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1/72 Havoc from WWII "Grace Airplanes" kit

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Hello All,

As part of my garage clearing and stash organising (260-odd, if you are wondering), I came across some old-old models of my Dad's, from WWII.

Here's a "Grace Airplanes" kit, including "everything you need to build the model", including paint, bamboo, and pins:


You even get spare wood!


Here's a Hudson:


I also have an "Airlines" kit. This seems to be a bit more basic, shown here next to the new Airfix Defiant to show that things have progressed a leetle bit:


Not a scrap of balsa in sight! Presumably it was all going into 1:1 Mosquitoes at the time.

Paint of the day was based on a cellulose dope formula:


One of them was even liquid! The brown, after a lot of stirring, came out quite well:


Although then, as now, nobody quite agreed about Sky:


My Dad had got quite a long way through a Havoc build:


So I thought I would continue it in keeping with the spirit of the build. It was going to need crew - these fellows are carved from a lollipop stick. Any similarity to Captain Pugwash characters is accidental!


Although the plunge-formed canopies from the time (on the right) are still very usable, I made a new plug from balsa to fit the model better and vac-formed some new ones (on the left):


Detail was limited to a pair of Brownings, from wood and pins:


I painted the whole airframe black from a tube of acrylic and applied the decals. The fuselage decals went on perfectly! I knew I was going to have trouble when the wing and tail decals started drifting into pieces on the sheet. I applied them by placing my thumb on the decal and pulling the paper out from underneath. I teased the various broken bits back into position and touched up the missing bits. I am unable to say how well they conformed into panel lines...

A coat of matt varnish and done! It was quite nostalgic to take part in a posthumous joint build, so here's to my Dad:


Thanks for looking,

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Well done, a nice legacy build.

Amazing how basic those old kits were, and we moan about slightly ill fitting plastic parts.

A fitting tribute to your dad.


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It looks superb. A lovely vintage look to it and very nicely finished after many decades. Wonder if you're tempted to build the others? :)

Lovely tribute to your dad,


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Nice legacy build!Though the three part spinner for the Defiant looks a bit scary! :yikes:

Christian, exiled to africa

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Cool. I have a Grace B17 to build. I only identified the make after a couple of years by the style of the writing on it. I also have another makers Whirlwind kit as well as several built "solids" to restore, including some Skybirds.

At one time I had possibly the only known Frog Penguin Series 9 Dakota (in the world!) but passed it on to the chap running frogpenguin_dot_com. Frog made wood kits for three months in the winter 1945/46 so the whole wooden series 9 is pretty rare.

It's good fun working on the wooden models, gives a great sense of achievement even if the shape and detail are a bit old-fashioned.



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Thanks all for the comments. It was indeed a different world in those days, and the paint was a *lot* smellier!

I have kept the unmade Boston kit and a couple of paint pots for pure nostalgia. I won't be making any more of them as the wood is quite knotty and hard to carve. I simply can't justify the effort of finishing them to an acceptable standard when I have so many other pressing and/or enjoyable demands on my time. And the original objective was to de-clutter the garage!

That said, I do have a "shelf of doom" scratch-built Fairey Long Range Monoplane (thread in this forum if you are interested) in balsa wood that I intend to resume when I get a moment this year.

And Will, good luck with your B-17! I think you can take a slice of the credit for Airfix announcing their new-tool Fortress!



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So extremely interesting and educational... The old paints; wooden models; I never knew about this. Thanks to your dad for preserving these, and thanks to your efforts in restoration and presentation.

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