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  1. I finally got around to taking some RFI pics of my long time project, a Wessex of 28 Sqn which I worked on back in the early 80's. The project isn't fully completed yet as I am also building a diorama for the Wessex which will eventually sit in a display case. The houchin and fire extinguisher trolley are currently underway. Scale is 1/48 I also realized after taking these photo's just how poor a photographer I am, but you'll just have to make do. The WIP thread can be found here... http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234971153-wessex-hc2-a-dauphins-stablemate-nurse-the-operation-was-a-success-and-the-patient-is-expected-to-recover-fully/?p=1799520 .. but be warned if you want to read it - it will probably eat up a few hours of your life. (I chose Hotel as there is a back story to that, which you can find in the WIP thread) Anyway - relevant info: I started with the Italeri HU5 kit which of course was the wrong mark for the aircraft I wanted to model, so that dictated that I had to do some modifications... which turned into a much bigger project than I had ever imagined. If you ever want to build an HC2 - don't ever use the italeri kit! Be warned!!! I don't think there's a part of the kit left that hasn't been modified in some way or other. The main effort went into scratching things like the main rotor gearbox, the engines, the night sun, and pretty much every other lump, bump, and protuberance that gives the Wessex it's character. Enough of my ramblings - you can read the WIP if you are so inclined.... here's my attempt at a Wessex HC2, RAF Sek Kong circa 1982/3 that's all folks!
  2. It would appear that I have ran out of helicopters for the time being at least the near future. In fact, I tell a lie - just two days ago I took delivery of a brand new, still shrink-wrapped Italeri (shudder!) Wessex 1/48 HU/UH5. I have big plans for that one - if I only knew what they were. I'm sure it will come to me. However, that's not why you're here is it? Nope. You read something about a Hunter being hacked by li'l ol' me and thought you'd pop your head in for a looksee. How'd I get here then? Well after finishing my Wapiti build and my Scout build in quick succession - quick succession being relative as one build took 10 months and the other took over 4 years - I had a quick bench tidy and sat staring at this for a while, mainly because this view is so rare and I never get to see this much wood exposed on my bench. Also because I couldn't think what to build. What a strange feeling. What to build? I have a Spitfire I've been tinkering with off and on, but let's be honest now, the last thing this forum needs is yet another Spitfire build... unless of course it is a Spitfire build of the breathtaking quality of Steve's @Fritag recent MkVb museum quality museum build. Breathtaking mine will not be so I'll continue to tinker away with it in the background until such time as it has its clothes on and can sheepishly shuffle into the back of the 28 Sqn display cabinet. I also have a Hasegawa Hurricane IIc that again, is being tinkered with on an infrequent basis, but on learning that Arma is about to release a 1/48 Hurricane IIc in the new year, and given the highly regarded status of Arma (on this forum at least) I thought I would shelve the Hasegawa and wait for the Arma version before getting serious about it. Which brings me back to this thread (I think). I was almost running out of 28 Sqn aircraft to build but the screaming omission from the current Squadron line up was a Hawker Hunter FGA9. I tried to buy one direct from Airfix on two occasions in the last year, but they made it such a painful and frustrating experience that I dropped the idea. That is until I spotted them on Amazon recently at a much cheaper price than Airfix wanted. I was also a bit hesitant given Airfix' recent quality issues, and it would be a whole lot easier returning something to Amazon than it would to Airfix. I ordered one. Caveats first. I know the Airfix kit is the F6 and 28 Sqn flew the FGA9's but from what limited information I have come across, it is possible to build an FGA9 from the Airfix offering. I know absolutely nothing about Hunters, so I'll be looking for the hive minds to keep me right - don't be afraid to speak up. I can remember crawling over them, under them and in 'em during my time at Halton but doing what, I have no idea. Hydraulics maybe? More likely hiding and trying to shake off that Wendover hangover. On to the kit though. First thing I did was examine every part. No short shots - good. In fact I was quite impressed with the quality - there was a little flash but not much. I'm not a great fan of the panel lines though. At least they are not trenches, but the Hunter is such a sleek and flowing form that panel lines just seem wrong on this one. As nice as the kit is, I have to confess to feeling a little disappointed - there's hardly a greeble to be found on this aircraft. WHere's the fun in having no greeblies I ask you? To be honest, it feels a bit unfair and against the Trades Description Act to be calling this a WIP. So far (and it's been