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  1. Continuing with a local history lesson.... In days of yore before the widespread use of wireless telegraphy. Vessels sailing from far off parts would have instructions to make for Falmouth or Queenstown for orders. The cargo may well have changed hands many times on the long passage home. Out of this grew a fleet of service boats based at Falmouth Quay. They were traditionally yawl rigged with a low main mast and a high set gaff, to save them from fouling the rigging of the sailing boats they were going alongside..Not only did they pass sailing orders but transferred personel , fresh produce etc etc. Falmouth Quay AS a base for this I have upcycled a 28' wooden boat I built some time ago. The plan view is good but the draft is not deep enough, not a problem as she will be displayed waterline The first job was to remove tops of the side frames as they were well over scale even for the original model in my opinion. They scaled out at 5 x 4" Deck beams added I hope you will join me on this voyage Stay safe Kev
  2. I've been meaning to post this ongoing build for ages, but sheesh! Its so hard to come up with a title sometimes. I wanted to kick it off with some cracking wordplay, but alas I can’t think of anything 🤔 Perhaps its just best to rip the lid off and get on with it. These are a pair of Pfalz D.III and D.IIIa scouts that I've been doing from scratch over the past 18 months or so. Over the Christmas break I finally managed to get them out of the grey primer doldrums and into their top coats before all the fun stuff starts. Here's where one of them is at right now.... And here's how they got there: The idea was to do a D.IIIa initially. That's the later version with the two spandaus sitting on top of the fuselage decking, plus a larger tailplane and rounded wingtips. A short way into it I suffered scratchbuilder's remorse when I discovered that the schemes I liked best were for the earlier D.III version, with a smaller tailplane, pointy wingtips and the spandaus buried inside the fuselage (!). So I dithered around for a while, and eventually decided to have a go at both. Plucky fellow... The fuselage is basically the same for both versions. So I thought if I could get past my ripping allergy to resin I could replicate it and convert one casting to the other. I started off marking the fuselage profile up on a sandwich of two pieces of 3mm styrene and carved the basic fuselage to shape. Wing stock was made from acrylic so it wouldn't bend and the under-camber was made by scraping the shape in with an old steel ruler that had the end filed to the correct profile. I set the wing up against a straight edge so I could scrape along the whole length of the stock in a straight line. One of the good things about 1/144 scale is there is exponentially less mess and elbow work involved in jobs like this. The fuselage was mounted in a jig, which exactly matched a similarly shaped jig on my drawings. More about that on the first post here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235062073-sparrowhawk-more-like-microhawk/ This made transferring dimensions easy as there were a lot of bits in close proximity, which would have been tricky to align otherwise. Details like the little round inspection panels are made from discs of decal film that have been thickened up with primer. I sharpened the end of some brass tube by reaming out the inside with a scalpel to create a mini punch. The wing ribs were made with primer too. More on that in the Sparrowhawk topic too if you want to learn more. I made a mould in silicone and cast some copies. A bit of a learning curve there, but eventually I got a couple of useable wings. Much better! At about this time I stopped to work on the Miles Magister for the BM 1940 GB. Later however I was able to bang out a couple of fuselages and keep going. One was converted back to the earlier D.III and other bits like the guns and engines were made too. Posting an image of a model next to a coin of unfamiliar currency drives people nuts over at Hyperscale... Well dear reader. That's pretty much where I got with them up until Christmas. During the break I've been able to put some extra time in, and have got them to the painting & decal stage. I was super nervous about the surface finish for the Pfalz silver-grey and scrubbed like I was prepping for surgery when it was time to do the base coat. I bought a set of 1/144 crosses some time ago from a company called Mark I. Most of them are not fit for purpose as the white outlines are well out of register. I hoped I could at least trim one pair down to a consistent width for the tail of Hecht's machine. Then I realised any I stuffed up could be used as a 2nd chance to make the plain black crosses for the Buddecke D.IIIa that I planned to do. I decided to give it a try and it seemed to work. Providing I had enough magnification and a sharp enough scalpel. Speaking of magnification: I took a broken pair of super cheap 6x reading glasses that I use and stuck one of the lenses onto the front of another 6x pair. I now have access to 12x magnification... Look out world! And that pretty much brings us back around to where things are at now. Loads more stuff to do, but they are coming together nicely now. Sorry for the picture heavy presentation. I was hoping to get the saga up to speed as quickly as possible so we can do the rest at a more relaxed pace.
  3. This one was started in early November and I took the final pictures yesterday. I am indebted to @SafetyDad . I've wanted the Fledermaus version for years but it's rather expensive. My intention was to scratchbuild one, but then Padraic sent me a gluebomb Hornisse he'd found on the web. This is it as designed by Kow Yokoyama . the 'Father' of Maschinen Kreiger. It carries an Armoured Fighting Suit (AFS). To make more of a profit Nitto took the basic mould and changed it to make the Hummel (A sort of Drone) and the (Manned) Fledermaus versions. which was rather naughty of them. Anyway, I set to and, after dismantling the kit, I couldn't help but improve the design into a more practical flying machine. The original had five large rocket motors, which our man in Kalamazoo observed would, "suck it inside out in seconds'. I kept the one at the back, rebuilt most of the underside, and added jets & a forward fuselage and cockpit to 1/20th scale. Here we are ready to fire up the lift engines and go out hunting Falkes. I've done a typical kreiger rough paint job as if it was built up from parts by rebel forces. Yes, it's an ex Harrier rocket pod. The landing gear is part original/part scratchbuilt. Springs are ex Biro! The nose cannon. The breech etc is somewhere under the cockpit. Ammo behind the pilot. On the RH pylon is a large missile with a rusty seeker head. Upper fuselage. At right is a spoiler/airbrake painted orange. And rocket thruster at the back. The thruster would take this up to altitude, rather like an Me 163. But, with the jets, it would make a powered landing. Taken during the build, this shows the wingtip tanks. Part droptank, part 1/32nd P-38 tailboom A bit of battle damage repaired with speedtape. Bits for this build came from all over. This tailplane is ex 1/32nd Me262. At left, an engine exhaust. Made from three bits of car wheel, and in the middle is part of a 1/1 scale tyre valve. The oval bit is a tiny ships dinghy. The rocket motor parts, here at centre, are original to the model. Underneath is two shades of light grey, dabbed onto white primer with sponge. The central dome is an anti gravity generator. Also visible are the three lift thrusters which use engine bleed air to assist in take off and landing. The rusty seeker head. It was part of a ball point pen. The top surface is grey primer with Tamiya dark yellow dabbed on. Various greeblies dress things up here. The canopy. Not the best bit, you can see the side window bowed in It's stuck on with industrial superglue so would be wrecked if I tried to remove it for repair. That might still happen. We shall see. Here's a picture of the pilot (made from Tamiya Pit Crew figure parts) and his scratchbuilt ejection seat taken during the build. Overall I enjoyed the build. The canopy is a disappointment though as it also has sanding dust stuck inside. These pictures aren't the best due to lack of light in the manshed. Pictures outside are not possible due to weather! There is a build log in the work in progress section. So you can see more of this if you are curious. My thanks to all who dropped by during the build, and, of course, to Padraic who made it all possible. Next up, I have the AFS which came with the kit. It too is a glue bomb (all three windows have glue on them) so it will also be a challenge to get right. But I can also use it as a pattern for replacement and spare parts. Bonus! Thanks very much for looking in, I'm always grateful for comments and will answer any questions if I can. Cheers, Pete Thanks for looking
  4. Greetings All. For those of you who saw my recent Whippet: and I’m pleased to say that your fantastic feedback has urged me to get cracking with the next proper project. So here we go – obscure WWI scratchbuild!!! I’ve selected this… For a number of reasons: 1. It’s got flat armour. 2. It’s got covered wheels (no spokes) 3. It’s got virtually no info about it available (as far as I can tell). I’m new to scratchbuilding; the Whippet was my first and I don’t have a toolshed full of lovely treats like lathes and milling machines – so everything needs to be do-able with just a few simple tools, especially at the moment under re-located lockdown. Scalpel – check. Pin vice – check. Tweezers – check. Glue – check. Right, let’s get cracking! This vehicle makes it as easy as I can get it, and with very little reference material, who’s to say I’m wrong? No worrying about whether I should model the 1916 pattern leather belt flange spronglets, or the 1915 tin and papier-mache versions with overlapping fringe dongles….. nice! First (and possibly the biggest) challenge – wheels. I used Alexandr Bondar’s excellent card model instructions from the landships II website - http://www.landships.info/landships/models.html# Scaling these up in photoshop to an estimated, and as close as I can get by eye, 1/35 (fingers crossed), the wheels scaled out to 21.6mm internal diameter (inside of the rim), and 28mm external outside of the tyre. As luck would have it, a furtle around in my plumbing spares came up with some 22mm plastic speedfit pipe. The bends and connectors unscrewed to reveal a bunch of 28mm diameter O rings. Sheer luck, but I’m taking it as a good omen. I studied the 3 photos and instructions that appear to be all that is known about this vehicle and concluded that as with most other WWI era British armoured cars, double tyres were installed on the rear wheels, with minimal if no tread. The O rings have it! So far, so good, but a tricky bit had to occur somewhere, and in this case it’s the rear wheel itself. The solid centre of the front wheel is clearly flat, but the thicker rear is dished, with a conical plate – hmm. Not so straightforward. I cut a few over-sized circles and sliced them to make cones. A few experiments and a couple were glued together, held in place while the glue set by mounting them within the cut sections of tube that will form the rims. On releasing them, it was clear that the join wasn’t perfect, tending to meet at an angle rather than curve, so a bit of milliput will be smeared in with plenty of water to smooth it. All this wheel work required a few circles to be cut out of 0.5mm and 0.2mm plastic card. Here’s (one of) the way(s) I do it – pin in a pin-vice, scribed repeatedly ‘round a circle template. Snap out the circle and clean up with sandpaper. All ok so far, but don’t hold your breath – this could take a while…. See you next time!
