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General Modelling Forum => General Modeling topics => Modeling Blogs => Topic started by: The Wooksta! on May 01, 2012, 08:32:10 am

Title: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 01, 2012, 08:32:10 am
Not sure if I'm allowed to do this but...  Sod it, I'll do it anyway.  Can only get banned!

This is for what else I'm doing, in between the Spitfires.  I don't want to start anything new - Spitfires and The Plan have higher priority - but like all modellers, there's umpteen half built and nearly finished projects in boxes and I'm trying to finish some of them off when I get bored with the Spitfires.  Inspiration for the latter will come back, I don't know the exact day or date but I do know it'll be 5 minutes after I get the new Airfix Spitfire F22 home, if not sooner.

At the moment, it's Lancasters and mentioned in The Plan blog, I threw one together last night.  It's on it's u/c and waiting for primer.  This will have to be white, because part of the scheme is that colour and I'm too lazy a modeller to want to respray white over grey.  

I blame Martin for the Lancasters.  Not for me building them, but for the return to them.  Operation Cosford saw me finishing off the AEW one -  PR19_Kit was kind enough to send me some replacement Lancaster main gears to repair the u/c and there was enough to repair some of the other Lancaster projects which got damaged over time.  There's a total of four - two Grand Slam (one decalled and now needing matt varnish, t'other still needing more painting), a Spoofer/Jammer and now the Lancastrian.

A flip through Martin Streetly's Aircraft of 100 Group gave me the thoughts for the Jammer, but it's not a squadron aircraft - well, it doesn't have full codes apart from a simple "Z".  The AEW was Dougal, so this may have to be Zebadiah.  I think most of you will know where I'm going with that one...

This Blog is also for other ideas that I have but don't want to do. I won't be building Luftwaffe stuff again but still get the odd urge.  Such as either an Avia S199 or CS199 in Luftwaffe service with a training unit - say the Supermen ran out of DB605s and fitted old Jumo 211s to old or damaged airframes for use with the training schools.  It's not something I'd do myself (although one with roughly overpainted RAF roundels and an Air Min number is somewhat appealing and I did enjoy the old KP Avia CS199 kit) but someone else without my scruples may find it interesting.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 02, 2012, 08:43:05 am
Mention elsewhere on the site of an IAR80 done with a jet Yak 15 style brings me to a few ideas I did have years back but never got round to.

Me 209TL.  Everyone goes on about the 109 with a Jumo 004 but what about this instead?  The Me 209A was to have used a standard 109G fuselage but with new tail and wing and a DB603.  How about Messerschmitt proposed a simple lash up with an underslung Jumo 004, or more likely BMW003, as his entry in the Volksjager competition - IIRC, they didn't participate.

Avia S-99TL  Bf 109TL version of the Avia S199.  Obviously.  Czech and Isreali markings thus follow logically.

Bf 109H  There was a real one but this is something that makes a bit more sense.  The 109G-10 had the DB605D that was intended as a high altitude engine so cross kit the Revell G-10 fuselage with the MPM BF109H wing.  The two do fit remarkably well...

One other thing I did like the idea of was an Me 210 the way it was originally intended, before Messerschmitt himself started arseing about with the design.  He was obsessed with saving weight and had the fuselage shortened.  This threw everything out and consequently, it flew like a bag of spanners.  Longer fuselage and twin fins (nicked from a Bf 110) and standard Me 210 wings and engines.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 08, 2012, 03:45:40 am
The Grand Slam Lancasters near finishing!  Well, one does - it's been varnished (what a struggle that was...), props, canopy and wheels are on.  I just need to build the FN82 tail turret and the Hasegawa one does not like to go together at all.

The other one...  I finally dug out my Scale Aircraft Modelling on SEAC colours and found out that bombers didn't carry the wing recognition bands although there were special tail markings.  My initial thoughts were for simple white tail fins and I may just go with that.  Needs some touching up and I need to source some decals but I'd like to get her finished soon.  I'm going to have to start looking towards building the weapon now.  And another Hasegawa FN82 tail turret...

Also have the Beafighter varnished, so that's another one of the hangar queens dealt with.  One more Beaufighter to finish...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 09, 2012, 04:01:59 am
More tinkering with Lancaster bits.  The wheels for the Lancastrian 6 are now done whilst the u/c doors have their interior colour on.  Also did the rockets for the Beaufighter.

Slow progress but I'm not really too fussed at the moment.  Need inspiration.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 16, 2012, 04:28:03 am
Well, the Beaufighter is finally finished, although I had to do a new u/c door as one decided to go walkies and I've yet to find it.  I've a feeling it's gone up the hoover - I don't have carpet where I do my modelling, I have laminate flooring although it's carpeted where I spray to protect it from spillage, etc.  Consequently, any bits that I drop tend to skitter accross the floor never to be seen again.  Well, until I stand on them anyway or the Hoover gets them.

I'm satisfied with it but not entirely happy with the finish.  I'm just happy to have abother one of the hangar queens out of the way.  Just need to find a box for it.

With one out of the way, another moves into the queue.  This time it's a Sea Fury FB11, mainly decalled and just needing some codes, varnishing and the canopy.  British Pacific Fleet and it goes with the Sea Fury torpedo fighter I finished a few months back.  Whilst I'm doing that, the stalled RAF furies sitting forlorn in a box atop a filing tray stand really should be looked at.  They're at a similar stage and wouldn't take much work to finish.

Zebediah nears completion.  The u/c doors are done but yet to be affixed and the radio aerials around the nose are on but need painting.  I had an idea to use reshaped staples for these but this proved a bit clunky so I dug out some Contrail struts and stretched sprue.  Bit frustrating assembling them but they don't look that bad unless you look at them closely.  Its a Matchbox kit anyway, not the greatest of Lancaster kits and somewhat clunky compared to the Airfix one, let alone the Hasegawa or Revell ones.  Few more aerials and then I just have to do the props.  I have a feeling I'm going to detest this model when it's done.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 27, 2012, 04:06:41 am
Having been thinking about extended range Mk XIVe Spitfires armed with 4 20mm cannon has also led me to thinking of RAF Lancasters in daylight camo.

Now, what would this have been?  Tiger Force is well documented and the MSG/Night scheme adopted by the Lincoln post war and some Lancasters for export is also a possible.  Most likely though is the Ocean Grey/Dark Green over Med Sea Grey worn by the Mosquito.  However, I also find either Dark Sea Grey/Dark Green over PRU Blue  or Med Sea Grey over PRU Blue quite appealing.  So that's possibly three more Lancasters to build...

All late war, so they'd need certain upgrades.  Lincoln tail fins and wheels, that's a given.  Martin mid upper turrets, carried by the BVIIs of Tiger Force is also likely.  Village Inn AGL?  Definitely.  Re-engined with Merlin 85s? Possibly.

So, if I've got three Lancasters to build/upgrade, do each one in one scheme.  Standard B.III in the first, just add the AGL.  The second, I may just use a Revell or Hasegawa kit because they don't have the flame dampers moulded on to the engine cowlings.  The latter comes with Village Inn in the box anyway. The third?  Airfix, especially if it's being re-engined with Merlin 85s. 

One of the other things I've wanted to do with Lancasters is a half way house hybrid of Lancaster and Lincoln - nose, tail and engines of the latter on the former.  The only thing that's really stopped me is the glazing, although a resin piece in clear resin may work.  May do the MSG/PRU blue scheme with this one

Again, too many ideas and not enough time.  Then again, given the number of part started Airfix Lancasters in the stash, it may not take too long to throw one together.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on December 11, 2012, 05:12:45 pm
Time to update this thread, methinks...

The BPF Sea Fury is *finally* finished - I painted the canopy framing last week and dropped it into place.  It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it doesn't look too bad if you stand about six foot away and squint a bit.

I'm starting this one on all things Hawker as I was looking some bits out the other day and found a part started Airfix Sea Hawk and most of a Frog/Novo one (IIRC, it's one Thorvic got me at some show way back in the mists of time), although I don't know where the tail planes went.

Given that I'm currently wedded to flying models, at least for Attackers, I thought about doing the Novo Seahawk as one such thing and reading through a book on the Attacker gives me an RNVR squadron that would have got Attackers were it not for the Sandys Axe.  Slam dunk.  EDSG over white.  Just need a set of tailplanes and I think I know where there *might* be a set.  Although at a push I could nick them from an Airfix one, even though they're worse than the Novo one.  Yep, you heard that right...

What about t'other?  Hawker P.1035, navalised.  Van883 did a P.1035 some years back (do a search...) and I started one soon after but never finished it.  This may get dragged back out as a comparison aircraft.  However, I've a set of Matchbox Tempest wings that I was given and nothing to do with them as they've been modded in such a way that I can't use them for Tempests but then I though "How about folding the wings?"  It gets round a problem with airfoil cross sections and if I go for that dark immediate post war scheme, it'd hide a lot of flaws. 

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 27, 2013, 05:09:15 pm
Haven't updated either of the blogs as I'd not one any modelling this year, even though not having a job you'd think I'd have the time.  Time yes, motivation, no.  Modelling was a release from the pressures of work - no work = no motivation ergo no modelling.  Yeah, I've tinkered a bit here and there - little bit of glueing here, some sanding there, test fitting, etc.  You get the picture.

However, seeing the new Airfix Lancaster got me started and I went digging, did some sanding on the wing/engine joint of one of the half built Revell jobs in the stash and then BANG!  The lights come on, the drums kick in and we're off again.  I have me mojo back and this time it wants to play with Lancasters.

First up, the half started one.  This was an assembled fuselage with a Lancastrian nose and slated as a tanker but it had stalled as I couldn't figure out the housing for the drogues on the Flight Refuelling Ltd Lanc.  So that idea got squashed and I thought of another AEW Lanc as a companion for 'Dougal'.  Out came the spare Aeroclub AEW radome and the wings went on sharpish and consequently it's now ready to have the u/c installed.  I've yet to consider a scheme, but I'm toying with the Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey over Sky with BPF style roundels as an AEW over the Fleet in the far east.  Village Inn has been installed but I'm unsure if I'll fit the FN82 tail turret which seems to be a feature of all my late war Lancasters and I simply don't have enough. The alternative is to use a standard Airfix (1980 tooling) tail turret but with the guns replaced with the spare .50 cal ones from a Hasegawa Lanc and say that they were bodge jobs knocked up at a maintenance unit in theatre.  The spare tropical filters got nickled from a Hasegawa Lancaster for this one also.

In the same box was another Revell kit, modified with the Paragon bits to a Grand Slam version.  Again, it's to be a far east aircraft, so the tropical filters got nicked from a Hase Lanc, along with Village Inn - this one will get an FN82 and it's going in the white over Black scheme.  Again, BPF roundels but with 9 squadron codes - 9 and 617 were to have taken their 'Specials' far east but 617 is too obvious and as I've an unfinished Lancaster VI 'Special' they may get that instead.  Dark Earth/Dark Green over PRU Blue on that and it's getting white tail fins - none of that tedious white striping malarkey there.

I threw together another Revell Lanc and again, another Far East job, a BVII.  Lincoln fins and wheels, tropical filters, AGL and the 50 cal bodge turret  but I've eliminated the mid upper turret - this should be a Martin turret but I only had one spare and that's already been used on the Lanchester (more of which anon) - so I'll explain it away as they removed them to save weight.  Scheme will be overall natural metal, or Aluminium Dope with BPF roundels and codes for one of the squadrons to be based on Iwo Jima as the main component of Tiger Force.  Why the NMF?  Partly laziness - out with a Halfords can! but it can be explained away as keeping commonality with the US aircraft and if it's in silver, US gunners are less likely to shoot at it.

So we come to the Avro Lanchester.  This is a halfway house between a Lancaster and a Lincoln, with some Shackleton thrown in for good measure.  Revell Lancaster with Paragon Lincoln nose, wheels, A2Zee Lincoln fins, Shackleton nacelles and engines.  The Revell H2S looked poor, so it got replaced with an Airfix one.  Village Inn AGL as standard plus a Martin turret nicked from a Marauder, although I think I've fitted it too far forward... 

Cue some serious trimming, filling and sanding to get the inner nacelles to fit but they look okay now.  Some similar bodge work had to be done to get the engines themselves to fit properly.  Time has not been kind to the Frog Shackleton moulds.

I'd originally intended it to carry the larger version of 'Grand Slam' - Housekeeper- which is really a Blue Danube casing but with a conventional warhead.  However, I didn't have any of the relevant resin bits in the spares box for the fairing, so it gets a Grand Slam but housed under the Matchbox Lanc bulged bay.  It does fit the Revell kit and a test fit of an assembled bomb showed that it would fit inside the doors - just - so they got fitted.  If and when it's finished, I'd like a few bomb trolleys in front of it carrying modern 1,000lb bombs for it - their shape is similar to a Grand Slam, just scaled down.

There'll be another two Lanchesters to go with it.  One similar to the one in build, but with the Grand Slam fairings, a Lancastrian tail cone and no mid upper turret.  Central Bomber Establishment testing new bomb shapes.  The other will be armed with 'Housekeeper' so no mid upper turret (none left) and re-engined with Bristol Centaurus.

I did conceive of a rather more lethal version of Housekeeper - Nursemaid.  Kerosene/Liquid oxygen warhead and detonated by a preset radio altimeter, intended as a blast weapon against troop concentrations.  Only external difference will be a radio aerial.

I'd like to finish at least one for the Northern Show.  May well be the first none plan item built from scratch for some time.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 29, 2013, 05:00:57 pm
After much swearing, the Lanchester now has it's undercarriage fitted.  I can honestly say that I'd like to have whoever designed this kit (rest of rant deleted on legal advice).  It's an absolute nightmare to fit and you need to have at least three pairs of hands.  Never had this problem with the old Airfix one.  I did one side first and almost threw the whole thing off the wall in frustration.  So I left the other one till later.  Much later.

Given the the extra weight on the real aircraft, most received a twin wheel tailwheel.  That's the excuse for replacing the woefully horrid Revell tailwheel with something better, only I don't have enough spare Airfix ones.  Pity John Adams doesn't do a white metal one...  I'm thinking of nicking a Canberra nosegear.

I've also fitted some more of the resin bits to the nose and it's looking to be almost ready to prime.  Hopefully, the reasonable weather will hold long enough to get out back with a Halfords can.

Lenny mentioned in the stash thread that he was looking at an Airfix Meteor III converted to a recce nosed Sea Meteor.  I have bad news for him - I've got there first.  Well, nearly.  One of the things I managed to do before the axe finally fell at NCJ was to assemble an Airfix Meteor, complete with recce nose and belly tank.  Just needs the arrestor hook and it's off to the paint shop, although quite which Navy scheme I'm going to employ is open to question and I have at least four to choose from.

There's another Sea Meteor to go with it, although nowhere near as far along, although it's together and has the filler applied, after which I lost interest.  That's one for the long term.

There is yet another FR Meteor that got as far as the paint being applied some years back - all three camo colours, in fact- but it still needs decals.  Far east colours for that one.  Again, I'd like to get it finished, if only to get it out of the way.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 11, 2013, 04:35:57 pm
All of the Lancasters are now on their undercarriages bar the FE Grand Slam one, although the upper colour is now on and needs masking.  Weather permitting, I'll get a pair primed tomorrow - the B VII (FE) will get a primer coat of aluminium.

The AEW is going in the scheme I mentioned earlier - Dave (Kitbasher) opined that it should be Azure Blue underneath with the entirely fair reasoning that Wellingtons and Warwicks had that scheme for use over the Bay of Biscay - however, the scheme I have in mind WAS used on Lancasters, albeit ASR ones in the Med.  

Mention of ASR brings me to a pair of part started Hasegawa ones I dug out.  One of these is straight from the box - sort of.  All the bits are from the box, bar the fins and the lifeboat courtesy of Uncle Eddy at Blackbeard Resins.  The other one was one bought part started from ebay but the engines looked unsalvageable so I'm going to give it Merlin 85s and a Lincoln nose.  Overall Dark Sea Grey and the normal MR/GR III mods.

The Lincoln nosed Lancaster VI moves slowly.  Fuselage is all done but the wings need more snading before I can bring forward assembly.  The Lancaster VI Specials also move forward but it's a slow process.  Spitfires I can throw together fairly quickly but Lancasters take a bit longer.

I need to find a cheap Condor V-2 - I've been thinking of a radio controlled Miles 52 with a warhead as an early stand off bomb.  Another weapon to go underneath the Lanchester although I still want to come up with an interesting code name.  Scrum half, perhaps?

I'm also thinking about finishing off a Tempest II that's been sitting with a coat of Aluminium on it.  Blue bands and BPF markings, perhaps?  Need some drop tanks for that but I may use the larger Sea Fury ferry tanks which came with the Trumpeter kit.  A similarly marked RAF Fury - and I have an assembled but unpainted PM kit that's to hand - may also be on the cards to go with it.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 15, 2013, 05:54:04 pm
I've finally got some primer on the Lanchester and the AEW Lancaster.  Both are looking rather good and I'm looking forward to getting the airbrush out and putting some real colours on them.

The Lincoln nosed Lancaster VI is now together and it looks a right beast.  The nose and engines change the shape entirely and as it doesn't have the stretch of the Lincoln it looks a lot more squat and brutish.  I'm liking it so much that I want another two to go with it - one an AEW and the other I'm thinking of either the Central Bomber school, Multi-engined Operational Training Unit (or MOTU).  I may drop the AEW and just do both as the options outlined.  However, if I can get another Airfix 2nd gen kit in it's Dambuster guise, all three are thus possible.  Need to have a word with one of the lads at Wor Club as he said he was building the new Airfix Dambuster and had the older kit spare.  It's really just the fuselage I need as the upper turret is blanked off and I don't have to carve it out and refill it.

I'm going for training units so I can use the standard kit tail turret - I simply don't have enough FN82 tail turrets to use.  Besides, you don't see that many second line Lancasters - we're back to my policy of more esoteric whiffs rather than the well trodden and in my view cliched famous units.

A late MR/GR has already been touted with a Hasegawa kit and the bits are cast, although that's going to be more long term.  The kit still had Village Inn left on the sprues - not for long as it's now on the Lancaster VI.  Overall Dark Sea Grey for that.

Another long term Lancaster based project was to be a second Avro Alston (this one is the first - http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,23413.0) but a lot more developed.  I'm thinking about getting rid of the buried engine and using some two stage Merlins or possibly something more powerful (Griffon or Centaurus).  This means I can use the full bomb bay and with a Lancastrian nose, move the H2S to the nose.  The wings get the Lincoln stretch but because I've got a full Revell fuselage spare, I want to use that.  This means I may be able to use a Contrail 1st tooling Lincoln wing.  As this is a nasty vacform, it makes the whole thing more long term, although I'd like to have it done for Telford.  Whatever I use, it's going to need a lot of sanding

It'll be an impressive model, although I may just have it as an inflight model for ease of assembly.  I'm determined to use the deep 'Tallboy' bomb bay that I have in the spares box - one of those dropped from high altitude would make a real mess of any target.  Plus there's some Paragon bits for the proposed ventral turret that I may as well use up

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 16, 2013, 12:30:36 pm
Having looked at a long stalled Lincoln project - a part converted Lancaster/Shackleton hybrid - I may do a late Alston with the Lincoln fuselage plug.  More fuel and l can get another stalled project done.  Means using one of my Shackletons - wish I hadn't sold off what I thought were surplus ones a few years back.

The fuselage is largely done, although I'll have to remove the H2S blister under the fuslage and the visual bomb aimers fairing under the nose.  Some other work will have to be done around the cockpit area - the canopy will look radically different yet strangely familiar and could need some considerable reprofiling to get it to fit.

This has come about as having looked at the decidedly rough Comtrail wing, the version in my previous post may be a bit longer in coming, although I could use the vacform Shackleton wing that was donated some years back.  Whichever version gets done, the wheels are going to be up.

Other things I'm thinking of are the RAF YB49 that's been stalled for the best part of a decade.  I had thought MSG/PRU Blue for that but Aluminum/Black like the Washingtons may be a better bet.  Need to do some archaeology to find that one.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 26, 2013, 11:53:23 am
Well, all of the Lancaster fuselages which are getting the Lincoln nose are now assembled - spent a rather pleasant afternoon outside in the bright sunshine doing lots of sanding, filling and cutting.  Naturally, I just had to have a drink to go with the holiday atmosphere, so a Sailor Jerry's (pre-2010 vintage) and coke was appropriate.  I say coke, I really mean Pepsi - coke is way too acidic and metalic for my tastes, plus it ruins the Sailor Jerry's.  

In addition, I just had to fire up the barbecue - I had some Bratwursts in the freezer that really needed eating.  They took an age to cook and some Polish dudes over the back cutting their garden with some powered implement kind of ruined the atmosphere.  I'm not exactly sure who was doing the garden - given the laughing and shrieking I'm assuming it was the Chuckle Brothers or perhaps Morcambe and Wise.  Some sodding comedians anyway.  I'm assuming the guys were Polish, certainly east europeans given the language and accents.  At least they were enjoying themselves.

Another SJ & Coke went down easily - too easily given that there's not much left in the bottle (although there are two 1.5 ltr bottles in protective custody at me Mams) - so the Havana Club came out.

I've come to the realisation that I probably won't get anything new finished for next week's show just roond the corner in The Toon, so I'm not going to flog myself to death doing so.  Had far too much of that, thanks.  I may try getting the 100 Group Lancaster jammer that really just needs a few aerials on it just to get it out of the way,  plus there's two Attackers that need very little work.  Maybe.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 23, 2014, 04:02:54 pm
Been having a few thoughts recently...

Had an idea a while back to do a De Havilland competitor to the Balliol, which would be a bit like a Chipmunk on steroids.  Wings need changing - something like a Hornet would do and I'm minded to use the Special Hobby kit that's part started because it's not worth finishing as a Hornet (that's how much I dislike that kit!)  Maybe Mosquito fin and rudder, although it may have to have the fillet.  Hornet tailplanes (spare Skybirds ones) and a late Mosquito bomber canopy.

The latter gives me another idea - a Mosquito T.IV.  Basically a dual control bomber version, with the instructor also being there to guide the bomb aimer pupil.  Although on second thoughts, it's a bit cramped for the guy in the nose.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 24, 2014, 03:14:32 pm
More ideas kicking about.

Backdating an Airfix Vampire trainer - F1 style tailbooms and wingtips, Mosquito fighter canopy and four .303s in the nosecone.

Venom two seat PR job - the radar nose is kind of replaced with cameras.  It's a cheaper PR aircraft for third world types who can't afford Cranberries.

A Blenheim If nightfighter but in the later MSG/DG scheme, although with an OTU rather than an operational unit.  Ideal with the new Airfix kit a few months away from release.  May also give it the twin brownings later turret from the Mk IV and having seen the sprue shots, I've a feeling we may get the bits for both marks in the one box*

Re-reading through this thread has reminded me what the half built PM Fury is doing sitting in a box.

The Elliott Balliol has arrived and boy is it rough!  So rough I'm almost minded to sacrifice a Pegasus one instead.   The Elliot one does score a bit better as the radiator bath is separate and I was wanting to go with leading edge ones on my DH competitor, the de Havilland Dean (They had a trainer called the Don, Airspeed built an Oxford, Balliol has a university connection too so "Dean" is both appropriate and alliterative).  May push this back a little but still want to do it.

*Which brings me to an article by some ill-informed muppet in the latest IPMS newsletter, whinging about the newer Airfix releases having bits that aren't marked on the instructions.  Well, yes.  They're called extras, mate, and very welcome they are too.  The major gripe of his is that the series two Early Hurricane has all of the bits for a BoB one but the instructions don't say so.  True, they don't, but then again, the kit is marketed as an early PRE WAR aircraft.  If the modeller wants a wartime one - and there were quite a few more rag wing Hurris than many realise - then they have to do their own research.  He also whinged about the Harrier GR3 kit having all the bits for a GR1 but no GR1 decals.  Well, it wouldn't - it's a GR3.  

Has it really come to this?  Are modellers now so ******* stupid that they have to be spoon fed?  Are they incapable of doing some research or using their initiative?  On the basis of this article, then yes, they are.  The utter cretins...

Next month: someone complains about the tropical intakes and Village Inn AGL on the sprues in the Hasegawa Lancaster despite no decals being given for an aircraft using them.  Insert expletive here.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 02, 2014, 04:16:17 am
Had a look around in the loft at me Mam's yesterday.  Ostensibly, it was to find a built up Heller Bf 109B/C that I remember building in 1993 - the plan was to repaint it in RAF captured markings, BOB (one of the nightfighter ones got lost and landed in the UK by mistake).  I didn't find it but I know where there's an unbuilt one, because the idea is too good to abandon and the Heller kit always was a nice one to build - actually, all of the Heller 109s are decent builds apart from their F (underscale, old and rivetty), but the B/C and K always were quite highly regarded.

There were one or two built up Bv 141s that are just begging to be repainted in RAF colours - we captured one at the Blohm und Voss works at Hamburg. Wonder what Eric Brown would have thought about that one?  Again, these just have to be dug out.

Also had a dig around in the back room.  Was given a part built PM Fokker D.XXI, so I'm thinking about finishing it but replacing the engine with a Blenheim cowling, spray it silver and have it as a hack in 1946.  Story?  Flight of Dutch ones flew to the UK ahead of the Luftwaffe during the invasion and they were used as fighter trainers and hacks.  Fairly basic airframe and as it used a Mercury, we'd have engine spares.

Set me off thinking about the few Wildcats that are part started and the bomber defence training flights, with out of date fighters bouncing bombers to train the gunners.  A Wildcat, Mohawk, Alison engined Mustang or possibly a Gloster F5/34 in those colours aren't such a bad idea although the Mohawk may have been used in that role anyway - I know the Warhawk was.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 02, 2014, 01:34:44 pm
Having had the chance to get said Bv 141s, they've now been retrieved, although I didn't have time to find the unbuilt one which I know is somewhere up there.  Ditto the Heller 109C.

I also retrieved a Heller Fi 103 Reichenberg, again planning to do it in RAF colours and being test fown, although it'll be the Reichenberg III rather than the fully armed version.

Final thing I dug out was my Centaurus engined Martin Baker MB5.  IIRC I was going to do it as a navalised machine but an RAF one, possibly in post war markings, is looking more likely.  Or maybe an escort for coastal strike types?  Either way, a dark scheme is necessary and it'll get some drop tanks under the wings, likely from the Xtrakit Vampire plus a contraprop, although a five blade Sea Fury prop is also possible.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 12, 2014, 01:48:56 pm
Thoughts of a revised Avro Alston mentioned upthread has been on my mind recently.  Buried engines are all well and good but really, they add weight (which could be used for either additional load or extra fuel) and they also eat into the fuel.  The Germans tried it with the Do 217P and the Hs 130E and both got axed, so...

The Alston gets two stage Merlins instead.  There's some other mods I want to do to the airframe, to try and streamline production of it with normal Lancaster B.VIs plus clean up the airframe and add features incorporated into late war Lancasters.

The initial ideas I had were for a flying model - a cheap Lanc scored off ebay was to have been the basis as it didn't have an u/c but it's the standard tooling with the mid upper whereas I need a 'Special'.  In addition, all of the part built specials had Grand Slam or Lincoln conversion bits grafted on.  Then I discovered a complete Dambuster Lanc bought cheap at the club.  Bingo!

Still likely to be a flying model as I need the u/c bits I have for the ones parts started.

Curse my brain!  Thoughts of the late war Alston lead to yet another variation on the Lancaster VI - H2S in a Lancastrian style nose, Martin mid upper, deep bomb bay with the ventral turret, FN82 tail turret, Lincoln fins and wheels plus Village Inn AGL. So that's ANOTHER Lancaster special fuselage I have to find and now I'm thinking of a Centaurus powered version...  A quick look on ebay finds a few cheap ones but not quite cheap enough. For the Centaurus one, I may be better off with the newer Airfix B.II kit instead.

Having purchased a Hasegawa Focke Wulf Ta 154 at a bargain price earlier today, I was having thoughts of what to do with it.  Naturally, the Luftwaffe and their collaborationist allies are out, although I do like the idea of a Finnish one and indeed have intended to do one for a while with a cheap PM kit but at least two others have got there before me.  A post war one in silver perhaps?  

Or what about Argentina? That may need re-engining though and the detail on the Hasegawa kit is rather nice, so I may just go with the PM kit for that and utilise some DC 3 engines that the Argentinian Mosquito copy got in reality.  They did try to get Merlins for that but were turned down by the Air Ministry - who promptly tried to sell them Mosquitos instead.  There's a Tamiya B.IV somewhere that's slated for that although it'll be built as a Canadian production Mosquito B.XXV with the later wheels and wingtips.

Back to the Ta 154.  So I'll use the PM kit that's knocking about here somewhere for an Argie one but then I remember the Ta 254 which I have a three view of somewhere.  It doesn't look too different but has more powerful engines and more importantly a raised canopy providing a better view for the crew.  How to do that has had me stumped for a few years and now I think I've a way round it.  More as and when I try it.

Final thoughts re the Argies?  Ta 183s in Argentinian service.  Gary had mentioned that he wanted a PM one for the wings to do the Pulqui II that Kurt Tank had designed for the Argentinians but which failed as he didn't have Hans Multhopp on his design team then (he was working for the UK IIRC) and the wing location was wrong.  So, what if the fleeing Nazis who ended up in Argentina had brought the plans for quite a bit of the Luftwaffe 46 stuff with them?  Kurt Tank and the Horten brothers made it there, why not others?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 14, 2014, 02:31:35 pm
News that the KP brand name has been bought by AZ is interesting, but even more interesting is the fact that they're retooling some of the old KP kits.  One of which is the Avia S199.

Now I've long had a few ideas in mind for this aircraft:
Avia CS199 - Isreal.  The got the single seater, so why not a couple of the trainers?

I like the idea of an RAF one but how to do it?  Two ways.
Firstly, the Germans, running out of DB605s, decide to use their stocks of Jumo 211s to complete a load of Bf 109s but use them as fighter trainers or ground attack aircraft (may sound a waste but given the amount of Allied armour on the ground, perhaps not).  War's over and a few of them get transferred to Farnborough with a lot of other captured stuff.  So, Avia S199 (and possibly the CS199 two seater - depending how the back story is written, I can incorporate the Czech modifications) in late war German greens but with overpainted RAF markings.  Or even Russian.  Possibly Yugoslav - they may have been used for anti-partisan duties and left over at the war's end.  Polish?  They were flying a number of Bf 109G-10s.

I did briefly consider Slovak markings but I hold no truck with collaborators, so that got canned after 5 seconds.

Second?  Couple of Isreali ones are forced down with minimal damage and recovered.  Off to Farnborough with them. Nice post war type D markings and possibly that odd post war desert scheme.

So, plenty of possibilities with this one and consequently, I dug out some of the old KP kits from the loft at me Mam's and found I had more than I realised.  Not looking forward to building them.  Lots of flash and the fit was never too clever.

And talking about KP kits, another whiff I've been thinking of is a Siebel 204 re-engined with De Havilland engines - the RAF used quite a few after the war for communications duties so perhaps they preferred the reliability of British engines that they can actually gt reliable spares for?

I did also consider a Siebel 204 built as a French aircraft operating in French Indochina and then used by the Vietnamese after they kicked out the French.  Hmm.  Perhaps someone else can have that one.

Mention of Yugoslavia reminds me of the Frog Me 262 I bought in error at a show.  It's not a bad kit, roughly on a par with the Matchbox 262, but built wheels up and sprayed silver, I may get away with it.  The Czechs tried to sell a developed 262 to the Yugos and this could well be it.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 21, 2014, 11:40:53 am
More thoughts on post war 109s.

What if Spain had actually got the DB605s for the 109s they bought from Germany?  Straight 109Gs in spanish markings and do you go for the more developed G-10s?  A Kurfurst?  And given that Italy was licence building DB605 engines for their own use post war, Spain could actually buy the spares.  In theory.  Extrapolate it forward to the 1960s and when the producers of the film "The Battle of Britain" are looking at Messerschmitts...  I'll leave that to you.

Other one I quite like.  What if the fire that wiped out the Czech's stash of DB605s had never happened and they continued on flying the S-99s?  Obviously, use the Revell G-10 (the wider u/c track that Revell cocked up can be explained as Czech redesign) and a simple respray.  I'd also go with the sliding blown hood of the later S199s too.  And of course, the Isrealis can fly them too...

Alternately, how about the Czechs using the K series rather than the G-10s?  There are very subtle differences between the two.  Hmmn.  I found an Amodel K in the loft a week or so back.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 24, 2014, 12:12:13 pm
Decided to have another look for 109s in the loft - I know there's a box of late ones built up but can I find it?

Did some tidying earlier and moved one or two models onto shelves.  One being the Magna Henley and I start thinking about one in late war colours as a communications hack with 2TAF.  Six stack exhausts and a four blade prop, wing racks and underwing tanks from a Hurricane? 

Wonder where my Magna Henley is?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 05, 2015, 07:02:56 pm
Started work on a Tamiya Mosquito and with some resin bits, hopefully it'll look a bit different to the usual Mosquito fighters one sees on the tables.

I've been thinking about digging out some of the stuff that's on hold - ie built and primed/painted but got no further.  There's at least one Tempest II, possibly a few others, that will fit in The Plan tangentially but the others really need finishing off so I can box them.  Tempted with one with a contraprop in CFE markings.  And then there's the Tempest two seat trainer too. Far too many Tempest projects - I think I ran an early version of The Plan with them.

There's also a Fury that I really want to finish as someone did a Tempest in SEAC markings that I liked so much I wanted to do it with a Fury as I thought it more believable.  Again, there's a fair few Fury based projects that are just sitting about with nowhere to go.

I've also been looking at some of the Lancaster based projects knocking about, one of which simply *has* to be finished for 'uddersfield, if only to screw with the heads of many people.  I've also been thinking about applying several different schemes to the Airfix Lancaster B.II I got last week.  Narrowed it down to two, so I may just have to get another one for that.

Just wish I can remember what I meant to do with so many of these projects...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 13, 2015, 05:05:46 pm
I'm back on the Avro carousel - first Lancasters and now Shackletons.  I blame Dave for the latter, a after I'd commented on his musings on an AEW3 version, I just had to do some digging to prove myself either wrong or right.  Which indeed I was - there's clearance for the radome with an extended nosegear, which means I'll have to find the Vulcan one I have spare somewhere IF I can remember where they are, or failing that rob one from one of the Vulcans in the loft at me Mam's.

I tested the theory with a genuine built up Frog kit that I'd acquired some years back for a modest sum and a resin copy of the Aeroclub radome.  It's missing it's engines as I'd snapped them off and now can't find them.  Typical!  I also did some work on cleaning it up and that's been continued a bit further.  I just need to blend in the inner nacelles a bit more with some plastic card and more filler.  The wingtips tanks are also missing, but a pair of the large Hunter drop tanks will do nicely.  They're just that shade longer to look out of place.  Intended scheme is Hemp over Light Aircraft grey with the toned down 8 Sqn markings of the E3 Sentries.

