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Give an old model a home: Hawker Hunter F6? (1:48)


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IPMS Scale Model World show in Telford there was the "Give an Old Model a New Home" table with abused and neglected models available for a donation to charity (Marie Currie in this case).

 

I love the challenge of re-building a kit so I picked up the first model that came to hand, dropped some cash in the bucket and stuffed the sad unfortunate thing in my bag.....

 

This is what I got (including a day of clattering around in my bag etc):

20221113_230309.jpg

 

It's clearly a Hawker Hunter in 1:48 scale and seems to be an F6

At first glance the registration XE597 flags up the new Airfix kit.... but that blue plastic and a hunt through sprue layout photos shows it's certainly not an airfix. 

 

A bit more detective work and I've determined it is the 1997 Academy #2164 kit (which also provided decals for XE597 which the Airfix kit now does as well)

 

Lots of broken pieces and cracked seams already and they didn't take much to extend those to help disassemble it a bit more.

The nose is full of black plasticine to stop it being a tail sitter (yuk! old plasticine smells rancid!)

20221113_230713.jpg

 

Next step will be into the paint strip for this thing whilst I formulate a plan of what to do with it.... My grandfather was an aero engineer at Armstong Siddley working on the development of the Sapphire engine that later went on to power the F2 variant so that might be a nice option. But I'll need to do some research on what would be entailed in converting it from an F6 to an F2.

 

As I didn't spend much on this a resin cockpit would be nice - the SBS did one that also provides some detail in the wheel wells so that might be an option....

The jet pipe is a bit rubbish and missing some parts so that may need some scratch detailing too.

 

This is not going to be a fun but slow build I think.

 

Edited by Flying Badger
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A day in the paint stripper (Floor cleaner):

20221115_172634.jpg

 

The paint is rather tenacious - looks like enamel paint. The decals are coming off though (there was no clear coat over the top of them it seems).

 

Oddly the grey/silver had a light grey undercoat/primer under it ( too light for Tamiya fine surface primer) but the upper camo was straight onto the blue plastic. 🤷‍♂️ I wonder if they painted it before deciding it was too light and redoing the underside silver instead.

 

Back in for another 12 hours in the gunk I guess. If that won't shift it I'll swap to IPA which should shift anything.

 

20221115_172659.jpg

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Got impatient and decided to try out some IPA to strip paint (I've heard this works well but I haven't been able to try it yet).

20221115_195224.jpg

 

an hour of staring at it:

20221115_195752.jpg

 

And we have this:

 

20221115_201127.jpg

 

20221115_201214.jpg

 

Not bad. A few spots of resistant paint, especially the thicker off white colour.

 

The panel lines are still filled with paint, but it's degraded by the IPA but comes out OK with a panel scribe.

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Been thinking about how to build this up and in what scheme... my current front runner is to build it as WT804 / 831 / VL, a Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) F GA.11 of the Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit. I like the loadout of the armaments (4 SNEB pods!) and the need to scratch build the Harley light in the nose and the tail hook (I know there are resin versions of these but whats the fun in that?)

 

A close second is the Swiss F.58 as with the four cannon, sidewinders AAMs and Maverick AGMs it would be a fearsome looking beastie!

 

Also in the mix is the T.8M used to for conversion training for the new Harriers (But that needs a resin kit)

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That’s definitely not like any IPA I’ve ever drunk!
 

Is it cleaning alcohol? My wife uses it sometimes for cleaning the kitchen floor, didn’t know it stripped paint. Useful to know if my Vulcan continues to be troublesome.

 

Great project on the Hunter.

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Thanks.

 

Yes IPA = IsoPropyl Alcohol (the Americans call it "Rubbing Alcohol" for some weird reason). It's fairly cheap c.£4.70 per litre on Amazon / ebay etc. and comes as either 99.9% pure or diluted to around 70% with water.

 

It strips most paint well and leaves the plastic intact, but I'm finding it isn't breaking down the glue like fairy powerspray used to do a bit.  One good thing is if you keep it in a sealed tub you can strain the paint sludge out now and again and keep using the IPA. It does evaporate rapidly and is flammable so it needs to be a sealed tub and away from any source of ignition.

