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Ex-FAAWAFU last won the day on November 4 2016

Ex-FAAWAFU had the most liked content!

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  • Birthday 09/12/59

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    Fleet Air Arm from Dad's Swordfish, Albacore & Barracuda III to my own Sea King & Lynx - oh, and the floating grey tin cans they flew from...

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  1. A little bleeding, but nothing awful; pretty happy.
  2. Yes, though it has yet to be procured; still, at my current rate of build I just about still have time! Is that Imp Hillman or Lincoln?
  3. Oh, and there is another reason why progress might appear to have been slow: I have also been restoring the first (I think) build I ever did on here, namely the Gazelle in which I did my first rotary-wing solo. This model (the Fujimi 1/48-ish one, with Model Alliance transfers) was very close to completion several years ago when it had a very unfortunate encounter with an over-excited Sporting Lucas Terrier called Zebedee. The result was complete loss of starboard skid and starboard horizontal stabiliser (as in ingested by said Terrier, bless him) plus major damage to the main rotor and canopy. For a while I thought it was irrecoverable, but since 1/48 Gazelles are not exactly two-a-penny, I've had it gathering dust on a corner of my workbench ever since - I just didn't have the heart to ditch it altogether after all that work. It is so long ago that I can't even find the WIP thread, but I do remember there were some ups and downs - another major tail-sitter, I seem to recall. However, progress with restoration is now sufficiently advanced for it to be unveiled: the new (completely scratch-built) starboard skid is installed, and she stands on her own two legs once more. The canopy has also had more polishing than is strictly good for it, so is restored to something like transparency, and been re-installed. A model Gazelle, yesterday: And again; note total loss of pitot tubes, ADF aerials under nose, some of spine control rods, et al. And, knowing what I know now, what could I do with those rivets!!? Still, I think she will be displayable again soon. The main rotor head has been strengthen and re-painted, too. Now it just needs re-installing once I have re-built the tail. Zebedee, at Christmas - looking, it has to be said, not very contrite:
  4. I am old enough to have been serving (though not yet flying) when the Lynx HAS 2 first came in. They really were Oxford Blue, and there's a Mk 2 at Yeovilton (in the reserve collection) still in that colour; having seen it at the same time as the HAS5 which appears in so many of my reference photos, I can definitely confirm that Oxford Blue is considerably "more blue" to the naked eye. Edit: Oxford Blue: RAF BG: The memory plays funny tricks, and in the end you have to opt for a shade that looks right to you. For that reason i have never really got the obsession with RLM paint chips and the like; there are so many variables - state o aircraft skin when paint was applied, what colour primer there was under it, atmospheric conditions during and after application, and then of course wear in service, that knowing the exact shade of the original paint and obsessively matching your model paint to it seems rather pointless to me... and that's before you start going into an consideration of "scale effect". Anyway (better put the lid back on that particular can of worms!), I think I might have stumbled on something - ironically, at about the same time as @Fritag did on his stellar Hawks thread. The polishing system works well, but it also emphasises every single blemish on the aircraft skin and, though the tail pylon is largely blemish free, I know that the main fuselage is not. So I have been experimenting with getting the skin smooth as possible as well as polishing purely for rivet exposure purposes. This has almost inevitably dislodged a few rivets, so I replaced them ON TOP of the base layer of RAF Blue Grey... and not a single rivet fell away with the backing transfer removal. As you know from my early endless shots of it, that was by no means the case on a layer of Tamiya white primer, whether micro-meshed or not. So I am continuing to experiment, which might explain the relative lack of apparent progress (though see also Bulldogs). After all, the whole point of this riveting exercise is to get the Sea King looking "right" in my eyes (see paint discussion above). This is what the pylon looks like this morning. Later, once everything is dry, I plan to mist a very thin layer of RAF Blue Grey [henceforth, RAF BG] on top to deaden down the raw silver. Gradually, by trial and error, I think I am crawling towards a solution that will work - or at least will give the effect I have in my mind's eye. I am certain it can be done, and personally i think it is worth the effort for a Sea King, because the rivets are such an integral part of that particular aircraft's look. I certainly do NOT plan to do this for every aircraft I build in future! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, really; let's face it, we all know that the key to a convincing finish is as much preparation as possible to give the paint the best base to which to adhere - so why is it a surprise that the answer to getting this right is time and a lot of work preparing, polishing and so on? More later. Crisp