a week) it feels much more of a SPIPIP (Sticking Parts In Place In Progress) with very little in the way of heavy manual labor involved. I think this is going to be as close to an out-of-the-box(-or-two) build as I ever get. I say box or two because after examining the contents, I did splurge out on a Quickboost ejection seat, a Master Model Pitot tube, and the Eduard cockpit set as while the Airfix instrument panel was okay with regards to detail, I felt the decal offering was very toy like. So, Off! with the detail and on with some Eduard bits. I used GS Hypo to bond the main segments of the instrument panel and diluted PVA for the smaller quadrants that had open gauge holes, knowingf that the dliued PVA will dry clear. Set that aside to dry off an on with the next part. Ooh... some scratch building! From walkround shots it appears that there was a ledge behind the ejection seat whereas Airfix had only supplied w little wing shaped thingy. Plasticard to the rescue. Then one of the very few opportunities to greeble on this thing. Various hoses and hardware was added from stainless wire, styrene, and a bit of Scout rotor head. Oh well, it was exciting while it lasted. Parts various were trimmed from the runner fret and given a smattering of black Alclad primer followed by various shades of aluminum, or more satin black in the case of the ejection seat, and titanium for the engine facings. Airfix call out gunmetal for the engine, but I felt that was too dark, and when I checked you can't see a darned thing down those intakes anyway. Photo Etch. Spawn of the Devil it is. Thankfully there wasn't an awful lot of it on the Eduard fret, but what was there was enough to get a mans blood to boil. Eduard provide some nicely detailed ridiculously finicky foot pedals to replace the Airfix stumps. I chose the easy option for part one - bending the heel rest around the base of the pedal. I used a tube of slightly smaller diameter that the foot pedal, bent the heel restraint up at 90 degrees then used a pair of tweezers to gently tweeze the restraint around the tube. Sorry this is the best photo I have of the process as I only have two hands. (note to self: must make appointment at the manicurist soon) The pedals were then glued onto the stumps with cyano not-want-to-stick glue. The best was yet to come. Eduard in their infinite insanity decided to supply a strap for each pedal. I tried following their instructions by attaching the strap to the foot pedal, but wasted many swear words which could have been put to much better use, and finally decided to go my own way and try and stick the straps to the Airfix stumps - which still took some string language and even more not-want-to-stick cyano. If you squint, you can just make them out in this shot. I also gave the entire cockpit a coat of Testors flat clear as I really didn't like the pebble dash and shiny finish on the Eduard instruments. The clear coat made a big difference to how it all looks. I omitted some of Eduards microscopic lacework handles and switches and opted to make my own - some are still to be fitted here. Well, they were fitted, but I kept knocking them off so... Here's the cockpit in all it's glory. Note how the black of the cockpit floor compliments the black of the foot pedals, highlighting the black of the instrument panel which in turn emphasizes the black of the ejection seat... No? Not falling for it are you ? Okay then, here's the real pretend thing. What no ejection seat? There is - I just haven't finished it yet. I've been doing some (very poor) detail painting - after spending several hours trying to hunt down photos of Hunter ejection seats that will give me a guide to what colors are supposed to be on there. Then I gave up. I've seen seats with blue straps, a different shade of blue straps, gery straps, brown straps, tan straps, and seat cushions every color except white. After deciding that I couldn't decide I opted to go with some shades of faded blue, though looking at it now I have a feeling that parts of the straps should be tan/khaki/brownish. Anyone out there able to offer some advice? This is still far from finished and only shown to make myself cringe. Putting that aside and jumping around the instruction set, there are a couple of vent tubes exiting the fuselage at the back end of the sabrinas. Airfix supply the vents but they are molded solid (no real surprise). In another rare venture into the world of scratchbuilding I cut those off and replaced them with some Albion Alloys 1.4 mm brass tube. Getting the requisite bends in the tube was not fun. I annealed the tube, inserted some solder and it still kinked at the slightest bend. In the end I resorted to the rule of thumb. The rule being that it would not kink (much) if I ever so gently eased it back and forth around my thumb. I did stick 'em on but forgot to take any shots in situ. Moving along swiftly I glued the cockpit into the port fuselage side as per instructions, and to avoid any surprises later I taped on the stbd side to make sure everything was aligned. Finishing up on today's click and stick adventure was the I don't want this to be a tail sitter preventive extravaganza. Airfix call for 20 grams immediately aft of the cockpit bulkhead. I wasn't taking any chances. I formed a couple of bulkheads from plasticard, blue-tac'd them in position, then mixed Liquid gravity with two part epoxy and filled and filled and filled until I could fill no more. From what I can tell so far, the kit goes together really nicely. Which in all honesty is a bit of a let down. I really enjoy the greebling aspect of modeling and there's just not a lot of opportunity to greeble on such a smoothly contoured airframe. At this rate I might be all done by page 3. I'd best start looking out my next project now
