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general melchett

Building and correcting the Airfix Valiant B1

216 posts in this topic

A very well worn Valiant in high speed silver with an unusual view of open bomb doors...

1274029M-1.jpg

Interesting (and very unusual) photo of WZ402 there Andy with the doors hanging in the breeze. As you know, the doors normally slid up inside the bomb-bay during operation.

Not knowing what was going on, I forwarded the photo to an ex 214 Sqdn friend of mine, Pete Sharp, requesting guidance. This was his reply:-

"Hi Dennis

Yes I have a copy of that same image........Each door pivoted on two large radius arms on the attached to the extreme ends of the bomb doors, the upper part being attached to the bomb bay roof. When the doors are open they NORMALLY retracted up into the bomb bay, but they then concealed voluminous cable runs that were housed behind them. These cables were not actually in the bomb bay, but were housed in a cavity between the outer skin and the bomb bay wall skin. To gain access to them, pip pins were removed from the bomb bay radius arms which gave them a longer sweep. The doors were then selected OPEN and they rotated on the extended radius into that position. Looking at the photograph I should say that it was taken during the hot weather trials at Khormaksar and that some problem has occurred in the electrical installation [my conjecture]. The doors were frequently to be found in this position during hangar servicing, very seldom on the dispersal.

If you need any further clarification on this, email me and I will try to put it more clearly.

Pete..."

HTH

Dennis

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Looking really good, looking forward to seeing more!

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Right, Airfix made a few booboos, not many though. The large main doors inner details are totally wrong, (my guess would be that as they used XD818 at Cosford for data they had to guess at the detail as the inside of the doors as they are closed to avoid people banging their heads when walking around her!). The real thing has round(ish) dish shaped depressions which fitted neatly over the main wheels when the doors were closed and a large actuator housing was fitted in the midline of the door. They were quite thick so I thought that the best way to do this would be to use 2mm Plasticard and a compass cutter as well a Scale Models indespensible scribing template.. The card was cut slightly smaller than the door to give a slight edge then rivets were added using my pounce wheel. The centre strut support was added with square rod and new hinges added., Not perfect but a lot better than the kit parts,

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Also the kits wing tip fuel dump pipe section is too short in length and the wingtip profile slightly wrong so I cut it away and added aluminium tubing bent to shape. Now they project further back as they should, and the wingtip reprofiled,

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The vortex gennies were removed from the fin as the fin flashes have to be added over the first two of these. This would be quite a chore if they were left on so I decided to remove them and replace later,

P1110182.jpg

Cheers for now,

Melch....

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Moving swiftly along, doing a grand job there melch

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Right, Airfix made a few booboos, not many though. The large main doors inner details are totally wrong,

P1110188-1.jpg

Melch....

Hi General

I note you haven't modified the door outline - as you point out and illustrate a few posts up, the doors for '215 were different to production machines, being pointed at the front rather than rounded. '215's doors and production doors (and ergo the wheel well openings as well) are pointed, with straight edges on the rear edge, not the rounded off edge as moulded by Airfix. A small point on an outstanding kit (and a very fine build so far sir!) that I thought you would have corrected if going to the trouble of adding detail to the inside of the door - one bit of the Mach 2 kit that looks closer to reality than the Airfix kit.

As an aside, I'm looking for details of the flap inners, I fancy doing one parked on QRA with them in the take off setting. Any pointers?

Dave

Edited by Dave Swindell

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Cheers Jimbuna and Dave, thanks for pointing that out, you're dead right the doors should indeed have pointed edges at the rear for production machines! :doh: , .As it wont be a big fix I'll modify it asap,................ funny but looking at a lot of pictures of a particular subject you sometimes can't see the wood for the trees!! :hypnotised: ,

As for flap inners, I also intend to build at least one with everything out so I'll look through all the reference stuff I have andsee what I have, (I'm sure I have some detail shots somewhere),

Cheers,

Melchett...

This looks a bit better...

