Friday, 6 October 2017

Arma Hobby new tool PZL P.7a in 72nd


The long-awaited Arma Hobby new tool PZL P.7a has arrived. My boxing is the deluxe version with two kits, PE set, masks and two sets of resin wheels with different tyres. Two canopies are included with the kit and with the PE set is is possible to build any of the versions. The decal sheet has eight choices including German and Romanian machines. Unfortunately I missed out on some of Arma's special offers -  for a brief time you could just purchase the plastic parts so you could build all eight versions from the decal sheet at a lot lower cost. It would have been nice if they also sold the PE set separately. Looks like a winner.

Polish web site build here

Thursday, 5 October 2017

starting a new kit - should have known the Eduard Fw 190 in 72nd would be a tricky one !







"....anticpation, achievement, art and creative

Starting a new model kit is a great thing. Not only does it mean that you have completed another build to get here, it means that a whole new adventure is beginning. A new world that you control to the very end. How do you want your paint? Camouflage please. It's all about what you want your kit to become. It's a platform for the precious imagination to be employed. Freedom in a cardboard box....."

Great sentiments expressed by the author of the 'Amateur Airplanes' blog. I've been looking forward to building an Eduard Fw 190..and I now have a couple of Eduard's 72nd Fw 190s making their way down the production line, including the A-5 'heavy fighter' boxing above. I have found one or two issues of course...ie, the cockpit etch in the Profi-Pack edition doesn't fit and the gear bay is way too tricky to go together as easily as some make it seem and that wing just snaps in ..not! A very nice and lovely looking kit, but not easy to build. Will keep on flogging it!







the Brassin cockpit set for the Eduard 72nd build - I have used some of the contents on an old Airfix A-8 being converted to an A-5 with some Aeroclub parts - also currently on the bench. Of course with the various Eduard Boxes available there is no longer any need to do this to get an early Fw 190 variant.







Sunday, 9 July 2017

Spitfire IX Revell 32nd scale - build review (7) - finished! PV 270 " AL" Al Deere Biggin Hill wing CO



First 32nd build for this blog and probably not my last  - there's no denying the 'impact' and 'presence' of a large scale model. My 72nd scale Fujimi F-4 being built alongside this one seems a little pathetic now. Of course I can see where I have gone awry - Humbrol 30 for the dark green was not a good choice to start with! Camo scheme airbrushed free-hand which in this scale gives a reasonable impression of a hard-edged finish and avoids a heap of masking. Belts from Eduard, codes painted, pilot's seat armour from sheet, flap indicators scratched/ cut out of the wings. As for the kit, well it seems churlish to say anything too bad about it when you get this much plastic for £20. Most of the sprues of course are from the Mk II kit but Revell don't tell you which parts (pilot's head rest etc) to usefully leave out. I kept the head-rest in the end. If you know PV 270 (subject of this build) you will know that it was restored with this in place. The Revell box build pic showing an antenna wire (!) is not the fault of the kit though. I also deployed the flaps down, hence the upper surface indicators (scratched). Yes, yes I know. Not done. Or as Mal on aeroscale put it,  " ..It was very rare to see lowered flaps on Spitfires on the ground. They were only used for landing and should be raised as soon as possible, to prevent any damage (apparently pilots would be fined if they didn't!) If the flaps are not lowered then these doors should not be open.." The Spit in my local museum (Manston) is on display in this configuration. Back to the kit - I will say though that I'm not terribly convinced by the dihedral in the wing. Far too 'flat' for me. But I have bought another one along with some Flevo Dutch decals. First three pics taken with my Ipad in fading light. I might try and take some more. My small tribute to a great Kiwi.







 Seafire at Duxford, flaps deployed. More elsewhere on this blog here


Sunday, 2 July 2017

new 1:32nd scale Revell Spitfire IXc - build review (6) PV 270 "AL"




Decide to deploy the flaps down (only two positions on the Spitfire, 'up' and 'down') and then realised after the upper surfaces scheme was finished that I'd need to show the 'flap indicators' out. Which involved some drilling and cutting of my nice and freshly painted wing. And unable to find any suitable decals for the sky-coloured codes of my chosen scheme, I thought I'd have a go at masking and painting my own, after all 'A' and 'L' aren't going to be too difficult to mask up and paint, are they ?. My third attempt gave me something I'm more or less happy with ..at least you can do this sort of stuff in 32nd scale..by the way the kit decal codes are hopelessly 'green'..


and, below, gear on. Stance looks OK-ish to me  - but I'm not liking the size/shape of those gear doors. Stuck now.



below; my model to be finished as the Brendon Deere's NZ Spitfire IX restoration 'PV 270'  in the markings of his uncle WC 'Al' Deere, Biggin Hill Wing, 1943. Avery Little photo here




