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HK 1/32 Lancaster Mk.I WIP: Moving Along Again 8/11/2020


Dennis7423
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Since I have completed my HK 1/32 B-17G, it's time to get cracking on another project. My brother and I were contracted two years ago to build some large scale kits for a flight museum that will open in Salt Lake City, Utah in a few years. I figure, why not get started on another kit!

 

The plan for the museum display is to show, in large-scale, the bombing campaign in Europe using heavy bombers, their escorts, and their opposition. We have completed a B-17E so far, with a B-17F, B-17G, B-24D, B-24J, and Lancaster planned for the heavies. The hope is to make them more or less as accurate as possible, to help share the story of the bombing campaign against Germany. The museum has given us pretty free reign as far as what specific aircraft we model, as long as it was operational in the European campaign.

 

I chose to get started with the HK Models 1/32 Lancaster. After having so much fun building their B-17G, I wanted to get cracking on another one of their excellent kits.

 

So, in steps Lancaster Mk.I EE139, "Phantom of the Ruhr". Originally assigned to 100 Squadron on May 31st, 1943, she went on to fly 121 missions, including 15 trips to Berlin. I plan to model her during her early years, where she wore fuselage codes HW-R. She was later assigned to 550 Squadron, and bore fuselage codes BQ-B.

 

48909999276_ca514ec936_b.jpga3425306814_10 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

While I don't have any in-progress shots yet, I have started on a few small modifications to the kit (chopped up the cockpit floor). Here's what I can glean from photos so far, and I would love any input anyone can provide for this particular airframe:

 

She was an early Mk.I, without side blisters to her canopy. Additionally, from photographs, it appears that she has aluminum interiors to her front turret, aluminum landing gear legs, and aluminum hubs to her wheels. All signs point to her being a very early Mk.I.

 

48910167816_7f1dbb7868_k.jpgPhantomofTheRuhrBefore100thOperation by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

48909999196_3972b76598_k.jpgimg012 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

48909469048_f749841734_z.jpg24336d1142014385-lanc-phantomoftheruhr_144 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

48909469043_e29c09cef2.jpg08741b6a17bc6f1e690930dc43d2f8c5 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Here's a few questions I have for the boffins:

 

1. What type of bomb sight would she have? I have a feeling she has an early SABS (Stabilized Automatic Bomb Sight) because she is such an early bird, but I am not sure, and its not entirely clear in the photos.

 

2. Would she have her fuselage windows painted over on the sides? (EDIT: It looks like in the last photo I posted, that she does indeed her her windows. I hadn't noticed that before).

 

Hoping you all follow along on what will surely be a long journey once again. Thanks for tuning in!

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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Dennis, do you have a particular operational date that you are going to base your model on? Or a particular Op and or target??  If you give me a date of a particular sortie, I can give you the names of the crew if that interests you....

 

 

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Operations flown from RAF Grimsby with 100 Squadron.

11/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Dusseldorf       
12/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Bochum        
14/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Oberhausen    Icing   (Returned Early)
16/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Cologne        
08/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Cologne        
12/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Turin    Overshoot    
24/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Hamburg        
25/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Essen        
27/07/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hamburg       
29/07/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hamburg   Landed at Lindholme    
30/07/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Remscheid       
02/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hamburg       
07/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Wright L    Genoa        
09/08/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Bagot    Manheim        
10/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Nuremburg        
12/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Milan        
14/08/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Bagot    Milan       
17/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Peenemunde      
22/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Leverkusen        
23/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Berlin        
28/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Nuremburg    Returned early Bad oil leak    
30/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Monchen Gladbach        
31/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Berlin        
03/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Berlin        
05/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Mannheim    F/Sgt. Hardman 2nd dickie    
06/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Munich        
22/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hannover    Sgt. Cook 2nd dickie    
23/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Mannheim    1 Aileron  off & shot up    
03/11/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Heyes    Dusseldorf        
10/11/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Peasgood    Modane       
18/11/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Brook    Berlin        
22/11/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Lt. Randall    Berlin    Glycol leak port inner    
23/11/43    HW-R    EE139    P/O Dripps    Berlin        

After the last raid listed she transferred to 550 Squadron and flew another 6 operations from RAF Grimsby as 'R2' before flying out to RAF North Killingholme in early January 1944

I'm sure this will be of interest to you Dennis

"She was an early Mk.I, without side blisters to her canopy." She carried a cockpit blister in the starboard side as did most Lancasters.

