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  1. Last leg now. I added the trailing aerial weighted end made of biro ball bearings dipped one at a time into CA and formed into a string. The static between them is a nightmare though. Exhaust staining next. There are many and varied patterns but some things seem constant across most aircraft. The outer engines only get white lead deposits on one side Undersides are quite white The exhaust shrouds have some consistent patterns and, frequently, a white cone of lead I didn't want too heavy weathering so worked from images such as these: So. for better or worse, here's what I came up with. This is a bit of a montage with the wings partly on. I took these now as I won't fix the wings on properly until it's ready to be collected, simply as I'd be too scared to take them off again now and I've nowhere tp store it with the wings on it's too flippin' big. Aerials wise, as you'll see in the pics, I've added both fin to cockpit ones although I think the port side one was only used if an extra R1155 receiver was positioned at the navigator's station. The long Gee MkI whip aerial protrudes from the canopy near the DF loop and I've added the VHF aerial shown on Gibson's Lanc front starboard in the nose. The other two are Standard Beam Approach (forward top of fuselage ) and the rear whip aerial is the TR1196 designed for air to air and air to ground communication. Trouble was, it wasn't much cop for air to air which is why the dams planes had the VHF systems fitted. So just a bit of oil and grease to add and a diorama base to build and she's done. Attempted reproduction of the iconic shot of Gibson's Lanc although in that one the wooden slatting around the mine is still present which points at the photo being taken while training.
  2. You're too kind. Hopefully this afternoon when work gets out of my way. Also got a small matter of dotting i and crossing ts on a large Lancaster first
  3. Hi Pete Thanks for your kind comments. They did indeed have "G" for guarded. This was removed prior to the raid. Since mine is on the eve of the raid I hope to God it was gone or I have some stencils to source!
  4. No probs. Buy the real cheapo with no perfume if poss then lots of water when you start chipping. If you're not happy with hairspray then the Mig Ammo is very good but pricy
  5. Hi Well, thereby hangs a tail. I've used a Vallejo water based ond for a while heavily thinned but never really liked it. In fact there's not much from Ballejo I do like. So I went back to basics...two or three thin coats of cheapo hairspray with 15 mins between coats. Worked a treat
  6. Well, here we go with the brand new, all singing, all dancing Spitfire from Airfix. No out of box review or anything like that. Just get on with building the damn thing I'm building it as the BBMF MkIX serial MK356, when it was painted in the colours of Sqn Ldr "Johnny" Plagis. So it'll be a bit of a hybrid, coded 5J-K but with a serial of MK356 not ML214. I was seriously considering doing it in NMF but I bottled it...and I'm a sucker for invasion stripes. I've taken a few engine bits off of the sprues while I'm finishing my Lancaster build and I've got to be honest, the fits aren't as good as the HK kit but the detail is stunning. I'm not rushing because as of now, there's no Airscale IP available. I asked Peter at Airscale and he said Airfix didn't make any details available to anyone pre launch so he's looking at 8 weeks min to get a product to market. As he says: "it is frustrating". Still, there's plenty to go at with the engine alone while I wait. Should be starting this build in earnest at the weekend. Thanks for looking in til then
  7. It was written very tongue in cheek. I'm a very firm believer in doing what makes you happy both in modelling and in life. There's always more than one way to taxidermy a feline.