I also did some hacking about with a part started Novo example I got at a show a year or so back, with the intention of turning it into an AEW2, albeit with the MR3 canopy.  It'll be wheels up, largely because I want to keep the undercarriage for a Lancaster B.VI special with a rather unusual load, but also because I rather like flying models these days.  I also have a singular lack of Shackleton props too. Scheme may be the Hemp/LAG, but more likely Dark Green/Dark Sea Grey over LAG.  May have to cast a radome for that one.

Anyhoo, back to the Lancaster.

I've been cleaning up a half built one I was given last year and I'm still torn as to quite what to do with it.  I'm leaning towards a Gibraltar based ASW one with late war markings in EDSG/Dark Slate Grey with Azure undersides (which looks great, at least in me head), an AEW Lancastrian if I can hack off the nose (the kit has an FN82 tail turret as standard) wearing the same scheme, or another ASW aircraft but wearing an overall Dark Sea Grey with white fuselage top decking as per some of the Shackletons.  Snag is, that scheme is quite late and they'd need the windows fitting in the rear fuselage but the airframe is too advanced for that level of hacking about, which TBH rules out the AEW version. Whichever option I do plumb for, it has to be a dark scheme to hide the multitude of flaws - the guy I got it from is more used to post war Russian jets and the way Airfix have broken down the kit is also a major pain in the backside.

I do have a part built Hasegawa one which may well be a better option for that scheme and that does have the windows cut out. I think that's the best bet, although I'd originally planned it in a EDSG/Dark Slate Grey with Sky undersides, BPF markings and carrying a lifeboat.  I've also got a part built Hasegawa kit which is getting Merlin 85's to do it as a mk 6, but again, a maritime scheme is planned for this one.

This doesn't take into account the various Airfix Lancs that are part built and largely planned for re-engining with later Merlins. At least two are Grand Slam carriers, one of which was intended for post war colours and the markings of the Central Bombing School. The idea of a Blue Steel aerodynamic test shape underneath is very tempting.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 18, 2015, 08:38:38 pm
"But that's not the plan any more, is it, Avon?"

Finished my tour on Lancasters with little meaningful done, although the AEW now has at least one of the upper colours on and it's ready to be masked off for the second.  The two Airfix ones are definitely ASR aircraft, but I've yet to get to the primer stage,.  TBH, I'm more interested in finishing off many of the single engined types that are littering the place and especially the Tempests.

I got about four done the other day, one of which fits tangentially into The Plan(Spitfires) and I'm tempeted with a real mk VI but have it written up as a Whif. 

That doesn't make a lot of sense does it?  Okay. 

Part of The Plan includes an article on 6 Sqn and how they got Spits to replace their Hurricanes - which did actually happen - but they then got Tempests.  Now, I've got them getting clapped out Spit Vbs and then 16s and 22s before moving to Tempest IIs (which means I now have a unit for the Tempest II T-bird!), but in the planned backstory, I'll have a photo from a model show of a Tempest VI as a what if they got VIs instead of IIs, plus the obligatory whif Spiteful.  Can I get away with this?  A real aircraft as a whif?

There's also another P.1027 with leading edge intakes, another P1027 but with a Fury wing and leading edge intakes, plus a Tempest II with a Fury wing.  The latter looks rather Russian, almost La-9.  Definitely a contraprop for that one and Central Fighter Establishment markings.  More Sea Fury torpedo fighters, although one is definitely getting Korean war markings.

There's also a pair of Beaufighters that have got paint on and something else which was hinted at a while back but I want to keep it under wraps until Perth.  There's another thing I want finished for Perth, so get your thinking caps on as to what that may be...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 20, 2015, 03:19:40 pm
"Hoo, mista!  Have ye got any Bofightas?"

Yep, mine arrived yesterday and I was so impressed with the initial test fitting that I got carried away and started gluing bits together.  The wings are assembled, sort of, the internals are together and under a coat of paint, although the detail parts will need the black applying and the wheels are done and just need a little sanding.

The engines.  I've commented on the somewhat crude look elsewhere and the fit looks to be a little tricky.  More as and when.  Overall though, the fit looks to be excellent, although it does look a little complex.  I definitely recommend trimming down the two upper forward fuselage mounting lugs to improve the fit and I suspect the engines could be a little tricky once assembled to get onto the mounting points as it's a snug fit.

I've just started looking at the torpedo and it's both good and bad.  The torpedo itself is nice, with very fine propellors but the airtail...  Looks like it's been hammered together from railway sleepers!  Well it would if it were scaled up and would have a similar aerodynamic quality.  Some nasty ejector pin marks on it too.  Pity, as I need at least one but very likely lots more for various other things, not least of which is the Banff Mosquito that's been lurking nearly finished in a box somewhere - I just need the torpedo and I can get it done.  There's also a built up Brigand I got some years back that is begging to be done as an inflight far east one.  Something else I can get finished and boxed off.

I'm looking at finishing it with the radar and fin fillet but can't find my mould for the radome.  I did find a cast fillet but when comparing it to the Airfix kit (it's a copy of the Hasegawa fillet) i think modifying the resin rather than the kit looks to be the way to go.

Whilst I was looking at that, I took the time to compare the two kit fuselages.  The Airfix one seems shorter than the Hasegawa but the latter seems to be almost bagn on according to the Franks/Sami datafile.  Hmmn.  Actually, I can live with it.

The Beaufighter as impressed me so much that it's knocked the other builds off the pile.  The Airfix and Xtrakit Swifts have hit the blocks, although the former more for lack of bits and a certain other project that was getting close to final assembly has also stalled.  I'd hoped to get it done in time for Edinburgh in a fortnight but that would really be rushing it and it will need a great deal of filling at the wing roots.  Won't say anything more about it, although I know Mr Spackman will be impressed, certainly with the wings, when it makes it's Telford debut alongside another related build.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 27, 2015, 09:13:45 am
"Can you see the object?  What is it?"

Well, the Beaufighter is nearing a date with a can of primer, although I still need to find the radar nose - my mould has vanished and the one I thought was the radar nose turns out to be a RR Eagle spinner.  More of which later.  The Beau has turned out to be a fantastic build although the engines were very fiddly and I may end up stealling a set of props (with spinners) from the Hasegawa kit.

Still undecided on a scheme for it, although a NMF RAAF one is a nice idea.

The donated Brigand has now had a coat of primer to see what needs doing with regards to filling.  The u/c doors need to go back into place and the canopy needs cutting out.  I'm minded towards painting the glazing black as it'll be a flying model. Again, undecided as to a scheme, but a white/med sea grey scheme with red codes and type C markings would be fairly quick.

The other project has had some work and the wings are now on.  The massive area that needed filling at the wing roots was done with p38 and it's now been sanded and the airframe given a quick prime to see what needs doing next with a final swipe or three of Humbrol filler.  Get that done, on with the fins and spinners (see above - I need to cast a few more), a final primer coat and she's off to the paint shop.  If possible, I can get it finished by next weekend, alongside another related project that's been dragging for a few years.

One of the Swifts - the Xtrakit one - will also be given an overall coat of XDSG and decals from a FRADU Hunter.  I just want a quick coat to get it done and out of the way.

There's so much else that I want to get finished but looking at the time left - it's almost the end of August and I haven't even looked at this year's Plan Spitfires - I may have to just go with the few mentioned here.  But that means abandoning a Mosquito that I've been itching to do, not to mention finishing off a BoB Beaufighter...  :banghead:

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 31, 2015, 11:44:04 am
"Time, Professor.  It's all a matter of time!"

I've been having a slight rethink about the Airfix Beaufighter and what scheme it'll end up in.  I'm now leaning towards a Far East Training Squadron scheme with yellow trainer bands and overall Aluminium finish.  Largely because it's relatively simple yet colourful (note to self - must have red spinners).

There's a Pegasus Defiant that's been on slow burn for some time that now has it's u/c legs on - I found that doing some minor surgery to the spare Airfix doors much easier than cutting out new doors - and the canopy is masked for painting.  Again, something else I'd like to get done for Telford and it looks somewhat different to it's original incarnation.  There's also another built up one donated by Uncle Frank somewhere in the stash that may end up as a radar nightfighter.  Again, that may be a bit more long term but the other Defiant gunney trainer has been located and the cockpit given a lick of paint.  This will be ready for Telford.

The major thing I had to get done today was some moulding.  Couldn't find the mould for the Beaufighter nosecone so I'd had to redo it but also at the same time I have to do a mould for the Lincoln nose glazing.  There's two on the go, using different parts to try to find an ideal solution.  I have some clear resin which seems to work a treat so one or two projects using a Lincoln nose should be easier to do.  Also took the opportunity to do a new set of moulds for Spitfire wheels - the old one is near shot with overwork, poor thing.

I did have another look at the Blackbird Lincoln conversion and having found the extension for the RAAF one, I'm looking at a possible RAAF Lancastrian with said longer nose, although I can't really think of a use for it.  I'll have to have a think on this one and it may end up as a mutant Lincolnian.  I'm still considering a Griffon or Centaurus Lincoln using a Shackleton wing which I know is definitely doable from the Revell kit.

As usual, too many projects to consider and this time many are large which means storage problems.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 12, 2017, 08:12:59 pm
Time for a wee update here methinks.

Been throwing a few bits and bobs together, in quite a few cases if only to get them together, some paint and markings on and get shot. 

The old Frog Vengeance being one such example.  Found it part started in a box - as you do - and couldn't remember what it was to be.  So, after getting it together - it's a right pig, give it a total miss - it's going middle east RAF (the real ones largely went to the far east), probably a maintenance unit in Egypt, but I'm unsure as to scheme.  Either the usual desert colours - Mid Stone, Dark Earth over Azure Blue or Dark Green, Dark Earth over med Sea Grey.  I'm leaning toward the former but it's had it's claws removed and getting a spinner.  Hate the thing and just want rid. 

I did have an idea for an Isreali one rescued from an RAF scrap dump in Palestine, but after doing this POS, I'm never doing another Vengeance again, so that idea is free if anyone else wants to run with it.

Next up, a Hobbyboss He 162.  I've always had a liking for this one and enjoyed what was a very quick and trouble free build but again, now it's together I'm unsure of a scheme.  Tempted with overall Black as an observer's recognition model but that's maybe too easy.  Argentinian? Or maybe a low viz overall RLM 76 high altitude scheme but with overpainted RAF roundels?  Whatever I decide on, it's in flight.

A Matchbox Canberra PR9, although it's getting armed with the 4 cannon gunpack from a B.(I)8.  Ideal for stooging over the North Sea at altitude and swooping down on Bears.  Again, this is a real pig of a kit and the other one in the stash I'll happily offload at cost (a princely 3 notes! - original Matchbox too, none of your Revell reboxes here!).  Very little fits or matches and a lot of filler has been used.  Wings yet to go on but it's moving apace.  PRU Blue and Med Sea Grey here.

I did do a little work on an Airfix Boston as a 633 Sqn machine - they had them in the book before getting Mossies - but it's not a nice kit IMO and I really just want it gone.

An assembled Heller Bf 109C got a bit further with it's tail feathers and undercarriage on.  Have a definite scheme in mind for this one - RAF captured in 1940 as one of the Luftwaffe night fighters got himself lost and ended up in Kent.  Dark Earth, Dark Green over yellow.  Quite like the Heller C variant as it's a quick and easy build.

So we get to the meat of the dish.  Beaufighters.  I wanted shot of me Revell/Matchbox ones, so threw one together (couldn't find the fuselage for the other, although it may be used as donor fodder anyway) and it's going Turkish.  They did get Beaufighters, but not TF.Xs.  I've one part painted, so I fancy that one as a Turkish one too and the one that's going together now will be in a later scheme of Dark Green over Light Blue, like their Spitfire PR.19s.  I need an u/c for this one so it may get a little held up.

I also put the u/c on a stalled Hasegawa TF.X which is a rocket strike aircraft operating from Gibraltar.  There's quite a few Beaufighters backing up and I'd really like them all done so I can try and have a bash at the developed version which led into the Grigand.  I've got all the bits it's just a question of time.

What else?  The Revell Shackleton AEW2 needs assembling and I'd like that out of the way afore the Airfix one comes out.  I've an Airfix Shack that's being backdated to MR1/T4 configuration, although I've other duties and scheme in mind for it.  Plus something else that's been on and off for some time and frustratingly close to being done.  I *will* finish it in time for Huddersfield!

And I will try to get at least one of the many Lancasters done, if only to clear some more room!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 17, 2017, 03:54:28 pm
Reality has struck.  It seems the Turks *did* have the Beaufighter TF.X, so that plan is all to pot now.  The two part painted ones are now masked for the second coat of paint.  The two Turkish ones will have to be something else. One could possibly be Chilean.  It's so random and out there that it could just work.  Or not.  We shall see.  Alternatively, I could just remask that blasted thing.

Two Pegasus MB5s that have been languishing are now refitted with u/c legs.  Admittedly stolen from the Novo Firefly, but that's cool.  They're far more whiffable.  One is going 2TAF, because I like them and I fancy using the rocket rails from the Firedog Beaufighter.  Still undecided on the second, but it'll need some cleanup of tape glue.  IIRC, it was to have been navalised but on reflection, I'd rather keep it RAF.

I've also got a pair of Frog/Novo Blenheims to the primer stage.  One's going to be a courier aircraft (sans turret) on the Malta/Gibraltar run, so EDSG/Dark Slate Grey over Azure Blue is going to look rather fetching, especially with red spinners.  T'other has the gunpack and I'm minded towards a mid war nightfighter scheme of Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey with Night undersurfaces.  Not sure if it'll be a squadron hack with a Beaufighter unit or with one of the OTUs.  Either are plausible, but the latter has that "I'm not quite sure it's a fake" element that I really enjoy.

The Canberra has stalled, largely because the wing fit is so awful. Pity.  I was rather attached to that idea.  Still, it's been advanced a bit further so no real loss.  However, it does mean that the second Canberra PR9 I have in the stash is now up for grabs for what I paid for it.

Had a look at one of the Lancasters that's stalled, a far east "Grand Slam"  May have to do some destruction as I'd fitted it with Village Inn and the Grand Slam aircraft were largely lightened to ensure the got off the ground! No fancy heavy gear for you, me laddo!  As it is, she looks to be ready enough to mask for spraying.  I may have to do similar work with the second Grand Slam carrier, although with that having the more powerful Merlin 85s, weight may not be an issue.  However, that's already been sprayed underneath...

Really need to get some primer and hopefully, this weekend will be dry.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 21, 2017, 05:00:55 pm
My thoughts on the Beaufighters and what to do with them have kind of crystalized.  And then fractured as there's another two that could slot in nicely.

I had thought of Dutch for one of the EDSG machines and Yugoslav for the as yet unpainted one but then I got thinking, which is never good.  The first was based on seeing the artwork for the Firedog Beau and thinking that it would look nicer with Type C1 roundels over the same scheme.  Night intruders with rockets blasting Luftwaffe nightfighters on the ground is a nice idea.  This would take care of the unpainted one so one of the EDSG machines could still get the upper colours as EDSG and Dark Slate Grey but with night undersurfaces and still toting rockets to deal with any surfaced u-boats at night.  That leaves the third aircraft which was always going to have the latter scheme but with Sky undersurfaces to have rockets and the big tank for the Banff Strike wing.

But I still like that Yugoslav idea and I have some old Frog Beaus kicking about.  No, I'd rather build the Matchbox one as it fits together with minimal fuss.  May keep an eye out for one or two at a reasonable price.  I have a decent stash of Airfix ones but would rather use them for real world ones (I've seen four Firedog ones in different schemes and all with the same squadron.  It'd be nice to do all four together).

A quick look for the Frog Beau unearthed a part built Novo DH Comet racer.  RAF fast communications for that one, I think.  Quick and simple - Dark Earth and Dark Green over Yellow or maybe Sky.  I also located a Pegasus Miles Master I that I'd quite like as a cheap fighter, although I'd have to change the radiator setup to something that looks more like a Lancaster one.  More long term for that one.

Threw together another Novo Blenheim, adding the fighter gunpack.  Dark Slate Grey and EDSG over Night for intruder missions over Italy in late 1940. I'll mask off the canopy later so I can prime it and the other Blenheims tomorrow or monday.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 23, 2017, 06:56:16 pm
Got some of the priming done but gave up as me hands starting to freeze in the cold.  I'll try to finish it off later in the week and I'll do the other Beau at the same time.

I'm going to rethink the EDSG/DSG/Night Blenheim - on the grounds that I've already done it once, although that was more in the normal bomber scheme.  Then again, I may do it anyway as it's a nice combination of colours.

I've had a rethink on the He 162 and I'm leaning towards Czech, possibly in the colours of one of their S199 units.  I've a feeling I have another one or two of those Hobbyboss Volksjagers tucked away, so the captured one is still on the cards for a future build.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 30, 2017, 07:33:39 am
Posting in the Martin Baker MB5 thread on widening the scope of an MB5 theme build to include other MB aircraft and projects led me to doing some digging to find my unfinished MB3 and the 12 gun fighter that was gifted to me by TsrJoe.

The latter is really just a shape and Narses2 has said he has the Unicraft kit (pause for sarcastic response....) so I've a feeling I may just add some props, a tailfin (all MB projects inevitably ended up with larger fins) and just spray it black as an Observer Corps model.  Cheating?  No, just some lateral thinking.

I did find my box of MB5 kits and found that I had quite a few - 2 Pegasus, a Falcon vacform, 3 Magna and the remains of a French resin kit.  I've a feeling that the vacform was going to get the wings from the resin kit, but I've slept since then.  I know there's at least one more Pegasus MB5 kicking about that I can lay my hands on, quite possibly there's another which I'm sure I got at Telford 2015, but I'm not going to go digging for the latter right now.

The Magna kit is probably his best, with nice fit, some superb surface detail and the radiator intake is extremely fine.  I'm almost tempted to make a start on one, but really, I've enough for now.  Wish I knew where the MB3 is - it's not where I last remember it and I know it's in a Heller Spitfire 16 box.  Obviously, given the VAST number of Spitfires I have, and quite a few are the Heller 16, it's like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

One good thing is that I found a spare set of Pegasus instructions - if you can call them that - which give templates for the wheel doors, which is handy as I'd like to get one of the stalled builds finished sometime soon, possibly in time for 'uddersfield.

And finally, the MB2.  Many years ago, I got a Merlin kit of this beastie an it was actually one of his more buildable kits, so much so that it actually got built, primed, painted and decalled.  And then stalled, as the canopy wouldn't fit.  Neither would the magna one, as the Magna one is a lot wider and the Merlin one rather slim.  So I'm considering sawing the canopy in half and posing it open.  Given that I'd put some detail in the cockpit, it's a worthy idea. I just have to find it...

I did pick up another Merlin one at Telford last year, although I'll try widening the fuselage with some plastic card to try and get it closer to the correct width.  I'm rather curious now as to quite where my Magna MB2 is - I've seen a drawing of a late variant with a retractable u/c and I'm tempted to do one.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 30, 2017, 07:38:26 pm
Found the MB2 in about five minutes, although it wasn't in the box I expected it to be in - it was full of bits for various Hawker projects, including 1083 wings and a 1130 "Huntsman" fuselage so I made a mental note in case I want to resurrect these at some point.

I test fitted the canopy and found that it does sort of fit but is so thick and unclear that opening it is a good idea.  Well, until I'd actually sawed through it and found that it's 3mm thick in some places.  The model itself needs a coat of varnish before I do anything, but I think that attaching the canopy and doing any requisite filler work now is probably better, so that the varnish can settle and hide any repaint work better.

Also found the 12 gun twin engined fighter.  Not sure what to use for the blister canopy but I'm thinking Beaufighter observer's blister.  Then again, a proper hood would have been demanded by Boscombe Down and as I'm giving it the MB3 fin spare from the AZ MB5 - or possibly an MB5 fin that I discovered was spare in the MB5 box of bits - I could get away with a more normal canopy.

On to other thoughts.  Skuas.  What can you do with them?  Well, not a lot.  What I am considering is an early batch actually getting the Mercury that it was intended to get until the RAF coughed and said that they needed more for Blenheims and Gladiators and could the Navy find a different engine please?  I have a cheap Revell boxed Frog kit that has the Magna resin wings and little planned for it.  Alternatively, I could just give it a better resin Perseus (I have a mould somewhere) and do it as a land based one against the Italians operating from Malta in that fetching EDSG/Dark Slate Grey and Night scheme.  Or even from Illustrious in a second attack on Tarranto.  I've a feeling I may have a built up kit somewhere that was going to get a Taurus.  Wonder where that is?  Actually, I have a horrible idea that I know where it is and it'd be a reet arseache to get to. 

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 31, 2017, 03:31:36 pm
I've been thinking on more alternate schemes for Blenheim Is. Largely because I have quite a few of the old Frog/Novo kit to use up.

Desert scheme with the fighter gunpack and the small bombs.  Habbanya during the Iraqi revolt.  Strafe them then drop the small bombs.  The second would be a similar scheme but with the turret replaced with a blister (probably Beaufighter as I have quite a few!)  South African roundels and in use as a training machine.

I'd also been thinking about early Mosquitos.  The Navy wanted 200 for use as target tugs but had they actually got them, they might have been reconfigured for the bomber or PR role. Tamiya kit with the SAM resin early nacelles and an EDSG/Dark Slate Grey and Sky scheme.  Plenty of Mosquito kits in the stash and a spare set of those nacelles somewhere.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 01, 2017, 04:39:17 am
Quick update.

The two new Blenheim ideas are being translated into plastic - I stated a pair last night plus found another part started (wings) so that got added to the pile.  Still need a scheme for the latter but I'm tempted with an RAAF evaluation aircraft.

The MB2 now has it's windscreen on and all faired in.  Most of the little detail parts on it have been painted so it'll be off to the paint sop later for a coat of varnish.  That'll be ready for 'uddersfield.  With that out of the way, I'll try to finish the MB5 that's just needing u/c doors to finish off.

That is all.  So far...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 02, 2017, 04:48:01 am
Got some paint on the Blenheims last night.  The nightfighter scheme one looks quite different in Medium Sea Grey - and this is before I put the disruptive colour on it!  The other two are resplendent in EDSG and look quite natty, although I'll reed to respray the wing of one.  The late war Beaufighter also has a coat of med sea grey on it's uppers, so that's off to be masked later.

Wings are on the part started Blenheim.  That's going to be a trainer in South Africa but sans turret.  still need to do some work there.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 02, 2017, 07:38:43 pm
The three Blenheims are now masked and ready for a second colour.  Actually found them a lot easier and quicker to mask than Spitfires, far more straightforward despite the size differential.  Props and wheels are also mounted to be sprayed up too.

Whilst I had the EDSG in the airbrush - and there wasn't much of it left! - I decided to use it up on a pair of stalled RN builds, this time a Tempest II as a Royal Navy training machine and another Sea Fury torpedo fighter.  This one is going to have the high demarcation scheme and quite probably type D roundels with markings for Eagle.  I did toy with Canadian for a few moments but the FAA won out in the end.  Doubt these will be advanced much whilst I'm on a twins kick - at least until the three Blenheims and a similar number of Beaufighters are finished. 

The latter will be providing the torpedo and the launch gear for the Sea Fury TF and I'm starting to think about where the Eagle P.1027 Tempest went - that had been sprayed with EDSG for use in a similar role and it may be wise to try and find it to finish it off at the same time.  More archaeology beckons!

Back to the Blenheims.  I was thinking about putting Hercules engines on a Blenheim some years back but never did and I remembered that I have an MPM Blenheim V part built somewhere.  It was a horrid kit to build and I'm considering some surgery to use Matchbox Beaufighter u/c nacelles, gear and doors on the kit and add the Hercules engines.  Now I'd read that it was unlikely that the Blenheim could take the weight but also in the same book there was comment that Bristol had built in a great deal of structural strength and if anything they'd overbuilt the aircraft so the possibility that it may indeed have had the strength to carry Hercules may well be there.  So I get thinking about a Blenheim V with Hercules engines and Beaufighter outer wing panels (actually, they'd the same base wing) with either rockets or machine guns.  May be worth thinking a bit more but it's a decent enough whiffed light bomber for use in the far east.  And it gets rid of another part started project!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 07, 2017, 08:07:32 pm
Right - where am I?

Got the MB2 finished yesterday so it could be shown off at the club.  It actually looks a lot better than I think it deserves and it'll be down at 'uddersfield on Sunday, along with a few other MB5s if I can dig them out.  I will be finishing off another MB5 later in the week as I just have to get the u/c doors all sorted out.  Finally, whilst I'm waffling on about MB stuff, I did have another look at the twin engined MB thing and I may just tack on a few bits and bring it down in case someone wants to have a quick gander.

Blenheims.  The second colour is on, tidied and the masking now on for the underneath to go on, along with the late war night strike Beau.  I'll get them sprayed tomorrow when I get in and possibly decalled but I doubt that they'll be ready for the weekend.  One perhaps, but not all three.  I did mask of the RN Tempest but the Sea Fury TF will need another coat of EDSG and I can't get that until saturday.  Still, it wasn't important anyway, I just sprayed it cos it was there and I needed to finish off the paint.  I still want to find the Eagle engined one.

An Attacker and the He 162 finally got primed.  The former being a Plan item doesn't fit here, but it will get a coat of Ocean Grey along with a Pegasus MB5 later in the week.  The Attacker will be the first prototype but in camo as opposed to the overall NMF.  Still undecided with the He 162 whether it'll be RAF captured or a Czech one.  Either is quick to do.

There is one other project that I fully intend to finish off for the weekend that's been in the making for about four years.  Not saying anything else about this as I want it as a reall shocker.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 09, 2017, 06:30:19 pm
Another older project that'll be ready for Huddersfield is a single seat Defiant fighter.  Just got to find a few bits and I'll be done.  There's a similar vintage MB5 that'll be finished at the same time also.  I hope!

The Eagle Tempest turned up - in a box I'd not remembered putting it in.  Did find a primed Hallamvac Brigand, so I'll be having a look at that soon too.  The Tempest will need another coat of paint afore I can mask her, so that's more long term, along with the Sea Fury torpedo strike fighter.

And - whilst I'm not actively looking them out - unfinished projects are popping up and screaming "Complete me!", the latest being a Banff Mosquito torpedo fighter.  That had stalled due to a lack of a suitable torpedo, but now with 10+ Airfix ones kicking about, I've no excuse to leave it lying about.  It's a Hasegawa one I was given, so getting it done and out of the way is quite tempting.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 11, 2017, 08:45:09 am
Well, the Defiant is all done and ready to go and the Martin Baker just needs a tailwheel and the canopy and she's good to go.  I'm not that happy with either - both the build and paint finish could be better - so Martin may well get a couple of donations to the SIG reserve collection, although the MB5 may remain with me until Telford.  I really should dig out the two or three that are built and finished.

One idea that is starting to look more and more tempting is a Ju 52/3m re-engined with Bristol Mercuries.  IIRC, there's a wreck of a Heller one  - which is the best of the 72nd Ju 52/3ms available - up in the loft at me Mam's (I do know there's an Italeri one there too), so I may have a look for that and rebuild it using Blenheim engines (Frog/Novo) and RAF desert camo.  A Do 17Z may well get similar treatment and both aircraft would be used as hacks.  Basically, both are trying to do something different with Luftwaffe aircraft that may/may not be in the stash.  I'm not sure what happened to the Do 17Z I did have.  I just had a flash of a desert camo Ar 96B as an RAF communications hack.  A Bf 108 in similar camo would look nice too.

Whilst I'm looking for that, I'll dig out the Airfix HP Hampden, as I rather like the idea of a Coastal Command one re-engined with Bristol Hercules, package guns either side of the nose and rockets under the wings.  They'd be used for anti-U-Boat operations in the Atlantic rather than the Beaufighters, and given that the aircraft could carry a bomb load too (alternatively depth charges, mines or torpedo), the RAF would have a more useful ASW aircraft and the Beau's could be used for night intruder work or ASW work over the North Sea or Bay of Biscay where the Hampden would be at risk more from the Luftwaffe's fighters.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 11, 2017, 01:35:55 pm
The Martin Baker is all done, although the canopy caused issues, largely because it's vacform and intended for a different MB5 kit entirely.  Still, it looks like what it's meant to be.

The other project, which has been some years in the making on and mainly off, is now off again due to issues with the nose glazing.  I'm not going to rush it and due to sheer frustration, have shelved it for the foreseeable.  It should be at Telford, but what year that'll be is open to debate.

Have everything I'm taking with me sorted - the full box of Spits from Telford and a few others that have been finished since, plus the three models for the SIG stand.  There's a Blenheim somewhere that I'd like to bring but like so many things here, it's currently in hiding.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 11, 2017, 04:11:48 pm
You know, I'm starting to get tired of seeing MB5s. 

Don't get me wrong - it's fantastic that there's a semi-mainstream kit available and that people are able to go wild with imagination - but I think that given the numbers that we'll see both on here and elsewhere on t'interweb plus on the tables at various shows, we could well be feeling overkill by the end of the year. 

Yes, perhaps that's maybe a bit rich considering I have a few on the go, but by and large these were ones that were started years ago, certainly pre-2007, and two of the three have been radically re-engined and changed so they look drastically different.  I just want to get them out of boxes and finished, as I'm sick and tired of seeing too many unfinished projects so cutting any number of these down has got to be a good thing.  Perhaps that's why I've looked at the other MB aircraft projects that I have littering the place to try and break it all up.

Perhaps I've been doing this too long.  Perhaps I'm seeing people doing stuff now that I did perhaps 15 years ago and I'm looking at it with too cynical an eye. 

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 14, 2017, 03:57:08 pm
NO! Before that, Michael! Oh God, I've got to stop sniffing this Ajax!

Yes.  Blenheims.  The Malta Courier and the night intruder are both finished.  Rather pleased with both, although the latter has some dust inside the canopy which is impossible to remove.  I've just stuck with the base kits, so the odd intakes within the engines aren't there. The other Blenheim I'll leave for another day, largely because I've had enough of the Frog kit for now but also because I'm looking more towards finishing the Mosquito FBVI torpedo bomber.

The MB5 now has a coat of Ocean Grey on it.  I did consider having the entire engine cowl in green, similar to the so called Firewall scheme worn by Mustangs in Italy but decided against it.  Going for a straight day fighter scheme, possibly ADGB and possibly 607 Sqn codes as a "what if?" within a what if history, if that makes any sense to anyone but me. Perhaps I'm going too subtle these days, but I am enjoying myself and that's all that matters in the end, really.  Although out of the scope of this blog, two Attackers also got a coat of Ocean Grey too.

The Yugoslav Beaufighter  TF.X is ready for a coat of primer, probably aluminium as that'll be it's in service scheme.  I may start digging out a Mosquito or two for something else I have in mind that I alluded to in another thread.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 24, 2017, 03:24:24 pm
"Ah, Vyvyan, beginning to regret it now, are you?"

The Yugoslav Beaufighter will have to have a rethink, largely due to the kit's limitations - small intakes on the engine rather than the big tropical filters.  So I'm now thinking Norwegian instead and I may use a Hasegawa Beau for a Yugoslav one.

Dug out a Tamiya Mosquito B.IV for my planned early Navy one and I'm thinking of opening out the camera ports - I doubt the Navy would have had use for a bomber but a spotter or PR bird makes a bit more sense.  I did have a look at a Matchbox Mosquito for a late war different scheme job but it needs so much work to get it to look like anything halfway decent I just chucked it back in the box.

Blenheims.  The three that are part started are now a little further - two fuselages are closed up so I can get the nose glazing on over the weekend.  I rather like the idea of one with rockets with a Beaufighter OTU as a weaponary trainer.  That takes care of the third one - SAAF trainer, Iraq '41 with guns and light bombs strafing Rashid Ali's collaborationist scum and now the rocket trainer.  Although I'm still rather enamoured of an RAAF one in overall aluminium.

MB5.  The Centaurus one is going to get a coat of primer tomorrow, although I've yet to decide what scheme it'll end up in, whilst the other one is going to get masked so I can spray the green.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 25, 2017, 06:01:38 pm
If anyone else asks that question, I'm going to stick their head through the window!

The Nowegian Beaufighter has now been primed, along with the Centaurus MB5.  I also dug out a pair of assembled Matchbox Tempests and gave them a quick coat too.  I'm planning 2 with 2TAF, one as a fighter with tanks, t'other with rockets for tank busting.  Probably with a Typhoon unit's markings and kill symbols.

I'm also planning a pair with 607 Sqn, as part of my whif within a whif, plus I never did finish my 6 Sqn Tempest fleet.  The two seat trainer looks like it could do with a coat of primer too, so that may get dusted later and sprayed tomorrow, weather permitting.

There's a fair few Tempests that are part started and I'd like to cut the numbers down somewhat, and although I really do want to get back to Spitfires at some point soon - I'm missing gluing bits together - trying to eliminate all the part started projects littering the place has got to be a good idea.  Blenheims, Beaufighters, there's a few Hurricanes in a box, Tempests, Mosquitos, not forgetting the box of DH Hornets that I'd really like to go back to (2TAF markings and some middle east colours would be different) - all need to be finished off.  And I really want to do a Ta 152H recce version in PRU Blue with the Photographic development unit.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 27, 2017, 03:23:30 pm
"I tell you, this is going to be bigger than the biggest thing you can think of."

I spent a rather productive afternoon yesterday with a quartet of Tempest IIs.  Actually, there was another three, but they hadn't got as far as being primed.  TBH, I still need to glue the wings on, which I'll be doing later. The first 4 are now tidied up and ready for paint - two are quick resprays with Aluminium and will end up as 607 Sqn machines with different roundels (one type C1, t'other type D) but the other two will have to wait until I get the airbrush out again for the Ocean Grey.  The other three I've no firm plans for, although one may well end up as another 2TAF fighter and another being yet another 6 Sqn machine.  I'm sure I've a couple more Matchbox ones sitting in the stash, although I don't think that bit is accessible right now.

I also primed a Tempest 6 and a 2 seat Sea Fury torpedo fighter.  The latter is more long term, no instant hurry, I just thought it worth priming whilst the weather was nice.  The former will be a 6 Sqn aircraft in that fetching post war desert scheme.  I'm not entirely sure if it's a whif or not, but it'll eventually be written up as one.

After reading a thread on Britmodeller about tarting up the new KP Mustang - apparently there are issues with the fin and the nose, plus the wing is too far forward - I decided to have a look for some part started ones I knew I had in a box that was relatively easy to get at.  Sure enough, there's a bagged Revell Mustang in there, but also an assembled Tamiya D and an original tool Academy D.  I've a feeling I'd planned doing the latter in captured Luftwaffe markings, but that's now impossible due to my refusal to put swastikas on anything now, so I may well have to think of something else.  It doesn't have the fin fillet so it's an early one, so I'll have to do some reading to find an RAF squadron that didn't get P51Ds and go with that.

The Tamiya one - actually, there's another one somewhere at a similar stage, along with various razorback Mustangs from Frog, Monogram and Hobbyboss - was going to be a Banff Strike Wing escort, or possibly an attacker as the holes are drilled for the rocket rails.  I've a feeling I was going to do one of each, wearing the fetching Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky scheme with the low demarcation, similar to that worn by post war RN fighters.  I think they're also going to get looked at in the near future.  I just wish I could remember where that other box of Mustangs is!

