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StephenMG

Italeri / Academy Hunter

23 posts in this topic

Hi all,

With the reappearance of the Academy 1/48th Hunter under the Italeri name I thought I dig out one of my stashed Academy kits and examine and list the accurate/inaccurate points of it. I plan to build a couple of these models in the near future so wanted to know exactly what would be required to make it a more accurate model.

Based on my research and the scale drawings I produced for Paul Bradley's SAM Modeller's Datafile I've noted the following issues. I should stress that this is simply a listing of points, minor or otherwise, that I noted as being significantly 'out' when comparing the kit parts to the real aircraft. Many will consider a lot of these points inconsequential and I think it's best left up to individual modellers to decide which, if any, they want to fix in their own models, but for what it's worth this is what I think is wrong with the kit.

Tailplane - it's been said that the kit has the tailplanes are mounted 2 to 3mm too far aft and that they should be moved forward. On the face of it this looks like sound advice as the trailing edge of the tailplanes is about 2mm further aft that the trailing edge of the fin at their junction. However that oversimplifies the problem and simply moving the entire tailplane forward 2mm introduces other issues. The problem with the Academy kit is that they have the tailplane too broad in chord at its inboard end by about 2mm. On the real aircraft, if the acorn fairing were to be removed, the trailing edges of the fin and tailplanes would meet at one point. Also the hinge lines of the elevators and rudder would, if extended, also meet at another point. In this latter respect the Academy kit has it correct - the hinge lines would meet which indicates that the elevators are too broad at their inboard end and the fixed part of the tailplane is also too broad. I believe the whole thing is still mounted a tiny bit too far aft so the solution is to remove some of the taper on the elevator so that the inboard end is 1mm less, remove some of the leading edge at its inboard end (another 1mm), then move the whole thing forward by about 0.5mm max. The tips of the tailplane are also the wrong shape, being too rounded.

Ailerons and leading edge extensions - ailerons are 2mm too short making the 'dog-tooth' appear much too far inboard. In reality the dog-tooth IS too far inboard, but only by 1mm, the rest of the problem is caused by the too short ailerons. The dog-tooth should be slightly outboard of the aileron line. The leading edge extension is also not 'drooped' enough and simply sticks striaght out in front of the wing.

Wingtips - wrong shape, being too 'squared'. The widest point of the wings should be their aft-most corner. The Academy kit has the widest point some way along the wing tip and the trailing corner curves back inboard slightly. This has the effect of taking the pitot head 5mm too far outboard.

Wing, tailplane & rudder tips - all are too pointed. The Hunter has all tips 'blunted' slightly by having the trailing edges curve back in slightly near to the tips.

Intakes - not wide enough due to their outer corner being too rounded. Should be opened out to almost a point.

Airbrake - about the right size (although slightly thick at the sides), but 5mm too far aft.

Fuselage - I measured the 3 sections of the fuselage between the end frames and the transport joints and found that the forward fuselage is 1mm too short, the rear fusellage 1mm too long (so they cancel each other out!) and the centre fuselage 3mm too short. This 3mm shortfall is made up by the tailpiece being 3mm too long which means that, overall, the fuselage is about the right length! The tail piece of the Academy FGA.9 is famously terrible though and is nowhere near the right shape - Academy simply extended the upper edge to form a 'beak' rather than including the bulge that accomodates the braking 'chute. Even taking the above into account, the overall fuselage shape isn't actually too bad, although it is a little too large in diameter at the extreme forward end - see nosepiece. The fairing behind the canopy is a bit too 'bulky' because Academy don't seem to have realised that the Hunter's hood slid open and so needed to go past it!

'Acorn' fairing between fin and tailpanes is too long by about 3mm.

Nosepiece - too large at its rear edge by about 1mm (vertically) making the forward nose look a little bulbous. It's also a bit blunt.

Windscreen - the base of the windscreen is straight across but should be curved slightly down the side of the fuse. As a result the lower edges of the side screens are angled downwards more than it should be.

