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Airfix Westland Sea King HAR.3 [1983 kit] [FINISHED]


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This is a placeholder for my first kit in this GB. I should be starting it in a couple of days time. I built the old Airfix Sikorsky Sea King kit in the very early 1980s, probably a year or two before this revised tooling was issued.  I must have turned down numerous opportunities to buy it since then, and once the "new" Westland Sea King tooling was issued in 2014, it looked like I'd never get the old kit. But then I saw it in my local model shop in 2018, second hand for 10 Euro:

 

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I will be building the all-yellow RAF HAR.3 version, as per the box artwork.

Edited by klr
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The yellow Sea King is such an iconic subject for those of us in the UK it deserves attention. Nice choice :) Hopefully the parts are still fresh in this older boxing of the kit before wear and tear started to show.

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12 hours ago, Col. said:

The yellow Sea King is such an iconic subject for those of us in the UK it deserves attention. Nice choice :) Hopefully the parts are still fresh in this older boxing of the kit before wear and tear started to show.

I've never seen one in real life, but I saw an Irish Coast Guard Sea King (Sikorsky S-61N) many times. This is my own picture, from the 2006 Galway Air Show:

PANASLZ5_20060625_162736_P1040294_dr_050

 

I have seen a Westland Sea King close up, but it was a Royal Navy AEW.2A (XV707). This is another picture of mine, from the same show:

PANASLZ5_20060625_144220_P1040179_dr_040

 

Re the condition of the kit: It seems OK. The boxing I have was issued in the late 1990s. Some of the transparencies seem a bit crude, but that's frankly no surprise. Thankfully, the big one-piece wrap-around part for the cockpit looks quite crisp.

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First steps. The floor and and the cockpit bulkhead have been attached to the starboard fuselage half, ensuring that there will be no nasty surprises when I join up the fuselage halves later on. The starboard side door and rails have also been fitted. With no interior detail in the main cabin, there was no point in leaving this open.

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The slide door is slightly curved towards the top, meaning that it fits snugly onto the fuselage, but a bit "high". The top was sanded down so as to fit the top guide rail. The gap above the lower guide rail is to be filled in.

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The lower nose transparencies were a loose fit, and will need filling in around the edges, and maybe a few drops of Humbrol Clearfix.

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The various rectangular side transparencies were all very thick. Had I attached them to the insides of the fuselage halves & side door by means of the big surrounding "skirts" that most of them had, they would have projected well beyond the level of the surrounding area. Rather than sand and polish them down (no real benefit to doing this given the lack of interior detail, I attached them "flush" by their frames. Even this was a bit awkward, as some of them were a bit on the small side, so more filling in required there.

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Finally, the rear observation windows. These I was able to clean up and fit more or less "flush", with hardly any gaps:

DSC01022_dr_025.jpg

 

 

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If you are going for the all yellow version you are a brave man indeed. 

My previous experience with doing some training aircraft yellow underneath has been painful. 

Therefore if you have been keeping a secret to doing yellow to yourself im eager to learn !

cheers Pat 

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5 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

If you are going for the all yellow version you are a brave man indeed. 

My previous experience with doing some training aircraft yellow underneath has been painful. 

Therefore if you have been keeping a secret to doing yellow to yourself im eager to learn !

cheers Pat 

The secret - such that it is - is to wield the paintbrush very, very carefully! My experience with Hu 69 gloss yellow is that it usually takes two coats, whereas with some "thicker" Humbrol gloss paints (Hu 19 red, Hu 21 black), one coat might do.

 

The last time I did yellow undersides on an RAF trainer was the Heller Curtiss Cleveland (SBC Helldiver) only a couple of months ago. But that was a matt finish of course.

 

 

Edited by klr
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Having some time to spare (but not much), I've started on the interior:

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I covered over the hole in the floor for the dipping sonar, as it might have been visible from the front*. I've also started painting the seats and instrument panel. The seat covers are fluorescent orange - wonderful (not, I hate that paint). I'll also be using the pilot figures.

 

*Other than that, you can't see much in the main cabin, so there's no point going into Sistine Chapel mode on it.

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Another person to convert to pink primer. 

If your painting yellow, red or orange, use pink primer. 

“Pink is the word brother”

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Hi,

great start.

I have exactly the same problem with slightly short transparencies on my Huey. I have just been converted to Clearfix, and in my book this is the answer for this type of transparencies' problems. I first thought of plastic shims, then putty, and in my mind's eye it always ended up in disaster. So I would definitely recommend Clearfix.

 

I love this kit!

JR

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have put this kit on the "back burner" until next week, so that I can finish several more kits for the "A kit you built as a kid" GB. After that, it will get my full attention, or at least 60% of it. I'll try and get most of it done before the next GBs start.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I blanked off the exhaust. Crude, but it does the job:

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The pilot figures have legs together, so the centrally positioned control columns do not agree with them. I was able to squeeze in the figure on the port side, but had to remove the column on the starboard side. I may or may not re-attach it in a different position. You probably wouldn't know one way or another given the thickness of the main transparency.

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Memo to self: Don't forget to paint the goggles before closing things up:

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A lot has been done since tea time yesterday, but much of that time was spent cleaning up the troublesome fuselage join. In fact, there are issues to be addressed at every step of the build, but at least they can be addressed ... so far.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This kit has been trying my patience. Very little seems to be straightforward, one battle after another to be fought.

