Your 'What if?' Builds.

Discussion in 'Modeling' started by Airframes, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    A few of us here have mentioned doing some 'What if?' type of builds, so I thought I'd start things off, as a diversion from the complexities of the GB Beaufighter.
    I've always wanted to build a model of a 'Zero', but don't have any real interest in, or detailed knowledge of, Japanese aircraft of WW2 - I just like the look of this particular aircraft !
    I had intended to get a 1/48th scale kit, and do 'something different', then Karl gave me a 21st Century Toys 1/32nd scale kit, which he'd managed to pick up mega cheap. So, it got me thinking....and I came up with a semi-plausible scenario! (OK, it's BS, but almost believable!!)
    Here it is;
    It's late 1943, and the RLM have been in discussion with their axis allies, exchanging plans, technology and some hardware. A few years earlier, Japan had taken delivery of a small number of FW190A5's, for evaluation purposes and, in return, had provided an early model of the A6M, along with construction drawings and technical specifications.
    The air war in Europe is going heavily for the Luftwaffe, with the B17's and B24's of the 8th USAAF attacking German cities and industry from British bases, and the 15th USAAF, flying from Italy, raiding targets in southern Germany, Austria and (then) Czecheslovakia. Added to this are the nightly raids, by very large numbers of RAF heavy bombers, on most major cities, as well as key industrial targets, plus the medium bombers of the 9th USAAF and RAF 2 Group attacking stratgeic targets by day, including airfields, and industry associated with aircraft production.
    Although the German aircraft industry is able to turn out enough fighters, the main factories and assembly plants for both the FW190 and Bf109 are under severe threat, leading to further dispersal, and the decision is made to form local 'protection' units, to cover these plants in the event of attack. The decision was not reached lightly, as it would mean diverting valuable Gruppen, or at least Staffeln, to undertake this job.
    However, with the main lines of fighter defence already well established, most raids could be intercepted, often in strength; but, a large number of these raids were still getting to, and hitting their targets, due, in part, to divisionary tactics and electronic counter measures by the allied air forces. What was needed were 'local' units, based on, or near, the aircraft plants, which could be scrambled in time to intercept a raid which might have turned onto the I.P at the last minute. The Luftwaffe High Command were in favour of this idea, but were still concerned about withdrawing valuable front line resources from the established defensive network, thereby creating a possible, and likely, loophole in the overall defence of the Reich.
    Because of this, the decision was made to construct a modified version of the A6M, using German methods and materials, and powered by a German-built engine, and with available weapons as armament. In order to lessen the impact on the already strained German aircraft industry, the job of building these 'light fighters' was diverted away from the major producers, Focke Wulf and Messerschmitt, and handed to a number of the lesser manufacturers, some already involved in the sub-assembly of the two main fighter types in service.
    One of these manufacturers was Arado, who were orderd to produce 150 airframes, powered by a modified, uprated version of the Japanese Sakae engine, with two stage supercharger, developing 1,450 hp, giving a maximum speed, at 23,000 feet (7,010 m) of 370 mph (595 kph) and armed with two, 20mm cannon, and two, 13mm machine guns. The aircraft would retain the wing fuel tanks, and the rear fuselage tank was to be enlarged, giving the fighter an operational range of 900 miles (1,448 km), and a service ceiling of 34,000 feet (10,363 m). Standard radio and navigation equipment would be fitted, together with armour plate, to the rear of the fuselage fuel tank, and beneath the pilot's seat.
    The Arado designation for this aircraft was Ar290A, and the first operational unit to use the type was formed, in January 1944, from IV/JG4. This was 13/JG4, based at Bremen.

    So, for better or for worse, there's the background to this 'What if?' model.
    I'll be building this more or less 'Out of the Box', with a couple of scratch-built additions perhaps, and will post a few pics as the build progresses. The aim is more to see what a 'Zero' would look like in Luftwaffe camouflage and markings, rather than build a detailed model, and is purely for fun!
     

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  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    #2 B-17engineer, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
    Like the creativity!!!!! It's going to be great when it's done!

    Nicely thought out too!
     
  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Now, get cracking old boy! :thumbright:
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I look forward to this, Airframes!

    I've always wanted to do a B-58 Hustler in SEA Vietnam camouflage. Or an XB-35 in RAF colors.
     
