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Heather Kay

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Everything posted by Heather Kay

  1. Indeed! I believe it was a problem, causing a few landing accidents. The fun thing for me is how basic it is. I mean, almost every other French retractable gear of the period has more doors than your average chateau, where the Breguet has nothing!
  2. Cheers all! The Swordfish is not a small plane, but Airfix did a fab job in capturing the look. I am very happy with it. It’s sat in the cabinet next to a Blackburn Roc, which is also a big plane. The Navy really liked their planes on the large side. Not quite flawless, but I’m definitely getting better. It’s my paint finishing I really need to work on. Thanks Ed! There’s a joke in there about aquariums, but I can’t find it. I leave you to choose the rigging, but I do recommend the SBS Models set.
  3. Fairey Swordfish MkI, K8393/E5A flown by Captain Oliver Patch RM and Lieutenant David G Goodwin RN, No 824 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Eagle. No 824 Squadron was originally part of HMS Eagle's air group in the Mediterranean, and was transferred to HMS Illustrious just before taking part in Operation Judgement, the attack against the Italian fleet at Taranto, Italy, 11/12 November 1940. Operation Judgement was itself part of a larger series of operations under the codename Operation MB8. It's a complex story, best read on the Wikipedia page. The Swordfish, nicknamed the Stringbag for its ability to carry almost anything rather like the 1940s housewives' string bag, really needs no introduction. If you are unfamiliar with the aircraft, perhaps a start with the Wikipedia entry would be a good primer for you. The new tool (albeit nearly a decade old now!) Airfix kit needs some effort, but makes up into a tidy scale representation of the classic biplane. I was lucky to acquire this particular boxing containing the Taranto raid markings as a secondhand purchase from a fellow Britmodeller. I added a photo etched rigging set from SBS Models, but otherwise the kit is built out of the box. I had been anticipating this build for some time, being a bit worried at the parts count and, well, it's a biplane. I felt it would make a good entry into the High Wing Group Build, and so the die was cast. I needn't have worried, as the kit was well thought through, and built up with very little trouble if you take your time over it. If you want to see the WIP thread, the link is below. As well as the aftermarket rigging set, I used the kit transfers, ColourCoats enamels for the main camouflage, and Humbrol acrylics and enamels for the detail painting. I have one or two more models to build to complete this part of my Fleet Air Arm 1940 collection, though I have yet to acquire a Sea Gladiator.
  4. My bad. I copied it from the kit paperwork. I shall correct immediately! Thanks!
  5. Breguet Br693AB.2, Aircraft No93, 1 Escadrille G8A I/54, Toulouse Francazal airbase, 25 June 1940. The commander of 1 Escadrille used this machine to attack advancing German forces on 6 June. In 1934, the French government issued a specification for a strategic fighter. It was to be twin-engined and a crew of two. Breguet and Potez submitted proposals, with Potez being chosen to develop what became the 630 family. Breguet thought their design still had merit as a low-level ground attack aircraft, and developed a prototype using their own time and money. Happily, the French air ministry saw potential in the new fighter bomber, and placed orders with Breguet in 1938. The first variant, the Br691AB.2, was powered by Hispano-Suiza radial engines, was armed with a single 20mm cannon and two 7.5mm machine guns in the nose. It also had an internal bomb bay that could carry eight 50kg bombs. For rear defence, a flexible mounting carried a single 7.5mm machine gun in the rear cockpit, with a fixed machine gun facing down and rearwards in the belly, with the intention of deterring low-flying fighters. While the crew was protected by armour, it was expected the high speed and manoeuvrability would help the aircraft escape ground fire. The Hispano engines proved unreliable, so Breguet adopted the more reliable Gnome-Rhône 14M radials, giving a total of 1,400hp. The airframe, now designated Br693 was otherwise unchanged from the previous version. The Br693 was designed as a fast, low-level attack aircraft, strafing ground targets and delivering time-delayed bombs. Operational training of two units began in late 1939, initially equipped with Potez 633 aircraft until the BR691s could be delivered. The earlier aircraft were later replaced by the Br693s from March 1940, and by June some 200 had entered service. Unfortunately, due to the late delivery, crews were still working up to operation readiness as the German forces invaded in May. The first operational sorties on 12 May were disastrous. German anti-aircraft artillery was far superior to anything the designers had expected. Tactics were reviewed, with attacks taking place from a higher altitude using a shallow dive to deliver the bomb load. Lack of accurate bombing sights meant many attacks were unsuccessful, and the fast low-level attacks were resumed but using fewer aircraft per sortie. By this time, the situation was becoming desperate. The fate of France could not be changed by the few aircraft in service. The Br693s had a short operational range, and were not capable of flying across the Mediterranean to North Africa, where the French government hoped to regroup the remains of the air force. By the time of the armistice in June, 119 of the 200 Br693s had been lost to accident and enemy action. Surviving aircraft were used for training purposes by the Vichy regime. After Germany occupied Vichy France in 1942, some aircraft were sent to Italy for use as operational trainers. The kit is pretty standard Azur fare, with resin parts for engines, a small PE fret for various details, and the usual medium grey styrene. Fit was pretty good for a short-run kit, and I only added brake lines to the undercarriage, and replaced some small parts like pitot tubes and nose machine guns with brass rod. Painting was using ColourCoats enamels, freehand airbrushed to give the camouflage pattern. Detail painting with Humbrol acrylics and enamels. This kit was built as an entry in the French Fancies 2 Group Build. I have also made a shorter WIP post in my ongoing France 1940 thread. I'll share the latter here for your entertainment.
  6. While I documented the full build on the Group Build thread, here's a précis. The box art shows a Br693AB.2 doing what it was designed to do, a fast, low-level strafing and bombing run on ground forces. The box contents as typical fare. A small sheet of PE gives seat belts and gunsight, plus a lot of detail for the bombs. Resin engines and rear machine gun round up the parts list. The machine code markings for the rudder are printed separately from the rudder stripes, which is nice because I prefer to paint the stripes rather than struggle fitting the transfers. Interior assembly is fairly quick. The interior detailing is quite sufficient at this scale, though almost all is invisible once the fuselage is joined up. The fuselage is peppered with glazed panels. I fitted them at this stage, and spent a while sanding and polishing them to make them flush with the outside profile. The wings were not a bad fit. The instructions have you fit the engine nacelles to the wings before attaching the latter to the fuselage. The front of the nacelles is probably the worst fitting area in the kit. All cleaned up, and looking smooth. The fins and rudders are not fitted at this point, as I was painting them off the model to make masking easier. The engine cowlings were pretty much circular, for a change. The resin engines must be a standard moulding common with other kits, and need to be reduced in diameter to fit the kit cowlings. As with most short run kits, the location points of engines is very much left to the modeller, and needs some careful thought. In the end, reliance on the Eyeball, Human, MkI, is the best that can be managed. I think I more or less got the gear cases central and pointing straight forward. Sub-assemblies made up before priming begins. The white rod will be used for the propeller mounting. I frequently find moulded location stubs need to be replaced with brass rod for strength. This is the case for the characteristic streamlined tail wheel. Power plants installed. And intakes fitted. Clear parts were fitted after some careful masking. While a bomb load is supplied, I decided it wouldn't be visible and left all but the rack out. The bay doors are glazed, which is an unusual feature. The tail fins were primed with white acrylic, and then masked to brush paint the blue and red stripes. The instructions weren't all that clear, but assembling the props revealed they are handed and rotate in different directions. It took a while, studying various grainy photos, to work out which engine went in which direction. To help, I marked the rear of each boss accordingly. Some fine copper wire was fitted to represent the brake lines on the undercarriage. I also sanded a flat on the wheels, leaving them free to rotate at this stage. Once fitted to the aircraft, the flats could be located properly and the wheels glued in place. Rattlecan primer goes on, in company with a dissected Fairey Swordfish. After the rudder markings had been masked, the fins were attached and painting proper could begin. I selected one of the four markings options and set to. Like the Potez 63-11, I decided to try to freehand airbrush the camouflage colours. I used the ColourCoats French Air Force enamel range. This is being left to harden before some refining took place. A coat of clear gloss, and transfers went on. Not many to do, so it didn't take long at all. Wheels fitted and masking removed. The slot on the belly is apparently for a fixed rear-facing machine gun. This is not obvious from the instructions, so I left the slot clear. As the model is displayed without crew and on the ground, let's assume the gun is away at the workshop being serviced. A coat of satin varnish, because photos do seem to show a level of sheen to the paintwork on the real things, and an attack of aluminium paint. Fast low-level flying did seem to take its toll on leading edges. I could have spent longer fitted the glazing better, but this cruel closeup is to show the nose cannon and machine guns. These are made from brass rod. I forego any attempt at removing such tiny parts from the runner trees. The final act is fitting the rear flexible machine gun... ...and the gunsight. And that's done. I'll just make an RFI entry and I'll post the link later. What's left in my French collection? The large twin-engined bombers, of course, and the Hanriot twin-engine trainer. After that I need to think about the French naval aircraft. I've made a list, and it's longer than my entire 1940 collection put together so far!
