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About aircraftkit

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  1. Great pictures, thanks Jeff ! And that's a nice study too, Radleigh - an image to aspire to. Donald
  2. Yes please, Jeff, I'd appreciate seeing photos of what's in the box. I'll doubtless get one (or more) of these eventually. Eastern Express are very prolific with their 1/144 airliner new releases, filling lots of gaps, subject-wise. I'm also pleased that their future releases are all slated to be CAD. If you get a chance to comment on how well (or otherwise) the parts go together, that would be good too...…. Donald
  3. Hi Jeff I'm sure you're right, the lack of a transparent windscreen for the Herald may be due to economic limitations by the manufacturer. EE's F27 kits (like Skyline's exceptionally good 737 Classic range) give you the option of cutting away the solid plastic cockpit cab from the fuselage half and replacing it with a transparency. Personally, I prefer transparent windows/windscreens but many Modellers don't. I thought that the Herald cockpit/windscreen section - much like a Viscount - would have consisted of a simple, clear "bubble/blister" design, replicating the distinctive dome-shape of the full-sized aircraft. I'm currently enjoying building EE's diminutive Short 360. Its not a shake-and-bake project by any means, but its a nice little model; I've found its helpful to plan in advance how to tackle it (eg ensuring there's sufficient tabs in the fuselage halves to anchor the fuselage floor section). The likes of Eastern Express, F-Rsin and others (mainly of Eastern European origin) are currently serving the 1/144 airline enthusiast very well. I had thought of including A Model's products in my previous post - they've a comprehensive and eclectic mix of aircraft available - the only reason I didn't mention them was that my most recent purchases of their line have been the (already available elsewhere) Comet 4B, Caravelle III and Lockheed Hercules ! Roden are producing some lovely airliners too, their Super VC10, Carvair and Britannia are particularly good, especially for fans of large British transport aircraft; I'm looking forward to their forthcoming Convair 340 (and C 133 Cargomaster). Will you be posting pictures of your EE Herald when done ? Donald
  4. Thanks Jeff, an interesting and informative write-up. Like you, I enjoy building these short-run kits of smaller airliners; you'll inevitably need to fettle some of the parts for a decent fit, some kits seem more "refined" than others. As you say, you can add as much detail as you wish, depending on your skills and taste. There's a certain satisfaction in finishing something a little out-of-the-ordinary. Its a shame the Herald doesn't come with a transparent windscreen/cockpit - most of the other recent releases from Eastern Express do. Eastern Express (and F-Rsin) are to be congratulated on bringing us less common subject matter. Donald
  5. As with previous 1/144 Eastern Express releases, the first (in this case four) versions to be made available will probably all come with laser-type decals (including the Air UK markings option for the Herald). After a month or two, there will be a further version featuring silk-screen printed decals, in the Herald's case the decal will be the orange BIA livery. The version featuring a silk-screen decal is usually a little cheaper than the others. Its usually the case that the "silk-screen" version comes in a box with painted artwork on the lid, rather than a photograph. Also, the "silk-screen" version will have a Manufacturer code without a -1, -2, -3 etc at the end of it. Its probably just me, but the sprue shots of this kit only seem to feature one engine exhaust.....I hope I'm wrong. The price of these kits varies wildly depending on where you buy them from. I get mine direct from sources in Russia, and they're always a fraction of the prices being asked either on a well-known auction site or established retailers.
  6. The 1/72 Handley Page Herald also had a plethora of rivet detail, much like the Airfix kits of the time. It would be interesting to know why these particular (and thankfully few) Frog kits deviated from Frog's normal practice of having "clean" surface detail. Was it down to a decision by Management, was the tool maker's personal preference, was it a case of mirroring what other manufacturers of the time were doing ? I guess we'll probably never have a definitive answer, but I'm glad the vast majority of Frog kits DIDN'T have the unrealistic rivet detail. Tbh, not having unrealistic and overscale rivets was part of the attraction of Frog kits for me...... Donald
  7. Thanks Jeff, as usual an excellent piece of work ! I guess the acid test will come once we all get building our A Model Caravelles.......seeing how well the components fit together, how realistically the finished model "sits" etc. In the meantime you've highlighted some useful and interesting points to be aware of; all too often I've started a model without fully researching it (I prefer to try and make a model that looks as faithful to the original as possible, rather than straight "out-of-the-box") and have found out too late about some or other critical production error ! Thanks again Donald ps Please share with us any further comments you have once you've had more time to study the A Model Caravelle.
