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For those of you who have seen my builds that I have shared on the forum probably know by now that I'm a fan of a diorama. I love to see an aircraft in an operational setting with work going on around it, but as of late I'm running out of space quicker than I'm building. What to do? Stop building? Sell my kits on eBay? Turn the dioramas into some sort of functional appliance? The first suggestion is out of the question, I love modelling and am not about to stop while I still have a few square feet of space free. The second suggestion is also a non-starter, I might not be 100% pleased with all of my builds, but I spend my precious time building them and want to enjoy them for as long as possible (*cough* and they're not good enough to sell *cough*). Erm, turn them into a functional appliance, let's give that a go...

This idea may sound a bit mad, but I think if I can pull it off it might be quite special. I've been meaning to build a Lightning for a while and have been fostering a growing love for the aircraft with a particular interest for the quick response interceptor role they had thoughout the Cold War. I've also seen some of the Lightning RFI and WIPs as well as Bar side's HAS build and they've really inspired me. 'Tell us where the functional appliance bit come in, you fool!?' I hear you all shouting at your monitors. Well, this picture below of the Bruntingthorpe QRA shed (maintained by the Lightning Preservation Group) made me think: can I make something similar in 1/72 scale that not only acts as a cool diorama during the daylight hours but also acts as a super cool desk lamp when the sun goes down?

AlbumImgQRAScramble.jpg

Q-Shed-Twilight-2013-e1416265191445.jpg

My plan is to make a 12x12 inch diorama base which will sit in the corner of my office desk. It will include the front portion of the QRA shed and a portion of the crew quarters. Although not entirely accurate, I plan to include the Lightning just outside of the shed with some ground crew and equipment on and around it. I'm intending to really go to town on the detailing so I thought about including a mirrored section in the Tarmac so you can also see the underside. On top of the QRA, as per the image above, there will be one or two lights which will act as the 'useful' part of the diorama and illuminate my desk.

I'm not sure how I'm going to wire up the lighting just yet, that will require some thought and planning, however, there are plenty of QRA reference photos on http://www.lightnings.org.uk including some really useful pictures of the internal structure which will help with the building.

The Lightning itself will be the Airfix F6, Eduard PE set and masks, Xtradecals for the Binbrook aircraft (XR727) and any other bits that I like the look of. The QRA and ground equipment will be a mixture of Flightpath (Houchin power unit and RAF diorama accessories) and scratch building.

So there we have it! I hope I can pull this off, although if I don't, I'll still have the Lightning that I can put...somewhere.

Edited by MattBlack33

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Great idea and I`ll look forward to seeing it take shape. Before any ex Lightning `vets' get irate,.....I must warn you that the station was called RAF Binbrook,.....not Binsbrook!

Cheers

Tony

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Great idea and I`ll look forward to seeing it take shape. Before any ex Lightning `vets' get irate,.....I must warn you that the station was called RAF Binbrook,.....not Binsbrook!

Cheers

Tony

Bloody hell! Thanks Tony, I hadn't realised I'd even done it! Edits swiftly made!

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Hi M.B., so this was you were hinting at in the Harrier thread! Interesting concept and I shall

be following this one intently.

Sean

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Nice one Matt - isn't the Brunty QRA the old shed from Wattisham? Lots of nice pics of it being rebuild to.

As to lighting, there are some really nice industrial lighting units available from model rail suppliers. Some are standard base on baseboard and plug in lighting units and at oo would be approx 1/76 scale

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Hi M.B., so this was you were hinting at in the Harrier thread! Interesting concept and I shall

be following this one intently.

Sean

Yes, this is what I was alluding too, nice to have you on board!

Nice one Matt - isn't the Brunty QRA the old shed from Wattisham? Lots of nice pics of it being rebuild to.

As to lighting, there are some really nice industrial lighting units available from model rail suppliers. Some are standard base on baseboard and plug in lighting units and at oo would be approx 1/76 scale

Yes, the Brunty QRA is the old Wattisham shed, however the Binbrook one is very similar so I'm going to use it as reference as there are some lovely pictures of it being reassembled. Here's the Binbrook QRA:

http://www.airshowspresent.com/raf-binbrook-qra-shed.html

Another great set of images! I think I'm spoilt for source material!

