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For my final entry in this very fine and very fun GB, I will build the famous Westland Wallace of the Houston Everest Expedition. Wikipedia has a bit of background here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston–Mount_Everest_flight_expedition Here is the box top and the sleeve for the decals from Arctic Decals in Finland. All the parts seem to be present and accounted for, including the stand, which I will be using. Mika's decals look very nice, as usual. High quality goods, these! And his decals guide is very informative regarding diplomacy... I'll start in this evening after it cools down a bit. --John
A build from 2 years ago: (The WiP is posted here: How many times have you heard the story of a Frog turned into a Prince by a kiss? However, let's be clear: I am not starting to kiss Frog kits in the hopes that they will magically convert into something better, but I am willing to put a few extra hours to perhaps achieve a nice, decent result. We civil modelers have a much reduced range of choices when it comes to kits available for our modeling tastes, so we have to take advantage of a number of kits that are out there and can easily (or painfully) be converted/adapted into civilian machines. In this case, however, this kit was actually released in the guise intended, long ago, by several manufacturers, using -reputedly- the same molds. Frog, Novo, Maquette and even Hasegawa ( shocking!) apparently have proffered the now classical: "Release the Kraken!" How did I come by this kit? Well, there is this Evil Genius you may have heard of or read about in my postings : Zoenke, from Volkania (actually that's is his super-villain name, he is actually Sönke Schulz, from Lübeck, Marzipanland). He sends evil kits to torture me, usually beasts that you have to struggle with and tame into submission to create a model. And this was one of those. He is so evil that in this case he had (on purpose) glued the fuselage halves together without the interior bits, so I had to practice some surgery to be able to install it. Not only that: he had thrown away half the fin and the windshield (the latter surely an unusable chunk anyway). But in lieu he included a disc made of styrene sheet -see photos bellow- which use or purpose is hidden to me. I am not breaking ground with this build, there are a number of these Everest Expedition models on the Net, built with different degrees of success. All G-ACAZ models I have seen unfortunately did not take in consideration some of the differences described immediately below. I used the Arctic Decals set for the Wallace G-ACBR, and also for G-ACAZ: Beware that there were many very visible differences between these two planes, some of which are: different wing tip/ailerons, different landing gear, absence (in G-ACAZ) of the little cutout inside the bigger cutout on the trailing edge above the pilot, G-ACAZ does not have a rudder/elevator trim tab whilst G-AGBR does, G-ACAZ does not have the "zippers" to access the structure from the fuselage side, but has a small rectangular window on the side towards the bottom, and many, many others that will be detailed as we go. By the way, G-ACBR did not fly over the Himalayas with any kind of national markings, like rudder flash or cockades. The rudder flash is visible in some photos of the plane, taken either before or after the Himalaya flight. Another quite visible difference is an additional diagonal wing strut in G-ACAZ between the two inner front and back struts (the aft one has the large thermometer visible in photos on both planes). G-ACAZ has a flat central wing panel and dihedral on the exterior panels, top and bottom wing. The strut location is also different and it is related to the different landing gear arrangement. The lower wing cut out diagonals meet the fuselage directly, and not a small straight section as in G-ACBR. G-ACAZ did not have wingtip skids like G-ACBR.
A build from 2 years ago: The completed model is here: Fly with me, as we conquer our own modeling heights: Sönke sent what you see here. As you may notice, it is the Russian incarnation of the kit, to make things more difficult for me, since the instructions use Cyrillic characters: New vertical stabilizer (missing in the kit I was gifted) made: Meanwhile the kit's horrid Townend ring is sanded to shape (to the right). Also seen substitute engine: The ring at the back of the kit's engine is sawed-off too; a cut to clear the oil sump made, and it will be used as a necessary spacer between the resin engine and the front part: Both wings have pretty noticeable ejector pin marks underneath. The filling and sanding is confined by masked rib bays to avoid detail loss: More pieces are cleaned-up and readied for the build: You would think that the chances of having to deflect a soccer penalty shot are minimal on-board a plane, but the pilot and navigator believe otherwise, unless of course they are naughty boys: The main landing gear legs have those discs, common on old kits, that have nothing to do with reality: They are mostly removed: After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to deal with interior of the model on the pre-glued fuselage sent by Z, I decided to have a more Gordian knot solution approach to the closed fuselage conundrum, and literally make it or break it. Fortunately it just separated neatly, which will now allow me to work much more comfortably. Some of the bumps present in the molds have been already erased: The engine transplant proceeds, and the exhaust pipes are being connected: All the pipes that connect cylinders and central rim are in place. It looks like these leftover Vega pipes will do well here as exhausts, with the side facing outwards sanded flat: The intake manifolds (18) are made and applied, since they are quite visible: Some sort of vent that is located on the fuselage top behind the Townend ring is fashioned: Some Fotocut (Fred Hultberg's) etched parts are prepared for assembly: The oil radiator parts assembly in progress. I really like Fotocut etched parts, and I am sorry that Fred's health is no good, since his products were amazing: The kit's pilot seat is modified. A bulkhead separating the cockpit and the navigator/photographer's position is fashioned. It seems to have a sort of teller's box to pass messages. There was not seat -as such- for the navigator/photographer, some arrangement surely was made, but it wasn't a seat as the kit's, as you can easily verify watching the contemporary documentary on Youtube : The base for the instrument panel: