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  1. Meteor F.8 324 Sqn, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Leeuwarden 1954 Xtrakit 1/72 with Dutch Decals. Wing roundels were from the Revell Hunter F.6 kit Xtracolour High Speed Silver paint + Klear coats A companion to the Dutch F.4 which was finished years ago (Frog kit):
  2. This isn't really my first build of 2021. It's been sitting completed since back in February but I have seriously procrastinated in taking its pictures and posting here. The build did take a fair amount of time as there's a fair amount of etch as well as some resin. I also was over zealous in sanding the nose joint and that needed rectifying. Finished as XF310 of FRADU at RNAS Yeovilton in July 1985. Its finished in overall Dark Sea Grey. The kit options are for some RAF aircraft and an Admiral's barge for an Navy option. I preferred a working Naval Hunter and found this relatively simply liveried FRADU example on a Fantasy Print Shop 'Royal Navy Hunters' sheet which has transfers for 19 single seat and 23 twin seat Navy Hunters.
  3. Planning to build and paint this Sea Harrier, alongside my Airfix project. Bought at SMW2008 for £10.40 (probably from Hannants, probably IPMS discounted.) As this option. I've already build an 801NAS FA2, and am building Airfix Satan 1 - 800NAS. Decals and parts. I'll contact Phantome to ask to see his photos. It doesn't sound a great kit, so might shape my decisions.
  4. As well as my Seafire 47, I will also try and get this one built. This was released about 8 years ago and was moulded by MPM - it looks like it may be related to the batch of SH kits I mentioned in my Seafire intro. It comes with decs for 2 of Jeffrey Quill's silver racers as shown on the box, and 2 service machines from around 1947 in standard camo. My past experience with Xtrakits has been quite varied, but the MPM moulded ones have not been too bad, though they have needed quite a bit of dry fitting and care to get them to line up. More as and when I find time - this is the 4th GB I am currently involved in with at least 2 more on the horizon so it could be a while. Cheers Pete
  5. Trying to sneak another one in ahead of the deadline Since @PeterB already got the camo scheme covered I’ll try and do it in one of the high speed silver race finishes as per box art First things first, cockpit innards painted, addition of the circular headrest and fuselage halves sandwiched together. Bit of a sod trying to get the cockpit frame aligned neatly as the recesses where it was meant to sit don’t give a really positive seating. Sight still to be touched up but good to get something together A bit more work on sub assemblies and then I can attach the wings and get it on the path of looking Spitfire-like A pretty painless build up to this point... until I realise that in posting off spare transparent bits to another member I’ve gone and left myself without the wingtip lights. So I’ve glued on a couple of chunks of clear sprue that I’ll have to let set till tomorrow and then file and sand to shape. Silly move that really
  6. This one was a gift from the Mighty (generous) @Procopius, a rare 1/72 Xtrakit Spitfire XII, and now is a good time to build it.
  7. I've been wondering what to do as a bit of a change after three 1/144 airliners. I considered (briefly) a 1/72 Valiant, then 1/48 Jaguar, F-16 and Meteor F8, before deciding I need another shelf before making any more big ones, so I've settled on this; the 1/72 Xtrakit Meteor night fighter to complement my collection of 50s RAF jets (and take up less shelf space to placate the missus!) I like Meteors, and there's something fascinating about these basic jets flying out of their bases in eastern England during the Cold War era. The east Anglian skies must have been filled with jets in those days. Here's the box and sprues. I'm assuming it's based on the Matchbox kit? That bag of bits is left over from the Matchbox Meteor I built a couple of years ago! Might come in handy. I still like my NF14, just needs an aerial fixing, but I'll see if I can make a tidier job of this one now I'm a bit more experienced. I was rather underwhelmed by the Xtrakit decals, especially given the plethora of bright markings from this era, so I treated myself to a set from ebay as they were only a fiver! Xtrakit: Any advice welcome!
