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  1. There was only ever one rocket-armed Wirraway. A little history... In 1949 the front-line fighter of the RAAF was the Mustang, and the first Vampires were starting to arrive (the RAAF's first jet fighter). Advanced training and refresher training for fighter pilots was being carried out using CAC Wirraway aircraft, but the Wirraways were not able to train pilots in the full syllabus required by fighter pilots, since they were not fitted with gyro-stabilised gun-sights and they could not carry rocket armament. So in December of 1949 the RAAF Director of Technical Services wrote to RAAF Headquarters on behalf of the Air Member for Technical Services with a request to enable a full syllabus of training to be carried out with Wirraway aircraft by fitting the following items: An AN-N6 Cine Camera Gun (as an alternative to the G.45 gun cameras already fitted); A Gyro Gun Sight (Mark 2D Series 2 or 3) in lieu of the Reflector Sight installed by Wirraway Order No. 134 (offset to the left to enable the instructor in the rear seat to have an unobstructed view when using the Aldis sight); Rocket pods (zero length rails) to enable the carriage of 6 rockets (3 under each mainplane) in such a manner as they do not interfere with bombing and gunnery installations; and Provide remote controls in the rear cockpit for the operation of the VHF set installed by Wirraway Order No. 173 (which only specified operation from the front seat). It was requested that the Air Armament School (AAS) at East Sale be instructed to carry out a prototype installation, and that Technical Services officers would visit if assistance was needed. This was seen as an urgent training requirement, and the AAS prototyping was requested as soon as possible. The Mark 2D Gyro Gun Sight and the AN-N6 Camera were both designed for 24V operation, requiring voltage boosters to enable them to be operated from the Wirraway’s 12V electrical system. Tests were required to determine if the power from the Wirraway’s engine-driven generator would be sufficient for these extra items and their voltage boosters. The requirement that the RP installation should not interfere with the existing bombing and gunnery installations was ambiguous, as it did not specify if the aircraft should carry under-wing gun packs (which were already fitted to all Wirraways at this time) and RP rails at the same time, or if the gun packs could be swapped for RP rails. The prototype installation carried out at AAS followed the second of these interpretations. Records show that Wirraway A20-729 was used for a mock-up installation and A20-723 was modified for the full installation and flight trials. The first flight with the new equipment fitted was carried out on 20 July 1950 at East Sale. The first rocket firing was carried out during a flight on 24 July. Further successful firing tests were carried out in July. But the program was discontinued and no other Wirraways were fitted with this capability. I've uncovered a sketch of the proposed rocket installation by the AAS, but I've never come across photos of the aircraft or the trials. So I'm basing this build on "educated speculation". So I'm planning to model A20-723 fitted with six RP-3 rockets on zero-length rails, a gyro-stabilised gun-sight and an AN-N6 gun camera on the wing centre-section. To duplicate this aircraft, I'll need a Wirraway kit, and ideally some rockets plus a gyro-stabilised gun-sight. The Wirraway will be the 1/72 Special Hobby kit (in all its flawed glory). Looking at my stash, the gun-sight and zero-length rails will come from a Tamiya F-51 kit and the RP-3 rockets will come from a Valom Bristol Buckmaster (why do I have two of those in my stash???). Here's where the fun will begin: First up is to construct the fuselage frame and detail the cockpits. Here are a couple of photos of the start of this process, alongside a scratch-built fuselage frame I've made for an MPM Wirraway I'm also building. Important to note that we must ignore the kit instructions here... Wirraways were all silver inside, no C364 "interior green" at all. None. Everything was silver, except black instrument panels, black electrical panels, and various red and yellow highlights for controls. No "interior green". And another view showing the instrument panels. You can see that the framework tubes are fairly chunky and SH have not replicated the framework too well. Several extra tubes have been added, and some real tubes are missing. Plus the foot-troughs should be discontinuous, not one long trough as the kit provides. But I'm living with it for this model... definitely changing it for my 1/48 and 1/32 builds... Edit: Note that there are two radio sets under the rear instrument panel (R.1082 and T.1083) - these were no longer in use by the 1950s, so I've removed them from the model.
