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I will go for my 'oldest' Airfix kit - the DH Comet 4B.

 

Airfix Comet 4B

 

It did occur to me that this might be a 'collector's piece' but I have decided I'm a 'builder', although I will keep the box with the finished model. I will be putting in a big effort (for me) by including after-market add-ons and really try for a pristine finish. It could represent the journey that some kits have been on...

Raring to go and happy modelling all!

Edited by Ventora3300

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Nice Choice Mike. I've never owned this classic kit however could be tempted to add one to the ever growing stash.

Good luck with the build and I'll keep tabs on your progress as you proceed.

 

Cheers.. Dave

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I guess the included adhesive may be a tad past it's best ;)

 

Nice choice!

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'Airfix Skyking' now there's a sub-range that I'd forgotten all about, not surprising though why would an 8 year old boy won't plane without guns and bombs!

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Great choice! I've had the urge to do Airfix's 727 in that lovely Alitalia scheme  for a few year's now this might persuademe to give it a go.

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I saw something on telly not so long ago about the comet and how they finally discovered the "design flaw".  Seemingly cheaper to make square windows.....an aircraft that went far too soon :(

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We used to get a lot of Dan Air Comets in at Ringway (Manchester Airport) in the sixties and if my memory serves me right - into the early seventies - when were they finally withdrawn from service.

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Here we are, then. here is the kit, complete with 'adhesive' - all gone hard now, of course. Only 45 pieces! The 'window popper' is there and all ready to go.

 

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I never built this kit originally and when I went looking for one, I was after a 'red stripe' boxing. I got that but found that a door was missing, so back onto ebay and picked up this kit, which was cheaper and I thought would do for spares - I then realised it might be a 'collectors item'. So back to ebay again and got another red stripe kit to use as spares when building the first red stripe version.

 

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Then, when i decided last year to build this for this GB, I laid my hands on a PE set, which would add some of the missing detail, and a set of BOAC transfers from the USA boxing of this kit. Fantastic! However, if I am going to preserve authenticity, I'll have to be careful how I present BOAC markings on a Comet 4B - my impression is that BOAC had '4's' and BEA got the '4B's' (shorter wings and no wing tanks). Here is the box art.

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I've got some good reference material...

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Amazingly, even though I can't remember it specifically, I actually was looking at a Comet years ago as a kid when we went to meet my Uncle flying up from London to Edinburgh Airport. In the photo box at the family home, there is a black and white snap of a Comet (amongst other aircraft) which I must have took at the time. I'll dig that out next time I visit.

 

Anyway I will get started shortly - just two Sea Furies to finish off and I'll try to catch the rest of you up.

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That is quite a 'fleet' you have there.  I'm really looking forward to this one, to my mind a really 'beautiful looking' aircraft.  I know how long 45 pieces can take - so steady as you go & do her proud. 👍 

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Another kit that I've never seen the sprues of, however thanks to you Mike I now have. 

The one piece wing parts are quite interesting and are reminiscent of some of Airfix's most recent tools. 

This wing design allows you to maitain the correct dihedral, which may not be easy to achieve with some of these old kits. I'll watch this one with keen interest and hope we can all coerce you to build more than just the one you've promised us! 

 

Cheers.. Dave. 

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I'd forgotten about the Airfix 'Check List' - thanks for reminding me :thumbsup:

 

Cliff

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Looking forward to this one. The Comet was the first Airfix kit I built, and second model overall (first was a Matchbox Lightning), bought with cash an elderly aunt gave me for my 7th birthday. So this is a pretty nostalgic one for me. I suspect you’ll do a better job than I did back then!

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We're off at last - got the fuselage and wings edges cleaned up and test fitted. Got out the PE which includes what looks like the front and rear galley areas at the two entry doors. If I thought that PE in 1/72 was fiddly, then in 1/144 it is worse.

Again, I can't get superglue to work on these thin edges so it was back to the Humbrol cement, which lets you position the parts while drying but is certainly messier. I used the provided plastic bulkheads to support one side of the galley areas but at the rear, the bulkhead had to be brought forward to line the area up with the rear access door.

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Test fitted the fuselage together again with the galley areas inside - can you actually see anything through the doors (without using an endoscope)? Is it really worth it at this scale?

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There are PE engine fronts included for the wings so getting on with that next.

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I have enough trouble with PE at 1/48 never mind 1/3 that size!!!! Great start! 👍

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Super impressive for 1/144 scale Mike! That’s a real work of ‘little boy’ art you’ve managed to build there. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

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You've got enough Comets there to start an airline Mike!

 

Nice start with the etch. For the kit with the missing door, it would not be too hard to make up a replacement from card.

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Holidays over now so the Comet has re-started. I started off by having the PE for the engine 'fronts' directly behind the wing openings but found the wing halves would not close over them. I looked at the reference drawings and indeed the engines are set in the wing roots a little way back from the intakes (seems obvious) so I tried to reproduce this with the PE. As usual, I needed to use cement and I found it helped to score a groove on the inside of the lower wings to set the PE in.