Of those raids to Italy they were not considered worthy of an actual bomb symbols hence the Ice cream cone, Operation No.5, No. 12 and 15 & 16.  Note top two rows are rows of 15 symbols whereas the third and subsequent rows are 13

Ian
 

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On 10/18/2019 at 2:27 PM, Jeff said:

Dennis, do you have a particular operational date that you are going to base your model on? Or a particular Op and or target??  If you give me a date of a particular sortie, I can give you the names of the crew if that interests you....

 

 

Jeff-

 

I don't have a particular mission date, but perhaps her first Berlin raid? Not sure how easy that would be to track down. Curious if you know which sortie that would have been for her, so I can put the appropriate amount of bombs on the side of the aircraft. I want to model her early in her career, rather than later.

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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On 10/20/2019 at 4:20 PM, FME erk said:

Operations flown from RAF Grimsby with 100 Squadron.

11/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Dusseldorf       
12/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Bochum        
14/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Oberhausen    Icing   (Returned Early)
16/06/43    FZ-A    EE139    Sgt. Clark    Cologne        
08/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Cologne        
12/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Turin    Overshoot    
24/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Hamburg        
25/07/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Clark    Essen        
27/07/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hamburg       
29/07/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hamburg   Landed at Lindholme    
30/07/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Remscheid       
02/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hamburg       
07/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Wright L    Genoa        
09/08/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Bagot    Manheim        
10/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Nuremburg        
12/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Milan        
14/08/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Sgt. Bagot    Milan       
17/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Peenemunde      
22/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Leverkusen        
23/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Berlin        
28/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Nuremburg    Returned early Bad oil leak    
30/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Monchen Gladbach        
31/08/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Berlin        
03/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Berlin        
05/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Mannheim    F/Sgt. Hardman 2nd dickie    
06/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Munich        
22/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Hannover    Sgt. Cook 2nd dickie    
23/09/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Clark    Mannheim    1 Aileron  off & shot up    
03/11/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Heyes    Dusseldorf        
10/11/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Peasgood    Modane       
18/11/43    HW-R    EE139    W/O Brook    Berlin        
22/11/43    HW-R    EE139    F/Lt. Randall    Berlin    Glycol leak port inner    
23/11/43    HW-R    EE139    P/O Dripps    Berlin        

After the last raid listed she transferred to 550 Squadron and flew another 6 operations from RAF Grimsby as 'R2' before flying out to RAF North Killingholme in early January 1944

I'm sure this will be of interest to you Dennis

"She was an early Mk.I, without side blisters to her canopy." She carried a cockpit blister in the starboard side as did most Lancasters.

Of those raids to Italy they were not considered worthy of an actual bomb symbols hence the Ice cream cone, Operation No.5, No. 12 and 15 & 16.  Note top two rows are rows of 15 symbols whereas the third and subsequent rows are 13

Ian
 

Thank you Ian! This is excellent information, and very helpful!

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

 

 

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A very, very small update today, and a request for some further information from the experts.

 

I started by chopping out the cockpit floor where the pilot's pedestal was located. I will lower it, and work on some details underneath it that would be visible from the nose before placing it back into place. Cut, insert plastic card, superglue the bejeezes out of the joins, sand, and voila. Good enough for the folks at home. This is essentially step one towards correcting the cockpit area:

 

48941558856_d18fc5cd8b_k.jpg73071521_638880206518523_1822513833835495424_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Step two will begin shortly, and that entails correcting the pilot's seat. It's positioned wrong on the pedestal, and the seat bottom is far too long. I have glued the two base pieces together so that I can begin the surgery process:

 

48941750697_688d85bc91_k.jpg72917119_701178707031621_7925287475231064064_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Other cockpit modifications will include correcting the angle of the instrument panel support, wiring, piping, and ribbing on the fuselage halves to hide the wing attachment points.

