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Graham In Oz

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About Graham In Oz

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  • Birthday 01/07/1962

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    Armidale, New South Wales
  1. Donaldson International Britannia **FINISHED**

    I would absolutely love to see the stages in this thread, but (for me) all of the images appear as broken links. How sad! Any chance of fixing it? (If you need somewhere to host them that won't vanish overnight, I have an Amazon S3 account and would be happy to host them).
  2. Progress update. Started work on the fuselage. Because of the fairly poor engineering of the kit, I decided to add some plasticard strips to help align and reinforce the joint. I also added a vertical tube with a neodymium magnet CA'd into the bottom. The idea is so that when the model is finished, I can make up a matching magnetic stand that will display the model in a flight attitude but without any slot or hole for the stand being needed. Neat idea, huh? We'll see if it works. So the fuselage halves were glued together and the plasticard worked quite well - I was able to get the seams more or less aligned without a great deal of trouble. I added some lead weights to the cockpit area so it'll sit on its wheels, and filled all the seams. I forgot to take photos during all that work, so here's the fuselage after fitting the windscreen and main wheel doors, levelling all the seams and adding filler where needed and sanding it all back smooth, and rescribing panel lines. I also started to add some of the PE details to the fuselage, like the ventilation louvre above. This involved cutting out a rectangular hole in the fuselage as the PE part is actually a small box section. The first one was a little rough, hence the copious filler. The other two went better. This shows the second louvre fitted, but before filler was added around it. There are also 3 NACA ducts in PE to fit, hence the rough scraped area. I added one of these - fiddly beyond belief. I'll add the other two another day. I also made further progress on the wings. Though the kit engineering is crude in places, some parts are very finely moulded - the wings being a case in point. The plastic is super thin, and with all my cutting to modify the flaps, I was concerned that they wouldn't have much stiffness and would tend to warp. So, just in case, I glued in some small brass tube "spars" on the inside of the upper half of the wings with CA glue to make sure they stayed completely straight. This may have been an unfounded concern, but it was only a small extra step. Then the wing halves were joined and the exposed rear of the flap wells were patched up with a thin piece of plasticard. Since the PE parts include a lot of details for the main wheel wells that I won't be using, I decided to repurpose them to add some bogus details to the back edge of the flap wells. While these will be almost impossible to see when it's finished, if anyone does take a peek in there at least there's something other than a flat surface. The brass "spar" can just be seen inside the engine pylon slot. With the flaps dry fitted and some plasticard secondary flaps inserted, the eventual look of the wing can start to be seen: The sharp-eyed obsessives among you will notice there's no central flap track "spur" yet fitted. So voilĂ , here they are: These will need a bit of filler and shaping once the very fragile joins have fully cured. So that's about it for this week. Thanks for looking!
  3. You are absolutely right - the leading edges should be extended in this configuration. The question is how to actually model it. If I can find some plastruct bits that can go together (with some filler) to get the shape and simply add them 'on top', I'll do that, but if it means cutting out the slats from the kit, I'm reluctant due to the structural integrity problem, and I may decide it's just too hard. Here's one of my reference images, which shows the overall appearance I'm going for:
  4. Hi, new member here. The Story (feel free to skip) I am getting back into modelling after a brief suspension of, oh, about 41 years. I'm pretty sure the last model I built was in 1977 - I can't remember doing any in 1978 - that would have been an 1/72nd A6E Intruder... Back then I was in my teens, and a prolific if not exactly pro standard modeller. I'd model anything and everything, mixing all eras, scales, nearly always OOB, and they'd all end up festooning my bedroom ceiling gathering dust. After leaving home my parents reclaimed my room and unceremoniously dumped the lot; I don't think any survive. I started the hobby back in 1973, inspired by the jets I saw streaming out over our newly moved-to house in Hemel Hempstead. These were the Comets, Boeing 720s, 737s, Britannias, BAC 1-11s, and the best of the lot - the Court Line L-1011 TriStar that was brand new to Court and the UK that year. These colourful jets really made an impression on me, with that characteristic