  8. Hi Jeff Yes, if you can provide comments on your (yet to be done) comparison between the Authentic Airliners Caravelle and the A Model kit that would be really helpful; Authentic Airliners usually get things very accurately researched and replicated with their products. At first glance it seems the A Model Caravelle's fuselage is slightly too short for 1/144 scale (this was also the case with their Comet 4B and 4C). The wheels may also be slightly too small as well (not particularly noticeable in this scale, nor a great problem). The wing-to-fuselage fairing on the A Model kit appears to be much shallower (and much less "beefy") than that of the Authentic Airliners version; I've yet to check with photos of the real thing as to which is more accurate, but as I say, Kurt at AA usually nails things. My other observation (from a VERY quick viewing of the new A Model kit) is that the position of the nose radome is too high up in profile. The venerable Airfix Caravelle suffers from the same fault, although much more pronounced - viewed from the side the Airfix Caravelle lacks sufficient "chin", the extreme lower nose shape needs extending both downward and forward in order to give it a better representation of the real thing (their Comet 4B also had the same jaw-line issue). Having said all that, I'm delighted that A Model have given us the Caravelle, its certainly an improvement on the near 60 year old Airfix kit (and the MisterKit clone of it). The detailing (not least engraved panel lines) is certainly superior. Despite the rather odd choice of livery provided in the A Model box you have (Aeroflot and Air Charter) we are fortunate that there is already a good selection of aftermarket decals available; and no doubt A Model will issue the same kit with more decal options in time (I see there is already a Caravelle VI-N with Corse Air decals available on model shop shelves). Meanwhile I'm looking forward to your assessment of the A Model kit once you've had a chance to actually place it side-by-side with the Authentic Airliners version. Donald
  9. Well done Jeff ! A thoroughly useful and entertaining write-up. Lots of helpful general modelling tips, plus specific details on how to improve the basic DC9 kit. And great photos, too ! Hopefully you got as much pleasure and satisfaction from building the model as I got in following your adventure. More please ! Don
  10. Fantastic - thanks for posting ! Really brings back the memories. So many different aircraft types and so many varied liveries. Nowadays it seems to be mainly Ryanair 737-800s and EasyJet A319s, much of the variety - and interest in spotting - has gone. Best wishes Don
  11. Wonder if its 1/144 scale or " 1:44 " as it says above !!? Its big enough in 1/144........ Don
  12. What a wonderful thread ! The comments on here certainly bring back the memories - good memories - and my experiences of the venerable Frog kits seem to mirror the recollections of others, no doubt of similar age..... Frog models were to me always a bit more "exotic" than the likes of Airfix and Revell, and usually harder to find. Their choice of subject was at times questionable (from a commercial standpoint) but always interesting, and definitely worthwhile if you were a fan of British-built aircraft. The quality and breakdown of the kits' design was always well thought-out, the instructions clear and concise and the box (or header card) artwork was invariably colourful and action packed, giving plenty of scope for the creative minds of young modellers. I especially liked the full-colour painting instructions. Finding Frog kits was not always that easy, the company did not enjoy the same marketing arrangement with major retailers that others such as Airfix secured with Woolworths, so their network of retail outlets definitely suffered by comparison. Frog kits were often found being sold in the most unlikely of places - hardware stores, corner shops or local Post Offices. The last time I saw any Frog kit displayed for sale (other than at a Specialist Collectors' event) was in 1975 or 1976, it was a Frog Whitley and it was in the window of a small Grocer's shop in a twilight part of town, the dramatic artwork of the Whitley's box contrasting sharply with the tins of beans and packets of Cornflakes that surrounded it in the window display (there was only the Whitley displayed, and in all probability it was possibly the only model in the whole shop). My own introduction to Frog models came about in the summer of 1969, and at the time I didn't even realise the kit was a Frog product - it didn't have the name "Frog" anywhere on the packaging, not even Tri-ang, Rovex or "Airlines" or any of the other names associated with the Frog brand. Up to that point I'd had one or two "bagged" Airfix kits with the original header cards, together with larger boxed models received for birthdays and Christmas and which ordinary pocket-money wouldn't normally have afforded. In 1969 my family moved offshore from the UK and my Dad explained how the move meant it wasn't really practical to allow me to take any of my collection of (unpainted) and crudely-built models with me to our new home. However, as part of the deal to give up these models he promised that me and my brother