**** DONE: 1/72 Morane Saulnier 406 - Pacific Theatre of Operations II

Discussion in '#21 Pacific Theatre of Operations II' started by parsifal, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #1 parsifal, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
    1/72 Morane Saulnier 406 - Pacific Theatre of Operations II
    Username: Parsifal
    First name: Michael
    Category: beginner
    Scale: 1/72
    Manufacturer: Hasegawa kit number 51319

    Extras: None. ive inadvertently damaged the decal sheet, but i think there is enough of it left to complete the model. Will have to see.

    This will be one of the 16 aircraft that formed GCII/3, 3/4 Escadrille 9I confess I dont follow French unit numbers, but it looks cool at least)
     

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  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #2 parsifal, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2014
    When Germany occupied France in mid 1940 the rump French Government signed a treaty with Germany, and directed its overseas territories to support the Axis war efforts, wherever they might be. This rump Government became known as the Vichy Government. There were mixed reactions by the overseas colonies to this ultimatum, but the Indochinese regime was largely compliant to vichy instructions. Frances war after her armistice in June 1940 was most unhappy, and i confess to a deal of sympathy for their situation, hence this build. that plus the subject material looks cool and is unusual. I was tempted to build a Thai AF Ki43 or Ki27, but eventually settled on this subject.

    New Caledonia changed its administration from Vichy to free French in early 1941, but French Indochina remained under Vichy Administration until well into 1945.

    Consequently the Vichy French forces in French Indochina generally supported Japanese military efforts, although there were under-currents of Free French feelings and a degree of co-ercion involved in complying with Japan interests. This period was a time of considerable moral uncertainty for the France Military, either to support the Vichy government (and the Axis forces) or the Free French and Charles De Gaulle. One experienced survivor remarked “It was not a matter of doing ones duty; but rather of knowing what ones duty was”.

    Air Wars
    Vichy French Indochina vs Japan (1) (1940)
    In 1940 Japan and French Indochina signed an agreement, allowing access for Japanese Forces into Tonikin (North Vietnam). This agreement was negotiated by Japan to improve their access into China, against whom they were at war. However, Japanese Military Commanders had wider visions than their diplomats and Japanese Forces also entered into specific areas of Indochina in the north for which there was no formal agreement. This lead to military action between Indochina and Japan on the ground and also involved aircraft battles and air raids. The Japanese Air Forces were larger in plane numbers, and more modern than the Vichy Air Forces. Japan had access to relatively modern Army Ki 27 and Navy A5M (precursors to the Oscar and Zero); while the French had only a very few modern aircraft including some Monane M.S. 406 fighters and three twin engine Potez 631s. Their Bombers also included 4 heavy Farman F221 and 3 medium Potez 540s. However the main Vichy aircraft were 1920s era biplanes such as Potez 25s.

    There was a Naval Escadrillie (Squadron) equipped with a few seaplanes as well. These were essentially based on Naval ships on an individual basis.

    The Vichy Air Forces used their air fleet for reconnaissance and for limited ground attacks on Japanese forces. The Japanese air forces were used for the same purposes and for bombing as well. On 25th September 1940 there was a limited air battle. Score 1.1 (1 x Potez 25 and 1 K1 27). The next day there was a further Vichy claim (K1 21). Shortly afterwards the military action died down and temporary diplomatic agreements were reached. An uneasy truce existed.

    Vichy French Indochina Vs Siam (Thailand) (1940-41)
    Thailand in the late 1930s was a relatively strong country reasonably well equipped with aircraft and other war material. In the previous century, they had lost a number of provinces to their south, in the area administered by Vichy Indochina and this had left a sense of resentment. Their aircraft were a mixture of Japanese planes, including Oscars and Nates, Sallys and some older trainers. They also had American Curtiss Hawk 75s, Hawk 111s Vought Corsair V-100 biplanes and some Martin 193W bombers (B-10s) as well as Harvards used for training purposes. Taking advantages of the strife between French Indochina and Japan, Thailand invaded Indochina. On December 9th 1940 a Thai Corsair shot down a Vichy aircraft. Over the next few days more aerial combat occurred, with French claims of a Hawk 111 and a Corsair. Both countries carried out bombing raids on each others territory. On January 11th the Thai Air Force attacked in some strength, and the Vichy defenders were able to claim two further shoot downs. Later combat the same day saw three fighters and a bomber claimed by French Indochina for two French losses. An armistice was signed on January 31st under Japanese supervision. Most commentators record 4 Vichy victories for one (or two). Thai victories; but the actual Vichy victories seem now to be a little higher.

    Vichy French Indochina vs Japan (2) (1942-45)
    In January 1942 the Japanese shot down 2 Morane MS. 406s, mistaking them for AVG P40s.

    Vichy French Indochina vs the AVG, the Chinese Air Force the 14th USAAF 1942-45
    The AVG made raids over Indochina, escorting Chinese (Russian made) Bombers (SB-3s) to attack Japanese air fields at Hanoi in January 1942. Further AVG raids were made in May 1942 before the AVG ceased operations in June 1942 but no aerial victories were claimed by the AVG Japanese A.A shot down some AVG pilots however.

    The Vichy Air Forces acted generally in support of the Japanese military authorities. French Indochina was bombed and otherwise attacked by the A.V.G. and later by the air forces of both the American and Chinese Governments. The Japanese Army allowed the French Administration to remain in place, but the country was, especially in the north, a puppet client of Japan.

    When Japanese planes sunk the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales, Vichy Air Force mechanics serviced the Japanese planes that were flying on this raid.

