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RAF Wildenrath residents - part 1


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Welcome to my second WIP!

 

Many, many  moons ago I came across this classic Matchbox kit in a local shop, and although my interest in scale modelling was declining I couldn't resist buying it. RAF Phantoms were my all-time favourite jets and look at the prize! Only 18.95 guilders, which equals by the time the euro was introduced 18.95 / 2.20 = € 8.61! An absolute bargain.

 

1 DSCN6124_1024x768

 

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The box had been gathering dust on a shelf ever since, but when I took up scale modelling again, about three years ago, I decided to start with this kit. I remembered Matchbox kits were pretty easy to build, so this one seemed a good start to renew my scale modelling skills.

 

The next step was finding out how to configure the plane. One of the reasons I left scale modelling was my increasing interest in seeing military aircraft 'in the wild', and one of my favourite airbases to visit was RAF Wildenrath. By that time it was home to 19 and 92 Squadron (Phantom FGR.2) and 60 Squadron (Pembroke C.1). And 25 Squadron with Bloodhound missiles, yes.

I had no special feelings about 6, 41 and 892 Squadron like the kit suggests, and I chose to configure this kit as XV430/C of 19 Squadron, like I photographed it on October 19 1982 during its approach of the eastern threshold:

 

821019 Wildenrath Phantom FGR2 XV430_C-2_1024x664

 

So far the introduction of what and why, up next is my progress thus far.

 

Cheers,

Rob

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Great subject, everyone loves a Phantom, especially an RAF one! It must have been so good watching at Wildenrath back in the 80s.

 

I built loads of these old Matchbox Phantoms when I was a kid, all long disposed of now. Will be interesting to see how you turn such a basic kit into something resembling a Phantom.

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Oh @Lord Riot, RAF Wildenrath was wonderful! One never knew what would show up at the start of the day, it ranged from neighbour Jaguars from RAF Brüggen to Nimrod R.1s, and from Danish recce Drakens to RAF VC.10s. And in between local Phantoms and Pembrokes!

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When I started building this Matchbox kit I didn't consider starting a WIP. However, in February... I think... I did, and I found it good fun. I put my first WIP on hold because I am waiting for some spare parts I ordered, and dusted off this model. I put it aside a couple of months ago because I had an issue with the canopy, but I solved the problem so here it goes.

 

The way the thing looked like when I took it up again:

 

DSCN6096

 

One thing that bothered me was the separation between the two seats. The kit had a solid bridge there, while XV430 had it in glass:

 

821019 Wildenrath Phantom FGR2 XV430_C-2 cockpit2_1024x667

 

4 DSCN6102-2_1024x768

 

The title of this WIP ends with 'part 1', and in the distant future 'part 2' will be an Airfix Phantom, carried out as a 92 Sqn one:

 

6 DSCN6141_1024x768

 

I want to configure this one with canopies open, so I had a spare closed canopy for my 19 Sqn Phantom. I cut away the bridge and I filed the Airfix canopy down to shape:

 

5 DSCN6097_1024x768

 

8 20230316_214353_1024x768

 

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Well, it's not 100% perfect, but neither is the rather simple model like @Lord Riot already stated, and it suffices for this purpose.

 

12 DSCN6131_1024x768

 

Up next: primer!

 

Cheers,

Rob

 

 

 

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Looks like you missed the basic problem with the Matchbox Phantom canopy.

As matchbox designed it the canopy frames are actually part of the fuselage moldings, and the clear parts of the kit are just the "glass" of the canopy. These parts when fitted look terrible and give the aircraft a incorrect "too flat" canopy  profile.

To replace the canopy (I used a Spare Hasegawa canopy) you have to cut the canopy frames from the fuselage sides to accommodate the new clear canopy which comes with integral frames. once cut out, which was a five minute job, the Hase canopy fitted perfectly without any fettling, and gave the canopy the correct profile.

 

Selwyn

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Well @Selwyn, I'd say this is exactly what I did, using an Airfix spare canopy I had at hand instead of a Hasegawa one. As this Matchbox kit is pretty basic, I don't care too much whether it is a 100% 1/72 copy of the real thing or not. I allow myself some laziness 😁.

 

Cheers,

Rob

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8 hours ago, ScheF15 said:

Well @Selwyn, I'd say this is exactly what I did, using an Airfix spare canopy I had at hand instead of a Hasegawa one. As this Matchbox kit is pretty basic, I don't care too much whether it is a 100% 1/72 copy of the real thing or not. I allow myself some laziness 😁.

