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Heather Kay

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Everything posted by Heather Kay

  1. So do I. I’ve loved fire engines since I was very small, as my mother reminded me a little while ago. I don’t think it has anything to do with burly firemen, either, or my favourite colour - which isn’t red! Thank you, CC. Much obliged. Thank you. Very kind of you. 2022 has started at a snail's pace. I’ll never get through the 1940 stash as this rate. Apologies for not catching the January comments sooner. Not sure how I missed them.
  2. No problem, Ray. These little jaunts into the unknown are part of the fascination of modelling my chosen year. There’s much well known, particularly later in the summer for obvious reasons, but there’s so much that isn’t well documented and is left open to interpretation. I’m still very much in the "hunting and gathering" phase, and I probably won’t be starting the build soon. I decided to get the Airfix Classics reissue of the HP.42 because, obviously, it was a type that was flying in 1940 under RAF control. It breaks my scale rule, but I felt that was worth it at this point. I know there’s a 3D print kit available, but I have seen builds of it and I’m not sure I’m ready for that much effort! The late lamented Moa's build of the Contrail vac-form remains the benchmark, of course.
  3. I have committed to adhesive now. I’m not sure all the mucking about with heat forming was worth the effort. The simple shape I needed could have been formed by just rolling styrene strip to the curve I needed. Anyway, something has been done. I’ll let the glue cure and assess the mess. There will still be filler required, and some mild reinforcement behind the Matchbox-to-styrene join. Any serious filling and reshaping will have to wait until the fuselage halves are joined together. Now my mojo has bimbled off again. Ho hum.
  4. A timely warning, but it’s nothing to worry about here happily. The plastic is thick and tough, and the heated sheet is very soft when I pull it over the fuselage. With the vac-form clear parts roughly taped into position, the space I need to fill is a bit clearer. By chopping out the large diagonal I won’t need as much care in trimming the patch replacement. The small triangular fillet can be added once I’m happy with the overall fit. So, I need to rejoin the fuselage halves and set to making a few more misshapen lumps of wasted plastic!
  5. I think it will. I need to refine the technique and the idea. My first iteration sort of proves the idea works. However, I didn’t think it through. Rather than square off that diagonal corner on the fuselage, I tried to get the new part to fit it instead. Silly. I think a few more parts need to be made to allow for wastage.
  6. I’m afraid the mojo has not been with me this week. I had mentally laid plans to crack on with this build over the weekend, but Saturday came and went without me even looking at the workbench. Sunday arrived, so I thought it was time to force things into life. The problem I’m trying to solve is how to fill the gap at the rear of the aft cockpit. While I could simply plug the hole and sand it to shape, that would essentially also plug the detailed cockpit. What I needed was to make some thin styrene more or less the right shape so it looked like part of the plane and not a botched filler job. You can probably see where this is going. What I needed to do was create a piece of styrene sheet the same, or nearly the same, shape as the rear fuselage which could be grafted into the space but leaving the void below. Now, I understand the principles of plunge or crash moulding, and I’ve played with it before, and I felt the technique was the right solution for this problem. The only thing is I’ve only played with the technique before, and not tried it in earnest. There followed a short spell of experimenting, with how to grip the material without risking third degree burns, what source of heat, and so on. I first chose material too thick, reasoning that pulling it down over the fuselage would thin it. Wrong. Thinner material was chosen, and it more or less worked. The version in the photo was the best of the first batch, but I see I really need to be able to pull the soft material much further down the fuselage sides. Some more playing about will ensue.
  7. No problem. I have the same kit, and I plan to model it as you intend. I’m following this thread to learn more, like you! The upper wing three-colour bars are an interesting feature. I’m not certain they stem from the civilian Imperial/BOAC markings, though it’s possible. My first thought was it was done because you’ll note there isn’t an actual fin flash, which you might expect. I went through a similar process of working out the markings and camo scheme on my Bristol Bombay (same squadron), and worked out that before about June 1940 the fin flash hadn’t been formally adopted by the Air Ministry. Many second line aircraft probably didn’t receive the flashes on the fin for some time. Equally, it’s likely the HP42s retained their civilian registration numbers despite being assigned military codes.
