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Found 202 results

  1. Some designs just seem to embody the Golden Age Divine Proportion. I know we all have our favorites, I have many, but the Gamma is one I keep going back to. I have built it first a lot of years ago following the original boxing: But more recently I went for seconds and thirds, incapable of resisting the need to extract more flavorful modeling juice from it, building it in some of its more exciting incarnations: I have now the Arctic Decals/Dekno resin/decals set that was released after my build, to do the Conqueror Cochrane again (you need a particular Azur-FRROM kit for that), but once more I couldn't resist taking the awkwardest path, and decided instead to do the very long nose conversion withe the stripy cowl used by Jackie Cochran, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp Jr. for the 1935 Bendix race. I got a number of photos of it, and the old and venerable Williams Bros kit. Again a lot of surgery will be needed to modify the fuselage top, the nose, and the details on the kit that are not just quite right (rudder, for starters, and cockpit). Since I have done this 2G conversion before, I know what I am in for (sigh...). I am still looking for a plan/drawing of the plane, but it will be very easy to extrapolate from photos to extend that nose and work out the details associated with it's Pinocchio characteristics (Pinocchio, now what that reminds me of? ah! a president!) I have pulled out the kit and started already to separate and clean the useful parts -many will have to be discarded-, but today I don't want to complicate my life with photos and posting them, so the graphic part of this will have to wait for a little while, meanwhile this station will continue with its regular programming (the pending two Ju-86s, Republic Seabee, Vultee V-1D, London Bus, and Supermarine Sea Lion, all the latter just needing decals that are in transit) Aiiiiiiiooooo Silver!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Lone stRanger
  2. Hi All. Here my RaupenSchlepperOst (RSO) from Italeri converted in ambulance. It was an hard job as Italeri kit was nice but terrible to work! The rear compartment was completely built from Evergreen plastic foils. Interior cab was scratched using some kit parts and Eduard pe. Tracks from Friul, side red cross are decals while top red cross was painted with airbrush and stencils. Anyway, I'm happy for results. I'd like to built another RSO using Dragon kit but its cost is absolutely too high (+/- 50 GBpounds)! Hope you like. Ciao Filippo
  3. Who says Dragons don't do well in water? Well, The Hobbit says it. But -whatever destiny befell to Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities- the ancient Chinese, according to Jorge Luis Borges' "The Book of Imaginary Beings", had sky dragons and water dragons, and even amphibian dragons. The Dragon is among the planes that captivate me so much that I have built them more than once. Four D.H.88 Comet racers and three D.H.89 Dragon Rapides, all of which are here somewhere. These are the more recently converted Rapides: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235039785-de-havilland-dh89a-taasa-argentina/ https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235039442-de-havilland-dh89-tainui-macrobertson-racer/ This time -in an effort to further extricate modeling potential from the kit- it'll be a seaplane. The conversion of the old and venerable Heller kit into a floatplane involves of course some changes: 1) Getting or fabricating the floats, either EDO or Fairchild, depending on what subject is being modeled. But there are no accurate options for those in the market, so you have to adapt/modify what there is available. 2) Modification of the bottom of the engine nacelles, fairing the location of the landing gear according to photos. 3) Reshaping the vertical stabilizer extending the root of the leading edge as per photos. 4) Researching and fabricating all the connecting float struts. The first Rapide here then will be CX-ABI, an Expreso del Plata machine, that operated in 1938 plying the Río de la Plata waters, uniting Uruguay and Argentina (my country of birth), shuttling back and forth from Colonia to Buenos Aires. I was fortunate enough to find some photos and a description of the colors. I had in my stash already two other Rapide kits, one being the Tasman limited edition upgraded kit. To that box I further added all I could find: an Arctic Decals masks and "metal" frames set, a very nice P.E. Kuivalainen set, and some other bits, just in case. The subject for the second seaplane on Fairchild floats is still undecided, although I already have a folder with candidates. The second kit is an old release, but I added a set of vacuum-formed floats from the Execuform kit of the Fairchild Super 71, which I built long ago on skis (saving the floats), these are the correct ones to cover other versions of the Aquatic Rapide.
