Author Topic: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use  (Read 3893 times)

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« on: November 05, 2013, 04:30:51 am »
The year is coming to a close, so it's time to add some more "things" to the Asiarama GB. So I present to you...

1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Some background:
N.V. Koolhoven was an aircraft manufacturer based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. From its conception in 1926 to its destruction in the Blitzkrieg in May 1940, the company remained the Dutch second major aircraft manufacturer after Fokker.
Although many of its aircraft were as unsuccessful economically as they were brilliant from a design standpoint, the company managed to score several 'hits', amongst them the FK-58 single-seat monoplane fighter, the FK-50 twin-engine passenger transport and the FK-41.

The FK-58 was the last aircraft to be produced in the Netherlands, but Koolhoven's engineers remained active in their British exile. So it came that the FK-60 fighter, which had been onm the drawing board when the Netherlands fell victim to the German aggressors, was eventually built in England by Desoutter in Croydon, Surrey.


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The FK-60 had been designed with a more powerful armament, compared to the relatively light FK-58, with focus on a good rate of climb and manouverability. It was a conservative monoplane with low wings, a fully retractable landing gear and an all-metal skin, expect for the rudder surfaces which remained covered with fabric. The fall of continental resources prevented any hardware tests in 1940, when the first protytype was under construction.

After having re-established itself with the help of Desoutter in early 1941, the FK-60 project was taken up again, primarily for the Netherlands East Indies where the ML-KNIL needed more modern and powerful fighters. Originally the FK-60 was to be powered by a Gnôme-Rhône 14 N-49 double-row radial engine with 1.150 hp (845 kW), but this had become unobtainable. Anyway, the new base in England offered new options, and imported Wricht Cycloen R-18200 engines with 1.200 hp (882 kW) was chosen. This 9 cylinder radial engine required a re-design of the engine cowling, though, for a bigger diameter at the front that gave the FK-60 an apperance that reminded much of the stubby Polikarpov I-16 fighter.


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A unique feature was that the heavy armament was to be placed in the fuselage, firing thorugh the propeller disc, so that the center of gravity could be kept close to the longitudal axis. As a consequence, a total of three 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns were grouped around the radial engine, firing from compartments alongside the forward fuselage. This required the ammunition to placed right behind the engine, so that the cockpit had to be moved relatively far back. With the new cowling, though, this resulted in a poor field of view for the pilot, especially when taxiing on the ground. This armament was complemented by four 7.62mm (0.303 in) machine guns in the wings.

Flight tests with the modified, newly built prototype, started in November 1941 and the design proved to be promising. Speed and handling at low altitude was very good.


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The new Dutch fighter came just in time: On 1 January 1942 the Dutch forces joined the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, but at the onset of the Japanese assault the ML-KNIL was not up to full combat strength. Of the aircraft that had been ordered, only a small number had been delivered, and many were obsolete models, like the Brewster Buffalo, the Curtiss Hawk 75 or the Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Demon. Production of the FK-60 was immediately taken up and the airframes transported by ship to the Dutch New-Guinea theatre.

There were five groups, three of bombers and two of fighters, each of three to four squadrons. A sixth depot group provided support, transport and training. Reconnaissance aircraft were placed directly under command of the Army to give support to ground troops. Despite stubborn resistance the Japanese occupied the Dutch colonies, though numbers of aircraft found their way to northern Australia in order to continue the fight.

Following the fall of the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) three joint Australian-NEI squadrons were formed. The first of these, No. 18 (NEI) Squadron RAAF, was formed in April 1942 as a medium bomber squadron equipped with B-25 Mitchell aircraft. The second joint Australian-NEI squadron, No. 119 (NEI) Squadron RAAF, was also to be a medium bomber squadron. No. 119 NEI Squadron was only active between September and December 1943 when it was disbanded to form No. 120 (NEI) Squadron RAAF which was a fighter squadron.


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


In 1943, 120 (NEI) Squadron was established. Equipped with Kittyhawk fighters and the newly arrived FK-60 fighters, it flew many missions under Australian command, including the recapturing of Dutch New Guinea.

