Jump to content

Hello from Finland - Airfix SRN4 hovercraft stretching


Recommended Posts

My name is Robert and I am new here. I'm a Brit living in Finland. Some years ago I built an Airfix SRN4 hovercraft and have been meaning to build a stretched MkIII version in Seaspeed livery ever since. Has anyone here already successfully done this?

 

I have a donor kit already (partly built and then carelessly ripped apart by a previous owner) and I am trying to decide how to go about it. My plan is to 3D print parts to fill the gap and to create the larger skirt all round. Unfortunately, the craft was not only lengthened but many small external details were changed at the same time - for example, the position of life rafts and the roof layout. The plan is to build this with doors closed and roof fully painted, so interior details are thankfully not important. I have seen some suggestion that the craft was widened as well as stretched but have been unable to find any proof of this. If any of you are wiser than me, or have attempted to do the same stretching, please shout!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert, welcome to BM. These things were awesome bits of kit.

Sorry, I can't help with your questions, but I'd like to book a seat for the ride.

(I've brought a packed lunch).

 A quick google brought forth lots of pictures. I think these guys could be a good start, if they are still going.

 

https://www.hovercraft-museum.org/2016/08/10/srn4-update-10816/

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi Robert, 

I will be building an SRN4 to complete in August. I’m using a kit I have had since 1973 and did an inventory last night to find thirty parts missing. Fortunately I have another kit to take the parts from.

 

The upshot of this is that I will have the majority of another kit spare - including all the skirt bits. If you would like the rest of the kit then PM me and I can send them to you. As I said you will have to wait til August but at least you can plan knowing you will have enough skirt parts etc.

Cheers

Adrian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Adrian,

 

Thank you very much for your messages. I take it that you don't have any plans to make a stretched SRN4 yourself?

 

I was all set to get started on my project but then got overtaken with a mountain of other things... at this rate it could well be August before I commence. Besides, what I had thought was just a "simple" stretching turned out to be rather more complicated. The passenger cabin was widened at the same time, so some modifications were made to the roof too which I am still investigating. I have to make some decisions and compromises on how accurate my stretching operation will be! You are right though - a spare roof could indeed be very helpful!

 

Also, the whole skirt design was changed, so I will have to 3D print that from scratch. 

 

Let's come back to this in August, or whenever you know what bits you've got left.

 

Good luck with your build! The trickiest bit with the standard kit is to get the roof and walls perfectly aligned, so take care there!

 

-Robert-

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SRN4 Stretcher said:

Hi Adrian,

 

Thank you very much for your messages. I take it that you don't have any plans to make a stretched SRN4 yourself?

 

I was all set to get started on my project but then got overtaken with a mountain of other things... at this rate it could well be August before I commence. Besides, what I had thought was just a "simple" stretching turned out to be rather more complicated. The passenger cabin was widened at the same time, so some modifications were made to the roof too which I am still investigating. I have to make some decisions and compromises on how accurate my stretching operation will be! You are right though - a spare roof could indeed be very helpful!

 

Also, the whole skirt design was changed, so I will have to 3D print that from scratch. 

 

Let's come back to this in August, or whenever you know what bits you've got left.

 

Good luck with your build! The trickiest bit with the standard kit is to get the roof and walls perfectly aligned, so take care there!

 

-Robert-

Hi Robert

This is a project I've contemplated, but never started, primarily because it's not so much of a simple conversion, it is as you appear to be realising, its virtually a complete scratchbuild with a only a few detail parts being usable from the Airfix kit

Airfix modelled the Mk 1, shortly after the kit was released ( and I made a bit of a hash of building it, I had problems getting the skirt parts to fit together) the first Mk II conversion was started, which, among other things, involved widening the passenger cabins on the same platform ie the overall beam didn't increase but the cabin and roof were significantly wider. Later on 2 of the Mk III's with the wider cabin were stretched by inserting a new midsection. The skirt was significantly modified at this time, being much wider at the bow, which accounts for the increase in overall beam, although the actual hull was no wider. The pylons were modified and new paddle blade propellers fitted. There were lots of other detail changes as well, so you're left with the cockpit pod, bow and stern doors and tail fins from the original kit  - check your references, there may be changes to these as well!