  4. My second build in this GB is the Airfix 1/144 BAC 1-11. I built one of these when I was about 8 or 9, didn't paint it, but used the British Caledonian decals. This time it's going to be converted to a 1-11-500 and painted as G-AVMR of British Airways - this is a significant aircraft for me as it was the first jet I flew on, aged 7 - I'd flown on plenty of Viscounts at that age, but a jet flight was exciting for 7-year old me. Here's the kit: Not a lot of parts, and (as always seems to be the case) smaller than I remember. The Airfix kit is based on the prototype and will need a few changes to make it a 500: The main modifications are to add 18mm to the forward fuselage and 10.5mm to the rear fuselage, and 5mm to each wingtip. It also needs the nose cone reprofiling (it needs to be pointier), the wing fences need to be moved, and an APU exhaust needs to be added to the tail cone. And probably a couple of other mods. Started yesterday by cutting the fuselage up: Then put some rolled-up plastic card in the gaps and applied suplerglue. Then I realised I'd made possibly the most ridiculous modelling mistake ever: That's right, it's the BACwards 1-11! Cut apart again, centre section turned the right way around, stuck together and milliputed and here's how it looks now: Also filled the windows. I'm sure there were windows in the kit 30 odd years ago, but not in this boxing. I'll do the nose job next, then on to the wings. more tomorrow Julian
  5. Found in my attic about a year ago, started about thirty years ago and finally seeing the light of day again. As I have a DV in my stash and there are many good DIII kits out there I decided it would either be an Offag DIII or a DI/II, seeing as how there are many good Offag kits too and the wings were terrible I decided to go for the latter. Wing blanks now ready for skinning, already better than the kit parts :). My younger self had already replaced the tailplane and filled the fuselage a bit. Still have to decide on a DI or a DII, those ear radiators are awfully cute, but the colour schemes on the DII are much more interesting, ho hum.
  6. Here's the 1/144 NKC-135A I built to go with my EC-24A in the In The Navy group build. It's the Minicraft KC-135A with scratch built (mostly 3D-printed) conversion parts and decals from various sources, including some I printed myself. Build thread is here thanks for looking Julian
  7. This build started as a "rescue" kit that came to me partially built, as explained in the step-by-step posting: It is a companion of the recently-completed Lan Chile Junkers: My thanks once more to friend, fellow modeler and Ornithopters' member Sönke for kindly donating the rescue kit. My gratitude also to those who helped providing useful information during the build, especially Günther Ott of ADL in Germany. Any inaccuracies in the model are entirely my fault. Last but no least thanks to Mika Jernfors of Arctic Decals, who warned me about the stagger of the seat rows and windows on the original plane, and made a wonderful decal set for it. At the beginning I planned to use it to try some tricks to be applied to a new model (finished as a LAN Chile airliner), but I grew fond of it in spite of the challenges it presented. To start with, Italeri made very little effort to adapt the military boxing into the civil one, leaving many grey areas and some serious mistakes to be fixed by the modeler. I ended up correcting some of the inaccuracies of this old kit and providing some additional interior, and commissioning a decal set for it to be finished as VH-UYA, a machine that saw some limited service in Australia. The most blatant mistake of the kit is that in the original plane the two sets of windows were staggered, the right side being ahead of the left, a fact ignored by Italeri that takes a lot of time and some skill to correct. I drew immense pleasure from the conversion of a machine of sinister origins and use, into an airliner that is not wearing despicable symbols, but instead had a good use, at least for a time, transporting civilians and being useful for peace, not war. VH-UYA presented some color challenges, as it the case when assumptions have to be made based on available black & white photos and/or vague, or generic descriptions. The color choices, which involved some degree of speculation, were adopted after much consultation and study. Unfortunately, for several reasons, it did not have a long career in Australia. Many sources repeatedly state engine issues for all Jumo 205-equipped planes. This diesel engine apparently gave more than one headache to its pilots, mechanics and users. There is some anecdotal information on the Net about this plane, so if you feel curious, do a search for the type and registration, instead of me parroting here what is already out there. This old kit as said is not very accurate and it is devoid of cabin detail, having also raised panel lines, but the fit is quite good, and the engineering uncomplicated, which is appreciated. As many other old vintage kits, it can be converted into a fair representation of the original with some love and time. I would say that skill required for this conversion is within the reach of committed modelers that had already ventured into some kit-improving and detailing. Provided you invest some research and effort, you can obtain a large number of civil airliners from this kit. As stated in the building article, Kora Models has some sets that cover a few of the possible choices (not sure how accurate they are), but combining different releases of the Italeri kit (radial, inline, short tailcone, long tailcone), and doing or commissioning your own decals, you are also set for a nice ride if you are so inclined.
