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Bedders

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About Bedders

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    South of the river

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  1. I remember those builds well Cookie, particulartly that NMF machine whose finish I must say was was quite inspirational. Justin
  2. V interesting Gwart; when mulling this project earlier I was thinking of slicing it differently, i.e. Complete Airfix D fuselage but grafting in the razorback top bit from KP, and adding the KP wing to finish. Someone ought to try that approach out and report back on how it went. In any case I like how you've got the B/C fin fillet built in. Justin
  3. I reckon the Mustang vs Spitfire debate will run as long as there are two pronunciations of 'tomato'. I love the Spitfire too. But there are reasons why I have a soft spot for the Mustang. First, for a Brit, there is always going to be a fascination for 'the other': Americans 'over here' doing extraordinary things etc etc. I was born near Debden, home of the Eagle Squadrons when they became the 4th FG, and this model will be a 4th FG machine. Second, the Merlin Mustang is in some ways the aeronautical counterpart (albeit in reverse) of an AC/Shelby Cobra - a British machine with a corking great US engine, and a combination which guaranteed it a place in the pantheon of motor sport greatness. And thirdly, an old friend (and ex-RAF chum) of my father's, not long dead, set about building a 1/72 Mustang from each fighter squadron of the 8th AF, and mighty impressive that collection was too. So my P-51s will scratch a few of those itches, and that's why I'm having so much fun with them. In the meantime I'm learning loads about 1/72 Spitfires from your great builds! Justin
  4. So I've been working away and made some progress. At the front, I've added a small plate of thin plastic sheet and filled & sanded it, to give the kit nose a bit more of a chin, which I think is lacking. The wings are only dry fitted, having placed a couple of shims in front of the wing to make sure it stays in the rearward position that I've chosen for it. I've also made good progress on the exhaust openings, which now take an Airfix shrouded exhaust snugly. The aircraft I am building had the unshrouded exhausts so I'll need to find a way to mount them in due course. You can also see the slightly fuller chin, which works for me. I chose at this stage to fit the rudder, with a new hinge-block in place as well as an actuator for the trim tab (on the other side) and a rear marker lamp from stretched sprue. Hopefully it'll stay in place for the rest of the build. In this view you can see that I've moved the outer gun opening inboard a touch, so that it's in line with the ejector chute which looks about right to me. I'll putty the appropriate wing panel lines in due course. One thing I haven't done is the little operation on the wheel wells to move the rear of the opening backward to the spar-line. I think I decided that was too much work given all the other stuff I was going to do to this kit, but now I kind of regret it. I'll see if I can do a trick with the paintwork when I get to that stage. I'm quite enjoying this build now. Once I'd made the leap that this would not be a straightforward job and I would have to take some risks to get what I wanted, my often-lacking patience seems to have been strengthened. The only pity is that given the amount of work involved, this will probably be my only P-51B for some time to come! Justin
  5. Steve, Interestingly the KP fuselage, particularly the nose, is a close copy of the Revell. I think (though haven't checked) that the Academy nose is the better of the two in profile, though the carburettor intake is a bit too smiley. These are the problems we face when trying to do B-model Mustangs. Airfix, please come to the rescue... Justin
  6. This is becoming quite a job: you start thinking you're all very clever having tackled certain tasks, when you realise there's another little issue which if you don't fix, it'll mean that the hard work you've put in already won't count for much. So the question now is at the front: the nose still looks a bit wrong and the reason is that the opening for the exhaust pipes is too high. This makes the whole nose look a bit small and unable to house a Merlin. The panel detail on this KP kit is very nice and sharp, but unfortunately it's inaccurate. What to do? I decided to be brave again and start carving up the nose. Again using the Airfix D as a guide, I rescribed some of the nose panels and deduced where the exhaust opening should be. Then I drilled out the inset mounting points for the kit exhausts and began to file the opening southwards, eventually filling in the top bit with some plastic card. I haven't tidied up the rounded front and rear of the openings yet, but I'll aim to do that with a needle file. I think though that the opening is now in a better place, giving the nose a more muscular look: Justin
