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The great 1/72 Air Cadet Glider build - No 1 complete - Belgian Air Cadets Grob Astir


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Here is the first of a series of builds of a number of gliders in 1/72, representing the Air Cadet organisations of the UK and other nations. I had built the Phoenix vac form kits of both a T21 and a T31 a couple of years ago and decided to expand the collection to include post war gliders used by both UK Air Cadets and some overseas users. The idea is to show the history of post war gliding starting with machines used by the Air Cadets.

 

I currently have around 7 planned and will likely expand that number to also include powered aircraft such as the Chipmunk, Slingsby Venture and Grob Tutor, although the Tutor is proving hard to source in 1/72!

 

The WIP for this one, and all the other builds planned (around seven so far) is here: 

 

 

So this is KP's rendition of the Grob Astir, with detail parts in the form of replacement wheel, wheel doors and cockpit from Brengun. I chose to model the option for the Belgian Air Cadets.

 

The model was a fairly straightforward build. Although the mouldings were quite basic with wing and fuselage joins requiring a jig to get aligned, it is a very nice little kit.

 

I used MRP's excellent range of paints for both priming and white top coat. With much of the white masked off, I then used Tamiya's lacquer acrylic bright red for the ailerons, wing tips, nose, elevator and rudder. Final varnish gloss coats were MRP gloss varnish.

 

Although Brengun do provide etched brass spoilers (air brakes), I chose to model these closed.

 

Some quick shots of the Brengun internals, which are superb resin and brass items, very difficult to see once the canopy was closed up:

 

IMG20210831143159

 

IMG20210831153919

 

The canopy itself was the biggest challenge as I wanted to recreate the very smooth join which required much filling, sanding and final polishing.

 

I am pretty pleased with the final results, so here are a few shots show the elegant lines of this aircraft:

 

IMG20211115204319

 

IMG20211115204427

 

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And a final shot with a couple of earlier vac form builds of a T21 and a T31:

 

IMG20211115204803

 

Thanks for looking

 

Terry

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16 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:

 Very nice, Terry :)

 

Thanks Martin. A bit docile compared to some of the stuff you build! I'll be doing a fast jet very soon btw.

 

15 hours ago, stringbag said:

Nice one Terry.

Love the last picture too. 

 

Chris.

 

Thank you Chris, and nice to hear from you again. There are quite a few more gliders to be built, so keep watching the WIP!

 

8 hours ago, Remus389 said:

All are really neat. 👍

 

These are excellent to hang from a lamp or ceiling, to display them as if they were flying.

 

Thanks. Interesting idea!

 

4 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

Very sweet.

 

Thanks. A bit of a far cry from your Vulcan flight line. I'm following that thread and love some of the tales coming out of it!

 

4 hours ago, John_W said:

Nice.

Missing the discoloured fibreglass around the canopy hinges where the fuselage has cracked and been patched  due to rough handling. A very common feature on Astirs.

 

Thanks John. I'll look out for that when I next pop up to the Dorset field - They may have an Astir there I think, but can't be sure.

 

3 hours ago, robgizlu said:

What a delight - Well done Terry

(hope the leg is sorting out)

Rob

 

Thank you Rob! The leg is "stable". Waiting to see the specialist after some scans were done last month. My money is on laser treatment to fix the veins, then do same to left leg!

 

1 hour ago, Maginot said:

Very nice finish on the Grob Astir. And don't the Air Cadet trio look great? Interesting comparing these different design solutions to powerless flight. Very pleasing forms.

 

Thanks. Glad you like the trio. The T.31 (the silver and dayglo jobbie) represents the airframe (can you call it that when it's a glider) that I solo'd in back in 1971!

 

Thanks all, very generous comments, and keep your eyes on the WIP for more!

 

Terry

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35 minutes ago, Terry1954 said:

A bit of a far cry from your Vulcan flight line. I'm following that thread and love some of the tales coming out of it!

 

Indeed, they are total opposites, aren't they. Funny thing though, I'd feel a lot safer flying in a Vulcan than a glider!

 

I'm glad you are enjoying the thread.

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On 11/16/2021 at 4:21 PM, giemme said:

Excellent result, Terry - a little gem! :clap:  :clap: 

 

Ciao

 

Thanks Giorgio!

 

23 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

A great model Terry, as are the earlier builds, I enjoyed your thread too. Great work and very much looking forward to seeing the rest build up too.

