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Sprueloose

1/48 Trumpeter Westland Whirlwind

207 posts in this topic

I have been lurking here and elsewhere for a while and finally decided to get involved and put up the model that I am working on at present. It should be noted that this is really my first ever modelling experience and I am having a blast. I think that I built a Dauntless as a teenager but remember nothing of that but painting it with yellow acrylic paint in art school. I just loved the shape of that plane. After viewing some videos of other modelers I realized that modeling had progressed quite a bit since I was a boy. I think that the advent of the "weathered" look really caught my imagination... These were not toys that were being built but actual airplanes, with all their flaws and evidences of age and use. 

Don't ask me why, but I decided to start with the Westland Whirlwind. A rather non-iconic WWII fighter, which sadly went out of production during the war for lack of a reliable engine. But there it was, sort of an ugly duckling of an aircraft that was never allowed to grow up. I should mention that the impetus for this build was a video put up by Gary Bottoms on his youtube channel. He called it a flawed but easy kit to build in a weekend! Ha! Easy for some.

So here is the kit I am working on: 

31303487962_b4c24d8c11_c.jpg  

 

I got some photo etch and a few other after market pieces and started with the cockpit. What a trip! Photo etch is very interesting and challenging to work with with my old hands, but I persevered and though the results didn't live up to my expectations I managed to get most everything in and painted. I am using Tamiya acrylics and trying to stay away from the enamel because of the fumes. But I built myself a paint booth so I can paint with them if I need to. I subsequently removed the little triangle seat belt latch as it really looked weird. 

31303488122_7b061b7121_c.jpg

31333016291_704af50337_c.jpg

 

I have been enjoying the research into this interesting aircraft and found a couple of builds to help me. The scratch build in Large Scale Planes was very helpful, as I was thinking of doing a bit of modifying to the kit. Also the Westland Whirlwind Project is a great resource for images and drawings of the aircraft. 

The errors in this kit have been noted before and I am trying to correct some of them, although the shape of the engine nacelles may be beyond my capabilities at this point. But I have had a go at:

Adding the gun sight. ( I am think that I am going to redo my first attempt as I mistakenly used CA glue to attach the mirror/disk and it fogged it. So next time PVA glue!

Adding the rollover diagonal brace for the pilot's seat. (done, see below. )

Re-scribing the rudder lines that the kit marks as panel lines. (read that the rudder on this aircraft was concave! Don't really see that in the kit or the photos, but it might be too slight a concavity to see easily)

Painting the rondels (to come) as the decals are not right.  (what color do I use for the yellow??? the Tamiya yellow I have is way too bright.)

Re-scribing the aft part of the engine nacelle that is attached to the Fowler flap. (I have to say that I got really interested in the Fowler flaps... and want to see if there is some way to show them slightly extended with the aft radiator cover slightly open.... )

Adding the retractable footstep to the port side. (I really want to build this!)

Re doing the pitot tube. (the kit's just didn't look right to me)

 

One of the things that I have redone since I first built the cockpit was the radio/accumulator equipment behind the pilot's seat. It was a revelation that the photo etch gave you lots of detailed pieces but you really need to question their accuracy. Not that I am a rivet counter! But after some more research I decided to add to the photo etch and luckily it was not held in to tightly and I was able to remove it and replace it with the new configuration. (this after the fuselage halves were glued together!... Learning a lot here!..

31303488582_e0cf87ef4a_c.jpg

There are actually two boxes behind the pilot's seat. It was fun building the second out of sheet styrene. 

One thing that I noticed in the photos,  was an inverted V shaped support attached to the canopy, that seems to connect to a metal strip running up the back of the canopy. At first I thought it was actually attached to the body of the airplane, but later found that it was part of the canopy. It is very thin and doesn't show in some photos. Since I was thinking of doing the early version of the Whirlwind (P6969) which had the antenna mast attached to the canopy instead of forward of the cockpit, I thought that perhaps this V support was related in some way. Although the photo I have showing the V support is of a newer model with the mast forward... anyway I want to put the inverted V in the model, so another adventure!

While I was waiting for paint to dry on the after market landing gear, I tried to do a little detailing on the guns. I couldn't find any brass ones for the Whirlwind online and so I decided to try to modify the kit plastic. I stacked a bunch of razor blades together and rolled them over  the portions on the canons that were molded to represent the recoil springs. Trying to create a few small grooves... Less than successful.. Especially after a coat of paint:

31303488502_aaee0269c6_c.jpg

I did manage to drill out the tips of the guns so that's something... I am afraid that machining small pieces of brass is out of my league!

Used the masks that I bought to mask the canopy but didn't modify it for that back piece of metal that appears to run up the back of the canopy, plus I noticed on a couple of plans that there is a navigation light at the top of the canopy that I will have to paint in afterward.

