Jump to content

1/72 AB204B Bristows VR-BDX (in Oman)


Recommended Posts

Howdy,

Another WIP...

The last few days have been spent cleaning and re-organising my modelling room. Things were quite bad that most recent fettling has taken place on the kitchen table. After the sort out (which is still in progress but majority done) I thought I'd start this kit, something I've been keen to get on the bench. Dangerous territory here, but my thoughts are that rather than building one kit over a long period of time I'll build a few at the same time in the hope I'll have more finished kits... Whether this happens or not is yet to be seen.

Anyway... The build

After many times perusing the rotary nostalgia & Bristow threads on PPrune for reference and inspiration I came across a few photos documenting a Bristows AB204B used in the Oman. VR-BDX was based in Muscat and Khasab around 1980, assisting with the installation of electrical pylons. Having a personal affinity to Oman (being born and spending my early years living there) the idea of modelling this aircraft really appealed to me.

I'll be using the italeri 1/72 UH-1B kit (more notes about this below) and CMK detail sets for the interior and for external details.

b72904c9521d763adb797774095f74db_zps7a62

My initial choice of kit was the italeri 1/72 AB204 (makes sense of course as VR-BDX is/was an AB204B). However, VR-BDX was not fitted with a Gnome engine, as per the italeri 204 kit, which is fine as I was going to use the CMK kit which as far as I know represents a Lycoming T-53 engine. Also, and this is where I'm a little confused, but I am a layman so maybe some more knowledgable out there could correct me, but the tail boom of VR-BDX looks to be the same length as a UH-1B. I was under the impression that civilian AB204B's were all built with the extended tail boom and larger diameter main rotor? From the information I have gathered on the forum threads and other online databases VR-BDX was an AB204B. Using a very rudimentary comparison involving a picture on my ipad and the two fuselage pieces, one from a 1/72 UH-1B & the other from the AB204B kit, it would appear that the UH-1B kit is the correct length for VR-BDX.

Not much in regards of progress. The doors have been cut from the fuselage halves. The interior is almost ready for some primer and the seats have had some work but need some more details added (no photos of the latter).

d82d2a4f684e4fe49988de33dd5e6aec_zps8d34

70969b7d1455ae24843f89cd290ed577_zps6f01

6466e2a1a8de268662d97f7163b8b950_zpsc728

3e6e7ee4031bfc13d5e9bfac74ef5348_zps9b90

For those interested, here is a link to the forum thread with some photos and info on VR-BDX (I hope this is allowed? If not then please delete the link Mods :) )

Post #487 http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/287207-bristow-photos-25.html

And some other photos appear on the following page as well.

Heres a profile pic of VR-BDX taken in 1972. One of the pics I used to compare the UH-1B & AB204 fuselage pieces. http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1097593/

Cheers

Aaron

Edited by milktrip
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Houston :D

I've managed to get the majority of the interior done, pleased with the progress as I'm away on Thursday for 2 weeks so won't get any modelling done :(

I won't bore you with priming photos so here she is as of 30 mins ago.

Front seats painted and seat belts added. These were from the eduard UH-1B set designed for the hobby boss kit. Seats still need a dark wash and a few painted details here and there.

cab59f18ecfc5f7bf03a856eb5423141_zps880a

0dd97f3c9acd8705e7c8246ec7d4e1a1_zps6342

Interior: the yaw pedals are from an eduard Bell 212 set, maybe not correct for this aircraft but I liked that they had 'Bell Huey' written on them. I need to add some buckles to the end of the harnesses on the troop seats. The CMK set is beautifully moulded and the straps / belts look lovely but lack the buckles, the CMK set does include etched brass buckles but only for the (co)pilot seats, although I haven't used the CMK seats unfortunately there are not enough buckles to use for the troop seats. I've got something I can use anyway... The paint work does look a bit shoddy but I'll be blending things with a mix of washes so hopefully it will look better. I'll also be dirtying the interior up a bit with some pigments.

e501347144b594b689ca30aececbb8ba_zpse18a

03c248b579402555a7080be783bb59af_zpsff90

1f29bfb0e1fe7b8cd9c59ef70efd7c71_zps5d3a

I thought I'd try tinting the clear parts but this hasn't gone to plan

38d22a187c9d54161065c24f78c0042c_zpsf79a

Oops :( initially I tried mixing tamiya clear green with humbrol clear 50:50. I gave everything a good mix and after an initial dip there were flecks of pigment all over the place (you can make out some on the sprue gates). I cleaned this up sharpish with a cotton bud. I added some new formula Klear (the milky coloured stuff) into my mix and that did improve things but still had small flecks of paint. I tried filtering my mix though a paper towel into another container and tried dipping again. A lot better but the colour looked too diluted. So I dunked the clear parts in again and this time it came out rather thick... I think I'll leave over night so it can dry out properly and see if I can salvage things. Could somebody help me out with the best way to tint clear parts baring in mind that I do not have the original formula Klear.

