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About skippiebg

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    New Member
  • Birthday 18/07/1956

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  • Location
    Sofia, Bulgaria and London, UK
  • Interests
    Airliners, design engineering, scale modelling

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  1. AModel DH Comet 4B

    "This is the dichotomy I am faced with ..." Thomo, two points: 1. BEA and Olympic had an interchange agreement whereby some of the Olympic fleet wore BEA Black cheatlines and Olympic blue tails some of the time. Yet others had all-Olympic blue. (The opposite: BAE having Olympic blue cheatlines, is not known to have happened as far as I know. Truth be known, BEA owned all the aeroplanes and Olympic merely operated them on dry [mostly] lease.) 2. In the 1960s, the stranglehold designers had on corporate identity (in terms of precise colour, typographical, and layout specifications) was not as marked as it became later. I remember seeing Olympic and (even BOAC) aircraft painted up in what appeared sun bleached mid-blue, others in practically black blue, yet others in-between. Even today's best digital cameras can yield different blues as the colour of daylight changes, let alone any 50-60-year old reference. Upshot is, go with your gut feeling. Don't worry, be happy
  2. Collection of old, unused VEB kits - Question

    Join the club: Bulgaria in my case, difference being that Airfix, Heller and Matchbox 1/72 kits never did appear there until after 1990... You are right about the lack of a uniform scale. I'd like to add that the Trident is in the railway scale of 1/87th, while the Tu-114 is in the ever-popular (though oddly fitting) 1/114th scale... None of this scale madness or poor detail matters, of course, because these kits appeal either to nostalgic modellers wishing to revisit their uncritical and existential childhood years, or collectors who won't build them anyway...
  3. Collection of old, unused VEB kits - Question

    Oh, I remember that glass-hard shiny plastic! Fit to make your hair stand on end!
  4. Original panam 737 colours

    Err-r-r... you seem to have answered your own question here! The link refers to 26 Decals. Get the decal, and you'll also get a guide on how to paint the various bits and where to put the various designs from the decal, and probably also an historical guide on how the livery might have evolved with the years with tiny and not so tiny changes. So the point of another topic beats me..?
  5. Collection of old, unused VEB kits - Question

    "VEB" is indeed just a corporate abbreviation like "Ltd" or "Inc." and not the company name. The "pukka name" was Plasticart, but only for some of the company's existence, and it carried other names at different periods -- like KVZ... So, for better or worse, VEB has stuck with many as a generic name for 1/100-scale-mostly-arliner-East-German-kits -- a bit like "hoover"... I would agree entirely that accuracy, in outline or in any other sense, was never ever a notable (or even un-notable) virtue. Fidelity was like a rather poor version of a bad Heller, in a way... But all this doesn't matter a hoot -- the likely buyer is not a builder, but a collector or a certain age. I sold a similar lot of unbuilt Plasticart kits last April for I dare not say how much in euro. One tip, though -- it pays to look for Russian or East European (including German) collectors, and to dig a tad deeper than the Ebays of this world. Get Google working and in under ten minutes you'd know who to pitch! (I'd also suggest avoiding the one or two Transatlantic jokers who charge upwards of 80 bucks for any bit of plastic predating 1995.) And a very valuable find you have there, indeed! The dreadful Il-14 always fetches amazingly high prices, to an extent depending on factors like release date and state of preservation; but always high! The really rather crappy Il-18 also holds surprisingly high value. The Tu-104 is a cracker. The Tu-114 is another cracker. The DC-8 is another... And a Be-6, indeed -- probably the very nicest, most accurate, and most universal (1/72 scale) of all "VEB" kits! All in all, you don't have almost any dross or also-rans. Western Europe saw ample numbers of Tu-134 and Il-62 imports at different times, and plenty of Tridents for some reason. The Tu-154 was also common-ish (and here I refer to 1980-ish to 1990-ish releases only), but hilariously/notoriously only as a box; inside, there typically lurked an Il-62 (and no, Il-62 boxes did not hide Tu-154s!). The joys of Communist distribution Good luck!
  6. Viscount - looking for material

    Drawing old British airliners can be a harder call than old Soviet ones! I am having unbelievable trouble finding hard dimensional information on the Trident. Tried BAE Chester (who now hold Hatfield archives), BAE Heritage, BA Heritage, the Civil Aviatio Authority (who solicitously referred me to "modellers' groups interested in the subject"!), the Joint Airworthiness Authority, the British Library, the Science Museum, the de Havilland Technical School, the Public Records Office at Kew, the Imperial War Museum at Cosford (well, yess... they criminally destroyed the sole surviving Trident 1C in 2006, among much else), diverse groups at Duxford, diverse internet forums, Save the Trident, and a dozen others I can't now recall. I even had hilarious Google Translate exchanges with Chinese geezers who ended up sending me a Trident flight manual for MS Flight Simulator! Only the RAeS Library at Farnborough had anything -- and that no more than a 1964 sales book. Though modest, what the Heathrow Trident Collection turned out to have was a veritable goldmine that puts all the august bodies listed above to utter shame. Yet, even that is insufficient: for reasons best known to themselves, de Havilland/Hawker Siddeley fastidiously removed practically all but the most anodyne dimensional information from their publications. A de Havilland Tech School source tells me a couple of tonnes of Trident drawings might well have been simply dumped by a van driver en route from Hatfield to Chester some 35 years ago! (I did say "unbelievable" above!) Sorry to flood your Viscount topic with this, but I though it might raise a smile when talking of drawings...
  7. Viscount - looking for material