  5. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    You should! They'd make for some great builds ! :D
     
  6. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Arado Ar 290 Zero...? I like it! Great "what if" background story too. Should look cool with Balkenkreuze and all.
    Terry, have you already chosen an camouflage pattern and tactical markings you will use. Standard gray mottled fighter camouflage or something different? Full national markings or simplified outline versions?
     
  7. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Sweet Terry , mate

    Can't wait for porgress pics
     
  8. muller

    muller Active Member

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    Great story Terry, I'm looking forward to this one! :thumbleft:
     
  9. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Have you started yet ???? Gonna watch this build....

    Charles
     
  10. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    I say old chap, what a corker of a scenario and idea, looking forward to progress reports
    :hotsun: :hotsun:
     
  11. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Agree Terry! I really don't have too much interest in the Zero either.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    This is a pretty cool idea, looking forward to this one Terry!
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks for the interest and rapid response guys! Matt, I'd love to see those done!
    To try to answer all of the questions, first, I've started, and the pics are attached. Igor, the colour scheme will basically be a 'standard' scheme of the time, RLM 74/75/76, with a mottle of possibly just 74, or maybe 74 and 02. The lower cowling will be yellow, and possibly the rudder, whilst the spinner will be red, with a white spiral. I haven't yet decided whether or not to include a coloured tail-band, as a special recognition feature - a sort of forerunner of the Reichsvertiedigung bands. The model will have a Staffel number, possibly going against normal practice and in a different colour for the 13th Staffel, Red 8, (or the correct White 1) and a 4 Gruppe 'welle' aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz, the latter in black with white outline, as will be the under wing crosses. The upper wing crosses will be white outline, and the JG4 shield will be on the forward fuselage, in front of the cockpit, on both sides. Three or four Abschuss zeichen will be displayed on the rudder, and the Werk Nr, 029, will be displayed on the fin, beneath the white outlined, black Hackenkreuz. Standard Luftwaffe fuel and lubricant triangles will be carried, along with stencills, walkway lines etc.
    So, here's the start of the build, a fairly quick one so far, as it's OOB.
    PIC 1 These are the main cockpit components, used as suppied, with no enhancements or modifiations, except a seat harness, made from the metal foil my pain killers are packed in! The kit's instrument panel is a blank moulding, with holes for the instruments, but nothing else. The holes were filled with Micro Kristal Kleer, painted black when set, and then the details added, glazed with Johnson's Klear (Future), and the bezels painted as required. I'm afraid I'd already assembled the cockpit by the time I realised I hadn't photographed the panel!
    PIC 2 and 3 show the cockpit painted and assembled.Notethe colours 'German' not the japanese factory colours!
    PIC 4 in position in the port fuselage half, along with the oxygen bottles.
    PIC 5 The engine as provided, just painted black, with a dry brush of Xtracolour 'Oily Steel', and some of the details picked out.
    PIC 6 The engine mounted in the cowling, and the fuselage halves joined. The arrestor hook has been omitted, and the opening for it will be blanked off and filled. I might replace the tiny, 'solid' tailwheel with something from the spares box, and will make the decision when the model has its main gear added. The screw holes in the fuselage have the plastic plugs in place, but these will be removed, and the holes filled and sanded smooth. Once this is done, the engine assembly will be fitted, followed by the wings and tailplanes. The model will then be checked, any filling and sanding required will be undertaken, then it will be prepared for the first stage of painting, the main aim of this exercise.
    So far, this has been an enjoyable diversion from the chores of filling, sanding and filling and sanding on the MTO build Beaufighter, and I'm looking forward to creating something different!
    More pics soon, all being well.
     

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  14. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Progress photos already. Looking great Terry. Sorry for so much questions on my part. Was just trying to imagine how it will look like when finished.
     
  15. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Top hole!
     
  16. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks guys, and no problem Igor. I guessed a few people would want to know what it will look like, which is exactly why I'm doing it - I want to know too! Apart from the main landing gear, I've always thought the 'Zero' had a certain Germanic look about it, and often wondered how it would look in Luftwaffe colours - should find out soon, I hope!!
     
  18. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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  19. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Oh yes, what decals are you using?
     
  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    German ones!!
    Sorry, couldn't resist that reply! I'm using some decals from the spares box, and possibly some hand-painted markings too. Coincidentally, the JG4 badge and most of the decals are left over from the 21st Century Toys Bf109G I did last year, plus some from an Eagle Cals sheet.
     
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