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Found 39 results

  1. After building several 1/48 jets, many RAF, I really fancied adding a different jet to the range. After thinking about it for a bit I settled on an HS-125 Dominie. Trouble is no one does a 1/48 Dominie kit. There are a few desk models about but not a lot more. So I should have given up there really. Then I got a 1/72 plan and copied it up in size, and put it away for a year or so. Then dug it out again & worked out the central fuselage would be about the size of a plastic waste pipe. and I started wondering what it would look like. So what size would it be built up? Some cardboard and some messing about came up with this: Then started on the back end in plasticard. I am planning to put circular formers in and overlay strips of plasticard. Then build it up with some P38 car filler to try to make the shape So one quarter of a back bit started. No idea if this will really work or if I have the skills to do it. All advice and tips gratefully received as I clearly don't know what I am doing or am taking on! Oh, and if you know a Dominie well, please look away now. I don't wish to cause offence.
  2. Hello, I am new to this site and this is my first post - so please forgive any technical errors in what may follow... I used to scratchbuild model aeroplanes when I was a kid. After many years of building 1/48 kitsets I decided to have another go a scratchbuilding the old fashioned way, just for fun. I am in the process of building a 1/48 scale Mig 15 bis from scratch (with one or two aftermarket parts to speed things up a bit). I hope you enjoy following along. I'm hoping to have the project finished early 2017. Here are the plans I am using - graciously provided by a well-known aviation modelling magazine. it's a good idea to photocopy the plans several times before you start - you will need plenty of copies. Note that this set of plans also came with an underside view - it's just not in this shot. I also have a few books and articles on this subject - but I'm definitely no 'rivet counter' so I'm not going to allow myself to get bogged down in too much research. If you like laser accurate models - look away now - this one will be 'good enough' and that'll be that! Note the presence of the cross section profiles on the plans- they are very important. I selected a good piece of wood - straight grain no knots - in this case very hard Jarrah from Western Australia, but I daresay any decent strong wood with a straight grain should be fine. I like to use hard wood - never balsa - because hardwoods hold any carved detail better, they provide much needed structural strength and are less susceptible to surface damage such as scratches and dents. Cut out the relevant drawings and stick em on. I used PVA glue; nothing fancy - but if anyone can suggest a better alternative I'm all ears. Carefully Cut around the paper profile using a bandsaw, you could use a fret saw but a bandsaw saves a lot of time. in this shot the side profile is cut but the wood not removed (note the scalpel blade stuck in the cut as a marker for the photograph- I don't remove any wood until both profiles are cut as it's much easier to run the bandsaw against a smooth surface and not the contour left from the first cut. I also leave surplus wood beyond the end of the fuselage (both tail and nose). This excess wood can be used as a handle during some of the subsequent work. After both cuts are made you have the rough shape, in both side view and plan view of a Mig 15 fuselage. It doesn't look like much at this point - but stay tuned - with a bit of luck it will get a bit better over time.
  3. If you've followed this in WIP, then you'll be aware of the background to this build/upgrade, but if you haven't then briefly, I originally built this Tamiya Cromwell around 11-12 years ago as a first 1/35th build. A couple of years ago, I revisited the build and stripped it down as far as I could and then rebuilt it as a later model Mk.lVf. So this was the starting point.............. .................and this is what I ended up with. BTW. Sorry about the 1/1 scale cobwebs!! John.
  4. Hello All, I have been permitted to bring my long-running scratch-build of the Fairey Long Range Monoplane across from the WIP section, here. I have reached the point where I almost have a set of basic parts. This has been a long time in the making - I first acquired a pile of reference material in 1997 for a flying version (didn't happen), and I've been working/stalling on this project for over two years. Hopefully being part of a GB will keep my posterior in gear so I can finish it! The Fairey Long Range Monoplane was built to capture the world distance record, powered by a single Napier Lion engine. Two were built - the first one crashed in an attempt, but the second one succeeded, setting a record of 5,309mi/8,544km from Cranwell, UK to Walvis Bay, South Africa in February 1933. The UK for two months held all three of the speed (Supermarine S6B), distance (Fairey) and altitude (Vickers Vespa) records. So it's got to here: I built the wing and tail surfaces out of balsa - the wing is OK as far as it goes, but needs cutting up to free the control sections and detailing to add the fabric wing effect. The tail fin and rudder need separating and fabric effects, and the tailplanes need to be started again because they should be about three times thicker than the ones I have made! The latest fuselage is made from a plastic card profile with card formers, filled in with scrap balsa and Milliput. The Milliput has been sanded away until you can just see the edges of the formers. This is my third attempt: The first two fuselages ended up being too small, so I have used one of them for experiments on simulating fabric covering, using fishing line and filler. Although I had some success with that I think scored plastic card (as seen in the picture) will be neater and easier. I'm back at home next week so I hope to be back at the bench then! Thanks for looking, Adrian