    Nige B is completely right -- there is pretty well nothing out there. Even Viscount brochures printed for Farnboroughs and Paris Salons show a basic shape with sparse detail. (They do show the 810 Series' assymetrical tailplane well, though. Sadly, I don't have them.) The 1970s A Handbook of the Vickers Viscount (a minor modellers' cult title at the time) copies some detail axonometric views of engines and gear from a manintenance manual, but fails to come up with a set of coherent drawings. I do have an early 1950s Vickers modelmakers' drawing of the early 700 (might even be of the pre-production 600 -- can't remember). It was ran by an unidentified British aviation mag of the period, in white-on-blue, sized about 8 in square. Shape looks okay-ish (for a tiny drawing), with a small scatter of cross-sections. But there is no detail _at_all_ -- not even of obvious and visible joints, let alone things like landing gear. The b***er is, I am moving house and the thing is buried G*d-knows-where. If I find it, it will be no earlier than next week. Below are some potted renditions (likely based on the sales brochures cited above) which the Aviaiton News draftsman probably took into account when doing his set. The rigging/dimensions drawing has sound figures, but is not to scale (or shape...) The 1950s/60s Aeromodeller drawings (with the brown tape through them) were state-of-the art before the Aviation News ones. Sadly, I have no larger sizes than these:
  8. Hi -- I started a topic, inserted some photos, and find that the text below the photos is underlined. I have not selected the underlining format option. I cannot remedy the problem. I tried selecting the underlined text paragraph-by-paragraph and switching underlining on and off; and also selecting all the text in the posting and switching underlining on and off. Wondering is the issue might only be visible to me, I logged off and on again. No joy... Please help -- thank you in advance! Incidentally, the affected text was also blue at first. I succeeded in making it black. But the underlining remains...
  9. Skyline (Airfix) A300B4-200

    You must be psychic! I just sold a Hasegawa SIA A300B... A cracker, as are all Hasegawa LoveLiners! I did photograph it to death before parting with it as part of my research for this project. Much of my Airfix work will involve recreating the Hasegawa in 1/144 scale
  10. Skyline (Airfix) A300B4-200

