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  1. Juat another Beaufughter, nothing too fancy and OOB build from the Airfix kit, getting a littlw bit more practice with the airbrush and basic weathering, need to get the canopy masking a bit better.
  2. Next up I will have a shot at this. I believe this is a re-boxing of the old Heller kit released in about 1990. I will be doing it as a "Defence of the Reich" machine in late war colours I suspect - still researching that. When the Heller kit(s) came out - I say kit(s) as Graham Boak mentioned 2 versions as I recall - it was considered pretty good though by now there may be some question as to how accurate it is and I have seen suggestions that either Hartmann never flew a K, or if he did it was not in the kit scheme. Cheers Pete
  3. My latest build - Airfix Curtiss P-40B Warhawk 1:48 - An excellent kit, very good fit with no need for filler on par with some Tamiya kits. Pretty good detail especially in the cockpit with the addition of Eduard details it really pops - not a complicated build at all, managed to put the whole kit together within a couple of hours. Painting was a bit difficult to get the correct tones, underside was a mix of skyblue/light grey, camo was a sandstone base with a mix of olive drab/olive green/neutral grey - bonus was i picked this up from The Works for £10 let me know what you think! all criticism is constructive... From a Tribute To a Tiger Program in Honor of Flying Tiger & Naval Aviator: John E. Petach Jr. “Because he served, we are more secure. Because of the sacrifice, the lamp of liberty burns more brightly in the world. He has earned the undying gratitude of his countrymen and of free man everywhere. How honored of those who knew him; how proud of a nation to have borne such a son.” And my effort
  4. Finally got around to starting. For this build I have chosen my Airfix SRN4 kit that I bought shortly after 1973. It has been with me ever since, moving from house to house and even to Canada and back. As a result the box got battered and it lost a few parts. Getting on for 20 years ago I bought another kit as it was re-release. I am using both kits for this build as some of the early parts, such as the main base and the hanger floor are warped and 'if I was going there I wouldn't start here ! When they were going to discontinue use of these hovering behemoths I took a flight on one, just to Calais and back. Mobile phones had come in, but I hated them. However, I borrowed a phone just so my first call was "Hello Mum, I am on the hovercraft". I saw this same machine, Princess Margaret, a few months later looking very sorry for itself - now just a museum piece. My original box, released 1973 below and above it the 2002 release. This fuzzy picture illustrates the warping of the hanger deck Not all the old stuff is bad. The 1973 roof is the clear one on the left whereas the 2002 one has already yellowed. I will be choosing the clear roof option. And here you see the start of my build. 'Eee lad, for forty seven years I have dreamed of painting the hanger deck floor that particular brick red'
  5. Notwithstanding the fact that I'm building (or butchering should I say?) a couple of Hurricanes, I could not resist starting this new work. First of all I have to say thank you to two benefactors who supported me with a lot of material for this conversion work. Thank you gentlemen (you know who you are!). Last week I was evaluating what will I build with these new assets and now I have a plan. I would like to model a Seafire Mk.46: although a rare bird, I think it is so beautiful with its low-back, huge fin, and contra-prop... I would also like to model a Pr. Mk XIX because I rate it the most elegant Spitfire ever. But first of all I want to model a Mk XII. Some people like this variant the most among the Griffon-engined ones; I like better the long-nose (more appropiately the two-stage-compressor-engined) ones but this variant has a particular charm in being a sort of a "hybrid", being a "rare bird" and even for its war record being employed as a stop-gap against the Fw-190 low-raiders and V1 missiles... ...Thinking about it I feel the same fascination for the very early F Mk.IX which had a similar origin and operational history, or the Mk. VI and VII. There's no perfect Mk.XII kit on the market (that I'm aware of, at least) so add the fashion of a modelling challenge to the above mentioned reasons to build one! Publicly available documents about this variant seem scarce and photo coverage is not abundant too. There are no preserved original Mk.XIIs, and the closest relatives available today as a reference are Seafire Mk XVs which are quite different in many detail. The general shape of the aircraft is well undestood but there are differences in detail between the early-build airframes and later ones; moreover Mk XII has some peculiar elements like the carburettor intake and the magneto hump which are unique in the Spitfire lineage. Fortunately the few existing photographs show rather well these particulars and allow for an accurate reconstruction. Here is the recipe I have in mind for the ultimate 1/72 Mk.XII: Base kit: Eduard Engine cowling and propeller blades: modified Airfix Mk.22 Spinner: modified Airfix Underwing oil radiator: Tamiya or Sword Scale plans: Jumpei Tenma's A lot of work, a little scratch-building The base kit is well known; Eduard's 1/72 Spitfire is a scaled down version of Eduard's 1/48 Spitfire which in turn is a scaled down version of .....