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Saab J-21 [FINISHED]


klr

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Original Heller catalogue number: 261 (80261).

 

This is a placeholder for my first build in this GB. Heller had a thing for Saab aircraft. This is the same Heller-Humbrol boxing what I built back in the day, I picked it up on the cheap last year, second-hand:

DSC01202_dr_025.jpg

 

No decals, but I still have the "alternative" markings from the first time I built the kit (it has markings for two aircraft). That just leaves roundels, for which I'll scrounge something from the spares.

 

 

Edited by klr
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I like the J-21, dunno why, just do.  Glad to see it in the GB as it's indicative of how Heller would touch subjects that others wouldn't, well done to them and thanks to you for entering it.

 

It was number 261 when first released in 1980.

 

Welcome and good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just started this, the cockpit is complete. Next, weight the nose, and decide on the correct shades of upper green and lower grey. Apologies for the miserable lighting angle:

DSC01291_dre_020.jpg

 

For the roundels, the spares bag has offered up these, from a mid-1980s Revell Fiat Cr.42 Falco. The yellow is a bit light, but that' not really a problem. What matters is that they are in reasonable (although not perfect) register, and the size looks correct.

DSC01290_dre_010.jpg

 

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On 12/10/2020 at 16:24, klr said:

and decide on the correct shades of upper green and lower grey.

Pilot Replicas gave Tamiya and Humbrol matches in their kit, Special Hobby IIRC gave Humbrol. Swedish Fighter Colours have FS595 I think,  Not sure what paint brand you use, but can  see what is close if you let me know.  I have, now I search, posted this previously

See here

 

 

Thread is a worth a read.

HTH

T

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9 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

Pilot Replicas gave Tamiya and Humbrol matches in their kit, Special Hobby IIRC gave Humbrol. Swedish Fighter Colours have FS595 I think,  Not sure what paint brand you use, but can  see what is close if you let me know.  I have, now I search, posted this previously

See here

 

 

Thread is a worth a read.

HTH

T

Many thanks, thread duly bookmarked!

 

I use primarily Humbrol, and I have both Hu 116 and Hu 124. I can't say I've ever used the latter, but there's always a first time. Actually, it's been discontinued for years, so I'm lucky to have it all. It underlines once more the wisdom of buying every available shade while you can.

 

Re that thread: At some point in the mid- to late-1980s, the good people at Heller decided that Hu 123 (Extra Dark Sea Grey) was a match for dark green/black green (RLM 70), and that mistake persisted for many years.

 

I had put this and other builds to one side for a week while I dealt with my Airfix Sea Kings (now complete), so I'll be re-starting this kit in the evening.

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The SwAF Olive green is not far from the RAF WWII Dark Green, just a little less yellow. Humbrol 116 was the best Humbrol Choice, however I prefer Gunze H309 - so if you can find a good match for that one. Undersides are similar to RAF Medium Sea Grey, just a little more blue. I normally use Gunze 335 with a little blue. 

Edited by Bjorn
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2 hours ago, klr said:

Many thanks, thread duly bookmarked!

 

I use primarily Humbrol, and I have both Hu 116 and Hu 124. I can't say I've ever used the latter, but there's always a first time. Actually, it's been discontinued for years, so I'm lucky to have it all. It underlines once more the wisdom of buying every available shade while you can.

 

Re that thread: At some point in the mid- to late-1980s, the good people at Heller decided that Hu 123 (Extra Dark Sea Grey) was a match for dark green/black green (RLM 70), and that mistake persisted for many years.

 

I had put this and other builds to one side for a week while I dealt with my Airfix Sea Kings (now complete), so I'll be re-starting this kit in the evening.

There was a period where Humbrol 123 actually was a slightly greyish dark green, at least the stuff in the 10 ml acrylic pot was at any rate.  The old Humbrol Authentic postwar EDSG was green as well.

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8 minutes ago, JosephLalor said:

There was a period where Humbrol 123 actually was a slightly greyish dark green, at least the stuff in the 10 ml acrylic pot was at any rate.  The old Humbrol Authentic postwar EDSG was green as well.

Well, you (as in I) learn something new every day! The Hu 123 I've used has always been very dark grey, with not a hint of green to my eyes. But then I've probably only being using it for the past 20 years or so.

