Jump to content

Heather's Workbench - SH 1/72nd Blackburn Skua

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

Well, I said I’d sleep on it. Thankfully, nothing got broken.



2 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

As already intimated, I’m leaving well alone. Too much scope for Captain Cockup and his crew to make things much, much worse than they are.

👍   Regards, Jeff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A day of frustration, and slowing right down.




First, for a reason I can’t fathom, part of the underside black refused to dry to a satin finish. You can see the part from the fuselage to about the main wheel well is shinier than the surrounding parts. I reapplied satin varnish, which made it worse. In fact, it dried gloss, just on that patch. 



I tried stripping back the varnish, and reapplying it. Same result. I finally let things dry and went over the offending area with a fine emery paper. Then I brush-painted Humbrol 33 matt black acrylic over the whole wing. It’s better, but still has a little bit of sheen to it. I’ve stopped worrying about it now.




Something I should have addressed sooner was the arrestor hook. Here, you can see the plastic part in the kit. Note how one leg is shorter than the other? You won’t be at all surprised I had similar issues with the Roc, though in that case the styrene part snapped before I could get it out of the sprue. As I usually do in these circumstances, I resort to something metallic.




A pair of new legs from 0.7mm diameter brass rod. You can also see the tiny resin hook.




Glue wasn’t going to cut it for joining the brass, so out with the soldering iron. A simple jig was arranged on the cutting mat, as you can see. The strip of white card was used to lift the legs slightly off the bench while gluing the hook in place.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And, after pressing the Submit button by mistake, we return you to the continuing saga!




This is the soldered legs being fettled to fit the recesses. It was at this point I realised the hook must be joined to the legs before fitting, or it’ll risk being lost inside the fuselage! (See previous post.)




Anything to avoid trying to make up the undercarriage, I made up the bomb crutch instead. Two very fine PE X braces are glued to the styrene main part. There’s supposed to be a styrene part at the top (narrow) end, but one look told me there was no way that was coming off the sprue in one piece. A length of 0.5mm brass rod was substituted.




Here it is painted. I need to point out the instructions are ever so vague about where this assembly fits to the underside of the aircraft. In fact, somewhere on the underside of the aircraft seems to be about it. I dug into the Dinger Aviation web site on the Skua and Roc, linked somewhere up-thread, and I think I’ve got a position more or less right. I’ll fit the crutch assembly after the undercarriage, to avoid accidental damage to what is still fairly fragile.




Finally, for now, I managed to lever the canopy off the model. The machine gun has been fitted, resting in its little slot at the back. I’ve also glued the wireless aerial mast on the canopy. I hope it stays in place, because I really do not trust butt joints like this.


I suppose those wheels should be next.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does the aerial stop at the canopy, or extend through it to the fuselage as the Battle's does?

That could save you a weak butt joint.

(That sounds soo wrong!)



  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Brandy said:

extend through it to the fuselage

According to a cutaway drawing I have, it doesn’t extend into the cockpit. I had hoped I might be able to drill into the mast for a short metal pin, but it’s very thin. My other though was to make a new one from brass, but it’s flat section and not easy to make at this scale. Once the cement has done it’s thing, it ought to be okay. I just have to be careful with my clumsy hands when moving the model about.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still no undercarriage. Might go for wheels up… 






With the mast securely fixed and the gun installed, the canopy went back on after the masking was removed. Now it’s looking like a proper Skua. The pitot also got fitted and given a lick of paint.




A pleasing amount of cockpit detail is visible. Yes, I know the diagonal braces behind the cockpit ought to be inside the glazing, but I couldn’t see how to remove them from the moulded glazing without pain and tears.




Basic paint going on the wheels and prop.


If I feel strong enough, I’ll see if I can push detail painting over the line this evening. The undercarriage will be a job for clear heads and eyes tomorrow, I think.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Final update for today. I painted the exhaust collector ring. I use Humbrol enamel metallics - polished steel, copper and gunmetal in this case - and work them together to give a blend that I think looks about right. With luck, every Bristol I do turns out a little bit different. Anyway, here we are, posed with the prop in place. I thinks I’m happy with that.


Tomorrow, after domestic chores like medical appointments for Best Beloved and a bit of hunting and gathering at the local supermarket, I will really build up the undercarriage. Honest, I will.

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether I finish in time to add this model to my Yearbook 2021 is in the balance. Today, meant to be for installing the undercarriage - how hard can it be? - has rather thrown my plans. Let’s just say that the domestic stuff took longer to sort out than anticipated, and I’m now all behind.




Not helped, of course, by a complicated undercarriage design, coupled with vague instructions and rather vague location points. 



One of the quirks of the Skua and Roc is the angle of the main undercarriage. It is vertical to the ground when the plane is on the deck, meaning it points backwards rather than being perpendicular to the airframe like most planes. Apparently, Blackburn had no real experience of retracting undercarriage before this design, and went full belt and braces to ensure the aircraft could withstand rough deck landings. That’s why the legs are angled so they met the deck at a right angle (assuming the correct glide approach, of course), and the various struts and braces took all the forces properly. I hope you can see the backward angle in the photo. It’s very subtle in the kit, and I’ve tried to force things as far as they can go. I fear, not knowing this quirkiness at the time, my Roc doesn’t have a suitably weird undercarriage.



This is where I am as I type. I’ve fitted all the styrene parts, without much aid of the instructions. I’m going to let things set, and then I’m going to brush paint round everything. Then I need to fit a pair of PE gear covers to the support and retraction struts. From the Roc build, I know these parts don’t really fit properly, but I shall bodge to my best ability.


I want to finish this beast today so I can spend time taking nice photos tomorrow. I am not, however, going to make a frantic dash to the end. 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers Roger!




I'm calling it done. All the final bits and bobs have been glued on and painted suitable colours. I’ll do some posh photography tomorrow, and post a link to the RFI here after.



  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers all! A happy new year - and let's hope it'll be happy this time, after the last few - to you all!


Posh piccies done, RFI here:



Now, I'm heading for Group Build territory again, entering a build in the Matchbox 50th Anniversary GB. I do remember I also have a Special Hobby Avro Anson waiting to be started, so that should rumble into life soon, too.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a very nice build Heather, I had forgotten what a pain the undercarriage was. SH/MPM seemed to go through a period where the instructions were written by someone who had only a nodding acquaintance with the kit. Looking forward to seeing you in the Matchbox GB, I have started a bit of work on my Siskin, by drilling some of the holes for the rigging. So far only broken one 0.3mm drill bit. 

Have a good New Year. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 31/12/2021 at 09:44, Heather Kay said:

Now, I'm heading for Group Build territory again, entering a build in the Matchbox 50th Anniversary GB.


Don't build the Privateer! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.    😬  ☠️  :devil:




  • Haha 3
Link to comment
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...