  8. One of the greatest pleasures that this hobby has for me is to turn bad things into good things. To take a kit that leaves much to be desired, and make it into something better, gives me a lot of satisfaction. So: bad things into good things, which is why I long wanted to convert a despicable thing with hateful, totalitarian symbols and more than obscure intentionality into something of a better nature, in this case an airliner. Over the years I gathered references about machines that operated in Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, Bolivia and Chile, noticing the differences among them. Long ago fellow modeler and friend Sönke from Marzipanland sent the old Italeri kit, to be rescued. It long sat in a deep and forgotten crag in the garage. I knew of the Kora conversion sets to adapt the Italeri kit to these civil versions. They include resin parts and decals. I was never tempted, neither by their quality nor by their price. The resin parts are somewhat heavy and coarse, feeling heavy-handed. The decals do not strike me as fine products either. Still -and as I am often forced to say- who else is going to provide these after market accessories to satisfy the needs of a small group of modelers wishing to represent lesser known types? so we accept what we get with a -somewhat reluctant- thank you. I plainly discarded the Lufthansa version, just a cosmetic half-disguise of its true intentions and nature, and sooner the Swiss version too, having seen it quite often modeled. My attention turned towards the Australian version, registered VH-UYA, which has an interesting story. I was able to gather some reasonable material, discovering in the process that some renditions of it (drawings and models) steered quite far away from reality, mostly regarding the colors of the plane, but that's a story for another time. None of the mentioned versions needs burdensome kit alterations. But some of the machines operating in South America (Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano and LAN of Chile) had Pratt and Whitney engines. That's what one of the Kora after-market products offers, then: one set of the new engines, cowls and nacelles, and the decals for those two planes. LAN actually had four JU-56Zs, from 220 to 223, but Kora only provides regs for one: 220. This, therefore, will involve some deep surgery, and the usual addition of some details missing in the kit, which provides an open cabin door... to no interior other than bulkheads and cockpit. It seems Italeri thought that the passengers just floated around the cabin, or hanged from straps, underground-wise. Cheeky monkeys, passenger plane without seats. This was, of course, an afterthought, a mold adaptation to squeeze more copies off the military molds. When I say "rescued" kit, I mean it: The kit had endured the "Igor" treatment, thus we have some parts already glued that shouldn't have been, raised panel lines erased -unfortunately before using them as guides to trace the engraved ones-, sections of the fuselage excised following and ebil plan that was left like Beethoven's 10th symphony, and so on so forth. As it stands, it looks like a post-apocalyptic gathering of plastic. Another wonderful aspect of my subject choice is that only a few, bad images can be found on the Net of it, which invariably makes things so much more interesting. And so we start:
  9. Airfix 1/48 scale Buccaneer MK 2 Hi All, Here is my 3rd Airfix Buccaneer converted back into the 1st prototype XK486. I started thinking this was a simple nose job and a reduction in fuselage length made easier by removal of the intakes. However modifications were more extensive than expected and a lot of additional time was spent smoothing and blending the modifications. Changes were eventually made to all panels of the kit and include the following ....... Removed jet intakes and replaced with Heritage Aviation S1 Resin versions. Removed the nose at the first panel from the windscreen and replaced with a flattened Tornado GR3 nose, faired in with plastic card and Milliput. A large lump of Milliput being put into the tip of the nose to support the probe later. Cut upper fuselage behind rear cockpit to removed 7mm. Cut lower fuselage between nose wheel and weapons bay and removed 7mm while leaving a staggered join to the top half. Assembled speed brake and attached to rear fuselage with additional 5mm extension to restore fuselage length. Changed the design of the airbrake fins to an earlier representation as per the first flight. Rear walls of wheel wells removed as these are not evident on the real machines. Fin shortened and bullet fairings removed. New rear fairing made from an old bomb. Tail planes widened to meet new fin profile, Extended jet pipes with 20mm tube and Milliput then faired into fuselage Pin inserted into brass tube and drilled into the extreme nose to make extra long nose probe. Wing vortex generators removed. Bulges and protrusions on weapons bay door removed. Aerials relocated to spine from later position on fin fillet. 2 Scoops made and added to fin fillet. Pitot probe replaced with carbon fibre rod superglued to the original pylon. Paint from Mr Colour, Blue 5, white 316, Aerials 19. Decals from Xtradec and lettering from Modeldecal. I have wanted to do this for many years as the prototype has more gracefull lines than the final production versions. The blue scheme is also much more attractive but harder to photograph. More pictures and a build thread can be found here in the Buccaneer STGB. Colin W NA39 modification Thanks to @David Womby for the thread about the Buccaneer prototypes which helped a lot in planning the modifications for this model. Colin
