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  1. 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.
  2. Hello All, I'm going to build a big one
  3. First, sorry for the radio silence, we've been away and also work on the house intervened in modelling activities. I will get back to the BPB company MGB today and post some progress later. Meanwhile, as is ever the case, while modelling, I'm also researching and I've spent many many hours looking into R-boots. Considering the number of these vessels that were built and the various uses they were put to, there is very little information available and relatively few pictures. In effect, the R-boats were very similar to the Fairmile B's in numbers and uses and when reading about coastal forces, while S-boats get all the headlines, R-boats are the ones most commonly fought as there were never very many S-boats. So, they were the work-horse of the Kriegsmarine coastal navy and my collection of WW2 costal forces would not be complete without an example At 35m in length, they are almost the same length as the S-boats (making a 1:48th scale model just under 29 inches in length, mixing units as ever, sorry.) This time, as the research is a major challenge, I thought I'd start the thread early in the project and include progress on the drawings and challenges given I can't find a plan of the 110-t class to work from. There were actually 7 classes of R-boot, the later classes serving into the 1950's, in particular the Capella-Klasse which has an armoured bridge and serving the the Polish navy among others after the war. However, from 1940 the 110-t class seems to be the most prevalent and has a distinctive large windowed bridge that I like. They had wooden decks over the forward 3/4'rs with steel decks at the stern. They were used for mine laying, mine sweeping and coastal protection. I believe this is R-38, the 110 t class boats were R25-40 and R151-217 This is R178 And again, without as much camouflage showing the extended stern, probably to aid mine-laying A German website offers drawings of this class but they have not responded to my enquiries, it is 14 years old so perhaps they no longer offer the prints. The illustration however may provide some guidance, even though it is a poor quality print I've found drawing of the Capella Klasse boats one of which has lines that I hope I can adopt and modify to make a reasonable stab at the hull There are obvious differences, but the overall hull lines look very similar and are probable good enough for this scale. I have found an actual German technical drawing of this class, as well which has a second sheet of details that will help a lot Lastly, the 3D model for R-41 (Aldebaran-Klasse), available in war thunder is on-line, below my own composite illustration of this 3d model which is a useful further reference point Comparing all these, the location of the deck house don't align and the bow profile is much steeper on the 110-t class, but overall the shape is so similar that I think I can make a stab at it. If anyone has more information of drawings, they would be most welcome. I have two German language books on order , I'll post more information as it arrives and discuss progress with the drawing work as it progresses. This one is much more an investigation project than normal, exciting I also have over 30 photographs of the un-armoured bridge classes that I will post as I go so watch this space Finally, two more 3D model illustrations I've found, first the 110-t class And this, the 3D model used in the film The 12th Man, R-56 was actually an Aldebaran-Klasse vessel of 125-t, but very similar. Not sure how accurate that massive towing winch is, no pictures I have found show anything that large fitted, it would seem to clash with the main engines ..... So, hopefully this thread will grow to become a good reference for others looking into building these vessels as there is so little available at present. Cheers Steve
  4. 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
  5. Hi folks…! Well the dust has thoroughly settled on my Pierce Arrow AA truck, and so it’s time to consider the next project. I had a bit of a palate-cleanser in the form of the Vickers gun crew that I bought to provide a decent machine gun to clone for the last scratchbuild. I stuck the two chaps and their weapon together and mounted them on a little round base made from a piece of insulation foam stuffed into an olive jar lid as a figure painting practice more than anything, and rather enjoyed it, though I still seem to be struggling to improve my figure painting skills. So the stash is empty and I admit that I can’t really get myself excited about kits – it needs to be another scratchbuild. Trawling the Landships II website, I came across this vehicle…. The mighty Mk1 gun carrier. Based loosely on a Mk1 tank, it was intended to be the first self-propelled gun, carrying either a 6” howitzer (as above) or a 60 pounder. The 60 pounder was too ferocious a weapon to fire in-situ, so had to be demounted for firing, but the howitzer could stay on board while it did its damage. Strategically the opportunity never really came up for these vehicles to fulfil their intended role, so they were converted into supply tanks, recovery vehicles and ad-hoc troop carriers it seems. Panzerart do a kit (a whole series of them covering all the variants in fact) but it’s very expensive, and pretty hard to get hold of. Also, being resin, not terribly appealing to me. I seem to have developed an allergic reaction to superglue, so too much of it during a modelling session and I sneeze for days and my eyes are streaming. This doesn’t promise an enjoyable build experience! It’s a beast of a vehicle, slab-sided and covered in rivets – yeah! So ripe for scratching! The Landships II site contains a good bit of background info and more importantly, an excellent and very detailed cardboard model template and instructions produced by Clifton W McCullough. He’s provided both the vehicle itself and the howitzer, and just building the cardboard model would be a considerable challenge and should produce an excellent and highly detailed model, including interior detail and engine – really impressive stuff. Of course I’ll tweak his cardboard instructions and template to get the thing constructed from plastic. I kind of have a kit after all with these excellent templates, so time to assemble the other necessary ingredients. I ordered 5 A3 sheets of 0.75mm plasticard plus a number of A4 sheets of 0.5mm and 0.2mm. The rivets on my last couple of projects went pretty well using “nail caviar” – small decorative balls intended to be glued onto one’s digits. I’ve got these in 0.6mm, 0.8mm and 1.0mm, but the 0.6mm ones are rather irregular in both size and shape. For the Pierce Arrow I used 0.8mm which are much more consistent, but really way too big when the finished model is compared to photos. A search on ebay for “0.4mm balls” came up with solder balls – ah-ha! I ordered some 0.2mm and 0.4mm. The 0.2mm are unbelievably tiny – more like dust than visible balls, so I don’t think I’ll have much use for these, and the 0.4mm are really the smallest I’ll consider for rivets. I’ll order some 0.6mm as well. The consistency of these solder balls seems to be absolute – 0.4mm really is 0.4mm. To go along with these, I ordered a bunch of drill bits – 0.15, 0.35, 0.7 and 0.9mm – 10 of each, as they’ll snap as soon as look at them. The idea is that the balls sit in/on holes slightly smaller than the balls’ diameter. A slosh of Tamiya extra thin creates a tiny crater, and they’re held in place that way. Talking of which, I also ordered a bottle of Tamiya airbrush cleaner, which I’m led to believe is exactly the same stuff as extra thin cement, but much cheaper. I inserted the template images into CAD software and re-scaled them up to 1/35 (the originals are intended to produce a 1/48 model), tracing over most of the major detail to get nice, sharp images. The parts were re-arranged to make best use of the A3/A4 size and they were printed out – here’s a typical sheet: As usual, these will be spray-mounted onto the plastic, drilled for rivets and cut out, and so it begins!
  6. 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 defence 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
  7. After completing my scratch SS Servia a few months ago I thought I’d happily return to an aviation subject for my next project but unfortunately the nautical bug seems to have bitten quite hard so it looks like it will be another ship project after all ! Initially I was looking at building an early RN destroyer in 1/72 (HMS Jason caught my eye as did the Acorn and early tribal classes). Being based in SE London the obvious starting point was a trip to the Greenwich archives which I did in May. I could blather on about the visit for ages, suffice to say that unrolling sets of original plans from the late 19th century is a superb experience. Anyway a change in personal circumstances means that for the next year or so I will be based in Exmoor with a reduced workspace so something of that size wasn’t going to be feasible. I then stumbled across the Seaforth title on RN Trawlers and Drifters and finally decided on a Round Table class minesweeper (its on the cover). The book includes many sets of useful plans but they are quite small, Cornwall Models can supply sets of the MMI plans at 1/96th so that settled it. The finished model will be just over 1foot in length so a much better fit in my temporary mini workshop. The plan was to use primarily wood and metal in this project instead of plastic but again because of space and limited tools I opted for plastic. Step #1 was to cut out the hull cross sections and profile from 1.5mm plastic sheet. I don’t own a power fret saw so I opted to create each cross section as 2 halves clamping each pair together so that they can be sanded to be identical in shape. For the prow I made a brass insert to ensure a crisp line and filleted this into the profile. The shear lines in the plans do not extend aft of the propeller so all I had to go on for the shape of the stern section was a plan view and profile. I built the shape up with various addition cross sections that were sanded back until I had a shape that I was happy with. The sections between these were filled with balsa to provide a solid base for the plastic skin. Once this was done I made a simple jig to hold the spine straight whilst the planking is done. My approach on this is to use quite thin plastic sheet (0.5mm) and to then build up the hull from the inside with more plastic and resin. The smoothing process means that the original planking is almost completely sanded away in places. I used some auto filler to get a nice smooth finish and then set about the transom which extends all the way around the sides up to the fore deck. This is quite a fiddly job as it splays out at the stern rather than being vertical. I started by using printer paper taped in place to get a rough shape and then gradually refined this eventually moving to card and ultimately plastic sheet. The shape is too complex to do in a single piece so I made the stern section and then butt jointed the side sections to this. More auto filler, more sanding and this is where it stands currently. The next step will be the hull plating, the plans do not include a shell expansion but there is a set in the book for another class and I’ll use these to create something that is hopefully reasonably credible.
