Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Felixstowe F.2A

Here are some images of Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Felixstowe F.2A early.
With a three foot wingspan this is one impressive kit.  Plus despite its high detail and complexity is a pretty straight forward kit with no real issues, fit or otherwise.
My only complaint is that the high detail interior is mostly hidden by the fuselage. Oh well.

From Wikipedia"
The Felixstowe F.2 was a 1917 British flying boat class designed and developed by Lieutenant Commander John Cyril Porte RN at the naval air station, Felixstowe during the First World War adapting a larger version of his superior Felixstowe F.1 hull design married with the larger Curtiss H-12 flying boat. The Felixstowe hull had superior water contacting attributes and became a key base technology in most seaplane designs thereafter.

Before the war Porte had worked with American aircraft designer Glenn Curtiss on a flying boat, America in which they intended to cross the Atlantic in order to win the £10,000 prize offered by the British Daily Mail newspaper for the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic. Following the outbreak of war in Europe, Porte returned to England and rejoined the Royal Navy, eventually becoming commander of the naval air station at Felixstowe where he recommended the purchase from Curtiss of an improved version of the America flying boat on which he had worked, the Curtiss H-4 type, resulting in the RNAS receiving two prototype Americas and 62 H-4s.
The Curtiss H-4 was found to have a number of problems, being both underpowered and having a hull too weak for sustained operations and having poor handling characteristics when afloat or taking off. One flying boat pilot, Major Theodore Douglas Hallam, wrote that they were "comic machines, weighing well under two tons; with two comic engines giving, when they functioned, 180 horsepower; and comic control, being nose heavy with engines on and tail heavy in a glide."
To try to resolve the H-4's hydrodynamic issues, in 1915 Porte carried out a series of experiments on four H-4s fitted with a variety of modified hulls,using the results of these tests to design a new 36-foot-long (11 m) hull which was fitted to the wings and tail of an H-4, serial number 3580, with a pair of 150 hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8 engines as the Felixstowe F.1. Rather than the lightweight boat-type structure of the Curtiss boats, the F.1's hull was based around a sturdy wooden box-girder similar to that used in contemporary landplanes, to which were attached a single-step planing bottom and side sponsons. Once modified by the fitting of a further two steps, the new hull proved to give much better take off and landing characteristics and was much more seaworthy.
Porte then designed a similar hull, for the larger Curtiss H-12 flying boat, which while larger and more capable than the H-4s, shared failings of a weak hull and poor water handling. The combination of the new Porte II hull, this time fitted with two steps, with the wings of the H-12, a new tail and powered by two Rolls-Royce Eagle engines was named the Felixstowe F.2; its first flight was in July 1916,[10] proving greatly superior to the Curtiss on which it was based. The F.2 entered production as the Felixstowe F.2A, being used as a patrol aircraft, with about 100 being completed by the end of World War I. Another seventy were built, and these were followed by two F.2C which were built at Felixstowe.
In February 1917, the first prototype of the Felixstowe F.3 was flown. This was larger and heavier than the F.2, giving it greater range and heavier bomb load, but poorer agility. Approximately 100 Felixstowe F.3s were produced before the end of the war.
The Felixstowe F.5 was intended to combine the good qualities of the F.2 and F.3, with the prototype first flying in May 1918. The prototype showed superior qualities to its predecessors but the production version was modified to make extensive use of components from the F.3, in order to ease production, giving lower performance than either the F.2A or F.3.

The Felixstowe F.2A was used as a patrol aircraft over the North Sea until the end of the war. Its excellent performance and maneuverability made it an effective and popular type, often fighting enemy patrol and fighter aircraft, as well as hunting U-boats and Zeppelins. The larger F.3, which was less popular with its crews than the more maneuverable F.2A, served in the Mediterranean and the North Sea.
The F.5 did not enter service until after the end of World War I, but replaced the earlier Felixstowe boats (together with Curtiss flying boats) to serve as the RAF's standard flying boat until being replaced by the Supermarine Southampton in 1925.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Wappen von Hamburg 1667

Here are some images of Movo/Corel 1/40 scale Wappen von Hamburg.
Coming in at around 43 inches long and 36 inches high this model is no slouch for size. The wood is pretty much all walnut of one shade or another, and lots of gilded parts. An impressive kit all around.

