Friday, 16 September 2022

How to pack and ship your models

..A 'how-to' reposted from Chad's 'FlyingSModels' - leaving this here so I can find it again.

and a similar technique with more foam and a hand-built birchwood box from Chris at Luftraum/72

Friday, 6 May 2022

Airfix new-tool 1:48 P-51 Mustang build review - completed

Released in 2017, this is the 'new-tool' P-51 from Airfix. I was very impressed with the detail especially in the cockpit, and the choice of options. Drilling out the ends of the bazooka tubes improves the look a little. Painted with aluminium car paint as 'Little Indian', a 2nd Air Commando Group machine in late 1945. The decal sheet was huge, 80 + stencils, a few too many for me!

 A 'walkaround' of the RAF Museum's P-51 which I photographed on a recent trip up to London - slightly strange to see a P-51 in a museum...


Saturday, 9 April 2022

new-tool 1/72 Airfix Hawker Tempest V - build review - completed as Wing Commander Roland 'Bee' Beamont's Tempest V, R-B JN751


Wing Commander Roland 'Bee' Beamont's Tempest V, R-B JN 751, on the airfield at Newchurch village, Kent, June 1944....

Here is my completed new-tool 1/72 nd  Airfix Tempest V and a few more pics from a recent visit to the RAF Museum. Not much to say about the kit, goes together easily enough. The undercarriage is a little complex but no issues. Pictures from Hendon show the 'tricky' door arrangement well replicated on the model. I painted the gear bay and the inside of the gear doors green, as seen on the Hendon example. Airfix seem to have omitted paint details for this area of the kit.  However Airfix don't appear to have got the wheels correct as mentioned in the previous post - the five spoke wheels have the smaller hub. I have to say as well that the stripe decals don't work - there are too many 'bulges' and shapes to lay them over that they won't settle down - even if cut in strategic locations. I ended up painting the white areas and cutting the black stripes from the decal.  "R-B" is of course the machine assigned to  Roland Beamont. Note how the exhaust staining on the 'real' machine goes all the way back to the tailplane. I had no intention of replicating that exactly since in model form it would look 'wrong'!

Newchurch  - three miles west of Dymchurch on the south Kent coast - was opened as an 'advanced landing ground' to the first squadrons of Spitfires in July 1943 to escort US bombers based in East Anglia. In April 1944 squadrons of Spitfires, Typhoons and Tempests arrived, providing air cover during the ‘D-Day’ landings. Later in June 1944 the Tempests were ordered to deal with the new threat of the V1 flying bombs (Doodlebugs). The first Doodlebug shot down by the Newchurch Wing was on 16th June and the final tally shot down by the Newchurch Wing was 638. After months of intense activity, when the threat posed by the V1s had subsided, the Wing were moved on to other duties. In September 1944 the site was returned to agriculture.

Below a silent film shot in 1944 showing operations and daily life at Newchurch ALG featuring Beamont and his R-B. It was almost certainly shot to provide material for the RAF film about the defence against the V1. A single click to view here...

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

new-tool Airfix Hawker Tempest V - a first look in-box review and some reference!


Post-war TT 5 (target tug) version of the Tempest as seen at the RAF museum last weekend. 

My first Airfix new-tool Tempest V just arrived. Small box for a lot of money!  But I guess that's the way things are going now though. The new Airfix Tempest retails from £13 to £15 (GBP) - the days of £6 to £9.99 for a small 72nd fighter seem to be long gone. Arma (new P-51) and IBG (Dora) kits justify their prices with a lot in the box - including etch and masks in the 'Expert' sets.  What's in the Tempest box?

The contents comprise some  four sprues, good plastic and some 'innovations';

- cockpit floor detailing molded as part of the upper wing
- cockpit sidewall detail
- two spinners
- top and lower wings  (as opposed to four wing parts)
- engine exhaust ejector stubs come in two parts for each side
- underwing tanks are transparent and on the clear sprue  (there was a clear 'cut-out' on the real thing)
- some 'flash' on some of the parts -  no big deal but how does that happen ?
- two sets of wheels - four and five spoked. The five-spoke wheels appear to have over-sized inner hubs. A set of Typhoon wheels could be a better option

Tempest Mark V, JN766 ‘SA-N’, of No. 486 Squadron RNZAF, at Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire, during the Squadron’s re-equipment with the type.

