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Everything posted by Ex-FAAWAFU

  1. If you have looked at any of my current builds (Seafire 47/Seafang; HMS Brinton and/or Walrus), you will know by now that I have fractured my wrist. I cannot model one-handed, so I have been wracking my brains about what I can do for the time until I get my left arm back from the menders. The power of modern technology is at least helping in one respect; I am dictating this post into my MacBook Air and will then cut & paste it into BM; no one-finger, one-hand typing for me! Right, so you can't build models for a while, Crisp - why start a new thread then? Because... well, read on. Many of you already know that I served on board HMS Fearless in 1981-1982, including during the Falklands War. The ship, therefore, for reasons that will be obvious, has a very special place in my heart, and it has always been a long-term plan of mine to build a model of her. Kits were very thin until a couple of years ago; basically there was the ancient 1/600 Airfix job. It can be done - one build in particular on the internet shows a wonderful result from that particular elderly sow's ear [http://steeleelstudios.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/marine-art-and-modelmaking-hms-fearless.html]. But it's not my scale - I am very much a 1/350 man when it comes to ships - and if I am going to spend hundreds of hours scratch building, then I might as well scratch build the whole thing. The utterly stunning Hermes, Broadsword and Yarmouth build on this very site (take a bow, @andrewa) shows what is possible and has been a massive inspiration to me. If you have not already seen this masterpiece, then go and look at it now. Actually, do so even if you have; it is superb modelling. [No pressure, then, Crisp…] There will be two Fearless builds shown in this thread; one will be the scratch built 1/350 one I have wanted to do for so long. This will be built docked down in action, as in San Carlos Water, probably as on about 24th May 1982, when this well-known photograph was taken (from one of the Rapier batteries on the hill). [You can tell it was around May 24th, because that Lynx on deck is Antelope's - she had blown up the previous day. I spent much of the war working on the flight deck - this was before I started my flying training]. I have assembled quite a few detailed parts for the 1/350 one, mostly from Peter Hall at Atlantic: I have 4 x Seacat launchers, a Cheverton (Captain's barge), motor whaler (sea boat), 2 x 40/60 Bofors guns, some basic LCU hulls (which may or may not be suitable for adaptation), and plenty of Seaking material which will be left over from Ark Royal. I also have lots of resin bitts, fairleads, hawser reels, etc. and PE RN pattern doors, hatches and ladders. As you would expect, I have lots of reference material, of which the three most useful books are these - two widely available, and the other (the home-produced pamphlet which every member of the Ship's Company took away with them when we got back) definitely not. Ewen Southby-Tailyour's book is particularly good because it has some clear photos of areas you don't normally see (like the inside of the tank deck0. I also have copious plans from Jecobin - and we will come back to those. The second Fearless model - which will be the first to be finished, no doubt - will be half the size; the L'Arsenal 1/700 resin and PE kit. It was launched at ScaleModelWorld in about 2012, and you won't be astonished to learn that I snapped one up instantly. I will not be starting it yet (too many other builds on the go, not to mention the wrist thing!), but I will give you the statutory intro shots. The box: And the contents: The L'Arsenal kit looks very nice, though it's not perfect; it is billed as Fearless as she was in 1982, but some of the details show her as she was a few years later, post-refit - notably the guns (which are BMARC 30mm rather than ancient Mk.7 40mm Bofors) and the chaff launchers on the bridge wing (which are SuperRBOC rather than the old-fashioned Corvus). Nothing, though, that cannot be fixed. I also found a build of this kit in an Airfix Modeller Magazine back issue, in which he says that the only problem he encountered was that the flight deck in his copy was a horrible fit. Yep, me too. Time for some plastic card, I think. Really nasty, bubbly casting on that flight deck, too - which is odd, because the rest of the kit is beautifully cast; here, for example, the fo'c's'le with a Swann-Morton No 11 alongside for scale. Rather than repeat the San Carlos scenario at half the size, I will probably build the L'Arsenal version to show her as she steamed back into Portsmouth in July 1982, missing one LCU (F4 having been sunk) and bearing her battle scars. ANYWAY... why start this thread now, when I cannot model? Because the one thing you definitely need when scratch building is a really good set of plans. I have these; the 1/192 Jecobin jobs, which are excellent, and of which I have already produced numerous copies reduced to 1/350, which will be cut up to produce templates etc. You will note that I have plans for BOTH Intrepid and Fearless - because neither of them show the ship in the 1982 configuration. Intrepid is as built, when the rear of the superstructure was very different. Fearless is as post-refit, with Phalanx, modern guns, a revised comms fit etc. So what I plan to do during my enforced lay-off is to combine the two sets on my computer, and generate a full set of plans for Fearless as she actually was in 1982. Those of you who followed my SeaKing rivet marathon will recall that i did something quite similar then. There will be no modelling in this thread for some time; but in the next few weeks there will be updates showing progress towards accurate plans for the time I wish to depict her. More soon-ish Crisp [P.S. Why "explicit women"? Because the motto under Fearless' crest is EXPLICIT NOMEN - essentially, "The name speaks for itself" - but shortly before the Falklands malarkey we had to pulp a load of publicity leaflets (for open days etc) because it had a misprint; the junior officers immediately adopted the revised motto.]
  2. Be careful, @KEVIN_ARIS - Fearless' Seacat system was GWS 20, the very early version, visually guided (i.e. no radar involved). The DLGs had a more developed version - GWS 22, which included a radar targeting system. Norfolk was the ship I left to join Fearless. I think the launchers were the same, but the directors were certainly different. Anyway... 40/60 Bofors finished ..and Seacat launcher done: Now moving onto the final element of this details sheet, namely the Sonar Type 182 - Towed Acoustic Decoys. Then there will be one more sheet to do, which will show vertical "slices" through the ship, illustrating some of the detail that's otherwise impossible to see. Still enjoying it! Crisp
  3. Having finished the profiles of the whole ship, I am now concentrating on details - arguably the most important bit, since this is where differences are highlighted between various stages of the ship's life, differences between her & Intrepid, and so on. Already, after a few weeks of this, I have re-learned a huge amount about Fearless, which was part of the idea. My wrist is now at about 90%, but I have decided to finish these drawings before I go back to plastic, PE and resin - or they might never get finished. Since some of these are freehand drawings done from photographs, they take a fair amount of time. None the less, I will thank myself in due course when I actually build the model(s) of her! So, in no particular order, some details - still quite a lot to come: This last one is still unfinished, but is where I've got to tonight: More soon Crisp
  4. Never flew the Wessie (& certainly not a Mk.2), but don’t see any reason why the seat arrangememts would be different to every other type in service at the time. Rock hard yellow seat pack, plus “sheepskin” pad (whose purpose was to contain more survival aids, rather than protect our delicate posteriors). Even Royal aircrew had the same arrangement - though no doubt the Royal Flight ones were more in touch with their inner Interior Designer.
  5. Catching Pictures in the Air