Hood - problems with the shape as its highest pont should be closer to the windscreen hoop. Has frame at the rear which the real Hunter hood does not. It's the inflatable rubber seal visible through the hood which gives the impression of a frame at the rear end.

Wheels - (mains) too small in diameter, (nose) not too bad and leg length is accurate.

Cockpit - famously way too shallow, seat way too small.

Trim tab - should only appear on port aileron.

Hood jettison pull window, de-icer filler panel and destructor access panel should only appear on port side.

No hood rails at all.

Boundary layer splitter plates too chunky, too far from fuselage sides and too straight (should be curved to follow the fuselage sides).

Several panel lines fictitious or in the wrong place.

There! So that's my list of main gripes. I appreciate many will say it's very picky but it's just meant to be a list, nothing more. Some of these I'll fix on my own models, some I won't. The ones that stand out to me the most, and which I will certainly fix, are the cockpit, tailpiece, tailplane size and intake shape. The wingtip and tailplane shape issues I will also probably fix as, to my eyes, they are distinctive Hawker shapes which Academy have got very wrong.

I hope that's of interest. If anyone has any other issues then post them here for discussion - maybe this thread can become a 'one stop shop' for fixing the Academy/Italeri Hunter!

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by StephenMG
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It should be pointed out, for those not in the know, that Mark has his own Hunter - well, significant parts of one anyway! - so he knows what he's talking about.

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Thanks for this Mark, very useful.

I will certainly correct some of the most obvious flaws (Cockpit etc) but I wouldn't have noticed a lot of the innacuracies you have picked up. But then again I have not spent any time in close contact with a Hunter (unlike my Dad!) If somebody produced an innacurate model of a Vespa PX I would pick up every flaw (and it would bug me) as I have spent years maintaining and riding the things!!

Cheers

Simon

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Nosepiece - too large at its rear edge by about 1mm (vertically) making the forward nose look a little bulbous. It's also a bit blunt.

Windscreen - the base of the windscreen is straight across but should be curved slightly down the side of the fuse. As a result the lower edges of the side screens are angled downwards more than it should be.

I hope that's of interest. If anyone has any other issues then post them here for discussion - maybe this thread can become a 'one stop shop' for fixing the Academy/Italeri Hunter!

Cheers,

Mark

Thanks for posting these observations Mark - I do hope this gets pinned as the accuracy (or lack thereof!) of the Academy Hunter seems to crop up every now and then. I was looking at the thread on the windscreen the other day, and I was wondering how to fix that. To reduce the slope of the side panels so that the lower edge is level, you will either need to start off lower at the front, or end up higher at the back. The former means you need to bring the upper nose contours down, and the latter means you need to raise the canopy sills. Not only is it easier to redice the bulk at the front than building up with filler at the back (the essentially circular crossection needs to be maintained!), but it will also make the nose sleeker which seems to be a problem you mention. This then should kill two birds with one stone.

Jens

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Regarding the position of the 'dog tooth' on the leading edge, I used my Aeroclub Hunter F6 as confirmation that the Academy one is indeed too far inboard.

What got me initially thinking about Academy being wrong is when compared to pictures of airframes painted in red/white/LAG: The real one has the demarcation line at the airleron. If you leave the Academy kit untouched, you end up with the dog tooth in the LAG zone, while the demarcation line should be inboard of the dogtooth. I hope this makes sence... I have no clue if the aileron is indeed of wrong dimensions, but I left it untouched and moved the dogtooth a couple of millimeters outwards... very easy to do and the whole wing gets a much more 'balanced' look ;))

Also very easy to correct, but very important I think, is the shape of the rudder... Its way too pointed on the Academy kit and 2 minutes with a file will result in a much more accurate look!

I look forward to read more replies in this post!

Best regards,

Guillaume

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It should be pointed out, for those not in the know, that Mark has his own Hunter - well, significant parts of one anyway! - so he knows what he's talking about.

