Author Topic: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0  (Read 409 times)

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Offline The Wooksta!

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The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« on: March 02, 2021, 06:17:44 am »
Perhaps not as interesting as the other two, as I'll be doing real rather than whiffed ones. However, there are some distinctly unusual ones that have caught my eye.

I've been doing a great deal of in depth research with the various books in my library and on t'interweb. Google can be useful but very frustrating.

Comments on this thread will go elsewhere when I set up the thread.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 06:22:01 am by The Wooksta! »
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2021, 06:16:29 am »
I've been trawling t'nterweb and quite a few interesting aircraft and units, one of which being 1409 Met Flight. This particular one caught my eye:



It's a PR.XVI, one of several they had. Question is, do I wait for the Airfix one or do the conversion work with a Tamiya one?  I have the relevant bits...

There's a more famous aircraft flown by the same unit and I discovered I have the decals for it, but I really dislike D-Day stripes.

Comments for those bored enough to follow the thread and can actually be arsed to reply go here:
https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=49042.0
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 06:21:17 am by The Wooksta! »
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

  • Slayer of "V" Bombers
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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 02:09:22 pm »
I decided to do the conversion work rather than wait the year that it'll take for the Airfix kit to come out.

Fuselage is already done, but rather than do the aircraft above, I'll be doing ML897, D-Dorothy, which is somewhat famous.  However, the decals I've got are for later in it's career when it's wearing tiresome D-Day stripes which I frankly loathe as they just mean more work. However, part of 1409's Operations Record Book is online and it was flying with the unit in March of '44, well before D-Day and thus no pesky stripes.  So I don't have to bother with them.  Hurray!  In addition, being a mk IX, I can use the kit canopy rather than bothersome vacforms.

The real problem is going to be the engines.  I have several sets of the Attack Squadron ones, which once cleaned up look fabulous, but I want to keep them for other things.  The Paragon ones are nice enough but have pouring lugs in the most awkward place to clean up.  See which method I employ in part two...

I've been turning up some oddities in the books where the more whiffy types can go.  For instance, originally there was to have been a light strike force component of the post war  RAuxAF, with several squadrons getting Mosquito bombers (either B.16s, B.25s or B35s) but then Fighter command threw their toys out of the pram and the plan was quashed, although the squadrons that were to get bombers now got Mosquito nightfighters instead.  But one squadron DID start working up on the bombers, 502, and there's record of one B.25 being allocated to the squadron.  Mosquito bombers wearing RAuxAF codes or squadron bars has long been one of my plans, so it would be churlish to ignore such a might have been.

There's a few other PR oddities that will be on the list, apart from a pair of PR.IIs in speculative markings ie there's no photographs to prove me wrong.  The PR.32 with the long span wings is a distinct possibility when I get the wing tips moulded - I have one Paragon set spare but I also want to do the initial prototype NF.XV with the machine guns in the nose, so I'll need to clone the wingtips.  I'm not sure about the wheels either, they look to be smaller. 

I'm definitely NOT following either of Richard Franks books where he says that the tailplanes have the larger elevators, because there's a photo of one of the PR32s next to a photo of a PR34 and both have lowered elevators.  Only the latter is enlarged.  Frank's more recent Valiant Wings book on the bomber Mosquitos also has him claiming that the bulged bay B.16s and B.35s got the enlarged elevators.  Photos prove that they didn't - the bulged bay mk IVs that were converted to carry the 4,000lb bombs did, because it affected their stability and their performance with the bomb was marginal (627 sqn pilots who operated them were very unhappy), whereas the later B.16s had more powerful Merlins and the longer engines brought the stability under control, so no need.  As for the B.IVs, he also claims paddle props, plain hub wheels and single light wingtips.  Again, photographs prove that to be at best spurious - there's a whole series of photos of DZ637 P3-C being loaded with it's BFO bomb, and lo needle props, spoked wheels and twin wingtip light. Franks is talking bobbins, so anything in his Mosquito books is thus suspect.  I located yet another error in the SAMI Datafile. 

It's becoming depressing.

However, something I noticed in a photo in the SAMI Datafile when I got it, way back in 2000.  There's a photo of an ex-FAA PR.16 in rather fetching Aluminium with yellow trainer bands.  They apparently had quite a few rather anonymous machines and some were sold to the Isrealis.  This particular photo of one, G-AOCL, appeared to have arrestor hook fairings, but the serial was unknown and the photo too small. I knew that the three PR16s that went with 618 to Australia (more of which in a moment) were navalised, but this wasn't one as the 618 aircraft were scrapped in Australia. Filed away in me head as an oddity.

