26 but it's a 1941 aircraft which, I assume would have been tooled up considerable after the Luftwaffe's experiences the previous year. In the end, I'll probably go for the weapon fit of the early 1940 marking option and wait for someone to prove me wrong.

 

I have a couple of days off coming up soon so glue may well be applied to plastic soon!

 

Thanks for reading,

Craig.

 

 

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Hi Craig,

 

I forgot to say earlier and don't recall if I said in my thread or not, but the only thing considered to be safe ground in terms of markings beside a typical RLM 70/71 over 65 camouflage scheme is that the F would have been RLM 04 yellow owning to the Gruppe number, and that the spinners in the Gruppe would have also matched in RLM 04. 

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On 16/07/2020 at 11:38, Dandie Dinmont said:

I had been intending to use Tamiya acrylics since they were what the instructions specified, I decided to go with Xtracrylic instead.

Hi Craig,

You don't mention whether you will be airbrushing or using brushes to apply the paint.  If it's paint brushes then that's a better reason not to use Tamiya, it's great for spraying, but it dries too quickly for brushing.

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2 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

Hi Craig,

You don't mention whether you will be airbrushing or using brushes to apply the paint.  If it's paint brushes then that's a better reason not to use Tamiya, it's great for spraying, but it dries too quickly for brushing.

Hi Bob,


Judging by the acreage involved, I’ll be breaking out the airbrush for this one. I know what you mean about Tamiya paint, I really wish they would make their acrylic retarder available in the UK. Mind you, I’ve found the Xtracrylix paint has much the same problem so let’s hope there’s not too much touching up required. 
 

By the way, I’m planning to follow  @Greg Law’s example, based on some images I found online, and paint the cockpit and bomb racks RLM66 and the rest of the interior, undercarriage bays and the like RLM02 unless someone convinces me differently. Or I’ve got them the wrong way round. RLM66 is the darker grey right? I really don’t know a lot about Luftwaffe colours. 
 

Craig. 

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7 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Hi Craig,

 

I forgot to say earlier and don't recall if I said in my thread or not, but the only thing considered to be safe ground in terms of markings beside a typical RLM 70/71 over 65 camouflage scheme is that the F would have been RLM 04 yellow owning to the Gruppe number, and that the spinners in the Gruppe would have also matched in RLM 04. 


Thanks Jamie, I did see that in your thread, and found confirmation in a useful diagram I found somewhere on Britmodeller (I think) but of course cannot find again :-(.

 

I wonder if you or @Capri3 have come across this slim volume as part of your research?

 

50123776061_b50258afc5_c.jpg

 

(for the benefit of those poor souls unfortunate enough to be unacquainted with the language of Northeast Scotland, I will translate: “What was your location when the air raid warning sounded?”, ironic since it seems that in this particular raid, the sirens never did go off).

 

Anyway, the book includes eye witness accounts of the many air raids on Aberdeen during the Second World War. Very interesting on a personal level, they are however woefully lacking in details such as the precise colour scheme of 1H+FT and the disposition of its armament. The artist of the front cover, one Jakec Kapocki, has obviously done his research though and has got the markings on both aircraft just about spot on. He’s also done a good job on depicting the houses of Ruthrieston, my mum’s house would have been just to the left of this picture, across the road.

 

Anyway, thanks again for the help Jamie and I hope this was of some interest. I have actually made a start, more in my next post. 
 

Craig. 

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2 hours ago, Retired Bob said:

Tamiya, it's great for spraying, but it dries too quickly for brushing.

 

17 minutes ago, Dandie Dinmont said:

I’ve found the Xtracrylix paint has much the same problem so let’s hope there’s not too much touching up required. 

 

Both will brush wonderfully, put some in a palette, get a mini syringe, , I have a 1ml, suck up 0.95 ml distilled or deionised water,for Xtracylix 09.ml and the 0.05/.1 ml of flow improver.

add this drop by drop to the paint,  it's right when it liquid enough to flow but is still opaque, use a flat brush.  It flows,. does not drag or lift, and can be overpainted again amazingly fast

this is  a rough Tamiya undercoat,

49905407481_d08c249694_b.jpg

and the two sessions of Xtracrylix PRU blue

first session, streaky, note this is two coats,  by the time I'd got to the end, I could start over again! 