  5. We must fight on, whatever happens. I should count it a privilege to be dead if Hitler rules England. I had not thought I should have to live through such awful days... From the diary of Sir Alexander Cadogan, Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign Office How grim things must have seemed then. It is sobering to imagine the uncertainty of the times, even with our own present troubles. Civilization was on the brink, and it is frightful to think where we would be now as a people, as a species, if things had gone the other way. I'm always interested to read the accounts from people which were written at that time, unfiltered by years or a lifetime of hindsight. One aircraft that for me embodies that period of dark uncertainty and impending peril was the benign little Miles Magister, hastily modified to carry a clutch of anti-personnel bombs beneath its wings. When the invasion came, these fragile, under-powered trainers would be sent out as part of a last desperate all-or-nothing defense of Britain. I had the ex-Frog Novo Magister as a kid, and I loved that little bird. I must have painted it in a dozen different liveries in its time. The last being an overall coat of Humbrol 11 "Silver Fox". Traces of which remained on the armrest of my mother's favourite armchair for more than a decade after... I've long hoped to do another Magister, but these days I'm deeply embedded in the cult of 1/144. Apart from an unobtainable resin from Japan, there aren't any of the little buggers to be had. If I really wanted a Magister (and I did) the only hope was to do one from scratch. So here goes... The first bit was the keel. I found a bit of evergreen styrene and cut a strip representing the bottom of the fuselage and bent it to a curve that matched the drawings. Not very exciting, but its the most important bit. I made sure the taper at the back was okay then added two sidewalls of .35mm styrene. A "roof" of 2mm sheet was also cut and some undersized openings for the cockpits were drilled out. I tried to get this piece as seamless a fit as I could, but there's nothing to locate it to yet so I'll need to flush it in properly later. The upper fuselage decking got rounded off with a file and I laminated some scrap styrene for the cowling. The long bit sticking out the front is a temporary handle that will get cut off later. Making the part from laminations rather than a solid piece is easier, as you can use the seams as a guide to ensure you don't start filing the piece out of alignment. Then it was time to bur out the inside of the decking. Brrr! Once the piece is thinned down you can shape the edges of the cockpit much more easily. The next evening I added a dummy tail and taped the bits together for a captain cook. The cowling was beginning to take shape by this time too. With that part in hand it was on to the wings. I started off with a parallel strip of 3mm styrene and cut it to the width of the centre section. This got double sided taped to a block that was held in a vice. Then I went at it two-handed with a big coarse file that was about 30cm long. I rounded the leading edge first. Then worked over the back. Flipping the piece over and sticking the wing down again with a fresh bit of tape makes it easy to shape the wing evenly. It took about 40 minutes to get the basic shape. The wing(s) are marked with some scalpel lines and two deep score marks underneath where I'll bend them to create the dihedral. Then the excess is sliced off. Then it was back on the block with some tape to shape the outer wing panels. Once this is done the styrene is easily tidied up by wet sanding. A piece of the centre section was cut away to accommodate the fuselage, but I left a bridge running between the two wings to preserve their alignment. A corresponding notch was cut out of the lower fuselage. Somebody once said I was a frustrated carpenter. They may have been right! The fit isn't going to set the world on fire, but its okay. Adding more soon!
  6. Enjoying the two live Taube builds in the forum I’ve always loved the Taube so I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is song make a Taube of my own. Kits are hard to come by and expensive so nothing else for it a scratch build. The wings are a little different but most of the structures in the plane are fairly straight forward. However it will require s level of model engineering to get it to work and no guarantees that this will make the finish line any day soon or at all The basic wing plan scaled to 1/48 Mirrored and copied and attached to .5mm sheet. Reverse side after ruling with a ballpoint. Top panels cut out and brass rod attached for the two spars. .5mm plastic rod glued to the leading edge. Next I’ll lay in the ribs and attach the lower panels, going well so far.
  7. Last year I had a go at building a 1/48 aircraft from scratch for the first time. Have to say I learned a lot and enjoyed the process in a way. Still nice then I have had a go at a helicopter with some complex decals and a few fairly out of box kits. But i have been thinking for a bit about what to build next. I had a crazy notion to try a VC-10 but a mock up of that just showed the sheer size of it. So I am not saying never to that idea, just not yet. So something smaller. A Jetstream? Last one was a Dominie, so a bit to similar. Did consider a Britten-Norman Islander, or an Andover, both would be nice. But I settled on an aircraft that used to give cracking displays amongst the jets at 1980’s air shows. And one I built in 1/72 as a kid, but can’t get in 1/48 - even though a page on the internet suggests ESCI made one (they didn’t) So what am I talking about? She will be Dutch and a transport turbo prop. Yes a Fokker F-27 Friendship. Here is the show programme from Airfete 84 - sharing the bill with a Blackbird and Concorde! So how would she look. A quick print out, a bit of cardboard tube and some backing card, and this is what we have Not it as big as you might think. Here with my F-8 Crusader So the scary bits - turbo props & 4 bladed propellers. High undercarriage struts on the wing wheels. Scratching all the undercarriage. The main body is very similar to a stretched Dominie shape, just a bit wider. When will this get started? Who knows. Need to get some 50mm tube, probably go clear tube as before & start to shape up the nose or tail. This website may help https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?346259-Building-of-a-Fokker-27 i don’t really have enough information or good plans, but why let those details get in the way? So I thought, start a thread & then the idea is out there - can’t keep putting it off! Don’t expect lots of quick progress.
