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hendie

28 SQN (Allegedly) Bristol F2B

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I've been working on this off and on during my 6 year build of Pullman Car 310, Pegasus.  Yes, I know I've also got a Scout on the go which has been sadly neglected, but this seemed more interesting

 

Now I'll make it clear straight out of the gate that I know very little of aircraft outside of the (very) few types I have worked on. I know even less of pre WWII aircraft, and know even lesserer of WWI/Interwar types.  I've never done any rigging, despite being (allegedly) a rigger by trade and even the thought of trying to rig something with my clumsy mitts has me in palpitations.

Not a very auspicious start is it?  Well, that's never stopped me before.

 

Following on with my usual theme of building 28 Sqn aircraft, I find in my notes that they at some point after WWI flew Bristol F2B's.  Just to make matters slightly more interesting I've chosen the Roden kit, which by all accounts is not the easiest thing to build.

 

P3210005.jpg

 

 

Over the last few years, I have searched and searched and searched but have been unable to find any substantial amount of information - and the information that I can find is let's say, less than concrete.  28 Sqn seem to have been photo shy since day one and there's very few photo's of their aircraft to be found through the usual channels. The two that crop up most often during searches are shown below.

The IWM caption reads:  Captains Hursthouse and Wilson of No. 28 Squadron RAF by a Bristol F.2B fighter biplane, Florence.

 

fe6b0c318b89cbbb8509375387bab6bf.jpg

 

The IWM caption for this one reads:  Crashed Bristol F.2B fighter biplane of No. 28 Squadron RAF

 

ffd5ddf52d1feaed9b89a557690223ee.jpg

 

Note that the first caption reads A Bristol F.2B fighter biplane -  it does not state it is a 28 Sqn Bristol, though the second caption clearly does.  My best guess is that they are the same aircraft. As Mr. Lydon stated so eloquently ... I could be right... I could be wrong.

 

My best guess at the serial shown on the first photo is E2285 but when I search for information on that serial number all the information points to E2285 being a 139 Sqn aircraft and not 28 Sqn.  I did find some information that stated that a detachment of 139 Sqn became 28 Sqn so I'm going with that, and in the light of the minimal information available, I'm going for the scheme above.   Gee this is fun isn't it.

 

Due to my complete ignorance of all things Biplanar I shall no doubt be calling on the wisdom and experience of @Brandy to keep me on the straight and narrow and will gladly accept any advice from those more knowledgeable than myself in things of doped linen and strings.

 

I began this little adventure with the engine - mainly because there was no rigging involved.

 

P3210004.jpg

 

It builds up into a decent representation of the (Falcon?) engine though when I got this far I realized it would have been a heck of a lot easier to paint the parts before I glued them all together. See!  Told you I knew nothing about biplanes.

I did replace the kit prop shaft with a home made brass version.

 

P7250010.jpg

 

So while I thought about how to attack the engine I changed tack and went for the pilots seat.  I had purchased a photo etch set for this, but wasn't happy with their version of the seat, and neither was I over enthused by the kit version, therefore, it was mix and match time.

The seat etch is shown here and while it is okay'ish, it doesn't match the profile of the seat back

 

P7250011.jpg

 

I took the kit seat, and cut a chunk out of the back support and did some gentle shaping to bring it more into line with the photo references.  I also found a nice piece of brass mesh in my stash which I'll put to good use.

 

P8160046.jpg

 

The brass mesh was glued to the kit plastic seat and a length of insulated wire was glued around the pure back of the seat to replicate the leather padding.

 

P8160047.jpg

 

With the cushion in place it doesn't look too bad

 

P8160048.jpg

 

Then throw some paint on it and it looks a lot better. 

 

P8180020.jpg

 

Around this time I found that my stock of paints covering this era of aviation was nil, so had to order a bunch of different paints.  The instructions stated doped linen.  Doped linen?  What kind of description for a color is that?  I ended up buying the AK Linen paint set.

That didn't really help as when it arrived it had three different colors of linen!

Resorting to looking up the BM walkround section I found a Bristol F2b and the interior looked to be a fairly innocuous pale linen color which had been doped and the red had seeped through in places so I set out to replicate that effect. Which I eventually did... rather poorly.

