Author Topic: Royal Australian Navy Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake in 1/72  (Read 589 times)

Offline KiwiZac

  • Once crowned Mango King by Brian da Basher!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
Royal Australian Navy Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake in 1/72
« on: December 04, 2019, 06:56:45 PM »
Of the 24 Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwakes which served with the Royal Australian Navy only one survives to this day. FB.2 WA241 was sold to pioneering warbird collector Sid Marshall who stored it in his Bankstown yard along with other rare aircraft such as a Nakajima Ki.43, Lockheed Electra and a Mk.VIII Spitfire. Following Marshall’s death his business partner Jack Davidson shifted the collection to an airfield outside Camden where they remained in storage.

Academy 1/72 Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake FB.2 WA241/VH-CKF by Zac Yates, on Flickr

In 1984 much of the Marshall-Davidson collection was purchased by agricultural pilot and CA-18 Mustang owner Col Pay, among them the Kittiwake. Although he hoped to restore all the aircraft to airworthiness the aforementioned Spitfire ultimately took precedence and the Kittiwake was once again stored, and when Pay purchased a P-40E project WA241 was put up for sale.

Academy 1/72 Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake FB.2 WA241/VH-CKF by Zac Yates, on Flickr

In 1992 WA241 moved to Toowoomba with new owner Guido Zuccoli who commenced a restoration to fly at his company Aerotec. Tragically in March 1997 Guido, a charismatic and well-loved member of the Australian warbird fraternity, was killed in a T-6 accident near Darwin. His widow Lynette continued the restoration of WA241 in tribute to him and the aircraft finally flew again in early 2001, registered as VH-CKF (“Curtiss Kittiwake Fighter”).

Academy 1/72 Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake FB.2 WA241/VH-CKF by Zac Yates, on Flickr


The fighters in the Zuccoli collection were rarely flown in the following years and, when the decision was made to downsize, VH-CKF was one of several aircraft put on the market. It was sold in 2008 to a warbird broker who then on-sold it to former RAAF Hornet pilot Dave Grisham of Sydney, who displayed the Kittiwake at airshows around the south and east of Australia.

Academy 1/72 Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake FB.2 WA241/VH-CKF by Zac Yates, on Flickr

In November 2017 Grisham donated the aircraft to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society which, it was recently announced, will transfer ownership of VH-CKF to its Navy Heritage Flight subsidiary. When initial reports suggested the aircraft would be grounded due to lack of spares Tony Fox (the New Zealand-based former owner of prototype VF259) donated an overhauled Griffon and several vital components to the HARS NHF so that the aircraft would remain airworthy.

***
This is the Academy 1/72 Curtiss P-40M/N kit. This build was the very first Kittiwake model I started from new (as opposed to two prior, very rough repaints) and as seen in the following (vintage? :P ) photos was practically finished by early 2007.

WA233prefill by Zac Yates, on Flickr
wa233postmask by Zac Yates, on Flickr
wa233withdecals by Zac Yates, on Flickr
wa233withcanopy by Zac Yates, on Flickr

I didn’t have all the decals I needed or a four-bladed propeller so over the last twelve years the poor thing was left as it appeared in the last photo, abandoned in a succession of boxes as I moved house time and again.

A few weeks ago she returned to the bench along with three other Kittiwakes I’d started in 2015. After sanding off what was left of the old decals and touching-up the rather scuffed paint (and changing the scheme to something historically accurate), I used decals from an Xtradecal Sea Fury sheet. The original cannon seen in the WIP photos were long gone so I used Master Models turned brass Hispano 20mm barrels intended for a Fairey Firefly. The long-absent final piece of the puzzle, the propeller and spinner, were kindly supplied by a friend at another forum - thank you again for answering the call!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 09:32:06 AM by KiwiZac »
With warm regards from Whanganui, New Zealand

"Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!"

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Royal Australian Navy Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake in 1/72
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 10:20:51 AM »
 :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline FAAMAN

  • 'bin building for years ....... and it feels it!
  • Always thought of himself as a 'straight' modeller
Re: Royal Australian Navy Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake in 1/72
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 12:45:59 PM »
 :smiley:
"Resistance is useless, prepare to be assembled!"

Offline buzzbomb

  • Low Concentration Span, oft wanders betwixt projects
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Re: Royal Australian Navy Curtiss-Fairey Kittiwake in 1/72
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 05:07:29 PM »
Gold.

Well done