No. 120 (NEI) Squadron was formed at RAAF Station Fairbairn in Canberra on 10 December 1943. As a joint Australian-Dutch unit, the Dutch authorities provided all the squadron's aircrew and aircraft while the RAAF provided its ground crew. This arrangement had been previously used for No. 18 (NEI) Squadron and the short-lived No. 119 (NEI) Squadron. It was originally intended that once formed, No. 120 (NEI) Squadron would be deployed to northern Australia and operate alongside No. 18 (NEI) Squadron. However, it was later decided to deploy the unit to Merauke on the south coast of New Guinea, which formed part of the pre-war Netherlands East Indies (NEI).

The Squadron completed its training in early 1944. During December 1943, the No. 120 (NEI) Squadron pilots who had been trained in the United States received training at No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit to familiarise them with RAAF procedures. The squadron acquired its full complement with additional P-40 Kittyhawk fighters by 22 January 1944; at this time it was manned by 28 Dutch pilots and 213 RAAF personnel.


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


In the course of first combat experiences with the FK-60 it became clear that the light wing machine guns were rather obsolete, lacking range and esp. hitting power. Frequently, these weapons were removed by the crews, and it was in April 1944 that first field modifications were made to improve the FK-60's firepower: two 20mm (0.787 in) Hispano cannons of Australian origin were mounted in the wings, with 60 RPG.
While these guns were heavy and their ammunition supply limited, this measure turned the FK-60 into a very effective ground attack aircraft that was comparable with the Australian Commonwealth CA-14 Boomerang - even though the poor field of view made manouvering at low altitude hazardous.

Anyway, England-based production of the FK-60 already ceased in late 1943 after only about 60 aircraft had been built - the British resources were needed elsewhere, so that the FK-60 became the ultimate Koolhoven aircraft to be produced in significant numbers.




General characteristics:
Crew: 1
Length: 24 ft 7 3/4 in (7,54 m)
Wingspan: 33 ft 4½  in (10.19 m)
Height: 11 ft 5½ in (3.50 m)
Wing area: 187.1 ft² (17.44 m²)
Empty weight: 5,518 lb (2,505 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 7,378 lb (3,350 kg)

Performance:
Maximum speed: 343 mph (555 km/h)
Range: 692 mi (1.117 km)
Service ceiling: 35,363 ft (10,800 m)
Rate of climb: 2,303 ft/min (11.7 m/s)
Wing loading: 29.5 lb/ft² (192 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (0.26 kW/kg)

Engine:
1× Wright Cyclone R-1820-60 9 cylinder radial engine with 1.200 hp (882 kW)

Armament:
3× 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns with 250 RPG in the forward fuselage, synchronized to fire through the propeller disk
Provisions for 4× 7.62 (0.303 in) machine guns in the wings, outside of the landing gear; often replaced in the field by 2× 20mm (0.787 in) Hispano or CAC cannons with 60 RPG.
Hardpoint under the fuselage for a 500 lb (227 kg) bomb or a drop tank



The kit and its assembly:
This aircraft is completely fictional, and the result of a spontaneous purchase: it's Art Model's kit of the I-210 prototype, also known as MiG-3 Ash-82 or MiG-9 (first use of designation) - a rather disappointing attempt to mate the MiG-3 with a radial engine.

Art Model is AFAIK a relatively new Russian manufacturer, and I already built their Grumman Bearcat. This one confirms the good initial impression, and actually the I-210 kit is a good one. It appears a bit simple, as the wings are just one massive piece. But all parts fit very well - except for the fuselage halves, which need massive shaping and sanding effort. But, on the positive side, there are nice interior details in the cockpit and the landing gear wells, and there's a fine resin engine (which I did not use, though).

It took a while to find a whiffy use for the kit, and finally settled on the idea to make another contribution to this year's Group Build at whatifmodelers.com under the theme "Asiarama". From there, and the wish to build a whif aircraft in a Dutch East Indies livery. But I had to de-sovietize this MiG somehow...