  5. Hello All, I'm going to build a big one
  6. So, with the corrected QL chassis/cab done I left you at the end of the last log with this..... In the last few days I've started to put this together..... A J145 Radio body, and whilst at it I'm making the kit version of the same body for Ian at Wee Freinds.... I'm currently at the point of the challenging part... Shaping the 'Luton' box above the cab.... More to follow soon..... ATB Sean
  7. You know those occasions when you get a crazy idea and just have to give a try? Well this is one of those. There's far from any guarantee of success or completion, but fortune favours the brave and all that..! Having a real soft-spot for the Avro Shackleton I've decided to do something really stupid and have a go at scratch-building one in 1/32nd scale. As I'm sure we're all aware there's kits available in 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, but nothing in 1/32nd so the only option is to start from scratch. I have an old ID Models 1/32nd Lancaster in the stash, and always planned to convert that to a Lincoln. However, when doing some research on the Lincoln I discovered that the wing and centre section (although widened on the Shackleton) were in essence the same airframe. Therefore I thought, making a Shackleton using the Lancaster as a parts donor could be a viable option... The first phase of the project was to find some plans. The Warpaint Series on the Shackleton came up trumps, and although these plans are far from perfect they've given me enough to get started. I duly enlarged them to 1/32nd scale and cobbled together a reasonable outline for a MR2 which is the version I'm hoping to replicate. You can see the size this model will (hopefully) be when finished when you put the Airfix 1/72nd kit on top: With that done it was sourcing the key components of a project like this - various thicknesses of plastic card: And of course the ID Models Lancaster: I then set about building up the centre section from plastic card formers, using the bomb bay roof as the structural centre-point. Wing spars have been made integral to the structure for strength and stability. I'm not going to worry too much about an interior to the fuselage, as it'll all be sprayed black and next to nothing will be visible through the small fuselage windows. The forward flight deck area will be fully replicated, though: The plan is to use the Lancaster fuselage sides for the 'skinning' of the model, and other areas will be 'planked' and blended with filler from thin plastic card strips. With the fuselage centre section progressing well and having cut my teeth on making bulkheads and formers etc., I had the confidence to have a go at making the nose section. This is a lot more tricky as there are many complex shapes and subtle curves to try to replicate, especially around the extreme nose where the bomb aimer/gunner's glazing. Again, the interior won't an accurate structural representation of the real thing, but being black and only the extreme nose interior being visible there shouldn't be too many problems here. As with the fuselage, the basic shape of the formers were made from plastic card and assembled to give a skeleton that'll be skinned in due course: I haven't made the 'roof' to the nose compartment yet as some form of interior needs to be added, as well as the observer/gunner's transparencies and its associated fairings: So this is where we're currently at: And alongside the 1/72nd scale version for a 'size reality check!' As I said at the start, there's no guarantee of success in the long term, but I'm having a blast right now! Tom
  8. Hi all, Author's note: I am currently through about 3/4's of the total effort on this project but have decided that now is a good time to begin writing about it. If I had started at the beginning this thread would be three years old, so believe me I've made this easier on you all! Also, you will find a lot of explanation about various parts of the build- feel free to skip over any or all of that, depending on your interests. I have only done one scratch-built piece before, and all I can say is, it did little to prepare me for this project. I will be adding bits of text and pics for a while and I hope you enjoy the ride. The Official Start: I have wanted a model of a Y-wing for some time. In my mind, the Y-wings are rather like the F-4 Phantom family- reasonably fast, rugged, multi-mission, and they were around for a long time. As I thought about a Y-wing model, some baseline goals became apparent. 