Allied Aircraft of the Pacific War (starting with the letter B)
CAC Boomerang – Bristol Beaufightr 1c – Boeing B-29
Having looked last time at some Japanese aircraft that fought in the Pacific War I thought it might be interesting to find three interesting aircraft that fought on the Allied side. As it turned out, the first three I saw had the letter B prominent in their names. There are plenty more that don’t and we should come back to look at some more in a later installment.
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang in 1/72 by Airfix and Tasman Models
The Boomerang was Australia’s first home designed combat aircraft. It was designed in the first days of the Pacific War to supplement Australia’s meager defense force. It’s design brought together an airframe derived from the Australian version of the North American T-6 and Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines manufactured locally for Beauforts also being made locally. It did not have the performance to match Japanese fighters but turned out to perform well in ground attack and armed reconnaissance roles and served with the Royal Australian Air Force from 1943.
The Boomerang was constructed for the RAAF under a series of contracts with different numbers, each a slight refinement of the previous one. Hence the CA-19 is a slightly improved version of the CA-12, but you’d have to be an expert to tell the difference.
We have two Boomerangs in the Museum’s collection, the CA-12 made from the Airfix kit that dates from 1965. Steve made this model but I made one as well, not long after it was first published. Even then it did not strike me as a good kit, but it looked like a Boomerang so we were happy. I made the CA-19 from the Tasman Models limited run kit which was first published in the 1990s. I thought it was much superior to the Airfix kit but also a lot more challenging to make. Special Hobby published kits of the CA-12, CA-13 and CA-19 in 2011 and the Hyperscale review gives it the thumbs up, as does the Fine Scale Modeller, which adds the word ‘demanding’.
Bristol Beaufighter 1c in 1/72 by High Planes
The Beaufighter was among the best British strike fighters to see service during World War II. Beaufighters were manufactured in Australia but before they arrived the RAAF operated Beaufighter 1cs imported from Britain. These aircraft are of particular interest to me as my father served as ground crew in 30 Squadron from the introduction of the type in the islands north of Australia in mid 1942.
There are many kits of the Beaufighter in many different versions, of which the best are probably the Hasegawa kits, first published in 1998. Hasegawa offer a kit of the Australian made Beaufighter Mk.21 but not the 1c, and since I wanted to model a 30 Squadron Beaufighter 1c I used the kit that was published by High Planes, also in 1998. It was a limited run injection mounded kit and a challenge, but I thought it was well worth the effort that had to go into making it a reasonable model.
Boeing B-29 in 1/72 by Airfix
The B-29 was designed with the range and payload capable of operating successfully in the Pacific area. It was one of the largest and expensive aircraft of the war and state-of-art during the war. They began entering service in May 1944, initially operating from bases in China. However their main contribution to the war was long range bombing raids on Japan from islands in the mid Pacific and for the delivery of the two Atomic bombs dropped on Japan that hastened the war’s end.
This model was made from the old Airfix kit first published in 1966. For its time it was a magnificent kit but now shows its age. Most annoying for me is the blunt leading edges on the wings and the surface detail. If you want to make a B-29 in this scale the only other option of the Academy kit which was first published at the beginning of the 1990s. My only excuse for making this Airfix kit is that I’d had it for many years and had acquired decals for a camouflaged version, and wanted to see what it was like. There is a good in-box of the Academy kit on Internet Modeler and the review of the Airfix kit in Relaxed Model Reviews is not flattering, so listen to their advice.