Monday, 22 April 2019

Airfix Sea Fury FB.11- build review (2)

 Difficult to believe that this build has been on-going for one whole year!

That's one year during which I've done little or nothing...
but with temperatures hitting a record 26C for an Easter weekend here we are out in the garden again ...

Lovely kit, just a couple of 'tricky' seams. The most ‘difficult’ part of this build would appear to be the multi-part cowling; some modellers have had trouble lining up all the parts and a resin replacement at nearly £5 is/was available! I hate to think what the price of the Barracuda resin cowl part might be in £££. Another 'issue' perhaps is the lack of gun sight in the kit. However the Eduard Mk VIII, IX and XVI kits all have two gun sights and these are apparently correct for the Sea Fury. I've now got to the painting stage - apart from making my own shade of that curious 'Hawker primer' colour for gear legs and wheel wells painting should be straight forward but I'm just a little disappointed that you can't do a 'striped' example from the kit directly..

Part 1 of this build on this blog here

Thursday, 7 March 2019

James May - 'Big Trouble in model Britain' -building the 24th scale Airfix Hellcat

" ...Two-part documentary, introduced and narrated by model train enthusiast James May, that follows a year inside Hornby Hobbies - an iconic British toymaker on the brink of collapse. But this is no ordinary business series - this is a series about model train and plane obsessives, both inside and outside the company, all of whom desperately need the company to survive.

A new boss, Lyndon Davies, has been appointed to turn the company’s dismal fortunes around and he has brought back some company veterans to help in the fight for survival.

Simon Kohler, known affectionately as ‘Mr Hornby’ has been brought back after a four-year absence. He assesses the decline of his beloved company and attempts to reconnect with Hornby’s dissatisfied customer base and retailers.

Meanwhile, in a bid to revitalise Airfix, Lyndon tasks a master amateur model builder, Jim Bren, with the biggest build of his model-making life – the largest reconstruction of the Hellcat plane ever attempted by the company..."

A quick heads-up on a BBC 4 'documentary' on the recent trials and tribulations of the Hornby Hobbies Group from the £30 million loss over the past five years and the production move to China to the relocation of the Head Offices from Margate to Sandwich and a tour around the Visitor Centre at Margate. Here's the link to part 1 of the programme, available in certain regions on the iplayer for the next month - sorry if it's not available in your region.

Amongst other things the programme features Jim 'KitKruncher' Bren building a test shot of the Airfix 1/24 Hellcat for unveiling at Telford - though Jim "whole-heartedly rejects any notion" that he is in any way a "master modeller" as the hyperbole suggests! (he's a retired local government officer as it happens..) Modelling content aside the programme is an interesting and light-hearted insight into the recent fortunes of the Hornby Group which you may feel is worth a look. The second part is on the telly next week..

Jim's  Airfix 48th scale Hunter

There is drama as the Telford deadline approaches and on day 52 of the build, Jim has fallen way behind his schedule. We see him struggling with fit problems around the Hellcat engine cowl - a test shot build remember...

James May provides a slightly sardonic commentary, whilst gently affectionate and enthusiastic throughout. The camera crew also visit Jim's model club - "for some reason our cameraman missed the other table full of young women..."

.. and there is a look a Jim's 'stash' and we learn what SABLE means.. ('Stash acquired beyond life expectancy'.. )

" Finally after more than two years of design and development, tooling that cost over £100,000 and hundreds of hours of Jim's time assembling more than 600 intricate component parts, the 24th scale F-6F Hellcat is a secret no more...the first run of 5,000 models sold out inside one month, the fastest-selling new Airfix kit in five years.."

..note the faces of the youngsters standing in the front of the crowd for the Airfix Telford unveiling were blurred out - ".. so they stand a chance of maybe getting a girlfriend later on in life.."

Elsewhere Airfix's own video presentation of their forthcoming 24th scale Hellcat is well worth watching too. At the time of writing the kit is on pre-order at £119

Monday, 25 February 2019

picking up the blog habit again..

Well 2018 was a write-off on the modeling front..but now life is more or less back to normal. Firstly I lost my modeling space to the builders when we decided to have the garage converted. Then there were some health issues - I decided to get fit, took up running and it consumed all my spare time. Last year - instead of modelling - I ran 1563 miles. Even my doctor said at my yearly health check that's too much, don't over do it.. but obviously I'm fit and healthy, blood pressure is down and pounds have been shed. So after these health issues it is time to get back on board..  nice to be back posting.