Finally, I'm going to have a look in that box of Hurricanes to see if I can advance anything in there a little further.  Really would like to finish the FR version I know is in there as I know it's at the "to prime" stage.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 27, 2017, 04:25:59 pm
"Mike, Mike! Rick's pretend girlfriend has been crushed by a, sort of, medieval knight."

I found one box of Mustangs, but not the one I was looking for!  I went looking for a Tamiya F51D box, which I think is buried so deep in the wardrobe that some Fawn in Narnia is building it, but instead found a Hobbyboss P51C box, which I knew I had somewhere else.  I knew it held three kits - one Frog, one Monogram and the Hobbyboss.  Well, it did, but another Frog one was in there and a Revell one too. I vaguely recollect the Revell one - I knew I had one in the stash somewhere - but I can't remember getting a second.

Anyhoo, I now have a plan for this lot.  One of the Frog ones is going to be an RAF FR bird, probably in pink as I've been toying with that idea for some time.  The other three - Frog A, Monogram B and Hobbyboss C - are all going to be with the same squadron, possibly that Polish one I'd used for the MB2.

The Frog one looks a bit basic but is supposedly quite accurate in outline.  The Monogram kit is of a similar, possibly older vintage, but looks a bit slim although the wing is apparently bang on.  Hobbyboss?  Unsure, but it looks to be okay and it's going together. MFM!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 29, 2017, 02:34:12 pm
"What about Jelly Botty, where you have to eat 18 curries?"

Progress is progressing on a series of wide fronts.

The Tempests.  The trio have now of their wings and the gaps filled, but awaiting sanding.  I'll attach the tailplanes and fill them before i start any sanding, largely to get the bulk of it out of the way first. 

The trainer version got a primer coat of aluminium earlier and after a small amount of remedial work in the cockpit adding belts, got it's canopy.  That Perfect Plastic putty does have some uses fairing canopies in.  That's all masked now, so there's a little bit of work to do around the tailwheel well and then she gets a new coat of aluminium.    Once that's done, I'll get her decalled over the weekend.  I've a feeling she was going to go with one of the Malaya based squadrons and I'm sure I have some markings on an Xtradecal sheet somewhere.  I'll do the pair of 607 Sqn ones at the same time.  I also gave an assembled Airfix Typhoon a coat of Aluminium.  Tony O'Toole gave me an idea for that one.

Hurricanes.  Three have now got a coat of primer.  One was going to be a nightfighter and has the glareshields.  I'm not entirely sure what scheme it'll end up in, either overall Night or the more usual desert scheme but with Night undersurfaces.  Still need a squadron for that one, preferably based in Palestine intercepting German raids against Tel Aviv from bases in either Syria (the evil Vichy French traitors!) or possibly Crete, although I'm not sure if the Luftwaffe could mount raids from Crete.  Build it first and write the story later.  I do have a Hurricane I with a tropical filter already in a Night scheme, so that will go with it.

The one thing that's bothering me about the Hurricanes is where did I put my Hurricane bits box?  Largely because it has the canopies, wheels, props, etc, for this lot.  It's not where I thought I'd left it and looking for it in the back room is going to be a right headache...

Mustangs.  I've got one of the Frog ones with it's wings on, ditto the Monogram one and the Hobbyboss P51C is ready to go for a coat of primer.  The old Academy D now has a coat of primer and all the wheels have had their hubs sprayed.

Work on the Blenheims goes slower.  Two fuselages are assembled and cleaned up, so I'll need to look at getting the glazing sorted out soon.  Wheels have had the hubs sprayed and the props for one are done.  Likewise for the Beaufighters.

Lots going on, but little really to show for it.  If I can get this little lot done by the end of May, even half would be good, then I can move back to Spitfires.  Although there's a Shackleton 1 that I'm itching to get cracking with.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 31, 2017, 02:08:46 pm
"But it says here, Michael look, "Ensure machine is clean, and free from dust"!"

Bit further on, but not as much as I'd liked.  Managed to get some sanding done outside today, despite the wind blowing everything about.  The Frog and Monogram Mustangs are ready to get their u/c on tomorrow and then I'll sponge up the cockpits and get some primer on.

I've had a rethink about one of the Frog Mustangs.  I had planned to go with one as an FR in PRU Pink, but given that the kit is so grotty and old, I'd rather go with a darker scheme to hide the flaws, so I'm leaning more towards a bomber defence flight one, either in BoB colours or standard RAF day fighter colours but with a yellow nose.  Given that the early Mustangs tended to look like 109s, it may make the training just that shade more realistic.  Need to have a dig through Alan Lake's "Flying Units of the RAF" for a suitable squadron. I'll still be doing the PRU Pink FR one, but I'll use the far superior Academy kit, which I think is buried in the loft at me Mam's.

Blenheims.  Did get a bit further with one, and drilled new location holes for the aerials on two others but they seem to have stalled.  However, I did find another one, all assembled bar the engines and I haven't got a clue as to what it was for or when I did it.  Wasn't part of the trio I did earlier in the year, although I'll have to look back through the thread to check.  It does have the fighter gunpack, so I suspect that it may have been planned as a desert fighter version, attacking the Italians. I'll have to dig out some more resin sand filters for it.  Failing that, I'll nick them from an Airfix Blenheim.

The Tempests all have their tail feathers on and filled/sanded.  U/C will go on tomorrow and then off for a date with a can of primer.  The T-bird has had all the remedial work done on the aft end of the canopy, but to be fair, I'm not happy with it.  If I was to do it again, I'd start with a variety of canopies and mash it up, having the sliding sections open to show off the interior.  Still, it's ready for decalling.

Decalling.  I know I've at least a pair of Spitfires to finish decalling, possibly another two, so those plus the three Tempests - not to mention the nightfighter Hurricane - should give me a nice little line-up of new stuff to show off at Darlington next week.  This year is shaping up to be quite productive.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 02, 2017, 01:41:32 pm
"Listen, Michael, there's no need to worry! I've got a plan with which to thwart them!"

Cooking with gas now.  The Tempests all got primed earlier, bar one which is going NMF.  New can so the finish on the latter is almost eggshell.  Two of the 'stangs also got primed but I'm really starting to dislike them.  Got the two seat Sea Fury torpedo/strike fighter primed too, so that'll get a bit further later in the week.  Also did some cleanup on another Sea Fury t-bird, although that's been modded back to Fury at the base of the tail. RAuxAF, possibly.  It should get it's u/c on tomorrow.

Blenheims.  Canopy cleaned up for the part started one, and the engines cleaned up with the intakes removed for the addition of sand filters.  Two sets of engines have had the treatment, as one set is going on the assembled Blenheim I found on Friday.  Canopy all masked on that one, so a quick brush of interior green and then a date with the primer.

Finally, got the airbrush fired up to varnish a pair of Spitfires, so a pair of Tempests got their base coat of Dark Earth (6 Sqn, Middle East), whilst a motley collection of three Tempest IIs, a Mustang IV, the Centaurus MB5 and a Centaurus Furious all got their base coats of Ocean Grey.  Pretty sure they'll need another coat but I'll do that tomorrow.  The MB5 does need some sanding and I've spotted areas on the wing leading edge of one of the Tempests that needs some too.

Boat load of props all got a coat of black, courtesy of a can of gloss black spray from the Pound shop.  I've had to substitute a pair of Spitfire De Havilland three blade props for the two Allison engined Mustangs as one was missing and t'other broken. They're close enough and I doubt anyone will notice, let alone care.  Anyway, MFM!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 09, 2017, 03:16:30 pm
"No, but it doesn't say, "Ensure the machine isn't full of washing-up liquid"!"

Not really got much further forward, although I've got many props done and wheels painted.  I hate doing the latter.

The Blenheim If now has it's sand filters on, so that's off for a coat of primer.  I'm rethinking the scheme, which was to be a desert one, replacing the undersurface Azure Blue with Night.  It's largely so it'll fit with the two Hurricane nightfighters in Palestine.  The latter two would be defending against Luftwaffe night raiders from Crete using Syrian bases to attack Tel Aviv, so the Blenheims would be attacking said airfields.  Oops, this means I now need a standard Blenheim I bomber...  How many was I building and what where they intended to be?

The NMF Tempest is now ready to decal.  The finish is excellent and I'm just unsure what markings to give it, although I'm leaning towards another 6 Sqn aircraft.

I've a start made on a pair of Airfix Hurricanes, the fabric wing ones.  One will be a pre-war one in overall black as a nightfighter during the Munich crisis.  The other...  I'm actually thinking about getting the Alleycat Sea Hurricane I conversion and splitting it, using the hook on the fabric wing and the tin wing on another Hurricane.  It's a nice kit, I'm just finding it a little fiddly.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 10, 2017, 05:45:56 am
"Ah hah! Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha! Driving instructor my bottom! You're a vampire and there's no denying it!"

Finally, after much searching, and actually looking for something completely different, I have found my box of Hurricane bits.  The bits I actually need aren't in there, but at least I have the bulk of what I need to finish various part built models.  For some reason, they were in a Harrier box.

I was actually trying to find the Wellesley that Jim gave me a few years back.  I have a hankering for one in a desert scheme, having been inspired by a Wilderbeeste posted on Britmodeller.  I'd actually like to find the pair of part started Fairey Battles too.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 16, 2017, 01:52:02 pm
"The BBC would like to warn all small children that pushing people inside old fridges is a bloody stupid thing to do."

Well, after much searching I have finally found my part started Martin Baker MB3.  I was partially right, it was in a black Heller box - the DH Mistral.  And it was in a box I would never have thought of looking in, but looked in as I was digging out a T33 Shooting Star for Gary.  So, now we have that, it can be advanced further.  Magna give you two options for the spine, both vacform, and I'm going for the bubble hood.  Hopefully, I can have it together and cleaned up for priming by the end of the week.

Edit:  the wing is back on and the tailplanes are in place.  Should have the filler on afore I go to bed and I can move forward with this one fairly quickly.  Don't like the wheels, but then again, Magna's wheels were never the best.

While I was moving stuff to get at the box it was in, I was reflecting on the sheer volume of large boxes containing RAF bombers.  Surely I can trim this down?  Consequently, an Airfix Whitley, three various Lancasters (plus there's a Frog original I'm minded to get shot of) and a Revellogawa He 111 were added to the growing pile of stuff I want to sell on. There was also numerous Airfix kits from the Home Bargains Treasure Hunttm that I decided I just had a few too many of and could happily part with.  Frankly, I could do with the readies.

I found the part started Airfix ragwing Hurricane that I got at Telford when it came out, so I think I may try finishing that one off as an early one in some sort of nice colourful markings that fit the period.  In another box I had to shift, I found another built old tool Airfix Hurricane I that had got as far as being painted - silver underneath, dark green and dark earth on top - that I think I was going to do as an RAAF one pre war.  There's actually quite a few Hurricanes that got paint but never got finished and I've quite forgotten what I'd intended for them!  Some of them I'd actually like done, if only to clear the boxes away.

The nightfighter ragwing is progressing.  The fuselage is together and all cleaned up and the wing is ready to go on.  Not in any hurry to get this done as I'm waiting for the wheels.

All the Tempests are now masked and ready to spray the green on.  That'll be done tomorrow and then there's the sheer tedium of using tape to mask the rest off for the undersides.  I call it very, very dull!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 19, 2017, 03:12:07 pm
"What I need is the drill, the hedge trimmers, and some ordinary household bleach!"

Well, we progress.  All the second disruptive colours are on, with two Tempests getting the Light Slate Grey for the post war desert scheme and all the stuff needing Dark Green having that.  I also gave the Norwegian Beaufighter another coat of Extra Dark Sea Grey - two Sea Fury strike fighters and a Sea Hornet got theirs yesterday.  A pair of Hurricanes and a Blenheim If got a coat of Mid Stone.  The airbrush started playing up at that point so I decided to call it a day for the spraying.

The latter 3 are all part of the Luftwaffe attacking Palestine from bases in Crete, although as one of the Hurricanes has a recce pack it could well be late war keeping an eye on the Turkish border, or perhaps Northern Iran keeping an eye on the Russians.  If I had some post war Iranian roundels from the 1945-195 to period, I'd be tempted with an Iranian one instead.

The Mustangs are a little further forward, with the Novo one getting it's canopy - the Frog one is going to one side for now because I really dislike the kit.  So much so that I suspect that it'll never see the light of day again. The canopy on the Monogram one fought me with the  rear quarterlights, but after a conversation with Uncle Frank earlier, he suggested I cut them off and re-attach them,  so I scribed in the cuts, prised it out and snapped them off before replacing them.  I left it for a few hours and the main section is back in place.  Again, I'm not over keen on that kit and I'm not likely to do it again.  I've a pair of the Revell 96 tool if I want to do another one, but once this small Mustang lineup is done, my interest is pretty much over.  All three 'stangs will get a coat of Ocean Grey tomorrow.  I still need to sort out the screen on the D but that shouldn't take two seconds.

Sea Hornet.  This is an on but mainly off project using a Skybirds one I got for a fiver at Donnington many years back (IIRC it was possibly 1995...).  It didn't have the white metal  but I managed to get a set as part of a lot of what were largely Mosquito parts on ebay some years back (2010?)  Anyhoo, it's been sitting in a box primed for some years and I found it a few days back, dusted it off and gave the top a coat of Extra Dark Sea Grey.  I'd planned on doing it as a torpedo fighter and given that the Hornet could carry a pair of 1,000lb bombs, an aerial torpedo shouldn't be too much difficulty, especially of two of the cannons are deleted.  As I didn't have enough of the relevant torpedos, it had stalled but with having several Airfix Firedog and standard Beaufighters, I have torpedos galore, so it's back on.  Really looking forward to this being finished, as I don't have enough Hornet whiffs and I had plans for quite a few. 

I'm tempted with one or two in Kenya against the Mau Mau, and possibly supplying them to Rhodesia or South Africa.  And thought of an RAF torpedo fighter spring to mind readily too.  2TAF, late war in the Med Sea Grey/PRU Blue scheme F1s with kill markings (knocking down Ar 234 recce birds), PR versions is similar colours.  The list isn't endless but the Hornet is too beautiful an aircraft not to do in several fetching schemes.  And I have quite a few to play with...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 20, 2017, 12:33:58 pm
"Listen, I'm the best at playing games in this house, so you better go find the others first."

Well, after digging through the Spitfires, I started digging through the wardrobe to see what else could be disposed of, as I knew there was at least one Special Hobby Tempest and a fair few old Frog kits to go.  They got found fairly quickly, so onto the pile they went, revealing the missing Tamiya Mustang box.  Fantastic!  I can now crack on with the Banff strike wing escort.  The box also contained a part started Revell Mustang III - another one! - and a Unicraft Mustang FTB.  Now that's getting passed on on Saturday, as Uncle Frank said he was after another one.

I also found a few other things I'd been looking for, such as the two Hobbyboss He 162 Volksjagers (which means the one built can now be finished as the planned Czech one) and the Matchbox Gladiator which I was considering as a 79sqn nighfighter in overall black.  They did have Gauntlets in that scheme so it's not quite such a leap.  I also located the built up Skua, along with the bits for another in the same box.  I've a feeling I have another one in a bag somewhere.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 29, 2017, 11:59:18 am
"Here they are, El Presidente! Soviet inspired insurgents! I'll teach you to try and assassinate the President!"

It had to happen.  I'd gone through the wardrobe and then the Spitfires weeding out stuff I didn't want, so I had to go through the Mosquitos.  Managed to weed out quite a few of the Hasegawa B.IV, largely the Revell re-box, plus some bagged Frog ones.  TBH, I've been wanting to get shot of the Hasegawa ones for a while, just didn't have the patience to dig through the pile.

What I really wanted to do was find a particular box - which just happened to be the one right at the bottom and the last one I was to look in! - which had a complete Sea Mosquito airframe in it.  It's an Airfix FBVI, to which I'd added a resin Highball bay, tropical filters, Sea Mosquito tailplanes and an ASH radar nose.  It looks like it needs a bit of filler here and there, but it's not that far from completion.  IIRC, it was to have got Korean war stripes and to have been used to attack dams in North Korea.  I'm not entirely sure about that scenario now, but finishing it off is a good idea, especially in the post war scheme with the high demarcation - Sea Mosquitos were either in the three tone scheme or overall Aluminium Dope.

Obviously, I had to go through all the boxes and thus I found some stuff I'd long forgotten about.  Again, these were largely assembled airframes and could well be turned around reasonably quickly.  One was a FBXVIII "Tse Tse Fly" but with tropical filters.  Had I intended that one for attacking Japanese shipping?  For some reason, I'd opened up the rocket attachment points but all the info I have on the FBXVIII indicates that they never used rockets.

There was another Airfix kit, although this one had got a set of Airwaves two stage Merlins and a bulged bomb bay.  I think this was to get a coat of overall PRU Blue and end up as Frank Ramsey's machine from the second "633 Squadron" novel "Operation Rhine Maiden" - IMO, the best of the novels as it doesn't have any of the characters from the first and it's before the author started churning them out to a formula.  It's actually had a coat of primer and being a simple scheme, may well end up in the paint queue soon.

The number of other part started and half assembled Mossies actually shocked me.  What had I intended for them?  One has the wings assembled and the rocket attachment points drilled out, so I'll cross it with the NFXIII kit to do a Banff strike one with centrimetric radar.  I had thought about doing that with the one I knew was assembled, but hadn't drilled out the rockets and in any case, I'd wanted to do that as a real one.

There was another which had got the SAM short early nacelles and that is largely together.  I think that may have going to be an early PR.I but now I'm thinking of an early bomber in the Dark Earth/Dark Green/Night scheme which I've been wanting to do with a Mosquito bomber for some time, largely because they never wore it.

There was quite a few Matchbox Mosquitos in various boxes, including one that I thing was going to be an inflight "633 Sqn" aircraft.  The Matchbox kit is horrid, despite being the only Mosquito kit currently available-ish in 72nd with two stage Merlins, largely because it's so simplified and designed for kids.  Like their Beaufighter, just a bit more fiddly with the alternate noses.  Yes, with a fair bit of work, it is possibly to turn them into a decent model, but the Tamiya kit is far better and I have a decent stash of resin two stage Merlins to use up.  I'm just thinking about building a few, gear up and in flight, desktop model style, in some odd and different schemes just to be shot of them.

One I definitely didn't find was a part started B.IV that was going to end up as one of the Canadian production airframes that post war was offered to Argentina.  They actually wanted Merlins and we said "No, but you can buy some Mosquitos instead."  Given that the Merlins were going to end up powering the Argentinian Mosquito analog, the Calquin, it's quite interesting to speculate on how an Argentinian Mosquito could look.   IIRC, I was going to do one in Aluminium Dope, but on reflection, I'd probably go for a two colour scheme now.  They also test flew Meteor F.3s and the Hornet.  I found two A4 boxes full of Frog and Novo Hornets...

I did find a box that contained a pair of Special Hobby DH Hornets.  Some of the resin is going to get cloned for use with Frog/Novo ones, but I think I may well butcher them for the twin boom Hornet with Vampire pod that I've been considering for some years.  They're bloody awful as Hornets but with some butchery may be better as this.

While I'm speaking of Hornets, I located a few part started Frog ones that had actually got paint and then were stripped and reworked.  Again, these may have to get dusted off.  One of these is heavily reworked and should cause somewhat of a stir if and when it appears.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 30, 2017, 05:40:22 pm
"No, listen! We got a letter from the council! They're going to demolish the house tomorrow!"

The deadline to get the Mosquito and Sea Hornet torpedo fighters is tomorrow as it's me club night and everything is going good.  Just got the u/c doors for both to spray Sky and then varnish.  The torpedos for both need painting, but that's a five minute job and the glue is setting on the attachment points.  They just need a little filler and some clean up before I can prime them.

There's still the little matter of the props for the Hornet and they've been cleaned up.  The spinners were quite a tight fit and there was no need for glue.  In addition, I've got to clean up and refill the Magna resin Hornet drop tanks.  Provided I can get that done tonight, it shouldn't take too much to spray them at the same time as the u/c doors.  The Mosquito looks particularly different with the big 200 gallon tanks, meaning targets in the far north could be attacked.

I've enjoyed finishing this pair off, the Hornet more so than the Mosquito.  I've started looking at the part started Magna Hornet Nightfighter that was going in RAF colours - I'd swapped the wings with the Magna Hornet F3 to do the latter as a Sea Hornet in BPF colours (wonder where that one went?) - but I'm torn between doing  either Med Sea Grey/Night underneath or Dark Sea Grey/Dark Green with PRU Blue underneath.  I'm minded more towards the latter - I've a modded Mosquito NF38 that I want to finish in that scheme - but the darker colours will hide the Magna kit's roughness. 

Do another!  Yeah, you could say that, but I don't have another Magna two seater and I don't fancy buying another, even if Hannants had any left.  Plus I detest the Special Hobby kit.  The Skybirds one I have to rebuild is going back in the wartime nightfighter scheme that I did it in originally.  Having enjoyed finishing this Hornet, I'm looking at doing that one.  If only I can find it...

I don't have the same problem with the assembled Frog/Novo ones , so I may have a look at doing something with them over the next few weeks.  I know I'll have to mould and cast some replacement wheels - I spotted some resin Vampire nosegears that will do nicely for replacement tailwheels, plus I'll need do something about the canopies.  Having had a look, I've found a total five - six if you include the PR2 that I did 15 years back which looks quite dilapidated now and in serious need of some TLC and restoration.  One of those found has had some further upgrade work with plastic strip, although some may have to come off and further rescribing done. I did have a pattern of upgrades, albeit minor, for Frog/Novo Hornets, but getting newer references on the Hornet meant half of them had to go out of the window.

Schemes?  One will be a PR machine in a post war scheme.  Another has yellow applied and I've a feeling it was to have been a target tug.  Well, there were real Hornet TTs and they were in the far east and wore proper camo.  So as I don't fancy doing all that horrible black stripe malarkey, a coat of primer to hide that and possibly another it'll be another PR machine.  There's another which was going to be a remote drone, so that'll get done, because I've just got to mask off the uppers and I can spray the red.  The last one I think was to have been a standard FB, albeit with flame dampers.

Mosquitowise, I'll have a look at spraying that NF38 that's been sitting there for far too seriously long enough by far - the disruptive scheme I mentioned earlier will hide a few flaws.  Two of the ones I dug out yesterday have now been filled, primed and now being filled again.  Should have some paint on them in a few days. Still unsure of what scheme the tropical Tse Tse Fly will go in, but a dark naval scheme may well suit it.  Something in the back of my head is niggling that I may have planned the nice Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey over Azure Blue scheme and have it flying from Gibraltar against U boats trying to sneak along the Spanish coastline. 

Just remembered there's another Tse Tse Fly which got as far as being decalled, but not quite finished.  Again, this was a wheels up in flight one, with a day fighter scheme and D-Day stripes under the rear fuselage (decal!  I'm not that mental).  I think it just needs a serial and a code letter then I can give it a coat of varnish and finish it off. 2TAF but I may add some yellow leading edge strips.

Finally, there's also a Hasegawa B.IV that I'd added a pair of two stage Merlins plus an Aeroclub bulged bomb bay to do as a B35. Think that was going to be a Tiger Force machine, so a quick clean up and on with a primer coat of Aluminium.  Whether or not the Falcon blown bomber canopy will fit remains to be seen...

I'm actually quite enjoying trying to empty the shelves of doom.  There's certainly quite a bit of it to get through.  Judging by the number of Beaufighters, Blenheims and Mosquitos, this could well be year of the twins.  It's certainly been productive so far.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 01, 2017, 02:14:39 pm
"See?...God! Mike's floating! How's that done, then?"

Short one tonight.

Both the Hornet and Mosquito were finished earlier.  The Hornet kinda fought me a little - the canopy needed trimming a little before it almost fitted perfect and I had to remove the locating brackets on the u/c doors to get them to fit properly, but apart from that, it and teh Mosquito look fab.  Pics should follow later in the week, once the club photos are up on Facebook.

So, what next to finish from the shelves of doom?  Well, the Highball Sea Mosquito and the ground attack Tse Tse Fly have some priority, plus the Buckmaster that just needs it's u/c on and it's done.  There's a Magna Brigand that's needing decalled, although I'll push that one a little slower although I could do it when I do the Mossie - just remembered the Attacker prototype, so may well do that at the same time.  Maybe a Hornet or two?  I'd like the Drone done, largely because it'll be very colourful when finished.  I may well use a spray can, so precise masking will be the watchword.  And the two PR ones, although one will be easier than the other as it'll have an overall PRU blue.
Think this could be a busy week for spraying...

Honestly, there's that much part started, half done and near finished, I could fill a whole year with production and still have stuff left over.  And that's before I even think of masking the tops of the dozen or so that have been sprayed recently.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 06, 2017, 03:11:19 pm
"Look, you agree the council must be thwarted, right?"

I haven't done as much as I'd like, although the Mosquitos have been advanced a bit - the first colour is on and whilst they could use some touch ups here and there, I'm fairly happy.  The Highball Sea Mosquito looks pretty cool, and that's before the Sky goes on.  Props are done, the Highballs are cleaned up and the air bubbles filled so they'll get primed tomorrow.  I'll have to look at serial numbers and squadron codes as Kit has kindly agreed to print me some decals.

The Tse Tse Fly looks different, so much so that I'd like to do one in Banff Strike Wing colours as all the FBXVIIIs looked somewhat drab in the standard two tone nightfighter scheme.  If it wasn't for the tropical filters, I'd be doing it as a Banff one, but I'm wedded to the transport scheme. 

There's a nightfighter Mossie that I did dig out which is going in the bomber scheme, but that's going to be kept more under wraps until it's done.  the props for it are done, plus the wheels got their hubs done yesterday.

I'd also sprayed the Blenheim I bomber in mid stone and the Vengeance got done at the same time.  I really, really detest this model, so once it's done, Martin will get it for the reserve collection.  I'm just finishing it to get rid of it.  There's about half a dozen things in mid stone just waiting to be masked off for the Dark earth to go on - Blenheims, Hurricanes, the Vengeance and an Airacobra that's been lurking in a drawer for some time.

I've a feeling it got started to go with an article on RAF P39 tankbusters in the desert.  Again, finish it and it goes to OGL.  Another one that I'm really not bothered with and I really just want to finish it to get shot.  I don't like having unfinished business and I'm not one for chucking models in the bin.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 08, 2017, 04:24:42 pm
"Oh dear... This calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence."

Well, the Sea Mosquito has the Sky on.  Masked it up last night and sprayed the Sky earlier.  Just taken the masking off and apart from a few bits where it's pulled some paint off, it looks fab.  There's very little paint creep either.  I'm really happy overall with the scheme barring those chips, so much so I'm tempted with another Sea Mosquito in the same scheme, largely because no one has done a Sea Mosquito in the more usual FAA scheme.  Given the non-availability of the later Lockheed u/c, it'll have to be one of the early ones with the normal u/c and the standard wing.  I'll also use some better tropical filters than the Paragon ones, which are too boxy, square and don't follow the curve of the cowling properly.  Hurricane Vokes filters seem to be closest.

At the same time, I got a final coat of Ocean grey onto another Mosquito, which along with the Tse Tse Fly, will get masked off for the other disruptive colour tomorrow.  Still got the spinners to do for that pair, although I'm not sure what the Tse Tse Fly will get - either Night or Red, but the latter is perhaps somewhat passe so I may just go for Night.

For the Sea Mossie, the props are already done, painted the exhausts earlier and the Highballs themselves got a coat of Dark Green earlier.  Kit has printed me some serials which are now at the tender mercies and vagaries of Her majesty's Royal Mail - hopefully they'll arrive tomorrow or wednesday so I can get the decalling done.  I'll look at the Brigand TF1 at the same time, as Kit did some Brigand serials too, as I'd like to have that done and dusted as well.  That's yet another torpedo I'll need to steal from an Airfix Beaufighter and I'll have to dig out a Valom Brigand so I can steal the wheels for moulding.

There's a fair few bits I need to mould up apart from those wheels, which includes a rather nice Mosquito wheel well insert by a sadly defunct French resin outfit called Hi Tech.  Drops straight into the wheel well of the Airfix and Matchbox kit and the Airfix u/c sits into it quite neatly.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 09, 2017, 04:51:43 am
"No! There just happens to be an atom bomb in front of the door!"

Having went looking for a Kora Tempest conversion in my box of Tempests, some rather serendipitous things happened.

Firstly, I found that I definitely had two of each of the Annular Sabre Tempest and I also located the LF Tornado first prototype with the belly radiator.  I also discovered I had three Matchbox Tempests, although what they'll be used for is anyone's guess.  I've a feeling I've done all the whiffed Tempest IIs that I want to do.  I also found that I had at least four Heller Tempests in there, one of which was part started.  That's coming out, as I've an idea for a post war one which is pretty simple to do. 

Secondly, a box of Mosquitos fell over and when I was putting the bits back into the box, I found a trio of Airfix pilot figures that me Bob had painted for me some 8 years back.  I'd forgotten where they were and was going to ask him to do a couple more so I can finish the 2TAF Tsetse Fly tankbuster.  Admittedly, one will need his legs removing to fit properly. I've a feeling I need to do the drop tanks for that, but I've plenty of the smaller 45 gal tanks assembled plus I know I'll need to fit the radios.  I did also find that I had more Mosquito 4 blade props that I realised.  Which is nice.

I don't know what I'll do with the third figure, although an in flight 2TAF Hornet F.III with a pair of 1,000lb bombs is a nice idea.  I'll have to use a Frog/Novo one for that but there's a fair few part started ones that'll do nicely.  May dig one out later.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 09, 2017, 05:26:06 pm
"I'm afraid I couldn't find any needles, so we'll have to use 6-inch nails."

The decals are on the Sea Mosquito and it looks very different.  Not so much different, because it's a standard RN scheme for late 40s and 50s, but different because it isn't applied to Mosquitos.  Kit's serials took a bit of brute force to get them to settle - a noxious brew of Micro Sol, Future and Xtracrylic matt varnish and repeated rolling with cotton buds until the latter dried and held the decals down.  It's the first time I've used home brew decals so it's going to a bit of a learning curve.

The Brigand is also part decalled - I've yet to choose a squadron or even the colour; Sky, Night, Dull Red.  Plenty of choice amongst the strike squadrons.  Ideally, I'd like the same squadron as the Buckmaster and I've a feeling that was the plan when I was doing the two.  Not sure if I'll add some kill markings as the Brigand was big and not that ideal for dogfighting - perhaps a 190 got in the way of the cannons?

The moulds, at least two of them, are now curing, but I've yet to finish the Brigand wheels although they just need clean up.  I'm considering a coat of primer before mounting to mould.  I've yet to finish the props, although they are on the go.

So, there's a fair bit going on, some of it getting closer to finishing.  Want the strike stuff finished before I go back to the Tempests and the Blenheims.  And then there's at least two Shackletons to look at...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 13, 2017, 10:19:25 am
"Even mindless violence seems boring today."

Well, the Sea Mosquito is finished.  Just need a short length of brass rod for the stand.  Not entirely happy with the surface texture in places but overall, she's done.

The moulds for the Brigand wheels are done and I added some Airfix Blenheim wheels to it also.  Apparently they fit the Frog kit and compared to the kit originals, look like Brassin replacements.  I've yet to do any casting as the resin I have isn't the best, although I'll use it for a test shot and if it's okay, then hit the castings with a shot of primer and see where we go from there.  I was kicking myself earlier as I remembered I'd intended moulding and casting a set of Tempest wheels for use with various British aircraft, not least of which is the DH Hornet.

Speaking of Hornets, my Frog/Novo PR one has been given the rest of the surface detailing I was planning, largely confined to rescribing the wings and removing part of the spar caps I'd put on in error.  I can't do some of the little hatches underneath because I can't use my scriber template but I'm more than happy with the ones that are in place.  She's had a coat of primer and I've sorted out a few little niggles and areas that needed filling, so she'll get a coat of overall PRU Blue later today. 

I did consider the nice 50s PR scheme, with the Med Sea Grey over PRU Blue, but I want her out of the way and done - another one from the Cabinet of Doom gone - and perhaps that scheme will go on another Hornet at some point in the future.   Now I'm pretty sure I have a decent handle on how to upgrade and detail the old Frog kit, I know I can do a decent job.  Then again, I may just cheat and use the Skybirds kit, if only to annoy the purists.  I'm not sure if I have the correct style letters in the decal box as I'd like to do it with the Photographic Development Unit but an anonymous machine without a code would look good anyway.  Everything looks good in PRU Blue, especially with Type D roundels.  I'll have to see if I have any spare Hornet underwing tanks.  More digging...

Whilst I'm spraying the Hornet, I may as well do the two stage FB6 (or FB11 as it was projected) at the same time, so that's another one from the Cabinet of Doom advanced a bit further. It won't get finished, but a coat of paint and some decals gets it that bit closer.

There's plenty of Mosquitos in there that got to an advanced stage, plus a pair that were given that I had definite ideas for and again, I'd like to get them a bit further on, although in one case I'll have to get the 3rd scale Miles 52 finished (although I have it as a supersonic guided weapon).  The Hasegawa B.IV that got a pair of 2 stage Merlins was going to be a Far East one, possibly operating from Iwo Jima with Tiger Force.  It'll need the wing reattaching after an accident last week and a good clean before priming, but we'll get there eventually.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 17, 2017, 01:20:25 pm
"No, I didn't, Mike, I said "Let's throw Rick's record player on the fire, that'll be good for a laugh.""

The Sea Mosquito and the Hornet PR6 were quite well received at the club t'other night.  The latter still needs the canopy sorting out but I'll have to get a vacform Hunter canopy for that as it's the closest in terms of shape and size for the Frog kit.  The surface detailing has done wonders hiding it's origin but the addition of a set of Tempest wheels and a Vampire nosegear as the tailwheel plus the plain PRU Blue scheme and Type D markings make it look like another kit entirely.

I have to be perfectly honest, I fancy just building one of the Frog Hornets as a pure nostalgia build, straight from the box with the only addition being an Airfix pilot as they're better than the Frog example, with the kit option of 19 Sqn.  Gear up as I need to steal the legs for a rebuild.  Quick and simple, but then it's a kit I have a great deal of fondness for and I'd like to do the base kit justice - I did it years back in the kit scheme, twice.  I really wish one of the decal manufacturers would do a decent Hornet sheet, but in the absence of a decent kit I feel that it's unlikely.

I also want to do something different and I've a hankering for a Firebrand, specifically the Rareplanes kit as I've three in the stash, although two were bought specifically as donor fodder for two other Blackburn projects.  It's a kit I like and have had for a number of years but never did get round to building it.  I don't like vacforms as they're a pain to build but I doubt that it'll be any more of a pain than the original Magna one.  That really was a pig to build.