  2. Another Wirraway project I have on the go is the MPM Models 1/72 kit, which I'm planning to build as the legendary A20-502, known affectionately (and ironically) as "The Rocket". This aircraft served with No. 5 Squadron in Queensland and New Guinea, racking up an enormous number of sorties over its long life. To quote the West Australian newspaper, Friday 20th April 1945: ANCIENT WIRRAWAY. Achievements of the Rocket. MELBOURNE, April 19.-Now operating with an RAAF Army co-operation squadron in the Solomons is an Australian-designed and built Wirraway which is claimed to be the oldest single-engined aircraft flying in operations in the South-West Pacific area. Known as the Rocket, this Wlrraway, which began its career with an RAAF Army co-operation squadron on March 10, 1942, has completed 953 sorties and flown almost 1100 hours. It has out-lived four engines. Last month, when the Wirraway celebrated is third birthday, Flying Officer Ted Reynolds, of West Maitland, NSW, flew it on a tactical reconnaissance over Japanese positions at Bougainville Island. The Wirraway has dropped smoke bombs as target markers for Corsair fighter-bombers of the RNZAF. While the New Zealanders' dropped their 1,000lb bombs on Japanese positions it flew low over the target to observe the results. It has pinpointed numerous targets for the AMF. It has flown so low that once a pilot was able to signal base that a wounded Japanese had blood trickling down a leg. Other important jobs it has carried out include the re-charting of maps of Bougainville Island. On survey work it has flown on steady photo reconnaissance flights. It has acted as mail and supply dropper to front line troops. In artillery reconnaissances it has been shaken by mortar fire whilst flying above the barrage. It has dive-bombed targets inaccesible to high-speed bombers, and fighter-bombers. Now in its fourth year of Army co-operation work, the Wirraway is under the care of Flt-Lt F. T. Binns, of Sydney, NSW, an engineer officer. "The fact that the Rocket has never had a major misfortune is not the least of its claims to fame." he said. "The nearest it has come to disaster is wing tips damaged in ground loops." Flt-Lt Binns considers the Wirraway the ideal aircraft for Army co-operation work, because of its handling qualities and complete lack of vices. Wirraways are doing particularly fine work in the present campaigns, giving splendid co-operation to the AMF. The aircraft ended its life during a particularly exuberant New-Year's eve party in January 1946, when it was burned on a bonfire together with a CAC Boomerang! Sadly, the aircraft had been approved for preservation in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra due to its longevity and high public profile, but the signal from RAAF headquarters arrived at the squadron after the deed had been done! My plan is to model this aircraft as it appeared in May 1944 when used in some supply dropping tests at Mareeba, Queensland. It was fitted with rectangular supply canisters (different to the later cylindrical "Storepedo" designs used in New Guinea) plus a message pick-up hook. Luckily I have a copy of the factory drawings of the message hook, so I'll be able to replicate that nicely. The aircraft was finished in the standard camouflage scheme of Foliage Green / Earth Brown and Sky undersides. Here's a couple of images of what the aircraft looked like. Below you can see a supply canister being loaded under the port wing: Below you can just make out the message pick-up hook under the fuselage centre-line: Loading the experimental stores canisters... lots of wear around the engine cowl... And finally a later image with the aircraft overall Foliage Green and white empennage, taken on Bougainville around April 1945. If you look carefully, you can see 3 aerial wires leading from the top of the antenna mast - one to the top of the rudder (as usual) and one to each wing-tip (not usual!): So what are we starting with in the MPM Models kit? Well, it's pretty basic. Large gates on the moldings, honking ejector pin marks and annoying flash along the parting lines. Minimal cockpit and zero wheel-well detail... The propeller is very basic, and the engine is the figment of some tool-maker's imagination! The fuselage side panels bulge out (which they should not do) and some of the surface details on the wing panels is fictional, but at least I know what I'm working with. First step after cleaning up the moldings was to add some basic internal detail to the insides of the fuselage side-panels, representing the aluminium extrusions and pressed formers over which the fabric was attached. These panels were removable on the real aircraft, making maintenance of the hydraulics, the engine control push-rods and elevator/rudder cables very simple. More coming...