At this time I also realized that I had no "wood" paint. As an alternative I used MM Depot Buff, which I can kid myself looks vaguely similar to fresh sawn timber.  I know the wooden frame in the BF2B in the walkround section is stained and las a lovely aged patine about it, but I'm not going for a 90 year old aircraft here, so fresh timber it is.

 

P8180005.jpg

 

Some bracing wires added

 

P8180008.jpg

 

which are never going to get seen...

 

P8180009.jpg

 

When doing the dry fit routine I spotted that there is going to be a bug humongous seam down the middle of the floow ehen the fuselage gets put together, and that's going to be impossible to remove - so I'd better disguise it.

In the walkround, I spotted that at the gunners position, there appeared to be what looked like woven matting on the floor - potentially to stop the gunner slipping on a wet wooden floor?  Sounds reasonable to me and I'll go with that.

In my stash of all things brass I found some treadplate that I'd bought for the train build but was way too small in scale to be of any use. However, in this scale it could easily pass for a woven mat - the brownish thingy there.

 

P8180011.jpg

 

I'll throw some Flory dirt on that later.

One piece of etch that was going to get used was the scarff ring - not all of it mind you, just some of it.  There were a few pieces that were incorrect according to what I could see in photos.  I also threw away their U shaped gun support - why do PE companies insist on representing tubular object with flat PE?  Bloody annoying it is.  It doesn't take much to bend a piece of rod to shape... six or seven times to get the bends in the right place!

I had one piece of 1 mm diameter brass rod and got the bends wrong - and then couldn't find any more 1 mm diameter in my stash!  This is 1.2 mm brass rod.  I think it's just a bit too chunky.

 

P8180013.jpg

 

Some primer was thorn in the general direction of the scarff ring

 

P8180014.jpg

 

Then I remembered I had a coil of stainless steel wire.  Calipers reckoned this was about 0.98 mm in diameter.  Close enough!  The stainless was then straightened out by rolling it on top of a piece of granite with a steel rule. Once happy with the non curvyness it only took me two attempts to get the bends in the right place this time.  Looking a lot better.

 

P8180015.jpg

 

Test fit time again.

 

P8180016.jpg

 

At some point over the last few months I painted the radiator mesh aluminum

 

P8180012.jpg

 

then spent bloomin' ages tonight sorting out this piece of PE to sit in front of the radiator.  I had no option but to use superglue here as the available surfaces for bonding were tiny tiny tiny!

The slatted piece is just dry fitted at the moment.  It still needs to be painted some weird WWI color no doubt.

 

P8180019.jpg

 

When that's painted, somehow I am going to have to wedge those slats into the nose cowling without deforming the part beyond recognition.

 

Oh look!  white paint!!!  I'm off to work on my train again

 

toodle pip chaps and chapesses

 

 

 

 

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Ooh, a Hendie Brisfit!  Does that count as a Hissiefit?

 

Characteristically good start; I’m really looking forward to this one.

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Nice start!

I'll be happy to help where I can. Here is a link to the Wingnut Wings website page on this aircraft. There is a pic there of another aircraft with the same white stripes around the tail, also noted as 139 Sqn so that may have been the Sqn marking. I suppose it's not beyond credibility that these aircraft could have retained those markings when transferred to 28 Sqn, at least for a few days, so that would give you a window of possibility at least!

 

I'll try to see what else I can find (I'm at work at the moment!)

 

Ian

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Nice to finally see some deep-buttoning in one of your builds Hendie!

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50245848917_2ec96a1034_c.jpg

50245002308_0db4b8665b_c.jpg

Not sure if this will help or help muddy the waters ( btw I have the Roden kit in my stash it will get finished in IAC trim whenever I get round to it) looking through my Bristol fighter book I came across these two pictures of 139 squadron machines, nothing in 28 squadron I’m afraid.

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Another Hendie masterclass I'll take a seat in the corner and watch/learn from the master

 

        Roger

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28 Sqdn was equipped with Sopwith Camels when Billy Barker flew with them, his famous camel was marked with narrow black and white stripes and interestingly the caption to photo 38 in the book posted by Marklo above states that 139 sqdns markings were changed to narrow white stripes after Maj W G Barker assumed command in July 1918.  Barker also had the narrow white stripes on his Snipe with 201 sqdn with which he won his VC.  So I would conclude that the Bristol Fighters pictured are from 139 squadron.  Unfortunately this doesn’t help with what markings 28 squadron had on its Bristol Fighters.  It is unlikely that two units equipped with Bristol Fighters carried the same marking.  
maybe 28 was equipped with Bristols only after the end of the war when it was reformed for overseas service?

