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Author Topic: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)  (Read 9562 times)

KitS

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63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« on: March 11, 2009, 12:10:19 PM »

As mentioned elsewhere I bought one of George's last ASR launches at Ellesmere Port last weekend, and this will the start of a very lengthy build I'm sure. (I just have too many things on my plate to build it in a big hurry sadly)

As posted on the original thread I started with the 20 mm Oerlikon cannon that's mounted on the stern of the launch. (This is in line with the philosphy of building an R/C model Spitfire and starting with the propeller ok2)  In this case it's because the Oerlikon is a splendid little model in its own right and I can work my way into George's system of modelling with it.

I've re-posted the piccie of all the components and as you can see they are very well cast, and cleaning up the castings took very little time or effort, just a quick swipe with a small needle file and 320 grit paper did a good job. Some of the white metal parts needed a little more effort, but nothing in the way of heavy engineering. I used both thick and thin super-glue to put the model together, in some cases both types of glue, the thick first with a 'wash' of thin brushed over the joint area to make sure it was well secured. Some of the parts, notably the shoulder pads and the sights, are quite small and delicate and need careful handling and glueing, more later on this.

The model is designed to be assembled trained either fore and aft or athwartships, and aimed horizontally. If you want to change this it'll need some extra work, and as I've never built any kit 'out of the box' yet I wanted my Oerlikon trained over one quarter and elevated slightly, giving myself difficulties before I'd even started! There is a large resin stud cast on the centre-line of the turntable which is the main attachment for the breech/barrel assembly, for strength purposes I presume, and it's important that this engages in the corresponding hole in the breech/barrel. The hole is large enough to enable some change in elevation, but that means the pivot points of the side turnnions move downward and then won't fit properly on their mounting platforms. Accordingly I filed the platforms down a little so that the trunnions fitted horizontally again. I also re-drilled the turntable to accomnodate the large training wheel, because not having it aligned fore and aft meant the original hole was unable to be used as the shield was in the way. Having found some photos of Oerlikons on the web makes me think this was a mistake however, as the real world training wheels seem to be fixed to the mounting and do not traverse with the gun. It's stuck now though, so there's not a lot I can do about it.

The shield mounts to the front of the side trunnions, and it should lean back a trifle as you can see in the second pic. If you decide to make a radical change in the gun's elevation it's important to note that shield does not move with the gun, it stays at a fixed angle to the deck. That sort of mod will make the assembly more fragile though as the side trunnions will be the only attachment that the gun has to the turntable.

The spent cartridge bag is a nice easy fit under the breech and just needs a little flattening on it's mounting face before glueing.

The magazine however does need a little work. As can be seen in the second pic it should tilt forward at the top a little, presumably to accomodate the flanged 20 mm rounds. It also leans over to the right considerably, from the gunner's point of view, and try as I might I could not get it to fit as supplied. This may have been a by-product of my changing the gun's elevation however. I had to file quite a hefty angled slot in the bottom of the magazine to align it, but eventually all went well. It's worth while filing the top of the breech flat in this area as it increases the usable gluing area too.

The shoulder pads need careful handling and a little re-alignment, but this is best done after assembly as too much work on the finely cast mounts will fatigue them. The pad assembly has a small mounting stud on its base, but there is no corresponding hole in the breech so I filed the mounting area flat and drilled a hole to suit. After assembly I gently bent the curved pads downward to match the real world situation. Apparently the gunner not only leant into the pads but also had a waist strap attaching him to the gun so he couldn't escape! I may add this later from some photo-etch sprue.

The sight is probably the most difficult part of the build as it is very small and needs to be mounted at an angle as well. Looking from the rear the shoulder pads are offset to the left of the barrel, and the sight must align with them as well, so needs to be angled left slightly. I did this with some smooth faced instrument pliers before I glued the sights, which seemed to work well. The sights also have a stud cast on the base, but I found it easier to cut this off and smooth off the base as well as the top face of the breech. After three attempts I managed to get it glued in place, a large lunp of Blu-Tack on my bench helping no end! The third photo shows the offset of the shoulder pads and sights, just. It's quite difficult to get the thing in  focus and not blast out the detail with the flash.

There's a very small photo-etched ring fore-sight supplied as part of the main fret, but as mine pinged off into the carpet about 5 secs. after I'd cut it off I can't report on how well it aligns as yet. It'll probably come to light about a week after the model is launched!