The following notes were compiled by Paul Bradley based on Chris Thomas' research which can be found  on BM.

The Tempest V came in two basic 'versions' – Series 1, which is generally reckoned to be the first 100 or so airframes (JN729-773, JN792-822, JN854-877), and Series 2 that encompassed the remaining production of the type. However, within those two basic configurations there were some subtle differences that make it a difficult task to pin down the exact specs of a specific airframe at a specific time. Without going into great detail, here’s a quick summary of the features:

Long-barrelled cannon – Denoting the use of the Hispano Mk.II 20mm cannon, at least the first 39 Tempest Vs, up to JN767, had cannon fairings protruding from the wing leading edge.

Wing root blister – The first 50 Tempests, up to JN796, used Typhoon centre-sections. As the Tempest wing was thinner at the root, part of the steel tubing that made up this structure had to be covered by a small blister.

Below;  first production Tempest V, showing all the salient features of a Series 1 Mk.V, test pilot Bill Humble at the controls. (Kate Humble's grandfather.)


Fishplates – These small structural strengtheners were found up to at least the 85th airframe, JN862.

Cuckoo door dust filters – Not required for Series 1 aircraft.

Main wheels – Early Tempests had Typhoon main wheel hubs with 5 spokes and Dunlop EX 11.25-12 tyres. Sometime in the JN-series, this changed to a new 4-spoke design, but the exact cut off is not known.

Under wing stores – long-range tank capability was not fitted until JN797, bomb carriage from 151st airframe and rocket projectiles from the 251st airframe.

Below; port side view of JN 766 of 486 Sqd alongside one of the unit's Typhoons  - one of the options on the kit decal sheet

(IWM photo used under terms of their non-commercial website licence...)


Also on this blog;

Clostermann's Tempests - Hawker Tempest Mk V (Academy 1/72) - Clostermann's JF - E (only SN 222 carried the inscription 'Le Grand Charles')   here

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Build review IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9 (Cottbus, early production) - finished


 ..first completion of 2022. IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9. Great kit, loads of detail and options and fit was good for such a 'complex' kit. Finished as 'black 3' of 6./JG 26 with Xtracolor enamels.

A few views of the build, including the detailed cockpit and engine

Friday, 4 March 2022

.. building the IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9 - in-box review/build Part 2


 The first new-tool IBG Models Fw 190 Dora-9 arrived a few weeks ago. The D-15 is released as well. I assume the D-11/13 is due later. A quick look at what's in the box. 



Part 1 of this build was posted on FalkeEins Luftwaffe blog here

The first half of the build involves construction of the cockpit and engine and the installation of these two components/elements into the fuselage halves.  Parts are so finely molded that this is all achieved in relatively straight forward steps. The trickiest stage of the build is removing the parts from the sprues and cleaning them up.

Once the fuselage halves are together the lower wing part clips into place and the firewall spar forms the back wall of the undercarriage wells. Again alignment is pretty hassle free. 

Stage 14 shows how the wells are built up with the photo etch parts, certainly the trickiest part of the build for me. 

A view of the completed wells which shows the 'see-through' effect as on the actual machine. The finely molded engine is more or less visible here, although the upper cowl MGs are not.

Prepping the completed build for painting. A little PPP required in the wing join. The control surfaces are all separate parts. There is a choice of four different canopy styles in the box - or are two of them spares?

The defence of the Reich bands are painted and masked and the RLM 76 applied (Xtracolor enamels) This view shows the superb rivet detail on the main parts -  the finish achieved by the mold maker. is superlative.  The flash has obliterated the pre-shading. 

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Airfix new-tool 1:48 P-51 Mustang - build review (1)


This is me struggling with the new Airfix Mustang- nicely detailed but I'm finding it rather difficult to assemble, not helped by the poor fit of the fuselage halves. Like the Airfix Jet Provost I built a while ago the two fuselage parts do not fit together and filler is required all the way round. That means sanding off all the nice rivet detail too.