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Falcon 1:48 Supermarine Seafang


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My best buddy Andi gave me this kit in exchange for some beer when he comes to visit from New Zealand later this year - Falcon stuff is so much easier to get direct from there :)

Colin S-K added a CD of pretty much all the publically available photos of this very shortlived aircraft, and Colin of Freightdog donated a bunch of injection moulded and pewter parts from a leftovers box of Silver Cloud parts that he'd inherited from the previous owner. It turns out that the spinner & prop blades are a perfect fit, so MAHOOSIVE thanks to Col for saving me so much time & effort licking the vacform kit parts into shape ^_^

The parts also include the major parts of the cockpit, including instrument panel & the frame onto which the seat (also included) fits. That's going to save me some more major scratchbuilding, or robbing of unused Tamiya Spit parts (although some of that might still happen). He's also thoughtfully included the aforementioned prop bosses, 6 blades (3 on each for the contra-prop version), tail planes & rudder, pewter landing gear, wheels & doors, and exhausts... LOTS of scratch building narrowly averted!

I've taken a couple of photos of the untouched sheet of parts and them cut from the backing, but they're in the workshop and I'm not, so will be posted tomorrow instead. I'm about 2/3 of the way through sanding back the excess plastic, and as always the hardest part (in fact, the only hard part) is getting the trailing edges nice & thin, which always needs more work after the initial sanding. I usually use a combination of scraping with a sharp blade & heavy duty sanding sticks for this part, so my workbench is covered with squiggles of plastic & dust. It's also thick with fumes from a major application of polyester putty on a new master project I'm working on. Boy, does that stuff pong! :hypnotised:

If you've not started your build yet, grab one of these from Vince at Modelsforsale.com... they're extremely good for sanding back the excess plastic, and being extra wide speed the job up immensely :)

MSL002.jpg

I'll attempt a tape-together tomorrow once I arise from my pit, so watch this space ;)

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That sander does look quite handy - how wide is it?

40mm maybe wider? Lovely & aggressive. As long as you keep your eye on the piece you're working on though, it's not a problem ;)

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40mm maybe wider? Lovely & aggressive. As long as you keep your eye on the piece you're working on though, it's not a problem ;)

Excellent, thanks!

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As promised, some pics:

parts.jpg

cutout.jpg

After sanding down the excess plastic, the tapeup was attempted, and fit is surprisingly good already. There seems to be a bit of an issue developing at the front wing root, either through bad design or my hacking off of too much plastic. I'll keep an eye on it & see whether it gets worse or better as the airframe firms up.

tapeup1.jpg

tapeup2.jpg

tapeup3.jpg

A quick test fit of the Silvercloud parts reveals good fit between the cockpit parts & the fuselage sides, the spinner is perfectly sized, the horizontal tail is slightly at variance with the kit parts, but close enough for me not to be concerned. The tail is going to be deflected anyway, so a solid tail is a better starting point than vacform pieces.

Not shown are the radaitor baths on the lower wing. These parts have been thinned at the leading & trailing edges to give a more realistic look, and the blocks protruding from the underside of the wings will be fitted with some spare mesh front & rear to simulate the radiator fronts.

There's a reasonable amount of equipment attached to the cockpit sidewalls in the real thing, so I'm not totally off the hook for scratch building, but at least I have a decent seat, rear bulkhead, the beginnings of an instrument panel, and rudder pedals. That'll shave a lot off the build time :)

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Checking my refs today revealed that the coaming & instrument panel weren't as shown in the kit or the pewter parts, so I set about making a new coaming from sheet brass, onto which I grafted some scratch built instrument panels from strip with holes punched to represent the dials.

Here's a quick pic of the partly finished item perched on a penny.

panel.jpg

I'm now building up a prominent step that surrounds the contol column, and acts as a base for the rudder pedals. There are also some rudimentary side consoles to make, and I have added internal ribbing from styrene strip to busy things up. Before I called it a night, I also boxed in the wheel bays with strip, which I'll sand to profile to allow the upper wing to fit. Finally, I cut out the carburettor intake under the prop, and it dawned on me that one of the pieces of pewter is meant to detail this area, which will save some scratch building. All I need to do is make a mesh backing plate for it. :)

More pics tomorrow, hopefully.

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Watching this with interest. I have both the Falcon vacform and the disappointing Silver Cloud kit in the stash.

Andy

Edited by andym
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Looks good so far Mike. However, I'd advise against using the Silvercloud Spiteful fin/rudder because the shape is suspect. If you've a spare Seafire 47 kicking about earmarked for a Spitfire F21 conversion, it may be better to hack the fin off that. Tailplanes might be handy too!

Actually, I may have them spare somewhere anyway...

