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  1. Above is a link to the Phantom I started in the F-4 GB but did not finish - I got this far. As and when time permits I will add the u/c and vertical tail and then start painting it. It will soon be joined with a couple of F-14's and an F-11F-1 which I hope to coninue in the KUTA. Cheers Pete
  2. Hi all, I'm in with another long term stash resident, Airfix's 1/48 GR3A/ES Jaguar kit. I will be doing it as a GR1 probably in the snow camo, because I think it looks cool.................: A few goodies to add to the mix. Cheers, Mark.
  3. Time to start a new kit, and as sadly it seems the ubiquitous Hawk T.1 will soon be retired it can also be a bit of a tribute to the type. My build was actually inspired by reading Mandy Hickson’s superb book ‘An Officer, Not A Gentlemen’, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I’m only half way through, in the chapter about her FJ training at Valley on these very aircraft. So here goes, hopefully I do it justice. Obligatory box shot. Very surprised to find there’s also a T2 fuselage in the bag of sprues. Is that normal? I still have some 4 FTS decals for it. I’ll be doing the standard 80’s red and white trainer, with white fuselage numbers like I remember from many airshows. Might need some aftermarket for that big cockpit.
  4. I think there are 13 Vintage Classics in the list A00717V Russian Infantry A00718V Japanese Infantry A01046V FIAT G50 A01307V Joseph Stalin JS3 Russian Tank A01319V Type 97 Chi Ha Japanese Tank A02025V Beagle Basset 206 A02043V F-80C Shooting Star A02056V Westland Whirlwind Helicopter A02099V Commonwealth CA-13 Boomerang A03017V de Havilland Beaver A03202V HMS Devonshire A03205V HMS Fearless A18001V Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 Interesting the Beagle Basset is in ther as I thought (like last years Jetstream) this was one of those kits issued in a limited edition a few years ago with Airfix indicating it would be the last release. The Harrier GR1 through me as the image on the web-site is that of the 1:72nd version so I was somewhat surprised to see the price at £94.
  5. From the category of "someone's got to build this". I'm sure enough of us did build it back in the day, including myself in 1982. As I recall, I completed it in line with the box artwork, or at least as best I could. Given the kit was issued in 1981, two years before the type entered service, accuracy was always going to be questionable. I am building a re-box from the late 1980s, one that has been in the stash for a very, very long time. I could have disposed of this kit on more than one occasion, but something always stayed my hand. Maybe it was because I remembered this as being a trouble-free build. I am building the USN subject from VFA-102 "Valions", with the early low-vis colour scheme. Thanks to those who confirmed in the chat thread that this was correct. The small strakes on top rear of each LERX were added early in the production run, and retro-fitted to the very earliest aircraft. Airfix did at least decide to go back and add them. Note how these parts (93 and 94) are oriented at a 90-degree angle to other parts, presumably to squeeze them onto the sprue. They also have plain part numbers, instead of the italicised part numbers used from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s.
  6. So the first finish of the year is Airfix's Bristol Beaufort, a very nice kit that built up well except the mistake I made using the wrong turret fairing so my turret is a bit lower than it should be and I separated the clear parts from the sprue several months before fitting and I had problems getting a good fit. Made as a Malta based Mk1A circa 1942 using the Xrtadecal sheet and 2 resin guns added. Painted with Tamiya, Mr hobby and Vallejo acrylics, weathered with Flory Dark Dirt wash and Mig Ammo powders. There has been some comment on the WIP that these particular colours may be incorrect but I like the look. As usual all comments welcome. Beaufort is slightly smaller than the Beaufighter.
