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Heather Kay

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Everything posted by Heather Kay

  1. Today was a bitsa kind of day. Bits of this, bits of that, most if it meaning I was out of the house dealing with life stuff. Bleh. It wasn’t until late afternoon that I could settle at the bench. If I was about to get serious about filler, it made some sense to install the Anson's nose. Special Hobby provide it in transparent guise, although only some tiny bits are actually transparent when you’re done. The particular variant I’m building has a large landing light in the nose. To recreate this, a conical bucket is provided in the resin parts. I blobbed some Molotov Chrome inside it. Gluing the bucket into the transparent part posed a problem. Resin won’t react with polystyrene cement, and CA would inevitably fog the clear parts. I settled on some PVA, which at least dries mostly clear. As you can see, the masking had been applied. I will fess up, and admit to getting busy with the filler around the turret area while the nose part was setting. Despite my best efforts, the various joins around the tail end of the greenhouse and turret fairing were ghastly. Using the dry marker technique to see how far things had got. The idea is the marker goes into dips and hollows, and a quick rub over with the sanding sticks will leave dark areas that need more work. This took a while. It looks dreadful, but you’ll have to trust me when I say this is a major improvement over where I started! Eventually, I was satisfied. What I mean is I couldn’t make it any better and decided to just go with it. It was about now I realised I had forgotten to fit the pilot's gunsight inside the cockpit canopy. Oh well. I have decided to brush paint this model, as I can’t be bothered attempting to mask around the various fragile sticky-out bits that will be going on by the time I’m finished. I like the hairy stick method, as it can be done at the bench without a lot of prep and cleaning up when I’m done. A couple of light coats of Humbrol 78 Cockpit Grey-Green acrylic have been applied, which highlighted some further areas that needed tidying. Wings and bits next, I suppose. Fairly pleased with progress. It won’t be a competition winner, but I will be happy with it.
  2. I’m my own worst enemy. I resolve to finish one build at a time - more or less. That means I try not to be tempted by another kit until I’ve nearly finished a build. It acts as some sort of incentive. Although it’s come close once or twice, I’ve yet to give up on a build entirely. Famous last words, I’m afraid. Sideways, perhaps, but not upwards at present. More shortly. You are too kind. There’s plenty of time yet for Captain Cockup and his Merry Crew to make an appearance! Coming from you, Bill, that’s a very kind compliment. I aspire to your levels of finesse. I doubt I’ll ever quite get there, but the fun is in the attempt. An update… A plan had been formulated. With some filling and sanding to do, the idea was to apply the glazing masks so the shiny bits had some kind of protection from the abrasives. All was going well, until the fuselage slipped from my grasp … and hit the laminate flooring below my bench. A sickening second or two pass. Has anything broken? Did the fragile glazing survive? This might be a disaster! The glazing survived, and was still firmly fixed in place. However, there was an ominous rattle from inside. I could see the radio desk and radio had come away from their moorings. There was no way that could be fixed without removing the glazing. Bother. Happily, the clear bits were carefully prised off without damage. I retrieved the loose parts, and managed to glue them back in without too much faff. Once the glue has set, I’ll see if there’s any paint repair required. Meanwhile, I’ve completed the masking in that horrid vinyl stuff Montex uses. It’s worked before on other builds, and there aren’t too many curves for it to settle over. Phew! If I can get the greenhouse back on and glued, I think I’ll call time for this session.
  3. I had intended on getting some quality time with Annie over the weekend, but events conspired against me. Definitely not feeling in the mood for brass wrangling gazillions of model railway coaches today, and really needing a distraction from *waves arms vaguely at everything* all the other stuff going on right now, today seemed a good day for Anson activities. I had originally intended on replacing the ropey resin cabin framework with something better, but this build had already become unnecessarily protracted and I elected to make the best of what SH provided. Behind the glazing, little is really visible, so careful tidying and a lick of paint should do. It might have been possible to completely ignore the cage top section, though certain parts are visible through the skylights on top of the cabin. It also has the benefit of pushing the side frames into the right sort of shape, so it had to fit. You can see how it looks, posed here. It gets better, honestly. I found the replacement hifi gear was much taller than the kit was supposed to have, and it interfered with the central bar. The bar was chopped out. It is invisible with the roof on, so I didn’t feel bad about it. With the framework somewhat aligned and glued in place, I could consider joining the fuselage halves. At last! Overall, alignment wasn’t bad. I began at the nose, carefully aligning for the best seam and running some liquid cement along. A peg was applied, followed by further careful alignment at the tail end. I worked along slowly and carefully, with clamps and pegs as I went. Experimental fitting had shown the turret fairing helped close the dodgy gap nicely. There’s some internal stuff for the turret occupant to perch in while wielding his weapon, but I reasoned it would be fairly hard to see with the glazed cupola in place and left it out. The gun support parts can all be fitted much later in the build. The turret fairing was glued in place. I carefully worked around the fairing with liquid cement, clamping as I went. The dodgy join is still not quite right, but it does really need the main greenhouse transparency in place to align it. I accepted there will be some filling and sanding around the fairing anyway, but still tried to get it as good as I could. Before I knew where I was, this had happened. Usually I like to mask transparencies before they’re fixed in place. This time, the masking will have to happen with everything glued firmly. The sides of the fuselage above the wing roots flex alarmingly, and needed some careful adjustment to give as smooth a joint with the greenhouse as possible. Sanding will not be possible, in my opinion. You can see the dodgy join behind the greenhouse. That will be dealt with by filler, and a slight gap at the side rear of the greenhouse will be close with PVA. I am letting the cement harden before I review the situation further.
