Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Heather Kay

Dreaming Spires - a Pavla Airspeed Oxford

Recommended Posts

Very nice Heather. I really like that colour scheme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good Heather, that is a great set of reference photos on the ADF website, it is also an option on one of the Tasman Oxford kits, unsurprisingly with photos like that available. 

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice work Heather. You're doing a grand job of capturing the pleasing lines of this machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 22/04/2019 at 00:14, zebra said:

Very nice Heather. I really like that colour scheme.

 

On 22/04/2019 at 00:32, stevehnz said:

Looking good Heather

 

On 25/04/2019 at 18:57, Col. said:

Very nice work Heather. You're doing a grand job of capturing the pleasing lines of this machine.

Thank you everyone, and apologies for the delayed reply. Busy, busy, busy.

 

40756797213_5d463f2e42_b.jpg

 

Today, I felt it was time to tackle the undercarriage issues. Right from the moment I clapped eyes on it, the kit undercarriage hadn’t filled me with confidence. The mix of materials, with the main oleos in injected styrene and the retraction and bracing in polyurethane resin, looked like it wouldn’t be able to support the weight of the finished model.

 

47723223061_d2ea194ab4_b.jpg

 

Something else bothered me. The box art illustrated an Oxford with very stalky undercarriage. Photos of the real thing, readily available if you do an image search of "Airspeed Oxford" on your internet search engine of choice, show the plane sits quite a lot lower down. The kit parts seem to show the gear when unloaded, wheels down for a landing.

 

47670364022_7c017fa510_b.jpg

 

A first idea was to just trim the kit oleos down, and replace the resin bits with metalwork. If I subsequently made a complete Horlicks of things, remaking everything was not out of the question. Besides, sacrificing some plastic at least gave me an idea of how long to make the new bits. Perching the parts in the undercarriage bay, it seemed they were overlong by a good 5mm or so. 

 

Yes, that photo is upside down. Behind the exhaust pipe you can see one of the undercarriage doors. The top of the wheel really ought to be nearly at the same level. That’s some bona long lallies for this little model.

 

Engaging my rather overloaded brain cell, I tried to work out some kind of solution to both aspects of the undercarriage problem. It seemed inevitable that a confection of metal would be the answer, but how?

 

Albion Alloys' sliding fit brass tube seemed to provide an answer to making bits from scratch. The support and retraction gear seemed quite straightforward. Making the X-shaped cross braces between the oleos bothered me, but I worked something out in the end. Read on!

 

32779908017_01052bec15_b.jpg

 

I did the "easy" bits first. Working in metal should be easy, as it’s what I do in the day job. The problem is the day job is at 1/43rd scale, where stuff is a bit bigger and more robust! Anyway, I felt if @The Baron could do it, so could I. My stock of 0.7mm straight brass wire coughed up a few short odds and ends that would do the trick. The main struts were constructed with slightly over length pieces of wire, and the cross pieces measured from the resin parts. The X-braces were simply the same wire, bent to 90 degrees, a flat filed on the outside of the bend, and two pieces soldered together. Trimming comes later on. A rudimentary jig of Blutack held things in place, a liquid flux applied to the joints, and a quick dab of solder applied with a hot iron worked a treat. I use a temperature-controlled digital soldering station, which pumps out 80 watts. For brass work I generally have the thing set to 390 degrees Celsius. At this tiny scale, the iron only needed to be in contact with the joint for a split second, long enough to hear the flux boil away, see the solder flash over shiny, and out. Nothing fell off, so I was happy.

 

40756795513_8ee042e916_b.jpg

 

After a couple of abortive attempts, I managed to make passable representations of the main legs. Cutting the telescoping tube proved relatively easy, as it’s very thin walled. Not distorting it so it was still telescopic was another matter! Eventually, I substituted some tube with a thicker wall for the main leg, and cut the larger diameter on the thinner one, then soldered then in place.

 

32779907257_5bb9201b49_b.jpg

 

Here is where I am at the moment. I’ve popped the kit parts in for comparison. Note that I’ve added an additional cross brace to the retraction struts, which adds some rigidity to the structure. That end will be up inside the wheel wells. I have still to make the retraction pistons, but that’s just a bit of tube and some more wire. I also have to make axles for the wheels, which will be attached directly to the bottoms of the new oleo legs.

 

It's rather pleasing to see it worked out this well. The proof of the pudding will be to see if I can assemble the units properly. I rather think I might chicken out and resort to CA for final assembly!

Edited by Heather Kay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Brilliant, careful though Heather, they'll start calling you, "The Baroness" ;) :D

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz
removing errant I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Brilliant, careful though Heather, they'll start calling you, "The |Baroness" ;) :D

:lalala:

After the successes of yesterday, I felt I was on a sufficiently good roll to give myself another day to get things further along. 

 

33856456518_1192f890fb_b.jpg

 

First, though, a test fit of the oleos to see how they look. I think I'm happy with that. Provided I can fix them in place at the right angles and the model doesn't end up knock-kneed, I think I can get on with the next bit.

