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CT Modeller

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CT Modeller last won the day on September 1 2021

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    Haywards Heath, West Sussex

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  1. B-1B Lancer 9th Bomb Squadron, USAF – Dyess, Texas, 2014 Panda 1/144 scale kit / Caracal decals With the release of the newish Academy B-1B in 1/144, the kit I used here is redundant, but I was already half way through it so decided to carry on. It was really the release of the Caracal decal sheet that encouraged me to retrieve it from the attic where it had been part started for many many years. There aren’t many kits that I would actually call bad. This is the exception – it’s a bad kit! To start with the whole fuselage around the cockpit area just looked wrong. I decided to forgo a clear windscreen and added Milliput all over the front fuselage to reshape it, then added the ‘transparent’ bits with paint, 1/144 airliner style. Then there are the exhausts. If you were doing and early B-1B with turkey feathers you could just about get away with filling and sanding the kit exhausts, but later aircraft had the naked nozzle workings on display so I had a go at scratch building that lot (there is a resin replacement available for lots of dosh but I didn’t think this kit was worth it). Wheels were the next thing – those provided in the kit were ridiculously small. I had actually built a Minicraft B-1A years ago, wheels up, so I could use the wheels on the B-1B. Nowadays there are resin wheels available which maybe I should have bought. What’s next – ah yes, the wing section! The outer wings have so much camber that they could have come from a Sopwith Camel. I actually left this untouched because it's not that visible from the top and the engraved detail was very nice. The decals – oh, the decals. They look so nice on the sheet and have lots of good detail, but they had that too good to be true glossiness about them. Sure enough, they took an age to release from the backing, then just fell apart when touched. I tried coating them with Klear but it made little difference. Anyway that was before Caracal came along with a brilliant sheet so thankyou Caracal. Despite all of the above, and I’m sure there are more tales of woe if I think about it, out the end came a passable B-1B as part of my US bombers project in 1/144. Next up are a couple of B-47s which should be less challenging. Or should I go for the B-36 – or maybe B-58? That’s the great thing about this hobby – there’s always the next one….
  2. F-4J Phantom II VF-11 CAG Bird, USS Forrestal, 1977 Revell / Monogram 1/72 kit – Superscale decals This was the second of the ex-Monogram F-4Js, recently re-released by Revell, that I recently built. The kit captures the elusive Phantom contours really well and has excellent detail for its age. The major snags are raised surface detail (including control surfaces!) and lack of fit in some areas. I re-scribed the surface detail on the upper surfaces but I left the undersides alone as it all looked nicely done. Cockpit detail is very nice. The seats have moulded on harnesses but these are differently posed front and rear, and even have usable pull handles (I thinned them a little but they look good). Instrument panels and side consoles are also nicely done and look the part with the kit-provided decals applied. A few areas needed extra work, the main one being the boundary layer holes in the intake splitter plates. The original can be seen on my F-4C version of the kit : On the F-4J I filled in the oversize depressions and added some light pre-shading before over-spraying with Light Gull Grey. I found a pic of the VF-11 CAG bird in a Detail and Scale book on CAG machines. The Superscale sheet provides the 1976 markings for this aircraft, which includes red, white and blue bi-centennial stripes for the fin tip, etc, but I preferred the standard red squadron colour so modified the decals accordingly. If you haven’t tried this kit and don’t mind some work in the re-scribing area I would recommend it for its shape and detail.
  3. F-4C Phantom II 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Bentwaters 1966 1/72 Revell / Monogram F-4J kit converted to early F-4C configuration It was on the 17th September 1966 that I saw my first Phantom. The occasion was the RAF Coltishall Battle of Britain ‘At Home’ day. There in the static was 40864 in the original Light Gull Grey / White scheme and at last I’ve got round to modelling it. At the time I only had an old camera with 24 black and white shots and this is the photo I took that day, complete with people standing in the way due to excitement and lack of patience on my part. Not the best photo, so here’s a better one: At this time the Viet Nam camo scheme was about to happen and some aircraft could be seen with drop tanks already camouflaged, such as this on (taken from that excellent book ‘Force for Freedom – The USAF in the UK since 1948’ by Michael Bowyer). Note the ‘Buzz Numbers’ have been removed also by this time: For my model I decided to show 40864 with one camouflaged drop tank to illustrate the impending change to camouflage. The model is based on the old Monogram 1/72 F-4J kit, recently re-issued by Revell. I had built a couple of these way back when it first appeared and always thought this kit captured the shape and detail of the Phantom really well. Surface detail was very nice but of course it was raised, not engraved, so by the time the fuselage join was cleaned up there was no detail left on top of the fuselage. I re-scribed the fuselage top and wing top surfaces but decided to leave the rest – mainly because it looked so nice, particularly on the underside and rear fuselage. To make and F-4C from an F-4J included the following: Cockpit interior configuration change – mainly leaving out the J specific items in the rear cockpit, plus the addition of a control column there. (By the way the cockpit interior is very impressive given the age of the kit. The seats look just right and I even used the moulded seat pull handles, though I thinned them down quite a lot). Nosewheel door change to Air Force type with landing lights Shorter J-79 exhaust nozzles (spares from a Hasegawa F-4E kit) USAF inner wing pylons from an Esci kit Removal of the fin tip ECM antenna Removal of underwing catapult hooks Scribing of the USAF style flight refuelling receptacle on the fuselage top and removal of the (raised line type) Navy refuelling probe beneath the starboard rear cockpit. I had intended to use the Xtradecal sheet which includes 40864, but I thought the font wasn’t quite right and the national insignias were too big, so instead I used some old Scalemaster sheets – including the correct Insignia Blue U.S. AIR FORCE and USAF markings, with numbers in black. I bought two of these Revell re-issues and I’m starting work on the second now as an F-4J. This time I think I will go for an overall re-scribe.
