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Found 34 results

  1. DeHavilland Sea Vixen FAW2 Trumpeter 1:48 The DeHavilland Sea Vixen was a twin boomed fight designed for use by the Fleet Air Arm in the 1960’s. It was the first British twin seat aircraft that could achieve supersonic speed, although not in level flight. While it was a great improvement over the previous FAA aircraft, it could be difficult to handle and many were lost in crashes during its operational history. The Royal Navy Historic Flight current has the only flight worthy example, although this too had an accident not long ago where its hydraulic system failed and it had to be landed on its belly at RNAS Yeovilton. This caused considerable damage to the underside of the fuselage. Hopefully we will see its wonderful shape in the air again in the future. The Model With the Airfix 1/48 kit now out of production and getting harder to find, modellers may be pleased to see Trumpeter releasing this kit, but be careful what you wish for. I’ve this kit a little while now, and thought it necessary to do a fair bit of research before writing this review as Trumpeter have a reputation for grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory when it comes to British aircraft types. First of all let me say that the moulding is up to the standards we expect from a modern kit, with fine panel lines, recessed and domed rivets where they thought they should be. I say this as there are some spurious panels and fastenings over the surface of the kit. On the wide upper surface of the fuselage some panels aren’t the right shape, and most of those which are fitted with quick release clips in real life don’t have these represented on the model, but more like screw fasteners. Some of the prominent vents don’t appear wide enough, plus the hot air duct around the cockpit is not wide enough. The same can be said for the underside, with none of the panels matching photos of the real aircraft, plus the sides of the airbrake bay at the trailing edge are not quite correct. The panels on the booms are either completely missing, the wrong size or have the wrong fastenings, and the raised rear sections of the booms, where they meet the tailplane aren’t prominent enough, in fact they look like they are part of the boom rather that an addition, with just a panel line where it’s meant to be. The tails are at least accurate in shape, but again the access panels are mostly the wrong shape, size and position, plus the panels on top of the tails are only represented as panel lines of the wrong shape and no fasteners. This goes for the insides as well as the outsides. While the intakes look pretty good, as do the exhausts and nose cone there is something not quite right with the nose section, some areas are too curved while others not curved enough, making other parts look wrong, particularly the navigators hatch, which is then correspondingly too narrow. Whilst in the nose area the cockpits are, shall we say, interesting. They don’t seem to match photos at all, other than general appearance. The cockpits of the Sea Vixen is cramped and very busy, you just don’t get this feeling with the kit example, but I’m sure the aftermarket companies will come to the rescue, even if you can’t see much once installed, there are prominent handles and fittings that are visible with the canopies open. Oh, and don’t get me started with the seats, they are awful and don’t resemble any seat I know and/or have worked on. Moving onto the undercarriage, while the legs are a little simplified they do at least seem to match the real thing. As for the bays, there is some nice detailing within on the roof and sidewalls, as well as the undercarriage doors, and Trumpeter do come close to achieving what’s in the real bays and doors, but they’re still not quite right. The interior of the airbrake bay is better, but appears a little too deep and the equipment not quite in the right place or the right shape even. It’s the same story with the pylons, in that they have an ok shape, although not perfect, but with the spurious panels. The kit comes with four missiles, two Red Top, with clear seeker heads and two Firestreak, with protective covers, why they did this is a mystery as the FAW 2 was generally armed with Red Top, whereas the Firestreak was used mostly by the FAW1, but not worry, that’s not the biggest problem with them, the main wings are of each missile wrong