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Deanflyer

Canberra Olympus Testbed - FINISHED

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Hi all,

I've been mooning about with this proposed build for a while, secured suitable decals from Colin S-K and sorted out a way of extending the engine nacelles, so with the GB in progress it's the ideal time to get on with it!

Hopefully, I'll be turning this:

canberra2.jpg

Into this:

canberra.jpg

which is WD952, the Canberra testbed for the Olympus engines. This aircraft set a new word altitude record on May 4th 1953 of 63,668ft. It took off from RAF Filton for its record breaking flight at 1432hrs, and the fact that my Dad was standing next to the runway and saw it take off at the time has influenced my decision to build this particular airframe somewhat.

I started off with the cockpit, but haven't really gone to town on it as not much of it will be visible through the canopy. Painted Tamiya NATO Black, drybrushed the bring out the details a bit, and Klear in the instrument faces to simulate glass is all that I did:

canberra3.jpg

I added straps to the ejection seat out of masking tape, and made the face curtain handle from thin plastic rod. It's painted red, which was the convention at the time:

canberra4.jpg

Once the fuselage is closed up and the canopy rear section painted over, there won't be much of it visible as I said:

canberra5.jpg

Having heard horror stories about the amount of noseweight necessary, I made sure of things by loading up with .38 calibre lead bullets behind the cockpit, with steel balls shoved into their hollow back ends. Taping everything together and balancing it by the main wheel wells seems to show that these are enough:

canberra6.jpg

I've assembled all of the control surfaces, and scribed them to give them trim tabs. I also added the conical trim tab actuator housings from plastic rod, and scribed the tail surfaces very gently with panel lines. I didn't bother underneath, as they wouldn't show up on a black pant job anyway. So here it stands, although the fuselage halves are together now - tip: if you're doing the bomb bay doors closed, attach them to the fuselage halves BEFORE closing the fuselage. It makes life that bit easier.

canberra1.jpg

Next step: engine nacelles, filling in the trench like panel lines, and getting rid of the ship's portholes on the canopy.

Cheers,

Dean

Edited by Deanflyer

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Where'd you get the bullets from Dean? Or daren't I ask? :unsure:

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Where'd you get the bullets from Dean? Or daren't I ask? :unsure:

I used to load my own ammo in my pistol shooting days, Mike. Deprime, bell, prime, fill, seat, crimp - that was the process on every empty cartridge. They're leftovers from then, .38 calibre full wadcutters, although since I've been using them for noseweights I've got a lot less of them left than I used to have. I used to download them with only 3.2 grains of propellant for greater accuracy, prompting one of the other shooters to call them my "Hamster Fart" loads, as in: a hamster farts louder than that!

Cheers,

Dean

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I see. I'm still trying to find my old roll of lead that's lurking somewhere in the depths of my garage. Fortunately, my recent completions have all been meant to be tail sitters.

So - what're you going to use as the basis for the new intakes then? I believe they're quite a bit different in shape & length from the originals... ?

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So - what're you going to use as the basis for the new intakes then? I believe they're quite a bit different in shape & length from the originals... ?

This:

canberra11.jpg

I spent ages hunting around for something to make the intake extensions out of, and this was staring me in the face the whole time. Simply chop off this bit:

canberra12.jpg

Take the ordinary intake parts:

canberra13.jpg

and graft the tubular paint bottle on, fairing it in with plenty of putty and primer to make this:

canberra14.jpg

Do it twice, and then assemble the intakes to the wing as normal, fairing in again with putty and layers of primer to achieve this:

canberra7.jpg

From what few references I've been able to find, the Olympus intakes look like simple cylinders, with very little of the curvature that the original intakes had. There was some narrowing of the diameter near the mouth of the intake, but it was very slight and not something I'm going to bother to replicate - it's close enough for my liking. I still need to add a few lumps and bumps and scoops around the underside of the nacelles near the leading edge of the wing, but it doesn't look too far away to me. I'm going to model the plane on the ground at Farnborough, so I'll make FOD covers with 'Bristol Olympus' on them to solve the problem of the intake mouths and engine faces.

I've also brush painted grey primer in multiple coats over the panel trenches on the fuselage and wings. Sanding them back leaves just a slight impression that they're there, and gives a bit of a stressed metal effect as a bonus, just about discernible in this pic:

canberra8.jpg

The ship's portholes have been sanded away from the canopy and the whole thing polished back to clarity and dipped in Klear:

canberra9.jpg

Unfortunately the nose gear leg had a short shot on one of the pins which attaches to the wheel. Chopped off the other one, drilled out the mounting point, and shoved a brass tube through. Hope it holds the weight of all those bullets!:

canberra15.jpg

I've also scribed the trim tabs in on the control surfaces, and added the actuator housing from sliced plastic rod:

canberra10.jpg

Next up will be attaching all the main airframe components, filling gaps, and then I can get on with painting it.

Cheers,

Dean

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Nice work Dean!

Which primer are you using if I may ask?

Edited by PHREAK

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Nice work Dean!

Which primer are you using if I may ask?

Hi Rich, it's just plain old Halford's Grey Primer straight from the spray can. The panel lines were filled with Halford's grey brush primer in a tin.

Can't beat 'em.

Cheers,

Dean

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Hi Rich, it's just plain old Halford's Grey Primer straight from the spray can. The panel lines were filled with Halford's grey brush primer in a tin.

Can't beat 'em.

Cheers,

Dean

Thanks mate, I'm gonna get me a can of that.