  7. Some BMers may remember that for the last P-51 Group Build I tried to complete the hat-trick of a B-model, a D and an H in 1/72. The H was finished first, followed after the deadline by the D. The B, for which I was using the new-ish KP kit, never made it to the finish-line, and ultimately was ... reduced to spares. Why? Well, I wasn't convinced with the overall shape of the model, and eventually the project ran out of steam. But I still wanted a B to complete my set, so recently I set out to build another. The question of which is the most accurate 1/72 P-51B on the market has been debated in detail, including on these pages. Essentially there are four main options these days: Hasegawa, Academy, Revell and latterly KP/AZ. I won't go into the detail of the merits of each here, but the debate centres on the shape of the wings (particularly the leading edge kinks and wheel-wells, but also the chord and area) and the fuselages (noses, cockpits, radiators and tails). I read all of this and came to the conclusion that of the four, the KP remained the least bad, and in the absence of the Hawkeye Designs wing-correction for the Hasegawa, perhaps the easiest to correct. I won't pretend that this will turn out to be a perfect P-51B, but I'm going to do what I can to correct what I see as the main niggles with the KP kit, and have something that will look the part next to my Airfix D and the RS H. I like pretty much all the Mustang variants, but I have a soft spot for the less numerous models, particularly the B/C and H. And researching this project has been useful to learn about the main differences between the war-time Merlin models. My main bugbear with the KP kit was the shape of the fin-rudder, which leans forward from the vertical and gives he whole fuselage a sightly banana-shaped look, with the nose poking upwards far too much. There should be a gentle droop - not as much as on a Griffon Spitfire, but getting there. So that's what I'm going to start with. Here is the KP fuselage taped to an Airfix D-model, which shows the lean of the fin to good effect: I won't pretend that the Airfix is perfect, but it's not bad at all, and I'm looking for consistency in overall shape between the two. The length of both is similar, with the KP looking perhaps a tad short, though most of this is caused by the lean of the fin. Underneath, the KP's tail-wheel well is a bit far aft but otherwise the shapes don't appear too far apart. So, time to be brave and get the saw out: I took the fin off just above the elevator where I could get a nice clean cut, and repositioned it tilting slightly further back, using the Airfix as a template. In the photo the joins have not set fully as I was still getting the two halves to match both the Airfix template and each other. Here's where things got to: In the second photo I've tidied up he rudder post with some plastic card and it's being sanded to a uniform and vertical line. I've also started work on the cockpit, as I didn't like the shape of the kit's rear windows. And here I've built up the canopy frame for the Malcolm hood, onto which I'll eventually put some plasticard rails. In this view you can see the tidied up rudder post. Not glued yet but looking OK: At this stage I started looking at the second bugbear I have with this kit: the wing-fuselage join. With a leading edge link that extends less far forward on the B than that on the D model, but all other plan aspects of the two wings being similar, the point at which wing joins fuselage should be further back on the B. But it isn't on this kit. I couldn't work out why: was it that the firewall was positioned too far aft on the KP? No - it's in the same place as the Airfix D. It was then that I noticed that the trailing edge of the B kit was positioned about 1mm forward of where it was on the Airfix D - so the whole wing is located too far forward on the KP. By moving it back about 1mm, it will be in the same place as on the airfix D, and the leading edge wing-fuselage join will be in a better place. Here's a rough first fit, with the wing-root sanded back a touch to meet the wing in the new position slightly aft. To me it looks better: This photo also shows that I've started on bugbear No 3: the over-pronounced double-bubble shape below the spinner on the cowling. I've given that a bit of filler and sanded it back, and will give it a bit more treatment before rescribing that panel line. In the meantime I've put the cockpit and other internals together - basically OOB with some masking-tape seatbelts: Almost ready to stick the two halves together. Another update soon. Justin
  8. Chipmunks please, for the new AZ kit. God's Own Scale of course. And how about a selection of early US ANG types: F-47Ds, F-51Hs, F-86s etc? 1/72 again... Justin
  9. Looking forward to the next trio Cookie, particularly the 21. Between you & me, I'm rather taken up by Mustngs at the moment, but hope to do a Griffon Spitfire soon so I'm following your builds with interest. Justin
  10. B L I M E Y. That XIX is gorgeous. Justin
  11. Bill? 1/32? Maybe I need stronger glasses. Whatver, I'm in for a big Spitfire. Justin
  12. Lovely job Cookie - great to see it finished alongside the photo of the real thing. Looks spot on next your excellent XIX. Justin
  13. Good luck with that. Please produce the canopy in two parts though (i.e. separate windscreen). I could certainly wait a bit longer for that! Justin
  14. Really nice. Love the colour variation on different parts of the airframe. Pity these are now history. Justin
  15. Fair do's. Must say I'm quite taken with the Burmese XVs, as these de-navalised ones are like Spit XIIs but with symmetrical radiators. And therefore even more pleasing shape-wise, at least to my eye. Justin