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


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The new Wellington looks like a comprehensive and well detailed kit. If WWII was my area of interest, I could well have bought it.

Neat work with the vac turret.

 

Colin

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This is a really nice kit. I’m glad I chose it as a palate cleanser. When you see the sheer quantity of small parts in the box it can look quite intimidating. Once you’re under way, it’s complex but so well designed that it more or less snaps together.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC


That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing. While the fuselage halves clicked together, I simply couldn’t get a clean seam on the rear underside. I put that down to there being no internal support to push against. I resigned myself to needing some filler and sanding, but that ended up removing the finely moulded ventral turret cover. I know the turret didn’t last long in service, and was deleted from the production lines quite early on, but I understand the location for it remained in the fuselage structure on the MkI series. I cut a circle of the thinnest styrene sheet I had in stock so I could rebuild it, and I’ll sand it down a bit once the glue has hardened.

 

The wings and nacelles pay some careful attention during construction. I found I needed to scrape a bit of material from the nacelles locations to get things to nestle neatly in place. Like others, I found one of the undercarriage retraction struts was moulded badly, but happily it just needed some careful adjustment to get the shape back. The tail wheel location is fitted before the fuselage parts join together, and mine has ended up a smidge offset to one side. There’s nothing I can do about that now, but I’ll try to make a better job of the same part in the MkII build when I get to it. There are fine gaps along the wing roots, and the tailplane parts, but nothing some Perfect Plastic Putty can’t deal with.

 

I have decided to go for the 311 (Czech) Squadon aircraft. Reference photos show the main side windows were clear, and the beam gun positions weren’t fitted. It’s also got a nice detail where the fuselage roundel's white ring is overpainted with Night to try and tone it down. 

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While browsing through the IWM Wellington photos yesterday, I noticed that the few good photos showing the bomb-bay, that it looked like it was painted black. 

Also, on most, but not all, any fuselage windows looked to have black painted framing. 

I'll add this link, for those of you who would like to see the photos:

 

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?query=Vickers Wellington&pageSize=&media-records=records-with-media&style=image

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Looks like a lovely kit - I've only ever built the MPM Wellington and, although it's not as bad as people seem to say it is, there's certainly room for a better kit in the market! Sadly though, with one built and the Revell repop of the Mark II in the stash, I won't be springing for an Airfix one, however nice it looks.

 

1 hour ago, Heather Kay said:

I cut a circle of the thinnest styrene sheet I had in stock so I could rebuild it, and I’ll sand it down a bit once the glue has hardened.

FWIW, if I have to do something like that I just use writing paper soaked in and stuck down with Future/Klear/whatever. Here is an example.

 

Regards,

Adrian

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6 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

FWIW, if I have to do something like that I just use writing paper soaked in and stuck down with Future/Klear/whatever. Here is an example.

 

Thanks! I was just pondering on how to do this on my Ventura for the plates needed to cover gun ports and astrodome and turret. Great tip!

 

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1 hour ago, AdrianMF said:

use writing paper

Or a fag paper for something really thin.

 

Edit!

For those of us that are not from the UK, for 'fag' paper read 'cigarette' paper! 🫣

Edited by Andrew Patmore
Multinationalism. If that is a thing.
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Hi Heather, 

 

I'm late to the party as usual, returning to the hobby after a 50 year break, but I am loving your informative and entertaining style!

 

I intend to shamelessly plagiarise your resin side-windows and black out curtains for my own Italeri Stirling Mk1. Can I ask what you used to polish the resin? I'm thinking the finest sanding sticks I've got followed by something like T-Cut car polish. 

 

Many thanks in advance..

 

Murray

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52 minutes ago, MOK61 said:

Can I ask what you used to polish the resin? I'm thinking the finest sanding sticks I've got followed by something like T-Cut car polish. 


Hi Murray. Thanks for those kind words. I enjoy sharing my builds, and it’s always nice to know people enjoy reading my drivel!

 

Polishing. Hmm, an art at which I am by no means an expert. As I wasn’t going for a showroom shine, I basically went though sanding pads from coarse to really fine, finishing up with a polishing wheel and compound in my Dremel (taking care to not melt anything from friction heating), and a rub over with a micro fibre glasses cleaning cloth. 
 

With care and better quality materials, I suspect it wouldn’t be necessary to polish the resin at all. I managed to get close to flush surfaces at the first attempt on most of the apertures I filled.

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Thanks for the quick reply. Very useful! 

 

I'm on a very steep learning curve, more like a vertical climb with malfunctioning afterburners, but with a bit of luck I might just manage to start a WIP thread later this week.

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Getting the fit just right

 

Heather wrote "The wings and nacelles pay some careful attention during construction. I found I needed to scrape a bit of material from the nacelles locations to get things to nestle neatly in place."