 

It's also the main ingredient in acrylics thinners (like Tamiya X20A). You mix it with pure water and some tiny amounts of flow improver and retarder and you have your own DIY thinners which is dirt cheap compared to the commercial stuff. I can let you have the amounts of each if you want to give it a go.  Just avoid it with Vallejo paints as they don't play nice with alcohol based thinners.

 

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Most of the initial paint stripping is done. 

 

We're left with this:

20221117_133218.jpg

 

Lots of the panel lines need cleaning out of old paint (which on the underside means they show up really well!)

20221117_133249.jpg

 

However, I'm missing the starboard horizontal stabiliser so it's time to start scratch building one:

Drawing around the port stabiliser on some plasticard to get the shape and size right.

20221115_224856.jpg

 

Needs several layers to make up the full thickness:

20221115_230149.jpg

 

Three layers glued up and "clamped"

20221116_082205.jpg

 

Once the glue sets up I had a blank ready to start sanding down to shape:

20221116_082325.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Nice project

 

Aeroclub used to make a correction set for this kit.. From memory, new cockpit tub and seat (too shallow a tub and seat is more like 1/72). I believe there were mainwheels and legs, maybe a nosewheel and there were a couple of different tail pipe sections. 

 

It may be worth seeing if anyone wants to part with one now that the Airfix kit has taken the limelight..?

 

Matt

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Matt, funny you should mention the Aeroclub V152 kit... I was just looking at it online about 5 min ago... sadly nowhere seems to have it in stock anymore 😞

 

I'm still not sure which version to build. And decals are an issue I'm working on. I'm thinking of buying  airfix F6 or F4 kit for the stash and then molding and casting a few choice parts from it to improve this one. 

although if I go down the trainer conversion route that may not be necessary. 

Edited by Flying Badger
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Probably not an option now, but the Aeroclub sets come up on Ebay UK quite regularly. There's a lot wrong with that kit, but if you're not too fussy and just want a fixer-upper it'll still look mostly like a Hunter if done OOB (in which case don't go looking at what's wrong. I've come across quite a few descriptions on the Internet, and once seen it can't be unseen).

 

Paul.

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Doing some research and I found the information about the innaccuracies with the Academy kit:

 

1.) The tail cone section is the wrong length and the jet pipe is wrong.

2.) The horizontal stabilisers are 2mm too far aft.
3.) The wheels are the wrong size.
4.) The kit canopy has the rear frame present on the sliding section, but the real thing the frame stays attached to the fuselage.
5.) The seat is way out of scale and looks rubbish
6.) Because the seat is the wrong size the cockpit tub is too shallow and there is limited detail.

 

However, I think all of these I can fix easily.

If I go for a Trainer conversion then all of them will be negated by the conversion parts.

 

However, if I stick with a single seater then I plan to get a resin cockpit (with seat) and a set of resin wheels (the ones in this original kit are a bit battered and the paint hasn't come out of the tiny nooks and crannies anyway). 

The canopy I already knew about and I was planning to remove the rear frame, repolish the canopy and klear dip it so it could be slid back into the open position to show the resin cockpit off.

 

That just leaves the tail area to fix. The H-stabs are easy to fix as the attachment tabs broke off the right one I have remaining anyway. Moving  it and the scratch built left one 2mm forward won't be an issue.

The jet pipe I was wanting to scratch build something more representative anyway - possibly moulding and casting the airfix kit parts as an initial template

The tail cone length I can address with some judicious use of a razor saw and filler!

Does anyone know if the Airfix F6 is accurate in this area? Might use that as a template to get this academy one right.

 

 

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Found some more info that says the tail bullet is too long - easy to fix by sanding it down.

 

Also several suggestions that the main gear legs are a touch too small in diameter... mine are a bit mashed so I might just scratch some using some albion alloys tubing, which will have the added benefit of being stronger to hold the weight of that extra resin cockpit etc.

 

Other things to contemplate... the intake shape is often not symmetrical on the academy kit and the shape is too rounded... again something I can have crack at fixing. The splitter plates inside the intakes look wrong, but scratching some plasticard ones to  look more realistic should be easy.

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29 minutes ago, Flying Badger said:

Found some more info that says the tail bullet is too long - easy to fix by sanding it down.

 

Also several suggestions that the main gear legs are a touch too small in diameter... mine are a bit mashed so I might just scratch some using some albion alloys tubing, which will have the added benefit of being stronger to hold the weight of that extra resin cockpit etc.

