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  1. This is Shark 20 as she would likely have been during the Sydney-Hobart yacht race rescues in December 1998. Built under the Sea King Group Build but completed too late to include in the gallery. This is the most complex buld to date during my middle-aged modelling renaissance and I think at times I bit off more than I could reasonably chew. I failed to finish off some of the details but have done enough for me to call her done and move onto a (hopefully) simpler build. Painted in Gunze H307 (FS 36320) with some light panel line detailing and exhaust staining around the rear of the fuselage. The build thread can be found here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234975709-westland-sea-king-mk50-ran/ Thanks for looking, Andrew
  2. A late entry. That’s not unusual for me. My mother said I was late for my birth and have been arriving late ever since. And yes, I did clear it with moderator that aircraft of the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm are eligible for this Group Build. We need a few kangaroos amongst all those aircraft carrying targets. RAN FAA The RAN first acquired an interest in naval aviation just prior to World War I. In May 1913 naval strategist, Commander Walter Thring, RAN, advocated for the acquisition of ‘water-planes’, and the following year the First Naval Member, Rear Admiral Sir William Creswell, RAN, recommended that the 1914-1915 estimates allow for the establishment of an Australian Naval Air Service. Without British support, which the RNAS was unable to provide, the proposal went no further. The RAN’s interest in aviation grew more over the course of the war. Naval aviation found a champion in the form of Captain John Dumaresq, RN, HMAS Sydney’s Australian-born Royal Navy Captain. Dumaresq was at the forefront of the campaign to develop an embarked aviation capability in the Empire’s cruisers. In 1920, a deployment of an Avro 504 floatplane aboard HMAS Australia and HMAS Melbourne was attempted. This proved to be unsuccessful as the aircraft were not built to withstand the rigours of handling on a naval ship. Undeterred, in April 1921, the Australian Government announced its intention to acquire 12 Fairey IIID seaplanes for service with the RAN, a number that was later reduced to six due to financial constraints. The six aircraft arrived in Australia in late 1921 but were placed under the operational control of the RAAF. The RAN had not given up its ambition to establish an air arm and, on 16 June 1925, the following order was promulgated: "The Naval board have decided to establish a Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Australian Navy, based, as far as practicable, on the scheme adopted in the Royal Navy." Two new County Class cruisers, HMA Ships Australia and Canberra , were to be constructed to the tonnage limits of the Washington Treaty, and both would be able to launch aircraft from a catapult. It was further suggested that the RAN might take up a merchant vessel modified as a seaplane carrier. However there was major inter-service rivalry with the Air Board interpreting the order as establishing a FAA on the British model, i.e. within the RAAF and under RAAF control, whereas the Naval Board interpreted it as establishing the new branch within the RAN. Ministerial approval for the establishment of a FAA in the RAN was given in January 1925. Then on 10 June 1925, six days before the order establishing an FAA was promulgated, the Governor-General, Sir Henry Forster, while opening Federal Parliament, announced the Government’s intention construct a seaplane carrier at Cockatoo Island Dockyard. However, wrangling between the Naval and Air boards over control of the FAA continued. The final result was that the RAN FAA was disestablished at a meeting of the Federal Cabinet on 18 January 1928. It was not until twenty years later, after World War II, that the RAN was finally able to establish a Fleet Air Arm in 1948. It’s initial equipment was motley collection of ex RAAF used for training purposes. The first operational aircraft were Hawker Sea Furies and Fairey Firefly aircraft which were embarked on HMAS Sydney in March 1949 and she then sailed to Australia. My model will represent one of those Firefly aircraft, albeit as a target tug, some ten or so years later. IN THE BEGINNING: There was the PP Aerokit, AK001, Fairey Firefly FR4/5 purchased circa 1994. This was a ground breaking kit for its time and very detailed for a ‘cottage industry’ product. It was multimedia having the fuselage and wings vac moulded, some 40 odd metal parts, 90 odd etched parts, and 20 resin parts. As can be seen in photo below, I did start the kit, cutting out the vac formed parts and doing a little work on the cockpit. Then, for reasons I no longer recall, (I think moving from one country to another may have had something to do with it), it was relegated to the shelf of doom. THEN CAME: What I thought was a great bargain at a ‘Swap and Smell’. It was the, then relatively new, Grand Phoenix Firefly MK.1 kit. I bought with the intention of cross-kitting. I could replace the vac-formed parts of the PP kit with the injection moulded parts of the GP kit. The engine could be replaced with one cut from the PP kit and the latter would also provide the radiators and clipped wingtips. Seemed like a great idea until I realised that the GP kit was missing one fuselage half. Oh, s..t! I’d been dudded! So the project went even further to the back of the shelf of doom. FINALLY, INSPIRATION!! BM started a group build “Here Comes the Fleet Air Arm”. I consulted with our esteemed moderator and it was ruled that the RAN FAA also qualified. So, out from the dusty recesses of the shelf of doom, my Firefly kits saw the sunshine again. Yes, I could have gone out and bought a newer kit, but I had these two, and I do call myself a modeller, although same may dispute that. Anyway, I like a challenge, so here goes. The build will be a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm Fairey Firefly T.T.6. I have yet to decide which particular A/C.