  7. Although I have built a fair number of soft skinned and AFV's over the years by only such builds in BM have been within Group Builds, so this is my first such WIP in this area of the forum. I built the Airfix QLT /QLD when there were first issued, (2010) and managed to pick up 2 more boxes for £5 each fairly soon after. These have sat in my stash ever since. I now want to expand my collection of late second world war two vehicles as part of my "Exercise Meteor" project and a second freelance model railway set in a similar period, To break away from the Airfix range I was drawn towards the IBG trucks as they offered some variety. Last week I took the plunge and bought two from their range, one of which is the QLR and the other will appear alongside my build in the Matchbox GB next year. As an end of the year project I will be building both the Airfix vehicles alongside the IBG one ans , apart from the scale differences, see how these match up. For starters here as the boxes: Rather than sprue shots I will post pictures of the various sub-structures as they progress.
  8. I've built four Cromwells/Centaurs so far in 1/35th scale, all of them based on the very good Tamiya kit, so when Airfix brought their version out, I wanted to see how it stacked up against the competition, even though I was aware of it's short comings. Most of you will know what the problems are with the Airfix offering, but I'll briefly run them through again. First and foremost was the cockup that they made with the number of wheel nuts on the road wheels, six instead of eight. On the shell casing ejection ports on each side of the turret, they missed off the four prominent nuts. The third is the same one made by Tamiya, and that is that they included a “C” engine deck when the markings are supposed to be for vehicles equipped with “D” or “E” decks. None of this is too big a problem as I picked up a set of resin replacement wheels by Sovereign 2000 at Telford. I've got a spare Tamiya turret to get around the missing nut problem, and for the engine deck I'll alter the panel lines to make it into a D/E/F deck. A few years ago, I built a 1/48th scale Mk.Vl using the Tamiya kit, and the vehicle which I depicted was one with the name of “Brumovice“, belonging to the Czech Independent Armoured Brigade. It was finished in SCC15 and with black disruptive pattern. When I looked through my decal stash, lo and behold, I have the SKP rub down decal set for this tank, so decision made. I'm going to use some “artistic licence” with this build. As far as I know, the only photos that exist of “Brumovice” are all three quarter frontal ones, so hopefully, nobody will be able to dispute what I will do with this tank. I have some photos of Czech Cromwells showing stowage bins commonly seen on Fireflys, welded to the rear of a Cromwell's hull, and another with a Crusader style blanket box, welded to the back of the turret, so that's the route that I will take. I'm not going to go through all of the stages of photos of the kit's sprues as Mike covered all of that in the new AFV kit review. This won't be one of those builds where the first page shows the start of the build and then before you know it, on page two, the paint and decals are going on. Given my glacial speed of building, this will take several weeks, but my aim is to have it completed in time for the M4 GB to start. So without further ado, onto the build. The first job was the hull tub. Here, IMO, Airfix have scored some points as they have made it from five parts, as opposed to the one piece Tamiya hull. The locating notches are very well thought out and you have two bulkheads, which all means that you end up with vertical sides. At the rear of each side, they have included the filler for the final drive hydraulics. I punched out a couple of hexagonal pieces and glued them to the tops for the filler caps. Something else that Airfix have included that Tamiya missed, just right of centre on the rear hull plate, is the inspection hatch for the control rods, and another bonus is the electrical cabling for the smoke emitters. The assembly for the road wheel swinging arms, is practically identical to Tamiya's arrangement. I wanted to allow the second and third road wheels to be displaced, so the stubs for these were sliced off. And once done, this is what I ended up with, once the outer plates of the lower hull were in place. I'm possibly going to use the rubber band tracks that come with the kit, rather than the link and length as I think they have a slightly better appearance, and don't have as many ejection pin marks to remove. But there again, if I'm not happy with how they look, I'll pick up a set of Fruils. That's it for this session. I'll b back with more, once my hobby room has warmed up a bit (a BIG bit. It was 5 degrees when I went out there today!) John.
