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2009: A Sea Vixen Oddessy


Lord Mureth
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Have not had much chance to post on here for months; work, life, and the occasional model got in the way....

... but in the meantime, I've been hatching a masterplan. Or something like that, anyway. It's basically to build every RN version of the Sea Vixen, until I've got the twin boomer out of my system... which will mean:

1/72nd:

DH110

DH110 Mk20X

Sea Vixen FAW1

Sea Vixen FAW2

1/48th:

Airfix one, any version; just for fun after the above lot! Made the Dynavector one a few years ago in the original "Foxy Lady" Scheme, so this'll be in a more trad scheme.

1/32nd:

The Panther one - intermingled with any/all of the above, as and when I have the strength.

The biggest problem as I see it is the Mk20X, the halfyway house betwixt the DH110 and the FAW1; if anyone knows of any decent drawings of it, I'd be most grateful. There seems to be a fair bit of conflict amongst my references; it looks closer to a FAW1, but the exhaust length is what's bothering me....

Anyway, have already started on the DH110, using the Maintrack kit - will post photos shortly! Any advice or anti-psychotic drugs would be appreciated :hypnotised:

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Good luck... I've been doing a bit of research into the type and the three prototypes all underwent a significant number of changes.

WG236 - started with with Sea Vixen style tail bumpers, then had large strakes placed in this area and strengthening strips on the booms. Airbrakes above/below the engines, long rear fuselage.

WG240 - as 236 but started off with the large strakes, also seen with slightly smaller ones, started off with airbrakes as per 236 but then trialled a big underside brake minus strakes, similar to the production airbrake (but kept the others too!). Gained/lost a big nose probe; gained a pointed radome. Had the pitots moved in from the wingtips to the production position.

XF828 - started off with blunt nose, ended up with pointy one. Short rear fuselage. Gained/lost the big nose probe. FAW.1 style canopy. Both FAW.1 airbrake and the earlier airbrakes. A couple of variations of splitter plate in front of the intakes, second similar to production type, both unlike the plate on the other two DH-110s. Production style all moving tailplane.

All three had similar main/nose gear, with different doors to production examples. All three had a forward-hinged observer's hatch.

Then there's...

XJ474 - FAW.1 first production example, with big nose probe (on the radome tip, not above it like the others).

All in all I think to model XF828 you'd be better off using a Sea Vixen kit, as the fuselage is very similar (including short jetpipe area).

I've only been able to find rough GA drawings (I think manufacturer-issued) of the DH110, lacking in any detail and clearly only of WG240, and also having several errors - so not much use really! I've been trying to put together some basic drawings for myself so I can rescribe my Frog DH110 with the major panel lines, using the GA as a start and photos to fill in the details. However, not many photos found so far (and I've got every book on the type that I know of).

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I've only been able to find rough GA drawings (I think manufacturer-issued) of the DH110, lacking in any detail and clearly only of WG240, and also having several errors - so not much use really! I've been trying to put together some basic drawings for myself so I can rescribe my Frog DH110 with the major panel lines, using the GA as a start and photos to fill in the details. However, not many photos found so far (and I've got every book on the type that I know of).

If I remember correctly there were a set of large format books of scale plans issued probably in the 1980's and one of the plans was for the DH110 - certainly looked more detailed than a rough GA. Is this the one you have? Somewhere I may still have a copy but it could take a few weeks to find.

Peter

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The Aircraft Archive volumes I presume. Vol 1 has a DH-110 drawing on p8/9 but it's also lacking in detail with only a handul of panel lines and several errors (airbrake shapes, lack of actuator fairings on tailplane, wing chord outboard of fences, tail boom strake shape, no doubt more...).

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Thanks for the replies and help - for the DH110, I'm doing WG240 in it's "faux naval" scheme; the cockpit and fuselage forward of the intakes is complete already, hope to put some piccies up today or tomorrow.

Thanks for the info re. XF828 DamienB - I really wasn't sure from the photos I had if the fueselage was long or short; I think it must have been the airbrakes that threw me. The one other thing I'm not really sure of is it's canopy - the windscreen appears the same as the FAW1, but the rear canopy looks more bulged than the FAW1, unlike any other version?

Had no idea the hatches were forward-hinged... now that's saved me from an embarrasment! :doh:

And no, I'm not doing the "Vixette" - that, to my mind, is a Venom variant rather than a Vixen one :P

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Thanks for the replies and help - for the DH110, I'm doing WG240 in it's "faux naval" scheme; the cockpit and fuselage forward of the intakes is complete already, hope to put some piccies up today or tomorrow.