  10. Hey guys and girls, This is my rendition of Whirlwind HAS.7 ' XN358 '. (With the help of navy Wings i have found a lot of info on her) I used the Airfix HAS.22 for this conversion...not aftermarket parts were used, just scratch built (first conversion) XN350 , built in 1960, served for 771 squadron at HMS Osprey, Portland. She had her ventral fin removed, tail rotor drive shaft cover removed along with wheel brakes and various things from like unneeded avionics. She was used was turned light weight to increase lifting capacity for the ASR role. This test was never an official test. Before long, she was converted back into conventional HAS.7 standard. She stayed in her markings until moved to 825 NAS in July 1960 where she was painted a grey and orange (like most ASR helis of the time) Later she was moved to 824 NAS in DEcember 1961 until 1963and stayed in the 825 marking. In 1963 she was taken to RN AMS Seafield Park...another move to the lee dump in 1980 until she was taken to the fire dump at RNAS Yeovilton (5 miles from me) in 1981-1982. I would like to do the other renditions of her in the future, but for now i have done her first state With some earlier models, a pair of lynx I can see where i can improve on (for a conversion with no after market parts its pretty good ) Thanks for looking, Rob
  11. Well we're ready to start the long delayed Buccaneer GB and I'm all prepared. I shall be converting the Airfix S2B into the NA39 XK488 as per Yeovilton. I'll be using a set of Heritage intakes but the rest will be scratch built. Here's the start point. This will be my 3rd 1/48 Airfix Buccaneer so as you can see I have a few spare parts already. Colin
  12. Here's my Lincoln, just finished in the Lancaster STGB - build thread is here. This is the Airfix 1/72 Lancaster II converted to a Lincoln using the Blackbird Models resin conversion and converted to the Armstrong-Siddeley Python testbed RF403 using a combination of 3D-printed nacelles and bits from a couple of Trumpeter Wyverns. I say 'testbed' but I don't think it really was - this was the third (I think) Python Lincoln, built for use at Woomera in high-altitude trials of the Blue Danube bomb. It was a fun build - the Blackbird conversion is excellent - just marred by a small SNAFU when a big drop of paint somehow got inside the canopy - hence I've only photographed it from angles where it's barely visible! thanks for looking Julian
  13. This kit started as a 1/72 Italeri C-130E/H and along the way I... Re-scribed the model, Reposition cabin windows for a J model, Added Hamilton Hobbies Sponson extensions, ECS inlet and duck tail (from the C-130H Update set) , Replace the kit engines with Jen's Bits AE2000 engines and props, Added Attack Squadron Harvest Hawk conversion, Added Various scratch built antennas and pitot probes, Masked and painted the walkway markings, and Used Wolfpak Decals 72-117 Aces High for USMC KC-130J, Bu No166511 of VMGR-252 "Otis" There are still a few minor details to sort but I will get to them one day Prolonged build thread here
  14. TLDR: Hitler is assassinated, the new non nazi government comes to terms with the west and declare war in the Soviet Union. Materiel is short so existing German designed are adapted for the new war. Backstory: ( the longer version) The July 20th 1944 assassination plot has succeeded. Von Stauffenberg decided to use the second kilo of explosives and the bomb didn't get moved. Hitler is no more having sustained fatal injuries in the blast. Carl Freidrich Godeler has been installed as the new civilian Chancellor and Erwin Von Witzelben is the new chief of staff. The Reichstag is restored and the first directive of the new government is to outlaw the Nazi party, disband the SS and stop the Holocaust. The new republic successfully sues for peace with the Western allies an armistice is declared on the western front. War on the eastern front continues, the aim of the new western alliance is to destroy Communism. World ware 2.5 commences...... Under the new Aviation minister Adolf Galland, the roles need ed for the new offensive are examined. Almost all of the new designs on the drawing board are high speed short range interceptors, however long range escort roles in support of the Ural bombing campaign and ground attack types to support the 1945 spring offensive in the east are now required. Having determined the stop gap measures thought go to producing a new type that leverages existing designs but is specifically for long range escort duties,. It is intended as a replacement for the USAF P51,s P82,s and Luftwaffe ME109Ls. Messerschmidt having explored various upgraded 62 designs return to the three man night fighter design based on the 262 (see below, afaik this was a real Messerschmidt project ate in the war) more or less preserving the proposed design but removing the radar operator thus shortening the canopy to accommodate the two man crew. Note the second seat is to allow long range flights with the pilots alternating flying duties. From the basic 262 the fuselage is lengthened by 1.5m the engines are the lighter uprated Jumo -004J and are housed in streamlined pods now attached to the fuselage and the fuel load is increased to allow longer range operations. As the primary role is escort rather than bomber interception main armament is reduced to 4 7.9mm caliber guns housed in the nose. Although a successful design the 462/ P52, saw limited service owing to the surrender of the USSR following the nuclear attack by the US on Volgograd and Murmansk in the spring of 1945.
