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rob Lyttle

Caravelle Airfix 1/144

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Well, it looks like my next forray into the world of Commercial Airliners is going to be this little box of joy...



Widely acclaimed as a world first in medium range jet liners, there's no doubt that it looks good, compared to the petrol engined prop-liners it replaced.

I mean they look great too, but big, noisy and almost clumsy compared to this sleek little sports car of a plane.


As far as the airfix model is concerned, I've overcome some of the initial snags, including huge sink lines around the fuselage front and rear outside of the bulkhead stations

I'd guess this is a common feature due to bad kit design, and not an individual shortcoming with my kit.







I decided I wanted to have a go at deployed flaps, and I've set about them already with knife and saw.

I'm thinking about the idea of the plane posed just before the tyres squeal,... A bit like the box Art picture.

Or a bit more like this...



Got to be worth a go, surely!?!

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Looking forward to this one, I have a few in the stash, and apart built one somewhere.


Always an attractive aircraft, the noise was something else though

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One of my favourite airliners. I have a few of these in the stash as well as some of the later kits by F-RSIN and A-Model. Your boxing looks like one from the mid to late 90s, by which time the moulds would have been well over 30 years old so beginning to show their age.

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Ah, good another airliner. These little airliner kits are becoming more and more a focus of interest to me.  Macchi M.39 nearly done so maybe next build will be one that I’ve actually flown on an age ago.





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Well, thanks for that, fellas.


I could use a bit of information or insight on the engines, particularly the tailpipe nozzles.

The plane is described as the Caravelle I, with RR Avon's.

Seems like there was plenty of upgrades and stretching done on the original airframe. And presumably lots of engine upgrades too.

I can't see anything that resembles these though...





They're quite noticeably turned out as well.

What should I be aiming to achieve with these?

Quite happy to cut the nozzles off and make something....

Or are they actually a reasonable representation of a Mk.1 engine installation?

Any ideas most welcome!

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Also, am I right in thinking that, once the main gear is down, the doors close again to leave a clean fuselage underside?

I don't see any on the ground with main doors hanging.

The parachute brake arrangement would be on early type, before airbrake/spoilers were introduced on the wings....?


Airliners.net link

I'd love a set of those!

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35 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

and a very distinctive engine 


I wonder if there's another type 😮


A great set of pics Dennis. Thanks for that.

And what a great scrap yard!!


I'm seeing reverse thrust features on those too.

And a light on the tail.

Airfix didn't even bother with the main landing lights!

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Here's what I am thinking....

This is titled as a Caravelle III,



The reg is F-BHRC

My decal sheet gives F-BHRB

And this beauty of a photo...

130803 F-BHRA Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle III, AFR, cn1, wing view


...is of F-BHRA!!

Also titled as a Caravelle III.


Common sense would suggest that my given airframe is a Caravelle III.

These are going to be my basic references.

A zoom on the engine installation on the 3view drawing gives this...



And I've done a bit of this...



Uh oh message from @Martian Hale... Stand by....

Edited by rob Lyttle
spell check knows better!

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4 minutes ago, rob Lyttle said:

Not sure how much topspin there is on that @Martian Hale...

Did you have a wry smile as you wrote it...😆

None. I just like a classic Airfix build and think the Caravelle is a cracking looking aeroplane. Now you really are confused aren't you? :evil_laugh:


Martian 👽

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With you on that.👍


One other thing to clinch it-- this picture is titled as a Caravelle III registered F-BHRS



... which isn't that far down the alphabet.

So at least I've got some idea what I'm trying to do

Always helps...

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There were quite a few variations in Caravelles. The first production variant was the I most of which were upgraded to the III - which is what the Airfix kit is supposed to be. The III was fitted with RR Avons and NO thrust reversers. It used a military style braking parachute if landing on a short runway. The Avon had those odd "flute" arrangement on the back - just like the Comet 4 family. As in Airfix's Comet IVB kit, they didn't really try very hard to show those exhaust shapes accurately.


