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Everything posted by Ex-FAAWAFU

  1. Those of you who have been following my Sea King build will know that it has already lasted more than a year. This is entirely my own fault, since I'm the one who chose to detail it to such a degree (not to mention adding the odd rivet or three). I have, however, got a bit bogged down of late, and since the Sea King is a subject very dear to my heart, I've decided to take a break from it before it turns into a chore and I start to make mistakes. It will return, I promise. I expect many of you will have guessed from the title - not to mention the near certainty that that it will be a Fleet Air Arm aircraft, in 1/48. But here is the start point. You ought to be able to work that out easily enough... I acquired this kit for £5 at a show. As you can see, it has been started (though the previous owner didn't get much further than a dash or two of interior green, an opened camera port and a glued contra-prop). The kit has a good reputation, but I have ordered a couple of bits of after-market to address known flaws (to be precise: a vac-form canopy, seamless chin intake, better shaped cowling "bulges", and a new airscrew or two). It's the original boxing, too, so I might have to get in some replacement transfers - the originals look decidedly yellow, so I'll see how they look after a bit of sunshine. There is a strong argument to say that this (with its F22/24 cousins) was the ultimate version of probably the most famous aircraft of all time. There is an even stronger argument that Supermarine's subsequent offerings were either never adopted (Spiteful, Seafang) or not in the same league (Swift, Scimitar...)... so that this represents the best aircraft ever produced by that most august of British companies. So, ladeezanngennnellmeeeen… I present to you a Seafire FR46 (the clue is in the fact that I didn't show the sprue with folding wings), using Airfix's original FR46/47 boxing. To be built essentially OOB (other than the after-market stuff already mentioned, to correct known issues with the kit). One of the reasons I've chosen the FR46 rather than the 47 (wing fold apart) is the fact that I far prefer the look of the low demarcation between colours (though eventually I will probably also build an FR47 with folded wings [Edit; especially since I've now found a photo of a folded, embarked FR47 with low demarcation line!]). And yes, I know there is disagreement about whether 46s were pure-EDSG or Temperate Sea Scheme on top - but I am taking Winkle's word for it and painting TSS (and there are at least some photos where there are definitely two colours on the upper surfaces of an FR46). I am in no way a Spitfire / Seafire expert, and this is meant to be a quickish build to restore my mojo. I don't think there are any howlers in the kit, and if there are then this model will be built with howlers. I do, however, have one question for any late-mark Spit-/Sea-fire experts out there; cockpit. Black or interior green? The FAA Museum's Mk XVII suggests that it was black top half and IG lower, so if in doubt I'll go for that. Can't find any photos, though. The game's afoot!
  2. @Christer A, I have another Airfix Vixen in my stash. I'm afraid you can't have my wings, but I'd be very happy to take as many pictures / measurements as you like if you want to build some of your own.
  3. I promised I'd photograph the Seafang alongside the Seafire 46. It's been quite interesting, actually - shows how deceptive Mk.1 Eyeball measurements can be. Of course, for these purposes we have to assume that both Messrs Airfix and Trumpeter are accurate; they probably aren't perfect (no-one ever is), but I reckon they're good enough for now. For these comparisons, keep in mind that the 'Fang wings look artificially short because the outer (folding) sections are missing. Here they are 'Fang & 'Fire alongside one another (apologies for parallax distortion). I temporarily fitted the 'Fang's undercarriage (an encouragingly firm alignment and stable un-glued fit), which meant I could place 'Fang on top of 'Fire, with the rudder hinge aligned as closely as I could manage: The fuselage length looks almost identical, though it is a very different shape, especially seen from side-on. The cockpit opening is in pretty much the same position, but the most obvious difference is the placement of the wing. The principle difference between 'Fang & even the last marks of 'Fire was the laminar flow wing, which had a narrower chord, a totally different airfoil section, and got rid of the last vestiges of Mitchell's ellipsis. What I hadn't realised is that it looks as though it was