  3. Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 (A06105A) 1:48 Airfix The Hawker Sea Fury was a fast, agile fighter that, despite having entered service at the dawn of the jet age, enjoyed a successful career with a surprising number of air and naval forces around the globe. The Sea Fury evolved from the aircraft it was designed to replace; the larger, heavier Tempest. Originally conceived of as a smaller, dedicated fighter, the Fury began gestation in 1943 and although it missed the end of WWII, it eventually developed into a highly capable fighter-bomber with a change of operator and renaming to Sea Fury indicating its pivot to carrier operations under the auspices of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA). Phenomenally fast thanks to its powerful Bristol Centaurus reciprocating engine that output around 2,500hp through a five-bladed prop, the Sea Fury entered service with the Royal Navy in September 1947 with four Hispano 20mm cannons mounted two in each wing that gave it a powerful punch, and when it was found to be suitable for ground attack missions, hard-points were added under the wings to carry 1,000lb bombs and rockets for the role. The initial Mk.X was subjected to extensive land and sea-based trials, with the resulting improvements integrated into the Mk.11, which took up most of the 600+ Sea Furies that the FAA ordered, around 60 of which were two-seat trainer T.20s. The Sea Fury also did well in the export market, further increasing the number of airframes in service around the world, and while the type left British service in 1955, it carried on flying with other operators considerably longer. In 1959, the Cuban Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Ejército de Cuba, or FAEC) purchased seventeen refurbished Sea Furies from Hawker for use in the unsuccessful struggle against the revolutionary forces of Fidel Castro. Following Castro's victory, the Sea Furies were retained by the new Fuerza Aerea Revolutionaria and saw limited action during the Bay of Pigs invasion. The Sea Fury later proved popular with pilots participating in the Reno Air Races, although many had their Centaurus engine replaced with US-built Wasp Major or Cyclone engines, as well as aerodynamic modifications and flashy paint schemes. Some of those racers were later converted back to original specification as war birds or museum pieces, and there are some still flying today, although those complex Centaurus engines do sometimes cause problems that cut short their performances. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original tooling from 2018, which feels like 10 minutes ago and a lifetime ago at the same time, thanks in part to Covid. This is the third outing of this superbly detailed kit, with new decals depicting some more unusual markings that the type has worn. It is hard to believe that we’ve not yet reviewed this kit, but it’s here now, resplendent in its red-themed top-opening box that holds five sprues in the new darker grey styrene, clear sprue, a large decal sheet, and an A4 portrait instruction booklet that is printed in colour on matt paper. There is also a folded sheet of glossy A4 that has the detailed stencilling guide printed over a line-drawn set of profiles to avoid confusion on the other colour profiles in the back of the instruction booklet. Detail is excellent, with finely engraved panel lines, raised and recessed features, and a well-appointed cockpit, most of which will disappear into darkness after being painted black, and when the fuselage is closed. Construction begins with the cockpit tub, which has side consoles moulded-in, and is fitted out with control column and rudder pedals plus the instrument panel, which has six dial decals to detail it. The seat has a quilted back cushion and is glued to the rear bulkhead and joined to the rear of the cockpit, adding a stepped bulkhead to the front to create the foot well around the rudder pedals. Scrap diagrams show how these two important aspects should be aligned, then a pair of ribbed inserts fill the gap between the two bulkheads with detail painting of the equipment there adding to the realism, and this sits against the fuselage interior once installed, so remember to paint that to match. The tail wheel bay area is also painted, but in interior green primer, adding the cockpit, tail wheel bay and forward bulkhead with spar to the port side of the fuselage, then mating the starboard side and dealing with the seams in your preferred manner. Much like the Tempest from which it was derived, the Sea Fury had a large pair of gear bays in the centre-wing, which are supplied as a single ribbed insert that has a divider and a pair of actuator jacks fitted to the centre recess, then it’s painted and inserted into the lower centre wing panel, remembering to drill out the flashed-over holes for the appropriate choice of drop-tank you intend to use, and for the optional RATO bottles at the rear edge. A shallow C-shaped intake housing and twin cannon barrel inserts are added to the leading edges of the lower wing, then the assembly is brought up under the fuselage, aligning the lateral groove with the spar projecting from the underside of the fuselage. To complete the fuselage, the circular ring of cooling gills at the rear of the engine cowling has a pair of multi-port exhaust inserts fitted to the inner surface of the ring, then it is mated to the two-part cowling, adding the lip with a depiction of the front of the huge Centaurus motor slipped inside it before joining the assembly together and mating it with the fuselage on a stepped lip. The elevator panels are slotted into the sides of the tail, adding the flying surfaces that can be deflected anywhere between 21.5° up, or 11.5° down, remembering that they operate as one pair in unison. The rudder