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About Chewbacca

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    Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm

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  1. Not much to report. Rotor blades and hubs are all painted, jut waiting for the masking tape to come off. I've sprayed the white areas to take the red crosses and masked them and then got the first couple of coats of top coat on. I do have a photo but under flash it's come out looking just like primer grey rather than Tamiya XF17 blue grey! The actual colour looks to be a fairly good approximation of the actual colour but tomorrow will tell when I decide whether or not a third coast is needed. Then I can start assembling the engine area and getting some Klear on ready for decals.
  2. XS522 was indeed assigned to HMS LONDON for her final deployment to the West Indies/Belize in late 1981 when it was with 772 Sqn C Flt which normally deployed with the RFAs. I'd guess the justification is that a Mk 5 is far better for lugging bootnecks in and out of the jungle than a Mk 3. I've not got a colour photo but there' a black and white one here in HMS LONDONs deployment newsletter (scroll down to page 49). Definitely got the Busby logo on the nose and the hi-vis markings. Can't see a Sqn crest anywhere. Looking good. I've got a couple of 1/48 Italeri Wessex in the stash so glad to hear they seem to be the best of the bunch.
  3. Thanks - they're excellent photos. The fuels one is perfect because not only does it show all of the detail, it also shows that it was probably a sticker in its own right rather than a stencil and the background is a slightly different colour which means I don't need to worry about colour matching the background blue/grey. That'll probably just get cropped and printed directly onto the decal paper!
  4. Thanks Rob. You have PM. Forgot to say earlier - totally agree your thoughts on the Norman Ough book. Absolutely fabulous what he achieved from scratch. But then a few years ago I was asked to repair a 1/96 shipbuilder's model of the Leander class frigate HMS DANAE and was shocked to find that the vast majority of it was made from wood.
  5. That thought did cross my mind but I dismissed it. I'll have a look. Thanks That is very true. I vaguely recall our one of the Wasp Flt Cdrs on 829 Sqn when we were a dual Lynx/Wasp squadron telling me that a full set of doors was equaivalent to about an extra 20 mins fuel. That said, I think the main reason for taking the doors off if there was anyone in the back, certainly over the sea, was that if you ditched, once the flot bags inflated you couldn't get the cabin doors open anyway They're very good, thank you. My Wasp reference folder on my PC has over 300 photos now of different wasp's/Scouts and different parts thereof, but they are some of the clearest and that second one is by far the best one I have ever seen to date of the winch. If nothing else, apart from the hook itself, it shows that my rendition is broadly right! Wish I'd seen it at the weekend just gone... I've got a good idea of where most of the stencils are; interestingly the one that shows quite prominently in most photos of the starboard side that's going to be challenging to replicate owing to its white nature and tiny writing (in 1/48 at least), namely the fuels list, isn't on that aircraft. Years ago when I converted the Airfix 1/72 Jetstream to the TMk2 in which I flew my final air test at 750 Sqn and I needed a white "564" to go on the dark blue side panel, I painted the model, and photographed it, pulled the photograph into an image manipulation programme to get the RGB colour mix which I then put back into Corel Draw (my drawing programme of choice 14 years ago) as the background to a 564 in the correct font and size that I then printed on white decal sheet. I could try that again with this especially as the whole decal will only be about 3 mm x 4 mm.
  6. Thanks Jamie. I think perhaps you're right about the white spirit giving enamels the bad name. I should buy some decent thinners rather than using B&Q's finest! But then I might also find it easier if I bought some of your paints as well - all of my enamels are fairly old Humbrol Thanks Rob. I must apologise, you must think me incredibly rude for not acknowledging your offer of the deck. I've not been into maritime for about 3 weeks as I've been concentrating on my 1/48 Wasp "near scratchbuild" over in aircraft. If the deck is still available then yes please - I'll drop you a PM. Definitely agree that your 3mm boot topping is the way to go. It's looking great.
  7. Looking forward to this. The Town class are without doubt my favourite class of cruisers. I've done BELFAST twice, both out of the box, once back in the 70s and secondly in 2005 when it was my first foray back into modelling for 20+ years. More recently I did GLASGOW during the Norwegian campaign when she rescued the Norwegian Royal Family and £10M of Norwegian gold. Would definitely agree the comments about putting the hull together with some internal bracing before you start to remove the bugles. Personally I'd take a Dremel to them and cut them out then replace with plastic sheet rather than grinding. You'll still run the risk of melting the plastic though if the cutting disc is too fast (not that I've ever done that when waterlining a model of course) Good luck!
