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  1. Manual-feeding a multi-page drawing set through a work-from-home bubble-jet printer ... loitering at the computer ... what better time to start a new thread! All going to plan, this thread will lead to a two-part finish! Finish 1 My local club is working towards an ambitious goal to mark the RAAF's 100th Anniversary; as part of the annual ScaleACT public show (for 2021, COVID delayed to February 2022) the club is preparing a display of one of every machine the RAAF has ever operated. This has involved much effort by the subcommittee to collate & administer a master spreadsheet, collecting members builds & new-build commitments to account for all types. I have found one of the dwindling final remaining machines which works for me, this Percival Vega Gull, as operated by RAAF No 1 Communications Unit & No 82 Wing Headquarters: This machine was 'impressed' into service in January 1940, retaining it's civil maroon & silver paint scheme, with registration replaced by roundels & RAAF serial no. As shown here on DEKL'S II decals sheet; So my plan is to build and finish in this scheme, to contribute to the club display, but with decals not sealed in, so they can later be easily stripped off ... Finish 2 Before stepping in for war service, this privately-owned machine was quite a competitor, being entered into at least two pre-war air races. One of these was the 1936 South Australian Centenary Air Race, from Brisbane to Adelaide, and this machine was the winner of the Speed Section! Despite the race being over 1,440 miles - via Coffs Harbour, Sydney & Cootamunda in NSW, then Melbourne & Nhill in Victoria, and on to Parafield South Australia - the Vega Gull beat the second-place Stinson Reliant by a mere 1½ sec!! So after I peel off the RAAF decals, I will add VH-UVG registration & race number 49 in white circle like so, returning it to pre-war race livery to sit with my other air racers: This is the kit, received in the post earlier this week: And this oh-so-beautiful sole surviving - airworthy - UK machine shall be my benchmark for the 'maroon & silver' base scheme common to this machine's RAAF & Racer finishes: OK, printing nearly finished, time to sign-off. February deadline requires rapid action, so I ought to have something to post of progress soon ...
  2. Hello all, hope this might interest some. I started posting some WIP on another platform (which shall remain nameless) but I've found it doesn't have the same 'thread' logic which this forum has provided. So forgive me eloping - I'm back, suitably humbled. This is a new 'quick' (for me) project. Selected because it's small, white (still got some paint from the last project), interesting & - importantly - a biplane without bracing! The Knight Twister - a kit design dating back to the 1920's - in much modified "Imperial" air racer form, as built & competitively raced by former WWII B-24 tail-gunner C.D 'Don' Fairbanks. As a racer it follows that the little plane was constantly tinkered with to improve or maintain its competitiveness. So there are many variations throughout the photographic record, and as now fixed for perpetuity in a Museum. I'll be working to represent one of the earliest incarnations (1971ish), mostly because this most closely aligns with the configuration offered in the kit. Photos here show that phase:
  3. Spitfire Mk.XIV Civilian Schemes (A05139) 1:48 Airfix The Spitfire is possibly the most iconic and well-known fighter of WWII, so I'll not drone on about how great it was, as we already know - It and the Hurricane were the saviours of our bacon on a number of occasions, and are immortalised in aviation history as a result. The Mark XIV was powered by the powerful Griffon 61 and later on the 65 engine, with the resulting extension in forward fuselage, power bulges, not to mention pure grunt as it was pulled along by the massive five bladed prop. It was based upon the XIII, and gave a substantial performance increase over the popular Mk.IX, later having the cut-down fuselage back and teardrop canopy and new E-type cannon wings. The extra weight of the engine required centre of gravity motivated changes, and the wash off the props necessitated a new larger tail empennage to maintain control authority within acceptable ranges. It entered service in late 1943, and was capable of almost 450mph at 25,000ft and could climb like the proverbial homesick angel, giving anyone on the receiving end of its wrath a serious reason for concern. The Griffon engine had a drinking problem and drained its tanks with a frightening efficiency, so drop-tanks