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Found 115 results

  1. I was given a Dambuster book as a present, which had sleeves containing flight plans, logbooks etc. On looking at Guy Gibson's logbook, I made an interesting discovery. The last entry before the raid was regarding the dress rehearsal, that included flying over 'Colchester Reservoir'. Strange I thought, posted here with 3 PARA in 2000, retired from the Regiment in 2011 and stayed in Coly - I do not know of 'Colchester Reservoir'. I know Abberton Reservoir, which is 3Km away where I often take the kids, has a small nature reserve. http://www.essexwt.org.uk/reserves/abberton-reservoir So I bought the book , 'The Dambusters Raid', by John Sweetman. This described how the area was used to train the crews whilst the 'revolving depth charge' was developed and tested. The road 'dam' crossing the reservoir from Layer de le Haye was indeed the simulated target over those weeks. I now can imagine the noise of those Merlin engines at 60ft in the night, as waves of Lancaster MkIII (type 464) bombers practiced for what was to become the most audacious bombing raid of WWII. On looking further, I found that much of the testing for the 'Upkeep' device was carried out at Reculver, in Kent. Prior to our move to Coly, 3 PARA were based at Dover for 5 years, and I spent some time up on the North Kent coast carrying out various training activities. With a natural interest in all things aviation and military, (I was bought up in Lakenheath and school was in Mildenhall and then 25 years in the Army!) I knew the basics about the Dams Raid and 617 Sqn. But this grabbed my interest and I have some good reference material. I am normally a 'Jet' builder, but have decided to trace 617Sqns history with models. I have bought 3 x 1/72 Lancs, 1 x new Revell, 1 x old Airfix and 1 x new Airfix tools. The plan is to build them side by side, in flight to hang in my den (double garage!). I have also managed to get a Tamiya 1/72 Mosquito Mk VI, 1/72 Academy Mustang III, as flown post Dams raid for target marking. Looking forwards, I have then got a 1/72 Vulcan (I know, a fight!) which will be a B2 but in anti flash white, a Revell Tornado GR1, possibly converted to GR4 with the special 70 years markings. I am looking for a 1./72 Canberra B2 (difficult to find with the correct canopy) or a B6 - references for these in 617 Sqn markings seem rare, even on 617 websites etc. Now there have been various BI/BIII mods, also the BVII. My logic says the 3 BII (464s) cover it! Then there's the Lincoln - hmm, I take the only option is a conversion from a Lanc? Not original I know, plenty have done it, but with local connections and something different, I thought, 'why not'! Another project in the same vain: https://modelbrouwers.nl/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=40310 Clearly a long term project, but something different for me until the GBs that interest me kick in next year. So I have started, will post some pics. Any advice, direction, references, spare Canberra's etc welcome!
  2. Kit manufacture: Revell Scale: 1/72 Type:Lancaster B.III Special "Dambusters" Extras used: Eduard Photoetch interior and Masking set, brass guns, resin wheels, Xtradecals. Paints and colours used: Tamiya Rubber Black, Nato Black and Sea Blue (interior, underside, wheels) Gloss Black (props, undercarriage), Mr Color Dark Earth and Dark Green (RAF WWII). Gloss coat Alclad Aqua Gloss, matt cost Vallejo polyurethane Matt Varnish. Weathering wash Flory's Dark Dirt (top) and a mix of Light Wash and Black for underside. Hi all! So, I've got the Lanc finished, and roughly in time for the Dambusters anniversary! I would love to say that was mu intention, but in truth it was just coincidence. Still, it's nice to be able to commemorate the event with this build. The build thread got hit with Photobucket, and as such got semi-abandoned. The kit is Revell! It's good value for money (especially as I got it second hand) and the external detail is beautiful. However, the fit in places isn't great. It's not a bad kit by any stretch but does require quite a bit of work in places. The engines to wing join was the worst, but some of the glasswork was the most annoying. The kit decals are poor, out of register and not very receptive of decal solutions. I used Xtradecals decal sheet which were absolutely stunning. I didn't seal one side of the code numbers very well so they tore a bit with weathering, but decided to leave it a bit weathered! I used a few AM bits. Eduard interior set (waste of time, you can see nothing!), Resin wheels (forgot the make, a bit of work needed but worth it) and brass guns which are exquisite, ruined only by the chump fitting them! Also worth nothing I stuck all the small bits like activators on early doors to get a better hold. That was a silly idea, they've all gone! So here we go: That's about that! Thank you for checking in Val
  3. Back in the day, Saturdays and Sundays had proper tv programs. Saturday tea time was Airwolf, Knightrider, The A Team or Streethawk and Sunday afternoons was war film time, The dirty dozen, Kelly’s hero’s, Where eagles dare, 633 sqn, and my favourite The Dambusters. During my my time at RAF Coningsby, I managed a jolly in BBMFs Dakota, that was a memorable experience, especially when the engine stopped. Luckily we were still on the ground, unluckily it started again and we took off. But one of my favourite memories was refuelling the Lancaster when working weekend shift on tanker pool. Winston Churchill once said "The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meantime on numerous occasions to restrain." 55,573 young men died flying with Bomber Command during World War Two; that’s more than those who serve in the entire RAF today. I aim aim to build Amodels 144 Lancaster, she even has markings similar enough to BBMFs one year.
