Avenger Mk I or II time!

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by Catch22, May 7, 2009.

  1. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so today I purchased a 1/48 Italeri Avenger and plan on doing it in FAA SEAC colours. I have all of the roundels I need, and I have lettering, so I should be ok. I just need to figure out what letters to use.

    The letters/numbers I have available are R, 7 and X which are all the right size. What I need to know is was there a carrier with the code R? I know Formidable had the code X, so I could use that if need be. Also, does anyone have any profiles they could show me? The roundels I have are non-Pacific Fleet. I may have to make up my own plane, but I'm ok with that, as long as it's semi-accurate. Thanks!
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hi Cory. You are about to set out on a journey I have just completed (almost), and the road, my friend, is rocky and marshy!
    I have gathered a fair amount of info on the FAA Avengers, including the differences betwen MkI and II etc. I have a few B&W profiles, and can point you in the direction of some colour ones, but! It would seem that even some of the 'official' sources have some conflicting, and at times confusing, info when it comes to markings, codes, and particularly roundels. So far, regarding the latter, I have discovered possibly 3 different styles of SEAC roundel, and at least 2 different Pacific Fleet roundel, and there appears to have been a mix of these too!
    Not all FAA Squadrons carried a fin code as a carrier or group I.D., and this is possibly due to the Squadrons moving about as it were, between land, and DIFFERENT carriers!
    If you go to the FAA Archives web-site, which I think you've looked at already for Corsiars, it's a good start point. It's possible to cross-reference between aircraft, Squadrons and ships, and get most of the details required. However, be warned, some of the info is conflicting, and some of the images, pictures and profiles, can be spurious or dubious when it comes to a specific date. It would appear that some Avengers in particular, retained SEAC/East Indies Fleet roundels and other markings after transfer to the Pacific Fleet. As far as code letter decals are concerned, I can possibly help you when you decide which aircraft you want to portray. But again, beware, as some info shows, for example, a particular Avenger as being a MkI when it's a MkII, and vice versa! There are ways to tell in photos, but the only true way is by the serial number, and I can assemble the serial blocks and dates etc for you.
    I'll TRY to get something basic together soon, but I'm having bl**dy awful Internet problems at the moment, operating at snail's pace on 2G only, and the mobile 'phone company can't yet identify the fault!
    Out of all the FAA Avenger Squadrons, it appears that only 5 or 6 might be in action in one particular area at one time, as their operations 'jumped about' for want of a better description, due to the vast distances travelled during the course of the period from mid 1944 to early 1945. For example, using just one Squadron as an illustration; pre D-Day operations in the English Channel, D-Day support operations. Move to the Med, support further aliied landings. Move to the Indian Ocean, across the Ocean. Attacks in support of US operations, more moves. Into the Pacific. Attacks on Japanese oil and transport infrastructure. Move further, first attacks on Japanese Islands, attacks on Japanese 'mainland'. All in the course of 14 months!
    This is only what I have gleaned so far, without any previous knowledge of the FAA, let alone Far Eastern ops, and without what I would consider in-depth research.
    Anyway, I'll post what I've got as soon as I can, and you can take it from there, and let me know which way you want to go. If my bl**dy Internet keeps going!
    EDIT:- I forgot to mention. Even though the Italeri kit includes markings for a FAA Tarpon/Avenger I, this can not be modelled OOB. It would need some modification to the engine cowling and forward firing armament, as well as other small conversion work. It's possible, but a bit involved. So, unless you want to do this work, you're restricted to the Avenger II.
     
  3. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Terry, I will do an Avenger II then. I was going to ask about the serial number that came with the model, but seeing as it's an Avenger I, that won't really fly.

    As for the carrier code letter, I know not all of them (or most) were not carried on the tail, but I noticed that on yours from the Victorious, is that on the side it has the letter "P". That is the letter assigned to Victorious, as it will appear on the tail of my Corsair as well. So I'm thinking it would be on the side? Not sure.

    As for serial numbers, if you can find anything, that would be fantastic, however I don't know if I'd be able to make them myself and I have all the decals I could conceivably need already, so I don't want to spend more money ordering new ones. I'm content with it being a "made-up" aircraft, but I'd like to be able to model it off of an existing plane, to get it at least down to a squadron, if that makes any sense.