 

AW

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I have a WW f2b in the wings so an following this with great interest.  Your metalworking skills are very impressive, I really like what you have done with the seat and the Scarf ring.  Can't wait for the next installment.

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Aha

 

Alan has the paint for his roof, off we go to the...

 

Wait a minute, he's started the Brisfit and the wrangling over colours begins

 

Yippee!

 

 

The seat is brilliant Alan, have you tried the almost mythic Gator's Grip Thin for it?

 

I am very impressed for it's etchability.

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I didn’t realise that Barker was flying with 201 Sqn RAF (the old No. 1 Squadron RNAS) when he won his VC.  Barker was RFC pre April Fool’s Day 1918, so I’d assumed no Naval link at all.  Warneford won his VC flying with No.1 Squadron RNAS, so clearly it contained more than its fair share of brave / lunatic young men (VC winners tend to teeter on the boundary between bravery and craziness!) 
 

Mind you, apparently Barker was only flying with 201 because he’d “attached himself to it” [as you do!] since it was commanded by a mate of his.  Different world.

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On 8/19/2020 at 2:06 AM, hendie said:

I've chosen the Roden kit, which by all accounts is not the easiest thing to build.

Nah, piece of p**s for a man who has built a Fly Wessex.

 

Definitely pulling up a chair for this one. I'm all agog.

 

Terry

 

 

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Okay, so after learning  that 28 Sqn was reformed in 1920 by renaming 114 Sqn in Ambala, India, I googled all permutations of 28, 139, 114 Sqns with a smattering of India, Ambala etc.  I've even googled known aircrew names to see if I can locate any photo's of them standing beside aircraft.

 

This is all I have been able to locate so far:

 

Caption: 28 Squadron RAF - Crashed at Peshawar after spinning in to the ground on 21 August 1923
Appears to be :
21 Aug 1923 Flying Officer F.G. Whitmore 28 Squadron - Peshawar
21 Aug 1923 Leading Aircraftman G.A. Taylor 28 Squadron - Peshawar
Source : http://www.militarian.com/threads/raf-remembered.3753/

 

J6769.jpg?m=1397773607

 

 

According to the Air-Britain 'ROYAL AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT J1 - J9999 and WW1 Survivors' that is Bristol Fighter F.2b H1512. The entry reads in full;
"114 Sqdn .19; renumbered 28 Sqdn 1.2.20; EF (engine failure), crashed, E of Ambala, 28.2.20"
(Courtesy Martin Gleeson)

H1512%20Crashed.jpg?m=1404311420

 

So at least I have two  registrations (if those captions are correct).  there's not much to be discerned from the second photo, but the first photo of J6769 has me intrigued. 

Sadly there's no fancy paint scheme that I thought would be a nice challenge (as with E2285) - but that roundel on J6769 is interesting.  Is it a roundel or is it something else ?

It's not a Chakra (is that the right term?) but there definitely appears to be some repeating pattern on each band of the "roundel".  I don't think it's 'weathering" as the pattern is too consistent.

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t see a regular pattern. I rather think that is weathering on the roundel. Think about the way the thing would have been brush painted, and see if the sweeps of a brush loaded with blue wouldn’t match a similar kind of shape. Hot sun could easily bleach paint like that, where fewer coats of paint might lighten more than a thicker coat.

 

The effect wouldn’t be so apparent on the relatively smaller central red circle. Then again, I could be entirely wrong. It has been known. :whistle:

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Posted (edited)

Just for pig iron, i did a search for 28 squadron and 139 squadron in my kindle library ( I have lots of books on WWI and early aviation) I got a number of references to 28 flying camels from 1917 to the end of the war and also to 139 flying Brisfits through 1917 and 1918. So all I can imagine is that 28 started out on Brisfits, rearmed with camels in 1917 and then reverted to Brisfits after the war, odd.  
 

I’d be surprised if that were a pattern on the roundel, more likely someone changed the proportions of the red white and blue or changed the roundels over to the lighter interwar shades and what you are seeing is the pattern of brush marks.

