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Vulcanicity

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Vulcanicity last won the day on June 19

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About Vulcanicity

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  • Birthday 02/05/1990

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    1:72nd aircraft, British 1920s-1980s

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  1. Many many thanks everyone! I'm having a bit of a minor rest from modelling (apart from repairs to an old Seafox - I was supposed to not go straight onto another Matchbox biplane!) but will be back soon!
  2. Aw thanks everyone! I'm very humbled by all the support and comments, I really am! Made a start on those reference threads so watch this space...
  3. Many thanks for all the kind words everyone - it really means a lot after all that effort! The weather parted slightly in Vulcanicity towers this afternoon, so I've managed to get the RFI threads done. Heyford Stranraer Enjoy!
  4. After two years of hard slog during which I have also completed a Stranraer, a Chipmunk (as a sanity break!) and a PhD, here is my take on the Matchbox Heyford, finished as Heyford II K4877/H of 7 Squadron RAF at Worthy Down, circa 1935. The WIP is here. At some point I'm going to do a Heyford reference thread for the Interwar section to share all my refs and discoveries, I'll update this with the link when I've got round to it. Don't hold your breath! Having decided to start on adding some detailing to this and the Straraer, I went fairly mad. The following is a reasonably complete list of my alterations: Scribed some panel lines including those around the nose gunner’s position, plus a complete rescribe of the nacelles. Filled one porthole and cut two new ones to replicate the two starboard, three port arrangement of the real aircraft. Also added a small downward ID light under the forward fuselage. Replicated the fabric detail on the rear fuselage by scribing lines in the locations of stringers, gluing in 0.8mm plasticard rod, and building up with filler. Added the metal external stringers underneath the forward fuselage, using plasticard rod sanded to match the stringers moulded on the fuselage sides. Scratchbuilt majority of interior, including partial wireless operator’s position, complete cockpit and nose gunner’s compartments, and rear fuselage around mid-upper gunner. Retained half of a bulkhead and pilot’s control wheels, but remainder was made from plasticard stock, wire, spares box items and CD boxes (for the ribbed aluminium floor). Cut out small windows in top of dustbin turret and replaced with sections of glazing from spares box. Scratchbuilt Hawker High Speed mountings and ventral turret mounting, again adding Lewis Guns from Mini World. Added several fuselage external details, including pitot head and nose ID light, small ventral piping forward of turret, tracking rubbers for the tailwheel, and nose gunner’s grab handle. Replaced grab bar on top of fuselage and pilot’s arm guards with plasticard stock. Rescribed ventral entry door in correct position and in (probable) correct shape (MB have it one fuselage frame bay too far back and square, it should probably be closer to “D” shaped) Removed symmetrical fuselage exit fairings for tail control cables, and replaced with a scratchbuilt fairing on the port side only – drilled this out and added the control lines. Added balance weights to the tops of the rudders. Scratchbuilt the four central bomb bay cells including ribs, wing spars, bomb mounting tubes and bomb bay doors. Armed with 4x 500lb GP (resin replacements from CMK). Scratchbuilt struts between fuselage and nacelles/lower wing centre section, adding steps below the entry door and a tube probably containing a trailing wireless aerial. Replaced blobby air scoops on nacelles with scratchbuilt items. Cut out rear of kit radiator ducting and added radiator face and upper portion of interplane struts inside. Reshaped erroneous kit exhausts and scribed the angled slots. Cut out the open panel aft of the exhausts and added prominent sections of engine bearers plus black blanking panel to simulate engine. Added scratchbuilt landing flares, plus bomb racks and PE Light Series Bomb Carriers from Marabu to underside of lower wings. Added flares from Airfix Swordfish kit. Added aileron actuators to upper wing, plus jacks for leading edge slats and aileron balance weights. Full rigging job (including centre section which seems to be rarely attempted by modellers and took me about 5 hours!) using Sovereign Hobbies fine rigging thread. Painted in my own NIVO mix, decals are from the kit. I’ve speculatively gone for partly doped propellers in a grey colour based on some very ambiguous photo evidence. Things I chickened out of but which you could also do: Detail remainder of bomb bay (time and energy, plus the erroneous mislabelling of 500 pounders as 250 pounders by CMK all forced my hand) Detail remainder of fuselage interior (basically invisible) Replace kit windscreen with acetate (didn’t think I could do a neat enough job) Show the leading edge slats deployed (they do seem to have been retracted on the ground sometimes, and it just felt like too much work (!) As with the Stranraer, it's not a bad kit at all, and likely to remain the only game in town barring a very left-field choice from somebody! Even more so that the Stranraer, it benefits from a detailed cockpit (very visible through that massive opening) and bomb bay (ditto). There are also some minor errors, like the portholes and featureless underside to the nose, which are worth attending to if you're nuts like me. Ah yes, photos. Here y'are. This shows the end result of my attempts to replicate the fabric detail on the rear fuselage: Wretched dust! I brushed it off before the photoshoot and everything.