You can see the complete assembly in the fourth photo, along with a diagram of the real thing. I'll post a few more after I've painted it. All in all I'm well pleased with it, very satisfying to build and looks just like the real thing in miniature, which is of course what it's all about.
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John W E

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 03:52:38 PM »

KitS hi ya there;

I am unsure whether you have seen the build I did for the 63 ft Whaleback on this Forum; it's in the Masterbuilds bit - the one I based it on was the earlier version.

I have, somewhere, on this computer a good few pictures of various vessels - i.e. various Whalebacks.  Not all of them carried the Oerlikon gun on the rear end, this was a later addition to these vessels.  If you are interested in having a look - at some pictues, give me a shout - and I will dig some out for you.  :-))

aye
john
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gibson

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 07:03:50 PM »


Hi Kit,

Excellent start and well done for doing  the thread, I shall be following it closely.

Good luck with the build and keep up the good work. :-))

Dale.
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 09:50:26 PM »

John 'Bluebird',

Yes, I surely have seen your MasterBuild of the 'Whaleback'. Yours was CONSIDERABLY larger than George's version, to say the least!   :-)

I've noticed that there was a large variation in the various deck equipment layouts for the 'Whaleback' but that sort of thing was to be expected in wartime I'm sure. I'd certainly be interested in seeing any photos of the ones with the 20 mm cannon if you have some like that please?

One thing I'd like to do is change the hull no. of mine, but can't find a list of numbers vis a vis the various RAF launch types. Does such a list exist do you know? The obvious move would be to make mine '103' instead of the stock '130' but with my luck '103' was probably attacked by the Luftwaffe on her first voyage and sunk!  :((

Dale,

Glad you liked it, I thought you might do. :-)

Any sign of yours arriving yet?

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gibson

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 10:54:28 PM »


Hi Kit,

I too would love to see any pics that John 'Bluebird' has of the genuine 'Whalebacks'

I had a look in the back of W.D. Pereira's book....'Boat In The Blue' (wartime story of an Air Sea Rescue crew and their boats) and he has listed 'Whaleback' RAF boat numbers as starting as 122 -190 and then 2546 - 2551

This is the only book I have on the subject but maybe somebody can add more.

Dale.

PS. My father had a small Dolphin (20ft wooden) cabin cruiser on the Thames (Kingston) around the early 70's and as a lad I can remember trips down to Chertsey and we would pass (moored) what he would call WW11 MTB boat but I am convinced it was a 'Whaleback' as I will never forget the shape. This is one of the reasons I wanted to get this kit.

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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 01:58:07 AM »

Dale,

Excellent, thanks for that. I wish I had that book, sounds like a 'must read' for this project. I assume that no 'Whalebacks' exist any more, but I don't know for sure. There's a later 'Hants and Dorset' in the car park at the RAF Museum Hendon that was recently being restored. It looks positively ginormous from ground level!

When I was young, around 10-11, I went on an RAF Children's camp at RAF Calshot, and we had numerous trips out on the Solent in various launches. Some were the smaller Range Safety Launches but one was a Hants and Dorset and did it ever shift! I'll have to build one of them one day. :-)
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John W E

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 10:16:04 AM »

Hi all

99% of the photographs which I possess came from a gentleman on this Forum – I am really grateful to him – Christian cdse123 – I will email the photographs to you to your personal email address  :-))

Sadly, though, there are very few photographs of the Whaleback which has the Oerlikon gun on the stern; as for looking for reference books there is a book which I received by John Sutherland & Diane Canwell ISBN Number: 1844151557 – The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service 1918-1986 it’s a good informative read.

With regard to the Whaleback boats I came to this opinion – this is my own opinion  %%  %% the number of Whalebacks which operated in the English channel and around the English coast do seem to have been more heavily armed than their counterparts of those  which operated overseas e.g. in the Mediterranean and around the African Coast.   The reason I came to this decision was the Whaleback’s frequently encountered enemy surface warships which were more heavily armed than the Whaleback and many times ‘punished them’ in the English Channel.  This is why I believe the crews armed them with any weapons they could lay their hands on.   Plus the fact towards the end of the war, you will see that they operated alongside the more heavily armed Fairmile B boat.   Now if we go to the boats which were stationed overseas in the Mediterranean and look at the vessels there, we will see they are more lightly armed.

