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Picked up this kit from my local model shop (so good to be able to say this) on Monday after work and somehow seem to have started it already. No photos to show yet but here's some initial observations;

The kit is well moulded and the cockpit in particular looks packed full of detail. Most parts I've worked on so far fit together well with one exception - the three-part wing slipper tanks need far too much work to get even roughly together and are taking a lot of filler to smooth up the joins. The ejector seats come with two optional squab parts - one with belts moulded on and the other plain to make fitting pilots easier. Unfortunately, however, there is only one pilot figure included.

After the issues with canopies in recent Airfix kits I was delighted to see all the clear parts were well moulded and without blemish or flaw. There is, however, a short shot in one of the ejector seat parts, 16, that wasn't restricted to my kit alone. This means one side of the head box isn't properly formed. Easy enough to fix but worth watching out for.

Once I've had a chance to take pictures will share them with everyone.

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Here's that lovely cockpit details;

20141105_195555.jpg

Made a start to one of the seats - three parts together so far;

20141105_195425.jpg

Will, however, need to sort this out before the second one takes shape;

20141105_195307.jpg

Not a great photo but the intake section goes back to the trailing edge of the wing and the join is seamless. Rather nice fit so long as you clean up the sprue attachments completely.

20141105_195626.jpg

Alas the three parts for each wing tanks are a poor fit and have needed a lot of work to get even this rough a fit;

20141105_195132.jpg

More filler required here :(

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Same with the tanks in 1/72 then.

Not built the 72nd scale one so can't compare I'm afraid. Also realised how rubbish some of these photos are but doubt I'll get a chance to take any clearer ones before the weekend unfortunately.

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Can see me ordering a few of these for various projects. Cheers for the links Aaron :thumbsup:

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Col,

I dunno if they are in the kit,but if not you'll need to add the safe/arm lever to the ejection seats,they're quite prominant.You can see them just under the headbox in the photo below (the red knob)

http://www.airdisplaymuseum.com/siteimages/kem66.jpg

I remember that from my "Airfield" training at Cosford. Simplest safe/arm system ever. If the lever pokes into the pilot's neck the seat is safe. Why couldn't all seats be like that? Do they know how much of a pain in the neck it was (literally) to check the top pins on the back seats in a Canberra?

Edited by Devilfish
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Good start Col, the kit shows promise.

I've always been a fan of the Gnat, (I suppose it comes from being an Airshow regular in the 70's) it's one of those aircraft that 'just looks right'

When I helped my daughter build the 1/72 version we had a bit of trouble fitting the side panels in the rear cockpit, might be something to watch for if this is a 'scale up' of the smaller version.

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I remember that from my "Airfield" training at Cosford. Simplest safe/arm system ever. If the lever pokes into the pilot's neck the seat is safe. Why couldn't all seats be like that? Do they know how much of a pain in the neck it was (literally) to check the top pins on the back seats in a Canberra?

Same here,did our CFST on old Red Arrows Gnats & JP's...

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Same here,did our CFST on old Red Arrows Gnats & JP's...

That's the ones. I remember our instructor telling us the walkways on the Gnat (ex-Red Arrows, as you say) are clearly marked in red....

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Haven't Airfix just upscaled the 1/72 moulds? Maybe explains the rubbish fit of the tanks.

It's not quite as simple as that, as everything needs to be re-done, from panel lines to wall thickness and more that I don't know about. It's probably more of a coincidence than down to up-scaling, I would guess. Unless Col just got an unlucky break, and his had an isolated issue? :shrug:

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Excuse the lack of photos but I'm half way through adding some extra details to the cockpits. Hopefully have something to show later this evening.

Great! I need to pick a pair of these up at Telford.

Yes, yes you do, it's a lovely kit.

Shame about the slipper tanks, it looks like they just scaled them up from the 1/72 version, otherwise looking good. Will it be red?

The tanks and a few other bits will be but not one of the two kit schemes ;)

I will be interested in how this one turns out..

Me too :lol:

Col,

I dunno if they are in the kit,but if not you'll need to add the safe/arm lever to the ejection seats,they're quite prominant.You can see them just under the headbox in the photo below (the red knob)

http://www.airdisplaymuseum.com/siteimages/kem66.jpg

No they are not included in the kit Spike so thanks for the perfect photo and warning :thumbsup: Was tempted to build this as Airfix intended but looking through some cockpit photos put paid to that :lol:

It's not quite as simple as that, as everything needs to be re-done, from panel lines to wall thickness and more that I don't know about. It's probably more of a coincidence than down to up-scaling, I would guess. Unless Col just got an unlucky break, and his had an isolated issue? :shrug:

To be honest I think more dry-fitting and manipulation of the tank parts could provide a better fit but they are still by far the poorest section of an otherwise lovely kit so far.

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Right gang here's the results of an evening working in the 'pit...

20141108_113713.jpg

20141108_113748.jpg

20141108_113808.jpg

As you can see I've not had to add much. A couple of small bits including a more refined map holder on the right hand side of the front office and a similar one on the left then some wires here and there. The rear office got some sidewall detail on the right hand side that was not included and this also hides an ejector pin mark. The short shot in the seat headbox was also repaired. Time for paint I guess.

Now, anyone care to guess what this is;

20141108_113924.jpg

Part number one. It isn't mentioned anywhere in the instructions. At first I suspected it was part of the cockpit/canopy detail but now I'm wondering if it's the smoke generating pipes for for a Red Arrows boxing. Bit overscale and simplified it so.

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Decided that, rather than use the perfectly good kit instrument panel decals, I'd try an experiment to represent the details on the instrument dials.

First of all the cockpit parts were painted in their base colour then given a drybrush of lighter grey to accentuate the moulded detail. Then the instrument faces were painted in white and left to dry for 24 hours;

20141109_102529.jpg

Then they were repainted gloss black and a blunt old knife blade was used to push away the black to reveal the underlying white;

20141109_231648.jpg

Looked alright to me so with all the other detail painting done the jet pipe was installed and the fuselage halves joined;

20141110_185831.jpg

20141110_185804.jpg

After joining I had a thought - the jet pipe can probably be left off until after the fuselage painted to avoid having to mask it off so long as the rear plate that supports it is installed square as there is plenty access from the upper fuselage where the wing will fit. Ho hum maybe next time.

Everything fits great and next to no filler will be required apart from on one annoying section;

20141110_185908.jpg

This bulge is moulded off-center on one of the fuselage halves and has a low section behind it that will need filling up to get a smooth join. Pity the bulge wasn't a separate part to avoid that but not a big task to rectify.

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