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Ray S

Airfix 1/72 DHC Chipmunk

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Hello all, it was with bated breath that I awaited the re-issue of the Chipmunk. I have built plenty of these in the past, wondering at all the detail Airfix managed to get into it, like all those rivets and stuff. Just think, someone went to one of these aircraft and actually measured each one, and then counted them all to ensure authenticity!

All joking aside, I really like this plane, it is probably my No2 favourite after the EE Lightning. I used to live in Scotland (Leuchars) in the early 70's and was in the Air Training Corps, and one weekend we went out to one of the airfields and were due to fly in a Chipmunk, but the weather was too stormy and it was cancelled. It was a shame, but there it goes. I would still like to get a chance to fly in one if I can.

So anyway, I was really chuffed Airfix were reissuing this kit, but it would have been nice if they had updated it, but with one of the MPM stable (I think) issuing a new mould soon, I suspect that may be out of the question in the foreseeable future.

Here is what I have got:-

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There is a stamp inside one of the wings dating the original to 1969, and the kit seems to have faired quite well. There is some flash around as you might suspect, rivets aplenty, and the canopy is clear but thick. There are two types including the bubble type but that is not needed for the markings in the kit, which are for two aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight. The transfers are by Cartograf so I think they will be good.

I am going to try some new techniques on this, sanding away most of the rivets and attempting to scribe panel lines onto a model for the first time. I have plenty of photographs to hand from www.airliners.net and an article by Mike Grant from Scale Aviation Modeller International from April 2010 to act as inspiration. I also intend to add a bit more detail, lumps and bumps on the outside and a bit of a cockpit inside (the crew will have to go!). I hope I can track down an Aeroclub canopy to allow this to become more visible.

Please do not expect anything like Nobby's Defiant (which was totally awesome), but I would like to do this one justice.

Off I go...

Kind regards, Ray

Edited by Ray S

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Watching with interest as its a great subject and I've never scribed panel lines so I'll be really interested to see how you get on.

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Goody! Not seen a WIP thread on one of these for ages! When scribing, bear in mind that the parallel raised lines on the rear section of the wing represent the fabric covering of the after portion of the wing, and should probably stay raised! Same goes for the rudder and elevators...

Edited by Vulcanicity

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Goody! Not seen a WIP thread on one of these for ages! When scribing, bear in mind that the parallel raised lines on the rear section of the wing represent the fabric covering of the after portion of the wing, and should probably stay raised! Same goes for the rudder and elevators...

Thanks for that, I did wonder. I had sanded off most of the rivets from the wings and masked over the ribbing as luck would have it.

I have scribed on a few panel lines, hopefully in the right place, and hopefully they will take a wash of some sort. I have to figure out the best for a black aircraft... I am thinking a dark grey in the panel lines should hopefully break up the one colour.

I have also seperated the inboard flaps ready for drooping, not worth pics yet though. There is a lot of distruction before construction on this one!

Neal, I too am interested in how my panel lines will turn out. I have used the ubiquitoius Dymo tape to give straight edges, but I found the needle wandered a little bit despite that. I need practice, and am dreading the fuselage but it has to be tried!

Thanks for the replies, kind regards, Ray

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(Leuchars) in the early 70's and was in the Air Training Corps

Lived in Leuchars at the same time. My older brother Paul was in the ATC. I fell in love with the Lightning too, noisy beasts. We always used to wave at the 202 helos when they flew over quarters and the winchman would wave back. Any plans to do "Lucky Nine"?

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Hello, well as I said, plenty of destruction first. I have seperated the flaps, sawn off the nose and thinned the rear of the cowling, then I thought I might as well chop off the rudder too. Most of the rivets have gone, but I have left just a hint of them in the end. I may still get rid of the rest. The ribbing I have retained.

t7bjpe.jpg

I have not gone overboard with the scribing of panel lines, here is an example on one of the tailplanes:-

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The engine cowling was an area where I was not sure what to do. My magazine article showed the cowling being cut off and thinned at the rear, so I gave it a go. It does make a huge difference, the plastic was very thick along the cut line

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With luck it will look fine when finished. Then it was time for the front of the aircraft. There is an intake on the nose peice which is moulded solid, so I drilled that out and thinned it down as best I could, being wary of snapping my scalpel blades. I do have a drill and various tools for it, and I did try reaming the very thick plastic with a burr but did not want to melt the piece with friction heat. Photographs show some detail visible through the intake, and I will try to add that soon.

ay0zz6.jpg

This is meant to be a fun build again, so I am not going to be 100% accurate. That means some bits may be left off, artistic licence may occur (cockpit) and the panel lines may not be millimeter perfect, so please forgive me!

