The new 1:72 scale Auster kit from AZ Models has been released (wasn't there a 1:72 scale kit promised from Swprd or Special Hobby a few years ago?) and I was looking at photos of the kit parts, decals, etc on a European website.
One of the two boxings includes RAAF markings but shows a green/brown camo scheme. I was always under the impression that wartime RAAF Austers were overall Foliage Green - any comments?
I have not done any in-depth research on the RAAF's Austers but I believe that they probably entered service with the RAAF in the British camouflage they bore on arrival. However, most of the aircraft issued to 16 AOP and 17 AOP in late 1944 suffered badly when those units moved north.
Many of those of 17 AOP at Bouganvile were grounded in early 1945 to have their fabric and perspex replaced. Certainly after this they were finished in Foliage Green overall. I believe that this scheme may be correct for later aircraft of 17 AOP at Bouganville and those of 16 AOP that went ashore at Labuan and Tarakan in mid 1945.
Below is a photo of A11-8,(MZ174), the aircraft featured in those drawings. Judge for yourself if it is in British or RAAF camouflage. I believe that it is in British camouflage. On the other hand, the shark's mouth and the national markings depicted on the drawing do not seem to match those on the aircraft very well. The photo was taken near Bouganville on 18 Feb 1945, just two days before A8-11 was badly damaged in a landing accident, and written off.
I also have a photo of A11-44 which did not see wartime service. It was received in October 1945, placed into storage, and eventually issued to 16 AOP at the end of 1946. It is still carrying its original British roundels and camouflage, but has the serial A11-44 on the fuselage side.
Hope that that doesn't muddy the waters too much. As the experts say: check your references.
Thanks to Earl from NKR being at the Bayonet show last Saturday I now own a 1/72 Auster AOP III kit (my resin Uncle Les kit will go to a good home).
Pondering shark mouth Austers and noting PM's info on A11-8, but there's also a photo (OG3319) on the AWM database of a shark mouthed Auster being tinkered with, dated 08-1945 at Labuan and from 16 AOP flight.
Were there two teethy Austers? If so, wonder what the serial of the second one was?
AFAIK, Sword did produce an Auster, and I consider it highly likely that the AZ Auster is the Sword one reincarnated (reinjected, maybe?). If it is a similar bargain as the Sword Vultee Vanguard (P-48/-66) redone by AZ, I will give it a miss...
For us RAAF tragics, that will give us just the 2 Antarctic flight a/c. With a prop and cowl off a Bird Dog, the 2 77 Sqn Korean War Mk Vs are do-able. To venture to WW2 RAAF MkIIIs will involve much scratchbuilding or tracking down one of Uncle Les' resin fuslages and vacform canopies.
Anyone have a photo or drawing showing how the two wings attach to the fuselage?
Does it have a carry through spar or spars and aileron and flap cabling or is it like the Airfix kit and relies on being fixed to the clear plastic canopy for support?
If I can get an answer to above I can start on the Airfix Auster Antartic after scratchbuilding a new rear fuselage, mold a new front canopy, make new landing gear and sand down the wing ribs and make an under fuselage pannier or fuel tank.