in shape and design. The drop tanks look ok though, if a little skinny. For the sake of completeness I will go through the build process as with my usual reviews. The build begins with the assembly of the nose wheel bay, which is made up from three parts into which the four part undercarriage leg and wheel is attached. The intakes are also assembled, with the single piece intakes being fitted with three piece trunks and two etched parts. The main undercarriage bays are also multi part, with the sidewalls being glued to the roof section. The nose bay, main bays, intakes and the arrester hook bay rear bulkhead are glued into the lower section of the fuselage, followed by the upper fuselage section being glued to the lower. Each of the two ejection seats are made up from five parts, then glued into the cockpit tub, which is then fitted with the longitudinal framework, pilots rudder pedals, joystick and instrument panel, followed by the navigators instrument panel and radar stick. The completed tub is then glued into the upper nose section, along with the navigators side window. The two booms are now assembled, each of two halves. The two piece horizontal tailplane is the glued between the two tails and the whole assembly glued to the fuselage/inner wing assembly, although it might be better to glue the booms in place before adding the horizontal section to keep everything aligned. The upper nose section/cockpit assembly is also glued into position. The outer wing panels, whilst separate are not given the option to be posed in the folded position. Each is made up of upper and lower sections and fitted with the two piece ailerons, PE wing fence, and clear navigation lights before being attached to the fuselage assembly, along with the cockpit HUD, canopy, windscreen, and two piece navigators hatch. The main undercarriage legs are made up of upper and lower sections, to which the two piece wheels are attached before the assembly is glued into position, along with their respective doors. The jet pipes/exhaust are fitted with the rear face of the engines before being slid into the aperture in the fuselage. The separate nosecone, in-flight refuelling boom, front and rear airbrake bay bulkheads, and nosewheel bay doors are then fitted as are the large air-scoops adjacent to the airbrake bay. The missiles and drop tanks are assembled and attached to their respective pylons. They are then glued into their respective positions. The three piece airbrake is then glued into place, as is the three piece arrester hook several aerials and the two pitot probes completing the build. Decals The decal sheet provides markings for the three aircraft. They are very nicely printed, with no sign of carrier film, in good register and nicely opaque. Unfortunately the colour schemes indicated on the painting guide, and thus the colours of the decals, particularly the underside serials are wrong. The problems are mainly due to the undersides being depicted as grey, rather than white, which, given that the provided serials are white and not their correct black, it’s all a bit of a mess. The callouts for the upper-sides are for extra dark sea grey and dark grey, where in fact they were only ever painted in extra dark see grey over white. The options are:- Sea Vixen FAW2, 127/E XJ565 of 890 NAS. Sea Vixen FAW2, 464/C, XN654 of 893 NAS, HMS Centaur, circa 1964 Sea Vixen FAW2, 707/VL, XN647 of 766 NAS, RNAS Yeovilton, circa 1969 Conclusion The Sea Vixen is a very distinctive and surprisingly large aircraft which deserves to be well kitted. Unfortunately, no matter how beautifully moulded the parts are, or how fine the detail if it doesn’t look right then let alone be accurate it does leave the modeller a little flat. I’m sure it will still sell well, and will look the part in a collection viewed from about three feet, but, in my opinion it just doesn’t look right. I’m sure the Sea Vixen experts will have their own opinion, I have only laid out what I think is wrong with the kit. Review sample courtesy o UK Distributors for
  2. Trumpeter is to release in 2017-2018 a new tool 1/48th de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen FAW.2 - ref. 05808 Source: https://www.facebook.com/TrumpeterModel/photos/pcb.718760784949184/718760511615878/?type=3&theater V.P.
  3. Asking for suggestions on references similar in scope to Daco or Reid publishing referances on the Meteor, Venom, Sea Venom and Sea Vixen. Thanks.
  4. This is my High Planes Sea Vixen FAW1 - I have to admit this model has sat on the shelf of doom for several years in an almost completed state with even some decals applied - I was inspired by the excellent posts of Sea Vixens and Buccaneers on BM to have another look at it and finally complete it. The High Planes kit is a limited run kit and can form the basis of a nice model with some work. I utilised some Airwaves Sea Vixen etches adapted to build up some cockpit detail for observer & pilot plus their Airbrake & ladder etch. Master pitot tubes & refuelling probe tip Also push moulded a new canopy as I stuffed up the vac form one in the kit scratch built arrester hook in down position as the model is a tail sitter Model Alliance decal sheet MA-72121 for the 890 Squadron markings I also used Copper foil tape for the windscreen framing & part of the canopy framing – it is a black backed self adhesive tape easily cut in to strips and bedded down with a tooth pick Copper foil tape on sliding canopy below After looking at the above photographs I decided the red don't walk markings were a bit too subdued so I traced over the lines with an Artline plastic tipped red pen & sprayed with Testors clear lacquer to seal it After completing the High Planes Sea Vixen FAW1 I unpacked my old Frog Sea Vixen FAW2 from its storage box - after seeing a photo of a Sea Vixen in this pose I thought I would try mounting the Frog Vixen in the same dramatic way - this was done by drilling into the wingtip and inserting brass rod to support the model - the underside was masked off and given a fresh coat of white as the original finish had yellowed over the years since first built - decals from the spares box & serials home printed - quite pleased how it looks from this angle and it has given an old model a new life - she is now back in the display case Now back to the Buccaneer .
  5. Denford

    Frog Sea Vixen

    I recently 'rescued' my part built Frog Sea Vixen from my shelf of doom. I understand it's most obvious fault is the 'too short' forward fuselage. As I've yet to add the radome (suitably counterweighted) I would hope to correct this by adding a suitable spacer. Could anyone advise how much this should be and also any corresponding increase in diameter of the rear part of the radome. Bring on the putty.
  6. I have reached the stage with Ark Royal where there is a lot of sitting around waiting for layers of paint to dry fully, so it's high time (as Fritag and others have reminded me...) that I return to the world of flying machines. So here we are: Airfoil 1/48 Vixen, with Ally Cat resin conversion to FAW1, Quickboost small intakes, Heritage seamless big intake, Eduard PE and a donation from Madmusky, a fellow Britmodeller, of 4 Firestreaks which he didn't need for a Lightning build. Those of you who are familiar with this kit will see that I have already taken the plunge and cut the top half of the original cockpit off, ready for its resin replacement. (Original visible far top left, and the replacement on the right of the lamp.) This to be built as an aircraft that my next door neighbour flew as a Sub Lieutenant first tourist on 890NAS in the early 60s, and to be given to him for his 75th birthday later this year. Besides, I think the Mark 1 Vixen was a superb-looking aircraft, even if the Red Tops and extra fuel made the Mark 2 a more potent machine in real life; it just looks so much better without the sticky-out bits on top of the wing. I haven't quite decided how to pose it yet, but the current favourite is just catching an arrester wire, with everything dangling / hanging out. This will be the first time I have painted a figure in around 40 years, and that's the bit that is currently giving me the most worry! Welcome aboard; stand clear of intakes, jet pipes and exhausts - start the Vixen.
  7. F-32

    Duxford May Show

    Finally found the time to clean up my Duxford May Show shots. More here if you want to see them: https://www.hanger51.org/airshows/2017/duxford-may-airshow/ No apologies for the number of Foxy shots. Rapide at rest by tony_inkster, on Flickr P-51 Frankie by tony_inkster, on Flickr Grosvenor House by tony_inkster, on Flickr The Blades by tony_inkster, on Flickr Catalina by tony_inkster, on Flickr AAC Apache Demo by tony_inkster, on Flickr JP & Strikemaster by tony_inkster, on Flickr V-1 Doodle Bug by tony_inkster, on Flickr Winding her up by tony_inkster, on Flickr Foxy dirty pass by tony_inkster, on Flickr Foxy's first pass by tony_inkster, on Flickr Foxy G by tony_inkster, on Flickr Top side pass by tony_inkster, on Flickr