  9. Hi everyone Long time no see. The past few months have been a real modelling black hole where I haven't been bothered to go to my workshop let alone do any modelling. Builds that I've started are as they were with no progress being made on any of them, I think that over my recent modelling history I've lost my way and for some reason felt the need to over complicate my builds with too much resin and etch. Now don't get me wrong I enjoy working with both mediums but they can sap the enjoyment that comes with just sticking bits of plastic together and squirting paint everywhere. I have a little time on my hands over the next couple of weeks (I start a new job on the 24th) I thought it was about time to get back to basics and build a model OOB and just enjoy it, so to that end and as the title suggests, I'm going to build the fairly new Airfix 1/48 Chippy. I started by just gluing the motor together, just because it looks rather nice and I enjoy just gluing things together... ..I'm not sure if I'm going to build the model with the engine exposed but it really is a lovely little thing..well done Airfix! I have splattered some paint around and painted up the cockpit area, I used several different shades of dark grey, black and light grey to try and get some tonal variations because otherwise its pretty boring in there.. I will add some seatbelts in due course and tonight I'll get the instrument panels finished using the kit decals. Thanks for looking and see you all soon Iain
  10. Aichi D3A1 "Val" 1:72 Airfix "Vintage Classics" A02014V The Val was designed in the 1930s by Aichi to replace the D1A1 biplane for the Japanese Navy. Following acceptance into the Navy the aircraft undertook its first combat missions in China in 1940. Later 126 would take part in the attack on Pearl Harbour where it proved highly accurate in it dive bombing role. In this attack many of the aircraft were sent to target the several American airfields on the Island of Oahu, using precision strikes to ensure as many US aircraft were destroyed before they could take to the air, thus minimising potential losses to the aircraft assigned to main attack. Although the aircraft went on to other success after this it went on to suffer heavy losses as allied Anti Aircraft fire improved , and superior fight cover was made available. The Kit this is Airfix's own tool dating back to 1965 which has enjoyed many re-releases over the years. As its an old tool you get the two fuselage halves, two wings, two smaller sprues of parts and a clear sprue. Moulding is typical of the time period and the tool seems to have held up. On starting the build there is no real cockpit to speak of. The two standard Airfix pilots fit into seats and these fit directly into the fuselage, At the rear an arrestor hook is fitted then the fuselage can be closed up. The wings are made up and the wheels with their spats are added. To the fuselage ar now added the wings, the tail planes; and at the front the engine and propeller. Two small exhaust stubs are added to the engine, and then under the fuselage a centreline bomb and its swing cradle. To finish the canopies are added, as are the dive brakes to the wings, and at the rear the small tail wheel. Markings A small decal sheet from Cartograf provides markings for only one aircraft based on the carrier Akagi during the attack on Pearl Harbour 1941. Conclusion Airfix seem to be releasing their back catalog now as "Vintage Classics", this gives some indication you are getting an told tool kit not a new one. Recommended if you want a bit of nostalgia modelling. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Well, this seemed like a good idea at the time. How tricky could a simple little kit like this be? I should have known better. To quote Puck from "A Midsummer Night's Dream": Lord, what fools these mortals be
  12. This is a 1990s revision of the old 1973 kit. The extra parts on the white sprue are for the "bull nose" and the four-bladed propellers and spinners fitted to the J30. I had already built the original kit twice, but both times "wheels up". So I probably hadn't noticed this design flaw before on the outer port nacelle. The attachment point for the main undercarriage leg is molded out instead of in: The kit errs in providing for the underwing rockets to be mounted as well either the drop tanks or bombs. Even though Airfix should surely have known that was wrong when this revised kit was issued, they didn't correct this, and the instructions for the RAF NF.XIX version makes the same mistake as in the 1973 instructions. In reality, a special ops night fighter/intruder would have been very unlikely to carry rockets. But I digress. Had I wanted to fit the drop tanks to the J30 I was building, I'd probably have had to move them outboard a bit. But I didn't see any photo of the J30 with drop tanks.
