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maltadefender

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Everything posted by maltadefender

  1. Hi all, I've yet to get into the attic to retrieve my kit so for starters here is a little on the subject matter. I'm going to build the latest Hurricane Mk.I Trop kit from Airfix and attempt to do so in the colours of my wife's great-uncle, Pilot Officer John Sidney Southwell, who was killed in Malta early in 1941 at the height of the first Luftwaffe onslaught on the Island between the 'Illustrious Blitz' and the departure of the Germans in readiness for Operation Barbarossa. Having joined the RAF in February 1939, Southwell served with 245 Sqn in France during the 'Phoney War' and he was shot down near Brussels on 17 May, making his way back rather promptly from the forced landing. He shared a probable Do-17z over Dunkirk and remained with 245 Sqn throughout the Battle of Britain. He was next assigned to 274 Sqn in the Western Desert and I am using these photos taken at the right period to base my build upon. These are shots of 274 Sqn aircraft in Temperate Land Scheme during the winter of 1940-41: On 17th March 1941 a flight of the squadron was detached to Malta to reinforce 261 Squadron. On 22nd March eight Hurricanes of 261 took off to meet ten Ju88's approaching Grand Harbour with a Me109 escort. In the ensuing engagement, five of the Hurricanes were shot down, including V7799 flown by Southwell. All five pilots were lost. I knew that my father-in-law had three uncles in the RAF and I think they all flew fighters. We went to Malta on honeymoon in early 2010 and only found a grave marked Southwell by accident when I was looking for Alex Mackie in Capuccini Naval Cemetery - sure enough, this was the brother who did not come back. I'll dig out the photos from Capuccini as well when I have a moment. The 274 Sqn aircraft were dispatched in haste and there certainly wouldn't have been an opportunity to repaint them under the sort of bombardment that the Island was under at the time. We know that the serial of the Hurricane that P/O Southwell was shot down in was V7799 (whether or not this was a 274 or 261 aeroplane originally is a moot point for which any pointers would be welcome). Either way, I think it's safest to stick with TLS and a Night port wing without any squadron codes or identifying letters. A bit of weathering down below but fairly light touch on top by the looks of things and it won't be far wrong. Thanks for reading, I'm looking forward to the build.
  2. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    Well, Matchbox was always fêted for its bipes so here we go with a rather breathless build of the lovely old Fury. This could go one of two ways... Here is the kit: Time to read the instructions... quickly!
  3. Hawker (Siddeley) GB Chat

    Hello everyone, I just squeaked my two builds for the Matchbox GB under the time limit and have a bucketful of Hurricanes to get built. I'd like to start with my wife's great-uncle's aeroplane... or at least something which will hopefully be as close as educated guesswork allows. A full bio can be found here so what I've got to do is interpret what V7799 would have looked like in March 1941 and then build it using the Airfix 1/48 Hurricane Mk.I Trop (new tool). Both Pilot Officer Southwell and his aeroplane were from 274 Sqn in Egypt and dispatched to reinforce 261 Sqn at the height of the first Luftwaffe assault on the Island. My feeling is a pretty secondhand looking Temperate Land Scheme with Vokes, I'm not sure if there would have been time or will enough to overpaint Sky with Sky Blue on the undersides, as was generally preferred in Malta, given the gravity of the situation at that time. All thoughts welcome! Many thanks, MD
  4. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    I fixed her up and the results are in the Gallery - not quite as magically true as she was first time - and put the matt coat on where needed. Radio wires added. She's done. It's been an absolute pleasure to build both this kit and the Gladiator. Thank you all for your company and thanks to the hosts - it was a fun one!
  5. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    Sorry it all went a bit quiet. It's been a bit mad on all fronts with an ill wife, some interest in employing me and three kids on half term. I didn't quite manage to get the radio aerials done in time, but got her as finished as i could today and photographed her outdoors in moody winter twilight. Thanks for sticking with me and thanks to the guys for a very enjoyable GB. More in the gallery...
  6. It's one of my all-time favourite aeroplanes and not one that I've ever managed to build properly - so why not try and do one in a week? Yes, it's the Gloster Gladiator as my second and final entry in this GB. My first attempt at a Gladiator was with the old tool Airfix kit. It went together OK but looked rather anorexic. My second attempt at a Gladiator was the 1/48 Roden Sea Gladiator which collapsed into a gluey blancmange. Third time lucky? Let's hope so with the old Matchbox kit repopped by Revell: If my Hawker Fury was anything to go by, I hope that this will be a confidence-building experience. I've got all manner of decals for Gladiators but given the time available I'm going to stick with an all-silver pre-war scheme. The question is: which one? All have their merits and all will be done at some point. As I've done the silver-and-yellow Fury I feel it would be quite nice to come up with something that complements it. I fell in love with the Gladiator as a small boy on my first visit to The Shuttleworth Collection when their example was in 72 Sqn colours, so that has appeal... ... but the 73 Sqn scheme of 'Cobber' Kain that Shuttleworth's Gladiator wears today is a lot more attractive to my eye, and I've got those decals in the new tool Airfix kit... ...and then there's the 87 Sqn scheme that is in my Pavla upgrades box... ...and as a final choice there's the 3 Sqn decals which come with the Revell kit. It's plain silver all over but I love the art deco '3' for the tail. So while I'm getting on with building a standard silver Gladiator I'm going to throw this one open to the floor with a poll. Which scheme would you like to see in the Gallery next weekend? All thoughts gratefully received.
  7. Matchbox Gallery

