***DONE: Bell p-39N Airacobra 42-18393 "Millie" 350th FG 346th FS Group Build

Discussion in '#3 MTO/North Africa' started by ozhawk40, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    #1 ozhawk40, Aug 3, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
    Username: Ozhawk40
    First name: Peter
    Category: Intermediate
    Scale: 1:48
    Manufacturer: Eduard
    Model Type: P-39N
    Details: 42-18393, 350th FG, 346th FS, Elmas Airbase, Sardinia, 1944.
    Aircraft Assignment: Lt Shuford "Big Al" Alexander
    Accessories: Nil - the Eduard Kit packs masks and etch!
    Decals: Custom Decals/ Eduard Decals​
     

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  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Great start Peter!
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great subject Peter. Heck, this GB has only just started, and we've already got diverse subjects! Going to be a good 'un methinks!
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Excellent choice! Always loved the P-39s
     
  5. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Cool, you don't see these often!
     
  6. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    #6 imalko, Aug 3, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
    Interesting choice Peter. Looking forward to your build.
    I agree with Terry, some cool and diverse subjects in this Group Build so far.
     
  7. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    I selected the subject for this build while hunting for pics of 81st Fighter Group, my first intended subject. Photos for the 81st seem to be very scarce. If you have any, please let me know - I still have another p-39 to build!

    Anyway, I found the web blog of Keith Vizcarra, and I was super impressed by the photos and information on his site.

    350th Fighter Group Blog

    You need to pay this site a visit and look though his fantastic collection of photos 350th planes, pilots, places and equipment. Keith still has a few he can't ID, so if you can help out, please do.

    I especially like some of the P-47 info, and if I can squeeze in another build, it will be of a 350th P-47.

    I emailed Keith and let him know I intended to model one of these aircraft and he kindly allowed me to use photos and info provided they were properly credited, so straight off, I would like to say a big thanks to Keith and I hope he calls in now and again to add if he can.

    I selected Millie for no particular reason, other than I liked the photo below, and shortly after started to research the aircraft and pilot. Keith has helped me out, but I'm waiting for some more info to arrive by post and hope to share some of this info with you.

    In the meantime, thanks to Keith Vizcarra, here is a picture of Lt Alexander and Millie.

    Cheers

    Peter
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Looking great !!!! Nice choice.:D
     
  9. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Very nice choice there Peter, well done!!!
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great pic Peter, and thanks to Keith for helping, and allowing the use of his material.
     
  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    great looking kit Peter, will watch closely, have an Eduard P39 too, so be curious as to how well it goes together!:D
     
  12. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Nice one mate! Should be a nice build...
     
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Great choice! :)
     
  14. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Thanks guys - I've has some spare time to prepare a background to this build and so I'll kick off with the first installment.


    350th Fighter Group (Part 1 of 4)

    On the 1 October 1942 orders were given for a number of pilots from the USAAF 31st and 52nd Fighter Groups who had flown P-39s in the US prior to their arrival in England in June of 42, to report to RAF Station Duxford, England. They were joined by a number of American fighter pilots serving with the RAF squadrons who had been invited to join the USAAF.

    Together they were activated and designated as the 350th Fighter Group, the only Group activated from scratch in Europe in WW II. At the time of activation, the group consisted of three Squadrons, the 345th, 346th and 347th.

    For security reasons the pilots were not advised of their mission at the time, however the plan was for the Group to fly to North Africa just six weeks after activation and one week after “Operation Torch”, the invasion of North Africa scheduled for 8th November 1942.

    The group did not meet this overly optimistic target due to the unavailability of the Group’s aircraft. At the time of formation, they were still stored in crates at an RAF Depot since delivery to the UK in 1941. It would not be until early January 1943 that flights to North Africa commenced in the now assembled aircraft.
    The Group’s 75 pilots flew their P-39Ls (346 Sq) and P-39/400’s (345 Sq and 347 Sq) fighters from RAF Stations Portreath and Predannack, on Land-Ends, England, to Port Lyautey, French Morocco, during the period 3 Jan to 28 Feb 1943. Sixty one arrived at the destination airfield. Most of the missing aircraft had encountered head winds instead of the forecast tail wind, and were forced to land in Portugal where they were interned.
     
  15. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Love the nose art, hard to beat Buggs.

    DBII
     
  16. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Hi

    I've made a start on the cockpit and interior. It's going to be a little more complicated than usual, as this kit comes with the interior and exterior photo etch, but hey, with an extra month - no problem! 8)

    I found some good photos of the interior in the Detail and Scale series publication on the P-39/P-63, and they are attached, as well as a p-39 pulled intact from a lake in Russia, and some restoration photos.
     

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  17. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    My first hurdle was identifying the interior green to use, as it is not the same as other USAAF aircraft of the period. I found some colour chips on the Hyperscale site provided by Dana Bell, together with some commentary as follows from a post. Common theme is that the interior green that Bell used was close to "Dull Dark Green" with FS number 34092.

    Here is the commentary relating to the paint chips below.

    Bronze Green # 9:

    A dark, oily green dating from Nov. 1919. Circa 1938 specified for interiors of enclosed cockpits and seats, passenger compartments.

    Nearest FS # 14050 / 14058 with BG #9 being a little darker and glossier.

    Available model paint: Being released by White Ensign Models fall of 2007 until then an RLM 70 going toward the black/green shade can be used.

    Dull Dark Green:

    Originally thought to be a variation of BG #9, the actual color card was discovered by Dana Bell in 2000. DDG is a deep, bluish green color. Accepted as a replacement for BG #9 circa 1941 due to complaints about reflections from the gloss BG #9

    Nearest FS # 34092 with DDG being somewhat darker and a little bluer.

    Available model paint: White Ensign Models DDG is a good match out of the can. Model Master European I Dark Green slightly darkened. Poly Scale IJN Green.

    Interior Green:

    Interior Green was originally factory mixed by blending Yellow Zinc Cromate with black and a small quantity of aluminum pigment. Many reference authors refer to this color as “Zinc Cromate” rather than the correct “Interior Green or Tinted Zinc Cromate” which probably leads to a lot of the questions. Interior Green or Tinted Zinc Cromate is NOT the same as Yellow or Green Zinc Cromate.

    Nearest FS # 34151. ANA 611 Interior Green evolved from Tinted Zinc Cromate and became a manufactured color that eventually evolved into the current FS 34151. However, ANA 611 was darker and slightly browner that the current color.

    Available model paint: Most all manufactures have a version of 34151 in their line up.


    Color Samples: Please remember that colors viewed will vary depending on the type of monitor and settings being used. This is not the best of scans but should serve to give an idea of the differences in shade and color.

    Top: Bronze Green #9

    Middle: Dull Dark Green as matched and prepared by Dana Bell

    Bottom: Interior Green showing several of shade variations
     

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  18. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    There are some interesting photos on the 350th's blog.

    DBII
     
  19. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    That Mr DBII is an "uber" understatement! :lol::lol::lol:

    Great photos - I've spend a few hours going through them.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  20. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    I'm at work and was distracted by the photos. I keep hoping to find a box full of photos from the war at a flea market. I love looking at the plane and crews. The blog is one of the best I have seen.

    DBII
     
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