P1110191-1.jpg

P1110189-1.jpg

Edited by general melchett

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Cheers Jimbuna and Dave, thanks for pointing that out, you're dead right the doors should indeed have pointed edges at the rear for production machines! :doh: , .As it wont be a big fix I'll modify it asap,................ funny but looking at a lot of pictures of a particular subject you sometimes can't see the wood for the trees!! :hypnotised: ,

Much better! as you say, not a big fix. Funny you didn't spot it, all I could see every time I looked at a valiant photo was that back edge of the door! looked at every photo I had for one in service with the door up & came to the conclusion (as confirmed in another thread) this was not a normal configuration. Watching with interest, :popcorn:

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Some fine progress there General, I particularly like the door fix.

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Something else that's been bugging me ...the top of the tail fin!...................it's got way too much angle and really needs completely reprofiling!!.....don't know where Airfix got this from???

Kit part,

P1110193-1.jpg

Real thing,

1274029M-1-1.jpg

Wondered if it was a 'Grapple' mod that I'd missed but this clearly shows 818 with the flatter fin cap!,

0077016-1.jpg

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Think I might have found the answer here...the model lines up perfectly with the incorrect Richard Caruna drawings, (as supplied in the Warpaint book), as the fin cap shape is identical as are the main gear doors!, The rest of it looks OK but I'll have to set them against others I have to make sure,

P1110194-1.jpg

P1110198-1.jpg

Edited by general melchett

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the model lines up perfectly with the incorrect Richard Caruna drawings

Ahh!, so the kit is accurate, it's the photo's that are wrong! :whistle:

Dave

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Something else that's been bugging me ...the top of the tail fin!...................it's got way too much angle and really needs completely reprofiling!!.....don't know where Airfix got this from???

Possibly from "drawings" that are currently "in vogue" Andy :- "The Aeroplane" for February 2002 - drawings by Guiseppe Picarella; "Warpaint" Number 63 - drawings by R Caruana and recent issues of "Airfix Model World - drawings by The Aviation Workshop, all of which appear to bear a striking resemblance to each other particularly in their fundamental inaccuracies and in the case of the latter publication, also true of at least one Squadron marking based, it seems, on a comment made by Mike Bowyer in "Bombing Colours" back in the seventies and which he later admitted to me was "second hand information". Ho-Hum.

Strange - Aeromodeller got the Valiant shape right back in the fifties, when plastic kits were worth a few paragraphs and a grainy photo, and all drawn using a simple Straight edge, French curves, Slide rule and a Pencil.

Tell me something please. In todays world of instant information, volumes presented at the click of a mouse and 24 hour news coverage, are the nouns, "Research" and "Facts", dirty words ?

Dennis W Robinson

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Ha, yes quite Dennis!,.......... along the same lines I have a couple of the ancient FROG Valiants from the late 50's and to be honest that model is the most accurate of the lot. I have no idea what companies like Airfix, Trumpeter and a few others do for research these days but I'm sure it'll be a quicker option than it used to be!. It just amazes me particularly when there's an example of the aircraft sat there in a UK museum for reference...All relatively easy fixes but in all honesty they shouldn't really be necessary.....

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Ha, yes quite Dennis!,.......... along the same lines I have a couple of the ancient FROG Valiants from the late 50's and to be honest that model is the most accurate of the lot. I have no idea what companies like Airfix, Trumpeter and a few others do for research these days but I'm sure it'll be a quicker option than it used to be!. It just amazes me particularly when there's an example of the aircraft sat there in a UK museum for reference...All relatively easy fixes but in all honesty they shouldn't really be necessary.....

Agreed. Despite my gripes, it's still a Valiant and long, long overdue. On the plus side of course, threads and web sites such as this help to spread the word instantly and other modellers gain the benefits almost as quickly. I'm following this thread particularly closely as you, good sir, are doing a 199/18 machine and I'll be very interested in seeing the finished product and especially where you put the aerials.

Dennis

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Think I might have found the answer here...the model lines up perfectly with the incorrect Richard Caruna drawings, (as supplied in the Warpaint book), as the fin cap shape is identical as are the main gear doors!, The rest of it looks OK but I'll have to set them against others I have to make sure,

P1110194-1.jpg

P1110198-1.jpg

Hi General!

You are right about Mr Caruana's drawings; Airfix has followed them fully except for the nose (where they added a section and the main wing (which is a bit wider in span). Another part which Airfix got right in spite of the Caruana drawing is the nose wheel well and doors, but I understand why; I met Trevor Snowden in the Cold War museum the day after SMW 2010 crawling on the floor trying to use his camera in the wheel well. He was very happy sharing his thoughts of the Valiant and their forthcoming kit. It's very nice now to have such a good representation of the well.

