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Hi all - thought I'd start a build log on this one. I've always wanted to tackle building a 1/48 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bulldog. The RAAF operated twelve Bulldogs in the early to mid 1930s; these aircraft represented the forefront of the RAAFs fighting force during this time.  From their introduction into RAAF service until 1935 the Bulldogs were considered almost sacrosanct; a pilot had to be of Instructor rating before being allowed to fly one. I've always liked the Bulldog because of its important inter-war role in the RAAF, plus I've always thought it looks pretty mean :) 

 

For a 1/48 Bulldog, there are only two options. One is the terrible SMER kit (not worth a look), or the old Lindberg kit. I happened to pick up the latter reasonably cheaply. This kit is a re-boxing of the old Inpact kit from around 1968, which makes these moulds over 50 years old!

5o8PWxZ.jpg

 

On the positive front, the basic lines of the kit are quite accurate, save a couple of minor exceptions. On the down side, the kit is of its time; that is, it has some very basic, chunky details, and no cockpit to speak of. It has raised panel lines throughout, has a difficult 'fillited three piece' upper wing construction and is severely marred by 'fabric texture' all over the fabric surfaces (wings, tail, and fuselage), which looks like someone attacked the mould with a blunt hobby knife:

u29pbKx.jpg

7CKB5nl.jpg

 

All of the builds I have seen of this kit have left this effect "as is". As these aircraft were silver, these surface traits really show up, and detract from the look of the model.  So my first task was to tackle the fabric surfaces. Some severe filling and sanding was needed to get the upper wing together without seams (as the joints do not fall on any natural lines on the underside). The rest of the fabric surfaces then needed to be tackled to remove the fabric texture. This took lots of time, and lots of sandpaper, but the end effect is a smooth surface with subtle hints of ribs, much more like the actual aircraft in my view. These should look good under careful painting. I also added the fuel tank panel lines on both the upper and lower surfaces of the top wing. 

GLcuTax.jpg

9kZd1nu.jpg

zXv6CoU.jpg

 

I also separated the elevators and rudder, which will be re-positioned. The vertical stabiliser also needed re-shaping on its leading edge (the kit stabiliser is too long in chord and doesn't have the characteristic fillet at the bottom).

VwtGDGa.jpg

 

I then re-scribed the fuselage panels. The kit has erroneous panels around the nose, but these are easily dealt with. I hollowed out the panels for the gun barrells, but the troughs themselves needed to be completely replaced, which I did with shaped sheet plastic. All of the extra details (vents, rivets / fasteners, panels) will be added once the fuselage halves are together.  RAAF machines also seemed to not have the forward set of grab handles on the rear fuselage, so these were also filled in.

smMwTmL.jpg

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4HeTlGA.jpg

 

With these adjustments, the kit looks quite a bit less 'toy-like', and should provide a sound basis for the rest of the build.

 

The very chunky cockpit locator tabs have also been removed, in preparation for a scratch built cockpit, which is the next challenge now that the hard part is over!

 

All feedback welcomed.


Cheers,

 

BC

 

 

 

 

Edited by Brad Cancian
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Great start Brad, I have been wanting to start the life-like version of this in the stash.  This could be the inspiration I need.   Your scribing of the panel lines is fantastic and the fabric surfaces look absolutely lovely. Looking forward to seeing the cockpit details progress.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all - not much to update on this other than to say I've started to scratch build the cockpit. I made a basic frame from styrene rod, and constructed a seat, floor, and instrument panel from sheet styrene:

 

0WdMpM3.jpg

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I also scratch built some more details from styrene rod, strip, brass tube, wire and various other bits and bobs:

 

W66Thr2.jpg

94ijEpC.jpg

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So now I have a basic cockpit. There's still details to add, but next step before I do that is basic painting; the bulldog cockpit is essentially black so i'll have to do some work to keep it looking interesting...

 

Cheers!

 

BC

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Basic!?! Beautiful work and masterful under-statement :lol: 

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These silver wings originated from Inpact before being bought by Pyro, then LifeLike and then finally Lindberg. So they are available in plenty of boxings and have been around for a long time.

 

They make nice models but you are evidently taking it to a new level. 

 

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On 12/24/2019 at 5:51 AM, Brad Cancian said:

The vertical stabiliser also needed re-shaping on its leading edge (the kit stabiliser is too long in chord and doesn't have the characteristic fillet at the bottom).

The kit fin isn't wrong: it's just one of the types seen on the Bulldog, and evidently the one you are modelling had a different type. 

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Excellent modelling and inspiring as I have a similar kit but it has raised decal markings! I spent some time removing them all and then put it to one side, your build suggests there is real scope with these kits and it should come out again. Looking forward to seeing how you tackle the engine, I seem to recall the one supplied is a bit 'blobby' and lacks any real detail.

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Nice work so far Brad.

 

I built this for my son a few years ago with AM decals from an F-84! Sadly, it now hangs from his bedroom ceiling with a few pieces missing while dive bombing his LEGO collection.

 

QMHE perhaps?

 

Cheers,

Mick

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Thanks for the kind words all!   

 

Yep I worked out after I did the re-shaping that the fin was correct in the kit for some versions, just not the RAAF version :)

 

Indeed the engine is a bit blobby, but I have a plan for that thanks to Karaya's resin Jupiter engine which will go into this beastie.  

 

Hi Mick - it's been a while since I got up to QMHE - it's a bit of a journey from Canberra, but never say never!

 

Cheers again,

 

BC

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23 hours ago, bristol boy said:

similar kit but it has raised decal markings!

Looks like you have the Merit kit, which is not a rebox but a different moulding altogether. I’ve not seen it but it is said to be not as good as the Inpact/Pyro/Lifelike/Lindberg one :(

 

Regards,

Adrian

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23 hours ago, bristol boy said:

Excellent modelling and inspiring as I have a similar kit but it has raised decal markings! I spent some time removing them all and then put it to one side, your build suggests there is real scope with these kits and it should come out again. Looking forward to seeing how you tackle the engine, I seem to recall the one supplied is a bit 'blobby' and lacks any real detail.

 

16 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

Looks like you have the Merit kit, which is not a rebox but a different moulding altogether. I’ve not seen it but it is said to be not as good as the Inpact/Pyro/Lifelike/Lindberg one :(

 

Regards,

Adrian

Correct, originally a Merit kit, now available from SMER.  The more recent SMER kits have good decals, and can be used as cheap-ish way of getting Bulldog decals for the Inpact etc kit, as these tend not have good decals.

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The Smer did indeed have good (albeit a bit thin) decals but mine had molded on markings, it wasn’t otherwise a terrible kit and certainly was cheap.

 

fantastic work so far. At first I thought the interior was a cad model it was so neat.

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3 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

Looks like you have the Merit kit, which is not a rebox but a different moulding altogether. I’ve not seen it but it is said to be not as good as the Inpact/Pyro/Lifelike/Lindberg one :(

 

Regards,

Adrian

Lucky me! maybe put that one to the bottom of the stash!

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Indeed the SMER kit is a completely different beast to the Lindberg kit, and doesn't build up as nicely or as easily.

 

I have now got some paint onto the cockpit and i'm calling it done. Sadly, but predictably, not much more than the seat can be seen when it's in the fuselage, but it certainly looks busy enough to pass muster. Here are some pics:

 

4SW5dyY.jpg

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ak2T3Ot.jpg

fu7x5gd.jpg

 

Next up is closing up the fuselage and then starting work on the engine.

 

All comments and feedback welcome.

 

Cheers,

 

BC

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