From German Wikipedia translated using Google translate"
The Wapen of Hamburg (I) from the year 1669 was a Hamburg convoy ship. 
It was commissioned by the Hamburg Admiralty and the merchant team and had the task of accompanying Schiffskonvois to Hamburg's overseas trade partners and protecting them from hostile attacks or attacks by corsairs or pirates . After eleven convoys, the ship became a victim of a fire and exploded in the port of Cádiz in 1683. Admiral Berend Jacobsen Karpfanger , who remained on board until the very end , who enjoyed a heroic status in Hamburg by successfully fighting pirates, was killed in this disaster.
 After the fall of power in the Hanseatic League, Hamburg gained increasingly economic importance in the 16th century. In the middle of the 17th century, the Free City of Hamburg, along with London and Amsterdam, became one of the most important urban trading centers, now quite comparable to a global city , with trade relations extending from Greenland to Central and White Sea . The most important points were the Iberian Peninsula , England , the Netherlands , the North Sea (related to whaling) and Arkhangelsk . Determination of the Wapen of Hamburg was expansion of the trade areas as well as the fight against accidents by Muslim Corsics, which carried numerous Christian sailors into slavery and extorted high ransoms.
These operated with their ships from the barbarian states and heavily increased the heavy and often almost defenseless merchant convoy, consisting usually of 20 to 50 merchant ships. Even an equipment of merchant ships with guns (so-called armed merchant ships) could not change much, since the load-related cumbersomeness remained. The ships were taken as prizes , seized the cargoes, and often enslaved the ships' occupations, or fixed them until the payment of a ransom. In order to repurchase their own captains and taxpayers who had been captured, boatmen and taxmen called the "Casse der Achten" ("Casse der Achte"), a guarantee for the loss of money, which served as the basis for ransom payments. In order to repay those who could not make contributions to this insurance, the slaves' fund was founded in 1623, consisting of compulsory contributions from shipowners and shipyards as well as grants from state organizations and the admiralty tax. Since the funds were not sufficient, the basins were also raised in the churches, and house collections were also organized.
In the course of the seventeenth century, the Corsals extended their operational radius from the Mediterranean to Gibraltar and the English Channel to the mouth of the Elbe , after England, France, and the Netherlands, from 1665 to 1687, attempted to oppose the attacks with punitive expeditions Sensitive losses caused by corsair attacks. As a consequence of the expansion of the Corsican operation area, the supply of Hamburg from the sea route partially stalled, so that there were even phase bottlenecks in the city. In addition, more and more Christian belligerent nations became an economic problem for Hamburg.
 Thus, from Dunkirk , France sent an increasing number of freighters to intercept the Hamburg and Dutch Greenland drivers , who transported goods from the whale and seal catch and processed in Hamburg. The Netherlands , England, France , Norway and Denmark , as well as the Hanseatic City of Bremen and Brandenburg-Prussia , also had to deal with piracy problems on their trade routes, and provided counter-measures to their merchants for escort protection by accompanying the merchant convoys with war ships .
