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Revell (ex-Matchbox) 1/72nd Supermarine Walrus MkI

Heather Kay

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Cheers Cliff! I’m happy with the modifications, at least those you can still see!




I completely forgot to document progress after gluing the fuselage together. While the fit wasn’t bad - the moulds are nearly 50 years old, remember - the top deck needed a little filler, some filing and some sanding to lose the join. I also applied a smidge of filler to tiny sink holes that aligned with the location pins and the seat locators inside. The rudder is thick, and I’d have been wiser to have done some selective sanding to this it a little more on the trailing edge before joint the fuselage up. 

Content that I hadn’t destroyed anything, I glued the transparency on. I could have masked it before, but it’s a relatively simple job even in position on the model. An oddity with the transparency is not all the frames are moulded, chiefly along the sides and edges. They look like they are there, but it is refraction of the thickness of material showing through. All soon dealt with by some tape and sharp blade. It’s also worth pointing out the rear edges really ought to sit slightly proud of the fuselage. The whole rear section on the real plane slides back, and the slightly proud moulding, to my mind at least, is correct.

I know others like to dip their transparencies in clear varnish or floor polish. I’ve tried this before and never had good results. I seem to get runs and ridges. It is useful, though to try and seal the edges of masking tape to prevent subsequent painting operations wicking under it. I seem to be successful with this by brush-painting the interior colour all over the edges.


Other sub-assemblies have started to appear, and I’ve ploughed on and made up the engine nacelle and struts, and attached them to the fuselage. Things will need a little tidying now the glue has dried.




I have been using a facsimile of the original Matchbox instructions over the Revell updated ones. I can’t quite see it, but Revell apparently have redrawn the nacelle strut arrangement and got it slightly wrong. I’ve noted others have built this kit here on BM and always commented that no matter how hard they try they can’t get the engine pod aligned. Well, that’s because it’s offset to starboard, like the real thing. Perhaps the instructions should note that fact to avoid annoying modellers! Once the struts are fitted properly, you can see they’re all over the shop when viewed from certain angles. It looks very wrong, but is quite correct.


I will need to do some filling and fettling round the nacelle and strut locations, but checking just now it has set nice and rigid. If I work to getting the tailplanes fitted, I can think about priming this section and perhaps drilling some holes for rigging to go into.

Currently, I’m erring on the side of making locations and fitting straight sections of wire. Fitting the wings so they sit square and true may well be easier without worrying about stray cables all the time. That said, it makes sense to get the wing and fuselage subassemblies in the final colours before joint things up. That’s a bother as I’ll have to reinstate the paint booth again. I need the bench clear for day job stuff in the coming week. Oh, for a nice big dedicated modelling workshop!

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Progress before morning coffee!




The tailplane is installed. A clever bit of design where the locating tongues of the horizontal surfaces interlock. Dry fitting showed I needed to sand the tiniest part off the locking parts to ensure the best fit. I actually glued the struts in place first, as friction was enough to hold the flying surfaces until I was happy things were square and level. Location points lack the finesse we expect in this day and age, but this kit is only a decade younger than me! 

The hard plastic used by Revell doesn’t respond all that well to my preferred liquid solvent cement, which is MEK. It’s okay, but sometimes the solvent doesn’t soften the plastic enough for a good joint. I’m mostly using Revell Contacta.




Having finally decided to go with straight wire rigging installed after construction, I’ve glued the wing halves together. Trailing edges are a bit thick, but very much of their time. I’m not going to spend for ever getting a knife-edge finish. As the upper wing is flat, I’ve joined both sides to the centre section in the flat.




In keeping the vintage of the kit, I’ve succeeded in splodging too much cement and getting a finger print on a surface! 

After some tidying of the engine pod area, I will review how to mark out and drill suitable locating holes for the rigging. I also need to make up the outrigger floats, as they’ll need some wiring, too. Bearing in mind the relative crudity of the kit I’m not going to get all super nerdy about getting the wires in exactly the right place. I shall work to the "near enough is good enough" principle outlined in Section 12(c) of my Modeller's Licence.

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I’m starting to run out of things to do before committing to primer.




