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Help with diorama idea

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  • Member since
    November, 2013
Help with diorama idea
Posted by bstarr3 on Monday, July 17, 2017 2:44 PM

I'd like to make a carrier deck diorama out of Eduards Hellcat profipack. I have the old discontinued verlinden Navy deck crew figure set. Trying to decide between buying the Eduard carrier deck versus trying to scratch one up. As far as the action of the diorama, I was originally planning to pose a pilot figure in the cockpit, with an armorer on the wing reloading the machine gun, and another crew man refueling. It was meant to portray the quick rearm and refuel in the middle of a mission. However, after looking at some of the cool aftermarket parts available, I was thinking of getting a super detailed engine with removable cowlings, and portraying some engine work being done as well. I've seen photos of cowlings off and engines being worked on on the flight deck, but never with pilot in the cockpit. From an accuracy standpoint, would there ever be mechanics working on the engine while the pilot was still on board, waiting to take back off? I wouldn't mind doing an overall maintenance diorama, but kind of liked the idea of working some action in there, implying that the plane is ready to go back out at a moment's notice. There aren't a whole lot of hellcat dioramas that I can find on the web, so I'm not sure. Thoughts would be appreciated.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, July 17, 2017 3:32 PM

There's a good picture of an F6F being maintained up on the deck of CV-9. But definitely not while in action.

I suppose anything is possible, but the more usual situation would be the crew chief or another mechanic in the cockpit.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Monday, July 17, 2017 5:00 PM

yeah, I believe I've seen that photo. That was how I figured it wouldn't be completely out of bounds to show engine maintenance being done on the flight deck instead of down in the hangar. I think I might keep it simple with the original refuel/rearm idea. I can always do a detailed engine for a future build. I'd like to try a version of Shep Paine's P-61 diorama sometime.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Monday, July 17, 2017 10:21 PM

Pilot has a ton of things to do beyond just sitting in the cockpit.

Sleep for one.

Write after-action reports.

Bone up on navigation iads and the like.

Get up to date briefings.

Or, being a brown-shoe, taking a hollywood shower.  Or cadging a steak dinner.

 

Straight-deck carrier decks were binary, either fair or foul.  If a fair deck, they were set up to either launch or to recover a/c.  The needs of the ship outweight the Wing, the Wing outweighs the Group, and the Group the Squadron.  A "down " bird will not be allowed to foul a deck if there is a pressing need to have a fair deck for launch or recovery.  So, it will be wheeled somewhere out of the way and chained down (edges of the flight deck have significant moment arms, bakes are not enough).

Now, to add "urgency" to the scene, you could have the pilot off to the side, with an LSO and a Cat officer (yellow jersey) nearby.  Yellow jersey with a clipboard would be really good. 

You could pose the armorers off to one side, draped in MG belts, keeping an eye on the chief powerplant mechanic, who will be quickly giving a thumbs up or down on the bird. If an armed bird is needed, one will be armed, but it will be one that flies right now, not half an hour from now.

Just 2¢

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, July 17, 2017 11:36 PM

CapnMac82

Pilot has a ton of things to do beyond just sitting in the cockpit.

Sleep for one.

Write after-action reports.

Bone up on navigation iads and the like.

Get up to date briefings.

Or, being a brown-shoe, taking a hollywood shower.  Or cadging a steak dinner.

 

Straight-deck carrier decks were binary, either fair or foul.  If a fair deck, they were set up to either launch or to recover a/c.  The needs of the ship outweight the Wing, the Wing outweighs the Group, and the Group the Squadron.  A "down " bird will not be allowed to foul a deck if there is a pressing need to have a fair deck for launch or recovery.  So, it will be wheeled somewhere out of the way and chained down (edges of the flight deck have significant moment arms, bakes are not enough).

Or thrown over the side, depending on the prognosis.

Pilots don't know the insides of how their airplanes work. They know how they respond to controls. But if the Aircraft Mechanics have put a new magneto into an aircraft and it needs to be tested, a mechanic in the cockpit is a requirement.

Also to Cap's point, can't have stuff lying around the deck while sailing. 

I don't know the details of arming an aircraft for a second launch. I've mostly come across accounts of those early in the War for CAP Wildcats, which were few in number, didn't have any range and were managed to be back on the deck while the strike group was off for the day. 

But aircraft don't come in hot, stand with the engine running and get re-equipped and sent off. 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1:54 AM

wow! That is more than I ever expected to know about carrier operations. Thanks for the knowledgeable replies. So I think I'm leaving the pilot out of the picture and focus on the maintenance crew. I clearly had an inaccurate picture of what it meant for a plane to return to ship for refuel and rearm and go back out in a battle like Midway or Philippine Sea.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 8:18 PM

bstarr3
in a battle l

Shoot, I was just referring to normal carrier ops.

Battle is a very different dynamic.

