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Found 7 results

  1. When Vought designed their first jet fighter, a simple design with straight wings which first flew in October 1946, they must have thought that the only problems would be those associated with the new method of propulsion. In fact almost everything went wrong. Performance, particularly on take-off, with the J34 was abysmal and led to it being fitted with an afterburner which then required a redesign of the rear fuselage and, for the production version a longer front fuselage. There were many aerodynamic problems which required wing TE fillets, tail LE fillets and no less than 6 different versions of the tail. It was a most undistinguished a/c but I felt that I ought to have one in my collection of early jets. What follows is a warning that persons of a faint hearted or gentle disposition should not try this at home! I think that the model was almost as much trouble as the original a/c. I wanted one in the original configuration but none was available. Then Admiral brought out a kit of the ‘early’ F6U-1 which supposedly could be built as one of the prototypes which had the afterburner and final tail assembly. I made a start on it but ran into several problems. The fuselage halves were a very bad fit and required inserts to keep them aligned as one would for a vacform. There was trouble getting the fuselage and wings aligned but it all came to a halt when it came to assembling the tail and finlets. The tailplanes were warped and unevenly moulded so it seemed that there was little chance of a satisfactory outcome so it ended up on the shelf of doom. A contributing factor was the announcement by Prop & Jet that a model of the original version was in the works so it seemed sensible to wait for that as I have a very high regard for their products. Alas the Prop & Jet version never appeared and an email to them elicited the information that work on it had stopped due to the economic situation in Russia so thoughts turned to restarting mine. However reading one of Tommy Thomason’s Tailhook Topics blogs revealed that the kit was in error in that the XF6U-1 version had the longer front fuselage, whereas the actual a/c had the original (shorter) version so I decided to try to use the kit to build a model of the first prototype.First task was to build a new back end and one thing was immediately apparent. There appeared to be no information about its shape and the thrustline obviously differed between the prototype and afterburning versions. There was only one thing to do and that was to consult the Oracle – Tommy Thomason (aka Tailspin Turtle). He provided much of the information that made this project possible and deserves a round of applause. The back end was made from planking over formers and sanded to shape with only a side view as a guide. The rather complex shape came out naturally as I worked it into what looked like a streamlined form. The only real problem was finding the shape of the underside of the tail cone as there were no clear photos of it. I settled for a flat ‘V’ section which gave the right shape where it met the jet exhaust. For the jetpipe the back end was built around a tube into which was inserted another section of tube which carried the bullet fairing which can just be seen in some photos. The front end was shortened by cutting out a section just ahead of the wing. A new canopy was made to match the smaller one fitted to the prototype. When fitting the canopy it became apparent that the two halves of the fuselage had different cross sections where the front of the canopy sat and this had to be rectified with Milliput. The gun ports were drilled out. The dorsal fin was removed and the fin made smaller and reshaped. The fillets where the wing trailing edge met the fuselage were removed. The intakes were tidied up and boundary layer off takes fitted. The strakes at the leading edge of the tailplane were removed and some sanding done to remove the uneven moulding of the parts. Just when I thought that everything had been sorted out I discovered a couple of other problems. The u/c legs were far too long. I think that they had been made to match the fully extended version and the decals were not right for my version as they had the red bars. Infuriatingly the instructions showed a version with the red bars as an optional extra. Fortunately Hannants had a suitable set. The model was finished using Humbrol Authentic Sea Blue Gloss. I don’t know how old it was but it went on without trouble. Panel lines, except for the tail, are muted because the actual a/c had a very smooth finish due to the method of construction. It used 'Metalite' - two sheets of aluminium sandwiching a balsa core. As usual - comments, criticism and extra information welcome John
  2. My father built model airplanes and as a little boy I was inspired to build them too. I do remember that he was against building jets because, in his mind, they were all about creating havoc, death, etc...nothing beautiful about them, he felt, nothing romantic. So be it. I mean, what have any military aircraft been about? That was his philosophy and I must admit it poisoned me ever since. No longer! So I have built another jet, my 4th so far and certainly not my last. I have had more fun with these jets than a barrel full of monkeys and I cannot wait for the NATO/Warsaw Pact GB this summer... This is OOB completely. I used Vallejo Air Chrome for the overall colour and I think it works better that the aluminum for this. Very little pin washing since I imagine these birds were kept pretty clean while on duty in Thornaby. The decals were excellent and sucked down well with some softener and fix. It is a tail-sitter so I crammed as much lead as I could in the nose and it still sat. I mashed up some more into little bits and tossed them in the cockpit where they promptly disappeared. That did it. About 3 grams all told. I could have puttied a little more on the booms and the wingtips, but I didn't. Next time I will. There was already a fair amount of filling needed along the wing roots and the cockpit nacelle. I have a little over a week before the next GB begins. I think I can squeeze in another build before the Nieuport 10's come out... I present Revell's DH. Vampire F.3 in 1/72nd scale, 608 Squadron, Thornaby, 1951. --John
  3. Here's another two decade-old build, restored somewhat and improved with the addition of Tasman Models drop tanks. An F.20 of 771 NAS at RNAS Ford in the early 1950s.
  4. Parns

    Sea Vampire prototype, FAAM

    The aircraft in which 'Winkle' Brown made the first landing of a pure jet aircraft aboard a carrier.
  5. Two were built and the first one flew in December 1948. Rather similar to the De Havilland Swallow they were designed to investigate transonic flight. Both survived, the first is at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the second is in storage at the USAF Museum. Not a bad little kit. I resisted the urge to add any extras. It really should have had boundary layer splitters in the intake and perhaps more could have been done with the wheel wells and gear doors. Overall it seems about the right size and shape. I'm not too convinced about the canopy size and shape and the nose profile but it looks OK. Stars and bars came from a search through the stash to find some I would not need. USAF and 6676 were home-made. Colour? An interesting question. When with NACA it was white but I wanted to represent the first prototype at first flight stage. Airmodel reckoned it was orange with black stripes but I could find nothing to justify this. Someone on ARC reckoned it was light gray. Looking at pictures gave me the impression that there was a difference in colour between the white of the insignia and the colour of the fuselage so I went with the light gray and used Xtracolor ADC grey. Maybe I should have used a lighter grey for the paint job but it will do until someone comes up with a definitive answer. Build details here - non-injected group build http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234985829-northrop-x-4-airmodel-172/ It was quite a tiny thing - seen here with a Meteor 4 for comparison As usual any comments or extra information welcome John
  6. erewhon1872

    Hello from Sunny Stockport

    Hi, my name is Pete and I'm returning to a hobby I last did when kits came with cardboard headers with stapled plastic bags attached, so obviously more than a couple of years and as a hobby it has changed out of all recognition. Have managed only three builds so far so need to get cracking as there's only one of them I'm really happy with, so rather than the displaying my latest forum I think I'll be more asking question on the 'how to' forums! All the best, Pete
  7. Here's another recent build, the Revell Ho229 (not Go229 as mislabelled on the packaging). More or less straight from the box, but with the inaccurate side panels removed from the cockpit bathtub, the voids underneath the exhausts filled and the Airwaves and Eduard photo etch sets employed to add detail. The guns weren't really visible after assembly, whereas the engines most certainly are. Curious how Revell decided to represent parts that were not apparent, but not those that were. Hope you like it.