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Revell (CH) 1/72 de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW1.5ish.


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Hello all, here's a build log of Revell's reboxing of Cyber Hobby's much maligned Sea Vixen kit. It's one of the first kits I picked up on returning to the hobby, ticking the boxes of being a favourite aircraft in a modern tooling that by all accounts builds beautifully. Also, wanting to try as broad a range of of different manufacturers, the dragon/CH style was something I was keen to check out. Of course that was before I saw how unfavoured it was for its many accuracy issues; but undaunted, I thought I'd plough on regardless with my fingers in my ears and hopefully still achieve something totally OOB that looked sufficiently Sea Vixeny on the shelf, while having a lovely easy time doing it. That didn't quite go to plan however!

 

Having a fondess for carrier borne FAA aircraft, I tend to build them wings up if I can. I shows off the uniquely naval character of the design, and has the added bonus of saving some of the the little space I have. That was the plan with this one until I acquired a copy of Airfix's 1/48 kit. That will certainly require a wings-up build, so for variety and to show of the the lovely profile of the type, I thought I'd instead build this one wings out, everything down in landing configuration. This gives me a lot more freedom to be very lazy on the internal detail! Of course it also means building the canopy closed which (as you can see from the box art) has a dodgy kink in it that I was hoping to hide by posing it open, but you can't win them all.

 

Further to differentiate the two, I thought it would be nice to build one as a FAW1, which has nicer lines to my eye. The Revell kit is in a much better position to make this conversion, since the CH tool has the FAW1 wing boom shape moulded into the wings, with the FAW2 shoulder extensions added on an additional runner. There will of course be numerous other changes that need making, but I'm going to be lazy try not to make too big a deal about it. So we'll call it a FAW1.5.

 

 

 

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I've actually been nibbling away at this one for months, a tiny bit at a time, but finally it's moved up on the build list to get a little more attention, so this first post will be something of a catch up. Apologies for the lack of pictures, I haven't really been documenting it much.

 

Inital pokes at the cockpit showed it to be very much an abstraction of the real thing. One of the quirkier aspects of the aircraft is of course the side by side seating arrangement. The kit has no opening between the two, so I started by cutting out the gap between the detail. On breaking through to the other side, you realise that nothing really lines up. The seats too, are bizarrely way out of size (apparently 1/100 scale). It's probably a good thing that I changed my mind and decided not to pose the two cockpits open then. In the end I poked around with a knife, added a nice Barracuda resin Martin Baker seat for the pilot (in my stingyness, I decided to keep the 2nd one in the pack for a future build, since the observer side will be all but invisible), and ended up with this.

 

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You can see how out of size the kit seats are... The pilot's didn't even protrude above the fuselage. It's all going to be invisible, so I really haven't laboured the point much as you can see.

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It seems to have taken an aged to finally close up the fuselage. The main sticking points (aside from the above) have been the modification of the observer's cockpit bubble from FAW2 to FAW1 and the addition of nose weight. On the former, the bubble filed down fairly easily, but then came the decision on how to fill it. I was originally going to try with CA and talc, but then realised that clear runner included the hood for CH's FAW1 kit as well. However, this turns out to be a rather bizarre shape:

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A fair amount of modification of both the clear part and the fuselage yielded this:

 

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Now of course one only has to look at the real thing to see that this is off quite significantly, but seeing as there's a ridge to mark the window moulded into the part, it would require some delicate sanding an re-polishing to correct. So, in the spirit of not getting too bogged down, I left it there and blundered on.

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Masked and underpainted in black, hopefully the effort to fit the clear part will yield a slightly better look.

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The hole on the pilot's side has come back a bit to make space for the larger seat, but there's not whole lot of space under the hood. Incidentally, you can see some dimples around the area, which unusually mate up with stubs in the canopy pieces. Clearly, the model is not designed to have the cockpit posed open, despite being in two pieces.

 

Now for noseweight. I am slightly tempted to leave it out entirely, since with a bit of stiffness in the lowered tailhook, I may be able to just let it flop into a 'just touched down' pose; but somehow I felt obliged to do my due dilligence. The instructions ask for an entirely unrealistic 25g in the nosecone, which filled with lead shot, can only hold 10g. I assume they mean total of 25g wherever you can fit it. In any case, once pointed out, I couldn't see past the rather dodgy kit nose shape. It's bit like Gandalf's in that respect! So out with an Aires quickboost replacement, and some rejigging of the calcs. The heavier resin nose doesn't help actually; since it only adds about 4.5g at the furthest point, where you might otherwise fit 10. A guestimate of the position of the (forward canted) rear wheels and some quick testing of how much lead split shot would fit into each cavity suggests that 25g in the nose equates to about 33g elsewhere:

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In the end, there's lead shot and PVA all under the cockpit, and up the rear firewall, and more to come in the cavity behind the nosecone. Given I've based my calcs on requiring all of the 25g in the nosecone (which seems basically impossible), I think that should probably be way more than enough. Famous last words!

