Author Topic: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940  (Read 3615 times)

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Just a teaser post for now, to get something started . . .


What If . . . the RAF started an aerobatic team in 1920 ??









cheers,
Robin
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 03:50:17 AM »
Cool! Apparently, there are people who assign all kinds of attributes to playing cards.

The ace of diamonds seems quite a propos for an air demonstration unit. To wit: "the ace of diamonds reveals ... the realization of a project, despite the difficulties encountered." Its also about gaining deserved recognition. Sounds about right for an aerobatic team  :smiley:
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 04:10:00 AM »
Cool! Apparently, there are people who assign all kinds of attributes to playing cards.

The ace of diamonds seems quite a propos for an air demonstration unit. To wit: "the ace of diamonds reveals ... the realization of a project, despite the difficulties encountered." Its also about gaining deserved recognition. Sounds about right for an aerobatic team  :smiley:


HA!!  I didn't know that . . . I only chose Diamonds as a change from the cliched Spades, and black as it makes painting the models and making the decals easier . . .   :o
Also, I wanted a 'Colour/Object' type name to tie in with the Red Arrows, obviously, but why not red? Watch this space . . .   ;)


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 05:06:11 AM »
... Watch this space . . .   ;)

Oh you tease!

I just liked that it adds to the overall whiffiness.

- What If . . . the RAF started an aerobatic team in 1920 ??
- What If . . . that team was classified as a 'Black Project' ??
- What If . . . assigning attributes to playing cards wasn't utter bollocks ??  ;D
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 02:08:04 AM »
Some real world history for you:  https://aerobaticteams.net/en/teams/i125/RAF-Past-Aerobatic-Display-Teams-Overview.html

BTW, the RAAF did have a "Black Diamonds" aerobatic team in the 1960s flying Sabres:  https://aerobaticteams.net/en/teams/i116/RAAF-Black-Diamonds.html



Anyway, some possible real world inspiration:



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 02:19:11 AM »
I must admit the idea of a high gloss all black Hawker Fury akin to the later Black Arrows aircraft is attractive.  Think this:



Combined with this:



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2021, 05:07:59 AM »
Thanks for the inspirations, Gents.
I've pretty much already decided what to build and how, but as always it's not set in stone . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 01:14:02 AM »
It's your model do it your way.  That said, it's a cool idea.  Might list it as a potential idea for a future GB.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 01:34:18 AM »
It's your model . . .


Think you might have missed the 'S' off the end . . .   ;)   ;)
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 01:43:55 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 03:38:33 AM »

N.B. This AH occurs in the 'Lucifer Device' timeline I have been developing elsewhere on this Forum . . .


Part One: Formation.


By late 1919, it was clear that there was no possibility of fighting resuming in Europe for the foreseeable future. With France exhausted, the United States seemingly disinterested, Germany in self-imposed isolation behind it's fortified borders, and the threat of British Carolinum Bombs raining from the skies, the 'Great War' had become the 'Cold War'.
With this in mind, The Senior Officers of the RAF began to make plans for the new 'Peace'.
Because of the inevitable large reductions in both men and equipment, it was recognised that a severe loss in morale could be expected.
Since there was still a possibility of hostilities resuming, this was to be avoided at all possible. Likewise, it was judged necessary to retain a sense of 'Air Mindedness' amongst the General Public, in order to produce both a supply of recruits, and political support for the RAF.
It was decided to hold a series of air shows up and down the country, and also to set up an aerobatic display team to perform at them.
It's pilots would be drawn from the ranks of the fighters squadrons, and support personnel from other parts of the RAF. It was further decided that the team would use the current RAF front-line fighter, this would avoid training for the pilots, and allow the public to see for themselves the 'Power of the RAF'.
Initially the new unit was to be attached to the RAF's Central Flying School. The team Leader was chosen from one of the Schools Instructors, and then an invitation was issued to all of the RAF's Fighters Squadron Commanders, inviting them to nominate their best pilot for secondment to the Team.
These pilots were then sent to the CFS, where they were assessed, and the top seven, five plus the Leader to make up a team of six, plus two reserves, chosen and posted to the CFS, as members of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team.
It was planned that these original seven would serve on the Team for three years, after which, one would be promoted to Team Leader, two would remain for a further year, and the remaining three would be rotated back to their front-line squadron. Three new members would then be posted to the team, chosen by the same method as the original pilots.
Thereafter, every year, three of the Team would be rotated out, and replaced, and a new Leader chosen every three years.
Likewise the Team's aircraft were not to be permanently assigned, but would be attached for one year, then returned to an operational squadron. This would ensure the best use of the life of the RAF's stock of airframes.
For the first four years of the Team's existence, that aeroplane would be the Sopwith Snipe.


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2021, 07:34:02 AM »
Nice  backstory.

Got me intrigued now as to what will materialise out of this

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2021, 07:37:40 AM »
Ooo, like the Wells tie-in  :smiley:
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2021, 09:19:04 PM »
Ooo, like the Wells tie-in  :smiley:


Sorry to disappoint . . .   :-[
but there isn't anything too Wellsian here, it's just that the events of 'The Lucifer Device' (I really must get round to finishing that . . . ) change the outcome of the Great War, which leads to The Cold War, which means things and events are somewhat different during the 1920s and 30s . . . which I need for the end part of this GB.




cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2021, 02:21:09 AM »
(I really must get round to finishing that . . . )

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2021, 05:13:07 AM »

Okay . . .
Some progress on the first model. I'm building the Eastern Express boxing of the Toko Sopwith Snipe.
First step was to glue the fuselage halves together, after painting them dark grey inside.





Then I added the wing, and the forward  fuselage top decking.





These were then left to dry down.


That's All For Now, Stay tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2021, 07:36:36 AM »
Excellent start ... and very intriguing :smiley:

... things and events are somewhat different during the 1920s and 30s . . . which I need for the end part of this GB.

Intriguinger and intriguinger  ;D  Looking forward to this!
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2021, 05:15:54 AM »

Part Two: The Snipe Years.


Chosen over the Martynside Buzzard and Nieuport Nighthawk (some would say wrongly) as the RAF's standard post-conflict fighter, the Sopwith Snipe was to be the first mount of the Black Diamonds. Already famous due to it's exploits during the Great War, it's thrilling displays with the Black Diamonds only added to it's reputation.
It was decided that the choice of 'publicity name' and aircraft colour scheme would be left up to the members of the Team themselves, subject of course, to approval from 'on high', the only provisos being, that owing to the financial and operational constraints on the team, no special ( ie those not already used on an operational unit) colours were to be used, and that it would not be difficult to return the aircraft to standard markings once their time with the Team was complete.
After quite a lot of 'thought and discussion', The name 'Black Diamonds' was chosen and aproved. Interestingly, officially, the Team was only ever known as 'the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Display Team', although, of course, it was as 'the Black Diamonds', that they became a household name.
One of the pilots on the Team was 'artistic', and was tasked to design the logo and markings for the Team. He succeeded brilliantly, the smart black and silver scheme being instantly recognisable, good looking on the aircraft both on the ground and in the air, and easy to revert to the standard fighter colour scheme when necessary.
With the Snipe's superb handling, and the skill of it's pilots, the precise aerobatic performances of the 'Black Diamonds' Team soon became the standard against which all others were judged.
 However, by 1924, the Snipe was  obsolete as a fighter, it's numbers in RAF service were dwindling, and spares, especially for the engines, were becoming scarce. With the entry into service, in 1923, of the first Armstrong Whitworth Siskins, it was clear that the Snipe's days with the 'Black Diamonds' were numbered . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2021, 10:54:35 AM »
The suspense! ... how many wings?

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2021, 03:54:16 AM »
Oh you tease. Can't wait to see these markings!

As Frank queried, ... how many wings? (Hard to tell with the WIP Snipe.) Very interested to see where you go with the Siskin  :smiley:
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2021, 05:14:50 AM »
The suspense! ... how many wings?


Just the usual one each side . . .   ;)   ;D
Regarding the Siskin, and the Snipe, I seem to have hit on a series of long working days ( 10 hrs +), which combined with the appearance of that mythical beast 'The English Summer', with temps in the high 20s Celsius, means I haven't really had the mojo for model making for the last couple of days or so. Might have to take some time off, to get things moving again . . . 


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Robomog

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2021, 09:15:48 AM »

.......... the appearance of that mythical beast 'The English Summer', with temps in the high 20s Celsius, means I haven't really had the mojo for model making for the last couple of days or so............

cheers,
Robin.

Yep got me as well !!     

 Nearlly ruined a Hurricane because the black paint was drying as fast as i could put it on, reguardless of how much i thinned the paint.  Saved the day by dusting it with  rattlecan black.

All systems stop at the moment. :( :( :icon_sueno:

Mog
>^-.-^<
Mostly Harmless...............

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2021, 05:27:55 AM »

Some cooler weather and an earlier work finish allowed me to make a little progress today . . .


Snipe tail surfaces attached . . .





and regarding the Siskin . . .


fuselage halves joined,





top decking and engine mount added,





the slot for the lower wing filled with the kit part,





tail surfaces attached, one of the elevators was damaged, I've attempted to rectify it, but I'm not really happy with the result . . .





and finally for today, the wings trimmed and ready for attachment.





That's All For Now, Stay Tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2021, 06:33:01 AM »
Some cooler weather  ...

Glad to hear that 'The English Summer' is now being more considerate of modellers.

Snipe is coming along nicely but the Siskin looks very tasty.  On the damaged elevator, is it a question of restoring the fabric effect? If that proves insurmountable, what about a diorama solution? Not unheard of for a parachute to get plopped onto an elevator immediately preflight.
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2021, 12:11:20 AM »

I managed to get a couple of days off work, made some decent progress . . .
Okay, with the Snipe, before I can attach the undercarriage, the cowling needs to be fitted, but before I can do that, the inside of the cowling and firewall needs painting, and the engine needs painting and fitting.


With the Siskin, the inboard corner of the elevator was damaged, and needed re-shaping.
I _should_have measured it properly and marked out both sides, but, I did it by eye, didn't I, which as we all know leads to the 'shaping one side, then the other side not matching, then the first side not matching the second, and so on' cycle, and I've taken too much off. Never mind it'll have to do . . .
Here's the progress so far . . .
The wings fitted to the fuselage,








and the undercarriage and detail parts fitted.





Now, rather than use the kit engine, which both looks a bit anaemic, and I want for another project, I'm going to be using this :-





which is available from HERE :-


https://www.shapeways.com/product/VSEHGXHQD/1-72-blackburn-shark-engine?optionId=60681050&li=marketplace


It's supposed to be a Panther, rather than a Jaguar, but it has that beefy look about it that the kit parts lack.
Here it is mounted on some runner for painting,





once done I will cut the runner short to make a stub for mounting to the model, it's just test fitted here.





Also, I've made some progress on the Siskin's successor, the Bristol Bulldog.
The fuselage assembled,





and the tail surfaces attached.





The parts for the wing,





assembled,





and fitted to the fuselage.





Finally, the undercarriage and detail parts added.





Unfortunately, owing to the age of the kit, and the cutting and fitting needed to attach the wing, it's a bit lopsided on the UC, but we'll do what we can . . .


That's All For Now, Stay Tuned . . .


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2021, 06:36:24 AM »
Excellent choice of engines for the one-wing Siskin! A 65% power increase for a bit more frontal area and a few hundred pounds of added weight. Then take away the 'extra' wing and all that struttage ... your one-wing Siskin is going to be a rocket!

Loving your Bulldog too. Its already got a strong Bristol Type 133 vibe - just without the gawky inverted gull wing and trousered main gear. I like it  :smiley: :smiley:
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2021, 10:05:55 PM »
Excellent choice of engines for the one-wing Siskin! A 65% power increase for a bit more frontal area and a few hundred pounds of added weight. Then take away the 'extra' wing and all that struttage ... your one-wing Siskin is going to be a rocket!


The engine is still intended to be a Jaguar . . . it's just that I think that the 3D printed engine looks better than the kit parts, as I said, the kit parts are bit 'weedy', to my eyes.
The Bulldog is a very important type in the history of the 'Black Diamonds', serving for longer than any other type, and in more than one version . . .  ;)


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2021, 05:05:06 AM »
The engine is still intended to be a Jaguar . . . it's just that I think that the 3D printed engine looks better than the kit parts, as I said, the kit parts are bit 'weedy', to my eyes...