Edited by Marklo

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Found another.  

Caption:   BRISTOL.Fighter, J6740/L, 28 Sqn, 1929.

 

bristol.fighter.j6740-l.jpg

 

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Alan, excellent start to this build, a big departure from the norm. Maybe a Westland Wessex next time around. I like your treatment of the wicker on the seat. Excellent.

 

Colin

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On 8/19/2020 at 2:06 AM, hendie said:

why do PE companies insist on representing tubular object with flat PE?

Because they live here.

 

The combination of yourself, plus a type of aircraft you don't usually build, with a squadron camera-shy to the point of introversion is the modelling equivalent of an Agatha Christie mystery Alan: 'The Mysterious Affair at Britmodeller.'

 

This is sure to have many twists in the tale - bon chance mon ami!

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Hello Alan !

Welcome in the world of non rotative wings !!

The start is impressive !! Really well done.

The way you improve the seat is stunning !!

May I take a seat ?

Sincerely.

CC

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On 8/26/2020 at 6:30 PM, TheBaron said:

The combination of yourself, plus a type of aircraft you don't usually build, with a squadron camera-shy to the point of introversion is the modelling equivalent of an Agatha Christie mystery Alan: 'The Mysterious Affair at Britmodeller.'

 

:rofl2:

 

I took the liberty of approaching 28 Sqn direct and they have promised to be in touch should they find anything in their archives. 

I later came across an article that sparked a long forgotten memory

 

The unit remained in India until December 1941 when it took its aircraft to Burma. The squadron was decimated in the longest retreat in British military history and was in effect reformed at Lahore after its retreat back into India.

 

I believe that all 28 Squadron records were lost at this time and this could explain why there are so few photo's of 28 Sqn kicking about t'interweb

 

 

and another

 

Screenshot-2020-08-27-at-5-52-13-PM.png

 

Looks to be the same scheme, so same time frame?

This time the caption simply read:  An air-to-air shot of a 28 Squadron Bristol F.2B Fighter

 

One useful thing I found is that there is a book titled 

 

9780721207926-us.jpgmd30552129701.jpg

 

Great I thought.... quick search and there's a few available but although the book is only £6, they're asking nearly £30 postage.  The cheapest I can find it available is still costing close to $50... correction, found one at approx. half that.  Ordered so we'll see what info I can glean from that.

 

Screenshot-2020-08-27-at-7-27-50-PM.png

 

it's a start.

 

 

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Epic photo of the two guys airborne in their solar topees.  100% bet they were wearing Empire Builder shorts as well.

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Posted (edited)

I took the liberty of approaching 28 Sqn direct and they have promised to be in touch should they find anything in their archives. 

I later came across an article that sparked a long forgotten memory

 

The unit remained in India until December 1941 when it took its aircraft to Burma. The squadron was decimated in the longest retreat in British military history and was in effect reformed at Lahore after its retreat back into India.

 

I believe that all 28 Squadron records were lost at this time and this could explain why there are so few photo's of 28 Sqn kicking about t'interweb

 

I believe that is when they left their groundcrew behind,for a long time after that they were an Aircrew only squadron.

When I was at RAF Kai Tak/Sek Kong 1976-78, OC 28 Sqdn requested ground crew for the squadron,and was apparently told by MOD, you had them once before and left them behind,you cannot have them.

Edited by RAF4EVER
omission

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That was the same story I heard.  Whether it was true or not I cannot say, but as you know, all us groundcrew at Sek Kong were part of WSF  (Wessex Servicing Flight) and not actually part of 28 Sqn.  

Which was pretty obvious by the way we were treated at times.

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From the way that reads H the squadron is blo*dy lucky to have  you cataloguing them in plastic.

 

All the military units I ever read about, or have on my cv have similar catastrophes in the annals

 

Must be a Brit thing, 'xcept I know it isn't just we Brits...

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ehrrrr... ummnn.... urghhhhh

 

I'm really beginning to wonder just what I've gotten myself into with this build.   The Mysterious Affair At Britmodeller indeed.

Little to no existing information, and what little there is is fairly dubious. Add in a kit that isn't the easiest to build - and no decent build logs anywhere that I can find.  I could be opening up a whole world of hurt here.  Maybe I should have started with a Camel or something simpler as my first foray into the world of strings and wings.