 

Flash around the locator pins is a trap guaranteed to spoil your day - I tend to trim back the female side of these locators right back and even get rid of them altogether - On older kits it can cure alignment problems instantly !

 

On a related fettling issue: Over the past few years and particularly with newer moldings I have found fitting of parts like nacelles much less stressful if you trust the designer.

My parts clean-up focuses on the internal edges of a nacelle because I find (with very few exceptions) that the external edges of these parts normally marry up to the curve of the wing quite well -

Bit of a trick picked up doing Vac modelling

 

As always when fitting parts ... less is more ! Don't try to do it all in one scrape !  As Heather says the idea is to get these parts to nestle into place !

David

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Anyone else see that Youtube video comparing "survivability" statistics for the major bombing types operated by the RAF ?

Sobering stuff ...

Using a pretty raw set of statistical parameters, ( I acknowledge that to avoid any - no doubt very proper - criticism from the expert mathematicians out there ) you had a c. 72% chance of being killed as a Lancaster pilot and crew member -

Crew of Halifaxes and Stirlings fared only slightly better

You were also only moderately better off crewing in a Hampden

On the other hand, as a Wellington pilot or crew member your chances of living and surviving your tour improved dramatically - c. 77% of Wellington crew survived . That does not suggest that loss figures just short of 25% are terrific

 

Over 58,000, usually very young, men were killed whilst serving in Bomber Command

Lest we forget

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I've  seen that video and whilst it's ambitious in its intent I think it unrealistic to compare a 4 engined heavy with a Battle which carried 3 crew and was only used operationally for a short time. Same with the other twins. A more realistic view would be to compare loss rate against number of operational sorties. This would level the field a bit but wouldn't take into account improvements in technology and operational use.

At best a Battle is a tactical light bomber as opposed to a 4 engined strategic bomber

John

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Little work happened during the past week, but before I embark on this weekend's odyssey I thought I might address something about the Wimpy build. 
 

I recall previous builders had problems with the trapezoidal panels that cover the beam gun positions if you’re building a plane that wasn’t so equipped. It’s true: the parts, as numbered and referenced in the instructions, are not a great fit.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC


I found the exact same problem. Something wasn’t right.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC


While cleaning up the parts I noticed these little triangles moulded into the back. Nevertheless, I pressed on with the order in the instructions. Then a brainwave struck: suppose those triangles indicate which way the inserts fit in relation to the nose of the model. In other words, the triangles should point to the nose, not the tail as the instructions imply. 
 

I prised the parts out and tested my theory. Turns out I was right. So, if you plan to build an Airfix Wimpy, swap parts E46 and E47 and make sure the triangles point to the nose.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC

 

The damned things still need filler, but they’re not proud of the fuselage now.

 

According to the instructions, it's engines next. I can also hear the faint siren call of a couple of trainers, so there may also be some developments in a dormant WIP thread this weekend.

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I would have thought it obvious that arrows or triangles, other than Dutch markings from that period, point forwards and it's not unknown for manufacturers to get instructions wrong. Check and double check and test fit is always a good thing to do.

 

A side questions as you are about to fit the engines, were the engines the only difference between the Mk.1 and the Mk.IV?

 

Gondor

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Gondor44 said:

I would have thought it obvious that arrows or triangles, other than Dutch markings from that period, point forwards


Indeed. However, there is no reference to these moulded markings in the instructions. The parts are drawn showing the outer faces only. Obviously, studying the parts shows the markings, and logically they should be fitted as you say, but that’s not what the official instructions say. An error on the manufacturer's part, and denseness on this builder's. :giggle:
 

Now, anything beyond the MkII are technically beyond my interest bubble. However, a quick squint at my references tells me the MkIII was fitted with Bristol Hercules and most of the clear Perspex on the fuselage was eliminated, along with the ventral turret. The MkIV was a designed to take Twin Wasp R-1830 radials, which implies it’s pretty much the same airframe as the MkIII. Hope that helps. :like:

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2 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:


Indeed. However, there is no reference to these moulded markings in the instructions. The parts are drawn showing the outer faces only. Obviously, studying the parts shows the markings, and logically they should be fitted as you say, but that’s not what the official instructions say. An error on the manufacturer's part, and denseness on this builder's. :giggle:

You do yourself a disfavour Heather. Everyone has Duh moments.

