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1/170 Nord Noratlas


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Hi All,

I have finally made a start. It's typical really, there are no GBs I am interested in and then three come along at once. This is my first French Fancy started. It is a kit of 23 parts, but I am not using the side windows or the undercarriage, so it is even fewer for my build. On Saturday it looked like this:


The print work for the instructions and decals looks fairly new. The decals look really nice and the colour on the instructions is fairly vivid, but the mouldings of the kit? Oh dear This was to be a weekend build, but it will take a little bit longer. There were only 12 pieces to get to this stage, and six of those were undercarriage doors, more of which later. The cockpit will have the windows painted so there is no intention of trying to restore clarity. The transparency must be the equivalent of 20cm thick anyway, and there is no detail inside.


Ooooh the lovely fit of the parts... how we long for it. Tamiairfigawa this aint. The huge rivet detail has been sanded right down and I am going to have a go at rescribing. Ok, so rescribing may not be to scale, but I will live with that.


There are bits of plasticard under the wing to fuselage joint to bring the upper part of the wing level with the top of the fuselage, and there are bits of plasticard at the wing to boom joints to level the wing upper surfaces with the boom upper surfaces. The bits of plasticard to fill the other gaps are fairly obvious.

I mentioned the undercarriage doors earlier. Well they are designed to be open only and they're flat, not the shape of the fuselage underside or the booms. The forward door for the main undercarriage is missing from the kit altogether, which is fine if you want the undercarriage down, which I don't. In the picture below you can see just how obtrusive the rivet detail really was. The doors have been fitted as a guide only. The doors will have filler built up on them and the filler will be shaped to match the contour of the booms. I am not really looking forward to that particular job. You can also see the huuge gap between the wing and the boom, the white being the plasticard spacer.


The boom to wing gap will probably be filled with Vallejo putty, it is too awkward a place to get plasticard or filler in to.

More later.....

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The Noratlas for me is just typically French, an aircraft I have a soft spot for and one I'm really pleased to see in the GB.

I have it's bigger brother in the stash but it really needs some replacement decals before I'd consider it, of course I'd want to do an Armee de l'Air scheme.

Welcome to the GB.


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This must be the Noratlas that was in the Heller Cadet series, eons ago.

The only Noratlas I ever built, if it is the one.

I never painted it and just stuck the decals on the grey plastic, but it remained the pride of my burgeoning model collection for quite some time.

Beautiful plane (except when you have to jump from one with what you hope is a serviceable parachute on your back!).

Have fun


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Wow, that's really tiny! Is there a decal for the windscreen, or do you have to paint the frames?

You have to paint the frames Eric, but I am going to try it with decal windows as I don't need clear transparencies.

For some bizarre reason there are four 'cut-outs' in the elevator which I cant see on any photo of the real aircraft:


so I filled the gaps with plastic card and sanded them down. In the photos you can see the huge overscale rivets on the model as made. Just about all of that has now been sanded off:


The sinkholes are something to behold. This one has actually been filled with superglue and rubbed down:


I knew the undercarriage doors were going to be a bit of a swine, this is halfway through filling the gaps and reshaping the contours using superglue and talc as a filler:


With everything together and filled the last bits were rescribed. I have no idea how that will actually look, I am lousy at rescribing but for some odd reason decided to challenge myself on this one:



And to think that I expected this to be a blitzbau!

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With a load of filling and sanding done it was time for paint. I used Halfords Appliance White as a primer and to give the white upper fuselage. I sprayed it straight from the can and was really, really worried I had too thick a coat, but it really shrank down in to the detail when it dried, to a beautiful gloss finish. Then it was on with the silver, Citadel Runefang Steel (it was the fabulous and now discontinued Mithril Silver). Fail. No, huge fail. It didn't want to go over the Appliance White at all and I had to sand it back really gently to restore a decent surface finish. Humbrol Metalcote to the rescue, with 27002 Polished Aluminium. As it is solvent based it went over the Appliance White with no problems at all. It gives a beautiful, smooth grainless silver finish which is seriously shiny:



Although a thing of great beauty, I was worried about the durability of the bare metal finish, especially under masking; so it got a coat of Klear. I know this takes some of the 'metallic; finish away, but it was a small price to pay for durability, especially on a simple kit like this. The canopy had been partially masked before the silver was sprayed, but the last bits of masking were done for the small windows under the main cockit windows. With the masking strips and post-its in place to prevent overspray it looks for all the world like the poisonous frilled dinosaur from Jurassic Park:


With the windows done in Vallejo Model Air Intermediate Blue and spraying complete, the masking removed:



The rear cockpit roof windows are wrong, I made the mistake of copying the box artwork. There should be the three eyebrow windows at the front and a pair of windows on each side in the cockpit roof. The correction was made with a thin strip of white decal in the end.

The leading edge anti ice boots of the wings and tailplane were masked and brush painted, the anti ice boots of the vertical tails were freehand brush painted, all after decalling. A hole was drilled in the lower rear fuselage, a piece of 6mm clear acrylic rod heated in the oven and bent around a glass jar and fitted in to the hole, and a small disc base cut from foam board. All mounted together the result is this:


The spinning props need to be fitted, the base needs to be painted to represented a landscape far below, and the job will be done.

More soon.......

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Smashing work especially when you consider what you started with.

This one will look great in the gallery.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All, I had this finished in time for Cosford last weekend but haven't had the chance to take any photos until today. I need to work on the lighting before I post any photos in the gallery, so these will be all for now.

The props are simple circles cut from some clear packaging from something or other, with a hole cut in the middle to fit snugly over the spinner. The prop blades were airbrushed on with highly thinned paint, then the props were attached to the spinners with Formula 560. I found an aerial photograph on the internet and printed it on to thick paper which I stuck to the base with double sided tape and covered with clear fablon. I cut a strip to match the edge of the base from some very thin plastic card, attached it with white glue (Formula 560 again) and painted it black. Job done.




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