 

47680443242_619750d5a5_b.jpg

 

There's a thing the military say about plans not surviving first contact with the enemy. Well, my lovingly crafted retraction struts didn't survive contact with the real world very long. Let's just say if you have one of these kits in your stash and you're contemplating building it, give serious consideration to making it in flight with the wheels up! I actually believe even the kit parts won't really fit the holes they're meant for - assuming they aren't snapped before they're fitted.

 

Now, I made the struts parallel, following the pattern of the kit parts. Of course, that's fine if you fit them at the wrong angle. They need to be fitted at a shallow angle as the real ones are apparently rooted at the rear of the nacelle. The wheel wells, obviously, narrow towards the rear of the nacelle. After some careful carving away of the plastic with sharp instruments, I was nearly there but not quite. I tried to tweak my constructions to narrow the bit where it went into the wheel wells, but inevitably the solder joints just gave out. I tried one repair, but gave up. Mark One didn't work. Time to regroup and come up with Mark Two.

 

33856455438_4f7fdacfdd_b.jpg

 

As with most problems, I find being occupied doing something else reveals a hidden answer. This one came at me while brewing a pot of tea for lunch. The answer was to make the new Mark Two struts out a single bit of wire, with the narrowed part built in from the start. Back on track?

 

47680442062_b9725dcc46_b.jpg

 

Yes, I think so. Amazingly, my ninja soldering skills :ninja: held up and was able to spot solder the struts and rams with everything in place on the model. Nothing is glued in yet, but it made a heck of difference having everything in the right place while I worked. I guess there will be some consequential damage to the paintwork in various places, but that can be repaired. The undercarriage units can be unplugged and will allow me to prime and paint them before installation.

 

33856455088_32da60439c_b.jpg

 

With the front legs sorted out, time to think about the tail wheel. The kit parts are in this view. The resin forks look completely wrong compared to the real thing, so I had a bash at making a new set from brass wire, obviously! The injected tail wheel looks very undernourished, so I while the idea worked, I rather felt a new wheel would be better. Casting about through the Bits Box and various kits, I eventually found a moulded wheel from an Italeri Bf110 that is doomed to be unfinished (don't ask). If anything the wheel's a little too large, but it doesn't look completely ridiculous fitted to the plane. It's way better than the tiddler Pavla supplied and, besides, by this stage I was getting a bit fed up and really just wanted to be able to finish the bloomin' model before the end of the group build! :waiting:

 

At that point I decided I had had enough of the bench. I will get some primer on the metalwork and wheels ready for painting and subsequent fitting. Thoughts, sadly, must turn to the turret. I may be a while. :tmi:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely work on the undercarriage Heather, very neatly done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seconded! Great leg work :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nimrod54 said:

Lovely work on the undercarriage Heather, very neatly done.

 

2 minutes ago, CedB said:

Seconded! Great leg work :) 

Cheers both! 

 

I’ve just squirted primer over the metalwork. Painting I think can wait for tomorrow evening, provided I’m not too bushed after a day at the bench working on that radial tank engine again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the cold light of day, I wanted to see if my efforts with the undercarriage had paid off.

 

46823160245_acf6084466_b.jpg

 

47686804672_cf402a1a7c_b.jpg

 

Well, I think I'm pleased with that. The angle looks about right compared to photos of real Oxfords. 

 

Things to note: the main gear hasn't been glued into the position so the port set is skew-whiff, and nothing has been painted yet, just primer.

 

Right, where's that bl**dy loco I was working on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it’s any consolation the landing gear on the Frog Oxford is pants too...

 

Regards,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

If it’s any consolation the landing gear on the Frog Oxford is pants too...

I guess we weren't so bothered when the Frog kit was around, eh?

 

33870692498_c930cce9f6_b.jpg

 

The wheel sets got painted last night. Nothing fancy, just matt black and white mixed to give me a dark grey for the tyres and Metalcote polished aluminium for the strut work.

 

46831013125_0d51c947bd_b.jpg

 

I took the opportunity of having the paint about to do a spot of retouching on the main airframe. I noticed, when the masking came off, that some canopy glue got on the inside of the main glasshouse. I guess I'm going to have to carefully remove it and clean it all up. :swear: 

 

Once I've fitted the undercarriage, repaired the paint and given the plane another coat of matt varnish, I'll have to tackle that perishing turret. There must have been a reason for leaving it until last. Now, why didn't I decide to build a MkII which doesn't have a turret? *sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the RNZAF operated turret less Oxfords, I must look into that, you're making it seem an attractive option. :D

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new undercarriage looks super. If I were in your shoes, I'd be leaving the canopy firmly on! It looks very clear.

 

Save all that swearing for the turret :wicked:

 

Regards,

Adrian

1 hour ago, Heather Kay said:

when the Frog kit was around

Oi! There's one on my bench!

 

Regards,

Adrian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

Oi! There's one on my bench!

And I’m certain it will be transformed into a little gem. 😇

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Nikolay Polyakov said:

Such a great work here, Heather! 👍

Thank you! 

