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  1. DeHavilland Sea Hornet NF.21 Trumpeter 1:48 History The Hornet was designed with the possibility of naval service in carriers firmly in mind. To this end good low speed handling was required, along with good all-round visibility for the pilot. The basic Hornet design excelled at meeting these requirements. Shortly after the first Hornet prototype flew, Specification N.5/44 was issued to de Havilland covering the modification of the Hornet for naval service. The Heston Aircraft Company was contracted to carry out the conversion work on three early production F.Is. The work entailed altering the wings to incorporate folding mechanisms so that each outer wing panel, from the aileron/flap line outboard could be folded upwards and inwards at an angle. The hinges were part of the upper wing skin structure while the lower wing skins incorporated securing latches. Lockheed hydraulic jacks were used to actuate the wing panels. Slotted flaps were introduced to improve low speed "flaps down" control. The lower rear fuselage was reinforced with two additional spruce longerons designed to take the stresses imposed by the external "vee" framed arrestor hook, which was flush-mounted below the fuselage. The frame was made up of steel tubing with a forged-steel hook and was held against the fuselage by a "snap gear". Because the Hornet used the American "3-point" system of catapult-assisted takeoff, two forged steel catapult bridle hooks were fitted, one below each wing, close to the fuselage. The de Havilland rubber-in-compression undercarriage legs could not absorb the rebound energies imposed by carrier landings. They were replaced by more conventional hydraulic oleos which embodied torque links. Merlin 133/134s (de-rated from 2,070 hp/1,543 kW to 2,030 hp/1,535 kW) were fitted to all Sea Hornets. Other specialised naval equipment (mainly different radio gear), was fitted and provision was made for three camera ports, one on each side of the rear fuselage and one pointing down. Sea Hornet F 20s also incorporated the modifications of the Hornet F 3, although the internal fuel capacity was 347 Imp gal (1,557 l), slightly reduced from that of the F I. In total, all of the modifications added some 550 lb (249 kg) to the weight of the aircraft. Maximum speed was decreased by 11 mph (18 km/h). The Hornet NF 21 was designed to fill a need for a naval night fighter. Special flame dampening exhausts were installed, and a second basic cockpit was added to the rear fuselage, just above the wing trailing edges. ASH radar equipment was placed in the rear of this cockpit; with the radar operator/navigator seated facing aft. To gain access, a small trap door was provided in the lower fuselage; a fixed, teardrop shaped bubble canopy, which could be jettisoned in an emergency, provided a good field of view. At the front of the aircraft, the nose underwent a transformation with the small rotating ASH radar dish being housed under an elongated "thimble" radome. The horizontal tail units were increased in span. The effect of these modifications on performance was minimal; about 4 mph (6 km/h) The Sea Hornet PR 22 was a dedicated photo reconnaissance aircraft version of the F 20. The cannon were removed and the apertures faired over. Three cameras were installed in the rear fuselage; two F 52s for night time use and one K.19B for daytime use. A total of 23 PR 22s were built, interspersed with F.20s being built at Hatfield. The Model Trumpeter do have a penchant for producing very nice boxart for their kits and this one is no exception, painted directly from a period photograph showing a Sea Hornet on deck with wings folded. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the styrene inside. Whilst the parts are all beautifully moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, the faults that were noted in their previously released Hornets have been reproduce with this kit. Shame really as the artwork shows how it should look. The nose appears a little too deep, which has then caused problems with the windscreen, the lower edge of which should be pretty much horizontal, whereas the kit has a sharp incline from the fuselage to the upper nose panel. The rudder, ailerons and elevators also have quite pronounced ribbing effects, when they should be flat as they were metal skinned, not fabric. Without building it I cannot say whether the undercarriage position is correct, but I believe the kit of the land based version was wrong, so wouldn’t have though that Trumpeter would have corrected it since they hadn’t with the nose. There also appears to something very wrong woth the ailerons, in that they don't match the shape or even reach the wing tips, it's like they're short shot, but it looks like they're moulded that way. Ok, that’s the accuracy and perhaps slight negativity sorted, what do you actually get in the box? There are six sprues of medium grey styrene, one sprue of clear styrene and a decal sheet. Going by the thickness of the instruction booklet and parts count, this won’t be a complicated build, and if you aren’t too bothered about accuracy it does sort of look like a Sea Hornet, if you squint a bit, but will probably go together without too many problems. The build begins with the front cockpit, with the seat and seat armour being fitted to the cockpit tub. The joystick, instrument panel, with decal instruments, gunsight, gunsight glass and the rear cockpit tray. Now this tray doesn’t look quite right. It seems to be fitted with a tank of some sort, and two boxes positioned fore and aft. Now I’m happy to be corrected, but I presumed these would be the ammunition boxes and positioned athwartships, but I’m only going on what a BM member is doing with his magnificent 1:32 detailing of the HpH kit, as I cannot find a good photograph of the area even in the David Collins’ superb book on the type. Anyway, with the tray in place the spring like rod is fitted between the aft end of the try and the seat, followed by the two cockpit side panels. The rear cockpit is made up from front and rear bulkheads, seat and side panels. The two cockpits are then fitted to one half of the fuselage, after which the fuselage can be closed up, and the 20mm cannon troughs, radome, rear cockpit access door, and tailcone are fitted. Each of the two nacelles and undercarriage are assembled next. Each one comprising of the two nacelle halves, front and rear bulkheads, gear bay roof and sides, main gear leg, single piece main wheel and exhaust stubs. The propellers are each assembled from the backplate, four individual blades and spinner. Make sure you use the correct blades per side as they are handed. The nacelles are finished off with the fitting of the main gear doors and exhaust shrouds. The inner wing sections are split horizontally and once the two halves are joined the radiator intakes are fitted as well as the rib at the fold point. The outer wing sections are built in the same way, and have a clear part fitted to represent the navigation lights; the port wing is fitted with a pitot probe. The tail fin, with rudder moulded together and the horizontal tailplanes, are also moulded in two halves, which once assembled can be fitted to the fuselage, followed by the inner wing panels, windscreen, canopy and rear dome. Now, the instructions call for the outer wing panels to be fitted before the nacelle assemblies. In my view it would be better the other way round. As it is, the modeller has the option to display the outer wing panels folded or extended by way of different adjoining parts which when folded represent the main hinge point. Once the wings have been fitted and the nacelles attached the model is completed with the fitting of the tail hook, tail wheel/oleo, and optionally positioned flaps. Decals The smallish decal sheet provides markings for two aircraft, both in dark sea grey over sky. Although neither marking option is provided with any information of the aircraft squadrons or bases, a bit of detective work shows that they are:- DeHavilland Sea Hornet NF-21, VZ672 of 809NAS based on HMS Vengeance DeHavilland Sea Hornet NF-21, VW967, Probably of the Airwork Fleet Requirements Unit, but with spurious 424 codes, although the BY tail code seems correct. The decals are well printed, in registers with good opacity and with nicely thin carrier film. The only problem I can see is that, although glossy, some of that gloss appears to have come away with the protective sheet, which shouldn’t cause too many problems once they’ve been sealed in with a gloss coat and finished with matt varnish. Conclusion The Hornet has got to be one to them ost beautiful piston fighters ever built, and whilst the modifications needed to build the NF-21 didn’t help matters, it’s still a handsome aircraft. This is a very nice kit, spoiled by some poor research, heck, they could have just looked at the box cover to see where they went wrong with the nose and windscreen, but no, they’ve once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Shame really as it could have been a cracker of a weekend build. I guess it still can be if you’re either ignore the faults or for the purists, go to town on the modifications. Recommended with the above caveats. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  2. Hi All, Is it OK to join all the fun with a DH2? It will be the Eduard Profipack version and I intend to add a little detail and will not be using the marking options supplied, but basing the airframe on a picture in the relevant Windsock Datafile. Photos to follow. Christian, exiled to africa
  3. Well the box from a well known online retailer arrived today and it makes me want to start right away!!! In any case I'm starting my thread in preparation. Very familiar box: Sprues: Extras: What you see here from the top are a brass fret with 3 bladed propblurs and a resin pilot from PJ Productions, with a second one underneath. I'll compare these with the ones that come with the kit and see which I prefer. Then on the second row, Montex masks and and Eduard Zoom cockpit set, finally the Coastal Command Decals. Can't wait to start but I really need to finish the 1:32 Hurricane IIc diorama first...
