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Deanflyer

Three Ages of Man Stuka

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Since I started modelling again nearly fifteen years ago, I’ve kept a spreadsheet of my stash and my builds, and it turns out I recently completed my 99th model. Obviously, my 100th has to be something of significance, so I returned to an idea I had a couple of years ago.

 

Way back in the mid seventies, for my tenth Christmas, my Uncle John bought me the Airfix 1/24 Stuka as he knew I’d been making models for a couple of years by then. I owned the grand total of two tinlets of Humbrol Authentic Colour, dark green and black, and my Dad suggested that for such an expensive kit I ought to buy some paints and “make a good job of it.” I duly traipsed to the more distant of our local paper shops, the one “over the iron bridge” and spent some of my Christmas money on a selection of Airfix Enamels – M1, M2, M6, M17, M20, M22, M25 and so on. 17p a tin, as I recall.

 

The model was built, probably fairly averagely, and went to reside on the top of my wardrobe due to its size. Over the next few years, the rough and tumble of a child’s bedroom saw it dinged, damaged, and eventually broken up. But although most of the airframe parts ended up in the local landfill, for some reason I kept the engine, propeller and cockpit parts in my spares box.

 

Fast forward a decade, and I’d been off to college, got my degree, and was languishing around on the dole waiting for the right job opportunity to come along. One day I was firkling around in my old stuff and came across the old bits of Stuka. To relieve the boredom of unemployment, I dug out my old enamels and repainted the cockpit to the best of my (then) ability, along with the propeller and what was left of the engine. The instrument panel was tricky without the online reference sources we enjoy these days, so I simply made a lot of the detail colours up. They sat on a shelf as models in their own right for a while, and then got packed away later when I moved house.

 

Fast forward another thirty years or so, and I’ve recently retired, and finding myself with a lot more time for modelling I dug out the old Stuka bits again. I went online, and with the help of the Echo Bay Trading Company I managed to find a copy of the original issue Airfix Stuka, complete with swastikas, and the same registration T6+KL as my original build all those years ago. It’s now sitting in my hobby room.

 

So the plan is to do a nostalgia build, incorporating into a single airframe:

 

The original cockpit I built as a child;

That same cockpit I then painted as a graduate; and

That same painted cockpit installed into an airframe I built as a retiree.

 

Child – before career – after career… three stages of man, geddit?

 

I’m intending to do this out of the box, including Airfix’s erroneous colour scheme of all-over dark green for the topside, as that’s how I built the original.

Here’s the box:

stukabox_zpsf75dddoc.jpg

 

Here’s the original parts I have, which need a good clean:

stukacockpit_zps4qyhupij.jpg

 

stukacockpit_zpslh0pchpj.jpg

 

The instrument panel shows a bit of imagination in the colours used, and the instructions were a bit vague as to where the gunsight glass went:

stukapanel_zpsvpehrsi8.jpg

 

stukaparts_zps1ydcsjat.jpg

 

If you’ve stuck with it during this lengthy preamble you must have some interest in it, so feel free to tag along…

 

Cheers,

Dean

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Here you go then John...

 

Just like Christmas 1977...here's all those lovely sky blue plastic parts still in their sealed bags:

Stuka1_zpsmjvthxh3.jpg

 

stuka2_zpsqgmjvrwd.jpg

Amazing to think those parts have been sealed in there for over forty years, soon to be released and fulfil their intended purpose. Good job the bags ARE sealed - there's so many loose parts in there, picking them up sounds like a rendition of Jingle Bells!

 

The rubber tyres are still in good nick, the big old stand is there too, and the decals are still useable, I reckon. The kit came with an instruction book, but the one shown is my original one which I've had for over four decades. Complete with paint smudges by an inconsiderate ten year old:

stuka3_zpsthlrtmit.jpg

 

More when I start cutting plastic,

Dean

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What a fantastic project! Love the fact that you can tie everything together after all these years. Will tag along and see how it goes if you don't mind?

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I'll bring along some chocks and a crank handle to start it with.

 

I still have the canopy pieces from one I built aged about 15.

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Wow, what a great idea. Given that you’re using parts from your first model, I would class this as a ‘restoration’. If a manufacturer’s plate and a firewall is all you need to restore (!) a Spitfire that’s worth more than I’ll ever see, then this certainly counts as an original.

 

Trevor

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What a nice project! Sadly my parents were very conscientious in clearing out my hobby area when I left home... The cockpit looks great, imaginary colours or not.

