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23 Squadron Blenheim Mk. 1F **Finished & in Gallery**


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Well, I wasn't intending to enter this group build but then along came this model

20210606_224813

 

As the "Unarmed" and"F-16" group builds are also running at the same time this one might not get finished by the deadline but I'll give it a go.

 

Mike

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Which is odd as most people intend to enter and then don’t as the have intended to enter too many! 
 

very good to have you along, and have the best crack you can, obviously I think this group build should take precedence above all other commitments… but I might be bias

 

Rob 

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Mike, 

Hope you can give this one a good crack. I’ve nominated this same kit as my ‘Bristol’ build and it would be good to check your progress and compare notes along the way. 

Cheers and best of luck.. Dave 

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A couple of days work and the cockpit is finished (but needs a wash to complete it)

20210613_195244

 

20210613_195323

 

The Eduard instrument panel is quite different to any I've used before, the "glass" for each instrument in this etch is slightly domed rather than being flat, which gives a better effect.

 

So far the fit has been very good but getting the completed assembly into the port fuselage did require some clamping and I'm not convinced the lower seam is going to be parallel to the centreline without a bit more clamping....time will tell.

 

Mike

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That looks nice and good inspiration to finally make a start on mine early tomorrow. I don’t have the IP, looks really good installed. 
Cheers.. Dave

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And onto the wings:

 

Waiting for assembly

20210615_171525

 

Starboard completed and Port half finished

20210616_162930

 

 

And a few pointers if you are building this kit:

 

The completed wheel assemblies are a very tight fit into the lower wing and the rear pit walls (A31, A32) needed some sanding to their front faces to sit properly - I also clamped theses firmly whilst the glue set as the two wings halves in my kit had different dihedrals (not an issue as I progressively glued and clamped until I'd worked all the way round the edges).

 

Also the tops of the pit firewalls (C39) needed some sanding to get the nacelle halves to mate properly.  Oh yes, when fixing the lower nacelles (B16, B17) they are naturally slightly narrower than the opening - beware and push outwards as the glue sets.

 

None of the above is a major issue but I'm highlighting them as stages in the build that are best double-checked.

 

Mike

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Looks nice. I'm almost tempted to stray into 1/48th again with Airfix's Defiant, Walrus and this one but have resisted!

It would be great to have a Mk.IV as well though.

 

:goodjob:

 

Davey.

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Thanks for pointing these issues out. I’ll be building the same kit so will do plenty of dry runs as I go along. Yours is looking lovely so far. 
Cheers.. Dave 

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4 hours ago, DaveyGair said:

I'm almost tempted to stray into 1/48th again


Although I’m predominantly a 1/72 modeller, I find going up to 1/48 once in a while really pleasing. I just model by subject, so if a good 1/48 kit comes along that doesn’t have a good 1/72 equivalent (say Gloster Javelin) I’ll just buy the best subject. It does nothing for stash reduction however! 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

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Fuselage now closed up:

20210619_160423

 

A bit of persuasion was needed to get the lower fuselage to fit round the front of the bomb bay (A20) - I think this has slightly flexed the cockpit sides so let's hope the two clear sections will still fit neatly (masks for these arrived today).  Some reviews online have the clear canopy sections attached to each fuselage half at an early stage - is this a better course of action??

 

The bomb bay cover (B11) is narrower than the bomb bay and slightly longer, so the fit isn't perfect and is hard to remedy - this has been mentioned in one online build and the fit issue can be seen on another even though it wasn't mentioned.  The top panel (B6) is also of a slightly different size to the hole it covers.

 

I couldn't resist making up the turret (less clear parts) and a couple of points to watch here; firstly the angle of the seat is critical as otherwise the assembly won't go into the fuselage (well it would but certainly wouldn't come out again as the seat would flex on the way in and then be trapped) - I ended up glueing the bottom front of the seat to the support (A22).  I'm also not sure whether it matters which way round part A4 is attached to the fuselage floor; my turret sat a bit high as if the pivot lug at the bottom (on B31) was not properly aligned with the hole in A4, so in the end I just cut it off.

 

I'm not sure when Airfix did their research for this model but there are two errors in the clear cockpit mouldings compared to the preserved aircraft:

The third underside window on the starboard side (G11) is a large clear window in videos from 2015 but is moulded as a small observation window.

On the port side the instruction is to use G4 but the second window down on this looks like a "letterbox" which it isn't on the preserved aircraft (the unused part G12 is a correct match).  Whichever port side piece is used, the final window on the underneath is frosted and should be clear for the preserved aircraft.  Does anyone know what these windows looked like on actual WWII aircraft?? (Good pictures are so far eluding me).

 

I've done some work on the engines but will post about them later.

