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Heather's Workbench - Faithful Annie, 1/72nd Avro Anson


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The Faithful Annie, a classic RAF aircraft if ever there was one. Over 11,000 Ansons of various marks were built from 1935 to 1952, serving the RAF, RCAF, RAAF and FAA into the 1960s. I’m starting back at the beginning, with the MkI in RAF Coastal Command service.

 

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I stand to be corrected but, until this Special Hobby kit arrived in 2007, the only injection moulded kit in 1/72nd scale was the venerable Airfix one - with all its shortcomings and dimensional errors, and that nasty greenhouse. I’m not going to knock the Airfix one further. I know, with care and love and elbow grease, it can be turned into a good representation of the type. Anyway, this thread is about a different kit.

 

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My copy is a rebox of the original 2007 kit. Markings are provided for three aircraft, all of which fit my 1940 obsession. However, I’m going to build the box art aircraft, N9732/MK-V. I don’t live very far from Detling, in Kent, where there was a Coastal Command airfield (now the Kent county show ground). MK-V was on the strength of No 500 (County of Kent) Squadron, and with two other Ansons got into a bit of a barney with a pair of Bf109s while on patrol over the English Channel in June 1940. The Emils came off worst, both apparently claimed by the crew of MK-V. Why wouldn’t I build that version? It would be rude not to!

 

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The moulded plastic looks really nice, especially the fabric treatment on the control surfaces. A rather worrying number of large gaps appear in the fuselage, though.

 

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Large expanses of lovely thin clear glazing, which will fill those gaps with luck. I have found that Montex make a masking set for this kit, which must be ordered fairly soon.

 

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This kit has lots and lots of moulded resin detail. This lot is mostly the interior, including the framework supporting the roof and glazing, but there are some worryingly fragile-looking external details as well. I shall consider which can usefully be substituted by metal replacements.


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More resin, this time crew seats, undercarriage parts, engine cowlings and self-assembly Armstrong Siddeley Cheetahs. Individual cylinders? Really? I had better put the local asylum on standby…

 

Like the Blackburn Skua, this is going to be a slow burn build. Rather perversely, I am rather looking forward to getting into all that resin!

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Now THIS is interesting!  I know you want to build the 1940 version, but I see that the kit gives you additional glass options and even cleaned-up engine nacelles.  What other versions can be had from the Special Hobby product?  Looking forward to seeing you you get on.

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14 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

I see that the kit gives you additional glass options and even cleaned-up engine nacelles.  What other versions can be had from the Special Hobby product?


Well spotted. I hadn’t clocked the smooth cowlings. Scalemates lists a couple of versions of this kit, but they all seem to be just variations in markings. I wonder if there had been a plan to kit the Wright powered US and Canada versions, or even later marks with different fuselage runners?

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Great choice of subject, Heather!

 

I had a lot of problems with the resin interior framework with m kit - so much so that I simply replaced it all with styrene rod. The whole sordid story can be found here. At the end of the day, though, I thought the kit built up pretty good.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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8 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

I had a lot of problems with the resin interior framework with m kit


Thanks Bill. I’ve noticed part of the resin frame has already broken. I suspect I shall follow in your footsteps, perhaps even using brass to replace.

 

On 10/10/2021 at 17:02, Brandy said:

Wow, two Heather builds at the same time!


Both will be slow burns. Tempting though it is to just pile in, I’ve a ton of other stuff to deal with first. Priorities and all that.

 

6 hours ago, Putty Animal said:

I’d love to have an Anson in the collection one day.


Do it! Ansons were used a lot by the dominion air forces for training - including that famous incident where one "landed" on top of another while in flight. Quite a story.

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5 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

Both will be slow burns. Tempting though it is to just pile in, I’ve a ton of other stuff to deal with first. Priorities and all that.

 

Do what I do Heather, pile in anyway and sort the confusion out later! :frantic:

 

Chaotic of Mars 👽

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Great choice Heather. I’ve a couple hidden away somewhere so will be looking for some tips! Hadn’t realised there was quite so much resin - guess that’s the problem with those ruddy end opening boxes, too mush hassle to sneak a peak at the runners then cram all the bits back inside!
 

Gavin

 

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1 hour ago, TheBaron said:

Let me know if you need any details from the manual.


Thanks Tony! :like: If this better kit gets anywhere close to the remarkable job you did with the Airfix one, I’ll be chuffed to bits.

 

Just now, Edge said:

too mush hassle to sneak a peak at the runners then cram all the bits back inside!

 

The Skua is in an end-opener. Annie has a nice top-loader. That doesn’t prevent damage, though. The broken part seems to be entirely missing, but I’m not fretting as it can easily - ha! - replaced by something sturdier.

 

52 minutes ago, Martian said:

sort the confusion out later! :frantic:

 

Easier said than done round here. :laugh:

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Looks like an interesting subject, I fancy an FAA cab if I can find the kit. I'll pull up a chair...