Some years later, I get sent a photo by Tony O'Toole of another PR16 in FAA markings, with four blade props.  Then I get some more info, said airframe having some of the same mods as the Sea Mosquito - port side strake added and the lower starboard hatch aft of the wing moved to beneath the fuselage. Hmm, another oddity, filed away for future use if I find more info.

Fast forward to last week when I'm trawling for photos.  I find a very clear shot of G-AOCL and yes, there is an arrestor hook attachment.  I was right, it was a navalised aircraft.  So, hackles now raised, I start looking for more photos and then I get it - a shot of the port side and there's the other strake.  Slam dunk. The same site gives the serial code, RG173 and I go to the books - RG171-173 hooked for Navy.

The question is why?  Was it a back up for the Sturgeon PR?  Were the Navy planning on using the Mosquito in a PR role in addition to torpedo strike? 

618 Sqn.  During the trawl, I find a photo of one of the Barracudas that they used for deck landing training.  But then I find that a photo on the same site also shows two of the unit's PR16s.  They're the two nearest the camera in the centre, one's coded X1 and appears to be in overall alumium dope.



http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/dh98/civilmosquito.html

Comments for those bored enough to follow the thread and can actually be arsed to reply go here:
https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=49042.0
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 02:58:15 pm by The Wooksta! »
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2021, 07:42:52 am »
I've just downloaded, amongst others, the Operational Record Book for 618, which covers all of the unit's life.  It's got everything in it you could possibly need.  Serials for all the aircraft, types (they were using a pair of Beaufighters as well as Ansons - one had the serial NK595- the latter type as navigation trainers).  13th July 1944 saw them getting ten FB.VIs as well as a T.III for conversion training.  Later that month, the pilots got their deck landing training, using Baracudas.  Don't think the Navy was too happy that the crabs damaged five and ditched a sixth.

Two of the three PR16s they received were NS572 and NS577, arriving 13th Sept 44.  FBVI HR375 had arrived a week earlier as a replacement aircraft.  One pilot pranged a Spitfire, mk VIII JF286, when he landed it.

Apparently they got twelve FB.VIs in Australia for training, but we only have serials for three and decals for one - three different manufacturers have done the same sodding aircraft!  One, HR576, exploded over Sydney in May 45.

The third PR16, NS735, dived into the ground and killed both crew on 19th June '45.  No cause was determined as both crew were highly experienced.


Comments for those bored enough to follow the thread and can actually be arsed to reply go here:
https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=49042.0
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2021, 03:27:57 pm »
Having just cleaned up few Paragon canopies, I find they're oversized - the Tamiya one fits nicely inside. So I've decided to put any 16 based aircraft planning on hold until the Airfix kit comes out.

The B.35 that's assembled is getting a hybrid canopy, kit canopy with Paragon side bulges.   They fit after some trimming. I can live with the canopy on the NF.XV but it may well get a hybrid canopy in due course.  Mk.IXs of course have the original canopy, so they can proceed.

I had intended to use the Hasegawa kit for those but not only do I despise that kit, I utterly loathe it, so they'll be whiffed instead. RAAF most likely, although the one that is fully assembled and was going to be a far east B.35 is now going to be one of the RAAF squadrons in the UK that got Lancaster's, but get re-equipppedd with Mosquito's to cut losses. The Paragon bulged canopy that came with his original Highball conversion for the Matchbox kit just about fits, so think I can live with it.

Trainers. There's a lot of really nice ones that I want to do and the Pavla conversion has issues, Blackbird's too. Both are fixable, but I object to paying nigh on twenty notes for a kit and then half the cost again for a conversion that I have to fix, especially when I have some moulding rubber and the knowledge of what needs doing.
So I do a set of moulds and they work okay but really, I wasn't happy so the mastered have been reworked. I also need some resin as the small amount I have has gone off.
I did have enough resin bits kicking about to bodge a second trainer interior, so that's assembled and should be painted up tomorrow. The mods to the wing, the leading edge landing light, are already done.

I've yet to decide on a scheme for it  - I have decals for two aircraft - but frankly there's a lot of trainers that I *really* want to do.


