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  1. OK, so my plans to build a Phantom as my first WIP on here have been put on hold, so I've delved back into the stash, and found something completely different - Classic Airframes' Sea Hornet. I bought this shortly after I re-started building kits - I'd done a Mosquito, Lightning and Tigercat, all in 1/48 scale, and it seemed like the logical next step. But then something shinier caught my eye, and to be honest I was a bit daunted by the short-run aspects - resin and a lack of locating pins. I will be going with the silver dope F.20 option, as the radar on the NF.21 completely distracts from those elegant DeHavilland lines, IMO. Also, I'll be portraying it in flight, mainly to show of the aforementioned elegant lines, but also because I gather that a fair bit of fiddling is needed to get the undercarriage right. I'll be taking inspiration from the various very informative WIP threads on this site, and heeding the advice of all who have tackled this kit before, especially David A Collins, who I understand has gone a bit further than just tackling a mere kit of the aircraft. So, first questions: As it will be displayed in flight, it'll need a pilot. I've got a couple of candidates, but what would a Fleet Air Arm pilot in Malta in 1954 be wearing whilst flying a Sea Hornet? Leather helmet or Bone Dome? What colour of flying suit?
  2. DeHavilland Sea Hornet NF.21 Trumpeter 1:48 History The Hornet was designed with the possibility of naval service in carriers firmly in mind. To this end good low speed handling was required, along with good all-round visibility for the pilot. The basic Hornet design excelled at meeting these requirements. Shortly after the first Hornet prototype flew, Specification N.5/44 was issued to de Havilland covering the modification of the Hornet for naval service. The Heston Aircraft Company was contracted to carry out the conversion work on three early production F.Is. The work entailed altering the wings to incorporate folding mechanisms so that each outer wing panel, from the aileron/flap line outboard could be folded upwards and inwards at an angle. The hinges were part of the upper wing skin structure while the lower wing skins incorporated securing latches. Lockheed hydraulic jacks were used to actuate the wing panels. Slotted flaps were introduced to improve low speed "flaps down" control. The lower rear fuselage was reinforced with two additional spruce longerons designed to take the stresses imposed by the external "vee" framed arrestor hook, which was flush-mounted below the fuselage. The frame was made up of steel tubing with a forged-steel hook and was held against the fuselage by a "snap gear". Because the Hornet used the American "3-point" system of catapult-assisted takeoff, two forged steel catapult bridle hooks were fitted, one below each wing, close to the fuselage. The de Havilland rubber-in-compression undercarriage legs could not absorb the rebound energies imposed by carrier landings. They were replaced by more conventional hydraulic oleos which embodied torque links. Merlin 133/134s (de-rated from 2,070 hp/1,543 kW to 2,030 hp/1,535 kW) were fitted to all Sea Hornets. Other specialised naval equipment (mainly different radio gear), was fitted and provision was made for three camera ports, one on each side of the rear fuselage and one pointing down. Sea Hornet F 20s also incorporated the modifications of the Hornet F 3, although the internal fuel capacity was 347 Imp gal (1,557 l), slightly reduced from that of the F I. In total, all of the modifications added some 550 lb (249 kg) to the weight of the aircraft. Maximum speed was decreased by 11 mph (18 km/h). The Hornet NF 21 was designed to fill a need for a naval night fighter. Special flame dampening exhausts were installed, and a second basic cockpit was added to the rear fuselage, just above the wing trailing edges. ASH radar equipment was placed in the rear of this cockpit; with the radar operator/navigator seated facing aft. To gain access, a small trap door was provided in the lower fuselage; a fixed, teardrop shaped bubble canopy, which could be jettisoned in an emergency, provided a good field of view. At the front of the aircraft, the nose underwent a transformation with the small rotating ASH radar dish being housed under an elongated "thimble" radome. The horizontal tail units were increased in span. The effect of these modifications on performance was minimal; about 4 mph (6 km/h) The Sea Hornet PR 22 was a dedicated photo reconnaissance aircraft version of the F 20. The cannon were removed and the apertures faired over. Three cameras were installed in the rear fuselage; two F 52s for night time use and one K.19B for daytime use. A total of 23 PR 22s were built, interspersed with F.20s being built at Hatfield. The Model Trumpeter do have a penchant for producing very nice boxart for their kits and this one is no exception, painted directly from a period photograph showing a Sea Hornet on deck with wings folded. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the styrene inside. Whilst the parts are all beautifully moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, the faults that were noted in their previously released Hornets have been reproduce with this kit. Shame really as the artwork shows how it should look. The nose appears a little too deep, which has then caused problems with the windscreen, the lower edge of which should be pretty much horizontal, whereas the kit has a sharp incline from the fuselage to the upper nose panel. The rudder, ailerons and elevators also have quite pronounced ribbing effects, when they should be flat as they were metal skinned, not fabric. Without building it I cannot say whether the undercarriage position is correct, but I believe the kit of the land based version was wrong, so wouldn’t have though that Trumpeter would have corrected it since they hadn’t with the nose. There also appears to something very wrong woth the ailerons, in that they don't match the shape or even reach the wing tips, it's like they're short shot, but it looks like they're moulded that way. Ok, that’s the accuracy and perhaps slight negativity sorted, what do you actually get in the box? There are six sprues of medium grey styrene, one sprue of clear styrene and a decal sheet. Going by the thickness of the instruction booklet and parts count, this won’t be a complicated build, and if you aren’t too bothered about accuracy it does sort of look like a Sea Hornet, if you squint a bit, but will probably go together without too many problems. The build begins with the front cockpit, with the seat and seat armour being fitted to the cockpit tub. The joystick, instrument panel, with decal instruments, gunsight, gunsight glass and the rear cockpit tray. Now this tray doesn’t look quite right. It seems to be fitted with a tank of some sort, and two boxes positioned fore and aft. Now I’m happy to be corrected, but I presumed these would be the ammunition boxes and positioned athwartships, but I’m only going on what a BM member is doing with his magnificent 1:32 detailing of the HpH kit, as I cannot find a good photograph of the area even in the David Collins’ superb book on the type. Anyway, with the tray in place the spring like rod is fitted between the aft end of the try and the seat, followed by the two cockpit side panels. The rear cockpit is made up from front and rear bulkheads, seat and side panels. The two cockpits are then fitted to one half of the fuselage, after which the fuselage can be closed up, and the 20mm cannon troughs, radome, rear cockpit access door, and tailcone are fitted. Each of the two nacelles and undercarriage are assembled next. Each one comprising of the two nacelle halves, front and rear bulkheads, gear bay roof and sides, main gear leg, single piece main wheel and exhaust stubs. The propellers are each assembled from the backplate, four individual blades and spinner. Make sure you use the correct blades per side as they are handed. The nacelles are finished off with the fitting of the main gear doors and exhaust shrouds. The inner wing sections are split horizontally and once the two halves are joined the radiator intakes are fitted as well as the rib at the fold point. The outer wing sections are built in the same way, and have a clear part fitted to represent the navigation lights; the port wing is fitted with a pitot probe. The tail fin, with rudder moulded together and the horizontal tailplanes, are also moulded in two halves, which once assembled can be fitted to the fuselage, followed by the inner wing panels, windscreen, canopy and rear dome. Now, the instructions call for the outer wing panels to be fitted before the nacelle assemblies. In my view it would be better the other way round. As it is, the modeller has the option to display the outer wing panels folded or extended by way of different adjoining parts which when folded represent the main hinge point. Once the wings have been fitted and the nacelles attached the model is completed with the fitting of the tail hook, tail wheel/oleo, and optionally positioned flaps. Decals The smallish decal sheet provides markings for two aircraft, both in dark sea grey over sky. Although neither marking option is provided with any information of the aircraft squadrons or bases, a bit of detective work shows that they are:- DeHavilland Sea Hornet NF-21, VZ672 of 809NAS based on HMS Vengeance DeHavilland Sea Hornet NF-21, VW967, Probably of the Airwork Fleet Requirements Unit, but with spurious 424 codes, although the BY tail code seems correct. The decals are well printed, in registers with good opacity and with nicely thin carrier film. The only problem I can see is that, although glossy, some of that gloss appears to have come away with the protective sheet, which shouldn’t cause too many problems once they’ve been sealed in with a gloss coat and finished with matt varnish. Conclusion The Hornet has got to be one to them ost beautiful piston fighters ever built, and whilst the modifications needed to build the NF-21 didn’t help matters, it’s still a handsome aircraft. This is a very nice kit, spoiled by some poor research, heck, they could have just looked at the box cover to see where they went wrong with the nose and windscreen, but no, they’ve once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Shame really as it could have been a cracker of a weekend build. I guess it still can be if you’re either ignore the faults or for the purists, go to town on the modifications. Recommended with the above caveats. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  3. Good Day All Sorry to resurrect an old and much discussed topic - I missed out on the original fun back when the 1/48 Trumpeter Sea Hornet kit was released. Problem is that I really want one on my shelf. I have the Trumpeter kit in my stash - the Classic Airframes kit is pretty much 'Unobtanium' out this way (would be easier to mine Bitcoins at this late stage than finding CA kits of this subject). So.... knowing that it is considered by many to be only an approximation of a 1/48 Sea Hornet due to dimensional errors, I took the only set of drawings I have of it in order to try figure out for myself 'How Bad is it REALLY?'. The drawings are from the old Warpaint Series - De Havilland Hornet F.Mk.1 and Sea Hornet NF.Mk.21 and was done by Ian Huntley - not sure this means he did it PERSONALLY or he commissioned someone working for him. I scanned the drawings as well as I could and then started applying magnification factors until I hit what seemed to be 1/48th - could not apply the "magnify by 150% for 1/48" as the drawings suggested as my accursed scanner already seems to enlarge very slightly when you scan at a 1:1 ratio, hence I did not trust the scanner to properly follow the "official" adjust. My basic rule was that if the starboard fuselage half fits the scanned and printed starboard view 100% lengthwise I'll assume it's close enough. My purpose to all this was that I was more interested in relative positioning of cockpits (pilot and observer), wings relative to tailplane etc. I am now wondering if the Ian Huntley drawings are ALSO completely inaccurate - as it seems like the Trumpeter kit may have been based on these drawings?? Here are some observations + some suggestions for fuselage corrections (haven't looked at the wings yet): 1. The tailplane follows the Huntley plans for the NF.21 pretty closely without major deviation - I find this to be somewhat baffling as the general consensus is that the Trumpy kit has the shorter-span F.Mk.1 tailplanes, which my example definitely does not have. Perhaps the CA NF.21 tailplanes are too long, creating this impression when compared? In any case, the elevators need to be replaced with suitably-thin Evergreen plastic & scribed, OR alternatively the crazy Starving Cow fabric effect needs to be filled in somehow (seems easier to me to just scratch-build new ones, and ditto for the rudder) 2. The observer's cockpit's relative position is spot-on. The pilot's cockpit position is ALMOST correct. If if is moved forward by approx. 1.0 - 1.5 millimeter (at the most) it would be spot-on as well. Someone on Britmodeler suggested that it needs to be moved forward by a whopping 5 millimeters - that cannot possibly be done as it would place the forward edge of the windscreen almost right where the "Pinnochio's nose" radome starts, resulting in a pretty silly-looking model and not to mention turn it from a mildly-inaccurate into a wildly-inaccurate representation (Beaufighter + bird strike comes to mind). My initial feeling was that moving the cockpit + complete canopy forward by only say, 1.5 mm should be doable by applying some nifty sanding and needle-file work on the front edge & filling in on the back, however that probably will cause other issues in regards to the dimensions and curves of the forward canopy section not being able to meet / blend-in with the respective nose area without difficult-to-hide filling. 3. Somewhat baffled as well by the strange slope of the lower forward canopy section where it meets the fuselage - way too steep, seems to be caused by the pilot's cockpit coamings / edges been too deep... Or perhaps some dimensional error that I can't quite place my finger on. It would be challenging to fix and IMHO is a bigger issue than real or imagined fuselage dimensional errors ("real or imagined" - depends on what reference material was used) 4. A well-known model builder mentioned that the Observer's cockpit interior is mainly conjecture. I have to agree, no sign of the radar scope that is pretty prominent in all images of the the NF.21 observer station (Pinterest is a good source of reference images). 5. Using a plain ol' steel ruler and some simple arithmetic to figure what the fuselage length should be in 1/48 indicates that the kit's fuse length is fairly close to correct (amazing how difficult it is to find the correct length for the NF.Mk21). All in all I don't think this kit is quite the Train Wreck it is made out to be, but it's not a Shining Example of Model Kit Designer's Art either. I may be totally wrong of course, but then I would have to blame the Ian Huntley drawings for my poor judgment. I'll try to publish some pics (fuselage half superimposed over the Huntley drawings etc) over the weekend if I can manage to restrain myself from jumping in and just building the darn kit! The strangest part of it all to me is that the paint scheme drawings and box art seems to be closer to correct than the kit itself... They really need to get the different departments at Trumpy talking to one another. I also need to stop buying Truimpeter kits, there is always something wrong - my 1/32 A-7 Corsair II had to get the Zactomodels treatment, and I had to drop some $$$ a couple of weeks for a corrected 1/200 HMS Hood funnel from Model Monkey.