  8. This one is an unholy marriage of a Bell 47 helicopter cockpit and a Cessna 02 spotter aircraft. With floats and a jet engine for good measure. I'm not sure if the kreiger universe even has ships. But I've armed this with water jet powered 'Penguin' torpedo's just in case. The floats were from a Smer Swordfish. Other bits are sparesbox fodder. The paddle on the float was Tamiya Schwimwagen. The 'MAD' type detection boom here was a Smer torpedo. What look like paint rollers are cockpit access steps. One of the 'Penguin' torpedo's ready for launch. The white bellytank can be seen here. The ladder is to reach the wing tanks for gravity refuels. I used a very thin self adhesive tape on the stabilizer leading edge top and bottom to counter the jet exhaust heat. Sparesbox markings. The underside paint is Tamiya IJN pale grey. The blue and green are Tamiya mixes. The green was simply drybrushed. Pressure refuel point is just visible on the left rear fuselage. Various greeblies dress up the floats. International orange tiptanks were suggested, but I painted them, then used micromesh to rub down to the orange plastic to show some erosion. I've kept the underside clean but added a few patches to the floats. Nasty stuff, Coral. Yes, I'm thinking South Pacific operations. The cockpit is as per the MASH original build. What was the collective now operates the float rudders. Here it is with a previous sparesbox anti ship aircraft. This one was 1/48th, same floats but P-38 Lightning fuselage. A closer look. Probably built ten years ago I can't remember what name I gave it! That's an intake in front of the windscreen BTW. Here's a link to the builld. The bench is clear. Goodness knows what will turn up next! Thanks for looking and your comments are always welcome. Pete
  9. I think a suitable subtitle to this one would be, "Go on, Sir, You tell 'im!" This is a scratchbuild which has taxed the spares boxes, but it has been rather enjoyable. The idea is that after the battle is over, there needs to be a period of tidying up. So, a vehicle of some sort, a trailer for the recovered scrap/salvage, and, in this case, a means of finding said salvage. Hence, a drone to overfly the scene and spot the goodies. I was pressured by persons anonymous to put this lot into a small diorama. So without further adoodoo's here we go. First off, a birds eye view of the scene. A lot of the kreiger action takes place in Australia. So here we are in the desert, next to a water purification plant. Not quite a moisture farm on Tatooine, but not far off and somewhat derelict to boot. And here's why I said it's, "Go on, Sir, You tell 'im!" I bought the Fighting suit ready finished from the bay. I have some others, but they are in snow camouflage. Not really suitable in this case. This vehicle is totally scratchbuilt. Bits of various tanks, Humvee etc, and the crane was HO scale. The round tanks in the background were Hugo Boss Orange aftershave. The RH one was originally in my old Misfit build from Saudi. I'm not sure how this would tow both trailers, but it could probably happen. The drone was a small scale Transall. Both trailers are scratchbuilt too. The mudguards are Airfix Tiger tank turret parts . The settling tank? seen here was a ship display stand. The springs are brushes for electric motors. The cones in the middle were from torches and the centre thing is an upsidedown 1/24th Pillar drill. I also took pictures outside in case it made them sharper. The drone landing gear should be removed for transport. Someone will be on a fizzer! Will it hit the trailer? A better view of the motor brushes here. Perhaps if the tank was full of water, they'd help with heat dissipation? And an eye level view. From the other end. I wonder what the outcome will be? Thanks for looking and your comments are always welcome. As are offers of money or chocolate. Have a look in the Work in Progress section for build details. Cheers, Pete
  10. A build from 7 years ago: The issue #102 (April 2013) of Skyways has a long article on the Mystery Ship. “Scratchbilt” brand kits could be qualified as the most optimistic kits of all times (no kidding, and you will see why). Their #3 Travel-Air Mystery Ship is portrayed in one of the accompanying photos. The contents are as follows: three printed sheets with a 3 view, patterns, several drawings and depiction of the construction. Also there was a decal sheet by Microscale, two plastic rods and two vacuformed canopies. In this particular case the review should start: “You are on your own” (you were anyway, don’t worry) since the method given to build the model (keel, many half bulkheads, stringers, strip covering, puttying and sanding) could have worked on a larger scale or for a galleon, but it is hopeless in 1/72. The instructions also advise you to ruin other kits by cannibalizing spats and cowls that are an ill-fit anyway. The depicted method for building the stab and wing was used by the Spanish Inquisition. A truly remarkable kit, this “Scratchbilt”. Their logic and business model are equivalent to giving someone a box of rivets, the directions to an iron ore mine, a sketch and a piece of Camembert cheese and tell them to build the Eiffel Tower. I have to concede that they have a sense of humor, though, and that their brand name, “Scratchbilt”, does not hide their purpose. That being said, you still have those decals. Or do you? When David The Irrefutably Unbound from Glen Ellyn sent me some material related to the Mystery Ship, I exhumed the “kit” from the dungeons where it was kept under lock inside a coffer marked “evil”. As you can see in the photos I followed my own path here using wood for the fuselage and spats’ vacuforming plugs, the traditional one-two styrene punch for the rest, and white metal engine, prop and wheels from Aeroclub. The engine had to be modified to fit the plane’s one, which had a particular front case. The short wing struts and landing gear struts were made from brass “Strutz” stock, for which I am indebted to Andrew of England, The Slightly Iridescent. An interior was scratched as per photos, some was structural and some pour la galerie. The first Microscale decal I used was for the instrument panel and it was the source of momentary panic as I had to wait about twenty minutes for the decal to come loose from the backing sheet. Once all the main components were ready, the puttying/sanding/priming/repeat cycle ensued. The painting stage -which involved a good share of masking- required attention. At this point I tried to use the rest of the decals, but the first ones shattered in myriads of little pieces. The ones that remained in the backing sheet were treated with Testors decal bonder, but later on a few more shattered anyway as they were applied. The few remaining ones were given a few coats of Future, but again to no avail. Now, this is not Microscale’s fault, the decal must have been between 20 and 30 years old, and not properly stored. I printed the decals that failed and had a great time cutting the regs from white decal stock. The transparency was cut in three parts, the frames depicted with metal-painted decal strips, and arranged in its open position. The underwing oil coolers were made of thin aluminum sheet, engraved, cut and glued. The two Venturi probes were attached after the photos were taken (the photos of course made me realize that they were still unattached). Regarding real kits, I am aware of the 1/72 Dekno resin model of the Mystery Ship. I also built a sister ship, as I had made the wood vac masters already: Many, many pages have been written about the Travel Air Mystery Ship but I can’t tell you anything because of its inherent mystery. No ostriches or people from outer space were harmed during the construction of this model. We would like to extend our thanks to the sponsor, The Intergalactic Soenkish Empire. They used to call this a "kit". Can you believe the cheek!? A few printed sheets, a solitary strip of styrene, and a molded canopy. Even the decals shattered.