Hamburg's rulers wanted to secure their important position in the international trade as long as possible, and thus decided to protect their dealers' convoys as well as to organize an escort protection through the so-called convoy ships ("Convoyer"). In 1623 the Hamburg Admiralty was established, which was responsible for the construction, equipment and maintenance of these ships. In 1665, merchants and boatmen were finally formed by the Commerzdeputation , whose task was to follow the needs of the traders for more security on the trade routes and to organize appropriate support. In fact, it lasted more than 40 years until the Admiralty was established, until the construction of the first ships was decided and carried out. The main reason for this was disagreement in the financing of the "Convoyers" and their maintenance. In the course of time, not least influenced by ever-new prisoners, Hamburg's merchant shipments by corsairs and the immense economic losses suffered by individual traders , finally forced the responsible parties to find a financial consensus and carry out the construction in order to prevent such accidents in the future to prevent.
Since in the 17th and 18th century Hamburg always tried to keep out itself and its inhabitants from warlike conflicts that were detrimental to trade and to take a position as neutral as possible against conflict parties, the term "Kriegsschiff" was expressly avoided. Instead, the name "Konvoischiff" or "Stadtkonvoischiff" was used officially, which should be a passive type of ship designed for defense rather than on attack.  In fact, these ships can indeed be described as war ships, since they were mainly designed for weapon guidance. With regard to firepower, however, they could not compete with the ships of war of the maritime powers .
The convoy ships were thus warships with a permanent escort order,  which protected the Hamburg convoys from 1669 to 1747, and secured trade from and to Hamburg, thus sustaining Hamburg's position as a trade metropolis.In the middle of the 17th century, Hamburg had no warships of its own, so that a few tons of bombers had to serve as an escort for the Hamburg merchant fleet. The plans for the construction of the Leopoldus Primus and the probably identical Wapen of Hamburg began as early as 1663, but there was still considerable dispute over the financing responsibilities. 44 years after the convocation of the Hamburg Admiralty , the construction of these two convoy ships was finally commissioned in 1667.
The Admiralty had the supervisory rights over the ships and passed the building supervision to the captains Lars Boehnsen and Johann Timmig .
The construction of both ships was under the direction of a Dutch shipbuilder, who was not known at all, and took place according to the Dutch model. No documents have been received from the planning, the construction process and the legal and financial construction work.
The Dutch Aemilia from 1632 is supposed to be a design model for the Wapen of Hamburg in specialist literature. 
 The Wapen of Hamburg is the first of four convoy ships that bore this name. It was built in the shipyard at the Theerhof in Hamburg. The ship was not allowed to have an excessive depth, as otherwise the shoals of the Elbe, especially the Altona sand, would not have been possible. As the shipbuilder knew that a wide ship with low masts had more stiffness and strength to re-establish itself in troubled waters, and a narrow ship with high masts sailed faster, he combined the two qualities of this ship and Created a good compromise between stability and sailing speed.
The ship was a sailboat with three masts ( bean mast , main mast and foresail ). Only on the mantle was a Latin sail on the lowest position (underbeet sail) . In addition, the blind spot could be placed on the bowsprit and the upper bend (Bouvenblinde) at the bowsprit mast.

