Boulton Paul type A (defiant) turret info request

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by illustratedman, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. illustratedman

    illustratedman New Member

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    Hi folks just found this forum, have already posted this question in several other forums but it seems that Boulton Paul turret info is rarer than hens teeth so had little luck so far. Have already found a ton of stuff on this forum that I couldn't find elsewhere so I'm hoping I'm in the right place. Apologies if you are also a member of those other forums and are now sick of me banging on about the Boulton Paul Defiant :)

    I'm trying to make a 3d model of a Boulton Paul defiant, I have enough reasonable 4 views etc I think to model the aircraft but the turret is proving difficult to find reference pix of. I think I've got just about every image that you can from googling but really need blueprints, plans, cutaways or other more technical type drawings. The turret is a Boulton Paul type A. I have made a start by modelling the browning 303 but am already a bit stuck on reference for the firiing mechanism, some sort of solenoid or pneumatic trigger that might be fixed to the side plate or bottom - anyone have a better idea of what they look like when attached to the browning? Also can't really tell how the ammo is fed into the guns or how the links/cases are extracted - anyone know of any reference that shows this? I have one of the ecellent air ministry training films on dvd (the unseen films set) and have managed to grab a few frames from it but the areas I'm intersted in are tantalisingly indisctinct. I have the number for the correct air ministry publication that details boulton paul type A turrets (Air Publication Number AP1659C) but haven't been able to see a copy of it yet. When/if this model ever gets finished I had intended to do a series of renders focussing on the turret so I really need to make that part of the model as detailed as possible.

    Any help would be gratefully received.
    cheers
    alex
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hi Alex. from what you've described, it sounds like you already have the pics etc that I have somewhere. However, there is a publication covering British Gun turrets that could help, and also the book 'The Turret Fighters'. Sorry, can't remeber the author or publisher, but, coincidentally, I saw this was still in my local library only a week ago! I think there are some details of the turret in this book. Another source might be the R.A.F. Museum, Hendon, who have on display the only Defiant extant. Their research department might be able to help. There is also a collection of turrets, and assocated info, at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, near York. Although prossibly not exactly the same, the turret on the MkIII Halifax was a Boulton Paul 4 gun turret, and the feed/ ejector mechanism etc will be very similar. I believe there is such a turret at Elvington, plus the Halifax of course, so a call/visit might provide what you are looking for.
    Hope this helps a bit.
    Terry.
     
  3. illustratedman

    illustratedman New Member

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    Cheers Terry. I think I have the book you were thinkng of - RAF gun turrets from 1914 to the present day by R Wallace Clarke. Bought it on ebay hoping it would solve all my problems but dissapointing when it comes to Boulton Paul turrets, particularly (of course) the type A - a good book otherwise, especially if you are looking at Frazer Nash turrets. Also got 'Guns of the RAF 1939-1945 GF Wallace, which is a good read but poorly illustrated. I have emailled Hendon research bods so will see what they have to say. Didn't know about the turret at Elvington, cheers unlikely to get down there in the near future though due to workload.

    cheers
    alex
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    No problem Alex. That book 'The Turret Fighters' might have the answers; if you think it might help, I can find the author/publisher details. Afraid I can't get to the library at the momemnt, I'm a bit knackered with the old Rheumatoid Arthritis right now, but I can 'phone and enquire. Where are you, by the way? I'm an expat Geordie in Cheshire!
    BTW, I've got a cutaway drawing of a Defiant if that would help in a small way. It shows the turret, but possibly not in as much detail as you need. I'm virtually sure the Halifax MkIII upper turret was the same, or at least very similar, so a call to Elvington might help. Their web-site is pretty good too; Yorkshire Air Museum will find them.
    Cheers,
    Terry.
     
  5. illustratedman

    illustratedman New Member

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    No worries Terry - 'Turret fighters' by Alec brew is on my list, waiting for a cheap copy to turn up on ebay as all the second hand ones seem to be about 25 quid on amazon etc. Not sure how much illustration/diagrams it contains though, the same author did another book called 'the defiant file' which is also out of print and even harder to find, but I get the impression its more accounts of the crews and unit histories rather than specs. Had a look at the Elvington website, they have a turret room with a type A mkVIII turret. However from the small photo on their website it does look slightly different to the defiant - will have to wait and see.
    I think I already have the cutaway drawing that you are refering to - which is very good, answered a lot of my questions about the airframe.

