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Radar

Shackleton MR Mk. 3 - 1/72nd FROG/Eastern Express

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After reading all the different Shackleton threads on Britmodeller over the Christmas period I thought wouldn’t it be nice to practice a 1/72nd Shack on one of the two FROG/Eastern Express kits that I have in the stash. Just to get mu juices flowing and my modelling mojo up to speed ready for the Airfix and Revell releases later on this year.

Nothing complicated just a quick simple build –it never works out like that though does it? On delving into the stash I found two kits and the infamous (but magnificent) Aeroclub conversion set and the two Aeroclub Shackleton MR Mk.2 and AEW Mk. 2 decal sheets. I had purchased all of the above at the Southwell Model Show about 12 years ago for a large amount of money and I remember the gentleman on the Aeroclub stand I think it was John telling me that I had just bought the last set of red decal serials he has. The original plan was to build another one of these that I had converted from a fully built MR 3 I bought off a work colleague in 1978 and had made the AN/APS 20 radome from balsa wood, dope and talcum powder and had completely scratch built the undercarriage for.

IansShack1.jpg

Sadly I gave this model away in 1986 when our first child came along! Anyhow as Airfix or Revell (depending on what you believe from what you read on various threads on Britmodeller) are bringing out a modern kit of an AEW Mk. 2 then the Aeroclub conversion set is now redundant, however, I may well use many of the those fabulous decals off their sheet.

I duly ordered the Aviation Classics Vol 24 Avro Shackleton off the interwebb for £7.99 post free and dug out everything book wise I have on the Shack and after hours of “research” I was more or less ready to go, except for a big question – what colour are the insides of the main wing flaps of a Shack MR Mk.3? I cannot find a good photo of the innards anywhere.

Also just to make things a bit difficult for myself I am going to model WR977 which is a Mk.3 Phase 3 that has the viper jet engines in the outer engine nacelles. Here she is on display at the Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Notts, just down the road from me.

MyShack.jpg

So top start with the pre-build picture:

Shack1.jpg

Note the old FROG South African decals with the stand decal it would be nice to put her on a proper FROG model stand if anyone has one they would like to sell ?

Just so folks can get an idea here is the Aeroclub conversion set I mentioned:

Shack2.jpg

Edited by Radar

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The first major task to check that I actually had all of the parts, the good thing about having two kits was that I was almost sure to have any missing parts from the first. Luckily everything was there, I had chosen what appeared to be the best moulded of the two but there was still heaps of flash and off course all those skin ripping rivets to deal with. Just a point here, most people who build the FROG Shack moan about spending days sanding all of the rivet detail off the kit. I disagree with making the outer skin smooth as if you look at the photo below and having seen some in the flesh the skin definitely is not smooth!

Shack23-1.jpg

So I did do a lot of sanding but I didn’t remove all of the surface detail, I hope Airfix/Revell take this into account when they do their kits and don’t engrave huge trench type lines of the things as is fashionable at the moment. The hardest bit was getting all of the flash off. Once cleaned all parts were primed (as I love that all grey cad/cam look of the manufacturers test shots)

Shack3.jpg

Next I dry fitted the major components together to make sure that there were no major issues and dipped all of the transparencies into some of my last remaining Klear to brighten them up.

Shack4.jpg

At this stage one starts to get the idea of how large this model is. Next I started on the inside of the fuselage, I made the decision not to go mad, just add a bit of detail t the cockpit and get the colours right. I also met my first snag, something was warped as the Bombay doors didn’t fit as snugly as I’d hoped and things started to be pushed out of alignment when I put the bulkheads in. This could have possibly been caused by using superglue to stick most parts together which gets warm as it goes off. I then painted the various internal colours on the inner halves.

Shack16.jpg

The next stage was to put all of the windows in using Tamiya liquid glue and when set to mask the outside of the same windows.

Shack17-1.jpg

Next time I will start on the cockpit interior detail.

Thanks for looking

Ian

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Enjoying this already Ian

Would the flap insides be different on an MR3 than a 2?

rich82 might be able to advise if they are the same, he's involved with restoring and maintaining the MR2 at Coventry

Let me know if you need me to ask him, I may be able to get in touch with him on Pistonheads

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More work done on the Shack today, firstly I decided to use the cockpit details pretty much straight from the kit but adding a minitiurised photo of the main cockpit panel as I'm rubbish at painting them. I also scratch built some throttle quadrants next to both pilot's seats. Somewhere in there I also had to squeeze in 45 grammes of lead weight too, so that I don't get a tail sitter. Bits of scrap resin sprue were used to box in the seats and side panels for the seats were made from thin plastic card. Then the leather cushions were made from filler.

Shack22.jpg

Shack20.jpg

Shack24.jpg

As I kept dry fitting the two halves together I began to realise that the whole fuselage had warped, most probably when I had stuck the bombay doors in, so she was going to need alot of superglue to get them to get to stick togethjer properly.

