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MikroMir 1/144 Blackburn Beverley C. Mk 1 RAF heavy-lift tactical transport


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I have always wanted the chance to build an injection-moulded Blackburn Beverley but all we had to choose from for many years were either a 1/72 vacuform or a 1/72 resin one.

 

What I really wanted was one in a smaller scale, ideally 1/96, or 1/144.

 

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Here is why I wanted one

 

So when eventually an injection-moulded one came along it was not by Airfix, or FROG, but by a Ukranian company, MikroMir.

 

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And here is the box it came in with a sort of sickly touched-up photo superimposed on a very fluffy sky ............. I am not keen on their box presentation but do not let that put you off as the contents are of excellent quality and detail. So thank you MikroMir for finally providing us with a superb kit of a very important Royal Air Force transport aircraft.

 

Their boxing does remind me however of the 1970s Russian NOVO boxings of the FROG kits, I wonder if this is just a coincidence.

 

So I arrived at Scale Model World back in 2017 with the intention of seeking out one of these recently appeared kits. And I found a small number remaining on S & M's stall so I was lucky to get one because they were soon sold out.

 

I was at the show all weekend as our Club had a display table there and I was preoccupied so much that I did not bother to check the contents of the kit, until I got home.

 

When I finally did open the box and start examining the contents I was shocked to find that a whole sprue of parts was missing ....

 

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this whole sprue was missing, a good proportion of the kit. So I sent an email to S & M and I also sent an email to MikroMir.

 

I had a very polite reply from S & M and a sort of acknowledgement some time later from MikroMir.

 

Guess what happened next ............ two envelopes arrived through the post from both of them containing the missing sprue, so bad luck had now become good luck as it gave me the extra parts I needed to really go to town on this model.

Edited by adey m
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1 hour ago, bigbadbadge said:

Will tag along and see what you do it this little Beastie.

Welcome aboard Chris, you can have the copilot's seat

 

regards, adey

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The kit is moulded in a medium hard light grey plastic with impressive and very fine surface detailing. There is also a small fret of etched brass parts with some impossibly small aerials, internal detailing of parachute doors and the parachute guard rails.

 

Clear parts are confined to a beautifully moulded cockpit glazing which incorporates the roof, the nose glazing and the astrodome. All the fuselage portholes and the navigator's window are provided as decals. This is okay if you intend to build the model fully closed up but I want to give mine the options of cargo doors open and removed in heavy cargo drop configuration. Therefore, I will need to open up all the portholes and window so they can be glazed.

 

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A useful guide to all the parts that the kit should contain. The cockpit module is very detailed and accurate, but again is okay if you intend to model the aircraft in its closed up configuration. As I want to have the aircraft rear doors open I will have to add a roof to the cargo hold and the bulkheads.

 

Because I now have two sprues which contain the rear cargo doors and the cargo deck I have the extra parts to enable me to detail the cargo hold and provide options for having the cargo doors closed and open. How lucky.

 

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I used the extra cargo floor to make a roof for the cargo hold which also provides a floor for the cockpit cabin. There is very fine rib detail moulded on the inside of the cargo hold which again seems a pity to hide. I just cannot let that empty space behind the cockpit go undetailed.

 

So I needed to find out what went on in there.

 

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A Beverley navigator . He was sat facing forward on left hand side. Behind him facing rearwards is the signaller.

 

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A Beverley signaller looking surprised at the camera. Navigator in foreground.

 

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An instructor looking over the navigator. Open doorway to cockpit, must open it up on the model. Is that a McDonalds cup ........... they get everywhere

 

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Good progress has been made here. All fuselage windows opened up. Flight deck detailed and doorway opened up. Hatches to flight deck and rear passenger boom opened up. Cargo door operating mechanism added.

 

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The big wings are only supposed to be butt-glued to the fuselage, that does not look strong enough to me so I installed a big wing spar.

Edited by adey m
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A great start so far, looking good. The Beverley is a fascinating aircraft, I’d love one in 1/72, but it’ll be good to follow this build.

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19 minutes ago, adey m said:

Is that a McDonalds cup ........... they get everywhere

 

No - it's a standard-issue RAF paper cup. If you're going to model it in 1/144th, you need to know it's an RAF blue-grey with white stripes and an RAF crest....:coat:

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Actually I think your navigator looks like Monty Don.

