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Found 8 results

  1. Hello, mes ami! It is once again into the breach! This time with an LF Models 1/72 resin rendition of the Consolidated P-30/PB-2. Consolidated Aircraft, is the company that would eventually give us the famous delta-winged bombers and fighters of the '50s and '60s. Actually the whole lineage of this aircraft was started by what was actually at the time, the precursor of the Lockheed Aircraft Company. Rather than repeat the whole story here, I would refer you instead to the Wikipedia article HERE I will however, directly quote from the article to state the reason why this rather forlorn looking aircraft was actually important in the greater scheme of things: "The P-30 is significant for being the first fighter in United States Army Air Corps service to have retractable landing gear, an enclosed and heated cockpit for the pilot, and an exhaust-driven turbo-supercharger for altitude operation." You will note the heated cockpit for the PILOT -- even back then, the G.I.B. was of passing concern... On to the somewhat rare-ish LF kit. Like most of their kits that I have built, the molding are usually quite sharp, and the directions are quite poor. No exception here! I can certainly understand difficulties with language barriers, but line drawings, particularly more-or-less technical ones, are universal. Unless of course, they were done by your third cousin's ugly step-brother or whomever. While most items are referenced, few explicit details are given, and one must pore over the relatively few photos that can be found, none of which include complete views of the entire cockpit area. But, I digress... The kit looks like so: The inner fuselage halves have reasonable sidewall detail for the era, and the usual PE seats and belts are fine. The decals look great, and the instructions, at least, are not overly Xeroxed (photocopied to you youngsters) unto the death. One other shortcoming of the instructions is that there are no drawings, showing the parts still on the resin sprues or pour gates. More on this later. Most builds begin with the cockpit, as the first thing on the list to be done before joining the fuselage halves. In this case, I won't show much of that, because the lack of clear indications of where exactly to place the pilots floorboard, etc. are not to be had. The instrument panel and pilot's floor I think I eventually figured out; the gunner's floorboard, while it has been installed, I do not know whether it should, in fact, be further forward. Therefore, the first thing I WILL mention is the little intake at the lower front of the fuselage, where what looks like a radiator, a little circular circle thingy and a resin piece with a hole in it (supposedly positioned where air coming thru the hole would flow into the circular thingy) should be positioned: Shown above, the little part with the hole (B) should be aligned flush with the front face of the intake lip, on the starboard side of the fuselage (left arrow). The part with the radiator and the circular cooler "thingy" are inset further back from the lip of the intake on the left fuselage half, so that the "A" part in back aligns with the "B" part in front. I hope that this is clearer than the instructions, but oh well... Next up on the list of confusion is the assembly of the gunners seat, floorboard and "tilt" mechanism?: Above, the arrow point to the actual seat itself. part "Z" is the gunner's floorboard, parts "X" are two little PE "U"-shaped parts stuck to the back of the seat, one above the other. Parts "Y" are two pieces of the wire supplied in the kit that you are to cut to the length of your choice, and then bend to the curvature of your choice, and attach more-or-less as shown above. There is another piece of the wire that is laid side-to-side across the width of the seat at the very bottom in back, that anchors the two bent wire parts. Sorry that I neglected to highlight this, but it can be seen in the photo and IS shown in the kit instructions. My main problem here is that I could find ZERO photographs depicting this seat, and what can be seem from available outside shots of the aircraft don't seem to look anything like this! Dealer's choice, I suppose. Next, a view showing the I.P. and pilots section installed, and a different view of the gunner's seat, which in the combat of figuring out all of the above, has lost it's aluminum paint on the upper part of the seat. Have to fix that, I suppose: Above right, another view of the intake, as the fuse halves are glued together. Next, the bugaboo of all resin and vacuform kits -- necessary sanding. In this case, it is the three parts that comprise the turbo-supercharger and it's various fairings: Above, the un-started front fairing, then the backside of the turbo-charger -- partially sanded, and finally, on the right, the finished rear turbo fairing. All these items have to be sanded free of their resin pour blocks, or "thinned" if you will. The hardest part is sanding these things flat and even. As you can see from the arrow on the middle item, I still have a slight taper on the on the pour block that needs removal, as it is now thicker on the left side than on the right. You just have to keep sanding until the pour block becomes mere "flash", which can be cleanly snapped off. The best method I have found after all these years, is still the old sticky tape method wherein the tape has to be changed out, seemingly every few seconds! Oh, and did I mention, you stll have to sand a bit fore-and-aft as well as up-and-down, to fit various fuselage curves....? Below, lots to be seen in the next photo: First off, the turbo-charger parts. The leading fairing should be installed just behind the cowl join line, and hard against the exhaust part at it's top. I then held the actual turbine part into place temporarily, so I could align the rear fairing to fit tightly and properly. This was so the turbo could be removed and painted silver before final installation. I'm fairly certain that the two fairings will be painted blue, but I'm waiting, hoping to find a picture of this aircraft with markings for the 94th Fighter Squadron, the famed "Hat-In-The-Ring" 94th Aero Squadron of WW I fame. Part "A" is an upper cockpit panel that is installed closely behind the pilot's seat, with the cut-out nearer to the front than rear. This part will eventually have a rather prominent "roll bar" looking thing installed on it's top, not mentioned nor shown in the instructions, but rather obvious from other photos. Sometimes, the roll bar had some sort of fairing enclosing it, perhaps an early version of pilot's armor plating? It couldn't have helped rearward visibility for a fighter, but what the heck the heck, we got a G.I.B., don't we? "S" above shows my choice of location for the gunner's seat. It possibly might need to be more forward, or even tilted back more, but I have no way of knowing. Lastly, the "tail feathers" have been installed. Well, enough self-torture for now. I'll be back with more, when I gather the courage! Ed
  2. Morning/afternnon/eveing all! I've just ordered an Airfix 1/72 Bristol Bulldog and intend to build it as an RAAF machine from the late 1930s but have a couple of questions about this aircraft in Australian service. First question regards the use of a tailwheel in place of a tailskid. I remember seeing a photograph of an RAAF Bulldog with a tailwheel, but can't remember if the caption mentioned it as an experiment or as standard. Could someone enlighten me on this or show that age plays tricks with memory? Second question is in regard to the roundel colours. I remember a discussion on BM about the blue in RAAF roundels being different from that used in the RAF. Was this the wartime roundel colour or prewar as well? TIA! DennisTheBear
  3. Help anyone ... Im looking for the correct colir used on 110 lb bombs used by navy aircraft in the late 1930’s ? I’ve seen zinc chromate yellow Dark green, Red, and Black on bombs from the late 1930’s ? What color is correct, any help will be greatly appreciated. Dennis
  4. I'm not doing anything fancy to this one, a nice somewhat simple kit. I started this about a week ago and well, i'm already at the painting stage (almost) so a bit of a catch up is needed. Cockpit Its fairly empty in here but i couldn't be bothered to do anything. I used Milliput to block up the holes in the side for the wing fitting. I used interior green mixed with a little bit of RAF dark green to darken it up a little bit, i also used a sponge and silver to imitate chipping. As i didn't have any blue, i had to use green (can't remember what type) for the crews uniform, along with various other colours. i painted the instrument panel and radio black with white dots to show dials. The build First of all, i adore the retractable gear system on this, it has this feature while retaining a fairly accurate look. The whole thing needed sanding an filling on practically all the seams. The cowling had a nasty ridge going all around it, but was an easy fix. The masking on the canopy is pretty bad, there was no framing. Not much to say about this to be honest.