Heather, is that your article in issue 4 of the IPMS UK magazine? If so well done.

 

Colin

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6 minutes ago, heloman1 said:

Heather, is that your article in issue 4 of the IPMS UK magazine? If so well done.


Yes, it is. The editor was silly enough to accept my proposal of a series on my obsession. I’ve just sent the next one off to him. :like:

 

In Annie news, nothing has happened - unless you count assessing and identifying all the parts. There will, unfortunately, need to be some replacement of the cabin metal structure with actually metal, or possibly styrene if I think it’ll be strong enough. I think the turret and gun mounting will also benefit from some replacement parts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I said this build would be a slow burn. Here we are at the end of October and I’ve done nothing!

 

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In a fit of madness, and while I was ordering some railway detail bits for the day job, I acquired the Airfix Annie detail fret from Flightpath. I know a lot won’t be useful, but there are some external details that may well lift the SH kit a bit. Now, the next thing to add will be a masking set.

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  • 2 months later...

I found it! I remembered where I’d left this thread! Thankfully, there’s still an ember glowing of the slow burn. A little kindling, some gentle blowing and the glow can burst into a flame again.

 

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I'm about to get sidetracked by a classic group build, but I want to try and keep this model just on the simmer. Having thought about it, I felt I wanted to try and get over a potential complicated bit first. I’m diving right in halfway through the instructions with assembling the Armstrong Siddeley Cheetahs.

 

You might note something odd in the photo. That’s right. Someone at SH packed an extra set of cylinders. Plenty of spares - I only need 14 in total! I will worry about extracting the delicate cowlings from their pour blocks another time.

 

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Here are the cores of the engines. You will note a small knob on the end of the gear casing. This is where the propeller is supposed to go. My current thinking is to chop the knob off and drill a fair way into the casting so I can fit the prop with shaft and slightly more positive installation. You will also note that the pour block doubles as a plug that is inserted into the front of the nacelle. Well, at least it has a chance of a decent fit compared to some kits I’ve encountered over the years.

 

If you think this thread is heading off into double entendre territory, that’s your dirty minds at work. This is a family thread, I’ll have you know. :penguin:

 

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Here are some more bits, to show what I could be working with. Your attention is particularly drawn to the oil cooler castings. There are useful PE bits, including details for the prop bosses and control surface rodding. You may already know my feelings about instrument panel dials in this scale, but this is what Special Hobby provides.

 

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Intended to enhance and super detail the venerable Airfix Annie, the Flightpath PE set includes some much nicer, albeit fiddly, oil cooler radiators. It also includes ignition harness and a couple of sundry extras. I need to measure things to see if these will actually fit the resin parts. I really hope they do without major surgery.


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More resin. Note the DF loop on the right. I’m afraid to actually look directly at it, for fear it would instantly break into tiny, tiny pieces.

 

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Happily, Flightpath comes to the rescue. In fact, I think quite a lot of the FP PE will find it’s way into this build, one way or another.

 

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As another example, I suspect I shall attempt to use the FP IP parts over the SH ones. Most of it won’t even be visible, but you and I will know it’s there, and I’ll take photos to prove it. I do tend to leave a lot of internal detail out these days, but sometimes it’s fun to see how much you can actually fit without losing the will to live.

 

So, I’ve still not actually started anything. I have, however, now worked out some kind of plan. The Anson will remain a slow burn build, depending on the day job workload and how engrossed I get in the classic group build. I’m only entering the one kit for that, but like Annie I’ve found a lot of aftermarket to titivate things. It could all go horribly wrong!

 

 

 

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Needles and graticules on 1/72 scale instrument panels  😲

 

There's thorny matter, to me they don't matter any more.

 

My eyes wouldn't see them anyway, that sort of indulgence is for the youngsters Heather.

 

Loving the detailing available for Old Annie, I wouldnt use it but I dont mind peeping my head round the door, just to see who is in this afternoon, style of thing.

 

I dig the engines, do you get gaskets too?

 

;)

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28 minutes ago, perdu said:

that sort of indulgence is for the youngsters Heather.


I agree, but just for old time's sake I’m going to try. After all, I paid for the detail fret I ought to use it if I can. What doesn’t get used goes in the Bits Box.

 

Gaskets? Sadly not, though I might blow one if the detailing gets too much!  :laugh:

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Late to the party - sorry! Now that you’re going to detail the heck out of this, Airfix will now surely release a new kit and for that, we the rest of the Briterati, salute you 👍

 

Trevor

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2 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

Someone at SH packed an extra set of cylinders. Plenty of spares

 

Blimey Heather, I could have done with them for my Annie build, in the end I built my own but a stroke of luck like that would have saved me a lot of time. But less fun🤪

 

Good luck with the build, I shall follow and compare to my venerable Airfix build.

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