    Matchbox PK-8 Gloster Gladiator Mk.I Completed from the Revell reboxing using the Pavla decal sheet markings for 87 Sqn 1938, with additional research on the colours by Rowan Broadbent at Pheon Decals. Brush painted using Tamiya flat aluminium as the base shade and flat blue for the rest of the airframe, rigged using drill'n'fill technique and EZ Line fine gauge. Still a cracking little kit with a lovely outcome. Made for idiots like me to get a reasonably straight and true biplane! Build thread is here.
  8. Matchbox Gallery

    Matchbox PK-1 Hawker Fury Mk.I Built straight from the Revell re-box using brush-painted Tamiya acrylics (mainly flat aluminium and chrome silver). Rigged using EZ Line (fine). Drill'n'fill technique. Build thread is here. A gem of a kit that's still really rewarding.
  9. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    The poll has closed on the choice of schemes and it's K8027 of 87 Squadron that's the winner by one vote, using decals from the Pavla set. Having confirmed with the Broadbents of Pheon renown, I'm going to follow their guidance on the colours as Rowan's research is excellent in these very matters. According to Rowan, after it became a Flight Commander's aeroplane, the blue areas of the scheme were increased onto the horizontal stabilisers and the 'hump' behind the cockpit glazing to make K8027 look like she does in the attached pic from the top of Pheon's excellent Gladiator decal set. So that's how mine will be too. My only deviation will be to retain the propeller from the kit with its nose cap securely in place. Thank you to all who voted and have taken the time to read this far in the thread.
  10. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    Disaster! Overnight we were awoken to a crash. A mirror had fallen off the wall and fortunately not smashed because it had a soft landing - on my Fury! It was only a small mirror but it took a lot of stuff down with it. In view of the carnage the little Fury got off relatively lightly but it's the troublesome undercarriage that bore the brunt. Fingers crossed I can get it repaired and photographed ASAP.
  11. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    I'm done for tonight. Wings are on and the cabane struts have rigging. The engine is done and awaiting its chance to go on. The habitual problem of having interplane struts joined together in a single piece is that you can see the 'cheat bar' in its recess in the wing. I thought that I had shaved enough off these ones but the camera is a cruel mistress, so that will be a job for tomorrow, shaving them down. All in all, though, it was a productive evening and I'm happy with it.
  12. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    A little update... Here's the top wing mounted and aligned using the cabane struts. I've now put a second coat of aluminium on around the guns and painted them as they're going to be behind a cars cradle of rigging soon. I've finished detailing the engine and started painting the prop. I'll get those bottom wings on soon.
  13. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    Good point, well made! Top wing's on and the centre section struts are rigged. I'll put the bottom wings on and touch the engine up while I'm at it.
  14. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    Thanks, Steves! Will see how the poll shakes down tomorrow. In the meantime I started work yesterday with the cockpit and pilot, painting the engine, the cockpit canopy, the radiator and the exhausts. I've also been drilling the holes for threading my rigging through - as a result of which I now have a hole in my right index finger from drilling with only a miniature bit! Should at least remind me to buy an appropriate drill for said bit in future! Not least because there are lots more holes on a Gladiator than on a Fury. Anyway, here are the pics so far: As per the Fury I shall put the centre section together first and put the top wing on there, then fit the bottom wings and interplane struts. There's been quite a bit of flash to get rid of and one small disaster when clearing excess from the chat-outs in the cost for the struts to go through. The silver plastic is very brittle and the rear corner just popped off with very little pressure. I'll have to use filler to cover up the hole before painting. So far it could be worse I think...
  15. PK-8 Gloster Gladiator - one week build!