  11. A build from 12 years ago: The Nemeth Umbrellaplane, as its name indicates, was created to minimize the weather impact while waiting on the tarmac on rainy airstrips. Or not. Thanks to one of the very good publications issued by Bill Hannan at Hannan’s Runway, this model could finally see the light of day (under the umbrella, that’s it). This beautiful machine was the brainchild of Mr. Nemeth, and was built by students of the University of Miami. The fuselage is from a stretched Alliance Argo, and was powered by a Warner Scarab. Later in its life the wing was altered to another, even stranger, split configuration. A bit more of information can be found at Aerofiles: http://www.aerofiles.com/_n.html The model, as you can tell by the “in progress” photos, is made basically, as usual, from styrene sheet and rod. Aeroclub engine prop and wheels completed the needed parts. The forest of struts was dealt with using brass “Strutz”. Once I got all the parts on the table I gently blew over them and pronounced the powerful word “Shazam!” And the model came to life. The truth is out there.
  12. Hello everyone! My Wolseley armoured car.... ....is finally finished! I got tired of waiting for the headlights to dry, and ripped out the microscale Krystal clear (after about 7 coats it was like pork-pie jelly) to replace it with Gorilla clear glue - much better! ...a bit too clear if anything. The saga will continue at the WIP with horses, figures and a diorama base (inlcuding AA box), but for now the car is complete. thanks for watching!
  13. A build from 11 years ago> While some designers choose to do away with the fuselage and the tail and create a “flying wing”, others choose to eliminate the wings and create a lifting body. That was the choice of William Horton, from California and Vincent Burnelli, both of them shaped the fuselage as a wing section. The Horton design featured large “endplates” –apparently described as “sealers”- along the fuselage/airfoil to improve its efficiency. A number of control surfaces can be seen at its rear end: a central, finned elevator and two surfaces on the sides that look like elevons (elevator+ailerons). Two fins and rudders are integral with the endplates. It is of notice that the concept of lifting body in this case was linked to the “roadable” plane too, since it was suggested to develop such machine later on. The design can be also described as being of “negative aspect ratio”, since its span is less than its length, roughly a 0.5 to 1 ratio. And perhaps we should clear some recurrent confusion: William Horton was an American from California, while the Horten (with “e”) were brothers from the nazi Germany that later got a free-pass to Argentina for a while. The Horten Bros. designed a number of flying wings and William Horton, as said, worked on the concept of lifting bodies, creating first the plane which model is here depicted, and later a more futuristic-looking, twin-engine bigger machine also called the Horton Wingless. William Horton associated with Howard Hughes, a joint-venture that apparently didn’t work out very well due to the iron grip of Mr. Hughes. Unfortunately, Hughes stalled in every possible way the development and sales of the Wingless. Shame on you Howard. Nevertheless the prototype achieved some flight and its beautiful lines were preserved in a few images. Simple lines on a model don’t necessarily translate into simple construction. Once the planning and engineering started, it was obvious that once more simple design didn’t mean simple construction. One or two parts were modified spare bin sleepers, while wheels and prop –Hartzell on the original plane- were modified Aeroclub items. Only a bit of the interior can be seen in the available photos of the real plane, enough to see the bulk of the long Franklin 68A engine in the middle of the cockpit/cabin while the shaft protrudes ahead of the fuselage. The pilot seat seemed to be the located on the left. The part count was about a hundred when I judiciously stopped counting. Although undiscriminating fellow modelers whose visual education and taste leaves much to be desired dared to call this beauty a “flying toaster”, one thing can not be denied: imagination was for sure abundant in the blooming 50’s.
  14. Here's one I made earlier........... During a computer cleanout, I 're-discovered' my photos of a scratchbuilt A-90 Ekranoplan that I made some 20 years ago..... so I thought I'd share the build with you.... Excuse the quality of the photos - they are now quite old - and not the best I have ever taken. The build was inspired by the release of the Revell 1/44 scale A-90 - plus some drawings I found in the Russian magazine 'Aerohobby'.... The drawings are excellent - and most importantly - they have cross-sections, so they were scaled up to 1/72, on printed out in A4 and the sheets taped together. The main fuselage section is essentially a rectangular box - with a curved roof (like a railway carriage) and a vee-shaped planing bottom... Here's the inverted 'floor' with plastic card bulkeads attached as per the drawing to form the vee...... Now the right way up, the rectangulay starboard side panel is attached.... .... together with the port panel and rear bulkhead...... The fuselage inverted to show the planing vee... The centre keel of the rear fuselage is added and shaped bulkheads are attached on either side. The curved roof bulkheads are fitted to a centre keel to form the outline shape....... The planing bottom and flat rear side panels are attached........... The fin is made from a plastic card outline shape - with balsa wood stuck to both sides and sanded to aerofoil section....... Checking the fin for fit - and 'planking in' the lower rear fuselage with strips of narrow plastic card........ The port side lower rear fuselage is planked in.... The fin has the rudder separated and is skinned with thin plastic card... More later.... Ken
  15. I don't normally cross over to this side of the house much, but I do like the occasional Armour build and I've been planning to do this one for ages. My 1/72 (76) operational WWI tank collection so far. But it's missing one, namely the Schneider CA1 the first operational tank in WWI. (arguably I should have some of the other MKs of Heavy tanks too but they may come later, along with a possible K-wagon (they almost finished two prototypes)) but the lack of a Schneider is really a gaping hole in the set. And yes I know there are resin Schneiders out there, but I enjoy scratch building plus they are hard to get hold of and ferociously expensive. Starting with a wooden core and skinning it with plastic sheet panels. I've the underside and the lower and front panels attached. The pieces are more glued to the core than each other.