were often carried on longer missions, allowing it to range a lot further from home. It was also a good candidate for knocking V-1 Flying Bombs out of the sky, and was considered the best Spit for the job by many. Its successor the XVIII was an evolution of this successful type, but wasn’t in squadron service until after WWII had ended. The Mark.24 was the last of the land-based Spitfires, thus ending its service in the RAF but continuing with other countries that bought retired airframes that they flew for a while longer. The Kit This is a reboxing from Airfix of their Mk.XIV, but with new decals depicting the retired airframes that saw civilian service once they had been superseded by the new jet engined alternatives that grew in performance and firepower through various generations. The kit arrives in a red-themed top-opening box with a bright red Spit on the lid, four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear, a long narrow decal sheet and the instruction booklet with spot colour throughout and full colour painting and decaling guide on the rear pages. Construction begins with the cockpit interior, which consists of two inner skins that are decorated with the usual items we all know and recognise instantly. The pilot's seat is made from an L-shaped seat with separate sides, which has an armour panel fitted behind it and the adjustment lever on the right side. The frame behind the pilot has moulded-in lightening holes that you can either pick out with wash or drill out at your whim, then add the seat frame and head-armour, finally fitting the seat to the frame on its four corners. The rudder pedal assembly goes through a depiction of a section of the wing spar and has separate pedals that you should leave off if you are intending to fit the pilot, and the control column is planted in the middle of the sub-assembly. The instrument panel is glued to the next frame forward and has a nice decal with just the dials printed, which should settle down with a little decal solution. The instrument panel is inserted into the port cockpit side along with the rudder pedal assembly, allowing the two cockpit tub halves to be joined and an angled front firewall bulkhead to be fitted to close in the foot well. Then the seat assembly and next frame to the rear are slotted into the grooves, and your optional pilot with his two separate arms can be plonked in if you’re using him. Before inserting the cockpit tub you need to paint the interior of the fuselage above the waistline, and remove a small part of the sill if you are posing the canopy closed. Then it is mated to the starboard fuselage half, together with an insert in front of the canopy, which is where the fuel tank filler is found. You can also cut out the access door on the left side of the fuselage, bearing in mind that you have a new door on the sprue so you can be a bit brutal in removing the plastic. For decal option A, the tip of the moulded in fin is shortened according to a scrap diagram nearby. The full-width lower wing has two circular bay walls fitted along with a section of the front spar, which holds the landing gear top sections, before the rear spar and front extensions are also attached to stiffen the wing. Decal option B has you cutting the upper wing tips and cannon fairings are removed as per another scrap diagram, then you pop the upper wings on and move on to joining them to the fuselage after making sure you’ve fitted the light in the belly first. The elevator fins are slotted into the tail at 90o to the rudder fin, then the three flying surfaces are added with any deflections that you might wish to portray. The ailerons are also separate and can be posed deflected if you wish. Under the nose the chin-insert is glued in, noting the finely moulded Amal fastenings there and on the side cowlings. Under the wing the two square radiator baths with textured radiator panels and separate open or closed cooling flaps on the rear are glued into their recesses. The fuselage has a couple of camera ports in the sides, which are supplied in clear styrene, and should be filled before painting, as they were faired over to streamline the sides in civilian service. Option A has the gun fairings attached to the stubs in the wing’s leading edge, while option B has a couple of smooth inserts to fill the cut-outs you made earlier. You might need a little filler here if you’ve been clumsy, but test-fitting should make that easier. Option B also has clipped wingtips, which are clear to include the lights, and both have their characteristic Griffon power-bulges added at this time. The tail wheel was