1. I wanted one in 1/48 scale 2. I wanted a model of a “real” Y-wing, not a model of a filming model 3. I wanted the ship to be in flight 4. I wanted to install lighting (a first for me) 5. The cockpit needed to be deep enough to take a full pilot figure, and while I was at it, I wanted to make a two seater- the Guy In Back should be a WSO however, not a gunner. We’re going to be carrying guided proton bombs as well as the proton torpedoes on a regular basis with this baby! I started by assembling as much information as I could find and drew up some plans. I found a few pictures of a Y-wing filming model from ROTJ from the studio with a tape measure in the image; I resized them to appear in half-studio size on my computer screen and that gave me a length of a little under 14” for a 1/48 scale model. I used the images to make basic measurements and drew up a set of plans from which to build the model. I began collecting bits and pieces, lighting parts, and interesting bits from many sources about three years ago. I found some nylon plumbing pipe which would become the engines, and a wooden egg which I could use to vacuform the front engine domes and the vectral housings at the rear of the ship. Without those elements, there is no Y-wing! Now how can I build this beast? I soon decided that creating open bulkheads, ribs, and stringers (following traditional aircraft construction) would not be as robust as I wanted. Based on goal #2 above, I chose to build a ship with the “guts” on the inside; remember that the filming models were solid shapes with the “guts,” or greeblies, on the outside. But even if you want to show interior spaces you still need a robust model. In reviewing the various Y-wing pictures on-line there appears that there could be a central tub in the fuselage; see the pic below. They show the top edge of the tub shape I am talking about. My buddy Boz mentioned the idea of making something like the tub found in F1 racing cars, and that sparked the idea of having a central tub running from one end of the fuselage to the other. I added a series of solid bulkheads plus quarter-round pieces to give greater gluing surface, and in the end I got a fairly robust tub which I could add details to, both inside and outside the tub itself. Alright chaps, that is the start of a long journey. Welcome aboard! Jim
  9. Hello, some airborne topic. I used the 1/72 ACE kit as a template. Tires are from Rocos Jeep. and in colour Happy Sunday Cheers Macki
  10. Something a bit different for you all, This might not look finished to you but to me this is complete and ready to be sent for manufacture.... For those not following the build log it is here..... Here is a picture of the full kit of parts, it will be supplied with 2 of the parts sprues to create a full kit, and I suspect a choice of canvas, but this will be down to Ian at Friendship Models to choose how he sells it...... ATB Sean
  11. Hello All, I've had a set of plans and a hankering to build a Fairey Long Range Monoplane for a long time now (since 1997), and a testing group build on another forum gave me the excuse to get going. There are no injection or resin kits of this, and the only vac-form I know of was produced in 1985. So it's a scratchbuild job! I dug out my balsa stocks and had a look. I didn't want to carve a one-foot-something tapered wing out of half inch balsa, so I started messing around with a composite structure: The idea was to have a curved upper surface of soft 1/16 balsa wood. More support needed! Shaping was done by plane first and then sandpaper. There wasn't too much to take off - mostly shaping the tips, LE and TE. Dihedral was added with a saw cut. I painted the balsa with Ronseal wood hardener (designed for rotting window sills, which is where I know it from) and then sprayed with Halfords filler primer, which is a jaunty shade of orange. Fuselage was six slices of 1/8" balsa, with the beginnings of a cockpit cut out, stuck together into halves which in turn were tacked together (hopefully I will be able to get them apart again) and roughly shaped with a razor plane. When the black line round the middle gets smaller, that tells me I am sanding down near the profile. I made tail surfaces out of 1/8" balsa, and sealed them with superglue. I used a plastic bag over my finger to spread the glue around - it saves a lot of finger scrubbing later! After some sanding and filling, I could put a coat of regular grey primer on the wing. I still need to touch up a few dings before it's ready to detail. So next up is to finish the fuselage, and then the basic shapes are done. Then I can resume regular modelling! Thanks for looking, Adrian
  12. At long last, and so long as the bucket place works, I can post pictures of my latest scratchbuild. The parts were accumulated over a long period. The main body, the big black thing in the picture, was a device for playing mp3 in the car, the tanks on the sides are, I recently discovered, No2 bottles, I just found them on the ground. The pilot is over 45 years old and was an Airfix Ford Escort driver, you may be able to see an Escort hubcap on the nose. The wheel for the top hatch was an Escort steering wheel. The 'arms' are from a minesweeper tank, the skids once held pencil lead. Nearly everything else is bits of tank models. Oh, the 'radar arm' over the top was a free pen that came in the post, various other kreiger space models have something similar. So, hopefully you'll enjoy Orbital tug 42. With British standard Humbrol tinlet to show the size! The thruster nozzle came off a toy space shuttle. The round bits above the cockpit are lights. I later added lenses. here you can see the Escort steering wheel. The side thrusters were from a pair of earbuds. The Sherman suspension parts are probably where a larger ship would clamp the tug for long distance travel. Yes, a pair of tank turret cupola's were used to mount the main thruster. The intrepid pilot. He and the cockpit details are rudimentary, I mostly wanted to concentrate on the exterior. The Escort hubcap is visible here, some sort of scanner, I imagine. As always, comments are welcome.