  13. Of late I’ve developed a bit of a fascination with Bristol’s purposeful looking twins of the 1940s, such that in a relatively short period of time I’ve managed to accumulate this little batch of red boxes (I suspect Adam Tooby's excellent box art has something to so with it!): My plan is to get together a little Bristol sub-collection based on these kits: a variety of Blenheims, Beauforts and Beaufighters to highlight the versatility of these aircraft. A Bolingbroke may make an appearance, and who knows, down the line there maybe be Bombays, Brigands, Buckinghams and Buckmasters, though not from Airfix of course (I sense there is some kind of theme to the names that Bristol chose for their aircraft, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is…) I don’t know if I’ll be building these concurrently or consecutively, but certainly I’ll be dipping in and out for other builds, GBs etc, so this is likely to be a long haul! Here we go…
  14. In Autumn 2022, Airfix is to release a new tool 1/48th Avro Anson Mk.I kit - ref. A09191 Source: https://uk.airfix.com/products/avro-anson-mki-a09191 V.P. For me a Avro Anson C.19/T.21 in the same scale. V.P.
  15. Hello, here's something new from me. This was the WWII RAF Vehicle Set from Airfix with a few etched parts from Brengun, which were in fact for the RAF Bomber Re-supply Set. Paints from MRP and the aging were done with washes and paints mainly from AK. I hope you like it.
  16. I decided that this year I would start to deal with an area in the stash known as the dust bowl where a number of almost completed kits and those needing some repair lie languishing simply accumulating dust. I've already finished an Aeroclub Fairey Flycatcher which will end up in the RFI section soon once I get the motivation for a photo shoot session. My next choice is this Airfix Vampire trainer which is one of two I started building as FAA Admiral's Barges. The second needs a bit more work as it needs some repairs to the undercarriage. This one has been built OOB apart from the colour scheme. The green is Humbrol Hu2 Emerald Green and the White from Citadel then a layer of gloss varnish. There's not too much work really needed. Once the dust is cleaned off, the undercarriage needs to be completed, the jet pipe inserted, the remainder of markings and stencils added, the canopy masked and painted and some varnish on to pull it all together. I have an Eduard mask for the canopy and I'll be using transfers left over from a CMR Sea Vampire kit that I completed in silver and red. A selection of stencils from the Airfix kit will also be used. An hour or so of cleaning with wet cotton buds has removed much of the dust and the main transfers added. The remainder of the underwing serials will need a little bit of work to cut up the sections on the undercarriage door. Airfix kindly do it on their transfer sheet but CMR just give the complete numbers. I've done it before, it's just painstaking but doable with careful measuring and a new sharp scalpel blade.
  17. In Summer 2022 - Airfix is to release a new tool 1/72nd Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 kit - ref A04064 Source: https://uk.airfix.com/products/gloster-meteor-f8-a04064 V.P.
  18. Vickers Valiant B(PR)K.Mk.I 1:72 Airfix (A11001A) The Valiant was the first of the V-Bomber fleet into service, and was also the most conservative of the three, being of a very conventional design. It dropped Britain's first Atomic bomb during exercise Grapple, but once the nuclear deterrent role passed to the Royal Navy, shortcomings in its design became evident. In the low level bomber role, where the air is more turbulent, and the demands on the airframe during manoeuvres are more intense, the spar of the aircraft was found wanting. One aircraft's rear spar fractured during flight, but it managed to limp back to base and landed safely. Examination of the rest of the subsequently grounded fleet found that tiny stress cracks were starting to appear, which led to the remaining serviceable airframes being re-tasked with in-flight refuelling before they were permanently grounded on the basis of the cost of repairs in January 1965. Sadly, the B.2 "Black Bomber" version that had progressed to prototype