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Everything posted by NellyV

  1. I realise I'm jumping in here rather late in the day but I agree there doesn't appear to be any red tape where the outer 303 Browning should be. The inner 303 position is clearly taped over and the tape appears to have been fired through. However, the outer port appears to have been permanently faired over. I remember reading somewhere in the dim and distant past when researching my Tamiya 1/32 EN398 build that it wasn't unusual for the outer Brownings to be removed on C wing Spits. The wings flexed under G loading and this made it virtually impossible to harmonise the outer guns well. It was pointed out that any loss of firepower was more than compensated for by the explosive power of the Hispano Cannons. So for what it is worth I built my JEJ EN398 a few years back with the outer gun ports faired over, R3002 Mk II IFF unit fitted (Cheesecutter wires), external generator electrical connector on the lower port chin cowl, gun camera port in starboard wing root (early Merlin 63 powered IXs ( had a fuel cooler in the port wing root. Form 78 clearly states a Merlin 63 was fitted), wide cannon blisters and a camouflage dark green Canadian Maple leaf. If anyone can definitively prove it was red, I'll repaint it
  2. Further short update. I’ve added all the top mast shrouds and top mast stays. Despite advice from wiser sources that elastic thread was not a good option for plastic model ship rigging, in my hands at least getting sufficient tensioning without unduly bending the plastic mast components worked better with elastic thread than standard rigging thread. So elastic is the way I’ve chosen to go and I’m using jewellers cement to attach all the rigging lines. I’ve installed all the lower futtock staves and started work on the futtock shrouds, which are proving somewhat fiddly, but not impossible. The Bowsprit, Jib boom, Flying jibbereen and Spritsail yards rigging is near enough complete, but there is still some standing rigging around the boomkins and bow to finish. I still have to add all the ratlines but gave up on trying to recreate snaking between the preventer and main/fore stays. I had two attempts with rigging thread and fine elastic rigging thread but neither approach was satisfactory. I figure that once the rest of the rigging is in place, the lack of what is a very fine snaking at this scale will be a minor inaccuracy. I was unable to source any elastic thread between 0.121 mm diameter and the next available thread at 0.5mm diameter, so the upper stays are likely too thin and the upper shrouds too coarse for a truly accurate scale effect, but they don’t look too bad from a reasonable veiwing distance. Once I have all the futtock stays in place, I’ll need to add the ratlines on all the shrouds before attaching the remaining mast back stays. Then its on to the yards and the running rig. I’ll probably post again once the ratlines are done. I scratch built some signal flag lockers for the aft poop deck, but no partitions are visible because I have assumed the canvas covers are lowered. Still a lot to do! Above: First of the lower main mast Futtock shrouds in place. I've since completed the mizzen and foremast equivalents on the starboard side Above: Lower Futtock staves and all mast stays are in place Above: Portside view
  3. The more I dig into this subject, the more I realize how little I knew about 18th/19th Century sailing ships in general and I’ve also realised that painting and assembling the hull parts are the least problematic aspects of completing any sailing ship model. I’ve almost wrecked this build several times through handling and had to make several repairs on the way, including the odd loose cannon. Attaching the masts and rigging the ship will provide plenty more opportunity to completely destroy all the work up to now, so I’ve accepted the probability that I’ll complete this project 100% to plan is relatively low. I doubt I’ll be patient or skilled enough to see this to the end of a comprehensive rig at 1:225 scale but the main elements might be enough to give the model a first pass look of authenticity. Wish me luck! Additional progress made since last post: I’ve completed most of the hull now and the stern lanterns are attached. However, I still need to scratch build the signal flag lockers for the Poop deck I promised previously. All of the ship’s boats are painted but have yet to be mounted and all the lower masts are now cemented in place. The upper masts are only slotted in place for now in the photos below and I remove them to avoid further damage while I continue work on the lower mast rigging elements. I started to clean up the injection moulded shrouds and rat lines supplied with the kit but decided not to use these as they are way too inaccurate and overly thick. At this scale I estimate the supplied shrouds would be >25cm in diameter, which seems a bit over the top to me. Also, the strakes attached to the dead eyes and the ends of the shrouds are a fiction, so I decided to remove all the strakes from the dead eyes and have started to recreate the individual shrouds for the lower main and mizzen masts using 0.5mm diameter black elastic thread, which is approximately 11.5cm at 1:225. This seems a more realistic diameter for this scale but isn’t entirely accurate either. I’ve used this thread also to recreate the jib boom gammoning, main stay, preventer stay and mizzen stay. I have a reasonable plan for reproducing the futtock staves and futtocks, plus the rat lines on the shrouds but haven’t yet worked out how to realistically recreate the snaking between the main\Foremast stays and preventer stays. Any suggestions on how best to do this would be welcome? Based on old photos of the original, Revell appear to have the topgallant and topmast yards on all three masts positioned differently to where they used to be on Victory in dry dock. It may be that they were not raised to the correct height in dry dock, but anyway I’ve pared away the locating lugs for the yards and will likely position all these as per the photos. I don’t plan on hanging the supplied sails anyway, because the aim is to create something akin to the amazing shipwright’s models I’ve seen at the National Maritime Museum. Let’s face it, a ship under sail would have half the crew up on the deck or climbing in the rigging anyway and I have no intention of trying to recreate the crew at this or any other scale! Above: Gammoning on the jib Above: Main and Mizzen mast lower Stays and Shrouds are in place. Once I've figured out how to recreate the snaking between the Main and Preventer Stays I can get the lower Foremast stays and shrouds in place. Above: Stern view. Might have to work on the Mizzen mast alignment a bit more!
  4. Sure Steve. It will top out at just under 50cm from the tip of the Bowsprit to the tip of the MIzzen main boom.
  5. Apart from a little clean up here and there plus some further detailing the hull is now pretty much finished. Progress was aided by being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 App and told to self-isolate for 9 days (Why 9 and not 10?) after a trip to our local Swimming Pool! I think my phone spent more than 15 minutes in a locker next to someone else’s phone who subsequently tested positive There are some problem areas that needed addressing in this kit, but overall the hull went together better than I expected for a 1959 vintage injection moulding. I didn’t have to use any filler during most of the assembly but did have to fill some sink marks in some parts and numerous sunken ejection pin marks using Mr. Surfacer on multiple parts before assembly . The only real fit issue I faced was getting the rear edges of the Poop deck to meet up with the hull sides and the Transom knees with the Transom. See the pics to see how I used thin plastic card inserts and Mr. Surfacer to fill some obdurate gaps. I’m still debating whether to try and recreate the signal flag lockers that straddle the transom knees at the rear of the Poop deck in the real article and which Revell presumably actively decided to leave out. I think I will do this, because although there are major simplifications of other elements in this model that make me think why bother, as we all know the “England expects” signal was and is such an important part of Victory’s story. Why in 1805, after Scotland and England had been a United Kingdom for almost 100 years the Signal wasn’t “Britain expects” is I guess down to the availability of relevant signal flags? Bear in mind that one of the things agreed in 1707 was that England and Scotland would no longer be terms of reference after they were united as equals. Apparently, they were meant to be referred to as North and South Britain from that point on. However, although North Britain was often referred to after Union, it is very telling that this never applied to South Britain, which continued to be referred to as England (Wales having been absorbed a few hundred years earlier). No wonder the Scots distrust the English and why it’s “anyone but England” when it comes to the Scots support of our National sports teams? Sorry, I digress. My top tips for assembling this Revell kit thus far are: 1/Put some additional plastic card strip locating lugs inside both the hull halves to hold the middle deck in place from above and in opposition to the existing lugs holding the deck from below. This helps keep the deck curved correctly and well in alignment when closing up the hull sides. 2/ Don’t attach the main deck to the middle gun deck before closing the hull. The main deck can be easily ‘clicked’ into place after closing the hull around the middle deck and this means you can fit the cannons in their carriages on the middle deck after closing the hull. 3/ Paint the main deck and then paint and fix most of the additional parts to the deck before attaching it to the hull. Once this is done, position the upper deck loosely in the hull and aligned with the support pins to begin with. Then click it down below the alignment bead running along each hull side. Cement it firmly in place accurately at the bow end first, moving aft along the deck and fixing the next section once the prior cemented section has cured. 4/ I found the four posts and locating pins on the main deck which support the Poop deck were way too long. I pared these back with a scalpel blade until the Poop deck sat squarely at the right height relative to the Poop deck hull sides with lots of dry fit checking between shavings. I also created some rear cabin walls alongside the ships wheel using plastic card. These are prominent on the real article in the present day, but I think these were probably designed to be dismantled and stowed when the ship went into action, However, I liked the idea of closing off the view under the Poop deck and hiding its prominent support posts. As you can see, at this scale I had to take an impressionistic approach to painting the flags plus other fine details on the Transom and the figure head. You’d think the latter would be a figure of a winged Victory, but by Trafalgar this was no longer a figure head but rather a 3D a coat of arms. I think they both look OK from a reasonable viewing distance, but just don’t get up too close. I’ll post a further update when I have the masts in place. I have a question about the masts that perhaps someone knows the answer to? Some drawings of Victory show the masts canted forward slightly and some have them canted backward. Which is correct, or are they actually vertical? I cant find a photo anywhere that answers this question. Impressionist Figure Head above and Transom below Below - Some wide gaps needed filling between the Poop deck and hull sides Below - Gaps filled but still some painting to be done.
  6. My Mum -God rest – bought me the Airfix kit of Victory for Christmas way back in the early 70s. It was somewhat off the beaten track for me then because I was and still am to a large degree a pure and simple airplane nut. I “had a go” at building, painting and even rigging it, but it was a styrene cement smeared and paint splodged wreck in the end. ☹ History has a habit of repeating itself and several Christmas’s back the other VIP in my life bought me the 200 year Battle of Trafalgar anniversary Revell HMS Victory set, which went straight into the stash once I copped a view of the many sink marks, prevalent flash and ejection pin marks the kit had on multiple parts. Covid lockdown had me looking at it again and this time I’ve seen it in a different light and have decided to dive in. Revell put quite a high level of fine detail into a kit that was tooled way back in 1959, especially on the hull sides and transom. As a child from the dawn of the Space Age I can definitively state that there was no CAD/CAM in 1959, so it was likely all done with slip sticks and mechanical pantographs! By the way, Revell were no doubt so proud of their efforts that they embossed their trade-mark and the date prominently on the Poop deck, rather than hidden away internally. The removal of this therefore requires very careful use of a scalpel.. First thing to note is that although I was able to airbrush the copper bottom plating and the base black colour of the hull sides, every other aspect of its painting so far has required brushing by hand. At my age near sight is non-existent and a steady hand hard to find, so a pair of reading specs and a stiff drink to steady the hand were an absolute must. For us olden types, the derivation of “Copper Bottom Guarantee” requires no explanation, but I still had to explain how this phrase came about to the Wife. History Graduate and Eldest Daughter was however better informed and knew that Welsh copper was used to plate the underside of Royal Navy ships as an anti-fouling measure in the late 18th Century and even suggested that Victory was probably plated up in the Pembroke dockyards(?) However, this all begs the question, is a “Copper Bottomed Guarantee” better than a “Cast Iron Guarantee”? I wanted to try and reproduce the “correct” Trafalgar colours in which Victory was recently repainted, so I chose Tamiya Nato Black acrylic for the dark grey/black elements and Tamiya Flat Flesh for the yellow ochre side stripes and other detailing. The hue of the new yellow ochre is reported to change with the lighting from a salmon pink through to a washed out yellow, so Tamiya Flat Flesh was only ever going to be an approximation. It became clear that a lot of the painting would have to be done before assembly of the hull, which sort of goes against the grain for me and how I learned to assemble an aircraft kit. Any fears I had about spoiling the paintwork with styrene cement on assembly was assuaged by the knowledge that Tamiya Extra Thin can, if applied carefully, have minimal impact on the paint finish. As far as I can tell, the kit so far is a fair approximation to the real article, but for some reason one of the gun ports was missing from the lower deck on the starboard side after the side door, so I fabricated one out of plastic card strip and Mr. Surfacer. The canopy support pillars on the side entrances are also a bit lacking but at this scale I decided to let these go. The build process and current state of play is shown below. The hull and Transom are nearly complete, apart from some further tidying up and flag painting, but the upper deck needs finishing and is only a dry fit currently. It’s obvious that the bulk of the work in finishing this kit will be the rigging. The kit provides two thread types to rig the ship, but I’m wondering if it would be better to invest in some elastic rigging thread to complete this. Are there any expert riggers out there with a view on this? Should I use the supplied thread, or get some elasticated line? Above: Missing gun port in Mr. Surfacer grey. After checking that the rear guns can’t be seen through the upper deck aperture I also closed out the rear 4 gun ports on each side of the upper gun deck because a dry fit test showed that the projecting guns would be out of alignment with these ports. Above: Port hull side with upper gun deck loosely fitted. This convinced me that I needed to add additional lugs internally to the hull sides to get a good alignment on assembly. Abive: Upper gun deck and hull sides. Rear cabin windows and Ochre detailing still to be completed. I left off the 4 last cannon on both sides at the rear. I can't understand why the deck looks grey in this pic. Its sprayed with Tamiya Deck Tan! Above: Hull after assembly and rear cabin window detailing. It doesn’t catch the eye so much in the flesh, but admittedly the rear cabin detailing looks a bit wobbly. I might have a further go at tidying this up, but I am at the limit of my hand brush work here. The tan colour of the upper deck in this shot looks more accurate than the upper gun deck colour in the previous one despite identical lighting. Finally, for now at least here is the Transom. I removed the overly large lugs for the stern lanterns with a scalpel and built up the central Fleur-de-Lys at the top using putty and Mr. Surfacer. I haven’t quite nailed it, but it’s getting there. I had a go at dry brushing it at first, but in my opinion you end up with too thin a line on most of the detail doing this. So I went back to using a fine brush and thinned the acrylic paint with air brush cleaner to improve fluidity, plus delay drying of the paint. I did wonder if light blue windowpanes would be a mistake, but once I had the frames painted I was happy that they add a suggestion of reflected sky and sea to the windows. I’m not sure if the lettering should really be in white or ochre, but the ships name was drawn on directly in one go using a 0.35 Rotring pen primed with white ink and the spaces between the columns in the colonnades were touched up with a 0.5 fine liner black pen. I quite like the slightly off kilter lettering in the name. For me the lettering on the real thing looks way to neat for an early 19th century letter writer hanging off a bosuns chair on a choppy sea using horsehair brushes and no masking tape, plus who can prove definitively what colour the lettering was on the day at Trafalgar? Go on, tell me I’m wrong.. I’m debating whether to seal the water based ink with a spray coat of matt varnish before I put it on the hull. Anyone have a view on that? Will it just smudge, or not?
  7. She looks fantastic! Just started my own Victory based on the 1959 era Revell kit. I doubt it will look as good as this. Love the figures. Brings the ship to life.
  8. The love of my life made a Christmas donation to Oxfam last December which allowed her to choose something from their second hand shop stock. She selected a Revell 1/72 scale Spitfire Mk Vb as a stocking filler for me. I think she thought it would languish unloved in my stash because my preference is for larger scale kits, but I took a shine to it and so it kept me busy from Boxing day into the New Year. I was intrigued by one of the kit decal options, which combined the earlier Type A roundels with the later Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Light Grey European day fighter camouflage scheme introduced in 1942 for over water flying to Europe and decided to complete this version out of the box - overscale trestle point placard decals and all. Googlewhacking the serial number BL924 informed me that this specific aircraft was one of three presentation Spits supplied to 234 Sqn RAF and funded through Danish contribution, all of which carried the monikers of medieval Danish kings. BL924 carried the name “Valdemar Atterdag” and was also flown by the Danish PO Aksel Svendsen, who had logged 30 sorties before he was shot down and killed over northern France during Circus 133 on the 24th April 1942. He died just 3 days short of his 20th birthday! This got me thinking that the RAFs and Britain’s efforts in WWII were supplemented enormously by serving personnel from all over the World and not just those from the then British Empire. There were Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and other what would be now-EU Citizens like Aksel who laid down their lives in the defence of freedom when Britain alone stood against fascism in the West. Let’s never forget that Britain’s survival back then relied on the support of close allies and friends against a common foe. It is therefore only fitting that this small tribute to Aksel Svendsen is displayed flying over the Danish Rigets flag, the oldest national flag in the World. To me the general shape and proportions of the assembled kit looked about right and the only required reworking involved paring back excess plastic on the oversized spinner to get an acceptable profile. I used Ammo by Mig RAF camo acrylics and Mig rigging thread for the IFF aerials. Although I opted to display it in flight supported by a short piece of clear styrene sprue, there is unfortunately no pilot figure in the cockpit. :-¦ To be honest it was intended to be more of a mantlepiece display item than a fully accurate, detailed and weathered model, but for me this pose does seem to catch the essence of a Spit in flight.
  9. Maybe not Eduard, but someone other than the Thomas The Tank Engine crew at Hornby
  10. Hi John, I finished the Revell 1/48 LM just in time for the 50 year anniversary of the moon landing in 2019. It has multiple inaccuracies, but if you can still get hold of the New Ware aftermarket resin and photoetch add-ons mentioned by Peter, you can correct most of these and make a pretty accurate representation of an early LM. See my post here for how I replicated the Descent stage gold and black Kapton coverings plus insulating gloves around the upper landing gear struts. https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235095080-grumman-lunar-module-lm-5-based-on-the-revell-148-kit-and-the-new-ware-nw068-148-lunar-module-detail-set/&tab=comments#comment-4123718 Like Peter, I also think the Revell model is a better starting point than the Dragon kit, which if I remember rightly has moulded in crinkly Kapton surface effects. I did however choose the Dragon CSM and also upgraded this with the New Ware CSM add-ons, but it needs some renovation due to the photoetch SM side panels coming slightly adrift. Anyone have any advice on how best to attach these? I used double sided tape as I couldn't work out how to attach them invisibly with methacrylate. I hope to post pics of it when I've sorted it out. Best N
  11. Many thanks. I used DAS modelling clay on a cardboard base for the lunar surface and bought a football display case to keep it in, so hopefully no dust problem
  12. My Dad got his first car, a Mk 1 Ford Cortina in the mid-1960s and started to pack the whole family up in it annually to visit the RAFA air display at the famous ex-Battle of Britain North Weald airfield from then on and into the 70s. I can clearly remember sitting on the bonnet (hood) of the car with my feet dangling at the 1965 display when with no warning one of 111 Squadron’s Lightning F3s flew directly over my head from behind at low level in the middle of the display team in line abreast, before lighting the burners and climbing vertically up into the blue yonder to form a diamond nine formation. The infamous Lightning rapid pitch up and climb out. I well remember my guts resonating along with the 18 Avon engines and then after what seemed like an eternity of relative silence when they had climbed to altitude, only then did dogs start barking and the crowd start shouting! Quite the way to make an awestriking entrance to a display back then, which with the heightened display safety measures in force now would never be allowed. This was the moment in which I caught the aviation bug which persists to this day. On reading the Aeroplane Icon publication “Lightning” when researching the model, I learned that I was lucky to witness the third to last multi-ship RAF Lightning display ever! 111 Sqn had been selected to display at the Paris show that year and the North Weald show was presumably a practice outing for this, along with one further display at RAF Bentwaters. After 1965 the RAF only ever flew Lightning singleton displays as a cost saving. The Red Arrows formed in 1965 and took on the RAFs formation display role from then on. I’m sorry Red Arrows, but for me nine Gnats, or Hawks could never match the sheer body pummelling presence of nine Lightnings! “Lightning” also informed me that the F3 was the fastest of the Lightning marks, with uprated RR Avon 301Rs, the original 247 gal capacity ventral tank and the larger square tipped dorsal fin introduced to counter yaw instability caused by carrying the Red Top missiles, which were larger than the Firestreak missiles carried by earlier marks. F3s also lacked the decreased outer wing sweep and conical camber that reduced transonic drag. This improved wing planform was originally fitted to the P1B Prototype during early development, but only got fitted to the F2A and F6 later in the 60s! No cannons fitted either to the F3, and no Aden cannon ventral pack like the Mk 6, so entirely reliant on the two IR homing missiles. This model of the Squadron Leader’s mount - XR711 was built out of the box, but with the addition of some improved aftermarket seat and cockpit components, plus some photo etch dorsal radio aerials. This was my first foray into using airbrushed metalizing lacquers (Alclad 2) and the finish is a bit suspect in parts, especially so on the rear fuselage sides, but it’s still a worthy reminder of a key childhood experience. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the actual aircraft that flew directly over the top of me so many years ago? The Airfix decals are a bit thin, which makes settling them down easy, but the big yellow fin and fuselage decals proved to be a bit too translucent on top of the black painted sections. If I was to build it again, I’d make sure I applied a yellow undercoat before applying these decals or skipped using them altogether and just sprayed in the yellow sections. Interesting factoid. The 3 blades on the Maltese cross aren’t meant to be Scimitars, but Seaxes as also found on the County of Essex coat of arms. The Seax was the large single edge knife carried by every self-respecting Anglo-Saxon gent. A sort of East Saxon Swiss army knife?
  13. Thanks for the tip Joachim. I'm still learning how to weather subjects convincingly. I'll definitely try that when I build my Eduard Spitfire Mk 1a
  14. One other detail. I used Sugru black adhesive putty to replicate the conical black thermal insulation "gloves" around the upper leg support struts. The Revell parts have smaller conical features (shock absorbers?), but if I remember rightly they are moulded with the narrow end toward the descent stage and the wider end facing outwards. I first cut these off and stuck them back together the other way around before building them up with Sugru.
  15. I recall the unpainted ascent stage panels were anodised aluminum and had a metallic blue grey appearance? I believe the darker panels were painted black for thermal management. I started the build with the ascent stage and TBH I cant remember the exact paint mix used for the anodised panels, but I think it was based on a Humbrol Neutral Gray and the black panels matt black. Bearing in mind the panels on the original were in fact quite flimsy and distorted in places, I'd imagine they're a tough feature to replicate accurately at any scale.
  16. Technically speaking, I guess a purely ballistic trajectory would be the most energy efficient means of long distance transport on an airless world. I remember when I first saw the Shuttle "flying" horizontally to Clavius base in 2001 a Space Odyssey back as a 12 year old in 1969 thinking that travelling horizontally across the moon surface was probably a bad idea regarding energy expenditure. How do you get the perfect black background in these model pics? I've yet to achieve a good result with my model shots
  17. I watched the original series of Star Trek in B&W when it first aired on BBC TV in the UK in the late 1960s. The USS Enterprise immediately became an object of desire, but back in the pre-interweb dark ages there was no way of me knowing if it was possible even to buy a model replica, so I built my own based on GA drawings sketched out from glimpses of the studio model in each episode. No recording to wind back and freeze frame back then either! ½” diameter dowel rods for the warp nacelles, with carved balsa stock for the saucer and main nacelle, doped and then painted in Humbrol Neutral gra(e)y. I really wish I’d kept good care of her now, but like most things you acquire early in life it proved to be an ephemera. In 2013, my partner bought me the Revell kit as a bit of a jokey Christmas present. It sat in the stash for several years, not because of any disinterest, but because I really wanted to light it up and am a lousy electrician. I finally committed to building it in mid 2020 after buying a supposed lighting 'kit' through ebay, which ended up being a bunch of LEDs, resistors, wire and rather sketchy instructions. Despite my lack of soldering skill it does light up if somewhat unevenly, but believe me the spaghetti of wiring and resistors I ended up with under the skin wouldn’t meet IEEE safety regs. Nearly all the Revell window transparencies have gas bubbles in them, so I have no doubts the larger scale Polar Lights kit can produce a much better model in skilled hands. The original large scale studio model was restored in 2016 and is now on display at the Smithsonian NASM in Washington. The main museum in down town Washington has such iconic aviation items as the Wright Flyer, Apollo 11 command module, Spirit of St Louis, etc. and should you have a few hours to spare before your flight out of Dulles IA, the NASM Udvar-Hazy Centre is a short taxi ride away, so also well worth a visit. I took one of my old bosses there once before our flight back to Blighty after a business trip to DC. He fired me shortly thereafter. Perhaps the extra taxi bill was an expense claim too far? Accuracy is always a scale modellers main focus, but when it comes to building a model of a sci-fi subject that only ever existed in model form, what do you do? Model the studio model, or model what the studio model is supposed to represent on screen? Although the Revell model does appear to be a fairly accurate portrayal of the original studio model, it does have some trench like panel lines which were only drawn pencil lines on the studio model. I could have spent hours filling in the panel lines to better represent the finish of the “original”. Here’s the thing though, only the starboard side of the studio model was ever fully detailed and there is a dirty great wiring loom for the lighting rig projecting out of the main nacelle on the port side. I believe this is the reason why you only ever really see a shot of the ship’s starboard side and on the rare occasions where it passes from right to left, I suspect they used a flipped mirror image sequence. So, should the modeller seeking accuracy recreate the studio model with its wiring loom, and if not, can they really claim superiority of finish over a slacker like me, who decided to accept the panel lines as an attempt to add a degree of “truthiness” to an otherwise rather flat and bland surface finish? Other things I would do differently if I built it again? Well, I sprayed inside the Bussard collectors on the warp nacelles with Tamiya clear red, before realising that these were probably red only in the pilot episode. By the time the series launched, they had also lost their aerospikes and appeared to have a frosted colourless finish, relying on Christmas tree lights fitted inside to provide the changing colour effects (lost in B&W). If only I’d done my research thoroughly before ploughing on. On a more positive note, I think I hit on a good paint mix for the slightly greenish hue of the overall grey finish and its definitely an improvement on the Humbrol Neutral Grey finish of my long-lost childhood scratch build. One of the pics below shows Enterprise “flying” over a same scale Airfix 1920s era Battlecruiser HMS Hood (861ft in length). (See more pics of the Hood build here). Interesting to note that Space-X’s Starship and Superheavy booster combo will be about half the length of Hood (400ft in length). Who knows - with Space-X’s promised heavy lift capability, perhaps we will see an actual spacecraft assembled in orbit on the scale of these two ships in the next few years? Now that will be something.