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-142/B" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-142/B" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The kit was taken more or less OOB, but its engine and the nose were modified. The cowling was shortened, making place for a fan-less single radial engine from the scrap box (I suspect that it comes from a Matchbox Gladiator, the first one I built maybe 30 years ago!). A new cowling ring, also from a Matchbox Gloster Gladiator, was implanted. The original propeller received a smaller spinner from a Matchbox Fw 190, and that already changed the overall look of the aircraft considerable, even though it appears now like a Polikarpov I-16 on steroids?


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

I adapted the I-210's weapon installations with three MGs around the engine. Odd, but why not? The wing armament is a personal addition, the 20mm cannons were built from scratch.
Some bulges for the weapons and a pilot were added to the basic kit, that was all.


Painting and markings:
At first glance, the paint scheme looks familiar, like the typical RAF Dark Earth/Dark Green from above. But upon closer inspection, the ML-KNIL's typical scheme actually consists of two green tones, with silver undersides. This scheme was frequently used on many other ML-KNIL planes, e. g. the P-36/Hawk 75 or, Curtiss-Wright CW-21, and also on some RAAF Spitfires in that region.

For the lighter 'Oudeblad' ("old leaves") tone I used Olive Drab from Humbrol (155), which is rather brown-ish. 155 seems to be a perfect choice, and it was shaded with FS 34087 from Model Masters and Humbrol 26 (Khaki Drab).
For the darker Jongblad ("young leaves") tone I used Humbrol 195 as basic tone. FS 34092 is often recommended (as well as for RAAF "Foliage Green"), but I found this modern FS tone to be much too bluish and light. It just does not look right. After consulting pictures of a ML-KNIL Buffalo replica at airliners.net, I settled for the darker Chromeoxyde Green, setting some shades with Marine Green (Humbrol 105) and Army Green (Humbrol 102)


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-142/B" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-142/B" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Taking Hawk 75s in ML-KNIL use as a benchmark I wrapped the paint scheme around the leading edges and the rear fuselage, so that only the lower wing surfaces and the engine cowling received a coat with Revell's acyrlic Aluminum. The fabric-covered rudders were painted with the darker, more gray-ish Humbrol 56. Model MAster Aluminum was used for some light shading.

A nice, colorful detail is the typical collector ring at the engine front - painted with a mix of Copper and Titanium Metallizer - it really turns the MiG into something different.

The interior surfaces became Cockpit Green (Humbrol 78), I deemed it an appropriate tone as the aircraft was assembled in the UK.

Finally, the kit was considerably weathered through a black ink wash, dry brushing on all surfaces with lighter/bleached tones of the camouflage colours, some emphasized panel lines, plus some soot stains around the guns and the exhaust - the humid conditions would certainly take their toll on the aircraft.

Markings were puzzled together. The triangles come from two Matchbox Buffal kits - the marking on the upper wings are not authentic, but I wanted to add them as these insignia are so exotic and stand out so well from the all-green background. The white fuselage stripe is another detail taken from ML-KNIL Buffalos, improvised with white decal strips from a TL Modellbau sheet. The tactical code "K-164/D" is totally fictional and also created thorugh single digits from TL decal sheets.


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60; aircraft "K-164/D" of No. 120 Squadron (Netherlands East Indies), ML-KNIL under RAAF command; Merauke/New Guinea, early 1944 (whif/Art Model kit conversion) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



In the end, a small project from the long idea list, done in just two days as nothing much was changed and I had all ingredients at hand.

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 04:47:35 am »
Gorgeous....as usual ! You bring so much life into your builds with your details, weathering and photos. Looks excellent in that camo and markings combo.

 :cheers:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

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Offline zenrat

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Re: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 04:06:12 am »
How come this got missed back then?  No replies - who did you upset?  :o

Very good.  Looks suitably shabby.   :thumbsup:
Fred

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Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 05:01:21 am »
Went underneath the radar, somehow?
Not spectcular enough, perhaps?  :party:

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 05:12:41 am »
I wasn't the only one who missed it ! Maybe it was posted at midnight and some crazy time shift happened.... :blink:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

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Offline TomZ

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Re: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 12:47:59 pm »
I missed it too. Great build, very good story.

TomZ
Reality is an illusion caused by an alcohol deficiency

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Koolhoven-Desoutter FK-60, ML-KNIL use
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2015, 06:20:58 am »
Glad you like it!  :cheers: