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Rabbit Leader

Finland - SAAB 91 Safir (Heller 1/72)

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Greetings to all fellow GB members.  

Like a few others on here, I've been patiently waiting for this years GB's to officially start and am so glad that this 'Scandinavian / Nordic' themed GB is the first one off the blocks! 

Now although I fancy myself as a reasonably knowledgeable aviation modeller, I am ashamed to say that Scandinavian subjects are certainly not my strong suit. To be honest, I've never contemplated building a model in Finnish, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian markings - however, thanks to this GB, that should (hopefully) all change very shortly.

 

My aim for this GB is to model (at least) four aircraft - one each from the four main Scandinavian Air arms (sorry Iceland). First up will be Heller's diminutive 1/72 SAAB Safir in faded Dayglo Finnish colours. The faded paint will be a bit of an experiment, so let's see how that turns out? If I fail I'll just have to resort to a fairly clean and freshly painted machine. Here's a quick photo before we all make an official start on the 18th. 

 

Cheers and I wish everyone the best of luck.. Dave  

 

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welcome aboard RL, glad to see you survived the Xmas/NY period and shopping with SHMBO! :D

 

Good to see you're going all out for this GB with 4 different builds and your first one is different and interesting. A nice looking wee beastie, though I reckon she'll need a ton of weight up from to stop her being a tail sitter.

 

I to have to admit other than the "common" subjects I'm not that knowledgable on Scandinavian/Nordic subjects so am hoping to learn some new stuff on the way.

 

Good luck with the first of your builds, looking forward to seeing her completed.

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I see you are going the opposite to me with your GB Dave.  Simple but many builds while I'm going difficult but a single build.  

Good luck with it. I know you will succeed, whether I do that is another matter.

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11 hours ago, Greg Law said:

I see you are going the opposite to me with your GB Dave.  Simple but many builds while I'm going difficult but a single build.  

Good luck with it. I know you will succeed, whether I do that is another matter.

Success is hard to measure Greg, especially with my dismal start to finish ratio, however this looks like a fun build and something quite new to keep the enthusiasm up. We’ll just have to motivate each other as these kits progress. 
 

Cheers and thanks.. Dave 

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4 hours ago, trickyrich said:

I reckon she'll need a ton of weight up from to stop her being a tail sitter.

Thanks for the warm welcome Rich and I do think that you’re onto something here. Blimey, talk about CoG issues, look at all that structure behind the main gear! 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

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Liquid gravity is probably needed here:

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The SAAB Safir's Chief Designer was Anders Johan Andersson who during the 30:s were Chief Designer at Bücker Flugzeugbau where he designed the Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann, Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister and Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann.

The Bestmann was also used in Swedish Air Force as SK 25, so not only used as a prototype for the Safir 😉

 

Heller's old kit is the only one in town (seriously, they kitted all the major types for Swedish Airforce during the 70:s early 80:s !) for 1/72 and was for it's time a decent little kit, emphasize little...

 

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Yes liquid Gravity is the answer.  It can go anywhere and mixed with pva glue it will stay in place. You can even line the walls with it. It worked well on my Heinkel jet.

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Update #1 - Start and basic construction 

 

OK, we are finally up and running with my first of four Nordic GB builds. To me, the good thing about Heller's Safir kit is that the main parts can be built up prior to completing and installing the cockpit. This will allow me to get some descent joins filled and sanded without having to get lots of dust and wet n' dry sanding residue inside a nicely painted cockpit. The plastic of this recently re-issued classic Heller kit is quite soft and so far my eyes are telling me that one of the fuselage halves is a tad warped.  I've cut off the rudder to pose it off centre in the vain hope that this may aid the wonky tailplane that looks likely to be evident. I'll progress on and build it up to see how it all lines up. Then I'll sit back and decide what action needs to take place, if any at all.  


Cheers.. Dave 

 

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that does go together quickly, nice to ba able to drop the cockpit in later.

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Looking good Dave. The rudder removal was a good idea. I think that will solve the problem.

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Update #2 - Progress assembly and correcting the warped fuselage

 

Managed to complete a little bit more on this kit and in the end I just had to resort to some major surgery. Once I glued the horizontal stabs in place the rear fuselage still looked all twisted and warped. I deliberated about it for a while, then decided that I just couldn't live with it looking like this. So out came the razor saw and off came the tail end! The two assemblies where filed at a slight angle to correct the alignment and then glued back in place with CA. Once dried, wet n dry paper of various grades blended in the join and I'm happy to say it looks so much better than it did earlier on. The one piece cockpit tub was inserted in place, however the underside of this parts design doesn't look great when viewed through the open wheel wells. Although not quite accurate, I placed plastic card inside these openings to hide the ghastly appearance that Heller provide. It's all a bit too shallow, however I'll paint it black and try to hide it all that way?

 

Cheers.. Dave

 

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Good work on the correction.  I thought you might have a problem with it once the tail was on.

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gee that's coming along really nicely and quickly as well.

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Drastic work but effective :thumbsup:

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Update #3 Cockpit completion 

 

Trying to make the best out of a few days off work and the persistant hot and humid weather conditions which makes it too hard to do anything productive outside. I completed the main assembly by installing as much lead weight as I could into that large nose. Once satisfied, I cemented the front engine nose piece and cleaned up the join. It was then time to tackle the Safir's cockpit and the quite nice kit parts were embellished with a few pieces pf plastic card and strip just to busy things up as I suspect some of this may be seen under the large (but thick) clear piece. I used Humbrol 87 for the overall cockpit base colour and the seats were painted Humbrol 65. I also found a few spare parts to fill up the cockpit (just for fun!). Very basic seat belts were made from white decal strip and the whole area sprayed with a semi gloss clear. Next will be tackling the canopy which is not a bad fit, however will need some serious filing to match the fuselage. 

 

Cheers and it's great to see everyones Nordic builds coming along so well. Dave 

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 10:25 PM, Rabbit Leader said:

my dismal start to finish ratio

Yeah but how's your start to Finnish ratio? 

 

This looks like a nice little kit and you've made a cracking start. You'll be finished in no time!

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I saw the cockpit built up. enclosed and was wondering if you were going to paint it or not. Now I know and it looks great, nice and clean.

 

Stuart

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lovely bit of work on the cockpit Dave! :thumbsup:

 

She's going to be a sweet little thing when finished.

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Looking great Looking forward to the Dayglo 

Martin H

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Update #4 - Canopy attachment, blending & polishing!

 

One of the most prominent parts of the little Safir's construction is the canopy and here, Heller provide a rather thick but clear piece that fits over the large cockpit opening. Trial fits suggested that it was not exactly a great fit, so once this was cemented in place I took to it with various grades of wet n' dry paper to blend it all into the fuselage. Tackling clear parts in this rather heavy way is always fraught with danger, however I've had plenty of 'luck' with the trusty Micromesh, so was confident I could restore the clarity fairly easily. Shown below are two before and after shots. The first is about that time when you look at your work and want to reach out for the sick bag, the second is when your heart stops pounding and you can reward yourself with a cool drink or two! The last shot is a nice photo of a real Finnish Safir, showing something that I'm trying to replicate if this little project goes well.

 

ooh... looks like I also need to restore that shocking wing to body join, which always seem to show up in close up photos like this! 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

 

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That filler around the glazing looked a little scary, better you than me.

 

Stuart

 

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