    I commend Tomo’s sagacity. Friends don’t let friends underestimate molecular scale errors.
  6. Mig 15 Scratchbuild

    Outstanding! I have tracked back from AE2; completely missed it at the time.
  7. 1:147 HMS Surprise

    I have only just caight up with this (as you might notice from a sudden slew of “likes”). As someone else has observed, you make this look easy - but we all know it’s not. [Chalk me up as another devotee of the Aubrey-Maturin books. By a distance the most immersive series of fiction books on any subject that I have read - some authors struggle to stay internally consistent across a trilogy, let alone 20-odd volumes. And even when you’ve read them before they are exciting]
  8. Catching Pictures in the Air

    The workings of a beaver’s tail, beautifully rendered in unfeasibly tiny brass. Hat doffed
  9. OK, starboard profile now complete. First without LCVPs & Whaler: ...and then with them: One more sheet of detail stuff to do, and then these will be complete. More soon Crisp
  10. My Telford sin... Supermarine Walrus

    I agree entirely; it's a superb kit.
  11. Westland Sea King HU5

    That HF aerial alone is worth the admission money, especially in 1/72. And the exhaust staining looks excellent - if anything a little underdone, but even 771 washed their cabs sometimes!
  12. While we’re on that topic, in 16 years of aviating, serving with aircrew of all 3 services, plus Aussie, Kiwi, American, German, Portuguese, Brazilian, Danish, Dutch & French officers on exchange, NOT ONCE did I ever hear snyone refer to the cockpit as the “office”... yet it seems to appear in almost EVERY build article in the modelling press. See also “chopper” for helicopter and, no doubt, several others.
  13. Today's work - the flight deck & catwalk guardrails, plus liferaft racks, refuelling points etc: And the whole ship (with bridge restored!), with only the quarterdeck to do and a few details to sort (e.g. the forward draught marks): More soon Crisp
  14. The nib fairing was certainly different; haven’t ever really noticed other differences in engine bay shape that would merit the re-work in either of our scales. My comment re the Bucc was with a large amount of tongue in cheek (though it is true that the Crabs were very rude about it... until they got them). [But I agree with you re TSR2; binned, so in a perfect position where it can be - and often is - assumed that it would have effortlessly delivered everything that was hoped... and no-one can disprove it. See also a lot of Luft 46 stuff]
  15. So you spotted my cunning plan, eh? (Better un-hide that layer, then!)
  16. Starboard view almost done; just the flight deck / catwalks & quarterdeck to do. More soon Crisp
  17. Yes, it's a lot of the same colour; but it's the right colour. The Buccaneer was, after all, a Naval aircraft; however much our RAF cousins might have embraced it in later life, the fact remains that they spent several years pooh-poohing it and trying to kill it off, and only accepted it with deep reluctance following TSR2 & F111. [Exit left, dodging irate crustacea and dancing a swift hornpipe]
  18. Yes, I saw the 893 badge too. It could equally have been something as mundane as 893 having a serviceable Palouste at the moment when A Flight needed one to land away. I also don't think I have seen that A Flight badge (below the H on the fin) before; hard to tell from this distance, but it looks like an Albatross, which would make sense. A Flight were always known as Aardvark in my day, but Albatross rather more logical; they retained the red & black fixation, just as B Flight did the yellow & black B motif. I hadn't made the connection with the Artouste; top knowledge.
  19. Some shameless economy with the truth in that ad! The Palouste was a Turbomeca design (the French name might be something of a clue), tho both RR and Blackburn built them under license. Westland Seafire, anyone?
  20. What he ^ said. I’d love to see someone produce a good 1/48 Palouste. I already have flight deck tractors of several eras...
  21. That is extremely kind... but I have been a moron; I already have the MA Aerobatics Teams sheet (used for Gazelle and will be used for Seahawk). I hadn’t thought about it for a Bucc. So S2 of 809 appears sorted., and I already have S1 transfers safely stashed away.
  22. Thanks for the tip! Any recommendations for RN 1/48 after-market decals? Any (Naval) squadron will do!