  5. After two years of hard slog during which I have also completed a Heyford, a Chipmunk (as a sanity break!) and a PhD, here is my take on the Matchbox Stranraer, finished as K7292 of 228 Squadron RAF at Pembroke Dock, autumn 1938. The WIP is here. At some point I'm going to do a Stranraer reference thread for the Interwar section to share all my refs and discoveries, I'll update this with the link when I've got round to it. Don't hold your breath! Having decided to start on adding some detailing to this and the concurrent Heyford, I went fairly mad. The following is a reasonably complete list of my alterations: Scribed hull (including some corrections to MB’s panel lines on rear fuselage and nose), plus lower wing stubs, floats, cowlings, nacelles, and upper centre section. Removed large raised cargo door on starboard side of hull, (a postwar civilian modification, copied from the Hendon machine by MB) and cut a new window in its place as per pre-war aircraft. Detailed the kit door part. Reinstated recess for sliding side portion of canopy above the entry door. Cut out the sliding canopy section and replaced with an acetate panel mounted in the partly slid-back position. Scratchbuilt most of interior including pilot’s position, navigation compartment, rest bunks, mid-upper and tail gun positions. Retained kit floor and bulkheads (with modifications) but everything else is built from plasticard or wire. Thinned down gunner’s wind shield. Scratchbuilt Scarff mountings based on kit rings. Replaced kit Lewis guns with cast brass examples from Miniworld (well worth the ridiculous price). Replaced small ventilation scoops abreast wireless operator’s compartment. Various extra hull details added, including rectangular ventilation scoops on port nose and between port windows, bollards and mooring/sun canopy cleats on nose and rear fuselage, hinges for bomb aimer’s door, towing/lashing eyes and strengthening plates along keel, navigation light at extreme tail of fuselage, and porthole with bars on cabin roof. Detailed main beaching gear with longitudinal struts, winding handles, stowed tools, bolts etc. Added fairing strips over joints between lower wings and stub wings, and at tailplane-fuselage joint. Cut out bomb recesses in lower outer wings, adding Marabu PE Light Series Bomb Carrier in each of the large recesses. Added APU exhaust and drainage pipes in lower centre section stub wings. Added navigation lights and aileron actuators to lower wing tips, cut out port side landing light and added heat-moulded light cover from acetate. Added inspection covers on floats. Reshaped cowlings to show a more curved profile and thinner trailing edges. Opened out cowling apertures by about 1mm extra diameter (not quite enough, I suspect, but oh well!) Drilled out exhaust pipes and lowered the profile at forward end to better blend them into the collector rings. Replaced Pegasus engines with resin examples from CMK, including replacing the too-short resin pushrods with plasticard and adding cowling braces. Thinned down and reshaped kit propellers. Added the prominent if mysterious bulges at the leading edge of the forward cabane struts where they meet the nacelles (not fitted on the Hendon machine). Added cores with mesh faces to the oil coolers. Full rigging applied using EZ-Line and homemade turnbuckles. Decals from the Revell reboxing. Things I chickened out of but which you could also do if you're feeling like treading this path to insanity: Crash mould more accurate canopy (windscreen is slightly too vertical I think) Detail front compartment and pose open (references for equipment fitted here are almost non-existent) Detail wireless operator’s compartment (completely invisible) Replace kit beaching gear wheels (poorly detailed but I couldn’t think of what to use) Despite all I've just said above, it's a pretty darned good kit, especially considering it celebrates its 40th birthday this year and we're unlikely to see another one, unless the likes of Valom oblige. If only MB hadn't quite so slavishly copied the Hendon machine with its non-standard mod state, it would have been near-unbeatable. Oh, I suppose you've come here for photos! Here we are.
