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Skodadriver

Donaldson International Britannia **FINISHED**

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My contribution is hopefully going to be the Roden Britannia in the livery of Donaldson International, an Anglo-Scottish charter airline which operated a clutch of second-hand Britannias between 1967 and 1972. Although I’ve never built the kit before, several Britmodellers have posted beautiful Roden Britannias in RFI giving me a lot to live up to. The Boscombe Down machine also featured in the Made in Britain GB although I’m not sure if that model was ever finished.

 

Here’s the raw material ….

 

http://35941537875_8ea95fdc87_k.jpgSAM_2014 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

http://35771216142_d10f744eac_k.jpgSAM_2015 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

http://35941536965_eb577b9b5b_k.jpgSAM_2016 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

For reference I’ll mainly be using “The Whispering Giant” by Frank McKim, “Classic British Propliners” in the Aviation Archive series and “Bristol Britannia” Issue No.4 in the Airlines and Airliners series. For older aircraft books are sometimes better than the internet although the Britannia is pretty well documented on the net and Britmodeller has an excellent walkaround featuring G-AOVT and “XM497” which I believe is really G-AOVF, not that it matters.

 

I won’t actually start the build until the middle of next week since I’m heading off to Aberdeen for a few days and I won’t be home until Tuesday.

 

See you then.

 

Dave G

Edited by Skodadriver
Photobucket !

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Nice. I remember the Donaldson fleet during my spotting days at Gatwick. They also had Boeing 707s.

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Great choice Dave, it's a lovely kit. I'm still mulling over entering one - Caledonian or Ghana Airways. I've just about finished my first one in 26decals Transglobe colours.

One thing I have noticed is the nose wheels mounting recesses are too big for the pins on the leg. Not sure if anyone else has noticed this either?

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The Britannia is a lovely aircraft, being from the other side of the rock, I had never heard of this airline.

Let the GB start date roll on!

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Great choice Dave, it's a lovely kit. I'm still mulling over entering one - Caledonian or Ghana Airways. I've just about finished my first one in 26decals Transglobe colours.

One thing I have noticed is the nose wheels mounting recesses are too big for the pins on the leg. Not sure if anyone else has noticed this either?

Hi Jeff

It seems to be a problem on the main wheels as well if my example is anything to go by.

A short length of plastic tube with the correct internal diameter glued into the hubs and then cut flush should do the trick.

Looking forward to this one as I love the livery you've chosen

Chris.

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Now that I’m back home after my niece’s wedding in a rather dreich (Scottish for damp and drizzly) Aberdeen it’s time to get the build underway.

 

First job is to remove the fuselage halves from the sprue. There is a miniscule amount of flash on one half but otherwise the mouldings are beautifully clean.

 

http://35809513261_f68bd9303d_k.jpgSAM_2029 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

I used a nail buffer to smooth the sprue attachment points, not worrying too much at this stage as any remaining roughness will be cleaned up along with the seams. I also removed the moulded aerials for eventual replacement with something more accurate

 

http://35941848445_558809cc0c_k.jpgSAM_2020 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

There are only two locating pegs, one at the top of the fin and one at the nose. A quick test fit suggests the one at the nose will be better removed.

 

http://35809511771_38e97dc363_k.jpgSAM_2023 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

Next step is to superglue the window glazing in place. As an unrepentant window decal user I’ll fill and paint over the glazing later so the fit isn’t critical and I’m more concerned about getting the strips secure than worrying about superglue frosting or the like.

 

http://35809512811_c8a78589e4_k.jpgSAM_2026 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

I’m always sceptical about the amount of nose weight specified in kit instructions and my approach is to do a rough tape assembly and check for myself. It’s necessary to assemble the tailplanes which requires the removal of three sprue “pips” from the underside of each part.

 

http://35941840295_f5334f40a9_k.jpgSAM_2032 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

Once that’s attended to the fit is pretty good and the trailing edges are acceptably thin although there are some rather noticeable surface imperfections which will need to be eliminated before the natural metal finish is applied

 

http://35941842815_60057c646d_k.jpgSAM_2037 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

For the actual weight I always use self-adhesive lead strip which is sold for stained glass work.

 

http://35941846695_c8698db35d_k.jpgSAM_2038 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

I cut enough lead strip to match the kit instructions (in this case 20g) and popped it into the fuselage before taping it together with the tailplanes in place.

