Friday, 16 September 2022
Friday, 6 May 2022
Released in 2017, this is the 'new-tool' P-51 from Airfix. I was very impressed with the detail especially in the cockpit, and the choice of options. Drilling out the ends of the bazooka tubes improves the look a little. Painted with aluminium car paint as 'Little Indian', a 2nd Air Commando Group machine in late 1945. The decal sheet was huge, 80 + stencils, a few too many for me!
A 'walkaround' of the RAF Museum's P-51 which I photographed on a recent trip up to London - slightly strange to see a P-51 in a museum...
Saturday, 9 April 2022
new-tool 1/72 Airfix Hawker Tempest V - build review - completed as Wing Commander Roland 'Bee' Beamont's Tempest V, R-B JN751
Wing Commander Roland 'Bee' Beamont's Tempest V, R-B JN 751, on the airfield at Newchurch village, Kent, June 1944....
Here is my completed new-tool 1/72 nd Airfix Tempest V and a few more pics from a recent visit to the RAF Museum. Not much to say about the kit, goes together easily enough. The undercarriage is a little complex but no issues. Pictures from Hendon show the 'tricky' door arrangement well replicated on the model. I painted the gear bay and the inside of the gear doors green, as seen on the Hendon example. Airfix seem to have omitted paint details for this area of the kit. However Airfix don't appear to have got the wheels correct as mentioned in the previous post - the five spoke wheels have the smaller hub. I have to say as well that the stripe decals don't work - there are too many 'bulges' and shapes to lay them over that they won't settle down - even if cut in strategic locations. I ended up painting the white areas and cutting the black stripes from the decal. "R-B" is of course the machine assigned to Roland Beamont. Note how the exhaust staining on the 'real' machine goes all the way back to the tailplane. I had no intention of replicating that exactly since in model form it would look 'wrong'!
Newchurch - three miles west of Dymchurch on the south Kent coast - was opened as an 'advanced landing ground' to the first squadrons of Spitfires in July 1943 to escort US bombers based in East Anglia. In April 1944 squadrons of Spitfires, Typhoons and Tempests arrived, providing air cover during the ‘D-Day’ landings. Later in June 1944 the Tempests were ordered to deal with the new threat of the V1 flying bombs (Doodlebugs). The first Doodlebug shot down by the Newchurch Wing was on 16th June and the final tally shot down by the Newchurch Wing was 638. After months of intense activity, when the threat posed by the V1s had subsided, the Wing were moved on to other duties. In September 1944 the site was returned to agriculture.
Below a silent film shot in 1944 showing operations and daily life at Newchurch ALG featuring Beamont and his R-B. It was almost certainly shot to provide material for the RAF film about the defence against the V1. A single click to view here...
Wednesday, 16 March 2022
Post-war TT 5 (target tug) version of the Tempest as seen at the RAF museum last weekend.
The following notes were compiled by Paul Bradley based on Chris Thomas' research which can be found on BM.
The Tempest V came in two basic 'versions' – Series 1, which is generally reckoned to be the first 100 or so airframes (JN729-773, JN792-822, JN854-877), and Series 2 that encompassed the remaining production of the type. However, within those two basic configurations there were some subtle differences that make it a difficult task to pin down the exact specs of a specific airframe at a specific time. Without going into great detail, here’s a quick summary of the features:
Long-barrelled cannon – Denoting the use of the Hispano Mk.II 20mm cannon, at least the first 39 Tempest Vs, up to JN767, had cannon fairings protruding from the wing leading edge.
Wing root blister – The first 50 Tempests, up to JN796, used Typhoon centre-sections. As the Tempest wing was thinner at the root, part of the steel tubing that made up this structure had to be covered by a small blister.
Below; first production Tempest V, showing all the salient features of a Series 1 Mk.V, test pilot Bill Humble at the controls. (Kate Humble's grandfather.)
Fishplates – These small structural strengtheners were found up to at least the 85th airframe, JN862.
Cuckoo door dust filters – Not required for Series 1 aircraft.
Main wheels – Early Tempests had Typhoon main wheel hubs with 5 spokes and Dunlop EX 11.25-12 tyres. Sometime in the JN-series, this changed to a new 4-spoke design, but the exact cut off is not known.
Under wing stores – long-range tank capability was not fitted until JN797, bomb carriage from 151st airframe and rocket projectiles from the 251st airframe.
Sunday, 6 March 2022
..first completion of 2022. IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9. Great kit, loads of detail and options and fit was good for such a 'complex' kit. Finished as 'black 3' of 6./JG 26 with Xtracolor enamels.
Friday, 4 March 2022
The first new-tool IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9 arrived a few weeks ago. The D-15 is released as well. I assume the D-11/13 is due later. A quick look at what's in the box.
Sunday, 13 February 2022
This is me struggling with the new Airfix Mustang- nicely detailed but I'm finding it rather difficult to assemble, not helped by the poor fit of the fuselage halves. Like the Airfix Jet Provost I built a while ago the two fuselage parts do not fit together and filler is required all the way round. That means sanding off all the nice rivet detail too.