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Oooer! Sounds complicated Lee :S I've been doing more work on the pit of cocks this avo, and the gear wells now have nicely shaped boxed sides, onto which I can put a little interior detail. I'm currently working on the main gear legs. It seems that SC got that bit closer than Falcon, so I've nipped off the odd attachments, drilled them out, added a pin & am in the process of attaching them to some scratch build mounting points.

I'll post some pics in a bit when I've done the 2nd one :)

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The Seafang has legs... not attached yet, of course, as there's a lot of detail to add to the bay walls & roof, but at least the main shapes are there. Making the bay walls was pretty easy, and involved scraping the underside to a more scale thickness, then planting styrene strip in short segments all around the bay, stepped in from the edge slightly. The hardest part was the curved section around the wheel, which needed a little bit of coaxing by bending, then was held in place by small clamps.

The gear is attached to some contrail tube, with a brass sheath around it, with a hole drilled for the pin from the gear leg. The edges of the brass are dressed with little circles of fusewire.

gearbays1.jpg

gearbays2.jpg

More later. :)

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Working on the cockpit has been a bit bitty, but I'm getting to the stage when I can think about putting some paint on it. I've decided not to bother detailing the cockpit floor, as it's black & very little is visible, and it's difficult to really say where it is/was from the photos available. Here's a couple of shots of each side:

cockpit1.jpg

cockpit2.jpg

Difficult to make out some of the details, so I'll post another batch once the primer's on :)

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So far I've used a Tammy Spitfire joystick, the SilverCloud Seafang rear bulkhead & pilot seat. All the rest is scratched. There's actually more in there than it looks, as everything's a little washed out from the white. It'll show up much better under a coat of primer. :)

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I've been pratting about with other parts of the airframe today. I cut off the tail feathers last night, and set about making the rudder up so that it could be positioned deflected. I also made up the arrestor hook unit,which rests below the rudder, and boxed in the tail gear bay with some strip sanded to shape & glued into one side.

I've also built up the Silver Cloud prop units, with the front prop blades to rotate clockwise, with the rear anti-clockwise. There's a bit of filler needed around the joints, and to ensure that things don't come adrift inside, I've surrounded each white metal prop with a fillet of Milliput, as the plastic/CA/white metal sandwich isn't very secure, despite the nice design of the blade mounting points, which ensures that all blades mount at the correct pitch. I also added some mesh to the front & rear of the radiator baths, and cut out the rear flap, positioning the styrene replacements slightly ajar.

parts1.jpg

I also got round to spraying up the cockpit with a coat of Alclad Primer (God, I love that stuff! :wub: ).

cockpit3.jpg

You can see a couple of stiffening plates that should help make the fuselage a little more rigid, and the big one in the chin that will ensure a good strong join between the wing & the fuselage. There's a similar tongue at the bock to prevent the tail edge of the wing from dropping inside the fuselage. Exhausts have been put in place now & secured with plenty of CA, as there's no real option for installing them later. I'll just have to mask them off during painting :shrug:

cockpit4.jpg

cockpit5.jpg

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Well that is coming along rather nicely isnt it?? I cant wait to see the pit all painted up.

On another note, Mike mentions the Alclad primer being wonderful and I heartily agree but, I have discovered Tamiya spray primer is the shizzle as well. Its goes on even and nice and smooth. Just an FYI for everyone.

Cheers

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The pit is painted, the fuselage buttoned up... pics tomorrow... ahem... later today :blush:

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Yesterday I attached the upper wings, using the lower wings taped into position as a guide for the position & dihedral (Happily moulded into the 1-piece lower wing). Once they had set up, I trimmed away the lip sticking through the wing root, and extended the wheel bay roof to prevent that see-through look. To hide the join I also slapped on a bit of Tamiya Basic Putty, which I've since sanded back.

airframe1.jpg

airframe2.jpg

The lower wing has now been glued in, and is currently setting up, after which I can begin sanding the seams & making up the small imperfection in mating around the leading edge wing root. Then it's on to detailing the gear bays, which will be fun, as I have almost NO refs :S

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Looking great Mike. Fin looks like it's the right shape too, so you'll be able to use that fuselage I sent to do another Seafire!

Will this be ending up in real markings or will you turn to the dark side and do it in whif markings? The Dutch were apparently interested in the Seafang and Mike Lithgow did a demo for them.

Edited by The wooksta V2.0
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Cheers Lee... I also had to ditch the tail too, as the fuselage taper was different, so they were pointing almost forwards, which would have been a bugger to correct... worth a try though, eh? ;)

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Then it's on to detailing the gear bays, which will be fun, as I have almost NO refs :S

Very nice Mike!!! I might have some stuff on the Attacker somewhere the bays ain't gonna be that different....

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Very nice Mike!!! I might have some stuff on the Attacker somewhere the bays ain't gonna be that different....

That would be good thanks Bill. I've got some details of the hydraulics for the gear, but other than that, not a bit on ribs, panels etc. I guess that's just symptomatic of the short lifespan of the aircraft :shrug:

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