Wednesday 31 July 2013

new tool Airfix 1:72 Gloster Gladiator Mk. I - finished

in pre-war 73 Squadron markings OOB. A bit out of my 'comfort zone' this one, but I am reasonably happy with it. Rattle-can finish looks slightly grainy at this magnification and adding the rigging did of course nearly ruin the finish altogether. I am though tempted to get the Xtradecal sheet from Hannants and do a few more, especially a few Finnish Gladiators. Next time around I might be tempted to assemble the engine and cowl together before attaching to the airframe. The rigging diagram was a great help and while I haven't added every last line - its a very small kit - again I'm happy enough with the overall effect. Thanks for looking and please do comment...right, now to break open that 32nd scale Revell G-6 that's just arrived!

Wednesday 24 July 2013

"rigging" the Gladiator in 1:72nd scale (5)

Here is some progress on the new Airfix Gladiator. I have attached the gear legs and wheels - beware, the axles are very fragile and easily broken, ask me how I know! I have spent the afternoon in the sunshine applying lengths of stretched sprue into holes I've drilled in the wings to replicate the rigging. Airfix provide a rigging diagram which indicates exactly where to drill. Generally speaking I'm reasonably happy with the effect - to be honest I don't intend to add every line since there are a lot of them and not much room to manoeuvre after adding the main lines. Removing the 'X' support frame from between the wing struts was also a tricky exercise, perhaps part-cutting prior to fitting might work. In the end a quick cut with a heated blade worked for me

Saturday 13 July 2013

new tool Airfix Gloster Gladiator in 1:72nd scale (4)

Hottest day of the year and still wrestling with construction of the Gladiator. Things were going well and this is a lovely little kit, nicely detailed. But the engine and cowl break down are definitely its Achilles heel - in fact I've nearly given up on this more than once, but am persevering. Plenty of filler to hide the bad joins I've achieved. Snapping the the very thin lower cowl part B14 trying to get it off the sprue did not help.

Having to rig it doesn't help matters either. Being a complete chump at any modelling related task slightly outide of my comfort zone, I'm finding it difficult to achieve a decent technique to secure the EZ Line and have reverted back to stretched sprue, which is much easier. Halford Aluminium rattle can spray for the 73 Squadron alu finished version..

Wednesday 10 July 2013

new tool Airfix Gloster Gladiator in 1:72nd scale (3)

Two styles of canopy in the kit and the possibility of posing it open with separate windshield - clips neatly onto the fuselage, no glue required. Masked up with Tamiya tape and some more work with EZ Line on the tailplane rigging. A smidgen of filler around the cowl, along the spine of the fuselage and at the wing roots. Note elevators cut out and drooped with my Trumpeter scriber as per the photos  in Alex Crawford's MMP Gladiator title

Tuesday 9 July 2013

new tool Airfix Gloster Gladiator in 1:72nd scale (2)

 You can't beat sitting out in the garden whittling away on a few pieces of plastic in the sunshine ! Day 5 in the high 20's - gosh it's summer! Here's my progress on the new-tool Airfix Gladiator. Below cockpit with decal instrument panel...

My principal references. I'm a little apprehensive about this build - I haven't finished a biplane since I built the (very) old Airfix RE 8 when I was ten years old...

I was thinking of rigging mine - or as much as is possible - before putting the top wing on, going from strut top to bottom. Sounded like a good idea until it was pointed out to me (thanks Paul!) that in real life the rigging attachments are within the wing structure, so the cable always intersects the wing covering some way ahead of the strut intersection and doesn't butt up to the strut...

Drilling out the rigging holes in the lower side of the top wing

I've got hold of some EZ Line (fine) and have tried it out on my Gladiator tailplane (while using sprue on the interplane struts). Here's what I've done. It's easy enough to secure one end of the EZ line thread - but I'm having a torrid time trying to secure the other end! Too much stretch I presume....

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Zvezda snap-fit early-variant Panther - Pz. Abt. 51 Panther Ausf. D of the 9th Pz. Div, Kursk July 1943

Having completed a couple of the Zvezda snap-fit 1:72 scale Luftwaffe fighters I thought I'd have a look at one of their snap-together AFVs - this is their early variant Kursk Panther, which, er...,  just snaps together. The fit of road wheels and tracks is particularly ingenious - the outer wheels have pins which clip into lugs on the rim of the track and so hold everything in place securely and invisibly - well it was new to me at least...below; a few shots of progress on this build so far..

The tracks are on and done up and the hull deck is secured. Strangely only one of the tracks joins at the top out of sight under the skirts - the other join is under the road wheels. The fit is very tight and the road wheel assembly is under quite a bit of tension.

The Panthers at Kursk equipped the Pz. Abt. 51. Markings in the box are provided for "434 and " 445" which obviously would have looked something like "442" illustrated below - the pic is from the collection of my good friend Didier Lodieu who published a two-part feature on Pz. Abt. 51 Panthers in Heimdal's 39-45 Magazine a few years ago...