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So ... working away on sub-assemblies:

DSC01358_dre_025.jpg

 

Then I weighted the nose. No amount is given, so just fill it up and hope:

DSC01362_dre_020.jpg

 

I had originally painted the entire cockpit in black, as per the instructions, but then realised it should be mostly the same dark green as the upper camouflage. I didn't want to rip the seat out, so I repainted just the rear bulkhead, and the sidewalls above the side instrument panels:

DSC01363_dre_025.jpg

 

I also blanked off the wing (radiator?) intakes:

DSC01361_dre_020.jpg

 

Finally, I painted the wheel bays (such as they are) in the underside camouflage colour. This is Hu 124 - see above for discussions on same:

DSC01365_dr_025.jpg

 

I have misgivings about this colour being too dark, but if I'm going to change it, that needs to be done before closing up the fuselage and booms.

 

Finally, look at that semi-circular attachment point for the main undercarriage leg. So typically Heller!

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Good to see this J-21 taking shape with some nice clear photographs to help us see what's going on with your build.

I've got one of these kits too, however will probably run out of GB time before I get to it. 

Cheers.. Dave 

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Re Hu 124 being too dark: After applying a second coat to the undercarriage bays and struts, it doesn't seem nearly as dark. So I will likely go with it. I may still do some sample swatches to compare it with the likes of Hu 87 and Hu 145, for reference purposes.

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And now the airframe is almost complete. Everything seems to be at the correct angle, more or less, and there is enough weight in the nose. The toughest part was the forward join between the fuselage and one-piece lower wing. I literally had to hold it for an hour or so until it seemed to have set in place.

DSC01371_dre_020.jpg

 

There's still quite a bit of work to cleaning up and filling in joins, completing the undercarriage, painting the canopy framing - hopefully it will fit OK - and sundry items, including adding a cannon and gun barrel. These were originally molded into the fuselage and wing parts, but were broken off and lost at some point.

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These pictures are two days old. The good news is that not much filler was required, given that this is a 40-year old kit.

DSC01372_dr_020.jpg

 

No filler required at all for the upper port wing root join!

DSC01373_dr_020.jpg

 

As mentioned above, the forward join between the lower central wing section and the fuselage required brute force, but once done, just a little filler.

DSC01374_dr_020.jpg

 

I've got a good bit more done since then, and will have still more done by tomorrow morning, when the next pictures will be taken.

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First of the old Revell Cr.42 roundels applied. These decals don't appear to have great adhesive power, but a coat of matt varnish should keep them in place.

DSC01375_dre_020.jpg

 

DSC01377_dre_020.jpg

 

Next steps: Add, tidy up and paint the tricky 3-part canopy & windscreen assembly, and complete the undercarriage.

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Just now, Rabbit Leader said:

Looking great @klr. The painted / unpainted / part decalled approach is new to me, however I’m sure you know what you’re doing and it’ll look lovely once finished.

Cheers.. Dave  

I'm not sure if I "know" what I'm doing, but I've been doing it this way for long enough! I have my reasons. It does tend to slow things down between waiting for various stages of painting to dry, which is why I like to have several kits on the go at once.

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20 minutes ago, klr said:

I'm not sure if I "know" what I'm doing,


Whoops!! I hope I haven’t offended you with my post, I was just commenting about your build technique and am always amazed how differently we all approach this same hobby. It was probably the wrong choice of word, so I apologise if it was taken the wrong way. 
Cheers.. Dave 

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2 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:


Whoops!! I hope I haven’t offended you with my post, I was just commenting about your build technique and am always amazed how differently we all approach this same hobby. It was probably the wrong choice of word, so I apologise if it was taken the wrong way. 
Cheers.. Dave 

No problem at all! 😀

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Most of the decals are now applied, but some cleaning up around them is still required for that seamless appearance. But it was the canopy and windscreen that nearly did for me. The fit was good, but not perfect. Correcting that, and the painting the framing ... these are the things that keep a dedicated (or crazy?) modeller up until 3am.

DSC01387_dre_020.jpg

 

The port side was the worst by far, as this was where the three transparent parts met. The fact that the side windows are curved, and also those damned rear panels ... aaaargh!

DSC01388_dr_020.jpg

 

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All the decals are now applied. I assume those "D" markings on the nose and tail are supposed to have a white boundary both inside and out.