 

On a straight deck, to set up a strike, you work backwards.  The slow birds are borught up first, and staged on the deck about as far aft as they need to launch (carrier catapaults were much later).  Aircraft already on deck were shuffled to the forward elevator to make room for the strike.  So, the strike is made up in order of cruising airspeed.  (The faster a/c can catch up.)  You stack the flight deck up from the t/o line back to the ramp.

The PC (plane captains, naval aviation term for a "crew chief") get the enigines warmed up on "their" birds, the pilots than man up, and the planes are flown off, one by one.

As the strike flies off, if more aircraft are scheduled up, the are brought up aft to queue into the take off stack.

When the pacakaage is flown off, if no CAP is to be on alert, the remaining a/c are then shuttled forward to make a landing space aft.  If you have an Alert-nn on deck, you have to split the deck a bit, where you park on one side to fly off, and leave some sort of landing space aft.

Alert-nn is your fast-response package.  This is 2 to 4 a/c armed and ready in nn minutes.  So, an Alert 5 package typically has pilots in the cockpit, but not engine turning.  Wings sometimes folded, sometimes not (you need about 8-10 minutes to turn into the wind and get up to 30+kts).  Alert 15 would be armed, but canopy open unoccupied.  Alert 30 might not be armed or fueled (as that can be done in 30 minutes)

Angle deck carriers avoid much of this by being able to fly off, and recover a/c at the same time, all while having most of the wing on deck and not cluttering the hamger.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 9:01 PM

Wow, again! Thanks for so much detail and information. When in this process is an a/c armed? Would gun bays be closed and loaded sitting in the hangar, or do they wait until on flight deck? I know I've seen photos of bombs and rockets being armed right before takeoff, is, engine already spun up. I've also seen gun bays being loaded while wings are folded and of wings being folded out at what seems like a late stage before takeoff. Thanks so much for the info. Are you a Navy veteran?

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Monday, July 24, 2017 9:39 PM

bstarr3
Are you a Navy veteran?

Only 24 years, and a blackshoe, too (an inside joke).  My first set of 'wings" were SWO (Surface Warefare Officer) and it was incredibly critical to know the antics of brownshoe-commanded birdfarms lest they run over their escorts.  (The second set of "wings" were in information Dominance")

Straight deck carriers did not have enough area to ferry a/c from one elevator to another.  So, armaments ere brought up by specialized elevators to the flight deck.  Most a/c were armed on deck.  Bombs were easier to load (typically) with wings folded (barring the outboard wing stations on a Dauntless, for instance.  5" rockets needed the wings open, so that was done in groups of four or six

If I remember my reading rightly, it took longer to fuel a Corsair than to arm one--you could get 4-5 Aviation Gunner's Mates to pass the belts and set them in the boxes.  (Remember, too, each gun pretty much just got the one belt each.)

After the fire on the Forrestal, the brownshoes became very strict about armed birds on deck that were not on Alert nn status.  Modern jets not being tail-draggers, are also parked TOW (Tail Over Water) to save deck space, too.

There's a spiffy catwalk detail that's really only possible at large scales--near where the birds are armed, there will be a chute that passes from the edge of the flight deck and angling over the catwalk, for dumping ordinance over the side in case of need.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:21 AM

Thanls. Very cool. I've learned a lot more about how carriers worked than I could have expected. Finally, I have my $64000 question : would there be any reason for a bird to have engine panels and gun bays open at the same time, with different crewmen tending to their respective duties? I basically want to build and show off am details in gun bays and engine, and put it all together in a diorama. If it's just not feasible, then I'll change up the idea and save either the gun bays or the engine for a different project. Thanks again for all your insight

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:12 AM

You get to a certain point where it's all about what you want to show.

my own peeve is jets displayed with their air brakes open.

But do what you want.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 10:41 AM

GMorrison

You get to a certain point where it's all about what you want to show.

my own peeve is jets displayed with their air brakes open.

But do what you want.

 

 

That's a good point.  It's tough sometimes in this hobby to find a line between realism/authenticity and artistic license.  I try at least to get the broad strokes accurate - eg knowing what colors different deck crew wore or when the pilot would be in the cockpit or not.  Unless you're creating a diorama of a specific photograph, it's up to your instincts/desires.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 10:17 PM

bstarr3
would there be any reason for a bird to have engine panels and gun bays open at the same time,

Had to think about that a bit.  As an Operations officer, I always tried to prevent work that was redendant, or just for work's sake (it's what OppOs are supposed to do, XOs and the LPOs can find plenty of "busy work" Smile ).

So, I couldn't come up with a reason to arm a plane needeing engine inspection.

But, a plane with an engine issue--broken rod, failed magneto or the like would need to be disarmed--so, that would be a reason.  Good reason to have a bomb cart, too, maybe.  The a/c would have been pushed to  a parking spot on the deck, so a tow bar would be a good accessory in view.

Tricky part is that a parked bird is going to have folded wings. and a set of chains to hold to the deck.  Which creates some interesting sight lines, too.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 28, 2017 12:03 AM

CapnMac82

 

 
bstarr3
would there be any reason for a bird to have engine panels and gun bays open at the same time,

 

Had to think about that a bit.  As an Operations officer, I always tried to prevent work that was redendant, or just for work's sake (it's what OppOs are supposed to do, XOs and the LPOs can find plenty of "busy work" Smile ).