  8. The de Havilland Vampire has always been my favourite early jet. First flown in September 1943 (5 months before the Soviet La-7, half a year before the Japanese Ki-102 and 15 months before the He 162) she should be called a wartime design. And if she wasn’t British she would be a true WW2 fighter – unfortunately the RAF had huge numbers of already proven „430+ mph” fighters to list just the Mustang, Tempest and Griffon-Spitfires, while development of another British jet – the Meteor – was six months ahead of the „crab”. Thus the plywood-clad twin-boom marvel became the Cold War era fighter. For many years the only 72nd scale kit of this most successful British - and West European - jet (some 4.500 built, or nearly 6.000 including the Venom, whose prototype was called Vampire FB.8) was the FROG F217F, that appeared in 1971 and since 1978 (after the FROG sad demise) was available under the Soviet NOVO label. Although in my youth I have built dozens of FROG/NOVO kits their F217F (later F431) is still unknown for my eyes and hands, so I can only believe it at least looked like the Vampire. Several pictures available do prove it does. Next Vampire kit in the gentleman’s scale was Heller 80283 that appeared in 1979. Although still featuring raised (and few engraved) panel lines it had ribbed undercarriage bays. The box contained 41 parts (FROG had 36) and for next 30 years this was „the kit” used by the modellers all over the world to represent the Vampire. In this period it has been also reboxed by several other manufacturers, including Revell (since 1991) and Airfix (since 1998) as the most important ones. In 2006 there appeared super-detailed resin-cast Vampires from Czech Master Resin. IIRC more than a dozen of boxes are available, including the Mk I, the Sea Vampire, the NF, the Trainer and the Venoms. Every one contains some 50-60 resin parts, a vac-formed canopy, a coloured PE fret of 30+ details and an Eduard pre-cut mask. Unfortunately their prices (some £ 27 in my country) make such high-tech kits unavailable for my wallet. And perhaps for most of us… And then the horn of plenty gave us three brand new Vampire kits in just five years. They were the Ukrainian Amodel (in 2010), the Chinese (Dragon) Cyber Hobby in 2013 and – finally – the Czech CMK (labelled as Azur, Xtrakit and Special Hobby) in 2014. All of them feature engraved detailing, plenty of parts (almost 50 in Dragon, 60 in Amodel and 70 in CMK box) and various inbox reviews call each of them beautiful (if not splendid). Really each of them look like a Vampire… until you place two of them side by side. So the problem appears: which Vampire kit in 72nd scale is the best dimensionally- and shape-wise, as the details of all “new tool” trio are at least acceptable and their prices (£9 for CMK and £10 for Amodel) are not very high when compared to £6 for the Airfix (£8 for Revell) boxing of the ancient Heller kit. At some £19 the Cyber Hobby kit is far more expensive, while not far better. Fortunately I have the opportunity to measure the real bird (a Swiss-built FB.6) at the Polish Aviation Museum where I’ve been working between 1987 and 2014. So I took 21 various dimensions of the original, scaled them down and then measured the kits. The results are very interesting, although one can even call them horrible. It’s incomprehensible – for me at least – why can’t the 21st century kit manufacturer replicate faithfully the real plane, using instead various drawings that are far from reality. Measuring the real craft and making new drawings is far cheaper than NCM-cutting the moulds. And then we – thousands of modellers worldwide – have to use our skills to make a Vampire look like the Vampire… Full size dimensions are given in centimeters, the rest - in milimeters. Abbreviations stand for: R - real FB.5, S - scaled to 1:72, A - Amodel, C - CMK, D - Dragon Cyber Hobby, H - Heller/Revell/Airfix (FB.5) Fuselage length overall (FB.5) R610 S84.7 A81.8 C83.8 D80.8 H81.4 Sliding canopy length R122 S16.9 A18.3 C18.5 D17.8 H17.0 End of canopy to the top of nose bulkhead R192 S26.7 A26.9 C27.6 D26.3 H25.2 End of canopy to the bottom of nose bulkhead