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Heather Kay

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Everything posted by Heather Kay

  1. I built one in the last Airfix Classic group build. Most of the Haldane Place pimples had to be sacrificed, the moulding was definitely showing its age (a 1980s boxing), the nose glazing was all wrong, and the Humbrol period transfers were a disaster, but it scrubbed up okay. Now, would I buy another? Never say never. Like others here, I fancy a bit of a WHIF in RAF Transport Command colours.
  2. That turned out rather nicely, paint issues aside. I assume the kit dates from the late 1970s, when Heller were really beginning to show what they could do. I admit I found Xtracrylix to be quite fragile. It seemed very susceptible to tiny amounts of natural skin oils left on a primed surface, lifting off with even the lightest touch of tape. As you say, it really needs a good surface primer, and patient airbrushing followed by a lengthy drying spell before masking. Even then, it isn’t a tough finish until a final varnish coat. I once went through a process of airbrushing Humbrol Clear on between each subsequent camouflage colour - not ideal or fun.
  3. Yes, it is. The editor was silly enough to accept my proposal of a series on my obsession. I’ve just sent the next one off to him. In Annie news, nothing has happened - unless you count assessing and identifying all the parts. There will, unfortunately, need to be some replacement of the cabin metal structure with actually metal, or possibly styrene if I think it’ll be strong enough. I think the turret and gun mounting will also benefit from some replacement parts.
  4. Sadly, not this year. Best Beloved and I were to be attending, helping on the delayed-from-last-year Battle of Britain 80th SIG display. For health reasons, that has been postponed again, so we won’t be attending. There's talk of doing a big 85th anniversary display now, but I hope we will be able to attend SMW as visitors in 2022. Life and viruses will hopefully be under better control by then.
  5. Now to wean yourself off the sugar. I did it in my 20s by steadily lowering the amount until one day I wasn’t putting any in my hot drinks at all. Nigh on forty years later my Dad still forgets and heaves sugar in!
  6. Thanks Tony! If this better kit gets anywhere close to the remarkable job you did with the Airfix one, I’ll be chuffed to bits. The Skua is in an end-opener. Annie has a nice top-loader. That doesn’t prevent damage, though. The broken part seems to be entirely missing, but I’m not fretting as it can easily - ha! - replaced by something sturdier. Easier said than done round here.
  7. Thanks Bill. I’ve noticed part of the resin frame has already broken. I suspect I shall follow in your footsteps, perhaps even using brass to replace. Both will be slow burns. Tempting though it is to just pile in, I’ve a ton of other stuff to deal with first. Priorities and all that. Do it! Ansons were used a lot by the dominion air forces for training - including that famous incident where one "landed" on top of another while in flight. Quite a story.
  8. You really, really do not want to see the state of our teapot. Makes a lovely brew, even though it’s supermarket own label.
  9. It does appear there is precious little of the original kit left at this stage! Watery things are not generally my, er, thing, but I always appreciate and admire good modelling in whatever form it takes. This fits the bill.
  10. This looks like fun! The Wendover scheme was conceived in the dark days of 1940, when it was thought the Germans would be landing on British beaches in their thousands. The idea was the aircraft could fly low over troop columns with the turret guns strafing away. I understand the prototype Lysander was converted, and it never carried an actual turret, the project being cancelled when the threat of invasion receded. If 1940 what-ifs interest, though, a read about Operation Banquet is worth a few minutes. Desperate times make for desperate measures.
  11. Excellent resource. Thank you. I dimly recall finding that site when researching the Roc. It does appear SH corrected some of the errors they made in the 1/48th kit when they cut the 1/72nd mould. That doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing, though.
  12. Well, if the Roc is any guide, suitable offerings to the styrene, PU and PE gods, throw various adhesives in the box, shake and hope. If memory serves, the worst part was the PE support struts for the engine exhaust ring. I couldn’t get it to fit, and ended up butchering things to make it work. Apart from that, and the fiddly small parts - many of which will never be seen again - it’s not a bad kit. Not for the beginner, but okay for the experienced plastic mangler.
  13. Well spotted. I hadn’t clocked the smooth cowlings. Scalemates lists a couple of versions of this kit, but they all seem to be just variations in markings. I wonder if there had been a plan to kit the Wright powered US and Canada versions, or even later marks with different fuselage runners?