The Caravelle III also owed its nose shape to the cabin of the De Havilland Comet. Sud Aviation actually paid De Havilland a licence fee to copy the shape.


The Caravelle VIN and VIR were fitted with more powerful Avons and the R version actually had reverse thrust. On the VIR, the flight deck was given larger windows.


The Caravelle 10,11 and 12  were fitted with Pratt and Whitney JT8Ds (similar to the DC-9, 727 and 737).



Edited by Eric Mc

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An excellent outline of the Caravelles evolution there, @Eric Mc thanks for that!

I've done a bit more with primer and preparation.


It's the modelling mantra-  The Five P's....

    "Priming and Preparation Prevent Poor Performance." 😇


Tried out with some foil on an engine nacelle and mounting,

and on the tail-pipe mod.




Better than the original, I guess, but that wouldn't be hard.

Any hints of the fluted " pastry cutter" nozzles will have to be achieved with paint.

I had a try making something with bending pie dish Ali etc, but abandoned the idea....


There's a further development, though.....

I picked up one of these...





There's my Airfix fuse nestled in amongst the Heller kit which is in 1/100 scale.

It's not an original limited edition item, but a reissue. I'll go on scalemates for a timeline, but all the quirkiness, including instructions in french only, seems to have been faithfully reproduced.

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I got the gloss white on, and a coat of lacquer to try and protect against the blackish residue that is produced during the foiling and buffing process.



I'm going against the Airfix advice and leaving the nacelles in metal finish.

I haven't seen any pics of an Air France Caravelle III with white engine covers.

The mounting brackets, on the top surface, I have no idea. Currently thinking metal right to the fuselage side.

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F-RSIN do some engines for the Airfix kit, if its not too late. Available from the big H, they look pretty good.


Martian 👽

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4 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:

I haven't seen any pics of an Air France Caravelle III with white engine covers.

Hi Rob,

If you really wanted to do white engines they did have them early on.


I hope you're going to fill around the cockpit windows, that's quite a big gap!



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Just caught up with this. It’s looking great.


I’m at the decaling stage on an Airfix Caravelle (its in the Airfix group build). I’ve used the F-RSIN engines which are pretty nice - if too late for this build I recommend them for the next one. I think they do the other engines as well so with these and the F-RSIN kits for the stretched versions we’re sorted for all versions - I can see more Caravelles in my future.

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Nice job @zebra .

Just had a chance to finish reading through.

Funny enough I had a major decal crisis of my own last build but one.

I was trying to make a go on the ancient Revell Douglas DC 7C in 1/122.

Did the fuselage, the wings, the tailfin, the nose.

And then the PanAm sheet was a catastrophic failure.....

I ended up doing a bogus MATS livery along the lines of their DC 6/ C 118(?) types.


My one complaint about the Britmodeller forum is the remoteness of the group build sector..... So hard to find!!

If you don't search diligently, you'd never know it was going on!

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23 hours ago, zebra said:

- I can see more Caravelles in my future.



You're not fancying the old Heller kit in 1/💯 then....??

"Reduction Exacte d'apres Plans Officiels"


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I have been thinking about how I'm going to set about the flaps on here, and although I haven't come up with a complete master plan, I've made a step along the way.

Looking at the drawing,


and a couple of pictures, I made some changes to the panel lines, and cut 6 notches to take the rails.





I also modified the fixed part between flap and aileron to a wedge shaped feature and trimmed the outboard end of the flap to match.





The flap assembly was made up with a strip of styrene glued on and sanded off to a bit of an aerofoil section when dry.

Here's the underside of the wings,



You might be able to see how I've shaved away the under-side of the trailing edge of the wings above where the flaps fit.


Well, I'll call that Phase 1 (flaps)

Got to ponder on 2 now.....


I've noticed that the wing fences need lengthening to extend back over that trailing edge a bit.

I'm also wondering if they need more height, esp the main inner fences.

Has anyone else looked at the Airfix offering and thought they're too small...??

Or am I seeing it wrong??

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