Many contemporary photos show fittings for bombs under the wings. Some, like the Seagull MkV in the RAF Hendon museum, have recesses in the lower wing. Others appear to have fairly straightforward crutches. They do agree on a pair of larger crutches, presumably capable of carrying a 250lb bomb each, flanking a carrier for four smaller bombs. The Bits Box serves up some Airfix spares. The large crutches are a bit too long, so I may simply shorten them. I’ve even got some 20lb bombs I could fit on the centre carriers.



With reference material and a black marker pen, I’ve spotted all the points where I think a hole needs to go for rigging wire. I’ll drill those out, probably about 0.5mm, and then see if the wind is light enough for primer to be squirted in the garden.


After that, I think this Walrus will become a temporary shelf queen until I can find some time to paint camouflage colours on it.

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Primed. The fuselage has had a second go, as the first spray showed some areas that needed more attention from filler and sanding. You will note the rear turret cover sliding rails have disappeared. They’ll be reinstated later. 


Top Tip: If planning to rig the centre section and engine supports on a Walrus, locate and drill the holes before assembling everything. It makes it easier to drill the holes in the right places. 

(Guess who forgot?)


So, back in the box with this lot until I can find time to start painting.

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The extractor fan and airbrush have been set up today to weather the O gauge coaches you can see in the background. Of course, there was no excuse needed to also get a first coat of FAA Sky Grey on the Walrus. 😇

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress on the Shagbat ground to a halt due to day job things.




I have a set of Gresley teak coaches under way, and I’ve been lacking a pair of bogies for a full brake. My original supplier couldn’t cope, sent me half of what I needed, and annoyed the heck out of me, so I’ve had to go with second best. Very second best. A pile of flash-ridden whitemetal castings arrived, and I spent a day cleaning them all up. To be fair, the vendor did tell me the moulds were past their prime, but they don’t sell enough to warrant making new ones. 


My lead content is now about on par with an average church roof.




One rather serious issue was holes in the axleboxes, intended for brass top hat bearings, were all moulded off centre - and all in the same direction. I had to fill the holes (flooded them with low temperature solder) and work out a way to mark the centres and redrill them consistently. With that achieved, I could build the rest of the kit.




Well, there’s one assembled. It’s now been joined by its twin. They need priming and painting.

I like to think I may find time this weekend to mask the Walrus for a coat of camouflage colour. We shall see.


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I realise it’s possible to fall out of love with a kit. 

I am very close to it right now.




You have to be in the right frame of mind for masking tape. Brush painting is much simpler. I’ve had to repair both front wing struts on the engine nacelle because they snapped off. Careful drilling with a minute bit, supergluing very thin wire in, and hoping I can adjust the angle when it comes to installing the top wing really isn’t a fun game when your overall mood is very low.




Silly me for choosing such a silly camouflage scheme. I should’ve defaulted to the nice aluminium overall dope finish! Instead, I must insist on something suitable for 1940, and since most FAA Walruseseses were assigned to Royal Navy ships of various sizes, W2771 is the choice.




F it is, but note: shadow shading again. Argh! And a demarcation half-way up the hull! Double argh!


You can perhaps understand why I’m starting to fall out of love with this kit.


Incidentally, like so many, the transfer instructions refer to "Sky Type S" for the undersides. Not for early 1940, chaps. Sky grey. Later in the year, and into 1941, perhaps, but not before the summer of 1940.


9F is assigned to No 710 Squadron, HMS Albatross. Go look it up. Not quite my current North-Western Europe area of interest, and not the Mediterranean either, but then the Royal Navy did get about a bit. It’s still 1940, even so. It’s why I love this hobby, and why I’ve found 1940 to be so addictive: so much variety and history in what apparently seems such a limiting subject. HMS Manchester in 1939 would have been easier to paint, though!




Nevertheless, I have masked the grey underparts on the fuselage. I do have a sort of plan on how to carry off the camouflage split between light and dark, but my braincell is not quite ready to start. I’m not going to bother masking the wing lower parts, as they sort of self-mask anyway. I hope to get the lighter colours - don’t ask me to remember what they’re called as I keep getting them muddled - on the lower wings and hull sides first. Then I’ll have to think about how to mask for the rest, unless I chicken out and deploy the hairy stick.