  8. 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
  9. A couple of months ago I did a scratchbuild tug. It certainly had some character but ended up looking pretty cartoonish and while I like it it doesn't fit the diorama I'm doing. So I decided to do one from some plans. Built originally in 1907 I'm not building this particular boat but using the plans to get something that looks more accurate than my "by eye" earlier attempt. She will be up alongside the much larger Sunderland Steamer from my other build log - which in turn will up against HMS Prince of Wales. I'm not even sure if a tug this small would have the grunt to move a 10,000 merchant ship but for the sake of artistic license she will emphasise the size of the other two ships in the diorama. In 1/350 she's not very big, just 47mm bow to stern. But here goes. The scaled hull formers from the plans, these are just in thick printer friendly paper. Hull form assembled I stuffed the hull form with foam core to bulk it out, then trimmed down to fit. More so the putty would be thinner and not require as much curing time as anything else. roughly covered in Milliput, finger prints and all. Sanded down and with a deck made of scored card glued in place.
  10. Hello All, I've had a set of plans and a hankering to build a Fairey Long Range Monoplane for a long time now (since 1997), and a testing group build on another forum gave me the excuse to get going. There are no injection or resin kits of this, and the only vac-form I know of was produced in 1985. So it's a scratchbuild job! I dug out my balsa stocks and had a look. I didn't want to carve a one-foot-something tapered wing out of half inch balsa, so I started messing around with a composite structure: The idea was to have a curved upper surface of soft 1/16 balsa wood. More support needed! Shaping was done by plane first and then sandpaper. There wasn't too much to take off - mostly shaping the tips, LE and TE. Dihedral was added with a saw cut. I painted the balsa with Ronseal wood hardener (designed for rotting window sills, which is where I know it from) and then sprayed with Halfords filler primer, which is a jaunty shade of orange. Fuselage was six slices of 1/8" balsa, with the beginnings of a cockpit cut out, stuck together into halves which in turn were tacked together (hopefully I will be able to get them apart again) and roughly shaped with a razor plane. When the black line round the middle gets smaller, that tells me I am sanding down near the profile. I made tail surfaces out of 1/8" balsa, and sealed them with superglue. I used a plastic bag over my finger to spread the glue around - it saves a lot of finger scrubbing later! After some sanding and filling, I could put a coat of regular grey primer on the wing. I still need to touch up a few dings before it's ready to detail. So next up is to finish the fuselage, and then the basic shapes are done. Then I can resume regular modelling! Thanks for looking, Adrian
  11. So this is my third concurrent ship build..but this ones really tiny, a 60' harbour tug. I thought about buying a kit but I'm going to try scratch build this out of whatever I've got lying around. If it's terrible I can always buy one later to go into the final diorama. My only reference. Quick hull form to use as template to cut the foam core that will bulk the hull. four rough pieces of foam core the foam core layered together and covered over with milliput. Smoothed out to close to the hull shape, currently drying on the windowsill. Should be dry enough to sand down and smooth the hull in a few hours. As always, I build messy and tidy up later Plan is to smooth out the hull, use some more putty to build up the hull curve above the waterline. I'll use bits and pieces of PE I dont need from the other kits and raid my bits box for the rest. Hoping I can get this done (excepting painting, too hot to airbrush atm) in two to three days.
