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  1. Douglas DC-8-51 Lufthansa. 1/144 Minicraft & Draw Decal I've had a couple of the Minicraft bagged kits of the DC-8 in the stash since they were released a few years ago. I also bought a set of the BRAZ Pratt & Whitney JT3D resin engines to convert one of them into the short body 51 series of the aircraft. Learning that X-Scale plan to release their own kit of a series 51 DC-8 later this year, I thought I'd better get a move on and build mine, or I'd never get around to it once the new kit is out. I also had a set of Lufthansa decals for the DC-8-51 which had intrigued me, as I had never heard of them operating this version of the aircraft. It turned out that in 1965 they leased one from Trans International Airlines in the US, painted in full Lufthansa colours. They only leased if for 6 months and the aircraft was N8008D, the first DC-8 built. The Minicraft series DC-8-61 kit is very nice, but I has to shorten the fuselage by 1.54 inches fore and aft of the wing to convert it from a 61 to a 51 version, and also replace the kit engines with the resin JT3D's (which fitted very well). The Draw Decals were a pleasure to use, but printed on constant film so that you have to cut around each subject individually. They work superbly, and I'm pleased with the result. This was also the first Minicraft DC-8 I've had that didn't suffer from the outer wing 'droop' that some kits seem to suffer from, where the outer section is warped downwards. One thing led to another, and I had a Classicairlines.com decals sheet for the early scheme worn by the 727-130, which I just had to make as an accompaniment to the DC-8! Out came one of my dwindling supplies of Airfix 727-100's a Daco clear cockpit section, and before I knew it, I had a pair of Lufthansa airliners c1964. There is a bit of a disparity in the blue colours though, the DC-8 being noticeably darker that the 727. Oh well, can't do anything about that! Thanks for looking, John
  2. BEA Trident 2 'Ground Gripper' 1/144 Airfix with modifications The Trident earned the name 'Ground Gripper' due to its long take off run, seeming reluctant to take off! The Trident 2 was a development of the Trident 1, with an increased wingspan but utilising the same fuselage with a different internal arrangement increasing the seating, and 1 door less on the starboard side. The Airfix kit has been around for 50-ish years now, with a few accuracy issues, which I have have attempted to rectify There is a new kit from Eastern Express, but at £60+ it is way too expensive for my tastes, and anyway I get a lot of pleasure from doing a bit of real modelling and improving things. The main things are, straightening the leading edge of the fin, adding the fuselage to wing fairing, reshaping the centre intake, and a first for me, adding the leading edge 'wing kink' There is more detail at the end of this post, but for now, on with the pictures. I chose G-AVFB as it is preserved at Duxford in these colours: With something else, my recently completed Airfix Comet 4B These are the main improvements: I have never attempted putting the wing 'Kink' before. It is tricky because it is only in the leading edge. The trailing edge remains straight. I scored each wing upper & lower part on the inside, and bent & sanded it to obtain the kink, which slopes down from fuselage to about 1/3rd of the way along, where the rest of the wing takes on some dihedral. It worked well and I'll definitely do it on my next Trident build. I used the 26 Decals BEA Red Square sheet, but had problems filttng the black nose decals. I struggled to get then to lay down around the compound curves of the nose, and they started to split as I endevoured to line them up. So I removed them and decided to mask and spray all the black, including the cheat lines along the sides. It worked well and I am pleased with the result. I did the black on the fin top at the same time. This is all paintwork with no decals yet applied: It was a lot of work, but very satisfying! Thanks for looking, John
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