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Nickthebrief

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Everything posted by Nickthebrief

  1. Nickthebrief

    Fairey Seafox (es)

    This is looking very interesting - you're making good progress. I think the Seafox is a really attractive aeroplane - I don't suppose anyone has ever made a 1:48 kit of one? Vac? Resin? Keep up the good work and I will follow along if I may? Cheers, Nick.
  2. Nickthebrief

    Percival proctor I/III and IV

    Having just bought the lovely looking Dora Wings kits (1:48) of the Proctor and the Vega Gull, I'm keen to find out what colours the Fleet Air Arm painted these. TLS on the upper surfaces, it seems - but would the undersides be yellow, or Sky, or something else? Cheers, Nick.
  3. I'm a bit of a sucker for panel lines - so I really like the finish you have achieved here. A great looking model of a not so great looking aircraft. Now how about a Wyvern or Sea Hawk?! Cheers, Nick.
  4. What a great build, Russ. A really lovely finish, weathered just right! And I agree with all the positive comments about the background and photography too. I'm just in the throws of building this kit myself - foolishly thinking "you never see these built"! Glad you've proved me wrong there. I found that, from above, the port wing on mine was raked forward at more of an angle that the starboard one, and from ahead it was at least 1.5mm lower at the "shoulder" where it joins the fuselage! So I have spent quite a bit of time and effort trying to correct that... I plan to paint mine as a post war 815 NAS aircraft in EDSG over Sky... I shall be doing very well indeed if it turns out anything like as nice as yours... Thanks for sharing - very inspirational. Cheers, Nick.
  5. Nickthebrief

    Sea Harrier FA-2

    Good things come to those that wait - that's looking really lovely. Decals are always fun (aren't they?) and weathering too - so it's all down hill from here, right? I hope I can do this kit as well as you have when I finally drag it from the stash. Cheers, Nick.
  6. Nickthebrief

    1:32 Tamiya Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc

    I think the only 1:32 kit I've ever built, also many moons ago, is the Matchbox Tiger Moth - otherwise it's 1:48 for me. But when the Tamiya Spitfire kit came out the reviews were so positive and the plastic just looked so good, I nagged my other half into buying it for me. It has been in the stash ever since (wrong scale, didn't fly with the Royal Navy...) and I've never really had the urge to break it out and build it, but you could be on your way to changing that... Cheers, Nick.
  7. Nickthebrief

    1:32 Tamiya Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc

    Lovely pipes Bill! They look fantastic - and beautifully aligned. As ever with your work, I'm really enjoying this build. Cheers, Nick.
  8. That is a fabulous Swordfish Russ - I love the weathered look you've achieved there - a really good rendition of a war weary aircraft. It is a great kit - my only gripe (which you seem to have avoided) is the slightly saggy lower wings... Lovely work, thanks for sharing! Cheers, Nick.
  9. What a lovely Gannet - as other's have said the finish is superb. I also agree with your comments about Dynavector kits and how good they are. My first vac-form was their Sea Vixen - I would accept that the Airfix offering is probably superior now - and I followed that with the Scimitar - also a good kit although I felt the panel lines were a little softer and less distinct - and still the only option for 1:48... For a Gannet I went down the Classic Airframes route and whilst it is not a bad kit, I think the Dynavector one might be an easier build - the resin nose of the CA one is not a great fit and requires a lot of work. I do have a Dynavector one in the stash and will build it one day - I love the wing fold on Tony O'T's and might copy him (again!) Great job, thanks for sharing. Cheers, Nick.
  10. Nickthebrief