  8. For civvy service, perhaps. I think in 271 Squadron service it was probably the usual large Type B roundels.
  9. Well, it depends. If it’s a straightforward rectangle with thin surrounding walls, a simple bit of clear styrene or blister pack can be cut and glued in place behind. I always use a PVA type glue, mainly because solvents and superglues can mark or frost clear material. For some cabs, like the little Dennis, I used a needle in a pin chuck to scratch the shape of the aperture on to clear material. I wanted the windscreen open, so the final shape needed to be near enough but not dead accurate, which meant cutting out with fine scissors and finishing with a sharp scalpel. Occasionally, a little sanding or filing finishes a shape for a snug fit if I’m after flush glazing. For cab doors, well, I cheat and often leave them unglazed as if the window is open. For window apertures that are fairly small, good old canopy glue (Micro Kristal Klear or Deluxe Glue'n'Glaze) can be carefully drawn across and left to dry. That’s about it, really. I choose whichever method suits the model, and my patience at the time!
  10. I don’t know where the error lies. Falcon is normally known for accuracy, but it might be short - without a good plan I can’t tell. The main greenhouse is about right as far as I can see. My plan is to "plug" the rear of the back cockpit to make the hole smaller, and pose the flip-up canopy open. I think there’s a good deal of compromise I’m going to have to accept with this model.
  11. Indeed, but remember at those latitudes the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon for much of the summer. Day job stuff is taking the fore during the week, but the noggin has been beavering away to work out how to successfully close that gap in the rear cockpit.
  12. Apologies for not updating things here. I’ve been tempted by a build in the Matchbox Classic II group build. I am a bit of a GB-a-holic, and I’m trying to wean myself off the addiction. I hope to get some progress going here again at some point.
  13. Heather Kay


    When I have a large and spacious workbench - a luxury afforded to me because I build stuff for a living - why do I always end up working in a tiny space right at the front? If nothing else, it’s tempting the carpet monster.
  14. I’ve been fiddling about a bit further, and I think there’s a way forward. The gunner's canopy was cut away, as well as dividing the hood from the windscreen. After a bit of fettling, here’s the main greenhouse taped in place with the gunner's wotsit propped open. I think that works. To give some idea of gaps, here’s the rear compartment with the lid down. My word, that’s a gap worthy of minding on the London Underground! Obviously, in this position, the gap is utterly intolerable. With the lid open, though, the problem is less obvious. In either case, I think I will spend a bit of time filling in the space with styrene strip, sheet, filler, whatever. The front end will need similar treatment so the windscreen sits properly. Then there’s the whole nose thing, but I’ll worry about that another time. A lot of what’s clear at the moment is actually fuselage, so I can hide supports and areas for gluing things to fairly easily. Definitely feeling more positive about this critter now.
  15. I hope so, Steve, I hope so. Right, so, this plan. I’m not ready to button the fuselage up yet, as all that naughty PE needs painting - and I’ve still got to make up and install the nose interior. Plenty of masking tape does the job for now. The plan was to assess the fit of the kit transparencies, and see what could be done about the thickness and opacity of them. This is still a fall-back plan should the next round of malarkey not quite work out. This, then, is the Falcon set of bits. They’ve not been tidied yet, but they’re good enough to see how they fit the kit - if they do. I decided it was worth at least trying them for size, even if it devalued the set for resale. I suspect many of us have part-sets of Falcon transparencies kicking about, as we only needed one canopy from the set they made. I know I’ve got another one stashed away, which was only bought for the FrankenDornier transparencies: the rest are of no use to a 1940 fanatic like me. Perhaps I should put both sets up for sale later, as I’m sure someone will want one of the other canopies for a build. Anyway, I digress… The Falcon nose glazing is sensibly split horizontally. That makes it simpler to make a mould, of course, but also allows for the bottom half to be moulded to make the B variant of the plane. That had some extra glazing just in front of the bomb bay. I don’t know if you can make it out here, because I’ve not committed to cutting it off yet. As you can see, although it’s not aligned properly, the nose parts do actually pretty much fit the kit. At this point, I have an option to leave the moulded styrene parts of the lower fuselage intact, and trim the vac-form to fit it. Alternatively, I could just hack carefully cut away the stepped part off the fuselage and substitute the slightly adapted vac-form. To my mind, at the moment, the latter course would be the tidier. It would, though cause some issues with attaching the glazed part. It might be very delicate, so some extra framing and bracing may be required to help out. Something more to ponder. Now, to that greenhouse on top. You can see the problems. The shape of the fuselage cutout doesn’t match the vac-form, at either end. There’s also a mould flaw on the gunner's flip-up canopy - damage to the mould, I think - but I’m going to ignore it. Options: with the pilot's canopy a separate section, it would be possible to fit the windscreen (with a little work to reshape the area of fuselage it sits on) and have the hood slid back over the greenhouse. The chicken way out for the rear would be to carefully trim it out and have it posed open. Both these, of course, would helpfully expose the extra detailing inside, so there’s that. My feeling at the moment is to have the cockpit hood open, but think about rebuilding the rear compartment sides to better fit the shape of the vac-form. Even with the hood set open, the disparity in shapes might be obvious, so that area will need work either way. So, that’s the current plan. I suspect quite a bit of filling and sanding is in my future. it's a good job this isn’t a short group build! Ironically, the Eduard masking set is the only aftermarket thing I bought that actually fits the original kit! I hope some of it will still be helpful for masking the Falcon parts.