 

So there we are, fuselage and wings all buttoned up (the fit throughout has been really excellent actually) and various bits of grey and metallic painted in all the appropriate internal bits, hopefully we're not a million miles away from paint!

 

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Hopefully more progress in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for looking in! Please feel free to let me know what modifications to FAW1 or (relatively low effort) remedies to CH's errors that I have missed!

Cheers,

Andy

 

 

 

 

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It is looking good!

 

... but 25g? Do they expect it to be filled with osmium or what? I'd rather suspect a typo there :)

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4 hours ago, Casey said:

It is looking good!

 

... but 25g? Do they expect it to be filled with osmium or what? I'd rather suspect a typo there :)

Just finished this kit and managed to get 18g in the nose, squeezed the rest around the cockpit before fitting the nose. It needs all of it and more.

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9 hours ago, Casey said:

It is looking good!

 

... but 25g? Do they expect it to be filled with osmium or what? I'd rather suspect a typo there :)

Yeah dunno, I'm just piling it all in there and hoping at this point!

 

5 hours ago, neil5208 said:

Just finished this kit and managed to get 18g in the nose, squeezed the rest around the cockpit before fitting the nose. It needs all of it and more.

Wow good job on that! It's a bit of a squeeze isn't it? I suppose there's some space in the forward cockpit area that might be a more sensible use of space...

 

4 hours ago, heloman1 said:

Good start, being ex FAA and the Vixen being one of my favourite jets I'll pull up a seat.

 

Colin

Glad to have you Colin. Hopefully I won't bugger it up too much! Speaking of which...

The 

3 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

Nice start Andy,  hope the lead shot is okay with the PVA as the two have been known to react .

Chris

Oh crikey, thanks for the heads up Chris. I'm sure I came across this approach randomly trawling though build logs and must've filed it away subconsciously as 'the way to do it'. But as you say, reading around shows it to be a dodgy approach. I didn't even consider it, since pva is 'kids glue' I assumed it must be entirely inert.

 

CA also seems to draw a few red flags so any suggestions? I could use Epoxy. The front cavity I can get at, behind the cockpit has room to expand, but the concern is under the cockpit. Possibly I could remove the styrene plate that I put in, and can poke at least some of it out, I'll have a try later. 

 

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2 hours ago, Ngantek said:

 

CA also seems to draw a few red flags so any suggestions? I could use Epoxy. The front cavity I can get at, behind the cockpit has room to expand, but the concern is under the cockpit. Possibly I could remove the styrene plate that I put in, and can poke at least some of it out, I'll have a try later. 

 

CA/super glue is fine as long as the clear parts haven't been fitted or you get "fogging" inside.

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Well I got most out from under the cockpit; at least on one side. It looks like it wasn't that packed in actually, so hopefully the stuff on the inaccessible and smaller cavity on the other side is similarly uncompressed. The weights have had a wash in water, but I can't seem to shift the PVA that has filled in the gaps (rather like pacman mouths) so am debating whether this is enough of an expansion risk to just use some fresh stuff. Maybe I'll see if there's any change after a night's soak.

 

Perhaps I'll try with CA; it certainly would be easier to work with!

 

 

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2 hours ago, Harry_the_Spider said:

Here's mine.

 

Link

 

Got the weight in under the floor and around the air intakes as I used a resin nose.

Thanks for the link. Looks great! I'm looking forward to having a read in order to shamelessly steal all the good ideas!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not much progress on this one. The nose has been refilled and bonded with CA this time, to the tune of about 33g in total. Again I'm hoping the quoted '25g' is to be added wherever possible (and therefore 33 will be overkill). The Aires Quickboost nose is on, and actually I'm not convinced it looks any better that the original. The real aircraft has a short, almost parallel section in front of the canopy, and then the distinctive curving nosecone.

