The Supermarine Walrus was a British single-engine amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft designed by R.J
Mitchell and operated by the Fleet
Air Arm. It also served with the Royal Air Force, RAAF, RNZN, RCAF
Walrus was initially developed for service from cruisers in response to a
request from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and was originally called
the Seagull V; although there was little resemblance to the earlier Supermarine
Seagull III. It was designed to be launched from ship-borne catapults, and was
the first amphibious aircraft in the world to be launched by catapult with a
full military load.
The lower wings of this biplane were set in the
shoulder position with a stabilising float mounted under each one, with its
horizontal tail surfaces being positioned high on th tail-fin. The wings could
be folded on ship, giving a stowage width of 17 ft 11 in (5.5 m).
The single Bristol PegasusVI radial engine was housed in a nacelle slung from the
centre section of the upper wing and powered a four-blade propeller in a pusher
configuration. One of the more unusual characteristics of the aircraft was that
the control column was not a fixed fitting in the usual way, but could be
unplugged from either of two sockets at floor level. It became a habit for only
one column to be in use; and when control was passed from the pilot to co-pilot
or vice-versa, the control column would simply be.
the Walrus was stressed to a level suitable for catapult-launching, rather
surprisingly for such an ungainly-looking machine, it could be looped and
bunted, whereupon any water in the bilges would make its presence felt. This
usually discouraged the pilot from any future aerobatics on this type.
usually consisted of two Vickers K Machine guns, one in each of the
"open" positions in the nose and rear fuselage; with the capability of
carrying 760 lb (345 kg) of bombs or depth charges mounted beneath the
RAAF ordered 24 examples directly off the drawing boards, under the Seagull V
'A2' designation, which were delivered for service from cruisers from 1935;
followed by orders from the Royal Air Force with the first production Walrus,
serial Number K5772, flying on 16
March, 1936. It was also hoped to capitalise on the aircraft's successful
exports to Japan, Spain, etc.
total of 740 Walrus were built in three major variants: the metal-hulled Seagull
V and Walrus I, and the wooden-hulled Walrus II. The Walrus was affectionately
known as the "Shagbat" or sometimes "Steam-pigeon"; the
latter name coming from the steam produced by water striking the hot Pegasus
examples survive. Walrus W2718 (G/RNLI) is part of the collection of Solent Sky,
an air museum in Southampton. The museum is endeavouring to restore the aircraft
to flying condition. Walrus HD874 is held by the Royal Australian Air Forces
museum. It was in use with the RAAF's Antarctic flight when it was badly damaged
by a storm on Heard Island in 1947.
It was recovered in 1980, and restored between 1993 and 2002.
RAF Museum has Seagull V A2-4, one of the original Australian aircraft that flew
from several cruisers in the 1930s, including HMAS Sydney. Walrus L2301 is
displayed at the Fleet Air Arm
Museum in Yeovilton. This was one of the aircraft flown by the Irish Air Corps,
before being bought back by the Fleet
Air Arm after the war for use as a training aircraft.
first Seagull V, A2-1, was handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force in
1935, with the last, A2-24 delivered in 1937. The type served aboard HMA Ships Australia
(MTO [Mediterranian Theatre of Operations]), Canberra (MTO, SWPA
lost at Guadalcanal in 1942), Sydney
(MTO, SWPA, lost off the coast of Western Australia 1942), Perth and Hobart.
deliveries started in 1936 when the
first example to be deployed was with the New Zealand division of the Royal
Navy, on HMS Achilles (later a
victor of the Battle of Britain). By the start of World
War II. the Walrus was in widespread use, and saw service in British home
waters, the Mediterranean and the Far East. Walrus are credited with sinking or
damaging at least five enemy submarines, while RAF use in home waters was mainly
in the air-sea rescue role.
Irish Air Corps used the Walrus as
a maritime patrol aircraft during the Irish Air Corps of World War II.
June 1st 1940 a Walrus
(P5666) of 700 Squadron on the cruiser
HMS Manchester found the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst but HMS Manchester
did not engage.
German capital ships in the lead up to the Battle of Denmark Strait Walrus L2184
of 700 NAS from HMS Norfolk was damaged by shellfire from Prinz Eugen in the
Denmark Strait on 23rd May 1941 while still on its catapult.
final successful attack on an enemy was
by a Walrus was on 11th
July 1942, when Walrus W2709 of 700 (Levant) NAS sank the Italian submarine
Oldina along with the surface vessels South African Protea and trawler Southern
Maid, east of Cyprus.
were at least 5 confirmed enemy submarines sunk or damaged by Walruses during
the Second World War, including the Vichy French submarine Poncelet which was
bombed by Walrus L2268 of 700 NAS ( HMS Devonshire) and attacked by HMS Milford
on 7th November 1940 off the Cameroons. The submarine was damaged and
forced to surrender, and later scuttled off the Gulf of Guinea. The crew of
Petty Officer PH Parsons, Sub Lt AD Corkhill and NA Evans were all awarded
Ref :Wikipedia encyclopedia
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Supermarine Walrus Mk1
Injection moulded with resin and etched-metal parts
Options: Two, L2253/HMS Manchester 1939;PB5668 Alice II, HMS Gloucester
of the superb kits issued by Valom to its 1/72 scale range is without doubt the
Walrus Mk1., and the Seagull MkV. Having the occasion to examine them both, I
can confirm that they are practically the same kit and came from the same mould.
