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1:72 Airfix Nimrod MR2P

 

“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.”

- Book of Genesis X - 8-12

 

The Nimrod holds a special place in my memories as an aviation enthusiast. Although sadly I never did have the chance to see one in flight, my local airfield of Coventry, has Nimrod MR2P XV232 in a live, engine-running, near taxiable state. Having had the opportunity to witness her complete her engine runs close-up, and even on one occasion, take the co-pilot seat onboard for one such run, has implanted many experiences in my mind with this machine. There is no other describable feeling as sitting, feeling the nose oleo underneath you gently moving under the force of each Spey 250 being brought to full power in turn. She's a characterful aircraft, one that impresses with her size in person, and from every angle, she oozes that true, esoteric 'Cold War' look. A distinguished jet, having been very versatile and dependable in her decades of service, through MPA, SAR, ELINT/SIGINT, and proposed AEW roles. That shrill note as she runs up her Speys, and the orchestra changes from a screaming, to a Vulcan-reminiscent howling through her intakes as they reach full power, accompanied by the blackening efflux pouring into the air behind them. Truly powerful stuff! 

 

As such, it is my intention to document my tribute to this aircraft here. 

This is my first post under a new account (I couldn't log into my old one, seems I have misplaced my password all these years)!

Since then, much has changed, the modeling interest had waned greatly, but it's slowly returning! Years have clocked on, skills have been learnt, techniques refined somewhat, spray cans finally ditched in favour of airbrush, and the burgeoning 'shelf-of-doom', which I am desperately trying to whittle away at. 

 

This Nimrod will be my fourth of the Airfix kit...

The first built almost 6 years ago as a child over the course of a long weekend, brush painted, warts-and-all, filler was not heard of...

The second finished in 2014-15 with spray-paint as XV244 and uploaded to the RFI on here (Photobucket links back then, so now in the abyss)...

And the third finished with some pricey, but superb, Tamiya lacquers as XV232 in her current Hemp scheme about a year ago.

 

So, what is the plan with this one?

She will be finished with all manner of paints, in an undecided scheme at the moment. 206 Sqn special XZ284, 120 Sqn special XV260 are two possibilities, since I adore the Hemp/LAG and coloured fin combination.  Although still 'pie-in-the-sky' at the moment, the plausibility of a post-major overhaul bare-metal stripped 'Rod is always present.

 

Construction begins with small components of the airframe first. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Flaps first. As you can see above, they have been glued and the edges have not yet been tidied up. As I write these words, they have been and are ready to add to the wings when all is ready. Some annoying slithers of flash between the fuel dump vents, but easily cleaned with a sharp blade and fine sandpaper. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

The nose wheel bay box was up next. I started with looking at reference photos and walkarounds to find some images of this bay. Detailing was added with sheet styrene for the wall ribs and for the protective hatch on the forward wall. There is some pitting in the butt-join of the ribs to the lower edge of the landing gear doors, folded upwards into the bay, that cannot be seen when the bay box is put together, so they need not be tidied up. Look at the second highest rib on the righthand of the two large panels and you will see a small pit that is hidden by the step between it and the gear door. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Another view of the work on the nosewheel bay. Here you can see the majority of the plasticard work added from reference photos. Some of it is for a cosmetic purpose solely, i.e the smaller square and rectangular panels are to hide the holes in the original kit part for the cockpit sections on the reverse side.

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Here I have dryfitted the nose wheel components together. You can see how the T-shaped rib structure and smaller details under the nose leg are now inconveniently hidden from all but the most prying eyes. But some comfort can be taken in the fact they are indeed there, and with paint and weathering the details should show better. I have not added any wire or stretched-sprue cable details at this stage. The aerials on the gear doors folded inwards, will be added with the Eduard exterior panel photo-etch set on order.