Comments on this thread go elsewhere, Iink is upthread. Look, I'm using a tablet that's a real pain, so I can't spoon feed you today.
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2021, 05:27:50 am »
I've just read mention that the prototype, W4050, at one point after it got two stage Merlin's, was fitted with the same high altitude extended wingtips fitted to the NF.XV, although no pressure cabin and with the early 3 blade props.  A high altitude bomber version? Although a shortcut high altitude PR version would be more likely.
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

  • Slayer of "V" Bombers
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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2021, 09:16:24 am »
I've discovered yet another error in the Xtradecal Mosquito sheet.  I was never convinced on the silver FB.VI, needing a photo. And I have it.  Yes, it is silver, but the codes look to be red rather than black (the profile of the aircraft in the SAM Warpaint has them red) and the photo shows tropical filters.
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

  • Slayer of "V" Bombers
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
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  • Posts: 8003
  • Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?
Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2021, 05:22:33 am »
Managed to get the revised T.3 masters into rubber,  I really wasn't happy with the ones I did a few weeks back so they had to be redone.   I also did some other bits that may come in handy, such as the high altitude wingtips.  I'd like to do W4050 when she had the two stage Merlins and the longer wingtips, although I may wait for the Airfix kit. 

They're also handy for PR32s and I've a hankering for the first NF.XV, MP469, in the early configuration with the machine gun nose.  It also had the original wheels, rather than the smaller ones of the later XVs.  What to use for the machine gun nose?  Well, I had planned on doing it years back with the Matchbox kit and managed to cobble together a new nose from a spare Airfix FB6 one and the Matchbox bomber nose.  Still got it somewhere.  Anyway, looking at the Paragon nose for the FB.XVIII gave me a thought and cloning it for use here was too good to pass up.  I have a spare B.IV that's being reduced to spares as some bits have went walkies, so if I get it wrong, well, it's not so bad.  In any case, Pavla did a B.IV detail set for the kit that replaces the nose section, so I do have back ups.

Next lot of moulding may well be the nose parts from the Tamiya NF.XII/XIII, although it'll have to be a two piece one, largely because the kit is now as rocking horse dung.  You've more chance of seeing Sunderland AFC win the Champions League than finding one in the UK at the minute.  Anyway, a spare fighter nose that I can possibly convert back to the thimble nose variant, with a replacement if I get it wrong, gives me more scope.  I do have the Airkit thimble, but it's intended for ye olde Airfix kit (it was the best about when the conversion came out) and the contours of that are likely to vary from the Tamiya.


Comments for those bored enough to follow the thread and can actually be arsed to reply go here:
https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=49042.0
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

  • Slayer of "V" Bombers
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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 03:03:47 pm »
"I don't know why you bother ever!"

Back to 618 Squadron. Originally, when Highball was being mooted, the plan was to equip 305 (Polish) Squadron and the Poles were very happy to be getting Mosquitoes - they'd be even happier when told they'd be going up against the Tirpitz... Then someone at Bomber Command got rather annoyed about that plan, which reads more as "We don't trust Jerzie Foreigner with our new secret weapon" and they came up with the idea of retraining 105 Squadron to use the weapon instead. And then apparently they got bored and handed the whole lot over to Coastal to deal with instead.  This info isn't, as you'd think, in with the Highball chapter in the Sharp/Bowyer Bible, but in a chapter on production.  There is mention of another Squadron to be formed for use in the Med - Taranto mk 2? But plans for it fell by the wayside.

So that's three speculative aircraft to play with. I still have a hankering for an operational Oxtail one with BPF style markings and a deck code for an appropriate carrier.

Then, during a trawl through another book, there's a photo of a Highball aircraft landing on a carrier. Definitely one of the Oxtail aircraft, listed as DZ542 but no code letter given. Looks to be in the same scheme as the aircraft photographed in Australia but given that it's taken during training in the UK it's still got Type C markings.  Guess which one moves to the head of the queue?

There are photos elsewhere on t'interweb of 618 enroutre to Australia and the aircraft are shown on deck.

That chapter on production also mentioned use of B.IVs in the far east and possible production in India. Thoughts of Mosquitoes with chakra wheels are somewhat appealing.

Pinterest is a fascinating but frustrating site to use, especially on a tablet. Took a whole day to find a particular photo.   A rather bland B35, in overall silver with black codes, but I liked it, OK?   Anyway , once I'd found it, I went to check the unit codes, only to find it was one of the aircraft used  by the Central Signals Establishment and one I already had a code tie up but no photo. Slam dunk and yet another one for the Airfix kit...

Link to comments thread further up if you can be bothered.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 03:12:50 pm by The Wooksta! »
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht