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Thoughts on the new 48th Airfix Chipmunk T.10 kit


Rod Blievers
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Thanks for all the additional info. I noted most of these studying your excellent book sub titled 'Poor Mans Spitfire'(with other writers).  However, all very useful info.  In 1/72nd a lot of work would be needed to modify the AZ or Airfix kits.  

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Rod

 

Thanks for the write up, photos and other information. I have the Airfix Chipmunk and after reading all this I have slowly pushed it under the bed......................I think the words "mind blown"."somewhat confused"  and "more research needed' spring to mind. However I'll ask straight out, will this kit allow me to build a somewhat accurate WP810 of ULAS around 1972 without to many major changes etc?

 

Buz

Edited by Buz
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Buz:

 

The quick answer is YES, the kit contains all you need for a c.1972 configuration ULAS Chipmunk (use the broad-chord rudder, strakes and the sloped exhaust - if you have any photos of WP810 [I don't], then you might want to check if it carried the two UHF blade antennae on the rear fuselage). If you want to indulge in some Olympic-standard rivet counting then you could removed that curved strip below the centre-section.

 

I don't want to add to your confusion, but there are also variables! This 1970 photo of WP910 shows it in silver - given the history of this one you could argue that it remained silver until it left ULAS in 1973. Not only does it carry the UHF "blades", but note the anti-dazzle panel; a straight lower edge and going aft to encompass the windscreen fairing and the first canopy frame. WZ876 is seen in the more usual grey scheme in September 1971, the windscreen fairing is grey but the first canopy frame remains black while there are no UHF antennae, just a yellow VHF aerial under the wing. This latter Chipmunk features on Xtradecal X48224.

 

Happy modelling Buz!

 

51548575014_2b574bc28c.jpg

 

51547850671_6d9ccaa248_h.jpgWZ876 London UAS Abingdon 18.9.1971 (via Geoff Ambrose) by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

Edited by Rod Blievers
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228442745_10158310012368123_7427968296585233670_n

 

I think these are the camera ports on the RAF Gatow Brixmis aircraft used for spying during the Cold War. Isn't the BBMF aircraft one of these?

See Operation Schooner/Nylon/Oberon.

 

Dave

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No, not a camera port - it's an access panel present on all Chipmunks. You couldn't have a camera there as the contol runs are inside against the lower skin. Gatow Station Flight Chipmunks used hand-held cameras, usually from the front seat.

 

I THINK someone has added the mystery strip as a dam to stop oil lying along the belly from entering the rear fuselage through that hatch.

 

51553955420_afe4ef2f27_k.jpgChip2_edited by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

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On 10/5/2021 at 10:16 AM, Coors54 said:

 

I think these are the camera ports on the RAF Gatow Brixmis aircraft used for spying during the Cold War. Isn't the BBMF aircraft one of these?

See Operation Schooner/Nylon/Oberon.

 

Dave

 

On 10/5/2021 at 11:25 AM, Rod Blievers said:

No, not a camera port - it's an access panel present on all Chipmunks. You couldn't have a camera there as the contol runs are inside against the lower skin. Gatow Station Flight Chipmunks used hand-held cameras, usually from the front seat.

 

Correct.  Hand-held camera, observer in the front, pilot in the back.  SOP was that the crew put helmets on - with masks and visors on and closed - and boarded the aircraft in the hangar, to prevent them being photographed by the East Germans, who overlooked the airfield.  I really recommend this book for more details of these and other intelligence-gathering ops.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Looking-Down-Corridors-Wright/dp/075097947X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=looking+down+the+corridors&qid=1633843070&qsid=258-9815800-6728733&sr=8-1&sres=075097947X%2C0847827992%2C0931340489%2C1456311840%2C0143105167%2CB0176DH6GE%2C0141982543%2C0141194626%2CB086MZHKZC%2CB08CDVG21K%2CB07NWF3BX2%2C1509871748%2C1912666480%2CB09C42HXVW%2CB08M8Y5JCJ%2C1839520000

 

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On 10/10/2021 at 06:18, MikeC said:

 

Correct.  Hand-held camera, observer in the front, pilot in the back.  SOP was that the crew put helmets on - with masks and visors on and closed - and boarded the aircraft in the hangar, to prevent them being photographed by the East Germans, who overlooked the airfield.  I really recommend this book for more details of these and other intelligence-gathering ops.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Looking-Down-Corridors-Wright/dp/075097947X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=looking+down+the+corridors&qid=1633843070&qsid=258-9815800-6728733&sr=8-1&sres=075097947X%2C0847827992%2C0931340489%2C1456311840%2C0143105167%2CB0176DH6GE%2C0141982543%2C0141194626%2CB086MZHKZC%2CB08CDVG21K%2CB07NWF3BX2%2C1509871748%2C1912666480%2CB09C42HXVW%2CB08M8Y5JCJ%2C1839520000

 

Slightly off topic but a second vote for the book 'Looking Down the Corridors'. The British chapter detailing Chipmunk, Pembroke and Andover ops in Berlin is fascinating. Never knew half of what went on including Chipmunks occasionally coming under fire. Theres a photograph in their taken from a Chippy of a group of Russian soldiers one of which is taking pot shots at the aircraft.

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Quote

Correct.  Hand-held camera, observer in the front, pilot in the back.  SOP was that the crew put helmets on - with masks and visors on and closed - and boarded the aircraft in the hangar, to prevent them being photographed by the East Germans, who overlooked the airfield.  I really recommend this book for more details of these and other intelligence-gathering ops.

That's exactly how we crewed the crew in and out when i was in Berlin on the Two Chippys. We had WZ862 and WD289 these two were swapped late 86 early 87 for a pair ( the two grey ones in the pic above) different radio fit.

 

Edited by tweeky
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If you're going to model a Gatow Station Flight Chipmunk, then the caution must be (as always), check the photos! Generally these Chipmunks carried extra stencilling, which I THINK was German language repeats of the usual stencils. WZ862 is depicted on XtraDecal X48223, but since this sheet is somewhere "on the water" between the UK and Australia, I'm yet to see it and so can't comment further.

 

Here's WZ862 with historic Tempelhof in the backgound. Note the "extra" stencils above the fuselage roundel, aft of the the yellow rectangle on the canopy sill and on the cowl sides.

 

51579282083_f7b44e1d19_k.jpg

 

WG78 leads WG486 and WG466 - both of the two Grey Chipmunks have additional stencilling apparent around the fire extinguisher symbol on the forward fuselage side.

 

51579049621_77771d0d17_k.jpg

 

WG466 now resident in the museum at Gatow - German text stencil on the aft canopy frame.

 

51579040276_968bd98dd2_z.jpg

 

WP850 sports a tiny Berlin Bear on the fin.

 

51579056521_d05f84bb3f_b.jpg

 

WG478 as I said earlier never appeared in the overall Grey scheme (because neither detachment to Berlin lasted very long) - it did however carry possibly the highest-ranking officer's name ever to appear on a Chipmunk!

 

51579038446_4ad8ed66a0_k.jpg

Edited by Rod Blievers
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15 hours ago, Rod Blievers said:

Generally these Chipmunks carried extra stencilling, which I THINK was German language repeats of the usual stencils.

 

Rod,

 

The old grey matter might not be as good as it used to be, but I think it was initially a legal requirement (or something along those lines) for aircraft based in Germany (as opposed to those passing through or temporarily deployed on exercises etc.). As to where I picked this little nugget of info up, now that would really stretch the grey cells!