 

Like I mentioned, there are a couple of build logs out there, but they're very basic and don't go into any real detail.  i.e. no pointing out any potential pitfalls and providing nice tips and tricks to make things easier.  I guess that what whisky is for eh?

 

For example, I spent a decent amount of time on the photo etch instrument panel, trying my very best to get a nice and neat paint job.

 

P8230005.jpg

 

Only to find that it is a fraction of the size of the kit part - so how on earth I was going to be able to fit and locate it with any degree of accuracy was questionable at best.  I've since decided to go with the kit part.

 

P8230009.jpg

 

oh, and apologies beforehand for the quality of piccies in this post.  Dunno what's going wrong with my ancient camera these days.  You'll just have to suffer through it.

 

Jumping about, as I tend to do on builds, and particularly on this one as I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, and in what order I should be building things, I threw some paint on the engine.  Bloomin' awkward it was.  I really should have painted parts individually before I assembled the thing.

 

P8290024.jpg

 

It does look rather handsome sitting on it's perch though, doesn't it?  The kit engine is pretty impressive, and Roden have done some really nice molding on this kit.  There's some really fine features, nice detail and definition. There's a tiny bit of mold mismatch between the two mold halves but nothing serious.  I have to say, very nice molding overall - I'm quite impressed.

 

P8230008.jpg

 

So it came as a bit of a shocker to find out that the damn thing didn't fit inside the cowling.  :rofl2:

 

 

P8230010.jpg

 

Wait! shouldn't that be :rage::wall:.

 

 

Best as I can tell, I'm going to have to remove almost everything above the cylinders in order for the engine to fit the cowling.   What did I say about other build logs and being given a heads up for gotchas?

Maybe there's a reason there are no decent build logs out there.

No surprise then that the engine got put to the side for the moment while I figured out what to do.  As a diversion I made one of these

 

P8230006.jpg

 

Yeah, I've no idea what it is either. It looks like some kind of hand pump.  The kit part was reasonable, but it had two whopping great lumps hanging from it - and Roden have it fitted to the port side when all the photo's I've found have it on the starboard side. Hence the scratch build.

 

P8290014.jpg

 

As I've been going through the photo etch set I bought for this I had an awakening.  Most of it is useless. I don't know why I buy these sets any more, I should really think hard before parting with any mullah on PE again.

I did find use for two pieces though.  The set provides some steerables for the driver, but although the set provides about 6 pieces to build up the rudder pedal assembly I ended up using just two - the pieces that form the "cage" looking thing at the bottom.

 

P8290017.jpg

 

primed.

 

P8290023.jpg

 

I'm finding that I'm spending most of my time just staring at this kit wondering what bits I should actually be tackling.  I think I am close to closing up the fuselage...what! In two posts?  With a helicopter that takes me at least two months before that can even be considered. But I need to figure out my assembly order first and the instructions are a bit vague in that respect.

 

Procrastination is hard work let me tell you.  I spent ages just looking at these bits and turning them over and over before committing to actually sticking some bits together. Oops - I used some PE belts here (still another couple of pieces to add)

A couple of weeks progress equals sticking in a chair, a bit of floor, and a couple of ammunition drums.

 

P8290015.jpg

 

I think Roden may have the fuel gauge and the other greeblie at the wrong end of the tank. I think they should be at the front, but I'd already stuck the chair in place before I realized that.

Some more indecision led me to scratch a linen sheet, okay then, piece of painted masking tape, at the rear of the gunners position

 

P8290019.jpg

 

which then has another piece of masking tape stuck to the front of it. I believe these were pockets for spare ammo drums? Or for keeping the gunners lunch in - aircrew have never really changed since day one.

 

P8290022.jpg

 

All of which will be mostly invisible once the fuselage is closed up. But then, we all knew that was always going to be the case didn't we?

 

P8290021.jpg

 

Not quite as exciting as a train build is it now?  

 

Good news is that it looks like the book is on it's way so I am hopeful that will provide some enlightenment and clarity on exactly what it is I am building.  The Roden kit provides for a few variants, but the lack of available information means that at this point, I am not really sure what variant it is that is being built here, and I don't want to commit to anything that is going to cause issues further down the line.

 

 

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