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Ex-FAAWAFU

Shagbat! Mr Mitchell's other design classic...

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My Seafire 46 is now close to RFI, so time to start something else.  I have been toying with a Seafire 47 - and will probably do it in parallel with this build; however, having got hold of the new Airfix 1/48 Walrus, I find I cannot resist working on R.J. Mitchell's other great aircraft of the war.  

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I have always planned to build at least one of these at some stage, as part of my long-term project to build an example of every aircraft I flew (which doesn't include the Walrus!) and every aircraft my father flew (which does).  He only flew Barracudas front line, so I started looking at training squadrons, and found this:

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AA5R / W3040 was an old warhorse (she'd flown from HMS King George V earlier in the war) which served on 751 Naval Air Squadron at HMS Condor (RNAS Arbroath, which also had a satellite field at Dundee).  751 was an Observers' training squadron - the equivalent of the modern 750, where Lookers are brought up to wings standard (navigation, r/t, weapons work etc).  My father was on 65A Drake Course and got his wings in July 1944, before moving onto Speke and Ronaldsway for radar training (bearing in mind that airborne radar was a new thing at this point, and many front line types didn't have it), and then to Maydown in Northern Ireland (747 NAS) for Barracuda conversion, and then to 810 NAS on the front line at RAF Beccles, then Machrahanish, and then embarked in HMS Queen.

 

I think there was more than one squadron at Condor; my father's logbook only mentions being appointed to Arbroath, but not a specific squadron number.  He certainly flew several different types during his training; Swordfish, Albacore & Walrus at this stage, but also Anson, Stinson Reliant, Defiant, Proctor, Blenheim, Whitley - even an hour in a Wellington! 

 

Anyway, I knew that the Xtradecal AA5R was a likely candidate because every RN Observer trained in the UK went through that squadron at some stage (every other course was trained in Canada and/or in Trinidad, but Dad's flying was all in the UK). It's better than that, though: not just the right squadron, but the right aircraft - 27 April 1944, with Sub Lieutenant Ure up front, he flew W3040 for 2 hours on a Surface Reconnaissance Exercise (SRX).  So clearly this is the airframe I am going to build.

37942670312_c902eb3444_b.jpg

 

Having done the Seafire largely OOB to get my mojo back, this one is going to be a bit more embellished; I have the Eduard interior and exterior PE sets, plus masks (and of course the Xtradecal markings).

 

If you are remotely interested in the "Shagbat", you will no doubt already have read that this new release is the best Walrus out there by a huge distance - it looks really, really good when you open the box.  Like all CAD-era kits, fit is by all accounts very tight; keep paint away from joint lines etc. - but we are used to that in Wing Nut Wings etc., so why not Airfix.  The only criticism I have seen of this kit so far is that there are a LOT of ejector pin marks on the inside; probably the price you pay for all that moulded rib detail. There are a lot of them - about 20 per side - but nothing that half and hour with a sharp No 10 scalpel blade and some careful scraping couldn't sort out.  I did take some before and after photos of the ejector marks, but some advanced camera muppetry on my part means you'll have to take my word for it!

 

Here is a general view of the inside of the aircraft; the "duckboard" floor parts are glued, as is the forward of the two major airframe ribs - the aft one is dry fitted.  You can see how much detail Airfix have moulded in to this beast!

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In the pic above, you can see that I have removed 2 sections of the floor - one on the port side immediately aft of the second frame, and one on the starboard side immediately ahead of the first frame.  That is to allow some extra Eduard detail goodness to fit (the one on the right is a mere 9 pieces of PE...)

37263154094_10ea954a67_c.jpg

 

I have also started adding PE to the side walls - I have been doing a lot of planning to work out what to add before painting (because the interior is going to need a lot of paint and weathering work before I close it up).  Finally for today, here is a closer shot of some of that PE, complete with some pencil marks on the side walls where other bits are due to go:

37263154604_58400d9fe6_c.jpg

 

More soon

 

Crisp

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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I could see someone get caught up in super-detailing this one for months.

 

 

 

 

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Moi?  I think the biggest challenge is actually going to be painting the inside convincingly; a lot of the building / detailing is done by Airfix & Eduard between them.  The engine is self contained, so quite easy to work on as a sub-assembly, up to & including paint; with a little adaptation, I think the wings could be similar (including rigging...).  But the fuselage...