Thursday, 29 June 2017

new 1:32nd scale Revell Spitfire IXc - build review (5)




practically two whole days in the paint shop (ie garage..). In the end I didn't bother masking the camo scheme and managed to achieve a reasonably 'hard' edge freehand. Note the blue "Washi" tape used for masking. Covers the big areas and is almost Tamiya tape quality ..but much cheaper. Search for it on amazon. Paints are Humbrol enamels suitably 'faded'.  FWIW there are a number of bulges on the upper wing surfaces that need filing off and sanding down too for a war-time machine. Good progress today with the fuselage band and yellow ID markings sprayed on. Plenty of scope for things to go wrong yet - the gear legs come in two parts for starters and then I'm planning to do my own decals !






Fnished model is here

Sunday, 25 June 2017

new-tool Airfix Me 262 in 72nd scale - should Me 262 slats be shown open or closed ?



As a few have pointed out on our favourite modelling forum there is still no sign of the new-tool Airfix Me 262 in 72nd scale. Should have been here by now. Airfix are though still taking pre-orders on the website. It looks like it will be a nice kit although I've read one or two gripes about the apparent lack of options such as slats and flaps. I'm sure there will be lots of aftermarket; flaps, vac canopy, resin engines, wheels and so on. And just in time too. The Revell Me 262 is getting very long in the tooth nowadays - the last one I built I had to smash-mold a new canopy. The Academy 262 tooling was also first released way back - in 2007 to be exact! It is reasonably detailed but as with a number of Academy WWII kits the basic outline shapes are a bit off; the fuselage is rather fat and wide with an overly bulbous nose. The Academy glazing is, for example, far too wide for the Revell kit. The canopy in the last Revell 262 I attempted was un-useable but it can't be replaced with an Academy canopy (which also happens to be a tad 'flattened-out' at the top..). We certainly have no lack of aftermarket decal options for the 262 already!

Below; Airfix at Nuremburg - IMPS Deutschland photo



As far as the discussion about 'poseable' slats is concerned, see below - the 'famous' Transit films 262 walkaround sequence in the 'Wings of the Luftwaffe' video series clearly shows that the slats are deployed on the ground. They can be pushed in and pulled out - and could be left out. Whether this was because they had a tendency to stick or not I don't know.  The sequence goes on to show the technician working on the inboard slats, pushing them in and then letting them slide back out...





Note that the Me 262's slats are not 'sprung' or have any actuators - they simply slide in and out on rails. In the clip below the technician is pulling them out and pushing them in - whereupon they 'slide' open of their own accord. Once landed and parked-up good practice says they should be closed up before leaving the aircraft for any length of time. You really don't want anything getting into the gap or into the mechanism. Checking the freedom of movement of free-floating slats as they open and close is part of good pre- and post-flight inspection on types thus equipped. Other points to consider;  because the Me-262 has a tricycle undercarriage the wing is more horizontal to the ground compared to, say, the Bf 109, so that it is more likely that gravity will cause the Me 262's slats to drop out on their rails. You're less likely to see this on a Bf-109 because gravity will be acting with the coefficient of friction to keep them in. And they could be locked in.

So if you have a man in a black overall walking around your 262 model it would be entirely reasonable to have the slats open on one side and closed on the other. In other words when modelling the Me 262 wing slats could be deployed in any manner you see fit. Note though that in the air aerodynamic forces keep the slats in and they will deploy as the airflow is not sufficient to keep them in and the wing is losing lift. See this discussion here on britmodeller.com




Note that the slats are lockable. "North American F-86 SabreJet Day Fighters", (Warbird Tech Vol. 3, Hughes and Dranem) - North American engineers actually used the slat locks from a complete 262 wing when they were putting together the slats on the XP-86. "…Finally an entire Me-262 wing was flown in from Wright Field. North American engineers disassembled the slats and modified the slat track mechanism to fit the XP-86 wing. The engineers also used the slat lock and control switch from the Me-262. Although not perfect, it was at least a start and the slat worked. "

Also on this blog; Revell Me 262 in 72nd scale;

http://falkeeinsmodel.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/2x-revell-me-262-1a-in-72nd.html

Saturday, 24 June 2017

new 1:32nd scale Revell Spitfire IXc - build review (4)



 we have had a bit of a torrid time here in the UK with a week of +30 C temps in Kent - far too hot for modelling. Fortunately we are close to the sea so the breeze has helped a little, but even that got hot! Not much progress on the Spitfire, but at least it has some paint on it. The first 32nd build on this blog ..and to be honest it is hard work - every flaw, whether mine or the kit's - magnified. Picked up a cheap copy of Brendon Deere's beautiful book 'Spitfire - return to flight' at the Kent Battle of Britain museum in Hawkinge, so now thinking of finishing the model in the colours of Al Deere's PV 270 and doing my own painted-on markings, especially as the kit decals are so poor. (the codes are green!). We'll see..