I believe this, because the threat of surface vessel engagement was less likely with enemy surface vessels and they could rely purely on their speed to go in, pick a survivor up, drop a spy off and make their way out at high speed – many times outrunning the slower enemy vessels.   Their only main threat was from the air.    Along with this, a lot of these RAF rescue vessels worked in conjunction with the Royal Navy surface vessels of the Fairmile D type, which was a 4-engined and a faster boat than the B type which was accompanying them in the English Channel.   Also they had Vosper MTB’s/other MTB’s out there – to which they could call on sometimes to help them out.

So, the conclusion is, if you begin adding armament you increase weight but decrease the speed of the vessel and therefore making it slightly more vulnerable – don’t forget these were wooden vessels with just the minimum armour plate and if they were lucky they had self-sealing fuel tanks.

As far as the colour schemes of these vessels goes, what I found was – in the very early parts of the war the Air Sea Rescue Craft had a bright ‘creamy-yellow upper works’ deck, bridge and cabin – to make them stand out and it sure did!   They were shot up on all sides, ours and the enemy too – on numerous occasions!!!

So, as hostilities progressed, you will find that the bright creamy yellow paint scheme quickly disappeared to make way for grey decks – a yellow stripe down the top of the cabin and also on the bridge top.

This eventually disappeared to a yellow roof top on the top of the bridge –the other thing to note about the Whaleback boats is, if you look on the bridge roof, where the Commander’s hatch is, to the centre – there was sometimes a compass/pinnacle there.  The searchlight which was normally placed in the centre is now mounted on the starboard side of the hatch. 

If we have a look at the Airfix model of the Whaleback we can see that a shrapnel padding has cutouts for the windows for the sickbay – and this is not correct – the shrapnel padding was draped over the sides of the sickbay and secured with no openings in it.

That is all I can think of at the present time.   These were my findings whilst building my Whaleback model.

I do hope you enjoy the build  :-)) ;) :-)

I have never built one of Deane’s kits, but I did use some of their photographs for reference.

Aye
John e
Bluebird




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John W E

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 06:54:10 PM »

hi KitS have you received my email I sent to you via your compuserve email address???

aye
john
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 12:29:08 AM »

hi KitS have you received my email I sent to you via your compuserve email address???

John,

Yes, it's in my inbox, but CServe seem a little reluctant to part with the files, not an unusual situation with them I'm afraid. Still working on the download as I write.
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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 08:55:03 AM »

There is a very interesting film "For Those in Peril" that was released in 1944, The majority of it was filmed at Newhaven and some, such as a scene of a Walrus flying over the Church at nearby Shoreham by Sea where the plane was based. Although released 1944 said locally to have been filmed in mid 1943.

It has a lot of useful shots of Royal Air Force Air Sea Rescue craft of No 28 Air Sea Rescue unit as well as Royal Navy Coastal craft (ie Motor Launches and Torpedo boats )from HMS Aggressive which was based in the ferry port of Newhaven. There are also several shots of Royal Navy Patrol Service Armed Trawlers and other Auxillary craft. Acting a little wooden by modern standards but never the less a valuable insight into a Port at War.

Well worth getting hold of a copy for close ups and details of the whaleback. I found a copy on ebay a couple of years back on VHS as I don't think it's available on DVD.

Richard
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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 10:55:29 AM »

John,

OK, I've got all the piccies now, thanks very much indeed.

What a MASSIVE collection, so many thanks to Christian too. I did notice one boat with a 20 mm mounted on my first quick run through, and I'll dig deeper late on this evening, it should be a fascinating hour or so.

Richard,

Indeed yes, I've seen the film a few times now, but not recently, sad to say. I didn't know anything about the location but I know the area quite well, having been to Shoreham and Newhaven numerous times in the recent past. Of course it will have changed a lot since the film was shot, waht with the A27 carving right through the area east to west.

I'll see if I can find it on VHS, or even DVD if such a thing exists as yet, thanks for the reminder.
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gibson

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 12:31:51 PM »


Hi Kit,

I recently looked on Amazon for the film 'For Those In Peril' and I think from memory that they have a release date in April for the DVD.

How's the build comming?

Dale.
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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 12:59:25 PM »

Hi Dale

You'r right, I just saw your post and checked HMV. Pre order at £9.99 release date 27th April

http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1;-1&sku=942200

Richard
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patrolboat

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 05:08:57 PM »

i got a whaleback  hull and top from astec and i got an original plan from a lad on the b m p t website
and modifyed the it to suit  it was 1/32  scale and the figures where airfix 1/32 multpose figures modifyed
they started as eight army the tin hats are just right i just put duffel coats on the captain +mate and made
the short pants longer hope this helps
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 06:35:04 PM »

Dale,

How's the build comming?