Chris

 

Thanks Chris, glad you are enjoying the thread. I'm planning to continue the WIPP to cover all the builds so going rate, page 10 for one complete, we could get up to the 80 page mark!

 

19 hours ago, Courageous said:

Nice one Terry, glad to see one of your builds finished :coolio:. The trio looks like Hilda Ogden's ducks...:giggle:. Keep up the good work.

 

Stuart

 

Thanks Stuart. I'm glad to have finished another build also, not done too many this year, although there are a number very close to completion. Don't get excited though, the Vosper is nowhere close to that state!

 

19 hours ago, keefr22 said:

Lovely little model Terry, really well built and finished! Enjoying following the build thread and look forward to more gems emerging from it!

 

Top job!

 

Keith

 

Thanks Keith. Yep, more to come!

 

16 hours ago, ColinChipmunkfan said:

Excellent modelling and painting and a very good looking collection.  Can you still get models of the T21 and 31? I would like to try my hand at one of them.  Like many people my first ever solo was in a T31.

Colin

 

Thank you Colin, very much appreciated. The T.21 and T.31 were vac forms made by Phoenix. Kingkits have them listed now and then, and sometimes evilbay, but shows might be the best source. I'm still hunting for their Slingsby Cadet Mk 2 which I'd like to obtain!

 

Terry 

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On 11/16/2021 at 1:28 PM, Maginot said:

Very nice finish on the Grob Astir. And don't the Air Cadet trio look great? Interesting comparing these different design solutions to powerless flight. Very pleasing forms.

Quite a time difference between them of course - and very different materials !   The  T31 in particular was so much more a glider than a sailplane - needed good strong lift to stay up, while the T.21 or Sedbergh, aka 'Barge' would thermal at astonishingly low speeds and waft around superbly on hillslopes.  The gentle 'hoot' of a thermalling Astir is still heard occasionally near here.

 

Lovely models of fine aircraft. 

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Other than you forgot the prop, she looks fabulous! And a great collection as well, something to be proud of Terry. Oh, you get extra points for picking the correct scale.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

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Very nice to see your family of gliders expanding. Beautiful workmanship on your gliders! I was in Air Cadets here in Canada, and received my glider wings in 75. We flew Schweizer 2-22 and 2-33’s. At the time, they were white with red trim on the 2-22 and white with blue trim on the 2-33’s. Later on they were all painted yellow and retained the same trim, I think the 2-22’s were retired by then. Constanza made a resin 2-33 kit in 1/72, that came with RCAC (Royal Canadian Air Cadets) markings. I still have my log book somewhere, I remember the registrations. 2-22 was C-FACC, 2-33’s were C-GCLB, CLK, CLM. We had ex Canadian Army L-19’s for tow aircraft, still in olive green and orange, with Air Cadets over the painted out Army. These were flown out of Cassidy BC, now Nanaimo Regional Airport. I got to fly winch with a 2-22 in CFB Borden Ont. in 77, but can’t remember the registration. I once got a 1500’ tow in ACC the 2-22 and caught a strong thermal up to 3500’! The good old days, no tower, no radio, seat of the pants flying!
BM link: 

Jeff

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18 hours ago, John B (Sc) said:

Quite a time difference between them of course - and very different materials !   The  T31 in particular was so much more a glider than a sailplane - needed good strong lift to stay up, while the T.21 or Sedbergh, aka 'Barge' would thermal at astonishingly low speeds and waft around superbly on hillslopes.  The gentle 'hoot' of a thermalling Astir is still heard occasionally near here.

 

Lovely models of fine aircraft. 

 

Thanks John. I recall when I started my gliding course, I had already done some AE gliding in the T.21 Sedbergh, which included a tiny bit of "finding thermals" with my instructor. So when I asked the new T.31 instructor about catching thermals he just laughed .......... and laughed........!

 

17 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

Other than you forgot the prop, she looks fabulous! And a great collection as well, something to be proud of Terry. Oh, you get extra points for picking the correct scale.    :)

 

Cheers,

Bill

 

Drat, the prop! I knew there was something I'd forgotten! Thanks for your kind words Bill, and yes 1/72 is the proper scale for these.

 

17 hours ago, MrB17 said:

Very nice to see your family of gliders expanding.