  12. 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.
  13. I love the Renault FT and I have two in 1/72 scale in my collection, however as you can see they are about the size of a postage stamp. So doing the various calculations 1/24 gives me an 8.2 inch long model so a nice size. This is going to be a slow off project build and I’m intending to build it with all the hatches open. So next step scale some plans up and start cutting styrene
  14. On 30 August 1955 (nearly 66 years ago), an Auster J4 Archer at Bankstown Airport (Sydney, Australia) had engine trouble on landing and rolled to a stop. The (solo) pilot hopped out to swing the propeller but failed to set the brake and the throttle was a little too advanced... The Auster duly took off (empty) and spent some hours circling Sydney with interceptions from scrambled RAAF Wirraway and RAAF Meteor failing - and eventually shot down by a RAN Sea Fury (piloted by RN pilots mumble mumble). The recent Airfix 1/48 Sea Fury (Export Edition) features the incident on the box art. tells the story in the instruction sheet and includes the markings for the successful combatant! However the featured Auster has not been kitted in 1/48 and conversion from other Auster models are rather extensive. So let's scratchbuild one? If you've been following the WIP build you'll have already watched the progress. Anyway - it's now considered done (by my standards!) And the underside - before completion (obviously) And a bit of fun with a hapless chap (the ex-pilot). Suspect I'll get around to painting him - but figure painting is new to me. Maybe post this photo again when I've learned the trade! . Oh, I do have the Airfix Sea Fury kit as well - although not sure what scheme I should choose for that? Not?
  15. A bit of modelling of 1960's civilian general aviation... The Piper PA24 Comanche has it seems been ignored by kit manufacturers - but was (is) a far more svelte machine than the PA28 Comanche (which has seen a number of kit options). Rather than wait for another decade or two - I thought I'd tempt fate by pushing ahead with a scratchbuild. But had TWO equally tasty schemes to choose from - both Australian. One was a PA24-180 (VH-RSX) operated by RAC NSW in the early 1960's (and flown/enjoyed by my father) and another PA24-250 (VH-SME) operated by the Snowy Mountains Authority in the mid 1960's for comms & VIP duties. So to avoid procrastinating, I decided to make twin Comanches! (Pssst. VH-SME isn't 100% finished - I have some tip-tank decals to print/apply, thence nav lights, and some white VH-SME markings needed on the fuse side. But I'm calling it done anyway in the interests of having twin Comanches!) The build started in Dec 2021 and has had slow and steady progress since. Here is the link to the work-in-progress thread if you wanted to back track on the methods employed: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235103075-piper-pa24-comanche-148-scratchbuild/ Below is one of my fathers pix of VH-RSX at Canberra (Australia) circa 1961 on an 'outing' And here's a Greg Banfield shot (via Ed Coates collection) of VH-SME in 1963 http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austmz/VH-SME2.jpg http://www.edcoatescollection.com/ac1/austmz/VH-SME.html
  16. 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
  17. Gidday All, I've decided to give this Blitzenbuild GB a go, my first although I have done other GBs in the past. Usually I build model ships but I thought I'd be pushing it to do one in 24 hours so I'll do an aircraft instead. I've decided to try and scratch build a Grumman F7F Tigercat in 1/600 scale. The Tigercat was designed as a very fast heavily armed carrier-bourne fighter, however it never operated from aircraft carriers that I'm aware of. It's main problem was directional instability when trying to land with only one engine. Due to this it failed to gain carrier qualification and hence operated from land bases only. I've made three aircraft in this scale before, as trials for making air groups for 1/600 scale aircraft carriers I wish to make someday. These are the Grumman Wildcat (Martlet), the Supermarine Spitfire and the Vought Corsair. As the Tigercat never operated from carriers this aircraft may seem a strange choice but - I like it. Anyway, below is the traditional photo of 'kit parts' and 'instructions'. Well, that's it for now. I plan to start tomorrow, and I stress the words "plan to". I'm a volunteer bushfire fighter and tomorrow the forecast temperature is 44 degrees C with strong NE winds - the worst combination for Perth in West Oz. I live just out of Perth in the hills, surrounded by state forest. My plans might change very abruptly - we'll see. So until tomorrow, stay safe and regards to all, Jeff.
