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  1. A recent release from Airfix in 1/48 is the Hawker Sea Fury - one release of which features on the box art the little known (now better known) incident of a civilian Auster (VH-AET) being shot down in Australia in 1955. The story is told on the Sea Fury instructions and plenty of coverage of it online with a bit of Googling. So no doubt plenty of Airfix Sea Furies being built in that scheme - but what of the hapless Auster? Perhaps prophetically, my model club (Australian Plastic Modellers Association - APMA had published an article in 2014 covering some of the history and details of kits/conversion prospects in 1/72 and 1/48. Clearly an accompanying model of the Auster is called for. But there's slim pickings in 1/48 - the Sword kit of the Auster Mk.III is more suited to military use - and the civilian Austers J4 Archer (ie VH AET) has a very different glasshouse and canopy arrangements. So much so that you'd end up scratchbuilding most of the fuselage anyway. No doubt other differences - but rather than do things that way - I thought I'd just scratchbuild the whole thing. I see @Heather Kay did a J1 Auster conversion in 1/72 in 2020 which was a good read! As is always the case, I ended up finding quite a few variants of plans - and finally settled on something workable. And also managed to do my own walkaround of a Auster J/5B Autocar on display at the Queensland Aviation Museum (QAM) - that's a 4 seater vs the J4 a 2 seater so plenty of differences. Starting point was the wings - and I've jumped ahead a bit - but below is a shot of the laminated wings - which had just come out of traction (bulldog clips in the background) and had a bit of sand and clean up... Then onto the fuselage - the rear section of which I elected to make of a box section construction. The fuse sides have distinct lines from the stringers - which I imitated by firstly scoring styrene sheet from the inside - then embossing with a blunt kitchen knife. Pretty happy with the result as you can see in the picture. and on we go with now the fabric 'skin' applied and the basic shape of the front fuselage taking shape. The bulkhead at the front of the rear fuse section will be removed later - it's lightly tacked into to help get the shape right... And here's the wing rib strips being applied using thin tape (and a template modified from the drawings to assist with getting things tight and parallel). I wasn't inspired to use the embossing technique on the wing to better emphasise the ribs - which would have been more accurate but didn't suit my construction technique. So with a little more work we find ourselves with most of a fuselage and the wings - starting to look a bit Auster-ish More to come imminently...
  2. Hi All, I haven't lurked in this part of the forum for ages...good to be back! Due to a recent house move, I have a much-reduced modelling space, with no room for an airbrushing station. Therefore I decided dabble again in figure painting with brushes. I had an idea a while back about converting one of the Tamiya 1/16 figures to represent a modern US Navy carrier deck crewman, as US Naval aviation is a strong interest of mine. I liked the look of the brown-shirted 'chock and chain/plane captain' crewmen: So I bought the Tamiya Bundeswehr Tank Crewman figure set below, as they wear a similar-style helmet to the US Navy crewman. They also come with goggles, and as a bonus, there is a second figure in the box (though he has no legs!) The photo below shows the figure head with the tank crewman's helmet detail sanded down, and the other moulded details on the helmet removed. My plan is to convert the head and torso and sculpt new arms. I have not tried this before so it's a step into the unknown. Any help from experienced sculptors would be appreciated!
  3. Here is my new project. This will (hopefully!) be a depiction of N220, the winner of the 1927 Schneider Trophy race. I started this one about a month ago and it has been progressing fairly well. Now that some of the more difficult parts are out of the way I thought it might be safe to show. It's a small aircraft - only about 47mm from nose to tail in this scale, but the shape is quite complex. So there were more than a few nights spent trying to get the outline and cross sections looking right. I started off with the fuselage outline. Marking it out on a sheet of 1.5mm styrene. The drawings date back to 1956 and seem to be the only game in town. Fortunately they compare very well to available photographs, and it looks like the original draughtsman poured his heart and soul into them. This was cut out and "cheeks" of styrene added either side to fill out the plan view. Some evergreen rod was added to form the core of the rear decking. Other strip was added for the upper fuselage fairing ahead of the cockpit and a lot of Mr Surfacer 1500 was brushed on to blend the contours in. It looks like rubbish right now, I know. But I swear... I am going somewhere with this! While the fuselage was drying the floats got a start as well. I used two bits of 3mm styrene sheet to make up the basic block. One side of the high impact styrene sheet has a hard, clear surface. I face these inwards when I laminate the pieces so it gives me a visible centre line and I don't accidentally sand things out of true. The plan view was shaped first. Once the top view was satisfactory the side view was marked out and the lower profile cut to shape and filed to the right contours. The step is made by masking off the rear section with three layers of Scotch tape (810D is best) and painting on several layers of Mr Surfacer to build up some thickness. A couple of days to dry and bit of a sand, then take the tape off. Once the underside is done it is safe to start shaping the top. I find if I start trying to shape things in the round from every angle at once it goes out of control very quickly. Doing the shape one profile at a time seems to be much less difficult. The floats got a final shaping and were scribed and sanded smooth. Extra details like the mooring points and circular inspection panels were added too. With the fuselage, I tried to keep the components separate for as long as possible. The windscreen was mocked up in solid styrene as a guide. I'll use it as a pattern for doing a clear one later. Putting things together for a trial run... Blending things in was tricky. It was made worse by the lack of suitable primer. The hobby stores round here have been picked clean, and due to covid they have not been restocked for the best part of a year. I was operating on the very last of my Tamiya primer, so I had to buy some Mr Surfacer 500 (the only stuff I could get). Unfortunately it is way too coarse for 1//144 and has a very gritty texture. Lots of work was needed to sand it back, as you can see here. I'll leave it at that for now. I hope you will like the progress so far. More later!
