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Bordfunker

Another Blenheim! Airfix Mk IF *** Complete ***

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With the Mk IVF approaching completion, it's time to start another build for this GB.

Again the inspiration comes from the Hardest Day by Alfred Price, and this time comes from the first encounter of August 18th 1940, between the RAF and the Luftwaffe.

In the early hours of the morning a 29 Squadron Blenheim IF was vectored onto an intended, a Ju88 from Nachtjagd Geschwader 1, and chased it for 30 minutes attempting to catch up with it.

Eventually the Blenheim pilot, Pilot Officer Richard Rhodes, was ordered to open fire at long range and hope for a lucky hit, firing off all 2000 plus rounds of 303 ammunition.

To Rhode's consternation, his quarry started to slow down, and he soon found himself alongside his damaged prey, but without ammo. He therefore ordered his gunner, Sergeant 'Sticks' Gregory to open fire with his turret mounted Vickers.

This did the trick, and the Ju88 started to burn, before crashing into the sea off Spurn Head. There were no survivors.

This build will therefore be a 29 Squadron Blenheim IF, utilising Airfix's kit, with a spare early gun pack from the Mk IVF kit.

The kit...

IMG_20150911_214241.jpg

....the sprues...

IMG_20150911_212920.jpg

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All the bits I don't need removed from the sprues!

IMG_20150911_214133.jpg

I've already had to 'borrow' some of the decals for the Mk IVF build.

IMG_20150911_213222.jpg

And the profile I will be basing the build on, but need to identify the codes for Rhodes' machine.

IMG_20150911_213307_edit_1442005921608.j

With the Mk IVF winding down I'll start priming and painting the interior this weekend.

Karl

Edited by Bordfunker

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Looking forward to this one Karl - it's my next GB build too (L1105 as FK-S, 219 Sqn) so I'm looking for some tips.

I think you're one of the first to build this in the GB :popcorn:

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If it's as good as the other one I'm in.

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Good one Borderfunker. Can't have too many Blenheim Mk.1 build threads.

Recently added Airfix's to stash too. Wanted a Mk.1 for an aeon. Too long missing from OOTB availability. FROG's was around during my childhood, just. But the brand wasn't so well distributed as Airfix, and like Frog's Beaufort, I never saw one on the shelves to buy before FROG disappeared forever. Also decorated with magnificent artwork, unlike Airifx, during the 1960's FROG supplied even their 'series one' equivalent in boxes which kind of made them feel especially prized at the time.

FROG and its boxes disappeared completely from around '67 before reappearing in '71 for an Indian summer sporting a fresh new 'happening' look header card, their 'series one' models supplied in header carded bags similar to Airifix's.

Looking forward to watching your build progress.

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Ced, good to hear mine won't be the Blenheims in this GB.

Ozzy I'm hoping it will be better, I know all the mistakes I made on the IVF.

Biggles, I remember the Frog kits when I was kid,with their white boxes and green Frog logo.

I've not made as much progress as I would have liked this week, due to work and family commitments, along with trying to finish off the Mk IVF.

However I have managed to get the wing spars and wheel bay supports together and a coat of primer and pre-shade on.

IMG_20150918_223422.jpg

Unlike the Mk IVF I didn't bother filling the ejector pin marks in the roof wheel bays, as they can't be seen anyway.

The flaps and wheel covers have been cleaned up, and the backs of the flaps had the sink marks filled and sanded.

IMG_20150918_223500.jpg

I also assembled the cockpit and added PE belts as per the Mk IVF, all of which received a coat of primer and pre-shade.

IMG_20150918_223510.jpg

I also started building the engine cowlings trying a different approach to the Mk IVF in attempt to improve the fit. Let's just say it hasn't been entirely successful, with gaps to be filled.

IMG_20150918_223535.jpg

As you can see the engines are together, as are the main wheels.

The little tid bits on cocktail sticks are the 25lb bombs from the Mk IVF which I still haven't got around to finishing!

Tomorrow should see the interior green on, and some of the detail painting of the interior started.

Karl

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Thanks Craig.

I've been on a Cockpit Green binge over the weekend, painting the cockpit, wheel & flap bays, and anything else that ought to be that hue.

IMG_20150920_205708.jpg

Which has allowed me to get the wings together.

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You can never have enough clamps!!!!

The pit has also received some detail painting and should be good for a gloss coat tomorrow.

