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A daytrip to Paris


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At approximately 1230 hrs on 12th June 1942 a single Beaufighter Ic, crewed by Flt Lt. Ken Gatward at the controls and guided there by his navigator Sgt. Gilbert Fern, roared along the Champs-Elysees at rooftop height to drop a French flag over the Arc de Triomphe and then flew to the Place de la Concorde where they strafed the Kreigsmarine headquarters with 20mm cannon fire and dropped a second French flag over it. This event, the express purpose of which was to raise morale of the French people and remind them they had not been forgotten, was Operation Squabble.

 

Ever since I read about the event I've wanted to model the 236 Sqn. Bristol Beaufighter Ic that took part. Although it is known to be coded ND-C there is some speculation if it carried the serial T4800 as shown in a photograph of a Beaufighter carrying the code letters taken a month or so later. Since nobody can confirm with any certainty whether or not this was the case or otherwise let's go with it as best guess for the purposes of this project. Tamiya's 48th scale kit provides a decent basis to backdate from the Mk. VI and was the only option in 48th when I started this one a few years ago.

 

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The wings have been assembled and some minor corrections to the panel lines done then a bit of detail added inside the fuselage, still more to do there, the crew figures are the kit parts slightly modified but with hindsight they still need oxygen masks fitted across their faces.

The stalling point had been at the engines so I've returned there and got the cowlings cleaned up.

 

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One of standard kit parts in the background with the two modified parts for comparison. Removed the small bulges, tidied up the mold lines, and removed the intakes from the front of each exhaust pipe.

 

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A section of plastic strip to cover the inside of that exhaust molding finishes the cowl for now.

Engines next and trying to recreate to individual exhaust pipes from each cylinder.

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Welcome, Col :) A very important aircraft and mission to be modelling, and you've already made great improvements to the kit with the alterations and added detail. I'm looking forward to the rest

 

James

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28 minutes ago, 81-er said:

Welcome, Col :) A very important aircraft and mission to be modelling, and you've already made great improvements to the kit with the alterations and added detail. I'm looking forward to the rest

 

James

Thank you for the kind comment and welcome James, absolutely agree with you on the importance of this mission and feel that it really should be a more widely known event as an example of courage and cooperation in the face of adverse odds, ever since reading about it I've wanted to model the aircraft involved as my own small and insignificant tribute.

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An excellent choice Col, any excuse to build a Beaufighter is a good one but this story is one of the best ones there is. I have been aware about it since reading about it in a comic as a boy (probably Warlord) and always thought that it was a brave thing to do so I'm very interested to see this one completed, the work you have done up to now is to your usual high standard.

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Fantastic topic. I saw this story in a magazine article a few years ago and also had a go at modelling it. It's extra motivation and interest to have a back story to a build and this is a good one.

 

There's a lot more to the background and the article, if I remember it properly included some of the photos they took at very low level in France. I'll try to locate it.

 

Great start on the build.

all the best

Mark

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I found that article. 'Aeroplane' magazine of March 2010 - a four page article based around an interview with George Fern.

 

It included some of the photos he took as they flew past, including this one:

SIw47Ybm.png This is Le Grande Palais which was showing 'La Vie Nouvelle' that night. Shows how low they were flying.

 

There's a lot of excellent detail in that article including the fact that the original target was the daily German parade but the planners hadn't taken the time difference into account so they attacked the secondary target instead - the Kriegsmarine building which was also home to the Gestapo. Also the first plan to attack the parade came from Fighter Command and involved three Spitfires trailing red, white and blue smoke - completely daft of course.

 

From what I remember the ORBs of 236 sqn have a good amount of detail.

 

Hopefully this adds a bit more interest for your build. Well worth getting hold of that magazine if you can.

 

all the best

Mark

 

 

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Ah,  very nice Col. My only ‘complaint’ is that you didn’t start this build earlier so I could borrow tips and tricks as to how to build and improve the Tamiya Beau! 🤣 I’ll enjoy watching this come together. 🤗

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11 hours ago, Mark Harmsworth said:

three Spitfires trailing red, white and blue smoke

Could have sent nine red Spitfires ……

 

AW

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Great choice of kit and subject Col. 

 

Id never heard of Operation Squabble before so consider myself enlightened! I bet it really ****** the Germans off!
 

Will follow along. 
 

James 

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A quick progress report

 

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One engine done, exhausts added with 1mm rod, one to do but need to get more rod from the LMS before this can progress further.

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Picked up some more 1mm rod from Models Unlimited here in Inverurie. Cue a pun by someone smarter than me about being completely exhausted 

 

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With the engines and cowling inners painted I've now fitted them to the wing

 

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The next task in this area will be to create the short exhaust pipe but I'm returning to the fuselage interior prior to that.

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Good job and a very fascinating subject, thanks for informing me about this operation! Out of interest I checked your LMS, and noticed this fabulous Intro at their fb site:

"Hi, thanks for checking us out. We don’t keep an eye on our Facebook page. We much prefer the traditional method of speaking to our people. It’s better that way. Give us a call at the shop..."

 

I like that attitude! V-P

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