is offered up to the curved recess in the fin, and that too can be deflected up to 27° to either side if you wish. You have a choice of building the model with the wings deployed for flight, or folded for stowage under the deck, or just for fun. The straight wings are made by inserting substantial extensions into the inner panel before fitting the upper portion, then building the outer wing panels over the protruding section, finishing off with the elevators, which can be deflected up 14.5° or down 17.5°, with the opposite wing taking the opposing position, and remembering the inequality of the movement needed to raise the wing compared to dropping it. There are multiple flashed-over holes in the underside of the outer wings that are drilled out if you plan to use the rockets or bombs that are provided, some of which are close together, so take care which ones you open. To fold the wings, the upper centre surface is glued in place with a rib outboard, into which a vaguely L-shaped hinge is inserted. The outer wing panels are built up with their own rib that has a matching socket, and the same caveat applies to the use of weapons under the wings of your model. The elevators deflect down by 17.5° when the wings are folded, so have your protractor at the ready! The next choice is to pose your model in flight or not, remembering that Sea Furies don’t fly too well with their wings folded. To depict your model in flight, closed gear bay door inserts are laid into all three bays, each one playing the part of multiple individual doors so that alignment is simplified. To model your kit with the wheels down, the tail-wheel is made from strut and separate yoke, flexing the one-part wheel in between the two arms, then gluing it into the hole in the bay roof and adding the two doors to the sides of the bay. The main gear legs are a single part each that have a large captive door glued to the bottom portion, fixing it into the bay and securing it with a long retraction jack, and adding another smaller bay door outside of the leg, taking note of the scrap diagram beside that step for orientation. The same task is done in mirror-image, then the two centre doors are glued to the line between the bays, locating on the actuators installed in the bay earlier. The wheels are in two halves, one having the full hub moulded into it, the other providing the other half of the tyre. They fit onto the axles at the ends of the struts, and a pair of scrap diagrams show how the completed gear assembly should look from the side and front. A powerful engine needs a large prop, which in this case is a five-bladed unit that has all the blades moulded as one, clamped between the front and rear parts of the spinner, and fitted on a pin to an insert that glues into the tubular cowling-within-the-cowling, taking care with the glue if you want the prop to remain mobile for any definitely non-childish reasons. There is a great choice of stores, fuel tanks and RATO packs to be pondered over, starting with the Rocket Assisted Take Off packs that are built into two sets of three cylinders that are mated at an angle on the back plate to form a V-shape, plus a bracket fixed to the front for location under the airframe centreline behind the gear bays. There is a choice of two styles of fuel tank for under the wing, which have their pylons moulded into the top half, and one decal option has a clear lens inserted into the front of the starboard tank. Moving further outboard, there is a choice of two sizes of bomb that fit on shallow pylons outboard of the drop-tank locations, one of which has a ring stabiliser around the standard fins, or in a similar position using different holes you can mount three pairs of rockets on moulded-in launch rails. The build phase is completed by installing the crew step under the wing root, either deployed or by using a flat door part to depict it retracted, adding the cooling vents at the rear of the wing-mounted radiators, putting a pitot probe in the tip of the port wing next to the clear wingtip lights, and clipping the arrestor hook onto a peg inside its housing beneath the tail, which should allow it to remain mobile providing you don’t lock it in place with glue. The windscreen is glued to the front of the cockpit opening, and the canopy can be posed closed or slid back along the track moulded into the fuselage to give better visual access to the cramped cockpit. Markings There are three options supplied on the decal sheet, all substantially different from each other, one of which is a civilian machine with a custom civil registration code, and gaudy red paint job complete with go-faster stripes. From the box you can build one of the following: G-FURY, UK, 1981 Exercise ‘Momentum’, 1831 Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap), Cheshire, England, 1952 No.724 Sqn., Royal Australian Navy, Naval Air Station Nowra, New South Wales, Australia, 1961-2 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s good to see this well-detailed kit back on the shelves in some interesting new liveries, one from my home county, one in bright red with a cool tail-code, and the other from the opposite side of the world. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. I have been giving some serious thought as to what to build for this GB. There were a few subjects which made their way onto the shortlist including the F-111C, T-6 and P-40 amongst others but with the very sad passing of Andy ( @Silver Fox ) and the rightful dedication of this GB to his memory it was really a no brainer to finally decide to build an A-4 Skyhawk as Andy used one as his Avatar on BM. The Skyhawk has long been a favourite aircraft of mine, I am hosting the types first STGB here on BM in a few weeks, so I have a few kits of them in the stash and also a decent selection of decals for them so the decision next was which to use and how not to leave out either our Aussie or Kiwi friends in one build. I have a set of Gekko Graphics excellent sheets for the A-4 in both RAN and RNZAF service in a variety of schemes and a couple of them struck me as perfect for this build. Now as I am sure that most of you know when Australia retired their A-4's in the early 80's they were sold to New Zealand to help bolster their numbers of Skyhawks in service. What is perhaps less well known is the fact that they retained their original RAN camouflage with the only difference being that a red Kiwi took the place of the red Kangaroo in the national markings, so what you get is a kind of RAN/RNZAF mix of an aircraft, perfect! For those unaware of what that looks like it will look like this picture below which is most likely the aircraft I will be building; Now which kit to use. The A-4G is basically an A-4E/F and as this aircraft has yet to go through the upgrade to A-4K standard to match the rest of the RNZAF fleet you can build it straight from an E/F kit, taking care to have the correct aerials and to remove some specific USN/USMC equipment from it. I have a couple of A-4E/F kits in the stash and have settled on using the old but still acceptable Monogram 1/48 kit which I didn't get round to building in the Vietnam GB last year using the boxing pictured below; The kit was still sealed in it's original plastic bag inside; Isn't that blue coloured plastic simply lovely! Well, no, but the quality of the moulding is very good and even though the surface detailing is raised (heaven forbid!!) it is very fine as you can see in this close up of one of the wing upper surfaces; So thats the kit and markings sorted, time to make a start. Well I already have! I got the kit out yesterday and got carried away and made start on the cockpit, this is quite a basic affair and comes with the Escapac seat moulded into the cockpit floor and has a separate control column and instrument panel. The seat is quite basic (but then so is the Escapac in reality) but to crave it out would have made needing to build or buy a replacement cockpit so that wasn't going to happen! So I have painted up the kit cockpit as is but have also added a couple of the "time to leave" handles from some wire and painted them yellow, the result looks like this; The kit's instrument panel is pretty good (typical Monogram) and when painted up looks like this; Not the clearest picture but you get the idea, and withe the tub and IP painted they were assembled (took ages that did!) to give this; I had also been working on the cockpit side wall at the same time, these are pretty good and come with the quilted effect moulded onto them that is appropriate for an A-4's cockpit and after a bit of painting and a wash you get this; And with the completed cockpit tub fitted in place; You can see some of the necessary weight added to make sure that she isn't a tail sitter. And with that the fuselage halves could be joined together, it is quite a simple kit. Not a bad fit at all considering the age of the kit, nearly as old as me! I fitted the airbrakes in the closed position as they were nearly always closed when on the ground. The wings have also been assembled and asides from a small amount of PPP applied at the joint across where the slats go they are again a really good fit, one thing I did need to do was to open up the holes for both sets of pylons under the wings, I also need to source a set of pylons as only two come with the kit as it's the Blue Angel's version. And that is where I shall leave it for now, actually got quite a bit done. There's some clean up to be done on the fuselage before the two sub-assemblies can be joined together and I also need to remove the moulded in RHAWS sensors from under the nose and tail as they weren't fitted to the RAN A-4's. Thanks for looking in and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received. Craig.
  5. I shall join with this still sealed TA-4 kit from Fujimi I will be building one of the Hi-vis options from the Hawkeye sheet, hmmm, checks or chevrons? 🤔 This will be my second attempt at a Fujimi A-4, the first is this still to be finished TA-4S conversion started a couple of years ago, maybe I will try and finish it along with this build.
  6. My contribution to the group build is a Royal Australian Navy Bristol Sycamore HR.51 in 1/72 scale. The kit is from UK manufacturer S&M Models "Specialists in forgotten or ignored British Aircraft, Airlines and Airliners". It is a lovely kit with very finely moulded details and markings for the two models shown on the box top below. The first 3 Sycamores (HR.50) arrived in Australia aboard HMAS Vengeance in 1951 with an additional 10 (HR.51) subsequently purchased. They initially served in a bare metal finish with 900 series side numbers but took on the two-tone white over Oxford blue scheme from October 1962. The change to 800 series side numbers happened in 1958. I'm still deciding on whether to represent the metal or Oxford blue scheme. Here is a photo of an HR.50 in bare metal finish that I took at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Nowra. The feature that distinguishes the HR.50 most from the HR.51 is the starboard side forward window which is lower than the HR.50 and includes a small viewport above it. There is also no step mounted below this window that suggests that it did not function as as routinely functioning door (although I've seen some photos with the entire forward section removed). And here is an HR.51 from the same museum in Oxford blue. You can see both forward doors now hinge and there is a stirrup step below both. The window on the starboard side is raised to the same level as the port side. Here is a shot of the three sprues. The cockpit sides are moulded in clear plastic, the first time that I've build a kit with this feature. It appears to be quite a simple build but I'm sure getting the cockpit and fuselage to mate nicely will require some thought. Being a short-run kit there are of course no locator pins. Here is progress so far. I've removed the cockpit parts from their sprues and tidied them up. To fix the sink marks in the seat cushions, I first removed them with a razor saw and then fashioned a new cushion from 1mm plastic card. Hopefully more to come soon. I just need to locate a can of Tamiya fine surface primer in Sydney so that I can start painting. They seem to be out-of-stock everywhere I look. Andrew