  3. Hi All, With the Christmas festivities out the way it's time for a new project. Although I do have some odds & ends to sort out on a couple of other builds, I do enjoy starting a large build at this time of year, much like the breadbin-swapping modelling machine that is @AliGauld. At this time last year my employment status (or lack thereof) precluded such an extravagance, so it's nice to be able to kick off another 'heavy'. This time around I've been lucky enough to get my hands on Revell's Halifax B Mk.III, which was kindly transported to these parts by my parents. Now many of you may know that this kit is currently OOP, but the large-scale legend @tomprobert kindly agreed to part with his kit (he likes them bigger these days, he said 🤣). Anyhoo this rather large end-opening box is now in my possession: It's a BIG box! Tom very generously threw in a few extras - a set of Freightdog wheels: And an Eduard interior set, along with a rather obligatory mask set: Now there is a LOT of plastic in that box. Here's the sprues: The transparencies: A rather nice set of decals: The kit allows for 2 marking schemes, an RCAF aircraft 'Oscar' (which seems to be an oft-modelled option), and an RAF aircraft. I've decided to model a 100 Group RAAF aircraft, probably one of these two: (Both images copyright Australian War Memorial - for discussion only and will be removed on request). I am led to understand that the kit is a little deficient in the bomb department, so it might finally be time to add this to the pot: Now that's a festive mix! I might be a little slow getting this going, but it should be a hoot! Thanks for looking, Roger
  4. I am joining with the Academy Ventura to be finished as a RAAF 459SQN aircraft which operated in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations in 1943. My kit came from a club swap meet without instructions or decals, so I found some replacement instructions on Scalemates. The Red Roo conversion includes decals for the aircraft I am building. The conversion also includes a new cockpit, replacement turret mount, replacement intakes and desert filters and radar antenna.
  5. Hi All, My next project will be Airfix' newish (2015) Beaufighter TF.X, finished as LZ407 of 455 Sqn RAAF, which was part of the Dallachy Strike Wing. Now I completed a 1:48 Banff Strike Wing Mossie last year, so this is the next stage of the project! I'm very happy to say that I'll be building alongside the Hairy Stick Wizard himself, @bigbadbadge! We thought we'd have a bit of fun with an informal group build, so anyone who cares to join the banter is more than welcome. @AliGauld has already presented a note as he built a Dallachy Beau last year, @mark.auis busy with his Air Ministry ME262, but anyone else feel free to jump on board! I've built a couple of 1:72 Airfix Beauforts and a Blenheim Mk.IV this year - I was enormously impressed with both kits so am looking forward to what this one has to offer. Here's the box art: Here's the sprues, in Airfix usual 'old' soft pale grey plastic: This is going to be largely OOB, although I have a mask set: Now thus far I have been unable to find photos of LZ407. I do have information on the scheme (Chris has kindly shared with me details of the Avieology decal pack, which I shall not publish here for copyright reasons). However, the scheme states that the airframe was originally delivered to the squadron in 1943, and was certainly sometime equipped as an RP-armed aircraft. Here's some shots of contemporary aircraft from the wing (144 Sqn) (copyright IWM - images for discussion only and will be removed on request): These were heavily weathered airframes, so this should be fun! Specifically of note: - Oversized black squadron & aircraft codes - Overpainted areas of the original 'Sky' code letters - Overpainting of both upper & lower invasion stripes - Specific patched areas of flak damage, along with a replacement tail I'll also need to pay attention to the RP layout, as I believe it was specific to the Dallachy Beaus by this time. This is a bit of a placeholder as I'm still busy with my Typhoon & Hurricane II.c at the moment, but looking forward to kicking this one off with Chris! Thanks for looking, Roger
  6. Happy Birthday Royal Australian Air Force Today is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force. I am not going to write much about the history the of the RAAF because I am no expert. Suffice to say that on this day 100 years ago this service was formed as an independent air-arm and it has strong claim to be the second such service formed anywhere in the world. It has been a cornerstone of Australia's security and this region's stability ever since. The RAAF played an active and effective role in the Second World War as well as numerous 'smaller' but still very significant conflicts, including Korea, Vietnam, the two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan. It has assisted in many peacekeeping and security operations around the globe and has played an important humanitarian role in innumerable civil defence emergencies. At one stage, immediately after World War Two, the RAAF gave Australia the fourth largest national air arm (by number of operational aircraft) in the world. We Australians, and our various allies should be most grateful for the service that the RAAF has provided over the last century. Three years ago I started my build of an Avro 504 to mark the occasion of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Now, it would seem wrong of me not to do something similar for the Air Force of my adoptive homeland. I've been planning for this for a while and was hoping to have at least one of my three other threads on Britmodeller closed by now, but that has not happened. Time waits for no-one and if I'm going to do this to mark the anniversary then I have to start today; ready or not. If we are going to 'do' the RAAF - let's pick a good subject. Let's look at something fast... perhaps even supersonic. Hmmmm... how about a swing-wing thing...? 