  8. Looking good. I love the base. When HECLA returned from the Falklands in 1982, our Captain who was a great ornithologist and President of the RN Birdwatching Society had the bridge watchkeepers log every bird we saw on the way home and they were carefully drawn with great accuracy on a large scale chart of the Atlantic in HECLA's chart plotting room by one of our Hydrographers. The intention was to get it framed at the end of the deployment and present to the society. Unfortunately the night before we arrived in Gibraltar we had a mess dinner at sea to dine out the leavers which included myself and my fellow Midshipmen, the Flight Commander and about 3 others. Lots of wine and port was consumed by those not required to watch keep that night and the Captain was aghast the following morning when he saw his chart was now adorned with some additional birds that weren't in the bridge guide book. These included the "greater spotted sh*tehawk", the "lesser spotted sh*tehawk", the "large flapping thing" and the "swan (lost and confused)" to name but a few. I couldn't possibly reveal who was responsible but let's just say the Midshipmen didn't go ashore in Gibraltar that night as we were "required on board" to remove any extraneous birds from his chart!
  9. Thanks everyone for your kind words. Never a job I especially fancied! Your comment did get me thinking though that perhaps I should have motorised the rotors. There would certainly have been enough room under the MRGB to hide a motor through the tail rotor may have been more challenging! Perhaps that's a task to look at for one of the Lynx that are in the stash... Certainly wouldn't have called myself an expert but I've never seen a Wasp with those doors. In fact I'd even forgotten that the Scouts were fitted with them until about a week ago when I found a photo of one on the PPRuNe website while looking for images of the winch. I do recall when en-route to the Falklands in 1982 being used as a "casualty" in an exercise in which I was strapped to a lightweight stretcher and put laterally across the floor in the back with both cabin doors removed and my head out of the starboard door. I was looking straight up at the rotor disc and to this day I still remember the Aircrewman's dulcet tones, "Don't worry Sir, if we ditch I'll inflate your lifejacket for you!" Primer coat sprayed. It actually revealed only a couple of very small areas hear the blade fold mechanisms where extra work was needed so that has been sanded back and rectified ready for top coat this evening. I have started to worry slightly about the decals. The kit ones look to be pretty poor and I have no confidence that they will work. But I can find very little in the way of aftermarket "modern" non-low visibility Fleet Ar Arm decals in 1/48. So far, the only option I have found is this: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/FCM48050?result-token=tfnRF which might provide the roundels and Royal Navy for the tail cone and I can probably cobble together some of the stencils from it but I have no idea if Wasp and Lynx markings were the same size in the early 1980s. I could print some of them, as I will do for the red crosses, but unfortunately so many of the markings are white and I don't have an ALPS printer. In particular, this very grainy scan of a photo of Wilbur that I took in 1982 near West Falkland: seems to show a second small white Royal Navy logo underneath the transmission deck as per this: I was hoping someone might still do plain white lettering in various sizes but all I can find is black. If anyone has any ideas I'm open to them. Thanks for watching
  10. Thanks Rob. To be honest, I don't really care now if the new one does come out. This has proven problematic but I've really enjoyed it. It comes back to a point I made about 3/4 pages ago, I love taking the old clunky kits - often Airfix 1/600 ships - then throwing away most of the parts, modifying and detailing what's left and scratchbuilding the rest. That said, I do think my next build might be an Atlantic Models 1/350 ship that comes with almost all of the bits you need in the box and goes together reasonably well. I've got a choice of 5 in the stash (PUMA, ARROW, NEWCASTLE, BOXEr and BRAVE) but have never done a whole resin kit before so that too will be a learning experience Thought before I head out to the garage and the spray shop I'd better get the rest of the bits ready for primer so that I could do it all in one go and so started with the rotor blades. If I were an absolute purist, I would be thinning them right down as they are slightly too thick but more importantly have an aerofoil profile that would generate almost zero lift. But the thought of trying to profile 4 blades equally filled me with trepidation rapidly followed by the realisation that I could very quickly be scratchbuilding 4 new ones from styrene strip or plasticard. Instead, I smoothed them down, got rid of the flash and thinned them a little but if I'm honest, you can barely tell I've taken very much off at all. I took a small file to the mating edges and took about 10 thou off the outside of the hub plus a similar amount off the inside of the blades to give the characteristic flapping hinge droop discussed above in #94 and #96. 2 are pretty close with a 4.5 mm droop at the tip compared to the centre of the hub (shoud be 3.9 if my calculations were correct) whereas the other 2, (fortunately on the diagonals) are slightly too high with about 7 mm droop. Bizarrely it is the larger droop that looks right but in fairness none look out of place and if you spin the main rotor shaft in your fingers and follow the tips of the blades, the tracking isn't at all far out so I'm going to accept that. I was concerned through that the blade to hub join would be weak as they rely on effectively butt joins, so to overcome that I prepped each join as described above, flooded it with Tamiya extra thin and then clamped it all together. Once it was dry enough to handle, I then progressively drilled out a hole through both parts until it was an interference fit on some 30 A fuse wire. Once the wire would just about pass through, I held it in place flush with the bottom of the join and with a pair of sprue cutters carefully cut it flush on top. Took the pin out and took another 0.5 mm off, then with slow acting CA in the hole, slowly pushed the pin through until it was just below the surface top and bottom. When that was dry - about 3-4 mins - I moved onto the next blade. When all 4 were complete, I filled the resultant holes with Vallejo putty, then wiped flush with the back of a wet blade before leaving it overnight to dry. This morning I smoothed it all back then cut 8 tiny strips of PE from a scrap frame, each approx 2.5 mm x 1 mm, then attached these either side of the hub/blade with fast acting CA to represent the spectacle locking pins followed by16 lengths of 20 thou Evergreen rod cut about 0.5 mm long and glued on top, 2 per pin, to represent pins that hold each blade in place. You can see the sequence in the photos below which show the final blade (bottom left) being attached. Hole drilled: Pin passed Putty added Rotor head ready for primer
  11. May I suggest that this site http://www.ukserials.com/ is a better resource as it covers all UK military aircraft including FAA and AAC? Point taken on the black. I'd made the assumption that you'd put those registrations on the sketches because you had decals that matched - sorry for causing confusion.