also placed noticeably further forward; I haven't measured it, but a couple of feet? [Edit: of course the main spar was in a different place in the wing because of the airfoil; it's quite possible that the main spars were in the same position - in fact I'd bet on it] The other major differences (which I already knew) are underneath the wing. The 'Fang undercarriage retracted inwards and had a far wider track - had it gone into service, this would have made it far, far easier to operate from a deck. The Seafire series slowly came up to an acceptable standard through its life as pilots got truly used to it, but it was only ever a compromise as a Naval fighter; it was hard to deck land because of the view over the nose and the narrow track undercarriage, and it had (relatively) woeful endurance / range. Even a cursory search for images of operational Seafires brings up an awful lot of pictures of deck landing accidents, with aircraft perched on their nose and/or with a broken fuselage just ahead of the tail. Here is the 'Fire from nose on. If you ignore the monster double airscrew, it is instantly recognisable as a member of the Spitfire family. Not so the 'Fang; FAR bigger (or at least wider; they don't seem to be as deep) radiators, plus that wide track undercarriage. [Ignore what the radiators look like internally; they aren't complete yet and were simply taped on for this comparison. That odd shape inside the cowling is part of Trumpeter's gearing system to make the props counter-rotate; this is being omitted from my model - I've never been a fan of moving parts on models, and in this case it adds considerably to elements that could go wrong]. If the Pacific War had gone on for another couple of years (which was the assumption most people were working to when these aircraft were being designed), then the Seafang would have been a better Naval aircraft than the Seafire. When the time came, however, it was deemed not to be a big enough advance on the Seafire 47. An even starker comparison would have been with the Sea Fury, which was a much better bet as a Naval fighter than either of the Supermarine offerings. I am away up to Nottinghamshire tomorrow to see my Mum (93 last week), and we're off out this evening, so there will be no more modelling until Sunday at the earliest. I will still be on the forum, but not at my bench. More soon Crisp
  4. Great job so far, Bob; this is not a simple conversion by any means. I was in Cobham Hall only last week - if I'd known I would have taken more of the Skyraider, but in truth it is still hard to get very near, because there is so much stuff round it! Glad to see your back on this one.
  5. Jeffrey Quill and Spitfire in Sweden

    Certainly got my attention! Having jusy built a Seafire 46 from that kit, and being part way through a 47 that includes the same after market cockpit etc., I’d say you’ll enjoy this; despite its age, the kit is very good once you’ve addressed a couple of kniwn issues (notably the prop blades and rocker covers, both of which you’ve already addressed). You might want to consider adding the Barracudacast control surfaces to your list? They’re easy to do (they fit beautifully) and they add life to the model. Great picture of the cockpit! Fascinating to see that a Spitfire cockpit was definitely still interior green even at this stage; by 1948-9 the Seafire 46/47s had all black cockpits.
  6. I wasn’t aware of the Falcon vacform (& @Mike made a predictably great job of it - though I’m dubious about the spinner length even after his work) - but I’d have gone with the Trumpy kit anyway. His build confirms my suspicions about Trumpeter’s fictional (nothing like a Spit-/Sea-fire) cockpit, too; the side panels visible in the shot before I joined the fuselage... completely made up. It was worth looking at that build for another reason, though. Despite knowing 100% that the Seafang wing was the same as the Attacker wing, it had never occurred to me to look at an Attacker for the wheel wells. Duuuuuh; I have a fair amount of Attacker reference stuff - there is almost nothing re the Seafang. @keefr22 and @Richard E, fret not about Sea King or Ark Royal; they are definitely not abandoned or forgotten. @corsaircorp, you should be able to find a couple of Airfix Buccs if you are patient. I have a very similar plan (a white 801NAS S1 & a late-70s Ark Royal 809 NAS S2, in my case), and I acquired two kits earlier this year for not very much. I had to wait a bit, but they come up fairly regularly. If you haven’t already acquired the 1/48 S1 intakes, let me know; I seem to have bought a set at two separate shows (D’oh!), so I have a spare set & you’d be very welcome to it.
