The Dam Busters

Discussion in 'Your Completed Kits' started by ppopsie, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    #1 ppopsie, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
    This is a Tamiya Douglas A-1 or AD 1/48 scale model kit I built in 2003. Shortly before that I read a book titled "Crimson Sky" by John Bruning in Japanese translated edition and I was strongly urged to build a model of the Douglas Skyraider mentioned in the book as "The Dam Busters," in navy blue paint scheme and carrying a Mk 37 torpedo fitted with special fairings. The model actually is almost oob only with the torpedo being build from scratch.

    In December 2005 I got a free ANA air ticket to Seoul, Korea for three days when I visited the Hwacheon Dam, the Skyraiders from VA-195 had attacked during the Koean Conflict in May 1951. Initially I had a trouble of finding how to get there since the dam is in the north east of Seoul and in the area of border still under alert (DMZ) which was almost out of foreigh sightseer's reach. I took a local bus to Hwacheon from Seoul East Bus Terminal next to GangByun subway station which is totally for the local people with all signs in Korean hangul letters. There were several young army soldiers in the aft seats of the bus appearently back from liverty in Seoul. It took almost three hours to get to Hwacheon, a very rural and nice town. It took another fifteen minutes from the bus station to the dam in the taxi. On the way there we crossed the liver down the dam, at a check point guarded by an army squad with a real tank (M-60?) which looked like just a well painted model.

    It was almost in the evening and the dam office which normally accepts sightseers in the daytime was about to close. But my able taxi driver succeded in negociating with the office manager that a visitor from Japan could be there for some minutes.

    The dam seemed to me just a vast mass of concrete in totally dark grey, as can be compared with what Guy Gibson wrote about his target in the "Enemy Coast Ahead." I have never seen such a gigantic solid creature at that close range in my life. Also the water gates at one time destroyed by the torpedos, stood on top of the dam itself only by the height of few meters. As can be seen from the famous photographs taken from one of the AD Skyraiders on the attack, the water level was only few feet down from the top of the gates. Therefore the running depth set on the torpedos must have been at very shallow one; probably only 2-3 feet. Added to this the length of the approach of the attack seemed not enough since the planform of the dam lake is in complete and tight U-shape which is surrounded by steep hillsides.

    I was there for little less than ten minutes in approaching darkness on a very cold evening of December but I could visualize airplanes passing over the crest of that dam, in my mind. Of course I carried my Skyraider model along on the visit but regrettably the area was totally banned from photographing therefore there are no proofs exist.

    I am proud of my Douglas AD Skyraider in 1/48 had been at the very place the modeled aircraft had actually been. The photos were taken in a hotel room I stayed at in Seoul.
     

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  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Wow that is very,very cool!
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    A very nice model, and a really interesting account of your visit. Thank you P Popsie. It would be nice to do that at the Mohne, with a model of a Lancaster, I think.
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done popsie
     
  5. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    Thanks. The only snag I found on the kit is its propeller blades in a slightly different shape. I made the landing gears in metal tubings and the flaps movable.

    I think there will be no problem to bring my Lank along but......
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Great story and model there mate! :)
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  8. otftch

    otftch Active Member

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    Nice.
    Ed
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  10. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nicely done!
     
  11. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    #11 ppopsie, Jan 12, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
    Thanks guys. Sorry this is not a model. I bought this helmet at LA back in 1984. On the back of the shell is a signature "Kauffman." The upper portion of the outside of the shell had been in color gold but over the years the material got oxydized probably due to the crimate here, and turned into green.
     

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  12. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Have to ask, how did you backdate the Skyraider, to one without the armour?
     
  13. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    I have just filed the armor plates off the original kit. Actually I didn't know what model of the Douglas AD was with this number 501 at the time when I build the kit. Skyraiders in the Korean conflict fitted with armor plates are seen on the title pages in "Korean Air War" a color photo book by R.F.Dorr W. Thompson, Motorbooks 2003.
     
  14. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Really? I always thought that they got their armour plating much later....cool! Any idea what year they first got it?
     
  15. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting P popsie and very nice build on the model.:thumbright: :cool:
     
  16. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    Armor plates
    Douglas Skyraiders of VA-95 from CV-47 Princeton, May 1953
     

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  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Nice work, ppopsie. I admire:shock:
     
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