I put in the landing lights in the wing bottoms by drill part way through the plastic, painting it silver and then using PVA glue, inserting a small polished bit of clear sprue. Worked OK but I think next time I will polish both sides of the "lens".

31303488512_3bc68e36d7_c.jpg

Here's that pitot tube, made from a bent piece of insulated copper wire with a bit of expoxy added:

31333016631_e6b169c6f8_c.jpg

The metal landing gear was OK but I had to cut off some "ears" that were on the wrong side. Not sure what the ears with big holes in them were for but their position didn't match the great photo I got for the Westland Whirlwind Project website. So I made some new ones from styrene and epoxyed them on the correct side of the oleos:

31303488302_8e8c82f16f_c.jpg

The great balls of epoxy that hold the gear together a the best I could do. The metal parts didn't really mate very well but they had slightly more detail than the kit plastic and were sturdier.

 

Well that's about it for tonight. I hope that I can develop a regular schedule of working and posting so I don't spend quite so much time at the computer! 

Thanks for watching, and of course any suggestions are more than welcome. As I said this is the first one for me and I have tons to learn! But I'm having so much fun doing it!

Terry

 

Did a little more work.

 

 

30653912024_889d1ee202_c.jpg

Painted and weathered the undercarriage. Worked on the canopy. Modified the rearview mirror as the kit seemed small. Added the navigation light to the top of the main canopy (used PVA glue over silver. ) The PVA glue is still wet in the photo so, should look a little better when it dries clear.

All for now. I keep looking at the engine nacelles and wish that I had scale drawings to modify them.

 

Added the navigation lights on the tail.

31403199131_a679367c4d_c.jpg

 

Next, I think I will work a little on the landing gear to get it looking a little less "blobby". 

First snow of the winter here. Rain again over night... sigh.

 

Edited by Sprueloose
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Good effort with a notorious kit. Keep going I love whirlwinds- scratchbuild one (very badly) when I was a kid. 

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On 12/5/2016 at 11:55 PM, Crossofiron1971 said:

Nice detailing!

Thanks for the kind thought, but I feel that I have quite a ways to go compared to most of you folks!

 

On 12/6/2016 at 1:23 AM, Reconcilor said:

Good effort with a notorious kit. Keep going I love whirlwinds- scratchbuild one (very badly) when I was a kid. 

I keep beavering away. My shaky hands make it a challenge!

 

Small update. I discovered by looking at more photos of the actual plane, that I mistakenly modified the oleos, so I had to remove my modification. I was reading the repair manual for the whirlwind and noticed how they hooked their tow ropes to the oleos, using the big ears in the front. The really nice photo that I had of them was of a prototype and apparently they install that part reversed.. Anyway I wacked off my modification and brought them around to the front again... Even the photos lie!

31039607594_ff5b0741bb_c.jpg

 

I really liked the Fowler flaps and wanted to show them slightly deployed so I cut them out and sculpted them into a mini airfoil and attached them to the cut off portion of the nacelles. When the flaps are down just a little, the rear vent for the oil coolers opens, so I cut those out too and added the little folded shrouds that enclose the sides: (I've only done that on the port side so far...)

31732604432_4beda630b2_c.jpg

That it so far. Haven't had much  time to work with the holidays in full swing. Hoping for more progress soon. 

Thanks for watching!

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Another brief update: Inserted a pin of copper wire to connect the Fowler flap to the rest of the engine nacelles. Hopefully I can dress it up a bit more.

31752264732_b2ec533ea2_c.jpg

 

The actual connection is a bit more complicated but perhaps I can get a little closer to the look. 

31862618016_8e492fd13e_c.jpg

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This is a really good start for a first build. If, as you seem to be, you are going down the road of detailing and modifying kits, you are doing the right thing by questioning everything until you are clear in your own mind what something should look like. OK, so sometimes you will have to take a best guess but generally this principle will pay great dividends in the future.

 

Martian

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Welcome to the deep end of the madness!

You really did leap off the high diving board didn't you?

Take heed of what Martian says above. He gives wise advice.

(Of course he's as mad as a diesel driven doughnut, but we like him).

 

Keep the 'Crikey' (Nickname for the Whirlwind) going.

It's a steep learning curve but well worth the effort.

 

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Really very nice indeed, both on the paintworking and the structural details you're adding. Keep it up!

Tony

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9 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

This is a really good start for a first build. If, as you seem to be, you are going down the road of detailing and modifying kits, you are doing the right thing by questioning everything until you are clear in your own mind what something should look like. OK, so sometimes you will have to take a best guess but generally this principle will pay great dividends in the future.

 

Martian

Thanks Martian. I have been following your recent builds and coming from these kind words and encouragement mean a lot!

