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iang

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  1. Great work on the pilot figure. You may be interested in the identity of the bearded FAA pilot. He was Lt John ‘Jack’ Haberfield RNZNVR. Haberfield had a short twentieth century life, shared by so many of his generation, enlisting in the Fleet Air Arm in 1941 and dying four years later age 26. He was one of the original 1839 pilots when the squadron formed at Eglinton in November 1943. Henry Adlam, who joined the squadron later, recalls Jack Haberfield with fondness in his memoir as “that friendly New Zealander”. Haberfield was shot-down during the Fleet Air Arm attacks on the Japanese held oil refineries at Palembang on Sumatra (Operation Meridian 1) on 24.1.45. 1839 Squadron was one of two fighter squadrons on HMS Indomitable. Both were equipped with Hellcats. The details of the loss of Haberfield’s Hellcat are scant, with Indomitable’s Report tersely concluding that “the fate of the Hellcat is unknown” L/Cdr Fraser Shotton, the CO of 1839 Squadron, wrote to Haberfield’s mother, when it was not known whether he had been captured or killed: "We made an attack against the oil refineries at Palembang in Sumatra: our squadron was escorting some of the bombers & Jack (Haberfield's nickname) was leading a section. Over the target we were attacked by Japanese fighters and a fierce fight developed, during which it was on possible to see what was happening in a small part of the sky & there were aeroplanes everywhere. Jack's wingman saw him attack an enemy fighter and followed it down in a steep, fast dive, then lost sight of him. He was not seen again after that. Several pilots reported having seen aircraft crash into the ground, but none could say with certainty whether they were our own or the enemy's." It is possible that Haberfield’s Hellcat was damaged in this air combat or by flak subsequently. Aircrew in an Avenger from Illustrious’ record seeing a Hellcat in distress, which joined up briefly, which was last seen going down near Lake Ranau. During the withdrawal, the flight plan was for aircraft to follow the river to the rendezvous point, so this was certainly Haberfield’s Hellcat, as his was the only one lost during Meridian 1. According to the Official History of the New Zealand Navy, a Chinese prisoner in Sumatra, who was released on 20.2.45, recounted that, “….it was town gossip that the photograph of a well-built, blind-folded pilot prisoner was shown for propaganda purposes at the premises of the Palembang Sumboeng, a local newspaper.” The description of this prisoner matches Haberfield, who was refused water and food during his interrogation at Palembang prison. After seven days he was taken blind-folded for transit to Singapore by boat. On arrival Haberfield was interned along with other Palembang FAA aircrew in Outram Road gaol. A few days after the cessation of hostilities with Japan, around the 18-20 August 1945, a group of Japanese soldiers took nine Fleet Air Arm aircrew from Outram gaol in a lorry to a beach at the northern tip of Changi and executed them by beheading them with a sword. Their weighted bodies were subsequently put in a boat and disposed of in the sea. The senior officer responsible for these unlawful executions, Captain Toshio Kataoka, committed suicide prior to his arrest by British war crimes investigators.
  2. I've had a similar idea myself. Plans are available drawn by P.G. Cooksley from Admiralty documents. These are reproduced in Michael Goodall's article on Lighters, Cross & Cockade (Great Britain) Journal, Vol.12, No.2 1981. Goodall's article focuses on Felixstowe lighters with good photographic coverage. There is also some coverage in Dick Cronin's article on Camel Lighters in Cross & Cockade (international) Journal, Vol.26, No.2 1995. eBay is sometimes a good source for paper copies of this journal, though most are available to purchase as PDFs from Cross & Cockade. HTH IG
  3. Trumpeter's Swordfish is also a very good kit, clearly inspired by Tamiya's 1/48th offering, but with a slightly cruder depiction of the canvas fabric. One mistake Trumpeter make is with their rigging instructions, where they confuse the wing walkways with rigging (providing horizontal steel wires where walkway makings should go). One to watch for. As for the service history of the aircraft, of all the engagements it was involved in, the night attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto by 21 Swordfish in November 1940, which severely damaged three battleships, was surely its greatest feat.
  4. Indeed, though arguably world class in the late 1930s (Nimrod, Osprey, Swordfish). The interesting aspect of Swordfish history is that by mid-war it was entirely obsolete as a carrier torpedo bomber (and relegated to a training role only), but world class in its new anti-submarine role (and superior to American aircraft in bad weather). An anti-submarine rocket/depth charge equipped Swordfish could get off the short decks of Royal Navy US built escort carriers in the most appalling Atlantic weather, when US build F4Fs or TBFs were hangar queens. Not so the Swordfish. It was a forgiving aircraft to fly, a stable rocket platform and in it's new role its slowness was not a crippling handicap.
  5. The Swordfish was never used on carriers in the Pacific, so there are no "Pacific Schemes" for it. As far as front-line squadrons are concerned, pre-war deliveries were factory finished in aluminium dope on the fabric surfaces and Cerrux Grey on metal surfaces with a variety of service applied colourful carrier identification markings. All Fairey produced Swordfish were delivered to units in this scheme. This was replaced with a service applied war-time camouflage scheme relating to its Torpedo-Spotter-Reconnaissance role based upon a five colour disruptive scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Sky Grey undersurfaces with Dark Sea Grey and Light Slate Grey counter shading (from roughly May 1939 until August 1940). This was followed by a similar three colour camouflage scheme with the same upper surface colours but with Sky undersurfaces rather than Sky Grey and with no counter-shading. This scheme applied to all new deliveries from the Blackburn factory commencing in early 1941 and was suppose to apply to in service Fairey built aircraft also. The final scheme applied to Blackburn build Swordfish was a so-called "Atlantic Scheme", where the undersurfaces were white, for use in a rocket equipped anti-submarine role (and some of these had black undersurfaces to the centre of the upper main plane). National markings varied in accordance with time and place of service. At various points, tactical markings were service applied over these camouflage schemes (such as D-Day recognition markings). Finally, there are some Swordfish in second-line training squadrons that adopted the relevant scheme for the time and place associated with this role. As for the rigging, Trumpeter supply flat steel rigging wire of the correct length (inspired no doubt by Tamiya's and MDC's 1/48th scale kits). I've built two Trumpeter Swordfish (plus one MDC and four Tamiya Swordfish) and I found Trumpeter's rigging wires worked fine. One of these was a scratch built floatplane conversion and I used RB productions flat wire for the floats. A bit fiddly, but the end result is quite convincing to my eye and better that the round profile you would get from EZ line or stretched sprue. Here's a couple of photos of the 1/32 float plane conversion in the pre-war scheme from HMS Eagle:
  6. But in WnW case it's about the decal options available. For some aircraft with plenty of aftermarket options available, this is not that relevant to builders, but in other cases where there are limited aftermarket decal options, the original WnW release has additional value. A good case in point is the W.29. The reissue as part of the F2A/W.29 duellist boxing only comes with markings for one of Freidrich Christiansen's machines and Pheon provide the same option. This is a problem for those of us who love the W.29 but prefer not to model the aircraft of convicted war criminals. The LVG reissued with the Camel also provides markings for one aircraft. In addition, how long will the reissues be available for? I can imagine the Collishaw Tripe selling out very fast. When it does, I'd guess that both the original and reissue will command premium prices until the next Tripe reissue. So while I agree that WnW reissues have altered the market for OOP kits, I think some will still retain high prices for builders as well as collectors.. Your mileage may vary, of course.
  7. iang