  7. What a crazy year for us all. Apart from staying at home painting the interior of our house and a weekly round of no-contact golf, I rediscoverd my passion for scale modelling and managed to tidy up and finish two long outstanding builds (Fairey Firefly and Westland Wessex) and complete a third (Auster Autocar). My fourth build, an RAN Sea Fury from HMAS Sydney is built and painted, but not yet weathered or assembled and so not included in this years list. So here they are: Auster J/5G Autocar in 1/72 scale. The aircraft served with RAN 723, 724 and 725 Squadrons operating out of Nowra from 1953 to around 1963. The model is a conversion from the AZ model Auster AOP.Mk.III. The air intakes and exhaust were scratch built and the rear of the canopy line modified from a square to tapered shape. I did however stop short of raising the rear fuselage and canopy so it's not 100% accurate but it's looking tidy enough for me. The markings were taken from my spares box. Fairey Firefly AS.5 (VX388) of 817 Squadron, HMAS Vengeance. Built from the Special Hobby 1/72 Fairey Firefly Mk.IV/V kit with Red Roof Model decals. This was a long drawn out build which commenced in 2017 but was only finally finished off this year. There is a work in progress thread here: Westland Wessex Mk.31A from 1965 with the earlier marking scheme. This one is from the Italeri 1/72 HAS.3 kit. I had already built a Mk.31B but really wanted one of the earlier configurations in my collection. There is some scratch-building of the nose, Doppler radar and conduits underneath along with some Eduard etch detailing the fuselage and cockpit. I did commence folding the rotors but in the end decided to leave them alone. This was another long build, originally commenced in 2016. I'm very pleased to have found the time and patience to finish it off this year. All the best to everyone for the new year. Andrew
  8. Hi All While looking for the promised Barracuda I found this. Will try to finish it and end the woeful streak this year . Bag still sealed so everything should still be there. Martin H
  9. Well the “HMAS Vendetta” build is finally finished and I only lost decal, a very small Pennant number down around the stern. Dammed the convicts for adopting the US Navy pennant number system unlike the Kiwis who still used the proper numbering system aka the RN for Commonwealth Navies. Paints used were, Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (light Grey), Humbrol Acrylic Spray Grey 64 both were in a rattle can. Humbrol Emamel Matt Black, Matt White and Humbrol Acrylic 64 which I think I’ll throw out in the end. Sovereign Colourcoats RN16 (old stock). Aftermaket parts from Shapeways in form of the 4.5” turrets, the two twin 40mm Bofors and two single 40mm Bofors. Ladders were pinched from my two Flyhawk L Class Destroyer builds. A few little school boy errors during the build, but overall a very enjoyable build in the end. But the real joy of this build was having a few old boys from the pirates who served on one of the 4 Darings retelling a few dits, and during Vendetta’s time on the gun line during the Vietnam with USN and the technical side of the Darings in the RAN. Would like to have added railings and the catwalk between fw’d and aft superstructures. Here’s the history of the build for those who haven’t been following it.
  10. Hi mates, Having just finished one folded wing project (my Fairey Firefly TT.4), and having not learned any lessons by doing so, I decided to jump head first into another! And in resin to boot! This time it's the de Havilland Sea Venom in fabulous 1:72 scale. The build consisted of the basic Sea Venom kit, plus the optional folding wing set, both from those master craftsmen in the Czech Republic, CMR. I love CMR kits - the level of detail is astounding. This project is a tribute to Steve Long (NAVY870) from the Camden Museum of Aviation in Australia. Steve was such a big help with my Firefly build, that I wanted to build a model of an aircraft that he restored, Sea Venom WZ895. He was a huge help on the build, making sure I had all of WZ895's configuration correct. I think I got it all! Project: Royal Australian Navy de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.53 Kits: Czech Master Resin (CMR) de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.21/22 & FAW.53 (kit number 231); Folding Wings Set (kit number DS7207) Scale: 1:72 (Her Majesty's Own Scale) Decals: From the kit, representing WZ895, 870-NW, No. 724 Squadron RAN, Naval Air Station Nowra, Summer 1959 Photoetch: Included with the kit, primarily for the cockpit, control surfaces, antennae, windscreen wiper, wing fences, etc. Vacuform: Two copies included with the kit, and old Fumble Thumbs needed them both! The canopy is supplied as one piece, and must be cut into three sections to be displayed open Paint: Gunze H333 Extra Dark Sea Grey, H331 Dark Sea Grey, H74 Sky, H11 Flat White, H12 Flat Black, H77 Tyre Black, H322 Phthalo Cyanine Blue, H329 Yellow FS13538; Alclad 101 Aluminum, 115 Stainless Steel, 314 Klear Kote Flat, and a bunch I forgot about. Weathering: Post shading to simulate paint fading and wear, and the