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"Sugar's Blues" Late War RCAF Lancaster


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“It was a brooding machine; thirty tons of it. Even counting motors and turrets as one and excluding nuts, bolts and rivets there were fifty-five thousand separate parts. Over three miles of electrical wiring, generators enough to light a hotel, hydraulics enough to lift a bridge, radio powerful enough to talk to a town on the far side of Europe, fuel capacity enough to take it to such a town, and bomb-load enough to destroy it.”

 

— Bomber: Events Relating to the Last Flight of an RAF Bomber Over Germany on the Night of June 31st, 1943 by Len Deighton

 

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My uncle Ivan died flying a Lancaster for the RCAF, so I am putting all my other builds (too many) on hold. Family comes first, so this will be a tribute build to him. I don't know what aircraft or squadron he flew with, so I've selected a late war lanc: "Sugar's Blues"  KB864 NA-S of 428 Ghost Squadron, RCAF. I'm using this kit:

 

Starting with the cockpit, I'm addressing some of the inaccuracies that have been noted:

Seat Pan   +4.5mm too long

Seat pan height   +1.5mm too high Plus floor is 2.5mm too high

Armour plate -3mm too short

Pedestal height should be 15 mm high

The front edge of the seat is in the correct position relative to the IP, so the shortening of the seat pan will pull the seat back forward toward the IP.

 

Starting with the seat, I used as many of the kit parts as possible, cutting 4.5mm from the front and 1.5mm from the bottom. I made a new seat pan, and shortened and reattached the base pieces:

 

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As you can see, I also scratchbuilt and folded back the head armor. I hope you enjoy the build, and please share any advice and encouragement you can!

 

Cheers,  Tom

Edited by Uncarina
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3 hours ago, Kagemusha said:

Thoroughly looking forward to this build Tom, did you manage to source a turret?

 

Thanks Andy! Nichenson has been extremely kind in offering me the parts I need from his B-25 kit.

 

1 hour ago, Bobs Buckles said:

Popcorn at the ready!

Cheers!

 

vB :frantic:

 

Bob, it’s great to have you along!

 

1 hour ago, Dennis7423 said:

Fantastic! I'll be following along with great interest! I'll also be sending you a PM here shortly.

 

- Dennis S.

   Thornton, CO USA

 

Thanks Dennis! It’ll be like old times with our B-17 builds, only I will finish this one before finishing “Little Miss Mischief”.

 

Cheers,  Tom

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Thanks Andy! It will really set this build apart, and I’m very appreciative.

 

His name was Ivan Wilson, my dad’s older brother, and since I’ve always had a passion for aircraft my dad said I reminded him of my uncle. He gave me his prewar scrapbook full of aircraft related clippings, and his military pocket knife which I still have.

 

Cheers,  Tom

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“‘Fighter, fighter. Corkscrew port, go!’ said Flash Gordon. Without bothering to use the sights, he opened fire into the blank darkness. Lambert, obeying instinctively the command that any crew member was empowered to give, flung Creaking Door into a vertical bank and let it drop through the air like a slate. Binty Jones, not to be outdone by his colleague, also fired his guns. Curves of tracer hosepiped across the sky as Door fell faster than its turrets could turn. ‘My God,’ said Löwenherz as the tracer came towards him. Instinctively he shied away, while Door’s eight exhaust flames tipped vertical and slid out of sight under his nose. The little .303 bullets that the Tommis fired were seldom fatal against the solidly built Junkers, but still Löwenherz found it impossible to fly through them. ‘He’s seen us,’ said Mrosek. Löwenherz swore. He followed the bomber down, trying to bring the flame spots up past the windscreen again, but now that he was higher than the bomber he no longer had the advantage of the moonlit clouds. Lambert was following the classic manoeuvre of the corkscrew and chanting its litany as he went, to warn the crew: diving port, climbing port, roll, climbing starboard, diving starboard, roll, diving port, climbing port … Many times Löwenherz had seen such an evasive pattern. Four or five times he had been able to execute identical manoeuvres in formation with his victim and kill him while they danced together. He could not do it this time. For a corkscrew can be executed in such a leisurely fashion that it occupies ten miles of air-space (some pilots corkscrewed like this the whole journey) or it can be the brutal wing-wrenching, back-breaking manoeuvre that Lambert now put into effect. ‘Lost contact,’ said Sachs. ‘My fault,’ said Löwenherz.”

 

— Bomber: Events Relating to the Last Flight of an RAF Bomber Over Germany on the Night of June 31st, 1943 by Len Deighton

 

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I love this photo. It was taken from the control tower of an airfield in Saskatoon, the town where my father, and presumably my uncle, was born. This photo also shows the Martin-built turret that is a characteristic of Sugar's Blues. In addition: paddle-blad propellors, a rectangular bombadier viewing window, the electronic gadgets (ECM?) on the forward blister, and probably other details that I will be needing you to keep me honest about! Fortunately, the kit provides these things.

 

What I have to work with so far:

 

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I've also ordered the DN Models clear parts masks (they mask inside and out), and the .303 barrels from Master. In the photo above you can see the Vargas girl that I will be using from Kit's World, which depicts the nose art of a similar RCAF Lanc. In fact, she's the same girl but with different colors for the hair and dress. I am fortunate not to have to make masks for that!

 

Where I'm at so far:

 

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Again using as much of the kit as possible, I used the original floor of the Pilot's platform which is just shy of 3mm in thickness. I then raised it to a 15mm height with support pieces. Next up will be making the document holders and trim cable shield for the starboard part of the platform, and working on the instrument pedestal and control yoke. Thanks for your support!

 

Cheers,  Tom

 

Edited by Uncarina
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