  15. We're doing a what if GB at the moment. My premise is that the July 20th plot succeeded and the new Western alliance rolled on against the Soviets. This is my version of the 262 HG remixed as a long range escort fighter and where it might have gone with some British and American input. Overall a bit of fun and an excuse to build a 262. Based loosely on the above, a concept sketch of a proposed three seat night fighter variant of the 262. With this as the intended victim.
  16. Contemplating the harmonious lines of a well-designed classic twin is always a pleasure, and for those privileged to have seen them in person, a sight to remember. In its attractive American Airlines livery the plane seems to invite its ten passengers to ply the skies above serene landscapes, in comfort and relaxation, including a restroom. Not for nothing this era of aviation is called "golden". This endeavor started as a comparative build -of the same airplane type- against a Rareplane vacuformed kit. The building process of both kits can be visited here: The model is based -as explained in the building article- on a revamp by Encore of the original -and frankly poor- PM kit. This new boxing included -to no exceptional advantage to me- some resin bits that were supposed to be an upgrade, and a very bad new transparency, that in my sample only deserved the trash can, with apologies to the trash can. A few of the resin parts are identical to those of the original kit, or worse, and only the cabin door, exhausts, cowls and engines are of use (if you are not too picky, especially regarding the cowls). The kit's alternate civil decals that tempted me to buy the boxing are a total fiasco, since the real scheme was applied to a highly modified plane of later date, that has very little to do with the kit, having, among other changes, squared wing tip additions, and three-blade props. So it's either kit surgery or trashing those nice -but useless- decals. Thus I went a different path, adding interior and exterior detail and commissioning a decal sheet from Arctic Decals for a plane used by American Airlines. I know that there were other Beech 18 kits issued by Hobbycraft, and having such variety of nice civil liveries, I am surprised that a better injected kit doesn't exists, or at least an upgrade set -that makes sense, that is. In any case these old platforms can be turned into fair models with some work (and research, something many manufacturers don't bother with). Many of you have one or other of these incarnations (RarePlane, Encore, PM; Hobbycraft) in the stash. I think they make for a good skill-honing project, without pretending to obtain the ultimate model. Personally, I find the venerable RarePlane vac superior to these much modern alternatives so far in the market; you may have a look here: Knowing the limitations of this kit (which are various) I may venture -some day- into another conversion, since there are things that I could do better after having dealt now with this kit. Even though it took some time and no little work, here is the result obtained with the Encore kit, with which I am fairly pleased, all things considered.
