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Fly 621...Mk3 XA310

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Well this will be something very different and an extended WIP...

The kit is the latest creation from Flying Start Models, AKA Tim Perry. It truly is a work of art as is reflected in the price😬, but where else are you going to find a 1:32 Mk3?😉

I'm sure this kit will be of interest to anyone who came through the ATC(Air Cadet) system in the 50s-80s and will bring back many memories!


I first bumped into Tim at 621 VGS based at Hullavington at the time. I'm a member of the Historic Flight and we have a fleet of ex ATC gliders ranging from a Grasshopper through the Mk3, Sedbergh, Prefect, Swallow and a Clockwork Mouse, the Venture! Tim arrived for a flight on his motorbike and as I was there with mine too we immediately got into conversation. I took some pics of his flight in the Mk3(AKA Slingsby T.31) and things progressed from there via Facebook. Fast forward a few years and he announced he was making a kit of the Mk3, and not just any  Mk3, but our aircraft😍. So of course I had to have one...


It took until march to come onto the market but it's available now: http://flyingstartmodels.com/Flying-Start-Models-Collection.html

Tim is actually improving things all the time and a new tailplane and harness set are now available and the latest version of the instructions/paint schemes are currently being updated as I write.

The kit is available with decals to enable you to model ANY of the aircraft that were produced for the ATC, so you can make your very own personalised version😀, with colour charts for the old silver and yellow training scheme  and the later red/white/black colours. If you click on the link above you'll find a link in the text to download the instructions including the colour options.

The main 'problem' wit this kit is that it's in resin not 'plastic' however Tim has done his absolute best to make everything fit perfectly and look as close to the original as possible. All parts come still attached to the 3D printing webs which resemble the scaffolding for a roller coaster! The amount of work to get all this to work is mind boggling... The instructions include comprehensive hints and tips for those of us who've never built a resin kit before, so don't feel too intimidated. You DO have to be very careful though as the resin is extremely brittle, but Tim assures me that if you break anything he'll replace it.


Anyway, enough rambling and to work...


The kit comes in a surprisingly small but perfectly packed flip top cardboard box with plenty of bubble wrap.








I started with the fuselage which comes as previously described with its own rollercoaster frame which has to be clipped away bit by bit. Very sharp nippers are a must and leaving a little nub on the surface of the model seems to work best rather than cutting right down to the skin so to speak. The frame is 3D unlike a 'normal' sprue which is basically flat so this requires a bit of thinking as to where to start and which bits to cut next, but you'll get the hang of it😉


Actually the first bit of modelling starts with the cockpit. This is basically the same principle as any aircraft model; You start with the cockpit floor and work up. Individual parts for the seat bases, sticks, bulkheads, seat straps, and instrument panels are provided. There are even instrument(such as they are in a Mk3😁) decals and cockpit placards! The decals seem of extremely good quality.

I'm still getting the hang of superglue and I suspect I need to invest in some proper modelling stuff rather than the stuff you buy in the DIY shop; It's all a steep learning curve for me!






I managed to snap off the joining bar between the front rudder pedals bit got them to stick in the right position anyway🙄










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Next up was the fuselage itself which needs detaching from the frame and all the little zits sanding down. There's also a very fine diagonal stripy pattern to the surface which needs sanding back. This apparently is unavoidable in the 3D printing process but isn't really that noticeable. The surface also has the shape of the fuselage stringers and fabric moulded into it so you have to be careful not to remove this whilst sanding.









There are two bulkheads/frames to be added, one behind each seat. The rear one fits into the pylon and has to be pre drilled with a 0.6mm(!) drill for the rigging pins to fit through. The front one goes between the seats and also houses the rudder boxes that shield the rear pilots pedals from the front pilots backside. The slight problem on mine is that this piece is missing! Tim however is kindly sending me a replacement FOC. There's no rush as far as I'm concerned as I'm off in my summer travels again tomorrow morning! My kit was MSN.01 so I think there were one or two packaging issue wit the first batch but Tim assures me that these have been sorted and every kit now ordered is printed to order and will be complete.


Anyway, I fitted the rear bulkhead and had to use a tiny amount of filler on the gap between the bulkhead and the fuselage edges. I suspect this is down to my (lack of) skills with the superglue than any fault in the moulding itself.





The insides of the cockpit are painted RAF cockpit green. My version is a Tamiya colour but I can't remember which number! Incidentally I bought the Hataka RAF trainer aircraft colour set to do the external scheme. 

There is one correction to the cockpit colour(being corrected now by Tim) in that the green only extends up to the shoulder strap holes in the rear bulkhead. Individual aircraft seem to differ in the exact position of the delineation; Here are two examples. The first is WT877 which seems to change at the base line of the holes:



Whereas XE793 looks to stop at the height of the cockpit sidewalls🤫



I've done mine as per 877...


Today, (my last day before heading off to France again) I managed to get some paint on the seats and internal walls, and also get some paint and decals on the instrument panels...



I also got the cockpit placards in too. I can't remember whether there were one or two vertical placards on the sidewall: There was certainly one with the weight and balance calculations and speeds on and possibly another one, but that may only be on the civvy versions with the BGA limitations🤔 There was also CBSITCB in Dymo tape on the panel too, but Tim hasn't included that😁



I've done a trial fitting of the seat bases to the fuselage and have discovered the only flaw so far; the rear of the underside piece appears to be a couple of mil too long which will be easy to fix with a bit of filing, but otherwise the rest seems to be a very nice fit.







The instrument panels come with decals for the alti, ASI and Cosim(but are a bit too small to get the green and red pellets on😋). There're even cable release knobs🙂



I made a bit of a mess of the front panel altimeter but the rest have come out OK. I'll redo it with one of the spares included on the decal sheet at some point. Tim suggests a blob of gloss varnish on the dials ro depict the glass dial faces.




So frustratingly this is as far as things will progress until at least October probably... Hopefully it'll inspire someone else to build one and I can learn from their mistakes when I recommence😆

More news as and when...


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3 minutes ago, Iain Ogilvie said:

Great to see another one coming together Andy - Tim's done a brilliant job, hasn't he!



Thanks! Indeed, it's an amazing labour of love he's constructed!

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  • 1 year later...

Great to see this topic..I flew at 621 locking 1977-80 when the MK3s were a mix of the old silver makings and the later red and white...

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