assorted stains and hydraulic fluid/oil streaks. I applied a grey wash to the Sky underside, and a black wash to the EDSG topside. Improvements/Corrections This was built pretty much out of the box, the only things I added were: Canopy shades Whip aerials (two on the rear canopy and one under the starboard boom) Longer jury struts (the kit supplied struts were too short for proper alignment of the wings when folded) Build thread: Link Now, let's see some photos! Enjoy! Perhaps the most difficult part of the build was getting the alignment of the wings correct. They're not perfect, but I think they're pretty close! I couldn't figure out how to hold the model upside down to take some photos of the underside once the folded wings were on, but I do have these in-process shots before they were added. I wasn't completely finished with the weathering, etc. but I think you can get the idea. And a couple of family shots: Cheers, Bill
  11. For my next build I’m trying something a little different, a WW1 biplane, but still keeping with my Australian Fleet Air Arm theme. I’ll be building the Rodin 1/72 Sopwith 2F1 “Ship’s Camel” and the subject will be N-6823 from HMAS Sydney, 1918. I find the use of these aircraft quite intriguing as by all accounts they were single use, taking off from a short runway on top of a gun turret and then ditching beside the ship for recovery. The first step is to make the end-opening box into top-opening! Then here’s the contents. And the current state of play, all items for the first 3 assembly stages snipped off the sprues and tidied up. I’ve separated the elevators from the tailplane, firstly as I’d like to pose them slightly dropped, and also as I’ve read somewhere that the tailplane is a little undersize and so I’ll make it around 2mm longer. Here’s the kit parts alongside a diagram from the Wingnut Wings kit and you can indeed see some size and shape differences in the tailplane and upper wing. That’s enough for now. Some new challenges for me in this build. I’ll need to learn painting wood effects and brush up on rigging in order to build this one.
  12. It's been about 6 months since I've posted anything in here, been building lots of stuff for other projects but not quite finishing them.........the same old story. Well this was built for the Hawker (Siddeley) GB. The model is Fisher Model & Pattern's 1/32nd resin Sea Fury. I was very lucky to win this one on my favourite website for a ridiculously cheap price as normally they're quite frightening price wish. There was an option in the schemes for an all-over blue RAN aircraft but I wanted to do one in the earlier colour scheme, lucky enough Novascale do a nice set of decals for this aircraft. The only other options were replacement tyres, as these aircraft had the diamond pattern tread version and some brass gun barrels and pitot tube. The model was a real pleasure to build with no real issues at all. The only real issue I had was my own doing as I wanted to have the wings folded, the model comes with this option. Not a good idea as the outer wings are really quite heavy resin hinges are very fragile. I ended up making a pair of wing locks as per the those used on the real aircraft, they've helped strengthen the wings, but I'm too scared to turn her upside down in case they fall off. Other that that she was a real pleasure to build and I enjoyed every minute of the build. Hopefully you enjoy the photos Cheers Fisher Model & Pattern 1/32nd Sea Fury FB.11 Paint: Mr Hobby (main), Tamiya, Model Master Metalizer Lacquers Decals: Nova Scale Sea Fury Extras: Master Model: Gun Barrels & Pitot Probe set Fisher Model & Pattern: Diamond Pattern Tyres
  13. These are the Trumpeter and Hobbycraft 1/48 kits being done up as two aircraft that were involved in an embarrassing (for the RAAF especially) incident where an Auster took off without a pilot and several RAAF aircraft tried to shoot it down and failed so the RAN sent up two Sea Fury's to finally shoot it down. One of the aircraft had rocket rails on it so I hacked off the crap rockets from the Trumpeter rockets leaving just the rails.
  14. Hi all, Inspired by Paul's Portsmouth thread I thought I'd post a couple from the Aussie visit: A-4F Skyhawk Wessex Mk31 S-2F Tracker Sorry about the scratches!!!! Martin
  15. Hi Everyone, I'm ready to go with a Royal Australian Navy UH-1B Iroquois. I started the kit a few years back but didn't get very far as the photos below show. Now is a good time to pick up where I left off and learn a lot about Hueys in this group build. I'll be modelling N9-882 (857) which served with 723 Squadron from 1964 to 1989. This airframe is now in the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra. Components are the Italeri 1/72 UH-1B, Eduard UH-1B etch and Hawkeye's RAN-03 decal set.The Italeri rotors are said to be under-sized and will need lengthening to 48'. I'll also need to scratch-build a winch and may try scratch-building the distinctive additional fuel tanks. Should be fun! Andrew
  16. This is the Trumpeter kit in 1/72, with Red Roo Decals. I cut out the radome from the lower fuselage and filled it with plastic card as the T2's didn't have this fitted. The instructions also have you put the flaps down, but I glued them in the up position. As usual, fit of the parts was hit and miss, with the major sections fitting nicely, but the smaller parts left a bit to be desired. Unfortunately I screwed up the paint job the first time around and it has sat in my cabinet half finished since January, but with Wings Model Show coming up I pulled it out, sanded down the rough as guts paint and repainted it. I was unable to cram enough weight in the nose to make it sit so I whipped up a base from an MDF board, sanded and painted with a little MiniNatur grass to add some interest and glued the model down.