 

The Beverly is definitely one of those uniquely quirky British aircraft that I’m learning to love.

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I am looking forward to seeing your progress on this one Adey, I built one a couple of years ago and was very impressed with it, and the amount of weight it needed to stay on it's feet!

 

All the best my friend,

 

Ray

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3 hours ago, Steve Coombs said:

Would the Shelf Oddity detail set be of any use for your build?

 

Thank you Steve, there is everything there to super detail and upgrade this kit but I intend to keep things to my usual simple scratchbuilt standard.

 

adey

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4 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

but it’ll be good to follow this build.

 

Thank you my lord, may I recommend the flight engineers seat behind the pilots.

 

regards, adey

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13 hours ago, Ray S said:

I am looking forward to seeing your progress on this one Adey, I built one a couple of years ago and was very impressed with it, and the amount of weight it needed to stay on it's feet

 

You are so correct my friend about the suprising amount of nose weight this quite large model requires, good job it has ten wheels.

 

I think that the navigator's seat may be good for you, it has a large window and a table for inflight refreshments.

 

best wishes my friend

 

 

Edited by adey m
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11 hours ago, woody37 said:

Got my popcorn ready for the ride too

 

Welcome aboard woody, there is still room on the flight deck, just don't spill your popcorn

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Any room for me ??

 

I've got one on order and I'll look forward to your ironing out all the gremlins before mine arrives.

Thanks in anticipation,

Rog

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3 hours ago, roginoz said:

Any room for me ??

 

There is plenty of room roginez, welcome aboard, but please excuse the bumpy ride

 

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3 hours ago, John_W said:

It's a shame the one that used to sit at Hendon was scrapped.

 

Yes it is a shame, and the only surviving one, XB259, nearly was too back in the early 1980s. It had been at Paull airfield near Hull since 1974 in use as a clubhouse.

Then the airfield had to close and the Beverley was dragged across the fields to a road for disposal.

 

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Here it is with me under the tail about 1984. The closed airfield is in the distance. It was saved from the scrapmen by a businessman and donated to the new Army Transport Museum at Beverley,

 

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It was dismantled and transported in sections by the Army to the museum. I think it provided good logistical training for the Army Driving School at nearby Leconfield.

 

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And here it is rebuilt and painted on public display at the museum.

 

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The view from one of the tail boom portholes.

 

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To help raise funds to preserve this aircraft the Beverley Rivet Owners Club was set up where each rivet on the aircraft could be ' bought ' for £1.00 each. I bought one and this is my badge.

 

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Unfortunately, the museum closed down and the Beverley needed a new home. She was dismantled again and transported to Fort Paull, almost where she had been before, where she was repainted in camouflage and put on display.

 

Now Fort Paull has closed down and the Beverley has been bought to be turned into a holiday cabin somewhere in Yorkshire. I wonder where my rivet is ?

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Main parts layed out at an earlier stage. Yes you can build a Blackburn Beverley on a sheet of A4 paper.  I am checking the fit of the wing spar with a gap to represent the width of the fuselage. wings looking nice and level. That is quite a large wingspan.  I have cut a slot for the spar in the fuselages. I have also found two suitable seats in my spares for the navigator and signaller.

 

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Trial fitting of the flight deck, cargo hold floor and wing spar. I have built up the flight deck crew positions, navigator station forwards and signaller station rearwards. Flight deck access and cockpit doorway opened up.

 

The next stage is to work out how much nose weight will be needed to prevent it falling onto its big butt. It should not need much weight surely as it has two 4-wheel bogies placed behind the centre of gravity ............ ha ha

 

I hope it does not need much, as there are not many places to hide it if I am having the cargo doors open.

 

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I do not want this happening when it is on display at some show hopefully in the near future.

 

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This is the tried and tested method I use to determine how much nose weight a model needs. All the main airframe is taped together and I then pivot the model where the main undercarriage will be. I then add weight at the nose until the model sits solidly on its nose. 

 

And now I wonder where I am going to put it all ....................

Edited by adey m
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Okay, so where am I going to hide all that nose weight lead ? There is plenty of room in the tail boom, drat, wrong end.

 

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I do what I have done with heavily glazed nosewheel models before, when I run out of nooks to stick it in I then make some of the  fittings out of lead.  I used this method in my Boeing WB-50 and my Flamant where I made the cockpit seats, panels and bulkheads and even the nose wheel doors from lead. So here I have had to resort to the same method on the flight deck.

