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  1. Time for another project. One of my themes is modelling cropdusters in 1/48 - I have completed about 30 most of them scratchbuilt. This one caught my eye a little while back - it's a US designed cropdusting biplane, the Eagle DW.1, which first flew in 1977. That's correct 1977, who'd have thought. A distinctive feature is the incredibly long wings (55ft, 16.8m) with a very narrow wing chord and almost glider like in appearance. Some clever design trickery was used to improve the roll rate. Initially engined with a radial, it is more commonly found with a 300hp Lycoming flat six which in my view makes for a prettier aircraft and will be the subject of my model. Gross weight is 2450kg and a load of ~1250kg could be carried. 95 examples were built between 1979 and 1983 - including a couple that came to Australia (that will be the scheme I model). The picture of the a/c below is shared from user "G.Verver" on Flickr in a banner towing role. So, onto the project. I actually started this in July 2021, and have taken a few photos along the way. The pace is going to pick up a bit from here as I have finished some recent projects. First up I had to refine some pretty rudimentary plans (which I think were enlarged from a Janes of the era). I've drawn these up in CAD including deciphering of the all important cross sections. The fuselage aft of the engine is basically box section to about halfway up - then a compound curved deck over that, with the canopy perched on top of all that. The box section part of the fuse is straightforward enough - just some cut to size styrene (carefully!) and some bulkheads at strategic points. A little forward planning required to make sure I had room for the cockpit later on. The top deck was going to be vacuformed for which I need to make a master. This begins with creating a skeleton - styrene base, main spine, cross sections 'ribs' added (slightly undersized to allow for thickness of plastic to be moulded). The skeleton doesn't need to be pretty - little chunks of plastic offcuts here and there to support the ribs The wing(s) were next on the agenda. Wings are very long, constant section - apart from a tapering of the chord and thickness towards the wing tip. The upper skin, and lower skin are each cut to size from 0.75mm (30thou) styrene sheet. Cut skins about 1mm oversize at the leading edge. (allows room for a bit of skin curvature over the wing, [it's easier to sand back vs fill gaps...]} Trailing edges sanded on INNER surfaces to a knife edge taper. Don't skimp on the knife edging... Main spar from a strip of styrene (40thou in this case) and very lightly tacked into position (if I glue it 'properly' I'll get deformation in the wing curvature when top and bottom are joined). Leading edge (not show here) from 20thou styrene strip. I've elected to leave the entire trailing edge dead straight - and insert the wing tip tape later on by doing a 'cut and shut' - ie crank that part of the wing forward to preserve the trailing edge, and fill/sand etc) Next steps will be: Glue and clamp the trailing edge first (not too much glue, and not too heavy on the clamps. Leave 24 hours. Then glue and clamp leading edge. NO glue on the main spar (again, to avoid skin deformation). A bit more heavy handed on the leading edge glue as there'll be a bit more stress to overcome. Leave 24 hours. Clamps off. And a wet sand with course wet and dry to get correct wing profile. From there - shift to finer grade wet and dry, and a bit of Milliput if required). Also in this pic you can see the progress on the master for vacforming the turtle deck - early days just the one coat of car bog at this point... Here we see the wings now joined up but pre-sanding down. Tips yet to be 'cranked'. And the master for vacforming the top deck visible in the foreground. It took about 3 coats of car bog to get to this stage from the earlier version above. Here we see the vacformed and cut to size fuselage top. I will cut out the cockpit opening after gluing. Leaving it intact ensures I don't get unwanted warpage/distortion when I glue. On the box section of the fuse - I have glued thin 'alignment strips' which will apart from helping with alignment will also give a bit more meat for the glue to bite into (ie far preferable to a butt joint for this sort of application. The basics of the cockpit interior have been added - the floor and formers for the seat bulkhead and seat base. With a quick squirt of black while I'm there. Detail will be added later once the cockpit opening is opened out (quite large) - it's pretty spartan inside... and here we have the fuselage top and bottom joined and held with some builders tape. It doesn't look like much at this stage but confident it'll scrub up. Also the wings are now sanded. The tips have now been 'cranked' - a cut and shut by removing a thin wedge of plastic, inserting a short spar to provide a) alignment and b) strength then glueing. I've given it one coat of Milliput - but have now gone for the Mr.Surfacer 500 to get rid of any remnants of the join. Note the wings are built slightly overlength - which will be remedied when I insert the dihedral and/or the fuselage in the middle! The black cutting matt underneath if 30cm wide (an A4 sheet) which give you an idea of the wingspan Next steps will be clean up fuse, make the fin and tailplane, make masters for the engine cowl and canopy etc etc....