  4. Lockheed P-80B Shooting Star 36th Fighter Group USAF Furstenfeldbruck, Germany, 1949 Airfix 1/72 kit with Superscale decals With something from a similar era:
  5. Mirage IIIC EC2/10 'Seine', Creil, France, 1980 Nowadays there are much better 1/72 Mirage IIIC kits of course but the old Airfix kit was all there was for many years. I thought I would take one out of the attic and see what I could do with it. I had finished a few Mirage IIIs in natural metal so I went for the blue 'Mirage F.1' type of finish (mixed from PRU Blue with some Light Aircraft Grey). I rescribed most of it, messed about with the air intakes to separate them more from the fuselage and added a basic cockpit interior. I included a pilot to give it an 'engine running' configuration which meant that I could close the undercarriage doors which otherwise would have needed a lot of detailing work, and this wasn't that kind of model. The Airfix stores went in the bin which added to the clean configuration. The canopy was replaced with a spare from a Heller kit. I used the kit undercarriage though the doors that were left open were replaced. Decals were from Modeldecal apart from the roundels which came from an IPMS France sheet. I always thought the old Airfix kit captured the shape of the Mirage IIIC pretty well. These photos are with the AML Mirage that I built a couple of years ago:
  6. Thanks Adam. Good to see the old girl still survives. The model goes nicely with the rest of the S.1 collection :
  7. Buccaneer S.1 700Z Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Lossiemouth, 1961 Having finished the beautiful recent Airfix 1/72 Buccaneer S.2 I was left with all kinds of bits and pieces designed to turn the old Airfix 1/72 kit into something decent so I thought I may as well use them up on the old kit. The result was this pre-production, or very early production – not sure which – Buccaneer S.1. This is something I’ve always wanted to build but never got around to it as there was always another S.2 to do using my old Airfix kits. This is what I was aiming for: I wanted to keep the natural fibreglass panel on the fin which XK532 originally had – just visible in this photo (the farthest aircraft): This was a fairly major rebuild of the old Airfix kit which included (from front to back): - Freightdog resin nose (a must have item for any Buccaneer) - Whirlibirds resin S.1 main air intakes and wing root intakes (access panels scribed in and fasteners added). Fitting them was a real struggle as they were designed for the Matchbox kit: - Cockpit interior and seats from the CMR resin S.2 kit (I bought one of these cheaply years ago then found there were too many surface bubbles and never built it – amazing instructions though) – note there was no internal blast screen for the observer in these early aircraft. - My own crash-moulded canopy, based on the Frog S.2 kit. - Aeroclub white metal undercarriage. - CMR resin undercarriage doors. - Pitot replaced with a sewing needle. - Wingtips cut back to S.1 shape - Missing vortex generators on wing top surface added – one on each wing (correctly missing on the old Airfix S.2 kit which represents a Martel capable aircraft). - Fin leading edge air intake removed – replaced with small side intakes on these very early aircraft only. - Blisters added to the bomb door - Anti-col light added under fuselage ahead of the bomb door. - Aeroclub white metal tail bumper added. - Freightdog resin tailplane / fin tip. I should have modified the exhausts. They look too big but I thought I would get away with it – lesson learned. The finish was Halford’s Appliance Gloss White for underside and fin, with Xtracrylic Extra Dark Sea Grey on top. The pale red/blue roundels, codes, underwing serials and ejection seat warnings were from a Freightdog decal sheet, with the small white serials from Modeldecal. The correct size and style ‘Royal Navy’ on the fin was difficult to find but I came across them on a Model Alliance sheet for HMS Ark Royal’s air wing. Photos are not that brilliant (indoors in ambient light) and maybe I will replace them a) when the sun comes out and b) when it’s warm enough to mess about with outdoor photography.
  8. Hi Marcello. Best of luck with your Seamaster. My canopy was made by the plunge method using clear acetate sheet. The mould was a Milliput shape created on a plasticard base. The pictures I hope show what I'm talking about. The second picture shows the new canopy next to that awful kit version. Chris
  9. It's basically the same kit as the single seater. I built an A-4E from the kit many years ago. The two seater has the same raised rivets and panel lines - I enhanced a few of the raised lines and panels by going over them with an HB pencil before the Klear coat. There are a few indented panel lines around the nose area on both kits.
  10. TA-4F Skyhawk H&MS 12, US Marine Corps MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, 1970 1/48 Fujimi kit of old – Superscale decals There are much better Skyhawk kits of course, but I’ve had the Fujimi 1/48 TA-4F/J for a long long time and it was time to build it. It was one of those builds done just for the pleasure of putting an old kit together and using some just as old decals and I enjoyed it. It was never going to be a competition winning model – I would have bought the Hasegawa kit if I wanted that sort of modelling – so there were a number of compromises and short cuts. It was the discovery of the TA-4F version that inspired me. This was a TA-4J which retained the guns and hardpoints from the A-4F and used by the USMC. I came across this photo and the markings for it were there on an old Superscale decal sheet : I couldn't resist rebuilding the cockpit interior (resin seats by Pavla) and opening the slats, but other than that it's from the box. So this is how it turned out:
  11. ...but only just...after a loy of polishing. The King Air story is here by the way :
  12. Hello John - it's what we do isn't it? Not really bothered whether someone else has one but all our creations are unique aren't they.
  13. Thanks Glen. It did seem like a lot of messing about but it all came together in the end!
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