Saturday, 3 June 2017

new 1:32nd scale Revell Spitfire IXc - build review in-box first look (3)




Another sunny day in the garden on the south coast of England. Starting to look like a Spitfire. Getting the wings on was a real pain though - much fettling and filing and then a bit of filling - taking care not to 'flatten' out the dihedral which to be honest isn't great in the first place. Note that the post-war wheel bulges molded into the kit upper wings have been filed smooth as they were not present on wartime Spits.

The wheels on this Mk.IX are much better than those on the earlier Revell MK II on which this kit is obviously based. Note that this new Mk.IX kit has a new fuselage, propeller, wing and rudder parts included as well as an extra radiator. The windscreen is new and fits well, see previous post. The horizontal tail planes are the originals and need to be cut down to fit the later style elevators. There is a 'pointy' rudder in the box and a clipped wing option too. The view of the lower surfaces below shows that the radiator baths are just 'scabbed' onto the underside of the wing with no attempt to make the proper intake and outlet. Consequently the radiator matrix is around half depth and is not subdivided to include the oil cooler part. But then this is almost a quarter of the price of the Tamiya kit or in this case - a fifth!



Go here to see the finished model

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

current WIP - Fujimi RN F-4 Phantom and Revell Spitfire Mk IX in 32nd scale




..some progress on my Fujimi FG.1 - after the first coat of paint I decided that I wasn't happy with the fuselage seam or the fit of the canopy. So more filling and filing. Note also the EDSG appears rather 'blue' in the pic of the real machine, not sure whether to replicate that or not ..or even how. I'm was a little worried about the quality of the kit decals, so I've applied a couple of the large items..without too much hassle..







Below; Revell Spitfire IX cockpit completed and installed in the fuselage - no issues, except maybe with the Eduard belts, more my fault than theirs I guess. I'm guessing this is the same construction sequence/parts as in their Mk II because there are some parts not entirely appropriate for the Mk IX.






Sunday, 21 May 2017

new 1:32nd scale Revell Spitfire IXc - UF-Q MJ 250 601 Sqd - build review in-box first look



Decided to give Revell's new and re-vamped 1:32 Spitfire a go. Here is the box and some sprue shots of the new IXc. Bought two - the first one just £19 at the RAF Manston history museum shop. Got the second kit when I saw the nice decal options including the overall silver UF-Q of 601 Sqd. Pre-ordered via my local 'not-quite-a-model-shop' his eventual RRP was £29. So much for supporting the LHS. See photos below.










And some progress on the cockpit after a few hours work in the garden. I've read some pretty scathing reviews of this kit - but there's no pleasing some people is there? For the RRP you do get a lot of plastic for your money, even if the cockpit is missing a few items (eg the seat back armour) and there are no seat-belts, not even as decals. But there are rivets. Lots of them. Below; picture from Der Lingener's build review on britmodeller.

To answer a query I had on the IX seat colour (the Revell instructions suggest interior green) I found this on the Spitfire site forum , ".. in Paul Monforton's Spitfire Mk IX/XVI Engineered, photos of all Spitfires IX/XVI presented in the book - restored as well as preserved in original condition - show that the same red-brown plastic seat as was used as on the earlier Spitfire models. It was produced from an early composite plastic called SRBP - Synthetic Resin-Bonded Paper and was left unpainted. The seat backing though had a leather cushion, colored dark brown on the only shown preserved seat which had this feature left in (worn but) original condition..".




Below;  the other kit decal option, UF-Q MJ250 in natural metal finish,



UF-Q MJ250 in natural metal finish, only the fabric areas were painted silver. The armour cover over the fuselage fuel tank is darker in colour.  In the foreground is MJ 532 in Day Fighter finish with the Sky band over painted apart from behind the serial number.

It appears that 601 Squadron were the only operators of MJ 250. During the summer of 1944 MJ 250 was flown by two Polish pilots attached to 610 Squadron from 318 (Polish) Squadron. F/Lt Zdzisław Uchwat bombed a road junction at Cagli on 15 July and tanks and other vehicles in the Cagli area on 17 July. F/Lt Jerzy Hamankiewicz on 3rd August bombed gun emplacements near Florence and escorted 12 Marauders bombing a bridge north of Ferrara on 14 August.


".....First instinct on seeing that picture and it's never changed despite claims that its a camo upper cowling. It's stripped bare metal and the engine exhaust, weathering has caused the look of the slightly darker cowling. Compare the cowling to the one on the machine in the foreground with the camouflaged finish.. There is no comparison ...."



http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?73982-Spit-camo-scheme