 

3 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:

Now, anything beyond the MkII are technically beyond my interest bubble. However, a quick squint at my references tells me the MkIII was fitted with Bristol Hercules and most of the clear Perspex on the fuselage was eliminated, along with the ventral turret. The MkIV was a designed to take Twin Wasp R-1830 radials, which implies it’s pretty much the same airframe as the MkIII. Hope that helps. :like:

 

That's roughly what I thought. I have an MPM Mk.IV in the stash and wonder if I could transplant the engines to an modern Airfix kit for a better model. You are also tampting me to dig out one of my Wellingtons to "throw together" as if I don't have enough part built kits :think:

 

Gondor

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23 hours ago, Gondor44 said:

wonder if I could transplant the engines to an modern Airfix kit


It might be possible. Airfix designed the kit with Pegasus and Merlin versions in mind from the start. The nacelles finish with an authentic detailed firewall - which will never be seen again once the engine pods are fitted. Depending on how MPM approached the engines and cowlings you may be able to engineer a fit if you start with the MkI kit and have the mounting cones used for the Peggies.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC

 

I now have a small collection of parts to be fitted to the airframe. While putting the engine parts together - you’ll note I’ve painted the collector rings already, which I will mask for camo painting later - I was vacillating about whether to just brush paint the whole model. It’s such a faff setting for airbrushing anything. 
 

Then I remembered I’m going to be making stencils for markings, and they really have to be airbrushed, so that’s a decision made. It’s a matter of carefully masking openings and sticking-out bits like undercarriage, all part of the airbrush faff that I so often dislike. Hey ho.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC


As I’m not doing a blow-by-blow build, this is where things sit. The main glazing has been installed, with just the cockpit canopy to fit. I’ve been leaving the rudder off because you can guarantee the horn balances will succumb to Mrs Ham-Fist before too long. I know the bomb bay should be Special Night, but airbrush, setting up, faff, etc. I’ve brush-painted Revell Aqua matt black as a base coat, and will give it a ColourCoats Special Night blow-over in time. I couldn’t be bothered with the half-dozen bombs the kit provides, but that means some interesting vignettes with bomb trolleys later.

 

With just some final sticky-out details to fit, I guess it’s time to apply the Eduard masking set.

 

I suppose I should consider what happens next with the Stirling. It would be sensible - as if! :frantic:- to try and get it to the same sort of level as the Wimpy so they can go through the paint shop together. Airbrush, setting up, faff, etc. I know I’ve still to work out the turrets, but they can be left off for the main painting process. That just leaves making the centre console fitting for the inside of the canopy transparency, and masking the clear bits, and fitting the latter to the fuselage. Ah, just remembered I need to make some better bits for the landing lights, too. Bother.

 

Onwards!

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On 24/06/2023 at 08:51, Heather Kay said:
On 24/06/2023 at 08:39, Gondor44 said:

would have thought it obvious that arrows or triangles, other than Dutch markings from that period, point forwards


Indeed. However, there is no reference to these moulded markings in the instructions. The parts are drawn showing the outer faces only. Obviously, studying the parts shows the markings, and logically they should be fitted as you say, but that’s not what the official instructions say. An error on the manufacturer's part, and denseness on this builder's. :giggle:

 

If people aren't cluing in to it, then it is not obvious by the very definition of the word :) 

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1 hour ago, marvinneko said:

 

If people aren't cluing in to it, then it is not obvious by the very definition of the word :) 

Suppose so. Bit like saying Common Sense, only it's not :think:

 

Gondor

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Airfix Wellington MkIC


With the engine cones glued on, the cowlings are a press fit. I will glue them at some point. Aside from antenna mast and D/F teardrop, there’s glazing done. It’s masked as well. Eduard provide 8 (that’s eight, one less than nine) wheel masks, but nothing for the astrodome. Or the landing lights if it comes to that. Most odd. The turrets are a sliding fit, and I’ll paint them with a hairy stick.

 

Airfix Wellington MkIC


Fuel dump pipes fitted. I drilled the tail out, just because it looks odd otherwise. I’ve left the pitot under the starboard wing for now. It’ll only get knocked off.
 

Airfix Wellington MkIC


Those landing light clear parts. I thought I spotted a central bulb in the moulding. Look closer. Can you see the spiral pattern? That represents the shock-absorbing system the bulbs were fitted in. You’d never see it, but it’s there. Bonkers, but I love it.

 

Still to do, aside from the D/F and W/T gubbins, is make up the props and the engine cover things. They’re complete sub-assemblies and handed so I’ll need to label them so they go in the right way round at the end.

 

Then it’s making the markings stencils, final bits of masking here and there, and time for the paint shop - eventually.

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Heather, a question, if I may? The underside of the fuselage floor is the roof of the bomb-bay. Airfix has made this a lattice. When you spray the special night over it, won't that black paint go up into the fuselage and end up on the inside of the canopy and fuselage windows?

 

 

 

Chris

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26 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Heather, a question, if I may? The underside of the fuselage floor is the roof of the bomb-bay. Airfix has made this a lattice. When you spray the special night over it, won't that black paint go up into the fuselage and end up on the inside of the canopy and fuselage windows?


It would indeed. That’s partly why I brush painted it to start with. I won’t spray directly into the bay when I come to do the main colours. :like:

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