  3. As a diversion from my Classic Airframes induced purgatory that is my Vampire build, I looked around the stash and saw this calling to me. Actually, I pulled out a Spitfire XIVe and stared at it for about 20 minutes and could not build up any enthusiasm, so pulled this out instead, and you know? There was something captivating about it. It's a highly detailed, well engineered, state of the art, shake and bake kit of a Westland Whirlwind HAR 10 I lied. At best, it's basic and to be honest, rather crude. Lots of flash, bits that don't fit very well and bits that don't look like what they are supposed to look like. ... Wait a mo', isn't that the Classic Airfames Vampire I'm describing? It could be, but it's not. This is an old kit, and has such lovely rivet detail that it makes the Frog Shackleton look almost sleek by comparison. Don't believe me? here then... To be honest I actually like some of that detail that's scattered about the airframe. Some of it is nicely done. Most of it will be lost to the sanding fest that has become my life recently Like I said, this kit is old. I'm not sure if that says "Revell 1955" or "Revell, 1055". Either way, this kit is older than me As you can see, there is an issue or two to be addressed in this build but I love how they've gone for scale thickness of the skin. Spacious if sparse interior Highly detailed parts that just drop together A couple of nice Parker Knolls instrument panel that thumbs its nose at todays standards and that's the interior. Yup, the entire interior! From start to finish. There'll be none o' this but we all know it's in there nonsense in this build Actually there will. The interior is so basic that I'm only using the parts as templates to scratch my own. Lots of fettling to be done here Slice, dice, and furiously fettle about an hour of making plastic dust later we have the gearbox housing - what? of course there's no gearbox! It fits I tell you! It fits! There's something about these old kits that I like. You know what you're dealing with here. There's no pretense at being new mold or new tooling... even the picture on the box tells you that you just know it's going to be a bit horrific in there once you open it up. I thoroughly enjoyed building the old Hawk Lysander - very much a blank canvas that you can tart up as much or as little as you like. It's also a nice challenge to see if you can make something worthwhile out of such a basic kit - and it's so basic that almost anything you can do to it makes it look a bit better. Somehow I'm going to have to build a cabin in here - after I shave off all those carbuncles on the inside Did I mention the windows? Maybe not. Probably shouldn't, but here we go anyway. This is a kit "transparency" (term used loosely) Which raises the question ... why? I'm sure back in 1055 or whenever it was, kids were absolutely raving about this kit. I guess the designers looked at this first transparency and thought sod it! They didn't bother with the rest. There's a windscreen, and these. No cabin windows at all. None. I see vacforming in my future. What about those rivets though? As you can see in the shot above and this below... a little bit of sanding goes a long way. This was just a first bash at removing the rivet rash, and not too bad to be honest. More work needed obviously, but it wasn't too arduous. I know I'll never get rid of all the rivet detail, but the suggestion of a rivet, or line of rivets here and there may not be all that bad tbh. More carbuncle removal. I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to approach the interior. - Those "walls" are a bit cave-like. I could sheet them with styrene but I don't think I want to add any more thickness to the already fortress like walls By the end of play today I had the beginnings of an interior and the beginnings of an exterior. Despite it's rather agricultural appearance I am having fun with this kit. Well, I suppose an evening with De Sade would be fun after a Classic Airframes kit. Dysentery would be more fun than a CA kit I mentioned earlier that there will be a few modifications. What are they? Well, somehow I have to scratch build a full interior - bulkheads, seats, cockpit etc. Oh, and this is an H19 and I'm building a HAR10, so it needs a complete new nose with a Vokes (?) filter, and it needs an undercarriage, not to mention, a new tail. The tail boom also has to be cut off and reattached at an angle (3 degrees? or ???). I'm sure there are a few other changes required along the way too, but I'll deal with those as I get to them.
  4. I thought I had it there for a moment. I did. I really thought I had it. Subject matter with extra added interest. Don’t you feel somehow diminished by all these hordes of modelers who manage to find subject matter with extraordinary background stories, exciting histories, and tales of derring do ? You know who you are mes amigos What do I get? Another mundane, dull, run of the mill, and oh so boring 28 Squadron aircraft. I must have picked the most boring Squadron in the whole of the RAF to choose as my modeling subject matter. Not even a fancy nickname. Boring. Those of you who follow my ramblings may remember some time back that I acquired this little bundle of joys. Two of those have since fallen off the top of the stash, somehow got assembled, and I'm now left with just the CA Vampire (with all its warts and carbuncle's) So anyways, as always, I've been amassing what few photos there are of 28 Squadron Vampires which I can pretty much count on the thumbs of both hands. Yes, 'twas that many. At some point in my google bashing I stumbled across this little beauty That was 2 years before I was born. I probably bought her a drink in Red Lips (which was akin to an initiation rite for those unsuspecting new arrivals destined for Sek Kong back in the 80's) sunk deep in the depths of Tsim Sha Tsui Ah, nostalgia. Enough of that. I won't mention that fact that the aircrew of 28 conned Hot Gossip into making a trip to Sek Kong for a little party when HG were in mid tour back in the early 80's. Just in case you were wondering, us groundcrew types didn't get within 100 meters of Sarah & Co as they were ushered off the pan surrounded by a bunch of salivating green flying suits, never to be seen again. Enough digression and back to the (boring) matter at hand. That one photo of a BOAC stewardess perched precariously atop a small portion of Vampire doesn't quite get the blood rushing to one's head does it? Then I happened across this little snapshot entitled "Sek Kong Vampire and Audrey." with Tai Mo Shan just visible in the background. Okay, we've got an aircraft with a 'Y' on its nose. A little better I suppose, but still not one of those Cor, this is really interesting moments forever carved in the squadrons stone tablets is it? Nope? I thought so. It was then that it happened. The thing. The thing that made me think I had it. Immortality At last. Following breadcrumbs and diving into worm holes I somehow stumbled across this rather intriguing shot That's interesting said I. Or maybe just words to that effect. Or along those lines. My interest was piqued further when I started chasing down the story and found this. Aha! That's not your typical runway I noted observantly. What happened here then? On further investigation I discovered that the pilot flew in from Singapore, somehow missed Hong Kong, ran out of fuel and had to perform an emergency landing on a strip of beach. That beach happened to belong to China. And a bunch of (Chinese) Pirates. It probably wasn't one of his better days, but it was for me as I stumbled across this shot. Wow! That's it!. That's the one. What a shot. Mystery. Intrigue. Tension. Suspense. It has it all. The Army, the Navy, the RAF. Interest in abundance. What an absolutely wonderful diorama that would make. Then I read all about the adventure here It wasn't 28 Sqn after all VG703 was part of the Vampire Trials Unit. Therefore, I'm afraid you are stuck with just another boring 28 boring Sqn boring aircraft, this time a Vampire. Not even Gothic. Gee up folks, it maybe not that bad - it's all relative, right? It begins: In the never ending quest for stash incrementation I appear to have purchased the Flightpath PE set Along with a nicely yellowed Sepia toned canopy from Aeroclub. That should add that nice vintage touch to the finished model. let's look on the bright side. It's not a biplane Plastic has been fettled. More to follow. if I can be interested.
  5. I must be completely doolally. No sooner have I just finished a 7 month build than I start another, that within an hour looks like it will compete with the previous build in taking longer / driving me nuts / being expensive / show my complete ignorance in many areas, and more than likely will sap my will to live at some point. Yup, I am doing a Wessex. An HC 2 to be exact, and an HC2 from Italeri's 1/48 recent kit. No sooner had I started looking at it seriously than I noticed a whole boatload of stuff that I think will need to change. Having recently completed the RHKAAF Dauphin & Islander, I wanted a 28 Sqn stablemate to keep them company. I really hadn't planned on starting this kit so soon after the Dauphin, it just kind of happened. The original plan was to start the rail carriage which I had promised Nigel, George & Co. Over the last few months I have been addicted to Martin H's build and with the detail he is putting into his SH-34. I am in awe of the accuracy and neatness of Martin's work. I do not, in any stretch of the imagination think that I can match Martins' skill, but his thread has inspired me to try and stretch myself and try things I would not normally have attempted. I pushed the boundaries of my skill set during the Dauphin build, and I think I am going to end up pushing them further with this little adventure. Those of you who have followed any of my builds so far will no doubt have noticed that I am hopeless in trying to follow a standard build format. I envy those who can start with the flight deck, move on to wings etc. and deal with portions of the build in a structured and logical manner. - I start on one thing, get halfway through, move onto something completely unrelated and at some point later on, return to complete some half finished portion of the build. So, without further ado.... here comes a Wessex.... slowly. I had over the last year amassed this little collection. First impressions of the Italeri kit were not great. They had some nice detail in areas, however the general finish of the kit was pretty random. For example, some of the fuselage is almost polished in finish, while other parts appear as if the mold has been blasted. Some of the detail is accurate and some is just plain crazy stupid. I wasn't very impressed with the decals either.... One thing that became apparent as I mulled over this kit was although I worked on these, squirted oil, grease and PX28 all over them - I never really looked at them! (so I will no doubt need some help at various stages through this build). So let's begin...... The observant among us will have noticed in the photo up top that I have purchased the resin HC2 conversion kit. When I examined it closely, I was a bit disappointed to be honest. I thought the detail was a little soft, and it was missing a hinge at the back end. I looked at the kit part, and was happier with the definition of the detail..... Accurate resin, soft detail / Inaccurate kit part, nicer detail...... what to do ! So after splashing out mucho dollars to get the resin conversion, I decided to convert the kit part instead. Dumb huh ? Did I mention that this build is not going to be fast by anyone's standards? The first glaringly obvious difference from the kit was the oval opening on the underside. Thankfully I had some brass templates and found a match to the resin part. The template was then attached to the kit part.... ... and I cut out the offending plastic. Next up were these two features. Nope, I have no idea what they are. Styrene strips were glued to a flat card to replicate the features. Then when dry, the parts were cut down to match what I saw on the resin part. I used a 3-square file with the V down to make the strips appear thinner. These were then attached to the kit underside. I have also replicated the end of some kind of trunking, and removed some no longer required plastic features. Now I needed to block the opening off. Using the oval templates again, I created this flange. Which I capped with a scrap piece of styrene sheet. That was glued onto the underside and set aside to dry. I did some dry fitting to see what lay in store for me. The fit of the nose was pretty bad, if not downright awful. Luckily, I have a wicked and cunning plan. It's called plan B. Actually plan B should have been plan A, but I thought of plan A first even although I preferred plan B. The fit of the nose to the airframe was bad, unfortunately, so is the fit of the panels inside the nose. Despite filing and shaping, I couldn't get a decent fit and resorted to wads of blue tak to hold things in place while the glue cured. and here's where I get stupid ! Most people would have stuck the nose on the airframe and filled and sanded to make it look good. But me ??? Nope. Let's add another week to the build and we haven't even got started yet. Can you see where I am going with this? My hokey way of ensuring that I get the depth of the panel correct.... Starting to take shape. That part was reasonably straight forward. I still have the bottom section to do - it's slightly recessed and has two apertures which fit nicely over the engines. Engines ! wait... crap.... does that mean I have to scratch a couple of engines now? Who could ever be so daft??? Then I spotted two large sink marks in the base of the nose. It's anyone's guess where it goes from here. The one thing I can promise is that this will not be a quick build. I want to do this a/c as much justice as I did the Dauphin so it's going to be a long haul. And lastly..... Nigel - I have actually started the train - well, I have laid some brass bits and bobs on top of the drawing and cleared a work space for it. I am waiting on a soldering iron being delivered and then I can start a new thread.
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