Wish me luck.

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Wishing you luck, @Heather Kay, don't you just love it [NOT} when tidily struts have a self destructive mind of their own !


Nevertheless, I have every confidence that this will end up another of your fine examples of 1940's wartime aviation.



Thanks for the mention of the Sky Grey/Type S timeline - duly stored for future reference.


Quick question - when building your Swordfish, did you anneal the rigging before installing ?

Couldn't see any reference in your build thread, hence the question, as I'm building Tamiya's 1/48 example with their rigging set.



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25 minutes ago, roginoz said:

Quick question - when building your Swordfish, did you anneal the rigging before installing ?

I didn’t. I don’t think it would help, as the stainless steel has a natural springiness. Annealing would likely make the metal prone to bending.


Oh, I will finish this Walrus. I’m making myself finish it before I pick another kit from the stash!

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Basic camo on the wings done. I’m working through the fuselage, hoping inspiration will strike before I get too far! As is my way, I’ve used Copydex to mask large areas. Edges may still require some careful brush retouching, and I rather thing I shall end up with the hairy stick to finish the fuselage colours as I’d like. Far too much fiddling about, masking hither and yon, and getting my noodle in a tizzy while I do it!

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59 minutes ago, CliffB said:

I must try using Copydex for masking :thumbsup2:



I've been applying it neat with a cotton bud. I’m going to try diluting the stuff to see if it makes it easier to apply neatly.

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I realised I completely failed to document how I did the painting. No photos of the stages, so a thousand or so words may have to do.




As predicted, some brush work required. Otherwise, happy with that.




T'other side.


How did I manage it? Simple steps.


  1. With the undersides masked, I airbrushed Dark Sea Grey on the sides of the hull, and the nacelle. I was amused to discover Halfords Grey Primer is exactly the same shade of grey, so I couldn’t actually easily see where paint went!
  2. Using Copydex, I masked the grey for the Light Slate Grey camouflage pattern, and sprayed it.
  3. Removing the Copydex, I used 3mm wide masking tape to define the top edge of the lighter camo along the hull. The rest was blocked in with standard household masking tape.
  4. Dark Slate Grey was airbrushed on all upper surfaces. At this stage, I have no idea where the lower camouflage delineation is.
  5. Remove all the masking, and carefully mark the upper surfaces with a pencil to show where the Extra Dark Sea Grey areas are and how they match the lighter areas. 
  6. Reapply the masking for the lower area as step 3.
  7. Copydex to mask the DSG, airbrush the EDSG.
  8. Cross fingers.
  9. Remove Copydex and masking tape, and breathe a sigh of relief.

I am leaving the retouched areas to dry. They show in the photo because the ColourCoats leaves a sheen when it’s brushed as opposed to airbrushed. When they’re dry, the airframe and wings will get a gloss coat, and I can sort out the transfers.


Happier with the model now, but lots of fiddly bits still to do.

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Patience is not my forté.




Dont you just hate it when you spend good money on a specific set of transfers, only to not use most of them? The upper wing Type B roundels had a black line round them, plus the overlap between red and blue showed as a dark line. Out with the Xtradecal spares, which then meant I had to replace the fuselage roundels and the fin flashes so the colours matched. :wall: In the end, just the squadron codes and the serial numbers have been used. I also cannibalised the walkway markings from the Ancient Airfix Walrus. I think the Revell ones would have worked, but they were a deal thicker.


Anyway, done now. The jury is out on whether I ought to add underwing Type A roundels. I think I should, if I have any the right size. In fact, I’ll do that right now. 👋

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A word of warning about Copydex. 

I've been spraying matt varnish on the Walrus to seal the transfers and even the paint finish out. I kept spotting little speckles on some of the surfaces, like little silvered areas. They happened to coincide with where I had used the Copydex as masking fluid. 

Now, I’m not sure what is causing the problem. I did rather rush things, and where I’d normally leave the paint to harden for a day or so, I was blasting through the masking in a couple of hours. Perhaps it’s the ammonia in the glue reacting with the not-quite-gassed-out enamel. I have noticed a similar slight silvering where masking tape has been applied, but that usually disappears under a final varnish coat.