  17. After much research, head-scratching, scratch-building, and a lot of exercise looking for missed small parts on the carpet and diverse places in the general vicinity of the building board, the model is completed. The model portrays the plane as it was while located in the USA in 1923 at Curtiss Field, being displayed and flown for the general public, during events and demonstrations. The plane was originally exported to create an airline, but the USA school of doing business/trade (for those unfamiliar: "we will push our stuff into your market and will not be very happy to allow your products to compete with ours in our own market") prevented that, and the plane was confiscated, the project torpedoed, and much later the plane was released to Curtiss, where it became little more than a curious prop. Changes are noticeable during this plane's life, in its marks, details and color. You may find photos of it (earlier in its life) as G-5414 with radio masts on nose an tail (reputedly one of the first planes to carry a Marconi radio), and as -an also early- G-EAAF with different placement and size for the regs and some color changes on the extended cabin and nose area. I had to commission a special set from Arctic Decals, which turned as usual wonderful. This is a conversion of an O/400 into a O/700, for both, the original plane, and the model, which started as a rather not very enticing, outdated, Airfix effort of many decades ago, and nothing like the fine products Airfix cranks out nowadays. The represented plane itself as said was a converted O/400 that was upgraded to a O/700 standard. For those -understandably- remiss to read the very long building post, this conversion implies having to delete all military-related detail, produce a full-length passenger cabin interior with bathroom included, all the windows and door, noticeably extended engine gondolas, a new fuselage front and nose, and several minor adjustments and changes. You have, needles to say, to commit to extensive research and a long build. I can state, very frankly, that this was a much more protracted and complicated voyage that I ever thought, and my dreams of doing at least one more in civil guise are absolutely dismissed. At least until a better kit appears, something I am not inclined to believe in the least that will ever happen. The WiP is where many details and clarifications con be found, so perhaps will be a good read if you have an interest in using the old and very dated Airfix kit for a civil conversion (of which there were very many, some that need just little changes on the kit, by the way): There were also minimally modified machines that were used for civil transport during the armistice, another bunch for the European routes, and even some that were sold to India and China. So you are not condemned anymore to build a "bloody paralyzer", and instead can explore the glamorous dawn of civil passenger transport and airliner industry.
  18. Unlike many of the British subjects present here (and sufferers from around the world), I was never acquainted with Airfix's H.P. 0/400. I cherished, though, for a long time, building the civil transports that derived from it. I started as usual gathering references, and after a few years, once satisfied with the research, I bought (quite recently), a new release of the old kit. When the kit arrived from the Foglands, I just put it in the closet, and only today I opened Pandora's box. My first impressions: 1) A large number of parts were already loose in the bag they came in. Some were so extraordinarily tangled with each other that they made me think of some weird model parts orgy; but then I thought "Nah, it's a British kit, they are quite proper and respectful of formalities". 2) I have hardly ever seen so many ejector pin marks. 3) I surmised that two people were in charge of producing the masters for the flying surfaces. One was restrained and created a normal rib pattern. The other was a madman and thought the masters were for a washboard. Or perhaps was trying to represent rib tapes, in which case to say they are overstated is an understatement. 4) When I saw the three included figures I jumped thinking that they were, like me, Shaolin Modeling Monks! One was even meditating seating in the lotus position! But no, they were stoic British crew members that at the first opportunity asked me what time tea was served. The gall! 5) The "system" devised for the wing upper and lower halves is dismal. Not sure if it was thought to facilitate rigging, but if it was, the designer should be condemned to endlessly hear the deranged rants of certain president. If it wasn't, all the same. Hard to disguise those seams will be. 6) I love it. Now, do not hold your breath with this build, it will not be one my usual flash-builds. I have other business to attend for a while and just wanted to share the opening moves with all of you. Getting rid of the extra weight: the main sprues and the pim-poom-paff-kaboom parts: The washboards are included in the kit: An engineering solution not even a mother would call elegant: Oh boy... @Martian Hale, @general melchett (who reputedly coined the phrase "Bloody Paralizer"), and another crew member half-eaten already by the Martian, who liked to take his snacks on board alive: As it is common knowledge among the members of modeling cenacles in Río Ceballos, Rosario, Timbuktu and Kamchatka, there were several variants derived from the 0/400. I am not interested in discussing variants irrelevant to this build, and of course as usual I have no interest in any military versions. I am focusing at the moment on the somewhat hastily converted for civil passenger service left overs form the war, which need of course a new interior and some changes on the exterior, and on the 0/700 variants that need much more noticeably changes. I have the impression that this is going to be fun! Meanwhile, I am going back to my references to chose a specific plane. Hopefully will be seeing you soon! Cheers
  19. This model started life as a venerable RarePlane* vacuum-formed kit, and was converted, with some modifications, into an air show stylized machine. New engines and props, full interior -with restroom, and many other details like diverse antennas and lights were added to bring the standard just a tad higher, redeeming its destiny from tired out-of-the-war-mill, to splendorous crowd-awing aerobatic apparatus. The step-by-step account of the transformation can be seen here: The necessary masks and decals were commissioned from Arctic Decals and were to their usual high standards. This model was built in parallel with another civil conversion of the same type using the Encore half-hearted re-pop of the original PM kit to make an American Airlines plane, and it was an interesting experience comparing the quality, engineering, behavior, and potential of both. I must say that both kits have their uses, but my heart inclines towards the vac, that although being a much earlier effort, has much more to it than the not very well rendered iteration of the injected-cum-so-so-resin-bits sister kit. Still, a great pleasure is found in playing with these old kits and honing those skills with a frill or two, and much is learned, and much is enjoyed, plus the endeavor resulting in not so common renditions with a bit of extra pizzazz. The model represents a present time aerobatic machine used on air shows.Not all kits can be used to portray this particular airframe, only the ones with the shorter nacelles and without the kink (LERX) at the wing roots. *Before his passing, I sustained a very lovely exchange with Gordon Stevens, talking much about kit-making, aviation and life. Wherever he is, I hope I made him proud with this, his creation.
