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White Wolf

One-Armed Mac's Hurricane

24 posts in this topic

James MacLachlan was born on 1 April 1919 and enlisted into the RAF in 1937. He started out flying bombers but after a few years he switched to piloting fighters and flew in the Battle of Britain and in Malta.

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In February 1941 in Malta, MacLachlan was wounded in battle and his left arm was so severely damaged that it had to be amputated below the elbow. Once he was back in the UK, he had doctors fit a specialized artificial left arm to him so he could continue flying, and in November 1941 he was assigned as squadron leader of No.1 Squadron, equipped with Hurricane IICs for night fighter operations. MacLachlan racked up an impressive number of kills as a night fighter pilot, with a total score of 16.5 kills by the time of his unfortunate death in July 1943.

This will be my first WIP in a long while. The subject for this build will be James MacLachlan's personal aircraft with No.1 Squadron, JX-Q. The kit will be Hasegawa, and the decals will be from Lifelike.

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Very cool - I can't wait to see this one come together

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Neat, I knew about Defiant nightfighters but haven't run across Hurricanes. I assume as an early war single seat nightfighter they relied on pilots with good night vision, and ground control to guide them?

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Neat, I knew about Defiant nightfighters but haven't run across Hurricanes. I assume as an early war single seat nightfighter they relied on pilots with good night vision, and ground control to guide them?

Pretty much. I've heard that the RAF even made their pilots drank carrot juice in an attempt to improve their eyesight, but I don't know how much of this story is fact or fiction.

This is a interesting write up about the Hurricane's night operations and tactics: http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/Hurricane.html

Progress has been rather slow on this one as I'm working on 2 other builds at the same time. I've gotten the cockpit and fuselage parts together, I'll try to post some pics later tonight.

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The cockpit has been done, I intend to keep this a quick build so no additional detail has been done. You won't be able to see much behind the one-piece canopy anyway.

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For the fuselage halves, I deviated from the instructions a little and glued the nose halves to the respective fuselage halves instead of assembling the nose parts and fuselage halves separately before bringing them together. A dry fit showed no major problems. Over the years, I've learned to NEVER trust the instructions when it comes to multi-part fuselages.

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Nice job on the cockpit, and neat info on the night intruders. I also ran across info on the turbinlites, Douglas Havocs armed with big searchlights to illuminate targets for the hurricanes. That must have been a fun job, not... :blink:

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While dry fitting the wings, I noticed that there was a small step between the wing roots and the fuselage. I inserted a pair of styrene pieces into the wings as spacers to push the wings up a little.

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Wings and fuselage came together with not much trouble. It still needs to be cleaned up a little more before hitting the paint shop.

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The main color has been applied and is ready for decals after receiving a coat of gloss. After experimenting with several colors, I went with Tamiya's Rubber Black for the overall color as I felt pure blacks would have made it look like a black hole. It seems to have to right mix of black and gray for this scale so I'm happy with it.

I read conflicting information about Hurricanes having their wheel bays in either unpainted metal or the underside color. In the end I went along with the instructions and painted it silver to have some contrast with the black airframe.

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Decals are on. As can be expected of Cartograf printed decals, they went on almost flawlessly with the exception being a small area of the port siden "JX" needing some Mark Setter and Softer to conform to the raised detail there.

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That spacer in the wing is clever. I've run into that issue before but never thought of that solution, just relied on the brute force hold it in place until the glue cures with hit or miss results.

The black looks almost like a very dark navy blue, does it come across that way in person or is it just a feature of the photography process.

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That spacer in the wing is clever. I've run into that issue before but never thought of that solution, just relied on the brute force hold it in place until the glue cures with hit or miss results.

The black looks almost like a very dark navy blue, does it come across that way in person or is it just a feature of the photography process.

It's most likely the lighting I have that's making it look blue. I don't have a photo booth so my photos are either in natural sunlight or the warm lamps installed in the house.

Installed the rest of the smaller bits today, almost nearing the end now. I also mixed up a light gray wash to bring out the panel lines and rivets. The propeller was tricky to assemble as Hasegawa gives you three separate blades to align instead of a one-piece prop. If I build another Hasegawa Hurricane I'll get the Quickboost props and spinners with the jig to make it easier.

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Looks good. IT does look blue under that light, but I am sure it looks great in natural light. I have always wanted to do some RAF night fighters but there are too many days schemes that grab my attention first!!

Pretty much. I've heard that the RAF even made their pilots drank carrot juice in an attempt to improve their eyesight, but I don't know how much of this story is fact or fiction.

And that story is 100% fiction. Carrots helping the pilots eye sight was the cover used to explain the high rate of success the night fighters were having. They couldn't admit they had radar so had to come up with a plausible cover story. It has made it to today with many mothers telling their kids to eat their carrots or they will have bad eyes.( mine included!!)

Sean

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And that story is 100% fiction. Carrots helping the pilots eye sight was the cover used to explain the high rate of success the night fighters were having. They couldn't admit they had radar so had to come up with a plausible cover story. It has made it to today with many mothers telling their kids to eat their carrots or they will have bad eyes.( mine included!!)

Sean

Cheers Sean, I guess kids all over the world will now have something to say when Mom tries to feed them carrots at dinner! :woot.gif:

The flat coat has been applied, the canopy unmasked, and final touch ups done. I'm ready to call this done. More pictures in the Completed Build sections.

Thanks for looking and staying around till the end!