 

I also purchased a really nice resin RAF parachute from True Details, which I will modify to more accurately represent the ones used by bomber crews. I'll then cast some copies, and put them in their appropriate homes inside the fuselage.

 

48941558816_a5c36ad2f5_k.jpg74417322_689998301485772_3716218318265253888_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Work continues slowly on the fuselage, and much faster on the wings. I am in the process of getting the outer nacelles attached to the wings, and hope to have that completed next week. I'm also going to try (very carefully) to drill out the main canopy where the starboard blister will attach, so its actually hollow inside rather than just plastered to the outside of the canopy. Wish me luck. Folks here have pointed out that Phantom likely had the starboard blister, so I will add it to my build.

 

I've been able to deduce from photographs of Phantom that she had natural metal internals for her nose turret. Would the entire nose turret have natural metal internals, or just some pieces? I haven't been able to find many reference photos of the turret internals, let alone photos showing early war ones that weren't painted jet black. Does anyone have any photos they would be willing to share? Additionally, would the upper and tail turret also have natural metal internals like the nose turret? Those I have absolutely no reference photos of, especially of Phantom.

 

Thanks for tuning in folks! As always, comments and critiques are welcome.

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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Dennis...............in conjunction with what Ian has posted above, my information has Ian's information correct as the first Berlin Op for EE139 as August  23/24 from 2041hrs to 0313hrs duration,  pilot was W/O J R (Ron) Clark, and 'crew'............ the information I have regarding the 'crew' is Sgt. H. Bennett (FE),  Sgt. J H Siddell (N), Sgt.D Wheeler  ( BA), Sgt. L J Easby (WOP),  Sgt E Gordon ( MU),  Sgt. W Green (RG), and according to what I have , the crew watched a JU88 get shot down due to Flak....

The Lancaster came off the Avro assembly line  as a MK III with Merlin28 engines and posted to 100 Sqdn at Waltham Lincolnshire May 31, 1943. She flew at least  29 sorties with 100 Sqdn.  there was a slight change in the Bomb symbols after the 30th op  and were in rows of 15. Sgt Harold Bennett the first Flight Engineer was the fellow who painted the Phantom of the Ruhr nose art. Ron Clark flew EE139 on 24 ops, nearly buying the farm on their 23 op over Mannheim as they were conned by search lights and were hit buy flak which damaged the starboard elevator and another shell going through the bomb bay and exiting out the top of the fuselage and apparently just missed the WoP Sgt. Easby, they dove still conned and being chased by a fighter of sorts..... Bennett helped Clark pull her out of the dive and they escaped the fighter to make it home, Bennett was awarded the DFM and Clark the DFC for that op.

She flew with 100 Sqdn and 550 Sqdn for her war operations, her last op appears to be November 21 1944  1531 hrs - 2208 hrs on a trip to Aschaffenburg Miyards with Sqdn/Ldr W F Cudlow DSO DFC AFC piloting.

After her last op she was sent to 1656 CU December 1, 1944, with 121 ops on her nose, and became Cat AC ( you may have to hunt that part down ) February19, 1945, she was sent to 58 MU. She was returned to 1656 CU, June 5, 1945,  then she was off to 1660 CU December 17, 1945.  She once again became Cat AC on January 12, 1946, and was finally made Cat E and was struck off charge February 19, 1946

I hope that is of some interest for you.....

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Hi Dennis,

Regarding the turret, for my Manchester I also will be doing an aluminium interior. IIRC the structure is all aluminium with some parts such as

elevation rams in steel (if ever visible and will have to be scratchbuilt). There is a sort of instrument panel which will be black as will be the gunsight Mk III

which fits over the guns, and the guns themselves will be gunmetal of course.

Cheers

Cees

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Some pics of the Phantom . . .

Turret interior of the mid-upper appears not to the the lighter metal. 'Trigger' Simpson in his turret, note the windows are NOT painted over and the 'W' is the short version . . . I suspect the rear turret will be the same ie a dark metal interior.

