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1/72- Consolidated B-24H Liberator by Airfix - released


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On 14/04/2024 at 06:58, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

The only B-24H received by the RAF "from the factory" was BZ970, Taken on Charge 16 February 1944, Air Britain and Air Arsenal North America says B-24H-1 42-64432 became BZ970 (Its USAAF card says accepted 13 August 1943, earmarked for Britain October, sent for modification, to ATC Dorval for ferrying 5 February 1944).  The other B-24H were theatre transfers, the only official document I have is an ADO-478 report which says,

 

 

The British Air Commission and Lend Lease says 18 transfers, all in Britain, 1 each from AC-18722 and 18733 and 16 from AC-21616, it gives the US serials but not the RAF ones.  Air Arsenal North America agrees with this while saying they were for 223 Radio Countermeasures squadron in Bomber Command (reformed in August 1944) and gives the tie ups, presented here in RAF order



TS521 / 42-52483 / H-15 / Ford
TS522 / 42-52712 / H-15 / Ford
TS523 / 42-52620 / H-15 / Ford
TS524 / 42-52753 / H-15 / Ford
TS525 / 42-52771 / H-15 / Ford
TS526 / 42-52572 / H-15 / Ford
TS527 / 42-52591 / H-15 / Ford
TS528 / 42-52731 / H-15 / Ford

TS536 / 42-94771 / H-15 / Ford

VB904 / 42-52766 / H-15 / Ford
VD245 / 42-52681 / H-15 / Ford

 

 

 

Looking at the ones you should be able to build form the Airfix kit, Aircraft of 100 Group gives the following as the individual aircraft codes of 233 Squadron (6G - )

 

I've not seen a photo of any of these, but imagine their config would be similar to other 233 Squadron Libs

 

I don't have the AB Liberator in RAF and Commonwealth Service book to triple cross-check (and it's a bit expensive these days!).

 

 

TS523 - D

TS525 - H

TS527  - Q

TS528 - R

TS536 - G - note it gives the US serial as 42-94981, which would be an H-20-FO

 

TS521 - F (only given by US Serial, 42-52483)


It also gives TS538 (No known US serial or mark) as being used by 1699 Flight as 4Z-B. Streetly also gives a couple of serials that aren't in the AA-NA book, but as the latter is more recent I'd tend to take those,

Edited by Dave Fleming
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As Airfix scanned the ex-SEAC/Indian AF B-24L in the RAFM, it seems highly likely that the next issue of the kit will be a B-24L with SEAC/ USAAF (CBI?) markings......

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Oughton states 21 a/c were transferred, listing the RAF serials, codes where known (usually) and ex-USAF serials and histories where known.  Most are H-15s, with a few Js at at least one H-20.

 

The key matter still seems to be just what nose the Airfix kit provides, and how this might differ between the relevant production batches.  Hidden in this is the question that if Airfix have based their kit on an L, does it match any of the BC Liberators?  There were however a lot of White ex-Ls in SEAC, so going back to the original requests, examples are present.  The details of the noses are in Consolidated Mess, which I went looking for last night but couldn't find.

 

So I slid my chair back a minute ago and guess what was filed under the computer desk?  A quick look suggests that the actual differences are few, mainly a change from the rectangular window to a bulged one behind the nose turret (often modified in field to this fit) and similarly an extra window behind the bomb-aimer's transparency.  However the L has a distinct kink in the forward fuselage to accommodate larger bomb-aimer's transparencies.  Looking at the Airfix kit box art, this appears to have the nose of an H-5/10/early -15/FO.    Phew.

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

A quick look suggests that the actual differences are few, mainly a change from the rectangular window to a bulged one behind the nose turret (often modified in field to this fit) and similarly an extra window behind the bomb-aimer's transparency. 

Many Thanks Graham, I was trying to prove to a friend that later B-24’s had that bulged window behind the turret. He kept claiming even with my photo’s I was seeing things. You just won me a beer.  

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My kit arrived today, the box is very...   ...full!