  6. Thanks everyone! Reading all the comments about my patience made me realise I've really tested all your patience with this WIP thread which has been sporadic at best. Thanks to everyone for their comments, suggestions and encouragement - it's been very much appreciated! This is the last post from me before RFI - a cool two years after I started! For those of you who are of an impatient bent, there's a teaser photo of the completed models at the end of the post. For those interested in the last few details - read on rather than skipping to the last two photos! Having prepared the eight bomb bay doors for the Heyford and dusted off the 500lb-sized 250 pounders I assembled earlier, it was time to get painting. I hate painting ordnance - it's really fiddly and I can never seem to get a nice smooth finish on tiny bombs, especially yellow-buff ones. And as for those little yellow and green bands, well. This was the best I managed. Not perfect but they each have one good side...honest! Following a thread I started in the Interwar section, and various WW2 colour photos, I attempted to mix the buff-yellow shade which is apparently standard for both the interwar bombs and the early WW2 bombs (I always though that the latter were yellower than the former, but you live and learn) Luckily, the 500-pounders are such a snug fit in the bomb bay cells that you can only see the one good side of each one. Here we are with the doors on (not an easy job) and the bombs installed. I'm glad I made the effort with the ribs (last year! last year!) - you can just see them and the doped fabric roof to the bays through the little gaps. A couple of photos back you will have also noticed some 4 1/2 inch reconnaissance flares. These are part of the standard 500-pounder loadout for the Heyford according to the AP. The kit does actually provide them but they're on a level with the rest of the supplied bombs - vague, blobby cylinders with little or no detail. Luckily I remembered that many moons ago I built the Airfix Swordfish as a Taranto machine, fitting only one of the eight supplied flares (perhaps this was a particular Taranto loadout? I can't remember). Anyhow, found five of the seven leftovers in my spares box and decided to fit four to the Heyford. With some difficulty I built the incredibly fiddly and fragile Marabu photoetch Light Series Bomb Carriers and standard bomb racks (in fact, see the last post!), then drilled out some wing holes, and Bomb's Bob's your uncle. The Heyford's props gave me some pause for thought. Revell suggest two-tone natural wood and grey for the Mk. I and II, and plain wood for the Mk. III. This seems to be borne out by photos, but most surviving photos of the Heyford are very poor quality and it's very hard to tell what colour a glossy prop actually was. It's possible that they were all natural wood or all doped - it's certainly hard to imagine why they might stop doping them on the Mk. III (maybe a better lacquer was introduced?). However I think there's a demarcation near the hub in several photos of the earlier marks, plus I prefer the two-tone effect, so that's what I went for. I'm fairly sure that Revell's suggestion of grey hub section and natural wood outer blades is erroneous; as far as I understand wooden props were often doped on their outer sections to protect the blades (rather than the hubs) from stone chips and dirt. So I reversed the suggestion and painted them like this. Nobody could stop me, after all. The wood effect was hard work and I am out of practice - the last I did was for a 2F1 Camel quite a few years ago. But with this little area and most of it covered in grey I think I got away with it. You'll also notice I attached the glazing to the Heyford's nose. The bomb-aimer's windows (out of shot) caused me a bit of grief as they weren't a great fit - but we got there in the end. You might remember last time that I took a saw to the Stranraer's canopy. Well, here's why. Way back in the beginning two summers ago I modified this portion of the hull to remove the cargo door and reinstate the sliding canopy window recess, and here is the finished arrangement, with a window made of acetate and posed mostly slid back in the recess. It's partly hidden by the painted and installed door - but you can at least glimpse that scratchbuilt cockpit, if you give yourself a cricked neck. The Stranraer's engines were not easy to attach while still allowing the props to turn. There's quite a big hole in the front of the nacelles, and the diameter of the crankcase core of the resin Pegasii is not much bigger than the hole - so there's very little surface area to which one has to apply superglue (resin-plastic joint), and the glue has to be very close to the free-turning prop shaft (yes, I am a small child inside). After an attempt which left one of the props seized, I attached a large square bit of plasticard to the back of the engines first, then fitted the prop shafts with retaining nuts drilled thorough this, then used a small amount of much more manageable poly cement to actually attach the engines with the much larger square surface area. Here is the end product, with non-seized props! After another unsuccessful superglue episode trying to attach my home-made glazing for the landing lights (much fogging), I resorted to PVA. Hopefully the inferior strength won't matter in this fairly protected location. More annoying is the slight frosting caused by the varnish around the edge of the walkway decals - I've since drybrushed some silver carefully over the clear sections. Having painted my handmade Scarff rings and the Miniart guns black and gently added some drybrushed weathering, the very last job was to attach them. I'm particularly pleased with how they've come out. So rather unexpectedly, that's that! I'll do an RFI next week as soon as it stops raining and I can get some decent natural light in my modelling room... I'm going to have a break from biplanes, ancient kits, excessive scratchbuilding and WIP threads, and soothe my aching head by building a Tamiya kit I think!
  7. Thanks for the comments everyone! @rob85 no I never did! Might have to look them out. @CedB thanks for the tip - as you'll see I've taken your advice! First...ta daaaa! My patience with test-fitting the upper wing (remember, I assembled the wings with all the upper strut attachments glued but all the bottom attachments dry fitted) paid off royally with the Stranraer - final fitting of the upper wing proceeded with hardly a whisper of the gut-knotting stress that operations like this usually cause me (but read on, viewer!). It was then a relatively simple job to rig the outer wing bays with EZ-Line (this was before I read CedB's suggestion above). Painting the blue thread silver was fiddly but at least any slips with the brush won't notice. The remaining work now on the Strranraer involves attaching all the bits I've been itching to stick on for months but which had to wait until after rigging, unless I wanted to attach each one several times. The floats were simple to attach but a nightmare to rig. As you can see the struts are very thin, and this means they have absolutely no sideways strength. You can't just rig one of those diagonal wires at once, or the whole caboodle rips itself off with anything more than zero tension applied. You really need to simultaneously tension and knot the two wires in each pair, while using that convenient third arm you have to apply superglue to your two knots. Not being Zaphod Beeblebrox myself, I had to borrow Ms Vulcanicity to hold the wires while I glued. For the moment, I'm not going to try crash-moulding a replacement canopy for the Stranraer, even though there's something slightly squiffy about the shape of the windscreen (if nothing else it doesn't slope quite enough). I've spent not far off two years on these builds and am *very* keen to get them done. However, this being me, and this being this project, every kit part needs modifying to some extent to appease the modelling gods. So I've decided to open one of the sliding side windows so that tiny tiny people can squint inside and see all that scratchbuilding I did back in 2017. I took a saw to the canopy. It was fine. Nobody died. On to the Heyford. I left you with the wings and fuselage almost ready for that fateful join. However, one important job needed doing first, which was preparing the two v-shaped struts which connect the bottom of the fuselage with the lower centre section. It's one of the eternal truisms of life that if you have a Matchbox Heyford, part 21 (the rearmost of these two struts) will always be broken in the box. After some faffing around with trying to pin the breaks (much like trying to splice mouse femurs) I gave up and made a new one. Stick the wings on the fuselage, stick the struts in, slap some NIVO on, Bob's yer uncle. I also added two curved items which I'm fairly sure are footsteps to aid the ascent to the heady heights of the fuselage, plus a mysterious pipe connecting the centre section with the fuselage diagonally on the port side. Looking at a cutaway I have I think this may have housed a trailing wireless aerial - I suspect there's a hole underneath the bottom of the trailing edge to accommodate it, but I've no idea where and it's at an absurdly oblique angle so I'm not drilling it out. You can also see one of two struts connecting the nacelles and the upper wing