 

Followers of Tony's ( @The Baron) thread, where he is documenting the conversion of the venerable Airfix Anson into something quite special, will be aware he’s worked some miracles with the turret. The latest escapade has been to vac-form a canopy the right shape, and Tony has very generously offered a copy to me. An offer definitely not to be sneezed at, and I am looking forward to seeing if the new bubble can be made to fit the Oxford well enough.

 

Being a long weekend here in the UK, I find I have other plans than settling at the bench. I’m still planning progress, though, and the brain cell has been mulling the turret innards. Construction, sensibly, ought to await the new part, though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a bit of spare time, in between doing nothing much at all as it's supposed to have been a bank holiday here in Blighty, and I tackled a couple of jobs.

 

33913471978_1f11f42a59_b.jpg

 

I fixed the undercarriage in place. Hopefully, the model won't look too knock-kneed or pigeon-toed. The photos of V3354 show a fence arrangement aft of the turret to prevent the trainee gunners from shooting off the plane's tail. I formed it from 0.33mm brass wire, and glued it into holes drilled into the fuselage.

 

47001246204_6550b731e2_b.jpg

 

I had become dissatisfied with the very flat varnish I'd sprayed on the model. The coverage hadn't been terribly clever, and some slightly shiny areas were visible. I decided, because I'm like that, to brush paint some Humbrol Matt Cote over the airframe. In the past, I've found that particular varnish tended to dry ever so slightly satin, which I felt would give the model a little more life. Of course, as it's me, this time the varnish dried pretty much matt all over. Still, it looks a little better than the original very flat finish.

 

33913471088_f3aab42109_b.jpg

 

I carefully removed the main canopy, held on with Kristal Klear, and gave it a good clean inside. Some dust and a spot of two of canopy glue had found their way inside, and I really couldn't live with it. Minor paint damage was retouched after refitting the canopy. 

 

Things to do, not including the turret, are finish detail painting the engines, fit the props, and mark out the walkways on the wings. I'll also consider a spot of light weathering. I promise to sort out the turret soon. I can, at least, work out the interior framework in preparation for the greenhouse.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lack of spare time has kept me from this group build for far too long so I've been playing catch-up on your progress with this one Heather. That's some grand engineering you've put into the undercarraige and I'm sure the turret will turn out just as well as the rest of this one in your skilled hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

46908178155_9f1068c4ac_b.jpg

 

And, we're done!

 

Oh, wait... :penguin:

 

New turret glazing, courtesy of @The Baron. Thanks, Tony! :thumbsup:

 

 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful work Great detail  

Martin H

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooohkay! Where was I? Ah, yes. Distracted.

 

47098744754_f436cbeceb_b.jpg

 

This L&YR 2-4-2T has finally reached primer stage, at least for the bodywork. Now comes the tedious job of painting it. Happily, the weather has warmed up sufficiently making the paint shop somewhere fairly comfy to work in. That other thing - what is it? Um, I think it's called "Life" or something - also got in the way a bit, so the poor old Oxford bided its time on the shelf.

 

In amongst other things, I did discover that V3354 was actually a UK-based aircraft after all. :yahoo:

 

47888074671_f918a29478_b.jpg

 

Turrrets. Tony, @The Baron, very kindly sent me a copy of his bubble top. I was keen to use it, but I wasn't at all confident I could work out and paint the frame structure on the bubble itself. There was also the issue of making it fit the kit properly. I then took a closer look at the kit vac-form, and decided that the better defined framework would be easier for me to work with. At least, if it didn't work out, Tony's turret could still be used.

 

Anyway, before all that, I had to make some kind of internal structure.

 

40921717963_7b707d612a_b.jpg

 

The original plan had been to make brass wire copies of the resin parts in a Special Hobby Avro Anson. After some careful bending, soldering and gluing, attached to a slightly modified kit base ring, and with a superfluous Airfix Vickers K at rest, this is what I came up with. It doesn't have the more common looped gun mount, but I was copying the SH square version and who am I to argue? Besides, by this stage of this build, with the end of the GB lumbering over the horizon, I really just want to finish the poor old Oxford before I lose the will to live! To think I had envisaged I might polish off a couple more trainers during this GB. Such is life.

 

47098744114_eda7953c5f_b.jpg

 

With the kit vac-form bubble perched on, it sort of shows that I might well have had to excise quite a bit of Tony's example to match the injection moulded ring. I wasn't about to attempt a full-on brass framework and ring. Sometimes, there are lines to be drawn!

 

47098743764_9482309a06_b.jpg

 

After a bit of scraping and filing to the aperture inside the fuselage, and some adjustment to the base ring, the unit is a comfortable interference fit in the plane. As a sort of compromise, I am happy with the look. Perhaps my wire fence is a little large, but I'll stick with it. I suppose some paint on the innards, and an attempt at painting the framing is next on the cards.

 

Things still to do before I'm finished? Antenna mast, glaze the landing lights, paint the engines and exhausts, fit the props. Then photo shoot for the gallery. This week? Could be!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work on the turret Heather - that's looking pretty special :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers m'dear! If I can paint the frames neatly, I’ll be happy. It’s a shame I couldn’t use Tony's generously donated turret in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely work on the turret interior Heather, and you are excused any slow progress when the distraction is a L&YR Tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...