R203 S28.2 A28.5 C29.0 D28.1 H27.0 End of canopy to the tip of nose R278 S38.6 A37.2 C38.5 D37.2 H35.0 End of canopy to fuselage joint frame R105 S14.6 A13.4 C12.3 D12.4 H14.1 End of canopy to tailpipe R332 S46.1 A44.6 C45.3 D43.6 H46.4 Half of wing span R579 S80.4 A79.0 C79.9 D77.8 H79.5 Fuselage centreline to aileron inner edge R324 S45.0 A42.8 C43.4 D41.9 H43.8 Fuselage centreline to main u/c bay outer edge R262 S36.4 A34.5 C35.6 D34.7 H36.7 Fuselage centreline to flap outer edge R250 S34.7 A33.0 C33.7 D32.9 H33.0 Fuselage centreline to tailboom centreline R149 S20.7 A20.0 C20.2 D19.6 H19.3 Wing chord at aileron outer edge R99 S13.7 A13.9 C14.0 D13.0 H13.5 Wing chord at aileron inner edge R194 S26.9 A29.0 C29.1 D26.8 H25.9 Wing chord at main u/c bay outer edge R231 S32.1 A33.0 C32.3 D30.6 H30.4 Wing chord at tailboom centreline R265 S36.8 A40.5 C39.6 D38.2 H37.0 Tailboom insert into wing R190 S26.4 A26.0 C26.8 D24.4 H24.8 Tailboom length aft of joint R412 S57.2 A55.0 C56.0 D54.5 H57.4 Tailplane span (between fairings) R282 S39.1 A38.6 C38.8 D37.8 H36.8 Horizontal stabilizer chord R77 S10.7 A10.5 C12.0 D10.0 H10.6 Elevator chord R41 S5.7 A5.5 C5.8 D5.4 H5.8 So the results are: every fuselage is too short (I know that Swiss FB.6 pointed nose is longer) with CMK being the only close. Every canopy is too long with Heller being the only close – but this is easy to correct. Fuselage panel lines are wrong in each case with differences reaching 3.5 mm in scale (10” on real bird). All the wings are too short with CMK being AGAIN the only close. Same applies to the gap between the tailbooms. Chordwise Heller and Dragon wings are too narrow, while Amodel and CMK are too wide (which is easier to correct). Shape-wise only the Heller wing outline is close to real thing with aspect ratio (span to mid-span chord ratio) of 5.97:1 (a bit too slim ) compared to 5.72 in Dragon, 5.56 in CMK and 5.44 in Amodel – the original features 5.88:1. The difference in tailplane chord “by Dragon” and “by CMK” is 15% - funny, isn’t it? Using just the main dimensions (wing span and overall length) all kits are undersized with CMK being the only close (1:72.7), followed by Heller (1:73.2), Amodel (1:73.9) and Dragon (1:74.9). I made several pictures of wings, tailplanes, tailbooms and fuselage nacelles scanned from the real moulds. However it's impossible to compare the fuselage nacelle, as the CMK and Dragon kits feature horizontal split, while in Amodel and Heller there are port and starboard halves. Being unable to measure the real bird fuselage maximum diameter I can only add, that in the kits featured it varies from 16.5 mm in Cyber Hobby through some 18 mm in Heller and CMK to 19.0 mm in Amodel. Though being very difficult to correct it remains an oddity here… Happy modelling!
  9. Hope you're all well. One of the great things about our hobby is that it is the perfect past time when you're forced to stay indoors. I even manage to get some kits finished that were long overdue. Here's my Xtrakit (Matchbox) A.W. Meteor NF.11 in the markings of the Belgian Air Force, as it appeared in 1956. I also used the Airwaves set for the interior, although in hindsight I might have left it out. Decals are from Kits at War, from their long OOP Belgian Air Force sheet. Hope you like it. Peter
  10. It's a nice little kit this, fits together well - just remember to add plenty of noseweight! WK803 was one of the Meteors that took part in the 1953 Queen's Coronation flypast. This is how she appeared around this time, with the metal on the rear canopy, high speed silver paint and smaller diameter intakes. Meteor F8s flew with 56 Sqn from Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire until being replaced by Swifts in 1955. Here's the WIP:
  11. Straight onto another 50's classic, the glorious Meteor. I'm tempted to do this one all silver, with the solid rear canopy area and small intakes, though it depends how things go and references I can find. However, having found these decals which I'd forgotten about, I'm also tempted to do the 74 sqn jet. I think it'll be a toss up between that in camo or a silver 56 sqn jet. Let's see how it goes.