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Only last night I was chatting to a mate of mine about the wild thought of purchasing two of these kits and doing a bit of a group build. He's all over these wretched cranked winged birds and I'm not a tenth as clued up as he, however it would be kinda fun. The problem is we're both so short on time, so watching your build might keep us enthused for a while. 

Good luck with your three stage generational build - great idea! 

 

Cheers.. Dave. 

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Hello Dean !

Oh I remember that I received it when I was a kit, huh sorry a kid !

If you need I still have some parts in an old metal box !

When I finished it years ago my 🤬🤬🤬 Younger brother have had a great time with the poor kit !!

So do not test fly it...

I'll follow on if you Don't mind, I'll send you a pic of the remaining parts if you need it !

Sincerely.

Corsaircorp

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9 hours ago, Deanflyer said:

here's all those lovely sky blue plastic parts still in their sealed bags:

Cool, that'll save having to waste paint on the underside. :) Least wise, that's the way my 10 year old brain worked, I must have been a real tight little git very canny youngster. :D Not my scale but I'll follow along for the sheer nostalgia of it all.

Steve.

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This looks good, that cockpit panel looks the biz. I remember this kit & the 1/24 Spitfire in the local shop when I was a kid but it was way out of my price range at the time.

Best of luck, I think the decals might need replacing!

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Thanks for the comments so far folks! Nice to know my idea has sparked a bit of interest. Close examination of the decals reveals a couple of cracks here and there, but I'm going to flatten them out and give them a coat of liquid decal film before long. Any anyway, if they do shatter, it won't be the first time I've had to assemble a decal jigsaw in situ on a model!

 

I spent a happy hour or so clipping parts from the sprues last night, and was pleasantly surprised how little cleaning up they took. There was hardly any flash, which comes of having an original moulding straight from new tools, and the sprue gates were for the most part very small. You tend to forget how big this thing is going to be, though:

stuka4_zpsg2dh6uod.jpg

 

The detail on this is quite amazing for the day - no wonder they called it a 'Superkit':

stuka6_zpssgj4zth9.jpg

 

Nice recessed panel lines and restrained engraved rivets - in the 1970's!

stuka7_zpsgbf49kwx.jpg

 

I test fitted the cockpit parts - first time they've been in their rightful home for forty years:

stuka5_zpsbzj8kjes.jpg

 

The fit of the fuselage halves looks pretty good too - just the odd sink mark to sort out here and there.

stuka8_zpsc3ilnmig.jpg

 

So the next challenge was to find a colour to go on the cockpit sides which matches the green I painted the rest of it all those years ago. I went through my stock of Tamiya, Gunze and Vallejo acrylics without finding the right shade to match. I had a rummage around in my old stuff and found a load of old tinlets of Humbrol and Airfix enamels...and one of them was a match! Humbrol matt 30 was the colour I originally used, and even though it's not quite RLM02, it's what I'm going to have to use to match up the old and the new. I prised the lid off, and found that the contents were not completely dried out! I gave the gloopy molasses within a stir, and gradually added enamel thinners until it resembled paint again. Good job I still had some thinners - look at the dust on that!

stuka9_zpsh5ptcqxx.jpg

 

It's still got a way to go until I'll trust it through my airbrush, not surprisingly after thirty years settling, but a test on an unseen area of the original cockpit reveals it to be a perfect match. Having ressurected the old kit parts, it seems only fitting that I should do the same with a tinlet of the Humber Oil Company's finest too! Ages since I've painted anything with enamel though - watch this space...

 

More when it happens,

Dean

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I will definitely be following this one as I have one in my stash that I started as a kid and put away because I wanted better references! I now have a whole bunch of a/m goodies for it, except the gunner's mg, anyone know if one is available?

 

Ian

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Truly nostalgia to me. Never finished mine -- some thirty years ago. Had it stored because of lack of space in the attic where it was shot down, not by a Spitfire but by my cat!

 

But I remeber it as a joy especially after having fought with Airfix's Bf 109.

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I'm in, this is shaping up to be a great thread. Can't wait to see this one progress. I'm also...being the same age...wondering where I went wrong not being able to be retired now. 🤔

 

In 1977 at 10 it was Revell's B-24J with the "Aces High" nose art for me. I remember dreaming about that kit for months before Christmas. How thrilled I was to find it under the tree on that morning. Unlike you though there was no trip to the hobby shop  for paint, my builds were completed with minimal paint, after all, there's a reason models were "molded in color" right? 😝 It wasn't all laziness though, lack of funds had a big part of it. 😉

 

I can't wait to see this one shape up.

