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zebra

Bristol 192 Belvedere

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Since we have a bit more time that I thought we had, I'm starting another one - the 1/72 Bristol 192 Belvedere from 1959. This is the 1976 boxing.

 

Starting with the traditional box and sprues shot:

Airfix Belvedere

 

Yet another kit that I first built 30+ years ago. It's smaller than I remember!

 

It's also a fairly crude kit, very rivety, and (I didn't know this the first time I built one) not representative of a production Belvedere - the kit was first released two years before the Belvedere entered service. I plan to build it as a Belvedere HC.1 of 72 Sqn, which briefly operated the Belvedere in the 60s before converting to the Wessex. This will require quite a few mods including replacing the vertical fins with extended, canted tailplanes, reshaping the under-fuselage area under each engine, and adding external life rafts. There are several other smaller mods which I'll do, but there will still be plenty that could be done to create an accurate Belvedere that I'm not going to do - this is going to look a lot more like a production Belvedere than the original kit, but it's still going to have to be a case of near enough is good enough. The other problem with the kit is the clear parts - in particular the nose. It's split down the middle and there isn't supposed to be a frame where the join is. Might have to do some plunge moulding.

 

The first mod to do is to remove the rear part of the fin, which is canted to the right on the real thing. I then sanded down the rivets on the fuselage and thinned down the exhausts a bit by opening them up with a round file.

Airfix Belvedere

 

I've also added the fuselage windows. Next I'll join the fuselage halves - the cockpit can go in after the fuselage has been assembled, so I'm going to assemble the fuselage and get on with the various mods before I add the cockpit and tackle the glazing at the front.

 

thanks for looking

Z

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So glad you've gone with the Belvedere Z. I've never built this kit although did have one in my possession a while back. It will be good to see how you go about 'productionising' this kit and am sure we can all learn something as you go along. 

 

Cheers and eagerly watching on.. Dave 

 

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Hello Zebra,

 

The last time I saw one of these was in 1967 - I had been given one at Christmas '66 and thought it was a great kit, so different to all the other Airfix kits I had done until then. It is very much on my 'wants' list, and maybe Airfix will re-issue it in their Vintage Classics range.

 

I will crib some of your amendments for future use!

 

All the best,

 

Ray

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I remember seeing this box but that's as far as it goes....

 

nice addition to the gb - great choice! 👍

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I don't recall the fit being this bad last time I built this kit (maybe I didn't care at the time!):

Belvedere WIP

 

The fuselage halves are misaligned by at least 1mm in places, worst at the top. Coincidentally (I think) the thickness of the plastic is at least 1mm different between the two sides - quite thin on one side, really quite thick on the other. Managed to get it all reasonably well aligned - the sanding stick and filler took care of the rest.

 

The other bit of interesting fit is the windows. They're very much smaller than the apertures they go in, and a different shape. Worst on the left where they also stood very proud of the fuselage. So I've filled the gaps and sanded the windows flush(ish) with the fuselage. The white filler outlining the windows in the photo below shows just how bad the fit was.

 

I've also tackled the offset fin - removed the rear part of the rear fin (not really a fin, but I don't know what else to call it), offset it to the right and inserted a strip of thick plastic card to fill the gap. Some filler was needed, not yet smoothed down in the photo below.

 

I've also spent a bit of time cleaning up the intakes and started inserting vanes in the intake at the top of the "fin" - there are 7 vertical vanes in the intake, if I can get it right it'll look quite smart. The kit includes an insert for this intake which has the vanes moulded in as slightly raised lines - very unconvincing - and pretty useless because the part doesn't begin to fit, so that's gone in the bin.

 

Belvedere WIP

 

Next steps will be the areas under the engines, the tailplanes, and the windscreen and nose. So some scratch building needed. Once these are done it'll be fairly plain sailing.