Brit-Lancaster-017.jpg

Some of the crew with the groundcrew. Note the starboard cockpit blister, note also the repair just by the window . . . 

Brit-Lancaster-016.jpg

Some of the crew by the starboard U/C leg showing its colour detail. Note also the tailwheel, it has the anti-shimmy groove . . . 

Brit-Lancaster-015.jpg

I hope these help Dennis, I would like to see one of 'my' girls looking the best she can. I intend to build one of her sisters in the near future :construction:

best of luck

PS She did not have the Gas circle on her nose when she had completed her 21st operation so if you are going for her first Berlin sortie you would be well advised to the markings on the nose. B)

Ian

 

 

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Hi Dennis, regarding internal turret colour-schemes. Very early FN turrets were bare metal interiors, but before night-bombing became the norm, they were sometimes painted internally a green-grey, however this seems to be a hit and miss affair, as one can often find single aircraft with turrets in both schemes. I don't think the grey-green scheme lasted long in '41. Soon after night bombing commenced an all black scheme became the standard, however, turrets in both bare-metal and grey-green can occasionally be seen long after the schemes were officially superceded. Additionally it's often hard to distinguish the two from black and white pictures.

My guess is that if turret output was being outstripped by demand, they simply omitted painting them before they left the factory, and such supplies of the grey-green paint as still existed when the official scheme went to all black were used until expended, with squadrons dealing with unpainted interiors if time permitted.

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From the research I have been doing, it appears to be a natural metal color, rather than a British interior green shade:

 

48947653148_378f8c3ea4_b.jpgAvRo Lancaster B.Mk.1 R5666 44 Squadron KM-F front FN5 turret detail (WM TR188) by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

48947653193_25ac5c19e3_b.jpgAvRo Lancaster B.Mk.1 June 1942 front FN5 turret detail (IWM TR20) by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Looks like natural metal in the first photo compared to the green inside the bombardier's bubble, but the second photo seems to show a mix of natural metal and green, perhaps.

 

Thoughts?

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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I found a little bench time this morning, so I got cracking on Phantom a little bit more.

 

I turned my attention to the nose turret, building off the research we've been discussing lately. Why not, as the mojo is currently situated there.

 

The Lancaster bomber used a Frazer-Nash FN5 nose turret. The kit's turret is quite nice out of the box, but has some subtle shape issues. That, and I can't leave well enough alone. Additionally, with much of her innards not going to be the standard black we're used to, it's going to be a focal point of the model. I needed to kick it up a notch, even if only subtly. 

 

The easiest mod for the kit parts is drilling out the various lightening holes in the different structures. A simple, quick task immediately improves the look:

 

48963794821_ee96cd333a_k.jpgreceived_407179460227530 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Another simple task is to separate the gun sight from the turret controls. These are molded as one piece in the kit, but the sight traversed up when the guns were elevated. For a kit with the turret guns in a flat, level position, you could get away with it. I elected to separate them:

 

48963972652_a9c241ef72_k.jpgreceived_416354449055998 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

I also drilled out the gun sight, which is solid. I'll put some Tamiya clear yellow in there when it's painting time to capture the amber color.

 

A more obvious niggle with the kit are the upper support arms for the turret. On the kit, they are molded as straight triangles:

 

48963973087_bdac92a47c_k.jpgreceived_666987883829619 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

On the real thing, they are an intricately curved and rotated piece of metal:

 

48963972527_2983c99ecc_h.jpgreceived_426209424753274 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

So, out with the needle files, and away I went. Fortunately, the plastic is thick enough to reshape what's there to better capture that piece:

 

48963973202_64cba797ab_k.jpgreceived_2394091067507472 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Drill out the lightening holes, thin the plastic, remove the shoddy ammo belt (this will be replaced later), and fill the ejector pin marks, and voila. We're off to greener pastures:

 

48963794946_5ea7d6c321_k.jpgreceived_1419364988236883 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

 

Now I've just got to complete the other side. Then, do the same for the upper turret. Piece of cake! It's the little things, right?

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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