  8. Next up was another of the annoying corrections you've got to make to this kit and it's the formation lights on the rear of each wingtip. On this model they appear as three separate lights protruding from the rear of the wing. They should sit, from all the conflicting reference I've searched through, behind a blue glass cover similar to the green and red nav lights at the front of the wing. (note to self yet again, think long and hard before you hack the wingtip off of a £400 kit). As you can probably see from the photo it's a bit too late as I've started. Problem is I had no clear plastic to fit. Thankfully, the fact it's a blue glass cover meant it could be polished a bit under super clear so I let in a piece of perspex, filed to shape, polished and sprayed Tamiya clear blue and it thankfully came out OK...on both sides! Clear red and green sprayed nav lights and all looks well. Next comes the little matter of the raison d'etre of the whole aircraft, the upkeep mine (not a bomb). HK's mine still has the wooden slatting that Wallis discarded on the final trials as the mine bounced better without it. Rather than fill and sand all that lot, I tried rolling a piece of 1/10000 plastic sheet round to smooth it out and it worked a treat. The seam will be hidden under the aircraft belly when it's installed. Spray with Mr Finishing surfacer then the debate about the finish can start. Some say black, some olive, some red oxide primer. I like red oxide primer as it gives a bit of contrast so that's what I went with. I also think it ties in with the stories of the bombs only being filled with Torpex the morning of the raid and still being warm to the touch in the afternoon. For a bit of contrast and effect, I sprayed with steel then chipping solution before a top coat of Tamiya hull red which is pretty close to oxide red primer. Then a bit of highlighting and some gentle brushing with a soft wet toothbrush and a nice effect of a bit of loss of primer comes through. As for the preparing of the bomb bay to take the upkeep it's a bit of a minefield (no pun intended) The drawings for the cradle aren't very clear the three pieces need to lean against each other. Once you've made up the cradle the instructions give you a placement point up against two small square stops. It's wrong. The diagram below shows the correct placement at two similar stops further toward the nose. The motor for rotating upkeep is hidden away inside the bay but I sprayed it black, drybrushed it and added hydraulic pipes for the hell of it The belt drive assembly got a makeover as well. I originally thought it was a chain mechanism and was going to replace the chain with actual chain. Good job I didn't as the drive was provided by a vee belt. The pulley however needed a groove in it then I can paint the belt tyre rubber and the exposed pulley in a steel colour Perhaps the most contentious issue surrounding Upkeep is the question of fuses and fusing, Why does it matter for the model when it can't be see? Oh believe me it does! Upkeep had two types of fuse, three hydrostatic fuses designed to cause detonation at 30 feet and, here's the elephant in the room, a self destruct fuse to stop it falling into enemy hands. The SD fuse consisted of a rip off pin that, when pulled out of the end of Upkeep, triggered a spark which lit a length of fuse which in turn, after 65 seconds would ignite the charge and explode the mine. All very Heath Robinson but effective. So what's the problem? Well, for many years the belief was that the pin was ripped out as the caliper arm which held upkeep in place sprung open to drop the bomb. All very well and good but, if that was the case, an accidental dropping on the ground (as allegedly happened when a WAAF pulled the release handle by the pilot's seat by mistake) would give 65 seconds to clear the aircraft before ...BOOM! A "safety catch" was needed so the rip off pin remained un-tethered while on the ground meaning an accidental dropping would not rip it out but disengaged just after the aircraft was over enemy territory arming the SD fuse. How that was achieved? A claw fastened to the starboard caliper arm was fastened to a cable running to the cockpit ove the outside of the airframe. This claw could either be open, and not locking onto the rip off pin, or closed and grasping it, Before take off and until over enemy territory, the claw was open. Once over enemy territory, the cable was pulled, closing the claw over the rip off pin and arming the fuse. There;s now evidence for this in this photo of Les Monroe's craft showing the chafing of the cable over the airframe. Also of the pulley the cable ran over before it entered the cockpit. Put it all together and it's starting to take shape. Last tiny iccle thing that's really bugged me since I noticed it is the crew door. I noticed it had a lip on the inside. How could it when it opened INWARDS???? That's gone As ever, thanks for looking. Please feel free to challenge my musings, it's how we all learn after all. Just Exhaust staining and oil and grease and I think I'm almost there. Phew Thanks Q. Most kind
  9. Dirtying up wise it's a bit of a balancing act. Everyone says these were new aircraft and they were. But they arrived about two weeks before the raid and were flown hard as hell in training so definitely weren't pristine. So all surfaces were given a double coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss. It sets hard as nails in 24 hours. Decals next, just the tiny stencil ones. All black and red lines were painted on. Even with two coats of gloss a couple of them silvered a bit which is why I hate em. They also lift at the drop of a hat if anyhting like masking tape goes near them so they need another coat of varnish after micro sol and set have been applied. HK have made a boo boo by the way with the one with the dinghy release instructions It's shown as going behind one of the upper escape hatches, not sure why. It goes aft of the main crew door and should be in red. There's a release cable for the dinghy there Then upper surface panel lines were very carefully shaded with a 60:40 mix of Tamiya red/brown to flat black, diluted to about 1 drop paint to 9 drops thinner. Night surfaces shaded with pure black thinned to the same consistency. Not never EVER pre shaded PLEASE. Pre shading should be a capital offence IMHO. The only thing that comes from under the paint is corrosion. Also you don't get the checker board effect. Every panel line isn't dirty. Subtlety is everything After that, I pin washed all the panel lines themselves with black for the dark surfaces and dark brown for the uppers. Excess wiped off with odourless thinner. At the same time some random dirt streaking was applied using the same black/brown diluted mix. (I'm not much of a Chris Wauchop worshipper honest LOL) Lastly on the wings, the ailerons were shaded by covering the high surfaces with thin strips of masking tale then spraying dark over them. When you remove the tape the ribs stand out in relief So basic weathering is done (similar applied to the tail fins of course).