The Wapen of Hamburg had two decks and closed in the rear area with a smooth rear mirror . In the rear mirror was integrated a gallery, which resulted in the laterally attached side galleries.
The rear carving as well as the entire figural jewelery of the ship were created by the sculptor Christian Precht . This was to make the stern of the ship similar to the model of the 1666 portal, also completed by him at the construction yard near the Deichtor. At the rear mirror was the Great Staatswappen of Hamburg, an image of the castle in shield form, held by two lions, as a viewer and representative carving. This sculptural work was framed by various allegorical carvings and baroque style. On the rear mirror were three large lanterns at the rear. As a figurehead , a lion adorned the bow, as is customary on many Dutch-style sailing war ships. He held a shield with the Hamburg coat of arms in his front paws.
The Leopoldus Primus and the Wapen of Hamburg (left); Copper engravings . In: Hertzfließde Reflections / From the Elbe Stream / [...] by Peter Hessel, 1675
For the work on Leopoldus Primus and the Wapen of Hamburg , Christian Precht received a remuneration of 1544 marks from the city of Hamburg.
The ship's body was planted in the Kraweel construction method. The superstructures (ie the exterior walls of the back, the aftdeck and the hut - see the green-painted areas on the model photos) were likely to be overlapping, as was customary in ships of Dutch design at the time.
The Wapen of Hamburg was equipped with 54 guns , with the heavier calibers placed on the lower gun deck. The ship had more pieces than guns, so that the armament and possible loadings could be handled more flexibly. The cannons were usually imported from Dutch or Swedish. 
 The Wapen of Hamburg from 1669 to 1683 a total of eleven convoys, which led them nine times to the Iberian peninsula and once each to England and to the north polar sea .
As a captain , Martin Holste was summoned in 1669, who had previously made a name for himself in the escort order with the largest of Hamburg's Tonnbojers and was able to buy himself into the new function. 
Holste, however, fell into disgrace after he had partially disregarded the captain orders ordered for him by the Wapen of Hamburg for his convoys. He thus refused to escort some convoy ships, and stayed in the road for some time at certain points or places where he had been commanded by his captains, and allowed the convoy to make excessive bills. 
Since Holste was expected to follow the captain orders very strictly, but he did not stop his free-lance action, despite repeated exhortations, a committee finally dealt with the incidents to discipline him. As a result Holste lost the responsibility for the Wapen of Hamburg , but remained because of influential kinship in the function of a captain, without however its command actively on a convoy ship to exercise.
In 1683 major repairs took place at the sister ship Leopoldus Primus . At that time, the captains of the captains had become disagreeable with the admiralty, Admiral Berend Jacobsen Karpfanger , who had made a great deal of money for the pirates in Hamburg by way of numerous battles for Hamburg, made a short decision from the Leopoldus Primus to the Wapen of Hamburg Giving him command of the ship. Karpfanger then went on his first journey with the Wapen of Hamburg in the autumn of 1683, which led him to Cádiz in October 1683 with a little delay. Here he went to the roadstead to make further preparations for the journey. For the return journey the Isle of Wight was planned as an expedition in England , before returning to Hamburg.
At this time, the ship was filled with 150 sailors and officers, as well as 80 soldiers . Also on board were a professional and his people, as well as some surgeons , a preacher , a few cooks and some servants .
 In the evening hours of October 10th, 1683, a fire broke out in the lowest room of the foreship of the Wapen of Hamburg . This expanded rapidly and could not be adequately restrained by means of on-board equipment despite the greatest efforts. The crew attempted to get to safety in sloops , but was backed by firemen back to the fire to make further extinguishing attempts . At the same time, signal shots were fired from the guns of the Wapen of Hamburg , which were meant to signal the sending of auxiliary fire fighting teams to the surrounding ships. As the fire spread through the deck to the foremast mast, and the rigging and the sails were instantly ignited by an unfavorable wind, the riflemen were left in a safe distance for fear of an explosion . Karpfanger had his off-board son abducted, who had previously appealed to his father to leave the ship with him to bring both lives to safety. Carpfanger, however, did not want to see the ship as lost. His officers suggested that a leak be thrown into the fuselage and let the ship run with water and put it on the seabed, but this was rejected by the carcass. Finally, he agreed to a beaching attempt , leaving the frigate's ropes to set the ship near the shore on the ground. It was not a question of leaving the ship anyway: he was bound by his oath , which was handed over to the Hamburg Senate on July 14, 1674, which impelled him " to stand mankind in the defensive of the entrusted fleet, Body and life, as they leave and his ship. "
As the convo ship drifted slowly towards the shore, the fire under deck moved ever more towards the stern . Toward midnight, finally, the individual guns, which ignited themselves and fired spontaneously, came to an end; At the same time, some of the grenades on board were also firing.
An hour after midnight, after the ship had burned for five hours, and Admiral Karpfanger was still the last man on board, the fire below deck reached the powder chamber , which finally exploded. The hind part of the ship, broken in the middle, flew into the air, the anterior resting on the side and beginning to sink. The ruins were raining down from high altitude.
The disaster resulted in 65 deaths: 22 soldiers and 42 boatmen and Admiral Karpfanger died. His corpse was found on October 11, 1683, drifting in the water on a mooring line of an English ship in the port of Cádiz.
On the occasion of his feast days, Karpfanger received an appropriate condolence from the ships in the harbor of different nations: the men want to have counted over 300 salutes .
 Although the Leopoldus Primus was still ready for action, Admiral 1685 considered a new building, since the trade with two ready-made convoy ships covered considerably more convoys - also on different routes - and thus increased sales. However, the new building should be smaller than the predecessor Wapen from Hamburg (not least for reasons of cost). The basis was a smaller convoy with 30 - 40 guns. In September 1685 the Hamburg citizenship granted 30,000 thaler and decided to build the new building. The successor Wapen of Hamburg (II) was completed in 1686, but nevertheless had similar dimensions and armament as the predecessor.
In total, there were four convoy ships named Wapen from Hamburg , which operated from 1669 to 1747 for the city of Hamburg, until the convoy was stopped by convoy ships.