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airscale

1/18 Fairey Firefly VX376

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Posted (edited)

hello again folks smile.png
 
Having finished my 1/18 Spitfire XIV, I am hooked on the scale as it allows me to go nuts on detailing and get a scale effect through skinning with metal, so after a bit of deliberation I have settled on my next victim...
 
...you don't see many of these, in fact none in large scale (yet) and I like UK prop aircraft so I settled on the Fairey Firefly - they don't come in natural metal finishes which I like as it shows off the metalwork, so the nearest I could find is this bird a TT5 VX376 seen on 29th Feb 1956 - Pilot: S/Lt Mike Thorne, Observer: Lt Jones, Duty: Townsville to Cairns & target towing for the 1st Frigate Squadron...
 
WIP6_zpsqztriinj.jpg
 
..it is near enough NMF for me, this one, sister ship VX388 is in Steve Long's care in Oz and shows the sort of anodised looking finish - it is probably paint, but either way I still think I can work with it, and if worst come to worst I will just paint it smile.png . I may well do VX388 as you can't have better references than a real, and more importantly unrestored example..
 
WIP7_zpstut0qmw3.jpg
 
..the first step in any project like this is good plans. I intend to scratchbuild it using traditional methods so a good outline & section plan is a must. I found some fantastic 3 views with sections by Jumpei Temma whom I trust as I used his work on my 1/24 F7F Tigercat...
 
plan_zpsz5trrxor.jpg
 
..I had these scaled to 1/18 - here seen with my laptop - as you can see she is a big girl - 64cm span and about a third bigger than my Spit... I have two more sheets not shown that detail the undersurfaces & the fuselage & sections...
 
WIP11_zpsxeeeimm3.jpg
 
..the next step is getting repetitive strain injury by right click & saving every image on the internet I can find - some are real quality shots like this of VX388 - I can reproduce everything you see here, but cut some corners as will be seen..
 
WIP10_zps219gpjzn.jpg
 
..once references have been started I can start to work up a Photo-Etch sheet for the model - I did thsi for my Spit and F7F and it means many, many parts that would be difficult or time consuming to make can be 'drawn' in at about 5 - 10 minutes an item - some are obviously more complicated, but simple things like hatches, brackets, instruments, radiators all sorts of stuff can be made.
 
It just takes a bit of basic PC skills with a drawing program like CorelDraw (subscription @£22 a month, drop in & drop out whenever you need it) - I learned all I know with this and Rhino 3D modelling from Youtube videos - it really is straightforward.. making a PE fret has a couple of rules I may well do a quick tutorial on, but basically you just draw things in layers - things you want full thickness & things you want part etched - anywhere you can see through is just dissolved away. You also need to tag things to a frame so they don't just float away on theor own..
 
..so here is a bulkhead where I have started to trace it's outline and add detail to.. anything in blue is half etched - that is to say it disolves away half the thickness of the sheet, anything in yellow is full thickness - the metal is left untouched.. you can see I set the shapes to be transparent so I can see what is going on in the original pic - it is just like tracing...
 
WIP1_zps49k4ogjd.jpg
 
..while this kick-off post doesn't have any actual building yet, I have spent about a week so far drawing up structures & components that will be used later on..
 
..for example the instrument panel - there are two as one is a backplate the detailed one fits onto, as they are copies of each other they always fit perfectly smile.png
 
WIP5_zpsrxuga5mv.jpg
 
..lots of assorted parts including throttle & prop controls, compass mount and loads of internal / external hatches & brackets..
 
WIP2_zpsxatghmen.jpg
 
..the Observers station - bulkheads & surrounding structure..
 
WIP3_zpsva3etodg.jpg
 
..the pilot's bulkhead is actually three layers of structure to get the best level of base detail before all the framework is added...
 
WIP4_zps5fqiiuze.jpg
 
..another cheat for complicated or uniform parts when scratchbuilding or converting is 3D modelling - this is a wheel from my Spitfire done on Rhino -again a 3 month trial is available with the software which is enough to learn the basics, and get a few parts done - I will likely repurpose this for the Firefly as it has four cut-outs in the middle not 3 and has block tread not diamonds, but wheels & the prop spinner are pretty straightforward parts to design using a 'revolve' surface tool..
 
