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Vulcanicity

Vulcanicity's Heyford - done at last!

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After two years of hard slog during which I have also completed a Stranraer, a Chipmunk (as a sanity break!) and a PhD, here is my take on the Matchbox Heyford, finished as Heyford II K4877/H of 7 Squadron RAF at Worthy Down, circa 1935.

The WIP is here. At some point I'm going to do a Heyford reference thread for the Interwar section to share all my refs and discoveries, I'll update this with the link when I've got round to it. Don't hold your breath!

 

Having decided to start on adding some detailing to this and the Straraer, I went fairly mad. The following is a reasonably complete list of my alterations:

 

  • Scribed some panel lines including those around the nose gunner’s position, plus a complete rescribe of the nacelles.
  • Filled one porthole and cut two new ones to replicate the two starboard, three port arrangement of the real aircraft. Also added a small downward ID light under the forward fuselage.
  • Replicated the fabric detail on the rear fuselage by scribing lines in the locations of stringers, gluing in 0.8mm plasticard rod, and building up with filler.
  • Added the metal external stringers underneath the forward fuselage, using plasticard rod sanded to match the stringers moulded on the fuselage sides.
  • Scratchbuilt majority of interior, including partial wireless operator’s position, complete cockpit and nose gunner’s compartments, and rear fuselage around mid-upper gunner. Retained half of a bulkhead and pilot’s control wheels, but remainder was made from plasticard stock, wire, spares box items and CD boxes (for the ribbed aluminium floor).
  • Cut out small windows in top of dustbin turret and replaced with sections of glazing from spares box. Scratchbuilt Hawker High Speed mountings and ventral turret mounting, again adding Lewis Guns from Mini World.
  • Added several fuselage external details, including pitot head and nose ID light, small ventral piping forward of turret, tracking rubbers for the tailwheel, and nose gunner’s grab handle. Replaced grab bar on top of fuselage and pilot’s arm guards with plasticard stock.
  • Rescribed ventral entry door in correct position and in (probable) correct shape (MB have it one fuselage frame bay too far back and square, it should probably be closer to “D” shaped)
  • Removed symmetrical fuselage exit fairings for tail control cables, and replaced with a scratchbuilt fairing on the port side only – drilled this out and added the control lines. Added balance weights to the tops of the rudders.
  • Scratchbuilt the four central bomb bay cells including ribs, wing spars, bomb mounting tubes and bomb bay doors. Armed with 4x 500lb GP (resin replacements from CMK).
  • Scratchbuilt struts between fuselage and nacelles/lower wing centre section, adding steps below the entry door and a tube probably containing a trailing wireless aerial.
  • Replaced blobby air scoops on nacelles with scratchbuilt items. Cut out rear of kit radiator ducting and added radiator face and upper portion of interplane struts inside.
  • Reshaped erroneous kit exhausts and scribed the angled slots. Cut out the open panel aft of the exhausts and added prominent sections of engine bearers plus black blanking panel to simulate engine.
  • Added scratchbuilt landing flares, plus bomb racks and PE Light Series Bomb Carriers from Marabu to underside of lower wings. Added flares from Airfix Swordfish kit. Added aileron actuators to upper wing, plus jacks for leading edge slats and aileron balance weights.
  • Full rigging job (including centre section which seems to be rarely attempted by modellers and took me about 5 hours!) using Sovereign Hobbies fine rigging thread.
  • Painted in my own NIVO mix, decals are from the kit. I’ve speculatively gone for partly doped propellers in a grey colour based on some very ambiguous photo evidence.

 

Things I chickened out of but which you could also do:

  • Detail remainder of bomb bay (time and energy, plus the erroneous mislabelling of 500 pounders as 250 pounders by CMK all forced my hand)
  • Detail remainder of fuselage interior (basically invisible)
  • Replace kit windscreen with acetate (didn’t think I could do a neat enough job)
  • Show the leading edge slats deployed (they do seem to have been retracted on the ground sometimes, and it just felt like too much work (!)

 

As with the Stranraer, it's not a bad kit at all, and likely to remain the only game in town barring a very left-field choice from somebody! Even more so that the Stranraer, it benefits from a detailed cockpit (very visible through that massive opening) and bomb bay (ditto). There are also some minor errors, like the portholes and featureless underside to the nose, which are worth attending to if you're nuts like me.

 

Ah yes, photos. Here y'are.

 

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This shows the end result of my attempts to replicate the fabric detail on the rear fuselage:

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Wretched dust! I brushed it off before the photoshoot and everything.

48088334876_84c210f094_b.jpg

 

48088334876_84c210f094_b.jpg

Edited by Vulcanicity

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You started your build about the time I joined. I have followed it almost from day one. I would like to say that is some seriously impressive work. :clap2:

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Great job ! Doing some of these complicated old birds justice certainly does take one helluva lot of work, as I know only too well.  Your assumptions about the prop colouring are quite correct.  Looking forward to the reference thread.

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Superb model Phil with amazing detail - prize winning job! :) 

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A beautifully done model in every way. I like that you haven't gone crazy with weathering, much more appealing to my mind. :)

Steve.

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Who doesn't love a Matchbox Heyford... even more so when they've been finished off this well. We can all marvel at the latest moulded new tool kits, however the amount of effort, detail and affection that has gone into this build is truly impressive. Phil, you deserve every like and accolade received. 

 

Cheers and very well modelled.. Dave  

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I followed the Stranraer and this build with interest - I’ve got a Stranraer in my stash and I’ve been taking notes! - and I have to say this Heyford is a work of art.

 

Very well done. :thumbsup:

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That IS a stunner, Phil!!!! WOW doesn't do it enough credit! :)

 

Martin

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That is an obscure one.. but very nice work... don't want to be the gunner in the belly drum on this one...

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I have a huge soft spot for taking an old, inaccurate, kit and making it into an accurate model. This one really hits the spot for me, especially with it being a biplane. Excellant work and a fantastic result!

 

Ian

Seeing how the PE bomb racks look I think I've made my decision for the Battle too, thanks!

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Superb too!

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Great work and congratulations on your PhD.

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Absolutely stunning Phil. Well worth the long slog! Congrats on a superb model and your PhD

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm.

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That’s a lovely model, congratulations! Here’s to seeing it through to the end!! I hope our kids pick up on the value of taking on a big project like this one and grinding it into submission over a year or so - instant gratification, no thanks! not for us!!!! Well done 👌

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Such a beautiful result.   It has been such a pleasure to follow its progress, and the time and effort you put in is well worth it.  It really is one to treasure. 

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Very nicely done!  Heyfords Forever!

 

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