root. MB have the attachment points for these wrong at both ends, making the kit parts too short, so again I whittled some out of plasticard like a peculiar kind of Boy Scout. Looks something like a Heyford now! If I thought that rigging the Stranraer all seemed a bit too easy (floats and extra arms notwithstanding), then boy was I right. Just the sixteen wires inboard of the Heyford's nacelles (twelve visible here) took me about five hours of rigging time, even with the more manageable Sovereign Hobbies black cable which CedB suggested. (By the way, the suggested scales don't seem right - I bought the 1/72 stuff and it would seem a bit fine even on a 1/144th scale model! At most it would be suitable for a small WW1 biplane in 72nd. This is the 1/48th thread). The essential problem is that unlike the Stranraer, the Heyford is painted in a colour specifically designed to absorb as much light as possible, and I simply couldn't rig the centre section wires until the basic structure and V-shaped struts were in place. This me gamely traying to thread superfine black elastic through tiny dark green eyelets in minute, dark space.s Cue much rage - Ms Vulcanicity has developed a Biplane Rigging Rage Meter and this was a good 11 on the scale. Still, I managed - eventually! If that's got you in a cold sweat, here's a nice picture of some photo-etched bomb racks, ordnance and scratchbuilt bomb bay doors to calm you down. More soon, hopefully (Slow Worms permitting!)
  8. I'm nearing the end of the Stranraer and Heyford (both still quite readily available thanks to Revell). Both excellent kits and have aged well, but could do with a little updating and some accuracy issues fixed. I'd love to see resin aftermarket sets to correct the Stranraer's engines and cowlings and give the Heyford a half-decent bomb bay. Both kits could benefit from some vac glazing and resin cockpit sets too.
  9. Which Grey Green though? After all, Supermarines had their own mix rather closer to Sky, as used on Spitfires. A fair shout that the Walrus might have been painted in this shade rather than the "standard" Interior green? This is what I went for with my Stranraer, anyway...
  10. Hi everyone! I've swapped job induction and admin for haring around Southern England surveying newts and rescuing Slow Worms* from the path of mechanical excavators (yes, they do pay me for this!) - this has not resulted in a net increase in model time unfortunately. However, some things have got done on this endless, endless, task. First, I have finished the five gun mountings! From left to right, these are the dustbin mounting and two Hawker High Speed Mountings for the Heyford (I still find it very amusing that this aircraft was thought to need High Speed gun mountings - cruising speed approximately 115 m.p.h!), and two Scarff Rings for the Stranraer. The only kit parts I have used are the bases of the Scarff rings themselves, suitably thinned. The guns are the wonderful Model Art Lewis Mk. III guns - these are works of art but need a microscope and a trained mouse to assemble them neatly! I think at least three PE gunsights were sacrificed to the Carpet Monster, and will eventually be found lodged underneath the skin of my toes. Plastic memory has meant that the U-shaped Hawker mountings have not stayed parallel- but hopefully they can be bent back into shape when they're finally attached. Next, I have completed the door for the Stranraer. Those with long attention spans might remember that this assembly was retained unchanged during the Canadian postwar cargo conversion, but was set into a much larger freight door. This means that after thinning down the kit part, I was able to copy the details from the Hendon machine and didn't have to strain my eyes peering at period photos as per usual. MB provide the window for this door, but it's got lost sometime in the last 21 months of toil, so I made a new one out of some flat clear polystyrene courtesy of one of those dishes you buy baklawa on from your local Asian grocer (mmmmmmm baklawa...) With the lower wing/hull completed I could finish another fiddly job - the bars over the porthole in the roof over the wireless operator. This little window is missed by MB, and in the real thing there are several metal bars to stop ground crew or aircrew putting their feet through it while walking about on the top of the centre section. This was a very complex operation in order to ensure the window had neat silver bars over it but no paint or glue on the clear plastic - but the result is quite good enough considering it's surrounded by struts and rigging I've also weathered this section. New Stranraers in 1938 look pretty clean from period photos, but panel