IMG_20150920_205624.jpg

I've done my usual and post shaded with Tamiya Sky to add some contrast, as the pit on the Mk IVF was a little dark to my eyes.

IMG_20150920_205551.jpg

And seeing as I had the yellow out for the bombs on the Mk IVF, I sprayed the prop tips up.

IMG_20150920_205727.jpg

That's all for tonight.

Karl

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Thanks guys!

Work and life in general seem to have got in the way this week, however I managed to get the pit finished.

IMG_20150927_171357.jpg

The starboard side of the cockpit is very bare, and if I was building this kit again, I'd be inclined to scratch build some of the internal structure.

IMG_20150927_171445.jpg

I'm quite pleased with how the main part of the pit came out, it just needs a bit of chipping, as this would have been a relatively old airframe being Mk 1.

As intended with the Mk IV, I ignored the instructions and attached the forward parts of each fuselage to the rear section as I wanted to avoid some of the fit issues I had with the Mk IV.

This allowed me to join the two fuselage halves together, while leaving out the pilot's seat etc, as this caused some fit issues on the Mk IV.

IMG_20150927_185508.jpg

So this where I am this evening, with a skim of MrSurfacer applied and everything setting up overnight before I clean up the seams tomorrow.

I also got the nav lights on the wings sorted this weekend.

IMG_20150927_171458.jpg

I didn't bother doing the front position lights, as they very small, and appear to have had coloured lenses rather than bulbs, so I'm wimping out and will paint these in at the end of the build.

Karl

Edited by Bordfunker

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Nice work Karl,

She's really coming along nicely, looks like you've got some masking on the canopy to do.

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Good job I picked up the Eduard masking set!

Karl

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So you'd definitely recommend attaching the forward parts of each fuselage to the rear section early on in the build?

Also, after you mentioning it in both your Blenheim build threads, this was waiting for me at work this morning

IMG_3732_zpsncipiuh7.jpg

Looking forward to reading it!

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So you'd definitely recommend attaching the forward parts of each fuselage to the rear section early on in the build?

Also, after you mentioning it in both your Blenheim build threads, this was waiting for me at work this morning

IMG_3732_zpsncipiuh7.jpg

Looking forward to reading it!

That's what mine looks like, just a lot more battered and dog eared!

I'm re-reading Patrick Bishop's Fighter Boys at the moment to keep me in BoB mode.

I'd definitely go with attaching the front and rear sections of the fuselage, rather than as two complete sub assemblies.

It does need a bit of wiggling to get the fuselage over the wing, but it does click into place quite neatly.

Craig, I've re-named the study Filton!

Not done anything tonight, but will try and get a few minutes before I go for my run tonight.

Karl

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Funny! Had I not purchased that on eBay, I'd have dug out my copy of Fighter Boys and started re-reading it. Seeing all these BoB group builds has also put me in BoB mode, having also recently purchased a Corgi AA Blenheim IVF, which is one reason I'm following your builds with such interest :)

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Fizzy, those are two of my favourite books.

Since my last update I've managed to get the fuselage seams cleaned up, and the lost panel lines re-scribe, which left me with this.

IMG_20150929_200830.jpg

Overall the fit was pretty good, with just a skim of MrSurfacer, and a clean clean up with a sanding stick and sanding sponge. Even the fit was decent on the underside unlike on the Mk IV.

IMG_20150929_200839.jpg

Rather than fit the rear shelf of the bomb bay ahead of joining the fuselage halves, which is what I did on the Mk IV, I fitted it after joining the halves, which I'm sure has improved the fit.

You could leave it out all together, but I find it helps spread the fuselage to the same width as the bay walls molded into the lower wing.

With the seams all cleaned up, I inserted the pilot's seat and rear bulkhead in, which just clicked into place beautifully.

IMG_20150929_201841.jpg

I'm quite pleased with how that looks through the glazing.

Just like the MK IV, the two sides of the bomb bay don't quite match across the lower wing joint. Fine on this side...

IMG_20150929_202008.jpg

..not so hot on the other!

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Note the step to the rear.

Time for a shim.

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I'll let this dry off overnight, and then sand it down so that it matches the rest of the fuselage.

I spent some time this evening cleaning up the landing lights, from this fairly rough state after sanding down the CA.

IMG_20150929_200853.jpg

After 20 minutes and various sanding sponges and Micromesh cloths I was left with this.

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Prior to fitting the landing lights, I drilled out a couple of bulbs at the rear of the solid clear block.