  5. With all the interest in Tiger Moths recently (in both 1/72 and 1/48 scales), I thought I would post some WIP shots of my slowly-progressing multi-build project based around the 2014 Airfix kit in 1/72 scale. I've seen a fair few of these built now, but unsurprisingly most end up as WW2 trainers or post-War civil aircraft. But my interest is mainly in the original pre-War machines, of which I am building 4 examples. Two of these are being converted to the original DH 82 variant, of which around 150 were produced prior to the design changes which led to the mass-produced DH 82A. Don't think I can recall seeing any DH 82 models before, so should be an interesting exercise. Main characteristics of the DH82 vs 82A were a Gypsy III engine installation instead of Gypsy Major, a stringered, fabric-covered rear upper fuselage instead of the familiar moulded plywood 'canoe', different cockpit doors and instrument panels, along with a number of more minor differences. Most of the DH82s were military trainers for various countries and a few civil aircraft. Probably the most famous were the aircraft of the CFS aerobatic team, taken from the very first batch of RAF deliveries, so I will be building one of these along with one of the civil aircraft. The two DH 82As will also be early civil aircraft. As has been well-recorded, the Airfix kits are a very good basis, but with many fine details omitted, which is to be expected (some of which are rectified in the 1/48th kit.) One of the best features of the 1/72 kit is the correct shape of the upper surface of the wing tips, which are poorly rendered in 90% of injection moulded kits representing fabric-covered aircraft. On the other hand, there are some surprising omissions, which give the impression the CAD-designer got the job 95% done before being distracted prior to it being completed. The technology Airfix use for their mould-making also seems incapable of reproducing very fine details. Strangely, the parts fit on all 4 kits (purchased at different times) was different, with slightly warped or distorted components on some. The lower wing to fuselage fit on one of the kits was good, but the other 3 all required material removing in varying amounts to obtain a good fit. On to the photos: The 4 fuselages, the 2 DH82s uppermost. The rear upper fuselages of the latter were cut away and replaced by stringered inserts. The baggage compartment behind the cockpits on the '82 was also shorter than on the '82A. The oil tanks were removed and replaced by new, smaller ones appropriate to the smaller-capacity Gypsy III engines powering these early aircraft. Cockpit doors have been changed by filling and re-scribing, where appropriate. All 4 aircraft had the early 'rectangular' rear doors, rather than the angled rear edge, which was introduced to clear the blind-flying hood. RAF aircraft (2nd down) has the large, square forward doors only fitted to the first few aircraft to aid egress, but soon found to be unnecessary. Early Tigers had a foot stirrup beneath the rear cockpit on the RHS, added here on all 4 aircraft. The stirrup positions were slightly different on the 82 and 82A, so meticulous study of photos pays dividends ! (The stirrup was deleted pre-WW2 and replaced with a pair of hand-holds in the the fwd cockpit bulkhead, so the Airfix omission of it is quite legitimate. )The 'trenches' for mounting the grossly-thick injection moulded windscreens have been filled. One of the surprising omissions in the Airfix kit is the rather prominent stiffeners along the top edges of the doors (which look like car bumpers), which were added from stretched sprue of the correct scale cross-section. Venturis for the suction-operated 'Turn & Bank' indicator,not on these early aircraft, were also carved off. The one-piece nose piece of the Airfix kit has been quite cleverly moulded, but there is considerable scope for improvement. There has been some discussion about the fitting of this piece, but it fits perfectly if small chamfers are added to the top edges of the 2 mounting pips on the front of the fuselage halves. There has also been discussion about the shape in profile. but superimposing it on a dead-on side view photo, the upper angles are fine. But I did find the lower panel is slightly too inclined upwards towards the front, so the resulting 'chin' isn't quite prominent enough. So I cut the lower panel away, to replace it with a shaped piece of thick plasticard. This also facilitated removing the moulded-in engine cylinder, which is sort of ok, but I prefer the better fidelity of making a new separate one. The various small intakes were also fully opened out, as was the hole behind the prop and the crankcase nose added. Cowls from the RHS. 2x DH82 on the left have had new, more bulbous carburettor intakes added near the rear for the Gypsy III engine and the locating depressions for the kit part filled. 2x DH82A on the right have new intakes made as Airfix parts are too small and conical-shaped. 