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The Alternative Nimrod - now with added identity


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In the recent group build for Film, Fictional and Speculative types, I was doing a Vickers Nimrod. A WHIF based on the venerable Airfix Vickers Vanguard it imagined a design based on a shortened fuselage complete with two bomb bays. A kind of British P-3.

 

I was enthusiastic, but stalled in the final few weeks, mainly because I was becoming weary of the constant filling and sanding. The only solution was to drop out, take a breather and then finish it in my own time as I had come too far to tow it to my own personal AMARC (a cardboard box in the garage) and forget about it.

 

Having taken stock, I’ve picked up the challenge again and have decided that as an antidote to filing and sanding, that I will concentrate on the bomb bay for now. As I said in the original build, I figured that I would be able to imagine a similar payload to the real thing, by having two smaller bomb bays than the real Nimrod’s cavernous option. On this model, I’m opening the front bay, but only scribing the rear one. Partly for structural integrity, but mostly because I would never finish the thing otherwise!

 

I had put the sawn off plastic for the bomb bay doors to one side, but had since decided that the plastic was too thick. In the end I’ve gone for a rectangle of 10 thou plastic card, rolled and bent until it follows the curve of the underside. I aim to trim it to size, split it in half and laminate the inner surface to give it an ‘interesting’ look. As a primer for the resurrected build, here are a few photos of a short spurt of action this evening.

 

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The rear fuselage is the same diameter as the front so I was able to use this as the pattern.

 

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Thanks for looking and more soon!

 

Trevor

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26 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Happy to see this still on the go sir. Id like to follow to see it finished if you don't mind. 

Happy to have you along👍🏻
 

Trevor

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Glad that you have taken up the cudgels again on your project.     I have seen a couple of Maritime Patrol Vanguards finished and displayed at model shows over the years and would say that it is one of those aircraft which just look the part for the job in that role.     Best of luck with completing it.     VC10 and Trident to follow?

Edited by Des
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3 hours ago, Des said:

VC10 and Trident to follow?

:rofl:

 

Ha ha, I don’t think so! I’ve heard of those projects but honestly how on earth the HS Ground Gripper would have faired is anyone’s guess.

 

Thanks for dropping in. 
 

Trevor

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2 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

:rofl:

. . . . . how on earth the HS Ground Gripper would have faired is anyone’s guess.

 

From what I have read the VC10 and Comet derivatives were the only actual realistic contenders from quite a wide field of paper projects but the requirement was for an existing four-engined aircraft to reduce development time , VC10 was in service but not really proven and there were surplus Comets left on the tail end of the production line to kick things off and which in any case were cheaper.

 

The other two were apparently included in a fly-off of sorts but the Vanguard did not have the required 'Dash Speed' to the GIUK Gap essential to the concept of reducing fleet size by reducing transit times to expected operational areas and the Mk.1 Trident as available at the time had the obvious problems you mention and even if re-engined still lacked the essential fourth engine required.

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So, do I need a pair of podded jet engines under the wings?! TBH I don’t think there’s enough room. 
 

Speculating wildly, maybe a pair of rocket engines could have been used?

 

Trevor

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From research done about eighteen months ago and quoted from memory as I cannot lay my hands on the references there were two different requirements within a year or few of each other.

 

The first in the late 50s was a NATO-wide requirement for a Neptune replacement which the UK , US and France dropped out of and although many UK manufacturers came up with suggested Maritime conversions of any and every transport aircraft being built, planned or drawn on the back of a cigarette packet attention focused on stretching the Shackleton's capabilities as far as possible for as long as possible.

 

The second in the early 60s which ended up as Nimrod was rather more focused on the Comet from the beginning andhad to be in service within a very tight time-frame and again from memory the four contenders were 'borrowed' from either manufacturers/airlines for very basic distance/low level handling test flights to confirm that choice with the basic understanding that the equipment fit initially would be no worse than the Atlantic and could be improved later.