  13. This is a special commission build for Ian at Wee Friends Models, It will be a complete rolling chassis and cab for which there will be a variety of back bodies made available in kit form. The request was for a brand new scratch built master of an Austin K6 in 1/72 scale, using original chassis drawings I prepared a GS length chassis, there will also be different chassis lengths made to accommodate some of the back bodies.... Once that was done it was on to the hard bit.... The cab... this is my first ever attempt at anything quite so ambitious so I was a little daunted at the prospect of having to scratch-build one of the hardest cab shapes.... This was my first attempt at it..... The yellow resin cab behind is a Road Transport Images Austin K3 cab in 1/76 that sports the same crew cab as a K6 and is what I started to use as a reference for cab roof shaping..... And with a part built Airfix Austin K6 cab from their Rescue set also used as a shaping reference.... It was while I was looking at this image that I had a "Eureka " moment..... To make the cab easier and faster to make why not use the Airfix cab as a Vac-Form mould??.... With it being 1/76th scale and my requirement was for 1/72 it made sense to use the smaller as a former to make the bigger..... And so..... I set about making a Vac-form machine out of my mould making Vacuum chamber and pump..... I then converted the Airfix cab into a mould block, and got forming, to get the thickness of plastic and also build up the scale I had to laminate repeated layers of plasticard on top of one another, after my third attempt at it I came out with this..... A bit of shaping went on using a file, sanding sticks and needle files to get this..... And with its first test shot of primer to show up pits, blemishes and faults..... during this project I also invested in some new machinery to make like a little easier, not knowing how much actual use it would get I bought the cheap copy of the Unimat1 6in1 tool, so far its been a god send, although the 3 jaw lathe chuck was total poop straight out the box, literally seizing solid on me the first time I used it, no big drama as I now use a Dremel arbor to hold wheels,...... here I have it set up as a milling machine to face up the windscreen angles...... Yet more shaping and sanding..... Things moved on quite quickly after that, here it sits in its second test shot of grey primer to show up the blemishes, and now also windows are cut in and shaped, the engine and radiator are fitted and in the last few pics the start of the interior base plate that will also locate the cab to the chassis..... Stay tuned for more, which will include the radiator grill and engine covers, and then the chassis and suspension..... ATB Sean
  14. I've got six Shermans inn my 1/48th scale collection, although one them, a Mk.Vc Firefly is in a rather dilapidated condition and requires rebuilding. The others are a mix of different marks from various sources. Kit wise, I only know of the three from Tamiya (Mk.1c, M4A1 and M4) and the ones from Hobbyboss which are based around M4A3's and early M4's. There are, or have been, a few after market offerings in resin to produce different marks. This first one was the first that I built in this scale, namely an early direct vision Sherman ll. This uses the lower hull from the Tamiya M4A1 and the upper hull from the German company MR Modelbau, who also supplied the early M3 VVSS. Decals are from Bison. The second one is a Sherman lla. To build this one I used the Hobbyboss M4A3 lower hull and turret coupled with an M1A1 barrel from RB Models. The upper hull came fro m a US company called Iron Division, which I think unfortunately, is no longer trading. Decals again are Bison. Next up is a Mk.V of the RMASG named "Fox". This came from the excellent resin kit from Fighting 48th, who once again are sadly, no longer available. The kit is actually meant for the Firefly, so the M4 turret from Tamiya was used instead along with an RB Models barrel. The decals were custom made for me by Ernst Peddinghaus. Once again, Iron Division supplied the upper hull for this one. The lower hull, VVSS units and the turret came from Tamiya's Firefly 1c and the 17pdr is R Models. Finally, I built this 10 years ago and just after I completed it, Black Dog announced that they were going to do one in resin, although I don't think that they ever did. The lower hull was completely scratch built and then I added the HVSS units from the Hobbyboss M4A3E8 kit. The upper hull was a combination of the front piece of the Tamiya M4 mated to the rear half of the Hobbyboss M4A3 with an extension piece each side. I used the Hobbyboss M4A3 turret and glued a load of plastic onto the rear and then blended it in with Milliput. The mantlet was made from a triangular piece of plastic to which a barrel made from a Panthers 75mm along with a scratch built muzzle brake was fixed. The engine deck was made from card and the decals again came from Peddinghaus. I will one day get around to building the others that I have in the pipeline, namely Sherman lll, M51 and (I know it's not a Sherman, but almost) an M3 Grant. Regards, John.
  15. As I was building the EVA resin kit of the 1940's Upholder - I wondered if I could make a companion model of the 1990's version. I did some research - and found a side profile drawing in a Russian submarine book I had - and Wiki informed me that the beam was 7.2 metres in diamter. I checked in my stash for a suitable donor kit - and discovered that the Hobby Boss kit of the German navy Type 212 had the approx diameter hull - even the bows looked the same - the only problem was the hull length - way too short - and of course the upper decking and bridge (sail, conning tower??) Luckily 7m converts to 20mm in 1/350 scale and I found some 20mm dia plastic knitting needles to use a plug to lengthen the hull. So, here goes........... Type 212 at top - compared to Upholder drawing. Type 212 hull sawn in half - with 20mm dia plastic knitting needle 'plug'. More to follow.... Ken
  16. Hi everyone! My name is Ernest and it’s my first post here. I’d like to show you my latest 1:72 model – Ilyushin IL-14 from White Eagle Museum (Skarzysko-Kamienna, Poland). This is a scratchbuild model, but fuselage was converted from Plasticart’s Mercure 1:100. More pics you can see here: It’s polish forum, but there is a lot of photos showing the construction progress from start to end.