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Then I checked that you would be able to see the engines when the wings were closed up.

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Engine fronts were then painted, silver eventually with a dry brushing of black to try to bring out the detail. I have painted the inside of the engine intakes with black but I am going to change it to silver to try to reflect a bit of light around in there so you can actually see the engine turbine blades without having to shine a torch in.

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In the meantime, the sun was out so while I was otherwise engaged in window painting, I got the transfers out to give them a bleaching to reduce the yellowing.

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Those turbo fans are a really nice touch - keep it up mate - I'm really enjoying this one.

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Since this is an airliner, I'll move to spray painting - will have to be 'rattle-can' I'm afraid. I dug out what I have left over from various past school projects. I did however buy the Tamiya grey primer specifically for this build.

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Primer on the main parts including the interior as I may do some highlighting in the galley areas and I hope to reflect a lot of light around inside once the fuselage is closed up. Thankfully, the smell of paint from the windows is 'masking' the activity going on in the next room!

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Then white for the fuselage upper section.

 

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The white was pushed on to dry with the help of a handy paint stripping heat gun, on low setting of course and waved about from a distance. The white in the galley areas needed further coverage with some brush painted in.

 

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Put on a masking halfway down the window lines on the fuselage halves, which should be hidden by the transfer/decal cheatlines and sprayed on black as an undercoat for the metal areas - I've seen that done elsewhere and it produces a good result (qualifies as a Top Tip in my book!).

 

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On with the chrome....

 

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There were some blemishes I noticed so a bit of light rubbing with micromesh got rid of the worst. The chrome looked a bit too shiny so I tried am overlay of silver....

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Masking off (managed to mark the white on a tail fin which will need to be tidied up) and fuselage ready for the next stage - applying the transfer cheatlines and 'popping through' to retain the windows. I think I'll need to place in the doors though to retain the cheatline over them. Fingers crossed!

 

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An AMAZING leap forward - looking good.

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fairly progressing now!!

 

I didn't really think of the scale of this until I saw a tin of Humbrol in one of the pics - makes it even more impressive!!

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4 hours ago, BIG X said:

Those turbo fans are a really nice touch - keep it up mate - I'm really enjoying this one.

Many thanks BigX - doing my research, the engines in a Comet 4 were Rolls Royce Avons. the first axial flow jet engine designed and produced by Rolls-Royce.  A BOAC de Havilland Comet 4 powered by Avons made the first scheduled transatlantic crossing by a jet airliner in 1958. The  Mk 524 Avon turbojets produced  10,500 lbf whereas the earlier Comet 1's were powered by Halford H.2 Ghost 50's with 5000 lbf, so the Comet 4 had double the power available. Jet engine technology was really motoring on in those days!

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3 hours ago, BIG X said:

An AMAZING leap forward - looking good.

 

41 minutes ago, Lawzer said:

fairly progressing now!!

 

I didn't really think of the scale of this until I saw a tin of Humbrol in one of the pics - makes it even more impressive!!

Boy, I really had a good weekend - painting windows meant I was left alone to get on so I could fit in a bit of modelling between coats. (I've got two more windows lined up so....)

The Comet kit does look fairly small in 1/144 and what I notice is the smaller size of the tail fin - perhaps because the engines were in the wing roots so less tail needed to keep in a straight line. Where engines are out on the wings, I think you need more tail surface to limit the possible 'swing' if one engine powers down etc. I won't be as chirpy, though, when it's time to paint the undercarriage!

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Moved on again, re-painted inside the engine intakes in 'aluminium' and closed up the wing halves - spent a bit of time getting good alignment of the intakes as the wing sections could be moved around a bit.

 

There are several PE pieces that fit to the wings, starting with air intake grilles mounted between the engine intakes. The turbine blades are still visible, thank goodness.

 

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Also, there are what looks like fuel dump pipes, two pieces per wing. Humbrol paint pot alongside for scale - these are riduculously tiny!

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These were then followed up with tiny aerials mounted under the wing - I couldn't get the 'towel rail' type aerials to sit up so they are flat for now. These will all get a coating of paint as a last spray looks necessary once I micromesh some of the remaining blemishes. The inside of the wheel bays were done in 'aluminium' (very close to the kit plastic colour) before I closed up the wings.

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Fitted the four jet pipes, pre-painted in 'steel' I am going to drill these out when set.

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I've been getting the painting of the undercarriage legs, wheels and doors done while still on the sprues, There are ejector pin marks on the insides of all the wheel bay doors but I'm not going to attempt to fill/sand etc. at the moment- they are too small. There is some PE provided to replace the wheel bay doors so I may use that.

 

The cabin doors have been dry fitted to the fuselage and I'll spray paint over again to finish these before putting on the fuselage transfers - which is going to needs nerves of steel!

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