Author Topic: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley  (Read 417 times)

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Offline NARSES2

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Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« on: March 30, 2020, 06:36:33 am »
Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

In early 1941 37 Squadron’s Whitley’s had been transferred to RAF Habbaniya from bases around Alexandria where they were to be converted into either transports for the fledgling 3rd Battalion Parachute Training Regiment or used in the training role by RAF Habbaniya  it‘self. Once delivered the crews were to spend some time in r & r around Bagdad before returning to Egypt where they were to be converted onto Wellingtons.

Such are the best laid plans of mice and men. In early April 1941 a German backed anti British uprising broke out and by the morning of the 30th April the Iraqi insurgents had besieged the RAF base at Habbaniya. Their intention was to force the base to capitulate by the use of artillery fire and aerial bombardment, both by Iraqi AF planes and Luftwaffe aircraft in Iraqi markings. The subsequent course of the siege and the ultimate defeat of the insurgency is beyond the scope of this build, other than to say that the 2,200 men at the base used every means at their disposal to defend themselves, including the 96 training aircraft based there, until they were relieved, by which time they had managed to destroy 55 of 63 Iraqi AF aircraft, mainly on the ground. During this period the RAF lost some 11 aircraft.

The base was eventually relieved by “Habforce” despatched from Palestine and by the end of May the Iraqi rebels had signed a truce and the supporting German and Italian air force units had withdrawn to Vichy French Syria abandoning most of their aircraft due to a lack of spares, particularly aircraft tyres which suffered greatly due to the rocky surfaces found at many of the local airports. British, Australian and Indian forces would eventually push into Vichy Syria and Lebanon in Operation Exporter and after some hard fighting these territories signed a truce with the Commonwealth forces on 14th July and the defences of the Suez Canal were pushed 250 miles to the north.

In the real world 37 Squadron did use Wellington’s to attack Iraqi, German and Italian forces from their base at Shaibah, I’ve just given them Whitley’s. This is the recently tooled Airfix kit which is very nice and well up to their recent standards. Unfortunately for various reasons which I won’t go into here and are not the kits fault I’ve managed to make a complete and utter pig’s ear of it. However I was determined to finish her if only because it wasn’t her fault, but I am going to give serious consideration before I start any of the larger kits in the stash in future.  Paints are a mixture of Xtracrylic, Games Workshop and Humbrol whilst the transfers come from one of the excellent DP Casper Campaign sheets, Rebellion in Iraq and Exporter, which covers some 20 aircraft from RAF, Iraqi, Luftwaffe, Italian and Vichy French forces.

I’ll just finish by saying that any faults visible in the following pictures are not the kits, but in the main mine as I really was in a strange way when I was building this. Hopefully I would now appear to have come to terms with my condition and am enjoying my modelling again.









And the last one of her in her box and just about to go up onto the top of the wardrobe.


Decals my @r$e!

Offline Rheged

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 06:39:21 am »
There's nothing wrong with that Whitley that I can see, Chris, I like it!!
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 06:42:43 am »
You've made a cracking job of it Chris, it looks great to me.

And I bet my Dad would have welcomed a Whitley or two at Habbaniya as he was right in the middle of the siege there at the time!
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 06:48:10 am »
Nice!  :thumbsup:

Offline Knightflyer

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 06:54:57 am »
Looks great Chris, the finished result has hopefully been work any 'pain' during the build
Oh to be whiffing again :-(

Offline chrisonord

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 07:17:42 am »
Very nice  build  and back story  Chris  :thumbsup:
Chris
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Offline AeroplaneDriver

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 08:38:12 am »
Well I think it's great.  RAF Desert scheme is one of my favorites!  Looks good on the Whitley!
So I got that going for me...which is nice....

Online DogfighterZen

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 09:08:51 am »
There's nothing wrong with that Whitley that I can see, Chris, I like it!!

Same here, all i can see is a very good looking big bird! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline sideshowbob9

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2020, 10:31:54 am »
Beautiful work!

Offline JayBee

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2020, 11:52:43 am »
Fantastic work Chris. If that has any faults in it I may well throw in the towel.
However, I love the idea and I do wonder if they had been available during the uprising just what could they have done to the insurgents artilery positions on the escarpment.
That is a thought I rather enjoy.

Jim
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2020, 12:17:17 pm »

Fantastic work Chris. If that has any faults in it I may well throw in the towel.
However, I love the idea and I do wonder if they had been available during the uprising just what could they have done to the insurgents artilery positions on the escarpment.
That is a thought I rather enjoy.


The Audaxes in Dad's unit there would fly out of the airfield (actually the playing fields as the airfield itself was visible to the artillery spotters on the heights) before dawn and land out in the desert behind the insurgents. Then when the Sun came up they'd take off, fly over the artillery and drop their meagre weapons, 25 lb bombs usually, and land back while the gunners were still in cover.

With a Whitley or three they could have cruised around at altitude carrying some seriously heavy bombs and really smashed up the gunners I reckon!
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2020, 05:51:36 pm »
Nice work. Love the colours on her.

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Offline zenrat

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2020, 02:47:13 am »
Looks all right to me Chris.
Fred

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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2020, 02:47:26 am »
Great job, Chris! :thumbsup:

Don't know how you did it but you've actually made the Whitley look good to me, something I never thought I'd say/write! :o
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Offline rickshaw

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Re: Desert Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2020, 05:38:08 am »
Nought wrong that I can see, Chris.  Great job.   :thumbsup:
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