  12. Like the idea. How about an all black UK equivalent of an SR-71? One observation I would have if I may. Notwithstanding that this is a complete what-if, the serial numbers in your sketches are all for aircraft that first flew years before Concorde. Given that Concorde's first test flight was 1969, perhaps an XV registration would be more appropriate given that they were issued between 1967 and 1972? There are lots that were set aside for use on F111s before the UK cancelled that order (XV884 - XV947).
  13. Winch completed and fitted plus a lot of the smaller ancillaries from scrap PE, and brass rod etc. The pitot tube is a length of 20 thou Evergreen, carefully drilled with my smallest micro drill and a 0.2 mm hypodermic needle inserted. Still got the blades to chamfer and fit to the head, the wheels to clean up and add and the antennas to make but thought I'd do a final dry fit of the main components before taking it all to the spray booth for primer. Which has made me realise that I've forgotten to add the step on the port side! Thanks for watching
  14. Thanks Terry & Hendie. Managed to squeeze in a day off work so have progressed the flot gear. I was slightly nervous about fitting the clamshells for the pure reason that the shells themselves are reasonably weighty and the heaviest gauge Evergreen I would be able to get away with was 20 thou. I did look at wire but that was prone to bend even more and although I considered using off-cuts from some stainless steel pins in the garage, I couldn't face the prospect of nibbling the odd 0.5 mm off here and there to make them fit. I needn't have worried. By the time that all of the support struts were in place, 3 at the front and 4 at the rear, it's actually pretty sturdy. I'm hoping I won't have to do it but I reckon I could turn it upside down on the clamshells when spraying the underside. If anything, I think the starboard clamshell is fractionally too low by about 1-1.5 mm but it looks mostly okay so I'm not going to worry too much about that. Now waiting for it all to thoroughly dry while I tackle the next part, which is...the winch. Which nestles in nicely behind the starboard clamshell . Why, of why did I not fit that before the flot gear? I think there is a term for it mainly used in the US called a "rookie error"; guess this is a "Wookie error". Thanks for watching
  15. Thanks. it continues (I hope). Rear UC now complete (or thereabouts; still got to add the lashing points) and therefore I started to look at the support for the clamshell flot bags I did buy some Evergreen 60 thou H section for this a couple of years ago but I'll be blowed if I can find it anywhere. A quick internet search found that I can get some replacement direct from Evergreen for $3.79 for 4 strips direct from the manufacturers...but only in the US. They won't ship overseas. My LMS doesn't open until next weekend and I'm not paying £6.99 + £4.99 postage for something that's only $3.79 so this prompted me to look again at the model and how I might replicate this. Actually 60 thou would be fractionally too big anyway. Therefore let's do it a different way instead. Stage 1. Attach 3 small feet cut from 30 thou Evergreen to the centre of the canopy and the top of the windows to hold the frame clear of the canopy. Stage 2. Wrap a strip of 30 thou Evergreen box section around the cockpit starting just above the after of the two fwd upper wishbones. Stage 3. When that's dry, cut a 1.2 mm wide strip of 10 thou Evergreen sheet. Glue that to the top of the 30 thou box section ensuring there's a small amount showing both sides. Stage 4. Get almost to the far side, realise you've cut it about 10 mm too short. Practice your early Anglo-Saxon and then realise that to remove it from the bottom of the other side would cause too much damage. Cut if off in the middle of the canopy, use the offcut to cut a second section (and a third because the second was fractionally too wide), and start attaching from the middle. Stage 5. When everything's fully dry (tomorrow), carefully sand the central join (if you look carefully at the photo below you can just see the join). Then look at the support bars themselves
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