  4. I’ve wanted to build a piloted Mech/Powersuit with the driver in an open roll cage for a while now. I recently picked up a set of Polish tank crew figures and decided to have a go. I don’t really have a clear design in mind, other than I’d like to have exaggerated, cartoon proportions, with large arms and shoulders and small legs. Kind of like Bluto from the Popeye cartoons. I started by building the seat out of some leftover polystyrene scraps. The joysticks and foot rest are Gundam parts. They’re kind of chunky and possibly scale-breakers, but I’m playing this one fast and loose. Next, I built up a frame to support the huge arms. This was printed in five parts and assembled around the chair. On either side of the pilots head , I drilled the mounting holes for the roll cage. This will (hopefully) be bent up from some acrylic rod. A bit hard to see, but the black textured piece behind the drivers head is from a video cassette. I also filled out the back with sheet styrene and started to add some kit part details. Under the seat, I’ve added a piece to attach the legs to. I’m happy so far, but slightly unsettled as I have no real plan. I will trust that the Spare-box Muse will lead me down the golden path to kitbash Elysium. that’s it for now. Thanks for looking in. Pete
  5. SS Xantho, Western Australia's First Steamship. St George's Terrace is the main business thoroughfare of Perth and every 20 metres or so along its length, embedded in the footpath is a plaque similar to the one shown below. Each plaque commemorates a year in the history of Western Australia and the most eminent person in the state that year. There are some names you may have heard of; Allan Bond, Dennis Lillee and Bob Hawke for example - I note that Rolf Harris's one has recently disappeared!? But most of the names are those of administrators, academics or business people whose stories are now forgotten by all except their decedents or the most ardent of local history buffs. In the course of my years of work in this city I must have walked past this rather battered looking plaque hundreds - probably thousands - of times without noticing it or giving it a moment's thought. 1870 - Charles Edward Broadhurst - Pearler... About two year's ago, on a lunch break, I dropped into my favourite bookshop and while perusing the local history section found this recently published book. The nautical cover caught my attention. I wondered if there would be schematic drawings inside. I'm always looking for schematic drawings. There were a few sketches in the book, but none of the four-view technical profiles and cross-sections I was hoping for. There was however this artist's impression of a most fetching looking 19th century steamship; The SS Xantho. I started to read and once I started into her story - and that of her owner Mr Broadhurst - I could not stop. It turns out that this vessel - and a rather extraordinary vessel she was in certain regards - was Western Australia's first ever steamship. I'm not going to try to tell her history to you right now, because that would make for a very long introductory post and I am anticipating that this project could last for some time. We can discuss her history in detail later. Suffice to say that this ship sank in November 1872 at Port Gregory, a tiny, tiny settlement 500 km North of the state capital Perth. (See the map below.) Fortunately no lives were lost. Following her loss she was essentially forgotten and sat undisturbed for more than 100 years and was of no apparent significance beyond being a hazard to navigation. The red arrow shows the position of her wreck, right at the entrance to the harbour and the yellow arrow the site of the only jetty for scores of nautical miles in any direction. But in 1983 Xantho was re-discovered by staff of the Western Australian Maritime museum and, due to a number of extraordinary and completely unforeseen factors she was about to be propelled to global fame - at least within the world's maritime archeology community. In the words of Dr 'Mac' MacCarthy, the world's leading expert on Xantho - 'This ship is world famous - in certain circles'. I think it's a shame so few other people have heard of her. Once the Avro 504 is finished I'm going to build a model! Be warned though Britmodeller maritime folks I have great plans for this one, and I'm going to need all the help and expertise that I can get, because this promises to be a research nightmare! Very Best Regards, Bandsaw Steve.
  6. You know those occasions when you get a crazy idea and just have to give a try? Well this is one of those. There's far from any guarantee of success or completion, but fortune favours the brave and all that..! Having a real soft-spot for the Avro Shackleton I've decided to do something really stupid and have a go at scratch-building one in 1/32nd scale. As I'm sure we're all aware there's kits available in 1/72nd and 1/48th scale, but nothing in 1/32nd so the only option is to start from scratch. I have an old ID Models 1/32nd Lancaster in the stash, and always planned to convert that to a Lincoln. However, when doing some research on the Lincoln I discovered that the wing and centre section (although widened on the Shackleton) were in essence the same airframe. Therefore I thought, making a Shackleton using the Lancaster as a parts donor could be a viable option... The first phase of the project was to find some plans. The Warpaint Series on the Shackleton came up trumps, and although these plans are far from perfect they've given me enough to get started. I duly enlarged them to 1/32nd scale and cobbled together a reasonable outline for a MR2 which is the version I'm hoping to replicate. You can see the size this model will (hopefully) be when finished when you put the Airfix 1/72nd kit on top: With that done it was sourcing the key components of a project like this - various thicknesses of plastic card: And of course the ID Models Lancaster: I then set about building up the centre section from plastic card formers, using the bomb bay roof as the structural centre-point. Wing spars have been made integral to the structure for strength and stability. I'm not going to worry too much about an interior to the fuselage, as it'll all be sprayed black and next to nothing will be visible through the small fuselage windows. The forward flight deck area will be fully replicated, though: The plan is to use the Lancaster fuselage sides for the 'skinning' of the model, and other areas will be 'planked' and blended with filler from thin plastic card strips. With the fuselage centre section progressing well and having cut my teeth on making bulkheads and formers etc., I had the confidence to have a go at making the nose section. This is a lot more tricky as there are many complex shapes and subtle curves to try to replicate, especially around the extreme nose where the bomb aimer/gunner's glazing. Again, the interior won't an accurate structural representation of the real thing, but being black and only the extreme nose interior being visible there shouldn't be too many problems here. As with the fuselage, the basic shape of the formers were made from plastic card and assembled to give a skeleton that'll be skinned in due course: I haven't made the 'roof' to the nose compartment yet as some form of interior needs to be added, as well as the observer/gunner's transparencies and its associated fairings: So this is where we're currently at: And alongside the 1/72nd scale version for a 'size reality check!' As I said at the start, there's no guarantee of success in the long term, but I'm having a blast right now! Tom
  7. I’ve been a long time “lurker” on this site and thought that it was about time I shared some of my own efforts. I started modelling when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I still remember buying an old Airfix Saab Draken from a jumble sale, rushing home to make and paint it (all done in an afternoon) and being delighted with the result. From there I worked through a large part of Airfix’s other offerings most of which ended up gathering dust hanging from my bedroom ceiling. AFVs followed although by then I was trying more for quality rather than quantity. Then it was back to aircraft, mainly US Navy stuff and I even managed a “highly commended” at a small model expo, being awarded the trophy by Miss Sutton Coldfield herself !! Anyway life then started getting a bit real and the whole hobby took a back seat although I still read magazines and bought kits but they just ended up languishing in my attic. Now 30+ years down the line, back in the UK and with more time on my hands I’ve been able to dust down the toolbox and get started again. I started looking at an old Airfix Mauretania but then found a load of old ship plans on Ebay, the Servia amongst them, and decided to try to scatchbuild something. Having not built anything for 30 years or so, never having scratchbuilt anything and having never built anything without wings or tracks I expected this to be more of an experiment that would ultimately end up on the shelf or in the bin. Although its been a bumpy road with every 2 steps forward usually followed by at least 1 back it does seem to be going a lot better than I expected and whilst I doubt I’ll be meeting Miss Sutton Coldfield again anytime soon thought it was about time to add the work to date to the site to both share my experience and hopefully get some pointers from the seasoned experts out there. My starting point was the Underhill plans that I picked up from Ebay, because of the age of the ship (1881) there are very few photos around and the only really decent one I could find was on Wiki and this seems to show the ship after a refit which dramatically altered the upper decks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RMS_Servia_Underway,_Detroit_Publishing_Company.jpg There is a 1/48 builders model apparently but this lives in Canada I think so no chance of seeing that close up. I therefore took the view that I’d follow the plans and use a best guess where they couldn’t help. https://www.diomedia.com/stock-photo-ss-servia-1881-image5522819.html Unfortunately because I’m playing catch-up there are not that many pictures from the early stages as I didn’t expect my approach to work but I will post what I have and fill in the gaps as best I can. I also tend to work in bursts so progress is slow, I’ve probably spent about 400 hours on her so far but this has been spread over 18 months or so. I’d also like to apologise in advance for my patchy knowledge of nautical terminology. Anyway enough blathering - on to the build itself….. The starting point was to use the plan to cut out the various cross sectional bulkheads from 2mm plasticard. A piece of mdf was then used to act as a base and the spine and placement of the various cross sectional pieces was carefully marked out. I used small fillets of wood to create clamps to hold these pieces in place at the correct position along the spine and perpendicular to it. One thing that I learnt quickly is that at this stage you need to be as precise as possible as misalignments will come back to haunt you later. I also used the plans to make plasticard spacers so that the cross sections could be positioned at the correct height from the base board to make laying the decks easier later and to give them the correct camber.
  8. As I've been promising, here is the start of another scratch build, this time the enemy, an S-boot also at 1:48th scale. The s-boot is actually almost the same length as the Fairmile B so the two will make an interesting companion pair when finished. There seem to be basically 5 broad types of s-boots The early war low forecastle boats (Airfix do a kit of this type), a few sub-types The early (really interim) high forecastle type S 30 (or type 26, I'm confused) with an upsweep to the forecastle at the sides of the bridge The mid war type 38 The later war type 38 with the armoured cupola (Kalotte) which evolved from an unarmoured cupola that was often retro-fitted to the type 38's The type 100 at the end of the war which is really the same as the type 38 armoured but with different armament and rear deck layout, build with the armoured cupola from the start Most models you see on line seem to be of the last type, but I rather like the type 38 before they stuck a hat on it so that's what I'm making. This was the main enemy boat in the middle years In my research, I've bought a few books (some I had already). To be honest most simply repeat the same stuff I've also bought every plan I can find Unsurprisingly, none are to 1:48th scale, however, these plans are... Thanks to CAD rescaling and an A1 print and post service. This is the early type 38 unarmoured and the one I will build, but forget the fancy paint job, seems that was mostly using in the Baltic, the channel boats were plain grey from what I've read. The Med boats had cool red and white stripes on the forecastle as did other Italian warships for aircraft recognition, but I think I'll stick with the channel flotillas as that is what the B and SGB would have encountered The various plans have 7, 9, 10 and lastly 20 sections for the lines. I've naturally gone with the 20 section lines per the scan below and re-drawn them This took a surprising amount of time (last 2-3 weeks between interruptions as the lines are really very subtle and lining these up with the other drawings had me redrawing them 3 times. The lines and the large drawing are 1:25 scale and came from Paul Stamm Modellbau in Saarbrucken in Germany. His package of information cost €62 but came with a disk full of drawings and pictures (finding a computer that had a disk drive was interesting...) and the line drawing above is from his drawing scanned and re-scaled. None of the drawings show sections which is a shame, this drawing is a Russian drawing of an early low forecastle type which is not particularly helpful However, in Paul's pack was this blue print which is actually really useful, if a little small So, that's where we begin, lets see how this turns out Steve
  9. Happy Birthday Royal Australian Air Force Today is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force. I am not going to write much about the history the of the RAAF because I am no expert. Suffice to say that on this day 100 years ago this service was formed as an independent air-arm and it has strong claim to be the second such service formed anywhere in the world. It has been a cornerstone of Australia's security and this region's stability ever since. The RAAF played an active and effective role in the Second World War as well as numerous 'smaller' but still very significant conflicts, including Korea, Vietnam, the two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan. It has assisted in many peacekeeping and security operations around the globe and has played an important humanitarian role in innumerable civil defense emergencies. At one stage, immediately after World War Two, the RAAF gave Australia the fourth largest national air arm (by number of operational aircraft) in the world. We Australians, and our various allies should be most grateful for the service that the RAAF has provided over the last century. Three years ago I started my build of an Avro 504 to mark the occasion of the formation of the Royal Air Force. Now, it would seem wrong of me not to do something similar for the Air Force of my adoptive homeland. I've been planning for this for a while and was hoping to have at least one of my three other threads on Britmodeller closed by now, but that has not happened. Time waits for no-one and if I'm going to do this to mark the anniversary then I have to start today; ready or not. If we are going to 'do' the RAAF - let's pick a good subject. Let's look at something fast... perhaps even supersonic. Hmmmm... how about a swing-wing thing...? Nice idea! But do you know how big one of those things is in 1/32 scale? My display cabinet is only so large. What about something American with a big droopy nose, two big burner cans tucked in under a single swept back tail and tailplanes set an an outrageous angle of anhedral..... Again, Nice! But that's a very complex shape and I want to finish this before the next 100 years passes. What about something French and triangular that I once saw when I was a lad at an airshow at RNZAF Wigram... Yes! Now we are talking... Let's do one of these! If you have seen my work before you know what comes next. Get a bunch of drawings together - in this case downloaded as PDF's from the internet - and get them printed to an exact 1/32 scale. In this case there are three 'master' sheets. Get one of each laminated and half a dozen copies of each printed out. Just use everyday copying paper, no need for anything special. Don't worry about the radar under the chin folks - I know that's not an RAAF thing. Here is the compulsory 'sprue shot after opening the box' photo. A fair bit of plywood will be used but most of the parts are jarrah, the same stuff I used on the Avro 504. Jarrah is grown right here in Western Australia, is beautiful to carve and strong as anything. This will be important since there's a good chance this thing will have gear down and once the forward undercarriage bay is cut and the cockpit hollowed out there will be very little remaining intact wood to hold the nose in place. Now we do some dry fitting. Yep - the major fuselage pieces fit together without any gap at all. Note also how there's no ejector pin marks or other blemishes. Tamiya quality fit - although lacking some detail at this point. Now I sat down and had a think. How was I actually going to make this thing? Carve the fuselage out of a single block? Or break it into multiple more manageable components. Overall this shape is a bit more complex than, say the Mig-15 that I built in 2016, and requires a bit more thought. Once some decisions are made we can start marking out the cuts. This is the first cut line marked up for the entire project. This is the moment I consider that work actually began - 8.02 PM 31 March 2021 (WA time)...100 years to the day. Like I say - initially there's a bit of planning and marking up required. Some of the decisions might be a bit counterintuitive, but I've learned a lot over the course of my last few projects and I think there's method in my madness. Who knows though, maybe there's just madness in my method? I've decided that there will be a separate central 'fuselage and cockpit' section cut out that will nestle between the air intakes and the rest of the fuselage assembly. This component is defined at this point by the red ink. Somehow the wing will also need to be accommodated, but for now it's one thing at a time. Now grab two lumps of wood and cut them longer than the section just marked out. One thing I have learned is that surplus wood is not generally a problem - insufficient wood is. Hold the two pieces of wood in a vice and drill a series of holes (four in this case two on either side) clear of the planned cut area. Drill each hole about 3/4 of the way through the entire thickness. I guess it's harmless to go all the way through but this time I chose not to. Now slip a dowel into each of the holes and cut off the surplus. In this case the dowel fitted into the holes perfectly so no glue was required at all! This is a bonus because, although I want these two bits of wood to stick together and stay nicely aligned, fairly soon I'm going to need to pull them apart splitting the fuselage in two again in preparation for hollowing out the cockpit and UC bay. Now cut out the paper plans and spray some cheap photo adhesive onto one side of the prepared wooden block. (No photos this time sorry, I forgot). Cut out the pattern with the bandsaw. It was now getting late at night and this was after Mrs Bandsaw's 'powertool noise curfew' so I left a full 5mm clear from the pattern and just raced through the cut as quickly as possible to get the noisy bit over and done with. This is the birthday of the RAAF, so noise curfew or not, there has to bandsaw action! This is the result so far. There's a long way to go... I hope that some of you come along for the ride. Per ardua ad astra Bandsaw Steve
  10. Due to illness (and the cold in the manshed) I've been quiet on the build front for a while. However, today, plastic seems to have been manhandled (ooer) and the smell of Tamiya extra thin has wafted about. This one has been nagging away in my brain for a couple of months now, and today I had an opportunity to do something about it. I'd gotten a couple of 'spares or repair' F-18's from the bay for less than a tenner. One Esci, the other a Chinese cheapo. 1/48th scale. One of them will form the basis of the Freighter. And, you may be wondering what a Vaurbian is? Sci Fi Wikki (probably) says... VAURBIAN FREIGHTER The type K-20 Vaurbian Freighter is a rare item in the Star Wars universe. No one seems to know who the Vaurbians were, Or the location Of their home system. All that seems to remain are these ships. Which seem to be at least hundreds of years old. The Freighters are controlled by what may be an A. I. (Artificial Intelligence) built into a sealed compartment in the hull. Although it may equallly be an Alien life form or even a Vaurbian. For the sake of convenience I’ll use the term A.I. The A.I navigates and controls the ship so there is no need for a bridge. Commerce etc is handled via comms by the AI. In some ships Humans are employed by the AI for cleaning and light maintenance, as well as cargo handling. They may even be a family unit. Others use robots. The FTL drive is totally unlike anything else seen in this universe. Empire ships etc just seem to turn up the gas to number 11 and vanish. Vaurbian FTL seems to operate in a very strange way, but the AI always knows where and when it is. The drive can also be used as a weapon. It seems that no one who tried to attack one of these freighters in the past has ever been heard of again. Hence the lack of external weapons. The ships are fully atmosphere capable, so can deliver their cargo virtually anywhere. Given the size of the Empire, Freighters are always in demand. And so, some pictures of progress so far... Some boxes of bits. some of which have been donated by fellow Britmodellers. My thanks to all. More bits being kept close to hand. These will be used to disguise the basic Aeroplane (hopefully). The basic Aeroplane. The ship will be this way up, but the back becomes the front. I've made a start already, The green Gazelle bits seen here at the back have been glued on. It felt good to get something done, though I don't know when the next episode will go to press. Thanks for looking in. I hope to be back soon. Pete.
  11. Hello all, I’m about 4 months in on my Lambda now and here is the progress so far… https://www.flickr.com/photos/191884247@N07/shares/s67s79
  12. I've always wanted to get the Aoshima 1/24 Road Warrior kit of this car. It seems like I missed the boat, they are very expensive on ebay. I checked shapeways hoping they would sell a 3D printed body and they do, but even their 1/64 scale body is expensive. So I figured I'd take a run at scratchbuilding it in my favourite scale. I've carved wooden molds for vacuforming with some success. I'm going to try carving the car out of wood. I would usually use basswood (aka lime, linden) but I have this birch which I've been carving spoons from lately. It's harder than basswood but still carves very nicely. After splitting, running it through the jointer and table saw I have this block that's slightly oversize. I've brought it inside to let it dry out for a couple weeks before I start working on it.
  13. Hogwart's Express - A Baby Bandsaw Build 'A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, 11 o'clock. Harry looked behind him and saw a wrought-iron archway where the ticket box had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it. He had done it' So wrote J.K. Rowling in chapter six of her 1997 novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - the first in a series of novels that some of you may have heard of. My two daughters have definitely heard of these books - and have seen the films countless times - in fact they are bordering on fanatical about all things Harry Potter. So it wasn't a complete surprise when the younger of them - twelve year old 'Baby Bandsaw'- came to me about two weeks ago and asked if she could have a go at scratch-building a model of the Hogwarts Express. Being a very irresponsible parent I immediately decided that this was a great idea and despite all of the hazards of power-tools and chisels and so-forth, Baby Bandsaw (B,B) should indeed have a crack at this! We agreed that I would give her inexpert guidance, bad advice and, whenever required, inept help. She however would actually do the majority of the work. This will be Baby Bandsaw's Build, not mine, but she agreed that I was allowed to photograph and document her progress right here on Britmodeller and that I would be allowed to publish under my log-on. I looked her straight in the eye and asked her 'if you start this will you finish it?' it was a somber moment - she said 'yes' so we shook hands and the project began. After a brief bit of research and a couple of internet searchs I found this set of plans for a 'Hall Class' locomotive (Olton Hall was used in the film) and re-scaled the plans to 1/48 scale using my work's photocopier. This should be enough to get started. In model railway world I think that 1/48 is called 'O' gauge for some obscure reason. This lump of Huon Pine - the same bit I used to form the vac-form cowling buck on the Avro 504 - was the only bit of decent wood I had that was wide enough to start to form the boiler . Here is the first cut in the entire project. BB cutting off a small surplus lump on one end, squaring up the block in preparation for further work. Here she's cutting out the profile view of the boiler. We have no plan view at this stage but that's not too much of a handicap because the boiler is circular in cross-section and so the side view is identical to the plan. As per my usual 'modus operandi' BB is spraying some cheap photo-fixative glue onto the side of the wood so that... She can stick the paper pattern on and start some bandsaw action! I was sort-of a bit 'parental' here and fussed about making sure those fingers stayed at least a small distance from the blade! A few minutes later she had this. We marked up a 'do not cut into' red line -as you can see below - and a grey 'remove with chisel' area and BB started hacking into the sharp squared off corners with this scoop chisel - nice work! So after about half an hour she was left with this. The very, very early stages of this build. The very first bit of rounding off of that square block that will need be reduced to a full cylinder to represent the boiler. Alas, by now it was bedtime as BB had school the following day. So begins my first post on the 'Civilian Vehicle's forum - a forum I have been hankering to get onto for some time. Some of you may be thinking 'Ere! Isn't there a forum specifically for railway locomotives on Britmodeller?' and there is. However, frankly, it's a bit hidden away and BB and I are hoping for a bit of visibility, interest and banter regarding this project. We think it will do better here in that regard. I did send a Personal Message to @Mike and he has very graciously given us permission to post this here so we aren't trespassing - honest! Anyway - this should be fun, and I hope some of you see fit to follow along and see what comes of this. Best Regards, Baby Bandsaw and Bandsaw Steve!