As for scheme, well, I'm not entirely sure, but I rather like the idea of a rocket equipped one flying over Korea or perhaps Malaya in the 50s RN scheme.  I did the original Magna one as a BPF one in the Temperate Sea Scheme.  Again, I may dig the second one of those I have in the stash and just build it, although it'll need a dark scheme to hide the flaws, not least of which being the awful resin.  That's like china and if anything worse than the stuff Unicrap use.

There's still lots of other stuff to finish, but nothing really floats my enthusiasm.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 22, 2017, 09:08:32 am
"So am I. You're a complete b****** and we all hate you."

Currently struggling with the u/c for the Buckmaster and given that the Buckmaster and Brigand were derived from the Buckingham, they have the same u/c and thus I'll have to go through the same crap in a few days with the Brigand.

Why?  Because the individual responsible for the masters of the white metal components is a cack handed moron. They're not square and NOTHING lines up properly.  When the modelling equivalent of the Nuremberg trials take place, he'll be strung up from the tallest lamp post, pelted with wasps nests and dog turds eventually being blasted with a flame thrower.  I hate him more than I can put into words - well, ones that won't get me banned anyway.

I've come up with a solution, using stiff wire which should give it some strength but the fact that I know I'll have to do it all again with the Brigand is soul destroying...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 24, 2017, 02:02:56 pm
"Oh, God. I think I'm going to be violently and copiously sick."

The Buckmaster is finally finished.  Having left the u/c in place and surrounded with superglue gel, I'd waited a few days for it to cure.  Quick paint job, on with the u/c doors - one of which decided to go for a walk - do the props and on they go.  Tidy up the canopy framing, replacing the paint that's come off with a thin brush.  Now done, it's banished to the cabinet.

I really hate it.  Possibly more than the white Beaufighter.  Why?  The u/c assembly for one.  The canopy fit - Magna's canopies were always vile - which needed filler to get to sit right and it still looks awful.  But I hate it also because it's quite probably put me off building another Buckmaster and there's some nice real world examples I'd really like to do.  It's also put me off finishing the Brigand, because the u/c is the same.  And I know there's a Magna Buckingham somewhere in the stash and that really does give me a sinking feeling.  I may have a cunning plan for that one, largely involving having it in flight so I can have the gear up, but that still leaves it's awful canopy to contend with...

What about the Valom kits?  They look very nice in the box, it's true, but on closer inspection, the Brigand is full of niggly errors and it's not a good fit according to all those online who've built the blasted thing.  Undoubtedly, the Buckingham and Buckmaster will have similar flaws due to sharing some sprues.  I've four Brigands and a trio of Buckinghams, one of which is in the disposal pile.  Do I keep the rest?

But I think I hate it mostly because it's knocked me confidence and I just don't fancy building anything for a while.  And that's a real sickener.

On reflection, I may well be able to finish the Brigand, but using the u/c from the Valom kit.  You see, I was gifted a Valom Buckingham a while back with no resin.  I can replace the engines with copies of the Magna ones (pause for sarcastic response) and if I built it gear up in overall PRU Blue as the proposed PR one, I could possibly get round a few issues and not have to fight Martin Gromm's vile cack handed Brigand white metal.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 01, 2017, 07:21:03 pm
"I hate these places. They're so depressing. You know, Michael, I would rather go to a lecture than a laundrette."

Well, it's finally been done.  I have assembled the Brigand u/c using the vile Magna parts and they're now in place and flooded with superglue.  I'm hating this model more than the Buckmaster.  The doors are done, just have to add the yellow tips to the props and they can go on.  Quick paint of the u/c, fix the doors in place and we're good to go apart from the torpedo, but that'll have to wait.

The assembled vacform Brigand I was given will probably end up with the Valom u/c, largely as it should withstand the lighter load.  But once it's done, I've decided to offload three of the Valom kits.  I doubt I'll ever want to do another one, because they're all really awful kits.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 02, 2017, 04:53:19 am
"Yeah, it hasn't been razed to the ground yet."

Barring the torpedo - which I'll sort out tomorrow - the Brigand TF.1 is all done.  And I hate it even more than the Buckmaster...

The fit was terrible from what I remember - it was largely assembled in 2000! - with an instrument panel way too wide for the fuselage and I had to take a mm off each side of it and then carve a mm deep groove in the fuselage to get it to fit.  Magna give you a moulded cockpit insert with the seats on it, but they're the wrong way round.  The canopy is awful, even by Magna's low standards and just didn't fit and it's gone a nice shade of gold under the 7 year old masking.  I didn't bother with Magna's props, stealing a set from the Hallamvac kit which were tooled by Aeroclub.  The kit wheels are best described as non circular ill defined lumps carved from soap by a blind man with a serious case of the shakes.  I've already commented on the u/c itself.  The airframe resin parts themselves are nice enough castings though, being from Magna's middle period. 

Somewhere in the stash, I have Magna's Buckingham...  And another Brigand that was going to be a basis for a Bristol Buccaneer, the halfway house between the Beaufighter and the Brigand.

Like the Buckmaster, I hate it because it's made me want to give up modelling for a bit.  There's too many things I dislike about the kit and my building of it that's just knocked me a bit.  Plus there's a few other things with recent builds that just haven't worked for me.  Maybe I need something easy or perhaps build something a bit safer. 

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 05, 2017, 01:38:12 pm
"Well, what've you brought me this time?"

The Brigand and Buckmaster went into the club th'neet, more because I wanted to show them off for a final time before they get relegated to hiding in the back of the cabinet.  Couple of the lads were suitably impressed with them, which I found surprising and quite pleasing, because they're both cracking modellers whose skills and abilities are far in excess of mine (Martin's certainly are).  So, perhaps they're not as bad as I think they are?  That being the case, they may well come down to Telford if I have space.

Nevertheless, I still feel the need to do something simple and different.  A Spitfire PR19 is certainly simple and different?  Well, define different!  Okay, I only build whiffs so perhaps something real for a change?  I've still that hankering to do that Rareplanes Firebrand and I've been thinking about doing the Rareplanes Supermarine 224 as a master, so one or both of them may be in order.

Although...  I've wanted to do a simple retro build of the Frog Hornet, straight from the box with no extras or tarting up.  Again, it'd be a real world build but it's something that may just give me the boost I need.  And the Frog Hornet is a kit I have a great deal of affection for.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 13, 2017, 07:31:26 am
"You know, I have the most terrible craving for a piece of fried lavatory paper."

Well, Telford has been and gone and I didn't get any of my planned non-Spitfire whifs done at all, largely due to running out of time and the Spitfires having higher priority.  I was somewhat restrained in my buying, knowing what I was looking for and I got pretty much what I went for apart from the two from S&M that Mel Bromley didn't have with him (his new Canberra and the resin Hastings) but on reflection, that's saved me a hundred and fifty notes.

One thing I did get that was looking for - and a pair at that - was the Revell/Monogram F82 twin Mustang, because I liked the one that was posted on site a few weeks back (http://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php/topic,44270.msg781729.html#msg781729) because it was a new twist on an existing twin design and I wanted to do something similar.

Now, that's quite odd, because those of you who know me will I don't like twinned aircraft of any sort, because I've always felt that they were lazy whiffing for those challenged in the imagination and intelligence department who wanted to jump onto the whiff bandwagon without thinking though the reasons why such twins were created in the first place.  There was a rash of them about a decade or so back and even the good ones bored the hell out of me.

Anyway, having two of the F82 made me think about what I wanted to do with them and because I'd like to keep them within the scenario,   although with a different squadron and a reason for the RAF getting them - perhaps the Beaufighters of 45 sqn had the same issues as the 8 Sqn Brigands with crystalization of metal and the wings falling off or the props shedding blades.  I'm quite happy doing one "straight" but decide to do a second, possibly with Griffons rather than Merlins.  Looking at the fuselages, what would be the best fit?  An MB5 cowling looks about right so where can I get a spare to recast?  The AZ MB.6 "Ferret" and that's something that is really annoying me.

Why?  Because they've taken their own MB 5 kit and modified it with parts on a new sprue for a completely fictional variant and I feel this is dodgy ground to be treading.  Why is this?  Unlike their Sea Baker (and I wasn't keen on that either) - which was just a slightly modified part on their existing kit - ithe MB6 was a wholly new release of something which appeals only to a small niche market, wasting manufacturing time and energy that would have been better spent doing a kit of something yet to be kitted in injection which would have more appeal to more markets than just the Whiff crowd.  Say for example a Hawker Henley or a De Havilland Don.  Neither have been kitted in injection, the Henley having been the subject of a vacform and a pair of resin kits and the Don only getting one resin kit.  Whiffers could have been treated to a boxing of either in operational colours and the mainstream gets a kit of something which only served in second line units and yet to be kitted properly.

But you're a whiffer, I hear you cry, you should be backing this.  Yes, I am a whiffer, I'm fiercely proud of that and I have been for many years, pushing this side of the hobby a lot more than many here have and backed that with my own time and money too.  And whilst it's pleasing to see this happening, I still feel that it's the wrong move.  But Revell and Dragon have kitted various Luftwaffe 46 types, I hear you cry.  Yes, they have but these are designs that actually existed, not the work of one guy on a forum making things up.

No doubt the guys at AZ have got a kick out of doing it and they know that they'll make their costs back but we would have been better served with something as yet unkitted.

So, I got a Ferret, but not out of any real need or want or even loyalty to AZ or whiffing in general.  Yes, it looks to be a nice kit - hopefully the canopy will fit better than the one in the standard MB5 did.  I'm probably going to struggle to find a use for it.  Malaya possibly, going with the F82K. 

But somehow, I don't think it'll be a kit I'll enjoy.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 19, 2018, 02:31:39 pm
"I had to - I was drunk!"

New year, new possibilities and new ideas.  Possibly.

I've not done much with early war British stuff (Spitfires, yes.  Blenheims, a solitary Defiant and a few Hurricanes) and other than the Lancaster, very few large aircraft.  Well, that's about to change.

I've a real hankering for some transport aircraft, because the scheme worn by quite a few British aircraft is so attractive.  Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Azure blue is very appealing on a small aircraft such as a Spitfire and even a Blenheim.  It looks even better on something big like a Halifax or a Stirling.  I've got the kits and the relevant conversion parts to do transport versions of the Halifax, Lancaster and Stirling.  Somewhere I have some resin bits for the Wellington but I've a feeling that they'll be too well buried for me to find them and Martin is going to get his arm twisted to cast me some more bits.

I've been wanting to this for a while but seeing a 48th transport Halifax at the Bolton show recently just set the ball rolling.  So much so that I've dug out the Halifax and the Stirling kits to see what needs doing.  The Halifax had a resin Halton conversion in it plus shiny new vacform canopies to replace the horrid Airfix ones that date to me Dad's teenage years. I also found the built Frogspawn Whitley I'd been gifted a few years back and that is probably going to get a similar scheme for operations in the eastern Med. 

It's not just transports that I'd like to do in that scheme but also maritime recce birds.  I've acquired a few Wellingtons to do the transports and had to come up with an alternative for the Matchbox ones.  They come with the GR nose, so a Wellington a distinct possibility.  There's also a pair of part built Airfix Lancasters somewhere that had the MR conversions done that may also fit the bill.  Really want to get them done and out of the way.

I'm having quite a few ideas for biggish aircraft but I'm worried about where to store them once they're done...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 19, 2018, 07:30:54 pm

Having come to a gentlemen's agreement, involving some beer tokens and some white metal engines, I am the potential owner of a Contrail Warwick.  I've been looking for one for a few weeks and there's a few I'd like to do.  A transport one with Centaurus engines and the big pannier is the first on the list, plus a Met Flight one in the two greys and post war roundels.  I'm toying with a Vulture engined one if I can get another, but given the scarcity of the blasted things, I may have to go down the casting route, which could be both messy and expensive.

I'm also looking at Whitleys, but I'll post more of my thoughts on them tomorrow.  I'm beginning to wish I'd never sold that pair of Airfix ones to OGL, but then again, for what I want to do, Ye olde Frog kit is good enough and I have three of those.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 26, 2018, 07:03:49 pm
"No, there's only two seats."

I've made a start on one of the Wellingtons, which will be a GR aircraft in the middle east.  However, the Matchbox kit is fairly basic (pause for sarcastic response) and the cockpit is decidedly bare.  Just a floor and a pair of seats, so I've been looking at one of me Trumpeter ones to see what I can.. ahem, copy and cast to see if I can tart it up a bit.  Not a lot, just enough to make it look a lot less basic and the bits can also transfer across into a Warwick.  I'm also thinking of nicking a tail turret from a Lancaster as the kit one is just too chunky plus the engine cowlings have an odd taper that is difficult to fix.  The latter will be solved with a set of Aeroclub Hercules engines and a vat of rubber.

It's not that accurate for the one I want to do either - photos of the real thing show a row of windows under the cockpit which the kit doesn't have and I'm not cutting them out because I'm a shade too cack handed for that.  I really wish I'd got that Trumpeter GR.XIV at Bolton now - ebay prices for that particular kit are around £30 and I'm just not paying that.  Modifying the back story could well be the easy answer.

I've dug out a pair of Whitleys, one a genuine Frog one in white plastic which has a great deal of flash to deal with and t'other is a half built one I was gifted by one of the guys on Britmodeller, although I forget who.  The former is again going to be a GR aircraft in the middle east, but I've slowed down construction as teh engines are just too basic to use (I've ordered a set on ebay but these are the HBM ones and the resin is vile, so the plan is to copy them and use the clones).  In addition, the cockpit is too basic and I want to tart it up a bit, but then again, the canopy is so bad I'm unlikely to see anything.

The latter will be the same aircraft but after conversion for transport duties.  I had intended to use the turrets as blanks over which to slather filler and sand them back but the tail turret is frankly vile, so much so I've just blanked it off with plastic card and glued in some sprue scrap to act as hard core before I slather a load of P38 (or it's Wilko's equivalent) over it.  Apart from that, most of teh hard work is done, but it's a Frogspawn kit, which means there's moulding flaws galore.  I've sanded off all of the greenstuff and made the joins good so I just need a coat of primer to see what else needs fixing.

S what do I plan on doing with the two others I have coming from ebay?  I'd like to do a Tiger engined one, again as a transport in the middle east but in dark earth and mid stone.  I have the conversion bits, but again, they may well fall into some rubber.  The other Tiger engined one I've a hankering for is one in overall black for use against Germany had Munich gone t'other way in '38.

I also want the Tiger engines for a possible scratchbodge of an AW project that was offered to the same spec as the Bombay and Harrow and which should have gone into service, because it would have been a far better aircraft and probably much more useable.


I've been promised the wreck of a Frogspawn one, so that'll give me quite a bit of it, I just have to bodge a fuselage together.  I'm considering a mould too, because a production one using the same parts as a Whitley would make sense.

The final thoughts I was having with Whitleys revolve around an engine change to the Hercules, but that'd be a simple prototype and I may well use the Frogspawn wreck that's sitting in me Mam's loft.

So, plenty of ideas but big aircraft that take up a fair bit of room and not easy to just throw together.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 27, 2018, 07:26:49 am
"Brilliant! Let's fill it in!"

The nose and tail turrets on the part built one I was given are now curing under a coat of P38.  Hopefully that should cure soon so I can start sanding it down.  I'd like to try and get the starboard wing back on today, plus possibly the tail feathers.

Sometime back, I bought a Gerald Elliot vacform Whitley off ebay.  It wasn't complete, being largely the fuselage and some other bits.  Having had another look, the fuselage looks to have been mastered from the Frog kit (I can see some dimples where things have been filled), so could well take a set of Frog/Novo wings.  The nose turret area is solid, looks to be a transport style, so that gives me another option if I ever need it.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 27, 2018, 06:48:17 pm
"Well, I think that should do it!"

All the sanding is over, tail feathers are on and it's starting to look reasonable.  Coat of primer when the weather improves (pause for sarcastic response) and we're good to go.  Quite enjoying this one as far as it goes, a reasonable challenge.

Would that the next two were... I dug out the Stirling and the Halifax.  Oh dear.  What was I thinking?  These are the horrible old Airfix kits that time forgot.  They were all well and good when they were released, even up to the 1980s when I actually built them the first time round, but time has not been kind to them and they're horribly basic, full of period features and vile crew figures, not to mention covered in flash.  I'm minded now to ditch the pair and try to get more modern kits, although the Italeri Stirling costs an arm and a leg and the Revell Halifax III has had mixed reviews.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 28, 2018, 04:57:09 pm
"Ah, true. OK. What's the procedure for the approach of a humpback bridge?"

I've decided to ditch the Stirling and get an Italeri one.  I really don't want to fight the Airfix kit of both that and the Halifax.  One yes, but not two.  The Halifax may also get the boot too, depending on how much I like the look of a shiny new Revell one.  I think Uncle Frank has one in stock - I'll find out at the weekend. 

Having had another look at it, it's got to go.  Too much work to do with regards to its sheer basic crudity.  I'd rather have a decent baseline and this just isn't it.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 01, 2018, 03:58:39 pm
"Well, you might as well try the other one!"

Having a had a few more thoughts about the Halifax, I'm just curious to see if I can salvage the wing for my Formaplane Hastings, as the latter used a cleaned up Halifax wing.  It may well be better and easier than using the kit one.  And a lot less like tissue paper.

A Hastings in the transport scheme would look rather splendid too.

I'm also wondering if I can use one of my part started Lancasters as a basis for another Lancastrian, but possibly with Merlin 85s.  Well, if I can get to them.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 05, 2018, 02:00:56 pm
"You didn't know I was going to do that, did you?"

I've finally dug out the Wellington that was in the loft at me Mam's plus I found a few other bits an pieces to get shot of.  One of the lads at the club is collecting kits to help with something so requested donations.  I threw a load of kits from me disposal pile in a bag, largely Spitfires that were obsolete and no good for anything except for beginners to play with.  Plus a few other things that I knew I'd never build, including some french fighter that I'd been given and some Frog/Novo Sea Furies.

After some searching I found the built Whitley that was there.  Not good.  U/C smashed and one tail section is completely missing.  It's therefore beyond use for the moment.  One thing I did find was a pair of Revell Hunters - I knew there was one up there and I'd found that one after the pair turned up, so there's three there, which is nice.  My stash of Hunters is now in double figures.

I've got a bit further with the Coastal Command Hampden.  One wing is together with the u/c in situ.  You have to assemble that afore the wing and it's a bit fiddly, so I lost the will to go any further with it for a bit.  One of the wheels has gone walkies, but they look a bit like Mosquito wheels and I have plenty of resin ones, so they'll get replaced.

May have secured another two Warwicks, plus a pair of Wellington transport conversions.  Again, more as and when.  Some of the spare parts in the Warwick look interesting - the transport pannier on a Wellington transport plus the fin fillet could make a few scratch their heads.  Ditto the Vulture engines, although I may need an early Wellington for that one.

i haven't got the Whitley primed yet due to the weather and I'm chafing at the bit to do it.  There's also a pair of Blenheims which have their first coat of paint on that I'd like to advance a bit further, if only to get them out of the way.  There's several other things - single engined fighters - that need their undersurface colours sprayed on and they've been sitting in masking tape since last May!  *REALLY* want them done!

Lots to do, lots of ideas but little time.  As usual.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 11, 2018, 08:32:52 am
"And by the looks of it you failed them all."

I've dug out the Formaplane Hastings and it doesn't look that bad.  Some of the smaller bits are a bit crude and some of the intakes are crushed, but they are fixable.  There's also an Aeroclub u/c in it.  The clear parts haven't yellowed either, which is fantastic.  For a vacform, it looks to be quite buildable and I'd like another.  I did want to build a pair of real ones - a Transport one in the usual scheme plus a Met Flight one in the two greys which looks quite attractive - and I still do, but the prospect of another in the late war transport scheme is also very appealing.  I think that's what'll happen with the one currently in the stash.

I did compare the Halifax wing to the kit one and it's frankly bobbins.  The Halifax is now surplus to requirements and is in the disposal pile.  No clear parts either so it's only use is spare parts for whoever is gullible enough to want to buy it for the minimal fee I'll bung on the box.

The Hampden is progressing a little further, with the second wing together and the tail unit almost finished.  Need to find a set of Hercules engines for it and I've a feeling I may have some resin ones somewhere.

I've finally got a coat of primer on the Whitley and it's revealed a few flaws which will need touching up with filler, either Humbrol or possibly P38.  I'm looking forward to getting the paint on this one.

And finally on my big transport kick, I've gathered all the bits together for a Lancastrian.  The bulk of them are part started and it'll have Merlin 85s, Lincoln wheels and rudders plus the deep Tallboy bomb bay - I'm sure I've seen a photo somewhere of a Lancastrian with the bulged bay, but now I need it, I can't find it...

Whilst I'm on the subject of Lancasters, I had the brainwave yesterday of stripping two of the Airfix mk IIs I have for their Hercules engines to go onto the Matchbox Wellingtons I have on the go.  Both of them are slated for conversion to other things - a Lincoln and a Lancaster VI, so the engines are surplus anyway.  I also found a complete set of Aeroclub vacform/white metal Hercules engines in the Lancaster bits box.

One thing I did read recently with regard to the Lancaster VI recently was something on the development aircraft, which had standard Merlins inboard and Merlin 85s outboard.  I do have a Lancaster II I wanted to dispose of, but on reflection I'll keep it for a Centaurus Manchester and pass the outboard nacelles along to someone who may just be doing that aircraft.  I owe him a favour or two anyway.  It also gives me another four Hercules engines to play with.  ;D

I now have a Warwick.  This really is a nice kit and quite why AIM (who own the moulds) haven't re-released it is quite beyond me.  There's pretty much everything in there to do any variation on the Warwick you'd want to do, plus a really nice decal sheet.  I've also acquired the old Profile on the type, which revealed the usual stillborn projects and proposals.  One of which for a version with four Merlins or Hercules engines...  In addition, the Centaurus transport version I want to do would appear to have been real too - the Warwick C.IV.  There's quite a few things I'd like to do with the type, but it's big and both difficult to get hold of and expensive when you do find one.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 12, 2018, 06:58:13 am
"I laughed and laughed and laughed!"

I've made a start on the Merlin 85 Lancastrian - it was originally going to be something else, but I snapped off teh resin nose I'd fitted (a Lincoln one but I've issues with the glazing) and attached a Lancastrian nose after adding a 4mm plug from some plastic foam board I scrounged at work.  I'm toying with using it for fuselage scratchbodges as it's easier to work with than Balsa.  The resin tailcone is also a bit undersized, so that's been bulked out with P38 and is curing now.

Whilst doing that, I noticed a bag containing the bits for a Stirling V conversion.  Now I found that odd, because I'd left them elsewhere a few days back and toddled off to find them, with said bag held firmly in me hand.  Sure enough, they were where I'd left them - so I now have two of the things!  I can remember buying one from Mel Bromley at Telford a few years back, along with a Lancastrian conversion, so when and where did I get the second?  The questions that now bug me are what to do with it - I only had plans for one Stirling V so what do I put it on?  Do I still have the wreck of an Airfix Stirling I built circa 1989 in the loft at me Mam's?  If I do, what scheme is it going in, because the Italeri one is definitely going in the transport scheme.

Whilst looking for something else, I had a cursory look through a Magna Avro Ashton, possibly with a view to assembling it.  The tail surfaces could possibly be used for a Tudor, once they've had a bath in some rubber - the fin could need extending, but that's fairly straightforward.  IIRC, I bought a second to give it the wings and engines from a Frog/Novo Shackleton to do the proposed Avro Trader but I never got round to it.

Apparently, the Heller DC-6 fuselage is about the right length for a Tudor II and can be used with some work to do one.  From what was said by some gadgy doing the conversion work on Britmodeller (due to the Photobucket fubar, the photos are all gone), you need to take a strip out of the fuselage sides to bring it back to a circular profile.  Might be a better idea to do that one and possibly cheaper!  A Griffon engined Canadian DC-6 is also a possible, but that's not one that I fancy doing, so BOAC instead?  Didn't they operate the DC-6?  Actually, no, they didn't, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Douglas_DC-6_operators but various other UK and Canadian operators did.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 26, 2018, 05:33:20 pm
"Even SPG is all covered in snot!"

I haven't got much further due to coming down with a cold.  That's now passed a bit, but I've been coming in from work too shattered to do much other than veg out on the sofa.

The Whitley did get primed but stalled pretty much after that.  Pity, because it's going to look good in the scheme I have planned.  The Frog one I had started has progressed a little further, with a coat of interior green everywhere you can see into.  That's going to be an ASV aircraft in the middle east and will have the same scheme and serial as the transport - the latter being converted from the former when the squadron gets Wellington GR.XIVs.

The Matchbox ones are progressing a tad further - the engine nacelles are glued to the wings which have been cleaned up.  My Trumpeter one has arrived and I'm thinking of using the glazing in it to pattern some glazing for the Matchbox one.  I'm planning on two GRs, one of which will get a Warwick style fin fillet and possibly nose glazing.  The latter will be spare in one of the Warwicks I now have (see below), so modifying the nose too could screw with some people's heads. The Trumpeter kit is really nice and I wish I'd bought it at Bolton when I had the chance as I'd be a tenner better off!

Warwicks.  I now have three - Gary ponied up the one I'd paid him for and then I got another two from some guys on Britmodeller.  One of them came with a set of resin bits for the transport Wellington, so that's now full steam ahead.  I still have plans to do my own moulds, but not entirely sure of the fuselage window configuration.  There were a great deal of differences between the marks as to placement, so a one size fits all isn't going to work and in any case, the fuselage could well be the hardest thing to mould.  I know how to do the rest, most of them are easy single piece moulds.

A search in the loft at me Mam's didn't uncover the wrecked Stirling - I've a feeling it went in the bin some years back, so I may have to try to get another Italeri one.  You see, a conversation I had with another modeller (who bought the Airfix one that I disposed of a few weeks back) revealed he was thinking of an ASV one in maritime colours and so I thought about it too.  Although to be fair, it's been one I've been thinking of for a few years now, along with a Lancaster II in a similar scheme.  The Italeri one I have is the glider tug version with the revised nose glazing, so that would be ideal for the role change I'd be thinking of and I can easily find the requisite undernose radome.  But do I really want to do yet another big aircraft when I have space issues for the ones I do have?

The Halton based on the Revell kit has hit the buffers, largely because the resin pannier doesn't fit the Revell kit.  Not surprising really, given that the Revell kit is fairly new and the resin was designed for the elderly Airfix kit some ten years back.  Not quite sure how to get round this, but remoulding it and doing a cut and shut (it's a bit short and either too shallow or too deep) may be the way to go.  A Halton conversion geared to go with the new Revell kit would a be a nice one for Colin at Freightdog to have a look at but he quite selfishly seems to have locked the thread.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 03, 2018, 02:10:55 pm
"That's what we agreed when we first came. You do the cooking, I look after the plants and goldfish."

Largely due to the pressures of work - 60+ hour weeks are not helpful - the transport kick wore off.  Even the buzz I had for the Tudor kind of petered out around mid June due to an extremely tough fortnight at work*

So, all the transport stuff is on the back burner, despite the fact that I've a pair of Venturas ready to prime, the Whitley stalled at the painting stage.  I'm looking at a pair of Blenheims from last year that don't need that much work.  And Telford is round the corner, which means this year's Spitfires have more priority.

It doesn't help when I find a load of 3d printed kits of various spacecraft from Blake's 7 on ebay.  Obviously, I simply have to have several, Scorpio being high on the list because I've been wanting a kit of this ship for YEARS!

I've had a play with the second kit  of Scorpio that arrived in the same box - it's a dodgy and misaligned print - and it looks to be fairly straightforward and I'd like to get something done as it's the 40th anniversary of the series this year.  Even something simple would do - I've a small 3d printed Scorpio somewhere and one of the ex-Crooked Dice Federation Troopers is assembled and waiting for paint.  I might do either of those, which would satisfy a craving.

Still, Spitfires have more priority.

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*The Head chef left to go somewhere else, the Senior Sous was on holiday and the other Sous chef was leaving too.  We had no senior Chef de Partie, there were other chefs leaving and we had several really big functions one after another with no staff.  We had two massive ones back to back  - a 350 and then a 500 the following day, both with the same veg, so I peeled, cut and cooked my way through quite literally half a tonne of veg in a single day!  The next one, for 550, was on the following friday where we had literally no gaffer in place and only one chef who knew the banqueting side with any degree of certainty.  Me - and whilst I knew a fair bit, I'm not senior enough to handle it - doing the job normally done by a Senior Sous. I'm just a Commis Chef.  And bear in mind that this is a really prestigious gig at 40 notes a head with a client who brings in a shedload of business, so the wheels absolutely couldn't come off.  So the GM gets on the phone and ropes in the head chefs from two other hotels, who bring along their senior Sous chefs to help out - one of whom I'd worked with for a few years. 

Cut a long story short, I'm advising the chef in charge, we did it all spot on the money, no flaws at all.  He's over the moon, the GM and cluster GM are both very happy too.  Loads of praise for me, which helped enormously in the interview for Demi Chef the following friday with the new Head Chef.  Even so, I was still working 50-60 hour weeks up until mid July when I had a well deserved holiday and I crashed.  Mentally and physically drained.  It's only now I'm getting any kind of creativity and go about me.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 10, 2018, 12:27:46 pm
"Then what are you looking in the cellar for?"

More discoveries.  Looking in the loft at me Mam's for something - I wanted to know how many Fujimi Spitfires were there (8, 6 being highbacks) as I'm putting them up for disposal - I finally find the Maquette Vickers Viking I'd been looking for.  Bloody hell! It's ROUGH!  I may well use a Matchbox Wellington wing instead of the Frog one in the kit.  There'd be less cleanup, even though I'll have to sand off the geodetic patterning.  Still, I've done worse.

I also found a CMK XP67 Moonbat.  Wish someone would hurry up and do one in injection as I think apart from this one and an ancient Rareplanes vacform, we've never had another kit.  RAF natch, high altitude day fighter scheme.  Again, another one for post Telford.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 28, 2019, 07:18:47 am
"Look, I haven't started hiding yet, have I?"

Having got several Spitfires out of the way, I'm hankering to do something else, possibly returning back to my transport kick from last year.  The acquisition of the new Airfix Wellington plus the Aerocraft minesweeper conversion giving me the nose and tail blanks give me the bits to do a decent transport version.  I've some other ideas for Wellingtons, including a GR version in the transport scheme colours, so I've started the Trumpter one I've got in the stash, although it's going to need some careful painting inside to bring out the detail which naturally you can't see.

There's also several Matchbox Beaufighters that really do need to be finished, if only to get shot of them.  There's also a pair of desert scheme Blenheims that also need masking, several Tempests in NMF that need decalling - including a T-bird version that I started many years back and it looks rather neat.  I'm still tempted with another alternate 607 Sqn aircraft, as a whif within a whif, if that makes any sense, and that may well fit the bill.  I know I could have it finished pretty sharpish, along with the others, as they only need the decals.

I have that much stuff to finish or paint that I really need to do something soon, because the place is increasingly cluttered with abandoned projects.  Have I mentioned all the part done Lancasters?  Or the Shackletons?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 22, 2019, 07:13:37 pm
"I'm afraid I couldn't find any needles, so we'll have to use 6-inch nails."

Bearing in mind my usual focus span is about the same as the memory of a Goldfish, the Wellington has been put aside in favour of a project I started some time back - an ELINT Shackleton.  Except I'm not doing what I'd planned - a 199 Sqn one instead of their Lincolns - because I had thoughts of a late war one in a similar role with one of the 100 Group squadrons.  So it's got the MR1 nose with the H2S radome underneath, tail turret - FN82 with twin .50 cals and "Village Inn" and the mid upper with the 20mm cannons to make a mess of any German nightfighter that gets close. And quite a few aerials.

Why the Shackleton in that role?  Well, it's bigger and roomier than a Lanc, plus all those B17s and B24s have to go back to the US at the end of the war, so we're getting the replacements early.  It also means Coastal Command get their replacements early if they're already on the production line.

As I'd got it almost ready to button up the fuselage prior to doing the cutting for the new nose, I made a start on another that's going to be the proposed Met Flight version (although I'm not sure there was such a beastie - I'll have another look through my Shackleton references).

I'm still undecided as to the scheme. I'd like to go with the Med Sea Grey/Night scheme, as that's what they late war bombers were going to get, but a Shackleton in the standard bomber scheme would look *very* different.  The early Lincolns were in that scheme and I'm wanting to do one of mine in that scheme )there's several Contrail ones salted away in the stash although I'll probably be using resin tail surfaces rather than the tedious vacform bits).

It's looking quite impressive so far and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.  I'll have to get the awful Revell AEW finished too, if only to get shot of it.  And there's too many other Lancaster projects kicking about that *really* need finishing, one in particular is very close, so the sooner I get those wheels from Colin, the better.

And now I just get an idea for an early Shackleton in the Transport colours...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 23, 2019, 10:23:40 am
"And by the looks of it you failed them all."

Just when I don't plan on doing any more Shackletons, I come up with more ideas.  Part of me would like to tie something I did some years back with a Shackleton I did just a few years back and give New Zealand ex-RAAF Shackleton MR1s - read John Baxter's "The Alternate RAAF and RAN" to see what I mean.  However, that's yet another MR1 and given Alleycat's woeful turnaround on orders, one I don't fancy doing in a hurry.  I do have a pair of Sanger Shackleton MR1 fuselages which I could use at a push, but that's vacform and thus long term, whereas I found I can throw together an Airfix kit in a minimal timescale, namely a few hours.

What I really fancy doing is an MR1 in one of two slightly different schemes, one of which was worn by Lancaster GR3s in the middle east.  To whit Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Sky.  Nice, but not quite as fetching as the same upper surface colours over Azure Blue.

So I've gone through the stash looking for a Shackleton and found one I'd stripped some of the MR2 specific bits out, so that's ideal.  I'll need to find an Airfix (1979) Lancaster back end, because it'll need a tail turret in the time frame I'm thinking of, even if it doesn't have the guns.  On reflection, does that mean it won't have the mid upper either or will it be there but the guns be deleted?

The wheels for the Lancaster project have arrived and they look like a perfect fit for the Revell kit the model is based on, rather than the Airfix one they're intended for.  So, that looks like it could be finished fairly quickly, once I get the third Shackleton started.

A chat with a few friends this morning has me settled on a scheme for the 100 Goup aircraft - the standard Lancaster scheme, albeit the Lincoln pattern, mainly because seeing it on a Shackleton will have the confusion factor, especially if I give it to a Liberator unit...  Whilst I'm on the subject of ELINT Shacks, the post war one is likely to have a similar but painted over tailcone to the MR2, if only to make for an easier build.  That one is definitely going MSG over Night, with a plated over mid upper and fitted with an astrodome, like the 199 Sqn Lincolns.

And finally, on the subject of four engined aircraft.  I mentioned in another thread that I won a Vickers Viscount on the bay of evil.  Given it's first flight was 1948, this puts in a nice timescale for an RAF VIP transport in the rather fetching all over Aluminium with a blue cheatline and type C roundels. This one is going to be a more long term plan.

