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KeithR

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  1. That's good to know that Alclad works on XF-1. I've another of the same kit to do in a similar scheme but with the round nose so it'll make an interesting comparison.
  2. This is my Special Hobby Gnat F.1 XN326 RAE Farnborough 1959. The RAF didn’t adopt the F.1, but it saw service overseas with the Indian and Finnish Air Forces in particular. The twin seat derivative was adopted by the RAF as the, by then, Hawker Siddeley Gnat T.1 which became famous as the Red Arrows’ first aircraft type. This was an early trials/demo aircraft and as such I didn’t weather it as I figured it would have been kept fairly clean. I finished it in semi-gloss varnish as I figured the real thing would have been slightly glossy. This was my first use of Alclad paint. I used ALC-101 Aluminium over-sprayed with Tamiya X-35 semi-gloss varnish. I was very happy with the result, although the Alclad black microfilmer primer came out a bit rough. I might try Tamiya XF-1 black as a primer next time. Here it is next to my very old model of a Red Arrows Gnat T.1. You can see that the wing and tail surfaces are all larger on the T.1. It is a very tiny aircraft. Even my Spitfire, which I think of as a small aircraft, dwarfs it. It must have been like wearing a jet-pack. Products used:- Cement, Tamiya Extra Thin. Canopy glue, Formula 560 Canopy Glue. PVA based I think. Primer, Alclad II ALC-309-60 Black Primer and Microfiller. Unthinned, this went on a bit rough. Undersides, Alclad II lacquer. ALC-101 Aluminium. Unthinned. Nice. Upper surface camo, MRP-110 Dark Green BS641 WWII RAF. Unthinned. Perhaps a bit dark. MRP-113 Dark Sea Grey BS638 WWII RAF. Unthinned. Radomes, MRP-005 Black with a touch of Tamiya XF-2 white unthinned. Varnish over the whole model, Tamiya X-35 Semi-gloss thinned with Mr Color Levelling Thinner. Seat belts, Eduard steel Photo Etched belts. Pitot probe made from Albion Alloys tubing. Things I have learnt:- Tamiya Extra thin cement takes a while to dry fully. My fuselage joints sunk a bit over time. Alclad metallic paint is extremely unforgiving of poor surface preparation. Any tiny flaws will not be hidden by the paint. When sprayed onto Alclad primer it was robust enough for masking without any peeling. I used tape lifted at the edges with cotton thread to give a soft edge to the camouflage. It ended up too soft and variable. I used Blu Tack on my previous models which gave a much tighter and more controlled edge. On balance, Bare Metal Foil is better for masking canopies than tape. Possibly. It was a bit tricky to remove. What do you guys think? I found that I could put the kit decals directly onto the Alclad and the MRP paints without the need for a gloss varnish coat. With the use of Microset and Microsol the kit decals went down nicely without silvering. It’s really difficult to avoid dust getting on the paint finish. Gnats are tiny! My BUILD LOG is here. Comments and criticism welcome. Happy modelling, Keith.
  3. It’s finished! Only a few WiP pics I’m afraid. Empennage on and being aligned using Lego. Marvellous stuff. I filled the joints using super-fine white Milliput and touched up with Mr Surfacer. I then primed using Alclad black primer with microfiller. It came out a bit bobbly rather like orange peel. I think I’ll stick with Tamiya XF-1 for priming in the future. The undersurface on the real thing was High Speed Silver I believe. I used Alclad (ALC-101 Aluminium) for the first time and not withstanding the primer problem was quite pleased with the result. I might try adding a touch of grey to the Alclad for my next HSS RAF aircraft. What do you think? However….. I discovered that my joints were not as good as I thought. Alclad is very unforgiving of flaws in the surface preparation! Not to worry. Ever onward! I’m not going to strip it and respray. Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom! Here’s the top surface done in the same black primer with the Alclad Aluminium overspray showing. The canopy is masked with a combination of Tamiya tape and Bare Metal Foil. The finished article. Hurrah! Comments and criticism welcome. You can see that I replaced the kit pitot with some Albion Alloy tubing. Looks better imo although the profile is more tapered on the real aircraft. I used Eduard steel belts in the cockpit and scratched a tiny ejector handle which is only just visible. For masking the upper camouflage I tried using tape lifted at the edge with sewing thread to get a very tight feathered edge. It didn’t work and ended up softer than I achieved with my P-40 using Blu Tack and took ages to mask. Blu Tack from now on then. I didn’t weather this one since I figured it was a demonstrator and was probably kept fairly clean. I put the decals straight onto the Alclad and MRP camo paints without any problems. No silvering thankfully. The kit decals were very glossy and rather thick so I sprayed several coats of Varnish over the whole model. The edges of the decals are still rather obvious if they catch the light however. I used Tamiya X-35 Semi-gloss clear to give a bit of a sheen as I have it in my head that the original would have been a bit glossy. I’m happy to be corrected on that if anyone knows better. Overall I’m quite happy with the result even though it didn’t go quite as smoothly as my last couple of aircraft. There are more photos of the finished model here in Ready For Inspection. Happy modelling, Keith.