 

Nearly.  The main wheels are too small in diameter and the legs too long in order to give the right overall height.  Aerocraft Models do nice new legs in brass and Barracuda Studios do resin wheels to address this fault.  Aerocraft also do more accurate underwing pylons than either Academy or Airfix.

 

if you’re still contemplating doing a GA. 11 the Airfix F. 4/F. 5/J34 kit has a Harley Light-configured nose.

 

Something that you might also wish to consider is that the wing leading edge dog-tooth is incorrectly located: if you have access to the Airfix kit this will give a much better indication of where you need to modify the Academy wings.

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43 minutes ago, stever219 said:

if you’re still contemplating doing a GA. 11 the Airfix F. 4/F. 5/J34 kit has a Harley Light-configured nose.

 

Something that you might also wish to consider is that the wing leading edge dog-tooth is incorrectly located: if you have access to the Airfix kit this will give a much better indication of where you need to modify the Academy wings.

Hmm Good to know. Haven't ordered an airfix kit yet and was aiming for the F6 but perhaps the F4 would be a good option in that case.

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Aeroclub also did more accurate undercarriage. Same comments on availability as earlier. Beware resin cockpits. If they're old ones they'll be meant for the Academy kit and won't address the errors, just adding detail, as far as I recall (which may not be far enough).

 

Paul.

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17 hours ago, Flying Badger said:

Hmm Good to know. Haven't ordered an airfix kit yet and was aiming for the F6 but perhaps the F4 would be a good option in that case.

The F. 6 wasn't available on the Airfix website recently but the F  4/5/J34 kit is and contains all of the F. 6 bits still.

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Just bought parts for the build:

 

 

Aires cockpit (It's for the airfix kit but I should be able to finagle it into this Academy

Aires gear wells and gear doors set (designed for the Academy kit).

Reskit wheel set (with separate tyres and hubs on the mains - should make painting them easier!)

 

I also grabbed a good price Airfix F4/5/J34 kit on ebay to go in my stash and which I can also silicone mould and then cast parts from to help correct the Academy version.

 

Whilst I await those bits arriving, I'm carrying on slowly whittling down the replacement horizontal stabiliser.

 

20221118_200811.jpg

 

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Almost there with the plastic shaving making.

 

One issue was that the repeated scraping with a blade made the aft tip corner was overly rounded when it needs to be sharp. Quickly replaced that with a small plasticard insert

20221118_205049.jpg

 

Comparison with the other HStab.

20221118_210138.jpg

20221118_210116.jpg20221118_210128.jpg

 

There's a slight over thinning of the tip (thats mostly the insert plasticard) which I'll add a tiny amount of perfect plastic putty to fill.

 

Once that's dry and sanded it just needs a quick polish and then the panel lines scribing.

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Panel lines all done:

20221118_221815.jpg

 

The port horizontal stabiliser now has the sharp aft corner. However the starboard one has a rounded and bent corner from all the abuse. So I repeated the replacement with plasticard.

 

1. Old tip cut off and replaced by a piece of thicker plasticard.

20221118_222541.jpg#

 

2. Cut it to profile with razor saw, sand and blade scrape it to shape and polish it:

20221119_200118.jpg

 

Done and ready for assembly.

 

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  • Flying Badger changed the title to Give an old model a home: Hawker Hunter F6? (1:48)

I'm almost decided on building it as a PR.11 / GA.11 and ideally I would like to build something from 738 NAS (Mainly because I like the white pegasus silhouette badge on the nose).

 

I'm struggling however to find decals.... both for the white pegasus but more generally for the white serial numbers of the Fleet Air Arm - Xtradecal did a decal sheet that is ideal (X48045) but nowhere has it in stock 😞

 

 

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Various additional extras arrived this week. 

 

First up is a complete Airfix F4 kit from ebay I bought for the reference material as well as duplicating (Silicane mould and cast resin) some minor parts for my build. I offered up the Academy fuselage half to see what the differences were:

20221125_165852.jpg

 

As expected the tail blister is too long by a fair way.

