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Airfix 1/24th Typhoon Build


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Some years ago (2014?) I bought the then new Airfix Hawker Typhoon 1B.....it sat in my stash until for no good reason I pulled it out and started. 

The last 1/24th kit I built was the Grumman Hellcat, a joy to build. 

 

The Typhoon build starts with the forward fuselage and cockpit. This is the result.... 

 Cockpit-1.jpg

 

I posted separately asking about colours, there is certainly room for debate about the interior colours. 

 

Assembling the cockpit framing requires great care, the alignment of some parts is not precise and the instructions are not always clear. I test fitted each part a number of times before gluing. 

Next is the engine, I'm going to have to top cowl open, plus the gun arming panels, but the other parts will be covered. This means a number of engine parts are not used, because there isn't room. Airfix has made the engine almost scale size, so the engine cowl panels would have to be paper thin to fit....

I got hold of a copy of Brett Greens "How to Build" the Airfix 1/24th Typhoon, it is invaluable.  

 

Once the engine is in position I can "dirty" the cockpit: these aircraft operated from forward strips in France, which were very dusty, or muddy. The Saber engine was't that oil tight, so oil mist coated the firewall and seeped through the bulkhead, along with exhaust gasses, requiring the pilots to be on oxygen from engine start. Read "The Day of the Typhoon" by John Golley. ISBN 0-85059-758-7. It paints a graphic image of 245 Squadron at B5 Forward air field in France and back at RAF West Hampnett, (better known as Goodwood) where most maintenance was done. The book has some excellent photos, particularly of the interior. 

 

More as the build progresses.   

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The cockpit is complete, the massive Napier Saber almost finished. It is impressive....

 

Centre-Section.jpg

 

The instructions continue to confuse.... Airfix allow three versions of engine exposure, plus one buttoned up. But the instructions only talk if fully open and buttoned up: many parts must be left off when the panels are fitted, but Airfix do not advise which apply to the various options. I plan to finish the model with the upper cowl open, as would be expected for field servicing, plus the gun arming panels. It looks as though some of the engine plumbing below the exhausts will have to be cut back on a trial and error basis when assembling the forward fuselage shell. 

 

I'm beginning to enjoy this!!  

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I also bought one of these when they were new, and occasionally take it out of the box and looks at it, but that’s as far as I get. Also got the splendid John Golley book.

Also going to follow if I may.

 

John🇺🇦

 

PS: Chris Thomas is your man for Typhoon details, he’s a BM member and might be watching.

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Looks good so far. Also your comment about the Hellcat being a joy to build is good news as I am making the 24th scale Hellcat at the moment. The Typhoon is a good looking aircraft and it looks likr you're getting it together quite fast!

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the feedback. 

 

The Typhoon tooling dates from about 2010 and since then they have upped their tooling game, comparing the Hellcat with the Typhoon. The only part of the Hellcat that caused me any trouble was the engine as the central core was about 0.5mm too large, making fitting the cylinders, etc, a real pain. I ended up putting the core on a polishing mop mandril and turning in with a drill, whilst sanding it down. 

 

I've got the Spitfire IX on order and have to get this finished before I can start the Spitfire. Actually 2 spitfires as I have an old Mk 1a 1/24th kit in the stash and plan a parallel build. 

 

More on the Tiffy, soon. 

 

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I've finished dressing the motor with all the tiny details that Airfix offer...

Complex isn't the word for it, a lot of threading and fiddling to get things aligned, not always with 100% success. 

Here it is....

 

The-Sabre.jpg

 

Some touching up to be done,and some weathering, these aircraft operated from rough grass from D Day onwards, lots of dust, then mud. Then a few more parts before the lower wing goes on and I can start on the 20mm cannons. 

 

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I have built this model. It does give a quite splendid result eventually, but requires a lot of fiddling. As @224 Peter states many parts are very fiddly and require care in lining up. And tolerances are so fine that a coat of paint will throw everything off. I found that the chin cowlings (which in my opinion are the signature feature of the Typhoon) were very ill fitting and required a lot of work and filler to clean them up and get that "Typhoon" look. But it's worth it. here's a photo of my finished Tiffie with a 1/72 BE2 for comparison. Yes I know the half faired guns are an anachronism, but I couldn't bear to cover them up after painting the recoil springs!

 

spacer.pngf

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I'm now ready to start on the wing assembly, which includes the undercarriage. Before fixing the cockpit/engine parts to the lower wing the U/C mounting lugs have to be glued to the main spar. This is a heavy kit and the U/C legs are two parts, glued eventually to the mounting lug. I have read reports suggesting that the legs are not very strong and can fail at the joints, over time. 

 

Fortunately, Aerocraft offer legs for the Typhoon, in their signature cast brass. I'd used their brass legs on the Hellcat, with great success. I hope they offer cast brass legs for the Spitfire IX!