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Matt,

I love your kind of modeling with dioramas or vignettes depicting scenes and Aircrafts et al..

This looks like another good little vignette from you..will look decidedly super on your office desk..

:popcorn: is ready. OFF you GO ! :yahoo::thumbsup:

(Nice signature by, the way)

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Hi 'Matt'

Just a quick reference, as the actual QRA sheds that I had the pleasure to stroll round some years ago at Binbrook on a freezing November afternoon are under threat, and are now in the process of hopefully being saved, and returned to some of their former glory, here's the facebook link with reference pics:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scramble-Scramble-ScrambleHelp-save-the-RAF-Binbrook-Q-area/310070375768814

And as for your desk lamp idea: priceless! The base may have been deserted for some years but the lights had been left on in QRA........

All the best with your build.

Rob

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Hi 'Matt'

Just a quick reference, as the actual QRA sheds that I had the pleasure to stroll round some years ago at Binbrook on a freezing November afternoon are under threat, and are now in the process of hopefully being saved, and returned to some of their former glory, here's the facebook link with reference pics:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scramble-Scramble-ScrambleHelp-save-the-RAF-Binbrook-Q-area/310070375768814

And as for your desk lamp idea: priceless! The base may have been deserted for some years but the lights had been left on in QRA........

All the best with your build.

Rob

Thank you for the link, Rob. In all my searching for references I hadn't come across that page before. It's such a shame that so much of Britain's hidden Cold War heritage is being forgotten. This considering that although shots were never exchanged, the two aircraft and their crews in those sheds still had an extremely heavy weight to bare over the course of their 24hour Q shifts. I just hope that I can do it justice!

David

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This is a brilliant idea, it's up there with the chap on here who stuck his Vulcan on a stick and put an LED lamp in the bomb bay.

Ex-ARCers with very long memories might remember this:

DSCF11471000_zpsemzl2gyj.jpg

Unfortunately this was as far as I got, it's still in the loft somewhere. It was built from the photos on the LPG website and a guess at the dimensions, sometime later I measured up the Binbrook shed and it's about an inch too large in each direction. The 'bungalow' is based on Leuchars (obviously !) but the sheds themselves all looked similar.

It's such a shame that so much of Britain's hidden Cold War heritage is being forgotten.

I failed miserably to persuade my archaeology tutor to let me do a survey of the Binbrook shed as one of my BSc assignments, not enough stratigraphy apparently. (Being built on top of a WW2 'frying pan' dispersal doesn't count). I did however manage to con a fellow student into holding the other end of the tape measure by telling her it was a hill top fortified site. I'd tentatively offer you a copy of a CD with about 300 photos on it but I don't actually know where it is at the moment...

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This is a brilliant idea, it's up there with the chap on here who stuck his Vulcan on a stick and put an LED lamp in the bomb bay.

Ex-ARCers with very long memories might remember this:

DSCF11471000_zpsemzl2gyj.jpg

Unfortunately this was as far as I got, it's still in the loft somewhere. It was built from the photos on the LPG website and a guess at the dimensions, sometime later I measured up the Binbrook shed and it's about an inch too large in each direction. The 'bungalow' is based on Leuchars (obviously !) but the sheds themselves all looked similar.

I failed miserably to persuade my archaeology tutor to let me do a survey of the Binbrook shed as one of my BSc assignments, not enough stratigraphy apparently. (Being built on top of a WW2 'frying pan' dispersal doesn't count). I did however manage to con a fellow student into holding the other end of the tape measure by telling her it was a hill top fortified site. I'd tentatively offer you a copy of a CD with about 300 photos on it but I don't actually know where it is at the moment...

Wow, thanks for sharing that Stuart, great work. What materials did you use? I'd seen some images of this build in the searches I have done, but never thought the person who built it would be on here! That CD would be so useful! I'd gladly make a donation if you could find it and were willing to share? I am wondering if you still have the dimensions of the shed somewhere too? I never thought there would be so much information out there on this subject.