 

Special Ops Liberators - 223 (Bomber Support) Squadron, 100 Group and the Electronic War  by Steve Bond and Richard Forder gives the following serial number and Sqn code/aircraft nick-names for their aircraft, they operated a mix of H and J's, all of the Hs were taken over from the USAAF and had previous operational lives:

 

223 Sqn

 

TS519/S ex 41-29568 H-15-CF

TS520/J ex 41-28868 H-15-DT

TS521/F ex 42-52483 H-15-FO

TS522/P ex 42-52712 H-15-FO

TS523/D ex 42-52620 H-15-FO

TS524/O ex 42-52573 H-15-FO

TS525/H ex 42-52771 H-15-FO

TS526//T ex 42-52572 H-15-FO

TS527/Q ex 42-52591 H-15-FO

TS528/R ex 42-52731 H-15-FO

TS529/C "Circe" ex 42-94856 H-20-FO

TS530/G "Gremlin Heaven" ex 42-94981 H-20-FO - this aircraft features on DK Decals sheet 72016 No.100 Group RAF

TT340/U? ex 42-94797 H-20-FO

VB904/J ex 42-52766 H-15-FO

VD245/R ex 42-52681 H-15-FO

 

1699 Flt

 

TS535/A then B ex 42-94813 H-20-FO

TS536/W ex 42-94771 H-15-FO

TS537/X then D ex 4294847 H-20-FO

 

So I could possibly build some of these aircraft but that doesn't include TS530/G "Gremlin Heaven"?

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TS530 was an H-20,-FO suggesting that you may need to add the extra window behind the bomb-aimer's nose, but do have to have the bulged window above it..  There is also a different side-gunner's window with a raised sill.  No-one has yet said just exactly what you get in the kit, in this area.

 

These may well be the kind of detail that can inspire some enterprising modeller to produce aftermarket bits.  They would apply to quite a lot of Js too.  Airfix have chosen a nose arrangement that fits (give or take only a bit) quite a lot of Liberators.

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5 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

TS530 was an H-20,-FO suggesting that you may need to add the extra window behind the bomb-aimer's nose, but do have to have the bulged window above it..  There is also a different side-gunner's window with a raised sill.  No-one has yet said just exactly what you get in the kit, in this area.

 

These may well be the kind of detail that can inspire some enterprising modeller to produce aftermarket bits.  They would apply to quite a lot of Js too.  Airfix have chosen a nose arrangement that fits (give or take only a bit) quite a lot of Liberators.

 

Thanks Graham, I've just checked the book and there's a photo of Gremlin Heaven, it definitely has the oval window, the kit has a rectangular one.  None of the 100 Group aircraft appear to have the astrodome on the top of the nose above the oval window.  Interestingly, many of the aircraft have the oval window plated or painted over.

 

I've got the old Paragon conversion set for the 100 Group for the B-17s and B-24s.

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The H-20 also introduced the sealed waist gunner window as opposed to the open position on the earlier versions. The kit subjects have the open one but I wonder if Airfix provide an unused alternative?

 

Aircraft of 100 Group says aircraft with the Emerson turret has the turret faired in with doped canvas over the outside of the nose

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I see Airfix's own adverts suggest that two versions of the upper and tail turrets are provided.  Can anyone give me detail on that?  (And will it help with later Coastal Command conversions?)

 

Cheers,

John B

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36 minutes ago, John B (Sc) said:

I see Airfix's own adverts suggest that two versions of the upper and tail turrets are provided.  Can anyone give me detail on that?  (And will it help with later Coastal Command conversions?)

 

Cheers,

John B

 

It might - I suppose it depends what turrets Airfix supply! -  some CC GRs has the 'high hat' top turret that came in, and later CC aircraft had the A6B tail turret instead of the BP one that was fitted to most early aircraft. Liberators seem to rival Fokker DVIIs in the 'everyone is different' stakes.

 

I was pondering last night what you needed to do an 'L' from the kit, as the Ford built 'L's had the nose shape that's in the kit (Looking at the new Wingleader book!)

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3 hours ago, Dave Fleming said:

 

It might - I suppose it depends what turrets Airfix supply! -  some CC GRs has the 'high hat' top turret that came in, and later CC aircraft had the A6B tail turret instead of the BP one that was fitted to most early aircraft. Liberators seem to rival Fokker DVIIs in the 'everyone is different' stakes.

 

I was pondering last night what you needed to do an 'L' from the kit, as the Ford built 'L's had the nose shape that's in the kit (Looking at the new Wingleader book!)

I am not in any way an expert on the B24 but the recent detail and scale book on the Liberator lists the L model as an attempt to produce a lightweight version with the ventral ball turret deleted along with an M-6A stinger rear gun mount in the tail

FWIW despite consulting a number of reference works there would seem to be no definitive production standard for any of the H-M series Liberators across any of the factories producing them

Basically to produce an accurate model, one or more photos of the actual aircraft you intend to model will need to be consulted

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5 hours ago, Acinonyx Jubatus said:

FWIW despite consulting a number of reference works there would seem to be no definitive production standard for any of the H-M series Liberators across any of the factories producing them

Consolidated Mess  apparently does have this information.   Or some of it.  @Graham Boak  whose just refound his copy maybe able to confirm?