Also the rear bulkhead of the cockpit is c.2.3mm too far aft (The glare shield, tail, and major panel lines and structures line up):

20221125_165912.jpg

 

From the above you can probably tell that I'm going for a resin cockpit.... but it is for the Airfix kit and will need a little faffing to get it in place correctly. Some dry fitting allowed me to trim off the old glare shield and trim down the cockpit rear bulkhead to get an initial fit for the resing pit:

20221125_222741.jpg

 

But something wasn't right.... took me a bit to realise the pit was too low and the top of the side walls was actually the canopy slide rail and should stick up above the cockpit edges!

20221125_222803.jpg

 

And getting the pit to sit slightly higher is essential to get the resin forward gear well to fit because as you can tell from the following image, there is not a lot of room in there!:

20221126_231913.jpg

 

I've cut the kit forward gear well out of the gun pack part and then reattached them to the main fuselage halves:

20221126_231813.jpg

 

Elsewhere there is some general construction going on:

20221126_231652.jpg

 

Resin gear wells for the main gear in each wing root - these are CA glued on the outside to the upper wing half. Once they are primed, painted and detailed I'll mask them and then add the lower wing halves (and correct the badly positioned dogs tooth leading edge).

I've also removed the spent cartride pods for the forward gunpack. The RN PR.11 or GA.11 aircraft don't use the gun pack so off they came, the underlying panel lines etc will get cleaned up when it's rescribed later as necessary.

 

The intakes have been cleaned up and glued together and then hit up with some perfect plastic putty filler ready for sanding:

20221126_231719.jpg

I'm not happy with the medial wall of the intake tunnel (on the far left of that image) as it's change of direction is too abrupt - might see if I can fix it.

 

Thats all for this one today.... more later.

 

 

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In my coffee break yesterday I started looking up paint colours, and I could do with some help....

 

I've settled on a PR.11 / GA.11 of the Fleet Air Arm in their Grey and White Scheme, probably with the white ventral spine.

Looking up the instructions for the nearest FAA model kit I have (Sea Harrier FRS-1) that has the colours as satin white underneath and Humbrol 123 Extra Dark Sea Grey on top.

The white is fairly obvious and not difficult but the EDSG is the issue I am uncertain of...

 

I found this old thread from 2013 discussing EDSG:

Nick's contribution is particularly interesting:

Quote

Ok since it's Bill asking.

FS 26118 is closest to EDSG @ 0.84 (where less than 2.0 = a close match) so a very close match. FS 36118 is @ 4.61 and lighter in appearance. This difference is caused by the semi-gloss vs matt finish of the FS 595b values.

FS 36118 is closest to DSG @ 2.40 but is darker. FS 36173 as suggested by Geoff Thomas is @ 6.56 and too light.

 

It seems Humbrol 123 is FS36118 and too light perhaps? 

Looking up FS26118 and the nearest match to the paints I tend to use is Tamiya XF-18 Medium Blue.

 

Anyone offer any insight into if this is right or not?

 

On a related note, does anyone know if the Fleet Air Arm painted their cockpits any different to the original F4/F6's that they converted to Navy use? I assume they'd not bother changing them?

 

Thanks in advance

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EDSG is right, but as a colour it does tend to fade rapidly away from the dark colours available from supplies such as Colourcoats or Extracolour.  These are the paints I would look to.  I recall the GA.11s scattered around the airfield at Dunsfold, and they certainly looked more like DSG to the eye.  A fairly uneducated eye at that time, to be fair.  A few years later I did a Buccaneer in DSG (or more likely Humbrol 27 and it just didn't look right.  Since then I have been an advocate of adding a little blue to DSG to represent in-service EDSG.

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Time to correct the intake tunnel.

 

First up some bracing on the original parts:

20221201_141846.jpg

Nothing too refined as it will never be seen, forward brace holds the parts at exactly the right distance to mate up with the fuselage halves.

 

Then took a razor saw to the original part to remove some of the length and then bend them inwards and glue them to the brace. (I also had to cut the tube shape to let the plastic bend):

20221201_143031.jpg

Filler is on and drying.

 

Now need to extend the other tunnel parts to fill the gap to the revised shape center bit. Masking tape and pen to get a template:

20221201_145439.jpg

 

All four parts done. waiting for the filler to dry ready to do some more sanding until it's all smooth.

20221202_075129.jpg

 

I need to scratch build some splitter plates that are better than the clumsy kit versions (which I removed early on).

 

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