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Thanks, if I can find it you are welcome to a copy gratis, but as I'm halfway through clearing out my study and realising just how bad my filing 'system' is, that's a big 'if' at the moment. It's in there somewhere though, as are my notes with the dimensions and a few sketches on. I can't remember if I got as far as drawing up the bungalow but I definitely drew the shed, sadly before I measured it properly so it's slightly too large. The shed footprint is 108 feet by 63 feet, that I do know.

The raw material is Wills corrugated iron styrene sheet, it comes in postcard sized sheets, and as the whole structure is double-sided it worked out quite pricey, I think used 60 sheets in all. http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=SSMP216&style=&strType=&Mcode=Wills+SSMP216
The framework is a mixture of Plastruct, Evergreen strip and odd bits of brass angle, the Wills sheet actually provides the strength of the structure, the framework adds surprisingly little and it was good fun keeping it all square before the outer roof sections were glued on ! If you click on the pic and wade through the model railway photos there are four or five other shots of the shed in there which gives a bit more idea how I did it, there are some more somewhere which I will upload.

Part of the study re-org should see my big display case resurrected, so this might get finished yet...

Edited by stuartp

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Of course I'll send you across some postage/packing funds if you do come across it. I'll only be building the front portion of the shed (for now...) so hopefully costs will be relatively smaller than a complete shed. I've managed to find your post on a railway forum with a great description of how you've done yours, which was really helpful. I hadn't considered building the shell first then adding the interior girders etc. afterwards. It's definitely what I'll be doing. I've managed to draw up a few plans that I'll post here once they're slightly more finalised.

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I'd tentatively offer you a copy of a CD with about 300 photos on it

Hi Stuartp,

There's a great website https://www.wetransfer.com/which uileann used to send me a load of pictures (of the F117). If you find the CD it'll save you the faff of postage.

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Good to see your creativity at work again David, look forward to seeing the latest progress.

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Morning all!

With my current jobs on the bench starting to wind up, I've had a bit of free time to start planning the build...and it's growing!

So far I'm having a few space related issues and might have to abandon the 12x12" corner piece idea. The main issue being me not being able to get a largely rectangular structure into a square space. The other space issue is the size of the thing and deciding at what point does it stop being a subtle, useful light source for my desk and start being a legitimate diorama.

One of the solutions to these dilemmas include making a facade of the shed, halving its depth but keeping its width. That way I could still display the aircraft out front and it wouldn't take up too much room. It would be a nice backdrop and still have the lights. I like this idea, however the amount of detailing inside the shed would be limited and I wanted to include some support equipment etc. within the scene.

Another idea I had was to build the whole shed with the aircraft inside but cut away the roof so you can see what's going on within. Again, this sounds great but I thought it'd look slightly weird if I only built Q1 and not Q2. I'd also have to cut away the part of the roof that supports the lights...I'm toying with the idea of building the whole thing with two lightnings from different eras out front/inside Q1 and Q2.

I now turn these ideas over to you guys and get some of your suggestions as I'd really appreciate the input of those of you who have build structures before (and who are good at planning!) It might be that I abandon the 'usefulness' element and just build the whole shed with two aircraft...

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M.B., any chance of a photo of where you'd like to have it displayed?

Sean

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M.B., any chance of a photo of where you'd like to have it displayed?

Sean

Hi Sean, I can't take a picture unfortunately, but I can tell you it's 5'x2.5' and in the right hand corner of the room. Hope that helps!?

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"One of the solutions to these dilemmas include making a facade of the shed, halving its depth but keeping its width. That way I could still display the aircraft out front and it wouldn't take up too much room. It would be a nice backdrop and still have the lights. I like this idea, however the amount of detailing inside the shed would be limited and I wanted to include some support equipment etc. within the scene. "

I would think this your best solution, as something has to give regarding what can be put on display.

Of course you can show a lot outside, as I'd reckon some maintenance would have been done outside(?)

Plus, if you have two jets outside, the eye will be drawn away from the interior of the sheds, especially once

the outside lights are lit. If you get what I'm saying?