stage as early as 1955, with upgraded wing strength and extended fuselage would have been a much better aircraft for the Valiant B.1's eventual role, but that was cancelled and ended its days as a gunnery target. Although designed from the ground up as a high-altitude strategic bomber, the Vickers Valiant was adapted to a number of other roles throughout its career. The Valiants high-altitude performance and long range made it ideally suited to the photo reconnaissance role. The first converted aircraft, known as the Valiant B (PR) K Mk. 1, equipped No. 543 Squadron, based at RAF Wyton. The photo reconnaissance equipment was installed in the bomb bay, with nine windows being fitted to the bomb bay doors. Photo reconnaissance Valiants operated successfully until replaced in service by PR Canberras. Valiants were also deployed successfully in the tanker role. These aircraft, designated B (K) Mk. 1 were adapted by the installation of a Hose Drum Unit (HDU or HooDoo) in the bomb bay. The benefits for the RAF were immense, providing true strategic offensive capability as well as prolonging the endurance of the fighter force. The Kit The kit arrives in a gigantic top-opening box, with a lovely CGI painting of a PR Valiant banking over clouds. Inside are seven sprues of light grey styrene, one of clear parts, a large decal sheet, instruction booklet and a large folded A3 decal instruction sheet. This is a re-issue of the original kit with the inclusion of the Photo reconnaissance parts Airfix released as an additional set back in 2016. The cockpit is depicted with all 5-seats, with the three rear crew situated on a lower platform facing the rear. Decals are provided for both instrument panels and side consoles, as well as control yolks for the pilots and a ladder for the pilots to exit the cockpit. Detail here is acceptable and streets ahead of the Mach2 kit, but given the small size of the windows, very little will actually be seen, even if the crew access door on the port side is opened. The large coaming behind the pilots is included, scoring point here for accuracy over expediency, as it will hardly be visible. The bomb bay can be posed open or closed, and a separate set of bay doors is included if you opt for the closed version, as well as four strengthening bulkheads, which are numbered for ease. If opting to open the bomb bay, the modeller can choose configurations for Blue Danube, closed doors; or the PR pack, and again two bay roofs are included depending on which option you choose. The Valiant had a retractable portion of the fuselage behind the bomb bay, which stopped any falling munitions from impacting the rear of the bay due to the speeds at which the Valiant could fly. This is depicted by an insert that fits behind the open bomb bay, or if you close up the bay, this panel is attached to the main bay doors. The open bomb bay roof was a criss-cross pattern of ribs and stringers, which is replicated well here, and the bomb "pallets" for the conventional bombs are supplied, plus a full complement of 21 x 1,000lb iron bombs are still in the kit. The Blue Danube nuclear weapon filled the bay, and was suspended from the roof by a cradle, which is depicted here. The bay doors retracted almost totally into the bay to reduce drag, and here they plug into sockets in the bay roof, with the actuating arms also provided. Once the cockpit and bomb bay are completed, the fuselage can be closed up, and here a nose weight of 22 grams is suggested, although there is room here for plenty more. The engines are mounted in the wing root,. Each pair of intakes are made up from top and bottom halves, and once a couple of ejector pin marks are removed, the two parts can be glued together. A pair of compressor faces is supplied for each trunk. The intakes and the main gear bay boxes fit into the underside of the wing, with the intakes being supported on three platforms to ensure correct positioning. At this point the modeller must drill out the external fuel tank mounting lugs before offering the two wing undersides up to the one-piece wing upper. This route is a great idea, as instead of two long seams running over the smooth upper wing area, the modeller only has to deal with the two short seams