It isn't at the moment, too many other things on my plate.

Plus I don't have the right motor/shaft combo to hand and Graupner don't make them any more it seems. :(

Anyone any suggestions?
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craftysod

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2009, 06:57:18 PM »

Kit
Just ask for the motor/shaft combo in the wanted ads,out of over 2465 members someone might have what you want
Mark
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2009, 12:25:46 AM »

While out with my wife in Bath this week we found what used to be the 'Wings and Wheels' model shop, still in the same place and now called 'Bath Model Centre'. While there wasn't that much there to grab me from an R/C boating point of view they did have the Airfix 1/72 scale RAF Whaleback ASR launch! Needless to say it left the shop with us. :)

When we got home I naturally compared the Airfix kit with my GT model, and found it to be almost exactly half the size, and it has an Oerlikon cannon in the kit as well. You can guess what came next........ ;)

Sure enough, below meet 'Son of Oerlikon'!

For some reason we've taken to calling the big ASR launch 'George', probably because it doesn't have a name, just a number, so naturally the Airfix boat is now called 'Son of George'! Apologies to George Turner for taking his name in vain twice, but his was the inspiration that started all this.

The Airfix hull is in two parts, joined along the keel, with a separate transom with angled glueing faces. It's an absolute PIG to build, mating up the hull halves at the right angle while still remaining in contact was a real trial but eventually I managed it with the aid of miles of masking tape. Afterwards it needed some hefty rubbing down to remove the excess glue, but now it doesn't look too bad.

My wife asked if I was going to put R/C in the Airfix boat, which is probably possible, but perhaps a little beyond me at present, plus it would be a VERY calm water boat!
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Hagar

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2009, 10:05:22 PM »

Sitting here right now doing the very same Airfix boat.
Could not agree with you more about the hull. A total oink to get put together. Masking tape where would we be with out it!!!
Im doing 156, you?
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2009, 11:09:36 PM »

Ian,

Great minds must think alike then, as they say..........  :-)

My 'big' ASR boat is 130, and the Airfix kit has those markings in it too, so I may be conventional and do that. However I note the Airfix 130 doesn't have the Oerlikon aft, but that may just be a date thing. I'm thinking of doing one with the anti-flak matresses and one without, just because I can!  ok2
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steve pickstock

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2009, 02:36:13 PM »

Just a tiny wee observation but I think you have the gun shield on back to front - the supporting arms for the gun were on the breech side of the plate not the muzzle side.

Having said that it is a very nice model of the oerlikon - not like the clunky piece on the 72ft Vosper.
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2009, 03:24:53 PM »

Steve,

Yes, I came to that conclusion myself the other night, wondering why the Aifix shield had the stiffeners and Goerge's didn't. Then I looked at the other side...........   {:-{

I bet that little thing is the DEVIL to get off again, but I'll give it a try.

I'm surprised the ASR Oerlikon is different to the Vosper's, sounds as if Airfix used two totally different mould makers for each job, weird.....
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steve pickstock

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2009, 04:39:27 PM »

The 73ft MTB has a twin mount which might have affected the way the mould was cut in those day.


I'm now wondering whether it's worth shelling out for two whalebacks and using the two oerlikons and scratchbuilding a mount.

Nope! That is sick and I shouldn't have dirty thoughts like that. Will probably end up going down the after market route, though I have to get the Vosper to a floating hull, with power first before I think about details like that.
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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2009, 10:06:48 PM »

While out with my wife in Bath this week we found what used to be the 'Wings and Wheels' model shop, still in the same place and now called 'Bath Model Centre'.

Surely it was called the " Modellers Den" up until about 1982 when the late stan Wilde took over.
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KitS

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2009, 01:54:12 AM »

Surely it was called the " Modellers Den" up until about 1982 when the late stan Wilde took over.

Possibly so, but I didn't move down here from Derby until then, so it always was 'W & W' to me............
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john allsop

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Re: 63' 'Whaleback' ASR launch (George Turner's kit)
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2009, 06:28:05 PM »

If anyone wants to know anything about RAF boats let me know as i have numerous books on the rescue service, i am not a "museum quality" builder but i have 9 boats of the RAF, i must try and build more, perhaps the "miami " will be next. Like all builders not enough time and i sail kayaks too.
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