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Royal Australian Air Force Centenary Group Build

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  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 8:59 PM

Dodgy

Very impressive work Piers and Harold. Today I am going to start painting the Spit. I will try to get some pics up in the next few days.

Cheers

Ferg

 

Thank you Ferg and Piers. I may have fudged a little on my estimate of completion for the PBY. I said it was 10% completed, but it's more than 10%.

Over the last several days I completed the interior, glued the hull together and glued the resin tail section on the hull. The photographs below show the body work on the tail section, but I'm still working on the seams around the cockpit. You may notice what look like voids in the joint between the hull and resin tail section, but that is CA glue that was at the surface of the joint. See Photo #4 and #8.

I have also ordered DK Decals for PBY-5 in RAAF service. The aircraft I plan to represent is A24-17. It has an interesting war time history. On 27 June 1942 RAAF Serial No. A24-17 assigned to 20 Squadron was attacked by a US Navy aircraft. Piloted by Flying Officer Robert 'Mike' Seymour, A24-17 was returning to Havanah Harbor, Vanuatu after a combat mission the previous night. The attack was by a USN Grumman Wildcat after mistaking the red roundel in the insignia on the top of the wing for that of the Japanese. There were no personnel casualties. However, this event caused a change in the RAAF insignia to a white roundel used throughout the remaning years of the war.

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #4

Photo #5

Photo #6

Photo #7

Photo #8

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, March 10, 2022 8:53 AM

Those look cool Harold! Looking forward to seeing you work your magic on them!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    April 2014
  • From: Australia
Posted by lostagain on Monday, March 14, 2022 6:48 AM

Harold, the detail in the brassin detail set looks amazing, sure it will be fantastic when done.

The PBY cockpit looks great - good detail for an old kit. The setbelts look like a detail set? Waist area looks very neat too.

Very nice work with the resin tail, that has come together very neatly.

Ferg, looking forward to seeing the Spitfire under paint.

How am I going? I have got some white circles painted on in place for the roundel decals on the Beaufighter.

And the Winjeel has some of the interior structure together

I am not getting much bench or PC time as we have been travelling most weekends recently, and heading off next weekend too.

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, March 14, 2022 10:58 AM

lostagain
How am I going? I have got some white circles painted on in place for the roundel decals on the Beaufighter.

Thank you, Cliff, and Piers. Cliff, I don't have any magic, just a lot of time. When I retired 8-years ago I wanted to do so many things I never had time for, but now at age 76 I'm happy just taking it easy at home. I don't even like going to the store if I can have my groceries delivered.

Piers do you paint your RAAF roundels rather than using decals? It seems difficult getting the registry perfect with painted roundels.

I made some more progress on both the RAAF Spitfire and PBY. Below is the detail work on the fire wall of the engine compartment and pilot's seat. This work would test the skills of any watch maker.

I completed body work on the vertical stabilizer and prepared the rudder for final assembly to fit on the tail section. As you can see the rudder is slightly longer and taller than the tail section, so I need to remove some material to make it fit. I will take material from the hinge side of the rudder to preserve the fine thin edge at the back of the rudder. The top can be sanded down to match the tail section since it has plenty of material to work with.

As you can see, I filled in the fluted area on the rudder because in all the pictures of actual PBY rudders those flutes do not exit. I talked with Mike Belcher about them by telephone and he said they were on an illustration he used and were probably artistic license. The rudder is a metal frame with fabric made very tight with some type of lacquer so the only time we would ever see flutes in the fabric is possibly when making a sharp turn in the air.

Before I start removing material on the rudder Mike Belcher's instructions are to assemble the Monogram kit horizontal stabilizers first and glue them to the vertial stabilizer so that is my next step.

Harold

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, March 14, 2022 7:27 PM

Cliff, Piers and Ferg I received the RAAF decals today and with them is a painting chart that indicates the upper surface colour of the PBY(s) shown with a red line around them is Blue Gray. In the research I did earlier the correct Blue Gray for PBY-5 in 1942 US Navy was Federal Standard #FS35189 which is the same as British Standard #BS636. From the colour chart it looks to me to be the same colour or very close.

Dose anyone know if there is a different Blue Gray for World War II RAAF service?

Harold

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, March 14, 2022 8:10 PM

Piers: Those look awesome! Esp love the paint on the Beaufighter, the white under markings for the roundels look perfect to me.

Harold: Well,  with regards to figures I told a guy once it's not talent as much as patience. And he told me patience is a talent of it's own, most people wouldn't have the patience to paint a figure. And I'd consider patience magic in a way- and you've got the drive to sit down and fiddle with something long enough to get it right- so it's magic in my book! 