  16. Suddenly this afternoon it all came together, so I've taken lots of pictures in the hope that someone out there will like it, and may even be inspired to have a go themselves. The basic fuselage is strips of wood glued rather like a balsa aircraft and covered in plastic card. The nose section was a 1/32nd Puma, first built decades ago. There are original Sternail models out there. probably less than a dozen all scratchbuilt, I did one years ago. This, the Ausf D. would be a development of the original. Scale is 1/35th. It measures out at nearly 70cm. call it 2 feet 3 inches in old money. Nose armament, Laser/plasma? You decide. The wasp decal is from a Messerscmitt Bf110 The yellow/green decal is supposed to be a bit like the WW2 defence of the Reich markings. I used two decals overlaid. To the left of that is the airlock door for the WSO (Weapons systems operator) or GIB (Guy in Back). Lots of other access panels can be seen. The RH comms pod. RH thruster turret. See those silver balls on the blade pitch change arms. What's the name of that game where grown men run around woodland firing these pellets at each other? I'm not entirely happy with the solar panels. Black paint over silver, But they'll have to do until I think of another way to do it. They do look pretty battered and worn though, in typical kreiger fashion. That thruster in the middle is an Aircraft rivet type called a Rivnut, or rather, it was. As seen on Wessex radius arm mounting plates. There's another one under here. And I cut the middles out of 1/25th steering wheels and glued them to the Sherman drive sprockets on the scanner, above right. The left side featuring the pilots airlock door. The docking probe is visible on the right. Meteor sheild (Puma door) and Comms pod (Mascara compact lid & card) LH main horizontal steering thruster turret (King Tiger) LH gun close up. Various Panzer bits. The convoluted jobbie is a Biro spring wrapped in PTFE tape. EDIT - I forgot to show the engines, so here you are.... So, there we go. It's been a fun build and due to being stuck at home it's finished months earlier than expected. I hope you've seen something you like and I welcome your comments and questions. Thanks for looking, Pete
  17. A while back whilst building the Jura I started a wee Welsh Models, 1/144 Supermarine Scimitar F. Mk. 1. I really should have posted some pics and the WIP by now so here goes: The "Instructions": The "Kit": Some bits done: Stupidly decided to scratch build the ejection seat. It's not very big... Installed. More to follow soon.
  18. Soooooo... It's been a while since I posted any builds mainly because I seem to have hit a brick wall called "finishing a model". The shelf of shame is really getting very shameful. 😟 And so begins a woeful tale of buffoonery. About a month ago I was at a friend's house and whilst chatting to another old friend of theirs he mentioned that he used to work on the Scottish Fishery Protection Agency ships. I mentioned seeing these ships often in Stornoway Harbour, particularly the "Westra", "Jura" and "Minna". We got on really well and to cut all the drivel out of a long story I later casually asked if he had any ship's plans of any of them. He said he did and would I like to see them? About a week later he handed me a thick blue book and sho' nuff, in the back was the plans to the Jura. I got permission to copy them but by now his curiosity was piqued and he asked why I wanted them. Not seeing the huge hole right in front of my two left feet I explained that when the company wasn't running my backside into the ground with work I played Flight Sim (X-Plane 11) and built scale models. I would try and scale the plans down and try to build a scale model of the Jura. Having seen some of the excellent builds on here I thought I'd give it a try. Nowt wrong with that, but this where the two left feet and the big hole came into it... In a sheer attack of Muppetry, Kermit here opened his daft gob and said, "Would you like one too?" His face lit up and he said "I would absolutely love one!" I didn't panic too much then but when I got home and opened them out the plans were A0 size so about 5' x 4'. "Oh", I thought "This could be fun getting to the right scale". I tried photographing the plans but they were very faint. I had another mate who had a mate who managed to get the plans scanned on to PDF format. "Yaaaay!" I thought, "This might actually work". They were almost as faint as the photos and whilst they were a bit straighter than my photo efforts they still had a slight skew to them so it took a bit of time and photo editing to get them straight. As I only have an A4 printer I used Windows Snip tool to cut the scans into bite size chunks and paste them into Word so I could print them of to stick to whatever medium I decided to build the model in. I have scratchbuilt a few items in the past as per below: 1/35 Bristol Bloodhound 1/35 "Whippet with guts". Emhar Whippet with scratchbuilt engine and interior) 1/144 Whaler my Dad worked on back in the 1950s. I built this for him and used the hull from the Revell North Sea Trawler and the boats from 144 HMS Discovery (I think), all the rest was scratchbuilt: And a wee 1/350 scale WW2 HMT minehunter: And this is what the "Jura" looked like: Sorry, it's been so long since I last posted pics I'm having trouble remembering how to get them to the right size. I'm not too worried about scratchbuilding the Jura (although I have serious Muppet issues measuring anything, or cutting anything straight and circles become squares) BUT... It will be for someone that knows the ship intimately and will spot any mistakes instantly. And now, enough waffle - let the "fun" begin...