Regarding Carauana, his drawings is not always accurate, rather the opposite. I wonder how he could get the nose section so short?

/Jan

Edited by Grandad

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At least the tail is an easy fix.

Now stop distracting the general and let him get on with taking lots more pictures of this wonderful beast coming together :D

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Thanks chaps, Like many I've waited a long time for an IM 1/72nd Valiant , (don't really count the Mach 2 monstrosity), and am extremely grateful to Trevor and Airfix for this one. Those of you that know me know that I do like to get it right if possible as well as doing something a bit different from the usual and then be able to pass the fixes on to you good folks, hopefully increasing your level of enjoyment of the hobby.

as you, good sir, are doing a 199/18 machine and I'll be very interested in seeing the finished product and especially where you put the aerials.

Dennis, details are a bit sketchy.................photos of 199 squadron machines are a bit hard to come by, to put it mildly. I've got a fair collection of photographs of Valiants from different stages of its career, (prints taken from Air Britain originals mostly), but so far nothing on these particular aircraft, possibly due to the short lifespan of the unit before it morphed into 18 squadron.....The RCM aircraft were outwardly very similar to standard B1's with most of the jamming equipment crammed inside the rear fuselage, (above and to the rear of the bomb bay which weighed almost a ton, to counteract this nearly 500 lbs of ballast was fitted into the nose after H2S scanner removal!) but as for external aerials I know that two long probe style ones were fitted outboard of the wing tip pitots and three located inside the top of the nose......

Dont suppose you have any info on where any others were located ?

Also there was a heat exchanger mounted inside a prominent air intake on the port rear fuselage side the rear of which transferred heat to the atmosphere, (similar to the Vulcan B2's tail ECM unit). I have a detailed drawing of the placement of these units but not of any flush aerials if any were fitted?.

Grandad, Yep a few people have commented on the accuracy of his drawings before. I used them to try and fathom out what exactly was wrong (right??) with the Mach 2 kit and noticed the short nose and tail then, so I knew they would be a bit dodgy if used with this kit.I'm trying to get a set of drawings from a contact at Brooklands and see if they can be scaled to 1/72nd.

Notice now that they missed the three rudder trim tab actuator fairings too.... :whistle:

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I am of to Brooklands on Tuesday, as they are going to lower the flaps for me on the Varsity so I can get some detailed pictures of the inner workings.

Is there a nose section there of the valiant

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Kev as far as I know the nose section of XD816 is still there crammed into the Barnes Wallis stratospheric chamber, (unless they've moved it!!). Great museum, hoping to get down there soon myself..need to get at the archives!

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Interesting find on the tail Andy - I'd not spotted that yet :rolleyes:

So much for OOB eh? :lol:

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General sahh!

Beg to report a twin seated bog cover pretending to be a wheel well cover in your post.

Abart turn lef....roy...lef ...roy :toilet:

David

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Very well spotted that man!!...the latrine Mk 1' twin holer' was very much a part of the V-Bombers low level weapons release capability..............stop........ it'll be modded to resemble a Valiants door any time soon..............stop... B) !!

Mike...yes that one stuck out a mile when I opened the box.............too much time fettling/fighting the Mach 2 thingy methinks!......................OOB.............no chance!! :fraidnot:

Well it's been a busy day at work but I managed a bit of time tonight to sand the thing to the correct shape using scaled up photos of the real thing...looking at photos of the real thing there seems to be sa slight 'flattening' of the rear of the fin cap, (in line with the rudder), it's very subtle so I've had a go at incorporating that too, also added the missing rudder trim actuator fairings, (both sides)...next thing will be to shape them, (small teardrops),.and stupidly I thought this would be a quick build :whistle:

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Those of you interested in the Valiant, this is a good site,

The Valiants

Edited by general melchett

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Hope the chaps on the site don't mind but this certainly proves the colour of the interior of the crew stations really was that lurid colour!!,

Brooklands_Valiant_photo_8_A.jpg

Brooklands_Valiant_photo_9_A.jpg

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