British Pacific Fleet Kingfisher

Started by NARSES2, March 22, 2020, 09:05:16 AM

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British Pacific Fleet Kingfisher

H.M.S. Resource's first service in the Royal Navy during W.W.II had been as an Auxiliary Armed Merchant Cruiser on the River Plate convoy's carrying their vital beef supplies to the U.K.  As more and more dedicated escort types were provided the need for these ships "taken up from trade" was no longer so acute. However once the Royal Navy has its claws into you ? So in early 1944 Resource was converted into a Heavy Repair Ship and was earmarked to serve with the Fleet Train of the still very much paper "British Pacific Fleet". As such she was to be a Royal Navy ship, with a Royal Navy crew and subject to naval discipline, how then did she acquire "Brenda" ?

To be honest nobody is actually sure. She'd had a catapult and retrieval gear fitted towards the end of her career as an escort ship and the Fairy Seafox she was equipped with had helped her skipper in his role as both escort and convoy commander. Or so the official story goes. The unofficial one is that her skipper, a keen pilot, knew somebody, who knew somebody, or even that his wife's mother had been a Lady in Waiting to Old Queen Mary and that stern lady certainly knew exactly the right buttons to push after 50 or more years at the seat of power.

So just before her departure for the Pacific in late 1944 the necessary paperwork was processed and Brenda was transferred to Resource (who certainly lived up to her name) from the RN Station at Wingfield where she had been based since 1941 with 703 Squadron in the training role. As it happens Brenda proved to be very useful indeed, she wasn't just used to ferry her ships officers from party to party, there weren't many of them in the Pacific, but she was used to ferry important and urgently needed spares around the fleet and the necessary trained hands to fit them. She could also be and was used for general communications duties and the sound of her engine to a small detached unit of either the Fleet Train or the Auxiliary usually meant that mail was on its way.

When Resource sailed for home in early 1946, mainly repatriating ex P.O.W.'s she stopped off at Colombo to revictal and somehow Brenda was mistakenly left ashore. The fact that her skipper's family held Tea Plantations in that part of the world had nothing to do with it at all. She was last heard of sometime in the late 50's ferrying wealthy tourists around between hotels, but since then ? By then the rear cockpit had been stripped and she could carry 2/3 people in "comfort".

So fact from fiction ? H.M.S. Resource was an Armed Merchant Cruiser and was converted into a Heavy Repair Ship to serve with the B.P.F.  FN 734 "Brenda" was a Kingfisher serving with 703 NAS, but as far as I know they never met. The basic facts around the B.P.F. are true, but the rest as they say..........

The kit is the new AZ tooling and it is thoroughly recommended, the paints are the usual suspects and the transfers are from an Aeromaster sheet for the serials and "Brenda", Xtradecal for the BPF markings, some from the kit and a couple from the spares box. I've also added a small "tail wheel box" which the crew fabricated and was used in helping shift her around. Looks to have been made from an old ammunition box and a scrounged tailwheel.

The B-304 marking on her wing by the way is H.M.S. Resources actual pennant number under the U.S.N. applied system for "secondary" ships. I wouldn't try using that term "secondary" to any of her old crew, even now .

Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Old Wombat

Nice build & story, Chris! :thumbsup:

I take it you know/knew some of Resource's crew, then? :unsure:
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So I got that going for me...which is nice....


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Looks great in those colors. Looks like a better kit than the ancient Lindbergh's!

Well done.
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA


Quote from: sandiego89 on March 22, 2020, 06:03:55 PM

Looks great in those colors. Looks like a better kit than the ancient Lindbergh's!

And the rivet ridden Airfix one too!
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Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

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Very nice indeed, Chris!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: I like that camo with those markings, a good combination of colors, IMO.
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Quote from: DogfighterZen on March 22, 2020, 06:51:18 PM
I like that camo with those markings, a good combination of colors, IMO.

Me too, and this has given me another idea for the In The Navy GB...

comrade harps

Neat build and an engrossing backstory  :thumbsup:


Thanks lads.

Yes it's a nice combination of colours, the BPF markings seem to suit FAA scheme far better than the European roundels do. As for the kit ? It's a nice one and if anyone wants a Kingfisher I'd recommend it. AZ do a couple of boxing's including a land based one, although I assume that has floats included as this one had the fixed undercarriage in the unused parts.

Quote from: Old Wombat on March 22, 2020, 09:22:40 AM

I take it you know/knew some of Resource's crew, then? :unsure:

Not me sir. Although my dad served in the BPF and some of his stories about how things were obtained certainly inspires some of my back stories  ;)
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Glenn Gilbertson

Great modelling & backstory - it really looks the part! :thumbsup:


Yet another excellent offering from Narses Productions!! Both model and backstory  are superb.
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Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
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