would each be bought a new, unmade kit of our choice when we reached our new home. Sure enough, a few weeks later the three of us found ourselves looking around a well-stocked, dedicated model shop. (Remarkably, this shop is still in business 48 years later, and still run by the very same owner, albeit that the exact location of the shop changed around 30 years ago). That day in 1969 my brother chose a 1/144 Airfix BOAC VC10 to replace his "lost" models. I, meanwhile, found a 1/72 "Troop Dropping Herald" in a large transparent bag with header card lying on one of the model shop's shelves - that would be my choice, not least because as a family we'd travelled on a BUIA Dart Herald a few weeks earlier. Nowhere did the kit's packaging state that this was a Frog product, the price extension label simply had a "W31" code - I believe the "W" may have stood for "wholesale", although someone here will no doubt correct me if this is wrong. The Herald kit itself was actually rather in the style of Airfix more than Frog - suffering lots of rivet detail and separate rudder and flying control surfaces. Although supposedly depicting a transport aircraft of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, this edition of the kit still came with an airline Stewardess figure, a Steward, loading stairs and two smartly dressed pilot figures with peaked caps ! In fact I believe this kit, when originally released by Frog circa 1962, was their first aircraft to feature pilot figures (again, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong). Frog originally released the Handley Page Dart Herald kit with "Jersey Airlines" markings, the first airline customer for the popular -200 series aircraft. The Frog kit came in a box only marginally capable of holding the kit sprues and large decal (unlike some of the kit boxes today, which seem to be excessively large for the size of kit inside). The box even had a couple of separate compartments to house the small tube of glue and paint phials which were included. As usual in those days, the instructions included details about the full-size aircraft and the airline depicted by the model. A later version of the kit, released in the mid 1960s, featured the then new "British United" livery, and this edition is now highly prized as comparatively few were ever produced by Frog. The "Troop Dropping Herald" version appeared in 1968 although the plastic wasn't entirely accurate for that version - the kit lacked the "thimble" radar nose and the rearmost blanked cabin windows of the Malaysian machines. Remarkably, these Troop Dropping Heralds are still readily available for sale on internet auction sites......... at a price. Of course the same plastic was later available from the likes of Novo and Maquette when produced in the former Soviet Union, decal options including BIA and Channel Express. VHF Supplies of West London even made bagged versions of the kit available with British Midland decals, featuring aircraft G-BAVX. Frog made several other airliner kits too, but usually in 1/96 (Viscount, Britannia, Caravelle, Comet, DC7C, etc) as well as an impressive rendition of the Super VC10 in 1/144 scale featuring flashing lights ! The latter was obviously a competitor to Airfix's Standard VC10 kit in the same scale, although it retailed at several times the price of the Airfix example. Different editions of the same Frog models were sometimes produced for different national markets - the "Airlines" series for the USA, a New Zealand series, whilst some kits sold in France had "Tri-ang" on the kits' boxes - perhaps due to French sensitivities over the name "frog" ! Although Frog kits under that branding ceased production in the mid 70s we have been fortunate that many of their kits have continued to be made available under a succession of different names - Eastern Express, Ark Models, Novo etc. A testament, perhaps, to their original quality and (on the whole) wise choice of subject matter. But who else would have had the character to produce kits such as the Dennis Ambulance in 1/16 scale, or 1/72 Bleriot (depicted on the attractive artwork flying over Dover Castle) ? As a youngster, I was always interested to compare Frog kits with their contemporaries from other manufacturers - whilst the Frog Gipsy Moth was on a par with Airfix's Tiger Moth, I always thought the Frog De Havilland 88 Comet Racer was much superior to the earlier Airfix version. I guess we're still comparing the respective merits of different kits even today (Hasegawa vs Tamiya, etc). Of course there are the "what might-have-beens ?", too; apparently Frog had firm plans to produce the BAC 1-11 jet airliner in 1/72 scale - as an airliner modeller I have to say that would have been nice ! It says something that several of the kit subjects which Frog were producing in the early 60s were not seen in other ranges until other manufacturers caught up with them decades later - the British "V" bomber trio, for instance. And its only recently that Airfix have provided us with a state-of-the-art 1/72 Shackleton and Whitley - Frog were producing them half a century ago. Well done Frog, and thanks for the memories......and thanks Adey for starting this thread ! Don
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