Apologies for the poor quality pics. I used my wife's ipad and the original photos looked quite sharp. They seem to have lost quality during the photobucket transition.

Cheers for looking

Aaron

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaron, caught up with you on this. I must have blinked but anyway here I be

Tinting clear parts, why not get hold of a few felt tip pens in suitable colours and practise on a clear bit of clear stuff, clearish like

I used quite a harsh black one on the Scout but that was because I was too idle to wander a hundred yards to the local shop

It came out darkish blueblack but other colours do work

I tried Tamiya clear paints first but the way the colour pooled in any recesses (recesses? remember the huge domed roof on a Scout) made me go for the way I used to do these years ago, hence the felt tips

Just work the pens so you dont get edge build ups and I think you will be OK

Already got very nice upholstery going in there mate, love it

b

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Bill,

I think I'll give that a go. Would I have to use permanent markers as I would have thought felt tip pens would rub off with the slightest touch?

I know what you mean about the pooling. I tried a practice some time ago with just the tamiya clear paint and the result was not much better than above. I thought that using clear to thin the paint would help...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaron,

nice subject once again and well done progress so far. I'm hooked.

AFAIK, but not 100% certain on that, the Agusta customer could choose if he want's the original Lycoming engine or the Gnome. But first option was quite rare. So the vast majority of AB 204 were fitted with a Gnome oven. It also can be a confusion and this is a Bell built 204 only rederred to as AB 204.

Anyway, there is one photo of VR-BDX on floats in Egypt and this led me to the strong assumption that it has the longer rotorblades. Better check once again. Whirlybird offers new blades and head.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys :)

Cheers for the info Felix. Regards the rotor: I know the photo you speak of and that was one of them that led me to believe the AB204 italeri kit would be correct for the tail boom (not the rotor). However, there is a photo in post number 503 http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/287207-bristow-photos-26.htmlwith a lot of the fairings removed (to reduce weight and increase power when lifting) that looks like a longer tail boom. I think this is an illusion due to angle the aircraft is and the missing fairings. I've used my rudimentary scale calculator :D and offered up the fuselage halves for both kits and I would say the UH-1B is the correct length. As for the rotors, I'm making the assumption that you can't have longer rotors without the longer tail boom? Surely if a longer rotor blade was fitted to an UH-1B airframe it would rip the tail rotor and cut the tail fin? As always, thanks for your info

Cheers

Aaron

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys :)

Cheers for the info Felix. Regards the rotor: I know the photo you speak of and that was one of them that led me to believe the AB204 italeri kit would be correct for the tail boom (not the rotor). However, there is a photo in post number 503 http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/287207-bristow-photos-26.htmlwith a lot of the fairings removed (to reduce weight and increase power when lifting) that looks like a longer tail boom. I think this is an illusion due to angle the aircraft is and the missing fairings. I've used my rudimentary scale calculator :D and offered up the fuselage halves for both kits and I would say the UH-1B is the correct length. As for the rotors, I'm making the assumption that you can't have longer rotors without the longer tail boom? Surely if a longer rotor blade was fitted to an UH-1B airframe it would rip the tail rotor and cut the tail fin? As always, thanks for your info

Cheers

Aaron

Looking at the different photos it's very difficult to tell. I have the impression of the longer rotorblades and therefore the longer tailboom. AFAIK all 204B-models, wheter they came from American or Italian production lines have the longer tailboom. If you have a close look on the picture at Air Britain, you will find the cargo compartment door at the RH tailboom root. This is a typical feature of a civil 204B-model and its modified tailboom. Military UH-1B with their ordinary tailboom miss this cargo compartment normally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

AFAIK all 204B-models, wheter they came from American or Italian production lines have the longer tailboom.