 

http://35809511241_6b2a57affa_k.jpgSAM_2039 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

A simple test balance on my forefinger then tells me whether more weight is needed.

 

http://35809512621_eb5a2299ba_k.jpgSAM_2041 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

In this case Roden got it right but there is a fair bit of aircraft aft of the wing so I added another 5g in the tip of the nose to be safe. It’s possible to stick the lead strip in place with its own adhesive but I generally use blu-tack for extra security.

 

Once the weight is secure the fuselage halves can be joined. I removed the locating peg at the nose to improve the fit and attached the nose wheel “well” (make sure that the hole for the leg is on the centre line) before bringing the parts together. A mix of Berna clamps, tape and clothes pegs held everything in place while the glue set. The joint looks pretty good and I anticipate minimal filling.

 

http://35941837625_4d2846ec8a_k.jpgSAM_2043 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

Once the tape was removed and the main joint touched up I added the cockpit glazing. Again this will be painted over and a decal used. Some filling will be needed at the rear of the glazing.

 

http://35809515721_0d71bc4614_k.jpgSAM_2052 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

Finally for now I joined the wing halves, a decent enough fit although a little filling around the engines will be required. Roden have made a good job of the Britannia’s unique wingtips, something which F-RSIN missed in their model

 

http://35941844605_fa6d93d9a7_k.jpgSAM_2053 by David Griffiths, on Flickr

 

That’s the end of part one. I’ll leave everything to cure for a couple of days while I try to finish a B738 in time for the East of Scotland Model Show on 30 July.

 

Back soon.

 

Dave G

Edited by Skodadriver
Photobucket!!

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An interesting subject, I do like the look of the Britannia, very sleek. Looking forward to part 2!

Bob

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Great start Dave.

With all the recent Roden kits I've built, 720 and Britannia and even their little Jetstar, I've found the general fit of the fuselage halves to be very good. In fact sometimes just a quick swipe with a sanding stick is all that's required.

Another area to watch is the upper exhaust pieces. I had to sand the edges a little bit to get them to but nothing drastic.

Jeff

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Pretty sure I've flown in G-AOVF in Donaldson livery to Austria from Gatwick !!

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The kit,from the photos looks really good,even the under side of the wing tip is chamfered. I worked the 22 0f 99 and 511 Sqns at Brize 72-73 and some Monarch Brits at Luton. I like the Brit to look at but it wasn't the best to work on. Cockpit like a Bomber,electrical system that was way too complicated. Under cart was a work of art though.

The Brit, designed by Shorts Brothers,I think 99% of ours were built by them. The Belfast is a developement of the Brit,some imagination is needed though! Originally named the Britannic using the Wings,Fin,T/Plane and therefore flying controls and Electrical system ! AC/DC The Belf's u/c legs and operation really was a work of art.

Didn't like working on them either !

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Great start Dave.

With all the recent Roden kits I've built, 720 and Britannia and even their little Jetstar, I've found the general fit of the fuselage halves to be very good. In fact sometimes just a quick swipe with a sanding stick is all that's required.

Another area to watch is the upper exhaust pieces. I had to sand the edges a little bit to get them to but nothing drastic.

Jeff

Thanks again for the heads up Jeff. The only Roden kit I've built to date is the DC-3 and the fit of the fuselage halves in that was outstanding. The Brit is just about as good.

Pretty sure I've flown in G-AOVF in Donaldson livery to Austria from Gatwick !!

Very possibly. There's a great section about Donaldson in the "Whispering Giant" book and their Britannias seem to have gone all over the place! G-AOVF was the only -312F they used and was the last of their Brits to remain in service.

The kit,from the photos looks really good,even the under side of the wing tip is chamfered. I worked the 22 0f 99 and 511 Sqns at Brize 72-73 and some Monarch Brits at Luton. I like the Brit to look at but it wasn't the best to work on. Cockpit like a Bomber,electrical system that was way too complicated. Under cart was a work of art though.

The Brit, designed by Shorts Brothers,I think 99% of ours were built by them. The Belfast is a developement of the Brit,some imagination is needed though! Originally named the Britannic using the Wings,Fin,T/Plane and therefore flying controls and Electrical system ! AC/DC The Belf's u/c legs and operation really was a work of art.