 

7 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Welcome to the deep end of the madness!

You really did leap off the high diving board didn't you?

Take heed of what Martian says above. He gives wise advice.

(Of course he's as mad as a diesel driven doughnut, but we like him).

 

Keep the 'Crikey' (Nickname for the Whirlwind) going.

It's a steep learning curve but well worth the effort.

 

Thanks for the info Pete. I am afraid that the urge to "improve" the plastic is what attracted me to the art of modeling in the first place.. Another madman!

4 hours ago, TheBaron said:

Really very nice indeed, both on the paintworking and the structural details you're adding. Keep it up!

Tony

Thank you for the kind words. I know how far I have to go to even try to match you guys, but the journey is fun, if sometimes a bit frustrating

Take today for instance.

I did a little more sanding and patching on the Fowler flap and then decided to look at the canopy again.  I should have revisited my research materials first!.. But I blundered ahead and :

31551946290_91f9c6f3e6_c.jpg

glued up the bracing for the canopy, not realizing that the pieces with holes in them do not connect to the strut that shadows/supports the canopy in the back.. I managed to pry the joint apart without damage so nothing lost but time... seems every time I sit down at the bench I learn something new!... Looking at the pictures I have, the PE parts may be too big... Anyway onward!

 

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You never stop learning at this game, I have been at it for fifty years and still learn new stuff with every build.

 

Martian

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Same for me. I've only been back at this pursuit for a year, but that's long enough to know I'm still only scratching the surface of what's possible. As long as you enjoy what you're doing and it gives you personal satisfaction, that's the main part. You'll find people on here mad, but incredibly supportive.:lol:

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Really enjoying watching this one take shape. I know Trumpeter get alot of bad press but I don't mind them, they look about right to my eye.

The work your putting in on this is going to make it a beauty when finished, and I'll probably nick your ideas when I open mine!

 

Keep fighting the good fight!

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Today I did a little work on the Fowler flap mechanism. Here is what I am try to give an impression of:

31138706713_4156f08069_c.jpg

Here is what I have so far:

31947779395_b86a50477d_c.jpg

Pathetic I know, but for what it is, it's OK. I don't need the flap to move, as it only opens to rear radiator flap in only one position, so I'm good with that.

I reworked the interior framework for the canopy after looking at more photos and drawings from the Westwind Whirlwind project archive and this is where it stands, waiting for the epoxy to cure.

31138707213_fbd940e81f_c.jpg

 

Here is what it is trying to represent:

31947779285_3e6c6c00eb_c.jpg

I have yet to add the support braces to the strip up the middle of the back. Need to find some finer wire as it appears to be about a third the side of the canopy framework that supports the navigation light at the top.

Tiny steps... thanks for looking in...

Terry

Edited by Sprueloose
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Tiny steps is the way to go with the sort of modelling you are trying to do. I treat each part as a model in it's own right and each step as a stand alone project. Not only does this help one focus but also helps give one a bit of a boost when a step is completed.

 

Martian

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Thanks Martian! I appreciate and need that advice! 

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Continued to work on the canopy today. The challenge was to make this interior framework to fit just inside the canopy.

31973444015_18e8ec590f_c.jpg

Got as close as I could at this point:

31973443585_53f9cc9db3_c.jpg

Then I rebuilt the gunsight and reattached to rollbar:

31973443525_d4ff743470_c.jpg

Also put a coat of primer on the Fowler flap mechanism and filled the gap under the fuselage that will be exposed with the flap lowered.

31973443375_be4f8dbb60_c.jpg

That's it for today! Thanks for watching.

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The canopy looks fine and by dropping the flaps you will break up the kit's outline thus hiding at least a few of it's inaccuracies.

 

Martian

 

PS: Beware this super detailing and scratch building lark; it can be very addictive! Very rewarding but addictive none the less.

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Worked on the antenna today. The plane I am representing had the antenna mounted on the canopy rather than, as in later models, in front of the cockpit. I decided to recreate the antenna in brass as I felt that the putting a pin in the existing plastic part would have secured the joint, but weakened the plastic too much.

So I chucked a bit of brass brazing rod in my hand grinder and went to work with a flat file:

31181539113_657a0a47df_c.jpg

First i created the pin for seating the antenna in the canopy and then started to work tapering the antenna itself. I used a photo of a recovered antenna from the Whirlwind Fighter Project site as my guide. I have realized in the past few weeks that when working with pieces this small that I really have to concentrate on keeping my touch very light. It's like being a giant and trying to crack eggs without getting shells in the omelet!

Once I had the general diameter about right, I re-chucked the antenna blank in a tap handle and set about creating the wind foil shape.

 31842848932_81a3d84685_c.jpg

Once I had the shape right I freed the antenna and set about mounting it on the canopy, which where things went south!