  14. Hi all, Since I built my Defiant I’m now on a turret roll, so I’m going to drag myself kicking & screaming from my OOB comfort zone and attempt to build Hobby Boss’ “British Fleet Air Arm Avenger MkI” as an FAA Tarpon. From what I can tell, Hobby Boss have taken their “standard” US Avenger kit, sourced a new set of decals, made up a couple of paint schemes and issued it as an FAA version. All of the shortcomings and errors of this version of the kit have been well documented – thanks to @tonyot, @85sqn, @trickyrich and others for easing my journey of discovery with their excellent and insightful information (see below). Armed with that rapidly assimilated wisdom here is the kit box: Shots of the sprues – the detail level and crispness of the parts all bode pretty well: Transparencies – again, very nice: Kit decals – not so nice. Not convinced of the accuracy of these – the red of the national insignia alone is quite hallucinogenic. They’ll go straight into the dodgy pile… I’ve sourced a couple of extras for the build; Eduard instrument panel (which is intended for the Accurate Miniatures kit, so we’ll see how that goes), Eduard masks (a must for all that glazing!) and Eduard harnesses. So Eduard everything, basically. I’ve been hankering after a BPF build, so I’ve decided to model this aircraft; JZ257 of 849 Sqn, HMS Victorious, January 1945. I believe that this aircraft would have taken part in the Operation Meridian raid on the Palembang oil refinery in January 1945 (849 Sqn was certainly involved). Here’s a shot of Tarpons on that raid (albeit from a different squadron flying off HMS Illustrious): From what I can tell, JZ257 was one of the second batch of 200 Avenger MkIs delivered to the FAA. The aircraft would therefore have been equivalent to a Grumman-manufactured TBF-1C. This aircraft would have had the following configuration: - 2 x 0.50” machine guns mounted in the wing roots, as opposed to the single cowling-mounted gun of the earlier batch. The kit has these gun ports - ü. - Observer’s position in the central cockpit, including radar scope and plotting table. The kit as it stands is configured as a ‘standard’ US aircraft with electronics in place of the Observer position, so this is where the major surgery needs to happen. This will be my first real attempt at scratch building, so I’ll give it my best shot! Grumman-built aircraft had the cockpit, Observer’s position and turret interior painted in Bronze-Green. - The remainder of the aircraft interior including the bomb bay was painted Interior Green (with the exception of the cowling interior, which was Light Grey). - I have seen varying claims that the undercarriage and bays were painted Insignia White, the underside colour or even Zinc Chromate Yellow. The colour photo showing the faded paintwork a bit later looks to me like white might be the go – it’s definitely not ZCY (although other Eastern-manufactured aircraft could have had this configuration). - There is varying information around the ventral 0.3” gun (and whether it was replaced with an F24 camera). I’m going to stick with the gun – the decal sheet shows it in place so it must be right, right? - Round blister windows over the original window cavities. These provided significant improvements in visibility – they’re nicely shown in the shot below (forward of the access door): The kit windows are as fitted to the original batch of MkIs so are incorrect. I’m going to try crash-moulding these blisters, which could be interesting (think I’ll leave that til last) In terms of paint finish, from what I can tell the Grumman aircraft would have been finished in ‘standard’ FAA colours i.e. Dark Slate Grey and Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky – I will be using these colours as opposed to those recommended on the Xtradecals ‘Yanks with Roundels’ sheet (although the decals look to be excellent otherwise). I also see a Corsair and Hellcat somewhere in my future It’s well documented that most BPF aircraft were heavily weathered and faded so I’ll push my weathering skills to the limit. The shot below is a great guide as to the level of fading of the paintwork, as well as being a very evocative shot of the conditions in which the aircraft (and crews) operated from temporary land bases (Ceylon, I’m guessing?). Another one (showing a Hellcat, but you get the general idea). It’s interesting to note that there’s very little bare metal on show, though the paint has worn through to the zinc chromate primer in heavy-wear areas. I might try and replicate that effect. And a couple of nice reference shots: The camo demarcation looks to be pretty hard from the above shot, so no freestylie on the airbrush… The kit contains a number of ordnance options including rockets, torpedo, depth charges and 500lb bombs. I’m guessing the Tarpons on the Palembang raid would have used the latter (and the kit rockets are bobbins), so I intend to do the same as shown above. From what I have read Hellcats & Corsairs took the role of combat air patrol and ground attack on that raid, so it kind of makes sense that the Tarpons would be bombing (along with Barracudas, if memory serves). The raid is detailed in the excellent ‘Carrier Pilot’ by Norman Hanson, which is well worth a read. So with all that under my belt I shall gird my loins and crack on with the build! Thanks for looking – until next time, Roger
  15. Panzerhaubitzer 2000 - Pzh 2000 in the 1980s the German, Italian and British governments attempted to develop, in collaboration, the next generation of NATO self-propelled Artillery. For various reasons that project failed. Britain pressed on and successfully developed the AS-90 while the Germans pursued their own project which combined the expertise of leading German companies, Wegmann, Krauss-Maffei and Rheinmetall to produce the truly awesome Panzerhaubitze 2000. In the 1990's this was arguably the best Self Propelled Gun in the world and it remains a cutting-edge weapon to this day. Today it is used by several NATO nations including; Germany, Holland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Croatia and Hungary. The Pzh 2000 features an extremely long - 52 calibre - 155mm gun with a largely automated gun-loading mechanism for very high rates of fire to ranges in excess of 40km. The weapon's fire-control is among the most sophisticated in the world, and allows a single gun to be fired in 'multiple round, simultaneous impact' or MRSI mode. In this mode up to five shells can be fired, each with its own charge and trajectory in such a fashion that all five shells hit the same target at the same moment. The gun is also capable of firing GPS-guided precision rounds with a circular impact error of about 1.5m. The Pzh 2000 has seen a significant amount of action in Afghanistan where both Dutch and German examples have been used to provide fire-support to the International Security Assistance Force. This was the first time that the German Army has used artillery in combat since the end of WW2. One day while on my lunch break (long before all this COVID 19 business broke out) I was checking out a little-visited corner of the local gaming / model / bookshop and found this in among a pile of largely neglected publications. Upon opening the book I was greeted with this fold-out (and there are front and rear views on the flip side too). Now this might just be the most exciting centre-fold I've ever