  20. Hi all, Am in the research stage for my next project, which is going to be a Beaufighter, Now the one I have is a TFX, which was mainly used for torpedo bombing. I would like to convert it to a MK1, which was used for PRU, mainly by 'Warby'. Since I am going to be building in 1/72 scale, I would like to know if there are any significant (external) changes that I need to take care of in order to convert a TFX to Mk.1. TIA
  21. So chaps, the next build will be something that is very dear to me, Veh reg 09EA90 ( G3 Ops) my old ride at 6th Armd Bde Salamanca Barracks in Soest West Germany. I signed for the detachment back in 1990 as a young Signaller barely just out of school, 09EA90 was straight out of base workshops after a major overhaul so it was basically a brand new wagon, the paint finish was immaculate ( sprayed black and green) , not a chip or scratch and all the kit was brand new first issue. (didn't stay like that for long) I'll be using the great Takom FV432 as the basis of this conversion which will be a in depth conversion. Most people wouldn't be able to tell a 432 and 436 apart from first glance but there are a bucket load of differences, the interior is the major headache as it filled with Radio kit. 09EA90 had a twin 353 Zulu fit along with a single 321 and a SCRAT fit. We also had 3 Ptarmigan subsets and the Redbrick TAC IC system. Adding to that I have to scratch build the new cage as the Takom cage is too small for a 436, a 1500 w Onan gene set and add the various armoured boxes on the roof plus the Racal 8m masts and mounts. After the first Gulf War our Squadron started getting the GPMG to fit on the commanders cupola, the Infantry started getting the swearing removed LSW as a section weapon so us Signallers got the GPMGs that were surplus to the Infantry. We did still have the LMG (Bren) up until that point but no mounts to fix them to the cupola. The box shot I need to find more of my photo's from the day but here are a few of 09EA90 First photo is of the Forward Headquarters 6th Armd Bde, 09EA90 (G3 Ops )on the left, centre is Radcon and the right hand side is one of the Ptarmigan Radio Relay wagon Stay tuned for more Dan
  22. Hi all, With a tip of the hat and a heartfelt Thank You to Mr. John Adams, I am starting this build diary of my conversion of the Airfix 1/48 scale PR XIX to the earlier PR XI. Please note that this build is now finished, hence the term "build diary" instead of a day to day record of where the process stands. Back before the turn of century (and I have been waiting a while to use that phrase) I converted the Academy Mk XIV into the PR XIX and started a long journey through what is now a collection of five Spitfire PR projects, all conversions. By the way, if a Spitfire PR XI kit in 1/48 scale makes the scene in the near future, you're welcome! From the start I wanted to use the Airfix PR XIX kit since it would make up the wings, horizontal tails, and two thirds or so the fuselage, making the work of doing the "recce" mods much easier. I began by making up a list of things to be changed: 1. I went through my references before starting and selected EN343-E from May 1943. She was one of the first PR XI's built, and the first to take damage assessment pictures the morning after the Dams raid. 2. Replace the Griffon engine nose with a Merlin nose 3. Replace the later, deeper radiators with shallower units. 4. Cut down the vertical fin and fit the earlier “standard” rudder (rounded or pointed, depending upon the airframe). 5. Change the PR XIX clear pieces with a vacformed PR XI windshield, sliding section, and rear fixed canopy. 6. Check the camera fit for your specific airframe. On my project, EN343-E, the side oblique camera was not installed initially, and pics of her early in her career show that the oblique opening was either not used initially, plated over, or painted over. Whichever way, the plane did not carry the side oblique window in the pictures I’ve seen. 7. A deeper lower cowl can be fitted from available resin sets. 8. Add an antenna mast on the fuselage spine. So Step 2 was to find and install a replacement nose, swapping the Griffon configuration with a Merlin. I went through my small-ish Spitfire stash, checked measurements for likely ways to do this swap and settled on an old Aeroclub Mk