  7. The extractor fan and airbrush have been set up today to weather the O gauge coaches you can see in the background. Of course, there was no excuse needed to also get a first coat of FAA Sky Grey on the Walrus.
  8. A splendid result. Also, how effective can a bit of corrugated cardboard placed in a grass mat valley be? Very effective as it turns out.
  9. Primed. The fuselage has had a second go, as the first spray showed some areas that needed more attention from filler and sanding. You will note the rear turret cover sliding rails have disappeared. They’ll be reinstated later. Top Tip: If planning to rig the centre section and engine supports on a Walrus, locate and drill the holes before assembling everything. It makes it easier to drill the holes in the right places. (Guess who forgot?) So, back in the box with this lot until I can find time to start painting.
  10. I’m starting to run out of things to do before committing to primer. Many contemporary photos show fittings for bombs under the wings. Some, like the Seagull MkV in the RAF Hendon museum, have recesses in the lower wing. Others appear to have fairly straightforward crutches. They do agree on a pair of larger crutches, presumably capable of carrying a 250lb bomb each, flanking a carrier for four smaller bombs. The Bits Box serves up some Airfix spares. The large crutches are a bit too long, so I may simply shorten them. I’ve even got some 20lb bombs I could fit on the centre carriers. With reference material and a black marker pen, I’ve spotted all the points where I think a hole needs to go for rigging wire. I’ll drill those out, probably about 0.5mm, and then see if the wind is light enough for primer to be squirted in the garden. After that, I think this Walrus will become a temporary shelf queen until I can find some time to paint camouflage colours on it.
  11. Progress before morning coffee! The tailplane is installed. A clever bit of design where the locating tongues of the horizontal surfaces interlock. Dry fitting showed I needed to sand the tiniest part off the locking parts to ensure the best fit. I actually glued the struts in place first, as friction was enough to hold the flying surfaces until I was happy things were square and level. Location points lack the finesse we expect in this day and age, but this kit is only a decade younger than me! The hard plastic used by Revell doesn’t respond all that well to my preferred liquid solvent cement, which is MEK. It’s okay, but sometimes the solvent doesn’t soften the plastic enough for a good joint. I’m mostly using Revell Contacta. Having finally decided to go with straight wire rigging installed after construction, I’ve glued the wing halves together. Trailing edges are a bit thick, but very much of their time. I’m not going to spend for ever getting a knife-edge finish. As the upper wing is flat, I’ve joined both sides to the centre section in the flat. In keeping the vintage of the kit, I’ve succeeded in splodging too much cement and getting a finger print on a surface! After some tidying of the engine pod area, I will review how to mark out and drill suitable locating holes for the rigging. I also need to make up the outrigger floats, as they’ll need some wiring, too. Bearing in mind the relative crudity of the kit I’m not going to get all super nerdy about getting the wires in exactly the right place. I shall work to the "near enough is good enough" principle outlined in Section 12(c) of my Modeller's Licence.
  12. Cheers Cliff! I’m happy with the modifications, at least those you can still see! I completely forgot to document progress after gluing the fuselage together. While the fit wasn’t bad - the moulds are nearly 50 years old, remember - the top deck needed a little filler, some filing and some sanding to lose the join. I also applied a smidge of filler to tiny sink holes that aligned with the location pins and the seat locators inside. The rudder is thick, and I’d have been wiser to have done some selective sanding to this it a little more on the trailing edge before joint the fuselage up. Content that I hadn’t destroyed anything, I glued the transparency on. I could have masked it before, but it’s a relatively simple job even in position on the model. An oddity with the transparency is not all the frames are moulded, chiefly along the sides and edges. They look like they are there, but it is refraction of the thickness of material showing through. All soon dealt with by some tape and sharp blade. It’s also worth pointing out the rear edges really ought to sit slightly proud of the fuselage. The whole rear section on the real plane slides back, and the slightly proud moulding, to my mind at least, is correct. I know others like to dip their transparencies in clear varnish or floor polish. I’ve tried this before and never had good results. I seem to get runs and ridges. It is useful, though to try and seal the edges of masking tape to prevent subsequent painting operations wicking under it. I seem to be successful with this by brush-painting the interior colour all over the edges. Other sub-assemblies have started to appear, and I’ve ploughed on and made up the engine nacelle and struts, and attached them to the fuselage. Things will need a little tidying now the glue has dried. I have been using a facsimile of the original Matchbox instructions over the Revell updated ones. I can’t quite see it, but Revell apparently have redrawn the nacelle strut arrangement and got it slightly wrong. I’ve noted others have built this kit here on BM and always commented that no matter how hard they try they can’t get the engine pod aligned. Well, that’s because it’s offset to starboard, like the real thing. Perhaps the instructions should note that fact to avoid annoying modellers! Once the struts are fitted properly, you can see they’re all over the shop when viewed from certain angles. It looks very wrong, but is quite correct. I will need to do some filling and fettling round the nacelle and strut locations, but checking just now it has set nice and rigid. If I work to getting the tailplanes fitted, I can think about priming this section and perhaps drilling some holes for rigging to go into. Currently, I’m erring on the side of making locations and fitting straight sections of wire. Fitting the wings so they sit square and true may well be easier without worrying about stray cables all the time. That said, it makes sense to get the wing and fuselage subassemblies in the final colours before joint things up. That’s a bother as I’ll have to reinstate the paint booth again. I need the bench clear for day job stuff in the coming week. Oh, for a nice big dedicated modelling workshop!