And this is what it looks like all slotted together, not glued yet as that would make fixing the bomb bay issue more difficult, but now at least looking like a Blenheim Mk I.

IMG_20150929_202443.jpg

That'll do for tonight, hopefully tomorrow will see the fuselage and wings joined together, and a step nearer the paint shop.

Karl

Edited by Bordfunker

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Liking this one. A friend of mine has built the Mk.IV and had quite some frustrating times with it; I have a Mk.I which I planning to do if the Eastern Front GB goes ahead next year, so your build is reassuring me greatly.

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I've still to finish my MkIV for this GB, however I found the fit challenging in a number of places, and have tried to apply the lessons learned to this build.

One of the Ares I had issues with on the Mk IV was the bomb bay fit, so spent some time making sure it was just so this time around.

IMG_20151004_205817.jpg

The port side just needed a bit of careful sanding of the bay wall and the insert to achieve a perfect fit.

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Remember the shim I mentioned last time? With a little fettling it worked out perfectly, with no filler required.

As you can from that last shot I've made a start on the masking using the Eduard set.

IMG_20151004_205738.jpg

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The top part of the cockpit glazing and pilot's overhead hatch at separate, and are just resting in position in this shot.

Airfix made a mistake with the hatch, molding a central glazing bar on that shouldn't be there, so I ended up scraping, sanding and polishing the peice until the offending bar was history.

One point about the glazing on this kit is that is definitely of slower quality than that found on the Mk IV, which has meant sanding and polishing out a number of imperfections, and necessitated a dip in Future, which then has a tendency to interfere with the fit later.

Here's a close up of that hatch.

IMG_20151004_205803.jpg

No I haven't forgotten to mask the two lower panels on the pilot's side, these were painted over on night fighters, I'm assuming to reduce flash from the gun pack.

That'll do for tonight.

Karl

Edited by Bordfunker

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Just to prove that the Dornier hasn't been the recipient of all my attentions, here are some pics of the progress on the little Blenheim.

Those tiny windows behind the cockpit have proved a real pain on this build, mainly due I think to my remains stock of Klear getting thick and gloopy, and then interfering with the tight fit of the glazing.

As a result they ended more recessed than they should, and therefore I've decided to fill them and sand them back.

IMG_20151007_195021.jpg

Still undecided whether I'm going to drill out new windows and fill with Micro Krystal Klear, or just ask them up and paint them in. What to do?

As you can see from the photo, I've also added the pilot's hatch rails that Airfix molded as recesses.

IMG_20151007_195042.jpg

The landing lights and nav lights were also masked, as was the gun turret.

I also got around to finishing the engine cowlings, including drilling out the front of the carburetor air intakes.

IMG_20151007_195113.jpg

Now off to peruse a certain Lowestoft based retailer's site as I need to order some decals for this build.

Karl

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Nice work as usual Karl.

Don't know what to suggest about the little windows, as they aren't very big you might be able to get away with masking and painting. Good luck with whichever route you choose to take.

Craig.

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Craig, I think I'll end up painting in the windows as they are tiny anyway, as don't fancy drilling them out.

Karl

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No progress on the Mk1 today, however a goody parcel did arrive from Lowestoft for it.

First up a replacement for the Airfix gun pack liberated from the Mk IVF.

IMG_20151010_215658.jpg

Much nicer even if the photo doesn't show it to its best advantage.

Then some new roundels and fin flashes as the ones in the kit aren't correct, and I've got nothing in the decal bank.

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Finally some new codes as 29 Squadron aircraft had large 48" codes as opposed to the more normal 36".

IMG_20151010_215729.jpg

Karl

Edited by Bordfunker

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Despite the bulk of my efforts going on the Dornier, I have managed a little work on the 29 Squadron Blenheim.

Given that I'm painting the exhaust collector ring separately to the rest of the cowling, I needed to figure out a way of attaching the exhausts to the cowling, as Airfix have you fit them as the cowlings are assembled.

IMG_20151017_223303.jpg

The cowling on the left has been modified, enlarging the holes through which the exhausts pass . much larger than the ones on the unmodified cowling.

On the left is the unmodified exhaust, note the prongs either side, which have simply been removed from the exhaust on the right.

The enlarged holes won't be visible with the engines in place.

Next up was to paint the edges of the canopy where the top section fits ahead of fitting the canopy.

IMG_20151017_224819.jpg

Once that lots dry, I'll fit the canopy and then it's time for primer!

Karl

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