XVI conversion set. I always liked the look of the Aeroclub Merlin nose, so I determined where to make the cuts to swap out these nose parts. I have trouble making conversion joints and then adding a new panel line in the same spot, so after some head-scratching I chose the point at which the forward wing fairing kinks outward for a cut line. That put me roughly 3/16" back from the front edge of the fuselage fuel tank panel line on both the kit fuselage and the Aeroclub fuselage as seen below. Once I did one pair of fuselage parts, I knew I could manage the rest of the work ahead. In the image below the straight, dark, vertical line is the joint; not perfect initially but filled with super glue and sanded smooth. I sanded off some of the Aeroclub engine panel fasteners, so I had to replace them by hand; more on that later. I had also deepened the engine cowling panel lines as well as reshaping the vertical fin. Enough for now, I think. Tune in soon for another thrilling adventure in conversions! Cheers, Jim
  23. Hi all, Here are some completion pictures of my latest Reconnaissance Spitfire project. The base kit is the Airfix PR XIX kit in 1/48 scale, converted to a PR XI. I have just finished an extensive Build Diary in the Work In Progress threads so please check there for all the details. Thanks again to Mr. John Adams. Cheers,
  24. Here's my just-completed 1/48 OA-4M - last one for 2019! I needed a mojo restorer and this fitted the bill very nicely - it's taken just over a week. Apologies to anyone who might have been following my all too brief WIP, I got carried away and stopped taking photos as I went! This is the Hasegawa 1/48 TA-4J converted to an OA-4M using a resin conversion set from Phase Hangar. The conversion set was very nice indeed, it included everything needed for the conversion (on the outside anyway), including a nice pair of seamless intakes, and everything was a pretty good fit. One thing to watch out for if you do the conversion - the instructions call for you to add the brake parachute - don't, it wasn't fitted to the OA-4M. Decals are from Furball Aero Design and worked very well. Perhaps not quite as much contrast between some of the decals and the dark ghost grey though. Just one thing missing which I'll always notice, and was missed in my haste as I got carried away. Can anyone spot it? On to the photos: thanks for looking and happy new year Julian
  25. Not so much "decided" as "quick, before I change my mind again!" I'm dusting off a project that I started for the Mustang Group Build, 2014 edition. Accurate Miniatures 1/48, with Ultracast conversion for Mustang Mk.I. The only thing that I actually did was rough-in the wing leading edge inserts- see link for that. (There are Photobucket images- they showed for me, but let me know if they don't for you. I may be able to get them directly here.) The first thing to decide is whether to do an NA-73 or NA-83 - as I discuss in the linked thread, there are a number of subtle differences between the two production orders. And, me being me, I'm already hearing this devilish voice whispering "Or, hey, you could do a Mustang X!" I don't have a specific Mustang I in mind, which makes life more difficult. A word about the thread title: Most of you will know the one about how the British Air Purchasing Commission approached North American to build P-40s (meaning the ones that became Tomahawks), because Curtiss couldn't supply enough of them as soon as desired. What they were really negotiating for, however, was a certain number of P-40s, to be followed by the (supposedly) new and improved P-46, which had not yet flown. There are also whisperings that NAA had already had some conversations about a fighter for the British. At any rate, this makes the decision to let NAA try their own version of an Allison-engined fighter more understandable. By the time the Mustang prototype- and for that matter the XP-46- had flown, a compromise decision had seen the end of the P-46 as a production type, with an evolved P-40 (the H87 / Kittyhawk) taking its place, while the P-46 project evolved into a stillborn XP-53 (Model 88). Thus, the Mustang and "new P-40" (D/E/F, Kittyhawk) ran parallel, and in fact shared the production of the new F-model Allison.
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