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Bluff Cove, 8 June 1982 - Westland Wessex HU.5


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Posted (edited)

 

I was a few days away from my 16th birthday on 8th June 1982, and was mightily upset that I was missing the Falklands Conflict (at the time I was working hard on my O Levels with plans of joining the Royal Navy as an Artificer).  I remember well the collective national pride at the time, the "British pride", the "awakened lion" jingoism, I felt it too.  A few weeks before in early April I'd cycled the 10 miles or so from Fareham to Gosport which sits on the west side of Portsmouth Harbour to see the task force off, along with thousands of others.  I followed intently the updates delivered daily by Ian McDonald, the M.O.D. spokesman who became a minor celebrity in his own right.  Some weeks later now, by the 8th of June the conflict was virtually over, and it was clear - it was always clear really - the British would retake the Islands within days.  

 

And then this...

 

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The RFA Sir Galahad had been left languishing too long in Bluff Cove and the [incredibly brave and skilled] Argentine Air Force found her, and successfully bombed her.  Units of the Scots and Welsh Guards were still on board; fifty of them were killed, many more were burned.  It was the single biggest disaster to befall the Task Force during the conflict, and only six days later the conflict was over. Two images from that day have stayed with me, vividly; the first was the news footage showing an R.N. Sea King using its main rotor downwash to push life rafts filled with survivors away from the burning ship.  The other was this one;

 

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In honour of those men, and all that served, I'll be building the Italeri 1/48 kit enhanced with the Eduard PE exterior detail set. I plan to finish it on 08.06.22.

 

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This one begins in the cabin.  I intend to make this mostly OOB but with one or two enhancements where appropriate.  The cabin is the fist candidate as there are some prominent features not included by Italeri.  The first is the cable loom running along the port side above the windows.  This will be seen through the open doorway so it had to be added.  I used an assortment of stretched sprue, wire and brass.  Looks quite rough at first.

 

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Next, I needed to add the sound dampening on the cabin roof and also along the top of the cabin walls.  I used some chocolate wrapping foil to make this.  Also looks quite rough to start with.

 

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I have to sacrifice the ceiling lights somewhat as they are sort of in the way.  They aren't visible from the doorway in any case.  Next, I offered it all up to check fit and general outlay.

 

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As it looked pretty good at this stage, I put some paint in the airbrush and started splashing it around.

 

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And then a final dry-fit check to see what it all looked like together.

 

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So far so good.  Next I need to paint the sound dampening the pale green colour its supposed to be and the base colours will be complete.  By the time I detail paint and weather the base finishes I think they'll look convincing enough.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

Edited by mark.au
Typos, as usual
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Great start Mark,  I like the use of the foil for yhe sound deadening and the cables will be a great visible detail in the cabin.

I was only 12 at the time of the conflict, but remember vividly the news programmes and watched them eagerly.  My Dad had retired from the RN some 5 years previous to the start and a friend of his was on HMS Hermes at the time.  I found the broadcasts enthralling  but being 12  did not think of yhe horrid loss of life and danger .  

I am really looking forward to your build, I have the 72nd scale Italeri kit in the stash along with a Novo kit, which will be an HMS Centaur machine in Aden.

Great work so far.

Chris

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Great project! I pressed the "Follow" button even before I had finished reading the introduction to the thread.

 

Enthusiastic of Mars 👽

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Mark,

 

What a cracker. I was 13 and full of my own plans to join the RAF, and followed the progress of the Task Force and subsequent liberation avidly. Very excited to see what you can do with this - I'm sure it will be up to your usual impressive standard. Count me in cap'n,

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

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Posted (edited)

Thanks gents.

 

I've had a productive day at the bench today and managed to finish the cabin interior.  The pics tell most of the story...

 

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The insulation came out quite well.  I set up the edge pieces such that they float and I can move them into proper position when the roof is installed.

 

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The floor isn't strictly accurate; in use the floor was covered with 3/4" plywood but I decided the effort to reproduce that (I thought about designing and cutting a representation of the plywood with the Silhouette cutter) wasn't worth the very limited value of adding that detail.

 

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And this is what I was aiming at...