  2. I’m spoiled for choice here as I have at least a dozen biplanes in the stash, a Fokker DVIII a Tornado and a Lysander, I also want to build a Junkers parasol a South African AHRLAC and a Fokker DXII. But I think I’ll kick off with the Junkers. An all metal parasol fighter concept with a jettisonable fuel tank ( even up to WWII pilots were terrified of burning up) A prototype was started but never finished. Details are sketchy so it will be based on the plans above and detail from that Junkers JI/10 and DI. The wing will be corrugated and I’ll probably mold the fuselage. I want to get my four little jets complete before starting in on this but roll on August 7th.
  3. 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
  4. Here we go again! My last build was the Star Wars wall display, but for this one I'm sliding back to the kreiger universe. A stray comment on another thread led to the donation of an ancient built Airfix SRN1 Hovercraft by @TonyW. So very many thanks to Tony, and now lets see what I'm going to do with it. I saw a kreiger 'skimmer' type attack craft some time ago and quite liked it. I've stolen the word 'Spindizzy' from the James Blish 'Cities in Flight' Sci Fi novels of many years ago. Time to combine the two I think. After I'd stripped off all the unwanted bits of the model I was left with this basic form. This too was disassembled, various blobs of ancient tube glue were removed & mating surfaces rubbed smooth. Here are a couple of the removed air ducts and various other bits. After a good search of the spares boxes and various combinations of parts (Ooer!) I think I'm settled on this. Or something very like it anyway. The front is at the left here. The ribbed items may look familiar? They are from a Star Wars Slave One, cut in two. The oval bits to the right are pencil sharpeners. The driver sits here between these two shields. It may even be an armoured fighting suit (AFS). And from the back, the dome contains an Anti Grav unit, while the sharpeners provide steering thrust. They will be mounted higher and will use air sucked in via the big central fan. So far I think it all makes engineering sense (which, to me, is an important issue on these things). I think I do need to add fuel tanks somewhere though. Household management is in decorating mode, so modelling time may be short in the near future. I only get time at the weekends as it is. Please bear with me if this build stretches out into the future. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Cheers, Pete
  5. 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
  6. Another model of mine built from scratch some time ago. Let me know to stop when you feel spammed This time it's a "what if" project. 1:35 German WWII walker tank (fully built from scratch. Ok... almost. Few parts were from kits) The idea was to combine a German-style WWII tank and spider legs. Those of you who dealt with the German armoured vehicles will probably notice the Tiger inspiration. There are three legs because I hate to do repetitive elements so I made the minimum necessary to ensure stability. Initially it was supposed to be an Allied vehicle, which is why among the WIP photos there is one with a different turret. But I didn't like it so I built another turret. Enjoy W.
