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Happy Birthday Royal Air Force

 

Today is the 102nd Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force.  Two years ago - to the day - I started building this model of an Avro 504K. My intention was to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force's formation by building an example of an important aircraft that had served in the RNAS, RFC, RAF and many of the commonwealth air arms that followed. It's just as well I remembered the commonwealth because it turns out there's a very good chance that in 1918 this particular airframe was actually in service with the AFC (Australian Flying Corps) and not the RAF at all. This, despite my strong attachment to Australia, was not my intention. It seems a dodgy reference book might have let me down there, but that does not matter to me really, I still think that this model of an Avro 504 fits the original purpose.  I finished the model yesterday and in doing so completed the project just one day inside a self-imposed deadline of two years. 

 

This project is, by far, the most challenging and technically difficult model I have ever attempted. It's 100% scratchbuilt,  mostly from wood but with significant amounts of brass and plastic. There are no purchased parts at all (well actually there's one tiny kitset piece scavenged off a Tamiya kettenkraft) so everything you see is hand made. There is no 3D printing used. It's mostly done the old fashioned way of solid model building with the fashioning of all of the large parts starting by running a bit of wood through a bandsaw.  I'm an old fashioned kind of dude at heart and gain a certain satisfaction from the belief that I'm keeping some old-time skills alive in this nutty modern world. If you would like to have a look at how this model was put together, please click on this link...

 

 

The project is not completely finished just yet. Sadly, right now, there's a silver plaque sitting in an engraving shop in Perth reading 'Avro 504K, RNAS, RFC, RAF' but I can't go and get it because that journey into town is not deemed essential.  When next I can get into town, I'll pick the plaque up and attach it to the side of the display base's frame and then this project will be wrapped up for good.

 

This build has made me extend my skills in many different areas and I believe I come out of the experience a better modeller; more confident than I was that I can handle technically challenging subjects. I'm not lining up to do a biplane any time soon but I won't rule out doing something like this again some time. For now however, I already have some research into the SS Xantho happening on the maritime pages and if you want to see some more Bandsaw action very soon, keep your eyes peeled in the military section. I've got something starting up in there that's about as far away from a WW1 biplane as can be imagined.

 

Anyway - enough of that. There's not much left to do except thank everyone who commented, suggested or contributed to the Avro 504 WIP thread in any way at all.   I fear I'm actually a bit vain and always get a small kick out of scoring a 'like' or a 'happy face' and watching my 'reputation tally' go up. Without the ongoing interest and support of the Britmodeller community I am unsure that I would have bought this to a conclusion. So thank you everyone, including the mods and admins and tech folk who make the site run and keep this a great spot to hang out.

 

Here's some photos - I hope you enjoy them.

 

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Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful model, Steve!  :speak_cool:

 

It was great to follow you developing & building the solution to each challenge you faced during the build.  I especially liked  the idea of the grub screws for the engine cylinders. 👍

 

John

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Yes - have been distracted from Xantho by this (and one or two other things) for the last couple of weeks. Will be posting all the specifications and so forth for Xantho this weekend. 
I need to get you and our other maritime experts mobilised!

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That is a first class piece of scratch building - the more so because it is genuinely hand built. Real modelling at its very best, supported by an informative build thread. Many congratulations.

 

P

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Gidday Steve, congratulations on your completion, and your stamina - two years! I don't know if I could stay with a model that long. She's a magnificent build, even more so considering she's scratch-built in total. What a shame WASMEx won't be on this year, I'd have liked to see this in the flesh (in an aeronautical sense). 🙂 Have another 'Happy Face', on the house. Regards, Jeff.

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4 minutes ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

I need to get you and our other maritime experts mobilised!

Don't know what use I'll be, I just know how to sink them, not raise them :giggle:.

 

Stuart

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Steve, that is utterly stunning. I have looked in on your WIP a few times with interest and the final result is a great credit to your skill and determination. You do know that WNW will now come out with a kit but in the meantime that is the best 504 I've ever seen!

 

Cheers

 

Malcolm

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33 minutes ago, Baldy said:

You do know that WNW will now come out with a kit

Yep - they sure will. I can’t wait for the day mine gets mistaken for one! 😉

 

Mind you - It would have to be by someone either viewing from a distance or with fairly poor eyesight. Mine certainly has some ‘hand made characteristics’ if you look closely. 

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Well done Steve. An exceptional bit of scratching!

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This is an exceptional model - the end result looks like a top quality Wingnut kit rather than something that started life as a piece of wood.

 

I really enjoyed the WIP thread too and learnt a lot along the way.

 

Up the old school! :)

 

All the best,

Tom

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Excellent work. I will miss the progress & inventive solutions Steve.  Looking forward to the Xantho but have enjoyed a build with wings.

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It's wonderful to see someone stretch so far into the next level of modeling and coming out with such a satisfying result. Your model is beautiful and I can appreciate the good feeling you get from completing it. And you beat your deadline. Awesome!

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Hi Steve

I hope you are safe and well over there.  I was following your WIP , but working full time, family life and converting the house has stopped me following a lot of build logs unfortunately.  I am in absolute awe of what you scratch builders can do.

What a stunning model you have produced. It looks absolutely gorgeous fella and as said by someone already, I could quite easily mistake it for a WNW kit. 

You really have created a wonderful birthday tribute.

All the best

Chris

 

 

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Good evening, Steve -

 

I am frankly lost for appropriate words here other than to say what amazing practical skills you have to be able to produce a stunning model that is completely hand built by your good self - highly impressed I am!

 

Truly outstanding, well done

 

Regards

 

Dave

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I can't believe this is wood, well I can because I've followed your build but the finesse is incredible, it looks like a finely detailed injection moulded kit :)

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Hi Steve,

 

while I did not contribute anything to your build I silently followed your efforts and was glued to every update you posted. I really like such scratch builds and your usage of different materials was absolutely inspirational.

The final result is top notch :goodjob:

 

Cheers

Markus

Edited by Shorty84
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Smashing result and a fascinating thread on the way. I will be checking out your other projects (even if they don’t have wings)!

 

Refards,

Adrian

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