  12. 1968 Simon's Sircus In an attempt to control the size of the stash, I have a rule that my groupbuild entries must come from the existing stash. So while researching 1968 I came across the Sea Vixen's of Simon's Sircus. Simon's Sircus was an aerobatic display team comprising six Sea Vixen FAW.2 aircraft from 892 Squadron. The team operated for a single season during the summer of 1968 and was named after 892 Squadron’s commanding officer, Lt Cdr Simon Idiens. The team's airplanes were painted in standard FAA colours of dark gray and white with yellow and black wolf's head badge on the fins. Simon's Sircus pilots had a real lioness for a mascot. Need to find a 1/72 lioness. They were based at RNAS Yeovilton and displayed at numerous RAF Airshows and Royal Navy Air Station Air Days during the 1968 season culminating at the Farnborough Airshow in the September. Towards the end of the season, they flew coordinated displays with the Buccaneers from 809 squadron Phoenix Five This was not the first time the Sea Vixen had been used in a aerobatic team, 766 squadron formed a team of five Sea Vixen FAW.1. Fred's Five displayed during 1962 & 1963. I believe that Simon Idiens was a member of this team I will be using Xtrakit's 1/72 Sea Vixen FAW.2 for this build. Decals will be from the Model Alliance sheet "Royal Navy Aerobatic Teams" This sheet also includes decals for a Buccaneer from the Pheonix Five, waiting for Airfix's new Buccaneer.
  13. Hello and long time no see is what the people say in this case I think. It sort of went like this. A 30 year modelling break, then 13 builds posted here, then a further 3 year break due to lifeTM stuff. But no fear, because some kind of luck was with me, as I recently suffered a mini-stroke which included, free of charge, temporary speech loss and paralysis. Even MORE luck was that I wasn't allowed to drive for a while so that killed off my self-employed photo work and it hasn't recovered yet. And then they found out I had a hole in my heart since birth which was the cause. Much fall out ensued! This MEANS that I had some time to make some models again! *Insert cowboy style yelling and much cheering* AND.. It would be seen as good use of my time for rest and rehabilation. *Insert more cheering* So, before I soon start back into the real world of work, I was trying to get a few kits done. This means they'll be a short period of spamming a few builds before disappearing again for a little while. I hate doing that so mucho apologies, but I'll do my best to have a good ole browse at everyone else's amazing work before life shifts again. Here it is, my first warm-up, and crikey, I was a bit rusty. It's the Xtrakit Vampire FB.5 (also MPM), with a pretty scheme pulled of the Xtradecal sheet, No. 112 Sqn, RAF Fassberg, Germany 1951. Out of the box, other than that scheme. I somehow managed to lose the counterweights from the rear control surfaces to the carpet monster, but I was just happy to be building and painting again so rolled my eyes and shrugged it off. Thanks for looking. VampireFB5_01 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr VampireFB5_02 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr VampireFB5_03 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr VampireFB5_04 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr VampireFB5_06 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr VampireFB5_08 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr VampireFB5_07 by Jonathan Macauley, on Flickr
  14. Here is my contribution to this GB. The Scimitar had a short service life of about 10 years from 1956. Although limited by the 40/50s technology in its design it was an important aircraft for the Fleet Air Arm and a pioneer in many ways. It was the FAA's first true swept wing fighter, first to be truly trans-sonic and the first capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. It was also for a period in the 60s the FAA's first and only dedicated tanker aircraft, being used to allow underpowered Mk1 Buccaneers to get off Carrier decks with a full weapons load. Scimitars were deployed in the Med, North Sea and North Atlantic as well as in the Far and Near East (out of scope, I know but completes the story. I've made an Xtrakit SHAR and Meteor in the past (and I think there's a Sea Vixen sitting on the shelf of doom) and the former was a challenge and a half so I suspect this will take me to November to finish. However it will be worth it for this iconic British naval aircraft. sprue shot I'll be making this one from HMS Eagle's 800B Squadron
  15. Build of the Xtrakit issue of the Matchbox kit, using the Matchbox decals Sort of started for the Matchbox GB of last November; finished late last week