  17. Here we have a 1/76 scale Airfix/scratch built Bedford QLC TEV Telex truck, marked up as HQ Signals, 2nd Corps ATB Sean
  18. 1/48 aircraft enthusiast joining from Western Australia . Am currently scratch-building a Mig15. Might get keen and start a thread
  19. So. I have a new scratchbuild project. And its a big one. After much luft 46 building, I've decided to do something on the ground. This monster, armed with 2 280mm naval guns from KMS Gneisenau, would have weighed 1000 tons, and would have to have had 6 sets of tracks. So far I've done a little on the 'Ratten gruppe eins' (thanks Levin), and made a start on the turret, using plans made from a sketchup model. The group consists so far of an Airfix sd kfz 222, and an Ex-Matchbox Revell Jagdpanzer. The white objects in the photo are 3d printed items, (made out of PLA on an M3D Micro printer, not the best but certainly one of the cheapest ready built one) and are a Saukopfblende for the Pak44, which will be sourced from Modelltrans' conversion, a 280mm gun (looks better in real life), and 2 Wirbelwinds, in need of trimming and barrels. The Flak 38 wip is from Zvezda, and the Jagdpanzer crewman is Plastic Soldier Company.
  20. I have a few projects on the drawing board, all of which involve the Liberty Ships of WW2 fame. My intention is to build at least three different types/classes of ship using the Trumpeter 1:350 Liberty ship kit as a basis; (if I can find more kits in sales or at affordable bargain prices) and hopefully I will be able to produce some WIP's that will keep me occupied during the period from now and through the autumn and winter evenings. This thread is the first such project and I shall be using the Trumpeter 1:350 kit of the John W. Brown version to make a conversion build. The vessel to be built will be HMS Assistance [AR-17], a repair ship of the Xanthus sub-class of Liberty Ship types. Two were completed for the Royal Navy, one was an aircraft depot/repair ship and served in home waters whilst the other, HMS Diligence [AR-18], served in the Far East as a destroyer depot/repair ship. Their time in the Royal Navy was short-lived, due to the ending of hostilities, and they were returned to the U.S.A. in 1946. Although my intention is to build this kit as the aircraft depot/repair ship HMS Assistance, I may change my mind and build it as HMS Diligence; if I can find some research data on which destroyers might have been alongside her in late 1945 whilst in the Far East. This will be a waterline version and I hope to place the finished model in a sea setting diorama, but that is a long, long way in time to be concerned with at the moment. Starting with the base, I have glued a sturdy piece of brass rod in place. This is more to give the model some weight as I don't think these models suffer from any warping or bending up of the hull over time. Next element is to add some strengthening plates to the mid deck sections, before adding the bow and stern deck pieces. This area of the kit's deck is unsupported underneath and can bend and cause the joins to part when sanding and fitting parts etc. Virtually all of the deck fittings, especially the hatches, will need to be removed before any further work can be undertaken. The RN versions had much larger accommodation and working spaces than the standard cargo ships, plus they had additional armament and sponsons; most of which will need to be scratchbuilt for this conversion. The deck area has been cleaned down to the basic level and just needs all the holes and gaps filled before the actual build can start. I shall be using plans, which I found on-line, that I have resized to 1:350 so that they match the kit in size. This will help considerably in identifying each structure's required dimensions and their locations. Final thing for this post is to mask all the gaps and joins and then fill with thinned Green Putty. The thinner is cellulose thinners and is mixed with the Green Putty to act like a thick surfacer which I can paint on using a standard modelling paint brush. The holes in the deck have been plugged with white styrene rod and cut flush to the deck. When the putty has completely dried, I shall remove the tape and then get down to sanding everything smooth with wet and dry. Hopefully in the next session I will be able to start making up some of the structures. cheers Mike
  21. Hi all, I'm still pretty new to model making, so this might be an obvious question, but is there any easy way to build a replacement clear part for the cockpit glass? I stupidly cracked the kit part after the below picture was taken, and it really is beyond repair. I can't afford to get into vacuum forming either sadly. This is only my second model building project, an old MPC Millennium Falcon I got for a reasonable price - and being the novice I am, I was totally unaware (or rather didn't read up before making an impulse buy at a convention!) of the amount of inaccuracies with this kit. I've made some minor modifications, such as building a new engine grill, lighting it, as well as ordering some aftermarket parts (the inner cockpit detail and a smaller radar dish), but I wasn't brave enough to correct the scale of the cockpit section. My hope with this kit was to get some experience using oil washes/weathering techniques, rather than getting a screen accurate model, as my only previous experience was building the Voyager from Star Trek (so, pristine and very little weathering). It's still not finished yet, so i'm hoping it will get a little darker/dirtier with the later layers. Hope you can help, as I'd rather not leave the glass out if possible. (the top half isn't attached yet, hence all the light leaks)
  22. Felt like doing something different and as no-one else is likely to produce a kit of this, a scratchbuild is the only way to add it to my British Jets line-up. More info Luckily it's all simple shapes and very small so I don't think there will be too many headaches with this. Started off by printing out the basic shapes and cutting them out of plasticard. Quite quickly all glued together and left to harden off. To cut down the amount of work, I had a hunt through the spares box for donor parts for the wings, tailplane and fin. The orange wings are from a Polish glider kit that previously gave up it's fuselage for another scratchbuild so I've had my moneys worth out of it! The tailplane is from an F-86 and the fin from a Crusader (I think) tailplane. Each one is shown before and after being modified, with the sections that have been removed. I was very lucky with these parts as they were all a fairly close match. A bit more chopping and gluing later...... ....and a bit more. The fuselage has now been covered in filler and the rear section partly sanded back towards the correct shape. You can just start to see the plasticard showing through. Needs a lot more work but the basic shape is starting to come together. Thanks for looking. Steve
  23. Does anyone have, or know of, any decent plans of the Handley Page HPR.1 Marathon? I don't know if any such plans were issued with past aircraft magazines but I would like to get hold of a scan or photocopy in order to have a try at scratchbuilding one. Also, does anyone here know of any commonality of parts, between this aircraft and others, such as wings, tail, undercarriage etc., anything which might help by utilizing parts from other models. I work to 1:144 scale. cheers Mike
  24. I'd like to join with a diorama setting of a part of the U.S. Air Force base at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam in the late 1960's. I like to work in small scales and have a few aircraft that might look OK in a small diorama setting around 1966-68. The plan would be to, hopefully, scratchbuild some revetments, corrugated hangars and a tarmac/dispersal area for the aircraft. Incidently, in the colour image of the airbase, there is a fire truck in the top right and corner just approaching the revetments; plus a delivery type van at bottom centre. Does anyone have any details on these types of vehicles (or any other US vehicles typically found there), especially with plans, as I would like to add a few to the dio. cheers Mike
  25. Hello to everyone! This is my first attempt at this so forgive me of any mistakes. As a very keen modeller through the late 60’s all the 70’s the one kit I always lusted after but could never afford (or do justice to) was the 1/24th Harrier. An older friend bought one as soon as it was released. He kept getting the box out, looking at the massive sprues and it and put it away again, for years we all kept asking where the Harrier was. That friend unfortunately died a good while ago so in some way this build is to the happy memories of Dave Rodgers. After starting modelling seriously again 3 years ago, I decided that it was time to have a bash and tackle the monster - thanks to a sale on Amazon I picked up the newly boxed GR3 for £36. Even though I enjoy using resin and photo-etch we sometimes seem to be heading toward a world where you needn’t worry about painting skills when you can stick in self adhesive pre-painted details. I remember when building flying models in the 70’s ARTF (Almost Ready to Fly) appeared, buy Saturday - fly Sunday; I railed against that a little too, I’ve always been a builder. My concessions to the modern era are cyano glue and acrylics. I always use Mek as a plastic solvent which costs around £10 for a litre. I buy Isopropanol for around £12 per gallon from Amazon. A great Acrylic thinner is 50% Isopropanol and 50% winter car windscreen wash. Anyroad, the kit still is a cracker and is a superb representation of the early tin-wing Harriers. Anyone who looks closely at a preserved GR1 or GR3 will see Airfix got the surface textures and details spot on. In places the early harriers look almost ‘boilerplate’ in construction. The kits surface detail is one thing - interior detail is another, it’s virtually absent. The design and engineering is typical of the era - even having the novelty folding undercarriage and closing doors etc. I decided to avoid resin and etch and built the whole thing in a true 70’s scratch build style. I haven’t had this much fun in years. Please respect copyright of my photographs. Starting the build. I attacked the cockpit tub first (as tradition dictates) .5mm card was used for the raised riveted plates using the Trumpeter riveting tool to detail. I built some switch panels from plasticard with thin slivers bonded upright to represent toggle switches. I dug out as many reference images as I could but the bulk of the ejector seat obscured much of the view; therefore a little artistic licence was used to give the impression of a busy cockpit. Most of the detail is added from plasticard scraps and stretched sprue. Different thicknesses of solder are always good for detailing. After a few coats of paint, glossing and washing the cockpit tub looks suitably grimy! The decals supplied work very well on the instrument panel and are large enough to cut out individually to fit, I use a set of cheap hole punches. I painted the back of the clear moulded radar/moving map screen then the HUD frame was built from fine brass wire. Shadows were airbrushed in to increase the impression of depth when the cockpit was closed up. At the same time I added detail to the sidewalls using tube, solder, fuse wire and plasticard, I cheated a little and got some ideas for the detail from resin examples I saw for sale at the Huddersfield show… The Seat The kit seat is virtually blank and needs a complete replacement/rebuild especially when everyone peers into the huge cockpit of a 1/24th scale model. To ensure a clean fit in the tub I used the measurements of the kit seat to build one from scratch - only the kit headrest was used. Canopy cutters were added to this and the parachute with its straps and cables were