  4. Hi, all. I've had an idea for a project brewing for a while and thought I should start to log my progress somewhere. My girlfriend's father gave me an old mould Airfix Lancaster in 1/72. As I've already got a Hasegawa Lanc Mk.I/III I thought I'd try something different with the old Airfix kit. The Lancaster in the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland was donated to the people of New Zealand by France. It's currently dressed up as "The Captain's Fancy" of 75 Squadron (NZ), but it was previously an aircraft of the Aeronavale flying in the Pacific. There will be some modifications to make and some detail to be added. Haven't decided if I want to commit to a rescribe. Perhaps some limited scribing. I've got exhausts from a Hasegawa Lanc' (not mine), the Hasegawa Zoom kit from Eduard, and a Montex mask. First up, a bit of scratch building to busy up the interior. Next I'll start adding interior detail and ribbing modelled on the Hasegawa kit. I've got a reference book on request from the local library. Hoping it can help a bit further with the details.
  5. Yesterday, I was watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and it was quite appropriate because today I collected the Holy Grail of Bomber Command modelling, the 48 scale Paragon Manchester conversion! Before I go any further, I can't thank to Dennis (Spitfire) enough for selling it to me without needing a mortgage to afford it, so I intend to do it justice and have it done for Telford. Whilst I'm at it, I'm also doing the Paragon 1/48 Lincoln conversion with an equally big thanks to Chris (Cngaero) who sold that to me for an equally reasonable price, that's 2 Christmas's so far this year and we're only in June! That will be published elsewhere in the future, so I can't show the full progress on that one, but will drop a few photo's in along the way. I recently build the excellent Blackbird Manchester & Lincoln conversions, as you may guess, I'm a big fan of Avro's line of props, but always wanted to do them in 48 scale, I just couldn't get hold of the damn resin! The Lincoln was started a few weeks ago, the resin quality is excellent... The base for both conversions is of course the classic but superb Tamiya Lancaster Now for the Manchester resin.....
  6. My first completed model of 2018! And it's not even December! Here is the very fun and very little Meng Kids Lancaster. Obviously inspired by the classic egg planes of the past. This is more of a cartoony or "chibi" style. The inspiration for this build once again came from Andy Moore who has built a couple of these in the past. The model is essentially OOB. The tires supplied are have very square shoulders so those were sanded to round them off. The bottom of each tire was also sanded to give the impression of weight. The three turrets come molded completely clear so I masked and sprayed on some simplified framing. The guns were drilled out and the decals came from Kits-World. I used a mix of 1/72 and 1/144 to fit the non scale nature of this model. There was a little silvering on the larger decals with clear sections but I'm sure that was more my fault as the decals seem to be of very high quality. The decals I used were only fractionally bigger than the markings provided in the kit. But due to the tiny size of the compressed fuselage there was VERY little room for decals of any kind! The aircraft serial number had to be located underneath the horizontal stabilizers. In reality, Ropey (KB772) was a Lancaster Mk.X operated by 419 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. She was built in Canada and flew out of RAF Middleton St George. She survived the war and was brought back to Canada in anticipation of being used in the Pacific. But the war ended with Ropey in Canada and there KB772 would remain until being scrapped in 1947. The bombs were painted OD and given some non historically correct yellow stripes just to add a little visual interest. It really is a tiny little thing. This was a lot of fun and I would absolutely build another. Thanks for looking! -matt
  7. A 1/144 scale picture/diorama built for a friend. The original Crown Lancaster and Minicraft Dakota. The Lanc and Dak at rest with BBMF crew, re-enactors and veterans looking around. Build thread here -
  8. Hello all, Just finished this new tool Airfix Avro Lancaster B.III last night. I did it as ED927, AJ-E, which was lost near Haldern in Germany before hitting its target, no survivors. I quite liked this kit, even though it came with a warped nose on one fuselage half, which was corrected with some hot water. One thing I don't like though, are the wingtip lights and windows on top of the fuselage, Airfix should have done those in clear plastic. Top colours are Humbrol 29 and 163, bottom is a 50/50 mix of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black and XF-17 Sea Blue. The exhaust streaks were done with pastels. I painted the Upkeep mine in some rusty red color (Revell 83), because from what I've read about it, most were still in their red oxyde primer when they were used. There might be many errors on it, but I don't claim to be an expert on Lancaster, and I mostly just followed the instructions. Thanks for looking, and I hope you like it. Pete
  9. I forgot to post this in RFI so thought I would squeeze it in before 2017 runs out. The build is HERE so I'm not going to go in to detail but thoroughly enjoyed hacking all that plastic up and sticking great wedges of resin in to stretch the Tamiya Lanc into a Lincoln. Huge thanks go to Chris ( #cngaero) who sold me the set for a very reasonable price. I hope I've done it justice for you It's painted and decalled as RA679 of 12 Sqn based at Binbrook. In 1951, when attempting a 3 engine landing, it overshot the runway and mounted a bank causing the undercarriage to collapse. Happy new year to you all Thanks for looking Neil
  10. Forgive me if these ideas are old news but have I missed the boat on B-29 or Lancaster STGB or a rotary wing GB?
  11. Airfix is to release in 2014 a new Lancaster variant in 1/72nd, the Avro Lancaster BI(F.E.)/BIII - ref. A08013 V.P.
  12. Tony Whittingham