Come on... I've been dying to find one of those vacforms, so some pics would be v. interesting!

WG240's naval scheme... well, which one...? :D It wore at least three variations of it (first had the EDGS/Sky demarcation along the leading edge, including the fence so bottom half of fence was sky, and EDSG in a curve along the tails; secondly EDSG extending under the wing leading edges, but sky wing fences above and below, and also a variation similar to the second but with EDSG wing fences).

Thanks for the info re. XF828 DamienB - I really wasn't sure from the photos I had if the fueselage was long or short; I think it must have been the airbrakes that threw me. The one other thing I'm not really sure of is it's canopy - the windscreen appears the same as the FAW1, but the rear canopy looks more bulged than the FAW1, unlike any other version?

It appears to be exactly the same as the FAW.1 canopy to me... perhaps the lack of the rain clearance/aircon tube alongside it is making you think it looks different?

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Right, piccies; the cockpit is a bit of a mash-up; the templates given with the kit didn't fit at all, the Xtrakit tub was way too big, as was the Airwaves vixen set. The model itself matches perfectly with the plans (well, the kit's own plans anyway!!!); so I'm guessing the DH110 had a narrower forward fueselage than the production vixen? Anyway, in the end it was mostly scratchbuilt with a few Airwaves bits. I used the kit's own compressors as they'll hardly be visible, and there was no way the FAA Models or Xtrakit ones were going to fit.

The Maintrack kit is quite basic compared to some of their later vacuforms; but then, it's quite a complex subject so that might account for the fact that the level of detail seems less than the Supermarine 508 or Hawker 1052 which I've made recently.

004.jpg

006.jpg

The flash makes the weathering look a lot heavier than it actually is, by the way :winkgrin:

007.jpg

I've since removed the forward fueselage, cutting just aft of the intakes; in an effort to get the trunking looking halfway decent.

As regards the Mk20 Canopy, I have a profile drawing of it that looks different to any other Vixen - can't remember which publication - but I'll see if I can scan it. It definitely looks different there, but then again that's just artwork as opposed to proof!

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Surface detail????!!!! :wacko: Pretty much non-existant! The ailerons, elevator, rudders and airbrakes are all there, roughly recessed; and there's a few vents and a a couple of vague recessed lines in other places - but that's about it. A good, basic blank canvas.

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I wouldn't have thought so. I guess it's easy to add resin or white metal parts to an old vacuform; but a damn site more work to alter the mould itself. I've not seen the Whirlykit reissue, since I've never found anywhere that actually sells them!!!! Did they ever reissue the Supermarine 525? Would kill for one of those... :winkgrin:

As regards the detail on the DH110, to be honest I don't mind it being basic - it's better than having to sand off a load of raised lines. The later Project X kits, such as the SR177, have loads of really well-done, fine raised detail - but nowadays it looks a little overdone.

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  • 1 month later...

Very slow progress, and no time in the last couple of months for updates (life does have a habit of getting in the way!)- but it's beginning to look like a DH110, anyway!

The amount of filler this kit needs is incredible, I don't think I've ever used so much on a single 1:72nd model.

Anyway, here goes:

I toyed with using either the FAA models or Xtrakit compressors and Xtrakits intake trunking, but neither would fit at all; there is "trunking" (using the word very loosely!) supplied with the kit, but the fit of that was so poor that there really wasn't much I could do with it. I've kept the kit's compressors, as they're hardly going to be visible anyway; then I started to sculpt my own trunking using milliput.

DH110_1.jpg

The sticky-out bits on the rear fuselage are for the roofs of the u/c bays; I cut away the kit ones, as they were rather primitive, and worse still there would be a massive chasm that would be impossible to fill smoothly straight in the middle of the bay, where the wings join.

DH110_2.jpg

I then sculpted a plug at the rear of the chopped off front fuselage, to act as they inner face of the intake trunking.

DH110_3.jpg

The intakes and trunking after sanding and painting:

DH110_4.jpg

DH110_5.jpg

Finally, after making the guide vanes from plastic card, the front and rear sections were re-joined!

DH110_6.jpg

One wing on:

DH110_7.jpg

I think I might need a spot of filler here....

DH110_8.jpg

Milliput are currently laughing through the global recession due to a sudden increase in sales....

dh110_9.jpg

Is it me, or does it look at the moment very much like a twin engined DH108?

More pics soon.