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Here are the wheel components all glued, sanded and ready for further processing and detailing. The main gear wheels are fairly competent out of the box, with the exception of wheel tread. As far as I am aware no aftermarket manufacturer offers these details. Mastercaster's wheels are slightly more refined in the hubs, and contain better and less generic brake disc details, but still, no tread. They offer miles better nose wheels as well, with accurate tyre thickness, hub diameter, and seperate guards for the correct wheel. I will elect however to use the kit wheels for the moment. Nose wheels will be discarded and instead Alleycat Models' resin nosewheels (along with the SCP intake and fin correction) set, has been ordered to use instead. Alleycat's nosewheels are equally impressive and just as accurate as Mastercaster's set, but with the added correction parts and lack of, IMO, less necessary main wheels, makes it a better value purchase for a budding Nimrod modeller I think.  Nose wheel leg in this view has another horizontal 'rung' added at the apex of the V-section, that needs to be faired in a little better once cured. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

A brief showing of the standard kit cockpit parts. Eduard sells a comprehensive PE set that covers the cockpit in detailed panels, seatbelts, and gauges (as well as adding detail to the nosewheel bay), but little will be seen from the windscreen panes. So I will elect to keep these standard parts. The bulkhead and cockpit door in the kit is too short in height so out of view, this is being detailed and enlarged with strip plastic details. With some IP decals, and some neat seat painting and scratched details, I think the Airfix offering is a good base point for further work. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

And finally the latest port of call on the journey of making a Mighty Hunter - the engine intakes. Airfix has received some criticisms in the past for their inaccurate representation of the intake tunnels. They are slightly too oval, the outboard intakes appear to have too little of a hump in the upper wing like the real thing, and from what I see, the lips of the intakes are slightly too pointed, not more blunted as they should be. The grille between the engine intakes is also of the wrong shape and no matter how you attach the wing halves, you will be left with an awful seam to clean. Thanks to the Eduard exterior set again, a new grille of the right shape is included. Filling in the grille detail on the kit, and applying the grille on top, or even drilling the kit grille out and attaching the PE grille on top, should provide a convincing alternative to this very-visible part of the model. I have seen people elect to drill out the cavity and make the grille from strip card which is something to consider also.

 

Alleycat makes a comprehensive Engine Set for the Nimrod, which fixes a lot of the shape issues of the intakes. However, for the surgery involved in cutting the wing parts and the already tricky join between intakes, fuselage halves and bomb bay skirting without added resin, brings me to choose to make my own modifications instead.

Early days yet, but a plan of action is being drawn. The upper panel 'humps' and NACA intakes will be attempted, the reverser grilles will be added from the Eduard PE and in the correct location, unlike the Airfix kit again. Underneath the intakes the Airfix representation of the  is wrong, so that will be corrected by me with thin tubing and drilled holes. The intake lips will be sanded to try to make them blunter. In the image the intakes have been glued, and roughly sanded. They received a finer sanding, followed by a dip in white latex paint, and have been set aside to dry. 

 

I am in awe of the WIPs on here, and I make no promises as to the quality or regularity of posts on here, being just out of A-Levels and always wanting to escape to airbases - but hopefully this won't be another project that burns out and gets relegated to the shelf of doom! 

 

The Eduard external photoetch set, Alleycat resin wheels, SCP intake, fin, payload bay, and canopy set have been all ordered today - hopefully in due course they will arrive and work can really begin. 

 

George (formerly G-EORG - cheesy, right?). 

 

 

Edited by George Aldrich
Corrected text -nosewheel bay pit in rib is second from top, not from bottom as first written.
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I'll be following this one closely. There's one in the stash which will be attacked at some point in the future

With a couple of years in NMSU and another 4 or so in ASF I think I may have worked on every Nimrod we had back then

Edited by hendie
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Thanks chaps! Glad it is of some use, albeit, less than I had wanted to kick things off with. Progress is being made however. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

The exhausts. Each in the Airfix kit OOB is much too thick at it's lip and the moulds appear to have some fine tooling marks on them, which will almost certainly show under a coat of Alclad II. Perhaps this criticism will be seen by many as pointless and making a fuss over very little, but while I wait for the aftermarket to be shipped still, the exhausts were thinned at the lip and sanded smooth. On the left are 3 OOB exhausts, on the right, with the corrective work. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Finally some larger sections of aircraft! Here you see the elevators and horizontal tailplanes. I have chosen to fix the elevators permanently in the neutral position as the option to have them moveable doesn't serve anything to me. It also avoids the problem of ensuring the concealed hinge is painted right and stops paint chafing off with movement. The main problem with the Nimrod tailplanes is that the outer tips are, again, wrong. They are too curved and the trailing curve stops short of the elevator rather than completely curving as it should. Here I have sawn off about 2mm along the edges and filed the flatter curve using photos for reference. You can see the more flattened tips and the curve that continues to the elevator edge, as it should. The vertical stabilising fins will be replaced with plasticard, as the kit parts are far too thick for the scale. Some sanding of the elevator moving part's edges is needed still.

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Yesterday I was talking of this cockpit section needing more work on the bulkhead. Here it has been added, and the doorway heightened. The kit part's doorway is much too short - 1:72 scale crouching on the knees to get through I think! To neaten the doorway, ledging strip has been added. Panels either side hide some nasty ejector pin marks, and make a resemblance to the circuit breaker panels and engineer panel on the real jet. As little of this will be seen not much more will be added, perhaps with exception to the engineer's table, for example. The doorway has been blanked off intentionally to hide the blank cabin space behind it that is again, devoid of any detail. Painted black as it is intended to be, this should be the basis of a slightly more convincing interior. 

 

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More work completed. 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

 A quick view of the flaps you saw yesterday, which have since been cleaned up properly with sandpaper. Tamiya Extra Thin glue was brushed on after to melt any small gaps and smooth the joins, and lines rescribed. The rudder at the bottom received the same treatment and now all is ready to install. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

The engine intake tunnels received a second coating of latex paint to fill some discrepancies in the first coat. Meanwhile work begins on the exhausts and Spey 250 turbine faces. The faces are wrong OOB. They do not quite capture the Spey's characteristic offset inlet guide vanes (IGVs) nor do they capture the nose cone of the inlet properly. Look at Airfix's Phantom FG1 engine fans and you will see a much more accurate rendition of the Spey inlet. 

All being said, given the fact that not much of the Spey IGV design can be seen up the tunnels of the kit Nimrod, or even the Phantom for that matter, the kit parts will be sufficient for most modellers with a little paint. Here both the exhaust pipes and the fan faces have received a coat of Alclad II Steel. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Exhausts almost complete, save for the black 'soot' effects to be added inside, the fans get more work. The Spey 250's domed cap centre is probably the most characteristic look of the RR Spey. Different aircraft have different appearances. Some have a white centre cap, while others over years of service and erosion from airborne particles and dirt, get worn back to grey and bare metal. Inevitably engines worked on and swapped out in service mean that the look of the engines varied from time to time. Nimrods from that I have seen tend to have the more grey-metal colour rather than the highly noticeable white intake domes, that you might find on Buccaneers, for example. The intake domes were painted with a roughly 1:3 mix of Vallejo Model Air White, to EDSG, and brushpainted. The centre cap's characteristic 'bolt' was added with black paint for contrast when at the far end of the tunnels, to hopefully be visible. Here you see the finished Spey 250 inlet faces, with Flory Models' dark dirt wash roughly brushed on, and slowly drying before removal. 

 

I must make an apology for the tedium of watching me yak on about the look of 1/72 Spey engine faces, and how they're not right - but it's a key feature of the Nimrod's look I think that I want to capture. 

 

George

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Interesting build George. :D 

Great start so far. :thumbsup:

I'll sit here in the back taking notes.

I have one Nimrod in the stash that I intend to build as a Falklands bird some day.

 

/Bosse :beer: :popcorn:

 

 

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I'm in for this one too. Always remember the Nimrod at airshows back in the 70's and 80's. Probably why my favourite scheme is still the white upper fuselage and light aircraft grey. You could always rely on a spirited performance from the mighty hunter!

 

Excellent start on the bays and engines.

 

Terry

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Thanks for your patience. It's been hectic here, managing a new job, and still to this date no response from AlleyCat Models regarding the resin parts. The e-mails did mention a potential 3-5 week wait for these to arrive, but I can only hope that they might arrive sooner. Knowing that the business is often a one-man operation though, they must be given due time and credit for their work! The Eduard exterior panels are on their way through the post which is something though. 

 

To 'Vit79' -

6 hours ago, vit79 said:

We are waiting for...

 Sorry to keep you hanging... there's just nothing much of extreme interest to show you! Nevertheless...