Ah, gotcha. I thought you were bunging a Panther onto the one-wing Siskin.
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2021, 05:58:31 AM »
Also the Panther is too late for the Siskin, it's first run wasn't until 1929, according to Wiki . . . and Lumsden's 'British Piston Engines'.
The 'Black Diamonds' would get Bulldogs in 1930 . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2021, 11:33:25 PM »

Part Three: Siskins . . .


With it's angular lines, stalky undercarriage, windmill sail wings, and gruff, crackling, uncowled Jaguar engine, the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin would not immediately be thought of as the ideal aeroplane with which to perform precision aerobatics, especially when compared to the dainty Snipe.  Nevertheless, combined with the expert skills of it's pilots, the Siskin was to provide some of the most thrilling displays of the 'Black Diamonds' ' whole existence.
The Team's adoption of the Siskin was not universally welcomed, several of the Team's pilots preferred the contemporary Gloster Gamecock, however it was decided that the Siskin's problems, mostly engine-related (including in-flight fires), were a lot less serious than those of the Gamecock, which had a tendency to develop unrecoverable flat spins, aileron flutter, and disintegrate in flight . . .
As the Siskin's engine problems delayed it's full entry into active service, the 'Black Diamonds' would not receive it's new aircraft until late 1924, when the first Mark IIIA's arrived, in time to commence working-up for the 1925 display season. The advent of the new aircraft also bought changes to the formation of the Team. The number of aircraft was increased from six to nine, three of which would operate as a separate sub-formation in opposition to the other six, for certain manoeuvres.
This was, in part, due the fact that the Siskin was a larger, heavier aeroplane than the Snipe, and thus had to operate at a higher altitude and greater distance from the audience than the Snipe. The larger number of aircraft would help to offset this. Also, this change allowed more complex and sophisticated manoeuvres to be performed, advancing the state of the aerobatic art. Further, the extra three aeroplanes would also perform a second, separate display, connected together by 'Sandow' elastic cords at the wingtips, from take-off to landing. This would replace the old 'Yellow Peril' crazy flying Camel display, as this aircraft was now both worn out, and short of spare parts.
A further development arose from the fact that the Siskin's Jaguar engine was fitted with exhaust pipes. A system was developed, that allowed oil to be introduced into the hot exhaust manifold. This would vaporise and partially combust, emerging as dense, white smoke, leaving a showy trail, and revealing the aeroplanes' path across the sky.
The 'Black Diamonds' would pilot their Siskins to great effect and acclaim, until the 1930 season, when they would change over to their new Bristol Bulldogs . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2021, 05:58:30 AM »
Okay . . .
Back to the Snipe. Engine and cowling painted and attached, needed some filler at the joint,






and undercarriage fitted.






Off now to be primed and painted . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2021, 08:46:33 AM »
Great backstory on the Siskin. And loved the description ... especially the "windmill sail wings"  ;D

Good start on the Snipe  :smiley:  The portly fuselage proportions are really emphasized on the one-wing Snipe!
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2021, 05:21:58 AM »
When I was trimming the siskin wings to shape, I dunno, they just reminded me of windmill sails, seemed too good not to use . . .
The Snipe is rather tubby, isn't it. Be interesting to know if the benefits of a faired fuselage outweighed the disadvantages of increased wetted area.


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2021, 11:44:01 PM »

I've got 3 Silver Machines !  ;D    :icon_music:





Now off for masking and painting . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2021, 03:07:24 AM »

Part Four: Enter the Bulldog.