The nose wheel bay is completely bereft of detail so I decided to add some walls and a roof which was all sprayed matt white. I have also added the raising jack and its cyclinder to the rear of the nose wheel u/c leg.

Shack29.jpg

Shack28.jpg

Shack26.jpg

Next I added some side consoles in the extreme nose and a seat where the nose gunner would have sat. Then the big stick, I glued the nose section first and used to accelerator to get the superglue to go off, then taped it up and glued the rear end. This was followed by liberal amounts of Squadron Putty fine filler along all the joints. The whole fuselage will now be set aside for a few days to set solid before the great sand off begins.

Shack33.jpg

Next those pesky Phase 3 engine nacelles.

Thanks for looking,

Ian

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Next comes the Phase 3 mods to the outer nacelles, to assist the now very heavy Mk.3 Shacks get off the ground on take off several of them were fitted with Viper jet engines, the same engine as fitted to the Jet Provost, in their outer engine nacelles. They burned the AVGAS 100 Octane petrol that was used in their Griffon engines and as such were only supposed to be run for 10 minutes at a time to prevent damage. 12118645154_ae8ce21232_b.jpg

Here is a picture of one with the outer panels removed, needless to say mine will have the panels fitted!

Shack8.jpg

A shot from the front of the Newark Shack.

Shack9.jpg

and one from the rear.

First I cut the rectangular recess out from underneath then used some bomb bodies from the spares box inside some plastic tube to create the outer pipes. Then built up the whole rear of the nacelle with excellent Tamiya 2 part epoxy putty.

IMG_2702.jpg

Shack11.jpg

After an awful lot of sanding and lots of reference to a single scrap drawing on the Aviation News plans I got somewhere near the right shape. More to come....

Thanks for looking

Ian

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P.S sorry for the wobbly photos - can anyone please tell me what colour the inside of the Mk. 3 wing flaps were?

Ian

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I can't help you with the flaps, but great work so far, Ian! Love the Shack!

Regards,

Jason

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got the Frog/Revell Shack in my stash. going to watch this with interest :popcorn::drink:

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Looking really good! After going over this thread I started googling the shack to see what I was missing. Turns out a lot! I didn't know I was in love with the MR Mk.I until I saw it. Nice work on the front landing gear and cylinder installation, that will no doubt add realism to your finished model!

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Well done that man, excellent.

Not sure superglue is such a good idea for the fuselage? It won't bond the plastic, if its under pressure it may split open. I would stick to polystyrene glue, it melts the plastic and welds the two parts together. Just my two bob, sorry to stick my oar in.

Didn't know about the jet engine, great work all round.

All the best.

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Sometimes having just about every book and magazine article published on your model subject matter is just not enough. There just doesn’t seem the be THAT reference picture that one needs of a particular part of the aircraft. Most times we have to muddle through and make our best guess effort or come onto sites like Britmodeller and ask for help; there’ll always be some one out there who will know that elusive bit of info. However, sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and go and have a look at the real thing if it is available to us.

Well on this occasion I have no excuse, as the Shackleton “WR977” I am modelling is literally 15 miles away on display at the Newark Air Museum. As none of my references actually showed the top of the fuselage of this aircraft clearly and from what I had the aerial configuration was totally at odds with the “Warpaint” plan, I decided to go and have a look for myself on Monday just gone. It was a beautiful sunny morning so trusty compact digital camera in hand off I set, an hour or so later I actually had gotten what I needed. By standing on the roped off wooden steps up to the access door and holding the camera at arms length, I actually got a decent shot of the aerials and the anticol light and the astrodome both of which I hadn’t realised were lurking on the roof up front! I finally got a look at the inside of the wing flaps and although badlt coroded on this aircraft, remnants of white paint couls still be made out.

Shack49.jpg

Shack45.jpg

There also appeared to be a lot more lumps and bumps on the outside of the airframe than I’d thought and the blanking panels around where the nose canons where once located would have to be included on the model.

Shack50.jpg

The visit also gave me the chance to get a good look inside those viper nests in the outer nacelles, which in fact appear to have been painted red inside the actual opening portion of the intake and fully aerodynamically sculptured at the front of the opening and roof too.

Shack47.jpg

Shack46.jpg

So there’s quite a lot of work still to do on those outer nacelles and their insides.

After I had got home and uploaded the fifty or so photographs to the computer and had a good look at them I started to realise just how inaccurate the 1/72 Warpaint plans were that had come free with an ancient copy of the Aviation News a newspaper from the late 70’s.

There was only one thing for it and that was to attempt to draw my own so all day yesterday was spent drawing these and testing them against the model, pictures and plans.

Shack57.jpg

Shack52.jpg

The plans took me a whole day to draw but I am happy now that I at least have everything on WR977 mapped out and the right aerials will be in the right places. So after a productive morning in the shed this is where we are now. The nose roof astrodome, and cockpit canopy have all been Gator glued in place prior to masking and most of the aerials are also now in place.Shack42.jpgShack41.jpg

I hope Airfix and Revell make it easier than this for us with their new releases.