  14. The Faithful Annie, a classic RAF aircraft if ever there was one. Over 11,000 Ansons of various marks were built from 1935 to 1952, serving the RAF, RCAF, RAAF and FAA into the 1960s. I’m starting back at the beginning, with the MkI in RAF Coastal Command service. I stand to be corrected but, until this Special Hobby kit arrived in 2007, the only injection moulded kit in 1/72nd scale was the venerable Airfix one - with all its shortcomings and dimensional errors, and that nasty greenhouse. I’m not going to knock the Airfix one further. I know, with care and love and elbow grease, it can be turned into a good representation of the type. Anyway, this thread is about a different kit. My copy is a rebox of the original 2007 kit. Markings are provided for three aircraft, all of which fit my 1940 obsession. However, I’m going to build the box art aircraft, N9732/MK-V. I don’t live very far from Detling, in Kent, where there was a Coastal Command airfield (now the Kent county show ground). MK-V was on the strength of No 500 (County of Kent) Squadron, and with two other Ansons got into a bit of a barney with a pair of Bf109s while on patrol over the English Channel in June 1940. The Emils came off worst, both apparently claimed by the crew of MK-V. Why wouldn’t I build that version? It would be rude not to! The moulded plastic looks really nice, especially the fabric treatment on the control surfaces. A rather worrying number of large gaps appear in the fuselage, though. Large expanses of lovely thin clear glazing, which will fill those gaps with luck. I have found that Montex make a masking set for this kit, which must be ordered fairly soon. This kit has lots and lots of moulded resin detail. This lot is mostly the interior, including the framework supporting the roof and glazing, but there are some worryingly fragile-looking external details as well. I shall consider which can usefully be substituted by metal replacements. More resin, this time crew seats, undercarriage parts, engine cowlings and self-assembly Armstrong Siddeley Cheetahs. Individual cylinders? Really? I had better put the local asylum on standby… Like the Blackburn Skua, this is going to be a slow burn build. Rather perversely, I am rather looking forward to getting into all that resin!
  15. I’m feeling a bit of group build burnout, so I’ve decided to start a couple of builds of kits that have been occupying the stash for some time. Both, obviously, fit my 1940 remit, and both will probably be a fairly slow burn. First up, a final Fleet Air Arm build - until I can get a Fairey Sea Fox, Gloster Sea Gladiator and possibly a floatplane Swordfish - is the Blackburn Skua MkII from Special Hobby. Ages ago, I built the Roc turret fighter from SH, and this kit shares many similarities. This boxing dates from 2009, and offers three aircraft that took part in the attack on the Scharnhorst in July 1940. I may dig around and see if there are other aircraft I might choose, but one of the three in the box will probably be quite adequate. Typical SH family instructions. I’ve already made notes on colour callouts, and I will go over the runner trees with a fine felt tip to number the parts. Three runners of pale grey plastic form most of the parts. Some fine flash is evident, and some care tidying up feed points will be needed. The clear parts are a single piece canopy, so no chance of having the clamshell open for the observer, plus two landing light covers. A small PE fret for cockpit fittings, belts and engine detail. The engine is resin, and every inlet and exhaust pipe is separate. Transfers by AviPrint. I may be tempted to try cutting my own stencils and painting the markings, now I have the Silhouette. So, that’s what’s in the box. I’m not sure quite when I shall make a start on construction, but it won’t be too long. While my day job work is still busy, I am getting styrene and plastic cement fumes withdrawal symptoms!
  16. Yup. To be fair, the computer at their end was trying to prevent fraud by locking me out of my account because I’d forgotten my replacement password from the last time - and that was genuinely someone trying to break into my account. Still, my bank has nice human people based in the UK, and who are endlessly patient with the eternally hopeless.