🤔 Nice idea! But do you know how big one of those things is in 1/32 scale? My display cabinet is only so large. What about something American with a big droopy nose, two big burner cans tucked in under a single swept back tail and tailplanes set an an outrageous angle of anhedral..... 😀 Again, Nice! But that's a very complex shape and I want to finish this before the next 100 years passes. What about something French and triangular that I once saw when I was a lad at an airshow at RNZAF Wigram... Yes! Now we are talking... Let's do one of these! If you have seen my work before you know what comes next. Get a bunch of drawings together - in this case downloaded as PDF's from the internet - and get them printed to an exact 1/32 scale. In this case there are three 'master' sheets. Get one of each laminated and half a dozen copies of each printed out. Just use everyday copying paper, no need for anything special. Don't worry about the radar under the chin folks - I know that's not an RAAF thing. Here is the compulsory 'sprue shot after opening the box' photo. A fair bit of plywood will be used but most of the parts are jarrah, the same stuff I used on the Avro 504. Jarrah is grown right here in Western Australia, is beautiful to carve and strong as anything. This will be important since there's a good chance this thing will have gear down and once the forward undercarriage bay is cut and the cockpit hollowed out there will be very little remaining intact wood to hold the nose in place. Now we do some dry fitting. Yep - the major fuselage pieces fit together without any gap at all. Note also how there's no ejector pin marks or other blemishes. Tamiya quality fit - although lacking some detail at this point. 🧐 Now I sat down and had a think. How was I actually going to make this thing? Carve the fuselage out of a single block? Or break it into multiple more manageable components. Overall this shape is a bit more complex than, say the Mig-15 that I built in 2016, and requires a bit more thought. Once some decisions are made we can start marking out the cuts. This is the first cut line marked up for the entire project. This is the moment I consider that work actually began - 8.02 PM 31 March 2021 (WA time)...100 years to the day. 👍 Like I say - initially there's a bit of planning and marking up required. Some of the decisions might be a bit counterintuitive, but I've learned a lot over the course of my last few projects and I think there's method in my madness. Who knows though, maybe there's just madness in my method? I've decided that there will be a separate central 'fuselage and cockpit' section cut out that will nestle between the air intakes and the rest of the fuselage assembly. This component is defined at this point by the red ink. Somehow the wing will also need to be accommodated, but for now it's one thing at a time. Now grab two lumps of wood and cut them longer than the section just marked out. One thing I have learned is that surplus wood is not generally a problem - insufficient wood is. Hold the two pieces of wood in a vice and drill a series of holes (four in this case two on either side) clear of the planned cut area. Drill each hole about 3/4 of the way through the entire thickness. I guess it's harmless to go all the way through but this time I chose not to. Now slip a dowel into each of the holes and cut off the surplus. In this case the dowel fitted into the holes perfectly so no glue was required at all! This is a bonus because, although I want these two bits of wood to stick together and stay nicely aligned, fairly soon I'm going to need to pull them apart splitting the fuselage in two again in preparation for hollowing out the cockpit and UC bay. Now cut out the paper plans and spray some cheap photo adhesive onto one side of the prepared wooden block. (No photos this time sorry, I forgot). Cut out the pattern with the bandsaw. It was now getting late at night and this was after Mrs Bandsaw's 'powertool noise curfew' so I left a full 5mm clear from the pattern and just raced through the cut as quickly as possible to get the noisy bit over and done with. This is the birthday of the RAAF, so noise curfew or not, there has to bandsaw action! This is the result so far. There's a long way to go... I hope that some of you come along for the ride. Per ardua ad astra Bandsaw Steve