Sorry, no idea about your question though. If it were Japanese aircraft I might know... Sad

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    January 2016
  • From: Somewhere in England
Posted by darrenshinn on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 9:32 AM

Harold,

I'm using the same chart for my Catalina as it's the only one I could find that showed an Air Sea Rescue Catalina in RAAF service. I've also done a bit of digging around looking for the correct blue grey colour, but quickly found it's something of a minefield. No-one really seems to know and sometimes the colour and schemes are aircraft-specific.

So, with that in mind, my rationale for the colour I went with was that RAAF Catalinas appear to have been lend-lease, so would have orginally shipped with the US colours. Add in the exposure to sun, sea and salt, and the colours are likely to have faded a fair bit. Huntin around I found this build from Doogs Models which had the kind of colour I was looking for:  https://doogsmodels.com/2014/11/08/painting-tamiyas-132-f4u-1-corsair/  In case the link doesn't work it's a Tamiya mix of 80% XF-18 Medium Blue, 18% XF-2 White and 2% XF-71 Cockpit Green.

I started the paint scheme by priming everything black, then sprayed Vallejo's model Air 71.062 Aluminium over the metal parts. After that, I "marbled" everything with this mix:

To my mind, this came out a bit darker than I wanted, but how blue or grey it appeared depended on the light source (artificial or daylight). It's the same paint in both, I'd just turned the light in the spray booth on for the second one:

And by the time I'd finished weathering it (chipping, salt weathering, spray some panels a slght different colour, oil washes etc), it looks different again:

I think the upshot of all this is that you pick a colour that looks "about right" and tell anyone who complains about it to provide photographic evidence of the aircraft in question at that period :)

For the decals I went with the only 1/72 RAAF set available, which only had one option, for A24-104, and that was in its JATO experimental role, so a totally different colour scheme to the one it had in WW2. This aircraft moved from No.8 Communication Unit to 111 ASR flight, then 113 ASR flight according to the Pacific Wrecks website. Interestingly it doesn't appear to have had the tail code NR-H added until it arrived in 113 ASR flight, which the decal instructions reflect.

 

Anyway, as you can probably tell, the Catalina is nearing completion, but this (Revell) kit has been a bit of a pig, not helped by some mistakes on my part. I couldn't find 1/72 masks so made my own, decided that attaching the canopy and blisters before painting was the lesser of two evils. It wasn't - I had paint leak into them and had to prise them off, clean them up and reattach them. And in doing that I managed to get glue onto the inside of one of the blisters, so that had to come off (again) and get cleaned up (again). This all almost lead to a controlled flight into the bin, but I wanted to get something done for the end of the GB and this does look "OK from six feet away". (Although I think the panels surrounding the exhausts should be blue-grey, not the rusty exhaust colour I painted them. Not sure if I want to tempt fate by going back and repaint them...)

However, just when you think you're on the final stretch, the kit fights back again. Instructions recommend 40g of nose weight, I added 50g just behind the cockpit and forward of the undercarriage bays, attached the undercarriage and watched it cheerfully go and sit on its tail. I've acquired some Liquid Gravity and that's going into the space under the nose turret later (glad I did leave that part off!).

Hopefully you've done a better set of calculations and weighting than I did, but probably worth double-checking before getting down to some serious painting, in case you need to prise or drill bits open to stuff it with more weight. I've seen a 1/48 build online which needed about 200g of weight, at which point you begin to wonder about whether the undercarriage is going to hold it.

Final pictures will follow, hopefully this weekend, and despite all the complaining, I've learned some interesting techniques in this build. It's a great subject, which I'm not sure I've done justice to, although I do like the contrast between the fabric and metal parts of the wing achieved by spraying thin coats onto aluminium (not tried that before).

After that, well back to the Mosquito, I guess. Although I might just go and build a tank to regain my sanity...

Darren

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 4:48 PM

Harlod & Darren-nice PBY's.  I need to add one to the stash but they are sooo big...

Piers-love the yellow paint scheme-I need to branch out more and try more things like that.

Made some progress on the P-40E last couple of days-interior getting painted and I added some PE-I normally use PE belts, but I figured I'd try some of the other bits-didn't use everything-baby steps...

Hope to get an oil wash on it tomorrow and get the fuselage buttoned up for putty & sanding...

Bob

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 5:22 PM

Thank you, Cliff, Darren and Bob, for your comments. Darren, you have connected the dots for me with your statement regarding the possibility that RAAF may have received PBY-5 aircraft through the Lend-Lease Program. I was aware of the program since World War II history is one of my major interests, but I had not considered the possibility that orders for PBY aircraft placed with Consolidated would be included in the Lend-Lease program.

I know from my study of Sherman tanks manufactured in the United States and shipped to Great Britain the tanks arrived with US Army olive drab, so it makes sense that PBY aircraft manufactured by Consolidated in California would be delivered into RAAF service with the same Gray Blue paint as the US Navy was using in World War II.