  4. I'm planning to jump in with a 1/72 deHavilland Rapide from Heller ... It's an old boxing The parts The box contains decals for one civil operator, Air Couriers, and two trainers: a French Radio Navigator's School and (RAF or civil?) Air Observers Navigation School No 6. I don't plan to use any of these, but will go for a machine operated by the Railway Air Services, a 1930's joint operation between Impeial Airways and the four regional railways groups. The fact that my initials are RAS had no influence on my choice, honest! These are Arctic Decals. The presentation is excellent, with a photo of one of the aircraft on the cover and, inside, fairly comprehensive instructions on how to correct use the (laser printed) decals, and a guide for correcting the Heller kit. I'll let you know, as I go along, what changes (if any) I make to the model. There is one downside to my choice - it's a very old boxing, and the canopy is short-shot. I'll send a note to Heller to see if they can replace that. p.s. I've just placed an order for some etch
  5. It’s done. It took 18 months, the sniffing of copious amounts of CA glue, bankrupting myself on the bills for filler and Tamiya primer and the printing and reprinting of many, many decal sheets, but I finally have a completed 1/72 model of my favourite airplane of all time, the DeHavilland DH-106 Comet I. It is certainly not the most perfect model I have built, but I’m extremely pleased with the result, especially when I think back of all the challenges I’ve had to deal with in building it. I won’t repeat everything I wrote in my WiP progress thread (here), but this was one of those Murphy’s Law builds. For starters, the kit itself, made by the now defunct Fliegerhorst of Germany, is crap. I paid (or rather my parents did, as it was a birthday gift) over 100 euros for it, and there can’t be a model kit that is worse value for money than this one. The resin parts were warped, badly moulded, full of pin holes, detail was non-existent and the panel lines of inconsistent depth and crispness and completely missing in some areas. This is the first kit where I’ve actually broken parts on purpose to make them fit. After gluing the parts together, the misalignment between them required the use of insane amounts of CA glue and subsequently the use of a file with a coarseness only associated with crude woodworking to deal with the seams. But I persevered! So after covering most of the room in resin dust (I did use a mask and I wet-sanded almost everything) out came an object that did look suspiciously like a Comet. Of course, application of primer highlighted many, many imperfections and it also showed the panel lines either had not survived the onslaught, of were of such ragged and indistinct quality that they needed rescribing. I am terrible at rescribing, but I like to think that doing it on this kit (in most cases, four of five times for every panel line) has improved my skill somewhat. I think this stage took the longest to get to a level where I was satisfied. Painting went quite well – at least initially. I used Humbrol Polished Aluminium from a rattle can and it went on very well. I moved on with the white section for the roof, which also went on very well. However, after removing the masking tape I found out that Humbrol’s paint didn’t like masking tape, and I had to redo the silver, then cover it with a layer of future before I could move on. In the meantime, I had discarded the lousy decals that Fliegerhorst had included because they were the wrong color. My dad used them as a base to make new ones on the computer, and I applied these to the kit. Stupidly, I didn’t properly check the alignment of the fuselage bands and after thinking about it for a day, I decided to remove them. I hadn’t come this far to screw it up like this! Removal of the decals necessitated reapplying most of the paint. Naturally! In the end, a lot of trial and error to get the decals just right was required and my dad has printed probably close to 20 A4 sheets to get to where we wanted to be, with variations in color, windows painted black or grey, smaller and bigger sizes… I probably have enough left for 10 more Comets, but they’ll all be slightly different! Home stretch then…. I had replaced the front wheel bay and landing gear with some nice resin and metal parts intended for a Nimrod, which gave some much needed detail in these crucial areas. I also tried ordering resin wheels intended for the Nimrod but this didn’t work out so I polished up the kit wheels as best I could. I added some pitot tubes, a light wash to the moving surfaces, a few coats of future and satin finish and that was it. It all sounds a bit negative when I reread this, but it wasn’t like that. I did have a lot of fun building this kit and seeing it progress over time, and it’s most definitely my favourite model. Now if only I had a safe place to put it…