fore and aft of the wing. The underside seam will be very difficult to see, so as long as care is taken here, it should need little in the way of filler. The horizontal tail slots into a hole in the vertical tail, and the vortex generators should be on the underside once installed. It has posable flying surfaces, so the modeller can add a little visual interest to the tail, and indeed the main wings. The rudder is moulded integrally however. If modelling the Grapple airframe a portion of the rear fuselage under the tail should be cut off, as this was a different shape in later models, while a choice of tips is given for the other versions. The exhaust cans slot into their fairings and are glued to the main wing, and care should be taken here to ensure that the fine trailing edge segment lines up with the rest of the wing. The landing gear are nicely detailed, with a large retraction jack moulded into the roof of the wheel bays (paint this part white), and the main X-supports mounting in turn in the middle of the bay. If you choose to model the Valiant in flight, the same bay doors can be used but with their mounting tabs cut off. The main doors are ribbed just like the rear thing, and have strong mounting surfaces, so shouldn't be knocked off too easily. The main wheels have separate hubs to help with painting, and the tyres have circumferential tread moulded in, as well as a discreet flat spot to give a realistic impression of the weight of the airframe on the tyres. The door jacks on the outer doors are missing, but these can be quickly fabricated from rod, or brass tube. The twin nose wheels have their guards built in, which seems a shame, but the detail is crisp, and careful painting will convince the viewer that they are separate parts. The nose gear leg is detailed, and looks to be correct from my memories of hacking about the Mach2 leg. The bay doors fit into the notched edges neatly whether posed open or closed. The underwing fuel tanks that were almost ubiquitous in contemporary photos are quite cleverly moulded, and stronger due to the fact that the tanks sandwich the base of the pylon with large attachment tabs ensuring a good fit. The large round pegs then attach to the wing, making them harder to knock off. The glazing parts are All crisp and clear, with the non-glazed parts of the mouldings frosted over, making masking a doddle. There are two Bomb Aimer's windows provided, as the 2nd Prototype had a simple oval window with no side-panes. The main glazing in the prototype also didn't have a quarterlight above the cockpit side windows, so two are provided here. The small oval window next to the crew door is there, as is a large clear insert for reconnaissance aircraft, with 10 raised clear squares. Decals Decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy, and from the box you can build one of two options: WZ393 - No.90 Sqn RAF. RAF Honington 1957 - High Speed silver? XD818 - No.49 Sqn RAF. Based at Christmas Island 1957 For Operation Grapple. This is the only complete Valiant to Survive at RAF Cosford. This aircraft dropped Britain's first Hydrogen Bomb. Conclusion Its good to see this kit re-released as they were commanding high prices on the second hand market. The inclusion of the PR parts in the kit is also most welcome. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. This is the lovely Airfix 1/72 Kate, OOB--I actually completed most of it almost a year ago, but it was on hold as I have been focused on my Hawker Hurricanes around the world project. I pulled it out the other day and finished her off. I was excited to model a bird with her wings up, and I had a lot of fun with it, although probably made some faux paus (e.g., flaps down, wings up, windows open, gun out all at once probably doesn't make perfect sense!), and some of my seam work makes me cringe now! Silver sprayed with rattle can and otherwise brush painted mostly with Tamiya acrylics. I kept her mostly clean as I assume in Dec 1941 they would have been fairly well-maintained. It seems based on a Google search that Zuiho's (this Kate's aircraft carrier) deck was wood, so I photographed her in a wooden box (out my front door in -27 C whilst snowing--so the photos were rushed)... enjoy!