The "cutaway" design of the original kit with different part design between port and stbd was fine if you wanted to display your model like this, but creates a lot of work if you want an "ordinary" model with overall matching detail, so the unbuilt kit I have has remained in it's box, primarily for use as patterns for the scratchbuild whenever I get round to it.. 

 

If you've not found this sight ( though I rather suspect you will have if you've googled SRN4 at all) it's a good source for reference photos. 

http://www.jameshovercraft.co.uk/hover/srn4/srn4.php

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Robert,

I will be doing the SRN 4 for the Britmodeller Group Build "Unarmed". It starts on my birthday April 17th and finishes 8th of August.  The inventory of my other kit shows that I have all the parts needed - including straight flooring which is quite distorted in the 1973 kit.  I will take on board what you have said concerning the alignment of the roof and walls. That will no doubt be easier if I use the flattest floors.

 

I do quite a few modifications myself. For instance last year I converted a 1/96 Lancaster to the first manifestation of the Manchester with 80ft wings. I used 1/72 B17 outer wings which were almost the identical profile to the planform of the original. My point in saying this is that I do my modifications 'to represent' the original. Having something that looks 'about right' is satisfying for me as otherwise I might get hung up on certain details and not enjoy the build. As I result of my more relaxed nature I really enjoyed the build.

 

Now I'm going to google the development of the SRN 4 and see the nature of your task.

 

Cheers

Adrian

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave,

 

At the outset, my intention was just to show the two SRN4s beside each other, one as the kit and the other stretched. Thankfully I'm not such a purist that every small detail would need to be correct, so I can live with some imperfections. After all, the model is just for me... not to win any prizes with anyone else. I haven't thought yet that it would need to be a complete scratch build, but obviously there are huge differences in the skirts, roof (and layout) and pylons - so arguably not much of the original kit would be left. 😞 I may yet just end up building the regular unmodified kit in Hoverlloyd livery - and then wish for ever after that I'd dared to take on the bigger challenge! If only Airfix would make a kit of the later SRN4...

 

-Robert-

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Adrian. Let's see what you've got leftover when you've done your project. The roof and side windows could be of particular interest. Will you be doing the roof semi-transparent? If so, it goes without saying that you need to be very careful with the glue. The roof in my kit is already spoiled with glue (thanks to previous owner) but it doesn't matter because I will not be leaving any of it clear.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert, I will be doing the half clear roof and adding extra cars and maybe a couple of figures. As you can see from the photo below one of the roofs has a distinctly yellow hue. That is the one from the kit I bought about 20 years ago whereas the one from 1973 is clear - just needs a good polish to remove minor scratches. Barring me making a cock up during my build, the sealed bag of clear parts and all other spare bits are yours 🙂

 

IMG_3622[7219]

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Adrian, Interesting that the more recent roof has discoloured. I suppose that Airfix must have made a few production runs over the years which might explain the difference. If I go through with my stretching plans, I won't ultimately be needing the cars that I have already - so let me know if you're happy to have duplicate vehicles. Personally, I would like to have seen some weird and wonderful French cars included in the kit.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, SRN4 Stretcher said:

Adrian, Interesting that the more recent roof has discoloured. I suppose that Airfix must have made a few production runs over the years which might explain the difference.

Original release in 1970, re-released in 1973, 1976, and 2002. My kit is the last release and has the distinctly yellow tinged "clear" parts.

For extra vehicles I'd look at railway modelling vehicles, specifically British N gauge which is 1:148 eg Oxford Diecast range https://www.oxforddiecast.co.uk/collections/1-148, better detail than the vague shapes in the Airfix kit as well.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I had no idea about a 2002 re-release. Were there any other differences in the 2002 kit, besides the use of yellow-tinged clear plastic?

 

1-148 scale cars should be almost indistinguishable from 1-144 I would expect.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SRN4 Stretcher said:

Were there any other differences in the 2002 kit, besides the use of yellow-tinged clear plastic?

The only design changes that I'm aware of between the different releases is the box top logo and titling which changed slightly with each issue tom match the then current Airfix branding. The box top illustration didn't change and neither did the decal sheet or the moulds for the parts, though there's obviously been some change to the plastic used, at least for the clear parts. I'd suggest that this was an unintential consequence of material supply, though  cost may have been a factor!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...