    BTW I'm in County Durham - Howay the lads!
     
  6. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    hi alex i took some pics in the turret room at elvington i'll post em up in this thread when i get chance, they are not that great but it might help a bit

    and no i'm not a boro fan :lol: come on you spurs
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Try your library for the book first mate. If the local branch hasn't got it, but the County has, they'll get it in for you; could save a wait and expense, if it turns out to be of no use to you. Bear in mind the turret on the actual Halifax at Elvington, that might provide some answers. Hopefully rochie's pics might help, and the RAF Museum might come up trumps. I'll be going to my library next week, so I'll see if 'Turret Fighters' is still there, and let you know about its contents. If its any good at all, I'll get it out and scan any relevant bits etc.
    Ee its canny yez from Cowntie Duram hinny, soes aye man! (very near to Gateshead) !!
    Bet that's confused a few people!
    Terry.
     
  8. illustratedman

    illustratedman New Member

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    Cheers guys thanks for the help, much appreciated. My libary's online catalogue is down right now - although wouldn't hold out much hope - last book I ordered from them was for my dissertation and it arrived 2 years after I graduated :(

    Toons and Smoggies, all we need now is a macam :)
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Got one just up the road from me! Don't think there's one on this site though; or at least, if there is, he won't admit it!
     
  10. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    my grandad was a macam !
     
  11. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Try these from the book Defiant by mushroom books yellow book series.
     

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  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Paul, you are a star! Brilliant stuff, should answer most of Alex's questions I would think.
     
  13. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    alex this was all i could find, the rest were nothing to do with defiant's
    not sure its any help but i've posted it anyway
     

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  14. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alex. These may be of some help in the Browning .303 department...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Also have various "detailed" drawings of the Boulton Paul turret Type A showing...
    The Electrical Dristributor,
    Hydraulic Generator and Controls,
    Gun Elevation Ram,
    Hydraulic Motor and Reduction Gear
    Disengaging Gear,
    Gun Fire Interrupter,
    Interlock Plunger Stop Mechanism,
    Ammunition system (Type E)
    and how to bleed air from the elevating circuit.

    Again, might be of some use?
     
  15. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Thanks Terry
     
  16. illustratedman

    illustratedman New Member

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    Sorry for late reply - packed in early last night.
    Guys, what can I say? I can already see that these are all going to come in very handy, thanks so much.

    Micdrow - I had no idea these were in the mushrrom book, thought it was just 4 views and colour profiles. I bought the mushroom book on Ebay last week but it still hasn't arrived from Germany yet, can't wait now. That cutaway is chock full of answers.

    Rochie - that camera angle is actually really helpful showing several bits I'd not noticed before, and also good that it's colour will help a lot in getting the black paint specularity right when it comes time to texture the model.

    Graeme - and I thought I must've seen every drawing of a Browning ever made, that's the best view of the trunion and breach block I've seen. The other stuff sounds intriguing too especially the ammo feed and the gun elevator.

    Thanks again guys, I'm going to study these in detail before I make my next move.
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Glad the other guys could help, Alex. I doubt very much if 'Turret Fighters' will have as much info; I did actually read this book some years back, and seem to recall it was more about design, development and the strategy behind the Defiant, Skua etc.
    As for the ammo feed, it appears from the diagrams etc that the feed system was standard, with possible adaptions for the ammo boxes to allow for the minimal room inside the fuselage/turret. As you probably know, the Browning could be fed from either side ('handed' receivers), so the actual feed/ejection would be more or less normal. It looks like there are bags to collect the links/cases, and I'm sure you'll work this out after further study of the info posted so far. It looks like Graeme's references will provide the rest of the answers but, if you need more info on the weapons themselves, give me a shout and I'll try to help.
    Cheers, Terry.
     
  18. illustratedman

    illustratedman New Member

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    Cheers Terry will do.

    alex
     
  19. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    no probs alex glad it was some help
     
  20. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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