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1/72nd Lancaster LM-178 BH-U "Uncle"


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I have recently been talking to a friend of my dad's who was a tail gunner for RAF 300 Squadron (Polish). Sam, a Flight/Sgt in the RCAF, was transferred from 626 Sqn to 300 Sqn in June 1944 to help bring their numbers back up to fighting strength after heavy losses. His was one of the first British & Commonwealth crews to join 300 Sqn. On July 24th, his a/c LM-178, BH-U "Uncle" (nicknamed "Luck of the Irish") took off at 8:37 PM from Faldingworth for a bombing mission on Stuttgart. It was his 10th mission since his transfer and most of the crew's 18th mission overall. Over France, they were attacked by a German night fighter and their a/c was set on fire. F/O Robinson, the pilot, ordered them to bail out. Sam and F/O Joe Forman landed near each other in a field south of Orleans. Only they and F/O Robinson got out of the plane. The rest of the crew were killed. Sam suffered severe facial burns from the aircraft fire and also injured his back when he landed. Forman helped him to the nearby farmhouse of Francine LeSerre where he was hidden and his wounds tended to by a local veterinarian. When he was able to move, the French resistance hid them in a local forest where they were eventually returned to US soldiers in mid-August.

I got this Hasegawa Lancaster MK1,III for Christmas 2 years ago from my wife when I said I wanted to get back into modelling. It sat in a drawer until I met Sam and found a good enough reason to build it. Hopefully, I can do it justice.

I will be doing this as an out-of-box kit, just trying to get the a/c markings and colour scheme as correct as possible. Here is the obligatory box shot, :).

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Edited by Big Daddy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking good so far BD. Thanks for pointing me here. Two builds I'm going to have to watch now.

Also, a very class act on your part. I know how it feels to build for someone who flew a particular aircraft. The true gift is the gratitude of the recipient. It's humbling.

Mike

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Looking good so far BD. Thanks for pointing me here. Two builds I'm going to have to watch now.

Also, a very class act on your part. I know how it feels to build for someone who flew a particular aircraft. The true gift is the gratitude of the recipient. It's humbling.

Mike

Thanks a lot Mike. I just hope he accepts it. Some of these old birds are funny that way. I was hoping to have it ready for his 91st birthday this Friday but he never showed up at the Legion last week and I needed some questions answered before I can finish it. :bandhead2:

Anyway, some more progress in the last few days.

The outboard engines on this kit really hung at a bad angle so I have had to sand/file the nacelles carefully to get them right. The port engine looks pretty good now.

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Also, the main hatch at the back was raised about 1/16th inch off the fuselage so that had to be sanded off and re-scribed.

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The rear turret (Sam's office) is nicely detailed out of the box.

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Edited by Big Daddy
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My first big blunder of this build....I mounted the rear turret guns upside down. :bandhead2: The outboard guns should be on top instead of the bottom. Fortunately a kind soul on the Lancaster Archives forum noticed it and I was able to carefully cut it all apart and re-assemble it correctly.

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I also spent the better part of 3 hours installing the teenie-tiny windows in the fuselage, complete with several pieces flying off into oblivion as I cut them from the sprues, followed by a chorus of curses from yours truly. Fortunately, Hasegawa had the foresight to include extra pieces of each window. :)

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Great work and nice recovery on the rear guns. Some nice progress there sire.

Thanks, Mike. I have to say I look forward to the next step with a bit of trepidation. I have never airbrushed a model before. :unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I masked the whole Lanc today to get ready for paint, planning to do the flat black underside first, and had a minor disaster with my airbrush. I guess the needle wasn't fully seated and it blasted paint all over the place. I feel like such a rookie coz I carried on and laid down way too much paint. So, now I have to wipe it all down, sand the excess off and start over. Gawd, what a dolt. :bandhead2:

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D'oh! What's life without a little adversity? I'm sure it'll turn out great, BD. Look forward to more 'action' shots.

Good luck.

Mike

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D'oh! What's life without a little adversity? I'm sure it'll turn out great, BD. Look forward to more 'action' shots.

Good luck.

Mike

Here's the latest "action" shot. DOH! is right.

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Oooohhh...that's painful!

Step back, take a breath and I'm sure it'll clean up nicely for you. You've put a lot of great work into this, and the historical back story is worth the effort.

Richard

Thanks, Richard. I'm just sitting here having a coffee and planning my next move. First step, to Walmarts for some Easy-Off. I appreciate your comments.

BD

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Well, what I thought was a mini-disaster turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Before I resorted to the Easy-Off treatment, I thought I would try using a 2400 grit sanding pad on the painted areas and re-paint a small area. When I started sanding I immediately liked what I saw.....it gave the flat black a nice weathered look, something I had wondered how I was going to achieve. And, after I re-sprayed one of the wings, I couldn't tell where I had painted before. I am so relieved. :rolleyes:

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Thanks, Mike. I went from restoring the paint job on my 1/72nd Lanc to fabricating another wingtip skin on the real thing over at the Cdn. Historical Aircraft Association hanger tonight. FM212 is slowly starting to take shape again. Very inspiring stuff.

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Just came around looking for an update, Very nice paint work BD. She's going to be a stunner when you're finished. The colours look just right. :thumbsup:

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Just came around looking for an update, Very nice paint work BD. She's going to be a stunner when you're finished. The colours look just right. :thumbsup:

Thanks a lot, Mike. I got a coat of Future on her today. The end is in sight! Next, decals and a little weathering. This a/c only had 78 hours of summer operational time on it when it was shot down so it shouldn't have been too beat up by the elements.

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Edited by Big Daddy
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