I still think it's a brilliant idea, and a great way to illuminate the modelling desk/area,

Sean

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Thanks for your input, Sean. I do think the thing that has to give is the rear of the sheds as it'll take up too much space. I think it'll be best in the long run because the generators etc. seem to be stored at the back of the shed so it'll save me a bit of money not having to buy them ;) In my research I found a great picture of a Lightning at Wattisam returning from a Q scramble. It seems that some post-scramble activity involving the pilots and crew goes on before the jets go back into the shed so that's what I'm going to go for.

EDIT

Here's the image I was talking about. In fact, it might even be Binbrook in the background.

001.jpg

Image reference: www.lightnings.org.uk/wp-content/gallery/q-shed-open-day/001.jpg

So, on with the actual build:

Obligatory box shot, Airfix Lightning, Eduard Masks, PE and Xtradecal decals.

IMG_4200_zps4lrccwqu.jpg

Cockpit tub, I thought was a bit bare and in my previous builds the detailed PE parts look out of place in such a sparce environment. I've just used some wire and spare PE parts to busy it up a bit.

IMG_4204_zpsruq64mgy.jpg

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IMG_4206_zpsiuur2xf2.jpg

IMG_4207_zps009uitus.jpg

Coloured PE parts going in. I do love these, but the colour matches are sometimes slightly off.

IMG_4208_zpsqa5i9lq4.jpg

IMG_4209_zps2wd39u4a.jpg

A quick wash of dark grey to dirty it up a bit. I made sure it fits into the fuselage (that and I wanted to see what it looked like!).

IMG_4217_zpsjpjezndb.jpg

IMG_4219_zpszgicybmx.jpg

IMG_4220_zpsnywdl4nf.jpg

IMG_4221_zpsusny8fn5.jpg

Seat process from start to (nearly) finish. I thought it looks a bit too bright so when the Klear is dried it'll get another wash to tone it down a bit.

IMG_4222_zpsngi1kr5t.jpg

IMG_4224_zpsmvrctmtb.jpg

IMG_4230_zpslwhhlikf.jpg

IMG_4234_zpstjidlpq4.jpg

IMG_4236_zpsr7x2kajs.jpg

Edited by MattBlack33

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A couple of tub shots before a bit of a break. The wash has taken away the 'cartoony' look of the straps.

IMG_4242_zpsxjm1wtyv.jpg

IMG_4254_zpsd0vvtxel.jpg

IMG_4255_zps4mof66w4.jpg

Quite pleased with how it's turned out as there was a substantial number of straps to add. It's all ready to sit atop the air intake, but I won't get this done for a while as I'm away on holiday. Questions and comments welcome.

Edited by MattBlack33

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After a week away on holiday I've been back at the bench briefly today. I have managed to button up the fuselage which, as I understand is the experience of others who have built this kit, was a real battle. The sides of the cockpit and the air intake pieces were well and truly trimmed down to get it to fit and I glued the front in place first before moving to the rear to make sure the seals were all strong and tight. It looks like my hard work has paid off as I don't think I'll have to do much (if any) filling to get it fully sealed up. I have my taken any pictures as its all pretty mundane stuff, but will do if people ask/want them. For anyone else attempting this kit you cannot do too much dry fitting!!

I've done some thinking about the diorama base and have settled on the layout. My technical drawing isn't much cop, but here's the plan I'm working to:

image_zpsmxk7kdem.jpg

Hopefully it's pretty self-explanatory, the shaded area will be the bits that I'm building. My references for the sizing comes from the Google Maps satellite image of the shed and from StuartP's measurements. I think the bungalow may be off slightly, but not by much. Since doing this I've added another two inches to the width as the aircraft is approximately eight inches long so 10 I felt wouldn't be enough to display it effectively. My next step is to start drawing up some plans for the buildings. I've been down to my LHS which stock beams, girders and bricks at great prices so I hopefully won't break the bank either! I've also done some research into lighting systems and will post some more details when I have it worked out a bit more.

Thanks for looking, any comments and/or suggestions would be great as It's pretty much trial and error at the moment!

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Coming along nice, built a few of these and in fact started one on Wednesday, right about the fit of it though I have found the solution to it, was able to assemble the fuselage in no time without gaps, though the glue monster cursed me and the fuselage warped under the pressure of the insulation tape I used to hold it...

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