 

We all know how much time & effort it can take to get a cockpit looking good; this isn’t just the cockpit, but the whole thing!

 

Should be fun, anyway!  

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:drink: and :popcorn: at the ready!

 

This looks like fun, so if you don't mind I lurk in the background and enjoy the developments. Also, as I have one waiting for me in the UK, it will be a vicarious way to plan the build in what is left of my brain. I will be doing the ASR example to go with a planned ASR group, (Spitfire II & V, Defiant and Lysander).

 

On-On,

 

Christian, exiled to africa

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Watching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And learning

 

:)

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Wow!!!

What a beautiful interior!!!This New kit bg Airfix is really stunning!!! Ad you day, painting and weathering it will be a nice Challenge!!!

Good choice! !!

I'll be watching you with interest!!!

Ciao

Massimo

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Mitchell was also joined by Matt Summers. He test piloted both this Walrus and the Spitfire.

 

So bizarre.

 

Also bizarre. There are near 40 rigging joints. I know I built a 1/72.  :lalala:

 

Laurie

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Do you mind if I just squeeze past and get a seat by the window. With a back story like you out-lined about your Dad's flying history this will be an interesting and informative build I have no doubt.

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I'm enjoying the start of this.  Window seat for me too please.  I have this kit in the stash it'll probable be a BPF Walrus..  Watching carefully..

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Plenty of interior detail in this kit - looking forward to see what you do with it and the Eduard etches - is there a folded or spread wings option?

CJP

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1 hour ago, CJP said:

Plenty of interior detail in this kit - looking forward to see what you do with it and the Eduard etches - is there a folded or spread wings option?

CJP

The kit allows either.  I am torn; on the one hand the Naval purist in me thinks all aircraft not in flight should be folded, but on the other, I doubt they’d have bothered at Arbroath (space not a great issue, and manual folding v manpower intensive) & anyway I think folded wings will hide detail.  

 

Most likely option is this will be spread, but I might well build a second one in the future, sitting on a cruiser catapult...

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Same here. I will build two. One spread - ASR and one folded - FAA, (Fuerza Aerea Argentina).

 

Wot? there is another FAA???:tomato:

 

Christian, exiled to africa

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12 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

The kit allows either.  I am torn; on the one hand the Naval purist in me thinks all aircraft not in flight should be folded, but on the other, I doubt they’d have bothered at Arbroath (space not a great issue, and manual folding v manpower intensive) & anyway I think folded wings will hide detail.  

 

Most likely option is this will be spread, but I might well build a second one in the future, sitting on a cruiser catapult...

Bit of a dilemma there but I guess you are going to have to build one folded and one spread B)

Edited by CJP

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I've started building the same kit as well, but not using the photoetch so will be interesting to see what yours looks like.

It is a superb kit with loads of lovely internal detail

 

You can see how far I've got over here: 

 

 

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Looks a great kit with an outstanding back ground story, I'll sit at the back and watch if you don't mind?

 

   Roger

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Lots more shininess (of the Eduard PE variety).  I am particularly pleased with the window, which will allow me to pose the aircraft with the Observers' windows open - often seen in reference photos).

37310859534_e979c53b40_c.jpg

 

A quick check with the nose in place to see how much of this will be visible once all is built:

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...and similarly the cockpit:

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Finally, a wider shot to show some of the stuff further aft [Edit: ...a photo that I failed to add!].  Still several things to add - bearing in mind that this is only the starboard side.  It's testing my PE bending technique to the limit at times, but I am pleased with the results.

24168195108_00e82167c5_c.jpg

 

Busy week coming up, but more soon.

 

Crisp

 

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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11 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Most likely option is this will be spread, but I might well build a second one in the future, sitting on a cruiser catapult...

I've been ogling this over the past few months with similar musings about perching a Valom Walrus:

I could watch this stuff all day...

 

Looking forward to seeing this kit come together Crisp.:thumbsup2:

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I've never ventured into WW2 FAA aircraft mainly because of limited display space although I do have a Tamiya Swordfish in my stash - this build of the Airfix Walrus could sway me to buy one though and I notice there is a parallel build of this kit by Harvs73

CJP

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Started putting together the pilot's area of the cockpit:

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And dry fitted:

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Sneak preview of the nose in place - it all fits superbly; this is a great kit:

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I am away tomorrow, so nothing more until Weds.

 

Crisp

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