seen. In any case, a few minutes later the book was purchased. About a week later I had decided that this project was going ahead but that 1/35 just wasn't big enough. I took the book to my local printing / copying shop and got the drawings enlarged to 1/24 scale and copied 8 times. I got one 'master set' laminated. And now we are off... Let's scratchbuild one of these things! This is going to be an unusual build for me because much of the work will be done in plastic card, but I want a good solid wooden hull to work from so I'm starting with this block of 'Liquid Ambar' - a superb carving wood - which needs to be cut to the correct size. Here's the first cut of the entire project. Here's the interpreted curve on the leading edge of the hull being marked out... and here it is being carved to shape. Then rasped prior to a final filing and sanding smooth. OK - looks about right. Now I use the bandsaw to cut the wood to exactly the correct width for the hull. The bandsaw! Best tool in the shed! And following a bit of research (especially looking at photos) and some ‘interpretive’ carving and cutting at the rear of the hull I have this basic starting point. After two years of slaving away building a WW1 Biplane (an Avro 504 to be precise) I'm dead keen to work on this project which promises a complete change of subject and modelling method. I hope that some of you will follow along and see what comes of this little venture. Bandsaw Steve
  16. Heroes and Villains. Here’s my 1/12 scratchbuilt WW1 trench scene; “Heroes and Villains”. I decided to have a crack at sculpting figures using Fimo polymer clay. It was a real learning experience and great fun. They’re far from perfect, but being my first attempt at this sort of thing, I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out. When I started, I didn’t think I’d be able to get anywhere near as good as they’ve ended up. Sculpting is really intense and challenging, but with a bit of practice, not as difficult as I thought it would be. Next time I’ll hopefully improve my figures’ heads (necks are a particular challenge for me) and the painting – I’m no figure painter! I wanted to show a dynamic scene that raises questions about our interpretation of who is a hero and who is a villain in war. WIP is here…. Thanks for looking!
  17. Hey y'all, so I picked up a partially 'built' Hase F111C on the auction site for cheap. Naturally it was missing parts, the entire nose gear leg and struts plus wheels, and one of it's engine/exhausts, I've already got a resin wheel set on the way and plan to scratch build the nose gear strut/leg assembly with spare parts and plasticard rod, and I've got a nice Resin F model engine/exhaust set on the way as well. pretty much everything else was there, all structural and aerodynamic parts are. Except the glove vanes/canards/leading strakes where the swing wing shoulder meets the fuselage, both of those pointy bits are missing, and I don't think anyone makes a replacement for those, and they are rather aesthetically important, so I'm going to have to scratch build them. I'm wondering if any has ideas of tips on scratch building curved aerodynamic parts like that. My other question is, what external differences are there between C and F 'Varks besides the engines, I got the F model resin parts because they were cheaper, and also the F is a little cooler I guess. So I was wondering if there is any small external changes I should make to conform to the F aesthetic. From the Initial Pics on Ebay you can see the Fuselage wasn't in good shape, it was worse in person: This is Her Current State, I've disassembled the fuselage roof plate and the intakes, add the main gear bay ceiling, then I've reattached them all with modern Plastic Cement (Tamiya extra thin) rather than whatever yellow adhesive was used before, and I broke out my clamps and also finger held the slightly bent belly in place to even out the sides and most huge gaps are close and things are a much tighter stronger fit, I also assembled one wing to test fit the wing slot and fitment on the fuselage, same with de-sprueing the vertical and horizontal stabs and checking fitment:
  18. Starting to make some headway on a scratchbuild of the Norman Fieldmaster in 1/48 scale. Started off with the framing for the fuselage buck... Then the buck almost ready for vacforming. Shown alongside the Valom 1/48 Britten Norman Island for a size comparison... Then after vacforming. Split into front and rear sections for size practicalities. Front fuse moulded left/right halves per convention. Rear fuse moulded top/bottom - which is going to assist with building the interior as we see later... Then here' s the tail in a jig - with fuse under way in the background. Lego has the big advantage of being resiliently 'square' which comes in handy for modelling. And here are he basic component parts dry-fitted. Interior is being installed in the lower half with clear section to go over the top. The big plus of separating front and rear fuse halves (apart from moulding limitations) is that I can basically build the cockpit 'pod' as a hermetically sealed unit - without having to worry about plastic swarf, sanding detritus etc making their way inside and ultimately clinging like limpets to the canopy interior.The wings have separate 'trailing' flaps and ailerons which will add a bit more depth. And here's the scheme I will do - G-NACL on evaluation in Australia 1988 https://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled/Norman-NAC-6-Fieldmaster/2513794 (a Daniel Tanner copyright photo on Airliners.Net)
  19. Continuing with a local history lesson.... In days of yore before the widespread use of wireless telegraphy. Vessels sailing from far off parts would have instructions to make for Falmouth or Queenstown for orders. The cargo may well have changed hands many times on the long passage home. Out of this grew a fleet of service boats based at Falmouth Quay. They were traditionally yawl rigged with a low main mast and a high set gaff, to save them from fouling the rigging of the sailing boats they were going alongside..Not only did they pass sailing orders but transferred personel , fresh produce etc etc. Falmouth Quay AS a base for this I have upcycled a 28' wooden boat I built some time ago. The plan view is good but the draft is not deep enough, not a problem as she will be displayed waterline The first job was to remove tops of the side frames as they were well over scale even for the original model in my opinion. They scaled out at 5 x 4" Deck beams added I hope you will join me on this voyage Stay safe Kev