Didn't like working on them either !

Thanks for the info. I had no idea the Belfast was derived from the Britannia. Every day's a schoolday on Britmodeller :)

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Great start there Dave, I don't think I have seen this kit built before, and very nice scheme :popcorn:

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Beautiful work so far Dave :)

I've just been watching the BBC re-runs of 'Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies', so the Britannia is very much the current flavour of my month!

Cliff

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Nice start Dave. The lead strip for nose weighting is a great idea.

I was introduced to the lead strip by an artist friend and I've used it for years. I buy it on EBay and although it isn't particularly cheap a reel will do a lot of models. I didn't bother this time but you can bash it with a hammer to make whatever size or shape of weight you need.

I don't know if other modellers encounter the phenomenon of the model which refuses to be finished but that's the situation with my B738. The latest in a never-ending series of problems is that I managed to knock off one of the winglets and I'm going to have to re-make the joint without damaging the decals. Its chances of being ready for the Dundee show next Saturday are rapidly diminishing and I'm looking forward to getting back to the Britannia for some much-needed light relief!

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"I don't know if other modellers encounter the phenomenon of the model which refuses to be finished but that's the situation with my B738. The latest in a never-ending series of problems is that I managed to knock off one of the winglets and I'm going to have to re-make the joint without damaging the decals. Its chances of being ready for the Dundee show next Saturday are rapidly diminishing and I'm looking forward to getting back to the Britannia for some much-needed light relief!"

Yes sir, been there done that. :)

Ryan

Edited by The 3rd Placer

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.....

I don't know if other modellers encounter the phenomenon of the model which refuses to be finished but that's the situation with my B738. The latest in a never-ending series of problems is that I managed to knock off one of the winglets and I'm going to have to re-make the joint without damaging the decals. Its chances of being ready for the Dundee show next Saturday are rapidly diminishing and I'm looking forward to getting back to the Britannia for some much-needed light relief!

Yep!! I know that very well .I've got a couple quite a few that just require a few minutes of work and they'll be finished. But, like you, I've also got one that just seems to fall apart every time I go near it. How it hasn't ended up in the bin, I don't know.

Jeff

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Looks an interesting kit. I will need to get myself a couple.

By the way isn't 'OVF the Brit at Cosford now painted as XM497??

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I was the architect of the Boscombe Down attempt in the GB build. Work and life scuppered it after a promising start but it'll get finished and i'll bang it in RFI at some point. Look forward to your build, it's an enjoyable kit.

I cut the tabs off my fuselage halvesto get best alignment but some kits are better than others. The nose wheels i backfilled with cyano and drilled to accept the stubs on the front leg. Other than a bit of shaping and blending of the exhaust covers i think that's about it for build issues.

Edited by MiGFan79

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Looks an interesting kit. I will need to get myself a couple.

By the way isn't 'OVF the Brit at Cosford now painted as XM497??

That's certainly my understanding although my build will be OVC "Mikado".

I'm still trying to batter my recalcitrant B738 into submission but I took time out to apply some Superfine Milliput to the windows and lower fuselage joint of the Britannia. I'll do some sanding and post some more pics in the next few days.

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While I was waiting for some decals to dry on the B738 I got some sanding on the Brit done.

The top seam is superb ....

SAM_2056.jpg

.... apart from a small area aft of the cockpit and the need to blend in the glazing

SAM_2055.jpg

The underside needed a bit more filler but nothing show-stopping

SAM_2058.jpg

SAM_2060.jpg

SAM_2059.jpg

As I mentioned earlier I'll be using window decals so the kit glazing has been puttied over

SAM_2061.jpg

The Roden plastic is quite soft and abrades rapidly so a light touch with the wet and dry is needed unless you want to lose some of the scribed detail. There are a couple of panel lines needing re-scribed mainly around the nose which I'll deal with in due course. I find Milliput scribes better if it's first coated with Mr Surfacer 500.

Another small job I did at this stage was removing the anti-collision beacon from the top of the fin since G-AOVC carried hers on the fuselage.

Next step will be to tidy up the wings and tailplanes.

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Clean work Mr. Skoda!

I find it helpful to re-scribe or deepen the lines around filled areas to kinda leave a trail should I need to scribe them over.

BTW number one modeling task I hate...scribing! (Second is applying a wash) :)

Ryan

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