(it can't be said openly) which is a 1/32 reproduction of a full-size Spitfire. All of the main features are dimensionally very very close to the data reported in the monumental "Spitfire engineered" book by Montforton; it is the only real "Spitfire looking" 1/72 Spitfire model I'm aware of, together with Airfix Mk.22 incidentally. That 2012 kit still has the best Griffon nose ever produced in 1/72 and is the perfect donor for a conversion work, as many modellers before me discovered. To be honest, both Airfix Mk.22 and Airfix Pr.Mk XIX have a correctly-shaped engine cowling; both kits have small defects in the shape of the cylinder bank fairings: the Mk.22 has them too short at the back, Pr.Mk XIX has an incorrect shape in front (due to the simplified moulding process chosen by Airfix for this kit) AND too short fairings. Correcting the Mk.XIX cowling is much more difficult than adjusting the Mk.22's so the last is a better choice. When asserting that this is the best choice for a Griffon nose in 1/72 I mean the following verified facts: -the profile is accurate within 0,1-0,2mm (or can be easily done so after the careful removal of the moulding burrs) -the width in plan is accurate, and the cross section is just about right (I'll try to have a better look at this in the building process) -the position, shape and angle relative to the thrust line of the cylinder covers appear to be accurate (whitin my measurement capabilities) except for the length in the back. I checked also Sword and Special Hobby products but simply they are not accurate, in particular regarding the shape and position of the cylinder humps and exausts (Sword) or overall cowling shape (SH). The propeller is a very good base for the Mk.XII were not for the fact that it has five blades instead of four... The Spinner assembly results slightly excessive in length (0,4mm) and the baseplate has some peripheral burr so that its diameter is about 10,2mm instead of 9,9mm. This mismatch is easily addressed by some reshaping of the spinner assembly on a lathe. If normally I can't decide which livery put on a particular a/c variant the Mk.XII requires yet another choice from the beginning: fixed tailwheel or retractable tailwheel? I resolved my quandaries choosing the retractable tailwheel variant (although at this moment I've not choosen a particular a/c to represent) Let's begin. The Griffon cowling is separated from the fuselage and compared to a scaled down version of J.Tenma's plans of the Seafire Mk.XVII (he did not trace plans for the Mk.XII or Mk.XV although you can find colorized profiles for them in his website) If your printer does allow just integer percentage scaling of the original (like mine), you can get perfect results by scaling with Inkscape, Photoshop or similar software. Please notice in the photograph above how well the Airfix nose matches the profile; it can be further improved by gentle bending of the upper arch, but this is not necessary for the Mk.XII because of the magneto bulb in that position. The cut is refined until reaching the perfect size, and the process is repeated for the other side. According to this quoted drawing for the Seafire Mk.XV (which is supposedly based on Supermarine data and matches J.T. plans), the "measurable" (I mean with a caliper) lenght of the section is calculated with some easy math: from fuselage datum point to the front of the cowling, at propeller axis: 76,2 inches from fuselage datum point to the upper cowling panel line: 1,28" (source "Spitfire engineered") the front cowling section is a disk, reportedly 28" diameter, inclined 2° to the cowling panel line. This adds 14" x tan(2°) =0,49" to the measurable length so: measurable lenght= 76,2"-1,28"+0,49"=75,41" which in 1/72 converts to 26,60 mm. My result is pretty good!...and was obtained matching the plans, and taking some progressive measurement of the part. One of the key points in getting a precise cut is adjusting the final tenths of mm with the right tool. I use 400-grit sandpaper glued to the side of a square aluminum block, and lay both the nose part and the aluminum block on the same plane, so that the sandpaper results perpendicular to it. Both halves are finished. And now... there's no return! Two perfectly good Eduard Spitfire Mk.VIII fuselages are horribly mutilated!