  6. Hello folks, A while ago Airfix released a newly boxed version of the dH-88 Comet but it was "The Green 'Un". For me, the iconic Comet is Grosvenor House so when they recently released that version I bought one. I'd read a number of reports detailling the ancient molding of this one (late '50s for the original I think) but decided to take the plunge anyway. The model is offered in the new red box style of current Airfix releases but the plastic is showing it's age. There are very fine raised lines on the surface which will prove a challenge to sand around. The fit of some components looks to be a bit vague at best and the cockpit detail is none existent, two amorphous pips on top of a flat deck suggesting the crew. So, where to begin? Inspired by several 1/72nd scale builds here on Britmodeller I decided to attempt a little additional work. As many know, the Comet has a big glass house looking canopy so that seemed a sensible place to begin. I carved away the flat decking on both fuselage halves and added a semblance of an interior. I did n't go all out on this as A/, it's all black and B/, I planned to add a crew (from the old 1/72nd scale Tiger Moth) to fill out the space. With these modifications complete it was necessary to take a long hard look at the kit canopy. The clear plastic is very thick. My copy has two air bubbles trapped within the plastic and the shape is not accurate. To allow a better view inside the modified opening and in an attempt to improve the shape I smash molded a replacement from clear packaging material. A resin master was carved from waste resin pour stub and mounted on stilts so that the plastic sheet would clear the template. The canopy shape of the full sized bird is quite complex so it took a number of tries to get anything resembling the real deal. Equally, it took even more attempts to arrive at a part that fitted the opening adequately. I used scissors to cut each canopy but it was trial and error to get a good enough fit and there was plenty of waste. Finally I ended up with a passable (for me at least) result which is much clearer than the kit part. I've joined the two fuselage halves together now but one task on the horizon is re-shaping the spine of the fuselage aft of the glass house. The kit depicts this as almost triangular yet the real Grosvenor House is more rounded. I have replicated the rounded edge to the canopy so I'll have to fill in the gap. Initial thoughts are two-pack modelling putty like GW "green stuff". Thinking ahead, if anyone has any ideas about re-creating the thin lines of the canopy framing I'd very much like to hear them. The framing is made up of at least two different thicknesses some of which is inside the canopy glazing. In this scale it is very thin Plus, it needs to be red on the outside and black on the inside..... Anyhoo, I've made a start and the canopy framing can be done later. Once the glue has set I think I'll have a look at the profile of the nose. From staring at reference photos it looks as though I might be able to tweek the shape a little to improve the look. Thanks for stopping by. More when I can. Cheers. Julien has posted up a walk-around of the Comet by Mark Mills in the Walkaround section. See it here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234954337-de-havilland-dh88-comet/
  7. Hi folks, Please permit me to share a potentially exciting topic with you all. Here is a link to a 1/32nd scale resin dH Chipmunk that is in development: http://s1375.photobucket.com/user/freemodeller/media/Mobile%20Uploads/_IGP6731_zpse74a2fe2.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0 No news on pricing yet but keep abreast of things on this LSP thread: http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=51822 Plenty of scope for extra detailling if that is one's bent. At this scale it might even be possible for some to approach the level of detail Steve Friday managed with his 1/72nd scale beauty... Cheers.
  8. Hi guys 'n' gals, I thought I'd share this link as I stumbled across it whilst gurgling. http://www.cometracer.co.uk/ If this is old news I apologise but I had n't seen it before. A very worthwhile project and with "Grosvenor House" back in the air it would be astonishing to see two of these beautiful pre-war designs together. Cheers.
  9. Hi guys, Just perusing the Wonderland models site and they detail a 1/72nd scale dH88 Comet for release during 2014. http://www.wonderlandmodels.com/products/airfix-172-de-havilland-dh88-comet-racer-red/ I'm guessing this is another re-release of the old tool kit but can anyone confirm or deny my guess? The blurb does suggest that it was created using CAD so I'm optimistic that it is new tool. {~fingers crossed emoticon~} Cheers.