  7. Hi All, My last completion for 2023 (I can say this definitively on New Year's Eve 🤣) is Airfix' lovely Beau TF.X, completed as LZ407 of 455 Sqn RAAF, based at RAF Dallachy, Moray, Scotland in 1945. 455 Sqn was part of the Dallachy Strike wing, and the squadrons carried out strikes on German shipping using both rocket projectiles and torpedos (LZ407 was an RP-armed aircraft). I do not have a photograph of LZ407, but here is a photo of other Dallachy Beaus (copyright IWM - images for discussion only and will be removed on request): Now this was part of an informal GB with @bigbadbadge, and both he and @AliGauld were most generous in sharing their information on Dallachy Beaufighters. Anyone else considering the build should consider getting hold of the superb Aviaeology pack, which although OOP provides a wealth of detail on the Dallachy wing aircraft. Here is the WIP if anyone is interested: The build was OOB, the only 'improvement' was reshaping the elevator actuators with brass rod. I've attempted to replicate the heavy weathering which these airframes displayed. And so to the photos: Now as this is the last build of 2023 a couple of indulgences. First a shot with another RAAF Beau, 'Slippery Ship II', from the 1:48 Tamiya kit: Finally a family shot with a couple of other 2023 Bristol builds, Airfix' excellent Blenheim Mk.IVf, and Beaufort Mk.I (completed as a Mk.Ia): So that rounds out 2023 with a total of 14 builds for me, which is not a bad total! Thanks very much to everybody who has been part of the journey, and for all your kind words, advice and encouragement. Happy New Year to one and all, and let's look forward to plenty more plastic-mangling in 2024! Thanks for looking, Roger
  8. Managed to move this one over the finish line yesterday. My third in what will be a long line of S&M Models 1/72 RAAF Canberra's. The kit is a good one and I thoroughly enjoyed researching and putting this one together. Details of the build for those interested can be found here: This particular aircraft was inspired by an all around good guy, Australian Aviation Historian and fellow modeler Roger Lambert. Roger and his platoon were the benefactors of this Magpie's work when on patrol in SVN. Rather than attempt to tell the story it is well worth a read here: 5 RAR Articles: Blondes, Bombs and Bunkers - https://www.5rar.asn.au/soldiers/blondes-bombs-bunkers.htm Magpie 31 - https://www.5rar.asn.au/soldiers/magpie-31-page-1.htm Magpie 31 Part 2 - https://www.5rar.asn.au/soldiers/magpie-31-part-2.htm I’ve also included a photo of Roger mid tour in 1969; L to R: CPL Jackson. Lt Roger Lambert and Platoon Sergeant, Peter Knight. Image was taken during a water resupply hence the empty water bottle carriers. Details of the mission: Pilot that day on the right The finished product In good company Now to starting thinking about the next one. Cheers, AGW..
  9. Hello everyone, Here’s my latest completion, the 1/72 Airfix T.11 Vampire, built as a T.35A Vampire of 2 Operational Conversion Unit, Royal Australian Air Force, c.1967. I don’t usually build jets (the last jet I built was over 10 years ago), so this is something a little different for me. The kit is another little gem from Airfix. The only fit problem I had with at the lower wing panel roots, and at the roots for the horizontal stabliser pieces, but these weren’t too much of an issue. I did replace the kit cockpit with the Pavla resin set, which I really think helps to set off the busy and cramped look of the cockpit. I also lost the nose gear side door at some point, so had to scratch build another. The glazing also needed a bit of a polish, but it fit like a dream. I had to mask and spray both the outside and the inside given that massive canopy was going to be displayed open. The model was finished with Alclad RAF high speed silver over gloss black, with the day glow being a mix of SMS Fluro Orange and SMS Fluro Red. Decals came from Xtra Decals. These decals went down nicely, but I did still have some issues with adhesion and cracking / tearing, even after clear coating (some of which required some fairly clumsy repairs – don’t look too hard….). I am still yet to master this brand, I must admit. I made a small base for this one, representing a small piece of tarmac (a pre-printed piece of cardboard), a unit patch, and a small label. The ladders and chocks were scratch built. All in all, this one took about 6 weeks from start to finish. This is a great little kit from Airfix which goes together well and looks great. Just make sure you add enough nose weight into the front end 😊 Thanks for looking – all comments and feedback welcomed! Cheers, BC
  10. After losing a bit of mojo in the early part of the year, I was cajoled encouraged into an informal group build with @Dunny and @AliGauld with the humble Brewster Buffalo as its subject. It served its purpose and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it, despite being quite rusty and making some very basic errors. Nonetheless, I was quite happy with the result. I actually finished it several weeks ago but just now got around to taking some glamour shots. The WIP is linked below. The short version is that this is the 1/48 Tamiya kit and I built it right out of the box with zero additional enhancement. I wanted to build a Singapore defender and settled on RAAF 453 Squadron's AN204 as my subject. P/O Robert William Drury scrambled in AN204 on 22 December along with 11 other Buffaloes to intercept a force of 15 Zeros escorting an attacking force of Japanese bombers flying towards Kuala Lumpur from the north. During the widespread dogfight Drury's aircraft was badly damaged and he crash landed back at Kuala Lumpur sustaining serious injuries. He died later that evening. I was unable to find the airframe code letter for Drury's aircraft so I went for D as its his initial. I mixed the colours; my versions represent the equivalent US colours to the RAF standard (this US-built airframe was donated by the RAF to the RAAF for the defence of Singapore) and they look reasonable to my eye. We can never really know, can we? I painted all of the markings except for the roundels and one fin flash (the other was lost to a masking tape mishap). Anyway, the who story in all its detail is here.. ...and the photos here. Cheers.