added to form the headbox. The parachute and straps are lead foil. The seat itself was a simple construct of 1mm card with details added from scrap plastic and .5mm brass wire and seat cushions carved polystyrene foam, dipped in PVA to seal the surface before painting. The seat straps and canvas cover are lead foil again. All the separate elements were built, painted and weathered before final assembly. You know, those headbox height adjust bars (red at the moment) are scraps left over from an Aurora biplane model from the late 60's... The straps and canvas cover are all made from lead foil, I found scraps of Eduard etch left over from a Chieftain MK5 build that worked very well for buckles etc. The supplied Airfix decals finish it off very nicely. A quick dry brushing with grey and a coat of matt varnish and it's ready for the straps fitting. My first plan was to build as originally intended and have the whole wing removable to view the engine; however as the build progressed it became obvious that I wouldn’t be able to get a clean fit without large gaps. I did away with this original feature enabling a much more solid build and elimination all those awkward wing joints. a pity though as I'd spent over a week detailing and painting the Pegasus, based on one displayed at Cosford. The Airfix Harrier is big, very big so to avoid damage during construction I replaced all the blade aerials with .5mm brass sheet glued firmly into slots cut deep into the plastic. The slots were filled with thick cyano and sanded, I'm determined to use this method for future builds (of all scales). Bits & Bobs The undercarriage wells on Harriers are quite large voids within the fuselage. In 1974 it was more important for Airfix to compete with other manufacturers and add moving components. Of course moulding technology has moved on in huge leaps since then but the 1/24th Harrier was seen as a wonder in it's day. The wells are nothing more than empty plastic boxes in the kit; I couldn't source any clear images of the inside of these areas so I used my 'Artistic Licence' (mine came from Woolworths for 2/6d) to detail the voids. Only the nosewheel bay is clear on a few internet images I found. It wasn't too difficult to drill plasticard and cut into strips after marking the plastic with a riveting tool and then drilling every second hole with a drill made from a 1mm Hypo Needle. A drill made from a hollow needle gives a very clean cut, I grind the end down to a 30 degree (ish) angle on wet and dry paper. The pressure vessels are 1/72 torpedo bodies from a Nimrod. These areas are well weathered to depict a harrier flown from rough ground. The kit mainwheel well has detail on the backside (in the engine bay) so I invented appropriate looking ribbing, boxes and tubing (I only bought the cheap Artistic License) this was then painted and weathered. It was at this point, when the fuselage was starting to fill up that I could test fit the wing assembly and decided to fix the wing in place. I cut out one access panel to show some engine detail as can be seen on the finished model. All the various vents and intakes on the fuselage were cut out and backed with foil from an old electric razor - the fine mesh was ideal. The nose camera had a similar treatment, a lens was made from scrap sprue, mounted on a bracket in the hole and then blocked with foam until painting was finished. The window was afterwards formed from ‘Clearfix’. The kit vinyl tyres look very realistic after a rub down with wet 800 grade paper, turning them a very accurate dark grey. The undercarriage legs are fairly well detailed, the nose wheel benefits from a small bracket for the lamp, some electrical cabling and hydraulic tubes. These were well weathered to represent the dirt kicked up from rough ground and oil leakage. The fit of the huge fuselage halves proved to be excellent, the little filling necessary required my favourite slurry of cyano and talc. I found that a 1mm hypodermic needle was the same diameter as the Airfix rivets and was used to recreate those lost. I cut square and sharpened a short length of hypo tube and glued it into a paintbrush handle. After drawing lines for the missing rivets this improvised tool was ideal for re-cutting the missing detail, initially easy to do, after completing a few hundred the novelty wears a bit thin. The wingtip ‘puffers’ are not really represented and need cutting out and boxing in before detailing, The same applies to the auxiliaries surrounding the main intakes, these are lightly sprung and drop under gravity on harriers at rest. I cut out the engraved panel lines and constructed a long square tube from 1mm card, cut unto short lengths and bonded in they could easily be sanded flush and filled to neaten the finish. The .5mm plasticard flaps themselves were cut to fit and glued in at appropriate angles. Onto the canopy, this is a very thin and crystal clear moulding, the windshield only lacks the wiper which is easily build from brass wire and a sliver of card for the blade. I traced the outline of the detonation cord on a scrap of balsa and pushed pins where the cord bends, it was relatively easy to wind solder around this and then rest it inside the canopy. Using Pledge floor wax I glued the solder in place. I cut 1mm strips of white decal paper to lay on the inside to form the sealant band and dipped the whole thing in Pledge and covered it to dry for a few days. The canopy was them masked, painted and put away for a few months until needed. The fit of the sealant looks uneven because it's on the inside of the canopy! after masking and painting the camouflage it looks very real. The windshield was masked the wiper added and the whole assembly glued in place with pva, it fits perfectly and needed no other work. The most awkward job proved to be the hot and cold nozzles, the kit ones have a joint in the worst place possible and are smooth all over. The real ones have