    Caribbean aircrew in Bomber Command

    Hello all, I’m looking for information on Flying Officer Errol W. Barrow, who served in Bomber Command from 1942. He’s said to have been Navigator on Lancaster’s, squadron as yet unknown. Also was navigator on Sholto Douglas’s personal aircraft in the immediate postwar period. He would also become the first Prime Minister of Barbados. any information would be greatly appreciated, especially on Sholto Douglas personal aircraft. Was it a Dakota, or York, or another type? Tony
  13. Skyhunter66

    Avro Lancaster Question

    Afternoon folks - I'm currently building the Tamiya 1:48 Lancaster and am wondering about the windows along the fuselage. Are these windows blanked out? I ask as the decals on the side of the fuselage cover one or two of the windows and I'm not sure if I should have these windows as windows or blacked over? thanks chris
  14. A friend at work was telling me his primary school teacher was in the Dambuster raid. Top stuff a local bloke in such an important mission. I gonna build his plane. Bought the kit and Eduard Big Ed and blow me down I can't find any reference to a Brian Mattingly DFC on that mission. I came to the conclusion teachers tell S*** Stories to impress the kiddies. The build is going to be fun, never had so much PE to play with. I am on holidays from Fools Paradise and I want a large project to keep me entertained and hopefully this project will end up going well as my last few have not been so satisfying. I have been trying Vallejo paint, I find it very soft and scratch the paint off with my fingernails. A real Gordon Ramsay moment. Box art Thanks for looking Stephen
  15. Creepy Pete

    Airfix Lancaster wings, little tabs.