 

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Another view of the lead fixtures on the flight deck.

 

But this was not enough, I needed to find room for some more lead somewhere.

 

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So lead has now been added to the front and either side of the nose as well as under the cargo floor.

 

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Tape everything back together and check that she sits on her nose, and she does.

 

It looks like I can get painting the interior now.

 

 

Edited by adey m
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That is very ingenious Adey!

 

When I did mine, I was not so scientific. I built a 'crate' for cargo (I was so chuffed about getting the planking and wood effects!) and filled that with lead but it was way short, and I foolishly thought that the wheels at the back would help keep it level. So I built the rest of good ol' Bev, had fun and games with the paint (incompatabilities etc), ended up with something that looked like it was made from leather, and a tail sitter to boot! I ended up taking off the lower glazing and filling that whole interior with lead, painted it black, and no-one could see it! It eventually sat on all its wheels.

 

I am so glad you are a better planner than me!

 

Cheers my friend,

 

Ray

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7 hours ago, Ray S said:

I am so glad you are a better planner than me!

 

I have revisited your Beverley build Ray and I think you were just unlucky, it was one of those we all end up with sometime, with me it is usually the painting that goes wrong.

I must admit that building is my favourite stage, and painting is something I approach with trepidation. And I think the reason for this is that I am a brush painter, and the paints today just do not seem suitable for brush painting. They were great back when I started painting models in the 1970s .

 

I had a terrible time with my Hasegawa B-47 because I made the wrong decision to use Humbrol Chrome can spray on the wings, I don't think they have cured to this day.

 

So with that, I must start painting my Blackburn monster.

 

best wishes my cockpit-painting inspirational friend

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But before I start the interior painting I must show you  what I have done with the optional open cargo doors and the undercarriage units.

 

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As I am fortunate to have an extra set of cargo doors I intend to have the model so I can pose it with cargo doors closed, cargo doors open or without doors in the heavy drop configuration. I have applied the etched brass parachute doors interior panels and added extra detail with reference to photographs.

 

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The cargo doors will attach to the fuselage by small brass rod pins which will fit into small holes drilled in the fuselage sides.

 

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My father took this photograph in 1965 at Kuantan in Malaya during the Indonesian confrontation. A mobile radar unit is being loaded onto a Beverley from an RAF Bedford 3-ton truck. The aircraft has the optional roof gantry installed. Note the white and blue painted interior of the aircraft.

 

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This is the aircraft being loaded, XB291 of the Far East Air Force based at RAF Seletar in Singapore. Just visible inside the open front doorway is the ladder up to the cockpit.

Also visible is one of the jacks under the rear fuselage to support the aircraft during loading and the unrequired loading ramps in the distance.

XB291 was scrapped at Seletar in 1968.

 

And so it was time to get painting. I have used a bit of artistic license on the flight deck, I know the cockpit was black, that it easy, but photographs of the cabin show a light coloured ceiling, so I have gone for white and blue as in the cargo hold.

 

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Finally time to install the painted interior.

 

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Visible here is the flight engineer's seat in the cockpit doorway. The flight engineer was added later to the Beverley to keep a check on the engine and fuel settings so the pilots could concentrate on flying. Also installed now is the access ladder to the flight deck.

 

And now we are ready to close up the fuselage, I hope it still goes together.

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A Singapore-based Beverley on landing approach to Hong Kong Kai Tak airport in 1967.  Note how the main wheel bogies are angled when the aircraft is in flight.

 

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On the left is a main wheel bogie moulding as it comes in the kit. It is extended in flying mode, yet is also level,............. a strange conundrum.

On the right is my altered main wheel bogie. I have shortened the oleo leg to represent it compressed when on the ground and I have also devised a method of allowing the bogie to pivot by using a brass rod pin. This will help to keep all the wheels in contact with an uneven display base.

 

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Here are my pivoting main wheel bogies.

 

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I had to drill the axle holes in the wheels wider to fit onto the axles.

 

 

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Lovely work Adey, I like the blue/white interior.

 

I was reading the other day that the Flight Engineer could actually crawl inside the wings when the Bev was in flight if anything needed fixing. Just like my memory to not recall where I saw it, but there was a photo of the engineer crawling inside the wing!

 

I love the Beverley, you are doing a grand job!

 

All the best,

 

Ray

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