  4. I’ve made a start on the Gnat with the cockpit:- I’ve found that you have to be careful with part 03 to glue it carefully in the pocket in the cockpit side wall. The lower and back edges must be aligned with the pocket edges. See arrows:- The reason is that the rear bulkhead is sandwiched tightly between part 03 and the nose undercarriage bay part 31 which can’t be adjusted too much. I glued part 31 into the fuselage half with the cockpit interior and the other fuselage half both in place but not glued. After it dried I then glued the cockpit interior to one half of the fuselage and held it in place with the other fuselage half taped but unglued. This ensured that it all fitted when I came to glue the two fuselage halves together. The jet pipes were glued in. I didn’t learn anything from my experience with the P-40 and used too much Tamiya Extra-Thin cement and too much pressure. It all went a bit banana shaped and I had to do quite a bit of sanding to get it all to fit:- As with the Airfix 1/72nd P-40, alignment of the fuselage halves wasn’t great so I had to remove most of the locating pins. The fuselage halves glued together:- Despite fettling the jet pipes I still ended up with a nasty gap requiring filling near the back end:- The instrument panel ended up looking like it should be a bit further forward. We’ll see what it looks like when I put the canopy on:- I had to remove the locating pins on the wing-mounted air data probe. I don’t think the probe itself looks all that great. I might make one out of brass tubing. The difficulty is that the real probe is parallel to about half way then tapers down towards the front. I’ll do a bit of experimenting. I ordered some MRP paints from HM Hobbies and they came the next day. Excellent service. Thanks for the recommendation Mark @Sidders. Well that’s it for now. Happy modelling. Keith.
  5. Hi Mark, That's just what I wanted to know. I'd spotted them and was about to give them a try. Thanks and best regards, Keith.
  6. I’ve decided after building two Airfix kits in succession (Spitfire and P-40) that I would branch out and build my first Special Hobby kit. It’s the 1/72 scale Folland Gnat F Mk.I “British Single Seaters” No. SH 72322:- These are the options in the kit:- I’m not sure that any other than the grey/green camouflaged versions actually flew. Perhaps there are some experts out there in Britmodellerland who could confirm or disprove that. In any case, I’ve decided to go with the kit option of XN326 with the pointy radar nose. It’s not quite as pretty as the round-nosed one (XM740), but it’s a bit more interesting and it will provide a nice contrast with my Red Arrows Gnat T.1. That aircraft I made about 35 years ago from the old-tool Airfix kit. I have another identical kit to build as that option in a few days when I've finished this one . So, I’ll build this one:- The box open-ended box contents. Sprue A:- Sprue B:- The transparencies:- This spine transparency isn’t used in my option:- Neither are these resin parts:- Hopefully I’ll make a start in the next day or so and will keep you posted. Before I go, I’d like to buy some MRP paints for this. Hannants don’t stock them. I can only find a couple of places that sell them online but they are unknown to me. Would any of you Britmodellers have any recommendations for a trustworthy supplier of MRP paints online? Thanks in anticipation and happy modelling, Keith.
  7. Thanks Michael, that's worked perfectly. Thanks @russ c. Much appreciated. Happy modelling, Keith.
  8. That's superb Roger, and an inspiration. What sort of optical devices do you use to create such microscopic detail? Is there any chance you could get a few of your models out of their boxes in the loft and photograph them, I would love to see more of your work. Regards, Keith.