More soon with luck. Kind regards, Ray

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Lived in Leuchars at the same time. My older brother Paul was in the ATC. I fell in love with the Lightning too, noisy beasts. We always used to wave at the 202 helos when they flew over quarters and the winchman would wave back. Any plans to do "Lucky Nine"?

Hello John, no plans for Helicopters I am afraid. I used to go to Tentsmuir with a Paul W looking for remnants of ammunition from firing ranges. We cleaned them up in brown sauce to get rid of the rust. He used to mention Halifax football club and he also built models. Also had a terrible sense of humour and some corny jokes (I learnt from him!).

I used to live in Meteor Row, and could look right up the Lightning's jet pipes when they took off and went vetical over our house. What a sight!

All the best, Ray

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Look forward to seeing how this one develops Ray, I too have a soft spot for the Chippy, was lucky enough to bag 3 flights in my ATC days in the late 70's early 80's, so sorry you missed out :(

Will have to get a couple of these I think, so will follow your WIP with interest.

cheers

Simon

Edited by SimonR

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I used to go to Tentsmuir with a Paul W looking for remnants of ammunition from firing ranges. We cleaned them up in brown sauce to get rid of the rust. He used to mention Halifax football club and he also built models. Also had a terrible sense of humour and some corny jokes (I learnt from him!).

I used to live in Meteor Row, and could look right up the Lightning's jet pipes when they took off and went vetical over our house. What a sight!

All the best, Ray

That would have been him, we lived in Halifax when our Dad was in Bahrain. We probably met - I was the anoying little brother :) I always remember he build a beautiful Phantom with scratch built radar for the ATC model competition. Took him months and I was banned from going within 6 feet of it.

Nice work on the build. Flew in these myself as a Cadet.

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That would have been him, we lived in Halifax when our Dad was in Bahrain. We probably met - I was the anoying little brother :) I always remember he build a beautiful Phantom with scratch built radar for the ATC model competition. Took him months and I was banned from going within 6 feet of it.

Nice work on the build. Flew in these myself as a Cadet.

Nice work so far on the 'Chippy'. I too have a soft spot for these little aircraft as I also was in the ATC, and flew on numerous occasions in the chipmunk from what was RAF Finningley (9AEF). I will always remember the fantastic experience of climbing into the small basic cockpit with parachute strapped on, and that unmistakable sound of the engine. The highlight of my air experience in the Chippy was flying alongside a Buccaneer coming into the Finningley circuit, AWESOME!

Keep up the good work!

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Hello all, I have been having fun with the interior over the last few days. I mentioned that artistic licence may occur, and this is the case with the cockpit. None of the photographs I found on the internet showed much other than the control panels, so I used some thin rod to put some ribbing on the insides, and I added a few boxes to the sides to represent the usual suspects. I cut off a couple of ejection pins from the wings where the cockpit will be (oh boy they were tall!) and fashioned a floor of sorts. The instrument panels were guided by the pictures, although I could not drill out all the instrument dials. I made the panels by sanding some 20 thou card to shape (test fitting by putting them through the gap underneath the taped up fuselage), marking the shape onto a 5 though peice of card which I then drilled with a couple of different sizes of mini-drill. I painted the thin card dark grey, and the thicker peice black. When dry, I used Clearfix to glue the 2 parts together, and lo and behold, black dials show through the holes! A small blob of Clearfix finished the dial glazing. The seats are pure fiction. I modified the kit ones and gave then arms and a higher back and got them painted up. Footpedals were next (slivers of plastic rod) and a couple of control columns. I also added a couple of strips of square rod over the lower cut out, which acted as a rest for the cockpit to sit on when I finally attached it to the fuselage sides.

Here is a picture of how it has gone, but my camera will not do it justice (probably just as well considering how rough the work is!).