  20. The 2022 Airfix Vintage Classics list had a couple of welcome choices but ignored a lot of kits that have not been re-issued in a very long time and that I would really like to see again. Here’s what I’d like to see for future Airfix Vintage Classics: 1/72 BAC TSR.2 Boeing B-29 Cessna O-1 Bird Dog Cessna O-2A Skymaster Curtiss SB2C Helldiver Dassault Super Mystere Douglas A-26B/C Invader Douglas F4D-1 Skyray Grumman TBM-3 Avenger Heinkel He 177A-5 Henschel Hs 129B Kaman SH-2F Seasprite Lockheed F-117A Lockheed S-3A Viking McDonnell F2H Banshee Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet North American F-86D Sabre Dog North American RA-5C Vigilante Rockwell B-1B Lancer Saab J-35 Drakken Supermarine S.6b Westland Puma 1/32 Bond Bug Morris Marina Austin Maxi Porsche Carrera Six 1/48 Grumman EA-6B Prowler BAC TSR.2 1/600 MV Free Enterprise II
  21. Notwithstanding the fact that I'm building (or butchering should I say?) a couple of Hurricanes, I could not resist starting this new work. First of all I have to say thank you to two benefactors who supported me with a lot of material for this conversion work. Thank you gentlemen (you know who you are!). Last week I was evaluating what will I build with these new assets and now I have a plan. I would like to model a Seafire Mk.46: although a rare bird, I think it is so beautiful with its low-back, huge fin, and contra-prop... I would also like to model a Pr. Mk XIX because I rate it the most elegant Spitfire ever. But first of all I want to model a Mk XII. Some people like this variant the most among the Griffon-engined ones; I like better the long-nose (more appropiately the two-stage-compressor-engined) ones but this variant has a particular charm in being a sort of a "hybrid", being a "rare bird" and even for its war record being employed as a stop-gap against the Fw-190 low-raiders and V1 missiles... ...Thinking about it I feel the same fascination for the very early F Mk.IX which had a similar origin and operational history, or the Mk. VI and VII. There's no perfect Mk.XII kit on the market (that I'm aware of, at least) so add the fashion of a modelling challenge to the above mentioned reasons to build one! Publicly available documents about this variant seem scarce and photo coverage is not abundant too. There are no preserved original Mk.XIIs, and the closest relatives available today as a reference are Seafire Mk XVs which are quite different in many detail. The general shape of the aircraft is well undestood but there are differences in detail between the early-build airframes and later ones; moreover Mk XII has some peculiar elements like the carburettor intake and the magneto hump which are unique in the Spitfire lineage. Fortunately the few existing photographs show rather well these particulars and allow for an accurate reconstruction. Here is the recipe I have in mind for the ultimate 1/72 Mk.XII: Base kit: Eduard Engine cowling and propeller blades: modified Airfix Mk.22 Spinner: modified Airfix Underwing oil radiator: Tamiya or Sword Scale plans: Jumpei Tenma's A lot of work, a little scratch-building The base kit is well known; Eduard's 1/72 Spitfire is a scaled down version of Eduard's 1/48 Spitfire which in turn is a scaled down version of .....(it can't be said openly) which is a 1/32 reproduction of a full-size Spitfire. All of the main features are dimensionally very very close to the data reported in the monumental "Spitfire engineered" book by Montforton; it is the only real "Spitfire looking" 1/72 Spitfire model I'm aware of, together with Airfix Mk.22 incidentally. That 2012 kit still has the best Griffon nose ever produced in 1/72 and is the perfect donor for a conversion work, as many modellers before me discovered. To be honest, both Airfix Mk.22 and Airfix Pr.Mk XIX have a correctly-shaped engine cowling; both kits have small defects in the shape of the cylinder bank fairings: the Mk.22 has them too short at the back, Pr.Mk XIX has an incorrect shape in front (due to the simplified moulding process chosen by Airfix for this kit) AND too short fairings. Correcting the Mk.XIX cowling is much more difficult than adjusting the Mk.22's so the last is a better choice. When asserting that this is the best choice for a Griffon nose in 1/72 I mean the following verified facts: -the profile is accurate within 0,1-0,2mm (or can be easily done so after the careful removal of the moulding burrs) -the width in plan is accurate, and the cross section is just about right (I'll try to have a better look at this in the building process) -the position, shape and angle relative to the thrust line of the cylinder covers appear to be accurate (whitin my measurement capabilities) except for the length in the back. I checked also Sword and Special Hobby products but simply they are not accurate, in particular regarding the shape and position of the cylinder humps and exausts (Sword) or overall cowling shape (SH). The propeller is a very good