  17. Here is the latest in my RAN 1/72 Fleet Air Arm project, the Airfix Vampire built as a T.22 at HMAS Albatross, Nowra in the mid-late 60's. I remember walking past the hanger containing these aircraft as a young boy on the way to the weekend base cinema and being intrigued by their twin boom design. Although I don't remember 808 specifically, it was no doubt one of the marvelous little jets I admired. This was supposed to be a quick build and so I never got around to a WIP, but alas I proceeded at my usual snail's pace and it took quite a while in the end. The kit was rather straightforward to build with some minor filling required around the wing roots and the tail planes but also some slight sink marks on the upper wings. I used Vallejo plastic putty on the wing roots and Tamiya putty for the sink marks. It was built out of the box apart from two Martin baker ejection seats from Pavla. The lower parts of these needed to be cut down quite a bit to allow enough room for the cockpit to close. The resin ejection seat cords were cut off and replaced by yellow and black thread twisted tightly together and set with PVA glue. I also used a Montex mask on the canopy as some of the curves in the smaller side windows were too fiddly for my fumble fingers to mask. These were a pretty good fit and were supplemented by a little extra Tamiya tape on some of the longer edges. Painting was the most complex part of the build. I started with NATO black on the cockpit frames and leading wing edges. The edges were masked and then white primer applied to the area of training stripes followed by yellow. I mixed a drop of red with the yellow to try and match the colour of the black/yellow tail stripes decal. The yellow was then masked and a general grey primer applied as undercoat, followed by Tamiya silver from a rattle can. I also applied a dark grey panel line wash to control surfaces and removable panels to make these stand out a little better. They actually stand out a little too much in the photos but are a little more subdued when life-size. Painting the yellow tips of the fuel tanks was quite a fun exercise and involved very fine strips of Tamiya tape, a narrow tube of clear plastic, some thin black decals and lots of Microsol. The silver, NATO black and primers were all Tamiya, the yellow Model Master and the ejection seats and various details were hand-painted with Vallejo Model Colors. The final satin clear coat was a mix of Tamiya gloss and flat base at a ratio 14:1. I really enjoyed this build. Perhaps a twin boom Sea Venom one day to complement it. Thanks for looking, Andrew.
  18. Pictures of my recently completed model of HMAS Launceston, a Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class Patrol Boat. The model is 1:700 scale a straight out of the box build of the Dodo Models kit with minor enhancements for rigging and antennae. A detailed build log can be found here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234999281-dodo-models-1700-royal-australian-navy-armidale-class-patrol-boat/ and pictures: I hope you enjoy.
  19. Since my return to the hobby 3 or 4 years ago I've focussed solely on fleet airm aircraft, but building an Australian light fleet carrier has always been lurking in the back of my mind. Wandering around the hobby shop yesterday looking for a tube of putty, I spotted a Heller 1/400 Colossus / Arromanches for a nice price and it didn't take long for me to reason I needed a break from aircraft. Now in the cold hard light of another day I'm starting to realise how much out of my depth I now feel. Lucky I've got Britmodeller for inspiration and some helpful assistance! I've settled on HMAS Vengeance, one of the 16 light fleet carriers laid down in Britian during WW2. Originally commissioned as HMS Vengeance, she was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy between 1953 - 1955 whilst the RAN awaited the delivery of the Majestic class carrier HMAS Melbourne. She was then sold to the Brazillian Navy where she served as the Minas Gerais until 2001! I'll be depicting Vengeance on her return voyage to England in June/August 1955. This was my father's first sea-going appointment in the RAN. I've so far found quite a few good quality photos of Vengeance herself and assorted plans for other Collosus carriers - the Arromanches and Karel Doorman - which should have broadly similar internals. I've also noted Martin's excellent build of the latter in these forums. The White Ensign etch set is on order and 1/400 Fairey Firefly, Sea Fury and Bristol Sycamore aircraft are available From Shapeways as 3-D prints. A few questions if I may before I get underway: . I want to drill out the scuttles (portholes), but note from photos that not every one is "open". Are the "closed" ones blanked off with metal plates according to the internal layout or should they all open? The Heller depiction of these appears to be a little loose when compared to photos. . Can anyone comment definitively on what armament was carried in 1955? The RAN web site quotes 12x40mm and 32x20mm anti aircraft guns. However photos I've seen from her arrival in Australian waters and the kit itself show 5 quadruple 40mm Pom Poms and around 20 single 20mm oerlikons. Perhaps this changed over time with re-fits. . Although jumping ahead a bit, what would be suitable colours for hull/infrastructure and the deck? So far I've turned up AS2700 N42 Storm Grey for the former and N63 Pewter (or NATO dark sea grey) for the deck but these were I believe in relation to more recent RAN ships. Thanks for reading this far. Hope to have some progress up within a few weeks. Andrew
  20. Hi Everyone, I might have missed the cut for the Tiger Moth Group Build, but I did finally finish this really nice little kit. Markings are for the Royal Australian Navy Naval Air Station at Nowra in the mid-1950's. Decals are from Southern Sky models and the kit is of course the new-ish Airfix 1/72. I had my usual bumps and scrapes in the build process but I enjoyed it very much, especially my first attempt at biplane rigging which was done with invisible thread and superglue. (I gave up attempting the elevator rigging!) For the photographically-minded, it was my first attempt at using the focus-stacking function on my Olympus m43 camera which composites several pictures with slightly different focus points in order to get more of the small model in focus. It worked very well. The last shot with the engine "running" is me blowing on the propeller whilst pressing the shutter! I couldn't use focus-stacking for that, rather a very narrow aperture which still doesn't get all the plane in sharp focus. Thanks for looking, Andrew
  21. Built mainly OOB except for scratch built LAU-7 launcher mounts and Tamiya AIM-9Bs. Decals from Hawkeye Models Australia. Also repositioned landing gear and dropped flaps.