  19. A prototype from 1917 two were built this is the second in its penultimate form. The final machine had staggered wingspans on all four wings. Scratchbuilt in 1/48. The Pup is also a scratch build shown for comparison.
  20. Came across this in one of my aviation books and just couldn’t resist the general oddness. So consider it commenced. I’ve scaled up the sketches and hope to be cutting plastic soon.
  21. And here we go yet again. I built a Sternail about eight or so years ago for a friend in Saudi. As far as I know it's still somewhere in the Middle East. Must be about time to build one for myself. And not just any old Sternail either. This time I'm doing a two seater. BTW, What's a Sternail? I can post this one here because it's the one I built. At rest here in a garden just outside Riyadh. I've been stockpiling kit bits for quite some time, some were earmarked for this build. I did get a Hind off the bay but it turned out to be too small, so I've rethought the nose. Here's a sketch I made eight years ago. It shows how I built the last one and I'll do the same this time. A basic wooden frame covered with plasticard. (And filler!). Not my model but it shows the size of the beast. This is 1/35th scale BTW. You may notice the T-55 tank turrets holding thrusters at the rear. I don't have any this time. But I did have a couple of King Tiger turrets in a spares box. Go with what ya got! I bought some scrap Airfix Steam engines off the bay a while ago. On the far side of the top here is a wheel from a Battle of Britain class while closer to you in the piston assembly? from a Mogul. Other parts are mostly ex tank. Except this bit. The back. It's the tender rear plate upside down. Now if an X wing can have a loco fire box at the back, then I can use this bit! More train and tank bits. This side will be the lower one. This is the front. Tank fender, the rest of the tender rear and half leaf springs from an engine. Another view of the top. I've filled a couple of the holes on that big wheel and still need to rub it down. The brass rod above it isn't yet glued in place. The two turrets/Thruster housings. The side nearest you will be the upper one. Obviously as the turrets were identical the big wheel won't be uppermost on both. Ah well. I said the Hind wasn't going to cut it. (Unless I can find a cheap 1/48th Hind quickly). Back around 1984, when I was in Germany, I built a 1/32nd Puma. Having worked on them at Odiham I put a lot into it. It's been in a box for decades now and time (and my then building skills) haven't been kind to it. So it's being reused on this build as the nose section. It's a bit wide as is so I'll dismantle it further and cut out 10mm or so from the centreline. And, after a very enjoyable Sunday, mostly in the Mancave, this is where I'm at. I've asked in Wanted for a 1/48th F-14 or F-15 fuselage to use in this but no joy so far. I may have a way of getting along without it but it won't be so easy. Next up it's time to look at cutting some wood for the basic framework. As always, Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for looking, Pete
  22. Happy Birthday Royal Air Force Today is the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. If you did not know that already you are probably on the wrong website. Some time ago I decided that I wanted to mark this occasion by starting a new project on this date and have of late spent much time thinking about what the subject should be. Naturally enough, Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancasters and myriad of famous post-war types all came to mind, but these are well-covered subjects and so I dwelled on the matter a bit deeper... What about something that was in service on the day the RAF formed? What about something that had served in both the RFC and the RNAS prior to the formation of the RAF? What about something that was crucially important both to the newly formed air force and essentially all of the commonwealth air arms that were to follow? What about the Avro 504! To me, the Avro 504, more than any other single type, captures the spirit and the essence of the nascent Royal Air Force. This type had seen service as a fighter, a bomber and reconnaissance aircraft prior to being 'relegated' to the training duties at which it excelled. By 1918 this was the most numerous aircraft in the RAF (and probably in the world) with more than 7000 being built during World War One alone. In the new air force almost all aircrew had been trained on this type and I should think most of the ground crew as well. It was the foundation of the skills and professionalism that have been the hallmark of the service ever since. So, foolishly, I'm going to have a crack at building one in 1/32 scale. Here are the plans I will be using...provided most efficiently by Len Whalley at 'aeroplans.co.uk’ (Great service thanks Len). As you can see this is a screen-shot of my electronic copy because my friendly computer draftsman at work is on extended Easter holidays. He'll be back soon! In the meantime I'm going to use these plans as a starting point, they are fine for the general layout and dimensions. And here we go... Start with a good straight, clean bit of wood. In this case I'm using Jarrah - just like I did in my Mig 15 build here... www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235012524-mig-15-scratchbuild I'm using Jarrah mostly because it's the strongest wood I can get hold of. Having studied the plans I can see that there are going to be some challenges with maintaining the structural integrity of this model, especially once the extensive cockpit has been hollowed out - hence structural strength is going to be a major consideration. It's a beautiful bit of wood this - straight close grain almost flawless. The oval below marks the only knot in the entire plank, it's tiny and is fortunately positioned so it can be easily excluded from the fuselage cut-out. Here I'm marking off the first cut for the fuselage. I'm cutting it much longer than it needs to be for reasons you will see later on. And here it is - the first cut - made on 01 April 2018! Hooray... Two lengths have been cut for the fuselage so that I can work to the natural centre-line thus formed... The wings are being cut from some thin slices of sapelli. Another high-quality hard-wood. I've chosen this because I do not want the wings to sag and think that sapelli will be rigid enough to hold it's shape over time. And here's the rough cut-out of the tailplanes. I think that the tail is going to be the only easy part of the build. And so -after 20 minutes of work I have the very, very rough outline of a biplane... No - this is not an April Fools joke, this really is the start of my model! I don't know how long this is going to take but given the slow pace of my previous (still uncompleted) project that you can see here: www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235021633-hmasm-ae2-scratchbuild I would say this will take at least a year and possibly much longer. I've never built a biplane before. Wish me luck... Best Regards, Bandsaw Steve (ex-Reconcilor)
