Friday, 25 June 2021

Aero Legends Battle of Britain air display, Headcorn aerodrome, Kent, 25-27 June


Went to an air display this weekend - something we might have taken for granted up until 15 months ago, now seems rather exotic. The crowds were out in force at Headcorn - in fact you have to wonder how Aero Legends manage to do this - putting on a 3-day event -when everybody else cancels. Shame about the weather on the Friday; especially as it forced the Red Arrows to 'curtail' their display - it was very grey and drizzled intermittently throughout the day. Saturday was much better, with warm and sunny conditions. There were still plenty of highlights - five Spits and a Buchon in formation, nine Spitfires and a Hurricane on the flight line, two C-47s airborne alongside a B-17, the aerobatics of a Bucker Jungmann and the magnificent finale as 10 Spitfires (yes, 10!!) were scrambled one after the other to chase a marauding Bf 109 attacking the aerodrome. (Buchon). On the Saturday Sqn Leader Mike 'disco' Discombe at the controls of the BBMF Spitfire XVI (TE 311) absolutely stole the show with a magnificent exhibition of display flying. Photos courtesy of myself and friends - Sonja Bailey, Ashley Paine, Martin Davenport..(Below; Alison Jane Miles photo..)

Jay Geer images of the Buchon caught by the Spit and Mike Discombe in the BBMF Mk XV (taken on the Saturday of the show..)

Two more from Jay Geer!

Ashley Paine G-IRTY and Harvard

here's 39 minutes of video footage by 'Bannistator' - a little shaky but didn't detract from my enjoyment! Otherwise click forward to minute 35 and the massed Spitfire finale!


Thursday, 24 June 2021

new tool 1:72 nd Airfix Spitfire Mk. Vc build review (1)


Quick progress on the new(ish) Airfix Spitfire Vc. Note that you can avoid cowl seam issues by assembling the fuselage halves and inserting the completed cockpit 'tub' from below. Wing/fuselage join is good as is the rear fuselage/wing join. No filler used in this build. 

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

ICM P-51 D - Anderson's 'Old Crow' 357th FG

As a 'practise' build before starting the new-tool Airfix and Eduard P-51s this is my ICM 48th P-51 D in the well-known markings of 357th FG ace Cpt. 'Bud' Anderson, as based at Leiston, Suffolk during October 1944. I read somewhere (I think) that this kit is very much a 'copy' of the Tamiya P-51 and while I don't know about that, it did go together far more easily than the ICM Bf 109 F I built last year! I made a mess of the windscreen which didn't fit too well though  - I attempted to drill out the blast barrels but made a mess of that as well; note they line-up asymmetrically in the wing leading edge. The finish is a 'weathered' version of RAF dark green, while the decals are from Kagero ‘Topshots’ - but they broke up disastrously on application. I still need to source some prop stencils and maybe add a coat of matt varnish, although I would suspect this machine was kept well polished! All in all this is something of a save....
Merle Olmsted's 'The Yoxford Boys' describes this machine with the following caption: "... It was received at the 8th Air Force depot at Wharton in the first week of September, 1944, just off the freighter from Newark N.J. It would have arrived at Leiston a week or two later, where it was apparently immediately painted in RAF green and Anderson flew it like that until winter came on, when his crew stripped it back to bare metal. It was eventually scrapped in November, 1945."

 Note that 8th AF P-51s did NOT have a wire antenna running from tail to cockpit..

‘Old Crow’ on René Francillon’s beautifully illustrated 368-page A-4 hardback published in French by Lela Presse - almost certainly one of the best - and least known - P-51 references...