When compared to the pugnacious Siskin, the Bristol aeroplane looked more like a greyhound than a Bulldog. Although, like the Siskin, it had an uncowled, radial engine, the rest of the airframe was totally different. Slender, sleek, and curvaceous, the Bulldog looked every inch the thoroughbred it was. Blessed with a more powerful, and, more importantly, reliable engine, the Bulldog took the performances of the 'Black Diamonds' to new heights (pun intended). Like the Siskin, the Bulldog was also equipped with a smoke-making device fitted to the exhaust system.
It was during this period that the  'Black Diamonds' began to perform at events in Europe, one particularly memorable display being that for the Bastille Day celebrations in 1934 in Paris.
With the entry into service of the Gloster Gauntlet in 1935, the  'Black Diamonds' pilots were hoping that this aircraft would become the Team's new mounts. However, owing to the limited number of these aeroplanes ordered and placed into service, there were none available to equip the  'Black Diamonds' ( the same situation had occurred when the Hawker Fury was taken into service). Instead, the Team's trusty Bulldogs were about to gain a new lease of life . . .


cheers,
Robin.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 03:09:28 AM by robunos »
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2021, 07:24:31 AM »
Nice! And good point about the Bulldog name.

The Bristol Type 105 was a svelte, almost dainty aircraft - nothing at all like the pushed-in face and bandy legs of the bulldog!

Maybe Bristol should have recycled the Bullfinch name? And whilest on Bristol names ... what the hell was the origin of the name Bullpup?
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2021, 02:22:47 AM »
Nice! And good point about the Bulldog name.

The Bristol Type 105 was a svelte, almost dainty aircraft - nothing at all like the pushed-in face and bandy legs of the bulldog!

Maybe Bristol should have recycled the Bullfinch name? And whilest on Bristol names ... what the hell was the origin of the name Bullpup?


It's not simple, but simply, when Bristol were working on what would become the Bulldog, they built several prototypes, all somewhat different, but basically either larger and Jupiter powered, or smaller and Mercury powered. The larger ones were called Bulldog, which automatically made the smaller ones Bullpup . . . interestingly, the Mercury powered version was the preferred one, however the Mercury engine was not reliable enough to meet the required in-service date.


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2021, 02:23:48 AM »

The Snipe finished . . .





























I managed to snap the axle while I was fitting the wheels, which is why it's not straight, I must be more careful with the next one . . .


cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2021, 02:25:15 AM »



The Siskin completed . . .


































cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2021, 02:26:46 AM »



The Bulldog finished . . .


































cheers,
Robin.

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2021, 11:17:02 AM »
Oh, those are marvelous! I love the black-and-silver scheme - especially the angles on wings and horizontal tails  :-*

My only real concern is whether or not those upper surface roundels are big enough? Will they stand out at an airshow?  ;D

The OWB Siskin looks as pugnacious as ever but no prizes for guessing that the ill-named Bulldog is my personal fav  :D
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2021, 05:21:15 AM »


Thanks . . .  8) :-[
The roundels on the models are the ones supplied with the kits. That was the idea as mentioned in the back story about the display scheme being "easy to revert to the standard fighter colour scheme when necessary." The Team's Riggers would just paint black dope onto the wings around the roundels leaving a silver ring, then when the aeroplane was rotated back to a Service unit, the black would be doped over with silver again. Likewise, there are no special markings on the undersides of the aircraft.
I lost count of how many variations of the black pattern I tried. I still hadn't really decided by the start of the GB, and had to just go with it, but it does look rather good . . . Likewise the markings on the fins, I was going to use the kit supplied rudder stripes, but they take so long to do properly, I wouldn't have got the models finished by the end date (of course now there's an extension . . .) But this is an alternate timeline, where the RAF switched to rudder flashes upon it's formation . . .


cheers,
Robin.


By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2021, 06:57:16 AM »
Really like the way that came out. Well done

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2021, 03:55:51 AM »
Thanks for moving the thread, I will be picking things up again shortly, just nee
d to get my 3D printer working properly . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2021, 06:26:08 AM »
... I will be picking things up again shortly ...

Any subject-matter teasers on offer Robin?
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2021, 05:20:23 AM »
Well, we're only up to 1935, and the 'Black Diamonds' didn't officially cease to exist until 1940, when the World War started, although the flew their last display at the end of the 1939 season, so we still have at least two more types to see, plus like most aviation units, as well as their 'operational' aircraft, they had liaison/communications aeroplanes, as well as proficiency trainers, and the usual 'hacks'. I'm also toying with the idea of the Team having it's own transport for the ground crews, etc., a 1920s/30s 'Fat Albert', if you like . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2021, 02:18:38 AM »
Nice! So, at least two more Black Diamonds  :smiley:

... I'm also toying with the idea of the Team having it's own transport for the ground crews, etc., a 1920s/30s 'Fat Albert', if you like . . .

