Avenger II, 857 Squadron, FAA, HMS Indomitable, December 1944, Group Build.

Discussion in '#2 Pacific Theater of Operations' started by Airframes, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    This is the 1/48th scale Italeri (re-boxed Accurate Miniatures) Avenger, which will be built and finished as an Avenger II of the Fleet Air Arm, Serial No. JZ525, coded P1X. This aircraft, flying off H.M.S. Victorious, took part in the raids against Japanese oil installations, including the famous raid against Palembang, in January 1945, when the Avengers dived through heavy flak and attacking fighters to deliver their bombs on target, destroying the oil refinery, and severely hampering the enemy's output.
    This aircraft was the equivalent to the TBM, built by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors, and as such, there were a few small detail changes compared to the Grumman-built aircraft. The most obvious of these was the use of 'U.S. equivalent colours' for the camouflage paints. Where Grumman used British paints, Eastern Aircraft substituted the nearest equivalent in American paints, employing, for example, Olive Drab in place of Extra Dark Sea Grey, and the internal colours were also slightly different. These will be detailed as the build proceeds.
    There were also some internal equipment and layout differences, which will entail a small amount of conversion and scratch-building. The main internal difference was the inclusion of an Observer's seat in the rear cockpit, where some of the radio and electrical equipment would be fitted on aircraft being used by the U.S. The attached pic shows the port fuselage half, with the pencil marks indicating where frames and stringers will be added from plastic strip, and the equipment locating rack which will need to be removed from the wall. The floor in this area will also need modification, and again, this will be shown during the appropriate stage of the build.
    I intend to 'open' the canopy over the observer's cockpit, and I'm hoping that the careful use of a razor saw will accomplish this without tears!
    The black white profile, from a 1984 edition of 'Scale Aircraft Modelling', incorrectly describes the (British) colours as Extra Dark Sea Grey, Dark Slate Grey, and Sky which, as mentioned above, were only used by the Grumman factory.
    This really is a beautiful kit, and I only hope I can do it justice.
     

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  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Looking forward to this one old scout! I'm sure that you'll do it jusitce... :thumbright:
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Looking good Terry.:D
     
  4. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to it Terry! Now you've got me itching to build one of those. I saw one in a store a while back...
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Well, what ye waiting for C-Man?
     
  6. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Money, and a ride to the mall! :lol:
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hijack a car and rob a bank!!
    Thanks for the votes of confidence guys! Think I might need it, as I know as much about naval aircraft, and the PTO, as I do about how a woman's brain works!!
     
  8. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Right on Terry, here we go..........
     
  9. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    While not your specific plane, these should help, and I know that the one is ETO, but it'll give you a better idea of colours. I had a really good one, but I can't seem to find it. Maybe it's on my PC. I also just realized you have all of these, but here they are again!
     

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  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Cory! Although I've seen the colour shot of the real one before, which is a Grumman-built ship, with British colours, I haven't actually got them!
    I think I'm OK with the 'equivalent colours', but I'm not 100% sure about one, which I think is the U.S. colour 'Sea Gray' (I need to check), which replaced the British colour 'Sky', so if anyone can give me an equivalent in Humbrol enamel or Vallejo acrylic, or a pic of the colour, it'll help. I'm not too bothered about it being absolutely accuarate, as I'm allowing for weathering/paint fade etc.
    Also, does anyone know what colour the decks of British carriers were? Bearing in mind, HMS Victorious had, I believe, an armoured, steel deck.
    Any help would be much appreciated, but there's bags of time, as there is a shed load of work to be done before paint hits plastic!
     
  11. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Awesome Terry! 8) A great kit! even comes with RNZAF decals ,Now thats something!
     
  12. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    looks good Terry
     
  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Terry. Love the scheme you've chosen.
     
  14. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Good one Terry this kit is a real beauty mate!:D
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks guys. It sure is a beaut Wayne, lots of nicely detailed, and authentic, parts, but still room for a few additions.
     
  16. Lucke.stz

    Lucke.stz Member

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    cool, I´ll keep my eyes on this build
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Lucke; we Avenger builders have to stick together!
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    So the build begins. The first thing to do was to remove the racking mounts in the centre cockpit, and then add the frames and stringers, using plastic strip. Unfortunately, I inadvertently removed the forward locating lug for the turret mount at the same time, and had to replace this with plastic strip also!
    The additions are shown in PIC 1, and note that the residue of liquid cement was cleaned up afterwards!
    PIC 2 shows the kit floor, with the moulded-in electrical and other equipment. As the FAA used this position for an Observer's seat, the layout was different, and the floor clear of major obstructions, meaning the detail had to be carefully removed with the aid of a razor saw, shown in PIC 3.
    Once the cutting was complete, the floor was sanded smooth, and then 'plated over' with plastic sheet, and a block of scrap plastic added to act as a seat mount, as shown in PIC 4.
    A seat was sourced from the spares box, originally being part of an old 'Hawk' T33 kit, as shown in PIC 5.
    PIC 6 shows the seat after modification, with the sides thinned, and the addition of the beginings of a seat harness, made from strips of paper. The whole lot will eventually be painted; Interior Green for the seat, and silver grey for the harness.
    The crew positions in Avengers built by Eastern Aircraft were Interior Green, with the engine bay and bomb bay Zinc Chromate, and the first coat of green has been applied to the interior, and the floor assembly dry-fitted to test clearances etc., shown in PIC 7.
    PIC 8 shows the turret mounting plate, and the, as yet unpainted, cockpit side consoles in place, whilst PICS 9 and 10 are close-ups of the nicely detailed console parts. Once firmly set, these will be cleaned up, and painted and detailed as appropriate.
    The lighting used for the pics has made the green paint look somewhat darker than it should, but it is Interior Green and, when fully dry, this will be given various washes and some dry-brushing, in order to high-light the detail.
    There's quite a lot of parts yet to be added to the interior, and with the addition of some extra, scratch-built detail, this part of the build is going to take some time.
    I'll post some more pics soon, once work has progressed.
    Thanks for your interest.
    Terry.
     

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  19. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Looking good Terry! Looking at these photos only makes me want that kit even more. My Lindberg's detail was just so, well, nonexistant.
     
  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Cory. The kit is exceptionally well detailed, and I hope to be able to show some of it as the build progresses. There aint any wing fold, but the new Hobby Boss kit has it - at nearly three times the price of the Italeri kit!!
     
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