    Hi Jeff -- yes, had the Heller A300 some years ago, passed it on. Least said, soonest mended You are right on all the other points. I did a fair amount of research yesterday on the A300B and yes -- plenty of humps-and-dumps to add. I have them sketched out on a set of crisp-looking but not-too-precise Japanese drawings from a 1970s magazine. The build should be fun! I just hope it doesn't take an age, what with domestic chores...
  11. It is years since I have touched a model. I had to do something to calm the itch! But this thread might drag on and on: I have forgotten much! The aeroplane The docile Airbus A300B does not enthuse me as a modeller. But it has an easy shape and plenty of livery options. From a modelling viewpoint, it has two main iterations. The A300B was made from 1974 until the mid-80s. The rather different A300-600 was made between 1983 and the Noughties. The kits Airfix launched the first 1/144 scale kit of the A300 in 1974. Some 35 years ago, Revell launched a kit of the A310, a type quite close to the A300. A decade later, Revell kitted the A330 and A340, which also share the family nose. Later, Revell also launched a fine kit of the Airbus Beluga. The Beluga is an A300-600 'in drag' and covers some of the same ground as the Airfix A300B. A few years ago, Authentic Airliners kitted the A300B and A300-600. Last year, F-RSIN kitted the A300-600 with Revell Beluga wings, engines, and tailplanes. I find comparing different kits of similar/identical subjects lots of fun. There are also kits of the A300 in 1/200 and 1/125 scales (Hasegawa and Heller). The kit The Airfix kit represents the early A300B with the General Electric CF6-50 engine. It remains widely available at low prices. Crude by current standards, it captures the shape and geometry of the A300B superbly well. I do not want anyone else to do my modelling for me. Doing-up cruder kits can be a therapeutic pleasure! The Airfix A300B kit: My copy of the kit is a Daco Skyline repack. It has a good workmanlike box, a tiny set of instructions, and no decals The fuselage: critique Overall fit: I often start with the fuselage, since it -- and especially the nose with its 'facial features' -- is decisive to a model's appearance. (Sorry about the faux onyx table! I have no 'den,' so when I saw it languishing down the road, I couldn't resist dragging it home. It looks disgusting but has a wonderful, flat and forgiving rubbery top, and nice big castors.) Fidelity: Overlaid on a set of dimensionally correct but crude drawing, the fuselage stands up to scrutiny. The fin shows divergence, but the fault is with my 1970s Japanese drawing Windows debate: Airliner modellers are split on whether to endeavour with clear windows or fill them and cover them with decals. I am out of practice and the latter option ought to appeal. Morevoer, most aftermarket airliner decals feature printed windows (sometimes very lurid!), depriving 'clear-windowers' of choice. Even so, I cannot bring myself to like decal windows. I shall attempt to keep them clear on my A300B, with the filler-and-decal option as a reserve. The photo shows someting rare: windows whose size, shape, pitch, and elevation along the fuselage sides are all correct. Fore-and-aft location is wrong, however Facial features: There is some pleasurable sculpting to do before the A300 emerges from what is a fairly anodyne nose Planform fidelity: I sometimes cut out a planview template to check how true the shape is in that aspect. (Such templates are a mixed blessing: the line of maximum protrusion drops towards the nose, and drawings tend to be wrong as far as the rarely-sighted planform aspect is concerned.) The Airfix fuselage nosecone is a tad thick and does not fit the template. The nose gear well: Too shallow, as usual with Airfix. The angled aft end is wrong. Slight mismatches in length -- and flash -- indicate sloppy manufacturing discipline The tailcone: Airfix offers us a rather nice tailcone, but some sculpting is needed to bring out the real shape. In particular, the tailplane roots need to be subtly emphasised. The rear pressure dome area needs to be made circular in section (it is oblong on the kit). The tail bumper is in the wrong place for the particular machine I have in mind, though some of the very early A300s had it in the place Airfix indicates (a few even had two tail bumpers!) The fin: Airfix has represented the fin as a rather angular and crude structure with a stubby leading edge. The radius at the foot of the fin trailing edge needs to be deleted. The extreme tailcone and APU are rather sketchy and angular. They repay plenty of sanding The fuselage: work commences The face emerges: I sanded the nose until I was happy with the appearance. Two very large flattish surfaces extend aft between the side flightdeck windows and the forward cabin door on the real A300 (and A310, '330 and '340). A tiny and thin (under 0.25mm/10 thou) sliver of plastic card needs to be added to the small flat areas above the two windscreen panes to attain full fidelity with the original. But I am still at the material removal stage -- addition is yet to follow In plan?: After sanding, the nosecone fits the template like a glove. These checks, though a bit of a fetish of mine, can show up "handedness" issues that may arise through uneven sanding on both sides The tailcone: I chopped-off the tail bumper. More sanding brings out the roundness of the rear pressure dome area and emphasises the "muscle" at the tailplane root. Sight along a real A300's fuselage, and you cannot fail to see the bulge covering the tailplane's variable incidence mechanisms: see Airliners.net Aviation Photo #2201871 and #2191442 The fin: Sanding gives the slabby sides an aerofoil section. I use pencil lines to sight along the fin and check the emerging shape as I sand. The top of the extreme tailcone is sanded-through and will need filler... Please excuse the photo quality. (I use a supposedly super-duper smartphone camera which turns out to have a wideangle lens that distorts quite profusely. Trembly hands don't help, either!) The window 'belt': I have marked fore-and-aft adjustments. The foremost window is set at a closer pitch. In addition, I shall reduce the slope of the aftmost (angled) part of the window belt. The top of the three photos shows a pencil mark indicating where the wing-fuselage fairing has to be extended aft Just half an hour into the job, and the siren call of SWMBO interrupts the session... See you all anon! (Note: Can't seem to get rid of this underlining... Help!)
  12. Is there a Kits/Decals For Sale section..?

    Thank you, Greg! Just goes to show what a div I am...
  13. Hi -- I've searched to see if there is a For Sale or Exchange section on Britmodeller, but don't seem to come up with anything. Possibly, I am searching with the wrong words/phrases, borwsing through the wrong subforums -- or possibly there simply isn't such a section, never was, never will be. If the "never was, never will be" scenario applies, would I be allowed to post a for sale notice in an appropriate forum (civil aircraft), or would that be considered wrong? Selling even a single secondhand kit through Ebay is time consuming, troublesome and confusing, let alone selling 20 or 30... Fingers crossed BM has a For Sale section and I was being a wally as per usual, duh..!
  14. PAS A310 Discussion

    I was wrong about the bend being near 30 degrees. Still -- whatever... The kits still fail to represent the bend properly: http://
  15. PAS A310 Discussion

    Yeah... Pity their A300-600's nose is so wrong.