**** DONE: Hurricane Mk1, L1807, DU-X, 312 (Czech)Sqn, RAF, October 1940 Group Build.

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Airframes

Benevolens Magister
62,426
11,570
Aug 24, 2008
Cheshire, UK
Username: Airframes.
Name: Terry.
Kit: Airfix Hurricane Mk1.
Scale: 1/48th.
Category: Judge, non-competing.
Accessories: Spare decals hand-painted codes, some scratch-building, otherwise OOB.

Here's my third entry for the BoB build.
This aircraft was flown by Josef Stehlik, then a Sergeant, who was from Slavicin, the town in the (now) Czech Republic where another of our members, 'Seesul' (Roman), was born.
Roman knew Josef, and was a friend until his death a few years ago.
312 Squadron was formed at Duxford on August 29th, 1940, all of the 28 Czech pilots being experienced , having flown with the Czech Air Force before the war, and with French squadrons during the Battle of France.
The Squadron was then posted to Speke Airport, Liverpool (now John Lennon International Airport), for the daylight defence of Liverpool and the surrounding area, and in particular,the defence of the Rootes car plant, virtually 'next door' and then a 'shadow' factory producing Blenheims (now the Jaguar plant), and to cover Lockheed's facility at Speke itself, which assembled Hudsons, as well as Bostons and other types shipped into Liverpool docks from the U.S.A.
Declared operational on October 2nd, the Squadron was very soon active
On the afternoon of October 8th, the Squadron laid claim to what is arguably the fastest 'kill' of WW2 (although the downing of a Stuka by another squadron probably beats the claim!).
Yellow Section, lead by Flt.Lt. D.E. Gillam, AFC (DU-P, P2575), with Sgt. Stehlik and P.O. Vasatko (DU-J, L1926), had just taken off on patrol, when they saw flak bursts, and spotted a Ju88 attempting to attack the Rootes plant.
The German crew, having spotted the three Hurricanes, took evasive action, trying desperately to seek the cover of the low clouds. The Hurricanes attacked, and a low-level chase ensued, over the River Mersey, with hits being obtained on the Ju88 by all three Hurricanes, as the bomber banked around the church steeple at Bebbington, on the Wirral (south) side of the river, the rear gunner returning fire continuously, and himself gaining hits, one of which shattered the windscreen of Gillam's fighter.
The Junkers was smoking heavily from both engines and, with the pilot dead at the controls, the navigator made a successful belly-landing in a field just on the edge of Bromborough, on reclaimed land (now built on, with a large shopping mall.).
The radio operator and rear gunner received slight injuries in the crash landing, but had managed to return heavy and accurate fire right up to the last moment.
With the fight being in full view of those on the airfield at Speke, and witnessed by many people on Merseyside, the Hurricanes returned to the field and landed, after a total flight time of three minutes.
This has been claimed as the fastest victory, in terms of time between take off and landing but, as previously mentioned, a Stuka had been downed by another aircraft, whilst it was taking off, earlier in the Battle, although it continued with the flight and subsequent battle before landing.
The victim of Yellow Section was Ju88A-1, W.Nr. 4068, coded M7+DK, of 2/KG806, and photographs of the wreck, plus a full account of the air battle, were published the following day in the local newspaper.
On arrival back at Speke, the pilots were carried shoulder high by their comrades, overjoyed at this, the Squadron's first victory, and also 'first blood' for 9 Group. In fact, the interest and excitement was so great, that the airport gates had to be closed, to prevent the public from stampeding to mob the pilots involved !
I hope that this model will provide at least some small tribute to those from other nations who came to Britain's aid in the early years of the war, and, when it's finished, I'll be sending it to Roman as a memento of his friend.
 

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8th October, not 9th, I think. Cannot find any code letter for L1807 and certainly not listed as X by Jiri Rajlich. There is a photogrpah of Stehlik and Vasatko, I will have a look for it.
 

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My mistake - stiff fingers due to arthritis - it should read 8th October; I'll edit the post. There is no listing for a code letter for the Hurricane - except in Josef's log book, where the information came from !
I was going to post pics of the Ju88, but as I'm also building a 1/32nd scale model of the wreck of this, for the Museum in Slavicin, I will include it in the relevant thread, as this thread is for the Hurricane.
 
My mistake - stiff fingers due to arthritis - it should read 8th October; I'll edit the post. There is no listing for a code letter for the Hurricane - except in Josef's log book, where the information came from !
I was going to post pics of the Ju88, but as I'm also building a 1/32nd scale model of the wreck of this, for the Museum in Slavicin, I will include it in the relevant thread, as this thread is for the Hurricane.
 
Wow, two Hurricanes to follow.. I am in heaven.... As I stated in ozhawk40's thread, there was another Davidson flew Hurries with 249 Sqn I want to build. I'm still looking for pictures of #1715 aircraft for it's Sqn code letters. So I will follow both with much interest.

Can you tell us of the basic differences between the Has and Airfix kits?

Anxious to see these in progress. Bill
 
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Thanks guys.
Bill. the Airfix kit dates from around 1979, and by today's standards is quite basic. However, it does have some moulded on cockpit detail separate instrument panel, control column and seat and was quite advanced for the time. Overall it is a nie, well moulded and accurate kit, with a choice of both propellor types, but a single-piece canopy. However, not much can be viewed in the cockpit even with the canopy open.
The Hasegawa kit is 20+ years younger, with all that goes with that, and an excellent kit, well detailed, but almost twice the price.
 