2uz6stj.jpg

I have now joined the two halves and it is drying nicely. The cockpit openings are not that big, so the work will show a representation of the interior, which will be fine for me.

I have had difficulty with my panel line scribing, so if anyone can help out, I would be most grateful. I tried to scribe some lines on the wings using Dymo tape as a guide, but that does not seem as thick as the Dymo tape I remember from the distant past. I was using a sewing needle that I held in my twist drill, but I keep getting ridges along the scribed line. I have tried sanding it away, but the line keeps getting filled up, so when I run the needle through again, the ridge is back! I have some spare Spitfire wings so I can use that for practice, I think I will leave the extra scribing on this one.

Sorry about the photo quality, as I will be photographing the plane itself in future, I hope they improve for you next time.

Thanks for looking, kind regards, Ray

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Hello all, I have been having fun with the interior over the last few days. I mentioned that artistic licence may occur, and this is the case with the cockpit. None of the photographs I found on the internet showed much other than the control panels, so I used some thin rod to put some ribbing on the insides, and I added a few boxes to the sides to represent the usual suspects. I cut off a couple of ejection pins from the wings where the cockpit will be (oh boy they were tall!) and fashioned a floor of sorts. The instrument panels were guided by the pictures, although I could not drill out all the instrument dials. I made the panels by sanding some 20 thou card to shape (test fitting by putting them through the gap underneath the taped up fuselage), marking the shape onto a 5 though peice of card which I then drilled with a couple of different sizes of mini-drill. I painted the thin card dark grey, and the thicker peice black. When dry, I used Clearfix to glue the 2 parts together, and lo and behold, black dials show through the holes! A small blob of Clearfix finished the dial glazing. The seats are pure fiction. I modified the kit ones and gave then arms and a higher back and got them painted up. Footpedals were next (slivers of plastic rod) and a couple of control columns. I also added a couple of strips of square rod over the lower cut out, which acted as a rest for the cockpit to sit on when I finally attached it to the fuselage sides.

Here is a picture of how it has gone, but my camera will not do it justice (probably just as well considering how rough the work is!).

2uz6stj.jpg

I have now joined the two halves and it is drying nicely. The cockpit openings are not that big, so the work will show a representation of the interior, which will be fine for me.

I have had difficulty with my panel line scribing, so if anyone can help out, I would be most grateful. I tried to scribe some lines on the wings using Dymo tape as a guide, but that does not seem as thick as the Dymo tape I remember from the distant past. I was using a sewing needle that I held in my twist drill, but I keep getting ridges along the scribed line. I have tried sanding it away, but the line keeps getting filled up, so when I run the needle through again, the ridge is back! I have some spare Spitfire wings so I can use that for practice, I think I will leave the extra scribing on this one.

Sorry about the photo quality, as I will be photographing the plane itself in future, I hope they improve for you next time.

Thanks for looking, kind regards, Ray

Hi Ray

With regards cleaning scribed lines, I have found the same - scribe, clean, rescribe, etc. One answer I have found is to use an old toothbrush to clean out filled scribed lines, after sanding. This seems to work well. You can also get scribers that apparently dont leave raised edges, but others will know more on this, as I haven't used any myself.

HTH

PR

Edited by Peter Roberts

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I think those seat look about as comfy as I remember them.

The cockpit looks good though, you've made some effective improvements.

I've got the older red, grey white boxing of this so I'm taking notes…

If your lowering the flaps are you also opening the canopy?

Edited by Neal

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Normally I use a P-cutter when rescribing as it actually removes plastic and doesn't leave any ridges. But sometimes I have to use a needle too, and am faced with the ridges. I have found that the easiest way to remove them is actually to cut them away! Using a curved scalpel blade held at a very shallow angle and using very little pressure you can actually slice the ridges off. Use a slightly worn blade since a brand new one is so sharp that it can cut into she surrounding plastic and remove too much. And as Peter Roberts said, a used tooth-brush is a very useful tool.

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I think those seat look about as comfy as I remember them.

The cockpit looks good though, you've made some effective improvements.

I've got the older red, grey white boxing of this so I'm taking notes…

If your lowering the flaps are you also opening the canopy?

Hello there Neal, I always thought the seats looks awkward, but I have never seen inside a Chipmunk sadly. I did them to give an impression rather than authenticity so if they give the impression of being as you remember, it worked! (I hope!).

I have also given some thought into opening the canopy, it will be another step into the Great Unknown. I have had some problems trying to find pictures with the canopy set fully open, but have found some pics with it apparentl open 6 inches or so, so I might have a go at doing that.

Thanks to Sten and Peter too for their suggestions for the panel lines, we have our show at Gloucester next weekend at the Churchdown Community Centre just outside Gloucester (10 - 16.30 on Sunday 27th May) so with luck I can pick one up there, and try a bit more on another older kit.

Today I have got the wings together, a dry run has shown a few gaps needing filler especially towards the rear of the roots, so that will be done later on, and pics will follow. I am also going to try reinforcing the flap joints with rod so they are less likely to fall off.

Thanks again for the suggestions, it is a great community we have here.

Kind regards, Ray

Edit: As soon as I posted this, I found a great pic of a Chipmunk with Canopy open! I will give it a go!

Edited by Ray S

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Hello all. Well, the Chipmunk is coming along fine now. I have got the wings and tailplanes on, and was surprised at how little filler I needed to apply. One trick I learnt from the magazines recently was to use a methylated spirit dampened cotton bud to smear off the excess filler, which reduced the amount of sanding needed.

I also have made some plastic rod attachment pins to fit the lowered flaps and angled rudder. I was going to use some nickel or brass rod, but felt that if I bent them when fitted, they might sheer through the plastic. I have just slipped them into place at the moment, so they will not be so far from the wings when I finish!

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I hope the shots above show a little better the cockpit detail I have added. The open canopy shots I found earlier showed quite nicely the seat harness arrangement that comes off the coamings behind each seat, so I will try and fit a representation after I have painted the upper decking inside the canopy.

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This shows (hopefully) the effect of drilling out the opening in the front of the cowling. I have just fitted a piece of rod in the opening which emulates detail shown in photographs of the real aircraft. I need to find a better way of drilling detail like this out, the part was very thick, and I could not get into it in such a way as to thin down the area I drilled out.

Yet again I am learning plenty of new tricks, and am thoroughly enjoying this old kit, which just goes to show you do not need a new-fangled super-duper new mould to have fun. Having said that, if Messrs Aifrix ever do re-tool this model, I for one will snap it up, I am not THAT much of a masochist!

Thanks for looking, kind regards, Ray

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Hi

The Chippy is one of my favorites, very much like what your doing - must finish mine off!!!

Roger

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Very nice work, looks fantastic, got one to build tempted to start it next now.

Thanks for sharing

All the best

Chris

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I love this kind of build so I wil be watching with interest! My first flight was in an Oxford University Air Squadron Chipmunk from RAF abingdon when I was in the ATC, WG940.

Martin

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Hello all. Do you ever get the feeling that you are doing something, and it does not seem right? Well...

1) After my post yesterday I got the feeling that plastic rod was not a good idea to attach the dropped flaps. This morning, I pulled them off so I could paint the wings properly and one of the tabs broke off! Metal is the way to go. Lesson 1.

2) Having painted the wings black, this evening I looked again, and the white bands across the wings and around the fuselage that are so often transfers, you need to paint instead. Lesson 2 - check your instructions (even if you are a bloke!).

So anyway, I have now attached the bubble canopy with Clearfix and put some tape on the yawning gap at the front, and will spray (from a can) the white areas in the hope that I did not muck things up.

It was not a wasted evening, as I was able to watch England win the cricket on Channel 5 (although some may say that any cricket is a waste of time).

The canopy should be dry now, so I am off to see.

It is things like this that make me realise I am getting forgetful!

More soon, and hopefully more positive this time.

Kind regards, Ray

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Ah - Chippie's - ace aeroplane - one of my absolute faves...

Lovely build so far - may just have to go get one too! :)

We're fortunate enough to have four in one of the hangars at RAF Halton - all in mint condition (one owned by artist Michael Turner) - and one, I've only recently spotted, was the first powered aeroplane I ever flew in - back in 1980 from RAF Woodvale.

We also get the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Chippies in on a regular basis (last time was last Friday) - in beautiful condition following their resprays a couple of years back.