Thanks Paul! :)

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Another issue that might arrise if you alter the length of the aileron, is the flaps of course... If the aileron is wrong, than the position of the underwing fuel tanks must be wrong as well, because otherwise, how would it work out with the 'cutout flaps' used on birds with the large fuel tanks?? They wouldnt match with the tank anymore.. :hmmm:

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If somebody produced an innacurate model of a Vespa PX I would pick up every flaw (and it would bug me) as I have spent years maintaining and riding the things!!

That's exactly how I feel about Hunters Simon. Where other aircraft are concerned I fall into the "if it looks OK, then it'll do for me" camp. But the more you know about a subject the more picky you get I think!

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Thanks for posting these observations Mark - I do hope this gets pinned as the accuracy (or lack thereof!) of the Academy Hunter seems to crop up every now and then. I was looking at the thread on the windscreen the other day, and I was wondering how to fix that. To reduce the slope of the side panels so that the lower edge is level, you will either need to start off lower at the front, or end up higher at the back. The former means you need to bring the upper nose contours down, and the latter means you need to raise the canopy sills. Not only is it easier to redice the bulk at the front than building up with filler at the back (the essentially circular crossection needs to be maintained!), but it will also make the nose sleeker which seems to be a problem you mention. This then should kill two birds with one stone.

Hi Jens,

Yes, the windscreen is tricky. I think I plan to not do too much to fix the problem on my model but to disguise it somewhat instead. The Hunter has some quite prominent fairing castings around the base of the windscreen. These are about 1/4" thick on the real aircraft but are only represented on the Academy kit as engraved panel lines on the fuselage. I plan to make those fairings from plastic card and also to incorporate the lower windscreen frame at the same time. I think it should be possible to shape them to make a more curved lower front panel frame and also to make the side lower frame appear more parallel to the horizontal. It'll be a compromise but won't invovle too much work!

Mark

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Regarding the position of the 'dog tooth' on the leading edge, I used my Aeroclub Hunter F6 as confirmation that the Academy one is indeed too far inboard.

What got me initially thinking about Academy being wrong is when compared to pictures of airframes painted in red/white/LAG: The real one has the demarcation line at the airleron. If you leave the Academy kit untouched, you end up with the dog tooth in the LAG zone, while the demarcation line should be inboard of the dogtooth. I hope this makes sence... I have no clue if the aileron is indeed of wrong dimensions, but I left it untouched and moved the dogtooth a couple of millimeters outwards... very easy to do and the whole wing gets a much more 'balanced' look ;))

Also very easy to correct, but very important I think, is the shape of the rudder... Its way too pointed on the Academy kit and 2 minutes with a file will result in a much more accurate look!

I look forward to read more replies in this post!

Best regards,

Guillaume

Hi Guillaume,

As well as measuring the dog-tooth position relative to the aileron, I also measured it relative to the centre-line of the fuselage. Both measurements confirmed that the dog-tooth location is not as 'wrong' as first appears and it is the aileron that causes most of the problem. I quite agree though that the aileron is difficult to correct, as it affects the flaps etc. as well, and the easier course of action is to simply 'move' the dog-tooth. As you say, that would give a much better appearance at the expense of a little accuracy.

Yes, I forgot to mention the rudder! In fact ALL the flying surfaces (wing tips, aileron tips and rudder tip) suffer the same problem - too pointed. On the real aircraft, they are all 'blunted' off slightly by having the trailing edge change direction close to the tip. Hard to explain, but only a few minutes work with a file to correct!

Edited by StephenMG

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Yes, I forgot to mention the rudder! In fact ALL the flying surfaces (wing tips, aileron tips and rudder tip) suffer the same problem - too pointed. On the real aircraft, they are all 'blunted' off slightly by having the trailing edge change direction close to the tip. Hard to explain, but only a few minutes work with a file to correct!