Each one is moulded in medium grey plastic and includes resin and etched-metal
parts. The kits mainly differ in the colour scheme and markings options that
they offer. The Walrus can be finished in the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark
Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Sky, or as overall aluminium L2253/J9G.
kit comes in a standard Valom box, featuring a beautiful painting of the kitís
Camouflaged options.. On opening the box the first impression is that this is a
detailed kit, its parts being contained in large sealed bags with two sprues of
grey plastic containing 77 injection moulded pieces and eight pieces of clear
plastic. There are also two combined sealed bags containing cream coloured resin
detail parts. These include the main wheels, a detailed radial engine, four
bombs, crew seats, two control columns, machine guns etc, for a total of 15
pieces. Some of the parts exhibit fine flash. The 20 page instruction booklet
includes a history of the type in both Czech and English and 18 stages of
begins with the assembly of the engine, propeller and nacelle, and of the
fuselage interior, including a detailed cockpit and adjacent wireless
operatorís compartment. The
injection moulded parts have engraved panel line detail and the fabric wing
covering is well represented, reflecting the variety of tensions in the canvas
covering of the flying surfaces. So care is taken to preserve the surface
details by masking areas close to joints if there s sanding and fairing over.
The wing and fuselage parts contain runner and ejector pin marks that protrude
on their inner surfaces. Based on previous experience with short run kits, I
would strongly recommend removing these excess plastic areas carefully and
completely, since some of them may hamper the fitting of interior details, or
prevent the main wing parts fitting tightly together. There are two injection
moulded canopies, clear and similar in shape, except for one difference. One is
a single piece, the other has separate skylight allowing cockpit detail to be
seen more effectively. The interior detail, some of which come in resin,
includes seats, a chart table, cockpit instruments,, a floor, and bulkheads,
control wheels and other less visible details like spare ammunition magazines, a
winch drum, rudder pedals, etc.
interior is fitted to the port half of the fuselage once painted. There are two
clear side windows that I preferred to replace with Kristal Kleer since I
guessed that the wireless operatorís cabin would be invisible if the clear
pieces were fixed in place. The cockpit is well catered for, its three seats
being complete with etched seat belts. Etched instruments fit into the port half
of the fuselage. The
co-pilotís seat is folded, as also is the co-pilotís control wheel, which is
fixed flush with starboard fuselage wall. Other detail fits into the rear
fuselage space. It includes a set of oars mounted against the fuselage wall and
visible through the aft gun opening. Various ammunition drums are fitted close
to the open gun positions. Unlike the front gunner, the rear gunner has the
provision of a seat. A detailed gun ring is delicately represented in brass etch
for each of the front and rear gun positions and looks excellent, particularly
when the gun and mounting are fixed in their respective places.
details include the engine; exhaust pipes; nacelle, made of several pieces;
floats under each wing; undercarriage legs; and tail wheel/water rudder. The
only drawback here is deciding the exact location of the engine pod and its
struts, once the lower wing were already thoroughly dry in their place. I found
that this needed several dry runs, as it is quite a complex assembly. The engine
pod is also tilted to one side and reference to the colour plan view and the
colour art work on the box gave me some form of clue as to correct position and
angle of sideways tilt. Any experienced modeller will sort this out one way or
the model was a time consuming operation, but it reinforces the wings and adds a
lot of strength to the structure. I represented the float rigging with thin
strips cut to the correct lengths. For the wing and nacelle rigging I used
invisible thread. Thin fishing line works equally well. The instruction booklet
has a diagram to assist rigging placement, but this was rather limited in detail
and is not quite complete. Reference to the rigging shown on the box art is not
helpful and can confuse an otherwise not overly complex layout. My suggestion is
to refer to photographs and scale plans from other sources. This is an
interesting kit and the more detail you add, such as drilling small offset drain
holes in the wheel cover, etc, the more complete the resulting model will be.
Other observations that I made during the assembly were:
The tail struts, item 20(leading) and 21(rear), should be labelled as item
21(leading), since these are longer.
The slots where the wings and tailplanes fit need to be adjusted slightly in
order to allow the parts to fit properly.
The two antennae locating holes on the wings are too far forward. I replaced
the antennae themselves with steel pins. These should be placed right above
and inline with the forward outer struts.
The four outer struts (two on each wing) are of the correct length, but the
inner two struts, one on each side close to the wing root, need to be
shortened by 2mm in order to remain upright when fitted.
The rigging wires close to the wing trailing edge should start at the lower
strut and connect to a point in line with the vertical strut close to the
wing root at the leading edge, but
not to the upper engine
pod strut. For some reason the two struts close to the wing root at the
leading edge are not shown on the drawing at stage 23.
I had to add two rails to the rear turret cover, which slides forward.
I added two lights to the lower wing tips.
the Ďfoot stepsí decals were placed near the leading edge of the
camouflaged Walrus (Scale Aircraft Modelling volume 8, No7 shows them on
camouflaged aircraft as well as aluminium machines). These markings may,
however not always have been added to camouflaged machines.
I added two wave deflectors forward of the side windows. Some early aircraft
were without these.
used extra dark sea grey and dark slate grey for the upper camouflage and sky to
all lower surfaces using the instruction colour chart as reference to the
camouflage pattern using Humbrol enamel paints. The decals provided are of very
good quality and adhere well.
in all this was an intriguing but interesting kit, but it is not one to rush and
a fine model should result. Having completed the Walrus Mk1, then how about
tackling the Seagull Mk V in overall light grey finish as used on the Australian
Navy ships? Alternately one can complete it in overall yellow as used by the
Australian team in Antarctica which was the subject of a rebuild in recent years
at the Point Cook museum in Melbourne.
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