  8. I'm going to record here my progress on a long-term triple build. It's quite likely that I'll deviate away from time to time to build something else (and I have a Sherman to build for the Great Patriotic War GB), so this may take a while to finish. I have always found De Havilland aircraft to be rather attractive designs, and their distinctive twin-boom jet designs also grabbed my attention when I was a kid. One of the first kits I bought as an adult was the Airfix 1/48 Sea Vixen. I realised when I got home just how big the finished article would be, and it entered the stash as "one for the future". Move on a few years and Airfix released their new tool 1/72 Vampire trainer. I resisted the kit as I didn't particularly like the included schemes and didn't find an aftermarket decal sheet justifiable, but Home Bargains' recent cheap sale of what I assume were Airfix overstocks meant that two kits entered my stash. Crisp's terrific and very educational Sea Vixen FAW.1 build (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973210-de-havilland-sea-vixen-faw1-890nas-hms-ark-royal-1963-4/) was the final straw catalyst. No more excuses! But first, let's build something a bit smaller. You know, for twin boom practice... None of these are going to be completely OOB, but neither am I exactly going to town on the aftermarket. I'll be doing both Vampires in schemes from the Xtradecal overseas operators sheet #2. One will definitely be in the sand/brown Chilean camo scheme: The other I think will probably be in the Lebanese scheme, though I could easily be tempted by the Swiss and Aussie options on the sheet (or I may just wimp out at the prospect of the red and yellow bands required). I've picked up a couple of the Pavla ejection seats to go in that one; I suspect anything else in the cockpit will be invisible at this scale. Of course, they'll both be dwarfed by their big FAA sister. Again, she won't be OOB as I have some Eduard etch for the interior, and I've invested in a nice new pot of EDSG. Can't wait to brush paint all of that
  9. Sea Vixen FAW(TT).2 XS587, At Gatwick Aviation Museum, pics mine.
  10. Here we have the Airfix Sea Vixen, which took me two days over 3 months to complete (not that I was working on it every day though!) Having 3 of these in the stash, I had this idea to build them all in different poses; one parked up with wings folded, one coming in to land, and one in flight mode with everything up and clean. So this is the first one ticked off! I had originally intended to do a nice colourful drone or target tug, but with the intention of building the radar I didn't know if either of these would actually have one fitted, so I elected for a more conservative colour. Decals were from a Model Alliance sheet. The other major catalyst was an abundance of reference material online, so opening up engine and boom panels was quite easy. So apart from the kit, I utilised a Pavla cockpit set and speed brake, Aires wheel bays, Eduard etched interiors, flap bays, ladders and masks, Master wing probes, and some Flightpath FAA chocks. Paints were by Humbrol, Xtracolor and automotive sprays, sealed with Klear floor polish. Everything else I added from plastic card, strip, rod, tube, solder wire. The wing folds had pipes, cables and bits added to them, even the tail hook bay I put hydraulic tanks in though you can't see them!The nose cone I was going to model folded right back but I left it too late when I tackled it and realised only after I'd painted the main fuselage that I'd have to cut a notch out of the starboard side to replicate this properly. I didn't fancy that so it's just representative more than accurate. I also initially used a vacform canopy but didn't like my effort of putting the white paint on so I used the kit version (the separate frame is easier to spray before attaching the glass!). The other thing I did was having thinned the plastic down on the removed engine panels, I was so eager to finish the decalling I put the rest of the "for sale" marking on, then only realised I had forgotten to put the remaining red No Step lines on first. So I did those the hard way - lay over the For Sale paint, and trim around the overlapping red areas while the decal was still wet. As ever, my biggest problem was deciding which pics looked best so please excuse the selection : some with a Coastal carrier base, some against blue paper background, and some on a shelf. As usual, Bruce appears in some for scale My next project might be the prone pilot Meteor F.8, which I've had in the stash for a while, but I want to find some reference pics of Meteor 8's with fuselage panels removed so I can go "one step behind" like I did with this. Sadly these are being elusive at the mo! EDIT: this is a linky to the build log photos, hope it works https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1366255540058006.1073741840.100000207207287&type=1&l=d6499d4bbf
  11. I've recently purchased an MPM Sea Vixen for a good price. However, I've started to wonder if the Cyber Hobby kit might have been a better buy as it seems to have a lot more aftermarket accessories. Does anyone know if either the Pavla or Quickboost nose-cones are a good fit for the MPM kit? Both were designed for the Cyber Hobby kit. Links below. Pavla nose. https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/PAVU72133 Quickboost nose. https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/QB72379 Has anyone used the Alley Cat resin parts before? The general upgrade kit looks good, but I'm not sure what I'm looking at in the the Radar Set; it looks like this set was designed to be displayed with the nose swung open? General upgrade https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/AC72022C Radar set https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/AC72023C Thanks for any help.
