November 2013
Auster AOP.6 Antarctic
GKN Sankey Warrior MCV80


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PoppySelected WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:

Between 2009 and 2015, I have set myself a general modelling theme based on selected 70th Anniversaries from WW2.

1 Nov 1943 - US Marines land at Bouganville in the Solomon Islands.

2 Nov - Combined air strikes by USAAF Liberators and the massed naval aircraft of aircraft carriers USS Princetown and Saratoga disable a large Japanese cruiser force in the heavily fortified port of Rabaul, neutralising their threat to the Bouganville landings.

4 Nov - As the bitter winter weather draws in once more, Soviet and German forces begin a fierce engagement around Kiev.

16 Nov - 160 USAAF bombers strike the Vemork Hydro plant in Norway, once more disrupting German Heavy Water production.

18 Nov - The RAF begin a sustained bombing campaign against Berlin and other major German cities that will continue until March 1944.

20 Nov - A 35,000 strong US Navy and Marine force lands at Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in the face of determined and well led resistance from heavily dug in Japanese defences. In the course of 3 days battle, over 6,400men from both sides will die, with many more injured. As the battle subsides, Allied forces now have the first air bases needed for the impending assault on the Marshall Islands, but the true extent of the challenge ahead is now clear.

28 Nov - Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin meet in Tehran to agree the opening of a second front against the Nazis in the west and set plans for the post-war division of Europe.

Auster AOP.6 Model C4 Antarctic

Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1958.

Airfix, 1/72.

The Auster AOP.6 was introduced in 1949 as a successor to the wartime Auster V, itself a development of the US Taylorcraft Model A civilian aircraft. In 1955, two aircraft were modified to take part in the 1955-58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, being fitted with extra radio equipment, larger tail surfaces, the ability to be fitted with floats or skis and a bright yellow hi-visibility finish.

The real aircraft on a stop-over at South Georgia

The expedition, led by Dr Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first to reach the South Pole overland in 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen's and Scott's expeditions in 1911 and 1912; the second crossing of the continent did not take place until 1981, during the Transglobe Expedition led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

I first built one of these kits back in the 1970s, at which time Airfix issued it in a very bright yellow plastic. This one came in a much more sober grey, requiring a coat of white and two yellow top coats to achieve the same effect. Unfortunately Airfix don't provide the correct tall tail-fin, but do provide a choice of wheels (with apporpriate Army Air Corps AOP markings), skis or floats. Mine is a fairly recent issue, with some very nice decals providing many of the detailed stencils needed for this version.

The real aircraft today at the RAF Museum, Cosford

Link to other RAF aircraft on my Friends & Allies Pages

MCV 80 Warrior,

1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, BAOR, Fallingbostel, West Germany 1988

Revell, 1/72.

The MCV80 Warrior was introduced to British Army service in the early 1980s, bringing with it a new doctrine of fast and mobile armoured infantry. Armed with a Rarden 20mm canon, Warriors allow infantry to move quickly around the battlefield and provide effective organic gunfire support to troops once dismounted. Since then the Warrior has seen widespread operational service, including combat operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Warriors are currently undergoing an upgrade prgramme to provide a new turre tand stabilised gun system that will ensure their effectiveness on the battlefield for many years to come.

This is the same kit as I built back in 2009, albeit without the add-on armour panels seen in the gulf and Kosovo. This is a very nice kit, only let down by the infuriating length and link track assembly (a personal hate of mine!). The commander figure is converted from a separately sourced modern British Army figure, suitably trimmed to fit! Camouflage nets are rolled aluminium foil and the turret rucsac comes from Kingfisher miniatures

Link to more AFVs on my Dark Side Pages

And finally...........

October sees the Fleet Air Arm Museum's second model show of the year, and once more, Mrs T and I had a stand, her with her crafty things and me with my models.

A grand day was had by all, not least because we were situated in front of the museum's newly refurbished Grumman Marlet in its surprising original colour scheme!

Early in the day; Mrs T mans the stand whilst I go on a wander!

The Martlet in its full glory; the colours on the wings and tail are original, whilst the fuselage has been matched and repainted.

Apparently this two-tone green scheme is that specified by the French Aeronavale, whose order this aircraft originally
belonged to before being taken over by the RN after the fall of France in 1940.

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Background Image: Newly revealed original underwing roundel on the Fleet Air Arm Museum's Grumman Martlet