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

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Nice update Mike and thanks for mentioning the issues you are experiencing. Now you are quite a bit more advanced than my build, however these are my thoughts on the kit and what you’ve mentioned so far. 

 

- I’ve yet to experience any issues with the bomb bay front panel A20, and a dry run with the assembled unit into the fuselage seems ok (so far).

- I’ll be showing my bomb bay doors open, although I’m wondering if you can slice your closed part in two and insert a suitably sized plastic card shim to widen it a little?

- Top fuselage panel A6, I’ve not touched this part as yet so will look out and report accordingly. 

- Turret parts, I’ll leave these to the end, however thanks for the tip. Having built their Beaufort recently, I’m not surprised by your findings. 

- I’m also curious about the ‘H’ shaped part A4, however a very careful study of the instructions shows that it is not completely flat. The horizontal part of the ‘H” has one high side, which should be cemented facing forward. Funnily enough, I’ve seen a video of this kit’s ‘Bomber boxing’ instructions and there is no call-out to cement this part in place? I’ve glued mine in, however the fuse is not buttoned up as yet. 

- Canopy glass…. I’ll be cementing mine to each fuselage half first. I am also a little annoyed at the lower port side frosted panel so will have to resort to Micromesh to try and clear this up. The two port side clear options are handy, however you need to check period photographs to confirm which one to use. Many Western Desert examples used the ‘Letterbox’ type, however I think for your preserved example the clearer option G12 is correct. 

 

Now, I’d also suggest that if you were building this 23 Squadron version during it’s wartime service, the undersides would have been painted in the split black / white scheme which was in use during the first half of 1940. Airfix have represented the preserved aircraft where they have painted the underside all black. 

 

Cheers and regards.. Dave 

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11 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Now, I’d also suggest that if you were building this 23 Squadron version during it’s wartime service, the undersides would have been painted in the split black / white scheme which was in use during the first half of 1940. Airfix have represented the preserved aircraft where they have painted the underside all black. 

 

Hi Dave,

 

Totally agree and I'm inclined to go this way.  L6739 was struck off charge in Dec 1940, about the time 23 Sqn swapped to Night Intruder operations. So whilst with the squadron it would presumably have been in the black / white underside scheme.

 

Mike

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And onto the engines, no grumbles here - they fit together easily

20210620_162824

 

I've deviated from the instructions at steps 72, 73, 74 and have NOT glued the covers to the front ring.  The cylinders are also just a push fit in the engine at top right at the moment (obviously they wouldn't go in if the rear cowling ring had been glued in place).  My thinking is that painting the camo will be a lot easier with minimal masking required and then they can be glued up.

 

Mike

 

Updates might slow down from now as the F-16 GB has just started.

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That looks like a good way to assemble these engines as masking these bits is always a bit of a hassle. Shame you are moving onto F-16's... I much prefer Blenheim's myself! 

Cheers.. Dave  

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  • 1 month later...

I have been working on the Blenheim off and on, so a recap:

 

Firstly the canopies were masked and sprayed green (inside as well) and attached to the sides.  Locating them didn't seem to be completely positive and I used some thick cyano in a couple of strategic spots but at that point there was a horrendous gap

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Some careful clamping (using small wooden wedges to help) and a small amount of filler and grey primer got me to this point

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I've decided to finish this one in the white / black underside Night Fighter scheme rather than as preserved.  The only photos I can find of the actual aircraft are rather grainy black & white ones showing little detail - however this one was struck off charge with 23 Sqn in Dec 1940 at about the time the squadron changed from Night Fighter to Intruder mode so it would be logical for it to have carried the former livery.

 

Underside finished with Mr Paint Black and White, mottled with Night and Insignia White respectively to break up the finish (though it's not very obvious in this photo).  Flaps and engine cowlings also painted black / white but not in photo

20210724_082003

 

 

Some Dark Earth paint arrived this week so will start the camouflage soon, applying it thinly over a random mottling to get a worn effect (hopefully)

20210724_082123

 

 

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

A blitz on the decals this weekend:

20210808_200609

 

Well, to be honest there aren't that many - especially as I've omitted the underside stencils.  They are in white and designed for a black paint scheme, so would only be visible on half of the airframe - choice therefore to stencil one side only (would look odd) or not at all.

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  • FortyEighter changed the title to 23 Squadron Blenheim Mk. 1F **Finished & in Gallery**

A couple more photos that aren't in the Gallery

 

20210910_151801

 

20210910_151728

 

This was an enjoyable kit to build; the only real issue was the gap between the cockpit sides when first attached, which I assume is due to me getting something else not quite in line at an earlier stage.  However they pulled together well and it was a relief as the masking was removed from the many cockpit panels to find no paint creep!

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