    Hi all. I am currently working on the Airfix new-ish Lancaster kit (dambuster version) and I am wondering what the little tabs on the leading edges of the lower wing parts are for. You can see them quite well in this review. You're not supposed to glue any other parts on them or anything, and they don't correspond with little notches in the top wing parts. I did some searching, and they seem to match those little things next to the nacelles on this Lancaster B.II, and also here. But I don't see them on many others. Anyone got an idea what they are for, and if I should keep them on or sand them off? Thanks.
  16. Hi all, With the Vulcan and X-Wing off the benches, and the Gnats driving me up the wall, it's time to start something else. So, the Lancaster is the next stop. The Revell 1/72 Dambuster to be more accurate. We have plenty of goodies for this build: A couple of sets of Master brass gun barrels, Eduard masking set for obvious reasons, Aires wheels, and Eduard seatbelts and cockpit photoetch set. I figured that a lot of detail will be seen through the green house on top of this kit, so I've gone to town. Nothing has happened to this build yet, other than washing the sprues as I seem to remember Phil Flory having a problem with release agent on his video build many years ago. After market Hannants Xtradecals are to be used with this build also: To be honest, I bought these decals for a 1/72 Tornado GR.4 project (I've not started yet), and these decals are part of the set. Seemed to make sense to use them. Hopefully we'll have a good time with this little lot! Cheers, Val
  17. Atom.uk

    Identity of Lancaster

    Can anyone help me with this one? On 20th August 1942, Lancaster R5543 of 61 Squadron was shot down over Northern Spain by Ju88C's of the Zerstorer flight of KuFlGr106 (soon to become V/KG40). I would like to know the Lancaster's individual letter, please?
  18. Some pictures of my new tool Airfix Dambuster done some time back. Did a little updating in the cockpit, belts and such. Drilled out the intakes , added dorsal window from clear acrylic rod, added wing tip lights from acrylic sheet. Overall an enjoyable and great fitting kit. The plastics was really soft that made scribing of the dorsal plug panel line for the removed turret challenging. Hope you enjoy the pics. All the Best! Don
  19. Test for GOOGLE photo sharing https://goo.gl/photos/oQnaGRkB2Y5Gzr5cA https://goo.gl/photos/yRGgHHnEwikSKTRM6
  20. On the 12th August 1941, a force of 70 bombers including 9 Manchesters with 6 from 207Sqn based at Waddington and the other three from 97Sqn took off on a deep penetration raid to Berlin. The Manchesters were carrying mixed loads. Some carried the 4000lb Cookie whilst the others carried 5 x 1000lb GP's. One of the aircraft L7380 (EM-W) which was later captured on film by the Germans having crash landed on sand banks in Holland had to turn back over the North sea due to poor performance and tail flutter. It landed successfully back at Waddington after dropping its bombs on the port at Emden. The other 8 continued on. Over Holland, L7306 of 97Sqn was attacked by a night fighter but successfully evaded it by taking cover in cloud. With all gunners on look out for further fighter activity, Mike Lewis flying L7422 (EM-V) was flying with another Manchester in front of him. Suddenly, he noticed tracer striking the Manchester. Immediately, there was a large pink flash, clear evidence that the Cookie had exploded disintegrating the aircraft. The remains were seen failing away in a shower of yellow flame as the fuel tanks exploded landing around Kolham. Mike Lewis learned that the Manchester was L7381 piloted by his good friend Mike Smith who was on his 50th mission. L7381 had been brought down at 01.25am by Oberleutnant Ludwig Becker flying a Do215 having been tracked by his Liechtenstein set. The remains of mike Smith were found in a ditch still strapped in his seat. The only consolation that could be taken is that the crew suffered an instant death. The crew were recovered and laid to rest in the cemetery near Hoofdweg at Kolham, but were subsequently relocated to the Canadian war cemetery at Holten. The build is the new Airfix Lancaster II with the Blackbird Manchester resin conversion. Having been inspired by the book 'Avro Manchester - The Legend Behind the Manchester' by Robert Kirby (where most of the research above was taken from), I wanted to do a tribute to one of the many tragic accounts covered in his book. I decided on L7381 that fitted the bill in that it had the wavy demarcation scheme and of course had the three tails of the early Mk.I. Part way in to the build, I decided to do a diorama that involved the 'fateful' cookie that led to the demise of Smiths crew that night. The engraved plate was picked up for a fine sum of £1.75 off Ebay which you can't grumble with. The ground equipment was taken from the Airfix Bomber Re-supply set. Whilst there are no known photo's of L7381, there are plenty of L7381 to which I used for reference. Robert Kirby introduced himself in the build thread and pointed out a mistake in the build in that I used the narrower 28' tailplanes where as all but the first 20 Manchesters used later 33' unit that was standard on the Lancaster except for the three tail configuration. Take note of this if you are thinking of building one, for me, they are too secure to think about changing, so I'm playing ignorant! I want to get some more ground crew, so will add them at a later date to the diorama, but for now want to clear the bench. I'm not going to go in to detail about the build as it's covered HERE, so I'll get on with the pictures. Thanks again, for all the people who have followed and contributed throughout the build Thanks for looking Neil
  21. RJ-WobblyHands

