Saturday 23 November 2013

Airfix De Havilland DH 88 Comet & AZ Spitfire IXc (2)

Airfix DH 88 slowly coming together. For a kit with only four 'stages' and around 24 parts it is pretty hard work getting everything lined up and smoothed down. Lots of filler required - here it is almost ready for some Halfords Primer. Pic below shows the new smash-molded canopy placed loosely over the cockpit for a test fit - second time I've had to do this recently, but it still takes about twenty attempts with a candle and plastic food container (usually a flat lid - the key is finding something of suitable thickness...)

1:72 AZ Spitfire IX almost ready for paint. Neat kit, but I'm finding the plastic a little hard and the lack of part numbers and rather poor instructions makes it a little harder to build than, say, the equivalent Airfix kit. It does however feature alternative wingtips, rudders, separate cannon bulges, two sets of spoked wheels and a lovely interior..

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Airfix De Havilland DH 88 Comet

This old Airfix kit is of course in the current catalogue although it dates from the late 1950s I believe - needless to say the fit is appalling. But still it is nice to have this 'golden oldie' available cheaply with nice new decals. The cockpit aperture is solid plastic with pilots heads inset and requires cutting away. Here I have detailed the cockpit in about ten minutes flat with an old Italeri Bf 109 cockpit and Spitfire IX seats with blu-tac leather seat-back detail. A 48th scale Spitfire flap cut in two makes for some reasonably convincing fuselage wall detail!

 To my eye this looks just as 'representative' as the Whirlybird resin. Instrument panel via a  3-D kits printed Spitfire panel...

AFAIK the colour of the Comet's cockpit is black, not the wood grain finish most modellers seem to leave it in. Period cockpit views of the real DH 88 are rare - here is one shot published in a 1971 issue of French magazine 'Le Fana de l'Aviation'. Note the large undercarriage retraction 'wheel' on the right hand side of the cockpit just visible in the lower colour pic of the Shuttleworth Comet.

Another rare view of the DH 88 cockpit from the Oz Typewriter blog.  London Daily Express air correspondent Victor Anthony Ricketts tests out elbow room for typing in the cockpit of the de Havilland DH 88 Comet.

A couple of neat views of the 'green' machine G-ACSR, subject of my boxing of the Airfix kit..

Clamping together the fuselage halves - fit is appalling.  The nose has been cut away for a piece of clear plastic that will be sanded to shape to represent the nose landing light. The engine cowls have been glued together and there is some radiator detail visible in there via an old P-51 part. Seat harnesses are fashioned from champagne bottle foil which will be painted green..