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Well having almost completed my Hawker Fury I'm going for something a bit more symbolic of the RAF 100 years with a Puma. This low profile always there but never seen Helicopter has now been in service for 47 years having joined up in 1971. Destined to remain in service until 2025, only the Hercules and Canberra will have served longer. Although based on the age of individual air frames the Puma may have the edge. So despite 47 years of sterling service we still don't have a 1/48 scale kit. Another F16 anyone? To fill the void in the RAF 100 line up I shall therefore be building the venerable and hard to find Heller 1/50th scale kit. According to Scalemates the moulds date from 1967 and this is the 1986 boxing. That said and the detail is basic by todays standards but was probably OK for 1967! Lets give it a go.

 

What you get

 

IMG_0993

Who remembers when the instructions were one sheet of paper, printed in French?

IMG_0994

 

Some massive sink holes in the tail and those exhausts look ermm.......

 

On the plus side the cockpit glazing is very clear despite being 3mm thick!

 

IMG_0995

 

A quick raid on the parts bin yields a pair of seats, some Flightpath PE and a decent instrument panel spare from Belcher Bits Lynx. Also the doors are moulded in clear so only the windows to mask, what a great idea!

 

IMG_0997

 

I think I'll go for an early scheme as the kit has no air filters and the HC2 has too many lumps and bumps to knock off. I figure there might be enough work already but lets see.

May battle commence.

 

Colin

 

 

Edited by Colin W
update info
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Bravo!  I'll be watching this with interest. 

 

Regards

 

Tim

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Smashing choice Colin,Heller kit's are always a pleasure to see and this one look's very interesting,Oh and I flew a couple time's in a Puma so

added interest for me:D

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Thanks for the comments chaps.

I have ascertained the moulds date from 1967 which makes them 50 years old and predates the helicopters entry to RAF service by 4 years. Amazing.

I did a bit of interior work this weekend while waiting for the Fury's glue to dry.

 

I used the old profile gauge to get the shape of the ceiling plate, transferred it to paper to give a template. Haven't used this for years as modern kits tend to give you these parts.

IMG_1011

 

Then I glused some angle onto the fuselage sides to support the ceiling.

The new part is below the fuselage with the paper stuck on.

The partition between the cockpit and the hold is thin whereas it appears to be reasonably thick. Also the door way is too wide. I used it as a template to make 2 new bulkheads and will space these about 5mm apart and install.

IMG_1013

 

The 2 bulkheads now cut out and angle added to secure the sides.

Also the exhausts cut out from the sides and the ceiling now ready for installation.

 

IMG_1015

 

Focusing on the Fury really so this is filling the gaps.

 

Colin

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I needed a break from the Fury's radiator grill so I built the cockpit for the Puma and added the sound insulation in the main cabin from Milliput. I normally use tissue soaked in PVA for this but thought I'd try the Milliput idea. I rolled the mixed putty into a sausage the flattened it out. The shapes were made as paper templates and put onto the putty then cut round. I wasnt sure if it would stick but it has so all was good. I went over the finished items with a rivet tool to make the quilting. It looks better in real life than the picture which is a bit over exposed on the white.

The seats are resin copies of a kit part from something old. The instrument console is from Belcher Bits Lynx as will be the instrument panel.

 

IMG_1028

 

A coat of dark grey next for all this.

 

Colin

 

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Thanks Sammy. 

If you worked on these can you please confirm the colour of the rotor blades  on the HC2? It's quite hard to tell with the pictures available on the net.

Thanks Colin 

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Colin, the HC2 main blades are the same as the HC1, green on top black undersides.  The tail blades are slightly wider chord I think but hardly enough to show. 

Regards

Tim

JzzOYiL.jpg

 

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2 minutes ago, JamesP said:

I think that bump under the rear fuselaglge should be a round observation window. It there in the Airfix kit.

Agree with James I remember gazing out of the thing trying to ignore the fact the pilot's looked like they had just left school!

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Hi Guys

Thanks for the info on the Puma. There is really a dirth of info on the Puma, especially when you consider the length of service. 

I noticed that the rear bump is a window on the French machines but not that it is also on the RAF ones. Should be an interesting item to build.  At least I have not joined the fuselage yet.

Colin 

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It is a shallow bubble. Just a few inches deep.

They were most often filthy, inside & out.

Imagine a giant contact lens & you have it right.

The transmission deck ladder is stowed across it.

The blanks bag was thrown back there too.

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Well I,ve been inching along with the Puma and have now painted and assembled the cockpit. The 2 new bulkheads are installed with a 5mm gap between. I added some detail to the front inc a fire extinguisher. I spent about 2 hours on Sunday polishing the canopy and actually its come out quite good.

The seats are from the spares bin as in the center console and the overhead one the same. The Instrument panel is from Belchers Bits Lynx.

IMG_1087

 

IMG_1084

 

Colin

 

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Small but significant progress here. I got the fuselage together but I've not needed this many clamps on one model since I built the 1/72 B-36!

IMG_1090

I put the windows in from the outside and will now sand them down along with the mass of rivets.

 

Colin

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Sorry for the delay. The bubble window was only there till 1991 after that that area was modified to have a chaff dispenser fitted, so no window. As for the Mk2 I am not sure, I can ask someone in work if you wish?

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Thanks for the offer Sammy but late model machines are even harder to get pictures then the old ones where I have my own pictures from the 1980s air shows.

I'll go with the large contact lens idea,

 

Colin

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On 5/16/2018 at 6:59 AM, sammy da fish said:

Sorry for the delay. The bubble window was only there till 1991 after that that area was modified to have a chaff dispenser fitted, so no window. As for the Mk2 I am not sure, I can ask someone in work if you wish?

 

Good walkround shots here:

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/74945-sud-aviation-sa330-puma/

Edited by Dave Fleming
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Thanks Dave for the link. I have already seen this but mostly the pictures are an HC2 and  a very different Portuguese machine. Air Britain is proving to be the best resource. 

 

I've started a Classic Airframe Vampire in the Carrier GB for some light relief.

 

Colin 

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Well done a bit more since the fuselages were joined. A fair bit of Bog needed so far just filling the sink holes and getting the halves aligned. I have spent a fair bit of time drilling the holes for future vents, aerials and inspection holes. Still looking for a solution to the 'contact lens' rear window

 

IMG_1094

 

IMG_1093

 

There's definitely something wrong with the front of the rotor head installation above the engines. The kit is not consistent with any pictures I've found.  I think the fact that the kit was released in 1968 and the Puma entered service in 1974 means that the shape and detail probably does not reflect the final shape and spec of the real thing.

 

Colin

 

 

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