I should say in my defense that I am suffering from an allergy attack and that clouded my judgement. Anyway, holding the drill bit in my hand I managed to start a hole in the wrong place! Twice! Deep breath. This seems pretty unrecoverable. Polishing the partial holes out would deform the outline of the canopy and I have found nothing to "fill" them. Soooo.... I decided to buy another kit and be more careful!

It's the journey right? My internal framework under the rear of the canopy wasn't quite centered either, so perhaps I will redo that as well..Not giving up.... marching on!... Plus with two kits I might just investigate modifying the nacelles... 

 

13 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

The canopy looks fine and by dropping the flaps you will break up the kit's outline thus hiding at least a few of it's inaccuracies.

 

Martian

 

PS: Beware this super detailing and scratch building lark; it can be very addictive! Very rewarding but addictive none the less.

Well hopefully the new canopy will look better Martian! Once you know the inaccuracies, they kind of stick out... but yeah I see what you mean about hiding them.. I suppose if I only photographed the model from the rear quadrant... So every completed model is full of interesting situations and none of them are perfect. I imagine that every modeler could take you on a tour of the "mistakes" in any given model that they had made. Not that that detracts in anyway from the satisfaction of building them!

Taking the night off and back tomorrow working on some other part of this Crikey! Addictive you say?

 

Terry

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Looks like the bug has bitten already. Did I mention that there is no known cure?

 

Martian

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That brass tuning technique is wotth knowing. Thanks for sharing it. I don't own a lathe and probably never will so it's nice to see a simple alternative. 

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Posted (edited)

Did a little work on the engine nacelles. The landing bay doors were not designed to close and consequently were out of shape. The nacelles themselves are not quite the right shape but I am not addressing that issue...I might in the future but for now I thought that I would at least get the doors to close. I decided that the doors need most of the modifying as the nacelle opening seemed closer to the real thing.

So with a little judicious filing I got one set to close up. You can see the one I have yet to do in the background.

31639532340_d994d0f667_c.jpg

I am not planning on having the plane in flight but this seemed like a good place to start if I wanted to evaluate just what is wrong with the  shape of the model.

31865909722_a23c059f65_c.jpg

23 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

Looks like the bug has bitten already. Did I mention that there is no known cure?

 

Martian

Thanks for watching Martin. I hope that the new year brings you a lift. Looking at your builds and your encouraging words certainly has been a lift for me. All the best for 2017.

22 hours ago, Reconcilor said:

That brass tuning technique is wotth knowing. Thanks for sharing it. I don't own a lathe and probably never will so it's nice to see a simple alternative. 

I think that I learned that one from a Paul Budzik video, although it might have been from somewhere else. I am enjoying watching your scratch build btw!

 

20 hours ago, sharkmouth said:

I am am liking this a lot!

Thanks for the kind words. I've a lot to learn.

 

Enough for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Terry

Edited by Sprueloose
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As Martian says it look pretty much like there's no hope for you at this stage on this detailing lark. :lol: This is coming along very finely indeed. I'm a big fan of the homemade non-lathe lathe myself, so interested to see your fine results. 

 

I do do hope you're enjoying this because I certainly am watching - keep it up!

 

Tony

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Posted (edited)

While waiting for a replacement canopy, I did a little work on the wings. Installed the PE representing the struts and radiators:

32137498786_bcfcb09596_c.jpg

Replaced the foil shrouds for the cooling exit flaps with plastic card and added the two strips (not cut to length) that represent the channels that the Fowler flap rollers ride in to raise the exit flaps for the ratiators:

32137498876_f5f160e27b_c.jpg

I also replaced the pieces of polished clear sprue that had inserted for the landing lights on the wing bottoms. They just didn't look right and so I removed them and used a dab of Krystal Klear to show the lens retracted. I don't have any good pictures of what they actually look like when extended ... so just a guess.

Today I spent my time downloading and resizing drawings of the aircraft so that I could try to see the problems with the kit. From the drawings that I have it looks like the nacelles can be trimmed a bit to conform more  closely to the actual look of the plane, but the fuselage needs quite a bit of modification (assuming the scale drawings that I have are correct) 

From what I can see the areas of concern are:

1: the fuselage is too long.

2. the canopy (sliding part) is not long enough. 

3 the tail is not deep enough (not sure about that.. perhaps it was too deep!... ah the memory is going!)

4 the nose is too pointy (as are the spinners!)

Not sure how much I am willing to do. But one step at a time and I'm still enjoying the process...

I can see why many modelers have several kits going at the same time... and why I have heard "I think I need to do one OOB, and easy build...!

Thanks for watching and hope the New Year is treating you well!

Edited by Sprueloose
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