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Bristol Type 138, High Altitude Record Holder +++ Finished +++


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Hi all.

I've just noticed that the GB deadline has been extended, so thought I might shamelessly exploit this opportunity to build another of my plentiful supply of rather tatty, second-hand 1/200 tiddlers.

 

This one is the Bristol 138, which was built in the 1930s as a high altitude research aircraft.  It ended up setting a total of nine altitude records, peaking at 53,937 ft (16,440m), on 30th June 1937. 

 

I'm sure that some of you will remember the FROG kit of this aircraft, but mine is a white metal kit, produced in the UK by Shed Models (unfortunately, now defunct).

 

P1130454.JPG

 

Mine has been started by a previous owner having added the engine and u/c.  However, the latter is in a poor state - it's damaged and one side is longer than the other :(.  It'll need to be re-done.

 

P1130456.JPG

 

P1130455.JPG

 

There is a decal sheet but it's of poor quality and creased.  Some of the shapes though, should come in useful as templates.

 

I suppose I'd better get on with it!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, CliffB said:

peaking at 53,937 ft (16,440m), on 30th June 1937. 

Welcome, I cant even begin to imagine 54,000 feet with the primitive equipment of the day. They must have come perilously close to death between hypoxia and the cold let alone pressure differences ? 

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2 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Welcome, I cant even begin to imagine 54,000 feet with the primitive equipment of the day. They must have come perilously close to death between hypoxia and the cold let alone pressure differences ? 

 

Thanks Dennis.  I was amazed when I saw the altitude figure too.  I don't know much of the detail, but I do know that the pilot had an oxygen system of dubious reliability.  This video contains a few images of it.

 

 

Interestingly, you can also see that the u/c is every bit as spindly as in the kit!

 

Cheers

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16 hours ago, Col. said:

Good to see you making full use of Enzo's Extension here Cliff :thumbsup:

 

Thanks Col.  I should really be making a start on my Salty Seadog (that was the plan).  So I'm already on course for another year playing GB catch-up!

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Time for an update.

 

I managed to remove the u/c parts and then soak them in cellulose thinners to strip off their old paint.  Unfortunately, some of the bits fell apart too!  I may need to dust off my old soldering iron.

 

P1130458.jpg

 

I then tidied up under the wing, establishing new location holes for the u/c legs.

 

P1130457.jpg

 

Finally, I noticed that the engine was tilted upwards slightly (I'd missed this earlier).  The problem was being caused by the oil cooler being located too far forward, which was preventing the bottom of the engine from sitting back far enough.  Luckily, I was able to prise the engine off and the solve the problem by adding a plasticard shim to the front of the fuselage.  Happy days.

 

P1130459.jpg

 

Cheers

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Colin W said:

Lucky it's a white metal kit so you can save time by going straight to the varnish of choice!

 

Thanks Colin.  That is indeed a technique that I've used before where there are small areas of NFM required.  Unfortunately in this case, the NFM areas (just the front panels), have required some filling to get a smooth surface.  So it will be out with the Alclad this time!

 

My soldering didn't go quite to plan, as the wheel melted as soon as I touched it with the iron.  Schoolboy error :banghead:

I've made a replacement by punching out a disc of plastic card.  It should look OK when painted and hiding under the wing.

 

P1130460.jpg

 

Better news from the fuselage, which has now been re-primed and is as smooth as a baby's bot.  Despite being a single-seater, it's a big old bird.  Presumably the large wings were an essential part of gaining height.

 

P1130461.jpg

 

Cheers

 

 

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Hi all and I'm declaring this one finished.

 

P1130479.jpg

 

Overall, it's turned out OK.

Whilst the re-worked u/c is still not perfect, it's an improvement over how it was!

 

Bristol.jpg

 

The plane looks nice in the cabinet, but somewhat lonely.  Luckily, with the revised deadline, I think I should have time to make him a little friend :winkgrin:.

 

Cheers

 

 

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  • CliffB changed the title to Bristol Type 138, High Altitude Record Holder +++ Finished +++

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