 

Thank you Jeff. That Schweizer kit looks great, as does the aircraft itself.  Sounds like you had some similar fin experiences to me in the Canadian Air Cadets. You might be interested to know that I have a T.53 Phoenix lined up in this marathon build. You do get several marking options, one of which is the UK Air Cadets (silver and dayglo) which was my original plan but I'm very taken with the yellow Canadian Air Cadet examples, so will likely do one of those. That would be a small gesture to one of my son's Justin, who helped with the artwork on the Belgian badge for the Astir - Justin emigrated to Canada in 2017, now living in Toronto patiently awaiting his citizenship!

 

IMG20210611170942

 

Thanks again all.

 

Terry

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Cheers Terry. I did once manage to thermal a T31, by sheer luck immediately off a winch launch. Totally unexpece4td, just blundered right into it , but gave me the 15 minutes we needed in those days for a 'C' badge.  I later flew that T31 with my instructor on an aerotow into wave. Scared the heck out of both of us, and he was an ex-RAF bomber pilot ! The way the in wings twisted in the turbulence - gulp. We never tried the T31 in wave again !

 

I didn't realise the Canadians used the Phoenix or Sovereign, which is what I think the later variants became called. (I wonder which?)  A curious machine - was it Andy Gough who flew some aerobatics in  it and then after investigating some odd noises found that a frame had been left out of the fuselage ?  Rumour had it that even when properly built there were some very odd noises, making Blaniks and Pilatus B4s sound quiet. 

 

Mr B17's reminiscences on the Schweizer 2-22 and 2-33 bring back happy memories too ! 

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4 hours ago, John B (Sc) said:

Cheers Terry. I did once manage to thermal a T31, by sheer luck immediately off a winch launch. Totally unexpece4td, just blundered right into it , but gave me the 15 minutes we needed in those days for a 'C' badge.  I later flew that T31 with my instructor on an aerotow into wave. Scared the heck out of both of us, and he was an ex-RAF bomber pilot ! The way the in wings twisted in the turbulence - gulp. We never tried the T31 in wave again !

 

I didn't realise the Canadians used the Phoenix or Sovereign, which is what I think the later variants became called. (I wonder which?)  A curious machine - was it Andy Gough who flew some aerobatics in  it and then after investigating some odd noises found that a frame had been left out of the fuselage ?  Rumour had it that even when properly built there were some very odd noises, making Blaniks and Pilatus B4s sound quiet. 

 

Mr B17's reminiscences on the Schweizer 2-22 and 2-33 bring back happy memories too ! 

Nice to hear from your experiences @John B (Sc) and @Terry1954 they are great memories to be treasured.


Noises are far more noticeable in gliders, creeking in high G’s etc. Nice to hear dogs barking, and various other sounds you wouldn’t hear in a powered aircraft  In 75, CLB was 1 year old and CLK, CLL, were brand new. CLB was the favourite, smooth on the controls, and very quiet. CLK (first solo) didn’t have a good canopy seal, and screamed like a banshee over 75 knots! In searching out the air cadets gliding, I stumbled across this! A cadet flying solo in C-GCLB managed to make a very short landing on a rooftop in Langley BC 9 years ago. Fortunately the cadet only had minor injuries. As you may well know, it is imperative that you tap the altimeter frequently to ensure your are at correct altitude, there isn’t any vibration and the old school altimeters tended to stick.
 

On my first solo in CLK, I managed to land cross ways on a taxiway very short and abruptly. In the 2-33, the wheel brake is brought on by pulling the spoiler handle all the way back. In my haste to spot land beside the logging table, I pulled hard on the spoiler handle and instead of landing on the grass, touched down on the near edge of the asphalt. It stopped really hard, the wings shuddered and I hit my head on the canopy. So I know firsthand how quickly they stop.
In this case, CLB took some damage and the only damage to the shop roof was a hole where the wheel contacted, I imagine the wheel brake was full on! In 74, a cadet put the last Schweizer 1-20 (open cockpit) in the trees, after stalling in trying to avoid them, he walked away. They later returned to the crash site, and my friend took 8mm home movie with the cadet returning to the cockpit and looking very dishevelled, which he really wasn’t.

0D167643-AA3C-4B3D-BC72-DA68BC34D987 9D3F5573-E8FB-41C2-A0E4-6EF7E39023B7

 I went looking for the Constanza Schweizer 2-33, and the only place listing it is the Aviation Megastore, out of stock! Someone is selling plans for an RC model on Etsy. I will keep looking.


Take care guys 

Jeff

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