 

Cheers,

Rob

I understand, its your kit after all.

Its just that I can still see the frames in place on your pictures they are clearly marked with recessed panel lines, and you would probably not need to have sanded the canopy.  I mentioned it in particular  for the benefit of future builders of this kit.

 

Selwyn

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Ah @Selwyn, now I think I understand what you mean, in my model there are indeed still recessed panel lines visible. However, at this particular spot the Airfix canopy didn't need any filing or sanding, it fitted pretty nicely over there. But I must say my pictures are not very clear, I'll try to make some proper ones after I flung the primer against the kit.

 

Cheers,

Rob

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi people, time to show some progress...

 

Up next was masking the canopy and some parts I awkwardly had glued a bit too soon (in hindsight, of course). For masking the canopy I had bought a Q-M-T mask 'for Fujimi kit' - I somewhat naively thought that a Phantom canopy is a Phantom canopy is a Phantom canopy...

 

DSCN6142 (3)_1024x768

 

It turned out not too bad...

 

DSCN6150_1024x768

 

And the rest...

 

DSCN6151_1024x768

 

On the underside I made some preparations for the stores. I'll come back to that, later.

 

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For primer, I invited Mr. Vallejo:

 

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Pretty satisfied thus far:

 

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DSCN6187_1024x768

 

Glad to see the brown and black parts disappeared!

 

Thanks for looking,

Rob

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 G[day Rob,

 

What a phantastic (sorry , not sorry - had to!) blast from the past!

 

i built this kit as a youngún and enjoyed it then and I am enjoying watching you bring it together now. I see that you have opened the slot in the underside for the stand, please tell me you are going to display it with the 'M' shaped Matchbox stand? 

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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On 3/25/2023 at 4:46 PM, ScheF15 said:

Oh @Lord Riot, RAF Wildenrath was wonderful! One never knew what would show up at the start of the day, it ranged from neighbour Jaguars from RAF Brüggen to Nimrod R.1s, and from Danish recce Drakens to RAF VC.10s. And in between local Phantoms and Pembrokes!

Good work on this old jet chap, coming together better than I thought it would.

 

And yes Wildenrath was a great camp for jets.  Along with @PhonePhixer I was on 19(F) at the back end of the 80's, as you noted a lot of Drakens, German Alpha's, Dutch and Belgy '16's, Magisters coming through, I've a feeling there was some type of NATO VAS training programme going on that probably helped bring in visitors.

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19 hours ago, Pappy said:

I see that you have opened the slot in the underside for the stand, please tell me you are going to display it with the 'M' shaped Matchbox stand? 

You guessed right @Pappy! But the slot is for the gun pod first, and in the underside of the gun pod I cut a second slot for the stand.

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On 4/7/2023 at 9:57 PM, PLC1966 said:

Along with @PhonePhixer I was on 19(F) at the back end of the 80's,

The very first time I set eyes on a RAF Phantom was in 1980, when XV471/F of 19 Sqn paid a visit to Soesterberg airbase, my 'homebase'. Since then I have a weak spot for 19 Sqn!

 

Cheerio,

Rob

Edited by ScheF15
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Phunny how a single jet sticks in the brain, XV430 as in the picture above was Alpha during my time on the Sqn and will be the jet I model when I finally get round to making a toom.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Air brush time. To many of you the fun part, if I understand correctly, but not for me. I'm still a beginner, and like Benny Hill once said: 'Learning all the time...'

 

My map is this Airfix layout...

 

DSCN6177 (2)

 

...and my choice of weapons comes from Hataka:

 

Lak 1 DSCN6192_1024x768

 

The underside went pretty well (oh, before I forget: because this Matchbox kit is rather basic and my skills are still improving, it's not exactly of a high standard. Please just ignore the gaps for now):

 

Lak 2 DSCN6211_1024x768

 

Inner surfaces of the upper wing:

 

Lak 3 DSCN6209_1024x768

 

And then I was puzzled: how hold the model when spraying the nose, the fuselage and wing segments? I decided to add the centerline gun pod and use it as a handle!

Like I wrote before: the kit is rather basic and the gun pod part lacks the hood:

 

Lak 4 DSCN6217(3)_896x768

 

I just didn't feel like moulding one myself, also to do justice to the model (I mean, a basic kit is a basic kit, right?), so I went on without any further ado:

 

Lak 5 DSCN6222 (2)_1024x768

 

Well, I did add the holes...