A friend in Canada by the name of Jack Geratic helped me locate a valuable resource for US aircraft called The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide 1940 - 1949 Volume 2 by John M. Elliott Maj. USMC (Ret.). On page 194 is an accurate colour guide, please see Blue Gray #1 in the picture below. That is the colour used by US Navy on their PBY-5 and 5A aircraft as well as their Corsair F4U-1 in December 1942. Later the US Navy used Blue Gray 3 and 4 on similar aircraft. Blue Gray #1 is cross referenced in the text as Federal Standard #FS35189 or British Standard #BS636.

As far as I can tell the only difference between the US Navy and RAAF PBYs colour scheme is the US Navy used Light Gull Gray 620 underneath and the RAAF used black.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 8:01 PM

Darren: That looks friggin' awesome! 

Bob: Nice work, looking forward to more. 

Harold: Dunno here but that sounds reasonable to me! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 9:35 PM

Thank you Darren for the information on Liquid Gravity.

Harold

  • Member since
    April 2014
  • From: Australia
Posted by lostagain on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:35 PM

Darren, that looks great, love the faded effect.

Other posters are right, when we getting lend lease planes early on, they often came in whatever colour the US had for their own planes. For the Catalinas, the grey probably was a US colour.

For RAAF colours try googling RAAF spartan paint chart, that will provide a sample of RAAF wartime colours. And it may start you down a whole new rabbit hole...

(I am answering on the phone, so can't link the picture)

Bob, nice work on the hawk, look forward to more.

  • Member since
    April 2014
  • From: Australia
Posted by lostagain on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:39 PM

"As far as I can tell the only difference between the US Navy and RAAF PBYs colour scheme is the US Navy used Light Gull Gray 620 underneath and the RAAF used black."

I believe that is a reasonable conclusion Harold. 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 10:29 PM

I made some progress and finally you can see what the Belcher Bits tail conversion kit did for this 1997 Monogram PBY-5. The new tail section has mirrored the lines of the actual PBY-5.

Harold

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, March 18, 2022 6:53 PM

Harold: That looks slick! The tail fairs right in there! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Friday, March 18, 2022 6:55 PM

Harold-great work on flairing in the tail-would never know it was a seperate part.  Well done!

Bob

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, March 19, 2022 9:49 AM

bobbaily

Harold-great work on flairing in the tail-would never know it was a seperate part.  Well done!

 

Thank you, Cliff, and Bob. The Belcher Bits tail is a lot of work, but closer to the actual shape of a PBY tail than the original Monogram design.

I glued on the horizontal stabilizers and I'm ready this morning to putty around the connection between the horizontal and vertical stabilizers.

Harold

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, March 20, 2022 7:04 PM

Hi fellas. I havn't been spending much time on the PC, or at the bench, so I'm just catching up.

Piers: The Beau is looking fantastic, you are one skilled and prolific modeler!

Harold: The work you have put into the Spit and the Cat is truly amazing. Such detail and skill. Incidentaly, for what it's worth I concur with the other comments about the grey on the Cat. From my reading the Cats retained the colours they were delivered in, as did the Kiwi Corsairs.

Darren: I think your Cat looks brilliant. The weathering is awesome, very convincing! I also feel your frustration, as my Spit has fought me all the way. I will finish it, but it will be a 'yarder', as in it will look good from a yard away!

Bob: The pit on your P40 is looking good. I'm looking forward to the next update.

So, my Spit. As I said earlier, it has fought me all the way, but whilst very frustrating at times, I have actually enjoyed the journey. Given that this is the first plane that I have built in over 30 years, I'm not that unhappy with it. I have been relearning lots of old skills and picking up some new ones along the way. Foremost in  these is using the airbrush. My skills here leave a lot to be desired, but I'm gradually getting the hand of it again. Because of regular sanding/filling issues and touch ups of primer, I decided to sand the whole thing back, as the primer had built up too much in some areas. This of cours led to having to rescribe the panel lines. This brought about its own mistakes which required sanding and rescribing. Then I sprayed the tail and leading edges white using Tamiya flat white. I have only stardted using acrylics in the past year and this ended in disaster. Sand and try again. Hopeless. Sand and go back to Humbrol enamel. Not perfect, but infinitely better.  Wheel wells and canopy framing sprayed with Tamiya cockpit green, all good. Today I will be masking and painting the underneath, again with Tamiya. Wish me luck. Here's a couple of pics.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, March 20, 2022 7:40 PM

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, March 20, 2022 7:42 PM

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, March 20, 2022 7:44 PM

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, March 20, 2022 9:04 PM

Harold: Looks good! Everything looks in alignment. 