  12. The title says it all really. As with my earlier Sea King post here I wanted to check my own notes and (limited) understanding against the collective wisdom of BMers before proceeding. I want to convert the 1/72 Frog Faw.2 Vixen back to the earlier Faw.1 variant if I can. Now I know there are some old resin sets from The Final Touch and Maintrack floating around for this scale, but these seem few and far between, so if I were to scratch-convert myself would I be right in thinking that the main areas needing modification are: 1. Airframe: the booms need to be shorter over the wings, the looker's hatch needs to be changed and made flush with the fuselage, plus some minor changes to undercarriage doors? 2. Driver's canopy. Was this the same for both variants? From Perdu's recent piece of Wasp-casting inspiration I'd perhaps try fabricating a Milliiput master to resin-cast from for the booms - it's the pilot's canopy that I'm confused about this stage. Thanks, as ever for reading, Tony
  13. Just finished my 1/48 Sea Vixen FAW.1, using the Alley Cat conversion of course, as XJ488 of the RN Test Squadron at Boscombe Down. This was a real pleasure to build, the conversion works a treat, just requires a bit of caution when cutting the original kit parts. Didn't go to town with much detailing although I did use the Aires cockpit and Master pitots. If you want to see it done properly, check out Ex-FAAWAFU's WIP thread, I'm in awe of his work! On to the photos...
  14. Hi mates, For my next project I've decided to build the rather unruly MPM/Xtrakit 1:72 Sea Vixen. After all of the bad reviews and general harassment this kit has received, one might be tempted to ask: Has Uncle Navy Bird lost the last tendrils of his sanity? Has he no other plastic to glue? Well, I can state rather emphatically why I'm building this kit: Because it is there. So, much like the earnest explorer planning his assault on Everest, we must first take stock of our raw materials (and in the case of this kit we do mean raw): In addition to the kit, the keen observer will notice a beautiful Model Alliance sheet of transfers, some Eduard painted photoetch, and a Pavla nose cone replacement, given away by its slightly darker shade of grey. The especially keen observer will notice the pinion tanks for the FAW.2 Sea Vixen, while the kit is clearly marked FAW.1. The boom extensions are required since I wish to replicate this rather colourful version, XS587, during her days as a ... I don't know, target tug perhaps (methinks that's what TT stands for)? Here is the decal sheet instructions for this scheme: Lovely, isn't she? Thanks to a very generous fellow Britmodeller who sent me the boom extensions, it looks like we have enough to start with. (I've already determined that the black stripes on the bottom of the fuselage are shown at the wrong angle on the artwork, so we'll correct that if we live long enough to get to the painting stage. More on that later.) I should also note that I have a brand new tube of putty, just waiting to be opened when I start assembly. It's a big tube (0.45kg), but it's a big job. Since the initial photography session, I've acquired the FAA Models resin correction kit which will help greatly on the hot end of this bird. Another interesting aspect of this kit is that includes its own resin aftermarket parts, including the two ejection seats. The odd part of this is that the bang seats are for dwarfs. What scale are these things? The pilot wouldn't be able to see over the instrument panel! Here we see the kit seats on the left, a pair of seats from PJ Productions in the center, and two seats left over from a CMR kit on the right. They're all supposed to be 1:72 scale Martin Baker Mark 4 seats (different versions), but only the CMR seats look the correct size. I also have the seats that came with the FAA set, and they're the same size as the PJ seats. Such decisions. Reminds me of the old line that when a man has one watch, he knows what time it is. When he has two, he's never quite sure. So that's my plan. You can help me by pointing out the known inaccuracies of the kit - no wait, that will take down Mike's servers. So don't do that, just talk me out of this!! Cheers, Bill
  15. Fancy building some FAA stuff in the future, I really like the aircraft that the RN had in the days of proper carriers. I know a lot about the Phantom FG.1's and Buccaneer S.1 & S.2. The Sea Vixen is going to be a FAW.2 just because the kit is there and I am waiting for a 1/48 Gannet of any descripton... My real curiosity is what kind of Wessex was used for cat take off duty? What is the best 1/48 kit, Italeri? Thanks.