 

Lak 6 DSCN6219 (2)_1024x768

 

Tadaa...

 

Lak 6 DSCN6223_1024x768

 

Lak 7 DSCN6225 (2)_1024x768

 

Now then, time to take care of the last bit:

 

Lak 8 DSCN6238 (2)_1024x768

 

However, I feel not too comfortable with this color, it's rather blueish as where I expected it to be somewhat brownish. Maybe I'll try another paint as a finish...

 

Thanks for looking,

Rob

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, since my last post I was puzzled by the color the Hataka paint turned out to be (although it should be the correct BS381C.626), but @jonf45  let me know he used Mr. Hobby's H-334 on his magnificent 56 Sqn Phantom - check out

 

So, I thought I'd try this paint as well, because his pics look pretty correctly. This was the result:

 

Lak 9 DSCN6262 (2)_1024x768

 

Ahem, not much difference... And I was unpleasantly surprised when I removed the 'bandages': the inner parts of the upper wing surfaces, airbrushed with Hataka's BS381C.637 paint, look pretty much the same!

 

Lak 10 DSCN6267 (3)_1024x768

 

To be honest, I'm a bit tired of these grey paints, and I'll settle for it. Moving on!

 

Cheers,

Rob

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Looking good, especially considering the old matchbox kit! That gun pod is really superb.

 

I wouldn’t worry too much about the minor shade differences on the upper wings, it’s almost never noticeable in photos I’ve seen, and seems to look different depending on the light at the time, weathering, boot scuffs and how long ago a jet was in the paint shop. Or sat out in the sunshine at Akrotiri! 
 

For join lines, have you tried Mr Liquid Putty? I use it all the time, just fill the gap, let it dry then sand it smooth.

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Ref the grey on the Main Wing.  As I noted above, I worked on 19(F)  Phantom Sqn, and the first time I knew that the main wing was a different grey to the fuselage was when I had a look at the instructions for the then Hasegawa (now Revell) 1/48 RAF Phantom Model.  When I finished leave and went back to Wildenrath I had a look at a jet and still struggled to see a difference.  And as noted, once you allow for dirt, grime, exhaust gasses, boot marks etc, the greys are never a pure grey colour anyway.

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Thank you @Lord Riot and @PLC1966.

Over the years I've seen many grey RAF Phantoms, and they always looked paler. But as Lord Riot states this indeed might have been thanks to exposure to sunshine et cetera. As for the upper wings, until I read the Airfix paint guide I didn't know too about the two shades of grey!

2 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

For join lines, have you tried Mr Liquid Putty? I use it all the time, just fill the gap, let it dry then sand it smooth.

Thanks for the advise. I do have a similar tool, but these gaps amazingly just escaped my attention somehow. Better next time!

 

Cheers,

Rob

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17 hours ago, ScheF15 said:

the inner parts of the upper wing surfaces, airbrushed with Hataka's BS381C.637 paint, look pretty much the

That's countershading for you. ;)

 

Lovely build!

 

Groeten,

 

Andre

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   I have been following your discussion quietly about the paint scheme. Here are a few photos of a freshly painted aircraft when I worked on Phantom at RAF St Athan doing major servicings. There is a slight difference in colour, but that also maybe a trick of the light.

   The last 2 photos are of the aircraft as it screamed over us whilst we stood on top of the line hut when it departed on its deliver flight.

 

AUUqibQ.jpg

 

wwTYYAv.jpg

 

luf9lwn.jpg

 

buDS642.jpg

 

3SUwXHN.jpg

 

AvPVK0W.jpg

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On 4/8/2023 at 10:42 PM, PLC1966 said:

Phunny how a single jet sticks in the brain, XV430 as in the picture above was Alpha during my time on the Sqn and will be the jet I model when I finally get round to making a toom.

 Check, @PLC1966! Photographed while approaching RAF Wildenrath, July 1987. In the meantime it was equipped with the RWR box:

 

870709 Wildenrath PhantomFGR2 XV430_A_1024x669

 

Thanks @Jabba, nice to see some photos of freshly painted Phantoms. Remarkable to see that even in this stage the nose cone has a different color. I always thought it was the same grey as the rest from the start, but that the cone and fuselage discolored in different ways.

 

Cheers,

Rob

 

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Thanks for that @ScheF15, that's the beauty.  Nice photo.  If you don't mind that may well become my desktop photo for a while.

July 87, just after I got onto the Sqn.

 

Never really noticed how long the undercarriage is when the jet is in the air.

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