  13. Gluing the fuselage together. I painted the interior Humbrol 78 Interior Green, picked out some details in matt black and ran a black wash to bring out some detail. My standard masking tape seat belts have been done, but I’ve forgotten to fit the control column.
  14. I have to say I ditched the Flickr iOS app ages ago. I use the site through Safari using the standard web interface. That said, I use an iPad and not an iPhone. I would also add that the pro option is worth the cost - from my point of view, anyway. I’m uploading lots of progress images and I reckon it’s paid for itself.
  15. I’ve been fiddling about with some impressionistic interpretations of interior detail. Spare ammunition drums dotted about, the co-pilot seat folded up against the starboard side, some odd electrical boxes here and there, plus some frames. With the greenhouse popped on, you can see the square root of naff all. A lick of paint will help, but at least there’s something in there! Clutter inside the "turrets" will be ever-so-slightly more visible. Happy with that, so I’ll get some paint around the place and I can close up the fuselage. Oh, you’ll note I’ve glazed and masked the rectangular side windows. It has always struck me as odd these obvious clear panels have generally been rendered as closed (missing entirely on the Airfix kit) and it is expected rectangles of black transfer will be quite adequate, thanks ever so.
  16. The discussion of trade support for SMW is interesting. I have to admit my first visit to the show was mainly to see the modelling, with trade being a supporting act. Contrast this with the Gauge O Guild's shindig that used to be in the same venue earlier in the year, where the visit was for the trade and any model displays an afterthought for me. Of course, I always came away loaded down with goodies, only some of which were bargains. I was also fired up with new ideas and techniques, having had the chance to chat about various display models with their builders. I am disappointed I won’t be attending this year. I hope the more limited event goes well for the organisers, and we can look forward to something better in 2022.
  17. Did I mention Special Hobby? I may well be wrong. I think it was Valom that kitted the Walrus and Seagull (same thing as a Walrus,essentially, but Antipodean).
  18. Well, it’s not sulking as much. More of the moody teenager.
  19. Who? Me? I also have the Airfix Walrus. It is remaining in the box and will never be built. I may raid it for the odd spare before it becomes landfill in due course. For my money, if you can’t find the Special Hobby kit, stick with the Revell one. Now, I’ve been thinking some more about rigging. I am still tempted by knotted wire. You see, the wings are all split in half, and the engine and centre section are built up before attaching wings. I think, with care, it should be quite possible to paint the wings while they’re in their component parts, and then arrange rigging before fixing the upper/lower halves in place. It might be a fiddle, but the overall wiring scheme is not all that complex, with the worst bit being the stuff holding the engine and nacelle struts square. I shall continue thinks in this direction, though I think I’ll end up fitting individual wires after construction.
  20. A reminder that pesky virus is far from done with us. Hope it turns out okay, Ced.
  21. At the risk of diverting the thread, here’s the link to the NHS Covid Pass application. This is the one I used to get my letter, not being blessed - or should that be cursed? - with a smart phone.
  22. It can happen. After all, it’s the story of my life! Are you working through the official NHS site? Best Beloved and I had hoped to attend this year's show. I was supposed to be helping with a SIG display. Sadly, health reasons mean various people can’t attend, so we will have to give it a miss this year. Hopefully, next year will see us make the pilgrimage again.
  23. I am confused. I just checked my Covid Pass letter and there is no expiry date on it at all.
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