This point is often not mentioned in regard to the Academy kit. I'm glad to see it has now. On my ones I built when the kit first came out I only carried out some of the work needed as stated here and used Aeroclub parts for the essentials. One was converted to a 2-seater again using Aeroclub parts. Re the 'squared off' tips to the rudder and aileron, it only takes a couple of minutes to file and smooth these to shape but goes towards improving the kit.

Edited by Paul J

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I agree Paul, it's a point which is often missed but which is part of the Hunter wing/tailplane/rudder's characteristic look. Hopefully this drawing will illustrate the shape better...

F6-tips.jpg

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That's exactly how I feel about Hunters Simon. Where other aircraft are concerned I fall into the "if it looks OK, then it'll do for me" camp. But the more you know about a subject the more picky you get I think!

Re: "got major parts, so he knows what he's talking about" (mmm, that could be read entirely the wrong way...): Yes, but how much do you need to correct on those parts?! (sorry, just couldn't resist being a wise-guy).

Now I'm that way about Spitfires. I know too much, and have been sent spiraling off into the far reaches on the quest to know more. Sadly, I cannot boast to having major parts thereof :( I try to adopt the "it'll do for me" philosophy, and once in a while even succeed. But usually whatever project I investigate- say, just for a wild example, Hunters- I start asking questions, and, well, we all know that's the beginning of the end! Needless to say I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.

I was going to say, if I win the lottery I'll have a Spitfire. Then I thought it would be fun to buy a "project airframe" and leave it that way- fuselage here, wings over there. If anyone asked about it I could say with a shrug, "Oh, I just have that as a reference for my models."

bob

p.s. If I follow you, I like your idea about dealing with the windscreen- I'll have to look at some pics.

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The Italeri boxing is in the shops now, has anyone had a chance to look inside?

Phil

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Hi Jens,

Yes, the windscreen is tricky. I think I plan to not do too much to fix the problem on my model but to disguise it somewhat instead. The Hunter has some quite prominent fairing castings around the base of the windscreen. These are about 1/4" thick on the real aircraft but are only represented on the Academy kit as engraved panel lines on the fuselage. I plan to make those fairings from plastic card and also to incorporate the lower windscreen frame at the same time. I think it should be possible to shape them to make a more curved lower front panel frame and also to make the side lower frame appear more parallel to the horizontal. It'll be a compromise but won't invovle too much work!

Mark

Sitting here with parts in hand, and looking at the offending area. The sills for the canopy are straight and parallel as you would expect from a sliding canopy, and the nose does indeed look a bit more bulbuous than pictures seem to indicate. Edit: Looking at this picture:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Switzerland...71ed15629f6a9ad

And aligning the kit fuselage to the spine, it does seem that Academy got the slope of the canopy right.

The upper nose contours in the kit seem to be too high relative to the location of the canopy, so that it seems to "bury" the front part of the windshield instead of just touching it. Don't know if that makes sense, but compare how high the nose/windscreen area is on the kit vs the real thing, and you'll spot the difference. Reducing this will no doubt help making the nose look less bulbuous.

If the canopy is in the right place, then the windshield must be lower up front, which in turn means the upper nose contours must be sanded down.

But compared to this photo (on my monitor it appears just a little larger than 1:48):

http://www.airliners.net/photo/UK---Air/Ha...71ed15629f6a9ad

The amount of sanding should be minimal. Aligning the top of the spine shows that the canopy position is fine, and the front of the windshield a smidgeon too high. Here, the problem with the bulging nose seems further forward.

The other thing I just noticed is that the kit spine just behind the canopy is straight in profile, whereas the real thing has a gentle concave curve. Comparing to that photo also shows the fairing to be too high. Looks like a vacform canopy is the way to go to fix the problem. How do the Falcon (Squadron) canopies compare to the original?

