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Mike N

DH Comet 1 Prototype - 1/72 Scale

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My entry to this GB will be the Welsh Models Comet 1, finished as the first prototype. The Comet should need no introduction to a bunch of airliner enthusiasts, and I consider the Mk 1 to be one of the best looking aircraft ever! That wing planform is absolutely gorgeous :wub:

Not only does the prototype fit in with my normal build theme, but it looks great in its natural metal finish.

Internet pic:

Comet_Prototype_at_Hatfield.jpg

The Welsh kit has a vacform fuselage and outer wing panels, with the other large components in resin with white metal for the structural and smaller items. It was by no means cheap, probably the most expensive kit I'd bought in fact at the time, but it's the only game in town and a very nice quality kit too.

Model box:

CopyofComet001.jpg

Vacform parts:

CopyofComet003.jpg

Other contents:

CopyofComet002.jpg

This kit will be quite a challenge for me, being my first proper attempt at a vacform kit. Then there's that natural metal finish to look forward to... :pray:

I will also need to make some modifications to back-date it to the prototype, something I need to research properly. So far I'm aware of:

Single large wheel main undercarriage, with different doors

Nose probe

Different window layout

No wing fences

No doubt there will be other differences once I look into it in more detail (but feel free to point me in the right direction!).

Looking forward to starting this weekend!

Mike

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Welcome on board fella, looking forward to this, I have the welsh 747sp and that will be my first vac kit to!

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Depends which part of its life you choose but I think you've got most of the changes there, it also had elevator balances on the undersides and a tail bumper.

Later wing fences were fitted, the 'normal' Comet main gear installed for testing but it couldn't be retracted as it didn't fit the bays, so no doors and a white top BOAC colour scheme.

Let me know if you need any info.

Steve

Edit: spelling mistake

Edited by BritJet

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I am surprised to see the wings are vacform as well as the body, as most of Denzil 1/72 stuff the wings are resin, or is this one of his earlier releases.

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I had some trouble getting the wings to fit the centre section. Some extra time thinning down the inside of the wing joining surface and refining the step on the resin pays off well. My kit's landing gear well cutout marks didn't match the cutout on the centre section so I cheated and left it solid. I probably should have filled in the marked lines and cut my own.

Yes, this is one of the earlier 1/72 releases. I'm not sure why he switched to solid resin wings for his later kits. Possibly he feels they're easier to build?

Just for fun, my build can be found here.

Edited by Jessica

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Thanks everyone, hope you enjoy the build and I do it justice!

Steve, I plan on doing the early scheme and configuration. As you note, modelling prototypes is all about getting lots of info and watching for changes through its career. Any info you can send my way would be fantastic!

Jessica, I saw your build a while ago and bookmarked it straight away :) I've read it a couple of times and will be referring to it throughout! It's good to know that the kit can turn out so nice!

Roll on Saturday!

Mike

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Look forward to this, the Comets were lovely but the prototype was something extra special.

Cheers

John

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I have one of these kits (always loved the Comet - beautiful aeroplane), so I will be watching this build with interest. Good luck on it!

Best Regards,

Jason

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Mike,

Just sent you some info and I'll get some more over to you later.

Steve

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Made a start on preparing the parts. I started with drawing around the vacform pieces;

CopyofComet005.jpg

... and then scoring around them and breaking them free of the sheet. I basically followed the guide as posted in Aeroclub's link on here. Once sanded down and washed to remove remaining dust and twirls of plasic shavings this is what I have currently:

CopyofComet006.jpg

Moving on to the other parts, here's what's included in the box:

CopyofComet007.jpg

The white metal parts are the best I've seen! Unfortunately the main undercarriage legs and wheels will be sent to the spares box.

After removing the casting stubs from the resin parts I dry-fitted the intakes and exhausts to the huge centre wing box piece. The intakes are a near-perfect fit:

CopyofComet012.jpg

Sadly, that is ony half true for the exhausts. Using the small pips to locate them, they are a very nice match on the underside...

CopyofComet008.jpg

CopyofComet009.jpg

but there is an awful step on the top :sick:

CopyofComet010.jpg

CopyofComet011.jpg

I can see this taking a long time over several filling sessions to blend these in :(

Mike

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Ooh! Can I have one of those spare wheels then? I shaved off the locating pins from the exhauts and averaged out the mismatch to keep the filling and sanding to a minimum.

You may also have to do some rather severe filing on the front and rear mating surfaces of the wing centre section. Mine was a very tight fit to the fuselage.

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Good start, after the Vulcan prototype I don't think you'll have any problems with this one. I've just emailed you a link to more photos that should help.