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Nice job, WW. I fear I'll run into the same problem when I take photos of my Beaufighter.

Congrats on a job well done.

Mike

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Nice build! I really like the way the decals settled down into the recesses.

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The first picture in the topic shows it as clear as day that it didn't have them.

I ignored that picture as it clearly isn't the same plane as you modeled as it is not an all black plane. You can clearly see that the upper surfaces are still a two colour cammo scheme though the underside is probably black. Of course it would not be your fault if the decal company screwed up in their research as they likely did with that scheme as most all black Hurricanes (And nightfighter Spitfires) had dull red codes like bombers, not white (like they appear in your photos) that would be highly visible at night (the small undernose "Q" for the ground crew would probably be white still) I could buy light grey codes like in the photo I posted (Cammo with black undersides) and maybe yours are light grey but I can't tell for sure from your pics. The white ring in the roundel is probably too wide also in your decals, same with the tale flash mid band.....

Edited by RCAFFAN

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I ignored that picture as it clearly isn't the same plane as you modeled as it is not an all black plane. You can clearly see that the upper surfaces are still a two colour cammo scheme though the underside is probably black. Of course it would not be your fault if the decal company screwed up in their research as they likely did with that scheme as most all black Hurricanes (And nightfighter Spitfires) had dull red codes like bombers, not white (like they appear in your photos) that would be highly visible at night (the small undernose "Q" for the ground crew would probably be white still) I could buy light grey codes like in the photo I posted (Cammo with black undersides) and maybe yours are light grey but I can't tell for sure from your pics. The white ring in the roundel is probably too wide also in your decals.....

Squadron/Ldr. J A F MacLachlan - Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC Night fighter (JX-Q) - No.1 Squadron RAF Tangmere, W.Sussex - July '41

This photo shows the plane is all black.

Anything else?

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Squadron/Ldr. J A F MacLachlan - Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC Night fighter (JX-Q) - No.1 Squadron RAF Tangmere, W.Sussex - July '41

This photo shows the plane is all black.

Anything else?

That's not a real colour photo but the black and white shot improperly colourized. Pure bunk......

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That's not a real colour photo but the black and white shot improperly colourized. Pure bunk......

Okay, now you're just arguing for the sake of it. XD

Anyway the model is already finished so any more discussion is pointless. Thanks anyway.

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Do you really believe that someone took two pictures at exactly the same time from the same place with two different cameras, one with black and white film and one colour? The colour picture is clearly fake probably done by "DOUG" whoever that is. It is not proof in any way that the plane was overall black.Please note I am only doubting the decal sheet as I think they were sucked in by the phoney colour shot too. Plus there appears to be no shot of the rear fuselage at all so everything as to codes, roundel, and tail flash is just speculation by the decal maker who I note could not provide an aircraft serial number either. The one picture is far too little to base a decal sheet on. I want to be very clear that this is not a shot at you or your modelling skills as you have done a very nice model following the decal sheet but I believe the sheet is wrong, that's all.

Edited by RCAFFAN

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Do you really believe that someone took two pictures at exactly the same time from the same place with two different cameras, one with black and white film and one colour? The colour picture is clearly fake probably done by "DOUG" whoever that is. It is not proof in any way that the plane was overall black.Please note I am only doubting the decal sheet as I think they were sucked in by the phoney colour shot too. Plus there appears to be no shot of the rear fuselage at all so everything as to codes, roundel, and tail flash is just speculation by the decal maker who I note could not provide an aircraft serial number either. The one picture is far too little to base a decal sheet on. I want to be very clear that this is not a shot at you or your modelling skills as you have done a very nice model following the decal sheet but I believe the sheet is wrong, that's all.

Nagao-san from Lifelike has always been thorough in his research and I trust his judgement. Here are the two references he cites in his instructions:

-No.1 Squadron (M.Shaw, Ian Allan Publishing, 1986)

-One-armed Mac (B. Cull & R. Symons, Grub Street, 2003)

You keep saying my model is wrong, but you have not posted a single picture to back up your point. I have one picture of the actual plane with its distinctive noseart and serial letter, which you dismiss as trash. If you say it's not a picture of the aircraft in question, show me one. Otherwise I no longer wish to discuss this.

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I have never said your model is wrong in any way. What I said is the decal instructions are wrong. I have never said there is anything wrong with the one original black and white photo you posted either. I said the colourized version you posted was pure bull, the product of someone else's imagination. I just moved and all my material is still in boxes so I'm not going to do any further research at the moment but will just use the one legitimate picture you posted:

1. That picture shows a plane (Hurricane MkII) with a black underside and a cammo upper surface, not an all black plane. You can see that the black ends at the underside panel lines. That picture only shows the personal markings and that the plane is aircraft "Q" in some squadron. If that is the sole picture used to make the decal sheet I could hardly call that thorough research in any way.

2. That picture shows nothing of the aircraft serial number, the side codes, the roundel style, or the tail flash style. If you know the squadron he was serving in at the time then you can assume what the squadron code letters were but still not the colour, size or style of them. I have been building British Aircraft models for at least 40 years and while I have seen the original photo before in several references I have never seen anyone guess enough from that picture to make a decal for that plane or even a colour profile. The decal sheet is a bad guess, the result of shoddy research and I would never rely on it and that picture alone but you can model what you want and you did a nice job but I don't believe the information you used was accurate. You have provided no further information other than you believe some decal maker over an actual picture.

I can't do further research at this time so lets leave it here.

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