  9. Many thanks for your kind comments @Jeddahbill, @Farmerboy, @2996 Victor, @SAT69, @ColinChipmunkfan, @Vinnie and @swralph. It’s much appreciated and very encouraging. Thanks Dave. I’ve got a cheapo set of lenses a bit like an Optivisor but found them a bit uncomfortable and the optical quality perhaps isn’t what it should be. I use a prescription pair of glasses for general close work. For really close work I put a pair of +2.5 dioptre reading glasses on top of them. Do you wear reading glasses under the Optivisor? Any tips for which lens power to get? Thanks @Jackson Duvalier. At the front of the cockpit sill there’s a step which lifts the canopy up too much. I trimmed that down a bit and the windscreen/canopy fitted much better. I didn’t use any glue at the bottom of the windscreen. There’s a small gap but you have to look closely. I had problems with the width of the fuselage initially and the canopy was too wide. When I corrected the fuselage width the canopy fitted much better. My WiP gives more details. Thanks Steve. It’s invisible to me too thankfully. Poor eyesight has its benefits. Cameras are very unforgiving. Thanks @Homer. Have you posted any pics, I’d love to see how the 48th scale kit builds up? Thanks @Toryu. I’ve had a look at your 109. That’s a fine model. I’m very impressed with your innovative solution to dihedral issues. I was lucky with my Spitfire. I guessed how much extra dihedral to put on it in the hope that when it dried and relaxed it would be OK. It was good luck rather than judgement that it was. I’ve no idea whether my P-40’s dihedral is OK. Your fuselage extension is flawless. Brilliant. Incidentally, how did you insert the one word link to your build where is say “here” in your post? I’ve tried all sorts to no avail. Thanks @Paulaero. Yes, Neville Duke’s the man. Quite a chap. He had a long and eventful career. Wikipedia has lots of interesting stuff on him. Speaking of Hunters, I’ve got some of those……… Well, thanks very much to all you Britmodellers for your interest and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you. What a great site this is. Happy modelling all! Right…… Now where’s that Special Hobby Gnat F1
  10. Many thanks for your kind comments and encouragement everyone. I've put some pictures of the finished model in Ready for Inspection here:- Cheers, Keith.
  11. Here is my Airfix Curtiss Tomahawk IIB in 1/72nd scale. This particular aircraft, GA-F, was flown by P.O. Neville Duke with 112 Sq, Fort Maddalena, Libya in 1941. The Airfix kit box art:- The following items were used:- Kit is Airfix starter set A55101. Kit Decals used. MRP lacquer paints for main camouflage. Tamiya paints for primer et.al. Rub ’n Buff metal paste for the exhausts. Quickboost resin propellor set QB 72 364. SBS resin exhausts 72039. Scratch-built bullet-proof screen and gunsight. Replaced fuselage spine aerial with brass rod. More Pictures of the finished article:- As promised @stevehnz here is a photo of the bullet proof screen. You can just about see a blob of PVA glue on the top left corner. I’m glad my eyes don’t have the resolution of my camera otherwise I’d never build another model! What I learned from this build. The spinner is red, not black as Airfix would have you believe. This is typical Airfix starter set practice so they don’t need to supply red paint. They also don’t supply stencil decals. On the shark mouth decals I would cut the lip extensions off and apply them separately. Tamiya Extra Thin Cement is fierce! Be careful how much you use and how hard you clamp your parts. MRP paints spray beautifully if you can cope with the smell. Use a spray booth! Don’t touch your decals after applying MicroSol until they are dried. Cutting out canopy frame masking in situ is not easy. There’s gotta be a better way. The carpet monster lives! I lost my landing light and had to use Micro Krystal Klear. Do not use a hair dryer to dry paint on resin propellor blades. They warp! Quickboost resin propellors are nice but the jigs are all but useless. The jig’s hole is nowhere near central and the blades on mine ended up angled back and I had to warm them up to straighten them. I’d still use them, but they aren’t a huge improvement on the kits propellor imho. SBS resin exhausts are very nice and well worth using. Getting old sucks. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. Above all else choose a subject to build that you love. I made the mistake of picking this kit because although I appreciate the significance of the subject and it’s a lovely little kit, the P-40 isn’t an aircraft in which I’m all that interested. I thought I could rattle it off quickly to give myself a bit of practise because I wasn’t too bothered if I messed it up. When I built my Airfix Spitfire 1a I was always really looking forward to seeing the finished product because I love Spitfires, so I had no problem getting down to it and built it in about three weeks.. With this P-40 I just wasn’t as passionate about the subject and consequently lost a lot of interest in it. Modellers block became a serious problem and going to my modelling desk became a bit of chore rather than a pleasure, hence the seven month build time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I built it, I learned a lot and I’m very pleased with the result. However, I have more than enough kits of subjects I do love so I’ll make sure I start with them first from now on. Perhaps Special Hobby’s nice little Gnat F1. I have two of those so I can afford to mess it up. Comments and criticism are very welcome. Thanks for your interest everyone. Regards, Keith. The build thread is here:- My previous model Airfix Spitfire 1a DW-K is here:-
  12. Thanks Steve, much appreciated. I glued the bullet proof screen to the inside of the canopy with white glue. Specifically, Formula 560 Canopy Glue. When you glue items to clear parts the glue effectively becomes part of the part and is highly visible. I used the tiniest, tiniest blob of glue on each corner of the bullet proof screen and let it dry a bit before attaching it. This was so it didn’t wick between the two parts and stand out too much. I used a bit more on the bottom where it’s harder to see. I can see it if I look very closely but its good enough for government work. I’m going to take some more pictures when the weather improves and I’ll take a close-up for you. Regards, Keith.