  6. "There is no other help for us, no stronger wall to ward off disaster, no city with its ramparts to hide inside, no other army to turn the flow of battle. Here on the plains of Troy are we, our backs to the sea facing the mail-clad Trojans, far from our native land. So in the strength of our own hands is our salvation, and there can be no surrender in this fight." -- Homer, The Iliad, XV (trans. A S Kline) "Only fully experienced pilots must come here. It is no place for beginners." --Hugh Pughe Lloyd, AOC Malta, to Arthur Tedder, 25 April 1942 "I thought my last minute had come and decided to sell my life dearly. I flew straight at the nearest machine with the intention of ramming it. I did not fire a shot, but the Macchi pilot, suddenly realising that his number might be up too, took violent evasive action, stalled, and crashed into the sea." -- Ioannis Agorastos "John" Plagis, on 11 May 1942 Born to Greek parents in Hartley in what was then Southern Rhodesia in 1919, Johnny Plagis was still a Greek citizen at the start of the Second World War, though he had lived in Rhodesia all his life, and it was under the birth nationality of his parents that he served in the RAF. Plagis went to Malta on 6 March 1942 off HMS Eagle with the first sixteen Spitfires sent to that beleaguered island. On 20 March 1942, Plagis's close friend and fellow Rhodesian, Pilot Officer "Douggie" Leggo, was shot down and killed by either the experte Hermann Neuhoff (who would himself be shot down by Canadian Hurricane pilot F/Sgt Garth Horricks DFM of 185 Squadron and taken captive on 10 May 1942), or Ernst Klager (taken prisoner on 3 July 1942 at El Alamein after being shot down on a frie jagd by a SAAF Kittyhawk Ia flown by Lt Sydney "Moose" Reinders). It appears that a 109 then either fired into Leggo as he dangled in his parachute, or deliberately or by accident (the attack took place at only 50 yards range) collapsed his parachute as it flew past him. Regardless of what had transpired, the results for the Luftwaffe were very nearly as catastrophic as the killing of Patroclus had been for the Trojans. In his diary that night, Plagis wrote "Swear to shoot down ten for Doug -- I will, too, if it takes me a lifetime." In fact, it took him only until 7 June, a little less than three months. Among those he shot down was the 13-claim ace Fw Hans Schade on 1 April, one of four aircraft he brought down that day. Plagis went on to be a Wing Commander in northwest Europe and flew Meteors with the RAF postwar, before returning to Rhodesia, where he involved himself in several deeply regrettable ventures, including a business partnership with Scientologist huckster L Ron Hubbard which ended when the latter was expelled from Rhodesia, and more seriously, Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front. In 1974, apparently unable to adjust to civilian life, Plagis died by suicide. He was married and had four children, but in the tumult of Rhodesia's subsequent collapse and reformation as Zimbabwe, they seem to have not surfaced anywhere to provide a more comprehensive biography of his life. In what is now Harare, a street is still named John Plagis Avenue after him. So not a very happy story behind the model we'll be building today, which is why my leading quote for this build, is perhaps apropos: Telamonian Ajax defended the Greek ships from the assault of Hector and the Trojans almost single-handedly, but was bested by Odysseus in a contest of skill with the armour of Great Achilles as a prize. Ovid writes in Metamorphoses that Ajax, "who so often when alone, stood firm against great Hector and the sword, and flames and Jove, stood not against a single passion, wrath. The unconquerable was conquered by his grief. He drew his sword, and said...'I must use this against myself...lest any man but Ajax vanquish Ajax.'" As for the kit, it's of course the new Airfix Spitfire Vc, which I'm pretty excited about. I'm planning on using the DK Decals Aces of Malta sheet, which has markings for GL-J/BR321, which Plagis apparently flew after transferring to 249 Squadron in June of 1942. Naturally I can't find any photos of it in Cauchi's Malta Spitfire Vs, so if you have or know of one, I'd appreciate it!
  7. I'll be building this... Guess I'll need to leave the optional machine gun and howitzer for the Jeep out for this GB! I'll do all the sprue shots, etc. when I get around to starting it - which probably won't be for a while!
  8. So I've got this brand new tooling kit from Airfix, after having done some pretty lousy old kits of late, fingers crossed it's a good one. I'm currently doing the recent Airfix Dakota for the Unarmed GB and the fit and detail was great, so I fancied something similar, rather than spending forever feeling like you're fighting against the kit! I also got some window masks (didn't fancy masking all those panes by hand) but other than that it's going to be straight OOB. Will do the whole sprue shot thing once I get around to starting it.
  9. Back in a time when we could go to airshows, I was at the East Kirkby Airshow (Aug 2017) when I first saw the Aircraft Restoration Company's (ARCo) Blenheim IF display. The display inspired me and I decided I want to build a Blenheim. The Blenheim Society had a stall at the airshow, with an Airfix Blenheim for sale, so I bought it. This will form the basis of my build as I attempt to replicate ARCo aircraft. I have purchased an aftermarket gunpack and will raid the decals spares box for the markings. The plan is to build this in flight. More information on the ARCo Blenheim can be found here.