  18. 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!
  19. Following on from my build thread (Vosper build thread), here are a few pictures of the completed model MTB 34 was one of the first batch of 70ft MTB's built by Vosper's as part of the 1939 contract, completed in August 1940. She was converted to a target tug (CT23) in 1943 and sold in 1945. The drawings for the project were taken from the 1991 Model Shipwright plan and John Lambert's plan for marine Modelling international. In addition, details were confirmed from the IWM builders drawing that both these plans seem to be based upon. All rescaled to 1:48th scale and re-drawn. The colour scheme shows her with the 4th MTB flotilla based at HMS Beehive in Felixstowe in 1941 with very distinctive blue (B15) and white bands as illustriated in Coastal Craft History Vol 1 Below is that actual vessel at speed and the colour artwork from the Coastal Craft book. The torpedo chute bands are indicative of a senior officer in command The hull of the model is timber on ply frames, diagonal planked as per full-scale practice, the rest is a combination of brass, wood and some 3d printed items. The model has no commercial components, though the props were cast in bronze by Shapeways to my drawings She is shown weathered, not pristine, mounted on turned brass pillars and an oak base. A single crewman walks the deck to help people understand the scale and she carries a rigged danbuoy on the port side Here she is next to my last model, a Schnellboote to the same scale, for size comparison showing how relatively diminutive these vessels were Thanks to those who followed the build thread, I hope it was interesting and informative. I'll be back very soon with a new thread Cheers Steve
  20. A build from 12 years ago: Beauty is sometimes a hidden quality that only needs just the right eyes to be discovered. Motive, on the other hand, may remain forever hidden when you think about the rationales that supported the creation of certain flying things. In any case, how can anybody resist the charm and flair of winged wonders like this one. The more you enter into the strange lands of esoteric designs, the less information is likely to easily appear. In this particular case there were no plans or three views, just a very few images available upon which you should muster enough building steam to arrive to a safe landing, which, be it said, wasn’t the case with the real plane. The Arctic Tern was a special-purpose plane created in 1932 to provide a photo platform to survey Alaskan regions, intended to be used by Shell in its explorations. As far as we know, it was really used to scare the pilot, passengers and bystanders, not to mention the occasional real arctic tern. Besides the pilot, cruelly semi-exposed to the elements, two enclosed positions were provided on top of the floats, with forward-leaping windscreens a la Fokker F.10s or earlier Boeing 247s. The real plane’s original wing was donated by a Lockheed Sirius, the tail by a Vega, being the engine a Wasp of imprecise denomination. The design unavoidably evokes the Savoia Marchetti S.55 and specially the Bleriot 125, among various other beautiful flying creatures. The model at a glance: Starting from the photos a drawing was sketched as a truly optimistic base for the ensuing construction. The floats came from a Sword Beech Staggerwing, which were slightly broadened with a sandwiched styrene sheet and later re-contoured. The front of the structures on top of the floats came from modified left over pants of the Matchbox Heyford. The engine, prop, main wheels and struts are from Aeroclub. Everything else was pretty much squeezed-out from the Fifth Dimension, including the Sculpey-made “upper” fuselage. I really do enjoy making these strange creatures of wonder, it feels like touching the unknown.