  7. OK, so things are getting even more bonkers. @Beard & @Corsairfoxfouruncle are not the only people with multiple Spitfire builds.... except mine aren't Spits, as you already know; they're post-war (Griffon) Seafires. To recap for any new readers... FR46 (the original subject of this thread) is done, and I am slowly building a detailed FR47, with engine exposed, Aires cockpit, added camera bays and a dinky wee flight deck tractor. For some reason I have decided to expand operations to a third simultaneous Supermarine aircraft (with the Walrus) [in truth I have been tinkering with it for a few days]. Enter THE FANG. I am using the only game in town for the Seafang in 1/48 (as far as I know), namely the Trumpeter kit. It's bit basic in places, and I'd lay you money that the cockpit is completely made-up - but the fit is actually excellent. First up some pics before the fuselage was glued, to show what I have done with the cockpit. No after market or the like for the cockpit (I don't there is anything anyway, even if I wanted it) - just some Airscale dials and some painting to liven things up. Since these photos I have added some generic seat belts made out of wine foil, but otherwise the cockpit is as you see it [note to self; still need to glue in the stick!]. Then this afternoon I got onto a bit of a roll, and ended up here: You will note that I am using resin tail & rudder; these are the Barracudacast ones designed for the Airfix 46/47. I used them on my Mk46 and thought the separate control surfaces added a lot of life, and since the 46/47 & Seafang tail was the same, I'll be using it again here. That meant I had to saw off the Trumpy rudder, and I am having to do a bit of modelling at the root of the tail, but nothing too silly. Other than that, we're pure Trumpeter. This aircraft will have its wings folded, like the 47 but (obviously) unlike the 46; I have therefore done the requisite surgery - slightly tricky because the wing fold join is not a straight line... but safely complete. I have put the FR46 away in a safe place to avoid damaging it, but at some stage I will get it out again and photograph it alongside this beast. You will not be surprised to learn that I have the Revell (nee Special Hobby?) Seafire XV and the Airfix XVII in the stash... and I have assembled parts of Airfix PR.XIX and unused FR46 wings to form the basis of a Seafire 45 in due course. That will complete the Griffon Seafire set. One day I might even extend it yet further - Attacker in one direction and Merlin Seafires in the other... but not yet! What started out as a Mojo-restoring build has morphed into a serial Seafire frenzy, and I am having so much fun! More soon Crisp [Wibble]
  8. I too have a crush on my dentist. Just as well; I married her 15 years ago! The Haynes Manuals vary as modelling references - the Lynx one, for instance, is great if you’re building a Mk.8, but less so for a 2 or 3. On the whole, though, they are excellent. I just wish they’d get down to Yeovilton and write Sea Fury & Sea Vixen volumes to accompany the Swordfish book. Your family story wasn’t written by Mark Twain, by any chance?
  9. I don't know; you'll have to ask a Junglie. As far as I know Pinger aircraft never used it (no point, since we could never lift enough extra weight to need it). I am old enough to recall the early HC4s when they came in, and they pretty much always seems to carry it then, but at some stage they stopped. I can't remember when I last sawoneit in the flesh on an RN cab.
  10. Lovely. Rare to see the lifting frame in use, so that adds something unusual. BZ
  11. Why stop at an electric fence? A minefield should do it. Maybe they turned you down because you weren’t radical enough? I paid a brief visit to the Yeovilton Concorde last week. Most of my time there was spent contemplating Naval, but the large pointy-nosed airliner is always worth looking at. Like all aircraft of her vintage, I am always struck by the mixture of technology. Even now she looks futuristic as a design - surely one of the most beautiful man-made objects ever - but when you get up close and personal she is (of course) full of 1960s technology, which somehow looks utterly incongruous as a result. I had the same experience at Cosford last year, when looking at the Buccaneer S1 nose they have (just don’t get me started on the bogus colour scheme...); somehow I didn’t expect a (fairly) modern military jet to be full of valves! I must visit Aerospace Bristol some time. If you see a man in his late 50s peering into your projectors, come and say hi!
  12. Or rather something that just didn’t happen in Alabama...
  13. Trumpeter 1/48 MiG-19PM Farmer E

    Ooh yes; love that dispenser! [How sad is it to get excited about a plastic tape dispenser...?] The Mig-17 is good too, I hasten to add! Really nice subtle panel variations; it's very easy to overdo that, but you seem to be doing it just right.
  14. Great start - already looking good. I have always liked the Rafale - it looks like it really means business, but wants to be stylish while doing so; very French!