riveted vanes inside and ribbed plates on the outside (strengthening I assume) these were made from .5mm card, bonded with Mek and then wet sanded to blend them in. These took A LOT of filling, smoothing and fiddling to get them looking something like. I painted them with Tamiya Aluminium, fading into Titanium at the hot end and then thin coats of Tamiya Clear Orange for heat staining. The saving grace is that the moulded exhaust halves are very thin and very nicely contoured. The underwing stores needed some extra detailing, mostly small plates and panels, the pylons however are blank, I made beer can tin templates for the panel lines needing scribing, as eight sides needed detailing this was the best method to achieve consistency. The cut-outs for sway braces were there but I needed to add the braces themselves from 2mm square pieces of plasticard drilled to accept short lengths of .5mm brass wire. As with all the other bits, the pylons, rocket launches, fuel tanks and Aden gun packs were painted, decaled, weathered and put away for use. By now I had a box crammed full of sub assemblies, moving to major works on the airframe was a relief! The overall shape is very good and considering the Harrier is one of those aircraft without a straight line anywhere the Airfix surveyors & drawing office did an amazing job in 73/74. The contours are very well captured and the fit of the fin is so good only a line of thin cyano is needed to hide the joint. The final hurdle, painting the beast. I used a cheap black aerosol car undercoat for the fuselage (it looked great all black!) all the seams were checked and luckily only a few needed filling. On a large scale model I prefer a dark undercoat as I paint the topcoats using a very thin mix and spray at low pressure. In this way I can work closely painting each panel from the centre outward. I find this gives me much better control over a weathered finish and avoids the toy like look of weathering that is even and precise all over. The mixture (mostly Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics) were thinned 50/50. Tamiya thins well with my invented mix mentioned earlier. Vallejo needs water to thin it (or their own thinner). I think Vallejo paint has Polyurethane in the mix and Isopropanol thinners create an instant jelly monster in your airbrush that needs Professor Quatermas to remove it successfully. The paint applied in this manner on a dark ground will look alarmingly patchy, it is also quite fragile. The magic happens with a coat of Pledge floor wax (known as 'Klear' in the colonies). One coat immediately blends the colours and darkens the paint to look like the colours on the tin. It also toughens the finish. Another 3 coats and a polish with a clean dry j-cloth and the monster was ready for decaling! Incidentally, most of the painting on this model was completed with a cheap £25 Chinese airbrush (cheap but beautifully made, sprays anything and is easy to clean). My Badger Renegade Velocity has never lived up to it's macho name and has been completely rebuilt twice in twelve months and was out of action for the third time during this build. I'm afraid the airbrush body is made from a hard anodised but VERY soft brass and the needle mechanism was so badly made Badger themselves described it as 'pants' and sent a replacement. The engineering and build quality is worse than the Chinese £25 special; I'll never buy Badger again... The Airfix Cartograph printed decals are superb, dense, thin and in perfect register. They settled onto every contour and panel line to perfection. Two more coats of Pledge on top and the whole was put away for a week to harden. I weathered and highlighted the panel lines and rivets with Flory Models 'Dark Dirt' wash, this is an absolute pleasure to use and is one of the very few recent products that are genuinely innovative and make finishing simpler. After drying, excess wash was wiped away with a new damped J-Cloth & cotton buds dealt with the tight corners. All those sub assemblies were now added with 5 minute epoxy, cyano and PVA for the canopy before a final post shading with Tamiya smoke thinned with 75% pure Isopropanol. After everything set the whole monster had a couple of coats Windsor and Newton matt varnish, this needs a few days to cure properly but is very matt and very tough. The post shading, dirtying process, paint chips were all completed after decaling. Some of the decals were weathered slightly around the edges to depict paint wear. The dark aircraft grey is a self mix and has a little blue added, if you look at period Harrier images, you will find mixtures of both hard and soft edge camouflage schemes, I like the look of soft demarcation and went for that. I have an old publication from 1982 'The RAF in Colour', there are hard and soft edged camo aircraft from the same squadron in the book! The decals needed only a little softening with dilute acetic acid to settle them onto the Pledge glossed paintwork. And there it is, after 39 years and 7 months I finally built and finished the big harrier. I've always been fascinated by the Harrier it was one of the first aircraft I can remember seeing that seemed to have an 'organic' look to it, no straight lines. Those huge intakes and the pilot seemingly sat in a 'pod' in front of the aircraft had a real 'science fiction' appeal to a youngster brought up on Gerry Anderson programmes. Airfix caught the 'hunkered down' look of the early Harrier to perfection. Oh yes, and all the wheels stood on the ground together when finished. The build was aided by, Radio 3, 4, 4 extra, BBC6 Music, Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, Amon Duul II, Hawkwind, Faust, Can, Black Sabbath, Falkenbach, Van der Graaf Generator and far too many other unremarkable heroes to mention. The whole experience was an absolute joy and will always rank as a favourite build, it’s also the first model of mine in 40 years to be on a stand!