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Found 4 results

  1. Treated myself to a couple of HobbyBoss easy-build aircraft after my struggles with Revell's Bf-109's. I like these: they're fun, and usually pretty accurate, within limitations. One limitation is that the trailing edges are very, very thick. A lot (a very large lot) of sanding and scraping is needed, and some post-sharpening work to re-scribe control surfaces and replace trim tabs will be needed. Note also the sprue attachment point on the rear fuselage, that would do credit to a short-run resin kit! Another limitation is the cockpit: it has some vestigial details, but it's not even a remote resemblance to the actual aircraft. Another issue is that it's much too shallow. The cockpit floor is basically the upper surface of the nose wheel bay, but the kit version is about 3.5mm above where it ought to be (about 10 inches in reality, so too much even for me to ignore). I drilled down to establish the right depth, then chopped out with a chisel to get rid of the "seat" and flatten out the floor. The instrument coaming position is wrong (it's too short) but that's a problem for a future version of me!
  2. I bought this at the same time I got my He 162. It suffers similar issues (no cockpit, thick trailing edges) but looks like it will be a fun build. In a momentary lapse, I didn't do a full "before" shot of the sprues, but with so few bits there isn't much to see anyway. Here's the cockpit as provided - not really what we want, is it? The Me 163 is a classic design, its tailless airframe was ahead of its time and influenced a number of postwar types. The propulsion system, a bi-fuel rocket has become near-legendary as being lethally dangerous. Although there is some truth in this, the tale seems to have been inflated with time. The Walter rocket motor in the Me 163 used two fuel components: one of these was a mixture of hydrazine in methanol. Both hydrazine and methanol are toxic and flammable, and hydrazine is both carcinogenic and given to explosive decomposition in the presence of a catalyst, but both are reasonably common laboratory reagents, and I've used both over the years without incident. I kicked off the build by hacking out the floor from the upper fuselage to give me the right depth for the cockpit. I thinned out the sides of the cockpit too, to give some sense of the correct width. The other fuel was high-test hydrogen peroxide. Most people are familiar with hydrogen peroxide, as a bleach, tooth whitener or disinfectant. About the strongest you can buy over the counter is "30 volume" which contains about 9% actual peroxide, and is gentle, pretty harmless stuff. High-test peroxide contains 70%+ and is a different beast altogether. With my least favourite tool, the profile gauge, I made a rear bulkhead. High-test peroxide will decompose to oxygen and water, which due to the amount of energy released, comes in the form of superheated steam. This reaction allows high-test peroxide to be used as a monopropellant rocket fuel, the steam and oxygen providing the driving impulse in what is called a "cold" motor - "cold" is a relative term! This was used extensively in RATO systems The roof of the undercarriage bay and the cockpit floor are at the same level, so adding this gives me both in one go, along with the rear bulkhead. If you introduce a fuel source (such as a solution of hydrazine in methanol) into the decomposing hydrogen peroxide stream, the heat generated in that decomposition is sufficient to light off that fuel without any separate ignition source (a hypergolic reaction), and the fuel burns ferociously in the oxygen present to give a tremendously powerful impulse. The seat is scratch-build from metal foil of various thicknesses with wire buckles. On landing, any residual fuel and oxidant can mix uncontrollably, resulting in a catastrophic explosion. Even in the absence of fuel, any residual peroxide can, and will, soak into organic materials and decompose, leaving them saturated with oxygen and prone to violent, spontaneous ignition. The fuel tanks were washed out carefully between fuellings, as the effects of putting the wrong fuel into a tank containing even a small residue of the other can be all too easily imagined. Here's the headrest added from Kneadtite, along with the head and back armour. As I say, I've handled hydrazine a few times and that's been uneventful. However, I only ever used high-test peroxide on one project, long ago, and that was more than enough! My boss at the time referred to it as "tricky stuff". He reserved the term "tricky stuff" for such nasties as diazomethane, aflatoxins, chromic acid and chlorinated dioxins, putting it some very unpleasant company. The instrument panel is a simple flat unit with a small central panel (which I think held the key flight instruments). This was scratched up and handpainted. All that being said, the stories that if the fuel touched the pilot he would simply dissolve are just that - stories. Exposure would leave the pilot at risk of poisoning or severe burns, but not this latter dramatic effect. Here's the seat painted up, plus rudder pedals, side consoles and the like. Time to button up the fuselage! Post war, hypergolic liquid-fuelled rockets were still used, although the oxidant used later was often changed from high-test peroxide to red fuming nitric acid, which ironically probably WOULD dissolve a pilot if he were exposed!
  3. Hi all, Bit late in the day but I've had an absolute mare trying to get photos out of Flickr via my Android tablet..... Here we have the HB easy build Komet. Happen to have two kits as the first purchased 2nd hand was missing the decals, options are Luft and RAF so it made sense in my twisted little mind to buy another. Build started at 11pm uk time on sunday so it'll be the 24 hour option I'm aiming for.... World clock set to GMT so deadline is 11pm BST or 10pm GMT. On with the builds. They were quickly assembled as promised by HB and took about an hour each. One is in flying mode as part of the undercarraige was eaten by the shed monster, as the cockpit is too shallow for a pilot I've had to black out the glazing. Didn't fancy the Luftwaffe scheme provided so went for something a little more, er, distinctive. In this case, courtesy of Peugeot Cherry Red... Flew just the once in that colour scheme according to the pilot The other one is more conventional, although it will have a yellow underside, first time I've attempted mottling freehand with an airbrush, This was the state of play at 02:35 BST on Monday. Should make the finish, family and Flickr permitting...
  4. Nothing special here, really, just wanting to participate! My Eduard 1/144 FW-190 started to annoy me and, after a visit to Hyperscale, I realized I should've completely assembled it before priming instead of trying to paint some parts while still on the sprue. Oh well. This build is the first one I'll have completed after 20+ years away. It's not perfect by any means. Nor is the kit. It's a Hobby Boss "Easy Assembly" so it's not really a "serious" kit. That's fine by me because all I'm doing is getting my basic skills back and learning how to do things I'd never done as a kid (like filling gaps). It went together very easily, and dry fit together pretty well. In hindsight, I should not have painted the nose gear before assembly, since I'll probably just have to repaint it after priming and painting, but it's part of the cockpit assembly so I ended up painting it. Cockpit was brush-painted with Tamiya acrylics and a Vallejo umber wash, so you're not missing anything - and there is literally no cockpit detail. A seat, a control stick, and a blank "instrument panel" that I painted gloss black. No raised detail, no decal for gauges. Nothing. I got overzealous on some parts, particularly one of the tailplanes, and sanded the detail right off it (see Pic #2). Oh well. That's why I'm starting on a cheap kit! Same with scribing. It's just a little too small for my Trumpeter scriber, I think, and I ended up leaving the panel line in some places and scribing the plastic. Guess I'll touch with thinned Tamiya Basic Putty and try to scrape off any excess with a #11 blade instead of sanding. This baby, unsurprisingly, is an awful tail-sitter. I'm gonna try coating some fishing weights in PVA glue and rolling them into the nose and hopefully they'll stay put after a couple hours in the same position. The instructions have some pin and tube assembly fitting into the back of the propeller spinner so it can spin after construction, but it's too loose and sloppy. I'm just gonna tack it in place with CA and then run Extra Thin around the rest of it. Pointers and constructive criticism are much appreciate, as like I say, I'm just trying to rebuild my basic skill set after a couple decades! Cheers, lads. Gonna try to finish filling, do more sanding, and try rescribing with a template tomorrow.
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