  15. My Seafire 46 is now close to RFI, so time to start something else. I have been toying with a Seafire 47 - and will probably do it in parallel with this build; however, having got hold of the new Airfix 1/48 Walrus, I find I cannot resist working on R.J. Mitchell's other great aircraft of the war. I have always planned to build at least one of these at some stage, as part of my long-term project to build an example of every aircraft I flew (which doesn't include the Walrus!) and every aircraft my father flew (which does). He only flew Barracudas front line, so I started looking at training squadrons, and found this: AA5R / W3040 was an old warhorse (she'd flown from HMS King George V earlier in the war) which served on 751 Naval Air Squadron at HMS Condor (RNAS Arbroath, which also had a satellite field at Dundee). 751 was an Observers' training squadron - the equivalent of the modern 750, where Lookers are brought up to wings standard (navigation, r/t, weapons work etc). My father was on 65A Drake Course and got his wings in July 1944, before moving onto Speke and Ronaldsway for radar training (bearing in mind that airborne radar was a new thing at this point, and many front line types didn't have it), and then to Maydown in Northern Ireland (747 NAS) for Barracuda conversion, and then to 810 NAS on the front line at RAF Beccles, then Machrahanish, and then embarked in HMS Queen. I think there was more than one squadron at Condor; my father's logbook only mentions being appointed to Arbroath, but not a specific squadron number. He certainly flew several different types during his training; Swordfish, Albacore & Walrus at this stage, but also Anson, Stinson Reliant, Defiant, Proctor, Blenheim, Whitley - even an hour in a Wellington! Anyway, I knew that the Xtradecal AA5R was a likely candidate because every RN Observer trained in the UK went through that squadron at some stage (every other course was trained in Canada and/or in Trinidad, but Dad's flying was all in the UK). It's better than that, though: not just the right squadron, but the right aircraft - 27 April 1944, with Sub Lieutenant Ure up front, he flew W3040 for 2 hours on a Surface Reconnaissance Exercise (SRX). So clearly this is the airframe I am going to build. Having done the Seafire largely OOB to get my mojo back, this one is going to be a bit more embellished; I have the Eduard interior and exterior PE sets, plus masks (and of course the Xtradecal markings). If you are remotely interested in the "Shagbat", you will no doubt already have read that this new release is the best Walrus out there by a huge distance - it looks really, really good when you open the box. Like all CAD-era kits, fit is by all accounts very tight; keep paint away from joint lines etc. - but we are used to that in Wing Nut Wings etc., so why not Airfix. The only criticism I have seen of this kit so far is that there are a LOT of ejector pin marks on the inside; probably the price you pay for all that moulded rib detail. There are a lot of them - about 20 per side - but nothing that half and hour with a sharp No 10 scalpel blade and some careful scraping couldn't sort out. I did take some before and after photos of the ejector marks, but some advanced camera muppetry on my part means you'll have to take my word for it! Here is a general view of the inside of the aircraft; the "duckboard" floor parts are glued, as is the forward of the two major airframe ribs - the aft one is dry fitted. You can see how much detail Airfix have moulded in to this beast! In the pic above, you can see that I have removed 2 sections of the floor - one on the port side immediately aft of the second frame, and one on the starboard side immediately ahead of the first frame. That is to allow some extra Eduard detail goodness to fit (the one on the right is a mere 9 pieces of PE...) I have also started adding PE to the side walls - I have been doing a lot of planning to work out what to add before painting (because the interior is going to need a lot of paint and weathering work before I close it up). Finally for today, here is a closer shot of some of that PE, complete with some pencil marks on the side walls where other bits are due to go: More soon Crisp
  16. On the whole, these home-made masks are working pretty well. I haven't quite yet got the knack of completely avoiding tiny primer gaps between camouflage colours, but that's just practice. Vallejo continue their rehabilitation, though I have had one masking disaster when it removed a large section of paint. Despite that, as I use them more I like them more - and the colours look really good to my eyes. Here is the engine nacelle. The Sky is Tamiya XF-21 lightened with some light grey and a dash of white. The top sides are Vallejo 71.110 US Dark Gray (acting as EDSG) and 71.309 Dark Slate Grey. C few minor bits of bleed to touch up (this is not the easiest shape in the world on which to mask straight lines!), but by and large i'm pretty pleased with how this looks. IN some lights it can be hard to distinguish between the DSG and the EDSG, which is exactly how it looks in real life. More later Crisp
  17. A pair of Airfix Hawks in 1/72

    What good is sitting alone in your room? Come smell the etch and CA! My vortex gennies are minute New techniques are child’s play I got excited when I saw new Teeny-Hawk posts, only for my hopes to be dashed and my mind’s eye transported to a Weimar Republic Mud Mover in drag. It’s really not a good place. Steve, please come back!
