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Heller 1/72 Les Mureaux 117 +++Merci, c'est fini+++


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A quick update on progress so far. The rip in the fuselage underside has been filled with Perfect Plastic Putty. This filler is excellent, but don't try and sand it down using water as a lubricant as it will just dissolve out, something I found out the hard way.




The ejector pin marks are everywhere. I didn't notice these at my initial inspection. They are on the underside of the horizontal stabilisers, but none the less they are more than a little intrusive.




There are some significant seam lines to remove too. The back of a scalpel blade saw to most of those, but it's all extra work that has to be expected of an older Heller kit.




The general fit of parts is, err, approximate. This gap will be filler with a sliver of plastic card as that will be easier to shape than filler.




There is an saying that the older Airfix kits fit where they touch. Well with this older Heller kit there are parts that simply don't touch at all where they should fit...




Some careful assembly made sure that the wing struts all lined up, and the wing is both at the correct incidence and at right angles to the fuselage. This was far less difficult to achieve than I had expected, it just took a little patience; not something I am renowned for. The wing and wheels are just dry assembled here, and the wing won't be fitted until the painting is done.




More soon...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good evening All, I have been slack with posting, but I have been tiinkering with the model. I think the French designers of the '30s had a trick up their sleeve. If the C of G of the aircraft then just add more struts to move it forward. If the C of G was too far forward then add steel to the rear structure. Evolving capability of aircraft didn't seem to be of any particular importance. For this aircraft there was a plethora of struts:




One of the cabane cross struts pinged out of my tweezers, ricocheted off my anglepoise and disappeared in to the maw of the carpet monster. It was replaced by a new scratch built strut, not exactly a taxing job to cut a piece of plastic strip and shape it a little. The undercarriage struts as supplied in the kit are incorrect, meeting the undercarriage at the bottom of the fairing instead of at the bottom of the oleo on the inside of the axle. These were replaced with shaped strip as well.


The rip in the bottom of the fuselage removed part of the underside panel. Sanding the filler and reshaping the bottom of the fuselage removed most of the rest of it, as well as causing the loss of the panel further back on the fuselage. This was on the kit, though it may not be entirely accurate. Regardless, it was also replaced, as with the forward panel, by very thin plasticard:




The glue that escaped from the edge of the panel has been cleaned up, the main assemblies given a black undercoat, and the first main green colour sprayed. I'll include some photos in the next update, probably once the aluminium panels have been sprayed.


More soon...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All, I have been pottering along with this in between other 'stuff'. The green is Mr Color RLM71 green and the metal is Vallejo Metal Color:




The axle of the wheel goes right through the spat, leaving an unsightly stub sticking out. This will have to be rubbed down and the surface finish restored:




The decals with the kit have no underwing serial numbers. These have come from the SMER Potez 540 kit, they're a Propagteam offering from 1999. The carrier film is very thin and the white is very well saturated, but unfortunately they were exceptionally brittle. There is some touch-up painting to be done. The kit roundels were poor, so these are from a Model-Art set. Oh dear. Like the Microscale decals I have used they are beautifully thin, but the colours are translucent. I have several of these Model-Art decal sheets, so it would seem that they will need to have some sort of backing if they go on to a dark background:




More soon...

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The Les Mureaux 117 is as done as it is going to be in my hands. The kit is missing the additional struts between the wing struts and the underside of the wings, but I just had this feeling that it would all have gone horribly wrong if I had kept messing about; so I stopped.




The decals have been the worst aspect of this build. The kit decals were really poor, and they were only used for the hatching egg on the sides and the rudder stripes. The rudder stripes were way too tall and far too narrow. The blue at the front had to be touched up with a home mixed match and the red at the trailing edge was a home mix of vallejo reds. The Propagteam underwing serials were OK but very brittle and have been touched in by hand. The wing roundels are Model-Art and although they're really thin they are also translucent.


The pitots are scratch as the kit parts are as thick as baseball bats and very inaccurate. The photos in the Stratus 'French Wings 3' book show a mix of cranked pitots on the port and starboard wings, or cranked on the port wing and straight on the starboard wing; with most showing the cranked/straight mix. So that is what I did. The same book and the internet showed the rear machine gun was often stowed to starboard on the ground, so I did that too. The transparencies are by Falcon from their 'France Part 1' set, and the frames are decal strips (horrible job, but effective).




I'll put some more photos in the Gallery soon.


A huge thank you to everyone for voting for and articipating in this GB, and a big thank you to Cliff for hosting. I bought this kit for the first French Fancy GB, and thanks to this GB it is finally out of the stash and in to the cabinet; result.

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  • Natter changed the title to Heller 1/72 Les Mureaux 117 +++Merci, c'est fini+++

It was a pity I missed this GB, however that 117 has turned out so lovely Dave. I’ve been wanting one of these kits for a while, however I really do want now after seeing these great images. 

Cheers and well modelled.. Dave 

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1 hour ago, CliffB said:

I love the clouds - or am I imagining them?

The paper I use for a background was rolled the wrong way, and it creased a bit while I was trying to roll it back. These little creases have caused the 'clouds' in the background - a fortunate accident.

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