  16. I did. I have something approaching a plan. I’m not going to junk the entire project, but it may end up "sleeping" for a while - like my FrankenDornier project that ended up shelved for a year or more before I worked out how to finish it. Hopefully, the 'Einkel won’t be that long. JW, thank you for those links, and your thoughts. I have come up with a plan. I’ll post more in a bit, when I have worked out if it’s viable.
  17. I’m considering my options. The worst part is the front cockpit area. It’s a sliding hood, like a fighter, but has been moulded as if it’s all the same as the rear section. One option would be to hack the front off and sub the vac hood and windscreen - but that would only show up the poor rear section. I don’t have the technology (or skill) to attempt creating a new part from the kit parts, sadly. The vac parts won’t fit the fuselage properly. They’re too short. That could be overcome by slicing off the hood and posing it open, and slicing off the rear canopy and posing it likewise. That leaves the nose - and I’m pretty sure the vac parts won’t fit the kit at all, which again will show up the differences horribly. I think I may be able to tidy some blemishes on the kit cockpit hood, in which case I can press on and just use what’s in the box. That also means I’m not going to cut the vac sheet and it can be returned for refund or put up for sale on BM. I think, sadly, this is the course I shall be taking. It’ll be disappointing that the transparencies will let the model down, but it won’t be the first time that’s happened to my collection, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I am going to let the ideas fester for a while. I might get on with finishing the cockpit upgrades, and look to improving the engines.
  18. Well, the Falcon Clear-vax set arrived. Guess what? S'right. Don’t fit. I checked the Hannants entry for the set (No 42, Luftwaffe WWII, part 7) and it definitely says "Heinkel He-115C-1 (designed to be used with Matchbox and Revell kits)". The Falcon instructions, however, simply say "Suggested kit: Revell He 115C." It’s not clear, from that, which Revell kit they mean. The main canopy is shorter than the injection-moulded one. The nose sections won’t fit the kit without some serious styrene surgery. I reckon the Falcon set is meant for the Frog kit, not the Matchbox one. The masking set won’t fit the vac set, either, obviously. I think I shall be on to the Big H to return the set on Monday - and ask them to clarify the database entry they have. The kit canopy is really rubbish, and although I could adapt the cockpit section of the Clear-vax set to fit, the rest will look bobbins in comparison. Apart from the Kora beaching trolley kit, it seems all the the rest of the aftermarket stuff you can get is for the other He115 kit. So, now I am annoyed, and seriously feeling like tipping the entire kit into the bin, via the Shelf of Doom. If anyone wants me, I shall be over there, probably working on a kit that mostly fits together.
  19. Wow! Stretched Uhu filaments for rigging? Never thought of that before. Then, whoosh! It’s in the gallery, and the GB less than a week old! Well done!
  20. Aside from the unfortunate window cleaner-related tumble, I think those transfer grilles look ruddy awesome!
  21. Always nice to see a Lizzie. I’m a bit gutted I didn’t go for the one that popped up for sale here last week. The light grey should probably be aluminium dope, if you’re worried about such things.
  22. Thanks Dave! Being a GB host is a thankless task. I was surprised at how fast I got on, frankly. Forcing myself to slacken the pace will be a worthwhile job. I don’t need to rush at it, and time spent trying to get things right, or at least better, will be rewarded.
  23. I know that. I wonder if it was placed as a hint it won’t be much longer in arriving.
  24. While there wasn’t anything that I was particularly interested in, I think the announcements played a strong hand. Good range of starter kits, new cars at a different scale, big new tool aircraft… Yes, there were gaps, favourites and hobby horses didn’t appear, but I hope the range sells well. As for further announcements, did anyone else spot the rather elusive 1/35th Austin Katy ambulance kit in the background of the reveal video? I’m rather with the other poster who suggested there may be further announcements later in the year - not new tools, as such, but more goodies to tempt us.
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