  10. DeHavilland DH-103 Hornet HpH 1:32 The twin-engine Hornet fighter was designed to Specification F.12/43 and the first prototype flew on 28 July 1944. It entered production at the end of 1944 and deliveries were made to the RAF from February 1945. Four versions were produced for the RAF as: the Hornet F.1 medium-range single-seat fighter with four 20mm cannon and provision for carrying two 450kg bombs or two 455 litre drop tanks; Hornet PR.2 long-range unarmed photographic reconnaissance aircraft; Hornet F.3 long-range single-seat fighter with the increased fuel tankage of the PR.2; and Hornet FR.4 with a vertically mounted camera. More than 200 were built. The Hornet was the fastest twin piston-engined operational combat aircraft in the world while in service and the first aircraft to demonstrate a cartwheel manoeuvre. Operated in Malaya in the early 1950s, the type was finally withdrawn from service in 1955. The Model With the disappointing news of the withdrawal of the 1:32 Westland Whirlwind fighter from their prospective new releases HpH came back with stunning news that they were to release the beautiful DeHavilland DH 103 Hornet instead. Still in 1:32, this news was greeted with great enthusiasm by the modelling world. The kit was rand eleased just before SMW at Telford, even though it is quite an expensive kit, from what I could see it was being snapped up. We at BM are lucky enough to have to opportunity to review one of my all time favourite aircraft, even if it is RAF colours. The kit comes in a very sturdy cardboard box, on top of which are two side views of the two colours schemes provided within the box. On opening the divided interior is full of grey resin, either separate, as per the larger parts or in poly bags for the numerous smaller bits. There are also three sheets of what look like etched nickel, a set of fabric seatbelts, paint masks and quite a large sheet of decals. The instructions are provided on a CD which when printed out are in full colour and very nicely laid out. The diagrams and parts placement are very clear and easy to read, which is a good job really, as there are a lot of parts in this kit. Before building there is a lot of cleaning up to be done. Not only is each part attached to a casting block, but there are large areas of the wings, such as flap and aileron positions, filled in with thin resin, as is the cockpit opening, and wing openings in the fuselage. A large number of the smaller parts are moulded on thin resin sheets from which they need to be cut out. Other than that there is no real excess flash and the moulding does look very nice indeed, with fine panel lines and rivets where required. There has been quite a bit of web chatter about the dimensions of the kit and it is generally agreed that the kit is very nearly spot, being within 0.5mm of what it should be, which, given the variable shrink rates of resin is about as good as it can get. The one fly in the ointment is the nose join with the windscreen and canopy. Even in the box the nose does look ever so slightly screwy and there does appear to be a slight discrepancy in the shape of the nose fairing where it joins the windscreen frame. This is quite an awkward fix, but it can be done as shown in a build thread on BM. That being said, I think if the kit is built out of the box with no alterations it will still look fantastic and impress anyone who views it. This kit will be the subject of a build review on here as soon as I get some time in-between other duties on BM and life in general. Once all the parts have been removed from their moulding blocks and the superfluous resin removed from the wings and fuselage, and had a good wash in warm soapy water you can start construction. The build begins with the wings and the fitting of the front and rear radiator faces, carburetor intake doors, which can be fitted in either the open or closed position depending on the whether the aircraft is flying or on the ground. The front and rear spars are then attached and wings closed up and finished off with the fitting of the clear navigation light lenses. The lower wing roots are then joined together along with the front spars, creating a single piece wing. Before the fuselage is closed up the tail wheel assembly is constructed put of the bay roof, front bulkhead, tailwheel and oleo which is fitted to the forward roof part. The completed assembly is then fitted in position in the right hand fuselage. The two fuselage halves are then glued together and the wing passed through the openings at an angle to slide through the fuselage, then straightened up and glued in position. Construction of the superbly detailed cockpit starts off with the starboard side panel and the fitting of the numerous handles, brackets, trim wheels, switch panel and its separate switches. The port panel is then assembled with the addition of switches, canopy handle and placard. The side consoles are also assembled with resin consoles, PE panels and additional switches. The main instrument panels are also in resin with the with the pre-painted PE instruments fitted to the back. The complex seat brackets are next, attached to the rear bulkhead then fitted with the four seat supports onto which the seat with its separate bag pad, PE seat adjustment handle