Author Topic: The Errington Emulous  (Read 917 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
The Errington Emulous
« on: May 01, 2021, 11:43:06 pm »
On the UAMF we recently heard that The Great Auk (who I believe was known as Brian Da Basher here) had passed away. We were all very saddened to hear this. He entertained many with his outrageous and creative whatifs.
Form member iggie organised a tribute group build, "Memories of the Great Auk", which ran for the last 6 weeks: https://uamf.org.uk/viewforum.php?f=444
Below is my entry. I have just copied the updates from my build thread for you to enjoy here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is a little-known feature of Australian history that our military were defeated by a group of flightless birds.....or were they really flightless?

In 1932 the Australian Government declared war on Emus.



Nobody quite knows why, given the very real and ever-present threat to life and limb posed by that Prehistoric Death Bird, the Cassowary. It may be that the Emus were indeed in league with the Cassowaries, as many suspect, but seemed an easier target. An easy target they most certainly were not. Despite being armed with machine guns and having the mobility afforded by modern (at the time) transport, the Australian (human) forces were fought to a standstill by the Emu. Most historians claim that the task of exterminating the emu population was just too great and that the antagonists gave up. The truth, however, was much more complex.

Recently discovered documents (found by Darren under a tarp out the back of the war memorial) reveal a long-suppressed story. It turns out the emus were not flightless after all, but had in fact equipped themselves with a small airforce. How a group of flightless birds with no opposable thumbs managed to pilot such craft is unknown. It's suggested that in addition to their alliance with the Cassowaries they may have been given assistance by their cousins across the ditch, the Kiwis. However, this really doesn't explain anything, so historians are likely to debate over it for a long time to come.

What is known is that once equipped with armed aircraft, the Australian human forces found themselves fighting a very dangerous foe. Pitched battles were fought, with strafing and bombing runs by the emus wreaking havoc on infantry. The fledgling RAAF were called in but found themselves facing a formidable foe. None of this was publicised, however, in the interest of maintaining morale among the populace as well as not allowing people to think that the armed forces were a bunch of flamin galahs. The war went on largely in secret.

Finally, however, the emus struck at the very heart of Australia. In a complete surprise attack, they launched a bombing raid on the Victoria Bitter brewery.



In the press it was written off as a mistake in the recipe causing the brew to be even more lethal than usual (the original intention of VB was as a chemical weapon but it paradoxically became a popular beverage) resulting in a series of explosions in the mashing tuns. The government and armed forces, knowing full well what had happened, decided they had had enough. An unconditional surrender was negotiated and the emus, never having wanted anything more than to dig for grubs in peace, went back to the life they had been leading before.

One significant question remained: where had this phantom airforce appeared from and what was the aircraft that had wrought such havoc? What was known was that a young engineer by the name of Errington had decided to throw his lot in with the emu cause and somehow patched together serviceable aircraft.


« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 01:57:26 am by VickersVandal »
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 11:43:59 pm »
Having been commissioned by the Emu forces to develop a suitable combat aircraft, young Errington was keen to make a good impression. Scouting around for suitable starting material he was able to use his Balkan connections (on account of family ancestry) to obtain a job lot of aircraft parts that had fallen off the back of a Crimean cart....

Casting through various bits and bobs left over from the Russian civil war, he discovered a Spad fuselage. Knowing it to have a reputation as a tough aircraft that could withstand punishment, it seemed as good a place as any to start.



Somehow the Spad appeared to have been used as the canvas for some small child's first adventures with paint*, but that was something that could easily be sorted out later....
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 11:44:32 pm »
Errington knew that the new aircraft would need to be fast and powerful to compete with any fighters of the day. Nobody quite knows how he managed it but somehow he got hold of a powerful modern radial engine. It's suspected that some poor workshop clerk at QANTAS may have had some explaining to do when the line manager asked for an accounting of the inventory.

The Spad engine was turfed (it was found to be thoroughly shagged out anyway, as a result of white Russian forces trying to run it with cheap vodka) and the new engine grafted onto the front. This prevented the conventional machine gun mounting as it was found too difficult to get the interruptor gear working with the radial. Consequently, the gun mountings were faired over and the question of where to mount the firepower was left until another day....

With all the extra power, Errington realised that more lateral stability would be needed in the form of an enlarged fin with a special profile. The required item was crafted and some noted that the shape bore a surprising similarity to a certain flightless bird.



Once assembled, it was all given a coat of white paint to allow any flaws to be more easily spotted. After that, Errington turned his attention to the problem of the wing....or would it be wings?...

Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 11:45:53 pm »
Having dealt with the fuselage and powerplant, the need for wings was now apparent...

Rummaging through the collection of aircraft detritus, Errington came across - of all things - the upper wing of a Roland 2 seater. Not wanting to question too closely where such a thing might have come from, he returned to the workshop with it.



Errington favoured a parasol monoplane but wanted the aircraft to be able to carry a bomb load which could fall unhindered by struts or bracing. A sesquiplane seemed to be the answer. Another rummage produced a Sopwith Triplane tail unit (likely ex-Bolshevik) which was separated into two halves and given a greatly beefed-up main spar in order to take the weight of the bombs. This was then attached to the fuselage.


The customer seemed to be much pleased with this arrangement for some reason, though Errington needed to explain that the aircraft would be receiving a whole other wing....