Steve

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Ooh! Can I have one of those spare wheels then? I shaved off the locating pins from the exhauts and averaged out the mismatch to keep the filling and sanding to a minimum.

I would normally be happy to give away spares, but I will probably use the redundant undercart for one of my Nimrods, sorry! I will have to check they are similar, and if not you can have one. But why only one?!

M

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Looking good so far

The hobby desperately needs some good injection moulded Comets !

Cheers

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Looking good so far

The hobby desperately needs some good injection moulded Comets !

Cheers

Hear, hear!

Regards,

Jason

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Hi all,

Sorry I've not been involved for ages - had to find my build thread near the bottom of page 2! Well, after a long period of psyching myself up to get back into this build, I've started to make some progress. Here's where I'm up to.

Starting with the cockpit, the few parts that are provided are more than enough in my opinion as little will be seen after assembly. The seats looked a little low so I used a piece of plasticard to raise them up a bit, but otherwise everything here is as per the kit.

Comet015s.jpg

And here it is after some basic painting. I've also superglued some lead pellets behind the door and under the floor and coaming.

Comet024s.jpg

Moving on to the fuselage, the prototype had different window positions so I judged their correct position by eye and cut the new ones out

Comet013s.jpg

Comet020s.jpg

Moving aft, the tailplanes are a butt joint so to give a more positive location I drilled a couple of holes through the fuse into the resin parts, and then inserted brass wire. This gives a much more secure attachment.

Comet018s.jpg

Comet017s.jpg

Prior to joining the fuselage halves, I attached a load of tabs to each side (as recommended by Jessica in her build - thanks!). This made the assembly a lot more positive and sturdy. I only installed the aft bulkhead supplied as I couldn't be bothered fettling the others to get a close fit. I sprayed the interior black. Trawling the internet I struggled to find references for the prototype's cockpit colours (par for the course with this build!) but, what I think is the Cosford Comet's cockpit has some green soundproofing(?) all around, so I went for this.

Comet022s.jpg

The fuselage was closed up and gradually glued around, some areas needing more persuasion and some refusing to meet at all! That's a vacform for you I guess.

Comet025s.jpg

I also put strips of masking tape inside the fuselage to cover the window apertures, we'll see how long they stay in place!

Comet026s.jpg

The intakes were not a good fit to the wingbox, so after aligning them as best I could I used Milliput to attack the joints. With all the curves here it was awkward to sand, and only once the primer is on will I see how good a job I did.

Comet014s.jpg

After dryfitting the centrebox to the fuselage I could see huge gaps so I kept adding shims until the fit was as good as I could get.

Comet029s.jpg

To finish with, today I attached the centrebox to the fuselage with plenty of superglue, shims and pressure.

Comet030s.jpg

Comet031s.jpg

Comet032s.jpg

Filling and sanding next!

Mike

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wow.....

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The bird is really starting to take shape now!

Something that had been a big headscratcher was the wheels used on the prototype; unlike the production machines, they were a single large wheel rather than a 4-wheel bogie, as included in the kit. Scaling off photos suggested a diameter in 1/72 of about 25mm, which is pretty big!

At this point I have to give fellow member BritJet a big mention because he gave me plenty of help and also made some enquiries which yielded a true figure of 23.3mm. With that I ordered a set of Lancaster wheels which are pretty close, and they even have the correct tread:

Comet034.jpg

As you can see, compared to the standard wheels, they're huge!

Comet036.jpg

Next thing to do was to work out the undercarriage bay size and shape. This again started from photos, and ended up like this:

Comet043.jpg

I translated this to a plasticard template and marked up the lower wings.

Comet046.jpg

Comet048.jpg

With that work done, I glued the wings together, then tackled their attachment to the centrebox. This was not looking good as there is just a narrow rebate, about 1mm wide, to which the wings had to grip. I decided to superglue some angle section around the attachment, using brass wire pins to hold it to the contours while the glue set.

Comet041.jpg

Comet049.jpg

This worked really well, although I had to cut slots into the lower one to allow it to flex up a bit. On went the wings and a very sturdy bond was achieved.

Comet051.jpg

Comet050.jpg

Comet053.jpg

As can be seen, my cutting of the vacform wings wasn't great at their root, leaving some large trenches to be filled. With the wings on, I set about boxing the undercarriage bays and adding a little stringer detail to the roof:

Comet055.jpg

Without references I just guessed, and left it at that as I'm not one for superdetailing hidden areas!

Latest development is that the tailplanes are on:

Comet056.jpg

It really looks beautiful now it's together, just a few little extras to go on then it's fill, sand, prime, fill, sand, prime.... ready for the NMF.

Mike

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