OK, last edit to this post:

This photo on my monitor at least is virtually a perfect match for the kit in the depth of the fuselage as well as length of the cockpit as well as the break in the nose:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Dutch-Hawke...71ed15629f6a9ad

Aligning to the top of the spine and the position of the rear cockpit wall, the bottom of the windshield and canopy is actually 0.5 to 1 mm too low in the kit. Where the nose meets the windshield is actually in exactly the right place, but the real nose is sloping more than the kit nose. To bring it back to shape (according to this photo), then you must reduce the slope by the thickness of the plastic at the uppe nose break. Now, the problem is that if you raise the canopy, then you will also make the cockpit aperture narrower as you're moving up the circumference of the circle. I am assuming that the fuselage crossection of the Hunter is circular in this area. A compromise here may be to cheat and maintain the width of the cockpit and build up the contours with filler.

Jens

Edited by jenshb

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Wheel wells...

It's not perfectly perpendicular to the lower wing surfaces, but it still gives a good indication to the correct location of the wheel wells.

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Hawker-Hunt...71ed15629f6a9ad

Holding the kit wing up to the screen, it's smaller on my monitor, but when aligning the kit wing along the leading edge of the flap, there is a gap between the flap and the outline of the main gear doors of 1-1.5 mm. The kit chord of the wing from intake to flap trailing edge is 80 mm. 70 mm on the photo gives a ratio of 1.143. The photo gives a distance of 20 mm from the flap TE at the root to the rear of the gear door at the root, so the distance should be 22.8 mm. The kit is 21mm, so that means the main gear wells should be moved forward by just under 2 mm.

The photo is also interesting to show the lack of visible panel lines along the main spars - presumably they have been filled and sanded - was this done in service as well, or only on this preserved aircraft?

Jens

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Interesting stuff Jens and it does illustrate that there's not very much of the Academy kit that is right! It just varies in its degree of 'wrongness'! Actually, that's a bit harsh because I doubt any kit is perfect and, for all its faults, the Academy kit does make up into a nice model.

What I would say though is that comparing things directly to photographs if fraught with danger. Even the slightest amount of perspective in a photo can make it difficult to use for comparison or measurement purposes.

However, you are quite correct and the nose certainly is a little too 'bulky' for various reasons, as is the fairing behind the hood. Regarding the nose, I did do some measuring and scaling a while back directly from a real airframe and posted the result in another thread. This is what I said back then,

"Taking the area between the panel line moulded just in front of the windscreen and the point where the nose cone joins on (Frame 6 and Frame 3 respectively on the real aircraft) it scales out like this,

- length between the two points mentioned above is 2mm too long, but part of that is down to the panel line in front of the windscreen (Frame 6) being moulded about 1mm too far back

- overall fuselage width at Frame 6 is 1.5mm too big, again maybe 0.5mm of that is due to the panel line being too far aft

- overall fuselage height at the same point is 1.5mm too big, same caveat applies as above

- overall fuselage width at nose cone joint (Frame 3) is 1.75mm too big

- overall fuselage height at Frame 3 is 0.75mm too big

- overall length of nose cone is 1.25mm too long and the radome is 0.6mm too large in diameter"

The other thing I forgot to mention is the cover plate which seals the slots in the fin for the tailplane actuating mechanism. The Hunter had a 'follow-up' tailplane which automatically altered its angle of incidence depending on the angle of the elevators. The tailplane rotated around a point just forward of the elevator hinge line and was connected to an electrically powered mechanism which 'poked through' the fin near the tailplane's forward edge. The vertical slot that was required in the fin to allow that mechanism to operate was covered by a 'plate', shaped a bit like a long thin kite lying on its side between the tailplane and the fin, which moved up and down with the tailplane. The Academy kit has the shape and size about right, but it's represented simply by engraved panel lines on the fin whereas it should stand slightly proud of the fin skin. It can easily be represented on a model with a piece of thin plastic card.