  13. FINISHED! Yippee! A few progress pictures first. The canopy masking looks pretty ropey up close. Cameras are very unforgiving! In future I won’t try cutting the tape in situ. My hand-eye coordination isn’t good enough to cut freehand without wandering and it’s very difficult to estimate where the edge of the frames are when the canopy is a bit blobby as this one is. I’ll use little strips applied separately for my next one. Here I’ve sprayed a couple of coats of Tamiya Flat Clear XF-86 thinned with about equal amounts of Mr Leveling thinner. It sprayed very well and I’m very happy with the result. The same for the underside. Miscellaneous bits and pieces also sprayed. And finally, the finished product at last! Thanks for your inputs and thanks for watching. I’ll take some better photos and put them in Ready for Inspection when (if) it stops raining and the clouds clear. Here in the UK even in full daylight by the window it’s too dark in the middle of the day! Roll on summer! Cheers! Keith.
  14. I’ve finally got back to some modelling, hurrah! Here are some progress photos. I primed with Tamiya XF-1 matt black diluted with Mr Color Leveling Thinner 400 at about 50/50 by eye. It sprays better than Tamiya’s X-20 thinner IMO. The only issue is that its cellulose (lacquer) based so it smells awful. I’ve used MRP acrylic lacquer paints to spray the camo:- MRP-108 Dark earth BS 450 WWII RAF. MRP-121 Middle Stone WWII RAF. MRP119 Azure Blue WWII RAF. They spray very nicely indeed and don’t need thinning. They do pong, however as they are also lacquer based. I’m glad I have a spray booth. Apparently they do a water based paint but I’ve not tried it. I’ve masked the tail with masking tape lifted at the edges using cotton sewing thread to give a soft edge. The rest I’ve masked with Blu-Tac to see how it compares. Camo sprayed. The two different masking techniques gave similar results. The blue tack was a bit quicker but didn’t give as much control and precision. I think I’ll make the camo demarkation a bit softer in future. The kit decals went straight onto the semi-matt MRP paints without a varnish layer. I did polish it using a fine sanding stick in places, but it wasn't necessary. I used MicroSet and MicroSol decal solutions. The decals wrinkled up but then flattened out and conformed nicely. There was no silvering. I tried to modulate the paint thickness over the black base. It sort of worked and I’m happy. The azure blue is quite a bit more blueish/mauveish than the photos show. I tried pressing the roundel into the panel lines with a cotton bud but ended up with a wrinkle that wouldn’t go away even with several MicroSol applications. I didn't need to press it down. The other decals conformed well to the panel lines with a couple of applications of MicroSol. The shark mouth decals weren’t easy to position. If I were to do this again I would cut off the little extensions that go on the intake lip and apply them separately after applying the main parts. I applied them a little too far back and too far up so they need bit of touching up. I weathered straight onto the paint and decals with no ill effects, thankfully. I used a dot filtering technique using oils thinned with turpentine. That stuff makes lacquer smell lovely in comparison. I was a bit disappointed with the effect. It came out a bit streaky and grainy when you look close up. I’ll try using a softer brush and more turps next time to see if it gives a softer transition. Well that’s it so far. Varnish and attaching all the bits next. Happy modelling everyone and a happy new year! Keith.
  15. Thanks for your kind comment @TheyJammedKenny! but I had no intention of giving the impression of my being a newbie. It's rather that I'm very out of practice. I've made only two models in the last twenty-odd years, both Spitfires, but prior to that I did do the occasional build. I currently have 24 built models, some dangling from the ceiling, made over a period of about 50 years or so from schooldays to now. Previously to those, in my extreme youth I made quite a few models, but those have long gone. One day I might dust off some of the survivors and post some pictures. Needless to say I have bought plenty of kits in that time. Currently I have 293 unbuilt kits. And yes, I do have spreadsheet! Me. Nerd. Never! My previous model was this Airfix Spitfire:- It is, I think my best effort so far. I tried weathering and used my H&S Infinity airbrushes' double action for the first time. I was very happy with it but I've a lot to learn. Britmodeller has been invaluable in that regard. Getting fine lies consistently is very difficult. I'm a long way off mottling that's for sure! Happy modelling! Keith.
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