  20. I've been meaning to post this ongoing build for ages, but sheesh! Its so hard to come up with a title sometimes. I wanted to kick it off with some cracking wordplay, but alas I can’t think of anything Perhaps its just best to rip the lid off and get on with it. These are a pair of Pfalz D.III and D.IIIa scouts that I've been doing from scratch over the past 18 months or so. Over the Christmas break I finally managed to get them out of the grey primer doldrums and into their top coats before all the fun stuff starts. Here's where one of them is at right now.... And here's how they got there: The idea was to do a D.IIIa initially. That's the later version with the two spandaus sitting on top of the fuselage decking, plus a larger tailplane and rounded wingtips. A short way into it I suffered scratchbuilder's remorse when I discovered that the schemes I liked best were for the earlier D.III version, with a smaller tailplane, pointy wingtips and the spandaus buried inside the fuselage (!). So I dithered around for a while, and eventually decided to have a go at both. Plucky fellow... The fuselage is basically the same for both versions. So I thought if I could get past my ripping allergy to resin I could replicate it and convert one casting to the other. I started off marking the fuselage profile up on a sandwich of two pieces of 3mm styrene and carved the basic fuselage to shape. Wing stock was made from acrylic so it wouldn't bend and the under-camber was made by scraping the shape in with an old steel ruler that had the end filed to the correct profile. I set the wing up against a straight edge so I could scrape along the whole length of the stock in a straight line. One of the good things about 1/144 scale is there is exponentially less mess and elbow work involved in jobs like this. The fuselage was mounted in a jig, which exactly matched a similarly shaped jig on my drawings. More about that on the first post here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235062073-sparrowhawk-more-like-microhawk/ This made transferring dimensions easy as there were a lot of bits in close proximity, which would have been tricky to align otherwise. Details like the little round inspection panels are made from discs of decal film that have been thickened up with primer. I sharpened the end of some brass tube by reaming out the inside with a scalpel to create a mini punch. The wing ribs were made with primer too. More on that in the Sparrowhawk topic too if you want to learn more. I made a mould in silicone and cast some copies. A bit of a learning curve there, but eventually I got a couple of useable wings. Much better! At about this time I stopped to work on the Miles Magister for the BM 1940 GB. Later however I was able to bang out a couple of fuselages and keep going. One was converted back to the earlier D.III and other bits like the guns and engines were made too. Posting an image of a model next to a coin of unfamiliar currency drives people nuts over at Hyperscale... Well dear reader. That's pretty much where I got with them up until Christmas. During the break I've been able to put some extra time in, and have got them to the painting & decal stage. I was super nervous about the surface finish for the Pfalz silver-grey and scrubbed like I was prepping for surgery when it was time to do the base coat. I bought a set of 1/144 crosses some time ago from a company called Mark I. Most of them are not fit for purpose as the white outlines are well out of register. I hoped I could at least trim one pair down to a consistent width for the tail of Hecht's machine. Then I realised any I stuffed up could be used as a 2nd chance to make the plain black crosses for the Buddecke D.IIIa that I planned to do. I decided to give it a try and it seemed to work. Providing I had enough magnification and a sharp enough scalpel. Speaking of magnification: I took a broken pair of super cheap 6x reading glasses that I use and stuck one of the lenses onto the front of another 6x pair. I now have access to 12x magnification... Look out world! And that pretty much brings us back around to where things are at now. Loads more stuff to do, but they are coming together nicely now. Sorry for the picture heavy presentation. I was hoping to get the saga up to speed as quickly as possible so we can do the rest at a more relaxed pace.
  21. Rummaging through my attic and found a very old MAP set of Albatros plans, with nothing better to do I went through the whole pack, all the B,C and D series, of all of them I liked the look of the C IX it’s essentially a two seat D series with ( for the time) a very unconventional wing arrangement. The plans. Not having access to a photocopier any more and with time in my hands I decided to draw up some 1/48 sketches my hand, these will be my working drawings.
  22. This one was started in early November and I took the final pictures yesterday. I am indebted to @SafetyDad . I've wanted the Fledermaus version for years but it's rather expensive. My intention was to scratchbuild one, but then Padraic sent me a gluebomb Hornisse he'd found on the web. This is it as designed by Kow Yokoyama . the 'Father' of Maschinen Kreiger. It carries an Armoured Fighting Suit (AFS). To make more of a profit Nitto took the basic mould and changed it to make the Hummel (A sort of Drone) and the (Manned) Fledermaus versions. which was rather naughty of them. Anyway, I set to and, after dismantling the kit, I couldn't help but improve the design into a more practical flying machine. The original had five large rocket motors, which our man in Kalamazoo observed would, "suck it inside out in seconds'. I kept the one at the back, rebuilt most of the underside, and added jets & a forward fuselage and cockpit to 1/20th scale. Here we are ready to fire up the lift engines and go out hunting Falkes. I've done a typical kreiger rough paint job as if it was built up from parts by rebel forces. Yes, it's an ex Harrier rocket pod. The landing gear is part original/part scratchbuilt. Springs are ex Biro! The nose cannon. The breech etc is somewhere under the cockpit. Ammo behind the pilot. On the RH pylon is a large missile with a rusty seeker head. Upper fuselage. At right is a spoiler/airbrake painted orange. And rocket thruster at the back. The thruster would take this up to altitude, rather like an Me 163. But, with the jets, it would make a powered landing. Taken during the build, this shows the wingtip tanks. Part droptank, part 1/32nd P-38 tailboom A bit of battle damage repaired with speedtape. Bits for this build came from all over. This tailplane is ex 1/32nd Me262. At left, an engine exhaust. Made from three bits of car wheel, and in the middle is part of a 1/1 scale tyre valve. The oval bit is a tiny ships dinghy. The rocket motor parts, here at centre, are original to the model. Underneath is two shades of light grey, dabbed onto white primer with sponge. The central dome is an anti gravity generator. Also visible are the three lift thrusters which use engine bleed air to assist in take off and landing. The rusty seeker head. It was part of a ball point pen. The top surface is grey primer with Tamiya dark yellow dabbed on. Various greeblies dress things up here. The canopy. Not the best bit, you can see the side window bowed in It's stuck on with industrial superglue so would be wrecked if I tried to remove it for repair. That might still happen. We shall see. Here's a picture of the pilot (made from Tamiya Pit Crew figure parts) and his scratchbuilt ejection seat taken during the build. Overall I enjoyed the build. The canopy is a disappointment though as it also has sanding dust stuck inside. These pictures aren't the best due to lack of light in the manshed. Pictures outside are not possible due to weather! There is a build log in the work in progress section. So you can see more of this if you are curious. My thanks to all who dropped by during the build, and, of course, to Padraic who made it all possible. Next up, I have the AFS which came with the kit. It too is a glue bomb (all three windows have glue on them) so it will also be a challenge to get right. But I can also use it as a pattern for replacement and spare parts. Bonus! Thanks very much for looking in, I'm always grateful for comments and will answer any questions if I can. Cheers, Pete Thanks for looking