RB211 growl still at under 2000ft as they took off out of Luton over our house and school. Me and a friend would cycle up to Luton and gawp at the jets taxiing past the chainlink fence that marked the 'spectator area' in those days. I loved the Court liveries, they seemed so exciting and modern back then, and the TriStars were especially awesome. My planespotting friend and I vowed to become pilots. He did, I didn't - he now flies for EasyJet from Luton. I just write software. Anyway those planes inspired me in other ways, and one of the very first models I built was the Airfix TriStar. Of course it had to be in Court markings, not whatever the kit came with back in those days (maybe Air Canada?). I had no idea. There were no aftermarket decals available, and even if there were I wouldn't have known about them. I hand-painted the lot (with brushes) using approximations to the colours from the Humbrol range. The result was over garish, with horrible hand-painted cheat lines (not even masked). Gloss paint onto bare plastic, dust and fingerprints everywhere, seams unfilled. Yup, the typical rushed effort of a 11-year-old with no skills or patience. Still, I was happy enough with it. I did improve over the years, and the Intruder I built as my last effort to date was done pretty well I think (I owned the extremely crappy Humbrol hobby airbrush by then, powered by canned air). In thinking of restarting the hobby, I decided to see what was around on this internet resource thingy we have today, and discovered there are now aftermarket decals for the Court Line liveries. I also discovered this site, thanks to the inspirational efforts of others who have also 'done' the Court Tristars. In the intervening years I've forgotten a lot of the skills I'd gradually acquired, for what they were ever worth. But also, there are lots of new products and support for the hobby that I wasn't aware of back then. And of course there are a million YouTube videos to help learn how others do it - back in the day I rarely met other modellers, and I was usually ahead of where they were at (which nevertheless isn't saying much). The Model OK, so I have my subject. Initially, my first thought was simply to retread my steps and do the Airfix L-1011. I ordered one, but in the meantime thanks to this site and others I discovered that the Airfix version is not considered very accurate, and so I was advised (thanks Phil and Skodadriver) that the Eastern Express kit might be a better starting point. Once it arrived I compared the two and I can see that the Airfix one does have numerous shortcomings, so it was sound advice. The Eastern moulding also has excellent fine surface detail, though the overall quality of the parts fit and engineering is crude compared to Airfix. Still, I'll manage. I want to bring myself up to speed with the more realistic modelling that is in vogue these days (may have been back then, but I tended to build to a relatively pristine, unweathered finish), use a proper airbrush, photo-etch add-ons, extra detailing and scratching where needed to build something a bit more interesting. But also, since I'm so rusty, an airliner is a relatively simple build that shouldn't end up going unfinished due to overextending myself. But having said that, I decided to build it as if on short finals, with all the flaps hanging out, as that was often how I saw the plane in real life (or else shortly after take off). There's enough work in cutting out the flaps and building up additional details in the flaps mechanisms and undercarriage to make this a pretty good challenge. I'll also be using the Authentic Airliners decals for the windows, 26 Decals for the livery, and the Metallic Details PE kit. So I've made a start by tackling the most difficult bit (I think) first - the flaps. I carefully cut the flaps from the kit wings and used them with added styrene to build up the deployed flap shape. I then added the track fairings to the ends and shaped them. Using piano wire I made up the tracks/mountings. These will be hidden with some further styrene work and an added second upper flap (still to make), and some detailing on the exposed wing internals. At this stage I'm in two minds about the leading edges. I would like to set them deployed, but I'm not sure how to do it. Cutting out the leading edges of the wings would leave them with no material to join the upper and lower halves very well, so I'd prefer to simply add something over the top of the existing parts. Or I may end up deciding it's not worth the trouble. If anyone's actually interested in this build, I'm very keen to hear all possible advice and criticism - I want to do the best I can, but after so long there are probably good ways to do things that an experienced modeller can point out that I wouldn't be aware of. So please don't hold back if you see me doing something stupid, or think there's a better way to accomplish something. I'm hoping the build will take 6-8 weeks, work and other things permitting, but knowing me it'll probably overrun the estimate.
  5. EE Lightning F1