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Fuselage doors attached. Nothing much to report here, they fit moderately well, with just a little fettling of edges to get a neat fit. The door windows will be added with the fuse windows when all is to be attached. This shot also shows you the very faint sinkmarks on the lower nose which is unfortunate, but some light sanding should level these out. Lower right of the image shows the Airfix standard tailfin fillet which will be cut out and replaced by the corrected AlleyCat resin part when it arrives.

Speaking of the tailfin... The top 'canoe' fairing is too short in it's forward length. Airfix portrays it as almost being equal in projection from the tailfin forwards and back whereas the real Nimrod has a little more length on it in the forward section. Chopping the front canoe off and adding some plastic stock in between should rectify this. SCP intake has not been added at this stage. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Can you believe we're still stuck on these evil little things! You may recall I spoke briefly about latex paint in the intakes. Suffice to say this did not work, and I got tired of waiting for the paint to dry. Cue my impatience, and a heavy soaking in white spirit (nooo..!) and the paint turned to rubber gunge, which was duly scraped out and sanded back. Thick coats of Revell's matt white Aqua Color were applied to smooth the walls again. This made a good finish and because of Aqua Color's great self-leveling properties, the tunnels were once more white and smooth. On the subject of white. Many Nimrod builds are built with white intakes. Even Airfix mentions HU130 in their instructions. Naughty...

Look at real Nimrod intakes and you will see, especially on Hemp MR2s that the intakes are actually a subtle shade of LAG. I must admit, I have fallen for this in the other three Rods I have built...but not this time. I made my own mix of LAG, with Vallejo's Ghost Grey primer and White primer in a 2:1 ratio and brushed initially, then sprayed the final coats to completion. At last, they're done!

 

No. Not yet. Yet another Nimrod detail missed... The intake tunnels on the Nimrod have their rear half in a much darker colour, almost a dark metal unpainted colour of some sort. Just so happens that excess black and EDSG paint was available... A small cardboard box was made and taped tightly to just a little larger than the intake assemblies, allowing them to sit in it to about halfway down the tunnels. Paint was poured into the box (a mix of Ghost Grey, black and EDSG to look like, well, EDSG, without using my supply of the correct EDSG up) and each intake dipped into the box up to their middles. This gave a very neat demarcation and the visually correct representation of the Nimrod tunnels at last! In the image you can see the finished tunnels, and the Spey 250 IGV faces, which have had their wash cleaned and varnish applied to darken the effects. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

A better view of the border between LAG and inner tunnel colour. The shininess of the satin colours inside the tunnel will be cut back with a flat coat when the intakes are installed. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

At last. The finished articles. Illuminated by some extreme sunlight you can see the streaky satin finish inside the tunnels which will be removed with the flat coat. Bottom intakes face-on to show those beautiful Spey 250s! At the time of writing the intakes have been installed in the wings, and halves glued. The intakes have ended up with some large gaps between them and the intake lips, so the LAG has been masked and filler applied. So the Nimrod intake saga has finished, yet somehow is destined to continue.

 

As I say, apologies for the slow speed of progress, a conglomerate of wanting to get it right, doing the Nimrod justice, having no aftermarket still, to be starting with, starting my first entry into the world of gainful employment, and even time for photographing airshows (Cosby Victory Show) at the weekend. I picked up another favourite of mine, the sometimes infamous Airfix 1/48th Canberra B2, with a couple of aftermarket resin parts of Cammett and TwoMikes. I intend to make a T22 of it. Could be fun...!

 

George

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4 hours ago, Biggles87 said:

I have one of these which I'll probably never get around to building, but I'll watch yours just in case.

Good luck, I believe it's not the easiest of builds.

 

John

I have two of these that I would probably never have got around to building but at least one of them will now, thanks to this build.

