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Hook down, wheels up, ready to land! A small tribute to the late Captain Eric Winkle Brown RN and his exploits landing Sea Vampires wheels up on a rubber flexible aircraft carrier deck. Its an old FROG Vampire, with added hook and fairing, plus lowered flaps. I considered adding the missing vanes in the intake, but decided life is too short! The FROG kit is a lot better than my memory suggested with remarkably good fit in most places, plus I managed to get the tail booms reasonably straight and square, despite my hacking away half their supports for the lowered flaps. Canopy fit was also a little suspect, but I think I got away with it !!! FredT
First off, I was coerced into this build. It was not my fault and I didn't want to start it just yet. I realize I have too many projects going at once and it would be nice to complete one or two. But this is all Nigel's fault. The creator of AA and past purveyor of Antics is entirely to blame. I was innocently perusing some threads and came across his build of the 1/48 Dragon Me 163 Komet. In his thread, he stated he had purchased after market goodies that included a resin rocket engine. Since it was so pretty, it needed to be displayed and he innocently asked if anyone had any ideas about an engine stand for this plane. What a ploy!!! I had the 1/32 Meng kit of the Me-163B Komet in the stash and had been avoiding it because it was so tempting to build. I also knew the kit had display stands for the rocket engine and tail assembly. So, being the good-natured soul I am, I offered to look in the kit to see how the stands were portrayed to help him out. He further sucked me into his web by wondering about the detail of the rocket engine. So now, I am looking through the kit instructions for details about the stands and the engine build. I find both. My plan was to send him copies of the appropriate instruction pages and then photos of the kit parts regarding the stands and engine so he can use them to detail his kit. What a trap. Here I am removing parts from the sprue for him and drooling over the detail in this kit. The stands were very simple parts wise and I thought why not build them up and take pictures of the completed assembly. As I was doing that, I noticed some comments in his thread about the detail of the rocket engine and how some of the PE parts were not just cutting it. I then started removing engine parts and . . . yeah, I'm hooked on this kit. So this build will begin with the stands and the rocket engine. Please bear with me, as this build will start strangely with the support stands. They consists of 5 parts creating 2 stands. One stand is to support the rocket engine as it is exposed from the end of the aircraft. The other stand is to support the tail structure that is removed to expose the engine. The stand supporting the tail assembly is complete, no assembly. (Yea, no work except for painting.) The stand for the tail assembly consists of 4 parts and is very simple to piece together. The way Meng represents the stand makes me think they were made out of wood. So, the toughest part of the stands will be to represent the wood grain. Or, I can just decide they were painted and move on! Next up, assembly of the rocket engine. Upon examining the parts on the sprue, you have to wonder if you can remove some of them because they are so delicate. The detail is just superb. I started doing sub-assemblies for the rocket engine tailpipe, the rocket engine turbine and the T-stoff tank. The only real problem I ran into was the T-stoff tank. The join of the two halves of the tank is not good; either my fault or design of the kit. Normally, I just fix the join as filler and putty are my constant companion, but in this case, that will be difficult because of all the matching straps and tank machinings. I can’t really think of a way to fix it. Hopefully, most of it will be hidden and not seen. All the engine parts were then given their base colors. While everything dries, I will hang my head in shame I was so tricked into starting this build. It is Nigel’s fault!! As always, all comments are welcome.