Friday 31 May 2013

new tool Airfix Hawker Typhoon IB 1:72nd scale (3)

Day 4 and 5 on the Typhoon. Lots of superglue, clamping and sanding off of locating pins and lugs to get the wings on and even then there were some horrible gaps which in the end were easily and quickly filled with my mix of 'Green stuff' putty thinned with surgical spirit to minimise sanding. The wing tip lights are coloured plastic beads sanded to shape and masked off with Maskol. Elevators cut out and drooped, I wanted to leave the horizontal stabs off until the end so that I could properly mask the fuselage band, but the gaps were frankly too big. I had a good moan elsewhere about modellers complaining about the 'difficulty' of putting together some of these Airfix new tools, but I'm starting to think that a brand new kit shouldn't be this hard to put together! But at half the price of the new Brengun Typhoons I'm not complaining..really I'm not. White primer undersides, the seams aren't too obvious so I may proceed straight to finishing from here..

The lower wing D-day stripes are relatively straight forward to mask up and paint using the kit decals as a guide. However I may use the kit decal for the lower fuselage stripes. The inner gear doors come complete with retraction jacks moulded in situ. Not too sure what colour the rocket rails were so I've painted them on the sprue in the lower surface colour, Humbrol 165 with the 'rail' part finished in aluminium...

Wednesday 29 May 2013

new tool Airfix Gloster Gladiator in 1:72nd scale - first look in the box

With a couple of kids in tow - including my 24 year old who is just recuperating from major abdominal surgery - we popped up to Margate and Hornby HQ to pick up one of the new tool Gloster Gladiators. I also managed a whopping £9 discount on a lovely new tool Dambusters Lanc (damaged box..) and nabbed a box of 'Flypast' magazines from the RAF Manston History museum for £3.50. I also got to have a quick look around the museum's Meteor by way of pre-build research for the Cyber Hobby Meteor F.3 I'm planning on doing soon, so all in all quite a successful day despite the pouring rain. Here's a few shots of the Gladiator, which again, like most of these Airfix new tools looks superb in the box! The kit features a detailed cockpit including control column and side wall detail and two canopies, one of which can be posed open. There are also two decal options and a rigging diagram on the instruction sheet...

Strange that Airfix have included the same decal option as the Hobbyboss Gladiator but on all other counts this kit is far superior to the HB offering - it has far more parts than the HB kit for less money (at least in the UK) for a start. From the contents of the box the Airfix kit provides a detailed cockpit, both weighted and 'un-weighted' wheels, two cockpit canopies, detailed multi-part engine, the option of posing the cockpit 'door' open, rigging diagram etc etc..Airfix are also offering a Finnish option with skis..

Tune in to my build elsewhere on this blog......

and more pics of the finished model are here

Sunday 26 May 2013

new tool Airfix Hawker Typhoon IB 1:72nd scale (2)

Painting and assembling the interior. Lots of parts to keep aligned when closing up the fuselage halves - needless to say this operation didn't go too well! The upper wing access panel has been cut out using my new Trumpeter scriber ( great tool..) and the nicely detailed cannon bay installed in the wing section. The wheel well insert locates onto the lower wing half, which is an extremely thin and 'bendy' part. Everything set aside to dry for tomorrow, a sunny Bank Holiday here, so there should be some more progress ..

Thursday 23 May 2013

new tool Airfix Hawker Typhoon IB 1:72nd scale

 I've already mentioned that I'm having difficulty keeping up with all these nice new tools from Airfix and quite a few of the new Typhoon IB have already appeared on the various forums.. Here's a start on painting the detail parts on the sprues. Both cannon bays are supplied which will involve some surgery to the wings. Plenty of things to hang under the wings supplied in the kit - including the 3-in rockets. While rocket-firing Typhoons may have provided some of the most iconic images of the Normandy campaign after D-Day, especially around Mortain and Falaise, they were pretty ineffectual on actual operations - there was only a 2% chance of hitting an enemy Panzer according to one recent study. There is plenty of decent reference available for the build, eg if you don't have the three volume 2nd Tactical Air Force titles from Classic, then the Imperial War Museum's web site has a load of great 2nd TAF Typhoon pics available for free download and reuse (for non-commercial sites)..

Ground crews loading 3-inch rocket projectiles onto Hawker Typhoon Mark IB, MN317 'ZY-B', of No. 247 Squadron RAF at B2/Bazenville, Normandy © IWM (CL 157)

Sunday 12 May 2013

Zvezda Fw 190 A-4 in 1:72 scale

Completed my Zvezda 1/72 snap together Fw 190 A-4. It builds reasonably well although there are a few issues with it. There is a very large step where the forward part of the wing joins the rear of the engine cowl which took a lot of filler, there are a few sink marks on the canopy frame and some detail is missing or incorrect. I've used True Details resin wheels with the correct hub details and patterned tread for example. The kit comes with a reasonably detailed cockpit and a nice pilot figure. It is not that cheap a kit though so I probably won't build a whole Staffel of them....although I must do a winter camo machine from JG 54. Much more on my Luftwaffe blog ...

Saturday 4 May 2013

Revell and Academy Me 262 in 1:72nd scale

 This was intended as a side-by-side comparison build but I've been hopelessly distracted by an issue with the Revell canopy. As can be seen by the completed model, left, Revell seem to have modified the mold of the canopy area in a later production run, providing a poorly fitting one-piece canopy instead of the three-part glazing included in the first releases of this kit. The single-piece canopy in the box I opened was cracked and so I've been attempting to smash-mold a replacement. Mike Grant I am not! Still I've managed three reasonably shaped pieces after removing the glazing from an example completed a few years ago, filling the parts with blu-tak and pushing them through some pieces of transparent plastic filched from some food containers and heated over a candle. While I'm about it, I'll probably overhaul this example with a new JG 7 scheme.

The Academy kit is reasonably detailed but as with most Academy WWII kits they appear to have got the basic outline shape wrong; it being rather fat and wide here with an overly bulbous nose - certainly the Academy glazing is too wide for the Revell kit. Still, you get two sets of tail parts in the box, which means I'll be doing the rocket-powered Heimatschuetzer variant and no less than seven options on the decal sheet.

Otherwise I am looking forward to getting my hands on the new Airfix Typhoon IB - Gerry Murphy  completed 144 operational sorties at the controls  of a of 245 Squadron rocket firing Typhoon and was a family friend - along with the Upkeep Lancaster in time for the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters' raid..