Also played a rather nice part in my pilot training a couple of years back: I was doing my first solo land away (up at Leicester) and as I re-joined circuit at Halton I heard the call Battleflight to join - i.e. Battle of Britain Flight inbound. Very auspicious I thought - and icing on the cake of a great day. They landed behind and, on being told what I'd been up to, were the first to shake hands/congratulate me.

Absolutely brilliant day that was!

Not brill quality - but taken on my iPhone:

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If I get a chance I'll get some photo's of the Halton based Chippies and post as a walk around...

Iain

Edited by Iain (32SIG)

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Well, after a bit of a break, the Chipmunk is now nearly done. It needed two coats of black (after the white re-spray) and I finished it with a satin black. The transfers went on really well over the satin surface, with virtually no silvering at all, and the white on the transfers showed none of the black surface through them.

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I had my first attempt at crash-moulding on this kit, trying to produce three air intakes on the cowling. They worked reasonably well, although they are probably oversized. I remembered to add some plastic card to help attach the thinned cowling as there was not much left to act as an attachment point. Another first was cutting the canopy open. That has gone a little skew-whiff (visible from the top view when you look at it) but I am quite happy with the effect. It is when you do this that you realise just how thickly the canopy is moulded! I thinned out quite a lot from the lower edge so I could fit it opened (thanks Iain (32sig)) for those shots in the previous post. Tamiya tape has supplied the seatbelts and fuse wire has formed the wires on the undercarriage which I fitted after these pics were taken. I used some Contrail rod for the exhaust and some metalcote paint for its finish, although it is a bit wobbly so do not want to weather it too much.

I have to confess I have made a major mistake on this build, it will be revealed when I do the final shots. I will give you a clue - it involved counting to three and getting it wrong!

I have also just noticed in Iain's photographs that WK518 had no yellow prop tips on the front of the blades, but the painting guide that Airfix do shows yellow tips. I will see what happens when I add the black and white stripe transfers to the props.

This has been a fun build, I have extended my skill base quite a bit, but know I can do better. Thanks to Rob at Gloucester Model Club who has given me some guidelines on the bit that failed most - removing the rivets! I will try his ideas next.

Thanks for looking and all the comments, next pics will be on completion.

Kind regards, Ray

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What a gorgeous model Ray, very well done indeed.

My own photos confirm that the BBMF Chipmunks only had yellow tips on the rear propeller face (as indeed applied to all blades with the black/white stripes).

One little nit-pick, if you don't mind: WK518 has the "Canadian" exhaust/cockpit heater arrangement. Apart from non-frozen aircrew, this shows up as a small intake proud of the cowling on the lower RHS cowl front (it looks like a short gun barrel) and the exhaust pipe exiting almost vertically from the rear of the cowling. The slot for the earlier raked exhaust was faired over. This was modification H.336, introduced in 1979, eventually fitted to all RAF Chipmunks.

Cheers,

Rod.

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One little nit-pick, if you don't mind: WK518 has the "Canadian" exhaust/cockpit heater arrangement. Apart from non-frozen aircrew, this shows up as a small intake proud of the cowling on the lower RHS cowl front (it looks like a short gun barrel) and the exhaust pipe exiting almost vertically from the rear of the cowling. The slot for the earlier raked exhaust was faired over. This was modification H.336, introduced in 1979, eventually fitted to all RAF Chipmunks.

Cheers,

Rod.

Hello Rod, thanks for pointing that out, now I look at the photo's Iain posted I can see the exhaust is different! Ah well, another excuse to do another!!!

I have finished the Chipmunk now, I have left the yellow tips on the front of the prop, but will correct them later. I will only put a couple here, and some others on the RFI section. No I won't, I will put them all here.

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and finally the one where I could not count - the white stripes on the wings are incorrectly spaced. I only noticed when I put the transfers on!

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I said earlier that I only had to count to 3 and failed abjectly, and so it was.

I tell you one thing, despite the difficulties I had I really enjoyed building this plane. I have had a soft spot for the Chipmunk ever since I did not get my flight oh so long ago. I have tried some new techniques with varying degrees of success, and am a bit more confident to try again. Looking at the pics before I finally post this I can see all sorts of bits I could improve, especially the sit of the rear canopy. I would love to give another one of these a go, or the AZ Models(?) one when it appears.

Thanks for looking and once again for all the advice given. Now, what is next?

Kind regards, Ray

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