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I attached the booms and tailplane using fast setting resin; so as to try and correct any alightment problems before it dried. The big problem here was the attachment points for the booms; the rear booms themselves had a small lug that would, in theory, fit snuggly into the recesses of the wing portion of the booms. Unfortunately, the fit was incredibly vague and wobbly; and worse still, the plastic at back of the wing-boom-portion was so thin that it was very, very fragile... so I reckoned packing it with resin was the best way to go.

Once the booms were dry, I filled and sanded, filled and sanded; then decided that the rear part of the booms looked a little too spindly on the inner faces. Out came more milliput; more sanding, more filling; at which point, the plastic at the rear of one wing-boom-attachement points decided it was all just too much for it and crumbled into nothingness!

misc001.jpg

So out came more milliput.... still, it's now looking a little less scary:

misc002.jpg

misc003.jpg

It doesn't help that the whole thing is covered in little pock-marks, hence the occasional random blob of filler. I'm currently in scribing hell; have so far done the upper wings, using a combination of photos, Sea Vixen plans and artistic licence. The biggest difference is the engine access covers, being on the underside of the plane. Haven't had the nerve to tackle (or even think about) those yet!

One day I might get this finished...

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  • 1 month later...

Painfully slow progress, due to the work/life/modelling balance being tipped in favour of the first two... but WG240 is taking shape.

Basic scratchbuilt u/c bays added, as the kit ones were far too shallow:

DH110_10.jpg

The cockpit masking removed, and coaming added:

DH110_11.jpg

Close up of the cockpit so far:

DH110_12.jpg

Filled, sanded, scribed, wing fences on:

DH110_13.jpg

And following extensive research, and increasing bewilderment at the variety of demarcations between EDSG and Sky that WG240 wore, I embarked on a masking nightmare - here she is after the first couple of coats of EDSG:

DH110_14.jpg

Currently working on some smaller bits, and waiting (three weeks now!) for some decals to arrive from a well known stockist...

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I'm getting somewhere!

Spent a lot of time preparing some of the smaller parts; had problems with the undercarriage legs due to the fact that my new deeper wells rendered the kit's legs too short.

The main u/c legs are from the kit, which were decidedly more 'spindly' than Sea Vixen ones ; I wasn't able to find a decent photo of the DH110's main legs, so I went with the assumption that bulkier vixen legs were out, due to the fact that the legs were strengthened on the production versions - so I went with the kit ones. The nose gear was from Aeroclub's Vixen set, as I felt it looked pretty close to that of the DH110. Undercarriage doors were based on the kits, with scratchbuilt interior facings and hinges. The exhaust cans were a little shallow, but I left them as they were as they were nicely detailed. Seats are from the Aeroclub vixen set; and the observer's door was from the kit, with scratchbuilt interior, hinges and handle.

Main legs were lengthed with some bits from a long forgotten kit; nose leg lengthened with a section of Fujimi Phantom nosegear.

dh110_1-1.jpg

Nosewheel is from the Aeroclub vixen; as the kit's one looked too large and simplified; mainwheels were from the kit, as they were closer to the DH110's.

dh110_2-1.jpg

During this process, I've complicated matters buy having an ebay spree and finally getting my hands on the Frog DH110, which I'll probably build as the Black WG240 with little extra work!!!

dh110_3-1.jpg

Some of the wee bits painted:

dh110_4-1.jpg

And added!

dh110_6-1.jpg

dh110_5-1.jpg

dh110_7-1.jpg

dh110_8-1.jpg

There's still a few areas that need touching up yet, and a few more smaller details to make - but the end is in sight at last (for WG240 part 1 anyway!) ; but I'm still waiting on decals - ordered everything I needed from Hannants as my spares were getting low and yellowing; and they were lost in the post nearly a month ago...

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Mmm... gear looks too stalky to me...

dh110-wg240-farnborough-1953.jpg

Oh bugger - yup, I think you're right!

I blame the old Frog Sea Vixen kit - I based the length of the nosegear on that, without noticing that it was depicted as fully extended. I then based the length of the main gear on the nose leg, making sure it was all level.

I guess I could argue that in your pic it was fully laden with fuel, whereas mine depicts it after a (very) long flight - with engines removed for an overhaul? :winkgrin:

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  • 1 month later...

Right, have been very slowly working on whilst trying to get a house move sorted out!

Have chopped the u/c off, shortened them all, angled the front gear a little more, attached the canopy , weathered, added decals etc...

dh110-1.jpg

dh110-2.jpg

dh110-3.jpg

dh110-4.jpg

Nearly there now, just got lots of retouching to do, soften the weathering a little, and add the aerials, pitots etc.

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