  4. HI gang - this will be my next build. Thanks to Jaws sale on here, I finally bagged one, and thanks to Notdoneyets phenominal build here: http://www2.britmode...showtopic=16322 Ze jus d'inspirations are flowing. Now - I want to ask for an opinion: Folded wings - yes of no? Folding them will allow for some extra detail and stress the naval nature of this "Naughty Wasp". Leaving them spread will allow the graceful shape of the Hornet airframe to be appreciated ( if only by me and the cat). The model is already started - but not the wing fold yet - so over to youz guyz... what say ye? Cheers Jonnerz
  5. I found this on ebay a couple of years ago, described as "started". On first inspection it looked like some of the hard work had been done, as the nacelles, nose and drop tanks had been assembled. A closer look showed some issues - for example, the wings need substantial thinning before assembly but our would-be Horneteer had attacked the outer surfaces rather than the mating surfaces! The drop tanks had taken on a rather blobby shape so I left them off but the nose and nacelles weren't too bad. The rest of it went together OK with a bit of test fitting, but no more than any other limited run kit. Sorting out the wings was the main issue. The white metal parts were nice. The canopy was a bit yellow and looked pretty brittle so I didn't cut too far and will live with the result. I hoped to use the kit decals but they cracked as soon as they saw water. I contacted SH and asked if I could buy a decal sheet from them, but they very kindly sent one gratis and they went on very well - many thanks, Michal! It's brush painted with Humbrol and Revell paints. Apart from the cockpit, which has the usual issue of an upswept windscreen base, I won't comment on accuracy, but the recent posts by John Aero here suggest it's not bad but not brilliant. It's the first Skybirds 86 kit that I have built and is a tribute to the late Mike Eacock.
  6. After the Hornet F. & F.3 (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234953190-148-dh103-hornet-f13-sea-hornet-nf21-by-trumpeter-f1-released-f3-nf21-box-arts/?p=1510384 ), Trumpeter is to release a 1/48th de Havilland DH.103 Sea Hornet NF.21 kit - ref.02895. Release is expected for late June 2015. So available in the best hobbyshops in July-August 2015. Source: http://new2.trumpeter-china.com/index.php?g=home&m=article&a=show&id=46&l=en Box art Source of inspiration Source: http://aviadejavu.ru/Images6/AE/AE03-5/13-1.jpg V.P.
  7. Having followed John Aero's excellent work on the Hornet on this forum, I was inspired (for better or worse) to exhume my Skybirds'86 1/72 Sea Hornet NF Mk. 21and see what could be done with it. To my surprise (and impressive amounts of putty and sanding) it came out quite well. Until I tackled the canopy. Approximately 30 years of storage had seen the clear parts yellow and become brittle. Despite tender handling, the main canopy cracked while removing excess plastic. It is also slightly opaque. I have searched for aftermarket replacement, to no avail. I have also not been able to source parts from an ex-Frog (which is far from accurate), or a Special Hobby kit (also less than perfect). I suspect that I will have to attempt a 'smash-mould' if the model is to be finished. Can anyone offer suggestions to an easier route to replacement clear parts for this kit? KE
  8. Source: http://www.hphmodels.cz/index.php/en/news/item/349-a-puzzle-no-2 My guess: a DH Sea Hornet Mk.21 considering they've already a 1/32nd DH.103 Hornet in their catalogue (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234951265-dehavilland-dh-103-hornet-132-hph/ and here http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234912212-132-de-havilland-dh103-hornet-by-hph-released/) V.P.
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