    Ton up Lancs

    Found this book in 'The Works' for £6 - a bargain I thought , not that building a Lancaster is in my current plans, maybe its because they make me feel old, its now 41 years since I got a guided tour of 'CIty of Lincoln' at the 1976 Farnborough Airshow - 2 hrs before the Memorial flight did their display - Health and Safety was not an issue back then, my mum was allowed to sit in the Arrows Red 10 ( the backup plane ) which had an armed ejection seat , the pilot was showing her all the Gnats controls etc , his senior ground crewman was having kittens, those were the days !! Back to the book - interesting stories and some good close ups of the 4 engined workhorse, a nice little addition to my book collection.
  22. Hi All Here's my latest project, and my first WIP in a long time Updates will probably come in batches few and far between but I'll try and keep the thread updated. Plan is to build it with number 4 engine exposed and think i might open the rear door too. I don't usually use much etch and even less scratch building, so looking forward too the challenge. I have big plans for this build, the actual aircraft will be phase 1, phase 2 will be a base with vehicles figures etc. Plan to do the aircraft as Picadilly Princess of 424 Squadron which was based at RAF Skipton on Swale in 1945.
  23. Hello, I've been musing myself with making a vac canopy for my model (since the Pavla Vac doesn't fit the Revell 1/72nd kit). I have noticed that some frames are internal, to which the perspex is just screwed-on. Both wartime and restored example walk-arounds seem to confirm this: But then, I found some more (both wartime and restored example) photos, which depict these (and all other) as external: Some drawings clearly show them as internal: While this one shows all frames of the same depth (i.e. external): Soooo.... What's up with that? I thought it might be an early-war / late-war machine difference, but my wartime external photo shows an early machine (as denoted by the small window on the fuselage), while "Just Jane" is restored to a late-war standard (wide props, bigger blisters and everything). Or maybe it had something to do with the astro-dome size? Any opinion is most welcome Regards, Aleksandar
  24. Don McIntyre