Edit: Mach Poo have announced that they're rereleasing their Viscount.  Well, I suppose I've made a sacrifice.  Wish he was doing a Vanguard instead.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 25, 2019, 06:08:40 pm
"By the way, it was a complete lie about the oil."

Well, the Shackleton EW.1 has had it's fuselage closed up.  For anyone doing the MR1 conversion, I'd recommend ditching the resin insert given to blank off the tailwheel bay.  I had trouble trying to get it to fit and stay flush, so much so, I fitted the kit tailwheel bay and I'll be using the closed piece doors and sanding it flush to the fuselage.  TBH, I think it'll be better anyway but we'll see.  There's a fair bit of filling and sanding with this beastie but I'm determined to have it done by the end of March, largely in time for the Darlington show.

The other project is moving ahead.  The nose glazing is finally painted and the wheels are on.  Very little to sort out now, barring the wheel well doors and the tail turret.  Deadline for that is sunday night, so I can show it off at the club on monday.

Whilst looking for bits, I discovered a largely assembled Lancaster VI Special.  What the hell was I planning with that one?  I also found the two assembled new tool Airfix Lancs that were slated for Maritime recce.  At least the rear fuselage window are cut out.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 26, 2019, 05:24:38 pm
"Of course I'm beginning to regret it. That was nearly a full bottle of vodka! That's £7.99 you owe me, ploppy pants."

I've been having a think about the 199 Sqn ELINT Shattipus, based on the MR1.  Not so much about what I want to do, because I know what it's going to look like but rather the base kit.  You see, I don't want to use another Airfix Shackleton - I've already got three on the go - despite it being the best available, as I've got a stash full of old Frog/Novo/Revell/Eastern Express/Whoever is selling the mould this week kits. Why not use one of them? 

I've also got a pair of the Aeroclub MR/AEW 2 conversion sitting in the stash too, one of which cost me an absolute pittance at Bolton last year, so why not use them up?

So, out with a box of Novo Shackleton bits I found a few days back.  One fuselage has already had some mods done to take the Aeroclub bomb bay insert, so out with teh saw to take the nose off. - I know I've got to modify the nose and the solid copy of the Alleycat nose does fit.  I did start cleaning up a resin copy of the Aeroclub bomb bay before remembering the conversion.

I also had a rethink over the rear fuselage.  The MR1 had a blunt tailcone instead of a tail turret so I'm thinking of just leaving the tail as is, painting it all black (more of which anon) and explain it away as a factory modification kit for aerodynamic reasons.  Also, more radio/radar/ECM gear.  The mid upper turret isn't there on the 199 Sqn Lincoln profile I was using for a reference (I'll dig out my Lincoln references later), merely an astrodome, and I'm sure I've some spare kicking about somewhere.

The Aeroclub conversion gives you replacement ailerons and wing tips, so that's that sorted and I'll be doing it with the wheels up as a flying model.  Saves some time and less faffing about with the u/c bays, despite the sheer quality of the Aeroclub bits.  It also means I can just use some resin spinners rather than full props - I don't have enough of these for various reasons.

The scheme is going to be the standard post war bomber scheme, of Medium Sea Grey over Night with a high demarcation line, so this should hide a fair few flaws.

The one other early Shackleton I'd like to do is a New Zealand aircraft, replacing their Sunderlands, but to be fair, with an early MSG over White scheme, it won't look that much different.  Still, it fits with the two RAAF aircraft I have and ties in with a chapter in John Baxter's "The Alternate RAAF and RAN".  I may well use one of the two Sangar/Elliott vacform Shacks I have tucked away with a cheap Revell AEW2 as the donor.  Although, on reflection, modifying another old Frog kit isn't such a bad idea and I can keep the MR3 tail and canopy as being upgrades to the aircraft requested by the Kiwis.

The 100 Group ELINT bird is coming along.  The new nose is in place and filled in and I'm happy enough with the nose to fit the radar underneath, so that's in place with all the associated filler.  After a false start, the tail turret housing is also in place and slathered with filler - the cross sections of a Lancaster and Shackleton back end are somewhat different so plenty of opportunity for PSR.  I've also got the closed tailwheel door fairing in place and that was as challenging to fit as the resin replacement.  More filler!

Hopefully, everything with regards to the fuselage should be sanded and ready to prime by the weekend.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on February 27, 2019, 04:44:02 pm
"This should get things going!"

I've managed to find all the relevant bits for the Frog/Novo Shackleton that I'm converting to the MR1 before it becomes an ELINT aircraft.

As I was digging out the Frog bits, I found some of the bits that had somehow been parted from the built up MR3 that I obtained a few years back.  I've dug that airframe out and had a quick lookover to see how much work need doing.  I can probably tell better in daylight, but the engines need to go back on, as will the AEW blister.  Plus plenty of filler.  It was going to go in Hemp over Light Aircraft Grey but on reflection, that just a bit too obvious for me and preferring my more subtle blend of slightly skewed reality, it's going in the more normal Extra Dark Sea Grey overall with whatever 8 Sqn markings I deem appropriate (but not Dougal, as that's my Lancaster AEW  - which could well get another outing later this year), with only a serial code from the MR3.  It'll look just different enough for that double take factor. 

There are those who don't like my approach (and I have some advice regarding sex and travel for them), but one modeller and researcher (one who I have the utmost respect for) likes my stuff for precisely that reason.  You have to ask why it's a what if.

When I was looking for Shackleton bits yesterday, I looked in one particular box which I know has a load of spares and several Contrail Lincolns.  I found five, plus I know I have another tucked away - quite HOW I've managed to accumulate so many is a mystery, but given the number of whiffed Avros I'm working on, would adding a Lincoln to the line up be a bad idea?  That, plus a Tudor and the umber of Lancasters that need finishing and it could be a pretty full table.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 07, 2019, 04:58:51 am
"Well, what've you brought me this time?"

The latest masterpiece - photos to follow sometime at the weekend - went into the club to some puzzlement, as quite a few people were totally confused, thinking it was one thing, then another and then something else.  Confused?  Good.

Haven't done much else as I'm sitting around waiting for decals and two long shifts at work left me too tired to do anything when I got in other than veg out with old episodes of "Battle of the Planets" on youtube.

I have managed top get a little work done on the Shackleton AEW3.  The radome is back in place, having just been tacked on and lots of filler applied.  There's a plastic part to replace the sonar dustbing  thing in the Airfix Shack that's gone in the same position on the Frog one and doing much the same thing to blank off a dirty great hole.  I've also applied filler around the back of the inner nacelles to tidy them up.  The whole lot should have cured by the time I get in so I can then tackle the engines - I wanted them out the way to tackle fairing in the radome a bit easier.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 14, 2019, 09:30:14 am
"Why won't this sodding video work!?"

Finally got the oomph to get spraying the Shackleton AEW3, only to find the paint cup gunged up with dried varnish.  Cue ten minutes with a lethal mixture of Plasticweld, cocktail sticks and cotton buds.  Once I got started, I went through a full bottle of Xtracrylic Dark Sea Grey and I've yet to do the starboard wing.  Frankly, it's a bugger to do, as it's a complete assembly - which is how I acquired it - whereas with the newer Airfix and Revell kits, it's easy enough to paint the fuselage and wings separately and bring together for final assembly.  That's how I did the RAAF MR2 and I'll be doing similar with all the other non-Frog Shackletons in future.  I did notice a few areas that still need sanding, but as I'll need to do the wing, I can give them a quick sand and then on with a new coat.

The decals are sitting there waiting for it - either the Aeroclub ones or more likely the ones from the Revell kit, the latter being more likely as I bought two cheap with the express intention of using them as wing donors for my Tudor project.  It also helps that I can use the Revell instruction for placement.

Whilst doing some research on Shackletons a few days back, I found mention of Canada being interested.  Blast, that's another MR1 I'll have to think about.

I did get the wings for the ELINT Shackleton primed, but found that they'll need a bit more cleanup before I can go any further - I had hoped to get a coat of Dark Earth on the upper surfaces, but that may happen later today.

Lancasters.  Got the u/c doors for the B.VI special done when I did the doors for The Hybrid last week and I've located a set of painted wheels for it.  Just got to clean up the props and they'll get a coat of gloss black later from a cheap can bought at Poundland - their black and silver paint isn't much cop for larger stuff, but for wheels and props it's an economical alternative to Halfords and one which doesn't necessitate a journey through the badlands of Wallsend.  The props are some four blade Merlin props from Aeroclub, originally intended for a Halifax and I can't remember when I got them, but I need at least two more sets, quite probably three or four.

When I was looking to spray the Shackleton, I had a look at an abandoned Lancastrian that'll be getting the same colours.  The paintwork was a bit rough hence I'd chucked it to one side in disgust, but a few minutes with a sanding pad and some new masking tape, I'll give it another coat or two later when I do the other wing on the Shattipuss.  i already have the decals for this one and again, it's one that'll confuse a few people.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 14, 2019, 08:42:25 pm
"No. I'm going to watch the dot for a bit longer."

Tiny update.

The Shattipuss AEW is now ready for decalling.  On reflection, I think I should have given the fuselage top decking a coat of white, but I don't have a can of Halfords white primer and only the prototype AEW2 had that scheme.  Rather liking this one, despite it's more obvious flaws and rivets.

The Lancastrian T.6 looks better than I though it would, although the white top decking does need some touch ups here and there, especially round the tailcone.  In addition, the Maskol I'd used to do the forward section has set well and truly solid, so I'll try to hide it with the black anti -dazzle panel.  I've located some of the bits to finish it off, largely by stripping them from other unfinished Lancasters.  Some of the paintwork is a bit rough, texturewise and I don't know how that's happened, so it's better off as a crowdfiller at the back of a display.  However, despite my current misgivings, I think it's going to look rather decent and I know a photograph can hide quite a few flaws.

One or the other will get decalled over the weekend and I know I'm going to have to start painting props and wheels at some stage.  Really looking forward to that...

The Lancastrian AEW will need some serious repair work to the nose and I'm not sure where the painted nosecone went after it got gooshed.  I do have a replacement to hand and I'll add that spaced to get the nose length right.  Good job this one is getting a disruptive scheme which should well hide it.  I hope.  Again, I think it'll have to wait until Uncle Colin gets the Lincoln wheels back in stock.  I think I need at least three sets.

There's one other Lancaster that needs some work, largely to touch up the paintwork.  Again, it'll need props and a set of Lincoln nose glazing.  I know a man who can do some vacform copies but I'm not quite sure where my Paragon bits went - I've a feeling they're in an Aeroclub Shackleton MR2/AEW2 box but as to where that box is...  I need some archaeologists to do some digging for it.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 17, 2019, 10:56:53 am
"I hope this isn't a dud!"

Well, the Lancastrian T.6 now has it's decals on an it's looking better than I expected although some silvering has occurred, likely due to the awful surface texture.  Hmmm.  Some Microsol should sort it out later. Doing some research online with photos of yer actual Shattipuss trainers, I noticed that there's very little by way of standardisation of quite where the markings went, which made for some interesting time when deciding what decals top use or discard.  I'm really liking the scheme, so much so I'm thinking of a late Lancaster in a similar scheme, although not with the same unit.  I may do my planned B.6 with the Lincoln nose in that scheme.  It will end up on one of the stalled GR.IIIs.

The part started Lancastrian 6 that was going to end up in the transport scheme will go with the Empire Test Pilots school, if oniy so I can give it a nice big yellow panel on the fuselage.  Again, that's another one I'll need props for.  How many is that now - five or six?  May have to have a word with one of the guys at the club as I can't cast props.

Sorted out the decals for the B.VI Special and decided on 9 Sqn - 617 is too obvious and I've already given them the Hybrid to play with, although they *might* be getting a "standard" B.I Special for far east use anyway.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 17, 2019, 05:56:22 pm
"No. I call it very, very dull!"

Well, the B.VI Special now has it's decals on.  Well, the national markings and codes - Kit, if you're reading this the serials went on perfectly - plus the more obvious wing walkway lines.  The latter were the only stencils I applied - I was losing the will to live with the awful Airfix decals. The Freightdog roundels are a little fragile and were somewhat tricky to apply.  I've yet to do the fins, but that's due to the fact that they need spraying and I don't have any Halfords white primer, so a visit to the branch at the accursed Silverlink with the bus journey through the badlands beckons tomorrow...

The codes are for 9 Sqn for reasons outlined above.  I did find some nose art on the decal sheet I used, although that's for a 617 Sqn machine. Well, let's just say that the guy that did the artwork was posted to 9 Sqn instead.

For some reason, the model isn't talking to me.  I mean, it looks fine now it's got it's markings on but it's just... It doesn't work.  Maybe it's because it's not finished but I don't have the same feeling from it as I did the Lancastrian I did earlier and that's nowhere near finished either - I need to get some paint for that one too.  That one just looks *right* even now.   You know that feeling you get when the decals go on and the model gets it's own identity, a life of it's own if you will... Well, I'm just not getting it here, and that's quite a sad feeling.

Whilst looking for the decals, I looked over the two unfinished new tool Lancasters to see how much needs to be done.  Quite a lot is the answer but both will be going in dark colours anyway.  I still need to find bomb bay doors as they're both Dambuster machines and AFAIK they didn't come with them.  I'll have another look on the sprues.  I know I'll need to get yet more Lincoln wheels from Colin - wonder if he'll take a batch order?

Not sure what's getting decalled next - either an NMF Lancaster with British Pacific Fleet national markings for the aircraft operating from Iwo Jima or the Shackleton AEW3.  I know I'm fed up with decalling Lancasters but the last time I decalled a Shattipuss it took a whole night and I really don't want to do that again...

Seems like I'm going to be busy with four engined stuff for a while.  Not quite sure where they're going to go when they're done but it's got to be better than part built hulks just gathering dust.  It could be quite an impressive table full when they're all done.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 24, 2019, 03:30:31 pm
"God! That was quick!"

I dug out one of the assembled new tool (2013) Airfix Lancasters to give it a coat of primer.  I've decided on a late MR scheme of overall Dark Sea Grey with the white fuselage top decking and possibly MOTU markings, to go with the Lancastrian T.6 that's awaiting varnishing.  One coat of primer revealed quite a few flaws that I've since fixed and resprayed, before giving the fuselage the first coat of the white top decking.  I think this is going to look rather good, even now.

Whilst I was playing with primer, a Hasegawa Lanc at a similar stage was also given a quick blast.  IIRC, this was to get similar colours to MR aircraft in the Med in the late 40s, although it was to get a lifeboat and BPF markings.  I still want to do one with Azure blue underneath, so that may well be t'other Airfix one that I was gifted, but I want to get these ones sorted first before I do any more.

I did have another look at the Revell one that's going NMF with BPF markings.  Bright sunlight and Aluminium paint revealed quite a few flaws that I'd missed, so out with the sanding sticks before a respray.  Looks much better now, so it's awaiting decalling.  That's two at that stage, so I'm not doing too badly.

The SEAC B.VI Special now has it's white fins on and it's looking better.  It's still not quite talking to me, but I think it's getting there.  The wheels are done but I may just have to bodge it (and the two other Merlin 85 aircraft) with some three blade props for the time being whilst I get a mould for the four bladers sorted out.  The wheels are done and look quite spiffing.  I did give the Lancastrian wheel wells a coat of white with a bottle of Humbrol Acrylic 34 White and it's an odd paint, more like melted chocolate in consistency but it gave better coverage than their old enamel.  Well, it's underneath so unless you're poking about with dentist's mirrors, who's going to know much less care?

This just leaves another pair of Revell Lancs that need work - a SEAC 'Grand Slam' and the BPF AEW.  The former needs a new u/c leg before I can mask it up for the undersurface colour.  Not looking forward to this as I *hate* masking, although paradoxically, large aircraft are generally easier than smaller.  The latter needs the nose rebuilt and some work done to the wings, plus a replacement u/c leg.  The wheels for both have arrived from Colin, although I know I'll be needing quite a few more.

What am I planning after the tour on Lancasters is finished?  Well, there's that quartet of early Shackletons for a start, plus the two AEWs, an Avro Tudor I'd like to get to the assembled if unprimed stage by June (it looks likely that the tail surface mould is fixed), and possibly a Warwick trainer if I can face doing all the cutting out and sanding.  Plus a stalled Whitley or three (I've decided on Dagger engines for a training version and the transport colours for the inherited Airfix one) and the middle east Wellington MR, not to mention the transport version and possibly a Met Flight one too.  And I've got a hankering now to start work on a Halifax in the transport scheme, sans turrets and a solid tailcone.  I just want to start gluing bits together again!

So, lots of big impressive stuff, so just where the blinking flip am I going to keep it all?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 25, 2019, 01:40:44 pm
"Neil, why are you wearing that dress?"

Short one this time.

Went looking in the loft at me Mam's earlier for the Vulcan nose gear that's going onto the Shackleton AEW3.  Found it fairly quickly but had a look through a few other boxes.  One of which was a Heller Bf 108.  Now, there's a pair in there, one part started.  Now I'm thinking of one in NMF or Aluminium Dope to tidy up the horrible dirty ex-Luftwaffe colours and wearing Type C markings.  But then I get thinking - what if the RAF decided to re-engine the aircraft with more reliable British engines?  You know, something by De Havilland?  Somewhere I have a mould that got from TsrJoe that's got one of those engines on it.  Bf 108 with the nose of a Proctor?

May have a think on this a bit more but I think it's a rather spiffing idea.

I know there's a Siebel 204 up there's that assembled and could do with a respray.  Similar schemes are being considered.

Whilst we're on the subject of cross dressing Germans, Panther G has done several profiles at my request for RAF Ar 96Bs.  Now, one is in overall Trainer Yellow with nice Type D roundels and this profile, along with the blog being in my head, reminded me of something I'd found in a box a few weeks back.  To whit: an assembled KP Avia C2 in overall yellow.  So off I toddles to find it and lo, it's where I'd left it.  So, how quickly could I finish it?

One of the problems with it is the masking - it's maskol and has been on for...  Well, I think it was intended to be an Isreali machine, more of which anon, and I was thinking of it circa 2006, so it's been on nigh on 13 years - will it come off?  The paint is Halfords Fiat Broom Yellow, which is a nice match for Trainer Yellow so I think this could be done pretty quickly.  Just need to do some research for a suitable serial code.

The Isrealis.  I'd intended on doing several ex-Luftwaffe types in Isreali colours and I'm sure that this was to be one of them but I think Dizzyfugu has done a Heller Ar 96 in Isreali colours (and strictly speaking, whilst the Heller kit is correct for Luftwaffe and Axis Ar 96s, the Isrealis would have got the Avia post war version and there are significant differences in the two aircraft, despite the parentage, so really, he should have used the KP kit  - and I found one of the revised tool ones in the loft earlier too), and I'm never one to do anything that someone else has done first, despite thinking of it a good ten years previously.

So, not very short after all and with some non-Lancaster related stuff in it.  The Arado may prove a rather colourful distraction - a yellow fillet if not an actual red herring.  I'll get me coat.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 26, 2019, 05:59:03 am
"It's funny, but being ill makes me lose my usual tolerant and easy-going approach to communal living."

Decalling the Shackleton AEW3 has commenced and I can honestly say that I want whoever designed the Revell sheet taken out and shot.  The yellow walkway lines have some odd shapes and very little carrier film to hold them together, so they are *extremely* frustrating to apply.  It didn't help either that the Revell decals have the red way too dark, looking more like wartime dull red or that the Aeroclub 8 Sqn markings disintegrated when dipped in water.  Fortunately, I have another two sets *somewhere* so I can use them.  Neither does the fact that the kit's prominent rivets are preventing the decals from sitting properly.

The nosegear is assembled and I'll start spraying the wheels later.  I just don't want to decal the rest, but they're quite prominent and it'd look odd if they're not applied.  After this one, I'm not doing another AEW.  At least, not with Revell or Aeroclub decals.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 28, 2019, 09:38:52 pm
"That's brilliant Neil! It's working!"

Finally! The AEW3 is now decalled, although the 8 Sqn bars simply won't sit properly on the sandpaper rough surface due to all the rivets.  I positively loathe all the tiny stencils on this thing - especially those sodding yellow 2 shaped things -  compounded by the fact that they're for a slightly different airframe.  Still, it's looking impressive now, definitely talking to me.  It looks bang on for an AEW but with just enough oddness to get that double take factor I really like.

So, the wheels are done and it's just the props for the small bits - the aerials are really a five minute job.  Not far from done then it's back to the pair of Lancasters.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 15, 2019, 07:22:42 pm
"Well, don't worry, Rick! It wouldn't have worked anyway!

Everything was varnished a few weeks back and then...  To put it mildly, I wasn't happy.  You see, there's some odd... watermarks? underneath the varnish where the Pledge was used on the Lancasters around the wing walkway stencilling and I could see them quite clearly.  Worse was to follow.  There was tape residue on the spine of the Lancastrian that turned yellow with age and the varnish highlighted it.  The decals on the Shackleton hadn't quite settled down due to the rivets, and there was also some heavy silvering on the Lancastrian.  Quite frankly, I was disgusted with my own ineptitude and left all three to rot.

Willie convinced me that it wasn't too bad, but still I held back having lost any enthusiasm for finishing them.  But then I dug out a sanding block and started carefully sanding off the tape residue on the Lancastrian.  Managed to get rid of it so perhaps this can be finished?

Short answer - yes.  She still needs a few aerials, the pilot's seat needs some work and the canopy bedding down but other than that she's done.  One down, two to go. 

The B.VI Special.  Wheels on, plus doors.  Need a new tailwheel as it's vanished, probably stolen for something else.  Props done, albeit needle rather than paddle - I AM NOT using the ones in the Airfix kit as they are cack.  Just the canopy and the tail turret and that's done.

Which just leaves the Shackleton AEW3... But I'm really not feeling anything for this Shackleton any more, other than I want it done so I can try and finish something else.  There's really very little that needs doing but I just can't work up any sort of enthusiasm for it.  I don't want to abandon it so close to the finish line - especially with a show looming to display it - but I have little feeling of anything for it.

Which brings me to the silver Lancaster.  You see, I'm thinking about something else for it's markings, although I'm still wedded to the far east.  The RAF operated Lincolns in NMF finish, along with the RAAF and I was toying with a Lancaster in that scheme and with Type D markings bombing the Mau Mau or Malayan communists - maybe the far east Lancs were kept out there for colonial policing, with the Lincolns kept in Europe?  Means having to do another Lancaster or two, but I do have a considerable stash of them that I'd like to either use or dispose of.

Looking in a box that's holding a long stalled B-29 - I have all the bits there and it's possibly going to be a 9 Sqn example in the far east carrying a pair of Tallboys - I find a pair of long stalled Hurricanes.  Both are painted, one part decalled as an RAAF machine.  What was I going to do the other one as?  It's in a desert scheme, although Dark Green rather than Dark Earth.  I'm leaning towards a Lebanese machine, simply because I have some decals kicking about and I want to use them up.  A donated ex-6 Sqn machine, although it's a IIc rather than a IV?  Persian perhaps?  Still, the pair can be finished relatively quickly as bothe the props and wheels are already done.

So, what next after all this?  Well, there's a trio of Beaufighters that I'd liked masked and done, a pair of desert Blenheims and then there's a few Tempests, although they'll fit into another whiffed 607 Sqn timeline but more probably part of my alternate 6 Sqn lineup.

Quite a dance on the revolving carousel, but that's par for the course.  Just wish I had more focus.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 16, 2019, 06:46:07 pm
"Well, why is that one wearing a silver boob tube then?"

Having had further thoughts on another NMF Lancaster, I've decided on a Hasegawa kit, largely because I have quite a few that are part started and thus need using up, but also because it's a far less fiddly build than either the 2013 new tool Airfix or the 2009 Revell kit   The kit comes with the larger tropical filters, but will need resin larger Lincoln fins - unless I use one of the post war boxings which has them included - plus Lincoln wheels and I'm not sure if Uncle Colin has them back in stock.

That's the kit solved - and I may well have another part started one to go straight to - although I'm undecided whether to open out the rear MR windows, so RAAF or RAF?  I do not want to build one of each!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 17, 2019, 06:29:42 pm
"Wish I'd thought of that."

Well, I have the Lancaster in question - except naturally it was the last box I looked in.  It's part started as I'd suspected - the wings are glued together, along with the engines and the cockpit internals are all there.  I'd even filled the many ejector pins that Hasegawa in their infinite wisdom have moulded into the floor.  There's not a lot of detail in the cockpit, it's all moulded as one piece and TBH, I though Hasegawa were better than this, especially given the price of the kit.

I'm still not sure of what air force it's going with - RAF or RAAF.  I mean, I've been wanting to do a production RAAF Lancaster for some time and I've a feeling that the NMF one that's currently awaiting decals was intended for the RAAF at some point.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 21, 2019, 03:47:33 pm
"Well, thanks for inviting me, Neil. It's so rare when you get a chance to go out these days."

Haven't done much with anything over the last few days for various reasons but the latest Lancaster has had the engine nacelles cleaned up prior to going onto the wings, which means I'll need to get the tropical filters sorted.

Given the price and Hasegawa's vastly undeserved reputation, this is a fairly basic kit and it's not that much of a step up from the Airfix tooling from the late 70s. Despite it's flaws, the Revell kit is the better of that 2000s generation, even if they didn't capitalise on it whereas Hasegawa did from the outset with multiple unused spares on the sprues that would be a boon for the what if modeller.  I'm aiming too have the airframe complete and ready to spray within a fortnight, but other things on the horizon may push that back a tad.

And speaking of other things, I now have my Amodel Cobalt Valkyrie.  It's a stunning looking aircraft, very dronelike in appearance but ideal for our purposes.  I know exactly what I'm doing with it - overall black with yellow wing markings for current RAF trainers and a 607 Sqn shield for an aircraft based at RAF Acklington circa 2025.

Given the weather - pause for sarcastic remarks about April and bank holidays in the UK - I'm planning on sitting in the sun in the back garden with a rum and coke or several and fondling some plastic, probably the Valkyrie and a Halifax which will be going in the transport scheme but with a nice big yellow patch on the fuselage for the Empire training school.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 13, 2019, 05:53:35 pm
"I must be hallucinating. What's good for a hangover?"

Haven't updated this as I really haven't done that much over the last few weeks due to pressure at work leaving me too tired to do much of anything when I get in.  Having a head cold the past few days which has left me somewhat disorrientated at times hasn't helped either, and neither has the two large rums I had in the garden yesterday in the sunshine whilst working on a Lancastrian (of more anon).

Okay, the B.VI Special got finished, but the Lancastrian C.6 and Shattipuss AEW are still awaiting their aerials.  The next silver Lancaster hasn't progressed that far, although the fuselage should be okay to close up once I have some decals affixed.

I have got the wings and engines on the next Lancastrian C.6 sorted and the whole thing is primed in it's major component parts but do I assemble it and then spray the yellow sections or do that first and then assemble?  It's looking reasonably impressive so far and I think it'll look really good when it's finished.  I'm realling looking forward to seeing it done, if only I had the time or the energy.

Thoughts are also turning away from Lancasters back to Wellingtons and one that I've been wanting to do - a Vulture engined one as a test bed for the Warwick's engine installation - is giving me some food for thought.  I did think about getting an MPM/Revell Merlin version and change the engines but looking at the Contrail vacform bits, I've a feeling that it may be easier and cheaper to use the spare Contrail bits with a Matchbox Wimpy that's already in the stash.  Downside is that the window installation is a bit too late for the period I want to do, although there are ways and means to explain this away.

Finally, two desert Blenheims have progressed a little further - they're now masked for the application of the Dark Earth.  I also need to have a look at the assembled Airfix mk I Blenheim I acquired in Perth to see what need making good before I start masking off the canopy in expectation of a new coat of primer.  I have a cunning plan for this one, although another thought has sprung to mind, one that is possibly much easier in terms of spraying but too "me" if I'm making any sense?  I do have a part started Airfix Blenheim that I'll be looking at in due course, so the second idea may well apply to that instead.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 14, 2019, 05:56:41 pm
"You know, I have the most terrible craving for a piece of fried lavatory paper."

I've done some minor work on the salvage Blenheim.  Apart from removing the decals, which took a few minutes with some masking tape, I've removed the dropped flaps, taken off the wheels and tried to straighten the tailplanes.  I've also done some sanding around the camo demarkations, largely to take down any possible ridges.  It looks to have been brush painted, and to what appears to be a decent standard.

Tomorrow, I'll look at masking off the canopy and filling the turret appeture - it fell out - before looking to reprime it, although I'm not quite sure what colour primer I'll be using.  I really need to get to Halfords to buy some more Fiat Broom Yellow, amongst other things.

I did have another idea for a Blenheim I, although this one would get the spare rockets from an Airfix Beaufighter.  I rather like the idea of one being used as a weapons proficiency trainer for one of the Beaufighter units, and naturally this would get a nice naval 3 colour scheme.  Somewhere, I have another pair of part started Frog Blenheims, so one may well get used for that. 

Edit: Dug out the box within a minute and duly found the pair of Blenheims, but only one engine and one canopy set.  I know I can get one done, so I've got the canopy cleaned up and dipped in Pldge.  As it was open, I took the opportunity to give the salvage one a quick coat so I can get the Maskol on tomorrow.

I just wish I had more time, and more importantly the energy, to anything about these ideas.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 20, 2019, 04:09:17 pm
"Brilliant! Let's fill it in!"

Well, the salvage Blenheim has had a coat of primer and it's revealed a whole can of worms.  Firstly, the primer reacted with the old paint, but only one colour! It crazed and blistered up the dark Earth.  It's since been sanded back and doesn't look too bad but I'm not happy.  Secondly, the primer showed up that the thing wasn't quite as well built as I'd thought, with some nasty gaps on the engine cowlings and the canopy glazing being somewhat indented on the starboard side.  Again, I've managed to sand it all back to something approaching a standard I can live with but it's a shame that I'd decided on an overall yellow coat rather than a three tone disruptive naval scheme which would have hid many of these flaws.  I just need to remask some of the canopy before I can give it a quick respray, then sand back a bit more of the crazed paint near the tail before digging out the yellow.  Of which more anon.

The other Blenheim on the go - I'm not counting the two masked ones which have stalled as they have paint applied - the one which is going to a Beaufighter unit - is now all together, with it's engines on and the rocket blast plates installed under the wings.  I'm going to add the rocket rails much later in the build, as know my luck I'd knock them off during decalling.  It's looking okay so far but then again, I have a soft spot for ye olde Frog Blenheim as it's a decent enough kit to build despite it's age and it's shape issues.  Those with the time and skills to sort it out can turn it into a masterpiece - Woody on Britmodeller did a fantastic job with both the Frog and old tool Airfix Blenheims.  However, that's not me so I'll live with the flaws, although replacing the button like wheels with resin copies of the Airfix new tool wheels and a few bits spare in said kit do the old Frog kit a world of good.

I've done some work assembling the u/c bays on the Wellington GR - the kit has you assemble the u/c and it's well before affixing the wing together, which is going to make masking so much more fun, I don't think.  The actual bay and u/c bits go together easy enough, so a quick coat of aluminium and we can have that section all boxed off and the wings together.  This is more of a long term one - it's a nice kit and I don't really want to rush it.

Ebay tells me I've won the MPM/Revell Merlin engined Wellington I was wanting  to do a Vulture engined testbed for the Warwick, so any thoughts of using the Matchbox kit for that are now redundant, although the Sabre engined one with the annular cowling is a possible instead.  The timeframe fits the lack of windows in the Matchbox kit too.  The contrail bits are a bit wooly but I've some resin cowling somewhere, cloned from the Kora annular Tempest - someone suggested using it to do the equivalent Typhoon - and they'll do nicely.

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a recollection of a proposal for a squadron of Highball Mosquitos operating in the Med, but naturally I can't find the particular reference for it.  It's one I've been toying with for some time and it means I get to use the Malta scheme on a Mosquito.  I've got all the bits for it tucked away - I stashed quite a few of the relevant Paragon conversions when they were available a decade or so back.  I'm sure I also saw a reference to bull nosed radar equipped Mosquitos being used for maritime patrol - their speed would be invaluable against u-boats - I just wish I could remember where it was.  So that's another one to play with, whatever scheme I decide on, although a Mosquito in Extra Dark Sea Grey/dark Slate Grey and Azure Blue would look rather fetching.  They look fetching enough in the standard naval colours as it is.

Much as I love the Mosquito, I've quite enough to do at the moment, so they'll stay on the back burner, although the Tamiya kit literally falls together whilst I know I'll need to cast some tropical filters for the engines.  I do have the Paragon ones but he got them well and trully wrong - they're too boxy and don't follow the curve of the cowling. Vokes filters for Spitfires or Hurricanes are much nearer the mark.

Finally, yellow.  The Lancastrian C.6 that's on the go now has it's yellow panels done, so I can now get the wings and tail surfaces on and start masking to do the rest of the airframe.  I did have some thoughts of a Merlin 85 engined PR Lancaster, in the more fetching PRU Blue/Med Sea Grey scheme with the nice Type D roundels - all the Lancaster PR aircraft had the standard Merlins and a silver scheme -  and I know I've a spare Airfix Dambuster that was looking to dispose of, but building it may be more fun.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 24, 2020, 03:11:27 pm
"That doesn't worry me. I just eat the labels as well."

Due to work related issues, I kind of lost my mojo a while back although I've been toying with a few Star Trek ships, largely inspired after seeing this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCho6AQ4cwc

I've been wanting one of this class for a while, largely to do the USS Odyssey from a fan series called... Star Trek: Odyssey.  It's all green screen and variable acting from the cast and some iffy CGI but it's enjoyable enough and in places better than actual product (Enterprise, Voyager, I'm looking at you!)  It's all on youtube if you care to look for it.  However, on rewatching some of it, I realised that unless I drastically reworked the nacelles, Odyssey wasn't possible.

That being the case, it'll be OOB, although the name on the decals - USS Allegiance - will have to go.  You see, I'm no fan of the US centric names that Star Fleet largely uses (although given that it's from a US TV franchise entirely understandable), and like the ships of the Terran Federation* in my Blake's 7 PGP, all of my Star Fleet ships are going to get Royal Navy or at least British ship names.

Sovereign - Ark Royal, Prince of Wales, Nelson,
Phallanx - Repulse, Albion
Akira - Illustrious, Vanguard
Nova - Endeavour, Beagle
Intrepid - Endurance
Miranda - Majestic, Britannic
Constitution - Dauntless, Warspite (and bearing in mind I'd like both a TOS and a refit, I could do both)
Ares - Swiftsure

Anyhoo, armed with the thoughts and having ordered a pair of 3d printed ships - the aforementioned Phallanx and the Ares from Shapeways, I dragged the few others out of the loft at me Mam's.  The Nova and Akira are both from Starcrafts, the former being a stunning piece of casting in one piece and just needing a tad cleaning up.  The latter is a bit more challenging and the fit is less than stellar, but it's impressive once together - I'd tacked it together to prime and see what needed sorting out.  It'll need a fair bit of filler in places.