lines rapidly show up darker, and a mucky waterline develops pretty quickly. I simulated the latter using a combination of drybrushing and masking tape - easy enough on the sides, but getting the line to wrap around underneath the hull, but look completely level from the side was a challenge! The next big job with the Stranraer is the rigging, and fitting the top wing onto the bottom wing! This is not quite such a muddled-up order as it may seem, as most of the lower ringing points around the Stranraer's centre section bay are drilled into the struts not the lower wing. This means about 1/4 of the rigging can be done before doing the big scary join: I'm quite impressed with EZ Line, and it's certainly much more user-friendly than the fishing line I used to use. One problem is that it seems to be very easy to fix it in with a twist in the wire - since it's not round in cross section this really shows up. The fact I could only get Blue is also annoying as I have to repaint the whole lot silver! At least a coat of paint makes the twists slightly less obvious. On to the Heyford. Before doing the fuselage-wing joint the painted Heyford needs some weathering on the engines and wings- in particular the insides of the nacelles will be near-impossible to reach after final assembly. Again this is the 1930s and aircraft weren't too filthy, but NIVO seems to have shown up the weathering and stains quite a bit. With the upwards and backwards-facing exhausts, the aircraft should show staining across the upper wing: I've also weathered the nacelles and added some chipping, although I think the latter might need a bit of knocking back. The exhausts had three paint coats - a Citadel steel coat, a dense rusty brown wash, and subtle drybrushing with a light grey to simulate the whitish heat crazing you seem to get on exhaust stacks: That's all folks - next post will see some final assembly and a lot more rigging! *For those from outside the UK, and indeed those without a nerdy interest in ecology, a Slow Worm is neither slow nor a worm. It is not a snake either, despite looking like one. It is in fact a sort of lizard without any legs (this is not the same as a snake). Got all that OK? Good.They are legally protected, hence why someone pays me to rescue them from places where houses are going to be built.
  11. Fit issues notwithstanding, I'm pretty excited about this. However I'd like to build a late war Mk. III or early Mk. V. Has anyone got theirs yet, and if so can they confirm whether the box contains optional parts for the mid-upper turret, Pegasus engine installation and earlier ASV fit (the mast antennae)?
  12. Hi all, and thanks for the clarification about the outside thermometer/temp gauge! More long delays - PhD corrections (approved on Monday, yay! ), comments on a scientific paper (accepted, yay!) and starting a new job (still doing induction and admin, and getting used to a monumental project management system ) have sapped my time and energy this time. However - it's time for the big reveal! That's right, one Stranraer of 228 Squadron RAF, based at Pembroke Dock in winter 1938-39. Ages ago, I managed to snaffle a complete decal sheet from the Revell re-release of this kit (mine's a bright-green and turd-brown Matchbox issue, if you remember), off a well-known internet emporium. The original kit sheet I had was yellowed and disintegrating, and a new-old-stock replacement I found in a decal odds-n'-ends bin at Telford was also not great. So far, so happy, as you can see, lovely bright colours. However, I've had a helluva fight to get them stuck down as well as this. I normally make sure I've got a nice gloss surface, apply the decal, and use Micro Set and Micro Sol as per the instructions, and Robert's your father's sibling. However after about three applications of Sol, these Revell decals just refused to sit down at all - they went all soft and wibbly OK, but once the stuff had evaporated they tightened right back up and refused to sink into panel lines, or even the undulating fabric detail on the wings. Bubbles that weren't there before suddenly appeared I dug out spare unopened bottles of the solvents but this made no difference - I think the decals themselves must just be much too thick. Anyway, faced with a major disaster I did what British people have done for centuries - I bodged a new technique on the spot and crossed my fingers. Turns out, if you wait until the MicroSol is about 3/4 dry (the wibbly bits are just starting to disappear), then GENTLY brush over the decal with a clean, soft but firm paintbrush,applying a fair amount of pressure over the recessed detail and forcing any bubbles out to the side, the recalictrant decal dries and