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F-RSIN 1/144 Conroy CL44-0 Guppy


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This is the first time I've built an F-RSIN kit and, having read several things about their models both good and not so good, I approached this with a certain amount of caution. That was a wise move - this is not a kit for the faint-of-heart; it doesn't fall together like today's Zvezda or Revell kits that we've maybe got used to. Couple that with the fact that I wanted to model this unique aircraft in Heavylift markings as EI-BND rather than the Transmeridian markings that come with the kit, I was soon to discover further problems on the way.
For me, the easy bit is the fact that F-RSIN has got the shape of this aircraft dead right; the bulging upper fuselage, nose profile and somewhat squashed-up fin look excellent (in my eyes, but I'm not a Britannia / CL-44 expert). Where it starts to get tricky is with the plastic itself: all the parts are on one sprue and everything has a load of flash and a bumpy, irregular feel. There are no locator pins for any of the parts, and the whole things lacks any finesse that would be demanded in a mainstream kit release these days. This isn't a mainstream kit, however, so work needs to be done - a lot of work; approach it as if it were a vac-form with the pieces already cut out (or mostly so). Nothing fits well, so have the putty handy!
There were a couple of actual faults in the mould; one of the wing halves had an irregular trailing edge, the bulge in the centre of the bottom fuselage behind the wing was cut short on one side, and one of the fuselage halves was about 2mm longer than the other. Irksome, but easy enough to deal with. I decided to strengthen the fuselage halves with pillars made from scrap sprue, which really helped with the alignment and integrity when putting the two halves together. Freeing some of the smaller parts from the sprue was akin to an archaeological expedition to get past the bedrock of flash - particularly the propellers and wheels - but to be honest, that's been part of the fun with this kit and the sense of achievement when I got all 4 propellers free without losing a single blade was immense.
The instructions consist of a single underside 3/4 diagram of the exploded parts with lines indicating their intended position. 
As I said, I wanted to model this kit as the Heavylift EI-BND incarnation of this unique aircraft, and I found a company that did them: Airline Decals, a cottage decal outfit based in the USA. However, I bought these a little too hastily as on the website, although a nice photo of EI-BND is used to promote the sheet; the sheet itself is for CL-44J EI-BRP, not the Guppy (grrr). This meant I had to do some resizing of the fin decal and print out my own EI-BND serials. Anyhow, in the end I'm happy with the results.
I couldn't find any photos of the tops of the wings, so I've played around with artistic license here as the info sheet that came with the decals was no help whatsoever, nor were the F-RSIN instructions. The model was initially sprayed with white primer, then base silver (both rattle cans). The various metal tones and the pale grey underside were then hand painted, polished and dry-brushed, weathered and so on. 

 

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Edited by techniquest
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Superb!

 

I would say your artistic licence is spot on.I particularly like the varying shades of Silver.I have the the D4 version to build in TMAC livery so its great to have some idea what to expect.

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Great finish on the skin, sounds like a bit of work to make. When I can see a side of something I'm making, I try to look at other stuff from the same time. hoping to see if other planes have registrations on wings etc. What the regulations were etc.

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Absolutely superb - fantastic result! :clap2:

 

I'm a confirmed F-RSIN fan, in fact I'm taking a break from battling with a Caravelle 10B to write this. Mental attitude is crucial. Anyone who approaches an F-RSIN kit as if it was Revell or Zvezda is going to be mightily disappointed. On the other hand, accept it for what it is - rough raw material - and you can build an excellent model while having a bit of fun and enjoying the sense of achievement.

 

Thanks for sharing. We definitely need more F-RSIN builds!

 

Dave G

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That is a real stunner! I don't think I've seen the CL44 guppy modelled before, almost forgot it existed until i saw this and remembered them from my youth. The varying silver tones you've achieved are sublime. Great job.

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This is lovely, very different and that is something I really respect in modelling! I think I saw one of these at Bournemouth airport a few years ago, funny looking aircraft. 

I am tempted to get the f-rsin transall.......but I don’t think I am that brave!

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Excellent job on a testing kit. It certainly looks the part as opposed to the F-RESIN Britannia which I am converting to a CL44! And I must say to anyone who has seen a CL44 Guppy , that's it, you saw IT as only one was built.

 

KEITH

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Very good looking one, and exceptional result considering the starting point.

I many times wonder why you, me, and a bunch of other modelers struggle so hard to convert some horrid kits into nice models that have nothing to do with their dubious origins.

If there is a modeling heaven, I guess modelers that operate that alchemy-like transformation, producing gold from lead, may have a place in it.

Certain manufacturers have probably secured for themselves the opposite.

You most likely have seen this, but this image shows the small reg under the left wing, and that may be an indicator of it on the top of the right wing, if so, then it's a simple matter of adding it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/134062278@N02/32270543918

 

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That turned out great.

I have an F-RSIN Bristol Freighter on hold at the moment. These kits are a challenge but I'm hopeful the end result will be worth it. I've got mine assembled and painted and am now working up the courage to apply the decals.

When you consider that the only alternative may be a vacform - or there may be no alternative at all, F-RSIN provide a useful service to those of us who like to build airliners that aren't Boeings or AIrbuses.

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Absolutely marvellous, lovely job on the natural metal, well done and a very unique subject.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cheers Michael.     

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