Ferg: I know what you mean- I've done my share of yard/metre models myself. She looks good in the photos though. If nothing else I'm always happy to chalk one up as a 'learning experience'. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Monday, March 21, 2022 5:40 PM

I know what you mean Gamera. I am definately chalking this one up to a learning experience and I'm pretty ok with that.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, March 21, 2022 7:16 PM

Dodgy

I know what you mean Gamera. I am definately chalking this one up to a learning experience and I'm pretty ok with that.

 

Thank you, Cliff and Ferg for your words of encouragement.

Ferg, you are not alone, I have a few Yarders too. Cliff helped me save one, but I have a few more that never made the finish line.

Harold

  • Member since
    April 2014
  • From: Australia
Posted by lostagain on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 5:24 AM

Great work putting that tail on Harold, that looks so good! And the tail feathers squared up beautifully - I am always in too much of a hurry to get it to your level.

(Pun not intended but still...)

Ferg, you have had a real struggle with that Spit, well done going this far with it. We have all had plenty of three foot models, and frankly some of mine I have just put down to experience, not even a learning eperience!

I am moving forward slowly. There is paint in the Winjeel's cockpit and decals on the Beau (no photos of that though)

The colour is a very vivid green, looks like that in the photos so I'm going with it.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 11:43 AM

Looks good Piers!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 6:28 PM

Vivid is right, but if thats the colour it's what you gotta go with. Looking good anyway.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    January 2016
  • From: Somewhere in England
Posted by darrenshinn on Thursday, March 24, 2022 1:14 PM

OK, so here in all it's (ahem) "glory" is the finished Catalina:

Now, the observant amongst you will spot that it's not actually resting on it's undercarriage. As per my previous post, I added a lot of Liquid Gravity into the space underneath the front turret to stop the tail sitting. This taught me a couple of valuable lessons: (1) you need to make sure that the cavity you're pouring this stuff into is sealed, otherwise you find (and continue to find) gravity all over your workbench, (2) Scotty was right, "ye cannae change the laws of physics" particularly those relating to the amount of weight spindly plastic undercarriage can take before Bad Things happen.

The reason there's only two photographs is that I made another foolish attempt to rest the plane on it's u/c at which point the port side gave way again. What was more unexpected was that the collapse caused the antenna wiring to ping loose, but I should have probably guessed this kit had a couple of surprises left in it...

Anyway, I'm pleased with the paint job, and having persevered to the bitter end with this one. Thanks to all of you who said nice things about the paint job, which saved the whole thing from the bin when the port undercarriage collapsed and shoved the bay it was in back into the fuselage last week. (In case anyone's interested, there's enough of a gap behind the cockpit and fuselage to insert a Tamiya paint stirrer to apply some pressure when gluing the bays back into place!)

Harold: Looking forward to seeing your Cat. I'm hoping I've soaked up all the bad luck for these aircraft in this build. Also looking forward to seeing the Spitfire, especially with the Brassin in it. That stuff's a bit pricey, but it certainly made a huge difference to the Mosquito's gun bay (and the length of time it took to do it!)

Ferg: I hope the Spitfire finally starts to behave itself, and you have a bit more luck with the acrylics. I pretty much Tamiya's all the time, but it has taken a few years and a lot of experimentation with mixes and airbrush pressure settings to get results I'm happy with.

 

  • Member since
    September 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Thursday, March 24, 2022 4:08 PM

darrenshinn
Harold: Looking forward to seeing your Cat. I'm hoping I've soaked up all the bad luck for these aircraft in this build. Also looking forward to seeing the Spitfire, especially with the Brassin in it. That stuff's a bit pricey, but it certainly made a huge difference to the Mosquito's gun bay (and the length of time it took to do it!)

Thank you, Piers and Darren, for your comments.

Darren, the resin tail I grafted onto my PBY has made the 16-inch hull very heavy in the tail and when I put enough Liquid Gravity in the nose, I expect the beaching gear will collapse. So, taking a lesson from your experience I have decided not to use the beaching gear, but instead set the aircraft in resin water like the example below.

If I use Liquid Gravity I will make sure the material is in some type of containment. I ordered two 240g bottles of the product to make sure I had enough, but even if I don't use it for this BPY build, there are plenty of other projects where this material can be useful.

The Spitfire is in detail stage, painting components on the firewall and engine framework. The cockpit is in painting and assembly too. I work on the Spitfire in between steps that require time on the PBY Catalina like putty and paint.

Harold

 

  • Member since
    January 2016
  • From: Somewhere in England
Posted by darrenshinn on Friday, March 25, 2022 8:02 AM

Harold: I think that's probably the best approach, especially with the resin tail attached.

I suspect my trouble is caused by having the original weight behind the cockpit, as that's where the weights I was using fitted, then adding the Liquid Gravity in the nose to bring it down which was more than the weight the undercarriage joints could support.

Glad this has helped with your build, and look forward to seeing the end result!

 

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