  16. With apologies for the lateness of my entry I would like to join the GB with a Meteor F8 in quite garish Belgium colours. I have a massive soft spot for the Meteor in all its guises and had half a mind to build an Airfix 1/48 Meteor for this GB but (a) there is already one in the group and (b) I am having a spectacular run of not finishing kits at the moment...so maybe something with a lower parts count. I am using the Xtrakit as the base which is I believe the MPM F8 reboxed. The decals are Xtradecal X72-071. All comments very welcome. Dave
  17. I would like to throw my hat into the ring if I may. A quick review of the stash presented a number of options including these: The Airfix 1/48 Meteor was very tempting but as I am in the process of finishing of my Eduard Bf110 for the other anniversary build I fancied something ultra simple and OTB....which leads me to... This is obviously the old Matchbox kit and I am not sure I have built one of those for about 25 years. I know the fit is a little ropey but hopefully it will come together without too many issues (famous last words). Not sure which scheme to build it in but probably the one on the box. Cheers Dave
  18. Hi, all. I'm glad to be sharing this RFI with you all. This kit almost didn't make it across the finishing line. It never quite reached the shelf of doom, but it was certainly on the back burner for a while. This model was to be airframe WK293. Xtrakit incorrectly label the belly as being PRU blue when it was actually silver. Wanting to add a PRU blue Swift to my collection I changed course and grabbed some Airfix decals from @FZ6. This required a few touch ups of the disruptive camouflage on the top sides to match the new aircraft, WK281. When I got to the gloss stage I promptly dropped the aircraft and had to repair to nose. That wasn't too hard to fix. Following the repairs I decided to brush on a coat of klear, rather than airbrush my Tamiya X22. However, this coat of klear caused cracking all over the model! After some attempts to fix the issue I eventually stripped the whole aircraft with thinner and sandpaper. And for my last disaster, as I approached the finishing line I drilled a hole right through the starboard wing trying to make a secure footing for the landing gear. Despite all the trials, I'm very happy with the finished product. I've lost a few panel lines along the way (mostly on the upper side of the main wings), but it's not a glaring omission. This fills a niche in my collection and demonstrates my commitment to getting things right! Paints: PRU Blue: Humbrol Acrylic 230 (horrendous paint) Dark Green: H330 Dark Sea Grey: H331 Gloss: Tamiya Flat: Gunze Decals are Airfix, except for the roundels (Xtradecal) and the squadron markings (Xtrakit).
  19. I've been working on this Swift for about a year or year and a half. I'm a serial starter and have too many kits on the go. I've been working to finish a few kits which are in more advanced stages before I crack on with some of my other kits. E.g. the Aeronavale Lancaster which I also have a WIP up for (not forgotten!) Meet the Swift. Here it is a few months ago on the painting pile before I finished my Dutch Meteor F8. More recently I splashed some paint on it. Gunze H330 for the green, H331 for the Dark Sea Grey, and Humbrol Acrylic PRU blue for the undersides. The black frame behind the cockpit is the rear frame of the canopy. I'll be building the aircraft with the canopy open. It was about this stage I took a closer look at my decals and realised Xtrakit had made an error. The aircraft I'd chosen was meant to have silver undersides, not PRU blue. I put out a call on the forum for spare decals from an Airfix kit and @FZ6 came to my rescue with the serials for WK281. I'm very thankful for his help and will be able to keep the PRU blue on the aircraft. This brings us to today. I've been repainting the dark green and dark sea grey so that they better matche the profile on the Airfix sheet. I'll need to strip the tail-planes as the pattern can't be fixed with some modifications. Today's job is to touch up the PRU blue forward of the front landing gear where I've needed to do some sanding. Hoping to turn this around quite fast now. Looking forward to having this in the cabinet next to my Meteors (F8, NF11) and Hunter.
  20. The Meteor F.8 was the backbone of the RAF's fighter wings in the early 1950s, serving with over 30 squadrons. No. 245 squadron was based at Horsham St Faith (now Norwich airport), and flew Meteors alongside 74 sqn from 1950 until briefly re-equipping with Hunters in 1957. WL135 was delivered to the RAF on new year's eve 1953. She served as the squadron CO's aircraft, hence the specially marked tail fin. There is an example of a Meteor with these markings on display at the Norwich aviation museum. 50's style ...