 

Mark.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/24/2021 at 5:34 PM, Rod Blievers said:

 

 Bubble canopied Canadian Chipmunks comprise two versions. The first was the DHC-1B-2-S3, which was ordered by the Canadian Dept of Defence for distribution to Canadian aero clubs and hence only much later some wore the overall yellow scheme. Subsequently the RCAF ordered the DHC-1B-2-S5; this was specifically intended for service use. They differ considerably from the UK (or Portuguese) built T.10/Mk.20/Mk.21/Mk.22 series; they are structurally different and use different sub-systems to the extent that many components are not even interchangeable. As an example (and alluding to the popular myth), the Canadian bubble canopy cannot be fitted to a T.10 (due to the different windscreen cross-section and lower mounting rails).

 

Rod Blievers, thanks for the great info.

You wouldn't happen to have any drawings (hopefully with profiles) of the Canadian bubble canopy, for someone who will try the conversion, using you info.

All the info I have been able to find is for the British version.

 

Thanks,

Colin

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Drawings of Chipmunks in general are surprisingly rare, let alone those of the DHC-1B. The elevations are from Bill Fisher's "Chipmunk - the first fifty years", plus a few others that might help (notice just how different the panels are).

 

51621492405_3cb6d479e9_k.jpgChip3 by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

 

51620864188_52c06a9309_z.jpgimg260a_zps6ada4680_edited by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

 

51620870018_63bd90d8bf_b.jpgimg259a_zpsc1353cce by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rod Blievers said:

Drawings of Chipmunks in general are surprisingly rare, let alone those of the DHC-1B. The elevations are from Bill Fisher's "Chipmunk - the first fifty years", plus a few others that might help (notice just how different the panels are).

 

That's fantastic Rod, thank you very much!

My hope is when my (overdo) Chipmunks finally arrive, I can build a master, and vacuform an accurate canopy. Between that, and your list of differences, I might have a chance of turning out something recognizable!

Thanks again, for all the info, and the great drawings.

 

Colin

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On 10/5/2021 at 10:16 AM, Coors54 said:

228442745_10158310012368123_7427968296585233670_n

 

I think these are the camera ports on the RAF Gatow Brixmis aircraft used for spying during the Cold War.

 

On 10/5/2021 at 11:25 AM, Rod Blievers said:

No, not a camera port - it's an access panel present on all Chipmunks. You couldn't have a camera there as the contol runs are inside against the lower skin.

 

 

51553955420_afe4ef2f27_k.jpgChip2_edited by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

 

Interesting that hole in the wing, in photographs it appears as a clear aperture (or darker coloured disc), and the kit replicates this.  Was it a clear panel to look in at control rods or something?

The only Chipmunk I can inspect is Portuguese and they don't seem to have this feature.

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Do you mean the circular port near the "3" of the under wing serial in the WK643 drawing? It's a downward i/d lamp that can be used for signalling; they all seem to have the yellow/orangish-ish cast (although possibly they've aged to this colour). Please note there's been a massive clean-up in the hangar since this photo was taken...

 

51623072923_3e700bb1ab_k.jpgP1000502 by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

Edited by Rod Blievers
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This is a fascinating discussion, as I try to improve a 1/72 AZ kit. The canopy is proving a challenge though. Am I right in saying that the "Gatow scheme" was essentially the early 70s training scheme with the Day-Glo strips removed? I seem to recall a Hunter (WV383?) that had this treatment and then a blue fin and other decoration applied for use by the RAE - then later it got raspberry ripple.

 

Justin

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  • 1 month later...

I've previously banged on about the paucity of photos clearly showing the wing uppersurfaces of 2 FTS Chipmunks - Peter Binks has supplied this postcard. This clearly shows the "aft" positioning of the roundel (notice where the spar and its associated Red/Grey division intersects the roundel).

 

WG470/32 features on Xtradecal 48221; while they've done a commendable job of replicating the oddly truncated "32" on the LHS their version of the uppersurface scheme is incorrect. Best you use the photo!

 

51726108549_dfe1c3c8de_k.jpgWG470 2 FTS (Peter Binks) by Rod Blievers, on Flickr

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