retractable in the Mk.XIV, so you have the choice of wheels up or down for all three rubbery bits. In-flight a small portion of the wheels can still be seen, so Airfix have provided a slim wheel to put on the doors so that a realistic look is obtained, and a single door piece for the tail is also included. For the wheels down option, you have separate struts and doors, which slot into the sockets within the bay and have a pair of diamond treaded tyres with separate hubs added, making sure that the slightly flattened section is facing the floor. The tail wheel bay and doors are a single part, with the wheel inserted once it is applied to the fuselage. A T-shaped pitot probe goes under the wing with small hooks under the trailing edge and a centreline aerial at the rear, then the tubular exhaust stubs are glued into the nose, and joined by a one-piece five-bladed prop, two-part spinner, and three parts that slot into the front and will permit the prop to spin if you don’t flood it with glue. You then have a choice of open or closed canopies, using the winddscreen and canopy assembly for open, and a different canopy part for the closed option. The open option also allows the door to be posed down, which as previously mentioned uses a new part. Markings There are two options in the box, one in bright red, the other in silver, and as you may have already gleaned, they have different wings. From the box you can build one of the following: Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk.XIV G-Fire, Duxford, England, 1988 Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk.XIV CF-GMZ, Canada, 1949 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Seeing a civilian Spitfire makes a change from your average camouflaged Spit we see on the forum every day, but if you’re not into modelling warplanes, these civilian options make a colourful alternative. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Hi All. With my growing interest in Air Racers, I was very much surprised with the prompt delivery from Australia of Hasegawa's box of goodies, this: ...yum, yum. Decals look very nice but they're Hasegawa, so... Both owned by Jacqueline Cochran to set various records; NX28388 article here and N5528N article here. Not to sure whether I will do both of them in the GB but I will need to get the Mustang II and III at an advanced stage before I'm happy to start another. Stuart
  5. Gee Bee Model R1 (48002) 1:48 Dora Wings The Granville Brothers Aircraft company produced a number of racing aircraft under the Gee Bee name, starting with their Model Z that won awards in the 30s, and leading to the similar but shorter profiled Model R super sportsters of which the R1 was first, with R2 being a sister aircraft. The R1 was flown by Jimmy Doolittle in 1932 and won the Thompson Trophy Race with a dash speed of rather healthy 296mph. It was a difficult machine to fly, but Doolittle loved it dearly, however another racer was killed flying it when it stalled during the Bendix Trophy in 1933. It was rebuilt with an extension to the fuselage to help counter its murderous tendencies, but even with wings transferred from R2 it still managed to crash very quickly after. After that it was sold to its final owner, who modified it further by adding fuel tanks in the rear, but it crashed and killed him, never to be rebuilt again. A replica was built more recently, which flew for several years before being retired to a museum, and there are also a few non-flying replicas in museums in the US. The Kit This is a new tooling from a relatively new company who have produced a small number of new kits with a healthy upcoming catalogue of new toolings in the works for the coming year. Their kits are in the short-run tooling category, with nice detail once you have the parts off the sprues and have dealt with the moulding seams, which is much the same as many kits but with a little more preparation time. This is of course time that repays you by easing your way later in the build. The kit arrives in a relatively small box, as it is a small aircraft that was pretty much engine, wings and a space for the pilot. Inside the box are four sprues of grey styrene, a small clear sprue, a sheet of copper-coloured Photo-Etch (PE), masks for the red and white colour scheme, a sheet of decals and the instruction booklet with colour scheme on the back page. The R1 was a small plane. I've said that already, but it bears repeating. The instruction booklet is actually a single sheet of A4 folded into A5. The instructions cover only one side of this sheet, with 19 steps to make the complete airframe. Construction begins with the cockpit, which consists of three bulkheads that are linked by a series of tubes, with the seat placed against the rear bulkhead and the pilot's legs going through the central hole in the remaining two. A simple instrument panel, throttle box, control column and rudder pedals are fitted, and before closing up the fuselage you can elect to remove a portion of the cockpit sidewall to depict the access door on the side of the fuselage, the job of which is done by a new part so you don't have to be careful to keep the cut-out intact. The rudder is in two parts and fits to the rear of the fin, and a ventral fuselage insert with ribs matching the rest of the aft fuselage closes the bottom of the cockpit. The Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp engine is supplied in six parts, with a further two for the exhausts, and this is enclosed in the two-part cowl with a PE ring at the rear before it is fitted to the front of the fuselage later in the build. The fixed and spatted landing gear are made up around the two-part tyres, the wings and their ailerons are put together and fitted to the roots using a modified butt-join that has pins and depressions to register the join more accurately. The elevators fit the same way, and the wings are braced by V-shaped PE wires that fit into holes in the wing upper and the fuselage top. A small panel inserts into the top of the forward fuselage with delicate louver patterns moulded-in, and a further pair of V-shaped PE bracing wires are fitted under the wings, with an additional two smaller wires bracing the landing gear spats. The canopy is supplied in two parts with separate windscreen, and the final part is the simple two-bladed prop that fits into the boss at the front of the engine's bell-housing, which should be able to be left spinning if you have been careful with the glue. Markings The R1 wore a rather striking scheme during its racing life, which began at the front with a red cowling, with red wing leading-edges which were scalloped into white, as was the fuselage. This is a tricky scheme to paint, so the included masks will come in very handy. They are vinyl and pre-cut for your ease, and while they're not as flexible as kabuki tape, they are less likely to stretch out. You will need to burnish them down over the ribbing under the fuselage, and expect a little touching up to be required due to the edges of the ribs, but once done it should look stunning. The decals cover the rest of the markings, which are in good registration, are sharp and have good colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are two instrument panel decals supplied, and with some decal setting solution should settle down over the lightly raised instrument faces on the styrene panel. Conclusion Interwar racers aren't everyone's thing, but then neither are Bf.109s. Between the wars was a time of innovation that sometimes led to some quite nasty dead-ends, so racers and their aircraft were often short-lived, as demonstrated here. The kit should go together well as long as you don't expect it to fall together without your help, and you will end up with a nice replica of this short, tubby little racer for your cabinet in a scale where you can actually see it! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. With my Short Crusader build stalled while I'm away for the school holidays, I have been using the break to pause & refect ... on what to build next! I've settled on this spectacularly stylish, if somewhat under-performing, machine from near the end of the lineage of pre-war French racers: The Caudron C.561. Here I submit my inspiration, this wonderful artwork as drawn by Laurent Negroni: The above illustrations are extracted from his beautiful book 'Speedbirds 1: Schneider Trophy 1913 - 1931' which I regularly revisit again & again. And as further inspiration, this mythical contest between the Caudron & Marcoux-Bromberg R-3 Special - wouldn't that have been awesome!: From the graphic novel 'Beyond the Clouds 1: the Duel' illustrated by Romain Hugaul. or perhaps this mythical duel with a Gee Bee: Another by Laurent Negroni from his blog site: http://speedbirds.blogspot.com.au/?m=1 The kit is by POMK, at 1/48, in resin .. and it's at home .. so I can't post much more than the box art from online: So I decided to launch this thread ahead of time in order to throw a few questions out there: 1. Can anyone recommend a definitive reference book on these French racers, which might include this machine? & 2. Just which blue is the right blue!?? Thanks for looking in, and I hope to be up & running before too long! g.
  7. Another "recycle" from my latest builds. This Mustang racer was build in the KUTA IX Edit: New old pics are posted here because they were moved form Photobucket to Flickr: Hope it is OK to post things from a GB Gallery here "again". Well it is the same build but new pics at least ;-) René
  8. Hi all, being quite a fan of air racers I through in the only P-47 (almost-) racer that I know of: Bill Odom’s YP-47M “Reynolds Bombshell”. A brief history (no guarantee whether it is all correct): The pilot William P Odom (1919-1949) Captain of the US Army Air Corp was quite famous in the forties for some breaking some record flights. He made two record around-the-world flights in an Invader (April 1947 with Tex Salee and Milton Reynolds & August 1947 solo flight with auto-pilot) and made a solo flight in an early Beech Bonanza from Hawaii to Teterboro New Jersey (6th-8th March 1949). In 1949 Odom raced a Mustang named “Beguine” in Cleaveland and won the SOHIO race but fatally crashed two days later in the second lap of the Thomson race (see my Beguine build here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234963769-1-48-icm-xs-models-p-51-beguine-in-flight/). Two years earlier Odom planned to start the Bendix race with a P-47M called “Reynolds Bombshell”. He bought a YP-47M in July 1947 (Serial #: 42-27385 – a P-47D-27-RE which was converted to a YP-47M in October 1944) and attached two huge 315 gal underwing tanks to it. These tanks were used as ferry tanks on P-38 and it seems there also existed a ambulance pod for the P-38 based on this type of tank with a Perspex nose to look out. The tanks were available as surplus – some may know the belly tank salt lake race cars which were build using these surplus tanks. The speed of the M version and the extended range provided by the additional 630 gal of fuel promised a short flight time and good chances to win the Bendix race. Sponsors were the same as for the RTW flights in the Invader in the same year: Milton Reynolds (a ball pen manufacturer), Dallas Aero Service (they did the race conversion) and Lear (auto-pilot manufacturer). The certificate of airworthiness was released in August 1947 – the month of the Bendix race. However on the morning of the race a huge puddle of kerosene was fund under the P-47M and Odom withdraw from the start for obvious safety reasons. The plane was never entered in a race again and sold on to Earl Reinert in 1948 ( who wanted to enter it in the Bedix race as well but did not in the end - I do not know why not) and received different liveries over the years. It now resides in Yanks Air Museum, Chino, CA converted back to its original configuration and livery. It is the only P-47M which still exists. Here is a pic of Reynolds Bombshell (I found it on the Yanks Museum webpage) which also shows the different colours on the nose and tail quite good: For this build I will have to deal with the following: • No decals for Reynolds Bombshell exist. No readily available ones at least, so I have to make them myself. • I only found a few photos of this plane and all are b&w and of low quality. So the colours are guesswork. • No 315 gal tanks exist in any scale. Again I have to make these myself somehow. • One picture shows the plane with two different tire profiles. • Military equipment was removed – so some minor surgery is needed. • The wingtips were shortened – again a minor change. I have this build on my list for quite some time so the good news is I have the decals done last year already and also started work on the tanks some time ago. Getting information on these is tough to say the least. Wheels with different pattern are readily available – I bought some from Ultracast. Regarding the colours my current idea is that it was over all white with blue cowl and Text on the sides. The tail was a different colour – I suppose red is a good call. The race numbers were either black or blue as well – I am not sure but think black is more likely. The wingtips seem to be the same colour as the tail so red for me. Droptanks NMF. Any suggestions welcome. Off the shelf I use the fantastic Tamiya P-47M kit; Eduard Zoom set (contains mainly parts for the cockpit); Tiny Land fuel caps (for the DIY tanks) and Ultracast wheels of two different thread patterns. I once primed some parts with colour as I had my airbrush loaded for some other project. Some of these colours need to be overpainted however: To be continued very soon. René
  9. This year I plan to start 126 GBs and hope to finish one. At least it seems so. This is the third GB this year and my other two are still in early stages. Nevertheless I will enter a small resin kit which looks quite nice in the box and I plan to build it OOB. OK - knowing me this will be unlikely but I will try hard. I will build a resin kit from JMGT: A Potez 53 air racer which won the 1933 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe (#10 won, #12 retired after the fourth lap). the Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace has a Potez 53 in its collection. Here is the box and the parts: So everything is there: Reasonable detail from the box, low parts count, simple paint job. What can go wrong? ;-) René
  10. Hi, working on a Potez 53 from JMGT (here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234978587-148-potez-53-air-racer-jmgt-resin-kit/)I found these litte kits to be rather simple to build - as long as you can keep yourself from super detailing these tiny planes. So I decided to start my C 460 as well. Here is what you get in the box: Casting is extreemly good with very little to clean up. Decals (markings for two different aircrafts) and two canopies are included as well. Here are the parts after a wash - the toothbrush gives an idea about the small size of the air racer: Rene
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