  21. Another 50's classic! Hundreds of Meteors served with the RAF in the 1950s, and some beyond. I've got two of these Xtrakit F.8s in the stash, so fancied giving one a go after the big Vulcan (and limited space for a bit!) I'll do this one pretty much OOB, but with Xtradecals. I liked the markings for 501 sqn that came with the kit, but apparently they only ever had two Meteor F.8s, so I'd rather do one from a proper Meteor squadron. There are plenty to choose from, currently thinking it'll be WL135, the CO's machine with yellow fin, from 245 sqn at Horsham St Faith (now Norwich airport). But I might just do her in 74 sqn markings instead! Either way, she'll be green/grey camo with high speed silver undersides. Obligatory box shot. Somewhat battered but I only buy bargains on eBay. No £95 Valiants or £60 Buccaneers here unfortunately. Kit has just two main sprues plus transparency. Xtradecals not included, obviously! Bang seat painted, and some masking tape for the survival pack.
  22. Lord Riot

    Meteor F.8

    I'm thinking of doing one of these soon, but there are a couple of questions which hopefully someone can answer. Firstly, I'm going to be building VZ494 in the kit's 501 Sqn RAuxAF markings, as based at Filton in 1957. It appears this has the clear canopy as on later F.8s. However, the kit provides wider engine intakes as well as the narrower ones, would an F.8 from this date have the wider ones (the kit instructions say not, but just checking). Secondly, colour is shown as DSG/dark green over 'high speed silver'/aluminium. Would I be correct to use satin (allowing for scale and weathering), or should 50's Meteor F.8s be high gloss? Thanks!
  23. This was meant to be a quick mojo boosting build back in February, however fate intervened. I had got to this point: Then came back to the hobby desk a few (sunny) days later to this: Probably caused by too close a proximity to a magnifying lens. Cue witticisms about vampires not be able to survive direct sunshine....... Eventually I plucked up the courage to fill, sand, fill, sand, fill...... followed by some rescribing. My original intent had to be to complete her has a silver aircraft, instead I went with the other box option of a camouflaged machine of 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron, RAF Gibraltar on exercise in 1955-56. Brushpainted Tamiya acrylics as always, the full sad tale can be found here. Thanks for looking.
  24. Its been a tough couple of weeks at home and it lead to my latest build (a Crusader Tank) stalling. Long and the short of it, my 13 year old son was knocked over by a car on the way home from school. Fortunately no serious injuries - just scrapes and abrasions, but it did mean a couple of the days in the local hospital and a significant amount of discombobulation for the normal routine. Add in a serious heatwave in Perth and his mum is currently travelling overseas. Thankfully he is pretty much back to normal, and so I have chance to get back to the bench. However I couldn't face picking up the stalled Crusader, so what to do? I settled on just a straight from the box, no frills, quick build - hopefully one that can be completed this weekend. My choice was the Xtrakit Vampire which I picked up as an impulse buy last month. The obligatory sprue shots: Decal sheet: And these will be the markings I do - nice simple silver scheme (and I have a rattle can of Tamiya paint that is just the ticket): So after a late breakfast, I cleared the model desk and got started - you can see the stalled Crusader at the back of the desk. First a bit of gluing - everything fits together beautifully. Then some paint - all brush painted Tamiya acrylics. NATO black for the cockpit, dark iron for the exhaust end of the "pod", aluminium for the engine compartment. Decal settled nicely on the relief detail on the instrument panel. After lunch, the internal engine parts got a pin wash of thinned Tamiya black acrylic. The rear part also got a dry brushing of aluminium before the wash. All the internal parts were fitted into the lower fuselage half - a lovely fit. Some Tamiya tape seat belts and a slight dirty wash and the cockpit is looking good. Then the top of the fuselage half was fitted, needed a bit convincing to stay put. Time for a G'n'T and to get the dinner ready.
  25. Latest one finished. Used the decals from the Xtrakit and the belly tank from Freightdog Models. The decals do seem to be the correct size to my eyes. No major problems but the tailplanes are a difficult to get a positive fit. Also the pitot tube was replaced with some Albion Alloy tubing. Painted with Xtracrylix for the DSG/DG and Humbrol Acrylic for the PRU Blue.Special thanks to Jason (Jasman71) who provided the nosewheel assembly as mine went missing in action. *Note, canopy framing amended since photos taken*
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