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On Heather's Workbench - Strike Hard, Strike Sure: RAF Bomber Command 1940


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5 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

with a few clamps here and there

From the picture, I thought you were torturing it! The Office looks great. Good weekend progress, as you say.

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5 minutes ago, jackroadkill said:

Blimey, Heather, I wish I had your work-rate!


I'm not saying household chores and looking after Best Beloved have been ignored. Well, not much anyway. With nothing else to take my attention I managed to make good progress. It doesn’t happen every weekend!

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Heather,

 

Love to see those old Airfix kits getting proper attention. It's the modelling equivalent of brewing your own traditional beer using twigs, mugwort and juniper berries. 

 

I've long thought that the producers of pre-cut kabuki tape masks have missed a trick not addressing the model railway market. I remember a good few years ago I built a rake of clear-moulded 'Mailcoach' LNER carriage sets that were ingeniously cast in clear plastic that nonetheless demanded an inordinate amount of effort to consistently mask the windows, ventilators and droplights by hand. Done well, nothing beats it for flush glazing, but few of us would be capable nowadays. Modern ready=to=run railway models seem to have obviated this problem by moulding ever thinner sides and inserting thinner clear parts for windows. Even when they do it well, the prismatic effect is noticeable. Anyway, it would be very interesting to see how your flush glazing experiences might apply to model railway applications.

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Airfix Stirling


Being one of those days where life stuff was going to get in the way of the day job, I still managed to fit in a bit of fettling. I’m happy with the seams now, so I’ve rescribed some panel lines, added some escape hatches, and tidied things up a bit.
 

I really should fire up the pooter and draw the window masks, but it’s a bit muggy for pootering. I think a bit of time researching as much as I can about turret internals wouldn’t come amiss. I had a brainwave that the Sunderland may have had the same rear turret as the Stirling. As I have the Italeri Sundie MkI in the stash, perhaps I could pinch some ideas from that. Turns out the big flying boat had a completely different rear turret. Oh well, back to interpreting from photos then.

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1 hour ago, Heather Kay said:

As I have the Italeri Sundie MkI in the stash, perhaps I could pinch some ideas from that. Turns out the big flying boat had a completely different rear turret. Oh well, back to interpreting from photos then.

According to"British Aircraft Armament Volume 1: RAF Gun Turrets from 1914 to the present day, by R Wallace Clarke. Appendix C, pg 202" They both the Sunderland and Stirling at one time or another used the FN4 & FN20. The FN4 haveing been used in the Manchester and Whitley to name two users with the Lancaster and Wellington haveing used the FN20 at various times in their service lives.

 

Gondor

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31 minutes ago, Gondor44 said:

The FN4 haveing been used in the Manchester and Whitley to name two users with the Lancaster and Wellington haveing used the FN20 at various times in their service lives


I have developed a real blind spot about turrets. I think it’s perhaps due to turrets essentially being Perspex cupolas with either a pair or quad mounting of Browning machine guns, with the differences really being internal like how much ammunition could be stored or refinements to the mechanism.

 

I think it may pay me to attempt to extricate the Sunderland from the bottom of the stack to see what it actually has. If nothing else, its tail turret might be useful as a template to base a Stirling turret on. I could, of course, snaffle the turret from the Lancaster and copy that. Getting my brain into turret detail picking mode is the first job!

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Using a Lancaster turret will be fine if as long as you are careful in makeing sure that you use the earlier type fitted to them. Lots of the turrets were different shapes, the Halifax had a rear turret that looked slightly round in side profile, but then that was built by Bolton Paul. Differences between turrets were not restricted to refinements to the mechanism, some were powered by hydraulics while others were pneumatic and other electrical. Tail turrets also had the amunition fed from ammunition boxes well inside the fuselage which then went down cutes and then under and up through the bottom of the turret. Very complex system that worked.

 

Gondor

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The Falcon set for the Whitley has the wrong turret in it as I recall, being a rather larger and squarer FN20 Lancaster one, so that wouldn't help. The earlier FN4 turret was smaller and rounder. Maybe someone has an Airfix Whitley that they are building as the transport?

 

Regards,

Adrian

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My thinking at present is to use the old Airfix turret bases as a start. The clear parts will be the shape Falcon decided to use to replace the old Airfix bits. The bit I’m having problems wrapping my brain cell around is the gubbins inside the turrets. Once I’ve got a handle on the combination of parts to give an adequate representation of frameworks and so on, I will be happy.