5 hours ago, Acinonyx Jubatus said:

Basically to produce an accurate model, one or more photos of the actual aircraft you intend to model will need to be consulted

True of many types. 

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There was no single standard for all the production lines for all the batches of any of the Liberators.  Modifications were introduced as demanded, although generally were limited to between the batches.  This is actually true for every long production type - how many different Spitfire Mk.IXs can be produced?  The US system does allow for tying the most significant changes to the individual batches.  Consolidated Mess does however give the serial breakdown for each batch of each variant at each factory, together with drawings of the appropriate changes, and mention of those which were also carried out in the field so would not appear in any production information.

 

To produce an accurate model you benefit from photos of the aircraft you are modelling - as always for everything.  Sadly not always possible, but the combination of works such as Consolidated Mess and Oughton's work for the RAF and Commonwealth types (plus the profligate US photography) we are a lot better off with the B-24 than many other aircraft.

 

The continuous modification of aircraft was something Ford fell foul of, thinking to be able to churn out bombers like cars, but found themselves complaining about the steady flow of modifications that meant scrapping jigs and making new ones.  Partly as a result of this the entire first year's production was deemed unfit for frontline service and used to fill the training units in the US - although a few did reach the 8th AF.  From a more general modelling point of view, it is a great shame that this level of photography did not occur in the training system.  Of pretty well every nation, come to that.

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If the diversity described in Consolidated Mess is anywhere near reality, I think the only way to build an accurate B-24 is having some good pics of the airframe we intend to build. And even then, accepting that maybe two weeks later the nose might be different!

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Hi

    I am watching a youtube review and   the rear turret clear parts molding has the guns integral to the clear parts

   does that mean it can be built with the guns exposed ? 

   i.e. the open gun type A-6 rear turret,  by modifying the parts in step 104 ? 

      cheers

        jerry 

Edited by brewerjerry
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Has anyone found that the centre of the mainewheel hub (part E37) is off-centre. is this intentional for some reason or a misalignment in the tool making that didnt get spotted. Dont think its for making sure the bulge on the tyre is in the right place as this is done by a notch on the top of the tyre.

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1 hour ago, Cheshiretaurus said:

Has anyone found that the centre of the mainewheel hub (part E37) is off-centre. is this intentional for some reason or a misalignment in the tool making that didnt get spotted. Dont think its for making sure the bulge on the tyre is in the right place as this is done by a notch on, the top of the tyre.

Missed toolmaking error I think. The nosewheel centres 18, 19 & 20 are slightly off as well. Disappointing, but the rest of the kit is pretty good.

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15 hours ago, Cheshiretaurus said:

Has anyone found that the centre of the mainewheel hub (part E37) is off-centre. is this intentional for some reason or a misalignment in the tool making that didnt get spotted. Dont think its for making sure the bulge on the tyre is in the right place as this is done by a notch on the top of the tyre.


Nigel from Nigel’s modelling bench YouTube channel, mentions something about this ‘non centred locating hole’ on the kit’s  nose wheel. There’s no mention about the main wheels being off so thats a little annoying if true. I’m not sure how drastic this is to the kit’s construction, however his alarmed reaction and subsequent words are quite terse. Be interesting to see if they have any major impact on the final model once fully assembled. 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

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16 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

Missed toolmaking error I think. The nosewheel centres 18, 19 & 20 are slightly off as well. Disappointing, but the rest of the kit is pretty good.

 

2 hours ago, Rabbit Leader said:


Nigel from Nigel’s modelling bench YouTube channel, mentions something about this ‘non centred locating hole’ on the kit’s  nose wheel. There’s no mention about the main wheels being off so thats a little annoying if true. I’m not sure how drastic this is to the kit’s construction, however his alarmed reaction and subsequent words are quite terse. Be interesting to see if they have any major impact on the final model once fully assembled. 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

 

Yes, looks like a tool alignment issue on the E sprue as the 2 halves of the mould are slightly out with a noticeable lip on the sprue. Had a look at Nigel's video, he has posted a further update yesterday and mentioned that airfix have seen his video and have raised a quality issue for it. Hopefully it will be fixed on the next batch.

 


ohgOr6Vh.jpg


 

GnqOf1hh.jpg


 


W2TEPd1h.jpg

 

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  • Homebee changed the title to 1/72- Consolidated B-24H Liberator by Airfix - released

I guess it's only a small issue, I wonder if they are going to fix it, or how this can be done?

 

But I'd like Airfix to improve or move away from tooling/production in India, quality wise it's holding them back. All of my Airfix kits have issues, short shot parts(even large hole in fuselage), sink marks are very common too, next is warped parts... just annoying things to be dealt with, other manufacturers are much better here.

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