 

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PHOTOGRAPHER David M Watkinshttps://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9573822. Posted under Fair Use

 

The seats went together well and I had them done in no time really.  I did make a couple of errors in my haste which called for more work that necessary to get the fuselage halves ready to join.  The most awkward was forgetting to cut out the two windows on both sides.  The one side was easy because there was nothing there but the side with seats was a real pain as I had to cut the window out around the seat structure.  The one I couldn't fix was fitting one of the side windows to the wrong side.  I'll have to live with that one.

 

The foil worked really well for the insulation and looks the part quire well.  It was easy to work with too, so I'm sure it'll find its way into more builds where appropriate.  

 

After offering up the other fuselage half I can see that most of this is now invisible!  However, it was good practice and as my good friend @Dunny posted to me just a little while ago, "I'll know it's there"  😄

 

Next will be to close the fuselage and then work on the front end.  I've done most of the cockpit too, and that will be quite easy to assemble even with the fuselage closed.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mark.au
Posted before I was finished writing it!
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Wow - rapid work, without any quality sacrificed! Picture perfect match...

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Great start Mark, good to see you joining in the GB, the Italeri kit is good in parts, being on my fifth one! Neat work on the interior, there is a lot that can be added.

 

Colin

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, TheBaron said:

Cracking start with all those interior textures Mark. :thumbsup2:

 


I’m a bit of a magpie Tony when it comes to collecting bits and pieces of stuff that might work in models.  In the case of the foil, it was a tough assignment to consume the chocolate in order to retrieve the foil but it was worth the sacrifice.

 

13 hours ago, heloman1 said:

Great start Mark, good to see you joining in the GB, the Italeri kit is good in parts, being on my fifth one! Neat work on the interior, there is a lot that can be added.


Thanks Colin.  While I’m in the GB I decided to post the WIP here; I was going to maintain a GB thread too but that’s unfortunately against the rules to maintain what would essentially be duplicate threads.

 

I thought about how deep I’d go on this but in the end felt the visible result wouldn’t be worth the effort. There was a bunch more pipes and lines I could have added for sure. I came close to using much of my stash of PE seatbelts in there for example, but in the end decided against that too.

 

 

Edited by mark.au
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15 hours ago, mark.au said:


I’m a bit of a magpie Tony when it comes to collecting bits and pieces of stuff that might work in models.  In the case of the foil, it was a tough assignment to consume the chocolate in order to retrieve the foil but it was worth the sacrifice.

 


Thanks Colin.  While I’m in the GB I decided to post the WIP here; I was going to maintain a GB thread too but that’s unfortunately against the rules to maintain what would essentially be duplicate threads.

 

I thought about how deep I’d go on this but in the end felt the visible result wouldn’t be worth the effort. There was a bunch more pipes and lines I could have added for sure. I came close to using much of my stash of PE seatbelts in there for example, but in the end decided against that too.

 

 

Not like you to cut corners Mark but I understand. I'm on my fifth Wessex build and I'm still finding thing/detail I can add. So I understand your path. The kit seat belts are not the best!!!

 

Colin

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A cracking start.

That interior is stunning.

I remember the entire thing only too well. I was at College in Edinburgh in my final year and the broadcasts and updates were enough to get in the way of "studying"...... well heading off to the pub actually.

Looking forward to more progress as I have a couple of whirly things in the loft and this will be a masterclass.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

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And, I was doing U.S. Navy reserve duty as an umpire on USS England, for RIMPAC 82.  When we left San Diego and started heading south, the rumor was that we might be going “very far south” 😲

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20 hours ago, heloman1 said:

Not like you to cut corners Mark but I understand. I'm on my fifth Wessex build and I'm still finding thing/detail I can add. So I understand your path. The kit seat belts are not the best!!!

 

Colin


Ouch! :)  I wouldn’t call it cutting corners I prefer the euphemism effort-based cost benefit judgement call on detailing commitments 😛.

 

9 hours ago, AliGauld said:

Looking forward to more progress as I have a couple of whirly things in the loft and this will be a masterclass.

I fear you have me confused with @hendie with regard to whirly things, but thank you nonetheless.

 

This evening I focused on the cockpit.  There’s nothing special to report; I followed my usual process of base paint with the airbrush, detail paint with a fine brush, then a  clear gloss coat with the airbrush again, a very dark grey wash to hide all my crappy brushwork, and then plentiful dry brushing to hide the crappy wash work :).  It’s all about [an attempt at] misdirecting the eye…

 

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Not completely happy with the seats, something doesn’t look quite right but I’m blind to it right now.  
 