    French Air Fleet Composition and Numbers
    1939-45 The French air fleet in French Indochina was made up largely of the Armee De l’Air, with some naval aircraft as well (Aeronautique Navale.). In May 1940 the Armee de l’ Air had –

    Potez 25 x 32 (1920s biplane)
    Farman 221 x 4 (long range heavy bomber)
    Potez 542 x 6 (medium bomber)
    Loire 130 x 8 (recon and rescue seaplane)

    By September 1940 these numbers had diminished somewhat, but had also been strengthened by the acquisition of 16 modern Morane Saulnier 406 (only partially armed) and 3 Potez 631s, all of which were confiscated by the Vichy authorities from shipments bound for China.

    The Aeronautique Navale had 3 Loire 130 and 3 G.L. 382 (all seaplanes).

    After the war with the Thais; the Vichy Air Force had approximately 63 serviceable planes, including 14 Morane 406s left in service.

    A year later, at the end of 1942, only 44 planes remained in flyable condition. Attrition and further combat with the 14th United States Air Force served to reduce this number still further over the next 3 years.

    Some further images of the kit
     

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  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    and a few more
     

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  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good choice Michael, and nice to see something slightly out of the ordinary.
     
  6. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Real interesting reading Michael, I had not known about a lot of that. I will be following this build.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  8. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    You explained the turmoil of the time nicely there Michael, and I love your choice, as said, something out of the ordinary.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Vic I used your entry as a template , and left in, by accident, that i was a judge ("judge-beginer"). Fixed now, but I am NOT a judge. Apologies about that

    The narrative is not al mine. Some is, but i took some of it from various sources, including "Pacific Wrecks". Its a researched project, but the work isnt all mine.

    I have a question regarding colour codes in the instructions, which i will post later (am at work at the moment). Basically goes to the backrest colour.....colour coded B-53 whatever the hell that is 9its omitted from the build instructions.

    ive also slightly damaged some of the decal sheet (spilt water on it by accident) , but Im reasonably certain there is enough undamaged decal bits to complete the build.

    One thing that again strikes me is that these '30s fighters are only a fraction of the size of the later war fighters. They must have grown as engine outputs increased I guess.

    For the Moranes in Indochina, they fought the early campaigns less their 20mm cannon, but i think they were returned (from China) in early 41, after the war with Siam.
     
  10. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting choice. I was not aware of the history you posted and appreciate you taking the time to explain it. Will watch with interest.
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Great choice Michael!
     
  12. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    What Andy said....Cool choice!
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    well, ive spent the morning gettings things ready and am just about ready to kick off. Cleaned the work area, washed the model and my tools, checked the kit for things wrong, warps and the like. seems all good to me. so I am about ready.

    first step is the coockpit, looks pretty straight forward as a build. im not going to try anything fancy, just a straight build but try to do as neat a job as i can. But the cockpit colours cause me some slight confusion. Ive attached the relevant bits of the build instructions which show the cocpit bath in blow up detail

    The following Sangko Gunze colours are listed (refer to the diagram),

    H-53 not given any details in the kit. They list it but they dont describe it. What is H-53? I looked it up on the net, and the best I can estimate is something like RLM grey

    The pilot seat im supposed to finish in H8, which is Silver. Allover silver, surely that is incorrect. Some silver, maybe, but the whole seat. That just doesnt seem right.

    Ive also got a question regarding the IP decal application. its quite a nice decal, and should be fairly simple, but the IP itself has raised bits for the gauge surrounds. Is there a specific t4echnique I should apply to the decal before application. How do i get the decal to follow the ridges and troughs of the IP and achieve a nice snug fit?\\
     

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  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Michael, the H53 is nothing more like apaint of the Gunze Sangyo Aqueous series named the Natural Grey. The Humbrol equivalent is Hu 128.



    H53a.jpg
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks wotjek, It seems to look a lot like the tamiya xf-82 "ocean grey 2 (RAF)" as well
     
  16. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #16 Wurger, Feb 15, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
    I think that more adequate colour can be the Tamiya XF54 - Acrylic DARK SEA GREY

    [​IMG]

    or the Model Master II /Testors Flat Air Mobility Command Gray enamel... no. 2035

    [​IMG]

    or the Model Master II /Testors Neutral Gray FS36270 .. 1725

    [​IMG]
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I have that aas well. i agree, its a better choice. Thanks again Wotjek, as usual you always step to give really good advice
     
  18. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    My pleasure. :)
     
  19. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    This is a very cool choice Michael!
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    A quick update. I assembled the cokpit bath, the IP, painted the control cloumn, the pilots seat and the cockpit generally. fitted the IP decal, which isnt too bade, for what it is. Things are going pretty well so far. i will post photos soon. This is a pretty simple model by the look of it, but ill have to see it through to the end. im struck by the high quality of the pieces . hasegawa really do a fine job on th panel fits and the overall quality. This is a kit from the 90's i believe, and it is starting to show its age, because there is only some cockpit details provided. But what is there is about as good as Ive seen so far in my short model making career. .

    Having said that, and in the same breath nearly, the lack of detail is disappointing. Ive made a harness for the pilots seat, and I had to clean up some injection marks on the inside of the cockpit sides, so it seems a bit of a shame that there are no cockpit sidewall details provided at all. I am considering attempting to salvage some unused PE parts that I have left from other builds to rety and address this, making up approximations of the throttles and other bits and pieces that can be seen in the cockpit walkarounds ive seen (and a few posted).

    The other thing that really strikes me is just how tiny this aircraft is. its even smaller than my Boomerang i built (which Ive given to my eldest son, so i cant do a comparison). Compensation i guess for the small engine size.

    I wonder what the japanese made of these aircraft, with the cannon armament and back armour fitted. The Japanese did flight comparisons with a lot of captured aircraft, but Ive never seen any comparisons for the morane.
     
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