I hope the therapy course helps.

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This is looking pretty smart there Dean :yikes::gobsmacked:

Bexy

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Hi Dean,

Interesting use of 'available' alternatives.

Just shows how resourceful we modellers are!

Adrian

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And slow progress continues. I've sorted out the wingtip landing and navigation light covers by drilling them from the inside to represent the bulbs and then filling them with paint. Interestingly, the Airfix colour plans actually show these coloured bulbs even though there's no provision for them in the moulded parts:

canberra16.jpg

After a bit more fettling, I finally got the wings and stabilisers on, and got the first round of Milliput on the joints:

canberra19.jpg

Actually starting to look like a Canberra now, although it's getting a bit big to handle:

canberra21.jpg

I've also got the canopy on, although it took some complex masking to get the white sealing strip around the goldfish bowl. Hope it all looks ok when the tape eventually comes off:

canberra20.jpg

The landing gears are done, and although not shown, the main gear legs have been given brake lines from lead wire:

canberra17.jpg

Also visible here are the two extra scoops under the engine nacelles to provide for the Olympus engines. Extensive research was required to determine the size, shape and position of these scoops - so I didn't bother and made them up instead :

canberra18.jpg

Next up will be smoothing the seams, attaching the nose transparency, and then - on with the paint! My favourite bit.

Keep watching,

Dean

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Ayup dean...

Lovely Undercarts.. Were they 'Black and silver' with a Tamiya smoke wash perchance? they look good and Metallic-ey... especially the wheel hubs and mudguard... I'd like mine on other stuff to look like that...

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Ayup dean...

Lovely Undercarts.. Were they 'Black and silver' with a Tamiya smoke wash perchance? they look good and Metallic-ey... especially the wheel hubs and mudguard... I'd like mine on other stuff to look like that...

Hi Fea, actually the undercarriage legs were done in Halford's Satin Black straight from the spray can, the wheel hubs were done in Alclad Steel as were the mudguards, and given a pastel wash in black. (The photos show that some of the wash needs removing from the mudguards, actually. Oops). The tyres were painted in a cheap Black craft paint called Anita's, which has a slightly rubbery feel. You can't airbrush it, but it brushes on really well for tyres.

Hope that helps,

Dean

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Some great work going on here, being a bit of a canberra fan myself I'll be following this one, I have some piccies in my references which show WD952 which seem to predate the photo you have, for example mine show a long pitot probe out near the tip of the port wing and no 'towel rail' aerial under the ventral fuselage also no Olympus Canberra logo on the nose, I can post them here or email them to you if you like?

. . . Kes

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I'm looking forward to see how you're going to hide the "bottle bottom" engine fronts with these FODs. Have you got a pic of how they look?

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Some great work going on here, being a bit of a canberra fan myself I'll be following this one, I have some piccies in my references which show WD952 which seem to predate the photo you have, for example mine show a long pitot probe out near the tip of the port wing and no 'towel rail' aerial under the ventral fuselage also no Olympus Canberra logo on the nose, I can post them here or email them to you if you like?

. . . Kes

Thanks Kes, but I think I've probably got the same pics as you. I've also got it with and without the towel rail, with and without the pitot, with and without the record breaker logo, and with and without the two hoops around the rear fuselage. I've got this pic of it on the ground at the 1953 Farnborough Air Show, and that's how I'm going to portray it:

canberraref.jpg

Engine covers on, chocks and RBF tags in place, white hoops, no logo and towel rail present. I can't tell from the angle of the pic if the pitot is in place, but there looks to be a RBF tag in about the right place so I'll make up my mind on that one later. It'll be a simple addition in any case.

Thanks for the interest,

Dean

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I see now... planted on, rather than inserted into. Makes the job easier :)

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You boys put me to shame everytime I visit this site :)

Great looking build, hurry up - I want to see it finished.

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Thanks for the comments so far folks...hope I can fulfill your expectations!

I've done the masking and spraying, so now the main colours are on. Not great photos, but it's so big it's taking up most of the space on my workbench:

canberra22.jpg

canberra23.jpg

canberra24.jpg

The rear fuselage hoops need a bit of touching up, and there are one or two other areas to tidy up such as the black/grey interface at the base of the fin, and then I can get the Klear on. I've got a lot of time spare this week, so hopefully there should be some progress towards decals soon. I need to get some scratchbuilding done soon, too - control locks, trim tabs, chocks, RBF streamers, FOD covers, the list is endless...

Cheers,

Dean

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Now thats lookin really smart there Dean, however, seein it on ya bench like that is now scaring me as to how big these things REALLY are :yikes:

Bexy

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Dammit, Airfix! You call this a decal?

canberra25.jpg

Not only will the fin flash need tidying up, but the fuselage roundel has a dark ring around it for some reason, and the yellow stencils are badly out of register. Again.

canberra26.jpg

Why is it Airfix can't get decals in register? Also, a word of warning for anyone building this kit - some of the tiny decals are printed so close together that the carrier films have merged. You soak them and expect two separate decals to leave the backing sheet, and only one larger one comes off. Trimming wet decals apart when they're off the backing sheet is not an easy thing to do...

An hour and a half into the decalling process, and this is as far as I've got:

canberra27.jpg

That one wing has 36 separate decals on it, thanks to Airfix deciding to put all those thicker dashed lines on the decal sheet as separate dashes! Patience required in abundance on this one...

Onwards and upwards,

Dean

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