    (Another) 1:48 Blackburn Skua

    Well, as it's you Mick... (Have you not seen it before?) Thanks Russ. Cheers, Nick.
  11. Following on from so many kind comments about my silver Skua, I feel brave enough to share some photos of my second model of this quirky aeroplane; this time in more war like colours... The Skua's "finest hour" has to be, I think, the attack on the cruiser Konigsberg on 10th April 1940. This is my attempt to reproduce an aircraft from that strike - and in particular the machine flown by Lieutenant Commander William "Bill" Lucy. There are not a huge number of easy to find references on the Skua in general, and I could not find any photos of the Skua's from the date of this mission. There are some from the later, disastrous attack on the Scharnhorst in June, by which time I think some changes had been made to the markings/colours - but I make no claims to be an expert on the numerous variations in Fleet Air Arm camouflage and markings that seem to have been a feature of the early war years in particular. By way of a quick explanation, I have used the tail code A6F on the basis that: A is for Ark Royal; and although the mission was flown from Hatston in the Orkney Islands, I read somewhere that 803 NAS was only recently and temporarily shore based, and therefore unlikely to have received the code L. 6 (along with 7?) is for a fighter squadron and, despite its various shortcomings and better performance (relatively at least) as a dive bomber, I think that Skua's were classed as fighters. The kit includes the code A8F - my reading is that 8 was for various training types/squadrons and so I converted the 8 to a 6 with a touch of black and Sky Grey paint. F was the individual aircraft letter - I think I picked this up from the book by Richard Partridge who flew Skua's on both missions referred to above... As fighter aircraft the undersides are marked with the black/white scheme often seen on early Hurricanes, Spitfires etc. I know some photos show these markings on early war Skua's, but whether they were there for the mission in April 1940 I really don't know. Other points of interest (?) are: the crew who come from the Tamiya Swordfish kit. The pilot was a relatively easy fit; the observer had to have some rather drastic surgery to squeeze him into the rear cockpit. So too did the "clam shell" opening part of the rear canopy - most of the centre section had to be cut away to fit around the observer's head - it's not the neatest of jobs when seen close up. The observer's Lewis gun is a lovely resin one from Eduard. I stole a 500lb semi-armour piercing bomb from a Wellington kit and, as with the silver model, scratch built a bomb crutch to replace the inaccurate kit one. Skua's had a large and very prominent sight that filled most of the centre section of the windscreen - Special Hobby have not included this in the kit and I failed to replicate it... Enough waffle - some pictures! Cheers, Nick.
  12. Nickthebrief

    (Another) 1:48 Blackburn Skua

    Given that the theme is "yellow", I think probably not... But hoping to make it there for the first time in ages. Cheers, Nick.
  13. Nickthebrief

    (Another) 1:48 Blackburn Skua

    Many thanks Pat. It certainly is a curious looking machine - but the more I look at it the more I like it! Thanks Rich. The early war campaign in Norway does seem to be a bit forgotten - perhaps overshadowed by the events of the retreat to Dunkirk and then the Battle of Britain - so it's good to be able to use the model to shed a bit of light on these less well known aspects... It's kind of you to say so Mike - although personally I prefer the silver one! I have built a couple of Swordfish - one pre war and one camouflage (is there a theme here...?) Hopefully I will get round to posting up some pictures one day... Thanks Davey. You're right - very odd to leave out the sight in the larger scale in particular - I really should have tried to replicate it... As ever, all your thoughts and comments are really appreciated. Cheers, Nick.
  14. This is the 1:48 Special Hobby kit of one of my favourite aeroplanes, the Blackburn Skua. Compromised by the need to be both a dive bomber and a fighter, it was not particularly accomplished at either role, but never the less achieved a number of significant "firsts" - including (I think I'm right in saying) the first confirmed "kill" by a British aircraft in WW2 and the first aircraft to sink a major warship by dive bombing. I am indebted (again) to Tony O'Toole for one of his excellent magazine articles which really helped with the build. The kit isn't bad. The interior is relatively basic and could be improved if you felt the need (although references, especially for the rear cockpit, are not easy to find). My main criticism is that the wings come in a total of seven pieces (plus two resin wheel wells) as if designed to have a folded option, but without any internal detail or structure to allow you to do this. This makes it needlessly difficult to build the wings spread for flight - although I concede that it will make it easier if you want to use an aftermarket set to model the wings folded. I tackled the wings by trying to turn the kit back into a more conventional format - I joined the three parts that make up the full span lower wing and reinforced the joins with thin plasticard. I repeated this for the two pieces that make up each upper wing half and only then did I glue top and bottom surfaces together. I scratch built the bomb crutch from plastic rod as the kit version isn't very good, and I followed Tony's suggestion of replacing the prop blades with ones from a Tamiya Mosquito as the kit ones are too short. The silver paint is Tamiya TS 17, decanted from the spray can and sprayed through my trusty Paasche VL airbrush; the spinner (these were, it seems, always highly polished on the silver aircraft...) is Alclad Chrome; the exhaust stain (very distinctive on the Skua and I don't think I've got it quite right) is Tamiya Smoke. A coat of Xtracolour matt varnish helped to dull the finish and make it look more like an aircraft painted silver and serving at sea... The panel line wash seems to stand out rather more starkly in the photos than "in the flesh". The decals are from the kit and worked really well, with only the slightest of touch ups required for Ark Royal's blue-red-blue chevrons. The markings represent a machine from 803NAS in May 1939. Cheers, Nick.
  15. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    I do! I have built one in 820 NAS markings from HMS Courageous - but I love the various different colours and schemes and so an Ark Royal one is on the wish list! Cheers, Nick.
  16. Nickthebrief