  10. Well, it's been a while since my last update. It's not that I haven't been working on the build, but the fact that my laptop has been at the menders for an inordinately long time, the reasons for which I won't go into. So there's lots to report that I might indeed do over two posts. Fuselage together, I moved onto painting. I found that when I painted my Mosquito in an NFII config for a client that the @black basing@ technique championed by Matt at DoogsModels works a treat. To get tonality and shade as well as not having to 'cover up the grey', you spray a black primer coat then marble a lighter grey coat over it. Lastly you go with a blend coat of your base colour (RAF Night) and you can achieve somewhere near the tones and shades you see on the wartime photos. So reference wise I'm looking at some of these: First came the black primer layer of Mr Finishing Surface 1500 then the marble coat: Then a careful blending with Mr Paint RAF Night gives something near: Next was the Dark Green/Dark Earth uppers, again Mr Paint but this time I used my own variation on black basing and sprayed the base coat, then various shades of green or brown and even a little yellow, then the base colour again highly diluted to act as a blend coat. This gives lovely tonality to the camo. While I was on the wings, I sprayed the roundels too with the same method to obtain some fading effects. TopNotch masks as always. The insignia came next with the iconic G George and ED932. The TopNotch masks are again superb but you need to be very careful with the ED mask. There are some very fine parts to it easily torn but they look bloody brilliant when they're on, better than any decal: With such letters as 'A's I work back to front so to speak. I first place the negative bit on first ( the bit that will eventually be painted) as it's just like placing a decal. You then place the positive bit exactly over it before peeling the 'letter A' away to leave your perfect mask. Don't forget to put the small triangle in as well before peeling away though (like I did!) or you don't get an A like this: Paint is marking red. The roundels are done in the same style, again VERY carefully. I popped the wings on at this point just to get the line up for the green and brown between the fuselage and the wings and realised just how big this thing is, as you can see by the foot rule in the picture So bare camo done bit of shading and the rest next As ever thanks for looking. Next installment sooner than you think
  11. Pete, thanks for taking the time and interest to write such a great piece. I'll try and give my Sherlock Holmes scratchings that gave me my decisions The pilot's seat - Like you I've seen both. I read accounts from pilots about how uncomfortable it was sitting on a parachute so I was in both camps. Ultimately, the decision was made for me both by HK models (their kit seat was awful, basic and the wrong shape) and the designer I bought the seat from who had cast it with a resin seat. Sorry I can't add much more to the seat debate. PA474 has a cushion LOL Maps - someone raised the same point about them being taken out but then someone else said once used they were of no use to the enemy as the routes were changed each time. The ones I used were actual WWII maps scaled to 1:32 so hopefully they're accurate. In the end, tehy liven it up a bit in the cockpit so I guess I'll plead artistic licence. Flaps- I read the same book you did which said they were raised but the reasons Eng gave me as to why they were down made perfect sense and again, it pleases the eye to see the intricacies if not the nerves. He did state that the position the flaps end in isn't fixed, it's just getting rid of hydraulic pressure. As you say, in these days of H&S things are no doubt done differently,,sigh... With regard to the last note on your reply about "Rad Shutters Open", that would be on landing. The last move on shutdown was always rad shutters auto. reason being the shutters run from a pneumatic system not the hydraulics and if shutters were left open, every time the battery was turned on or off the shutters would move full deflection and drain the reservoir. Since the brakes are also pneumatic maybe not a good idea! Fuel tanks - the best I've found is that early were green, later were red Again thanks for getting my brain cells going again. As I said it's lovely and humbling that someone thinks my efforts are worth commenting on. Keep it coming!
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