So, be warned. Copydex works well for masking, but can potential mar an enamel painted surface if it’s not completely hardened.


Things will be left until tomorrow to see how it turns out. One thing is certain: I am not stripping the paint! 

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1 hour ago, Grandboof said:

Fading tips noted for the future

I have a photo which I hope shows the problem.




See the little silvery spots around the camo demarcation? That’s what I mean. It has affected most of the hull and wings. It’s not a serious issue, and could charitably be attributed to weathering in a salt water environment. Well, that’s the excuse I’m going to use anyway. :giggle:




With the painting done, I approach final assembly - putting off still further the issue of rigging. I managed to catch myself before I glued an outrigger float on back to front. Well, I’m only human. I will install the bomb crutches shortly. The undercarriage has been attached to the hull. Once the glue has set, I’ll dab some paint about it and stick the wheels on. I’m leaving the tail wheel/rudder until later, because I’m bound to knock it off again before I’m done. 

I suppose I should rig the outrigger floats before attaching the lower wings to the hull. Easier to do while I can turn them in all directions.


I must curb my impatience. Rushing things at this stage will end in a mess.

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Lego has been deployed in an effort to align the lower wings properly. They have a slight dihedral, which should be achievable with a nice snug fit against the hull. 



Rigging has commenced. One of the already-repaired top struts has given up the fight again. Not sure how I’m going to achieve the cross-brace wires up there. I shall attempt it, but it assume the struts are all in the right place - which they aren’t. The lower cross-braces aren’t at all tight, but I hope they’ll pass muster in the gloom under the upper wing.




The outrigger float bracing wires went on quite easily. 

Fitting the upper wing and struts is currently giving me sleepless nights. It will all go horribly wrong, I just know it.

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The hammer didn’t do it. It fell apart due to its own internal inconsistencies. I’m not generally given to smashing up part-built models, but this getting very close to it.


There is nothing, aside from the fit of the wing roots to the hull, that gives an accurate angle for the lower wing dihedral. With the nacelle struts any which where, attempting to attach the upper wing and keep it all aligned proves almost impossible. I got three out of four centre struts in place, fitted the rear outboard interplane struts, and it crumbles again.


I tore - gently - the lower wings off again out of frustration. I’ll let everything marinade overnight now. If I still feel it can be built, I’ll clean it all up and work out a way to fit it all together so it doesn’t look like a drunken Picasso. Failing that, it’s in the bin. I won’t have a wonky Walrus in the collection, and if that means no Walrus so be it.


Oh, and the undercarriage legs are floppy. I’ve had to insert a tiny block of styrene behind each one to hold them rigid. Without, the weight of the airframe would splay the legs. You know, I’m sure I built one of these in my teens and never encountered any of these problems.

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Sorry to hear of your woes Heather.  I've had similar falling apart issues in the past, which I've tracked down my over-miserly use of Extra Thin cement (in an attempt to be neat), plus my tendency to rush and not give the cement a chance to fully set!  I hope things look brighter for you today :thumbsup2:.



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Dear Heather

Sorry to the the walrus in bits. How about cutting off the 3 remaing struts that go between the nacelle and top wing, use more or your wonderful Lego construction to make jig to align the top wing and then put in the struts between the upper and lower wings using tube glue? When is good and solid, turn the plane upside down and put the strus in between the nacelle and top wing, adjusting the strut length to match the holes at each end.


I think your building skills are exemplory.


regards Toby

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2 hours ago, CliffB said:

I hope things look brighter for you today :thumbsup2:.

Thanks Cliff! I had a cunning plan before I shut up shop last night. I think it may have worked. More later, hopefully.


1 hour ago, Planebuilder62 said:

How about cutting off the 3 remaing struts that go between the nacelle and top wing


Cheers Toby! Part of my problem is, as you note, the central struts. They need to be in a certain angle and position in order to set the upper wing in the right orientation. The weakest link, sadly, needs to be the strongest. Losing all the location points would make it quite hard to ensure it all sits squarely, though it should be possible with a decent jig. I can never quite get my braincell round making jigs to hold things firmly while aligned properly. It’s something I must work on.


Anyway, I just checked my last-minute idea from last night, and I think it might just work. More soon.

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