  4. I don’t think it’s silly. The Queen's death, though hardly unexpected, came as a shock to many. For many, she had been a fixture of national life - and now she's no longer there. Following the last few years of pandemic, where many lost loved ones and were perhaps unable to mourn their losses properly, the period of national mourning was a kind of catharsis. I'm no monarchist, in fact I am a near full-on republican, but I found myself affected by events as well. So, don’t apologise for feelings that many shared.
  5. Wow! Lovin' that. As far as roundel colours, I’m still searching. White and red are easy, it’s the light blue that foxes me. Different kit makers also disagree over it. I wonder if there are any French BMers who might be able to pin down things nicely.
  6. One of these is in the stash - when I’ll get round to it is another matter. That’s a superb build, and the three bombers together look great.
  7. For larger planes like these I have to admit I’m heading down the paint stencil route. I’ve got a Silhouette Cameo and I need to use it! I blame Tony, @TheBaron, for leading me into the light! I just need to find paints that replicate the French markings colours nicely.
  8. This is all looking rather fabulous, I must say. I have the Amiot from Smer, but I must admit I opted to buy the original Heller boxings of the other models. Most have been reissued fairly recently under the company's "musée" branding, with new/better transfers.
  9. Looking splendid. I hope mine turn out as well when I get round to them. Just one - pedantic, I know - thing, but the Wellington was nicknamed "Wimpy". From the Wikipedia:
  10. Most of these obscure French machines are resident in my stash. I shall follow along to see how they’re supposed to be put together!
  11. Well, I lied. Still pending a Fairey Albacore. One day.
  12. I’ve not updated new stash residents for a bit, so here we go. Picked up the Arado at a decent price at a small show. I think it makes into a reasonable representation. I finally managed to acquire the Seafox, which - I think - completes my Fleet Air Arm 1940 collection. The Stösser because trainers count under my rules. I’m pleased with the Dora Lysander, bought from a BM seller, as it can replace my wonky Matchbox one. Most recently, this box. It’s going to cause more storage issues than the original kit box would have, but I’m still chuffed to have sourced a Halifax via another BMer. Even better were some nice aftermarket bits. I wonder if 2023 will be my year of building Bomber Command?
  13. Many thanks, Kevin! I’m running out of complete sets to write about now! Bomber and Coastal Commands are missing almost completely at the moment. Plenty of gaps to fill, and keep me busy for ages! I think the fuselage gap will be solved by some styrene packing material. The challenge, really, will be getting the mend to still match the glazing profile. More thinking required, then.
  14. Still "me day" here. I will get back to paying work sometime. The cabin internals are more or less complete, with the floor and port side assembly glued to the fuselage half and the right side casting glued in place. I figured, before committing to attaching the two fuselage halves permanently, it might be a good idea to check the fit of the main transparencies, and whether I really need to repair the missing frame parts. Well, the clear parts are a good firm fit, and will need some very careful manipulation to sit on the fuselage cleanly. The glazing is incredibly thin and clear, so full marks to the mouldmaker for that, and it’ll mean all the fiddly detailing I’ve just done will pretty much be seen on close inspection. A ropey photo, but serves its purpose. You might just see the missing frame section at the back of the glazing. I’ll deal with that when I fit the top cross-braces and button the fuselage up. The slight step between cockpit and greenhouse is because the former glazing piece is not seated properly. I’m not at all enamoured by that massive gap where the fuselage halves don’t meet at all. I’ll let the brain cell think about that. I’m also not sure about the slot abaft of the turret location. Presumably that’s meant for the Lewis gun to snuggle down into, but there’s no corresponding slot in the bulkhead. Some photo study will be required before I join things together, I think. I think there’s an Anson in there somewhere, anyway.
  15. I have been lurking for a bit, Ian. Day job modelling, not fun modelling, so nothing really to share.
  16. Getting there. There's a resin bank of instruments supposed to sit across the width of the navigator's table, at about head height with the pilot. Of course, my upgrades have meant it no longer fits in the correct location - assuming it would have if I’d built it as Special Hobby intended. Anyway, it’s attached to the central upright, with the left end floating in free space. It will have to do, I’m afraid. It’s currently unpainted. Locations of all the seating is also vague, so I’ve guesstimated from the instruction sheet drawings. Here is the In-Plane Entertainment system Marconi T1154 transmitter (bottom) and T1155 receiver (top). These closeups are cruel, but it will be quite adequate through the kit transparencies. Time to ponder on the starboard side panels, and perhaps I can think of making some proper progress on the rest of the build soon.