  21. After a very long absence, I'm back building again! The new house was a considerable refurbishment job, back to plaster and boards plus complete garden strip out so it took a little longer than I had hoped. New workshop is on the top floor so for the first time, I'm not in a shed, nice to be warm... I've been planning this thread during that time and I believe I've assembled enough information to do the subject justice, scratch-building the original 70ft Vosper MTB with a wooden hull and metal fittings as is my style, in 1:48th scale making a nice neat model 17.5 inches long. Along the way I will produce my own drawing set for this type to 1:48th scale, available to anyone who wants copies. 1:48th scale naval crew figures are available on Shapeways so it can be populated Now the challenge, volunteers needed... And before anyone mentions it, I know the old joke about the navy calling a volunteer, someone who misunderstood the question...." I've long considered creating my own "bare" kits using my techniques for others could construct. By "bare" I mean drawings and all the hard stuff will be supplied but basic materials (tube, strip wood etc) won't be This relatively simple project is the first such kit I intend to develop and I'd love it if one or two others could follow me building their own copies and providing feedback. This idea is that I'll do all the artwork, drawings, etc for etchings, laser cut and printed parts, anyone following with their own copy would only have to purchase the etched or laser cut copy. 3D drawing for the printed parts would be available for free, if you want me to print them, I'll take a small donation towards the cost of resin only. This is certainly not about me making any money, its about seeing if I can produce the information and components for others to build museum quality wood and metal models. Of course I will post the whole build here, but others following can also post their progress and reactions to the final form becomes a collaborative effort. If no one joins in, I'll still carry on, but I felt it would be more fun if a few of us went through the journey together and I get direct feedback on what I can do better. I realise that not everyone is into silver soldering so brass-etched assemblies will also be available as resin components. Budget wise, I'm hoping those collaborators can get this done for around £100 all in spread over the next 6 months or so. Any laser cut parts and etchings will benefit from my correcting my mistakes and re-doing the artwork (I make loads of mistakes) before other copies are made available. The hull construction will be wood. I intend to use 1/64th ply strips and double diagonal plank the hull. I've done this once before, its actually easier than tapered planking and the same as the full size practice for this vessel. No one need commit until I've shown this idea works I've assembled the following reference material I have three plans, the John Lambert one, a 1991 plan from Model Shipwright with lines and this drawing from IWM that I believe the other two are based on As this is a Vosper drawing, I'm using this as the master coupled with the lines from the model shipwright plan. From these I will produce my own 1:48th scale drawings. This drawing is applicable to MTB's 31 - 40 only. MTB57-66, 69-70 and 218-221 were also 70ft boats but the hatches and engine room vent look like they changed over time so I can't be sure the drawing is applicable to those. If we assume it is, then MTB61 could be constructed which was a conversion into a MGB mounting 3 Breda cannons which looks very cool. Depending on how purist you are, its probably close enough. One distinctive feature of this drawing is the wheelhouse shape and the curved wind break as you can see clearly on these pictures of MTB34 MTB74, the St Nazaire raid conversion, was a 72ft 6in boat, don't know where the lines were stretched for that sub-type. It's a shame because that is a very cool looking one-off Still Coastal Craft History vol 1 has colour renders of 32, 34 and 35. For my model, I'm leaning to MTB34 as shown in the image below So that is the plan. Any one who fancies joining me on this little journey (wood for wood, metal for metal), reply in the thread or PM me Cheers Steve
  22. 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.
  23. This is the model i built a few years ago. Some of you have seen this, watching my Remora build thread. Construction was a series of failures. Initially i wanted to build a 1:12 hover bike but I didn't manage to create a rider figure. So i changed the plan and finished it as a 1:35 scale sci-fi fighter. Then everything went wrong while painting: the paint layer was terribly grainy. I decided that only heavy weathering can save it. This way a clean star fighter became a planetary fighter (from a planet with a very harsh climate)
  24. Hi folks, I am planning to scratchbuild a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter but am lacking some details. I have plenty of Plan and Profile diagrams but do not have any cross-section views, which would be needed for me to get the contours and dimensions right. Can anyone here help with such information, measurements and frame/cross-section plans please? cheers Mike
  25. This is a first for me, a scratchbuild, so let me tell you the reason why. The intention is to build a Japanese Steamer, the Fushimi Maru and that will be a scratchbuild. So before I start on that build, I thought I better 'cut my teeth' on something less demanding, like a tug: to learn some new skills. The deck plan, side profile and the build process of the subject was acquired via @ShipbuilderMN but this is in wood, I don't do wood, so plastic is going to be used. A quick search of 'tug line drawing' revealed these free plans: Although these are not of SA Everard, they are of a very similar tug and good enough for this exercise of boat building. The plans were scaled so as I can use a standard size sheet of plasticard and copies printed. It's going to be waterline, so we have a 'waterline' base cut to shape, marked with the frame locations and a spine fitted. A few frames fitted. Comments welcome Stuart
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