 

Martian 👽

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Thanks to you all! Time to update again with the little tidbits that have been making pace. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Intakes mostly complete they were chucked (neatly) into the wings. Filler has been sanded and the forward LAG-coloured sections of the intake and lips need to be re(re)painted again, ready for their Hemp 'lipstick' touches! Nimrod is certainly a fussy dear! 😂😂

On a serious note the intakes are pigs to work on when installed in the wings, but if you end up with large gaps even with pushing the tunnels as far forward as they'll go, be neat with the filler, work slowly and don't sand too far into the tunnels and all should be well. In the shot you can see the flaps have been installed, they were an evil fit on both sides, plenty of chafing and tightness in fitting them in, so some heavy fettling and they were in. Uncannily each outer flap fuel dump vent has been knocked off during work - they're simple enough to construct with rod so I will redo that soon. Wings leading edges have been rescribed so that the leading edge lines curve all the way round to the underside as they should. The stall vanes on the leading edge had to be removed during sanding, but the Eduard exterior panel provides them (when bent they will look like V-shaped and hollow from the sides, as the real vanes are on the Nimrod, not like Airfix would have you do). 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

Wings mostly complete and awaiting their PE treatment and Loran tip pods, and searchlight, attention comes back to the intakes. I did begin the project with complaining of Airfix's lack of blunt intake lips. Out with some wet-and-dry sandpaper, and you can see the (very rough) initial sanding. Now the lips are much blunter and have that thicker appearance hopefully when painted Hemp. You can see the excess debris clinging onto the intakes all over!

Another key error in the Airfix kit is with the landing lights. Inboard of the intakes at the fuselage junction are fine. Outboards are in the wrong place, too far out of the intakes. They should be sitting almost on the edge of the outboard Speys. Also they are more square lenses, rather than elongated as Airfix has. As this is a really visible and characteristic feature of Nimrods, it must be fixed...(sigh). Out with a saw and perhaps some very heavy-handed hackery later, you can see the new notches inboard of the original locations. 

If you're looking at the holes in the wings above the payload bay skirting and thinking 'what the heck have you done to the inner wing walls' two of the Spey fans had to be reglued as they fell out during masking ,in the traditional tissue-stuffed-into-tunnels method. So some mad chopping later and the tunnels were re-accessible through the sidewalls of the wing. All will be hidden once the fuselage and payload bay is in! All fans restored into place with very fiddly work but they should remain. 

 

Airfix 1:72 BAe Nimrod MR2P

 

And now good news! The first lot of aftermarket arrived!! Eduard's BAe Nimrod external surface panels. The details on these is exquisite. Almost everything you could think of is here. Even some very ingenious methods of neatly gluing all those delicate static dissipator wicks that need to go around the airframe! I can't wait to get stuck into these. Complemented (hopefully soon) by the beautiful AlleyCat resin parts then the only item left to get will be stencilling. 

In this view you can see the intakes have been tidied of the plastic crumbly bits, and the centre mini-intakes have been filled over for the Eduard grilles. The new landing light locations have been boxed in with plasticard which is drying now, to be filed down soon. The lenses will be then added and polished to clear. 

 

In my email correspondence with AlleyCat Models, it notes to wait 3-5 weeks for resin to be cast and shipped (if need be) so with one week elapsed, the enthusiasm for the project is gently sinking. But with some bits to do yet before I really run out and have to wait for the parts to arrive, things will continue. 

 

George

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6 minutes ago, hovis said:

I'm in.

 

Concerning AlleyCat, experience shows that you have to be patient, but the wait is worth it.

Thanks Hovis - I will do my best, to be. Looking at some of their other bits as well, all very tempting - hoping to attend SMW2018 so some inspiration to get projects going should come again! 

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3 minutes ago, Nikolay Polyakov said:

Nice work @George Aldrich!

 

Your build log reminds me a great illustrated book, thanks for the information and pictures. Also your writing style as good as your building skills.

 

Cheers! 🙂

Thank you, Nikolay! I'm trying to find more to put into the pictures, as I realise the speed I'm building at, is not as fast as some can! I will try to keep things as interesting as I can. You're very welcome - hope it continues to provide some enjoyment! 

 

George

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31 minutes ago, George Aldrich said:

I'm trying to find more to put into the pictures, as I realise the speed I'm building at, is not as fast as some can! I will try to keep things as interesting as I can.

Yes, I can’t work with the models fast, too... But the build quality and a lot of knowledge is a reward.

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I am enjoying following this. Note to self, "I will not start another kit just yet, I will not start another kit just yet".

 

Martian 👽

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