Thanks for looking

Ian

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That's what I call top grade modelling

Check it then draw it then make it

Exactly right thanks for showing it to us

(now then how do we get a copy of your plans off the 'net?) ;)

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Good stuff so far.

The flaps to the best of my knowledge are the same colour inside as the MR2.

The lights and antennae on the roof I don't have many shots of. This is when we were painting (so everything is masked up), but you can see the anti - collision beacon is offset from the centre line, and behind the HF radio aerial masts.

197206_10150184160707049_2654193_n.jpg?o

Kind regards,

Rich

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Perdu,

If you like I'll scan them into jpegs and email you them, send me a PM with your emale address and I will do it for you.

Cheers

Ian

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Thanks for that Rich I'll relocate the anticol beacon back a bit. My roof top picture is a bit of an optical illusion it seems, the astrodome on the AEW Mk2 is a bit bigger and a bit further back than on the MR Mk 3, this is where the FROG kit fell down as neither astrodome nor domed fuselage observation windows were in the kit.

Cheers

Ian

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Excellent work, Ian! I'd love to see a new-mould MR.3* up to the standard of your model (that doesn't mean your work will be in vain - I think a lot of us have some of the old Frog/etc. MR.3's lurking in their stash - I know I have, and your work will help us to make a more accurate model out of it).

Regards,

Jason

* - I'm looking at you, Revell!

Edited by Learstang

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The astrodome is in the same place, above the 2nd Nav station, (so no crew position in the AEW, but above the sonobuoy plotting table in the MR2/MR3.) It was more streamlined though and a lower profile than the earlier MR2/AEW2 item.

SAAF MR3's had another radome further back which often adds to the confusion - and possibly why the FROG kit is a bit off as originally it came with SAAF markings.

The issue with aerials is due to the upgrades done for different V/UHF sets. The AEW2 received one last update late in its life which put even more antennaes on it, the MR3 usually has blade type and a whip type.

XF708apr2011.jpg



Kind regards,

Rich

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Another few photos. Escape hatch positioning is the same on MR2/MR3. The forward one (ex mid upper turret aparture) is on the centre line and has a window in it. The aft one is offset and is a solid skinned panel.

189714_10150184160792049_2556033_n.jpg?o

I had another look and have one more picture from up on top;

198039_10150184160602049_7533250_n.jpg?o

Hope thats of use!


Regards,

Rich

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Thanks for those Rich but as you will see from the photos above I took on Monday the aerial between the two "wire aerial masts" is yellow, set to the port side of the roof centreline and a different shape to yours and the MR 3 at Duxford is different again with several "whip" aerials in the same place. That is why it was important that I actually had a look at the one at Newark. WR977's astrodome is higher than Duxfords example, and they all appear to have a little box on the starboard side of the "spark plug" it looks like some kind of periscope I reckon.

Regards

Ian

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Duxfords is the same as Newarks, you're just seeing it from a different angle. The two whip aerials are well in front of other masts between the astrodome and the cockpit. Newarks has the mounts remaining, but the whip aerials themseleves aren't there.

Our Chelton style blade aerial is a different shape to the yellow one on Newark's WR977, but mounted in the same place due to where the internal cable runs are in the aircraft - as you rightly point out its offset from the centreline. There are two upper aerials and two lower (4 in total) on all aircraft to avoid any masking of radio signal.

I believe the little box is for the periscope sextant, thoug I'll have to check!

Regards,

Rich

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Hi Ian, nice start on the Shack I must admit I didn't,t know the Newark Shack had vipers in the outer nacelles, looks like a typical Raf after thought as it's very rough! Had a thought just now if you get one of the new tool Shacks and I get the other

we could do a joint build like we did with the Skyraiders to make things interesting, let me know your thoughts.

A question for Rich-w82, do you actually build any models as I haven't seen any of your work on any of the modellers forums?

All the best Drew

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Hi Drew,

I'm a lapsed modeller, for several reasons.

I have a Revell Flower class Corvette, an old Revell Monogram B29 and a couple of other kits stashed for when I feel like getting back into it, when I moved house recently I donated most of the ones I had built and unbuilt to my father who's well into the hobby. Lately I've been building some old Guillows balsa kits which don't lend themselves to scale detail if you want them to fly well.

When I get enough time to crack on with a kit I'll post it up. I've got the new Airfix Shack on my Christmas list... ;)

Regards,

Rich

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Hi Drew and Rich

What a brilliant idea, Drew you could do an Airfix AEW Mk 2' Rich could do the Coventry MR Mk2 and I could build a Revell AEW Mk2 as a mini group build here on Britmodeller hey Rich would you be up for that it would be well cool!

Anyone else up for it?

Ian

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