Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Auster'.
On 30 August 1955 (nearly 66 years ago), an Auster J4 Archer at Bankstown Airport (Sydney, Australia) had engine trouble on landing and rolled to a stop. The (solo) pilot hopped out to swing the propeller but failed to set the brake and the throttle was a little too advanced... The Auster duly took off (empty) and spent some hours circling Sydney with interceptions from scrambled RAAF Wirraway and RAAF Meteor failing - and eventually shot down by a RAN Sea Fury (piloted by RN pilots mumble mumble). The recent Airfix 1/48 Sea Fury (Export Edition) features the incident on the box art. tells the story in the instruction sheet and includes the markings for the successful combatant! However the featured Auster has not been kitted in 1/48 and conversion from other Auster models are rather extensive. So let's scratchbuild one? If you've been following the WIP build you'll have already watched the progress. Anyway - it's now considered done (by my standards!) And the underside - before completion (obviously) And a bit of fun with a hapless chap (the ex-pilot). Suspect I'll get around to painting him - but figure painting is new to me. Maybe post this photo again when I've learned the trade! . Oh, I do have the Airfix Sea Fury kit as well - although not sure what scheme I should choose for that? Not?
A recent release from Airfix in 1/48 is the Hawker Sea Fury - one release of which features on the box art the little known (now better known) incident of a civilian Auster (VH-AET) being shot down in Australia in 1955. The story is told on the Sea Fury instructions and plenty of coverage of it online with a bit of Googling. So no doubt plenty of Airfix Sea Furies being built in that scheme - but what of the hapless Auster? Perhaps prophetically, my model club (Australian Plastic Modellers Association - APMA had published an article in 2014 covering some of the history and details of kits/conversion prospects in 1/72 and 1/48. Clearly an accompanying model of the Auster is called for. But there's slim pickings in 1/48 - the Sword kit of the Auster Mk.III is more suited to military use - and the civilian Austers J4 Archer (ie VH AET) has a very different glasshouse and canopy arrangements. So much so that you'd end up scratchbuilding most of the fuselage anyway. No doubt other differences - but rather than do things that way - I thought I'd just scratchbuild the whole thing. I see @Heather Kay did a J1 Auster conversion in 1/72 in 2020 which was a good read! As is always the case, I ended up finding quite a few variants of plans - and finally settled on something workable. And also managed to do my own walkaround of a Auster J/5B Autocar on display at the Queensland Aviation Museum (QAM) - that's a 4 seater vs the J4 a 2 seater so plenty of differences. Starting point was the wings - and I've jumped ahead a bit - but below is a shot of the laminated wings - which had just come out of traction (bulldog clips in the background) and had a bit of sand and clean up... Then onto the fuselage - the rear section of which I elected to make of a box section construction. The fuse sides have distinct lines from the stringers - which I imitated by firstly scoring styrene sheet from the inside - then embossing with a blunt kitchen knife. Pretty happy with the result as you can see in the picture. and on we go with now the fabric 'skin' applied and the basic shape of the front fuselage taking shape. The bulkhead at the front of the rear fuse section will be removed later - it's lightly tacked into to help get the shape right... And here's the wing rib strips being applied using thin tape (and a template modified from the drawings to assist with getting things tight and parallel). I wasn't inspired to use the embossing technique on the wing to better emphasise the ribs - which would have been more accurate but didn't suit my construction technique. So with a little more work we find ourselves with most of a fuselage and the wings - starting to look a bit Auster-ish More to come imminently...
I think @Moa is having a good influence on me. Out of all the military types in my stash, I’ve decided to build a civilian plane. It’s also nothing to do with my 1940 obsession, but I thought it would make a nice change. Not that it matters, Best Beloved is some years older than me. When he was still a young chap about town, he made friends with the owner of an Auster Autocrat. We are talking about the swinging sixties, when Best Beloved lived in the outer reaches of East London, also known as Essex, and worked for a firm based in the Medway Towns. To avoid the hack across the Thames, he would occasionally hitch a lift in his friend's plane, and sometimes be allowed to take the controls, though he never held a pilot's licence. Anyway, I am often regaled by his fond memories of times with the Auster. Although we couldn’t find a civilian kit boxing of the type, not a lot was changed from the military versions so we acquired the AZ Model kit at IPMS Telford a couple of years ago. The plan is to build the AOP MkIII in the kit, with adjustments to make the Autocrat Best Beloved remembers. Amazingly, we found two photos of the actual plane, G-AMVN, one each side. Although memory is hazy, we think the plane was finished in aluminium overall, with the serial in blue on the fin and rudder. The black and white photos sort of hint at the wing struts being a different colour as well, probably blue. Sadly, the real Mike Victor November was written off in an accident in the summer of '69 - probably about when Bryan Adams got his first real six-string… Adjustments will include making a second bench seat in the cabin to make it a four-seater, making a new exhaust system as the real plane had a form of muffler fitted, fitting a wind-driven generator to the starboard wing, and a pitot tube to the port wing. Otherwise, aside from paint scheme and lettering, this will be out of the box. I got the Peewit masking set, so that should make things neater. Not a lot to build, aside from the comprehensive cage structure in the cabin. Lots of butt joints for things, though. I guess I’ll need to add metalwork for extra strength. On with the show!
Apologies in advance if these should be their own individual categories and will adapt if so. Here are a selection of my builds involving Flying Boats and Float Planes since restarting model-making a few years back after a break of around 35 years. 1/72 Airfix Junkers Ju52/3m finished as a WHIF, used by the Regia Aeronautica on Rhodes in late 1940 OOB Build. (I had posted this previously in a Junkers thread but seemed appropriate to include it here as well as it has floats! ) 1/72 Airfix Short Sunderland III with Wrapround Camouflage. OOB Build with slight scratch cockpit. Roundels from Original Kit, Lettering from Revell Heyford 1/72 Airfix Supermarine Walrus in USN Colours. OOB Build, but missing canopy glass. WHIF scheme. 1/144 Airfix Boeing B314 'Clipper' in wartime BOAC Markings. OOB Build. 1/72 Matchbox Heinkel He-115 FloatPlane as a Swedish TB-2. OOB Build. Roundels & Lettering from Airfix Mosquito J30 kit This is my first Airbrushed model and really like the finish that can be achieved over (my) brush 1/72 Airfix Auster AOP (kit #01023), represented in a fictional Swiss Flying Doctor scheme. OOB Build with slight cockpit "clutter" added. Decals raided from spares box Lovely little kit to build 1/72 Matchbox Dornier Do G/Do-18 Flying Boat (Kit #PK-409), finished as a Deutsche Lufthansa South Atlantic Mailplane. OOB with slight mods to convert kit to more accurately represent civilian service.