  16. I've been meaning to visit this museum for years and finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago. Small, but perfectly formed, the highlight is of course the three Mosquito aircraft, and for me the opportunity of sitting in a Sea Vixen, thus fulfilling a boyhood dream! More here if you're interested: http://www.hanger51.org/aircraft-museums/uk-museums-collections/de-havilland-aircraft-museum/ IMG_8611 copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8615_copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8614 copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8610_copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8597 copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8588_copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8577_copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8571 copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr IMG_8619_copy by tony_inkster, on Flickr
  17. De Havilland Aircraft heritage centre XJ565 DH110 Sea Vixen FAW.2 All pics mine Julien
  18. As I said right at the start of this GB, Imma gonna do the Gnat and this bad girl. <insert obligatory box shot, c/w parts and aftermarket> There's a Pavla nose cone, Master metal pitots (because they were cheap) and a new pilot's seat from High Planes - the observer gets to sit on the undersized seat as supplied by Mr Cyber-Hobby (because I'm cheap). I'll use the kit decals, probably the one with the shark's mouth, although that may be subject to change. I'm heading out to work for at least 7 days, so I was casting around for something to do to keep my modelling mojo motoring, and decided that this was a good candidate, seeing as everything I'm currently doing for GBs is pretty well at the stage of not being portable. I'm hoping to get this thing's internals done and the the whole airframe ready for paint before I get back, then I can have a big airbrush session and cover everything in jam. Seeing as I'll be modelling in a small room that's not mine, I've decided to do this'un in acrylics instead of enamels - not so much for the smell, as thinner doesn't overly worry me, but for the ease of cleaning brushes and mopping up any spills that may happen; management get shirty if we make a mess of the accommodations. I'll do the whole thing in acrylics I think, even the outside, just to keep it easy. As I'm using acrylics, I'll throw a coat of rattle can primer over the whole sprue before I start, to help the paint stick a bit better. Hopefully I'll have time to do that and let it dry before I hit the road tomorrow... I've got the sprues washed and have made a short list of the paints I need to pick up on my way out of town, so here's hoping I can make it through 12 hr days with a bit of energy left over! Photos as progress progresses.
  19. http://www.mpmkits.net/2016/02/novinky-special-hobby-anoncovane-na.html The Vixen is news to me.
  20. Another of the "new" AIRFIX range of aircraft - an aircraft that was much in demand, and what a big beast she is. The current Historic Flight Vixen is an impressive sight to see at the Air Shows, but equally sobering is the number of Vixen aircrew lying in graves at St Barts church in Yeovilton. (There is even an impressive memorial there placed by the actress Kristen Scott Thomas - her father was killed flying Vixens in the 60's - I believe her mother remarried another vixen pilot, subsequently killed on F-4s in the 70's). Working at yeovilton a few years ago there was still an old Vixen "Looker" working in uniform - in discussion he suggested that one of the reasons for the "side-by-side" arrangement for the Observer was a hang up from the de havilland design team still flushed with that arrangement on their Mosquito. With the requirement to sit "down in the coalhole" it took some courage (and faith!) in your driver to get it right. i understand that at one point in the 60's young Midshipmen were sometimes taken off training on Frigates & destroyers and sent on the Observers course just to make the numbers up for replacements! markings are for 890 NAS - the "witch on the Broom" is taken from the pub on the road to Yeovil - that is still there today. what? another kit missing it's Pitot tube.......there's a theme building here!