 

*EDIT* I was wondering where this post went then I realized I posted this same reply on Hyperscale.

Edited by J.P.
Clarification

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Looks like this project has got a few reminiscences going! 🙂 

 

So it begins....I've painted the cockpit sides with Humbrol 30, but I didn't trust the old stuff not to clog up my airbrush, so I bought a new tin. It matches - the panels with the boxes on are the old panels, added to the newly painted sides:

stuka10_zpscml2cxgw.jpg

I was thinking about adding a wash to darken the shadows, but in this scale the detail is so deep it creates its own shadows, so I didn't bother.

 

With the old cockpit fitted, it looks like this:

stuka11_zpso6fvgttw.jpg

 

stuka12_zpsgopv8q26.jpg

 

Then while assembling the various other bits of the kit, I ran into my first snag. An end cap from the rear stabiliser is missing. 😞 The bags were sealed when I got the kit, and I've been through every loose part, but looking at the sprue where it was supposed to be located it looks like it was never there at all. Not to worry, out with the plastic card and Milliput to craft a new one. It looks a bit crude at the moment as I made it oversized so I could sand it to fit in situ:

stuka13_zpseonuxitw.jpg

 

More when it happens,

Dean

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This old kit looks good even by today's standards. Your are making a very nice job of it.

 

I also got one of these for Christmas back in the 70's. It hung precariously from the ceiling until we moved house and was one of the models that got lost in transit.

 

I don't have the space for one now so will content myself watching yours progress.

 

All the best Greg👍😊

Edited by GREG DESTEC
Spelling

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Well, I finally got the fuselage halves together, after faffing around removing almost all the rest of the parts from the sprues and cleaning them up. Here's the fuselage with the rudder attached:

stuka14_zpswisdbqzv.jpg

 

With the tailplane attached it's starting to look big;

stuka15_zpslpeucwwl.jpg

 

You tend to forget the size of this thing...here's the tail compared to my recently completed 1/72 Spitfire T.9:

stuka16_zpsczn2n0f2.jpg

 

This'll make you laugh. The exhaust pipes on this model are, like just about all kits, moulded with solid ends. I decided to painstakingly hollow these out, but as they're oval in cross section, this meant drilling two small holes at either end of the flat bit, cutting out the section between them, and then cleaning up the resulting hole and thinning the exhaust sides to near scale thickness. I had to repeat this procedure twelve times over an hour to get this result:

stuka17_zps5gpkk5jp.jpg

 

Then it turned out that I'd used the wrong set of exhaust pipes! The ones I'd operated on were for the fully detailed exposed engine, and there's a much lower profile set to fit the closed cowling version that I'm doing...

stuka18_zpscxyagyfb.jpg

 

Oh well.

 

More as it happens,

Dean

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Just treat it as a proof of concept. It works, it looks great, and now you've had some practice, the next lot should be even more perfect, if that's possible!

 

Ian

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I'm back, but I've not been idle. The correct set of exhausts has been hollowed out as per the first ones, but my camera is playing silly ruggers and the photo of them seems to have gone awol. Oh well.

 

This thing is so big, that I've been doing a lot of the small detailed bits before I get it all together and it becomes too unwieldy for the workbench. I don't usually hang things under my models, but this is being built the same as my first one and that means bombs. The largest one here is 3 1/2 inches long:

stuka20_zpsp0ok5gia.jpg

 

The stub wings were attached to the fuselage:

stuka19_zpsc0adp0tl.jpg

 and then there was a few rounds of putty-sand-repeat one the mainplanes, as the covers for the machine gun muzzles on the leading edge weren't a great fit.

 

Then, at last, the wings went on:

stuka21_zpsqrsysu0g.jpg

The side cowlings have also been fitted, but the top and bottom cowlings will be fitted after painting as they contain radiators which would be difficult to mask off once installed. Paint cowlings-install rads-fit cowlings is the plan.

 

God knows how big this thing must have seemed to an 11 year old who was used to 1/72 up until then! It's officially too big to fit on my workbench now, and lives on a side table while I get on with smaller details like the rear machine gun, the control surfaces and the undercarriage. At least the canopy glazing has been masked and sprayed...

 

Onwards and upwards,

Dean

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