Thank you Terry! Your kits will get a special place in our museum! http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/august-29-1944-museum-slavicin-czech-republic-9884.html
Btw, Loy Dickinson, that US ww2 vet who visited us last weekend, was in touch with Stehlik as well. When Loy was here, for a first time I gues in 1984, Joe became his interpreter. Small world...
Loy asked me for him now, but, as you know, Joe died in 1991.
More about him http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/stories/s-ldr-josef-stehl-k-four-airforces-1603.html
 
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Thanks Vic, and yes, I think I'm going to have a stiff neck, and sore hands, by the time I'm finished. And there's a Ju88 to do yet, plus another 1/32nd scale Hurricane. The '88 will be an 'unofficial' entry though, as that will make a total of 5 models, and it'll take a long time, as it'll be posed after the belly landing from the combat described above.
 
Thanks for the info on the kits, gives me a reference point for comparison. Am looking forward to watching it progress.
 
At last I've made a start on this model!
The first job was to figure out exactly what to do and what not to do! The reason being that L1807 was one of the first production batch Hurricane Mk1s, with the fabric covered wings, and a few other little detail differences, compared to the presentation in the kit.
Changing the wing to the fabric version is not quite as easy as it sounds as, apart from having to replicate the fabric ribbing, in itself not too difficult, but time consuming, the gun access hatches were a different shape, and the landing lamps were in a slightly different position, being further inboard. Also, only the top surface of the inner wing panels were metal covered, meaning that the complete centre-section on the underside would need to be re-modelled!
All this could be done, but not in the time remaining for this Group Build. However, many of these early Hurricanes had the outer wing sections replaced with the metal wings, especially if they had undergone major overhaul or repair. From the available photographs of the Squadron's aircraft at the time (in the early serial block), it's not possible to definitely ascertain if the wings had been replaced, although one shot suggests they might have been on at least one airframe. So, I've taken a gamble, and made the decision that L1807 very likely might have possibly with a bit of luck had the 'new' wings fitted - perhaps!!
With that out of the way, work has started to back-date the Airfix kit to an earlier version, by removing some moulded detail, and enhancing some other areas. Fortunately, the detail is mostly of the raised variety, which has made things a little easier.
PIC 1. Shows the additional hatch on the starboard side, which was introduced from mid-1940, and was for access to the newer VHF radio. This needed to be removed, as it is known that L1807 still had the TR9 radio fitted, as did many Fighter Command aircraft at the time, especially those operating away from the main area of the Battle, in the Sectors covered by 11 group in the south. The Squadron was, of course, 'up north', on Merseyside.
PIC 2 shows the hatch outline and fasteners removed, and awaiting clean-up.The first stage of engraving the outlines of the remaining hatches is underway, and the raised detail will then be carefully shaved off, and the areas polished.
PIC 3. Again, re-scribing of the access hatches is underway, and the opening for the hand-hold has been cut out. This will have the cover fitted in the open position, to match the extended boarding step, and this will be made from thin plastic strip. (The hand-hold automatically opened when the step was pulled down)
PIC 4. The access ports for the manual crank and oil breather pipe have been drilled on each side of the lower cowlings.
PICS 5 and 6. The somewhat spurious, and Spartan, detailing moulded onto the cockpit side walls. It's actually quite adequate, given that the kit's canopy is a one-piece, non-opening item, but the port wall doesn't really match either an early or late production Mk1, being a sort of MkI/MkII hybrid. The starboard wall is also strange, with what is presumably supposed to be one of the tubular frames running up through the knock-out hatch area! Still, this was quite advanced for 1979, when the kit was first released.
PICS 7 and 8. The same areas after the addition of some minimal scratched detail, using plastic rod, tube and card. I haven't yet decided whether to cut off the kit windscreen, and mould a new canopy, in the open position, and even with the canopy open, not that much can be seen inside. But, I felt the cockpit needed just a touch more detail, without going overboard, to enhance the area slightly.
PIC 9. The seat and rear bulkhead under construction. The seat back, bulkhead, and head armour have had slots cut into them for the multi-part seat harness, and this is in the process of being added, using metal foil. A seat adjusting lever has also been added, made from a piece of bent plastic rod, and the seat sides have been thinned slightly.
PIC 10. A very basic representation of the angular rudder pedals have been added, again from plastic rod, as these will just be visible, even through a closed canopy. The kit provides a 'solid' floor, which sits directly on top of the undercarriage bay, so not much could be done to replicate the tubular construction beneath the heel boards. Instead, a couple of pieces of plastic rod have been added, to give an impression of the control linkages and framework, and these will be painted to contrast with the lower areas, which in turn will be painted a darker shade, to give some 'depth' to the cockpit.
PIC 11. The kit instrument panel has been slightly enhanced by the addition of the lower supporting tube, and the compass barrel, again using rod and tube. Since I last built one of these kits, Airfix have added a decal for the instrument panel, which I'll use in this instance.
As this is a fairly simple and straightforward kit, progress should be rather smooth, so I should get some more done between sessions on the '109, and might even get to the painting stage in a couple of days.
Thanks for your interest to date, and I'll post some more soon.
 

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