I’ve done little or no modeling since my last blog post. That changes now. I’ve continued to update my other blogs and work on various book projects I’ve been invited to participate in.

Thanks to my regular readers for continuing support and comments !  If you'd like to get in touch I'm at falkeeins at aol dot com

Over the past year I’ve noticed a few ‘fellow bloggers’ on various social media sites. I very rarely participate on FB - there are so many modelling groups, all with about 600 members each, 590 of whom never post anything - that there doesn't really seem to be any point. I much prefer a few regular forums where you kind of know who you're dealing with. Or a 'one-to-one' interaction on a sensible, intelligent blog..some of my favorites are listed on the right hand side bar of this page..

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Airport, Aerodromes and Airfields SIG display

A superb collection of airliner models in British Airways markings via the AAA SIG's Stephen Harper seen at Saturday's 'On Track' show. These are mostly Airfix, Revell and Zvesda (787 Dreamliner) with the odd Frog Viscount also in the line-up..

I was impressed with the paint job on these - no airbrush was used, although Halfords Appliance White spray cans feature heavily...otherwise the builder reported that Xtracolor don't do British Airways 'Pearl Grey' any more. Aftermarket decals via "26 Decals"

I’ve fancied doing some airliner models for a while now myself - the Zvezda kits look very nice indeed and there is of course no cockpit to worry about - but in all the years this blog has existed I’ve never gotten around to it. These are therefore the first airliners to feature here!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

new Fly Hurricane IIa in 72nd scale

New addition to the stash via Heeprutt ebay seller today. Quite into Hurricanes at the moment so will probably make a quick start. A view of the box contents, which feature the Hasegawa kit parts in the bag, a new decal sheet, resin propeller, wheels (2 x sets, one with post war block tread) and pilots seat plus a paint mask for the canopy.... not bad for £15. Box top artwork - a Malta Hurricane from the Night fighter unit - may be inaccurate in the 'desert' scheme, although the desert camo over Night looks pretty neat.

A note on Malta Hurricanes via Tony O'Toole

The Hurricane was operational during 1940-41 as the main RAF fighter across the British Empire`s oversea`s war zones,...... from Malta, N.Africa, Greece, Russia, Burma, Singapore , Java etc and the delivery scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green,.. later with Sky or Sky Blue undersides. Although up to 1941 black and white halved undersides were specified for overseas based fighters. Those in N.Africa began to receive Mid Stone over the Dark Green areas after delivery at Egyptian MU`s during 1941 but many continued until the end of the year in the original delivery scheme until it became more common in 1942 when adequate numbers were arriving. It was not until very late 1942 and more likely 1943 that the desert scheme was applied on the production line in the UK. So those arriving in Malta from the UK also wore DE/DG uppers. However in 1940 the RAE in the UK was experimenting with a new desert scheme incorporating a new colour which eventually became Middle Stone. At least two aircraft were delivered by carrier to Malta in this scheme,....... with black and white halved undersides which were still specified for overseas`s based fighters into 1941.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Airfix Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 new-tool build review (1) and some pre-'Legends' shots of the Duxford Sea Fury via John Frackleton

Made a start on the brand-new Airfix Sea Fury FB. 11. This looks to be an excellently detailed and presented kit. I shake my head in disbelief at some of the comments out there already, especially the 'youtubers'

Above, a look at the cockpit tub and instrument panel. The raised detail looks perfectly adequate and there seems little point in going for etch or other enhancements- not much will be seen through the narrow cockpit aperture. Below, the cockpit parts are painted and washed to 'dull' down the black so that some of it might actually be visible...

A dry fit of the fuselage and inner wing parts shows how everything fits neatly, well up to Airfix's more recent high standards..

best page I've found for internal detail shots, especially of the black cockpit

and here on britmodeller, a thread for all your Sea Fury questions. Note that Airfix have not included the gyro gunsight - which can be located in an Eduard Spitfire box apparently

Below; one of the kit paint options - and box-top artwork - is WJ 236 '155' based on HMS Glory during the Korean War, 1952

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Hobbyboss Fw 190 V-18 build in box review (4)

Some pics of my completed Hobbyboss Fw 190 V-18 CF+OY - this high altitude fighter prototype was a rebuilt Fw 190 A powered by a DB 603 turbo-charged engine. The turbocharger was fed by exhaust gases ducted through over-wing piping. Note the broad chord tail fin and the pressurized cockpit..