DSC01395_dr_020.jpg

 

There's a ventral aerial to be attached, but its exact position and orientation are a mystery, so I may leave it off. I need to add a barrel for the nose-mounted cannon. This was originally molded into one of the fuselage halves, but (of course) got broken off at some point. Other than that, it's just painting. The next pictures you see will be of the completed kit.

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19 hours ago, klr said:

All the decals are now applied. I assume those "D" markings on the nose and tail are supposed to have a white boundary both inside and out.

DSC01395_dr_020.jpg

 

There's a ventral aerial to be attached, but its exact position and orientation are a mystery, so I may leave it off. I need to add a barrel for the nose-mounted cannon. This was originally molded into one of the fuselage halves, but (of course) got broken off at some point. Other than that, it's just painting. The next pictures you see will be of the completed kit.

Might be worth looking at the builds in the Nordic GB earlier this year as I seem to remember at least one of these being entered, maybe more. I can't see any aerial on the underside in any instructions, except perhaps the optional part in the Pilot 1/48 kit which seems to be mounted just in front and to the outside of the wheel well the port boom - could be a drain or something but does look like it may be an aerial.

 

Later,  looked at Christer A's build  of the Special Hobby kit in the Nordic GB and it does have that "aerial" fitted on the last page of his build but does not say what it is - sorry I have no idea how to put a link in to this! Curiously Bosse @Marlin has built the Pilot Resin 1.48 version in the same GB but does not seem to have included the optional bit. It is long and straight, angled forwards, and can be see in views from either side but in drawings it may look as if it could be on the fuselage itself rather than actually being on the boom. Hope that helps.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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1 hour ago, PeterB said:

Might be worth looking at the builds in the Nordic GB earlier this year as I seem to remember at least one of these being entered, maybe more. I can't see any aerial on the underside in any instructions, except perhaps the optional part in the Pilot 1/48 kit which seems to be mounted just in front and to the outside of the wheel well the port boom - could be a drain or something but does look like it may be an aerial.

 

Later,  looked at Christer A's build  of the Special Hobby kit in the Nordic GB and it does have that "aerial" fitted on the last page of his build but does not say what it is - sorry I have no idea how to put a link in to this! Curiously Bosse @Marlin has built the Pilot Resin 1.48 version in the same GB but does not seem to have included the optional bit. It is long and straight, angled forwards, and can be see in views from either side but in drawings it may look as if it could be on the fuselage itself rather than actually being on the boom. Hope that helps.

 

Pete

Yes, that's the bit I'm talking about. It is very unclear from the instructions how and where it's meant to be fitted. It seems to suggest it should be fitted to the starboard boom (not port as on the J-21R), slanting forwards, but positioned well back rather than at the front of the boom. The only possible location point is a small depression on the outside of the starboard boom, just ahead of the main undercarriage leg. Some photos to show it slanting backwards. Maybe it should be slanting outwards? That may be the only way to reconcile all these conflicting views.

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Have a look at Christers build - I could be wrong about the position but I think it was the port boom - he should know about these things.

 

Pete

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17 minutes ago, PeterB said:

Have a look at Christers build - I could be wrong about the position but I think it was the port boom - he should know about these things.

 

Pete

Those were J21Rs, but this detail (and I suspect a lot more) is different on the original piston-engined version. Anyway, I've attached it as best I can.

 

EDIT: Here's the artwork from the early 1990s release, which I have in my other stash far, far away. Here, it is clearly visible, although its orientation is ambiguous, as in photos:

127745-10189-pristine.jpg

 

Some photos of the real thing also show another very thin protrusion on the front of the starboard boom, slanting forwards and down at 45 degrees. I won't even attempt to fit that, as it would not last long.

 

This artwork also shows the yellow propeller blade tips, which is another detail omitted from the instructions, and which I'd only just noticed whilst researching photos. It also shows that on the insides of the boom ends and lower fins, the underside blue "wraps" up, unlike on the outwards-facing sides, where it's green all the way down. Again, another detail completely omitted from the instructions, although I should have suspected it. But from what I can see on photos of the real thing, this was not done at all, although it was done on the J21R, which had a much higher-mounted tail section, so as to not block the jet exhaust.

Edited by klr
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