THE NEPTUNE P2V-7/SP-2H IN SERVICE WITH THE ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVY:
NAS=Naval Air Station
NAF=Naval Air facility
RNLN=Royal Netherlands Navy
MLD= Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (Naval Air Arm/ Royal Netherlands Navy)
On the 21 off August 1961, it was decided by the Dutch Ministry of Defense that the Royal Netherlands Navy was to acquire 15 Lockheed Neptunes air frames type P2V-7B. These aircraft were to be numbered 200/214.
The reason for this acquisition was a large conflict with Indonesia over the Dutch colony Papua New Guinea. To strengthen the presence of the Dutch armed Forces in the region, the choice fell on the Lockheed Neptune. These aircraft were to be armed in the nose section with four Hispano 20mm machine guns.
Eventually eleven aircraft were flown from Lockheed Burbank to Naval Air station Biak in Netherlands New Guinea. The chosen route was: Burbank-NAS Alameda-NAS barbers Point-NAF Kwajalein to Biak, a flight from more than 6000 miles. They were to form Squadron 321.
Four Neptunes (209-210-211-2120) were flown directly from the factory to the Netherlands for crew training and evaluation.
In August 1962, the conflict came to an end. In that same year the Neptunes flew back from NAS Biak via Tan-Son-Nhut-Katunayake-Karachi-Basra-Athens and finally to NAS Valkenburg. Only ten aircraft were to return. Neptune registration number 200, crashed on the 11th of May 1962 at the airport of Mokmer, after fire in the starboard jet-engine. On landing, it lost all hydraulic pressure and ended in a ditch. It was written off.
After the return to the Netherlands, the strength was fourteen aircraft. All were posted to the 320 squadron at NAS Valkenburg.
Eventually, the machine guns in the nose were removed and replaced by the transparent nose section and after further anti submarine modifications renamed SP-2H.
On the 23 of January 1965, Neptune (212) crashed in the North Sea. It was then decided to increase the squadron with four ex- French Navy Neptune aircraft. These were numbered 215/218,
taking part in many military exercises and patrolling the oceans in the cold war period
In 1982, the last operational Neptunes were phased out and replaced by the Lockheed Orion.
For thirty years, this beautiful aircraft did sterling service for the RNLN.
The specific sound of the Wright R-3350 18 cil, accompanied by the Westinghouse J34-WE jet engines were over.
images below to see larger images
THE SCALE MODEL FROM HASEGAWA, BOX K6:
I decided to make the Neptune with registration number 213. This specific aircraft was put into service on the 27th of February 1962. When the clock counted 6237 hours of flight it was stored for cannibalization at NAS Valkenburg. Extra purchased were the open bomb bay (Eduard 72-365), the cockpit and exterior up-date set (Eduard 72-364) and the mask set XS-127.
After studying many pictures, I also decided to open one escape hatch from the canopy. It gives the viewer a better look inside the “office”. Before sawing into the canopy, I reinforced the in and outside, so it could take the stress from drilling and sawing into the transparent plastic.
Although this model was not computer designed, construction was straight forward. Most consuming was the bomb bay and the interior from the cockpit. If you follow directions from Eduard and take your time, the bomb bay fits right in there. The real problems were the bomb bay doors. They needed to be
hung with almost no connections. Since I want to construct my models Belgium road condition proof, I reinforced the hanging with Evergreen L-shaped beams.
In the real thing, the bomb bay doors are opening and closing on a hinge-construction, this was constructed from small evergreen rod and placed in position. As we all know, when (Etch/Super Glue) comes loose, it will be a nightmare to get it back in the same place without further damaging the model.
I chose the color scheme with the white top and dark sea grey sides and underside. I still prefer the X-TRA oil colors. They are slow drying, but very strong and smooth to operate through the Revell air brush. The color white reduces the temperature by six degrees in warm climates, according to the files from the Navy.
The paint job finished, I put on the Revell decals from the Neptune box 04628. This one is still in the stash, and has to eventually become the RCAF example.
I used SOL and SET from Micro Scale for the decal setting
After cleaning up, I finished it off with two layers of Glitsa parquet lacquer mixed with ethanol.
(30-70 % mix). This gets as hard as glass. It seals the decals and does not react to ultra violet interference, also very important it can stand the wash from oil paint and thinner.
Number 213 is ready for display.
Comments are appreciated.
images below to see larger images