Thanks Felix that's exactly what I thought however there's a AB204B on scale rotors built with a gnome engine in Italian SAR colours but has a shorter tail boom. The modeller mentions it was built with the shorter boom. This added to my confusion along with the photos as to me do seem to look like a shorter boom. I agree that the rotor blades do look longer especially in the photo of the aircraft hovering above a pylon. I've been trying to find out info on the UH-1 & 204 differences but all would suggest what I originally thought but to me the photos say otherwise. The camera never lies but it sure can distort the truth! Ha ha as I've cut the doors out of the UB-1 kit I think I'll continue on using that, then again, it wasn't much hassle to remove them anyway...hmmm. I have 2 weeks to decide :D

I'm wondering if VR-BDX was maybe ex military and converted for civvie use, is that something that occurs?

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys

@ Troschi: I've found this forum site in which someone asks the same question

http://www.network54.com/Forum/163130/thread/1024550776/AB204+tail+boom+query

Interesting bit: "Another interesting fact that I read in a modeling mag was that only the early Italian Agustas had short tail booms but all were eventually converted."

There's some other info in there that I need to go through. It's possible that the early shot of VR-BDX that I have is a shorter boom, but was converted as mention above. It was 1980 that this chopper was in Oman so if it did have a conversion then it would most definitely had it by then. As the forum mentions "Hueys, are confusing"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again nice work on a tiny helicopter Aaron. Every time I see your threads I'm tempted to track down a Puma kit and build one of the machines I used to get carted about in.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Hendie :)

Sorry I keep banging on about this...

The links below are all AB204B; all have the Gnome engine but to me it looks like a clear difference in the length of tailboom.

http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1001946/ boom appears smaller than http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1367130/ although the angle of the camera could effect that?

From what I gather from the last post in the link I posted above, the former may be the 44ft rotor type and the latter, Austrian 204, is a 48ft type.

The baggage compartment is clear on the left side of the Italian SAR but according to the link I posted previously there was a baggage compartment on the LEFT side of the short boom 204's. However, only the 48ft rotor type had a baggage compartment on the RIGHT side and on some of the photos of VR-BDX I have it is possible to see what looks like a baggage compartment on the RIGHT side: so as per the three types described in the link it would mean VR-BDX is a 48ft rotor type (not a conversion) but from the profile views it doesn't look like it would be!? Aaaaarrrrgh!?!? I might try and contact the guy that posted the original pics on Pprune; hopefully he's still active on the forum...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I may have a spare puma kit I could pass your way. One in progress and another two unbuilt. Come on over to the dark side Col... Muhahaha

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aaron,nice build so far.I did a little search & came across two photos of this helicopters as 9Y-TEA of Bristow in Trinidad in July 1977 with floats before it became VR-BDX for the second time.

http://forums.trinituner.com/upload/data/24/TrinidadPiarcoGaleota001.jpg

I don't think it had a previous military history either,it was I-EOTT of Elivie.Found a couple of good photos here with boom door on the right.

http://www.dgualdo.it/regs2/ieott.htm

I hope this helps you out a bit,good luck with the build,

Jimbob

Edited by dude_gan_ainm
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent JimBob. Thanks so much.

That's definitely the same serial number 3199. The Elivie pics are quite interesting. To me it is clear from the 1968 picture that this is a 48ft rotor type as the tail boom does look longer. It's quite extraordinary how the camera angle can alter things as the 1971 photo looks like a shorter boom.

I think that clears things up. Right, when I get back I'll be chopping up my AB204B kit.

Thank you

Edited by milktrip
Link to post
Share on other sites

I may have a spare puma kit I could pass your way. One in progress and another two unbuilt. Come on over to the dark side Col... Muhahaha

You really are a bad man Aaron. Of course I'd have to find appropriate figures to represent a half-dozen squaddies arsing about inside to make it truly representative and it's not as if there isn't already too many projects on the bench as is but thank you.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure we could find some figures. Do it! Once your Gnats done seems like the perfect opportunity :P

...along with the Lightning for the GB, another two Hunters, one Harrier, a Ki-61, XB-70, Black Widow figure from Iron Man II, etc. etc. :doh:

The flip side of this is I've not build a helo for far too long and none exist in my current collection :hmmm:

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Clear green windows.

Yes, Permanent marker.

Or

Thin the Tamiya clear green

with their thinner and apply in a

light coat on the inside.

Leave to dry right side up.

Any pooling should then

gather at the edges.

Repeat until sufficiently green.

Works for me.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...