  22. Here is the subject of my entry in the group build - a Royal Australian Navy trainer from 1954 - one of only three DH.82's operated by the Fleet Airm Arm at HMAS Albatross, Nowra. It had only a short naval career, being retired in 1958 and transferred to a private aeroclub. The silver and trainer yellow scheme looks quite fancy! This will be built essentially out-of-the-box with no etch or resin but possibly a little scratch-building where needed. Decals are from southern sky models. I've never built a biplane so have started practising my rigging before i get too far into the build. In the test below I used some fine monofilament, superglue, a 0.3mm drill and some baking soda to accelerate the glue setting. I tightened the rigging with a hot match head. I have experience rigging scale wooden ships but find the monofilament and superglue actually more fiddly. My progress on the kit itself has been to cut out the side doors from the cockpit, assemble the seats and give the whole lot a coat of interior green. I also separated the rudder from the tail piece in order to simplify the painting. Both the cowl and rudder have been given a coat of yellow over a white Tamiya fine primer. I used Model Master Acryl paints for the first time for both colours and must say I'm very impressed. I thinned both colours with a drop of Liquitex flow aid and a few drops of fluid retarder and it sprayed beautifully - in fact the best experience I've ever had with acrylics of any sort. Next steps are to touch up and close the fuselage and contemplate drilling holes for the rigging. Cheers, Andrew
  23. One year and 2 days from my first WIP post, I can finally call this one done! Bristol Sycamore HR.51 in Royal Australian Navy guise, circa mid-1950's. This was never meant to be a long build, but as it progressed I kept seeing things I just needed to tidy up. The rotor fold, blade cradle, winch, steps, cockpit interior, tail rotor, port side under carraige and front starboard door are all scratch built. And although not 100% accurate and authentic, it looks pretty much like a Sycamore to me. Maybe one day I'll be tempted by the CMR resin kit, although there's lots more to build yet in my stash and resin makes me sort of anxious. WIP can be found here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234955537-bristol-sycamore-hr51/ Thanks for looking. Andrew
  24. Following on from comment in my A-4G Skyhook thread, here's some photos of number 2 in my RAN collection - one of the two dark blue Sea Furies based at HMAS Albatross in the fifties / sixties. This is my first "modern" build after returning to the hobby in 2011. It's made up from the Airfix 1/72 kit and was a test build to see if I could still manage to stick plastic together. The real target of the exercise (a Trumpeter Sea Fury) still lies in my stash waiting to be built. I bought the Airfix kit primarily for the extensive stencils and the better-shaped spinner which were both reserved for use on the Trumpeter version. RAN markings came from the Aussie Decals set. A few modifications include cutting the (rather thick) canopy to allow it to be posed open, using stretched sprue to better represent the exhaust pipes, a new tail hook, heat stretching a chup-a-chup stick to make the gun barrels, and adding a stirrup for the pilot to get up to the cockpit.It was kept pristine and not weathered although that could always be re-visited. Some slivering on the decals was later settled down with decal setting solution which I found can also "melt" paint when applied too generously. The colour was Gunze H328 Gloss Blue which came out of the airbrush pretty grainy and certainly not glossy - a learning experience - and not as apparent in the photos as it is in real life. Anyway enough talk, here she is ...
  25. Just finished a few weeks back, my RAN A4-G Skyhawk. I'm a slow modeller and only finish a few kits a year but I eventually get there. This Skyhawk is from HMAS Melbourne and is no.5 in my quest to build a near complete fleet of 1/72 scale RAN aircraft (below). A short build thread can be found here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234957298-a4-g-skyhawk/
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