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World War II: Great Britain
Aircraft of Great Britain in WWII.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
Fuselage Top Gun Camera For Beaufighter?
awrc
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Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 05:48 AM UTC
I notice that the two aircraft featured on the front Xtradecal's latest sheet for the Beaufighter (48188 for the 1/48th version) are both depicted as having a large air intake on top of the fuselage, right behind the cockpit (roughly where the DF loop and teardrop would be).

While I've dropped little suggestion e-mails to a couple of places that I know tend to do British stuff in resin, it didn't occur to me to check first to see if anybody does this piece already? The aircraft depicted are both TF.Xs, one Australian, one RAF in 1949 Operation Firedog markings, so they're both rather appealingly different looking, and the Tamiya TF.X that I've got in the stash appears to include everything else that I need - it's got dorsal fins both with and without fillets, it's got the thimble nose, it's got spinners for the props, it's got the extended air intakes on top of the engines, and I know that if it turns out it doesn't have the right exhaust type, it's easiest enough to get those.

However, while the kit does include the DF loop and teardrop dome for it, even though none of the kit options require it, it looks like the one thing Tamiya didn't manage to include was this intake, which I'm assuming is some sort of ventilation/air-conditioning thing for tropical use. I'd love it if somebody corrected me, and pointed out where on a sprue it's hiding, but if not, does anybody know if such a part is either produced by any resin manufacturer (I suggested it both to Roy at Barracuda and Ultracast before I thought maybe I should have checked to see if it already exists first) or in the works from any manufacturer? It strikes me as the sort of thing an Aussie place might do, since I imagine they ended up fitted to Australian aircraft more often than not.

It'd also seem to be an ideal little bit of resin for Quickboost to produce, but since it's probably got limited sales potential, maybe not.

So, anyone know? Does such a thing exist in the aftermarket?

Regards,

Alan
Merlin
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Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 09:21 AM UTC
Hi Alan

I think the "intake" might actually be a gun-camera mount. You see it on some home-based nightfighters such as this.

All the best

Rowan
awrc
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Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 10:16 AM UTC
The item in question is shown fairly clearly on the box art for Airfix’s new 1/72nd Beau TF.X - which is in another post-war scheme. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the Thing on the Airfix box art looks to be wider and flatter but - from Airfix’s instructions, does indeed appear to be a gun camera.

So, I guess, imagine the post I made,except I was asking about a gun camera instead of an air intake Anybody do one?
Merlin
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Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 08:24 AM UTC
Hi Alan

I think Roy is very in touch with what is available in terms of upgrades and conversions, so I'm guessing that if you've mentioned it to him and he's unaware of anybody offering it as an item, it must be tucked pretty low under the proverbial radar if anyone's producing it.

Like you, I think I've seen different shapes, some more bulbous than others, but whether they were in original photos or on kits and artwork - I honestly can't remember.

If I were you, it's the sort of thing I wouldn't worry about looking for a resin upgrade for - I'd just carve one based on a reference photo. It's only small, and you can try a few until you're satisfied. The result will probably be just as good as some "cottage-industry" commercial upgrades - plus, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing it's all your own work.

All the best

Rowan
awrc
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Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 09:44 AM UTC
That's sort of my fallback situation on these things - if nobody's interested (and I have to admit it's a fairly obscure item that may not be expected to sell in boatloads) I'll try to shape something. I'm taking that road on another project, where after failing to convince Quickboost that they could easily make a single resin part to allow a MiG-17 to be converted into a Lim-6bis (something the Polish aftermarket industry doesn't seem interested in either - oddly, since they produce quite a few decal sheets with Lim-6bis markings on them) I'll do it with plastic stock and Milliput, having got hold of some nice plans made by Mushroom.

I suppose it's also possible I might try and find somebody who is doing a new Airfix Beaufighter TF.X but isn't doing one that needs the intake in that kit, which I could then use as a 2/3rd scale prototype for a new one.

I guess my main objection to doing things myself is that I do it once, I've got a model with the feature, I'm happy - but then there's somebody else out there who wants to do the same, is stuck, etc. One of those situations where I really wish I had 3D printing capability or something like that.
awrc
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 - 01:16 AM UTC
I've since heard from Kevin at Ultracast who says they'd definitely be interested in making such an item available, but that he'd need good photo references before he'd consider it.

I've passed on the link you posted, Rowan, for starters

With this in mind, does anybody have good clear photos of the fuselage top gun camera? I'm not 100% clear if they were all the same or not - the one in Rowan's photo, which is of a IIF, looks almost like a DF loop cover that was modified in the field to hold a camera, while the part in the new Airfix 1/72 Late Beaufighter TF.10 looks like it might be flatter and wider and purpose-made.

Another thing I've noticed that *might* be something that's in Ultracast's field of interest would be the quad RP-3 launchers that the later Beaufighters carried. These are shown on both the "cover" aircraft on Xtradecal's recent 48188 sheet, and come with Airfix's late model 1/72 Beaufighter too.

I also wouldn't be totally surprised if somebody does the Operation Firedog Beau that Airfix provides markings for, in the post-war Bomber Command scheme of Medium Sea Grey over Black, which'd be another reason for these parts to exist.

So if anybody know of good photos of the gun camera and/or the quad rocket launchers, please let me know. I'm in no financial position to buy references, alas, but links to online photos, etc, would be great. It'd make more sense, I think, for me to gather the stuff up and send it to Kevin, than for him to receive anything that can be turned up in dribs and drabs.

On a related note, is there a way to edit the subject of this thread? To change "Intake" to "Gun Camera" and eliminate the "Tropical"? Or is it stuck like that?
Merlin
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 - 07:38 AM UTC
Hi Al

That's great news. I'll keep an eye open for good reference photos.

I've renamed the thread as you've requested.

All the best

Rowan
awrc
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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 12:27 AM UTC
Since I'm trying to keep this stuff in one place, this thread I find on britmodeller.com has some images and plans:

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235037614-beaufighter-gun-camera/