 

From what I can recall reading other than to rule it out there was not a lot done to see how that Vanguard could be improved to meet the rather stringent 'dash' requirement although had Comet/Nimrod not worked then I would suspect that it might have been the British built fallback rather than the expensive VC10 route or alternatively buying the P-3. 

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If I remember the Atlantique was the ‘winner’ of the NATO contest for a standardised MPA, ironically powered by two RR Tynes rather than the Vanguard’s four.

 

Coming back to my ersatz Nimrod, I have few ideas. One involves the bomb bay and a thought that the airflow at the boundary of the underside with the front of the bomb bay could be a problem and that maybe retractable ‘baffles’ to divert the airflow downwards and away from the bomb bay lip would at least look the part. We’ll see.......

 

Trevor

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On 2/5/2020 at 9:31 PM, Max Headroom said:

If I remember the Atlantique was the ‘winner’ of the NATO contest for a standardised MPA, ironically powered by two RR Tynes rather than the Vanguard’s four.

 

Trevor

This was why the UK dropped out; the RAF was insistent on four engines. Don't times change...

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  • 4 weeks later...

After another hiatus, I’m back on the case. More sanding and filling (for a change) had brought me to a point where it was time to apply the primer! Which brings me to here.....

 

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it’s now looking a lot less than a putty monster thank goodness.

 

Since the above, I have wafted some rattle can white over the top surface.

 

I can see some fettling is needed here and there, but overall, it looks a lot better than I dared hoped.

 

More soon!

 

Trevor

 

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Nice idea.  This is something the UK could and perhaps should have done.  Even the Canadians came up with their own airliner-derived MPA, althougn it didn't sell beyond RCAF.  But we had to have a jet MPA and anything with whirly bits was considered old-fashioned.  So many missed aviation opportunities and government foul-ups in the 50's and 60's, even into the 70's.............  And then there was the "US is best" camp.......  By the time it came to the MRA4 fiasco it was too late.  Atlantique NG and Orion 2000 were bid but were never serious contenders.

 

If you're looking for another wacky airliner idea there was a plan to arm Tridents or 1-11s with half a dozen underwing Skybolts, fit them with AAR capability and keep them permanently airborne in UK(-ish) airspace as continuous airborne alert as part of our deterrent.  They were not intended to penetrate hostile airspace, simply to be a dumb launch platform able to programme the missiles' guidance and fire them in the right direction.

Edited by Das Abteilung
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A little progress this evening.

 

My rattle can white ran out after a couple of passes. In doing so, I also managed to get some drips. Ho hum.

 

So a few evenings of alternate rubbing down and brush painting got me to a position where I thought the upper fuselage surface was ‘done’. I thought that to make progress the next thing needed was to remove the masking as a prep for polishing pads, before masking for the Light Aircraft Grey lower surfaces.

 

And this is where I am now.

 

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Obviously, some cleaning up will be required, but generally, I’m quite pleased.

 

It seems to me that once I have that sorted, that the crease along the fuselage would make a suitable demarcation line between the upper and lower surfaces.

 

Now that the thing has ‘eyes’, I’ve got some motivation back and I’m actively sussing the markings.

 

Onwards and upwards!

 

Trevor

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No, I haven’t forgotten about this one. It’s just that my Finnish 109 has taken all of my modelling time as of late (and I’m having a blast with it thanks for asking). However, it has been there sitting next to the 109 demanding my attention and today I gave in. 
 

I had settled on the ‘proper’ scheme of White and Light Aircraft Grey, with the division line being along the fuselage chine. Taped up, I then brushed a coat of grey as a primer and discovered lots of imperfections. See for yourself  ☹️

 

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Ho hum. Out with the wet and dry paper.....

 

Trevor 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I picked this one up yesterday and had another look. To be honest I think I stuffed up the cockpit windows and was never very happy with my efforts. Cockpit windows are ok though.

 

Yesterday I was looking at Hannants site and noticed the 26 Decals for the BEA Vanguard/Merchantman. Not only do they have window transfers, but also do the doors too. Duly ordered they’ll be here soon.
 

Game on! I’ve filled and smoothed out the remaining windows and started tackling the rough paint surface.

