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Found 6 results

  1. This the old Matchbox kit, reissued by Revell. I'm using it as a basis for a model of an unusual Walrus---one of two that were carried by the S.S. Balaena factory ship during the whaling season of 1946-7. They could be catapult-launched, or lowered into the sea for a conventional water take-off. They were used to gather information about approaching weather, about the ice conditions, and to spot whales. (No-one had ever used an aircraft for whale-spotting at that time, and there was significant doubt among the whalers that it was even possible to see a submerged whale from the air.) John Grierson, who was in charge of the aircraft, left details of the adventure in his book Air Whaler (1949), a lecture to the Royal Geographical Society entitled Whaling From The Air, and an article in Flight magazine entitle Air-Whaling. So the aircraft are fairly well documented. In fact, a total of four Walruses were originally purchased and equipped for the Antarctic, registrations G-AHFL, G-AHFM, G-AHFN and G-AHFO. Grierson won the 1946 Folkestone Aero Trophy race in G-AHFN, but it then never left England. G-AHFM, christened "Moby Dick", got as far as South Africa and was then left behind---the hangar on Balaena could only accommodate two aircraft, and a third would need to be "parked" on the catapult, making aircraft handling and maintenance excessively complicated. But G-AHFL "Boojum" and G-AHFO "Snark" made it to the Southern Ocean and logged 96 hours flying there. I've modelled "Boojum": For a while Boojum flew without its undercarriage, and I considered modelling it in that mode, but ended up just not liking the look of it: The hook under the nose was characteristic of these aircraft, used for what was called a "mat recovery". Still under way, the Balaena would tow a net over the side, and the aircraft would motor up on to the net and cut power, snagging the net. Here's the model: The propeller discs I designed and printed myself---a tricky one, given that the four-bladed prop is actually two two-bladed props, so I needed to make two parallel transparent discs to get the correct effect. The base is magnetic--a scratch-built cradle that fits behind the underside step, and an old Airfix base. The major mods are the grab-rail around the nose, which I built from 0.5mm brass rod, and the "free" tailwheel, pieced together from bits of styrene and brass (the kit includes only the conventional tailwheel, with its rudder shroud and the oleo compressed). Minor stuff includes the rigging (monofilament), the nose hook (brass), the towing eyes (styrene), rear hatch rails (styrene), the various ropes and shackles (stretched sprue), the aerial supports (brass) and aerial wires (monofilament). I opened the observer's windows (the kit has them closed and represented by black rectangular decals), drilled out the front of the nacelle, added the spray fairing on the starboard side (the kit models this only on the port), removed the supenumerary thermometer housing the kit has placed on the starboard side, closed the rear hatch, added some styrene to its front end to model its real shape, and opened its small windows. There was also a bit of reshuffling of the interior, which doesn't show up in the photographs. The kit came together pretty well, despite an error in the Revell instructions which has one of the nacelle strut parts the wrong way around. I used a JBOT decal sheet as a basis for the markings, but ended up using only a couple of decals off the original JBOT sheet, and added most of the markings from a revised sheet I printed myself. More about those two problems in the WIP: I'm annoyed with my weathering, which is pretty slight generally, but I took a notion to a bit of salt spray around the nose, and I now find it more ugly and distracting than realistic. <Sigh.>
  2. Ready for inspection today is the Revell boxing of the old Matchbox Walrus in 1/72 scale. I would have preferred some pre-war British markings for this one, but didn't feel like paying nearly as much for decals as I did for the kit, especially when I wouldn't use the rest of the sheet. In any case, here is a French Navy Walrus, stationed at French Naval Training Base Hourtin in the summer of 1948. Apparently Walruses were used as training aircraft for pilots going on to fly the Sunderland. One mistake I did make was to align the top roundels with the ailerons, and not with each other, but it isn't terribly noticeable, thankfully. I may yet try to use a wash for the first time as well, as I have to imagine these aircraft were not the most well maintained / cleaned. Thanks all, Stay safe, Tweener
  3. Well, I've finally completed my Walrus! It’s taken far longer than I’d anticipated, but I guess that’s par for the course... In my case it’s largely due to being a novice (with an eye for detail), so I’ve tended to spend a lot of time researching the aircraft, squadron history, paint schemes, thickness of rigging wires, etc, etc. I’ve been impressed by the quality of this kit, the only minor niggle was the omission of the short aerial mast atop the tail fin. Within the cockpit I was surprised that Airfix didn’t include the second pilots control column in its stowed position nor the stowage cradle for the F24 camera. I did consider building these from scratch but in the end decided to save enhancements for future models. Apart from that a very clean build, perfect for a modeller coming out of retirement! Major lessons learned - plan the build better and apply all transfers before rigging (which I didn't do...). The Walrus also gave me a chance to have a go at airbrushing (thanks to the loan of equipment from a good friend and ace BM modeller - 'Johnson'. I primed the whole thing with Halfords grey primer and then airbrushed the final aluminium finish. It all went surprisingly well for a first timer... I then hit problems with a damaged roundel - which meant printing a replacement using transparent and white decal paper. It worked a treat with a close colour match to the original. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of reference material available online, plenty of images, and an original Walrus service manual on the Seawings website. I used this to study the interior detail and work out the gauge of wires needed for the rigging. The rigging is far from perfect and I'm sure I'll add more detail to my next projects - a Tiger Moth and Swordfish seaplane. I decided to create the bracing wires from fishing line (0.14mm), and tension them using the techniques that have been well explained in various BM posts. Very satisfying process although tricky at times! Once we get our freedom back I must re-visit Yeovilton FAA museum to check out the real thing! Merry Christmas!
  4. This is my first WIP, as a newcomer to BM and many years since building anything! The kit was a much appreciated birthday present although it’s taken me a month or more to roll my sleeves up and get started! It’s a great kit of a fascinating aircraft with plenty of detail to get my teeth into. Here are a few photos from the early stages which I hope you’ll find interesting. I’ve also been testing out my macro photography skills as you can see. Phil
  5. The long awaited Airfix Supermarine Walrus Mk.I Model Kit has just been released and is now available. Place your orders now for this excellent model of Supermarine's distinctive, amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft.
  6. Hello, I am now building HMAS Canberra in 1/700 as she appeared just before the time of her loss at Savo Island on August 8th, 1942, but I´ve got an aircraft-related question. She carried a Supermarine Walrus on her catapult at that time and I am trying to find out how this particular aircraft was camouflaged. Unfortunately, there are only a few photos of either Canberra or her sister ship Australia from that time period, neither of them giving a really clear view of the Walrus to be able to tell it´s colours. The regular RAF Temperate Sea Scheme (Extra Dark Slate Grey / Dark Slate Grey / Sky) seems to be an obvious guess but it would be great if anyone had a more sound opinion or even evidence. Thank you!
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