Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RCAF B-29 Detachment

With the recent announcement of a visit by the Commemorative Air Force’s airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress "FiFi" to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in August, it is a good time to remember that the RCAF actually had a "B-29 Detachment" post war. In 1947, the RCAF's B-29 Detachment was created to assist with a joint USAF/USN/RCAF project to study low frequency LORAN (long range navigation) in the arctic.  In cooperation with the 4149th Base Unit, USAF, from Middletown, PA, Canadian and American personal flew over 100 B-29 missions over the north, some lasting almost 17 hours.  Three B-29s were assigned to the unit, which was headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, including B-29Bs s/n 44-84035 (coded BF-035) and a/n 44-84021. In 1948, the Detachment was renamed the RCAF LF LORAN Flight, but the work continued.  On December 29, 1948, B-29 s/n 44-84021 crashed at Fairbanks, Alaska, during a flight for the program.

Modeler's Note:  There are only two options for a B-29 in 1/72; the ancient Airfix kit and the more recent, but still elderly, Academy kit.  It will make a rather large model, so this might be one of those times that considering 1/144 scale is a good idea.  If that is the case, search for the Fujimi kit.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas, eh!

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year. (Did I say that right?)

Snow in Seattle...hope the Navy shows up to clean off my ride.

(Photo courtesy of the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum/VRP993.276.74)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Colour Hawks of Little Norway

For a short time in early 1941, the hottest aircraft in Canada were the Curtiss Hawk H-75A-8s flying out of Little Norway.  Little Norway was the sobriquet for the Norwegian Air Training Establishment, and the Hawks were operated as advanced trainers from Island Airport in Toronto.  (One can only imagine the difficulty moving from a Fairchild Cornell to the much more complex and powerful Hawk.)   One of the long standing debates among modelers is the exterior colour of the aircraft. The following colour photo has been published in a few places over the years, so it was assumed that the aircraft were an pastel green, similar to Testors FS 34227.  This seemed to reinforce the statements of Little Norway personally that the colour was colloquially referred to as apple green.

Here is another photo taken in the same sequence and already the colour has shifted.

I hope these beautiful photos assist modelers in making their own decisions. It sure looks like a variant of U.S. interior green to me. (Testors FS 34151 is a close match to my eye.)  Note in the photo below that the exterior colour and the interior colour around the engine are similar, with the exterior colour just being more matte. An aviation research colleague believes the explanation is quite simple: "...the boss of the Curtiss paint shop did not have the grasp of the Norwegian language that he claimed to have. As a result, he got the painting instructions bass-ackward and used exterior paint for the interior and vice versa resulting in a norse of a truly different colour."  I'm still trying to figure out if he is pulling my leg or not… However, some modelers are of the opinion that the colour is just Curtiss’s version of Olive Drab or possibly Light Olive Drab 35.

Modeler's Note: While there have been quite a few kits of the Twin Wasp powered P-36 from the likes of Revell, Heller and Monogram, the Wright Cyclone Hawks have not faired as well in 1/72. AML did a short run kit of the type which has a reputation as a difficult build. There is also a family of Hawks from MPM/Special Hobby/Azur, but I have not seen one in person.  AZ has just issued a series of Twin Wasp Hawks, so it is hoped they will work their way to the Hawk 75A-8 in the near future.

(Photos courtesy of the Armed Forces Museum of Norway.)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Getting there...

Tamiya Mosquito in progress. Under the gun as usual, it has to be done for Thursday.

PRU Blue is Tamiya XF-18 Medium Blue.  Decals are a mix of Eagle Strike, Barracuda, with serials from the kit.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

And this is why I never get anything done!

Aka how I get easily distracted...

So there was I was reading Facebook and the above picture showed up in my feed.  Canadian Sherman tanks with green and tan camouflage and the Canadian flag?  Hold on, wasn't the Canadian flag introduced in 1965?  What were Sherman's doing in Canadian service that late?

A little online researched turned up that these Shermans were part of the Ontario Regiment (RCAC) based in my hometown of Oshawa, Ontario.  It also noted that the Regiment operated Shermans until 1972.  Wowie.  Further researched turned up the following picture...

Those gates look familiar, isn't that the Parkwood Estate is Oshawa?  Indeed it is.  These photos were all taken on September 11, 1971, when the regiment paraded in honor of R. Samuel McLaughlin’s 100th birthday.  (McLaughlin was a Canadian industrial titan and honorary Colonel of the Ontario Regiment.)

So now I have to build one of these Shermans.  Looks like I am looking for a M4A3 "Easy 8."  But what scale?  Trumpeter does one in 1/72.  Hobby Boss does one in 1/48.  Tamiya does one in 1/35.

1/72 Pros:  Matches most of the aircraft.  Pretty cheap kit.  Not too many parts.  (And if I want to expand the armor collection Dragon makes a Churchill.  (A tank I'm oddly attracted to.))

1/72 Cons:  Tiny.  It will be hard to see the little maple leaf which is a feature of interest.

1/48 Pros:  Decent size.  Matches a few of the 1/48 fighters.  Not too expensive.

1/48 Cons:  None noted, but it I want to expand the collection I don't think anyone does a Churchill.

1/35 Pros:  It is Tamiya.

1/35 Cons:  Expensive and a totally new scale that doesn't match any of my airplanes.

Oh, man, I don't need this kind of distraction!  I guess check back to see what develops on the armor front.  (And if anyone has any suggestions about the appropriate scale, let me know.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

AScaleCanadian on Twitter

For reasons unknown, AScaleCanadian in now on Twitter.  Why?  I dunno, but follow along at @AScaleCanadian to see if Twitter is of any value.