  18. Yay, verily, the Trembling One overcame his fear and trepidation and produced a veritable feast of goodly folding. Even if he did call an Observer a Navigator...
  19. Westland Sea King HU5

    The Orange Crop controller in my Sea King has defied all attempts to glue it in position, and has detached itself during minor knocks to the model no fewer than 3 times - invariably just after the windscreen has been re-instated and carefully faired back into the paint job. Bill’s right; it happens to us all. Given the skill you have shown to get it to here, you’ll recover easily.
  20. I hadn’t thought of it before; you might just have given me a better plan, Ian. I could do it the other way up from Plan A - build & rug from the bottom up, leaving the upper surface til last. That would solve the float rigging issue, too. Worth thinking about more! Thanks
  21. The masking is fine - there is a lot of it, but what do you expect with odd-shaped bi-plane amphibians...? Fairey Delta 2 it ain’t! However, from here onwards the build is going to take a lot of planning. I’ve already said I want this model to look realist9cally shabby - like wot a Second Line veteran airframe probably could plausibly look after almost 5 years of war when she’d flown constantly. Then you have to factor in the rigging; she’s definitely going to be rigged (f’narr)... so you come to an issue of the order in which you do things. If build, clean up, prime, paint, weather (my normal M.O.), then you either have to paint & weather around the copious amounts of rigging (which would be really hard to do if you bear in mind that my weathering method of choice involves oil paint)... OR you have to rig it after you have finished the lot (which means glue [probably CA] on top of paint and a real challenge rigging some parts - notably the engine nacelle). Neither of those is a great option in my eyes. At the moment, therefore, I am experimenting. I plan to paint and at least partially weather the whole aircraft now - i.e. with fuselage complete, but wings still unbuilt. I have been really impressed by the excellent fit of this kit, so I’m rather relying on this remaining true with the wings. My current plan: - paint all wing parts - do at least some weathering - seal the finish with varnish - thread rigging through (already drilled) holes in upper wing - glue upper wings - using a combination of Airfix’s clever engineering of the struts and the bi-plane jig already shown in this build, build AND RIG all of wing assemblies, but 1) leaving the underside of lower wings off until rigging done, and 2) building wings separate from fuselage. I think this should work because of the peculiar lay-out of the Walrus; you can effectively build it in a modular way (much be;oved by ship modellers, which even now remains my first love). Module 1 fuselage with rigged engine nacelle and centre section of top wing; Modules 2 & 3 the wings. IF this works, the only realiy hard bit will be rigging the wing floats. But we’ll see! If the wing fit is rubbish and we need filler or sanding, then this won’t work. I foresee much dry fitting in my future!
  22. Sorry, @keefr22 - that’s what comes of trying to use shorthand. Yes, it’s Light SG as opposed to DSG; there is no EDSG. Having had a bad experience with Vallejo on my Seafire 46, they are in the Last Chance Saloon... but this time I have to say they’ve behaved impeccably up to now. A couple of drops of flow enhancer, but no thinners. I like the colours, certainly - especially since this is going to be quite weathered and battered, so these are basically just base coats on which to build. Once all done, it will be varnished to protect everything, and then out come the oils. I have always been a Tamiya paint fan, though my Sea King only really started to work properly once I switched to Mr Color. The only brand I really haven’t got to work at all is Hataka, but I know others who swear by them. My wife gave me two sets of this Vallejo FAA for my birthday, so I want to give them every chance - it’s a hard sell to chuck away a birthday present with crues of “this stuff is useless”. Besides, others get great results with Vallejo, so any errors are undoubtedly my rubbish technique!
  23. Rotary what dispenser? Sonobuoys, presumably. I suspect they might not have been quite so anal in the 60s, but in my era of Navy-ating there were strict rules about what you were allowed to dangle below aeroplanes (“cleared loads” etc - though admittedly that refers to stuf in carho nets underslung). It makes perfect sense that they’d take an existing pod shape that they knew worked, didn’t give turbulence probs etc (the rotary dispenser), and adapt it. I’d go for that shape, Bill @71chally, I totally agree about that spinner on XG882; just looks wierd! I’ve never really known why the spinner shape changed for the Mk.3; I’ve always assumed it must be something to do with view over the higher nose, especially for landings, but that’s a complete guess. There must ge some genuine reason; not even Faireys changed stuff just because they felt like it!