The question of camouflage came up at this point. Given that the aircraft would largely be operating from and around the Outback, the necessary camouflage scheme was fairly obvious:





Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 11:46:42 pm »
After much wrangling with struts, Errington succeeded in attaching the top plane. Opting for robustness over elegance and having absolutely no desire to add any rigging, he bolted on enough struttery to sink the Bismarck. That top wing wasn't coming off in a hurry.
Some critics accused him of trying to Pander to contemporary Dutch aircraft design but Errington brushed off such criticisms (though secretly and inexpicably, he was attracted to things Dutch...)



Now that the kite had wings, it was time to sort out an undercarriage. Errington opted for faired-over struts with fairly heavy cross bracing. With the power available from the engine, he could get away with more strut work.

Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 11:48:11 pm »
After much work the Emulous was finished. Having discovered some Soviet machine guns that had fallen off the back of a GAZ Errington went for an over-wing mounting, reasoning that three guns were better than two. The firepower just cleared the enormous prop owing to the high wing position. Some explosive ordinance was also sourced by the same route and fitted to crude bomb racks on the lower wing. Questions were starting to be asked about how all this ex-Soviet hardware had made its way into Errington's hands but he studiously avoided answering such questions......

Markings were applied as per the customer's orders and the fin and rudder were suitably decorated.

The Emulous turned out to be quite workmanlike in performance and handling but more than adequate for the job at hand. Structurally, it was solid as the proverbial rock owing to the excess of strut work.

The Emulous was delivered to the customer and the rest, as they say, is "history".  :razz:



















Of course, owing to the crippling defeat suffered by the Australian (human) forces in the Emu War, any mention of the Emulous or the events surrounding it has been entirely suppressed. No trace can be found of the elusive Errington, either. Some have postulated that a young aircraft mechanic by the name of Doceff may have been masquerading under an alternative family name. If that were true, it could explain the Eastern European connection....Doceff being a suspiciously slavic sounding name.

Such musings lead to the possibility that the Emulous was not in fact piloted by emus with no opposable thumbs. It could well be that it was an early 5th column assault by bolsheviks, by way of an alliance with the emus. This would make sense in light of later events, post WW2, as detailed in this historical text.

Whatever the truth may be, Australia never declared war on the emus again. No trace was ever found of the Emulous or any other aircraft used in the conflict and most people think that any mention of the whole thing is, quite frankly, bird-brained.
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2021, 11:53:36 pm »
A summary of the bits and bobs used in the construction:

Fuselage and tailplane from a Minicraft Spad XIII
Top wing from a Roland Wahlfisch
Sesquiplane wings from a Sopwith Triplane tailplane
Rudder carved from Spad wing
Engine from not sure...possibly a Matchbox Walrus
Guns possibly from a Tupolev SB-2
Prop from....no idea
Wheels from....no idea
Bombs from....absolutely no clue
Everything else from styrene rod or sheet
Decals were sliced out of the wing and fuselage banding from an Airfix Hawker Demon
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Online Pellson

  • Full scale Arrow in basement
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 11:58:14 pm »
I only ever knew Brian through his whifs, and I never really got what happened that led to the setting up of the BtS-forum, but that said, this whif you present here is magnificently whacky in all ways, model wise as backstorywise. Hat off!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2021, 12:51:13 am »
Oh...was there bad blood on this forum or something? If so, I had no idea. Well regardless, I hope people enjoy the nonsense in this build thread.
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline PR19_Kit

  • Closeted Take That fan
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 38039
  • Whiffing since the 70s
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2021, 12:55:59 am »

Oh...was there bad blood on this forum or something? If so,


Just a little.  :-\

Best NOT re-visited.............. :(
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

Online Pellson

  • Full scale Arrow in basement
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
Re: The Errington Emulous (Great Auk/Brian-Da-Basher tribute build)
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2021, 01:05:31 am »
Oh...was there bad blood on this forum or something? If so, I had no idea. Well regardless, I hope people enjoy the nonsense in this build thread.

I think we can manage to focus on the build and story. Which are awesome!
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

Offline Scotaidh

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1207
Re: The Errington Emulous
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2021, 02:39:35 am »
That, sir, is an awesome build and backstory - hat off, indeed!   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I try to learn from the mistakes of others who take my advice.

Offline Old Wombat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 10279
  • Armour: The Gods of War love it!
Re: The Errington Emulous
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2021, 02:40:04 am »
Excellent tribute to the late, great BdB, VV; build & story, both! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:




But you did miss the opportunity to fit SPATS! ;)
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2021, 02:47:53 am »
But you did miss the opportunity to fit SPATS! ;)

This is true. I bring shame upon my clan...  :-\
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae

Offline VickersVandal

  • Kitbasher
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: The Errington Emulous
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2021, 02:51:51 am »
Oh, and this was a post-script that I forgot to add, which should make more sense of the Doceff thing...

--‐-----------

It's also a small tribute to my grandfather Roy Doceff, who built Bristol Beauforts at the Tailem Bend works in WW2. He was a great inventor and a brilliant and humble man by all accounts. Sadly I never really got the chance to know him as he died when I was 3.
Biggles modelling loony.

My Biggles Model display website: https://tinyurl.com/y74ydzae