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  1. I’ve been drooling over this new one from Special Hobby even in its 1:72 scale form, and I’ve literally just posted the review of it this avo here, plus the masks that you can get to cover up the canopy during painting. It’s always a danger to pull parts off the sprues to tape it up, mainly because it sometimes leads to reaching for tools, and we all know that often results in the dreaded… MODELLING! This is one of Special Hobby’s shorter-run kits, and isn’t going to be a shake-and-bake wünderkit that falls together by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s not why we’re here. There’s a little roughness here and there around the seamlines where the parts join together, and the fact that it includes resin detail parts is an indication that it has been tooled this way, as not everyone will be interested in this little racer. Me? I’m interested I started mucking about with the fuselage halves, and soon began putting cockpit parts together. It’s not your average cockpit due to its custom racer ethos, and there was a modicum of confusion in my mind about where to put the two fairings that cover up the drive shafts that pass through the cockpit area, which was resolved by test-fitting the rear bulkhead so you know where to butt the rear of the tubes, as the slight step in the rear that corresponds with the interior of the wing root fairing, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Once the parts were cleaned up, it went together well enough, although you will need to place the support under the seat/floor part as a bit of a leap of faith after enlarging the notch a little to ensure it will fit. I used liquid cement to give me wiggle room and that did the trick. I also assembled the 2-into-1 gearbox at the front that converts the two input shafts into two concentric prop-shafts, and managed to partially sand away a box-shape on the top, so replaced it with styrene stock. Oopsie! This helped me get everything lined up in my head, and to guess where I needed to make any adjustments. Only the tip of the port fuselage had a slight missing bit right near the join-line, so I built that up with styrene and sanded it to shape. I’ve also been fiddling with the wings and the tail, tidying them all up first, then checking where any alterations are needed. I scraped the trailing edge of the wings, and thinned out the openings to the gear bays to give them a more realistic look, but I overdid it and need to put some small quantities of Milliput into the undercuts, and smack my own wrists for getting carried away I’m going to use Milliput for the easy clean-up to minimise any post-cure sanding that would be difficult due to the location of it, not to mention irritating, even with some fancy narrow sanding tools at my disposal. The tail was a similar proposition, needing a little fettling, and the addition of the resin pen-nib fairing at the rear. It needed some test-fitting and sanding/slicing, and the bottom portion of the fillet was slightly lop-sided at the bottom, so I added a bit of sheet styrene to it and trimmed it to profile, then slimmed it down until it fitted better. I also decided to move the tail assembly back by half a mil, so the fairing and the rudder trailing edges matched better, and while I was there, to get it to fit more snugly, I trimmed a few swipes of a sanding stick off here and there so I got maximum contact surfaces too. I’ve prepped two of the three grill combs that slide into the slots in the leading edges of the tail, and they’re possibly the hardest parts to prepare due to how close together they are. I have a set of stainless-steel sanding tools from Galaxy Tools, but they’re a bit thick at 1.4mm, but the smaller DSPIAE ones are only 0.5mm thick, even with one layer of self-adhesive sandpaper attached. I used one of those plus a #11 blade to even up the two halves of the moulds and smooth them out, then gave them a quick coat of liquid glue to get rid of any swarf. Two down, one to go That canopy is really nice! Can you see the wiring on the IP? I figured that I would be able to paint the cockpit with much of it in situ, so trapped the seat assembly in position between the two halves under the drive shaft fairings, leaving the bulkhead and instrument panel as a separate assembly after wiring up some of the dials at the back with some lead wire and fitting it to the coaming for a third assembly. The gearbox and front bulkhead are similarly loose so I can paint it better, and I think the front bulkhead will need slimming at the front because it projects forward from the fuselage a little. The inner face has some nice strengthening detail on it, so I’ll make sure that doesn’t get mashed in the process. Moving forward, I noticed there were some fairly big seams running down the props, so decided to put the contra-prop together while I was getting everywhere dusty. Each prop is separate, and there are two per boss, fixing into a cylindrical slot with a peg making sure you get the alignment of the blades correct. The moulding seams were actually quite easy to remove, complicated only by their small size, but I soon had them done, taking care to put the right pair on the right hub. As usual there was a bit of fettling needed to get everything fitting nicely, but once they were, they were rather nice and dainty. I reamed out the axle holes to get them on the prop shaft and test fitted them, which was when I found that the bulkhead sticks out a bit too far. That’s easily knocked back with a sanding stick though, which I’ll get round to later. With the cockpit basics in place, I elected to close up the fuselage, which I did with super glue (CA). It’s not the standard method for plastic kits, but I wanted the joints to be strong, and as there’s going to be a bit of sanding of seams to get a smooth surface, I also wanted it to be available to work on soon after gluing. Most of the gluing could be done from the inside thanks to the lack of wings at this point, so I started under the cockpit floor, then worked back along the top of the fuselage spine, all of which can be done from within, topping up with CA applied from outside by running a gluey old blade along the seam. With the seam glued, I immediately sanded them back roughly, and will sort them properly later on after a bit of primer gets sent their way. I’ll probably give the canopy a dunk in the Klear tank to increase the clarity even further, then mask it with the masks I also reviewed this afternoon here. Catch you next time
  2. HI,IM just doing some research on atlas varients,and came across this brilliant little film,worth a watch,i must admit,i was a little bit in the dark on the british space race,but seeing this has piqued my intrest,especially as you can now google the launch base at spadeadam.any way sorry if its old hat for some of you,but it his worth seeing,i like the bit with the engineer showing how flexible the atlas tanks are before they are made solid by pressurising,....good stuff,and i also like the missile transporter,must be a model there?and austrailian articulated buse,s how very quaint? anyway worth a watch http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/films/1951to1964/filmpage_rocket.htm seemingly they abound in museums,cannot say ive seen one? cheers Don
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