    (Another) 1:48 Blackburn Skua

    Many thanks for your response Ian - it is info and expertise like this that makes Britmodeller such a great place... I knew I was taking a bit of a punt with the tail code; I'm glad the underside colours seem to be right... Hooefully I can tap into your expertise earlier in any future builds ( now that I can finally post photos, I might even risk a WIP thread...!) Thank you Steve - I'm really chuffed that you and others like it. Cheers, Nick.
  17. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    Thanks Tony - that's much appreciated. Apart from a very nice 1:72 build on here by Navy Bird, it seems silver Skua's are rare creatures - not sure why as they do look good in silver - and I've always liked Ark Royal's blue - red - blue chevrons.... Cheers, Nick.
  18. Nickthebrief

    (Another) 1:48 Blackburn Skua

    Thank you very much. I suppose in modelling a specific aircraft on a specific mission, I can also claim that this is the first time I have ever attempted a 3D miniature rendition of a specific person too! It seems, from what I have read that Bill Lucy was an excellent pilot - he must have been to have scored victories in a Skua... Thank you Bill - much appreciated. Many thanks fubar (now go buy one!!!) Thank you. Thanks Nick. It's not a bad kit once you get into it. Rather a lot of Skua's were, it seems, shot down over various fjords, but L2929 has a nice ring to it! Enjoy. Thanks Keith - kind of you to say so. I do like looking at them together on the shelf! Cheers Colin. I used Tamiya acrylic for the Sky Grey - these remain my favourite brand for airbrushing as they just go on so well and don't clog up my airbrush. For the first time I used Vallejo acrylics for the upper surfaces - they sprayed nicely and I like the colours themselves - but needed lots of thinning and still clogged the needle a bit... Thank you Vinnie. It's always good to fit a crew in - I don't do it often enough. As I mentioned above, the observer caused me all sorts of trouble, but was worth it in the end. Many thanks Malcolm. I looked in vain in that book, the Warpaint one and the Mushroom Models book to no avail... At least it means (I hope!) that no one can prove I've got it wrong! Cheers, Nick.
  19. Nickthebrief

    (Another) 1:48 Blackburn Skua

    I'm really pleased you have seen these Tony - as I mentioned, your magazine articles are really helpful with these Special Hobby kits - I follow your lead! As for a Roc... For some reason the Roc doesn't appeal to me in the same way the Skua does. It might be that whereas the Skua is widely considered to be hopeless and ugly, it actually achieved a remarkable amount of success early in the war; whereas the Roc...well...it's just hopeless and ugly. I will get round to building the one in the stash one day - I am very taken with Martian's idea of doing it as a target tug with the turret removed... Cheers, Nick.
  20. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    Many thanks - as I mentioned above, the panel line wash looks a little stark in the photos... Thank you John. I agree - I also love the various pre-war schemes out there for the Swordfish - one day I must do an Ark Royal one to accompany the Skua... And you're right about the pace of technological advance in aviation at that time - the Skua was miles ahead of most of it's immediate Fleet Air Arm predecessors, but then just a couple of years later, was miles behind the opposition it had to face in battle. I for one would not like to have come up against a Bf 109 in one! Go buy one! You know you want to! It is a short run kit so you have got to be in the mood for a bit of extra work - but sometimes that's the point, right? Thanks to all of you for the very kind comments. Cheers, Nick.
  21. What a lovely job! Colours look spot on to me, and the weathering and panel lines are exactly what I aspire to... I really looks the part and the comparison between model and the real thing is very flattering to your model making - it looks great. Happy Christmas to you too! Cheers, Nick.
  22. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    Many thanks - there seem to be quite a few Skua fans out there - more than I expected for an aircraft that I always thought virtually no one had heard of! Thank goodness for Special Hobby and their willingness to produce kits of so many of the Fleet Air Arm's finest... Cheers, Nick.
  23. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    It certainly is a curious looking machine - all part of the attraction to my eyes! Thanks for the feedback - it is much appreciated. Nick.
  24. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    Many thanks Richard.
  25. Nickthebrief

    1:48 Blackburn Skua (Pre-war)

    You've reminded me that all those little resin pipes to connect the cylinders to the collector ring were a bit fiddly... If I remember correctly, I glued the circular rear part of the collector ring into the cowling and filled and sanded the gap, having drilled out the holes where the pipes locate into it. Having superglued all the pipes to the cylinders, I was able to (gently) sand the whole unit on a flat surface to try and ensure that all the pipes were the same length - but I suspect if you look closely some touch the collector ring, and some don't... Cheers, Nick.
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