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  1. 1:72 Airfix Nimrod MR2P “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.” - Book of Genesis X - 8-12 The Nimrod holds a special place in my memories as an aviation enthusiast. Although sadly I never did have the chance to see one in flight, my local airfield of Coventry, has Nimrod MR2P XV232 in a live, engine-running, near taxiable state. Having had the opportunity to witness her complete her engine runs close-up, and even on one occasion, take the co-pilot seat onboard for one such run, has implanted many experiences in my mind with this machine. There is no other describable feeling as sitting, feeling the nose oleo underneath you gently moving under the force of each Spey 250 being brought to full power in turn. She's a characterful aircraft, one that impresses with her size in person, and from every angle, she oozes that true, esoteric 'Cold War' look. A distinguished jet, having been very versatile and dependable in her decades of service, through MPA, SAR, ELINT/SIGINT, and proposed AEW roles. That shrill note as she runs up her Speys, and the orchestra changes from a screaming, to a Vulcan-reminiscent howling through her intakes as they reach full power, accompanied by the blackening efflux pouring into the air behind them. Truly powerful stuff! As such, it is my intention to document my tribute to this aircraft here. This is my first post under a new account (I couldn't log into my old one, seems I have misplaced my password all these years)! Since then, much has changed, the modeling interest had waned greatly, but it's slowly returning! Years have clocked on, skills have been learnt, techniques refined somewhat, spray cans finally ditched in favour of airbrush, and the burgeoning 'shelf-of-doom', which I am desperately trying to whittle away at. This Nimrod will be my fourth of the Airfix kit... The first built almost 6 years ago as a child over the course of a long weekend, brush painted, warts-and-all, filler was not heard of... The second finished in 2014-15 with spray-paint as XV244 and uploaded to the RFI on here (Photobucket links back then, so now in the abyss)... And the third finished with some pricey, but superb, Tamiya lacquers as XV232 in her current Hemp scheme about a year ago. So, what is the plan with this one? She will be finished with all manner of paints, in an undecided scheme at the moment. 206 Sqn special XZ284, 120 Sqn special XV260 are two possibilities, since I adore the Hemp/LAG and coloured fin combination. Although still 'pie-in-the-sky' at the moment, the plausibility of a post-major overhaul bare-metal stripped 'Rod is always present. Construction begins with small components of the airframe first. Flaps first. As you can see above, they have been glued and the edges have not yet been tidied up. As I write these words, they have been and are ready to add to the wings when all is ready. Some annoying slithers of flash between the fuel dump vents, but easily cleaned with a sharp blade and fine sandpaper. The nose wheel bay box was up next. I started with looking at reference photos and walkarounds to find some images of this bay. Detailing was added with sheet styrene for the wall ribs and for the protective hatch on the forward wall. There is some pitting in the butt-join of the ribs to the lower edge of the landing gear doors, folded upwards into the bay, that cannot be seen when the bay box is put together, so they need not be tidied up. Look at the second highest rib on the righthand of the two large panels and you will see a small pit that is hidden by the step between it and the gear door. Another view of the work on the nosewheel bay. Here you can see the majority of the plasticard work added from reference photos. Some of it is for a cosmetic purpose solely, i.e the smaller square and rectangular panels are to hide the holes in the original kit part for the cockpit sections on the reverse side. Here I have dryfitted the nose wheel components together. You can see how the T-shaped rib structure and smaller details under the nose leg are now inconveniently hidden from all but the most prying eyes. But some comfort can be taken in the fact they are indeed there, and with paint and weathering the details should show better. I have not added any wire or stretched-sprue cable details at this stage. The aerials on the gear doors folded inwards, will be added with the Eduard exterior panel photo-etch set on order. Here are the wheel components all glued, sanded and ready for further processing and detailing. The main gear wheels are fairly competent out of the box, with the exception of wheel tread. As far as I am aware no aftermarket manufacturer offers these details. Mastercaster's wheels are slightly more refined in the hubs, and contain better and less generic brake disc details, but still, no tread. They offer miles better nose wheels as well, with accurate tyre thickness, hub diameter, and seperate guards for the correct wheel. I will elect however to use the kit wheels for the moment. Nose wheels will be discarded and instead Alleycat Models' resin nosewheels (along with the SCP intake and fin correction) set, has been ordered to use instead. Alleycat's nosewheels are equally impressive and just as accurate as Mastercaster's set, but with the added correction parts and lack of, IMO, less necessary main wheels, makes it a better value purchase for a budding Nimrod modeller I think. Nose wheel leg in this view has another horizontal 'rung' added at the apex of the V-section, that needs to be faired in a little better once cured. A brief showing of the standard kit cockpit parts. Eduard sells a comprehensive PE set that covers the cockpit in detailed panels, seatbelts, and gauges (as well as adding detail to the nosewheel bay), but little will be seen from the windscreen panes. So I will elect to keep these standard parts. The bulkhead and cockpit door in the kit is too short in height so out of view, this is being detailed and enlarged with strip plastic details. With some IP decals, and some neat seat painting and scratched details, I think the Airfix offering is a good base point for further work. And finally the latest port of call on the journey of making a Mighty Hunter - the engine intakes. Airfix has received some criticisms in the past for their inaccurate representation of the intake tunnels. They are slightly too oval, the outboard intakes appear to have too little of a hump in the upper wing like the real thing, and from what I see, the lips of the intakes are slightly too pointed, not more blunted as they should be. The grille between the engine intakes is also of the wrong shape and no matter how you attach the wing halves, you will be left with an awful seam to clean. Thanks to the Eduard exterior set again, a new grille of the right shape is included. Filling in the grille detail on the kit, and applying the grille on top, or even drilling the kit grille out and attaching the PE grille on top, should provide a convincing alternative to this very-visible part of the model. I have seen people elect to drill out the cavity and make the grille from strip card which is something to consider also. Alleycat makes a comprehensive Engine Set for the Nimrod, which fixes a lot of the shape issues of the intakes. However, for the surgery involved in cutting the wing parts and the already tricky join between intakes, fuselage halves and bomb bay skirting without added resin, brings me to choose to make my own modifications instead. Early days yet, but a plan of action is being drawn. The upper panel 'humps' and NACA intakes will be attempted, the reverser grilles will be added from the Eduard PE and in the correct location, unlike the Airfix kit again. Underneath the intakes the Airfix representation of the is wrong, so that will be corrected by me with thin tubing and drilled holes. The intake lips will be sanded to try to make them blunter. In the image the intakes have been glued, and roughly sanded. They received a finer sanding, followed by a dip in white latex paint, and have been set aside to dry. I am in awe of the WIPs on here, and I make no promises as to the quality or regularity of posts on here, being just out of A-Levels and always wanting to escape to airbases - but hopefully this won't be another project that burns out and gets relegated to the shelf of doom! The Eduard external photoetch set, Alleycat resin wheels, SCP intake, fin, payload bay, and canopy set have been all ordered today - hopefully in due course they will arrive and work can really begin. George (formerly G-EORG - cheesy, right?).
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