Jump to content

Blackbird Avro Manchester Mk.I (Airfix Lanc conversion)


Recommended Posts

Inspired and stocked up from Telford, the next build is going to be the Blackbird Avro Manchester. I picked this up and a Lancaster Mk.VI conversion at the show. Based on my experience of the Lincoln build, I'm rather looking forwards to making a Manchester in the classic 3 tail guise, the resin looking very nice and a 'straight forwards' conversion compared to the last two Manchesters I've built. Andy (General Melchett) has lent me his excellent Manchester book by Robert Kirby. I've really got in to this book, not only for reference, but the mix of technical, historical and mission information contained, I really like reading about particular crew experiences more so than simple technical statistics. One thing that is becoming obvious from reading this book is the many evolutions that the Manchester undertook, not only due to serviceability problems, but also in camouflage schemes. I've not yet decided on a scheme, but based on reading so far, I think that pictures will be the best way of determining the correct configuration for a particular aircraft due to the fact that many modifications / camo changes were made at airfields. I'm open to ideas and inspiration for a particular scheme, but quite like one with a wavy high level demarcation scheme as a starting point.

Whilst the Manchester had the obvious engine issues, I never knew until now what the specifics were. Plagues with hydraulic leaks including in cockpit high pressure releases due to 'paper' seals and general leaks due to poor joint design lacking olives, these issues were gradually addressed. The engines suffered from oil starvation around the big end bearings for a multitude of reasons including air contamination of the oil which in itself was caused by several root causes included poor seal types. Also inadequate bearing material which caused them to fail. To combat this, tougher, slightly smaller and grooved bearings were used to get more oil around the moving parts. Overheating due to these oil starvation issues is what caused many of the engine fires that resulted. Further issues with air turbulence coming from the mid upper turret when traversing resulted in flutter and complete fabric removal of the centre tail which led to the redesigned twin tail configuration that was standard on the Lancaster. Other minor issues plagued the Manchester including the radiator doors fouling the undercarriage if closed when retracting the gear. How this wasn't noticed at the design stage I don't know!

Anyway, back to the build, well, I haven't started yet! I have however been able to take some pictures of the resin thanks to the fantastic new light that Andy talked me in to buying at the show (cheers mate). I can't recommend getting one of these enough, so I took a picture of the modelling space too with the light on! I forgot to take pictures of the clear resin, but it's great to finally get a proper shapes FN.4 turret for the Manchester.

1_zpsfgj0cdy8.jpg

3_zpsdnka7aha.jpg

4_zpsyk5ene6t.jpg

2_zps06yjpdka.jpg

5_zpsxundt3u5.jpg

Should get started on the build this week :)

Cheers

  • Like 26
Link to post
Share on other sites

That room

pass the eyewash. it's far FAR too clean

Where's the clutter?

The normal debris of discarded plasticard?

The sprues left from the three builds you last finished?

I mean, I know its new but oh man...

OK OK I know I'm the only scruffy idiot round here so I'll look around, see if I can spot where I left me coat

:)

I love the look of that Blackbird kit, I hope seeing you whisper it into life doesn't turn me away from smaller models

I just dont have any room spare for big jobbies, I'm going to have to seriously deplete my bookshelves just for Airfix's Victor

And that is a big jobby I need to do dammit

I saw Blackbird's stand and they looked reasonably busy, hope they had a good show

So yes mate, I'm along for the ride

b

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought the same set and agree wholeheartedly, at first sight its a very nice conversion set and as always, I'll be watching with interest!

Just out of interest, does anyone know if the Blackbird Models website still under development as when i try browsing the 'site, I get forwarded to a WIX website, for creating web pages?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks like a lovely set of resin & based on your Lincoln a fantastic looking Manchester will result.

Here's hoping the Blackbird RAF Neptune conversion is just as good & not far away.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought the same set and agree wholeheartedly, at first sight its a very nice conversion set and as always, I'll be watching with interest!

Just out of interest, does anyone know if the Blackbird Models website still under development as when i try browsing the 'site, I get forwarded to a WIX website, for creating web pages?

its www.blackbirdmodels.co.uk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Look forward to following this. Got the Paragon conversion set in my stash. Will use on a second generation Airfix Lancaster kit, for which it was actually intended. Saw one of those built up a Telford some ten(?) years ago.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Neil

Glad to see you at Telford, it went to quick as always in my mind, anyway this should be another cracker. Do you know if the centre tail fin is the same as used on the Avro York.

As Perdu says your desk is far to clean LOL

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to take a leaf out your book for that clean desk LOL, Mines clean, but cluttered... hmmmm

Anyway, glad to see you're doing one, but it was kinda inevitable wasn't it :winkgrin: I think once my Stirling is done, I shall do one of these conversions, but I'm thinking the Lincoln with the new Argentina decals..

Good to meet up again too Neil, shall see you at either Bolton / Hull... :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks like a lovely set of resin & based on your Lincoln a fantastic looking Manchester will result.

Here's hoping the Blackbird RAF Neptune conversion is just as good & not far away.

The Neptune will be early 2016.

Had a good chat with Alan, our pattern maker, at the weekend. As we are doing several early Neptunes its a case of breaking down which ones to do, but the RAF one is ion there.

WE've got a couple of flying boat kits to get out in the next month or two so it's getting it all sorted, along with running a very busy photographic business too. We could do with 72 hour days in a 15 day week at times.

so please bear with me and we will get there.