So, I couldn't come up with a reason to arm a plane needeing engine inspection.

But, a plane with an engine issue--broken rod, failed magneto or the like would need to be disarmed--so, that would be a reason.  Good reason to have a bomb cart, too, maybe.  The a/c would have been pushed to  a parking spot on the deck, so a tow bar would be a good accessory in view.

Tricky part is that a parked bird is going to have folded wings. and a set of chains to hold to the deck.  Which creates some interesting sight lines, too.

 

Just remember that in WWII, most carrier deck plane movement was done by men, and aircraft secured to the deck with ropes. And wheel chocks in place. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Friday, July 28, 2017 3:15 PM

Since the Eduard kit doesn't have foldable wings (I know there's an aftermarket kit, but I think I've got enough aftermarket already!) I think I'm going to take some artistic license and leave the wings out, although I have seen pics of the gun bays being tended to while wings are folded. I'm going to pose engine panels open, gun bays open and being unloaded, maybe a bomb trolley removing bombs from underneath.  I know armorers will be in red jerseys and caps.  Are mechanics in yellow? 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, July 28, 2017 3:46 PM

Again, as you please but this is a little farfetched. If the mechanical breakdown occurred after arming, it was something unusual. The big problem there would be that the rest of the squadron would be lined up behind, ready to get going. Strikes get launched as fast as possible so that the first up don't burn up a lot of gas circling and waiting for the others.

In which case the aircraft that suddenly blew blue smoke would be gotten out of the way asap, tied down and the deck would then go back to being busy with the launch.

If it blew a piston during take off, he wouldn't land again with his bomb. He'd go off and drop it first somewhere.

I just read a horrific story about an A6 Intruder that returned to Midway with a couple of hung bombs on the outer right mount. The decision was made to land with them as the MER they were on was worth some money and they were low on them onboard.

The ship was making as much headway as she could on a calm night, effect of which was a thirteen degree cross wind right to left over the angled deck. When they landed, the bomber had it's right wing forced down hard, which snapped the axle on the right landing gear. The stub of the gear got tangled in the arrestor wire and they careened rignt up into the straight area forward where the previous landings were getting settled.

The bombardier ejected, never to be found. The pilot somehow miraculously survived, but a number of others didn't and quite a few aircraft were destroyed.

Really horrible story, and based on a bad decision.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 28, 2017 3:50 PM

Yellow are plane directors. They control movement of aircraft as well as launch and landings. They are usually officers. Red is armorers. Blue and Green I don't know off the top of my head for certain. Purple refuel the aircraft, and Brown are plane captains, the equivalent of a crew chief, one per aircraft.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, July 28, 2017 3:55 PM

Blue are plane pushers. I'm not sure but in WW2 fuelers might have been red?

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, July 28, 2017 3:56 PM

Modern day- green are GSE guys, catapult connectors and the like.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Friday, July 28, 2017 4:00 PM

Wow, that is a terrible story.  OK - nothing on the undercarriage.  I assume that a plane who had returned after launch due to mechanical failure would also have ditched his drop tank before landing? 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, July 28, 2017 4:02 PM

I don't know but that would seem to make sense for the same reasons.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 28, 2017 4:08 PM

bstarr3

Wow, that is a terrible story.  OK - nothing on the undercarriage.  I assume that a plane who had returned after launch due to mechanical failure would also have ditched his drop tank before landing? 

 

Not likely. Drop tanks were usually left onboard unless hey were punched off in a dog fight. Now, if a problem happens after launch, the options are very limited. On a straight deck Carrier, they will be spotted for launch and cannot recover aircraft until the last aircraft is launched. If it is an emergency, yes they will punch off everything and have to ditch in that case. But there is plenty of footage of damaged Hellcats returning to ship with drop tanks and ordnance aboard. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, July 28, 2017 4:28 PM

No doubt, but they'd be empty.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 28, 2017 5:20 PM

GMorrison

No doubt, but they'd be empty.

 

Mostly. Perhaps some residual fuel in there.

if you look at the footage here, at 2:40, a F6F recovers and the drop tank is ruptured. At 3:00, another F6F bellys in with no drop tank

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zcl9XkZOrUU

I really do wish that the powers that be on here would fix the video embed on the the new "upgraded" forum...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 28, 2017 11:12 PM

GMorrison

Blue are plane pushers. I'm not sure but in WW2 fuelers might have been red?

 

Yes, they wore Red back then... look close to the TBDs here, fuel lines and Red hats at the base of the wing leading edge

 

 

and Green was for catapult and arresting gear crews... some Green Caps in the mob below...

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:40 PM

Ok, this is from 1951, significantly later, but, note how the deck is run.

A plane is brought up, but cannot fly off, so it's struck below.

The deck is laid out in order of who takes off, as well.

Kinda cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tamciWO4ITI

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