    Thanks Terry, I'll do some more research later today. Time to work some more on the Corsair.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    No probs Cory. The serial numbers were similar across blocks/models, and it's possibl that the kit numbers can be 'swapped around'. I've got some black code letters/numbers the right size, and very close to the typeface used; I'll be using some anyway.
    When I post the profiles, if there's one you like, and haven't got letters etc for, let me know, and I'll see if I can help.
     
  5. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Alright, thanks for the offer!
     
  6. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    So, after looking at the FAA Archive, I've determined that the following carriers had Avenger Mk IIs that were in the Pacific Fleet:

    Illustrious: 854 Sqd Dec 1944-May 1945
    Indomitable: 857 Sqd Nov 1944-Nov 1945
    Victorious: 849 Sqd Dec 1944-Oct 1945

    I'm going to do some more research about the individual squadrons, but if anyone has any info, please post it! Thanks!
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Cory, I've nearly finished putting together some stuff on FAA Avengers. It will include serial blocks for each Mark, the differences between Marks, including equivqlents to TBF, TBM etc., the external and internal colour schemes, armament etc. There'll be a couple of B&W profiles, and some info on Squadron codes, plus a couple of B&W pics.
    The info is based on my reserach to date, including some cross referencing from the FAA archives.
    As soon as this 'net problem allow me to upload it, I'll do so in PDF format, in a separate thread, entitled 'FAA Avengers', here in the modelling section. Hopefully, my 'net problem should be corrected ober the weekend.
     
  8. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Terry, that sounds great! I've been able to download a couple of books on the Avenger with a few pictures. I can post them up later if you'd like.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    That would be good Cory. Any pics of FAA birds will always be useful.
     
  10. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I guess I'll just put these here for now, but once your thread's posted I'll throw them in there if you're ok with it Terry. Sorry about the size, but I want you guys to have the actual sized ones. Some of these are from book Karl recommended, so credit to him! I'll post photo credits and info and non-Pacific ones tomorrow, but it's almost midnight and I'm tired! :lol:

    Note the roundels on the carrier shot, they're the top-type SEAC FAA ones.
     

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  11. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Piddly little tail wheel, eh?
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great pic Cory, the one I've seen so far. It's taking ten fortnights for pics to open, if at all, due to my 'net problem at the moment. But the first one alone is very useful in loads of ways, for me anyway, as it shows deck crew, fittings and the aircraft. Thanks mate!
    I've posted the PDF on FAA Avengers in the Group Builds section.
     
  13. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Terry!
     
  14. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Alright, thanks to Terry, it looks like I've found a plane I can emulate. The serial number I have is for a late Avenger I, with the wing mounted guns, so I think I can get away with making it a I as opposed to a II. I also have a white "F", but no corresponding number, so I wasn't going to use it, however I can just get a scratch on number. So it appears as thought I'll be making an Avenger I of 832 Squadron on the HMS Begum. It won't be a real plane, but it will be very close. If you see any issues I run into Terry, please let me know as I don't want to commit if in fact I can't actually do a Mk I.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I had a feeling you might go for that one! It fits OK, for as you noticed, it's a late MkI, equivalent to the TBF-1C. You'll definitely need the '4', and if you can't get one, let me know, I can probably find the right size, matching 4 and F, and probably black numbers for the serials.
    Check out the Squadron on the FAA Archive site, as it was operational before doing escort and protection off HMS Begum. Note that the colours shown in the profile are correct, being a Grumman-built bird, and they are the British colours, not the U.S. 'equivalent' colours, so yours should look slightly different in tone to mine.
     
  16. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation Terry! I will look at what I have for scratch-on letters, if I don't have anything I'll look for some. I'll let you know if I can't find anything, but I think I'll be able to. Thanks!
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    OK mate. I've just found out something whilst masking my model. I thought I'd fit the rear fuselage windows, then liquid mask them, apart from the 'blister' ones, which are stuffed with tissue. There's a small problem, as the fit is either so tight, or the size is slightly off, that they won't go in properly. It might be an idea if you can fit the 4 small ones before you join the fuselage halves, as I reckon you'll be able to press them into place easier with the fuselahe halves flat on the bench. They can then be masked before painting.
    I hope to get mine in place, but it's going to be fiddly, and tight!
     
  18. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Alright Terry, I will do so. Thanks for the heads up!
     
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