Also talked to Alan about the Lerwick kit and another possible subject....the Hendon.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Look forward to this one Neil. I've always liked the Manchester.

Like you, I find all the background info really interesting and in many as rewarding as building the actual model. It helps to bring it all to life.

I could probably bre for Britain with my current fascination with the Rumpler C.IV and the things I am learning about it . :sleep_1:

Cheers

John

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a great kit! Very fond of the manchester, I remember seeing a pic of it as a kid in one of my grandads books and asking him why this Lancaster was missing some engines.

Is this also a cunning plan to same some shelf space? A little smaller than some of your most recent builds!

Rob

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I got one of these sets along with a Lincoln one as well. I was admiring the Lincoln and the Washington you built at Telford and will follow this one with interest.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Neil, I've already pulled up my chair and anxious to see this build. Looks like you had a good haul at Telford.

Colin

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

mymanchester2.jpg

mymanchester1.jpg

l know l posted it on here before but l did one years ago using the DB Productions nacelles. It was an enjoyable build and l hope to replicate it with the same set plus instant of using an old mould Revell kit l can use the new mould from Revell

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Neptune will be early 2016.

Had a good chat with Alan, our pattern maker, at the weekend. As we are doing several early Neptunes its a case of breaking down which ones to do, but the RAF one is ion there.

WE've got a couple of flying boat kits to get out in the next month or two so it's getting it all sorted, along with running a very busy photographic business too. We could do with 72 hour days in a 15 day week at times.

so please bear with me and we will get there.

Also talked to Alan about the Lerwick kit and another possible subject....the Hendon.

Thanks for responding & great news on the Neptune!

Arrgh & a Lerwick too - spotted it on the website & took a sharp intake of breath! I have the Contrail vacform hiding away somewhere, but a new kit is most welcome!

I saw that you were about to release the ex Silver Wings Southamptons too (which I used to have), lovely kits. I have to save hard but I'll be having one of each.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for responding & great news on the Neptune!

Arrgh & a Lerwick too - spotted it on the website & took a sharp intake of breath! I have the Contrail vacform hiding away somewhere, but a new kit is most welcome!

I saw that you were about to release the ex Silver Wings Southamptons too (which I used to have), lovely kits. I have to save hard but I'll be having one of each.

We have also bought the former Montex Vickers Viking too, and arranged a deal with Alec for the Fairey Fawn early next year.

Also looking at kits of the Bulldog and Siskin trainers too

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

That kit looks excellent. Almost persuaded to go over to the Resin Side but put off by cost... reminds me of the old Manchester conversion from the Airfix Lancaster in a 60's Airfix Magazine, with Alan W Hall carving new wings and engines out of balsa and plastering it with the famous dope and talcum powder mix... technology has come on a bit since then.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

You see Neil, this is why I never have to finish any of my Lancaster-family models - I just finish them vicariously through watching you build yours! That does look a lovely conversion kit. Doesn't look like it's much less resin than would be needed for a Shackleton MR.3 conversion for the Airfix MR.2 - just saying...

Best Regards,

Jason

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

Crikey, these rarer bombers appear to be popular judging by the responses to Stirling and Manchester builds :)

That room

pass the eyewash. it's far FAR too clean

Where's the clutter?

The normal debris of discarded plasticard?

The sprues left from the three builds you last finished?

I mean, I know its new but oh man...

OK OK I know I'm the only scruffy idiot round here so I'll look around, see if I can spot where I left me coat

:)

I love the look of that Blackbird kit, I hope seeing you whisper it into life doesn't turn me away from smaller models

I just dont have any room spare for big jobbies, I'm going to have to seriously deplete my bookshelves just for Airfix's Victor

And that is a big jobby I need to do dammit

I saw Blackbird's stand and they looked reasonably busy, hope they had a good show

So yes mate, I'm along for the ride

b

Ha Ha, Bill, this is before I start. you want to see the bench one hour in to a build, much more lived in at that point :lol:

Hi Neil

Glad to see you at Telford, it went to quick as always in my mind, anyway this should be another cracker. Do you know if the centre tail fin is the same as used on the Avro York.
As Perdu says your desk is far to clean LOL

Kev, really great to meet you. I'll take another picture of the bench looking 'normal' when I crack on, I don't want people thinking I'm abnormal!!!!!

I'm not sure about the centre tail TBH, wonder if someone else can answer that one?

I need to take a leaf out your book for that clean desk LOL, Mines clean, but cluttered... hmmmm

Anyway, glad to see you're doing one, but it was kinda inevitable wasn't it :winkgrin: I think once my Stirling is done, I shall do one of these conversions, but I'm thinking the Lincoln with the new Argentina decals..

Good to meet up again too Neil, shall see you at either Bolton / Hull... :)

Hi Radleigh, really great to meet up again, although like everyone else, we were all ships in the night with our heads down looking at things! I've hardly done any shows this year, so hope to be at Bolton and Huddersfield as they're relatively local, be good to catch up again at a more leisurely pace

mymanchester2.jpg

mymanchester1.jpg

l know l posted it on here before but l did one years ago using the DB Productions nacelles. It was an enjoyable build and l hope to replicate it with the same set plus instant of using an old mould Revell kit l can use the new mould from Revell

Lovely build Dave, pm returned :)

Cheers

  • Like 1
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...