  17. I’m having a "me" day today. What with everything kicking off in the real world, I need to take time to keep myself centred. Unfortunately, the England v S Africa third test finished this morning, so I’m now reliant on my record collection to drown out the insanity. Flightpath bits. Some wireless things, which need detail painting, and which I’ve stuck on some black styrene sheet because they are open at the back. The control column, needs paint. And the navigator's tools. I think the sheet they’re on is meant to represent a map, because this ensemble is glued to the desk… …which you see here, replete with infinitesimal dividers. Brass or nickel-plated, do you think?The wireless position desk also came from the Flightpath etch, and fits rather well. You can see why I’ve decided to fill in the backs of the radios now! Disappointed there’s no headset for the W/Op to wear. I am actually quite pleased at how this stage is progressing. I hope it continues.
  18. Right, now where were we? Annie had been lurking in her box on the Shelf of Doom, making dark mutterings in my general direction. Time to see if I could actually build this kit. One of my problems was I was over-complicating everything. From the box, the model would be quite adequate, but I had decided to try and shoehorn the Flightpath detail set into it when it’s clearly designed for a different kit. I got all bogged down trying to reconcile things in my head. Throw into the mix doubts about the resin moulded framework, and I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I sat down with the box of bits and pieces, and decided to just make a start with something. Other things would probably make sense in due course. I began with gluing the PE belts to the seats. The delicious Flightpath PE instrument panel I had previously made up isn’t quite the right shape to fit the Special Hobby moulded piece, but I decided I wasn’t going to worry about it. Some black paint will hide the joins. The resin part from the kit was added for good measure. Then, as I’d hoped, one thing sort of led to another. The cabin floor got painted interior green, the seats were detail painted, and the port side panel was attached. The side panel frames had been poorly moulded, and I had been playing with the notion of reconstructing them in brass rod. I think this was one reason why I got fed up with the build. I decided to go with what Special Hobby moulded, chopping out broken sections to be replaced with styrene or metal rod later. I then decided to assess the rest of the internals, and felt the navigator and wireless stations from the kit can be happily replaced with the better parts from Flightpath. The control column can also be the FP parts. With luck, that will make up the interior parts to some kind of completion. I’ve already earmarked other Flightpath details to enhance the exterior. So, day job shenanigans notwithstanding, Annie is back on track.
  19. Heather Kay


    I will stand to be corrected, but I think the Air Component support vehicles were painted in the same manner as the Army units. Someone with the right info will be along with the official colours soon, I'm sure.
  20. Just been mucking about with a simple conversion of the venerable 1/76th scale Airfix Bofors gun tractor. That’s another typical RAF vehicle for photo set dressing purposes. It still needs a census number and the gas warning patch, but otherwise I’m happy with how it’s turned out.
  21. Best Beloved and I hope to be at Telford both days. I look forward to seeing this beauty in the flesh and making your acquaintance in real life, Ian.
  22. No problem. I’ve been interested in airfield vehicles for the 1940 period for years. As to kits, sadly, there is no-one producing the big Albion. By Albion, I mean this one: JMV 149 Albion model AM463 RAF Ambulance 1937 by wheelsnwings2007/Mike, on Flickr it’s essentially the same chassis as the refueller of the period, so there’s some scope for kitbashing the Airfix 1/48th AM463 refueller. Then again, it was a rare beast, mainly seen on large bomber airfields. The more common "heavy" ambulance of the late 1930s was based on a Morris Commercial chassis - again, almost impossible to find in kit form at any scale. Fighter fields relied on smaller general service vehicles in the main, and may not even have had specific ambulance bodied trucks. Now, the RAF used Standard 10hp utilities, as Airfix again kitted in the 1/72nd Bomber Resupply Set. The only utility (which was shortened to "Tilly", giving the nickname) in 1/35 is Tamiya's Austin. The Austins were much more common in army service, and weren’t really an RAF thing - but many stretch the point and mark the model up as RAF anyway. I don’t blame them. Here's my take on the Airfix Standard Tilly with a scratch light ambulance body. Titivating a Tilly by Heather Kavanagh, on Flickr Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. With some digging around the internet, it might be there are some small makers of kits and bits at the larger scales that can be bashed into suitable vehicles for you. Unfortunately, airfield service vehicles of the early war period are seemingly not that popular.
  23. Nope. The K2 ambulances weren’t used by the RAF at that stage of the war. You’d be after an Albion for a heavy ambulance, or a Standard Tilly for a light ambulance.
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