  18. Model shops are sadly a dying breed and there aren't too many in our area. Fortunately, the interweb means you can pretty much watch a kit review and order anything you need on-line. Not the same though. I was brought up in Essex and I still have fond memories of hours spent purveying the stock of kits in a model shop on North Street, Romford almost every Saturday afternoon in the 1970s.
  19. This was one of the longest builds I ‘ve ever completed, not because of its complexity, but because I found it difficult to find time for it in full time work and also kept losing interest! I started it around 2008 and finished it just in time for the 50th anniversary of the 1st moon landing in 2019. I was 12 years old in 1969 and something of a project Apollo nerd at the time. I subsequently built the Airfix 1:72 kit in the early 70s, but back then there was very little reference material on the detailed configuration and appearance of the Apollo spacecraft and it can only have been a very superficial likeness of the original. With access to the ‘interweb’ that we have these days it is now possible to access a plethora of reference material and my build, based on the Revell 1:48 kit with the addition of the New Ware NW068 1/48 Lunar Module detail set (H mission, Apollo 11 - 14) resin and photoetch set, is I believe a reasonably accurate reproduction of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module for this scale. If you haven't already seen it and would like to see a really impressive larger scale and essentially scratch built model, check out Vincent Meens’ 1/24 scale LM-05 model here, where it is compared with the detailed digital model produced by John Ortmann. I recreated the multiple layers of Kapton and Mylar foil used to insulate the descent stage on my model by using narrow strips of double-sided sticky tape to attach the silver and gold coloured plastic foil stripped off the laminated cardboard inserts found in packets of UK supermarket smoked salmon. The darker Kapton gold effect was achieved by overpainting the lighter shade with Tamiya clear orange acrylic paint. The heat resistant black painted foil areas are made from black plastic bin liner applied in the same manner! Over time, the crinkliness of the single layer foils has flattened somewhat and if I were doing it again, I would try and use multiple layers, just like the original in the hope that it would stay a bit more puffed up. One other detail I added, which I’m amazed worked out OK was the etched gradations on the Commander’s window made from thin acetate sheet and visible in the second shot below. During this multi-year build, I lost the original kit lunar surface base and replaced it with one made from modelling clay. Some interesting Apollo LM factoids(?): Grumman had a huge problem keeping the LM weight within the required limits and although the original LM design had rigid panel faces on the octagonal planform descent stage sides, the use of multiple layers of insulating Kapton foil proved to be a lower weight solution in the end. For similar weight saving reasons, the skin of the ascent stage crew compartment was the equivalent thickness of only 3 sheets of printer paper. You could easily push a ball point pen through it! The RCS blast deflectors were a last-minute addition to LM-05 to prevent hot jet erosion of the Kapton covering and installed at Kennedy SC prior to lift off. I believe they were later found to be the cause of some of the comms problems Neil and Buzz struggled with during descent because they interfered with radio reception! As the 05 designation indicates, the Apollo 11 LM “Eagle” was only the 5th LM built, so it probably took more guts than most folk appreciated at the time to fly and land what was only the 5th iteration of a highly complex vehicle on the lunar surface. I also find it amazing that none of the LM ascent stage engines used to lift off from the lunar surface were live fire tested! The hypergolic fuels used would have eaten into the engine components and made them totally unreliable by the time they were needed. Imagine putting your faith in the correct assembly of an untested engine to get you home and anticipating that it was going to light when needed?