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The characteristic undercarriage is a key feature of any Stirling model, I would venture to say. Happily, Airfix did a pretty good job of recreating the complex units, and equally happily the units can plug into the wheel bays after a lot of painting is completed. 
 

Airfix Stirling

 

It also meant I could use the holes in the wings to keep the basic assembly square while cement set. The Stirling was a big and heavy old bird, so those huge main wheels really need to be given a serious flat to stop the model standing on tippy-toes - and bulged if I feel brave enough. The moulding is quite thick and probably won’t be amenable to gentle softening and squishing. A flat is probably all I’ll do.

 

I wonder if I’ll manage proper work today. This warm and humid weather kills my sleep, so I’m not up to much come daylight.

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7 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

This warm and humid weather kills my sleep, so I’m not up to much come daylight.

 

Undercarriage looking good! In Canada we have extremes of cold and humid heat I've found that heat builds over time (the old story of the frog in the heating pot of water) so a lengthy cold shower helps, particularly on the head and hot areas. I also keep reusable gel freezer packs in the freezer. I wrap one in a thin towel and put it on my head. It works wonders for my thinking and sleep and cools the pillow. When I worked from home on hot days I'll put one on my head and in a short while I feel way better.

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DON'T BULGE THE TYRES! 

Only under-inflated tyres have bulges, properly inflated ones don't. If correctly inflated the side walls do NOT bulge under the weight.

I have no idea where this misconception came from, probably the after market suppliers.

 

Ian

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7 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

This warm and humid weather kills my sleep

My household has gone from complaining about the cold to moaning about heat and humidity in three days flat. I guess that was Spring??

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Just for giggles, I temporarily stuck wings and tail parts on the fuselage, and added the gangly legs (sans unbulged wheels) so the plane sort of sat at the right angle.

 

Airfix Stirling

 

It's huge! I should’ve stuck the Hampden next to it for comparison. Still, I am pleased with the overall progress. My madcap scheme seems to be paying off.

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12 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

 

My household has gone from complaining about the cold to moaning about heat and humidity in three days flat. I guess that was Spring??

 

Regards,

Adrian

Send them here.

6:45pm and it's now cooled to 38c. 

 

That'll shut 'em up!

 

Ian

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Hi Heather

 

Cracking build thus far. Not sure if anyone has responded as yet, but the fuselage interior fwd of the cockpit bulkhead is all cockpit green, with the fuselage aft of that in painted silver/aluminium. 

 

For early Mk Is the rear turret is an FN4 as per the Manchester and most definitely not the same as a Lanc. Are you doing a Mk I, srs 1, 2 or 3?

 

John

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30 minutes ago, 12jaguar said:

For early Mk Is the rear turret is an FN4 as per the Manchester and most definitely not the same as a Lanc. Are you doing a Mk I, srs 1, 2 or 3?


That’s an awkward question. I thought I was aiming for a series 1, but I think the first ten planes weren’t even known as that! However, according to the Wingleader book, my chosen aircraft - N3641 MG-D - is a series 1, at least retrospectively. The early war camouflage scheme, with black only on the underside of the fuselage and wings etc, plus a nice tall flash on the camouflaged fin, will make for an unusual Stirling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a model of such an early plane.
 

Now, for the turrets. I have a Trumpeter Wellington MkIc that can donate the FN5 innards. The Airfix baseplate plus Falcon transparency should deal with the outer parts. I could use the Trumpeter nose turret entirely, but there’s no guarantee it’ll fit properly, plus the glazing will be thicker than the vac form stuff used elsewhere. The FN4, likewise, I think I can repurpose the Airfix baseplate, use the Falcon clear parts, and hopefully fabricate the gun and seat arrangements. I checked my Manchester collection of bits last night, and there is a replacement transparency in the Blackbird set, presumably expecting the builder to use the Airfix Lanc turret insides.

 

Blimey. That’s almost a plan! 

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22 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

ISTR that a BM member's father fell off a Stirling wing and broke an arm or a leg.


I'm sure it was Bill. I can’t find the post, but he did mention it somewhere in this ever-growing thread.

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T's true, it is probably page one of this missive.

 

Arm broken after "22' fall" which given the size of the thing I have interpreted to mean right off the top because with dad having passed away leaves the entire tale to be uncorroborated until I can check it and various other apocrypha in person...

 

22 foots would scare the pants off me.

 

Heather this is becoming a fabulous exhibit, the windows are a triumphal success.

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