settles as you wanted, and stays there. I've called this Phil's Patent Paintbrush Persuasian Protocol (PPPPP) and you're welcome to it! Then, more stress as (with a great deal of trepidation) I applied a rattlecan satin varnish coat, and proceeded to remove all the masking which had been on for weeks. I've hammed up rattlecan varnish so many times my heart was in my mouth for this one! I've taken to doing less rather than more from the can, and finishing off with Revell aqua varnishes with a hairy stick, as the risk of getting horrible white speckling over roundels and other dark areas is much reduced. Even so, STRESS... Phew! You can see in this view that I've put an initial coat of grey paint on the metal-skinned areas of the lower centre wings. These were definitely covered with some kind of non-slip coating (or possibly anodised), but it's definitely not black (as Revell depicted with decals) or the enigmatic "Black Green" as Matchbox suggest that you paint these areas. There are very few shots of service Stranraers that show this area, and they're all of poor quality. However they all show a pretty minimal contrast between the silver of the fabric areas and the non-slip sections. I went for Medium Sea Grey as an approximate tonal match (I realise it needs another coat!). I've also more or less finished the Stranraer's engine nacelles, having drybrushed my modified resin engines, then had a minor nightmare trying fix them into my modified cowlings and get them to sit straight. The perils of super-detailing and kit modifications! Now, from silver, to...NIVO! I'm not a fan at all of enamel paint (too much teenage lung damage put me off), and the Xtracolour NIVO is not available as an Xtracrylix. So I had to mix my own - I used five parts Humbrol 91 to four parts Humbrol 88, measured exactly with a syringe. I'm pretty chuffed with the result considering it's mixed by eye - it's close enough to me considering there are very few preserved aircraft in this colour and no (?) period colour photos, and so any glaring difference isn't going to constantly annoy me. I modified the panel where the elevator actuator disappears into the wing to show the pulley - unfortunately this area has a few imperfections which were too difficult to remove with the struts and rigging points all added - but it's all going to be in deep shadow so I'm not sure it'll notice. You all have to act nicely and not point them out in the RFI (due in about October 2022 at current rates) With the NIVO done, it was time for decals... and a trial fit to produce a more or less complete aeroplane! More Revell decals, and even worse adhesion. Even the PPPPP failed me for the spats, and I had to resort to cutting the wrinkles with a fresh scalpel blade. Those of you who know your Heyford variants will know that this is the Heyford II option (nose windows, early style radiator intakes) - I've built K4877 of 7 Squadron based at Worthy Down (I think?) in 1936. This is far as I've got with the finishing of the main sub-assemblies, but hopefully I can get the Heyford's matt coat on this week (cue more existential terror with a spray can) and then do some nice relaxing weathering. Before I go, one more shot. While I bought a full complement of MiniArt machine guns, I was too stingy to spend £25 on two brass Scarff ring mountings for the Stranarer. (The Heyford uses a different kind of mounting which I think is a Hawker mounting similar to that on the Hart series). Instead, aided by some excellent photos from the RCAF archives, I made a start on scratchbuilding the Scarff rings. I only used the kit ring (thinned down, all the white areas are plasticard stock). Only four more mountings to do!
  13. You think you're making painfully slow progress? I started mine in July 2017! Seriously though, some great work and I'm looking forward to the result!
  14. For what it's worth, pre-war Stranraers in the silver scheme (also a Pegasus installation, but fixed-pitch Fairey-Reed props) had all-dark (black?) blades, at least on the front faces, with a narrow stripe at about 3/4 of the way down the blade - this looks to have been Red not Yellow, and is very hard to see on most photos. I guess this was an earlier attempt at the visibility stripe which was eventually changed to the black/yellow tips? There's plenty of evidence that other "modern" types coming into service in camo from 1937 onwards didn't initially have yellow tips - Blenheim Is is the example that immediately springs to mind. Was there a directive to propeller manufacturers at some point in 1938-39?
  15. Yeah I'd concur, that rich dark texture seems like yellow +orthochrome film to me.
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