2 miniscule quarter-turn cowl fasteners have been added along with the tiny air scoops near the front. Cowls from LHS. Again, 2 quarter-turn fasteners added, plus small air scoop ahead of oil tank position. Piano-hinge was very softly-moulded compared with the RHS, so has been replaced with stretched sprue, matching the crisper definition of the RHS. Top of the cowls. One of the Airfix downsides is that they slavishly copy preserved aircraft without cross-checking against vintage photos. A case in point is the corrugated foot step (for refuelling the wing tank) on top of the cowl. This was originally to support the right foot only, but on the aircraft Airfix copied (Shuttleworth, I think), this has been extended. Scaling from vintage side view photos, it should be 4,5mm long vs around 8mm in the kit. So they were carefully cut bask by shaving with a new scalpel blade, quite a tricky operation. Cowls from beneath, showing removed lower panel and moulded-in front cylinder opened out. New cowl lower panels from shaped plasticard with new front cylinder mounted. 3 of the 4 aircraft I'm building had no slats on the upper wing. These were an optional extra on the early civil aircraft, which could be had for the princely sum of £50, (£40 of which was a royalty payment to Handley-Page...) The CFS aerobatic team also had the slats removed to prevent inadvertent actuation during vigorous flying. So the slats have been carved off and the nose riblets restored from small stretched sprue lengths blended with paint filler to match those on the inboard section. Painstaking work which took about a week to complete. (The slat control quadrant moulded on the RH wall of the rear cockpit also needs shaving off...) I started this project in the expectation that it would be a straight-forward diversion from my more arduous projects, but I should know by now, there is no such thing ........
  6. The Comper Swift is a tiny but mighty air racer from the 1930s. The airframe in RAF Cosford was owned by Alex Henshaw - Mr Spitfire. The lighting was challenging as it was nestled beneath another aircraft but I was able to film from all angles. Julian has some beautifully lit stills in his walkaround section so please enjoy them too.
  7. Hello, I'm happy to share my second RFI, my Williams Bros. Seversky SEV-2 Racer. It's a basic kit OOB, but the shape is good and the build pretty straightforward if filler-heavy. It's taken a while, but this one was always a project, and I wanted to test my self with scratch-building the interior, and then decided to improve on the base kit's undercarriage, engine, wheel wells... The ancient decals fell to pieces, causing some concern, but overall I'm pleased with how things ended up. My brother ran off some bespoke prop and sponsor logos to replace those that came with the kit. The WIP is here, if you like scratch-built bits and pieces (and filler). I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and welcome all your comments as ever. Take care, if it's ever sunny again I'll take some better pics outdoors! Matt
  8. Hello, I got the Williams Bros. kit of the Seversky P-35/ Racer a while back, a great second-hand bargain, after building the same company's Caudron racer. It's been on the waiting-list for a while now, In part because I felt it's going to need a lot of work, and research, to get a reasonable finish. This is my first WIP post, hopefully it will act as a spur! Compared to the Caudron it's pretty crude, and the decals are well off register, but a great basic canvas to try out some scratchbuilding and new skills on. There's a well-researched history of the plane, and in particular of the S2 Racer version, owned and raced by Frank Fuller in the Bendix and Thomspon Trophy races in the late 1930s.The actual instructions are a combo of one exploded diagram and written step-by-steps. Dry fitting, testing and research seem to be needed here! Also, typically for me, even with just two versions as options, it's been hell deciding which one to build - racer or USAAC? Silver or bright green? I had an old Academy/Hobbycraft P-35A in the 'old kits' box, so did this rough to help me decide: It's going to be the racer! It had a lower canopy than the standard P-35, different IP, intakes, and no dihedral, which could be interesting given the way the kit is broken down... So far, I've started on the engine, the IP and some interior structural detail, using various shots of preserved Severskys and archive pics. The cockpit is hugely busy compared to the Caudron one I scratched, so this will be a stretch! Help! that's the real one btw... It's a start, using the kit decals placed behind a drilled-out plasticard sheet, glazed with Klear (camera flash highlights every tiny blemish!) The basic engine moulding is very good and I've added various rods and wiring. Hope this build takes your interest, and look forward to any and all hints and tips from the great modellers here - always learning! More soon, Matt
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