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rob Lyttle

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  1. I'm pleased to say that the pack of waterslide transfer paper has arrived already, so I'm out of excuses now for delay with the Heron! Meanwhile the old Havoc has been the subject of progress and assembly. Tailplanes went on fine, Those elevators need some more attention to tame the bulging shape and reduce the ribbing. Wings are foiled along with the nacelles and they are on too. I wanted to get an airframe with 3 legs just to see where I'm at with balance. The answer is, it's getting there. Main gears are propped up in lieu of wheels and tyres, there's tail feathers to add, and only one cowling is dry fitted, and she's very definite about standing on the nose wheel I got to say, the fit of the wings to the fuselage is as good as it gets. It's perfect. I'll tell you, Tamiya or Wingnuts are NOT better than this!! This was tooled by hand by Grade I craftsmanship From a foiling point of view, it's usually advantageous to cover the parts separately and then assemble. So a dodgy fit of the major components throws up some challenges. Not so in this case. No steps, no gaps no alignment issues..... Probably not many of these medium bombers get done in NMF. I'm liking the look of it
  2. Sorry I'm a little late for the final flourish, but wow, that's a great looking Hurricane. The whole style of the modelling process, or whatever the word is I'm looking for, is brilliant. Really shows off the subject, and the quality of a good kit. Not to mention your ability to render the finished article faultlessly. I think you have made the "correct" choice on the spinner, although either can be right. I used to know the story on this (I nearly said "whole story"..... I don't think so ) but a lot of it has gone. The pointy one which is a neat fit on the front of the fuselage was the original Hurricane design item and it went with the original metal prop installation. Moving to the Rotol resin/fibre bladed prop caused an issue and a bigger spinner was required. So a Spitfire Rotol spinner was used. Rounded and not such a good fit on the nose ie a little too big, but it did the job. I think eventually a tidier fitting item came on line for the Hurricane. As you are not doing a specific airframe in time, you can choose what you like. The original fit seems to be a good option. Either way the finished artefact is a thing of beauty . And the Hurricane is the perfect subject for this treatment with the various covering materials used. I can visualise having a go at this style one day. Most inspirational
  3. Short on modelling time but what time I have is mostly spent on getting to grips with the ancient Havoc from USAirfix, and reading up on the type. Medium bombers, and bombers of any type, don't really fit in with my modelling trends, but NMF and polished bare metal suits me This is one of the few references that I have found.... One of the first items on the agenda then, was the removal of the big gun blisters on each side of the forward fuselage. These are moulded in and I took the saw to them. This leaves gaping holes by the front landing gear mounting. Skinny styrene was glued inside and later some milliput outside, and eventually sanded back. There's been some effort to arrange the internals, without going into the finer details. While this old gunbus is a long way from the purpose and style of the DH Heron, the building requires several of the same processes. I can see just from looking that this will be another heavy tail sitter with a lot of thick plastic out the back end. I'm loading lengths of 3mm solder wire where it will fit, several behind the cockpit bulkhead, and under the floor. Also in the last picture is one of the engine cowlings with a ring of solder fitted right inside behind "the engine". Here it is again along with the two nacelle assemblies.... These have the cooling flaps moulded onto them in the closed position. What I'm doing is adding a little strip of my favourite plastic source - the Muller Corner Yoghurt pot - to give open flaps. Cut from one of the corners of the tub, it's already got the curve built into the shape. I think I can foil these and make some cooling flaps. Gotta be tried....
  4. A very informative and interesting read here, Rob. Nearly finished before I found the WIP! The result is a great looking plane, and apart from a couple of snags, nicely sorted, the Dora kit looks like an excellent product. This is good news for me as I have a couple of their Percival Vega Gulls, one in 1.72 and the other in 1.48. The kits look fine in the box but you never know until the building takes place. They make an admirable range of the more interesting and overlooked types of aircraft and they seem to make more effort than some for research and accuracy. That was a strange little diversion on the Dutch triangles and the black border width! I don't know anything about it, but what you have done, and what they supply, looks good to me. Love the idea of a bare metal airframe
  5. You may recall the opening sentence of this WIP thread. Well, I'm at it again! There's a bit of a lull in this Heron build while I sort out the decals, ie. order some clear sheets online and get the graphics sorted. So I'm looking around for something to fiddle with. I said I'd just received an auction bundle of 5 kits. The LEAST likely candidate of the 5, an old kit bundled with the one I wanted and bid for, is this quirky item .... It's kind of interesting from an Airfix history point of view. USAirfix was a short lived business venture set up by AVA Inc. to market Airfix kits in North America. 1979 - 81. The plastic inside is indeed the old Airfix Boston tooled in 1963, the same year they produced the Lockheed Hudson. Now there's a warning for you..! And just a few years after the tooling of the Heron. Sure enough, the Boston - or Havoc - features moving control surfaces, retracting undercarriage and a 1000 raised rivets all over the surfaces. AVA though, have marketed it as an early Havoc giving an aluminium finish over all and these "meatball" markings, So that's a bare metal, prewar, 1st edition DB7 Douglas product, the sort of thing the French and British purchasing teams would have been looking at on their emergency shopping trips to the States. A bare metal Havoc....! My interest piqued, I had a bit of a look around the Web. Sure enough, there it is! Not so many pictures for reference, but a couple of nice photos. And there are a few of these old warbirds, A20s, 26s etc in private hands, lovingly restored and flown. So while I'm in the zone for ancient Airfix, natural metal finishes and taming rivets and toy parts, I've started fiddling around with this. Just to keep me out of trouble while I'm waiting for Heron things.....