    Aeronavalé Lancaster Cockpits Color

    This is reference for a future project. I'm planning on doing the Tamiya 1/48 Lancaster as an Aeronavalé aircraft. I'm going to do the overall Blue finished aircraft. Would the cockpit have been Black (left over from wartime service?) or would the it have been painted Interior Grey-Green when they were refurbished? How about inside the nose. I know you won't see much of the rest of the interior, and the bomb bay will be closed so I'm not worried about that. I've got the really nice Berna decals, I'm thinking of ordering the Belcher Bits Engine Nacelles Set. Someday, if I can find the Eduard set(s) at a price I'm willing to pay, I want to pick them up. Is there anything else that anyone would suggest for such a build? This is (more or less) how I want to do mine, http://s262.photobucket.com/user/Duggy009/media/Avro-Lancaster-French-1.jpg.html Did the French use the USN Dark Blue or something more akin to Oxford Blue? Some B&W photos seem to show something a bit lighter than the USN Blue.
  25. Back in 2014 I entered the Bomber Command Group Build inspired by a recent trip to the Derwent Reservoir to see the two Lancasters fly over the Dam. I made a start but didn't get very far as the bomb aimers blister was scarred by poor moulding and I put it to one side while I contacted Airfix to get a replacement. They got back to me saying they had no spares at the time and they would send me a replacement as soon as they had them in stock. The model ended up on the back burner and last year I decided to chase it up as I had never heard back from Airfix and realised that it had been 2 years since my original request and after chasing it up and getting a replacement the build was finally back on. My motivation has been fuelled further with a couple of book purchases I've recently made and a visit to East Kirkby braving the pouring rain last friday on my bike to make the trip to take part in one of the winter maintenance tours East Kirkby are offering at the moment as it is a unique opportunity to see a Lancaster stripped down to bare metal and see areas of detail you don't see every day such as fuel tank bays and engine nacelles without fairings. Even the H2S Dish! While I was there I also discovered that the Control Column and Throttle Quadrant from Gibson's Lancaster were recovered before was scrapped and are on display in the museum as part of an exhibit. Deciding which colour to paint the interior was another stumbling block. I wasn't sure which areas of the interior to paint black and which parts would have been interior green. I used a but of artistic license and painted some of the interior green that may have been black so that the detail can be seen on the model when looking through the canopy. I painted the interior with Humbrol Matt Black (33) and Interior Green (78) I lightened the Interior Green with some sky in areas to make the detail stand out a bit more in the dark interior and did the same with black by lightening it with 67 and 87. I painted the seats in Humbrol 30 and went over them with some oil paint. The Flight engineers seat was modified so it could be displayed folded up and the Radio Operators and Navigators seats were CMK ones. I used the kit pilots seat. I used the pre-coloured seat belts that came with this set. I also used an Eduard zoom set for the interior as the pre coloured wireless sets and instrument panels really set it off nicely. Also the full interior set was a lot more expensive and I was unsure how much would be seen. After the outside of the fuselage was painted in black primer so I could make sure the areas around the windows were black I glued the windows in with some two part epoxy and filled the gaps with pva to make sure they were secure. Before closing up the fuselage there were a couple of mods I did. Firstly after test fitting I decided to glue a couple of plasticard strips onto the underside of the mid upper turret fairing so it sat flush when it was fitted and the fuselage halves were closed up. I also decided to replace the escape hatches. so they had a clear window. I thought about painting the window gloss black and masking it off but thought as it would have a join line which maybe difficult to eradicate as it was recessed I decided to cut out the hatches and replace them completely. The way I did this was to first cut a hole in a piece of 10 thou plasticard the size of the window. I then trimmed it down so the hatched matched the kit one and the window was in the centre. Once I had the replacement hatches I cut them out of the lit fuselage making sure the openings were slightly smaller than the hatches. The next step is to paint the hatch, add an acetate window and fix it in position. I did some research into the colour of the signal lights on the underside of the aircraft and after I came to the conclusion they were Red, Green, Amber fore to aft I used a technique I've been meaning to try for a while now for the lenses. I used some of the metallic foil confetti you can get for putting in cards of the relevant colours and cut some discs out the size of the lamps with my trusty punch and die set and fixed these in place to the underside of the lamps with Klear then backed with a piece of black plasticard. They look really effective and I'll have to take a pic of the underside with the lights showing to demonstrate as I seem to have forgotten to do this. Once the fuselage had been closed up I could attach the top wings and all the bulkheads in the undercarriage bays as well as reuniting the wing spar with the bits that broke off early in construction. I then painted the inside of the wings using the same technique of the interior green to give the detail a chance of being seen. Note the fit of the bomb bay fairing is not great. The interior was a tight fit and an think it's prevented the fuselage from fully closing up in places which has affected the fit of the bomb bay and fairings. Lower wing with landing light lenses in place using the same technique as the signal lamps. Here we see the Lancaster with the lower wings and engine nacelles in place and the tail dry fitted. The fit of the tail planes is so tight that it can be fitted without glue! The fit of the lower wings was tricky and I think this was again down to the fit of the fuselage halves closing up. I had to do a fair bit of trimming and clean up to get the lower wings to fit as I have had to do with a lot of parts on this model I thought would just fall into place. The panels above the inboard engines are taped into place because the main undercarriage legs are attached to the wing spar and slot in from above through here. Next step for me is to clean up all the seams and the undercarriage parts. I can then paint the undercarriage before fitting and hopefully they won't get damaged during further handling of the model. the fit of the panels is not great so I can't leave them off till the end. I'm enjoying making this kit so far and can see myself making a couple more of these in the future. Thanks for looking, Mark