As for the lack of visible panel lines, yes, on certain aerodynamically critical areas of the airframe the panel joints were filled with putty making them virtually invisible. This was also the case around the nose, and even the centres of the blind 'pop' rivets used on the upper longerons just below the canopy rails were also filled.

Cheers,

Mark

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I have recently purchased a couple of sets of your Maestro Models conversions K4824 Hawker Hunter main and nose wheels to replace the Academy kits F.6 and FGA9 kits wheels. However when referring to Hunter undercarriage photographs in books and on the internet web pages, I note most seem to utilise a wheel hub design as used in the original Academy kit which is different to the hubs on their resin replacements, At this time I have not been able to determine why some Hunter aircraft have main wheel hubs design per the kit and others the type depicted in their resin replacements. For example some Hunter F.6's and FGA9's that served in the RAF seem to depict the use of both hub types. Would anyone be able to enlighten me the reason for the different types of wheel hubs were used. Possibly does the Maestro sets specially relate to the hubs used on Swedish AF Hunters.

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Are these the resin wheels you refer to? - http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Rev3/2901-3000/rev2979-Maestro-K4824/00.shtm

If so, then sorry, but they look terrible and bear no relation to any real Hunter wheels that I've ever seen. The nose wheel is particularly bad. I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole to be honest.

At this time I have not been able to determine why some Hunter aircraft have main wheel hubs design per the kit and others the type depicted in their resin replacements. For example some Hunter F.6's and FGA9's that served in the RAF seem to depict the use of both hub types.

Can I ask where you've seen wheels that look like these fitted to a Hunter?

Someone on here (sorry, can't remember who) made a superb job of enlarging the kit wheels by wrapping a strip of plastic card around them and reshaping. The kit hubs are not bad.

Edit - some Hunter wheel discussions here - http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234907729-148th-hawker-hunter-from-italeri/page-5 - including comments on the Maestro resin wheels and the brilliantly modified kit wheels (by Karl) I mentioned above.

Edited by StephenMG

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Its good to see this thread resurrected. Having built, and 'corrected' a few of these kits, I thought more recently that the nose shape was off. I think Jens and your description Mark sums it up perfectly. There is really only so much one can do with this kit...and I think its all down to how brave/skilled the individual is. I'm building an F6 at the moment and have attempted to correct as many of the faults as I'm capable of, and in lieu of Revell or Airfix making our modelling lives a tadge easier....we are lumbered with this kit - warts an all...

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Don't worry, Bill - as soon as you finish it, Airfix will announce a new Hunter kit in 1/48 and you'll be the toast of Britmodeller and we'll all be forever in your debt..... :winkgrin:

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StephenMG thanks for your reply above. ...........Are these the resin wheels you refer to? - http://www.aircraftr...o-K4824/00.shtm Yes you are quite right.

I have subsequently been advised that the Maestro Resin Wheels are the type as fitted to all Swedish Hunters, but since found a review on the IPMS Stockholm website which includes photographs of a Swedish Hunter preserved in Swedish Air Force museum in Linköping which confirms the same main wheel hubs as used on Hunters that served in the RAF as do other photographs of other Swedish Hunters on the internet.

Looks like the best option will be to modify the Academy Hunter kit wheels by adding plastic strip as suggested by Karl or use the SAC white metal (longer) undercarriage legs and larger wheels which the SAC Website states John Adams of Aeroclub provided assistance in the design.

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No problem northcro, and sorry if I sounded rather negative! I do get a bit worked up over Hunters!

The kit hubs are not a bad representation of Hunter hubs to be honest and aren't too badly underscale. Karl's solution of 'beefing up' the kit wheels is an excellent one in my opinion. If the tyres are shaped correctly (Hunter tyres are quite 'rounded') then some pretty good wheels will result.

Just a thought for the nosewheel, but could the tyre be cut away from the kit nosewheel and the hub inserted into the drilled-out Maestro resin tyre perhaps? That might provide the best of both worlds for the that one?

Mark

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