  6. The thing is, CC, having done the Uhlenhaut Coupe I'm familiar with these little pieces you are working on.. Like the 2 saucers on the back of the chassis frame..... I didn't even know what they were (until I read your post! ) Then there's the welding lines on the oil tank.....
  7. Living in Hawaii, AND building models! You are living the dream, my friend Some nice civil aviation history subjects related to this area
  8. This is the stairs in place at the passenger door. It carries an arm with a lug that reaches inside and engages in a hole in the rear bulkhead. In my enthusiasm to reduce the height of the stairs I actually cut off too much. It coincided with me adjusting the main gear legs and fixing them in a vertical position - this may have raised the tail end of the plane so that my stairs ended up too short Anyway, I built the assembly up in increments of 1mm with stock sheet strips. 2mm gave me the perfect height and all 3 tyres nicely on the ground. This is the piece I cut off.... The little wheels are included in this, so I scratched a couple of replacement wheels in black sprue. I gave the hostess a makeover with tilting her feet and adding high heels, and a paper addon to her skirt to give some movement in the breeze. Plus a ponytail.. Here she is with a couple of crew.... I'll see what I can do with this lot. Propellers have received brass rod shafts at maximum length to contribute to forward mass but I don't think I can solve this without the stairs as a prop. Never mind, all part of the fun....
  9. My Norduin Norseman float plane had a little bit of bumpy journey, and at one point was completed as a ski plane because I'd had enough. Apparently I hadn't though ! After a suitable lull, and time to contemplate my options with the remains of the float assembly, I had another go. With the lessons learnt from the first session, I got them on and rigged. This little kit is quite a classy little product in many respects - all flying surfaces including the flapsare supplied separately. Perfect for me, I like to show movable items in a moved position. The original decals worked fine. While the kit includes the ski and wheel options, I think this is the Norseman in it's true element, grafting away between the lakes and remote outposts of the Canadian outback. In spite of the structural challenges, I love the look of her on the floats. After all the handling I thought about doing a clean and tidy, but decided against. Hard working little sky trucks can have a bit of grime. That's my excuse anyway.....
  10. Pressing on with the airframe assembly, the wings and tailplanes were pretty much ready to go with the foil application already done. And I got to say the fit is as good as I had hoped. Impressive for a 1958 tooling. There's a fair old bit of dihedral on the tailplanes, all built into the mouldings with the tabs set at an angle. With no other data available I took the kit as being the correct angle. At this stage, as you can see, the plane stands nicely on the 3 wheels, tail up. Unfortunately there's quite a bit of extra parts to add and most of them are behind the main wheels. I think the passenger stairs will be needed in the long run to keep the tail up I'm not too happy with the main gear assembly, to be honest. I think using the kit's retracting method might be a shortcut too far! They don't want to settle in the vertical position, but much rather be splayed out of vertical like a Me109! Glue and retaining thread is currently being deployed in the hope of resolving the issue The plane stands fairly level with the fuselage bottom parallel to the ground, but with that, the stairs are too tall. By quite a lot really. In the end I took the saw to the thing and basically cut the bottom off to include the whole bottom step. I'll take a picture of the situation to illustrate what I'm talking about. Suffice to say that they now fit the doorway and the entrance threshold is lined up with the top step. And it'll support the tail of the plane as required.
  11. The jury is still out regarding what to do the lettering in, but I'm going with the supplied fuselage stripes. I have left the company name on the decal sheet for now. I think if I'm going to be printing the extra wing writing, in blue, I may as well do other font sizes of "Jersey Airlines" and see if they look right. And the registration letters. I'm fairly happy with the look of the font I used for a trial. My current Decal sheet contains 3 panels outlined for emergency action, to go on the roof. I'm guessing that this is a modern safety regulation and they are not required for the aircraft operating at the time.....? I'd better get some blank clear Decal sheet organised
  12. That's the sad thing in a nutshell. But we have conversions. There's also a rich vein of civil conversions of war surplus aircraft to civil operations. "Swords into Plough shears". Canada and Alaska of course, Australia etc, but South America, Caribbean, African.... I did a Bolivian C46 and a few others. Bolivia is something, aviation-wise. Somebody had a B17 Sky truck hauling cargo around for years out of La Paz. They just fix them
  13. Further to that observation, I've just noticed that the instructions decor sheet gives these items in blue, although the decals supply black.... Why....?! Only Airfix can answer THAT one......
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