  11. Presented here is my Tamiya 1/48 Mosquito, representing HX914, SB-O of 464 squadron RAAF in December 1943. HX914 undertook numerous intruder operations over Europe. 464 Squadron was an article XV squadron of the Empire Air Training Scheme. Although technically an RAAF squadron, the squadron’s personnel were drawn from numerous countries, with Australians comprising up to about 50%. The squadron flew mosquitos from June 1943 to September 1945. My vignette includes two crew figures. One is represented in RAF uniform blue, the other in the deep navy RAAF uniform blue. RAAF aircrew wore RAAF uniforms while serving in Europe. Black and white photos clearly show the difference in tonality between RAF and RAAF uniforms. Crew figures are from Djiti’s Productions and Barracuda. I have presented the model without external aerials. Most photos of 464 squadron show the mosquitoes like this. The model has minimal weathering, again as per photos of 464 squadron. Decals are from the DK Decals DH.89 Mosquito used by Australian pilots in the RAAF and RAF set. I incorrectly aligned the squadron codes with the top of the fuselage, and by the time I realised my mistake, they had stuck fast! The base is a piece of marine plywood, as befits an aircraft made from plywood and balsa wood. It’s my first attempt at static grass. Possibly put too much on. Model Cobber
  12. Hello everyone - here’s my latest project; the nice little Airfix T.11 Vampire trainer. I’ll start by saying, I don’t generally build jets. In fact, the last jet I built was well over 10 years ago (or more now)… So this will be a little bit of a diversion from my usual propellered fare. I intend on building this as a RAAF T.35A (which was pretty much is a T.11, at least externally, from what I understand). The RAAF flew the Vampire trainer for quite a few years, so there’s a few schemes to choose from (all of them pretty much silver overall, however quite a few wore various patterns of high-visibility / day-glow orange). I am thinking about a 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) machine from the late 1960s, with some splashes of day-glow orange. Needless to say, due to a fairly limited knowledge of the aircraft itself, I’ve decided to keep this one fairly simple. By all reports, the Airfix kit is lovely, with few vices. That being said, I did want to up the detail levels in the cockpit (the kit seats in particular are prominent, and, well, a bit plain). Somewhere along the line I had picked up the Pavla cockpit set for this one, so I decided to go with that. Detail on the set is nice, but a bit soft in quite a few places. Not knowing much about the Vampire, I pretty much left the cockpit set as is. The cockpit fits well enough, which is a bonus. Vampire cockpits are essentially all black, which on one hand is great (because it hides most things, such as my poor painting skills), but on the other hand it means that the detail can get lost in the dark gloom. So I painted mine dark grey, with quite a bit of high contrast dry brushing to pop out the detail. This was especially tricky on the instrument panel, where the raised dial details are quite faint. Careful dry brushing was needed here, coupled with an appropriate wash, and blobs of white glue for the glass on the dials. It all still looks a bit ho-hum, but given the panel is relatively small and will be a bit hard to see, I was happy enough with the end effect. Here is the interior with some paint on it. So far, so good… Anyone have any tips for building this kit? I have already looked to fill the large sink marks along the upper surface of the wing trailing edge. I also thought about dropping the flaps but I think that this will be a bit too tricky given the engineering of the Airfix kit. Cheers for looking, and feedback always welcomed! BC
  13. Hello there, I started the Spartan about 3 years ago and this is now my second rollout for 2016 (which is already quite a lot for me...) It took me sweat and blood to finish it and almost landed in the trash bin, after a serious incident with a hot spotlight... But, I managed to save her and proceeded to the very end. As for the kit - it is from Italeri (1/72) and...well, not the best fit. But ok, the guys from Italeri did a good job all in all. Details are more than ok and they were bold enough to produce a plane like this, that is not that popular after all (imho). And still better than any resin kit... The decal-sheet is from Ronin Decals. Never worked with decals thin like this. They are excellent, but one has to be very careful and patient, because they tend a lot to "roll over". Other than that, they resist to a proper amount of tear, unless you really mess it up. Nevertheless, there is a drawback for this sheet. I found the walkway color tone being wrong. So I had to mask everything (which was probably anyways better and smarter, but a lot of work) The colors came from AK and it's the first time I've been working with these. They are pretty good, have a very good adherence and the color tone seems to be spot on. (again imho) I used as suggested by the decals sheet FS36099 / FS35237. Aftermarket parts came from Eduard ED73394 (Detail Set) and Eduard EDCX281 (Mask) Ok, enough of writing, I hope you enjoy my effort and on to the pics:
  14. Coincidence is a thing, is it not? After months of absent modelling mojo two things happened within the space of a few hours; I put away the Vought A-7 Corsair that had been sitting on my bench untouched for months, and I received a message from @Dunny wondering if all was well. Aside from the inherent kindness in the query, his message included an implied if not explicit gentle nudge towards the bench. Coincidently, we were both looking at the fugly Brewster Buffalo as a potential subject and an informal two-man group build was born. Dunny's thread has the kit pics and requisite preliminary info so I'll plow directly into my version lest my mojo wane. My topic for this two-man GB is a Buffalo belonging to 453 Squadron, RAAF based in Singapore during late December 1941 or early January 1942. I have not yet decided which one. I am using the Tamiya 1/48 scale kit, same as Dunny. As a mojo rebuilding project I did not intend to spend much time on anything really, just get on with it and make a decent, if not good model. The cockpit was first and after an hour or so I had this. The cockpit glass won't be open - the kit does not offer that option - so this will be more than adequate for my purposes. Next I glued the major parts together; some seam cleanup required... The key is momentum so I didn't care too much and just let the glue cure, clean up will come later. There was a faux pas that did require some extra work on the engine cowling. Overzealous sanding in an attempt to make the cowling join better made it much worse... A bit more work to do there but nothing serious. That's it for now. Next I will clean up the seams, complete the major assembly and prep for paint. Cheers.
  15. Hi All, My latest completion is Tamiya's Brewster Buffalo. I've chosen to complete this as an RAAF example, A51-13 of 25 Sqn RAAF, based at RAAF Dunreath, Western Australia, 1942. 25 Sqn were tasked with the air defence of Perth, and this aircraft was flown by Flt Sgt J Bailey. Here's a couple of photos of the aircraft (and presumably the aforementioned pilot?): The build was OOB, with marking masks cut on a Silhouette Portrait. Here's a link to the WIP if anyone is interested: This was part of an informal group build with my esteemed companions @mark.au and @AliGauld - many thanks for the pleasure of your company along the journey gentlemen, it has been great fun. With that, here's the photos: Here's a couple of final shots with a homegrown fighter of similar stance and proportion: It's nice to have this unusual aircraft in RAAF colours, and it's a great addition to the collection. Thanks to all those who have provided kind words and encouragement along the way - it has been much appreciated! Thanks for looking, Roger
  16. Hi All, Fresh from finishing my Anson, the RAAF camouflage set a spark off. Some quick research revealed that the Buffalo did serve in Earth Brown and Foliage Green over Sky Blue: Here's a photo of A51-13: I would say from the photo that the aircraft code is more likely Sky Blue than white, with the '310' more likely white than the yellow depicted in the scheme. Here's the box art: And here's the sprue shots: Here's the transparencies: No open cockpit without surgery! Here's the decals and canopy masks: This should be a straightforward, enjoyable build. Now everybody has one of these in the stash, right? If anyone's interested I think this is a great opportunity for an informal group build. I bet @mark.au would be up for this one?! Anyone else tag along for the ride! Thanks for looking, Roger
  17. Hi All, My latest completion is Airfix' wonderful new-tool Anson. I've chosen to complete as one of the box schemes, more precisely this one: As you can see AW665 was painted in an experimental camouflage scheme designed for maritime patrol missions. The white was applied over the 'standard' RAAF scheme of Earth Brown and Foliage Green over Sky, with the flanks in matt white with gloss white undersides. Here's a photo of AW665: The build was mostly OOB, albeit with harnesses added. I also chose to pose the side access door open, to open up some of the lovely internal detail: Here's the WIP if anyone is interested: Anyway, on to the photos: Finally, one of the major learnings for me was the size of the Anson. I'd always thought of it as a small aircraft, but here's a shot with a Mossie for scale: Two very different aircraft, but very similar in size! I've enjoyed this build immensely - Airfix are to be congratulated on this superb kit. It is one of the best kits I have built in any scale, and the detail and engineering are simply marvellous. Thanks for all those who have added encouragement and kind words along the way - it has been much appreciated! My next project may also involve some of the colours seen here - watch this space! Thanks for looking, Roger