  21. As promised on one of the Sea Vixen builds, it has inspired my first real WIP topic here. With this beautiful beast: Hope to get some work on this done and posted by tomorrow. Cheers Harrison
  22. Hi mates! Here is my latest project, the very colourful and ever popular de Havilland Sea Vixen XS587, rendered in glorious Braille Scale. I thought I would make it a bit easier to digest the project by presenting an "Executive Summary" as follows: Project: de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW.2 (TT) Kit: MPM Sea Vixen FAW.1 Kit No. 72545 (FAW.2 parts from Kit No. 72003) Scale: 1:72 (God’s Own Scale) Decals: Model Alliance (RIP) Sheet No. MA-72197 XS587 RAE Llanbedr Resin: FAA Models Set No. 72004 (engine face plate, tail boom plugs, tail cone, exhaust, arresting hook) Resin: Pavla Set No.U72-133 (nose cone) Resin: PJ Productions Set No. 721208 Martin Baker Mk 4 ejection seats Photoetch: Eduard Interior Set No. SS446 Paint: Testors Model Master No. 2720 Classic White, No. 2118 Deep Yellow, No. 1103 Red, No. 1139 Semi-Gloss Black, Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black, Alclad Klear Kote Light Sheen Weathering: Pastel chalks Soul: Sold to Devil (twice) Improvements/Corrections Replaced nose cone to improve shape Replaced tail cone and jet exhaust to provide correct depth and proper shape for arresting hook bay Replaced engine face plate to provide correct appearance of vanes, engine cone, and tube Added boundary layer inlets and intake vanes Shortened booms by 4mm to match drawings Reshaped front of pinion tanks to remove “blunt” look and added fairings to blend pinion tanks into wing Reshaped top front of tail fins to better match drawings Added bulges to main gear doors Added photoetch scissor links to main gear struts Added hydraulic lines in gear bays with 0.3mm solder Replaced fuel dump pipe to correct size, and relocated to starboard wing Added de-misting duct to front windscreen Reworked rain removal/air conditioning ducting Added target tug brackets on lower front fuselage Moved observer’s window up by 1mm (should have been 2mm) Replaced Hobbit ejection seats Repositioned observer’s instrument panel to correct position Reworked observer’s radar hood to correct length Detailed the cockpit and ejection seats with color photoetch Added hinge and handle to observer’s hatch Added photoetch attachment points to pylons Scratch built rear pressure bulkhead and canopy jettison release strut Added gunsight using photoetch and items from the Magic Box of Fiddly Bits Replaced front fuselage red pinstripe to get correct width Correct black stripe pattern on undersides (Model Alliance have you do six stripes at a 20 degree angle from aircraft centerline instead of the correct five stripes at a 30 degree angle) Used proper size roundels on forward fuselage sides Added various blade antennae and whip aerials; wing pitot tubes made from two different size of hypodermic needles Elapsed time: Approximately two months, or 747,652 grey hairs So why did I decide to tackle a kit with such a tarnished reputation? Well, because it was there, and you can find all the details here. On with the pictures! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I'm enjoying moving on to another challenge! Cheers, Bill PS. Now that I've finished her, you can be assured that a 1:72 Sea Vixen will be the first item on the 2014 new kit list from Airfix. You can thank me then.
  23. de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW.1. XJ482 There are only 2 FAW.1 Aircraft to survive, and this is the only one on public display, at The Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton. Pics mine.