    Well looky here...

    Great news. Though I wonder what "in development" means? Looks pretty "developed" to me. "Coming soon" would make more sense (to me at least).
  8. That's because Cerrux is a trade name. The colour of Cerrux Grey is very likely Light Aircraft Grey.
  9. Here's my Trumpegawa Hellcat. I've another half finished with wings folded. The Trumpeter fuselage is too wide around the cockpit, but has better wings (especially with the Eduard photo-etch wheel well detail for the Trumpeter kit) and engine. I grafted the Trumpeter wings to the Hasegawa fuselage, along with the Trumpeter engine, then re-scribed the Hasegawa fuselage and filled all the rivets on the Trumpeter wings. With a bit of dry fitting and fettling the two combine reasonably easily. Here's a comparison photo of the two fuselages:
  10. I found my copy of the Baracuda Vixen book. It doesn't seem to be available anywhere at the moment, which is a great shame. Each part of the airframe is covered with large format, clear photos: Here's a selection: Perhaps Roy could be persuaded to re-print if a new kit is released. Great news from Paul on progress on his Firefly 5. I know that most people think that the later Fireflies are aesthetically more appealing, but personally I much prefer the brutish appeal of the Mk 1. I also find the service history of the Mk 1 more interesting (Norway, BPF, Korea). However, given the quality of his kits, I would definitely buy a Mk 5 from Paul Fisher. His Sea Fury is one of the most pleasurable kits I've built. It was a sanity restoring project after the trials and tribulations of the PMC Firefly Mk 1:
  11. +1 on the Barracuda book - it's all you need. As for the kit, I had both the Firefly and Vixen with the resin parts for both, and after building the Firefly, I sold the Vixen. I'm glad that Roy produced them, as no one else has, but they require a shed load of work and are nothing like as straightforward as building a Falcon or Dynavector vacform. I have another Firefly and one day I might build another, but the first one took me a year and there is still plenty wrong with it. None of the resin fitted and most of it I junked, including the undercarriage and wheels, prop and spinner, exhausts, etc. I don't know if the Vixen resin was any better, but looking at it I had my doubts. Here's the Firefly:
  12. I have one of these too. There is this (unfinished) build thread, which has some useful information: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=8070.0
  13. Frank Mitchell scratch built one in 1/32. Impressive build and, to my eye, an interesting looking interwar carrier aircraft. I wish I had his skills. http://www.hyperscale.com/2012/features/blackburnblackburn32fm_1.htm
  14. I'd definitely buy a 1/32nd kit of the Blackburn Blackburn. Sadly, I don't suppose any manufacturer will oblige.
  15. I believe that the XVII has a different canopy/windscreen than the XIV, so will you be doing a bespoke item for this when you release the XVII conversion?
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