Fast forward to now.  With the knowledge that I'm effectively under house arrest for at least 3 months (thanks, China!), I started cleaning up the Allegiance.  I've got it tacked together and it looks impressive.  The saucer section looks to be challenging, given that it's in 5 bits, but the rest went together rather easily.  It's a bit longer than the Akira but that's wider by contrast.  The video I linked to says it's an Excelsior/Ambassador hybrid, but to my eyes it looks more like a Nebula secondary hull with Galaxy nacelles and a Sovereign saucer - basically a scaled down Galaxy with Sovereign features.  Whatever, it's a lovely looking ship.

I did do some dry fitting on the AMT Sovereign, but it's quite crude by comparison to the Akira and the fit for a mainstream injection kit is terrible, especially the pylon to hull fit.  I'm not looking forward to this one.

Decals.  There's a guy on ebay who's local who does custom decals for the Eaglemoss die casts and with some gentle prodding and a wadge of cash may well do them in my required scale.  We shall see...

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*There's one exception in my PGP - the Akira, commanded by Lin S'Kai.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on March 25, 2020, 06:53:04 pm
"And what's the problem, Neil? The dummy run was a complete success!"

I've been looking at the video again of at least one episode of Odyssey and whilst the rest of the ship is a Phallanx, the nacelles are not, although that's because the Odyssey has a Slipstream as well as a warp drive.  Do I try to get another Phallanx?  Given the current restrictions on life, the universe and everything (thanks to some greedy chinese numpty wanting to eat bat soup), I don't think it'll be possible for some time.

I've also compared the size of the thing against both a Sovereign and a Nova.  The Sovereign isn't that much bigger, well, longer but the Nova is tiny and dwarfed.

As to a name...  I'm leaning towards Vanguard, largely because I'm too wedded to Illustrious for the Akira.  I did want to work in the date of the Tarranto raid as part of the registry but couldn't get it to work.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 04, 2020, 02:03:07 pm
"Over here, over here...You took your time, you b*****d!"

Some years back, during The Great Home Bargains Airfix Treasure HuntTM, I'd bought a trio of the odd European fountains that were part of teh release selection.  One was going to be Federation troopers (see the Blake's 7 episode "Rumours of Death"), another was to go with some Daleks, and the third?

Well, that was going to be a ruin on Mars.  Being examined by Astronauts.  British ones.  Of the type seen in the Doctor Who story "The Ambassadors of Death".  I'd managed to get some Airfix astronauts off ebay and they look similar to those seen in said story and with a modicum of fudging and minor surgery, I could get away with it.  Except they vanished, and not during a burst of high frequency accelerated impulses either.

However, they were rediscovered a few hours back and looking at them again, they look pretty decent.

In the meantime, I managed to get a 72nd-ish BMC van that Reegan used to ferry about the aliens, so the possibility of a few dioramas from "Ambassadors" is possible.  Just wondering if I can get a Police Jaguar mk II saloon and some 1970s era UK Police "Woodentops"...


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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 06, 2020, 03:56:29 pm
"Why won't this sodding video work!?"

The weather today was rather nice so I got out into the back garden to sit in the sun with several rum and cokes.  I also did some basic assembly and clean up of the AMT Sovereign class Enterprise E (still not sure what name it's going to get).

What a parcel of crap!  The fit is appalling, with gaps everywhere.  The pylon to hull fit abysmal - I had to trim the locator tabs repeatedly to get them to fit and with one there's very little of said tab left.  I haven't started the actual nacelles yet as it's a very frustrating build.  By contrast, the Phallanx was easy, although clean up there is going to take a fair bit of time.  Both look to be absolute filler hounds and it looks like I'm running out of that with little chance of getting any more in the near future.

I also turned back to a pair of Lancasters and did a bit of fillerwork on the wings but then it got a bit cold and I decided to pack it in for the day.  I'm finding I don't have much focus to do anything at the minute.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 07, 2020, 12:39:08 pm
"Neil, Neil, Neil! Nails aren't in the recipe."

Again, another nice sunny day so back out into the back garden.  I did some more sanding and clean up on the Sovereign but I'm losing the will to live with that one.  Filled some more on a pair of Lancasters, mainly around the engine nacelles - both have had the engines replaced with Merlin 85s, one is going to be another C.6 but in the Transport scheme and the other is intended to be a PR.6 when I can get some casting done.

And then I went off piste.  There's something that I've been thinking about for a few years now and I knew I had the bits to do it - indeed, I found the base kit yesterday and it was already part started, of more anon.  What am I referring to?  A two seat Firebrand.

I'd picked up a pair of the old Rareplanes vacform kit at Telford a few years back for less than the price of a pint each.  Although I'd intended to use them as wing donors for other Blackburn projects, it's a pretty decent kit as is and one I've had through my hands once or twice and I've wanted to actually build the thing for a while now. This one came with the Aeroclub prop and wheels.  I'm not too fond of the latter, as I know that they're copies of the Frog Hornet wheels rather than the Tempest wheels they should be.  However, that's not an issue for now as I fully intend moulding a set of Tempest wheels from elsewhere for use in various projects.

Of the two kits, one had been part started at some stage prior to me getting it.  In addition, it must have been sitting in the sun, as one section of the sheet was a nice yellow colour and I found out when cutting it down that it was rather brittle.  The sheet got primed*, got the fuselage cut out and sanded down, then made a start with the already cut out wings. 

Cut a long story short, the basic parts are now sorted out and cleaned up.  I did think about using the vacform tailplanes but remembered that the Valom kit comes with two sets, so the spare from one will do for the T-bird.  The front of the engine cowling is a separate part and it's not bad but it's a bit crude, so I'll make a mould of the front of the Valom kit for use here and elsewhere as I know I've several other Firebrands somewhere, including a pair of the older CMR kit.

The canopy is going to be the one from the PM Sea Fury T.20.  I know it's horrible but the likelihood of getting an Aeroclub is slightly less than finding a nun turning tricks in a brothel, so I dug one out of a spares box and offered it up to the cleaned up fuselage.  Hmmn.  It'll work, but the back end is going to need some considerabe building up underneath.  Where's that P.38 car body filler?

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*I've a cheat for vacforms - prime the vacform parts first BEFORE cutting them out, then instead of cutting around them some distance away, carefully cut into the parts at the join at a 45 degree angle then score away.  Sand down as normal and when the white plastic is gone, then the parts should fit.

Tried this a few times and it works for me.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 07, 2020, 03:54:19 pm
"Ha! Tried to fool me. That's Toxteth again!"

One other thing I've been wanting to do is a British analogue to the MiG 21 that had the underside intake rather than the more usual nose one.  Except I needed a rationale for it.  So what if HSA decided to use a Hunter as a scaled down P.1103/1121 analogue?

The other problem is that none of the available Hunter kits would be right for it - you've got to get rid of the standard blended intake for a stark which means a lot of tedious cutting, filling and sanding, no matter the kit you start from, even the Revell one.  And then there's the wing shape itself - do I use a standard Hunter wing or a 1083 wing or a scaled 1121?

And then I remembered I *DID* have such a Hunter - Blackbeard Resin's abortive P.1067 kit, which never saw the light of day due to the fuselage being too long.  That would give me the basis of a fuselage, I can use the front end of a Revell kit (as I've several earmarked as T-birds with the PJ front end) and I know I've a spare exhaust section somewhere too.  There's a PM Ho 229 that may do for a revised 1083 wing sans intake, so I think we're looking at a goer here.

Two blog posts in a day?  Well, yes, but I also tend to use these as notes for myself and they can be quite useful in that regard.  This one has reminded me about that supersonic Huntsman that I have the bits for - Huntsman fuselage and P.1083 wings.  And when I was looking for Firebrand bits earlier I found a Project X P.1121 that had a cut out and sanded fuselage and everything else in resin just sitting there to make a start on...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 08, 2020, 01:02:40 pm
"I'm right here. I thought the vacuum cleaner looked a bit on the tentative side so I souped it up a bit. "

The sunshine's continued so I'm still out in the back garden with several rums and doing some tinkering. 

Work continues at a snail's pace on the Sovereign, mainly just filling and sanding ad bleedin nausem, The fit is truly appalling and I'll be happy when I finally get it together, although then the stupid azteking takes over.

I've not done too much to the Firebrand, other than put a spine aft of the cockpit on both fuselage halves, this being the backbone to hold all the P38 I'll have to use to blend the back in.  I do not use Milliput.  Can't abide the stuff.

With all the poncing about with vacforms, I pulled out a part started Supermarine 545 and did some basic sanding on the fuselage but it's a bit floppy and will need considerable stiffening.  Somewhere I'm sure I've seen a drawing with sections for the fuselage and if I could remember where, I'd get them photocopied to use as bulkheads.  Actually, it was the Barrie Hygate book and it mentions that the second prototype was to have provision for four Firestreaks.  Which is nice.

T'other vacform was a Maintrack Supermarine 510, so the fuselage and wings are now cut out and sanded.  There's a rather nice vacform component that is what purports to be the cockpit but I have grave doubts that the white metal seat will fit, so it goes in the spares box and a copy of the rather nice resin cockpit tub from the AZ Attacker will do instead.  Just the tail feathers to sort out tomorrow.  Undecided as to scheme, although I'm sure I saw a reference to the Australians getting it.  So either an FAA scheme with type Ds or something similar but with 'Roos on the fuselage.

While I'm on the subject of Swift related stuff - and by rights these should really be in The Plan thread being Supermarine and designed by the same team responsible for the Spitfire after Mitchell's demise - I found a reference to a PR Swift in a book on British military serials and it wasn't the PR6 either, so I may well look at cobbling a Testors one together with the Airkit PR nose and give it a blast with PRU Blue.  There's one I located yesterday that'll fit the bill nicely.

But you're really wanting to know what the quote refers to?  My second post yesterday, a supersonic Huntsman.  That got dragged out and the fuselage has had several rounds of PSR, including a couple of blasts with Halfords Filler Primer.  I also used it to sort out one of the wings, which seem to have more holes than a crunchie - who cast them, Unicrap?  Actually, it was nowhere near as bad as that, but it did take a few goes to get all the holes filled.  I know I can the bulk of the airframe done, but there's two problems.  Firstly, the wheel wells in the wings don't match those on the fuselage, but I'm thinking about a wheels up desktop model.  The second is the tail surfaces.  I think they'd need greater sweep so I'd nick them from the Freightdog P.1103 - I'm still toying with a quick flying prototype with the standard Hunter F.4 and the 1083 wing just to prove the aerodynamics before they go to the full transonic version with the new engine.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 10, 2020, 04:09:22 pm
"I'm afraid I couldn't find any needles, so we'll have to use 6-inch nails."

I've had further thoughts on my shortcut P1083 prototype, largely due to the fact that my stash of Revell Hunters is in another location and thanks to the Chinese, I can't get to it. IIRC, my stash of Freightdog P.1083 conversions is also in said location too.  However, I do have a spare set of the same 1083 wings that I'm fitting to the Huntsman and a boxful of Airfix Hunter spares.  I'm sure there's enough parts in there to cobble together an airframe or two.

Barrie Hygate's book on British experimental aircraft mentions that it's likely that the first 1083 would have just been an aerodynamic test aircraft, so there's a toenail of believability for what I'm doing.  At some stage I'd like to try and get some of the advanced Hunter bits together in one airframe - a 1083 deriviative with a radar nose and toting a pair of Firestreaks is quite an attractive proposal and I'm determined to do a two seater as well.

And finally, whilst I'm on the subject of Hawker stuff, I located a part assembled P.1081 - actually, it's just the fuselage, but I'll give it a blast with some primer and see how much clean up it'll need.  Having had the relevant bits for a good twenty years, I've yet to actually build one (although I did do one as a navalised P.1087) and I've been considering 607 Sqn as an end user - they would get P1081s or Venoms to replace their Spitefuls, before getting Hunter F6s in the mid 60s.  And I think I've enough Airfix Hunter bits to do a second airframe.  Pity I can't get another set or three of the 48th 607 sqn bars from the Alleycat Vampire.  I did try asking them, but didn't get an email back for 6 SODDING MONTHS!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 14, 2020, 02:06:37 pm
"You got any witnesses?!"

Today's foray into the garden has provided some mixed results.  I've gone a bit further with a few things, started and abandoned some others before having some ideas.

The Swifts move along slowly, with only the F7/PR6 and PR2 getting any further.  Bit of cleanup and thats it.  One of the Hunters was abandoned - the fuselage was a bit crap and I found another half, which meant that I could use the one remaining half in the box to  get another fuselage together.  Sort of, the intakes went in and what passes for the cockpit - I'm not planning on doing any tarting up other than replacing the wing.  Both are going to be from the box and the 607 Sqn FGA9 may be an in flight job.  I've a possible reason in the back story for the lack of squadron bars, something about central servicing - as with the Vulcan - that meant most squadron markings taken off, but being northerners, 607 kept repainting their shields back on.  Works for me.  I'm tempted to do a pair - one with NMF undersides and type Ds, a later one in wraparound with 70s roundels, although I may leave that for the two seater, but again, I don't have any two seat Hunters to hand.  One thing - if anyone has the pylons from the Airfix Hunter spare, can you consider letting me have them?  I've used the bulk of mine on many unfinished other propjects.

I got a bit further with the Huntsman - incidentally, as it's a speedbird rather than the usual transport, what would be an apt name for it? - the filler on the tail fin is all sorted and I *think* I've eliminated most of the airbubbles in the fuselage.  The port wing got a coat of primer to sort out the airbubbles there whilst the starboard wing got a coat of filler to sort out the crunchy bar leading edge.  It's coming together slowly - I may have the wings on by the weekend, although I think they'll need  fair bit of filling to fair them in properly.  Sorting out the u/c bay cutouts is then the next job.

I started an F82.  This was a Novo example and frankly, it's an absolute parcel of wank.  I say started, it was part started in a bag and I'd picked it up for less than a pound at the Scots Nationals last year and even at that pittance, I still say I was robbed. No matter, I'd an an idea to do it as an RAAF one in Malaya in an overal NMF finish.  However, the fit is absolutely appalling - one wing half need ungluing and then some vigorous sanding so it matched properly, the cockpit interior is woeful, even for FROG's wooly standard and the props have vanished.  The canopies are *very* thick and decidedly unclear.  I got the wings tidied up, a bit, before throwing the whole lot back in the box in disgust.

I'd thought sideways, about the role that the F82 was to be used in and what it would have likely replaced - the Beaufighter.  Now I knew that I had a Mtchbox one on my disposal pile, they can be thrown together quickly, they don't look too bad and so I dragged it out and glued a few bits together, namely what little passes for a cockpit interior, the wheels and the wings.  And then I realised that it didn't cut the mustard either -the engine cowlings are a bit "meh" and the intakes are too weedy.  So again, back in the box and I dragged out an Airfix one, specifically the Malaya boxing.  This is really the best Beaufighter you're going to get in the scale, and apart from the lack of bombs, about as tooled up as you're likely to get.  So I got some of the cockpit in and then came in as it was getting cold.

Another reason for putting the Matchbox one was the realisation that I've got three that got assembled and half painted - the upper colours are on - and then left.  I'd forgotten what I'd intended doing with them.  I've a feeling one was to get a black underside for night operations and another had a two colour upper scheme as I've never seen a TF.X with the fin fillet in a scheme other than EDSG/Sky, so adding the Dark Slate Grey as a subtle twist.  The third...  I'd bounced a few foreign operators about - Turkey and portugal - but found that they *did* have TF.10s with the fin fillet so back to the drawing board. And then I had a brainwave.

404 (RCAF) did fly Beaufighters, specifically TF.Xs but were disbanded in May '45.  However, as my WWII goes on a bit longer, they can keep them and then take them home.  Or post war, their markings change slightly in the post VE Day excitement.  So it'll be an almost standard Beau, with everything right and nice Type C1 rounds on the wing uppers but the centre of the fuselage roundel gets replaced with a maple leaf.  The Canadian Navy Seafire 15s had similar whilst they were in the UK do there is a precedent for it.  And I may use the same unit for that Blenheim If that I've part started that was going to get under rockets as a weapons delivery trainer.  It got one of the upper colours on, but I'm not sure now if I should go with a second colour.

Last night I started getting together the bits I want to mould up and specifically dug out the Griffon cowling from the Firefly AS7 as I want to use it for an operational Griffon Beaufighter.  Whilst I was thinking about that and other possible Beaufighters, I also dug out the Alleycat twin tail beaufighter, as that's definitely getting moulded.  Yes, I know the conversion itself isn't that expensive, it's just Alleycat have a turnaround on orders that sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo slow that it makes your average glacier look as speedy as Usain Bolt, although they're *VERY* quick to take your cash.  With all that in mind, I don't feel at all guilty about dropping some of their bits into rubber for personal use.

A twin tail Beaufighter is something I've wanted to do for a while, and a developed version, with the radar nose, bigger fins and possibly four blade props, is definitely on the cards.  One in 8 Sqn markings in Malaya colours may have a few scratching their heads thinking it's a sawn off Brigand.  And thinking about it, I may have another use for that part started Matchbox one.

The resin turret section from the High Planes Beaufighter V is also going for a moulding bath, and one of those on a TF.X as an escort for the Banff wing would help keep the maurauding 109s and 190s off their case.  Although a Martin turret sporting a pair of .50 may be more fun.  I've a feeing that the Bristol 20mm turret from the Shattipuss may be just a tad too big.

So, lots of Beaufighters to think about, amongst all the other things.  Good job I've got the time to do that now.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 15, 2020, 01:54:03 pm
"Doesn't it? Well maybe that's what's going wrong!"

The weather today was simply gorgeous, ideal for being in the sun and doing some tinkering.  Fueled by several rum and cokes - large ones!

Speedbird Huntsman.  The fuselage is all filled and ready for the wings and the one with the iffy leading edge has hopefully it's last coat of filler.  Some of the smaller airbubbles I gave a quick coat of some thick paint and then sanded it back when it had dried.  I'm hoping to get the wings on either tomorrow or Friday.

The Swift PR2 is nearly ready to prime - I took the filler off the upper wingroots and I'd used Perfect Plastic Putty here, largely because I knew a damp cotton bud would clean it up but also because I'm not doing any masking as it's going overall PRU Blue.  However, I may have to do some drastic surgery to the wing leading edge to straighten it, removing the extension that caused all the issues on the F2 and made the aircraft so dangerous to handle.  I'll have to think about this some more, although if Kit's reading this he may have some plausible engineering reason to leave the extension in place - additional fuel tanks?

I've had further thoughts about the Nene engined Swift prototype, the type 528/535.  I'd initially thought about grafting the back end of an Attacker onto a Swift, but that didn't pan out.  I then considered reworking an Attacker using a Swift wing but that's still not quite right either, because the flying surfaces are still too late.  So my new plan, such as it is, is to rework a Project X/Whirlybird 510 with a Swift nose, because that's what the Type 528 is - a 510/517 with an extended nose and a tricycle layout.  The wheel well position changes, but that's not too difficult.  I have the CMR Swift I got as part of the box of bits, so some surgery using that as a replacement nose could work.  Although I did keep the nose I cut off the Testors one and being plastic could be a better fit.  That's all for the future as I need the drawings from the Hygate book copied to relocate the wheel well bays.

The finished model, in camo and with wing guns, should look different enough from a standard Swift - both the early F1s and the later FR types - but still similar enough to give that double take I really like.  And if I was to give it the markings of a real Swift F1 from 56 Sqn, then that would really cause some head scratching. Yes, I know, I don't like using the 'sexy' squadrons as I consider them to be too cliched but in this case, I think it apt.  I've done the requisite research through the Richard Franks Valiant wings tome on the Swift - which showed the glaring error I'd made with the PR2 - and I think it'll look good.

So, back to Bristol.

I did some further work on the Airfix Beaufighter last night and then had a partial rethink as I remembered I had a part started Hasegawa Beau to hand.  Actually, two, one of which was in primer but I know what that's going in so let's put that slightly to one side. I did consider using the TF.X I'd started as the twin tail one and the Hasegawa as the RAAF but the wings were together and I don't think the Airfix post war rockets would fit the Hasegawa.  I did do some further clean up on it, if only to get it a bit further forward.  I did similar with the Matchbox kit too and I've looked at some of the leftover Airfix bits to try and tart it up.  Certainly the spare tailplanes as the Matchbox ones are short, a new tailwheel (the Malaya boxing has no less than four...)  Somewhere I have a mould for a Hercules cowling but the inserts for the engine itself were either too small or too big.  Oddly, the Haegawa insert fits perfectly, so that gets added to the bits to mould.

So, the Airfix Beau.  Wings are now all cleaned up and need some bits fitting.  I did assemble the engine cowlings and what a reet fecking pain in the arse they are!  It's the one bit that lets the kit down.  My advice is to ignore the instructions totally.  Assemble the cylinders, add the collector thing with the wire frame and also fit that little front piece.  Don't bother with the painting instructions - just paint the interior black when you've got the three(!) piece cowling in place.  That does not want to fit at all and will need some filling.  Apart from that, the rest of it is going nicely.

And then I remembered the Brigand fuselage that was sitting in another box.  You see, I've been wanting to do the Bristol Buccaneer for some time - I'd even made a tentative start some years back with a truly vile Frogspawn Beaufort wing and a Magna Brigand fuselage.  However, I found a vacform fuselage in the stash some time back and thought that I could cobble together a flying shell to prove the fuselage and then Bristol could put the revised cowlings on the second prototype.  So, that meant I could use the vacform fuselage with a spare set of Beaufighter wings and engines left over from the one that was going to be converted to a Merlin one with Alleycat's conversion.

So, the fuselage came out, was primed and cut out and sanded down.  I took a completed Airfix interior, complete with wing spars and used them to cut out the relevant holes in the wing roots and that's when the first snag reared it's heed.  I'd gone off the mark for the Brigand wing spar and the wing for that is a tad larger than that of the Beau, so I judged by eye where the wing spars should go and remeasured and cut out some new slots.  The wings are now in the right place, I've some plastic cart strips glued in to aid alignment and cut out the cockpit.

Then I did some further research with a few Tony Buttler books.  The navigator on the Buccaneer is behind and above the pilot in the side view in the relevant BSP tome, so I'm not sure quite sure how that'll work when or if I do a production version and then I hit another wall when I went to find the drawings I'd blown up to 72nd some time back as I need them to construct the single fin which Bristol wanted for it (and still considered initially for the Brigand, so there's something to do with the Magna one, which would definitely be an inflight one as I still get flashbacks to that sodding u/c set up...).  The wing dropped over it perfectly, as did the tailplane but the Brigand fuselage is way out - much bigger.  Either the drawing is wrong - sometimes 3 views are never quite true or I've scaled it wrong.  Or both. Or indeed neither, the production aircraft may have been enlarged a bit.  Anyhoo, I'm going with what I've got and who is to say I'm wrong - My Fecking Model after all.

In the end, it's going to use a fair bit of an Airfix Beau, as I discovered that one of the fuselage halves of the standard TF.X I have here has gone walkies, so it's now a parts donor.  The wing roots will need considerable filling, I have to scratch the fin although the kit tailplanes will be useful and the cannon ports definitely need filling (as they are the represent a late Malaya aircraft with the tubes exposed as they trapped gas and tended to explode...)  I think it'll look somewhat different and will definitely be a head scratcher.

While I was looking for the drawings - which were where I'd suspected they were all along but I went to the box with the Magna part start - I discovered a set of spare Brigand tailfins still on their resin sprue, so they'll get moulded too for my twin tail Beaufighters.

I'm enjoying the challenges, even if it looks like I'm flitting about like a mad thing.  I could never just do one thing straight, I *always* end up going off at a tangent somewhere along the line.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 17, 2020, 07:37:33 pm
"Brilliant! Let's fill it in!"

The Speedbird Hunstman now has it's wings on.  There were huge gaps but use of superglue to ensure a good solid join should help and the ton of filler to fair them in is curing - I'll leave it overnight to make sure it's all solid before I start sanding it back tomorrow.  Whilst I had the filler out, the rear spine of the T-bird Firebrand got a good smearing after building it up with plastic card offcuts.  Again, that'll have to cure for a while before I start sanding.  I'd like to get the wing together soon too.

No further with the Beaufighters but whilst looking for something else I discover a box with a pair of Matchbox ones in.  How many more of them do I have?  There's a spare fuselage in it too, and I may have a bash at something I've been considering for a long time, although it will look like a sawn off Brigand.

I now have the relevant drawings copied with the fuselage sections of the Type 545, so I can get the bulkheads done tomorrow.  I also had the wing drawings copied for the type 528, but hit a snag - the 510 wings don't match the Hygate plans.  The fuselage is bang on, the wings are too long.  I can fix the trailing edge as that's kinked on the 528, but cutting the wing down isn't so bad.  At least I don't have to lengthen it...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 18, 2020, 03:25:08 pm
"Wish I'd thought of that."

Well, I got the bulkheads all cut out and fitted into the Type 545 and it does stiffen it up a lot.  It was only then that I noticed the moulded bulkheads on a piece of the sheet that was hidden under a wing...  I also fitted the intake ducts but I've a feeling I have them upside down and in the wrong halves.  I did try fitting them t'other way but even then, they still needed a fair bit of sanding to fit.  The reheated exhaust is too small for the aperture, so I'm not quite sure how I'm going to salvage that.  Yet.

The cockpit.  Well, Maintrack give you this empty box section which has something that purports to be rudder pedals moulded into it and a tiny instrument panel that looks more like the blind flying panel insert from a Spitfire.  Well, frankly, I can do better than that with a few bits of plastic card and I started making a floor only to have a brainwave - I have a Pavla resin Hunter cockpit that might just well fit and that could save me some work.  It does fit, the instrument panel is vastly superior and I've yet to see ANY photos of the Type 545s cockpit interior so who can prove me wrong?  Especially when it's painted black and the lid's down.

I then moved onto the Firebrand and took down some of the filler, mainly to get a level top decking to dry fit the canopy so I know how much I'll need to add to the sides to get it all to fair in.  That done, it got another slathering and left to cure.  I then sorted out the wing root intakes before trying to line it up and glue it together.  However, *NOTHING * on that wing lines up at all, and it's not entirely down to my cackhandedness, or that of the individual who had it before me.    Again, put to one side.  It's a long term project, but I suspect once the fuselage sides are sorted and a semblance of an interior is in then it'll go together fairly rapidly.

The speedbird Hunstman (although I'm liking the name Steeplechaser more and more) has had all the filler sanded back and it's looking good, but another blast with Halfords revealed several flaws which got yet another round of PSR before I bit the bullet and sorted out the wheel bays.  More filler applied... I'm hoping that this is the last round and I can get the u/c on and start considering some kind of scheme.  Prototype in overall Sky?  Some kind of company demonstrator?  I'm really undecided.  It does look fast, even just sitting on the table.

And then I started flitting about with some long forgotten resin stuff that I dug out t'other day whilst I was looking for the Bristol Buccaneer drawings - a boxful of Gloster F5/34s (four Magna ones and I'm not sure how many or even when I acquired them), one with the fuselage largely done, a pair of Short Sturgeons (again, Magna) and something from the Dark Side - a Blohm und Voss Ha 137.

The Gloster didn't need much cleanup, so the wings went back on, and I sorted out the tail feathers, although Magna's alignment holes didn't line up. Typical Magna.  I'm not sure quite how it'll be finished, although I've quite a few ideas - East Africa or Malta instead of Gladiators, although it does look *very* like a Fiat G.50 or a Macchi 200, Finnish but I'm leaning more and more towards some type of training aircraft with an OTU with a colourful nose cowling.  Although I'm now wracked with thoughts of a pre war RAF one in silver dope.

I did some digging online and found mention, although no providence, of a Taurus engined naval version with an extra fuel tank behind the pilot.  I also found mention, a quote from a 1936 issue of Flight, of the type mounting a Perseus.  Now, I have a Taurus in the box with the rest of the Magna ones and I have a mould for the Perseus cowing, copied from the Dujin Skua, and intended for use tarting up ye olde Frog Skua.  Can you guess what might happen here, kids?

The Sturgeon.  Well, I'm converting the target tug back into the torpedo strike aircraft it was intended to be.  I'd done all the basic assembly on the fuselage and the wing cleanup, but nothing else for a good decade.  All the TT cutouts in the fuselage are blocked off with plastic card offcuts, gunged together with superglue and now slathered with filler.  Intended for use flying off Illustrious in a 3 colour scheme and possibly with British Pacific Fleet markings.  Or maybe Eagle with the high demarcation scheme.

So I turned to the Ha 137.  Now, I don't do Luftwaffe so this is going to end up as a post war Spanish one - they did fly the Hs 123 until the 50s, along with other ex-Luftwaffe types.  The kit is an ancient Czechmaster one that was out in the 80s and I've wanted one since I heard about it in 1988.  It's very basic - the wings are moulded integral with the fuselage, all you need to add are the trousered u/c, the seat, the prop and the tailplanes, plus a few smaller bits.  It's very simple but how they did them in the early days and in some ways, I miss that simplicity.  The fuselage needed a bit of cleanup, but thats all done and the u/c is in place.  I really like it, although I'd like to add some bomb racks underneath the wings  and I know I don't have any Luftwaffe ones, but I do know a man who does and he owes me a favour or two...

And then I turned to it's companion piece - a Supermarine 224 that's going Spanish Republican.  I have a complex backstory for this one, but it will basically end up as a gate guard at the RAF base at Gibraltar.  It's one of the more recent Heritage boxings after he got CMR to do the casting and it shows, with very little cleanup, and once I've got the seat painted and in, it'll go together very quickly.  It's really nice kit and CMR have finally done the kit justice.

So, another dance on the revolving carousel of death.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 19, 2020, 02:41:00 pm
"That's a completely brilliant idea, Mike. I've been wanting to do this for a long time!"

The Supermarine 545 is getting closer to getting the fuselage all closed up - the cockpit is close to going in, now I've walled off part of the inside of the fuselage and put some locator tabs for the tub in place.  I may yet put another bulkhead in behind it just to box it all off so I can get a quantity of lead inside to ensure it isn't a tail sitter.  I did think about the nosegear bay and there's a floor in to affix the gear to.  The Maintrack piece is quite sturdy and beautifully cast but it doesn't quite resemble the leg of the prototype in the photos in the Hygate book, as there it looks like the nosegear from a Hunter.  With all this sorted, I can think about getting the wings together and cleaning up the resin (albeit from a Swift) tailplanes.  I've a feeling the fin could do with a bit more thinning down too, especially the trailing edge.  And then I have to sort out the exhaust...

The Speedbird Huntsman is *finally* on it's maingears.  I got the last lot of sanding done and basically decided that it was as good as it going to get and try to get her on her legs.  Haven't got the doors on yet, but I need to give her a final coat of primer first.  I did cut down the afterburner cans, although they're from a Tornado, they do actually fit rather well.

I plucked up some courage and did some more work on the RAAF F82 but didn't do much other than sand down the wings and some more clean up to get the fuselage halves together.  It's really horrible - I had a look at the canopies and neither fit, and that's before the short shot section comes into play.  At least one of the props was gone - it wasn't in the bag when I got it - and the other is missing a blade but even if it was whole it looks dreadful. TBH, I really just want to abandon it and do a Revellogram one instead, but again, they're in a location I physically can't go to thanks to the bungling of the Wuhan Chinese Communist Party. 

The Blohm und voss 137 and the Gloster F5/34 are now sanded and tidied up further.  The former now has it's tailplanes on and is a brief sanding away from a coat of primer, although I may have to scratch an exhaust - one of the kit examples has went walkies but it's a relatively simple shape to do so I'll sort that first thing.  I did have a scheme in mind and I actually have the decals, but on reflection, I'd rather keep them for the real thing and do something similar but without the blue stripe.  The Sturgeon has the relative sections that needed rebuilt pretty much done, although the dorsal bit may need some more sanding.  I also took the opportunity to fit the arrestor hook and the fin. 

It was then I remembered something else that I've had for a similar length of time and the last time I did any work on it was when the Sturgeon got her fuselage closed up.  The Magna Blackburn Firecrest.  The fuselage was assembled, bar the engine, and the fin was in place with the wings and tailplane trimmed and ready to fit.  Let's get it together.  The engine didn't quite line up properly, so I lined it up along the bottom and decided to sand down the top of the fuselage as it's a simpler area to clean up.  On with the wings and she's already had the first dose of PSR and I've just got to sort out the area around the tailplanes.  It's going to be a torpedo strike aircraft, certainly with the high demarcation and type Ds but without the Korean stripes.  I've just remembered the nice red/yellow exercise strips in one of the late Seafires and I'm wondering if they'll fit?  Anyway, it'll probably be flying from HMS Eagle and I'll steal a torpedo from an Airfix Beaufighter.

Last thing I did was to fit the wings on the fuselage of a Testors Swift.  I've still to get round to doing the moulding of the PR nose, despite the mould box sitting ready to go, although I'm rethinking a bit and this one may be an FB rather than a second PR.  Whilst I'm on the subject of PR stuff, I was looking for something on ebay and found a rather nice sheet for PR Metors that may give me something colouful for a Swift PR bird.  We shall see.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 20, 2020, 01:29:47 pm
"Exactly, Neil. And you are a totally different size and weight than a packet of smash, so we should be all right."

The 545 inches even closer to being all boxed up.  I'm settling in for a night of painting cockpits and interiors here after I finish keying this in, and that's first in line.  I sorted out the exhaust issue by cleaning it up first then added a bulkhead near the back so that it had something to sit on and then just kept adding slivers of plastic card until it poked out enough to look right.  TBH, it was lot easier than I thought it was going to be.  I sorted out a bulkhead just aft of the resin cockpit tub so there's a decent area into which to dump a load of lead.  Really looking forward to getting it all closed up.

Got the u/c on the Gloster, the Ha 137 is all cleaned up but I didn't get the exhausts sorted, so thats the first job for tomorrow.  There's some blisters on the wing which I *think* cover the ammo drums for the wing root guns (I'll have to check Green's Luftwaffe book) and annoyingly one had an air bubble.  Now, I did fill it but it fell out, so I've bunged in a chunk of plastic card and smeared it with filler and superglue and it sounds like a horrendous mess, it is actually rather tidy and should be okay once tidied up.  The Firecrest had the bulk of the filler cleaned off and I tidied up some tiny intakes just under the windscreen and fitted the oil cooler.  Should be ready to go on it's u/c legs tomorrow and then a date with a can of primer for that and the Gloster, although if my last Firecrest is anything to go by, the primer should show up a lot of other flaws.  Some filling and sanding with a Swift too but I really must get round to doing the moulding.

And again, I've gone off piste.  I found a part started Martin Mauler that I decided I really wanted done and out of the way.  The cockpit is in and all square, not easy without any locator pins and the kit is ill fitting enough as   it is.  The wings were already assembled and cleaned up so I sorted out the plug in tail wheel bay which didn't want to go in, so multiple attacks with a scalpel and a file got it all sorted.

The Mauler set me thinking along similar lines and I pulled out the Valom Boeing XF8B.  That's something I've wanted to do since I learned about it - IIRC I blew some three views up to 72nd with a view to scratchbodging it so imagine how pleased I was to get the Valom kit when it came out.  And then realised it was an ill fitting parcel of dog turds.