base for the Mk.XII were not for the fact that it has five blades instead of four... The Spinner assembly results slightly excessive in length (0,4mm) and the baseplate has some peripheral burr so that its diameter is about 10,2mm instead of 9,9mm. This mismatch is easily addressed by some reshaping of the spinner assembly on a lathe. If normally I can't decide which livery put on a particular a/c variant the Mk.XII requires yet another choice from the beginning: fixed tailwheel or retractable tailwheel? I resolved my quandaries choosing the retractable tailwheel variant (although at this moment I've not choosen a particular a/c to represent) Let's begin. The Griffon cowling is separated from the fuselage and compared to a scaled down version of J.Tenma's plans of the Seafire Mk.XVII (he did not trace plans for the Mk.XII or Mk.XV although you can find colorized profiles for them in his website) If your printer does allow just integer percentage scaling of the original (like mine), you can get perfect results by scaling with Inkscape, Photoshop or similar software. Please notice in the photograph above how well the Airfix nose matches the profile; it can be further improved by gentle bending of the upper arch, but this is not necessary for the Mk.XII because of the magneto bulb in that position. The cut is refined until reaching the perfect size, and the process is repeated for the other side. According to this quoted drawing for the Seafire Mk.XV (which is supposedly based on Supermarine data and matches J.T. plans), the "measurable" (I mean with a caliper) lenght of the section is calculated with some easy math: from fuselage datum point to the front of the cowling, at propeller axis: 76,2 inches from fuselage datum point to the upper cowling panel line: 1,28" (source "Spitfire engineered") the front cowling section is a disk, reportedly 28" diameter, inclined 2° to the cowling panel line. This adds 14" x tan(2°) =0,49" to the measurable length so: measurable lenght= 76,2"-1,28"+0,49"=75,41" which in 1/72 converts to 26,60 mm. My result is pretty good!...and was obtained matching the plans, and taking some progressive measurement of the part. One of the key points in getting a precise cut is adjusting the final tenths of mm with the right tool. I use 400-grit sandpaper glued to the side of a square aluminum block, and lay both the nose part and the aluminum block on the same plane, so that the sandpaper results perpendicular to it. Both halves are finished. And now... there's no return! Two perfectly good Eduard Spitfire Mk.VIII fuselages are horribly mutilated!
  22. After the 1/72nd kit (link), Airfix is to release during Winter 2019-2020 (?) a new tool 1/48th Canadair Sabre Mk.4 kit - ref. A08109 https://uk.airfix.com/products/canadair-sabre-f4-a08109 3D render V.P.
  23. https://uk.airfix.com/products/westland-navy-lynx-mk88ahma8mk90b-a10107a V.P.
  24. https://uk.airfix.com/products/supermarine-spitfire-mkxii-a05117a https://uk.airfix.com/products/supermarine-spitfire-mkxviii-a05140 V.P.
  25. Hi Everybody and a Happy New Year to you all. Having completed the last model in my stash I picked these up from the usual pre Christmas sale at Aldi just to give me something to do until I found out what surprises Santa had in store for me. I have built both of thee models a number of times, normally just before Christmas, so decided I would like to do something different with them and have a bit of a kit bash. Now to be honest I have always found weathering something of a black art, so many of my decent paint jobs have ended up in the bin, so I tend to shy away from it. With that in mind I decided I would do these two in totally different paint schemes and no matter how the weathering went I would see it through to a conclusion and post them for your critique. My first challenge to myself was to try a winter camouflage, I hate painting anything white so this would really test me. With both models as far as I know from my internet research the paint paint schemes represent actual aircraft, but squadron markings etc are purely fictitious and are only there for decoration, so apologies to the purists. Both have been painted with Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics and the little pots that came with the models. As always all comments and criticisms are welcome. What doesn't show up very well in the photos is that I managed to fog the rear window when reattaching the aerial, a rookie mistake but another lesson on the learning curve. For my next challenge I wanted to create a 'dusty' look so decided to attempt a tropical scheme. I saw this scheme just before Christmas when someone submitted a RFI report, they had built the model in 1/48 and I really liked it. Once again Squadron markings are totally wrong and purely for decoration. I'm not sure I achieved the dusty look I was after but nevertheless I enjoyed both builds, thanks for looking.
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