  5. Is it worth it? Hell yes! [But then i have to say that, really, don't I, in view of the amount of time and money I have invested...?] Welcome back! P.S. I too am still discovering things about the HGW rivets (though I'd missed that thing about Mr Surfacer; could be useful). As an experiment to replace a few that had been lost during surface prep & painting on the Sea King tail pylon, I replaced some ON TOP of the base RAF Blue Grey paint layer. And yes, just like you, every one of them stayed in place. Food for thought for future builds... Like this:
  6. That looks an amazing kit all right. But I do love that Draken!
  7. Is the reference to 1/71 a typo, or pointing out some subtle scale issues with this ancient kit. I think the later model Firefly was one of the best looking piston-engined aircraft of all time, so you got me!
  8. BM; the only modelling site where you will see "people-eating tyrant" in Greek (my computer skills do not stretch to writing "demophagon turannon" in proper script, unlike our Procopius). I knew that Greek A level would come in useful one day; it only took 39 years!
  9. Wow! Lovely start. I have a couple of WnW kits in my stash (Tripe-hound & RNAS Pup), and no doubt in due course I will succumb and get a Ship's Camel. I have yet to build one, but every time I see one built they look amazing. You have certainly got my attention!
  10. Just in case you thought I was joking... P.S. I know they always advise spraying red on top of white primer, but boy does it make a big difference!
  11. A day of horribly complicated masking... First, the airscrew, since this bit has actually been painted as well: A little bit of bleed in a couple of places, but nothing that cannot be sorted out. The spinner was especially challenging to get masked; not for the first time, i found myself praising the day Aizu thin tape was invented. It has been a complete life-saver on Ark Royal's deck (in its 1mm & 0.7mm form; this time I used some 1.5mm; it goes round corners way better than ordinary masking tape, which you can then use to fill in the gaps. Speaking of which... I love the Bulldog scheme, but it has to be said that it's not the simplest to paint. Still, as soon as I finish this post I'm going to flash up the old compressor and add some red to this, so here is a chance to look at it post-masking. Taken me about 3 hours to do this, so let's hope it works properly! More soon, probably with a decidedly red tinge to it. Crisp
  12. I doubt I would have thought the Heritage nose was an issue if I hadn't been building the Tarangus version alongside it; it's pretty marginal (and I suspect that the real nose lies somewhere between the two versions). It definitely doesn't make the Heritage kit "unbuildable", or any nonsense like that - as many threads on this site demonstrate, no kit is unbuildable with enough effort and skill. In many ways the Heritage kit is the better of the two - more refined detail (especially in the cockpit, which is pretty bare even in a real Bullfrog). The reason I have decided against it as my primary final version is the nose weight issue; I warn you now, cram everything possible into every conceivable orifice forward of the main wheels, and then find room for some more. If you can find a way of making a lead nose wheel - I seriously considered this at one point - then do it. But it's a lovely piece of work - it has certainly convinced me to build the Chipmunk from the same stable (my first solo was on a Chippy, during grading; Bulldog was merely first on type). So Keith, you can approach the Heritage version with confidence. Perhaps these two shots will convince you that the nose difference is marginal: There is no great difference in either wingspan or dihedral; those are distortions in the camera. I guess my reference to an airscrew comes from my roots as a Fish-Head; most professional sailors will tell you that ships have screws, not propellors. Mind you, I bet even your instructor shouted "Clear prop" during start-up...
  13. I am trying 8000, 12000 and a polishing cloth from a Tamiya polishing compound kit. The trick seems to be to take your time - you can see a couple of places where I was over-zealous in the early stages, but i am learning how it works. Slow gentle polishing is the way ahead - and you must also polish all of it (i.e. even the bits where you know there are no rivets), so the finish looks uniform. Interestingly, since the rivet process has left all sorts of tiny imperfections (little bits of glue residue etc) on the surface, this seems to be giving a subtle worn look to the surface as a whole. I can't wait to see what it looks like on the main fuselage. Still, I think this is going to work.
  14. The plan (cunning or otherwise) is that a micromesh polish once the paint is properly dry will expose just enough of the rivets. I don't want every one of them glaring out at you, but enough for you to get the fact that they are there - to my eyes that's how they look on the real thing. And I am happy to say I think it works. Still need to perfect the technique (and this is only after a very swift polish), but all this effort will not be wasted: It's very hard to photo, as ever at this scale, but you get the general drift. More soon Crisp