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..

Monday, 19 February 2018

new-tool Airfix Phantom FG. 1 - here at last. FG.1 XT863 G 111 Sq special scheme IAT 1983

Here at last...but of course you know that. Far from rushing out to buy one or several I must admit to having had my potential enthusiasm for this kit somewhat 'dampened' by the first initial appraisals that appeared on various forum sites. Basically this new-tool Airfix has been compared a little unfavourably with the relatively ancient but good Fujimi kit.

However I shouldn't have worried. This new-tool Airfix FG.1 looks spectacular in the box - loads of options - radome, radar, refueling probe, wing folds etc etc and the biggest decal sheet possibly ever on a 72nd scale jet.

FG.1s served with two RAF squadrons, 43 and 111. XT 863 G of 111 Sq as seen at IAT 1983 is a subject on one of the first Xtradecal sheets. Pic below in my collection

And via the F-4 SIG leader;  " Most of the available info suggests XT863 had a single colour grey overall, which looks to me to be Light Aircraft Grey. This includes the colour of the missiles. As is usual with photos, the only true reference is the guy who painted it. I have heard a story this was an experimental scheme, though the stonger evidence is that it was one of 111's many special schemes.."

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Hobbyboss Fw 190 V-18 build in box review (3)

Despite my gross 'hamfistedness' in a number of areas my Hobbyboss Fw 190 V-18 is almost at the decaling stage...nice kit, albeit somewhat inaccurate in a number of areas, especially the cockpit which appears to be a little over-size and rather toy-like..

..and Gary 'old Sarge' - if you're reading this, thanks very much for the comments, really appreciate you dropping in here regularly. I'm writing this here since I don't seem to be able to comment on your excellent blog posts on your blog. Unfortunately I don't know why, but rest assured I always drop in and would suggest anyone else reading this and not familiar with Gary's 'old sarges aircraft' go straight over to his bit of the internet here

Monday, 12 February 2018

Hobbyboss Fw 190 V-18 build in box review (2), stash additions Tamiya Bf 109 G-6, Eduard Royal Class Fw 190 early versions - 48th

Still not really convinced by the Hobbyboss V-18, but it has assembled easily enough and finishing is underway. First coat of Humbrol's 'new' RLM 02 - very thin poor coverage, needs a second coat. And while I had the RLM 66 in the airbrush I started painting the cockpit parts of two fantastic new additions to the stash - the Eduard Royal Class Fw 190 'early versions' and the Tamiya Bf 109 G-6.

 Yes, the new Tamiya Bf 109 G-6 was about twice the price of an Eduard 48th 109, but then the pound sterling isn't worth much against any of these currencies nowadays! Worth getting though - it really does appear to be on another level in terms of plastic kit 'engineering' as you can see from the youtube build below (via 'Andy's hobby Shop')

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Airifx Valiant BK Mk.1 in 1:72 scale

Yes that bid is mine, so if I fail to win the above auction and you have one to dispose of please do get it touch! But seriously, have you noticed how scarce this kit has suddenly become ? I guess that always happens just when you want one. For a relatively recent new tool I was surprised to not see it in the latest Airfix catalogue and as a result ebay prices are going through the roof, averaging anywhere between £80 to £90. Even 'partially' built examples (more like 90% completed..) are going for large sums - I bid £34 on the example below ..and still didn't win. Of course circumstances like this  more than justify the large stash. Just a shame I hadn't added one of these to it!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Hobbyboss Focke Wulf Fw 190 V18 - 48th

So Hobbyboss have produced an 1:18th scale Fw 190. It looks terrible, very toy-like. Not much better is this one which landed on my bench early last year. I've picked it up again recently. The Focke Wulf Fw 190 V-18 was an attempt to produce a high altitude fighter prototype using the DB 603 in-line bomber engine which featured an enormous Hirth exhaust-driven turbocharger located under the fuselage - ultimately an example of failed rather than innovative German engineering! While it could manage 400+ mph at 31,000 ft, it could only do it intermittently. The V-18/U1 was fitted with the broad Ta 152 tail-fin and the supercharged DB 603 drove a large four-bladed prop - makes for an 'exotic' looking machine and I guess we should be glad that a reasonable replica is available in kit form and not just as some short-run resin.

The problem with this kit is that it doesn't know which variant it really wants to be. It doesn't help that the box-art is rather more detailed than the kit itself, which lacks the Hirth turbocharger exhaust fairings on the fuselage and upper wing. There's only one or two builds of this kit out on the net. One 'John Miller' has a very nice build on a few sites. I've borrowed his pic of the cockpit (looks decidedly oversized) and supercharger engine detail alongside as I didn't take a picture of mine before hiding it away.

John reckons the biggest issue is the nose cowl with its two large intakes that weren't present on the V18 (easily filled in and faired over). That said I notice that the Fw 190 V15 prototype which trialed the exhaust pipes had these intakes and did not have the fairings, so perhaps the Hobbyboss kit designers got their variants mixed up. There are more curious omissions and inclusions on the kit. But there is no armoured head-rest on the real machine above, John. That was introduced later in development. One tip I've picked up from John's build is the area of heavy riveting underneath the cockpit. The exhaust-driven turbocharger unit is included but can only be seen through the rather bare and open wheel well. The large open rear cockpit decking will be covered with some Eduard etch. Still the grau/alu finish looks quite striking, just remains to be seen if it builds into a reasonable replica.

Box and sprue views here