    Wow, this is superb - nice job! Isn't this the Lightning Clarkson had delivered to his front lawn in one episode of Top Gear? I also recall it was the same one that was parked just inside the main gate at Booker for a few years in the late 90s - I did my PPL there at that time and we had a good crawl over it one day. It wasn't in great shape at that time, and seemed to be headed for being turned into spares to help other restoration projects. Not sure what happened to it after that. Edit: seems it's in good hands after all: http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/lightning/survivor.php?id=31 (and it was Speed, not Top Gear).
  6. Tower Bridge Hunter - Airfix 1/72

    Pardon me if this seems a stupid question or three, but isn't Halton a grass airfield with no hard runways? How did the jets land? Or were they OK to use grass? Or am I wrong and they did have hard runways...? My only connection with the place is driving past once in a while... and using the Halton NDB when flying Cessnas out of Booker.
  7. Thanks Phil, appreciate your comments. I must admit this is a big learning curve - I've been spending the last few evenings avidly bringing myself up to speed on all the latest techniques and products for modelling. It's very likely not much is all that new, but it's new to me - goodness! I wonder how we even managed in the 70s without the internet. Anyway, I want to do the very best I possibly can, so I've ordered the Eastern kit as a basis and will leave the Airfix one for now. I've also ordered the window decals as Dave suggested and also a photo etch sheet for some additional details - in particular the engine fans which in the Airfix's case are rudimentary to say the least. The Eastern ones may be better, but I haven't got them yet. I was originally going to do it wheels up, but I think I've changed my mind as the photo etch sheet has some undercarriage details and it would be a shame to waste them. I'm also toying with the idea of cutting out the flaps and doing it in landing config... That might be a bit ambitious for first a build after so long though. It'll probably be a month or two before I can get started properly, and when I do I'll start a WIP thread - I have a feeling I'm going to be needing a fair bit of advice. Also - getting well ahead of myself here - is there any kit to build 1/144 BAC 1-11 500s? The old Airfix one is the -100 I believe, maybe it can be stretched using a second kit...
  8. One very small thing to point out since I'm researching this livery and the Tristar generally, is that there is a 6th flap fairing/rail right next to the fuselage, painted white. Not a criticism, just a small detail that seems to have been missed. It's visible in these photos:
  9. That looks fabulous! If mine turns out half as well I'll be very pleased. I wasn't aware of the Eastern kit - turns out it's considerably less expensive than most Airfix available, at least here in Australia once shipping is factored in (though I have the Airfix already). I'm also coming to the realisation of how flawed the Airfix model is (something that passed me by as a 10yo). I may take your advice and go for the Eastern kit instead. Since it doesn't have window apertures, that would settle that question really - and the decals you've used look brilliant. While I'm still planning on doing Halcyon Days, yours is very inspiring. May end up doing both - in fact a diorama of Luton '73 floated into my mind... not sure how kindly the wife will take to that idea! How did you settle on the TS-25/RAL 3017 though, just eyeballing from photos?
  10. This is really nice! I just joined the site (first post) because I saw this model here and want to build one of my own. I have not built a model since 1977, though I had reached a fairish sort of standard back then. A TriStar in Court livery was one of my earliest models, age 10, because I used to see these aircraft flying out from Luton and over my house and school (I lived in Hemel at the time). The model is long gone, along with Court, but I remember fondly cycling up to Luton to watch these wonderful planes in '73. My Court model was terrible - brush painted with no proper colour references, no care for the dust it picked up, and all the markings and cheat lines hand painted. As a 10yo I loved it, but it was shocking as you can imagine. Anyway, I'm going to give it another go, 45 years on. These days I have far higher standards! I have acquired the Airfix TriStar which was also the kit I originally built, and the 26 Decals sheets for both Days and Breeze. I'll probably just build Days and see how it goes though. I imagine there have been a few developments in the world of modelling since those days, and I have a few questions. If anyone would like to chip in with advice, I'm all ears. First, colour references. I'd like to ask the original poster what paints he used and what references he used for colours? The images to be found online from those days show such colour variations they're not a very reliable standard to go by. The sheet that comes with the 26 Decals is a colour photocopy so not really a reliable reference there. I have the book 'Colours In The Sky' which reproduces some paint guide sheets from Lockheed on the inside covers, but these are just fragments. But it would suggest that such references exist. Maybe I should write to Lockheed? The other question I have regarding colours is the upper wing surfaces. My recollection is that these were the light yellow, but the 26 Decals sheets says white, and that has been followed by modellers too. My memory may be faulty, or it may be that I never saw the upper surfaces, and always just assumed yellow - the geometry of the plane makes them almost impossible to see from ground level, and I can't find any photos or video that conclusively shows the upper surfaces either. I see one response here from someone who used to work for Court on these planes - maybe he will recall? (The Gemini Jets diecast model in Court livery has the upper wing surfaces in the mid-orange colour, further adding to the confusion). One of the problems back in the day was dealing with the windows. If a decal covered them, it had to be painted, applied and pierced before fitting the clear transparencies, or else leave the transparencies out altogether. I recall there was a product to 'reglaze' the window apertures from the outside after assembly - is that still used? With the Court livery it's less of a problem because no decal covers the windows. I'm thinking I could airbrush the window area before assembling the fuselage halves, fit the transparencies and then keep the window line masked off for the rest of the build. What do you think? The 26 Decals come with decals for the windows - is that the usual solution to this these days? And given the trouble the OP had with the decals - no wonder given the complex curves they have to follow - I'm wondering how things have changed in 40 years. Are there products to soften and seal the decals? If someone would like to bring me up to date with the state of the art I'd be grateful - I want to do the best I can. Finally, another thing that used to be less than satisfactory 'back in the day' was painting natural metal surfaces. The basic old Humbrol Silver paint never looked correct. So I'm wondering what products might now exist to give a really bright natural metal finish. Any and all responses received with thanks! cheers, G. P.S. Should I take this to another thread? Maybe once my build is underway/finished...