WIP8_zps8rdybyya.jpg
 
so that's it for day one - I think it's about a 2 year build and it is an aircraft I think will really have presence when completed. I am always looking for close up internal reference pics, or drawings so please, if you find anything drop it in here or PM me smile.png
 
I look forward to your company on the way, and while it is not as beautiful as a low back Griffon Spitfire, I hope it is engaging enough to keep us entertained smile.png
 
TTFN
Peter

Edited by airscale

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Peter’s building a Firefly. I like Peter’s modelling and I like Fireflys. 

What a treat this is going to be - thanks Peter :) 

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Peter,

Thanks for taking on another epic challenge. 

Will be following of course and learning all the way.

All the Best!

Don

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Peter,

 

Loved your Spitfire, so I will dip in and out on this one as and when, if that's ok.

 

Regards

 

Martin

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That's a very nice choice of aircraft Peter.

I'm sitting in a very comfy armchair with two years supply of popcorn on order.

I can't wait to see what I'm going to learn on this journey and any tutorials along the way would be gratefully received and very much appreciated.

Best of luck.

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This is going to be a really interesting build - the Spitfire got us entranced so a Firefly will be great - Steve Long would be a good source of references for RAN Firefly's - not forgetting that Paul Fisher is working on a 1/32 Firefly kit to go with the Sea Fury - things are looking up - if only Wolfpack would get their act together and finally produce the 1/48 resin Firefly wingfolds!

 

CJP

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Another adventure begins!

 

Huzzah! 

 

I'm right there with you Peter!  Thank you for continuing to share your artistry with us!!  I especially appreciate your sharing on photo-etching.

 

Many thanks!

 

PR

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Great choice Peter looking forward to your progress and your excellent building skills. 

 

Guy 

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I arrived at the Spitfire build very late, I glad I'm here for the start of this one

 

really looking forward to this

rgds

John(shortCummins)

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Looking forward to seeing this unfold. I predict an absolute masterpiece. 

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Posted (edited)

Really looking forward to this, having  found it fairly early for once I might even get a seat near the front!

 

John

Edited by Biggles87

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Peter,

Like so many others, I was enthralled by your Spitfire build and cannot wait to see how this one progresses.

I sense you're well on your way with a TT5 - but there was an all over silver Mk IV (apart from anti-glare panel) - TW692 which features in a couple of photos - one I think in the Warpaint book...? Again, I think the silver was probably painted rather than natural metal - and I would think the yellow/black undersides and target towing gear of the TT5 would be really eye catching.... But I wouldn't want you to get to the end and then think "I should have done THAT one!"

Looking forward to the next instalment.

Cheers,

Nick.

 

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Note to self,

1/Search Amazon for bulk discount on popcorn.

2/Try to avoid bedsores while watching this by moving occasionally.

3/ Keep the mods busy so they don't notice 2 years worth of pages.

 

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I too came across your Spitfire build very late and spent many enjoyable hours reading the thread from start to finish - Glad i'm here in time to follow this one, the word Epic springs to mind!

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21 hours ago, CJP said:

..Paul Fisher is working on a 1/32 Firefly kit...

Oh my!  Is he?  His Fury is stunning.

 

Peter, you have picked one of my very fave aircraft; I look forward to learning a ton of stuff which I can then shamelessly plagiarise in 1/48!

 

Hoorah!

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21 minutes ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Oh my!  Is he?  His Fury is stunning.

 

Peter, you have picked one of my very fave aircraft; I look forward to learning a ton of stuff which I can then shamelessly plagiarise in 1/48!

 

Hoorah!

I found Fisher Firefly news on this forum link - http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=60778

 

CJP

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Approved!!!

Stunning start with those drawings for the interior!!!

Let us dream!!!:yes:

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Oh goodness! Here we go again.:D

 

"Somewhere, a little Tigercat waits..." (I really was expecting progress to resume on that little gem.)

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Oh my! You really put the truth to the saying" The sky is the limit" don't you!

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