49907172836_30f6fa5f68_b.jpg

 

second session, again, two coats  in direct sun,  note the reflection of the fin flash on the tail

49913081312_60c3018702_b.jpg

 

I have to say, I was really pleased with how this came out, as previously brushing Xtracrylix had been awful,  dragging and brush marks. 

34 minutes ago, Dandie Dinmont said:

I really wish they would make their acrylic retarder available in the UK.

I got some Liquitex acrylic retarder, (out of a skip...) which as been recommended for Tamiya as well.

 

The water and flow improver really works,  I also use it for Vallejo Model Color (the Cromwell tank visible is a Vallejo mix) 

 

On super macro it's not as good a finish as airbrushing, but the photos show the final finish well.  (or am I getting really delusional?) 

 

more detail on the above photos here

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235073488-spitfire-pr-xix-airfix-72nd-as-i-thought-it-would-be-easy/&do=findComment&comment=3691062

 

HTH

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32 minutes ago, Dandie Dinmont said:

Judging by the acreage involved, I’ll be breaking out the airbrush for this one. I know what you mean about Tamiya paint, I really wish they would make their acrylic retarder available in the UK. Mind you, I’ve found the Xtracrylix paint has much the same problem so let’s hope there’s not too much touching up required. 

During the Stuka GB I was steered to try Mr Color  acrylic paint, I managed to get some before the lockdown, when used with their levelling thinner it was retarded enough that I it gave a couple of days to harden before masking or any other heavy duty work, it was no problem to go back and do any touch ups.  Their colour reproduction is regarded as very good.

48 minutes ago, Dandie Dinmont said:

By the way, I’m planning to follow  @Greg Law’s example, based on some images I found online, and paint the cockpit and bomb racks RLM66 and the rest of the interior, undercarriage bays and the like RLM02 unless someone convinces me differently. Or I’ve got them the wrong way round. RLM66 is the darker grey right? I really don’t know a lot about Luftwaffe colours. 

Yes that's right, bomber cockpits and bomb bay areas are black grey RLM 66 and the rear fuselage and undercarriage bays are RLM 02, a lighter greeny grey.

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36 minutes ago, Dandie Dinmont said:

(for the benefit of those poor souls unfortunate enough to be unacquainted with the language of Northeast Scotland, I will translate: “What was your location when the air raid warning sounded?”, ironic since it seems that in this particular raid, the sirens never did go off).

My first posting in the RAF, way back in 1972 was RAF Buchan, 20 miles or so North of Aberdeen, I was back with an Aberdeen postcode at Lossiemouth from 88 to 95 and my second son was born in Aberdeen Infirmary.  Still didn't understand it. :penguin:

Any way, I'll put my Mr Color paintwork out there, this is their RLM 70 and RLM 71 greens over RLM 65 light blue.

IMG_1290

 

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1 minute ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Looks good to my old Mk.1’s 👀

Sprays really well, doesn't build up on the airbrush tip like Hataka. :swear:

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1 minute ago, Retired Bob said:

Sprays really well, doesn't build up on the airbrush tip like Hataka. :swear:

Have you tried keeping a cotton ear bud dipped in thinner to keep the tip clean ? Thats what I do about once every couple of minutes. That or I thin it down and spray multiple coats to build the color up. 

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7 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Have you tried keeping a cotton ear bud dipped in thinner to keep the tip clean ? Thats what I do about once every couple of minutes. That or I thin it down and spray multiple coats to build the color up. 

Yes to the cotton bud, and now with the drive to eradicate plastic out of society the cotton buds have paper stalks that go floppy after a few minutes of being moistened, I'll try some Viagra, see if that helps. :giggle:

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On ‎13‎/‎07‎/‎2020 at 14:00, Dandie Dinmont said:

Thanks. One of the things I've found puzzling as I've found out more about this incident is was 1H+FT carrying 4 or 5 crew? As I understand it, 5 would be the normal compliment for an H-3 and one comment I found online claimed that there was indeed 5 crew, all interred in Old Dyce Kirkyard but the war graves records don't contain anything that looks like it might be the 5th crewman. Have your own researches cast any more light on the matter? I'd be delighted if you could share anything else your research has thrown up in the thread!

 

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