  10. Hi everyone, My first entry for this GB (I'm planning at least two if time permits) will be the Airfix Blenheim Mk.IV (using Eduard photo-etch and canopy masks, and an AML camouflage mask). I built one of these last year for the Battle of Britain Group Build in Bomber Command colours. This time I'll be focusing on a Coastal Command machine from the same era. I'm yet to decide on a particular aircraft to represent but almost certainly one from 53 Sqn or 59 Sqn, which undertook coastal patrols, night raids on occupied ports, and daring daytime shipping strikes. Along the way if there's interest I'll relate the details of the raids the Coastal Command aircraft participated in during the Battle of Britain. As I already have several aircraft on the go (Bf109s for another ongoing Group Build), I'll delay getting started on this one until my workbench has a bit more room - probably mid July. Thanks for looking! Matt
  11. Hi everyone, With my Blenheim well underway it's time I got cracking on my second project for this fabulous Group Build. This one is Airfix' lovely new tool Beaufort, complete with Eduard photo etch, resin wheels and masks. I'm going to build mine as a Battle of Britain era Beaufort to add to my expanding collection from this era. During the Battle of Britain the Beaufort played an increasingly active role in attacking invasion barges and ports, initially with bombs and later with torpedoes. Some of the pilots who went on to become well known exponents of torpedo bombing in the Mediterranean theatre and the Channel front in later years started their combat careers flying Beauforts at this time. I'm still to decide on a particular aircraft, but, as I usually do, rather than just use the kit decals, I'm reading through my references and downloading Operations Record Books from the National Archives to help me choose something a little different. I've made a start already and I'll be back with progress very soon! Thanks for looking! Matt
  12. Hi all, great to be part of a BM groupbuild again after almost a year. This time it's an ambitious punt - going to bring the Airfix 1/24 behemoth with an Aerocraft conversion set for an NF II based at Drem in 1945. It's KD127 which is quite well documented and beautifully built in smaller scale by @tonyot here: Luckily the aircraft was a brand new example and so my weathering skills (or lack thereof) will not be challenged! This will be an OOB build apart from the ignition cables and HF radio wire (there, I've said it now, so inevitably it'll end up with tons of added detail ) Will be starting this on Monday, hope everyone enjoys their Hellcat building Alan
  13. Well, I wasn't intending to enter this group build but then along came this model As the "Unarmed" and"F-16" group builds are also running at the same time this one might not get finished by the deadline but I'll give it a go. Mike
  14. Airfix is to release in Summer 2021 a 1/48th de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 kit - ref. A04105 Source: https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/new-for-2021/de-havilland-chipmunk-t-10.html V.P.
  15. XX970 was delivered to the RAF in January 1976 and served much of its time with 6 squadron at the home of the Jaguar, Coltishall in Norfolk. It served in the Gulf War, receiving a temporary sand colour before reverting back to green and grey, then being converted to GR3 standard in the mid 1990s. This Jaguar is still complete and currently used for technical training at RAF Cosford. This is the 1/48 Airfix kit, and needed a bit of scratch building to display with the flaps and slats down. I used the Eduard etch set and Air Master probe, plus a mix of Xtradecals and Kits World decals for the markings, serial and tail code. All comments and suggestions welcome! Here is the WIP:
  16. Many years ago I built a couple of the Airfix 109 G-6 kits which were released in the mid 1960's and thought they were not bad. When I saw that they had released a new mould in I think 2009 I bought a couple but they are strange. In some respects they look like upgraded versions of the old mould though the detailing and panel lines are better. They have included a modified pilot seat, but there is no other cockpit detail which is most odd given the date of release - even the old Emil had a cockpit floor, stick and IP! Oh, well, not hard to improve that but you have to wonder what they were thinking. There are two canopies - "Standard" and "Erma/Galland" and decs for Luftwaffe, Italian and Finnish versions. I have "borrowed" the underwing rocket launchers for other builds so these will either be clean or have gondola mounted cannon. I don't know if I will build both of them, but at the very least I will probably go for a late "Defence of the Reich" version. Cheers Pete
  17. I'm hopefully entering this build into the Less than a Tenner GB, elsewhere. Anyway, the kit dates from the early 1970's and the level of detail is to be polite, soft! Lots of oversized rivets, which will need to be removed. Then the fuselage/tailboom strengthening strakes are oversized. Before I left the UK back in 1980, I didn't have a lot of space in our moving package. So, I chopped parts off the sprue on a lot of the kits I brought to SA. Yesterday, I found the bag with three Scouts all separated from the sprue. Grimm looking decals and only one instruction sheet (bag closure). So, here are the parts, the bag top and decals. The main decals are all but unusable, so I have found replacements from my decal stash. X-tra Decal etc. More soon... Colin
  18. Handley Page Jetstream 1:72 Airfix (A03012V) Handley Page developed the Jetstream to fill a niche in the market for a small twin turbo prop airliner for the US market. In order t improve sales in the US the original Turboméca engines were to be replaced by Garrett engines, and this aircraft was ordered by the UASF as the C-10A. It was to feature a rear cargo door with seating for 12 passengers or 6 stretchers. The USAF would eventually cancel these orders due to late delivery. Following the demise of Handley Page the design was picked up by a group of investors headed by Scottish Aviation, and the Company Jetstream Aviation was created. 26 Jetstream T.1s were ordered by the RAF, 14 of these would be modified to T.2s for use by the Royal Navy. When Scottish Aviation became part of BAe they would continue to develop the design into the Jetstream 31. The Kit Airfix's kit has been around since 1969 and feature the aircraft with the Garett engines for the USAF examples. The tooling is the old school multi part sprues however the tooling is still good, nice and sharp with no flash. Construction is fairly standard. The cockpit is fairly basic with two seated pilots who are identical, The completed cockpit fits into the right fuselage half . For the main fuselage a full stretcher fit is included. Once this is all in thee fuselage can be completed and the wings added, these are a single lower wing with left & right uppers, The tailplanes and rudder can then go onto the fuselage, and the engines can be built up and fitted to the wings. The landing gears and doors can be added along with the main rear airstairs door. Decals The small decal sheet with USAF Markings only is by cartograf so there is no issues there. Conclusion Whilst I would love to see Airfix release a brand new tool of this aircraft, the tooling on this one is still good, all though it is only really good for the version the USAF never actually bought in the end. Review sample courtesy of
  19. M3 Grant Tank (A1370) 1:35 Airfix The US Army had been remarkably complacent with regard to tank development in the lead-up to WWII, and approached war with precious few tanks that were hopelessly outclassed. This realisation resulted in a frantic clamour to produce a modern tank that could hold its own in combat, with the M3 Lee coming into service as a stop-gap measure within a year of its first design while the M4 Sherman was in development. As a consequence of its rather rushed introduction, it was known to have a number of fairly serious flaws, but it also had some strengths that (at least in part) made up for them. Its high profile and sponson mounted main gun gave the enemy a large target, but when the 75mm main gun was brought to bear on a target, it was surprisingly powerful and effective, gaining a reputation in North Africa. A great many examples were exported to the British and Russian forces in the early stages of WWII, and after the majority of British armour was left on the beaches of Dunkerque, the need became even greater. The British stipulated some adaptations to improve the vehicle's performance, which most visibly included a new larger turret with a bustle to accommodate radio gear, and a cupola instead of the sub-turret with machine gun mount, which was named the Grant after general Lee's opponent. Due to the pressing need for suitable numbers however, the British did take a number of Lees, and the Soviet Union also took delivery of a substantial number of Lee variants, although some ended up at the bottom of the sea thanks to U-Boat action. The Soviets disliked the Lee intensely and gave it a wide berth wherever they could in favour of the more modern and capable T-34, the production of their own tanks ramping up substantially after the initial shock of Barbarossa, which led to the Lee/Grant's retirement from front-line service with them by 1943, while the other Allied continued to use them (mainly in Africa) until the end of the war. The Kit As you’ve probably already guessed, this is a reboxing of the Academy kit, which until not long ago was your best bet for a Grant/Lee, having its origins as recently as 2006. It arrives in the new red-themed top-opening box, and inside you will find eight sprues of sand-coloured styrene along with a lower hull part in the same colour, two lengths of black flexible track-runs, a small decal sheet and the instruction booklet with colour profiles for the decal options on the back pages. The Academy logo has been blanked out on each of the sprues, and on inspection it’s a detailed model with lots of raised rivets, some nice casting texture with casting codes in raised lettering, and restrained use of slide-moulding to fashion the barrels for the choice of two lengths of main gun and the smaller 37mm barrel in the turret. This is a British specification of the Lee, which discards the top machinegun turret in an effort to reduce the Grant’s high silhouette and remove a substantial weight into the bargain, which will have had a positive impact on MPG, albeit a small one. Construction begins with the vertical volute-sprung suspension (VVSS) units that are also seen on some Shermans, trapping two road-wheels between a bogie that is articulated centrally around the suspension unit with a return roller on the top. There are three units per side, so there is some repetition involved, and when they are complete they are cemented onto the mounts on the sides of the lower hull, with an idler wheel fitted to the rear of each side. Moving to the interior, which is included in the kit, the transmission is made up with the gearbox projecting into the centre of the cab, fitted to a sled-shaped interior insert, which has the drive-shaft and driver controls fixed in place, plus seats, treadplated footrests and foot-pedals. The lower hull is completed at the front with the rounded glacis plate, the large riveted support ribs and final drive housings that project to the sides and in front of the glacis. The drive-sprockets and towing eyes with shackles finish off that area, permitting the interior assembly to be slotted into place within, then adding a driver’s seat, radio gear for the left-seater, and a treadplated stowage box behind the driver. At the rear the aft bulkhead is built up from a myriad of exhaust parts, towing shackles and mudguards before it is fixed to the lower hull and an engine firewall placed at the rear of the fighting compartment. Ammo storage for the turret gun is added to the right sponson floor, a turret motor on the left, then the two front fenders are attached and decorated with lights, horn and the first of the pioneer tools, ready for the upper hull, which is next. The upper hull is an angular structure made up around the roof, with various facets and exterior strengthening beams fitted along with stowage boxes, vision ports, the upper glacis, side hatches and the curved splinter shield for the 75mm hull gun. It is flipped over to add the driver’s instrument panel, a twin-mounted bow .30cal machinegun mount, and a pair of rails that run down the side of the sponsons. The hull gun is next, and you have a choice of long or short barrel, so check your references if you aren’t sure. It is slide-moulded, so only needs its moulding seam removing with a scraper or curved blade. The longer barrel has a 2-part counter-balance around the muzzle to help the crew move it around and balance the centre-of-gravity of the longer gun. The recoil tubes, breech protection frame, seat and elevation/traverse controls are all fitted, and it is then dropped into the lower hull, rotating on a cup on the right internal sponson floor. A vision block is glued to the roof before the upper hull is mated with the lower, and the side-skirts are glued in place using the tabs moulded to the inside. It's turret time! The full turret basket is included, festooned with ready-rounds and having a treadplated floor that supports three simple seats, and an accessway to the rest of the interior. The 37mm cannon has a .30cal co-ax strapped to its side, and is inserted into the mantlet back plate, then the riveted front is offered up, and the two are joined by a set of caps that trap the axle in position. Elevation mechanisms are glued in, then the assembly is inserted into the turret from outside, with a lower part and turret ring installed, spare vision blocks on the sides, and clamshell doors on the hatch fitted before the basket is mated from below. The turret is added to the hull, some additional pioneer tools and a large riveted strip is added to the front, then it’s time to put the tracks on. Some modellers like individual links, some like flexible “rubber band” tracks, and some don’t mind either. Some folks will just get some metal tracks for every AFV kit they have, so there’s bound to be no pleasing some people with their choice of the flexible ones here. They are turned into a complete run by melting the pegs with a hot screwdriver, but please don’t use your best one as it’ll ruin it - also, don't burn yourself. There are some spare track links included to fit on the vehicle, and these are all individual links, but there are only nine of them with separate track spuds on the sides. You’ll need to place your tracks carefully on your Grant, as there are some inconvenient injection points with sink-marks around them on the main tracks, or you could smear them with some dirt to hide their appearance. Markings There are two decal options in the box, one from North Africa, the other serving in Australia’s defence, wearing desert camo and olive green respectively. The decals are printed anonymously for Hornby, and consist of unit badges, numbers and suchlike. From the box you can build one of the following: Robin Hood or Robin Hood II, HQ Squadron, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, 8th Armoured Brigade, 10th Armoured Division, North Africa, 1942 1st Armoured Division, Australian Military Forces, Puckapunyal Camp, Australia, 1942 Decals are in good register, colour density and sharpness, with the two schemes divided by a handy dotted line. Conclusion This is another welcome AFV model from Airfix, and it will find a ready market both in impulse purchases and from us “serious” modeller, as it’s a decent kit for a reasonable price. New tracks might be on the menu if you feel the need, but many a good model has a set of “rubber band” tracks on them. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Inspiration: jumps on you out of the blue from attic recoveries and lucky junk shop finds! I know I've recently spoilt myself rotten with a multitude of Eduard early war Spitfires, but I do have a weakspot for the odd nostalgia build - revisiting those kits built as a youngster when you find them up for grabs. I got the (boxed) 1/24th Spitfire MkIa at an auction a few years back before Airfix re-released them as part of their vintage classics range. I hadn't returned to model building at the time, but it was a silly cheap price as the decals are shot, but all the parts still sealed in the original bag. It was another "when I return to the hobby" purchase which has been sitting patiently in the wings ever since. I had previously built two examples. The first in the early 1980's is now long gone. The second built in 1988 when I was 16 survives and has been tucked away in various attics since the early 1990's. This weekend I got my hands on a mint 24th scale Spitfire Vb from a junk shop tucked away in the grounds of a small garden centre, just 15mins drive away from home. The box was still sealed, and for £35 I was quite happy. I was even allowed to open the box to check it was complete and not previously tampered with before handing the money over! So now my old surviving MkIa has been recovered and is now seeing daylight for the first time in many years. Considering it's been at the bottom of a box of built models it emerged remarkably complete: one prop blade snapped at the collar and the aerial mast broken off at the base (but still attached to the tail fin by a thread). Aside from a liberal coating of grime and paint/decal damage, the wings have lost their dihedral, and the rubber tyres have gone hard but are still in perfect shape. All the gun covers and engine cowling were fixed in place, but I'm sure I built, painted and installed the 303's and Merlin Well I think she deserves a new lease of life. My aim will be to do a full strip down and refurb, and rebuild her in line with with my two newer Spits. She will again don her markings as LO-B "Bogus" from 602sqn, while the other MkIa will become Al Deere's KL-B "Kiwi". The Vb will of course take the guise of Jan Zumbach's gun toting Donald Duck RF-D. Hopefully I'll do these three ladies justice in the long run! Overall not too shabby for something that was brush painted with enamels and no aftermarket materials 33 years ago. The original Spitfire MkIa has had a bath to remove most of 30+ years of dust and grime. The engine cowling is part removed and the engine is complete underneath - the 303's in the wings are missing however! Going through one of my spares boxes I've found the main landing gear tyres from my first 24th scale Spitfire that I built in the early 80's. They are in surprisingly good condition, no wear or degradation. They may we'll end up being used on the rebuild if the current one's prove troublesome! I'm keeping fingers crossed that the Browning's will appear in a box somewhere too, but it won't be a heartbreaker if they've gone awol. Well she came apart without any real issues! A few things became apparent - the rudder pedals in the cockpit were missing, as were the 303's and ammo boxes in the wings. The pitot tube under the wing was also gone. After digging out my second spares box, I found the pedals, all the ammo boxes and 7 of the 8 Brownings.... plus one that's survived from the very first one I built in the early 80's (hence the 7 in gun metal and 1 in matt black). A bonus was finding 'fresh' main wheel hubs, again surviving from the first 24th Spitfire I built. Bizarrely, one thing that had survived has now vanished - the main radio mast! Still a good step forward. Now to plan the clean-up, paint stripping, and get studying the build instructions alongside some photo references More photos and updates to come as the project progresses! Comments and suggestions always welcome
  21. Late to the party - time to commit. I shall attempt to piece the following together: -Airfix Avro 504k of 1960s vintage -£1.5 -Blue rider decals - £2 (half of sheet price) -Rigging material - hair raided from the boss’s hairbrush - £0 From the spares box, let’s say £1 -Roden Clerget from a Camel kit -Nieuport seats from Eduard kits -PE instruments At a grand total of £4.5 this should fit perfectly with the spirit of the GB. The mandatory photo of the kit contents, which came in a plastic bag: And the decals, with proof I’ve started using it. The sheet unfortunately lacks the underwing numerals ’6’ which have to be painted on. Also, the rudder was quite likely white. I shall have to scratch-build most of the under-carriage. I’ll be building the depicted airplane, one of five Clerget-equipped 504K trainers bought by the Swedish navy aviation in 1923, taken in service as Flying boat no. 6 and used as a winter-time trainer. The navy did not operate any air fields, but used some ski-equipped aircraft during the winters on strips plowed on the ice. It was taken over by the Air Force when it was formed in ’26 and re-equipped with wheels but did not last long. In November 1927 ex-Fb6 crashed in the river Rönne due to engine failure: the instructor survived but trainee Bengt Richert could not be saved and drowned in the icy waters.
  22. Given how long ago I bought them I suspect most of the Airfix kits in my stash cost under £10, and indeed some of them probably still do, but this one still has a label on saying £6.00! I built my first one not long after it was released in 1957 I think, and another one quite a few years later - it was originally marketed with two options - a FGA.6 of 804 Naval Squadron with the Tiger badge and either a F Mk100 or FMk101 of the German Navy with I think a taller tail. Now Airfix have reboxed it as a plane of 806 Naval in1959/60 or the same machine as preserved in the RN Historic Flight in 1996 though as you can see it still has the alternative tail. It builds up well but needs a bit of TLC - I will need to do something about the cockpit, wheel wells, and the engine intakes/exhausts which are see through so I will be using a little old plastic card and bits from my spares box - I might have something that looks more like a Martin Baker Mk2 ejection seat from an old kit, if not I will have to try and scratch one. I presume that is within the spirit of the GB? The Sea Hawk was originally designed by Hawkers but after they built a few Mk 1 (35?) production was switched to Armstrong-Whitworth at Bagington Nr Coventry as Hawkers were rather busy working on the Hunter, and as a result it can either be called Hawker Sea Hawk or A-W Seahawk depending on which book you are reading! It is quite an attractive aircraft and was far better looking than the stop-gap Supermarine Attacker which it replaced to become the second operational FAA jet, but more on that later. I will be using a "4+" book on the Sea Hawk and Putnams" Hawker Aircraft" for reference.✈ Cheers Pete
  23. Boeing 707-338C c/n 19294-550 rolled off the Boeing production line at Seattle (Renton) - December 14, 1966 and first flown at Renton as VH-EBU on February 13, 1967. EBU was accepted by Qantas Airways at Seattle (Boeing Field) on March 08, 1967, this was the 21st Boeing airliner delivered new to Qantas Airways. EBU flew with QANTAS as City of Broken Hill, City of Wollongong and City of Parramatta and was cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register on November 03, 1976 after flying just over 32,283 hours for QANTAS. After QANTAS sold EBU off it served with Air Niugini, Arrow Air, Zaire Cargo, Shanghai Airlines, Anglo Cargo Airlines and other leasing companies. Ferried to Davis Monthan in the Anglo Cargo livery on May 18 1992 and stored at Davis Monthan as '67-30053' until June 17, 1993 where it departed for Lake Charles, LA for conversion to E-8C. The aircraft was re-serialled 'AF93-0597' and designated an E-8C P-3 (3rd Production Aircraft) in February 1997, handed over to 93rd Air Control Wing, USAF at Melbourne, Florida on November 25, 1997. The aircraft was badly damaged during an air-to-air refuelling accident over Qatar on March 13, 2009, the number two fuel tank ruptured in flight due to over-pressurisation causing extensive wing damage. It made a safe emergency landing at the Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The estimated cost to repair the damage was around $US 25,000,000 and was deemed to be uneconomical to repair and was therefore declared a 'write-off'. The cause of the accident was traced to a civilian subcontractor who inadvertently left a test plug in the fuel vent system which occurred during programmed depot maintenance. As the aircraft was only in the air for a short period of time before the air-to-air refuelling took place it had not burnt off enough fuel from the number to tank that would have allowed the 'dive flapper' valve to open when the over-pressurisation of the fuel tank commenced. The aircraft was reported to have been broken up at Al Udeid Air Base in February 2012. This is the Airfix E-3D kit converted to an E-8C using the Flightpath conversion set and Decals by Wolfpak, the full build thread can be found below
  24. The BAE Hawk is most commonly associated with the Red Arrows. I guess now-a-days many are also familiar with the Saudi Falcons (previously Saudi Hawks) who have had a longstnading relationship with the Red Arrows. Quietly, in the north of Europe, another team uses the Hawk to beautiful effect in a 4-aircraft flight. The Midnight Hawks used to have a standard grey scheme, with identifying numbers on the tails in order to identify the aircraft of the display team. In 2017, however, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence, they display team received a lovely new scheme showing their Finnish colours, and bringing some colour to their standard grey scheme. 2017 was also the 20th year of attending RIAT with my father, where this scheme was debuted - giving it a double-meaning for me. As usual I've written a full review of the decals here - I didn't touch much on the kit as I've got loads of these to build - but it was a joy! Below you'll find the build video and a photo. I haven't taken many of it it seems, and the one below shows it the best!.
  25. Hi there everyone! A long time since my last post. I have suffered from modelling block since April, due to a fast paced build I did as a retirement gift for a colleague, that all my other colleagues funded. Due to the time pressure and also the wish to get it ‘perfect’ it really stressed me out. Naturally this isn’t something you want from a hobby so apart from adding to the ever expanding stash, I have not cut plastic in nearly 3 months. For those of you who are interested here is the build I did for my colleague, a 1/48 Revell Tornado with all the trimmings! It was extremely satisfying to finish! Anyhow, enough with these modern (ish) jets. Let’s get back to my bread and butter. So as an easy (is there such a thing in this hobby) way to get back into the swing of things I have opted to do two of these starter boxing’s of the airfix p-40b. One I received as a gift and the other was bought for a fiver at Aldi. I love the 112 squadron markings so one will be in those, whereas the other will be in 26 squadron markings from RAF Gatwick in 1941 (decals kindly donated by @PhantomBigStu, thanks mate). I believe this should be in DuPont RAF equivalent colours, so I bought the Vallejo versions. I am unsure if I will use them as I am not sure how accurate they are. So I cleaned the parts and started some painting. With this I couldn’t see the benefit of airbrushing the interior so started with a nice Zinc Chromate Green from the Modelmaster acrylics range. Although the shade might not be spot on for the aircraft, I love the colour. I also put together a few other bits, finding the fit (so far) to be excellent. Cheers! Ash
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