Well, yes, I do like! Bring on "a 1920s/30s 'Fat Albert'"  :D
Auferstanden aus Ruinen; Glück für Menschen und Maschinen ...

Offline kim margosein

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2021, 11:31:13 AM »
I'm also toying with the idea of the Team having it's own transport for the ground crews, etc., a 1920s/30s 'Fat Albert', if you like . . .Handley Page HP 42?

Offline apophenia

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2021, 01:03:37 AM »
. . .Handley Page HP 42?

Vickers Victoria and Valentia?
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2021, 02:13:40 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2021, 05:11:55 AM »
. . .Handley Page HP 42?

Vickers Victoria and Valentia?


Not directly, as none of them are available in 1/72, as far as I am aware, rather I'm thinking about scratching a fuselage and tail to go with the Handley Page wings I have spare from my O/400 and Heyford builds, I also have a Vickers Vimy in the stash, awaiting it's fate . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2021, 01:05:41 AM »
Ahem!!

« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 01:08:35 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2021, 05:02:10 AM »
Oh, I'm aware of those, but I can't find any available for sale, and if there were, I'm sure that they'd be be much more expensive than I'd want to pay . . . a Vickers Vimy Commercial kit was also produced, can't find one of those, either . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2021, 07:18:36 AM »
Greg, as a vacform afficionado... I like  :smiley: :smiley:
I can think that the  :smiley: of finding that kit turns into the  :( when you see that really, it is going to be a lot of work.
In the day, I would have loved that set, but never found it.

Robin, a slab sided scratch fuselage would fit the time period nicely, plenty of gawdawful Heller French abominations out there  ;)

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2021, 01:48:49 AM »
They do pop up for sale on the likes of bay every once in a while.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2021, 06:00:58 AM »
Robin, a slab sided scratch fuselage would fit the time period nicely,
That's what I've been thinking, a plastic card box fitted with the wings and other parts I have spare. I'm currently looking at something based on the Vickers Vulcan, aka 'The Flying Pig' . . .


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_Vulcan


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2021, 06:40:04 AM »
They do pop up for sale on the likes of bay every once in a while.

Yeah, Naahhh.  Not that interested anymore, my Vacform days are pretty much done.
I still have quite a number in a box that may never see the light of day, Blackburn Perth, SARO London, Sopwith Cuckoo, Blackburn Blackburn.. the list goes on.

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #58 on: September 03, 2021, 05:29:57 AM »
Sopwith Cuckoo, Blackburn Blackburn..


I could do things with them . . .   ;D


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #59 on: September 03, 2021, 06:09:20 AM »
Sopwith Cuckoo, Blackburn Blackburn..
I could do things with them . . .   ;D
cheers,
Robin.

Funnily enough, you picked the two that I still have a soft spot for, as they fill holes in my now packed away RNAS/Fleet Air Arm aircraft collection.

Offline kim margosein

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Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2021, 10:18:06 AM »
Five four-bay twin engine vacform biplanes?  That's the 3rd or 4th circle of hell.  Now, what is the aircraft going to be used for?   Parts runner, carrying a few mechanics and needed stuff?  How about that Heller de Havilland?

Offline robunos

  • Can't afford the top wing of his biplanes...
Re: The 'BLACK DIAMONDS' - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team 1920-1940
« Reply #61 on: September 09, 2021, 05:20:20 AM »
Now, what is the aircraft going to be used for?   Parts runner, carrying a few mechanics and needed stuff?  How about that Heller de Havilland?


Primarily a ground handling and servicing party, plus a few type specific spares that might not be available at the airfield where the display is being held. Things like wheels/tyres, propellers, spark plugs and the like. Things that cause an aeroplane to go u/s, and a show to be cancelled, but which can be easily replaced in few minutes.
The Heller Rapide would be suitable, it's a bit small so two might be needed, but I also need something for earlier in the story.
As I said, I have some spare bits I'd like to use up, and here I have a ready made back story . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .