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  1. Finished at last! This one had to be wrestled to the ground. It was started over a year ago as an entry in the Vacform GB. It didn’t look too difficult – three triangles attached to a tube – if only! The initial phase of the story can be found here http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234986765-convair-xf-92a-airmodel-vacform-172/ but then it came to a halt partly because I ran out of time to finish it before the end of the GB but mainly because seeing the Hunter crash at Shoreham left a very empty feeling and it was a while before I got back to doing any modelling. The biggest problem was the u/c. The shape of the u/c doors, and in particular the shape and size of the main u/c legs proved difficult to define and while it is now ‘finished’ I’m not really happy with that aspect of it. I’m not happy with the canopy either. It doesn’t look right and I could not get a neat edge to the framing. The finish is Alclad Airframe Aluminium over gloss black acrylic. No decals were supplied with the kit so the 6682 had to be made by copying that from the Mach 2 kit (and are not correct) and the stars and bars came from other sources. The big ‘star and bar’ on the nose proved a real problem as there is considerable compound curvature of the fuselage and the decal would not ‘sit’ without creasing. The actual a/c was the first true delta wing a/c to fly, in 1948, and Convair expected it to be a lot faster than it was. It started with a J33 engine but was later fitted with an afterburner but even that wouldn’t make it supersonic unless dived. One thing really puzzles me about the actaul a/c is that I cannot work out how the gear is retracted. I can see no evidence of a jack. The only thing is a strut which appears to have a joint in the centre and if the top half is rotated by something inside the fuselage the strut would fold and pull the gear up. If anybody can enlighten me further I would love to hear from them. John
  2. This was Supermarine’s first jet and was, I believe, basically the wing of a Supermarine Spiteful fitted to a fuselage containing a RR Nene. A second prototype was ‘navalised’ by fitting an arrestor hook and wing-folding and guns. I don’t think that it was known as the ‘Attacker’ until the first production variant, the FB1, was produced. Not the most graceful of a/c and nowhere near as nice as Hawker’s first effort, the P1040/Sea Hawk. Not the most interesting a/c either but one that belongs in my collection of early jets. This model was built from the AZ Attacker Prototype kit. The tailplanes were reduced in size, the guns were reduced to stubs, the arrestor hook was removed and the ejector seat converted to a non-ejector version. I suspect that there are a few bulges and panels present more appropriate to the production version. The only data I could find relating to the reduced tail size was a drawing of the E10/44 in Phillip Birtles book of the ‘Attacker, Swift and Scimitar’ but as this pretty well matched the shape of the rest of the kit I used it as the basis for the smaller tail. The kit is infuriating because the surfaces are nicely detailed but the parts themselves are less than wonderful. The wing trailing edges are too thick and the leading edges too blunt, something that I only realised after glueing the top and bottom surfaces together. Fortunately the LE was corrected by some careful scraping but the wing is too thick and needs filler to fair it into the root. The fuselage was a problem in that the top and bottom surfaces did not match vertically. I got around this by glueing along the top surfaces then when this joint was thoroughly dry the fuselage was squeezed with a clamp until the halves matched then superglue was used to fix them together. This was done in several steps along the length of the fuselage. The tailwheel fitting is weak and I fitted a reinforcing piece inside the bay to give some support. There are a couple of problems with the decals. The positioning given for the fuselage roundel looks too low so I moved it up a bit but I could be wrong. The second concerns the registration markings. They cover the u/c bay doors so I put the doors in place, applied the decals and then cut the decal with a sharp knife. This is a lot easier if you make sure the doors fit the openings BEFORE assembling and painting the kit. The finish is Alclad Airframe Aluminium over Gloss black enamel. The last picture shows it alongside the 510, Supermarine's first swept wing jet, which was basically an Attacker with swept surfaces and eventually led to the Swift. 510 is from Maintrack. Any corrections or observations welcome John
  3. Based roughly on the Me 262 and using engines based on the BMW 003 the Kikka made one flight in 1945 but the length of the take-off run caused concern so for the second flight booster rockets were fitted. Unfortunately these were mounted below the fuselage so when lit they caused the a/c to rotate and the tail to drag on the runway and presumably in a high drag situation making take-off impossible. The a/c was badly damaged and could not be repaired before the war ended. One Kikka still exists in the USA A fairly typical short run kit in that some cleaning up of the parts is required. The only tricky bit a found was installing the 'bullets' in the engine nacelles - which I didn't do terribly well. I saw a revue of the original issue in a model mag a while ago and it mentioned using PE. None of this was present in the current issue. It also mentioned the lack of support for the nose gear - there is a gear bay in the current issue so there is no trouble there. There is some confusion about the decals on the upper wing surface. The diagram shows them as red with a white surround but the numbers on the decal sheet suggest red only. There are two colour schemes given. One orange all over and one with camouflage. Talking to the Japanese a/c Sig it was suggested that it should have been orange in accordance with Japanese practice but probably prudence resulted in it being camouflaged. The only pictures I have seen are of it in camouflage. John
  4. Not my finest effort but put here regardless as it may be of interest as Whirlykits have a modernised version using the original Maintrack master which has addressed some of its shortcomings. Don't let any of the following put you off if the 508 is on your 'must have' list. The faults are correctable by anybody with some vacform experience. I'm sure I could have done a better job but I'm playing catch-up with my modelling after a rough year personally and ran out of patience. ] This was built from an original Maintrack kit. The 508 held a particular fascination for me as I first became aware of it not long after it first flew in 1951 as young lad of 11 and seeing it described as a 'powerful naval fighter powered by two RR Avons' I thought that it must be something special. Alas it was not so and it is interesting to compare it with the similarly powered CF 100 which had flown a year earlier and went on to have a successful career. The kit was designed by Gordon Stevens and at first appeared to have the makings of a nice model having lots of surface detail. However it was not to be. The wings and tails were produced first and went together nicely. The probelms started with the fuselage. The cockpit section consisted of two halves which had to be cemented together. This made a convenient receptacle for the nose weight so it was filled with 'liquid lead'. However when fitted in to nose it didn't quite and much trimming was required to get it to do so. Memo - check it fits before glueing the halves together. I believe the Whirlykits version has a resin cockpit. On glueing the fuselage halves together it was apparent that there was a major fault in the shape of one half in that one engine exhaust was higher than the other. This still exists in the current kit but It is correctable. See the link below for details. It should be easier now as there is a resin insert for the exhausts. http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235009453-maintrack-supermarine-508-help-sorted/ The other problem with the fuselage is that it was somewhat floppy due that huge oval section and required internal stiffening. This should not be a problem as the current version has a resin u/c bay and engine intakes. I added the boundary layer bleeds and filler to make the intakes into tunnels. An ejector seat was supplied but when put in the cockpit it was evident that the floor is too high so it was replaced by a couple of pieces of sheet as nothing can be seen of the inside. The finish was Alclad airframe aluminium over gloss black enamel which looked too shiny so a dusting of aluminium was applied over the top. Decals were the original 'rub-down' type which still went down well although great care had to be taken when positioning them. I hope that this is of interest and has not put anybody off because if you want a 508 it's the only one around. Any comments, good or bad, and any queries welcome. John
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