bracket and resin handle attached. The assembly is completed using the fiddly, but very worthwhile cloth seat belts with their PE fittings. The cockpit floor is the fitted out with several PE items and the rear cockpit bulkhead is attached to the floor. Before the cockpit floor and bulkhead can be fitted into the fuselage the rear cockpit shelf needs to be slid into position. On this shelf there are two resin boxes with their associated PE tops and fittings and the oxygen bottle. With the shelf in position the cockpit floor is then slid into the nose of the fuselage and glued into place. The port and starboard cockpit panels are then attached followed by the side consoles. The rudder pedals and control column/joystick are then assembled and glued into place followed by the instrument panel and centre console, cockpit coaming and a beautifully detailed gunsight made of resin and etched parts along with a clear reflector glass, which is then attached to the top of the instrument panel. Finally the seat and bulkhead assembly is fitted to the attachment points on the cockpits rear bulkhead. At this point the instructions call for the windscreen and canopy to be fitted, but it’s probably best to leave this till a later stage, although there is a set of masks for hte windscreen and canopy should you wish to added them at this stage. Construction then turns to the rear empennage which consists of the two horizontal tail planes, separate elevators and trim tab linkages, along with the tailplane and separate rudder and again an etched trim tab linkage. The rudder and elevators require short lengths of wire to attach them to their respective parts. Wire is also required to attach the horizontal tailplanes to the fuselage with short lengths fitted to the rear of the join and a long length which passes through the fuselage onto which the tailplanes are fitted. With the airframe almost complete the build moves on to the engine nacelles. Each half of the nacelle is fitted with the exhaust stubs, from the inside, the main wheel bay forward bulkhead is then attached and the nacelles closed up. The two propellers consist of the four blades, propeller spinner, and two metal tubes which connect the propeller to the hub. The completed propellers are then fitted to their respective engines and the completed nacelles are attached to the wings, along with the radiator flaps, intakes grilles and the internal ribs for each flap bay and the pitot probe, although this could be left till later to prevent breaking the thing off. The main undercarriage legs are then assembled, each consisting of the main oleo, scissor link, support arm, and when fitted to their respective bays the retraction jacks are attached. The main wheels are made up of the wheel with separate inner and outer hubs and are then attached to the axles of each oleo. To finish off the bays the doors are fitted with their retraction jacks and attached to their respective positions on the nacelles. Each of the inner and outer flaps are assembled using the outer skins, inner hinges and a length of wire. If keeping to the instruction sequence the next operation is the construction of the weapons and drop tanks each of which can be fitted as per the modellers preferences. The 500lb bombs consist of the main body, separate tail and PE tail ring and are attached to the mounting pylon by PE crutch plates and crutches. The rockets are made up form a metal tube, turned metal head, PE tail fins, PE mounting clamps, mountings and supports. The drop tanks consist of the large resin moulding, onto which two etched rings are fitted to the top and side of the nose. They are then attached to their pylons ready for attachment to the wing. Also in this instruction sequence is the attachment of the trim tab linkage to each of the ailerons. The flaps, choice of weapons and ailerons are fitted to their respective positions on each wing. Decals The moderately large decal sheet contains markings for two aircraft, along with enough stencils for one. The options are:- • DH 103 Hornet F.3 of 33 Sqn RAF, Tenga and Butterworth, Malaya, 1951 – 1952 in Dark Sea Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. • DH 103 Hornet F.Mk1 of the Commanding Officer 19 Sqn RAF, Church Fenton, Yorkshire, U.K. July 1950 in Medium Sea Grey over PRU Azure Blue The decals are very nicely printed, in good register and nicely opaque, they are semi-gloss and with little carrier film so they should settle down well with the modellers choice of softener and setting solutions. Conclusion It has been a long time coming and even then it came as a bit of a surprise, but it’s been well worth the wait. The nose and canopy problem will probably defeat all but the best or most fastidious of modellers who will be able to rectify this, but out of the box I imagine that most people looking at a completed model won’t be able to notice. Being mixed media though it will pose some challenges to those who haven’t built in resin and the like before, but if taken steadily and carefully, a superb model can be built. If you love the Hornet you shouldn’t be too disappointed with this release and it will look great in anyones collection. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
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