  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. Well, here's what I've been up to for the last couple of months. I do love the Curtiss F9C. It's such a sporty little nugget. I've liked this aircraft for a long time. A real long time. Which is why I thought I'd try to do myself a favour and see if I can add one to my 1/144 scale collection. If I can finish it, it will be a nod to a much younger me and a lesson that its never too late to finish that which you have already started. Some builds sit on the Shelf of Doom. This one is almost part of the archaeological record, as I started making it in 1997. At the time there was precious little information to hand. No internet in my part of the world, and all references had to be sourced from an indifferent local library. I had some plans from a Putnam book on Curtiss aircraft and a 3-view drawing from a Rareplanes vacform kit in 1/72. Armed with those I gave it a red hot go. Materials were domestic and automotive for the most part. Some beech wood offcut was used for the fuselage (pretty well seasoned now, I suspect) and a precious bit of styrene for the wings. Primer and putty were from the car section at the hardware store, and resisted all but the most rigorous attempts at shaping and sanding. The bits of this poor incomplete Sparrowhawk have been with me for more than twenty years, and I can still remember the many hours I spent whittling and scraping it into shape. The much younger me always hoped to complete it one day. I think it's time it finally came together! Here's a couple of shots of it after I dug it out of an old biscuit tin. Lets see what we can make of it. Pretty manky! Over the years I have found some much better drawings and I was able to scan them at high res and reduce them down to 1/144 scale. Once that was done I began to check to accuracy of the work. To help do so I made a very simple jig from some plastic card which supported the aircraft with the upper edge of the card aligned to the level of the thrust line from nose to tail. I pinched this idea from a warbird restoration photo I saw in a magazine. It makes plotting and measuring a breeze! On my drawings I superimposed and identically-sized block that represented the position of the jig. By using the edges of the jig as a datum I could then accurately transfer measurements between the model and the plans. Things were looking pretty good at this stage (he said, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen next). The profile wasn't too bad. The headrest was .4mm too tall, and the tail was 1mm too low, but that wasn't a biggie. I was encouraged to find that the lower fuselage was pretty good, while the distance between the wings and their forward stagger was okay too. Happy times. Then I went to check the plan view... Oh dear god. What did I get myself into? The fuselage was way too wide. Like, Grumman wide. No scratch that. It was Mitsubishi Raiden wide! Looking at the plans and various walkaround photos, it was clear that the Sparrowhawk fuselage was barely shoulder width, whereas mine was a portly barrel of a thing. Something had to be done, so I reluctantly began trying to file it down. I started off as delicately as I could. Scraping through a veritable who's-who of primers, putties and adhesives. Eventually though things started to fall off, and before I had gotten even halfway there I had already dug clean through the side walls of the cockpit. I found with a bit of care I could preserve the upper bit of the cockpit edge. So I added some new side walls from .5mm styrene and flushed them in. Maybe it will work out okay Here's where it sat, as I leaned back in my squeaky chair and frowned at it after shaping the rest of the fuselage to trying to get the cross sections to match. Eventually the shapes came together and the whole thing received a generous coat of Tamiya grey and a rub back with 1200 grit wet and dry paper. I filled the original strut holes too and drilled some more accurate ones. It should make things easier later on. It's getting late here, so I'll add some more shots again soon. The fuselage has been reshaped and sanded. The side panels behind the cowling were added from sheet and flushed in. I also removed the tail and rear decking and made another one. The lower wings turned out to be too broad in span and too wide in chord, so I ended up reshaping these. To my surprise the tailplanes were actually rather good for shape, so I tacked them into position with tiny drops of PVA then backed the joins up with superglue once I was happy with the alignment. The old hinge lines for the ailerons are incorrect so these will get filled and scribed again. More later!
  9. 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)
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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!
  14. Dear all, Here is my first effort at a scratch build. This is modelled on Bristol Scout 1264 which lives at Old Warden in the Shuttleworth Collection. When I first set eyes on this pretty little biplane I decided I had to make one in 1/32 but no kit was available so with the encouragement of a friend I dived headlong into the scratch building pond. Although it took just over a year, most of the time was spent scratching my head, rubbing my chin and staring blankly into space. It is by no means perfect and I could spend forever retouching and refining things but if I take my glasses off it looks terrific to me from a distance and most importantly I had so much fun with this project. To anybody contemplating scratch building I would highly recommend just having a go. The materials are cheap or free, for instance the cowling is the lid of a sauce bottle. Anything you cock up can always be remade and you will learn a lot, especially about the virtues of planning and patience but above all you will have great fun. What have you got to lose? Anyway enough my random ramblings, here are the photographs, I hope you like the Bristol Scout and are encouraged to learn about this wonderful aircraft and have a go at scratch building something. 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr 1/32 Scratch built Bristol Scout by Richard Williams, on Flickr Many thanks for looking in. Here is a link to the build thread in case you are interested Richie
  15. 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...
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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
  25. 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
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