    Thanks Dave - well there's the MTO and the Carrier GBs still to come. I hope to get three Malta Glads done this year!
  16. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    I didn't start the Gladiator. But the decals are all on the Fury now. I'll let them dry overnight and tomorrow before softening them and will clear coat her and do the radio wires on Monday. Work on the Gladiator starts in the morning with fresh eyes.
  17. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    She stands! I've put Klear on ready for the decals and I've left the radio wires off until the decals, final touch-ups on the paint and the clear coats are done. But she is definitely looking like a little Hawker. Think I'll start work on the Gladiator while I'm waiting to put the decals on.
  18. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    Panic over. Just! I managed to prise away the rear of the u/c legs from their superglue mountings, carefully chip the glue away from the mounting points and then drill new holes wider and deeper. If she was 1:1 size you'd think twice about trying to land her but in 1/72 I think she'll pass. I'll post photos this evening when hopefully the build part will be complete and she'll be ready for a bit of touch-up before decals go on.
  19. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    The rigging's all done and I'm delighted with it BUT I'm now having issues with my undercarriage. Brings a tear to the eye, you know. Being a repop, the moulds aren't quite as crisp and fresh as once they were and the u/c legs just don't fit their niches. In some desperation I used superglue to pin the rear mounting points in place but I can't for the life of me get the front legs in straight or even to adhere - not even with superglue! I shall continue puzzling over that one because I've got one shot left at it before it ruins the locating area. Deep breath...
  20. Yes please for me - I've got the 1/72 Revell kit and the aftermarket parts needed to make my old friend 'Lanny' Łanowski's bird.
  21. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    Here's the latest update on the itty-bitty Fury. It's still an absolute pleasure to put together and for whatever quirk of the eye - or my eyes anyway - the yellow stands out more on it than if it were an all-over scheme. I wish more manufacturers had engineered their biplane struts in this way. I have only once in a blue moon managed to get everything straight and true with individual struts and more often than not I've had to bin the entire model when it collapses in a gluey mess. Playing to the strengths of the design (and knowing full well my own inadequacies), I went a bit off-piste and plonked the top wing on the central struts first (using superglue), then stuck the bottom wing on. Finally I put the interplane struts in, which clicked into place very crisply indeed. It might not be a design for the purist modeller, but I would much rather have something finished and on my shelf to be proud of in my own little way than have a mess in the bin while I sit there and wonder why I don't like making jets instead. There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be doing the Gladiator as well after this.
  22. Going all-out for 10 GBs this year. Fingers crossed.

  23. Hawker (Siddeley) GB Chat

    I have a glut of Hurricanes to get done. Would be glad of the chance to thin them down a little please.
  24. Me too please. I've got a SPAD S.VII that is aching to be built, greatest kit I ever did as a kid, plus a Mosquito I think.
  25. Hawker Fury Mk.I

    A small pause for thought... and dry fitting... allowed me the first chance to take piccies of what may just turn out to be a Hawker Fury. I'm delighted with the difference in tone between Tamiya's Chrome Silver and Flat Aluminium. It's subtle but it's there. And it doesn't have any weird creases in it, which bare metal foil would if it was left to my tender ministrations. Yellow remains an absolute swine to paint evenly with a brush... it's all done with hairy sticks by the way. I don't own an airbrush and aerosols would send this little thing into the middle of next week. But for all that it's a lovely old kit, is PK-1 (as it still says on the sprue). It's quite confidence inspiring for a biplane. Hopefully she won't tempt me into over-confidence. Step-by-step I'm hoping to get to the stage where I will dare to have a run at my Pegasus S.E.5, which needs its interplane struts to be cut by hand from a strip of plastic. For now, though, I'm happy to have everything pre-aligned and with just a modicum of flash to trim off! Next jobs are to run the drill bit through the holes I made last night to reopen them after painting. Then I'll start building proper. With glue and everything! Yours optimistically...
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