  23. In general I wait until I have some visual material to show before I open a new thread, but in this case the beginning is more like a statement of purpose for the new year and the layout of the type background. The Italian Macchi M.39 was a racing seaplane designed specifically to compete on the Schneider Trophy of 1926, which it won, piloted by Mario de Bernardi. Five similar machines were built, three for racing purposes with a Fiat AS.2 engine (the other two flown by Ferrarin and Bacula), and two for training purposes which had a similar but less powerful Fiat engine. They followed the design lines that were found by almost all competitors to work better, namely twin-float braced monoplanes, of extremely refined streamlining that used surface radiators. As I mentioned in previous threads, before even thinking of building, I dedicate time and effort to research, which invariably pays off big time. And this is no exception. To start with, many photos captioned as a Macchi M.39 are actually of the very similar (but not identical) Macchi M.52 and 52R. Therefore the first task is to sort out the photos, helped by three clues: -The M.52s had a much pronounced arrow angle for the wings -The M.52s had slightly larger wing radiators -The M.52s had different motifs on the fuselage and tail. -The M.52 had a slightly different windshield. (Four, four clues -Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition) After studying from photos you promptly realize: -that representations of the M.39 in drawings and 3views are often inaccurate, since they include the graphic motifs that the M.52 had. As the winner of the Schneider, the M.39 had only the number 5 on the sides, no Italian tricolore on the rudder, and no fascia roundel on the fuselage. -that the machine at the Vigna di Vale museum has a different, much later scheme than that wore at the race, and a wooden prop, used only on the practice machines, and not the Reed metal prop used on the race. -That the windshield of the museum machine is again slightly different than the one seen in photos of the winning machine. As an additional achievement, the Macchi M.39 established soon after the Schneider win a new speed record.
  24. I've been using up my spare time on this weird and wonderful device. I started with the intention of scratchbuilding a 1/20th copy of the Fledermaus, because the kit is a silly price. But this one evolved into a 1/35th unmanned AI equipped aerial reconnaissance platform. I didn't want to slavishly copy the usual Luftwaffe paint, so I took a cue from the colour schemes used on RAF P-40's in the desert. The figure posed with it is from the Bandai Zeon universe and is slightly undersized, but does show the size of the beast. The basic fuselage was a Skycrane Helicopter but now upside down. Wings were B-58. The rounded shape was a spoon and droptanks. Behind that a 1/32nd Bf109 Cowling leading back to an Me262 nose. All these models were originally built in the early seventies. Decals used are from various sources. The tailplane was 1/32nd Bo105 Helicopter. The engines are from the 1/72nd B-58. I didn't even repaint the silver bits at either end. The gear is mounted on Skycrane sponsons and is Panzer bits while the skids were aerials under a Vulcan. Suspension would be by friction washers. The unit badge seen top right is a plain back shield. Two camera windows to the right here and the silver thing is another steering thruster. The thrusters are for use when in Anti gravity 'Hover' mode. What have they been burning in those engines? Not exactly clean and green! On the flaps seen here (and the wing leading edges) I use a thin self adhesive metal tape. On the flaps to deflect the engine blast, leading edges for anti erosion. A close up of the nose camera/sensor. Upside down was the easiest way to get this on film. A pitot probe? Why not? The two lights are ex Panzer, One has a blackout slit and the other a clear 1/25th car lens. And those are flare racks on the sponsons. That 'Sukhoi' tail. The tail light under it is a stick on 'jewel' from a kids craft set. Outside. This shows the desert fading of the paintwork better than the indoor shots. The Airbrakes stand out, but the orange I painted them with has worn/faded away. In the centre fuselage would be a generator engine for powering the anti gravity unit. Hence all those intakes/scoops. Exhaust would be behind the 'hump' Belly of the beast, and its not quite so vivid this time. A cross between Mediterranean blue and PR blue, I hope? The grey ball (ping pong) is an anti gravity unit as seen on the Falke. See the round thruster to the left of the flap? In front of that is an underwing light on both wings. Another kids 'jewel'. The thruster and jewel are in the holes where the outboard engines went. The yellow thing is an aerial/sensor pod. (Okay, it was a drop tank). And that is your lot. I hope there is something you like here. Any comments or questions are always welcome. Yes, I build these things because I can and I enjoy it! answers one FAQ for you. There is a build thread in WIP. Thanks very much for popping by. Pete
  25. I started my first project of 2019...a scale model of the Nostromo Airlock from the 1979 movie Alien. I will be working from this Ron Cobb concept drawing and a handful of photos and frame grabs from the movie. I have recently bought a "Silhouette Portrait" cutting machine and will be using that to do most of the tricky styrene cutting. I'm starting with the outer doors, which I have cut out the various pieces which will be layered and glued together. The machine is amazing. I never could have cut those out by hand in a million years. The doors are cut from .030" styrene. the raise panel details are cut from .020". Things are starting to be glued. I've wrapped the outer edges of the doors with thin strips of styrene. These broke when I bent them and will need a bit of filler, but over all things are off to a good start. Unfortunately, I ran out of my favorite glue (Tamiya Extra Thin) which is worse than running out of beer, because the local shops sell beer. So it will be a week or more till I can do any more assembly. Thanks for looking in.
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