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Bristol Britannia


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The Bristol Type 175 Britannia was a medium-to-long-range airliner built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1952 to fly across the British Empire. During development two prototypes were lost and the turboprop engines proved susceptible to inlet icing, which delayed entry into service while solutions were sought. By the time development was completed, "pure" jet airliners from France, United Kingdom, and the United States were about to enter service, and consequently, only 85 aircraft were built before production of the Britannia ended in 1960. Nevertheless, it is considered one of the landmarks in turboprop-powered airliner design and was popular with passengers. It became known as "The Whispering Giant" for its quiet exterior noise and smooth flying, although the passenger interior remained less tranquil.
The Royal Air Force Bristol 175 Britannia Fleet.
G-APPE / XN392
SERIES 250 – VARIANT 252 / C.Mk 2
Constructors No. 13450
Built at Belfast – First flight 13/10/58 – C of A: 10/11/58
Built to contract 11804 for the Ministry of Supply, dated February 1955. Officially on Ministry of Supply charge from 09 November 1958 and delivered via Filton as G-APPE on 12 November 1958. On 13 March 1959 G-PE carried spare parts for the grounded BOAC 102 Britannia, G-ANBC at Rangoon, in what was then a record time for the route. Royal Air Force Transport Command colours were applied in late March 1959, serialled XN392 she was named ‘Acrux’. Evaluated by A&AEE at Boscombe Down until 24 May 1959, she was damaged by salt spray at Belfast causing her return to Filton for repairs to the underside of the fuselage and the wings. Delivered to Transport Command No.99 Squadron at RAF Lyneham on 18 September 1959 she was subsequently operated within Nos. 99 and 511 Squadrons’ Britannia pool at RAF Lyneham from March 1961.
In December 1975 she was withdrawn from military service and stored at Baginton Airport , Coventry. XN392 had flown 12 652 hours and made 10 380 landings whilst in service with the RAF. She was purchased by Aer Turas on 18 December 1975 but only as a source for spares for their Britannia fleet and broken up and scrapped during April and May 1976 after a potential operation by City Airways fell through.
Chrism sent this for me to build for the A&NVMSig. This kit was originally issued by Frog in 1957 and is 1/96 scale. Not surprisingly the kit is very basic and crude. The parts really show the kit’s age with pronounced ejector pin marks, steps where the mould has not properly aligned and gaps, presumably where the mould has been damaged. Flash is abundant and some sprue gates are very thick. The propeller spinners virtually needed carving from the runner, so heavy was the flash. Making a half presentable model was challenging to say the least.
I made no attempt at fine detailing, I merely filled gaps in the joints and assembled as per the instructions. I added 20g of white metal castings (weighed out) and placed in the nose compartment as indicated on the instructions. The under-surfaces were primed with gloss black prior to airbrushing the natural metal finish. I used several shades to add variation and discolouration.
I then masked off the under surfaces and primed with Vallejo Acrylic 74600 White Polyurethane Surface Primer shot through my Model Air Brush 116B. I also used this airbrush to spray Vallejo Model Air 71001 White mixed with a little Klear to make a white gloss finish. This was allowed to fully cure before I sprayed another coat of Klear as a foundation for the transfers. Some small areas of aluminium paint lifted when the masking was removed. These areas were blended in using AK Interactive AK456 True Metal Dark Aluminium. The transfers were applied using Microset & Microsol and then the windscreen was slotted into place and the frame marked with a ruling pen. This was all sealed under a protective coat of Klear. I fitted the undercarriage after a little fettling. Despite the nose weight added the model remains a tail-sitter, indicating that the 20g specified is insufficient. To counter this, I scratched a support rod, cut from clear plastic rod and stuck to a disc cut from clear plastic sheet. 
The last task was to paint the black anti-glare panel and nose.
Painting Profile:
Vallejo Acrylic 74602 Gloss Black Polyurethane Surface Primer
AK Interactive AK479 Xtreme Metal Aluminium
AK Interactive AK480 Xtreme Metal Dark Aluminium
Alclad2 ACL-113 Jet Exhaust
Alclad2 ACL-121 Burnt Iron
Alclad2 ACL-112 Steel
Alclad2 ACL-111 Magnesium
AK Interactive AK456 True Metal Dark Aluminium
Vallejo Acrylic 74600 White Polyurethane Surface Primer
Vallejo Model Air 71001 White
Vallejo Model Color 70950 169 Black

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Hi Ratch,


this build is super and you are to be commended to tackle this type of demanding kit.

I have always loved the lines of this plane.

By the way, how many N in Brita??ia?






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53 minutes ago, Ratch said:

But only one on the model... Frog were trying to save on ink.


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Cheers, I only started it on the 19th so completed in 5 days. Other than a bit of fettling flash, filling and sanding, I've done nothing to what is a very basic kit, so thanks all for your generous feedback :thanks:

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