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DH 114 Heron 'Channel Airways'

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As a bit of a follow on from my recently finished Boeing 720 'Led Zeppelin' model, I decided to keep things non-military again and build something that I have really wanted to do for a very, VERY long time. This goes back to when I was a very young lad, and was memorable for me bacause it was the very first time that I ever flew in an aeroplane, which was quite an event for me at the time of course, and I can still remember how much I enjoyed it. I was very much into aircraft and model building even then, and since then have always toyed with the idea of building the first aircraft I flew in. The occasion was our first family holiday 'overseas' back in the early 70's, which was to Jersey, in the Channel Islands, and we flew out of Norwich Airport (formerly RAF Horsham St Faith) in my home City.  


The aircraft in question is the DH 114 Heron of 'Channel Airways' and the kit is the jolly old 1/72 Airfix one. The one I shall be building is G-AXFH, pic in the link below. As a bit of a side-note, the picture below states it is taken at Southend (Channel Airways were based out of Southend) but myself and a friend of mine, Mike H, have a slight doubt about that, and the pic may 'possibly' be taken at Norwich Airport instead. We are still looking into that .... 





Being of a certain vintage of course, the 1/72 Airfix kit is obviously not state-of-the-art as of today, so things will be changed/modified/scratchbuilt, and some of the things that will need attention are:



Exterior airframe surface:  All detail will be removed and rescribed.


The interior:  There isn't one .... ;). There are two very basic cockpit seats and instrument panel (no control columns) and pretty much nothing in the passenger cabin, so all 14 seats will be cast in resin and added.


Transparencies:  Cockpit canopy is of the wrong type for the aircraft I am building (it has the bulged section that protrudes above the fuselage) so this will need modifying. Fuselage windows look to be pretty accurate size-wise, but the corners are too 'square' and should be more rounded, and the clear window mouldings have horrible sink-marks/dimples from the moulding process, so these will be changed. Landing light needs adding under the wing. Also the small square windows on the starboard side of the fuselage and port side passenger entry door, aft of the main passenger windows, are slightly too small and too low. They should be the same centre height as the main windows.


Wheels/undercarriage:  Kit has the retractable type undercarriage which is wrong for the aircraft I need, so will be changed to the fixed non-retractable type. Wheels are horrible and will be changed.


Engines/overwing nacelle fairings:  Engines look very basic, small intakes on them are very non-descript 'lumps' and the intake at the front, below the prop hub, is too small. The overwing nacelle fairings do not extend back far enough towards the trailing edge of the wing. The inboard ones need to extend back maybe a couple of millimetres, and the outboard ones maybe around 3mm or so. New engines and overwing fairings will be cast in resin.


Wing tips:  Need to be squared off.


Fin/rudder:  Again, the one in the kit is wrong for the aircraft I am building. The rudder will be modified into the taller, 'pointier' type, and it and the fin tip will not have the characteristic bulge on them as per the kit one.


No doubt there will be other odds and ends that need sorting along the way too .... :wall:



Have made an initial start on some of the modifications, and the pic below shows the new overwing nacelle fairings, the 14 passenger seats for the cabin and also the new engines, all cast in resin. With the engines, I added a finely finned section just inside the intake mouth to hopefully simulate the appearance of an engine cylinder/barrel, although it is not really visible in the pic. Hopefully should be more apparent with a drop of paint on it.





As we are now travelling back in time to the 1970's, any references to Kipper Ties, Flares, Glam Rock, The Double Deckers, Tiswas, Spangles, Corona, Space Hoppers and Raleigh Choppers are not only tolerated they are positively encouraged.  :D


'Jumpers for goalposts ......' :footy:








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Hi Neil,

Fantastic start, I'm really looking forward to following this.

Brilliant work on the replacement parts but after your replacement engines on the 720 I'm not surprised!

How do the decals look?


'Bite through the chocolate and chew.....real slow,' anyone remember Texan bars?



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Looks like a wonderful -if very laborious- project, but the motivation is strong it seems.

Superb job on those castings. I am always dodging dealing with resin (not one more modeling complication, please!) but it is so very useful, especially for scratchbuilders.

Looking forward to this one




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Excellent choice for a modelling challenge! I loved the old Airfix Heron, and will enjoy watching it come together with what promise to be a lot of good mods! Very impressed with the casting work.



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Looking forward to watching this coming together. I've been trying to get a hold of one of these kits for a while but have,  alas, failed. My daughter especially enjoys the Heron at the DH museum (mainly because of the fun folding tables and semi-reclining chairs...) so fancied building one in the same livery. 

Nevermind, until the opportunity arises I shall enjoy seeing your build unfold.



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7 minutes ago, bigbadbadge said:

Six. I also would be very interested in purchasing a set, as they do look lovely

Seven. I'd love a set of those beautiful resin castings. 

I'll be following this build with interest as this is one of my favourite old Airfix kits. 

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22 minutes ago, janneman36 said:

Make that eight haha or are they going to appear in the aim72 range...Neil ?


cheers, Jan




Huh? :shrug:  I have no involvement, and never had any kind of connection with that range of products. They are nothing to do with me.


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11 minutes ago, Neil said:




Should you decide to make & sell some of these sets I would really like to buy one, together with any other pieces you make for this build,



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