 

This photo shows the brass wing mount and solid leg, compared to the unfinished kit parts: there is quite a lot of flash along the mold lunes. The Aerocraft parts are cleverly coded so that the right bracket goes on the right wing, and the correct leg fixes to its bracket. You can see the "S" cast into the bracket. 

The only point to note is that some casting lugs need cleaning up and brass is MUCH tougher than white metal, so a good sharp file is essential.

 

 

Undercart-legs.jpg

 

 

 

Once the lug is epoxied to the spar I can then epoxy the spars to the lower wing, at that point work can start on the internal wing structure. The cannons are amazing, but brass would be better: I found these, just the job!

https://www.scalemates.com/products/img/0/9/1/133091-54-instructions.pdf

Edited by 224 Peter
Addition!
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Progress...

 

After much debate over the colour of the self sealing tanks they are painted "rubber black" and fixed in place.

If you'd like to read the discussion, it is here...

 

There has also been much research into interior colours, mentioned in the above link.  The probability is that the tubes are silver, cockpit interior black and other interior panels interior green. 

Some of the inside of the gun bay is probably zinc chromate primer, given the corrosive nature of gun fumes, but there is no real evidence. So I'm using it as much to provide contrast. 

 

I'm also working on the guns; I did buy a set of brass ones with wonderful exposed recoil springs, but as they will be invisible under the covers it seemed pointless. So they will go in the 1/24 Mosquito that is also waiting! 

 

I'm quite pleased with this, I'm lucky in that I get to see a lot of "lived in" aircraft and they soon loose the "as new" look, without looking scruffy. I think I've captured the look. 

 

Centre-Section-2.jpg

 

Thoughts? 

 

I'm also mulling over the final finish and I'm very tempted by "Option 1" in the kit, as it has a lot of D Day stripes and I have a set of masks that I purchased when I got the kit, and forgot about. One of the joys of opening up a "Stash Box" are the little surprises you find! 

 

 

Edited by 224 Peter
Addition
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It looks like, from right to left, aluminium, vulcanised rubber, untreated (raw) rubber, which swells on contact with petrol, vulcanised rubber and then a final skin of either rubber, or rubberised fabric. 

The layers fit with the known structure. 

The photo also confirms that the tanks should be black, like a tyre. 

 

Thanks for the photo!!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress...slowly. 

 

The cannon are in, along with the ammo boxes. 

20mm-in-place.jpg

The cannon are a faff to fit, the holes in the main spar need easing and the barrels bending somewhat. It is a shame that the coil spring detail will be lost in the fairings! 

 

I look at my efforts and then at the pictures in the publish build guides and wonder how they do it. But then I look at my friend Mike's railway models and wonder how he does it. 

Some weathering to add, in the breech area some oily traces, I think and possibly dust in the corners. 

 

Once the guns are fitted the inner wheel well upper skin can go in place, with a LOT of clamping. 

Clamping-1.jpg

 

In this photo the lower wing tip has been put in place, it isn't glued, the tooling is so good the part holds in place, defying gravity. 

I do find the assembly sequence strange: building the wings before the fuselage seems counter intuitive! 

Once the wheel well roof is in place I can add the plumbing, there is a lot to fit and the guides I've read say it is a fiddle. Much is VERY fine and looks fragile. We shall see. 

 

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Progress...

Delated a bit by the need to dust and clean up my "Man Cave"....but back on track. 

This is a wheel well, with all the detail supplied by Airfix fitted. 

 

Wheel-Well-1.jpeg

 

The location points for the 6 parts are vague, to say the least, but the result is good. Lining up and gluing wasn't easy, but I'm pleased with the result. On to the other wing and then the next big step, fitting the fuselage! 

The aircraft is starting to look like a Typhoon. 

 

I have a very old (1970s) car door 1/32 Revell Typhoon sitting in the display. I fear its time is numbered, once the big 1/24th monster is finished it will take the old lady's place. 

The build was reported here, ages ago, a model started in 1973 and finished in 2019..... Letting go is hard! 

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Test fitting the fuselage, it begins to look like a Hawker Typhoon....

 

Looking-Like-a-Typhoon-1_s.jpeg

 

This is a big, and heavy, model. I'm very pleased I bought the brass undercarriage legs! 

 

My plan this week is to get the fuselage and tail finished and then get it up on its wheels. I still haven't made a final decision on the cowling, as the panels are not removable as they are on the Hellcat. 

I'm also vacillating on the markings, but will probably go for Scheme A as I discovered that I'd bought the masks for the invasion stripes and also camouflage pattern, leading edge, etc, etc.  

 

Enjoy, and thanks for everyone for keeping me company on this long trip! 

 

 

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A Question for the Collective...

Flaps up or down? 

 

All the photos I've found of a Typhoon sitting on the ground, with the top cowling off, show the flaps raised. 

Given there is no inner wing detail for the under surface of the upper skin it seems to be the line of least resistance to fix them up. 

 

Does anyone else have a view on this point?

 

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