  24. De Havilland Sea Vixen FAW.2 Miniwing 1:144 The Sea Vixen was an all weather, front line fighter; specifically designed for the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy as a successor to the Sea Venom. The initial design of the Sea Vixen goes back to the early de Havilland DH.108 Swallow although that design did not incorporate the twin boom of the Sea Vixen. Progression from the DH.108 led on to the DH.110 Sea Vixen which was accepted into the fleet as the Sea Vixen F(AW) Mk.1. The early F(AW).1 version suffered from short range capability, plus difficult handling at approach speeds on carrier landings, with a need to enhance the aircraft's capabilities. The new version had the twin booms extended forward, ahead of the wing's leading edges, and these contained conformal tanks to hold additional fuel thereby extending the aircraft's operating range. Of the 106 Sea Vixen F(AW).2's produced, 29 were new manufactures and the remaining 67 were converted from F(AW).1 airframes. The Kit This kit is of all resin construction, although an additional vacform cockpit has been included, and may require additional care and application when building compared to the standard injection moulded kits. The main piece of the assembly is the fuselage; produced as a single piece unit this feature removes the problem of those unsightly seam lines encountered on kits with two fuselage halves. Panel lines are finely recessed but clearly defined with the pilot and observer's consoles being fairly basic with just rectangle cut-outs. The underside of the fuselage surface is again well defined but the wheel bays are just basic cut-outs in the resin body. There are however plenty of images in books and on-line which should help those who wish to add a little extra detail here with some general scratchbuilding. Most of the parts are still attached to the pouring stubs but these can be easily removed and cleaned up with some light sanding. Care must be taken when cutting and sanding resin parts and a facemask and glasses is very much recommended for this activity. The wing units have the correct panel lines and aileron areas marked out. There is a possibility of slight warpage with the thin wings and they should be checked before fitting to the fuselage. Any area that is found to have warped can be corrected by placing in warm water, reshaping (with extreme care!) and then dipped in cold water to set. The boom units which connect the tailplane to the fuselage are two separate items, one each for port and starboard, and these are crisply defined. there is no flash evident on my model with just the cleaning up of the mould-stub separation needed. The tailplane piece is a single unit which needs careful separation from the pouring stub. The piece cuts away easily but again care is needed when separating these items. As can be seen in the image above the tailplane unit fits neatly into recesses set in the rear of the tail boom units. The final piece for the main body is the twin exhaust unit which requires careful lining up when fitting as there on no locating pins for this item. Having a separate tailpipe section like this does have benefits though, mainly as this piece can be painted up before fitting; especially the silver/burnished metal colour of those exhausts. This next 'sprue' holds the seats, main gear oleos, main wheels plus a single piece nosewheel assembly. These need to be separated from the sprue, cleaned up and fitted. The seats are quite basic however they are only 5mm long and would mostly be hidden in the dark area of the crew compartments. Notwithstanding that, I'm sure that they would benefit from some fine additions such as belts and head restraints, especially if you wish to enhance your model by cutting the cockpit to have it open. The Sea Vixen F(AW).2 had six hardpoints, three under each wing, which could be fitted with a combination of Firestreak Mk.4 (Red Top) missiles and SNEB rocket pods. The outer wing points were plumbed for fuel so would have tanks fitted in these positions if needed. Although not included with this kit the Sea Vixen could also carry Matra rockets, Napalm tanks and Bullpup air-to-surface missiles. Pylons for the missiles and rocket pods are separate units but the fuel tanks and their associated pylons are single piece units. Additional pylons could easily be scratchbuilt if you wanted to build an all weapons fit aircraft. The pilot and observer's canopies are clear resin components and look to be clear and accurate; there is also a vacformed set of these canopies included, which are much thinner than the resin versions and therefore much clearer. Decals The decal sheet contains insignia and markings for a single aircraft, that of XJ580 [131] of 899 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) based on HMS Eagle in the 1960s. This aircraft is currently on display at the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum after being fully refurbished. Although there is only one set of serials, the common component decals for any Sea Vixen are present on the sheet and therefore it shouldn't be too difficult to find markings to make up serials for other Sea Vixens. Instructions The instruction sheet is very basic with only a single page of instructions in illustrated format. There is enough information however as this is a very small model with only about 25 parts. The colour markings and decal placements are identified on the colour sheet which accompanies the instructions; with the most complex element being all those no-step area markings to be added! Conclusion These kits are beautifully designed and cast in high quality resin, the workmanship on the detail of such a small model needs to be seen to be really appreciated. I have started to build my model and it looks as if it might be a tail-sitter, if so then a rod stand under the tail may be required; or some holes drilled behind the nose-wheel and metal rods inserted for weight. Highly recommended This review kit has been sourced from my personal collection.
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