 

thanks for looking

Z

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Z, this looks like a particularly bad mould or 'shot' or a combination of the two - Airfix (and us) are lucky you are putting in all this effort to produce a model out of this kit. I wonder if where it was manufactured has made a difference - must have a check into it. Looks like it will be a fascinating build though. Cheers. Mike

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2 minutes ago, Ventora3300 said:

Z, this looks like a particularly bad mould or 'shot' or a combination of the two - Airfix (and us) are lucky you are putting in all this effort to produce a model out of this kit. I wonder if where it was manufactured has made a difference - must have a check into it. Looks like it will be a fascinating build though. Cheers. Mike

Perhaps I've got a poor mould but I wonder whether it's just a reflection of 1959 moulding. I suspect where it was manufactured might not be the cause - it's a 1976 boxing (complete with well and truly yellowed instructions!) so presumably manufactured in the original factory, before things started moving around the world?

 

Definitely going to be a fascinating build! Probably the crudest kit I've built in quite a long time, maybe that's a good thing given the modifications I need to do. Not looking forward to plunge moulding clear parts - not done that for over 25 years. Although last time I did it - to make a new canopy for a frogspawn Sea Venom - it came out quite well, so it should be ok.

 

cheers

Z

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My god, this is looking to be quite a challenge Z, but you know what they say - “All the effort will be worth it in the end”.... ok - I know you’d rather throw this kit off a high cliff right now, so I’ll shut-up now! 

 

Cheers and sand away mate... Dave. 

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1 minute ago, Rabbit Leader said:

I know you’d rather throw this kit off a high cliff right now

Actually no - I'm really up for this one, in the same way I sometimes get a perverse urge to build an Amodel kit. It's probably going to lack finesse, and it'll challenge me along the way, but it will all be worth it in the end and that will keep me motivated.

 

cheers

Z

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7 hours ago, zebra said:

Actually no - I'm really up for this one, in the same way I sometimes get a perverse urge to build an Amodel kit. It's probably going to lack finesse, and it'll challenge me along the way, but it will all be worth it in the end and that will keep me motivated.

 

cheers

Z

Well said! 👍

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Great work so far Z. I too have a bit of a soft spot for the Belvedere and have watched a few go for more than my pocket money on a well known auction site of late.

I do wish someone would kit a more accurate and modern (even if short run) Belvedere.

 

Edge

 

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It's good to see this one being built. A bit of a space eater once the rotors are on, but a very good looking helicopter from Airfix.

I have an out the box built example so I'm really looking forward to seeing your modified version. I suspect the kit wasn't one of the companies top sellers as it never got an update like quite a few others in the range. It sounds like you will be doing the work Airfix should have done at some point!

 

It came out the same year(1959) as the Rotodyne, Heron and Superfreighter so a bit of a vintage year for interesting subjects.

 

I'm beginning to think the fit issues that seem to be cropping up on the GB are possibly due to the runaway success Airfix were having with their kits. The things were selling so fast at the time, regardless of fit, I think maybe the pressure on the mould makers sometimes beat them. The number of different old kits now being built for the GB is starting to provide a bit of statistical information on the subject. All fascinating stuff to the collector or anyone interested in Airfix history.

 

Tony.

 

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18 minutes ago, TonyW said:

The number of different old kits now being built for the GB is starting to provide a bit of statistical information on the subject. All fascinating stuff to the collector or anyone interested in Airfix history.

 

Yes, I have felt this too, Tony and Z. I must admit to starting off as a 'dyed in the wool / Airfix is the best' type of person but I have become a little disappointed with particularly fuselage centre seam issues. I think when a ten year old I just accepted that you could see the joins. However, the techniques employed and efforts put in by the BM modellers to overcome these issues on a regular basis, particularly in this GB, now make me think this is 'all part of the game' and I must be improving because I've been happier with seams on my last couple of builds. I've seen evidence of Airfix improving parts of the moulds as they went along and I have 'stashed' different boxings and toolings of kit just to build together as comparisons. All part of the fun!

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Hi Zebra

 

Hats off to you for attempting this one.

This kit has come to the top of the pile a few times, but I have always bottled it !

I hope you don't mind if I follow this build, with you all the way 

 

cheers Pat

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9 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Hi Zebra

 

Hats off to you for attempting this one.

This kit has come to the top of the pile a few times, but I have always bottled it !