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CH's kit has a more conical fuselage that mates to a correspondingly less curved nose (credit to finescale for the photo)

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The Quickboost replacement minics the real shape of the nose (complete with a relatively 'cylindrical/parallel' join to the fuselage), but starting at the smaller diameter of CH's tapered fuselage, resulting in a sudden discontinuity, and a noticeably longer overall nose.

 

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The discontinuity looked really off, so I've piled in some Mr Surfacer 500 and sanded down in the hope of smoothing the transition a little. It's kinda worked, but the longer nose is giving me F105-ish vibes. 

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There's still a bit of a kink there and I've wiped out some nice detail that will need a bit of saving. But not a whole lot I can do. Hopefully it'll look alright after some paint and a canopy.

 

Speaking of which, the kink in the canopy join maybe could be solved by using a squadron vacform (designed for the frog kit, I believe), although that would probably require surgery of the kit one, so perhaps I should stop wiping out the one real advantage of this kit (its fit and buildability) and just get on with it...

 

monty-python-get-on-with-it.gif

 

 

Cheers,

Andy

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Crikey that's is some substantial work Andy and does look better now.   Looking forward to seeing more of this progressing.  

If you haven't got one yet, the  Cyber Hobby Sea Venom is a cracking kit and builds up very nicely too.

Chris

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36 minutes ago, bigbadbadge said:

Crikey that's is some substantial work Andy and does look better now.   Looking forward to seeing more of this progressing.  

If you haven't got one yet, the  Cyber Hobby Sea Venom is a cracking kit and builds up very nicely too.

Chris

Haha nice of you to pretend that there might be a 72nd scale kit of a FAA aircraft that I managed to resist adding to the stash! Honestly it's becoming a serious medical condition. I'm blaming you for the venom though! And the vampire! And frankly a tonne of other stuff, but I'm going to stay classy!😝

 

Andy

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1 hour ago, Ngantek said:

Haha nice of you to pretend that there might be a 72nd scale kit of a FAA aircraft that I managed to resist adding to the stash! Honestly it's becoming a serious medical condition. I'm blaming you for the venom though! And the vampire! And frankly a tonne of other stuff, but I'm going to stay classy!😝

 

Andy

Sorry Andy, it is infectious you know, have I mentioned the Sea Hurricane and Nimrod too😉

 

Chris

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I see what you mean about the nose. The nose on the Sea Vixen is decidedly bulbous (because of the radar dish diameter), whereas the CyberHobby kits look decidedly conical.

 

I too am one of those who thinks the FAW. 1 looks nicer than the -2.

 

Have you been looking at The Baron's scratchbuilt Sea Vixen for guidance/ inspiration?

 

-d-

 

 

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2 hours ago, David H said:

I see what you mean about the nose. The nose on the Sea Vixen is decidedly bulbous (because of the radar dish diameter), whereas the CyberHobby kits look decidedly conical.

 

I too am one of those who thinks the FAW. 1 looks nicer than the -2.

 

Have you been looking at The Baron's scratchbuilt Sea Vixen for guidance/ inspiration?

 

-d-

 

 

I have been in awe but actively trying not to look to hard in reference to this kit. I hear so many gripes on its inaccuracy on the forums that I'm trying not to notice them in case I end up down the rabbit hole of 'can't unsee it' remedies.

Andy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right, where were we?! A bit of progress here and there on this one, squeezed in between the horrors of half term. Booms are on, so it's started to look moderately sea vixeny. The nose is still off and has a noticeable wobble, but frankly it's out, it's always going to be out, and nothing I do is going to change that. Well nothing that I can be bothered to do at least...

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It's a really odd kit this one. 2 piece canopy but with locating pins that would need removing and filling to pose open. Air brake can be deployed in two different open states, but both reveal the bare model interior. The same could be said (less so) for the hook. And then we get to the flaps, which are moulded separately, twice (different set for wings folded), complete with some (cursory) rib detail beneath them. However if you actually pose them down, you get this:

 

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A blimming great hole! (incidentally the flap are one of the few bits of kit that don't fit perfectly out of the box). Here's the real thing:
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So I've been busy filling that back in. The booms went in with some styrene ribs bridging the gap, supporting a curved styrene plate, over which was unceremoniously plastered vallejo filler.

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A bit of primer in all the dodgy places (at least another round of tidying needed) and I've started to sand the flap recesses back to something still rubbish, but maybe a little less horrific:

 

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There we go, not much progress, but we're getting there slowly!

 

Cheers,

Andy

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