 

I’ll be doing this side by side with the Sea Balliol.

 

Trevor

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This has got to be the roughest paint job I’ve done in years.

 

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Never mind. A good sanding will see to that.

 

Trevor

 

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Interestingly, the subject of a maritime Vanguard came up recently in the magazine of the Shackleton Association.  It turns out the main reason the Vanguard wasn’t viable was that it wasn’t nearly stable enough at low altitudes.  They might have been able to do something about the speed but that would have been a very different kettle of fish.

 

This was why the UK dropped out; the RAF was insistent on four engines. Don't times change...

 

As we’ve had ETOPS for airliners for more than twenty years now, I suspect this is no longer a problem.

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@pigsty for the speed, maybe a pair of small jets in the rear of the outer engine nacelles much like the phase 3 Shack. Not doing that on this though as it’s taken me ages to get this far 😕

 

Trevor

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Some progress😀

 

After sanding down, several thin coats of brushed matt white brought me here -

 

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Look closely you can see a shadow of some of the windows I filled in. On thinking about it, this is A Good Thing, because I can use them as a placement guide for the window transfers (not yet arrived).

 

The underside required attention. More filling, rubbing and scribing.

 

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Next up, I’ll re mask the fuselage so I can apply the Light Aircraft Grey.

 

Trevor

 

 

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One more push this afternoon.

 

Masking up didn’t take long. I just had to make sure that the demarcation was level on both sides and using a thin strip around the nose to ensure that there was no wonk around the cockpit glazing. I decided that I would have a fancy curve From the root of the tailplane to the horizontal demarcation line. All that was needed there was to cut out a circular piece of masking tape using a sharp knife and a circle template.

 

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In front is a fresh pot of Humbrol 166 aka Light Aircraft Grey. After a thorough stir....

 

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I’m not terribly impressed with its covering abilities. Just like modern acrylics, enamels are rather insipid. I’ll leave it for now and will give another coat tomorrow. I’m not familiar with modern enamels so don’t know how long they take to harden.

 

A random thought. Humbrol have discontinued 166 in their acrylic range hence why I went for the enamel. However, they still appear to offer it as an acrylic in the gift sets. Why 🤔

 

Never mind.

 

Trevor

 

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Postie has just been

 

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Momentary panic on opening the package wondering where the door and window markings were! Phew - separate sheet at the back.


They look very nice indeed with minimal carrier film.

 

I’ll look forward to using these in due course.

 

Trevor

 

 

 

 

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Another application today. Not one of Humbrol’s better offerings.

 

I have a 1/48 Hunter underside to paint and the Nimrod was an experiment to see how it performed.....
 

Anyone have details of a brushable alternative please?

 

Trevor

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As the grey has now hardened I thought about removing the fuselage masking.

 

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Not as bad as I thought tbh. Touching up is required underneath the starboard cockpit windows and as this is a hairy stick job, there is a ridge between the grey and white. This latter of course needs attention as the window transfers will lie across the demarcation and so needs to be as smooth as possible. In general, the grey needs a bit of a rub down to smooth it out. I’m out of practice painting larger areas in enamel paint and I’d forgotten how much worse my daubings used to be. Acrylics may be anaemic compared to good old fashioned enamels, but ultimately give better results (and dry faster!).

 

After the sanding/polishing I need to look at that bomb bay.

 

Stay tuned!

 

Trevor

 

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Hello chaps 😁

 

Thought I would do something slightly different today and so decided to fabricate the bomb bay doors. I had previously roughed out and rolled a 10 thou sheet and so spending a couple of minutes measuring and cutting, I had the basic shape. I reinforced the doors by gluing a couple of offcuts to bulk out the insides. 
 

One thing I was unaware of before was whether the doors would snag the inner propellers when open. This provided me with the excuse to blue tack a prop and the doors on the model. Thankfully, there is no snagging.

 

Enough words and now some pictures.

 

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Just thought....I need to check that the undercarriage is long enough!


Onwards and upwards!

 

Trevor

 

 

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  • Max Headroom changed the title to The Alternative Nimrod - now with added identity

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