  18. Hi All, Well this is exciting! I've finally got my hands on Airfix' lovely Annie, after a veeeeeeery long wait! I've been itching to get this kit so as soon as it popped up as available I got it ordered. Here's the box, which is surprisingly big: Here's the sprue shots: You can see some lovely surface detail there! Here's the rather lovely transparencies: The decal sheet, which allows for 3 schemes (one RAF, one RCAF and one RAAF): I'm going to complete as one of these schemes - more precisely this one: As you can see it's an RAAF version, AW665 of 71 Sqn RAAF, based at Lowood QLD in October 1943. This was an experimental camouflage scheme for anti-submarine missions. The aircraft has often been modelled in TSS, which would have been lovely but sadly incorrect. Here's a photo of the aircraft: You can see that the codes are pretty dark - Airfix present them in Sky so I shall have to do something about that. I believe they should be in Dark Sea Grey so I shall whip out the Silhouette to cut some stencils. I am very much looking forward to this build! Thanks for looking, Roger
  19. Time for me to get working on the (sadly flawed) 1/48 Special Hobby Wirraway kit. I have about six of these in my stash (how??), and I'm going to build two at once... One will be built as A20-719 / VH-WRX representing its movie star role as a US Navy Douglas Dauntless in the 1998 Terrence Malick movie "The Thin Red Line". This version will have a few modifications, some to make it more like a Wirraway and some to make it less like a Wirraway! There are very few photographs of the aircraft in this guise, but here's a sketch of what the movie star looked like: The second will be built as A20-547 as it appeared post-war at Base Squadron Point Cook, flown by pilots from 1FTS. This is a build for a friend, who owns (and is restoring) the remains of the real aircraft. This one will be built OOB (apart from the post-war modifications), so I can give a comparison to the more detailed build of 719. Here is what this second model will look like (apart from the serial number being different): I happen to have two different boxings of this kit, but the contents are the same... First step in construction is to build the fuselage frame and fit out the cockpit. Clearly the floor detail in the Special Hobby kit doesn't match the reality of a Wirraway... So for the extra-detailed build for A20-719 I cut the foot-troughs into sections of the correct length and will use the aft-most troughs (turned upside-down) to duplicate the foot-plates either side of the aft seat...
  20. ¡Hola amigos! As I advance in the history of the Pacific Campaign during WWII, the actions in the South Pacific get more and more interesting. The passage of the complete anihilation of a Japanese convoy to New Guinea in the so called "Battle of the Bismarck Sea" in March 1943, made me stomp with the feared Bristol Beaufighter. What a beast! I picked up the good ol' Tamiya kit of the Mark VI and started the really enjoyable building of the model. It is mostly OOB except for the letters that identified her as a member of 31st Squadron based in Coomalie Creek during 1942-43, that came from NZ Ventura decals. Very helpful about the usage of TSS, TLS and later Foliage Green (on the Aussie Mk.21 Beau) was a particular forum and debate here in Britmodeller (special thanks to @Sydhuey @Ozhawk40 @Biggles81 and @Nick Millman). All the best, Cris.
  21. G'day all, Finally finished this one after lots of stops and starts, primarily due to moving interstate and a lack of room in our new place - can't wait to get back to our own house when this year's over! You can see my 'Harry Potter cupboard' under the stairs I'm working in at the moment in a few of the shots. What can I say? It's the Hasegawa kit, with a heap of extras added - most of which I shouldn't have added! All the dramas are detailed in the WIP build link below. It represents A89-281, which is now at HARS and, unlike her sisters, A89-273 and the ex-Aeronavale 566, is very unlikely ever to fly again. She's depicted as she was just before her removal from service in 1978. Finished with Mr Surfacer White, Humbrol 40 Grey and 85 Satin Black and a mixture of detail colours from Colourcoats and Testors Model Master (all enamels). Weathering pastels (barely visible) to depict exhaust staining and Mr Colour weathering solution (brown) in the wheel wells. All coated with Future with Tamiya X-21 added to flatten the finish, where required. WIP and extras detailed at: I'm glad it's done and off my bench but it's not reflective of my current skills and will sit in the cabinet as a reminder not to go crazy on aftermarket and detailing and not to use 30 year old decals!! And one with the aircraft it replaced in-service - the GAF-built Lincoln B.30: Sorry about the stuff in the background but I'm a bit too over the model to care, to be honest! Hopefully the 1/48 Harvard will be better...
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