 

The intake housing was a terrible fit as supplied:

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To help knock it into shape, that section at the front would have to be cut away, to make the rest of it more amenable to being re-shaped:

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... like so. I then used some Plastic Solider Company to help narrow the unit, and cleaned up the edge just below the intakes. As I narrowed it, it became too tall, and so it also had to be sanded down along the side edges at the bottom.

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Dry-fitting showed that a few inserts were required:

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And so this is how it ended up, more or less - some minor work still required around the diagonal joins at the front.

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The "chin" also required lots of work. I used some plastic card to help get it to the right size, but also lots of filler. The transparencies also had their locating "skirts" removed so as to fit.

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The junction at the base of the windscreen was all wrong. Looks how much the fuselage  is ahead and above where it should be:

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After the necessary corrections:

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There are still plenty of gaps around the transparencies, as evidenced by the above photos, and this one. All of these are next to be tackled.

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I belatedly fixed the gap at the end of the side door. Of course it would have been much easier if I'd extended the door before attaching it. That rail underneath also needs to be straightened.

DSC01207_dr_025.jpg

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 9:49 PM, klr said:

I've never seen one in real life, but I saw an Irish Coast Guard Sea King (Sikorsky S-61N) many times. This is my own picture, from the 2006 Galway Air Show:

Good work on a kit which is by now very long in the tooth.  I got to see an RAF rescue Sea King once in 2008, out of the little window of my room in a guest house in Lincoln.  It made a splash of colour against an absolutely leaden sky.

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Time to catch up on the last week. Cleaning up around the windscreen and canopy area was predictably messy, and then some.

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The first coat of primer revealed just how much there was still left to do:

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It began to take shape ... eventually.

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The "cheek" windows are not high enough: They should start just a few inches below the cockpit side window. Applying the black shows still more to be done (sigh).

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But eventually I could start painting. The problem with Hu 69 yellow is that it's verging on the translucent, requiring umpteen coats. While I prefer to paint even large surface areas with a small brush, that did not work here. Eventually I realised that the paint had to be applied thickly with a large brush.

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Dry-fitting the intake shield showed the centre panel didn't reach down to the top of the fuselage. Since this is where I want to attach it, I augmented it with a strip of plastic.

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So I'm getting there ... slowly. I can see light at the end of tunnel, but I have a way to go yet. All pictures I've seen with Sea Kings in this scheme show a pristine finish, so I can't pass off a streaky and uneven finish as weathering. I wouldn't be surprised if this takes me another week, but if that's what it takes to get it into a someway presentable condition, so be it.

Edited by klr
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Bit by bit, I'm getting there. Ironically (despite its translucence), I had to thin the Humbrol Yellow for easier application of the later coats, and I made need to thin it again.

 

I will hopefully apply most of the decals tomorrow evening, then paint and decal the tail section. Oh, and add the remaining aerials and other protrusions. And attach the rotors, although the main rotor will not be fixed in place.

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Any thoughts I had of building another chopper for this build have all but vanished, so much time has this kit taken. I'd probably have been quicker building the Revell Mk.43 kit with Sea Skuas, 4-colour camouflage scheme and all.

 

Edited by klr
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The yellow is really coming on, such a difficult colour, but built up well and looking good.

Plenty of time for another chopper too

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On 9/13/2020 at 9:47 PM, Valkyrie said:

The yellow is really coming on, such a difficult colour, but built up well and looking good.

Plenty of time for another chopper too

This is one of those times where the camera makes it look better than it actually is. I could start applying decals now, but I might do one more pass of touching up tomorrow. I remember building the old Matchbox DHC Sea Otter kit when it was first issued in the mid-1980s, and that was probably my first experience of just how difficult gloss yellow could be. Mind you, I built the "Yellowjacks" version of the Airfix Folland Gnat a few years ago, and that seemed to go OK in terms of painting.

 

I don't know about another chopper for this GB, although I do have one on the go for Vietnam GB (the Bell OH-13 Sioux), and might build the OH-6 Cayuse as well. Finding enough free time at the moment for kits is a problem though, as the real world (read: work) has gone into overdrive, mostly because of matters COVID-related.

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Well done for knocking this one into shape klr.  Some of these older Airfix kits do seem to have serious fit issues (something that I must have ignored when I was building them as a lad!).

 

Cheers

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My only tin of Humbrol 69 gloss yellow is no longer usable, and my attempts to resuscitate it were to no avail. Nothing else could be used in its place: Revell gloss yellow is well, far too yellow, and Humbrol 154 Insignia yellow a bit too orange. So I ordered some new tins, but they won't arrive until next week at the earliest. Thankfully, I was able to get a spare tin from a friend, and this has done the trick. Comparing the "before" photos above with the "after" photos below doesn't really show how dramatic the improvement has been.

 

Oh, and I hadn't realised that the black panels behind the exhausts are not decals, so I've started to paint them.

 

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I have the decals mostly cut up and ready to apply, but finding the time and energy is a struggle at the moment. At least the kit is no longer the problem. Maybe tomorrow ...

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Most of the decals are now applied, now onto cleaning up, before I start work on the tail section. I also need to apply the decals to both main and tail rotors.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The best laid plans ...

 

Amongst other things, I had to endure a nasty head cold over the weekend, during which precision painting would not have been a very good idea. Anyway, the fuselage is all but complete:

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I'm just working on the rotors now. The red/white tip markings on the tail rotor need to be hand-painted, as the decals just wouldn't cut it.

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  • klr changed the title to Airfix Westland Sea King HAR.3 [1983 kit] [FINISHED]

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