  17. I don’t pop in here often, but I’d just like to mention internet banking. I think you know what I mean.
  18. Revell/Matchbox 1/72nd Supermarine Walrus MkI Serial No W2771, 9F, No 710 Squadron Fleet Air Arm, HMS Albatross, 1940. The Walrus began life as a design to fill a requirement of the Royal Australian Navy. Then named the Seagull, its role was as a fleet spotter and it was designed to be launched from a catapult, then retrieved after landing on the water next to the ship. The type was soon noticed by the Royal Navy, and became one of the standard aircraft in most capital warships of the 1930s. Affectionately known as either the "Steam Pigeon" - a reference to steam created by water hitting the hot Bristol Pegasus engine - or "Shagbat" - a mythical bird that would fly in ever decreasing circles until it disappeared up its own fundament - the Walrus MkI was an all-metal amphibious seaplane, designed by Supermarine's R J Mitchell in 1933. It featured fully retracting undercarriage and completely enclosed crew areas. Generally, the aircraft was operated by a crew of three. The airframe was stressed to withstand catapult launches up to 70mph, and when production ended in 1944, 740 Seagull and Walrus Mks I and II had been built. The type was also co-opted by the RAF for air-sea rescue duties. The Walrus depicted was part of the complement of planes on board HMS Albatross, a seaplane tender of some 4,800 tons displacement. The ship began life in the Royal Australian Navy, built at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, but was put into reserve fairly quickly as the aircraft it had been designed for were withdrawn from service, and the hangar decks were too low to handle the Supermarine Seagull. Later, when the Australian government were trying to acquire a light cruiser, Albatross was part-exchanged to the Royal Navy to help fund the new ship. While the Royal Navy had no real need for a dedicated seaplane tender, the loss of the carriers Courageous and Glorious early in the Second World War opened an opportunity for Albatross. She was assigned to Freetown in western Africa, where she and her aircraft were used for convoy escort, anti-submarine warfare, and air-sea rescue in the Atlantic. In 1942, she was transferred to the Indian Ocean, and later returned to the UK for conversion into a Landing Ship - Engineering for support duties during the Normandy landings in 1944. Walrus history at Wikipedia. HMAS/HMS Albatross history at a Wikipedia. The Matchbox kit first appeared in 1974, though this boxing was from the 1990s reissue by Revell. I added some rudimentary internal detail, but neglected to superdetail the rather basic Pegasus radial engine. I also forgot to add the mooring and grab lines, which I may return to another day. The kit is basic, of its time, but builds into a fairly good looking Walrus. The plastic is a bit brittle, and I had no end of issues with the small upper struts on the engine nacelle, which have to carry most of the weight of the upper wing and keep it aligned. The undercarriage is also a weak point, so I need to be careful moving and placing the model. For the dedicated detailer, there is scope for plenty to add to this kit. Paint was by ColourCoats enamels, with Humbrol enamel and acrylic for detail work. The transfers came from a set of FAA markings by H-Models, though I ended up using spare Xtradecal national markings. WIP thread is here:
  19. Thanks Loren! It’s done. I couldn’t be bothered with the proper camera for this one, so iPad camera shots will suffice. Gallery entry will be up shortly, once I’ve learned all about where this Walrus was deployed. Gallery entry posted. Thanks for playing along. I don’t have any further builds planned for this GB. In fact, I’m a bit GB'ed out, so I shall step back into the shadows and build something else from my 1940 stash. I suppose I could get that Special Hobby Blackburn Skua built, so it can complete most of my FAA collection.
  20. I can’t beat Lego. It always wins, but not in the right direction. I try, it sometimes helps, other times it doesn’t. It didn’t help me glue the lower wings in place, for a start. Everything was actually set level - I measured it to make sure - but it was still wonky when I had finished. Fixing the upper wing on the Walrus was done by eyeballing it and carefully holding it until the glue had set enough to hold it without my help. I've got a wing alignment jig from EBMA. It’s a wonderful bit of kit, but I’ve not yet managed to make it work for me. either I can’t hold the model properly in place, or something subtly shifts before glue sets. It’s very frustrating. I’m missing something very obvious somewhere. In other news, all wires now fitted. Matt varnish is still satin, and tacky. The undercarriage legs are likely to snap. All in all, I’ll be glad to get this model finished, photographed and safely in the cabinet.
  21. Before I attempted rigging the wings, I wanted to weather the model a little. I reasoned that an amphibian, like the Walrus, that lived on a seaplane tender and operated in a known rough environment, wouldn’t have been allowed to get very mucky at all. I wanted just a bit of grime, some staining, but no real paint chipping and so on. I mixed up some matt varnish with a greeny-grey matt enamel, thinned it a lot, and used a wide flat brush to sort of streak along the direction of airflow on most surfaces. It sort of worked. Ish. What hasn’t worked have been my attempts at losing a little silvering under the walkway markings on the top wing. When matt varnish resolutely fails to dry matt. I’m going to have to mask up things and blast some more through the airbrush - and I’ll bet it doesn’t work then, either. Anyway, wire being deployed into holes. It’s a bit saggy in places, but will have to do. I did chicken out of the cross bracing above the nacelle - though I managed the bit that’s really visible at the front. Nearly there.
  22. I've got a load more biplanes to build. I think I should seek out, or design and make, a useful jig to help me. Once the wings are in place, the whole thing becomes quite strong - though it wouldn’t take much to break it. Ta! Thank you, m'dear. I can just see it sitting on my bench, and it looks about right. With the rigging in place it should be okay. I am pondering some mild weathering at present.
  23. You are correct. I’ll see to that eventually.
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