  20. Bonser Arnold! Check it out here:
  21. I have a memory, which I hope is not a false memory, of first building this kit rather crudely as a young lad. I recollect I even made a partially successful attempt to make it bath worthy, if not seaworthy. Back then I had little knowledge of Hood’s history, but a few years back an episode on Hood in the BBC Scotland TV documentary series “Clyde built – The Ships that made the Commonwealth” piqued my interest and I did some further reading on the “Mighty ‘ood”. John Roberts’ technically detailed “The Battle Cruiser Hood” in Conway’s “Anatomy of the Ship” series being a key source. I built and completed it during the last few months of working life prior to COVID lockdown and retirement. I make model aircraft primarily, but hope to complete some further naval subjects in the future, perhaps at larger scale. Best known I guess for being sunk by the Kriegsmarine “Pocket” battleship Bismark in the Denmark Strait off Iceland in May 1941 with the loss of all but 3 of her hands, her story and fame is so much more than her terrible end. Designed by chief naval architect Sir Eustace Tennyson d’Eynecourt at the outset of WWI, she was the first and only Admiral Class Battlecruiser built and an attempt to combine the firepower of a Battleship with the speed of a Cruiser – hence she had long elegant lines and carried less armour than a Battleship. Her keel was laid on the day of the Battle of Jutland, when the vulnerability of ships equipped predominantly with belt armour to so called plunging fire falling on decks at extreme range really became apparent. This led to a hiatus in Hood’s build while Sir Eustace modified her plans to include further deck plating as further protection against plunging fire. She never received the final 3” thick deck armour over the aft magazines as planned by Sir Eustace, but even so the additional weight of the deck plating that was added lowered her effective freeboard and led to Hood being known as the Navy’s largest submarine when she was in service, because her Quarter deck was usually awash when at sea. She entered service in 1920 and was the largest warship in the World, plus the pride of the Royal Navy for many years. The lack of effective deck armour was to prove Hood’s downfall when she was straddled by a salvo from Bismark on that fateful day in May 1941. One or two shells are thought to have hit the shelter deck near the main mast and penetrated through to her aft 15” shell magazine, which erupted in a huge explosion and broke the ship’s back. Within minutes, she plunged to the seabed in two pieces with loss of almost her entire crew. As with all ships with a such long service record and unlike Bismark, which was also lost in action shortly after Hood in 1941 on her first major operational sortie, Hood had several refits and reconfigurations over her 20 plus year service. Out of the box, the kit appears to represent Hood as she would have appeared around the mid-1930s, so I decided to build her as she may have appeared circa mid-1936, when she was flagship of the Home Fleet and prior to her stint as flag ship of the Mediterranean fleet. This old kit is something of a simplification and the fit of the parts is a little off, but with a bit of care, plenty of Mr. Surfacer and much sanding, it proved possible to produce out of the box what I consider to be a reasonable looking model for the scale. To be honest, there’s no doubt a list of kit inaccuracies much longer than those here below, but I’m not skilled enough to make a detailed likeness of any object at 1:600 scale and no amount of after-market add-on’s and modification could ever satisfy the dedicated rivet counter in me, so with only a few modifications I decided to accept it for the relatively crude approximation that it is. Sorry, there are no handrails! The hull cross section is somewhat suspect due in part to the lack of the pronounced below water line bulges formed by the torpedo crush tubes along the hull sides. Also, the foredeck cutwaters are way too shallow as moulded. The bilge keels are also absent from the kit hull sides, so I created these as best I could with plastic card. The shape of the main gun turrets is a bit suspect, plus their mounting spigots were moulded way off centre and had to be cut off and reattached so that the turrets located correctly. The rear of the shelter deck required the insertion of a 1mm thick plastic card shim to meet the hull sides correctly and there are no funnel top grids supplied with the kit. The supplied mast starfish are also sadly best described as approximations. The white canvas blast protectors on the main guns were added using plastic putty and I also had an attempt at recreating the wireless yard and gaff missing from the main mast plus the signal yards missing from the foremast with stretched sprue, then started to add in various rigging lines. However, I am ashamed to admit that I lost steam on this one and have yet to finish the ship’s rigging and radio lines, although I could well go back to the task in time. Even in its admittedly incomplete state, I hope it can be considered a worthy memorial for a gallant ship and crew.
  22. Hi, I've recently retired from full time work and have returned to a hobby that first started back in the 1960s when I was 8 years old and Dad bought me an Airfix 1/72 Auster Antarctic kit from our local Woolworth store, back when the entry level range came in a poly bag and cost 2'/6d (Half a Crown). I seem to remember he actually built it, but it got me hooked. I have fairly eclectic tastes when it comes to subject choice, which spans Aircraft, Space Craft, Ships, Vehicles and SciFi. Recent builds have included the classic Airfix 1:600 HMS Hood, Revell 1:600 USS Enterprise (the Star Trek version, not the USN ACC), Airfix 1:48 Hawker Hurricane 1A, Airfix 1:48 Albion Refueller and Airfix 1:48 TSR2. Next build from the stash will be a toss up between the Eduard Profipack 1:48 Spitfire Mk1a or Revell 1:225 HMS Victory. If your interested, check out my Hurricane & TSR2
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