I’ve also been working on major construction. I still have work to do on the nose assembly…

 

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The state of play on the Wessex as I call it a night.


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Overall the assembly has gone quite smoothly.  I’ve been focusing on my assembly skills, or lack thereof, by taking more time dry fitting and general fettling and I think it’s beginning to pay off.  The nose notwithstanding of course.

 

Cheers.

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11 minutes ago, mark.au said:

 

 

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Not completely happy with the seats, something doesn’t look quite right but I’m blind to it right now.  

 

Could it be the fact that (like almost all helicopter models) there are only 4 straps when there should be 5; there should be a stray that comes up the front of the seat through the pilot's legs, and the other 4 click into it.

 

I was a 22-year-old S/Lt working on the flight deck of HMS Fearless about 40 miles away in San Carlos water that day; a lot of the casualties were taken to Ajax Bay field hospital, and the aircraft took fuel from us before heading back.  The smell in the back of those cabs will never completely leave me.

 

Bluff Cove was a series of errors (some of them pretty stupid - the senior Marine officer present was practically begging the Welsh Guards to get their men ashore) for which the RFA & Welsh Guards paid a heavy price.  

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3 minutes ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

 

Could it be the fact that (like almost all helicopter models) there are only 4 straps when there should be 5; there should be a stray that comes up the front of the seat through the pilot's legs, and the other 4 click into it.

 

I was a 22-year-old S/Lt working on the flight deck of HMS Fearless about 40 miles away in San Carlos water that day; a lot of the casualties were taken to Ajax Bay field hospital, and the aircraft took fuel from us before heading back.  The smell in the back of those cabs will never completely leave me.

 

Bluff Cove was a series of errors (some of them pretty stupid - the senior Marine officer present was practically begging the Welsh Guards to get their men ashore) for which the RFA & Welsh Guards paid a heavy price.  


I didn’t know about the fifth strap so it wasn’t that, but it is now.  That’s an easy fix, thank you for the info.

 

On the rest of your post, I don’t really know what to say, hopefully thank you for sharing that is appropriate.

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On 5/9/2022 at 10:14 PM, bigbadbadge said:

Looking good Mark, that fuselage came together quickly.

 

Great job  fella.

Chris

 

On 5/9/2022 at 11:01 PM, billn53 said:

Moving along quickly, I see. She’s looking great so far.


Thanks gents.  The kit assembles very well actually, so far the only issues I’ve had to deal with are of my own making.

 

Progress continues on the various sub-assemblies.  I completed the instrument panel using the kit decal and PE.  After gluing the decal with PVA glue, I gave it a thick coat of Future and used that to glue the PE to the decal.  That had the added benefit of creating the dial glass effect, which I enhanced with a drop more Future in each of the instruments.  I added some colour detail with a fine brush.

 

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After working on the seams on the nose, and then re-scribing lost detail and rivets I glued the instrument panel and coaming to the nose and then glued the nose onto the fuselage.

 

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There’s a bit of work still to do on the join, mostly on the underside but a little everywhere.  
 

Notice the white styrene sheet in the foot slots?  I needed to do that the correct my earlier error in forgetting to open the slots before joining the fuselage.  It was a tad awkward to get kit blanks in there from the inside, and the fit wasn’t good.  The plastic card covers the mess.


Lastly, for this update at least, I took the photo below to show off the instrument panel and then remembered I was supposed to add the fifth seatbelt.  
 

On 5/9/2022 at 9:29 PM, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Could it be the fact that (like almost all helicopter models) there are only 4 straps when there should be 5; there should be a stray that comes up the front of the seat through the pilot's legs, and the other 4 click into it.

 

This was also more awkward that it needed to be but I got it done.

 

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The next couple of sessions will continue the work on the airframe.  Next up is the windscreen which doesn’t fit that well, I’m going to need to employ the same trick I used on the Huey’s windscreen to ensure a clean and proper fit.

 

Thanks for following, cheers.

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Been following this with interest! Very tidy work! I always liked the unusual shape of the ol' Wessex, always thought it looked like a big snail!👍 Great progress so far.😀

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3 hours ago, mark.au said:

After working on the seams on the nose,

 

Don't make those seams too good. The nose door has a very visible gap/seam all around.  Check out the walkround section and you'll see.

Nice work so far - lovely Instrument panel

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