I hope you don't mind if I follow this build, with you all the way 

 

cheers Pat

Thanks Pat. You're very welcome to follow of course, but I'm really only attempting to get it to look reasonably close to a production Belvedere - there's an awful lot that could be done to improve this kit that I'm not going to attempt. 

 

Speaking of which, today's update features part one of the tailplanes. One of the most obvious differences between the prototype and a production Belvedere is that the vertical fins were dropped in favour of extended tailplanes with an increased anhedral angle on the outer parts. Looking at photos (I don't have any plans to work from), the span and anhedral of the inner parts look to be about the same as the kit parts. However the real thing looks like it had a constant chord across the span of the inner part, whilst the kit part is tapered - I think it should have a narrower chord at the root. I've decided I'm going to live with this - reshaping it would mean also reshaping the root area on the fuselage, which I think is a bit more work than I want to do. 

 

Quite a lot of filler was needed at the roots - blending it in is going to take a bit of work.

 

Over the course of the week I've also been adding the grill to the intake at the top of the fin - quite pleased with how this has turned out.

Belvedere WIP

 

I've also started on the nose transparencies. A well known problem - I may have mentioned this earlier in the thread - is that the glazing is in two halves with a seam where there isn't a frame on the real thing. The only way to deal with this is to make a new one, which I plan to do by plunge moulding. The whole part is too complex a shape to plunge mould in one go though, so I assembled it and then cut off the nose part. I'll use the windscreen part from the kit and plunge mould a new nose transparency using the part I've cut off. Will give this a go tomorrow.

 

It also occurs to me that I've not shared a photo of the finished offset rear fin - I'll do that tomorrow - here's a photo of the whole thing, but you can't really see the offset part:

Belvedere WIP

 

cheers

Z

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Nice work tidying this kit up. I built this one a while back, but only as a reference model for a painting and didn't finish it off fully I am often tempted to revisit it and do the model full justice, so I'll watch this one closely.

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Here's the canted fin that I forgot to photograph yesterday:

Belvedere WIP

 

Today I've started on the area under the front engine. Basically built it up with plastic card and then going over it with filler:

Belvedere WIP

 

Going to need some mesh for the bit in between the two fairings - thought I had some, will get hold of some this week hopefully, then going to have to press on quickly next weekend.

 

thanks for looking

Z

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I'm enjoying this, I have an ambition to do one of these in a camo scheme as used in, I think, the Malaysian emergency.

Steve.

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Hi Zebra.

Excellent job you are doing of this.  I picked up a kit from a 2nd hand shop recently, it was unopened and in perfect condition, you have given me the nudge to dig it out.  I remember building the model many many years ago, and remember that there was an article in SAM from the early 80s that was rather detailed and had a set of 1/72 plans, found it very useful, I will have to look in my library of SAM back numbers to see if I can find the issue.  On a historical note, I remember seeing the Belvedere take part in the Service displays at Farnborough in the late 50s and also when I was serving in the RAF in the early 60s.   Robin.

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Hi Zebra.

Managed to dig out the Belvedere article from SAM.  It is in Vol 5, No 1, October 1982.  The article is by Peter Doyle and covers 7 pages, including 2 pages of 1/72 plans.  Unfortunately, having photocopied the article, I find that I am unable to post it.  Sorry. 

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6 hours ago, Robin said:

Hi Zebra.

Managed to dig out the Belvedere article from SAM.  It is in Vol 5, No 1, October 1982.  The article is by Peter Doyle and covers 7 pages, including 2 pages of 1/72 plans.  Unfortunately, having photocopied the article, I find that I am unable to post it.  Sorry. 

No worries Robin, many thanks for trying. I still have all the resources I thought I was going to have for this build - the SAM article would have been a bonus!

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22 minutes ago, zebra said:

No worries Robin, many thanks for trying. I still have all the resources I thought I was going to have for this build - the SAM article would have been a bonus!

I'm looking at that SAM article right now Z. Should you (anyone) want a scanned copy, send me a PM with your email address and I'll do it during a not too busy time later today. Please don't blame me if you all start to jump online searching for Airfix Belvedere kits, however!! 

 

Cheers.. Dave. 

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