  23. It's been a while since I built my last Falke, and that one ended up in Gulf (ish) racing colours, so here we go again with another. For those that don't know, here is a link to a boxtop picture of the Hasegawa falke. I do have one in the stash, but I prefer scratchbuilding. https://www.scalemates.com/products/img/2/6/0/101260-27767-98-pristine.jpg I usually change the basic design of the original and this case will be no exception. BTW, These can be built using a 1/48th P-38 and a 1/32nd car. I bought a built 1/32nd Revell P-38 off the bay some time ago. I think it had been stuck together with candle wax as it was partially disassembled when it arrived. Which is actually a good thing, given what I was going to do to it. I think it only cost me about a tenner. Modelling on a budget. love it. This is the 1/25th shell of a Chevy Beretta. An American car from around 1990. I think I built it about 20 years ago. It will form the main body of the Falke. The original used a small Japanese Sports car model which is long out of production. (I think). Whatever, I wanted a wider cabin than usual. Mostly, all you need of the P-38 is the booms and bits of the wings. Cut off the back of the boom, then cut the wings to keep the Turbo Supercharger housings. These housings will be filled with greeblies, while the booms will be turned on their sides. Having cut off the wings we are left with gaps in the sides. I've used off cuts of wood and balsa to partially fill the gaps. I then mixed up some Milliput and made worms to close them off better. Glue on the wing offcut and squish down the Milliput. More Milliput (and spit) was used to fill and further smooth out the gap. Remember, this will be the top or bottom surface. Once dry I can file/sand it all down and use Humbrol filler to finish off. I'm not bothered about losing surface detail at this stage. Those red intakes you can see will be faired in with a slope of card and filler. The wheel well doors will be refitted and any gaps filled. I probably won't get back to this before the weekend so the filler will have plenty of time to dry. Thanks for looking. Comments and Bourbon biscuits are always welcome. As are suggestions for a final paint scheme. Pete
  24. I was impressed by Kevin Aris' large-scale SD-14 card model and thought perhaps I could have a go at something like that. The SD-14 kit is too expensive for me though, so I am going to attempt doing something of my own. The plan is that this will hopefully build into an aircraft carrier. Initial drawings have been done and the first frames have been cut out. These frames are for the bow section and in this area the gap between each frame is 3 feet. At this scale that works out at 6.35mm betwen each frame. This means I need to put spacers in between each frame and the best way (I think) is to separator strips to each piece. This should also help to strengthen each frame piece, which is only 0.5mm thick. The plastic strips have been cut and then glued around the edge of each frame section, plus a strengthener piece down the centre. The first frame has been glued into place. It is not the front frame, but No.8 frame and I placed this one first as it gave me room to place a try square either side to ensure the piece was vertical. All the other frames can be formed around this one. These strips are 5.75mm wide which, when added to the 0.5mm frame piece, gives a frame gap of 6.25mm which is near enough for me. So far so good, the tops of the frames are all to a uniform height, it is just the positions of the separator strips that make it all look uneven. I've just made some more calculations and realise that this is going to take a lot of plastic, which invariably is going to work out quite expensive............. However, I have found an alternative which is to use card from cereal boxes rather than plastic. I know where I can get an endless supply of card like this! All I then need is to strenghten the edges with thin strips of plastic and this will reduce the amount of plastic I need to buy for this project. It doesn't look much at the moment, and working with white plastic is not the best for photographing progress however, this is just a start, and is really just an experiment but, hopefully, it will give me the incentive to get back into building again. cheers Mike
  25. Greetings All. For those of you who saw my recent Whippet: and I’m pleased to say that your fantastic feedback has urged me to get cracking with the next proper project. So here we go – obscure WWI scratchbuild!!! I’ve selected this… For a number of reasons: 1. It’s got flat armour. 2. It’s got covered wheels (no spokes) 3. It’s got virtually no info about it available (as far as I can tell). I’m new to scratchbuilding; the Whippet was my first and I don’t have a toolshed full of lovely treats like lathes and milling machines – so everything needs to be do-able with just a few simple tools, especially at the moment under re-located lockdown. Scalpel – check. Pin vice – check. Tweezers – check. Glue – check. Right, let’s get cracking! This vehicle makes it as easy as I can get it, and with very little reference material, who’s to say I’m wrong? No worrying about whether I should model the 1916 pattern leather belt flange spronglets, or the 1915 tin and papier-mache versions with overlapping fringe dongles….. nice! First (and possibly the biggest) challenge – wheels. I used Alexandr Bondar’s excellent card model instructions from the landships II website - http://www.landships.info/landships/models.html# Scaling these up in photoshop to an estimated, and as close as I can get by eye, 1/35 (fingers crossed), the wheels scaled out to 21.6mm internal diameter (inside of the rim), and 28mm external outside of the tyre. As luck would have it, a furtle around in my plumbing spares came up with some 22mm plastic speedfit pipe. The bends and connectors unscrewed to reveal a bunch of 28mm diameter O rings. Sheer luck, but I’m taking it as a good omen. I studied the 3 photos and instructions that appear to be all that is known about this vehicle and concluded that as with most other WWI era British armoured cars, double tyres were installed on the rear wheels, with minimal if no tread. The O rings have it! So far, so good, but a tricky bit had to occur somewhere, and in this case it’s the rear wheel itself. The solid centre of the front wheel is clearly flat, but the thicker rear is dished, with a conical plate – hmm. Not so straightforward. I cut a few over-sized circles and sliced them to make cones. A few experiments and a couple were glued together, held in place while the glue set by mounting them within the cut sections of tube that will form the rims. On releasing them, it was clear that the join wasn’t perfect, tending to meet at an angle rather than curve, so a bit of milliput will be smeared in with plenty of water to smooth it. All this wheel work required a few circles to be cut out of 0.5mm and 0.2mm plastic card. Here’s (one of) the way(s) I do it – pin in a pin-vice, scribed repeatedly ‘round a circle template. Snap out the circle and clean up with sandpaper. All ok so far, but don’t hold your breath – this could take a while…. See you next time!
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