To be fair, it's one of Valom's early efforts and it does look very nice in the box, but the wing is really horrible - it has a very thick trailing edge and is not a good fit anyway.  I did a lot of sanding on the trailing edge to try and thin it, and I succeeded - a bit - but after gluing it together I realised I needed several pairs of hands.  It really is a vile fit there.  And it got worse when I attempted a dry fit to the taped up fuselage.  Not about to happen.  More sanding commneced in various places, some of which will be strategically hidden when the fuselage joins with the wing, but I suspect that there'll be a lot of filler, sanding and swearing involved.

It's a BIG aircraft for a single seater and dwarves a Wyvern, whilst I'm still undecided as to the end user - FAA prototype or long range RAF escort fighter.  I really want an easy scheme for this one, and whilst I'm seriously thinking about overall HSS with Type Cs a High Altitude Day Fighter Scheme is beckoning.

Whilst I'm tinkering with navy stuff, the two seat Firebrand got a little further with the holes for the crew cut out.  I think I may have to build the interior and get her closed up to make getting the spine done easier, largely because I think the canopy will have to be in place and I've a feeling I've only got the one canopy for this thing and it's robbed from a PM Sea Fury T Bird.  And you can't get replacements these days due to the sad demise of Aeroclub.

Final comments are reserved for the Sturgeon.  I've got the PR.2 version as well, but that's for the future - Korean war carrier based photo recce perhaps.  Magna gave you the nose with pre-drilled gun ports, saying in the distructions that it was unclear if the prototype had carried armament so the ports were there "just in case".  Well, having read the relevant Tony Buttler tome, it appears from several superb photos that the PR version was unarmed so I can use that nose on the one in progress and the clean nose on the PR.  Slam dunk, I think.

I like the Sturgeon - it's another one of those late war designed types that were obsolete before they flew and exploring their potential is well worth doing.  Shame that the only kits of it are now long OOP.  I did the Contrail kit - as a real one - some twenty odd years back and enjoyed it a good deal, apart from the target tug stripes.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 20, 2020, 05:22:11 pm
"Eenie, meenie, meinie, mo. Oh, by the way, there's a couple of strange girls in the bathroom."

One thing with the Swift has been nagging at me over the last few days - did no one ever consider a trainer version?  I mean, there was an Attacker trainer drawn up and a display model built and there were mentions of a trainer version of the Type 545 (and that's one I'd like to see the drawings for - would it have been based on the F1 as built or the unbuilt and revised F2? EDIT - three view of the two seat type 554(!) on Secret Projects Forum and based on the revised F2 - Now I'll have to shell out for the Whirlybird kit - grrr!) but I've not seen any mention of a Swift T-bird.

If not, there's another one to have a spin with and I may go with a canopy similar to the one planned for the Attacker T-bird, which looks something similar to that of the Czech Delphin (and I've a pair of Pavla ones tucked away for that purpose).  Of course, the instructor's cockpit would cut into the area usually occupied by the main fuel tank, so it would have to have the belly tank.  Would it be based on the F4 but with the taller fin of the FR5?  Which kit? Airfix?  Testors?

I never really wanted to get caught up in the Swift - just a few as an Epilogue as it were.  Now, I'm finding it hard to resist...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 22, 2020, 02:49:10 pm
"You didn't know I was going to do that, did you?"

Didn't update yesterday because...  Look, do I need a reason?

We've passed a milestone in that the 545 is now closed up, and it took brute force, tape, strategic use of superglue and copius amounts of Plastic Weld.  The joins aren't particularly good, especially underneath and to tidy it up is going to mean sanding off all that nice detail.  The top is largely done, it's just underneath now to tidy up and then I can look at getting the wings into place.  They're cleaned and ready to go, I just need to sort out the spar that's included in the kit.

Following on from the last post, I'm starting to think seriously about getting another 545 and moulding it before using at least one of the castings to have a spin at the F2, if not the Type 554 T-Bird.  According to the blurb in the relevant post on Secret Projects, the type was the closest to meeting the requirements for OR.318 / NA.45 Advanced Jet Training Aircraft Joint Requirement, (1953), until the 545 got cancelled so it was withdrawn and  they went with the 2 seat Hunter, despite the lack of speed compared to 554.  Now, if Hawker had flown the 1083 wing, even without reheat and possibly with the big bore Avon that the F6 used, the improved aerodynamics surely would have given a better speed, so that's my revised thinking with regard to the 1083 and I can now do a later version with the FGA9 tail parachute housing and in a late overall black training scheme.  That hides the iffyness with the resin wings, although I may need some extra pylons from somewhere to add underwing tanks, probably the big ferry tanks as the Hunter was notoriously short on tankage, especially in the earlier marks.  So, back out with the box of Hunter bits...

There's mention of an English Electric P.11, a two set derivative of the P1B, as part of OR.318, so what does this look like?  A Lightning T4 with the small fin of the P1B early prototypes and no belly tank? Tandem or side by side?  One for the future - I'm not sure where my Lightning T-Birds are, although chopping up a Whirlybird one could be expensive...

Firecrest has had the last of the filler sorted out and some panel lines restored and I'm looking to clean up the u/c tomorrow as I'd like to get her on her legs to be primed.  The Mauler is all together and the primer is all sanded away,  The plastic is frankly horrid and the fit even worse, so I'm looking forward to getting it done, although looking at the prop and the amount of clean up each individual blade needs, let alone the spinner I know that'll be a job and a half.  The thought of using a Shackleton contraprop (and I've checked - it will fit) is becoming more and more appealing by the minute.

I was gifted a complete Whitley a few weeks back.  It's a FROG one, built and painted, so it's undergoing some cleanup before a respray.  It's going in the Transport scheme (Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey over Azure Blue) as an ASW aircraft over the Red sea/Persian Gulf, replacine the Wellesley's that were still in that role into 1943.  I did start a Frog one for this some time back, but it didn't get as far as the wings going on - the engines needed replacing as the FROG ones re just too wooly and whilst I got some resin replacements, they never did get moulded.  However, I read a mention of a proposal to fit it with Bristol Pegasus engines at one point and I've got the Tiger engine conversion, so I'm toying with moulding them (I need a set or two for other things) and using them as mounts for said Pegasus engines and I do have some Aeroclub resin ones somewhere, intended for a Hampden which is more likely to get a pair of Hercules instead.

Anyway, the Whitley has had some sanding and a lot of filler applied to tidy up the myriad flaws and sanding that lot off is going to be interesting.

The Sturgeon is together and it's looking impressive.  The first lot of filler is applied to the wing roots so that's my first task tomorrow.  Looks like a day of sanding, what with that, the Whitley and a Meteor I found lurking in a box.  Not sure how it'll be finished or even what I intended it for - I know there's another one somewhere assembled with an FR nose to do as a Sea Meteor and I may try digging it out.

Also due for a lot of sanding is a second Supermarine 224 and this one is definitely going Spanish Republican, because the dark green will hide all the
fuselage flaws.  It's not the one I intended doing - I pulled out a box that I knew had a pair in, only to find it actually contained FOUR!  For the life of me, I cannot remember getting that many - two, yes but not four!  And that doesn't include the pair I bought for a fiver each at Perth last year, because they were located elsewhere. 

Whilst I was looking at the second of the two Scots purchases, I decided to do one "straight" - well, it'll have the proper markings and scheme but be really polished and clean and flown by the Shuttleworth collection...  I've been thinking for sometime that the model itself doesn't have to be the whif, it's really the backstory.  Which means I can build an Airfix Defiant straight from the box and call it a whiff.  I'll leave you thinking about that one...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 23, 2020, 04:28:39 pm
"The last present you gave me was a box of matches."

I did find the other Meteor - it was in with another pair that were painted, one even had decals and was varnished and then abandoned.  I think the u/c is in the same box so may try to get it finished if I can work up enthusiasm for it - I'm happier in a build phase than anything else.  T'other one painted was an FR in a Dark Earth/Dark Green/PRU Blue scheme and IIRC I think it was going to be a far east one but I detest the white theatre band so it went on hold and never got any further.  I'm now thinking about Italy instead as the scheme is similar to some Spitfires I think I was working on.

As for the one I was looking for.  Well, something odd had happened with the resin insert I used for the cockpit and it reacted with the kit plastic and melted it, leaving some odd indentations right where the gun hatched are.  No matter, they're easy filled and it's going in a dark Navy scheme anyway.  I've a feeling that the other Meteor I found yesterday, which sparked today's tangent, was intended to be another Sea Meteor, albeit in an Atlantic scheme (standard Temperate Sea Scheme with type C roundels).

All three Meatboxes are now resplendent with lashings of filler, and that's after a jolly good sanding.  I've a feeling I may need to cast a belly tank at some point as I don't think I've one in the stash.  I'll have a look through the Meteor box anyhoo.

Everything else mentioned yesterday is continuing apace - the Firecrest is now on it's u/c so out with the primer tomorrow once I've added a few small parts, whilst the Sturgeon has had the filler sorted out and it looks really smart.  I've got the legs cleaned up and they look pretty decent.  Wish I could say the same about the tailwheel, which looks like it's a product of Vickers tank factory and the maingear doors had to be carved out of lumps of pewter.  I'm not looking forward to cleaning up the props.

The 545 has had another bout of cleanup and yet more filler applied, although I know I'm nearing the end of the work on the fuselage before I move to the wings.  I'm thinking more and more of a 70s scheme for this one, with one of the second line units - possibly one of the ones in the later boxings of the Airfix Hunter or possibly the Revell one.  Something with Light Aircraft Grey underneath instead of Silver which would highlight the flaws.  Hunter ferry tanks on an inner pylon and maybe 'winders or Matra pods on the outers?  I'm not enamoured of Firestreaks with this one, although a similarly camouflaged Swift F7 (or better, an F4 with the FR5 canopy retrofitted) with a similar load and similar unit markings - possibly and ironically 79 (shadow) Squadron - could have a few heads turning. 

I'm liking that one more and more.  Maybe the twin Matra pod - or the three row ones from the Phantom proposed for TSR2 and practice bomb carriers for a jolly outing over the Otterburn ranges?  And the back story could have them operating from RAF Acklington alongside 607 Sqn's Hunter FGA9s

The P.1081 that I mentioned in an earlier missive has been dragged out and given a coat of primer to highlight the many flaws and they've been made good, up to a point, because quite a few of them are down to the cack handedness that was Maintrack's mastering.  Pete Lockhart had good intentions but his range was decidedly hit and miss at times and quite a lot of it falls short of modern tastes, let alone state of the art.  Here, I have to try and fix the trailing edge of the wing root that's too thick because the tail section with the jetpipe (and that's another tale, just had on a bit, it's coming) has to hide the deep roots that were the exhausts on the 1052 and looking at the original aircraft that isn't the case.  More judicious sanding is in order, and even then, I don't think it's possible to fix it

More worrying is the shape of the exhaust itself.  The whole back end is quite simply an inaccurate parcel of dog turds - it's a wide oval instead of a tapering cylinder and the top line is straight instead of the downward curve of the original.  Is it fixable?  I really don't know but I don't want to give up on it because I don't have a P1081 in the collection and it's one I've wanted to do for years.  This one, due to a lack of gunports in the master, was going to be a PR bird, which meant an easy scheme.

Heritage did a P.1081 some years back but it's one I didn't get - IIRC I had a look at one and didn't think it was much of an improvement over the Maintrack one. 

So what's today's tangent?  Well, I was thinking about Firebrands and I'd located the box which had about three in it - 2 Magna TF5s (first and second) and a CMR - plus another Firecrest.  Now I wanted to do a BPF Firebrand in the two tone scheme and I knew one of the Magna ones was his first release  - I did one about 20 years ago (actually, 2001) and I still bear the mental scars - and I was gifted a box of Magna kits a good decade or so back and the Firebrand was one.  Well, I've done it once, so I know it can be built, can I do a better job with a further 20 years experience?

The resin Magna used to start with is vile, almost as bad as the excreble garbage that Unicraft uses but thankfully without the airbubbles.  At least, not so many anyway.  It's hard, brittle and like china.  No matter, this time it cleaned up quite quickly and I'm aiming to get the fuselage together over the next day or so.  Not sure if the kit warrants any detail in the cockpit - which as it's black is unlikely to be seen - barring a seat. 

Beside that parcel of cack I started cleaning up his later release and it's, well a curates egg.  The resin is better, some of the detail is definitely better and it's much easier to clean up, so this one could well be another BPF aircraft but with the high demarcation.  Or possibly an Australian one - I've got a listing of the cancelled batches of TF5s, so serials shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 24, 2020, 06:41:27 pm
"This calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence. "

First thing today was to sort out the wings on the 545.  Unsurprisingly, the spar had gone walkies, so I knocked up a new one.  The wings themselves needed a bit more thinning before I was happy enough to commit glue, although I had to take some of the plastic out at the wing root so they'd fit over the spar.  The root of the wing is much larger than the corresponding root on the fuselage and the gap is HUUUUGE.  Once the wings were all set, they got some cleanup, I sorted out the mismatch on the ailerons as the top os shorter than the bottom.  The port wing got attached and left to cure overnight.  The resin tailplanes are cleaned up, so once the wings are on and all the filling there is done, I'll attach them.  I hoping to have this all done by monday so I can get some primer on to see what will need fixing.

Sanding on various other things went on, with repeat sessions.  The Firecrest got a coat of primer, only to show up a nasty seam line on the fuselage where the glue had missed - I could se daylight through it...  That's all sorted and given another quick coat of primer to blend it all in.  I need to sort our the arrestor gear and possibly attach the doors, but as I'm doing the late scheme with the high demarcation, I may leave them, off until the top is done and masked.

The wings for the 1083 Hunter F.9 are now sorted and a quicker job than those used on the Speedbird Huntsman (I'm now considering Harrier as a name), a quick sanding followed by a blast of filler primer, another dose of sanding and then more filler primer.  The few tiny bubbles left were given a coat of thick paint and then sanded back.  Seems to have worked.  I did get some lead in the fuselage so it'll not be a tail sitter.  My intention a week or so back to do an Airfix kit as a 607 Sqn machine has fallen by the wayside - well, use of the Airfix kit anyway as I'm probably going to order a Revell one as it's much nicer.

The 1081.  I've tidied up the trailing edge of the wing roots but short of using a dremel (and I've yet to acquire one), I don't think I can fix them.  The curve at the back I've hinted at but to be honest, the whole thing is really wrong from the start and probably needed remastering.  Somewhere on a CD in the loft at me Mam's is a recipe for 1081 using a blend of Frog/Novo Sea Hawk and Hunter F1.  Again, I gave it a coat of filler and left it in disgust.  Not quite a 1081 or even a Sea Hawk, but I've just remembered something I was cobbling together some years back - a 1035, which is basically a Hawker Fury with a mid mounted Nene, bifurcated exhausts and a Fury wing, and I found the bits in a box last week when digging out other things.  Could be worth resurrecting as it was the endless PSR on the roots that led me to abandon it.  That and it was an Airfix fuselage and I couldn't be bothered with sorting out the cockpit interior.

The Whitley has had another sanding so I'll mask the canopy and give it a blast with some primer to see what I've missed - there's a lot of white paint over white plastic - brilliant sunshine and white do odd things to the eyes.

Went back to the Beaufighters and sorted out the engines for the Buccaneer and sorted out another set of wings as there was a spare set in the box donated by a mate who'd bought the Alleycat Merlin Beau conversion (and it took two months to arrive whilst the money had left the account within 2 days).  The reason behind this was that both had had various holes drilled and the one for the Buccaneer would have been clean - I'm doing a flying test shell for the fuselage., not a production version with the revised and longer cowlings and nacelles (that's for the future, either with the Magna Brigand or another Hallamvac, Sangar or even Airmodel one if I can get a cheap one.

Today's tangent?  CMR Wyvern TF.1 and that's entirely Kitnut's fault as he mentioned that the one he was using for the mid engined Wyvern was somewhat warped, so I checked mine to see if it was a moulding flaw or more worryingly in the master itself.  Mine was fine but I started test fitting and things got out of hand, although given the struggling I've been doing with resin kits that seem to be fighting me every step of the way, it'd be good to do one that just falls together for a change. 

The cockpit is all assembled bar the seat and the tailwheel well is in place.  It looks a fabulous bit of casting and I'm looking forward to building it, the scheme is definitely the high demarcation one and it'll probably on Eagle, although I'd planned that for the Firecrest, hadn't I?

The Sturgeon is nowhere further forward and it's a pity I can't get to the secondary stash, thanks to the CCP,  as I'd like to dig out the box of Spearfishes - there's a box with a pair of Magna ones and another box with a Contrail one that I'd intended to fit a RR Eagle but on reflection would more like to do it in flight as an AEW one with same radome that went on the Gannets.

As as usual, the carousel of death spins slowly with no real purpose.  If only I had some kind of Plan...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 25, 2020, 05:01:38 pm
"One of the great things about summer is tea on the lawn. Unless you're an ant, in which case, it's a real bottomer."

Like yesterday, first order of business was the 545 and filling the yawning chasms thet were the wing roots.  Before I did that, I needed something solid for the trailing edge fairing to key into, so in with a small bit of scrap card that would be filed to shape later.  Got the filler on and put it to one side to cure.  It's the dog end of a tube, so it doesn't take that long to cure, especially in brilliant sunshine and heat.  Sanded it all back and notice a few areas that'll need fixing later.  Then it's time to get the second wing on.  The stub spar isn't much use here, so I built up the depth a bit and got the wing on.  Again, another yawning chasm to fill and the same tactics used earlier were employed here.  The areas that needed fixing got a second coat and it's being left overnight to solidify.

Today's tangent was met early, as I went looking for some wings for the 1081.  Only one set in the resin bits box and they weren't too clever, so I go to the box with the proper Maintrack ones and locate a set there, and a partially assembled 1081 sans fin - what the hell was I doing there?  Looking through the various books, I've come to the conclusion I was doing a P.1062, which appears to be an earlier 1081 but with a delta T tail.  I did some reworking of the wing roots and left it at that.  I might have a mould for a similar tailplane somewhere and possibly the fin, but I'd need to do some archaeology so that's for another time.  Probably when the weather clouds over.

Anyhoo, the wings got cleaned up and onto the 1081.  Lots of filler around the wing roots to blend it all in - that Maintrack kit really wasn't the best and we could do with a new one - wonder if we could persuade AZ to do one?  More sanding and I think I've got the trailing root at a stage where I'm not exactly happy but I can grudging live with it. 

Markings wise, I'm leaning away from a PR one to something a bit more dark and camouflaged, even if it means using Aluminium as an undersurface colour.  I've long thought of using 607 Sqn as a user for P.1081s (and looking at the shape of it, I'm quite taken with the name Sparrow) and the lack of 72nd sqn bars isn't such a problem - I apply the sqn shield either side of the nose and use the bars on the relevant Modeldecal Vampire sheet either side of that rather than the roundel, as with those in a larger size, plus the roundel and the serial, it'd be a tad crowded on the rear fuselage.

Ongoing PSR was applied to the Meteors, two getting reprimed and the Firecrest got a coat of Perfect Plastic Putty around the back of the engine cowling where I couldn't sand properly - the position means masking shouldn't lift any paint.

The FGA9 based 1083 is now together, sort of.  The cockpit got painted and the bang seat - kit example, as TBH, the cockpit is black and you can see sod all through the Airfix canopy - had some tape seatbelts applied.  The last time I did anything different to an Airfix Hunter (I converted one to a GA11 with plastic card, filler and Aeroclub bits back in 1991), I went to town in the cockpit and ended not  being able to see it, so I've rarely done any real upgrade work since.  Glued the fuselage and left it to cure.  Did all the sanding later and then glued on the wings.  Like the 545, I've left off the tail feathers  until all the major sanding is done, but it looks different enough anyway.

Reading the relevant section in Wood's "Project Cancelled", after the type was cancelled by the MoS, Camm wanted to continue as a company venture, but the MD decided against it, despite full order books and cash falling out of his ears.  Say Camm gets his way and a prototype does fly - even without the reheat, it should have been a better performer with the new wing and Wood was of the opinion that some deriviative would have been flying into the 1970s.  Well, that's given me sanction, I feel, to do one in a 1970s scheme and I'm sure I can find something ideal in one of the Hunter books or perhaps in the decals.  Something camouflaged and second line, possibly at Valley or Brawdy, preferably something nondescript without any big spladges of colour.

Last thing of the day was to advance the Beaufighters, so the engines got cleaned up and so did the wings for the Buccaneer.  They got their little bits on and with a modicum of sanding, should be about ready to go on.  I just need to get the fuselage done, which means I need an unstarted Beaufighter kit - and I can't get at those...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 26, 2020, 04:20:46 pm
"Well, why can't we have a real pair of binocoliers for a change?"

After such a hectic week, I've done very little today, barring the endless rounds of PSR on the 1083/F.9 and the 545.  They're not that far off so I can get the tailplanes on tomorrow and then a coat of primer.

Kitbasher said I was being quite prolific, but to be perfectly honest, much of what's being worked on it part started stuff from years back, before the Plan and the Spitfires took over - the Sturgeon was started at the back end of 2000 for a start.  Not much is really being done from scratch.

Today's tangent?  Well, I haven't done much about it than think, but I'm looking at doing a bit more work on the Tudor that got started and left two years back.  I've a Revell Shackleton as a donor for the wings and I'm thinking about keeping the Griffons.  The backstory will have Chadwick survive the crash - here he's strapped in whereas OTL he got thrown through the windscreen and broke his neck.  He'll identify one of the problems with the aircraft as a lack of power and propose Griffon or Centaurus engines (one did fly with Bristol Hercules), and for the RAF Griffons would give commonality with Shackletons and thus more spares.  I'm still wedded to the Met Flight one, but an ELINT version would have plenty of space for black boxes, although I'm unsure quite what scheme it would be wearing.

Whilst I'm on the Avro kick, sort of, I have been toying with doing some clean up on the Magna Ashton fuselage with a view to making a start on the Avro Trader cargo carrier, which naturally gets taken over by the RAF to troop carrying for Suez.  Trader was basically a nosegear Tudor sans pressurisation and with Griffon engines, intended to fly cargo rather than people.  I've only seen one drawing and it's a fan made profile, so I don't know how accurate it is.  I do have the requisite Revell new tool Shackleton to do it - after the horror show that was the Frog kit used as a basis for the Shackleton AEW3, I have no intention to do another Frog one and all those that I possess are slated for disposal.

So what would happen with the remaining bits of the Ashton?  Well, if - and it's a big IF - I get round to doing a mould for the Tudor fuselage and thus cast a few for other things, then I may try and cobble together the one off Tudor 8.  But that's all for the future.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 27, 2020, 03:52:54 pm
"Well, of course you hate it, Neil, it's not finished yet!"

I got everything done today that I intended - nothing extra, no tangents.

545 and 1083 now have their tail feathers after some more sanding.  I've yet to prime 545 as I think I need to do some work to the coaming in front of the instrument panel and the area around the u/c bay needs tidying, but 1083 is largely primed and looks pretty good so far.  I'm not doing anything else with it until I get replacement stores pylons, although it's only going to get fuel tanks underneath rather than any lethality.

The 1081 had the wing roots looked at again, filled and primed twice and I think I'm about there, so the tailplanes should go on tomorrow.  I had planned to do it as a PR aircraft as there's no guns but I'm now wedded to a 607 Sqn machine in camo but still without guns - the backstory will explain that it's a museum aircraft that had been painted for years as an in service fighter but when restoration work commences, they realise it's actually one of a few surviving PR aircraft and looking back through the records discover it was issued to the squadron as part of the programme to keep a reserve of PR/FR pilots.  Well, that's the bare bones of it.

The second 1081, that I think was intended to be the 1062.  I gave that a quick coat of primer and discovered I'd been a bit too vigorous with the sanding and I'll have to take remedial action.  I really want to find that fin mould - ironically, I found the a cast tailplane for the 1068 (Sea Hawk but with all through jet pip and unswept T tail) - but I'm not sure if the delta tailplane mould I did for my abortive 1067 will fit, is still viable or indeed where the blasted thing is.

As for the possibility of a P1035 - all the bits are in the box and I think I know how to fix the exhausts as I think they should look more like the exhausts of the P.1040.  If I do make a start on it, do I do it as an operational machine - it's in a similar time frame as the Attacker so could have flown in an extended war scenario - and if so would it be RAF or Navy?  Answers on a postcard to: Blackmail, Behind the water pipes, Euston Station.

So from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Ed Tudor Pole via the South pole.  Or rather Revell Shackleton and that turns out to be a right Endurance and no mistake.  I opened the box of the Revell Shack to start stripping out the bits I need and find within several seconds that one of the u/c legs is shattered beyond medical dispute.  As I started to clean up the bits I needed, I realised why I hadn't gone any further with the Revell kit I do have - I just don't like it.  No, I'll rephrase that - I detest it.

The breakdown, the fit, the parts themselves.  I mean, yes, it does have a nicely detailed surface but this example had more flash than your average kitchen cleaner and several bits had more warp power than the Enterprise.  Having looked at the part built AEW, I'm swiftly coming to the conclusion I should cut my losses on it and use the wings for something more deserving, like a Griffon Lincoln B.IV.

Aside from the Revell bits, the Contrail parts look even more crude and primitive than I thought that they were.  The roots are going to need both considerable internal strengthening - either with Milliput (which I detest) or P38 (and the heat whilst it's curing could destroy the plastic) - and externally, they're going to need building up, although the trailing edge should be easiest, with some scrap card and superglue as a basis.

Why do the wings first, I hear you all cry?  Well, I need to know where the spars will go and even if the spar section from the Shatipuss will fit in the Tudor fuselage.  Well, yes, it will, although the actual spars will be shorter due to the more portly fuselage of the Tudor compared to the less rotund Shack.  I could make replacements from card, but why do that when I have parts that'll do the job anyway.

The fuselage itself is going to need a fair bit of work to clean up - the mating surfaces are still a bit rough and I need to sort out the slots for the tailplanes.  I did clean and tape up the Contrail parts for the tail surfaces but then decided to mould the Magna Ashton tail surfaces instead as they'd be easier and I'd have a useful mould for when I have a spin at scratching a Tudor II.  I did do some internal parts - a bulkhead and a floor for the cockpit when I did the work some years back (again, in the garden in brilliant sunshine and fuelled by several large rum and cokes) and I may use some of the Shack's cockpit internals as they look close enough.  I need to dig out my file on the Tudor and I know where it is, it's just getting at it.

I'm also back tracking somewhat on the timeframe and scheme for the aircraft.  I had thought about a Met Flight one, but given the crudity a dark scheme would be more appropriate, so I did think Coastal Command (and they did fly Hastings, so it's not that much of a stretch) and then MOTU (multi-engined training unit), as I know I have the decals for it on one or more Shatipuss sheets.  Another reason is the exhausts are the later ones with the pipes and unlike the Airfix kit I can't get a set of replacement resin replacements that just drop in.

Once I'd cleaned up and glue some of the Shack's bits together - well, as far as I could be bothered, that is (I could have went further but hey, I wanted a drink or two after that) - I slung them in a box for another day.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 28, 2020, 10:28:06 am
"Doesn't it? Well maybe that's what's going wrong!"

The 545 is now resplendent in it's first overall coat of primer and naturally this has shown up various flaws, but not as many as I'd suspected.  The area around the wheel well/airbrake is going to be problematical.  Still, hopefully I'll have her on her u/c by the end of the week.  I've done some remedial filling on the 1062 and 1081, with the latter now with her tailplanes.  I've yet to dig out the moulds for the 1062's tail feathers but I *think* I know which one it is and more importantly where it is.

With yesterday's work on the Shattipuss for the Tudor, I decided to look at the Trader, so out with the Ashton and I did some basic clean up.  What a dog of a kit this is, as no doubt I'm sure Martin can attest to.  The engine pods are moulded integral with the wing (stupid from a moulding point of view) but the intakes and exhausts are separate (sensible, but...) However, being Magna, they don't fit.  Now, given that I was planning to swap out the wings for those of a Shackleton, why even look at the engines?  Well, I had planned on using them with a resin cast fuselage (that's if I ever figure out a reasonable way of cloning and casting a contrail fuselage) to cobble together the jet Tudor, so looking at them now could pay off later.  And then Magna's cackhandedness reared it's vile, ugly heed.  Again.

Firstly, neither the exhausts or intakes match the centre section of the pods, nor are they even identical to each other.  Even cleaned up, there are huge mismatches.  With the exhausts, they're too wide but being where they are, it's fixable and easy at that, simply by the removal of a lot of rather soft resin.  The intakes are the opposite, and will need considerable building up to match.  And secondly, more importantly, the wings themselves are too wide in chord, and neither the Revell or Frog Shackleton wings match the roots, being a good 5mm and possibly more narrower, which means that I can't use either wing to do the Trader.  So a whiffed Ashton is on the cards, probably a training machine, and I'm at a loss which scheme to do it in.

Today's tangent?  Magna Hornet NF10.  Years back, I did a BPF Sea Hornet F20 from the Magna kit, but the kit was a cheat as the wings were from the F3 (without the wing fold line or the blisters for the actuators) and he just gave the markings for a Sea Hornet.  So for mine, I cross kitted it with the wings from his Sea Hornet NF21, leaving a set of standard wings and a naval fuselage.  What to do?  RAF two seat hornet nightfighter to supplement the Mosquito until jet powered night fighters get into service.  Now I'd already done a wartime one from the Skybirds kit (now subject for a rebuild), so I wanted a post war version and I couldn't decide on a scheme - either MSG over Night (as per some Mossies) or something similar to the Hornet intruder scheme but with Type D roundels.  The whole thing was dealth a crushing blow when it got dropped and the wings came off.  Into a box and left.

Well, I found that box a few days back and it gets resurrected.  The wings are back on and the filler is on.  I'm now wedded to the second scheme and it'll probably go to Malaya with 45 Sqn, replacing their Beaufighters.  As for the MSG over Night scheme, the Skybirds one I got at Bolton for a pittance would seem to be ideal, although I've a feeling I've another Magna one somewhere - there's definitely an F.1 although due to serious warping of the fuselage I was going to use the wings as a basis for a twin boom version.

On digging I did find another Magna Hornet, but it's an F3 rather than the hoped for NF21.  No matter, I'll just use that cheap Skybirds one instead.  I did locate the box with the F1, which is fortunate as it also has the u/c for the night fighter and the Skybirds white metal for that rebuild. There was also quite a few Frog Hornets too.

So an interesting but frustrating day in many ways.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 28, 2020, 03:56:39 pm
"God! That was quick!"

The CMR and Magna Swifts ordered on ebay have both arrived and couldn't be more different.  Think Tamiya compared with early MPM or late Pegasus kits and you get the picture. 

I was actually quite surprised by the Swift, because I have parts of a CMR Swift but I've an odd feeling that it's a much older one than I think it is, possibly late 80s or early 90s because the breakdown has some similarities with the Pegasus kit (and yes, Dave, I still want it!), and it definitely isn't the same resin as the one I've just got.  It's much finer and with much more detail.  For some reason, there was also a two seat Vampire or Venom canopy in with it.  Well, I'm not complaining.

The other thing I did manage to get done was prime the early PR Swift.  A few more flaws than I suspected but easy enough to fix.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 30, 2020, 07:06:20 am
"What's happened to all your clothes, Neil?"

Just had an interesting and frustrating time trying to find some moulds.  Went through everything to find a specific one only to find it in the last placed check where it shouldn't be.  Typical.

I've located all the moulds for the Sea Hawk based Hawker projects, plus a few other moulds I've been wanting to find, including a Hercules cowling that could come in rather handy to tart up several Matchbox Beaufighters.

Off to do some casting, so more as and when.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on April 30, 2020, 05:37:06 pm
"That I don't know. But when the council come to demolish the house tomorrow, Michael, they're going to find it already demolished from within!"

To be honest, I wish I've never found some of those moulds.  Most of them are a good decade if not older, quite well used and the chances of getting decent castings out of them slim.  At least one set of tail surfaces broke whilst trying to get them out, another mould is warped, meaning the castings are now squashed - although it was pretty much knacked anyway.  Another has a piece about ready to come off, so the next casting out if it will break it. 

I did get some decent bits out though.  A Hunstman fuselage with tailfin separate (TsrJoe gave me a mould that wasn't up to his specs some years back for my own use, and no, I'm not running any off), although I don't think I'll get many more out, which means I may do another supersonic one.  Some 1052/1081 wings - I think I've enough bits for three now, which means I can do the PR one I'd planned.  And then seeing the Huntsman tailfin gave me an idea for a navalised 1081 with a Hunter tail for better control on landing - 1081's tail surfaces are woefully small for a carrier aircraft.  I did initially to with the idea of a German one but then sense took hold and I decided on RNVR and I have the markings in mind for a unit that was going to get Sea Hawks until Sandys dumped his proverbial turd in the proverbial punchbowl.

Also on one mould was what appears to be an FD2 afterburner can, that uniquely British eyelid deign, and I'm just wondering if it'll fit a Hunter.  I remember seeing a T-tail one done many years back by Alan Ritson and combining the two would look rather different.  The early Hunter designs did have a T-tail and the mock-up F.1 certainly had one, so it got dropped quite late in the design process. 

The Revell Hunter I ordered from ebay has filtered through - Revell have *finally* seen sense and decided to go for boxes with lids rather than the end opening ones they kept using - and whilst it looks good and I'm itching to start it, it would appear to be covered in flash.  This is going to be a 70s one with the later tactical roundels and the light grey undersides, with the large ferry tanks and practice bomb carriers under the wings.  A 60s one may also be on the cards, both being 607 Sqn aircraft.  I'd be tempted with a trainer too, but the Xtrakit one is apparently "an ill fitting parcel of dog turds" according to people elsewhere on t'interweb.

I've done some basic sanding on a few other things but I've a feeling that the Hawker project stuff is going to keep me occupied for a while.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 01, 2020, 06:14:48 pm
"Well, you might as well try the other one!"

Having looked again at some of yesterday's castings, quite a few are beyond use, specifically the 1081 bits - the mould for the rear fuselage is a two piece mould held together with elastic bands, but these have been in place for some time and have consequently warped the mould and anything cast in it is warped too.  Very frustrating.  The one half decent casting was attached to a rather poor front end from some years back - the surface texture is shot to hell and had a fair few air bubbles.  Still, it looks better than most Unicraft castings - the resin is a million times better too.  My plan here is to redo all of the 1081 moulds, although I'll take the opportunity to try and fix some of the major flaws.  I'd like to try and get a proper cockpit in it too, rather than the gaping maw of the Maintrack one.

The tail tail P.1081.  Now, I'd originally considered German Navy before seeing sense and thinking RNVR, but I'm now thinking RAF instead, as a possible F3 version - the MoS decided to standardise on the bigger tail and the RAF saw benefits in it too.  It does look very different, more purposeful and from some angles looks like a sawn off Scimitar.

More PSR on various things but nothing is advanced much further, although the Lancaster PR6 now has the nose sorted out but I think the rear fuselage/tail cone needs another skim of filler to blend it in better.  Once that's sorted, it'll go together fairly quickly - the scheme is intended as Med Sea Grey over PRU Blue, somewhat different for Lancasters.  Some lateral thinking has possibly sorted out the prop issue with all my Merlin 85 aircraft.

I did have a look at that Magna Hornet F1 and decided to see if it was finishable.  Not entirely sure about the installed cockpit module which has a decided list to starboard, but with a disruptive scheme and 2TAF markings, I think I can distract the eye.  Magna's Hornets are frankly poor, being largely warmed over Frog ones - you can see where the work has been attempted to try and fix the flaws, but frankly, they really don't go far enough although they're a decent attempt.

One other good thing about looking at that Hornet made me think about the spinners - the fit the cloned DB Merlin 85s I use, so that's something else to mould up.

I've made a start on the 607 Hunter FGA9, with the wings largely done and the cockpit interior assembled, although I've a resin Pavla seat rather than the kit example.  Then I remembered I had a PJ resin Hunter F6 that I'd picked up for a pittance a few years back (£6 isn't to be sniffed at, given that the kit had originally cost someone nigh on 30 notes when originally bought).  It's a stunning piece of casting and just as good as the Revell kit, better in some areas and I'm looking forward to getting it done.  The cockpit interior is largely assembled and just needs a coat of paint.

I'm toying with a run of Hunters for 607 Sqn, which they get in the mid 60s after P.1081 Kestrels - the aforementioned F6 and FGA9, plus a T7.  I'm even tempted with an F4, although the relevant bits for conversion are with the rest of my Hunters - on the other side of the city in my secondary stash. I'm now thinking about a scheme for that Jet Provost I've tidied up too - naturally, 607 sqn.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 04, 2020, 06:00:49 pm
"Why won't it go off, Mike?"

Apart from endless rounds of PSR on various things, I don't seem to be getting much further.  545 is now all tidied up and primed, so I just need to drill a few holes to dry fit the pitot tubes and get the u/c on, but I still need some pylons for it and I have a cunning plan for that.  Both 1081s are still locked in endless rounds of PSR but I think I'm getting near the end now, so on with their u/c. 

On the new builds, the CMR Wyvern TF1 is largely together, and other than having to tidy up some air bubbles it's gone together quite quickly.  I'm not happy with the flaps, which they give you in the down position and you have to do some minor surgery to fit them closed.  I like my aircraft all closed up.  That's getting a torpedo rather than the bomb racks.  Quite pleased with it so far.

Unlike Magna's Hornet F1.  This really is an ill fitting parcel of dog turds and the resin needed some repeated dips in boiling water to straighten out the wings before being left in the fridge for a bit.  TBH, it looks like a Hornet when it's done, but one that been on a diet, whereas the Skybirds kit - that's coming out to play soon, and at least two airframes (one of which being a rebuild, the other bought a few months back) - is a bit more solid and like the real thing.  I'm also considering just building the Magna F3 that's there, although possibly as an FR5.

Tangents?  Either a Frog Hornet straight from the box as light relief, or more ill fitting parcels of dog turds - the Matchbox Meteor and that's entirely Dave's fault for putting ideas into me head.  I've a box of bits and I want them used.  I think I can get round the flaws on the fuselage and one is going to be a very subtle whiff indeed, the other being a sideways development of Dave's Firestreak F8.

The final tangent is something I've posited before - RAF Venoms in overal Aluminium Dope rather than the camo that they did wear.  Again, it's not something I've seen anyone yet do.

I've had further thoughts on my 607 Hunters ad the planned duo will probably turn out to be a quartet, and I'm toying with adding a pair of 'winders onto the FGA9 - the Dutch F6s could carry a pair inboard of the inner tanks, so the facility is there (and the backstory could be written as 607 getting repossessed Dutch aircraft upgraded to FGA9s and the aircraft getting 'winders when the cold war starts heating up in the early 80s).  The first Revell one is ready to get the wings on, but I neglected to open the hole on the spine for the (TACAN or is it LORAN?) blade aerial.  I like the Revell Hunter but it's got a few nasty fit issues around the wingtips and the nose/cannon port interface is giving me gyp too.  The cockpit tub didn't want to go in either.  I'll have to watch that on the F4 - the F6 being the PJ kit and the T7 being a Revell kit with a PJ resin nose.  Speaking of Hunter T-birds, does anyone know who got the Odds N Ordnance moulds?

Last word on Hunters for today.  I had a look at the Skybirds single seater I've got in the stash - now they are RARE!  Well, the white metal is stunning, the surface detail could have been better but it turns out to be an F4.  Pity I've no plans to build it or the Skybirds 2 seater that's there too.

And my final comment for the evening is a fictional backdating of an iconic Navy aircraft along the lines of the Supermarine 224.  I just needed to find the trousered u/c that I'd dug out to try something else which wouldn't work.  I found the part built model in a box a few weeks back and looking at it, I doubt it'd need much work to do.  Lots of sanding, but that shouldn't take too long - pause for sarcastic response - and then on with the u/c and tailplanes before a final coat of filler and sanding, then a spray with Halfords aluminium.  It does look very different from it's original form and that's all I'll give away.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 13, 2020, 02:16:31 pm
"OH! You mean the one with the enormous tits!"

Been a while since I updated - I did have an update last wednesday, but the system deleted it before I could post and I wasn't about to rewrite a wall of text.

Anyhoo, what's happened in the meantime?  Well, it's a long story...

A minor accident wrote off the Hunter FGA9 - the cockpit tub is a snug fit and it fell into the fuselage and couldn't be coaxed back into position without using bleach, hedgetrimmers and extreme violence, so it got chucked back into the box for now.  It can be salvaged - by amputating the nose and turning it into a T7A (my designation for RAF two seaters with the big bore engine of the F6/FGA9 as opposed to the normal ones with the weedy F4 engine).

The same accident nearly wrote off the Wyvern, but in that case the wing had just popped out of it's location and broke along very clean lines and thus eminently fixable.  Still waiting for a day with some good weather so I can give it a coat of primer.

After that, I got a bit disheartened but then got stuck into a few more Hunters.  However, I'm now basing my quartet of 607 Sqn aircraft (and it may yet grow further) firmly on the Revell kit, albeit with the necessary conversion bits. I had intended the F6 - and indeed had the thing started, the fuselage is together - to be based on the superb PJ resin kit but I've come to the conclusion that the kit is somewhat underscale as it seems a bit on the snug side compared to the Revell kit and upon comparing them, the fuselages are short - they agree up to the rear fuselage joint aft of the wing roots but then lose something twice before you get to the nose.  Worse, the wings seemed a lot smaller than the Revell ones.  Now, I could probably live with it until I looked again at the wing and saw that the flaps were intended to be down and they were all sorts of tiny bits of etched brass.  Close them up?  Yeah, easier said than done when said flap is larger than the hole it goes into.  Back in the box with you and out with a Revell kit.

One got thrown together as an F6 and another as an F4 using the sadly defunct Aeroclub resin conversion, the tailpipe is a beautiful piece of casting and an excellent fit.  Would that the wings were.  I *loathe* the fit of the Revell wing, which seems to have been designed to get as much out of the mould as possible, but I doubt we'll see the F4 (or the Swedish equivalent) from them.  The instructions don't help either, because if you follow them, the wingtip piece is too thick and you have to sand the hell out of it to smooth out the wing tip and lose a lot of the detail.  My fix, such as it is, is to fix the wingtip to the lower wing first then once it's set add the upper wing, glut the root and the leading edge and push the top to match the tip and glue into position from there.  Seems to work so far.  The fit of the leading edge pieces is a bit of a pain too and some shrinkage in the mould necessitates use of filler.

The original release of the FGA9 had an extra sprue specifically for the Swiss aircraft flying well into the 90s, with Mavericks, some odd missiles with 5 fins, extra lumps and bumps for the nose and tail, and the extended Sabrinas with what look like chaff dispensers - these were seen on Swedish aircraft so I suspect that Revell may well yet release a Swedish boxing with the F4 leading edge and tailpipe. Anyhoo, I rather like the look of said Sabrinas and putting them on a late aircraft, with wraparound camo and possibly 'winders on the outer pylons would be rather interesting. 

Incidentally, what are the lumps on the nose and tail of the Swiss aircraft for?  Could these be also applicable to UK aircraft?

Work continues at a slow pace on the not quite yet Hunter, the P.1081 Kestrel.  There was an interesting moment when the sheer awfulness of the casting of one forward fuselage section nearly caused it to get chucked in the bin - there was a section under the primer that was rubbery, where the resin hadn't quite cured and after what I suspect is 15 years I was quite shocked that it hadn't done so.  There was only one thing to do, cut it out, fill with plastic card and superglue and backfill with filler.  Well, it's worked but I'm now considering a very dark scheme for it and possibly a change of service from RAF to FAA and the 60s scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey over white and possibly the markings from a Hunter GA11.

Tangents?  Some clean up and minor assembly on an Aeroclub Venom F1, which if finished will get a nice shiny Silver dope finish and markings for one of the non 607 Sqn RAuxAF units, but I've yet to choose one from the many decal sheets I've now got to hand.  I also made a start on a very subtle whiffed Meteor NF14, discovering in the process that I don't have enough non-modified ones in the box, although I could probably throw together another T-bird.  Didn't get much further than assembling the wings and putting in the cockpit floor and a few transverse bulkheads - the Matchbox fuselage has been slated since it was released for a sloppy fit of the fuselage, especially the top decking and despite use of filler and a great deal of sanding, it's nigh on impossible to get rid of the join line.  This is due, IMO, to the lack of transverse bulkheads and fact that the fuselage will flex when you're sanding it down.  With the bulkheads in place, this shouldn't happen. I hope.

And then I returned to the on-off situation with the Buccaneer, as one or two Beaufighters had filtered through and thus I could strip one of it's internals for use here.  They fitted, but it was with a bit of trial and error and a lot of sanding.  I made some efforts to making the fin, with several false starts involving a cut down gash Ashton fin and then spare Spitfire wings before I had a "Sod it and go back to the beginning!" moment. 

Out with the box of Frog/spawnBlenheims, grab a fuselage off the sprues and sandwich a cut out of the Buccaneer fin in between.  Build up the leading edge with some plastic card, superglue and then smear with copious amounts of filler before leaving overnight.  Came back the following day, sanded the hell out of it.  Several coats of Halfords filler primer, more sanding, filler and yet more primer left me with something close enough, so I carefully sawed it off the Blenheim's fuselage, fitted some plastic card strip as a moulding lug and thus it got it ready to be moulded.  I may only need one, but if I bugger up the one I had, then I have to start again so moulding it means I still have a master and can work on a clone, and if I bugger that up, well, I just cast another.  It also gives me the posibility of deing the single fin Brigand that Bristol were considering.

Made up a mould box and also made a few others for useful bits - the twin Beaufighter conversion (well, the fins and tailplane anyway), several other bits and bobs and some Swift F1 wings (I'll come to them shortly).  Mixed and poured the rubber and left them overnight to cure.  One or two haven't quite worked and I'll have to redo them again, but the Buccaneer fin wasn't one.  Cast one of the following morning and went back to work

The moulding lug is quite useful, in that it allows me to alter the fin to the correct angle.  I did some more cutting and chopping to the Brigand rear fuselage to get it to fit, with a slot cut for the moulding lug at the front.  The fin's not quite right as it curves inwards as opposed to outwards, but a strip of plastic card and some filler should sort that out sharpish.

Once I've got the internals painted and the fuselage closed up, it should be a fairly quick job to get the rest of it together, although there's a lot more filling and sanding before we can say it's ready to get primed, but I'm confident that it's going to look good.

The other Beaufighter that had filtered through?  Well, that's going to be a twin fin version, but a late one, with all the Malaya trimmings of the TF.10, Brigand tailfins and four blade props.  The mould for the tailplanes went a bit awry, as some of the rubber wasn't quite mixed and is very slow to cure.  I did get the masters out and I'll redo the mould, but I want to crack on and did a limited casting of the stuff in that mould and the tailplanes have an odd lump that should be easy enough to sand out and as I'm considering 45 Sqn as an end user, it'll give me at least three schemes to consider, and naturally, I'll go for the darkest.

But what happened to the remains of the Blenheim?  Oh, that's easy - it'll get twin fins too.  I found a set of BF 110 tailplanes in a box of parts that might eventually become Bristol's answer to the Grumman Skyrocket and they look to be ideal.  Fins will be copies of the Beaufighter ones, so it'll look all Bristol and then things took another turn. 

I decided to give it a four gun turret, knowing I had a spare one from the Revell Halifax that was going to be a transport version. This wasn't going in the normal position, but just behind the cockpit between the wing spar placement - there's a well there so it'd fit there, although entry to the cockpit will have to be with a hinged canopy rather than a sliding one.  The hole for the original turret was filled with plastic card and scrap sprue and then backfilled with filler.  It took quite a while to carve out the new hole for the turret, but it'll fit now and it looks quite different so far.  I'm planning on using Bristol Perseus engines rather than the Mercuries of the Blenheim, but naturally, I can only find one in the bits box and the mould has yet to be found, despite me looking through every box that contains my moulds.  I found one that *might* have been it but as it contained a Mosquito bull nose as well, I knew it wasn't  but I cast one up and found it was whatever engine the early BOAC Liberators used (IIRC Tony o'Toole asked me to cast him a load for him for use on other things).  I got thinking about some going on Wellingtons.

Bristol did design a twin engined twin tail turret fighter to spec F11/37 (Unicrap do a "kit" of it) which has some family resemblance but that's about it.  Here, they just go with an adaptation of the Blenheim to save time, but with a bit more power and some additional forward firepower in the shape of the gun pack that the fighter Blenheims got OTL.  A for a name, I'm not quite sure yet - Beauregarde? - and I'll need to do some more thinking.  It doesn't butterfly away the Beaufighter as it's realised that the type is a stopgap.  Mine is just the prototype with the Perseus engines as the Taurus of the production version isn't quite ready yet.  Overall NMF finish as befits a Bristol prototype of the time.

Moving swiftly on, as this is going on just a bit, we turn at last to the Swift.  The moulding session got the rubber poured on the FR nose that's been sitting there since early April.  The same session that gave me the Buccaneer fin gave me the nose and the F7 got it's nose cut off and replaced with the clone and it's not a nad fit.  some sanding and a tad filler, but nowt to worry about.  Quick coat of primer and we get the few flaws filled and all it needs before she's off to the paintshop is a belly tank. 

The production PR6 was to have had the same wing as the FR5, accroding to the blurb in the Valiant Wings Richard Franks book on the Swift, said fact apparently being discovered by Phil Spencer.  This however gets the F7 wing and slab tailplanes for commonality and perhaps Rolls had got the reheat to work above 20,000 feet.  So it's an PR6A or perhaps a PR8.

I said in the stash thread that I'd bitten the bullet and acquired the Magna Swifts F1 and F2 on the grounds that they weren't that bad and cheaper than the Airfix kit and the relevant Alleycat conversions combined.  Plus I'd get them quicker, as opposed to Alleycat's geological delivery scales.  I decided to mould the F1 wing for use in scratchbodging the Type 528, but the mould's a bit iffy and the resultant casts are useable but...  No, I don't think so.  New mould required.

Final thoughts of the day are still with the Swift and remembering I've still got an unused fuselage I'm thinking about a delta wing.  IIRC there's a wreck of a MIrage III that I was given some time back and that may well fit.  Perhaps Vickers decided to have a play with the delta wing early on and used a Swift fuselage to play with?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 14, 2020, 04:01:00 pm
"Well, don't worry, Rick! It wouldn't have worked anyway!"

I got pretty much everything done today that I wanted to, albeit with one tangent.  Look, I can't avoid them.  It's what I do.

Started with the twin fin Beaufighter, and cleaned up the ropey casting to a point where I was okay with it, if not necessarily happy.  So I taped up the fuselage and did teh surgery that was indicated on teh distructions to get it to fit.  Hmmn. Looks okay but looking closer at the casting, it's not quite good enough to go on the Airfix kit, so what about the Matchbox one instead? Did the requisite surgery and it looks okay, a definite goer.  This is going to be a wartime one, rather than the Malaya scheme that the Airfix one will get, but whether it'll get the two colours over Sky or just Extra Dark Sea Grey is another question for later.

The Brigand fins were offered up to the tailplanes and they'll fit, of a sort so I may just shorten the tailplane itself but the overall effect is of a sawn off Buckingham.

With that out of the way, I did a bit more tidying up on the Blenheim turret fighter - I need a name for that one, something alliterative - and the fins will fit the locator pins on the Bf 110 tailplane I'm using after some minor surgery. So well that they could have been intended for use there.  It looks quite natural.  I did some more PSR and it's about as good as it get for now, so I just need to get some work done in the cockpit.  I did assemble the gunpack.

After that, I turned my attention to making some new moulds, repeating the work I'd done some days back.  This time, I added several engines to the mix - that US engine intended for a Wellington and the mould started to break up when I got the second one out yesterday, a Bristol Aquilla cowling from the Magna Vickers Venom kit (the Bristol 143 was a parallel version of the 142 "Britain First" and was intended to use Aquilas), and a pair of Bristol Perseus cowlings.  You see, I'd found a second one in the Skua bits box  and though I could get ahead with the turret fighter but then sense took hold and I decided to mould the pair just in case the other mould never turns up but even if it does, I suspect it's on it's last legs anyway. 

Other than that, I just did the mould boxes for the Swift F1 wings and all the Beaufighter intended bits - tailfins, tailplanes, a Firefly 7 annular Griffon and the resin turret section from the High Planes Beaufighter V. I'm planning a twin finned escort for the Banff wing, probably with the Matchbox kit as it's ideal for bashing about but I could be persuaded to do it with an Airfix one as I know I've a fuselage spare to play with so it won't matter too much if I cock it up.  Although rather than the resin I'd use another spare Boulton Paul turret that's be spare in the Revell Halifax III that's going to be a donor for the early HP.64 Hastings design - basically a Hastings with a standard Halifax wing and engines and the twin tail unit.

I might get the rubber mixed poured tonight but TBH, there's no real hurry and I may well do it in the morning and demould on sunday.

I had a look at the Hunter FGA9 I threw together a day or so back and cleaned up the fuselage and after adding a quantity of Lead to the nose, got that all closed up and filler on.  Did some more tidying up on various Hunter wings and then moved onto the slow rebuild of the Skybirds Hornet NF10.

This being the RAF equivalent of the NF21 and a rebuild of something from 20 years back that's been sitting stripped and forgotten in a box.  All the bits are there, bar the rudder pedals but you can't see them anyway in the coal mine that is the cockpit.  Repainted and fitted the seat, added some tape belts to both seats and closed it up.  It's going to need a fair bit of filler to tidy it up but it should look okay when it's done.  I know exactly what scheme it's going in and what markings it's going to get - standard RAF nightfighter colours of Dark Green over Med Sea Grey and it's going with 23 Squadron, although I may do it post VE day with unit markings but still with kill markings.

And today's tangent?  Well, it's not so much of a tangent because it fits in with the twin engined fighters that I'm working on - it's the rather anonymous twin engined Gloster fighter that should have been in service in 1940 but didn't quite make the party.  Magna did a pretty decent kit of both the Taurus and Peregrine engined versions and this is the Taurus version.  End scheme and squadron user?  Not quite sure yet, but likely Dark Earth and Dark Green over sky Blue for a Battle of Britain aircraft and probably one of the Blenheim fighter units.  I did the same kit as an all black NFII version years back, so something a bit more colourful is in order.

Final thoughts today are turning to possibly an in service twin tail turret fighter Blenheim, although possibly for training gunners and definitely with the more powerful Taurus engines as I've found some Aeroclub ones.  Or possibly a coastal command one with rockets.  Either way, it'd look a bit more interesting than an all silver prototype.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 16, 2020, 09:40:12 am
"Oh, God. I think I'm going to be violently and copiously sick."

Managed to get the moulds poured yesterday but the rubber...  I had three tins, two of which were marked Tiranti, the other was from East Coast Fibreglass, which is just across the river in South Shields.  It'd settled and bearing in the first two had to be a decade old at least and the latter about 7, it's not surprising.  I used the last of the Tiranti stuff for three, the largest being the Swift wings, with the East Coast stuff for the Beaufighter bits and engines.  24 hours on, none of them are fully cured but bearing in mind I'm in no hurry for castings from them - apart from maybe the Perseus engines - I'll just leave them curing further.  It does go off, eventually.

I looked at getting some more moulds done, the first being tailplanes for Hawker 1052/1081 and I added the tail surfaces from the Swift too, as these, plus the wings from the mould curing, will form the basis for a Type 528. The Swift wings have what I believe are called streamwise wingtips, whereas 528's wingtips are a tad more square, but it's lot easier to work with the resin wings than vacforms.  I alo got a mould sorted for some Hercules engine fronts.

I got the fuselage together for a stalled Swift FB2, this being the one that'd had the back end sawn off in an abortive attempt to do the Type 528.  It had stalled whilst I got some of the Airkit parts moulded and cast.  Now that the moulds were done last week, I had no excuse to hold back, and these bits are now on.  It's got the second coad of filler on the fuselage and the wings.  The second early PR Swift now has it's nose in place and a coat of filler applied.

I've done some more work on the Lancaster PR.6 and that now has it's u/c in place, which was a job and a half.  The Lancastrian C.6 also has the bomb bay doors in place but I couldn't face doing anothe set of u/c so left the pair of them for another day.

Today's tangent comes in two halves, and both are bad.  You see, I'd pulled out Magna's Bristol 148 to start cleaning it up and quite frankly it is an absolute parcel of crap.  The casting is terrible and the mastering just as bad.  I've slated Unicraft with just cause and this was almost on a par with Igor's least worst (I flatly refuse to use a positive to describe unicraft's lamentable efforts).  The engines is clearly a badly reworked Frog Blenheim one, the wings still have wood grain in them, the fin is over thick.  I managed to get it cleaned up to a point but gave up before I lost the will to live.  Any prodution aircraft were to get the Bristol Taurus rather than the Mercury, so that can thankfully go in the bin as I have an Aeroclub Taurus.

Supposedly, Magna did two versions of the 148 and I was sure I had one elsewhere in the stash.  Off I go to find it and pull out the box.  It felt too heavy - how many are in it?  Opens it to find a Magna Bristol Buckingham.  Oh dear.

I knew it was lurking somewhere and given that I'm doing Bristol twins amongst many other things, I may as well start cleaning it up.  I don't necessarily have to build it.  Even if I do, what scheme does it get?  It doesn't look that bad - the wheels are definitely going in the bin and the engines have vanished, although I've a feeling they may have been moulded as one looked poor.  Time for another look in the moulds boxes.  The wings and tailfins were removed from the lumps that are the pouring lugs and I sanded down the base of the cockpit module.

I'm going to do it with the gear up, because the last time I fought the u/c on this thing (Brigand and Buckmaster) I jacked in the hobby for well over three months.  I do not want to go through it again, although the third time should be lucky, right?

Scheme could well be the proposed PR version, although I'm considering the proposed version with two torpedoes that led eventually to the Brigand.  I must be mad.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 16, 2020, 12:50:51 pm
"What do you mean? It was your idea to play 'Hide and Seek'!"

Having had further thoughts, I've decided to do both Buckinghams, with the torpedo armed one being based on the Valom kit that's on the disposal pile.  I am definitely going mad...

When I was looking at things that needed remoulding, the 1052/1081 were high on the list, and indeed the tailplanes are ready for the rubber to pour.  Then I remembered that I got the Maintrack P.1040/1072 in the stash and that gives two rear fuselages - one for the standard Sea Hawk prototype, t'other for the rocket assisted version.  I also remembered that there was a proposal for a variant of the P.1052 with a rocket in the tail as well as the Nene. 

Again, possibilities.  Shortcut prototype for the spec that led to the Avro 720 and SR53?  Hawker's entry was a pure rocket delta that look like a baby Mirage III (10oth scale Mirage for a scratchbodge?) but it's unlikely that Camm would have went for just a pure rocket.  The 1052 based one would give a start, given that the fuselage was proven and jigs still available, so they'd only need to too; for the wings and swept tailplanes.  Food for thought.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 18, 2020, 03:44:27 pm
"That's probably Rick doing a bit of reading."

Whilst looking for something else, I pulled out one of those bookazines I picked up in Smiths a while back and completely forgotten about, this one being a Tony Buttler one on the Hawker Hunter.  Some nice schemes in there, especially the Empire Test Pilots School ones, although I don't think anyone does the decals for them.  Pity, as the overall red with white fin would look rather different on the P.1081, especially with the big Hunter fin I've given two of them.

Doing some other digging for a Hunter sheet turned up something else, but I'll come to that later.  I did find the Hunter sheet I was looking for, albeit not where I thought it was, and thankfully it still had the 74 Sqn markings that I need to complete the long stalled Firestreak armed Swift F7.  I'll need to get another copy of the sheet for the camo version of the same aircraft, which will be one of the later ones that gets replaced by the HSA Hurricane II (aka P.1121 - not sure where Hurricane comes from as a name for 1121, possibly Derek Wood or Bill Gunston via Mike McEvoy). 

The P.1121 is just as stalled as the Swift - I'd originally done it around 2001 as a 56 Sqn aircraft, but didn't finish it for Telford that year, thankfully as it turned out that Martin had done one in the same scheme - blast his hide!  So I masked it and resprayed the fin in black and did it as a 74 Sqn aircraft (this was well before my current policy of leaving the obvious sexy squadrons to the less imaginative members of the what if community), although like so many other things, it got forgotten about and some of the bits have gone walkies in the meantime.

I did find another one part started in a box, with the vacform fuselage cleaned up and everything else in resin.  Once I've got the decks cleared, I may well go back to one or perhaps both of them.  Ideally, I'd like to have a go at the side by side two seat naval version, and I might have some short shot resin fuselages from a half baked attempt at moulding it somewhere in the loft at me Mam's.  But that is one for the future.

The other thing I found was an Xtradecal sheet for Meteor F8s.  Now obviously, some of these can translate to either P.1052 or P.1081 in RAF markings, but that's not what I was thinking of, because one or two caught my eye as being former Hornet squadrons.  I do have quite a number, estimated in the high end of two digits, of Hornets stashed away, of various kits from three manufacturers (all of the Special Hobby ones have been disposed of, thankfully) and quite a number of part started Frog/Novo ones.  I'm in a twin engined aircraft phase at the moment - actually, I'm working on several minithemes, but that's almost standard for me - so why not add a few more Hornets into the mix? 

I know the fixes to the Frog kit, mainly involving strategic use of plastic card, filler and sanding.  The canopy is unfixable (until Rob Taurus brings out a canopy for the forthcoming AZ kit - I hope!  Although I've at least one Plan B...), but the rest is pretty much doable.  Mike Romeo over on Britmodeller did a cracking build of a Frog kit, but I may not go quite as far as he did in the cockpit - being black, you see sod all in there - and I may not bother with the nose, but we'll see.  I think I've a mould of the nosecone from the Skybirds which may help.  IF I can find it.  The mould with the Tempest wheels has cured and I know there's a mould for a Vampire nosegear, which was adapted from the Hornet tailwheel.  Think I've a seat mould too.

Thoughts of moulds beings me back to the Magna ones on the go and I don't think the wheel well doors in the Magna kit is up to much, so I may well look at moulding the Frog ones and use them instead.  Some of Magna's stuff was pretty basic.

What squadron markings did I find?  Well, 65 squadron is the easy one in overall silver, but another was the Church Fenton Station Flight one with a rather fetching combined marking.  There's a rather different colourful diagonal square design for the side bars on a 64 Sqn machine, with the scarab in a nice white pennant.  And it's got Aluminium Dope underneath, rather than PRU Blue, so it'd have to be a UK based machine.

Then there's the RAuxAF to consider, because they have some rather nice colours and I do have quite a few Meteor sheets kicking about.  Apart from the units that got Mosquitoes, one or two others may well be in line. I'm not sure how many Frog kits are part started, but I know it's quite a few and unlike most things, I can lay my hands on them fairly quickly.

Mention of Mosquitoes reminds me of something else I wanted to do, actually two.  The first is that there was originally to be a light bomber component to the RAuxAF and they were to get Mosquito bombers, probably the Canadian produced versions of the B.IV - either the straight B.IV or the tweaked one with the FB.VI wing which was plumbed in for drop tanks.  That's an easy one from the Tamiya kit.  I can't remember what squadrons were proposed - two in the 500 and two in the 61x range seem to ring a bell, possibly 616.

A quick look through the Sharp/Bowyer Mosquito bible reveals that 502, 504, 608 and 616 Sqns and they did get Mosquito NF36s - and the latter is on the same Meteor sheet that's giving me the Hornet markings.  Sound!  Apparently the B.16, B.25 or B35s were intended.  9 aircraft per squadron with Spitfire F21s of 600, 602 and 615 Sqns as top cover, leaving the rest with Spitfire mk XVIs in the fighter combat role.  That was the basis of the plan, until Fighter Command threw their toys out of the pram and complained about the dispersal of the fighter force.  OTL, 616 got Mosquito nightfighters  but were designated as a day fighter unit.  So that gives me another option - give them Hornets instead, single or two seaters, because either were better performers than Mosquitoes.  I rather like the idea of AAF Hornets as they could be quite colourful, especially with Alumimium dope underneath rather than the PRU Blue that most of the camouflaged versions wore.  As much as I like it, it's a bit limiting.

The second is the proposed turret fighter, which got mocked up, and I've seen a drawing with the original exhaust arrangement but the longer nacelles.  Now I'd skip that and go to an NF.II style with a BP turret just behind the cockpit.    This one is being toyed with and I may not do it as I've a feeling a mate wants to do it.

Lots of things to think about.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 19, 2020, 05:23:24 am
"OK. What should you never do in a box junction?"

Well, the first set of moulds looked like they're cured so I opened up the big one.  Bad move.  Some of it wasn't quite mixed and a bit sticky.  I managed to get the masters out and I've done a quick pour of the resin to see if the Swift wings will come out better than the other set.  I only need one, possibly three decent sets to do what I want to do with the Type 528, and it'll mean some more moulding to do a new Swift nose for the Attacker donor.  I've partially reworked the nose cut off the second PR Swift but need to do some more work before it's ready to mould.  Hopefully I should have that done over the next few days.

I'm leaving the other set of moulds for now, as one is still very sticky and the other one seems a tad soft.  Other than the Perseus engine cowlings, there's nothing I need straight away in that lot

I did some more hunting for decals and found a Modeldecal sheet I didn't even know I had for Meteor nightfighters.  One option is a 64 sqn NF14 in the scheme I want too and it looks to have the big bore intakes.  Should make a nice companion for the Hornet F3 I'll be giving them.  64 did fly Hornets, but I've only ever seen photos of their aircraft in overall Aluminium dope, not camouflaged, so this could be quite subtle.  A might have been as opposed to a whiff.  And that's suits me just fine.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 20, 2020, 05:03:13 pm
"No, there's only two seats."

I've not done much but seem to have got quite far on.

Both the Hunter 1083/FGA9 and Swift PR6 have got their wing pylons and u/c attached.  Wing pylons on a Swift?  Yes.  The cameras on the PR6 were apparently somewhere between frames 16 and 17, but as I don't have a technical drawing with frame numbers and positions on it, I'll have to go with what Richard Franks says.  He also says in the Valiant Wings book that the belly tank would have obscured the cameras, so logic says that they're not in the nose but in the position formerly occupied by the guns and ammunition.  The fuel overload had to go in external wing tanks, so I've a pair of Hunter ferry tanks - the big inner ones from the FGA9.  My Swift PR6 does have the nose cameras too, as extras just in case.  Needs another bit of PSR before I can get the final load of primer on and a few doors and it's ready for the paint shop.

I've also got the u/c sorted out, albeit not glued in just yet, on the Supermarine 545.  I really don't like the Maintrack u/c as it looks way too beefy and I would have preferred Hunter legs but I haven't got any spare.  I did use a nosegear though, albeit a plastic one left over from an Airfix FGA9.  I've just got to get the pylons sorted and the pitot tubes and it's nearly ready.

All the Hornets have had their primer redone after tidying up the myriad tiny blemishes that needed fixing.  The Skybirds 86 rebuild is looking really good.  I've also had a slight rethink on Hornets thanks to the discovery of those decals.  I may well buy another set just for the 64 Sqn markings, as I'll be doing the F3 in camo, then they get redesignated as a nightfighter unit and  re-equipped with Hornet NF10s (that's the Magna one sorted out with a user, before getting Meteor nightfighters in 52.  I had only planned to do one Meteor nightfighter, but as I've managed to lose the distructions for all the Matchbox Meteors I've got, I don't know what goes where in the cockpit for which mark, so I'll have to get an Xtrakit repop to get those and whilst I'm at it, use said kit for 64 Sqn's early Meteor nightfighters.  They only got the NF14 in reality, so it's still a what if.

The final job of the day was sorting out the filler on the late Hunter FGA9 with the revised Sabrinas with the chaff dispensers.  That's cleaned up and ready for the wings to go on, but then I started thinking and that's never good.  You see, I'm thinking more of a reserve air defense role for this one and thus the more boring but never used on Hunters - at least, not RAF ones  - air defense greys.  I really started thinking about it due to the position of the blister covering the ejector mechanism above the outer pylon being where the upper wing roundel goes and wanted something different to avoid it.

I had considered a pair of 'winders on the outboard pylons and the big tanks inboard but then remembered that the kit has holes flashed over for a pylon inboard of the u/c legs and these are for some really odd Swiss missile in the original FGA9 release but other air forces, notably Singapore, use for an additional pair of 'winders.  I've the pylon in the FGA9 release and the shoe and missile in the F6.  I think it'll work.  I just need one extra Revell Hunter FGA9 to do the early 80s one in wraparound camo.

I've also been rethinking the Swifts slightly.  I've got the FB2 now fitted with an afterburner but given the types problems it was quickly withdrawn so 74 Sqn never got them.  Except now they do.  So that's the Testors one sorted out.  I'm also thinking of an F4 as an FB4A (as it's got the canopy of the FR5) but as a ground instructional airframe in 607 Sqn markings and 70s tactical roundels and used as an airfield decoy at Acklington.

One other thing I have also considered for A small Acklington lineup is a visiting TSR2, possibly in wraparound,  having repaired there after a jolly outing over Otterburn. And it'll probably pick up a 607 Sqn zap. Why revisit TSR2 15 years on?  I found my one and only largely built Airfix one and I'd really like to have it finished!

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 21, 2020, 04:25:59 pm
"Why'd I do that?"

God help me, I started the Valom Buckingham.  I'm not that keen on the kit, but I doubt we'll get another one in injection.  The detail looks nice, but the execution...  the wings need some serious thinning and the engines look to be a right mare to assemble, although the resin looks good.  I thinned the wings, did some dry fitting and put it back in the box before I lost the will to live completely.

I was much more interested in getting that other two seat Hornet further on.  This is going to be one in the MSG over Night scheme, but I've yet to decide on a squadron.  I'll have a look through my Mosquito decal box to see if I can find something appropriate, although something at the back of my head says that some were used by the radar establishment or perhaps one of the ELINT squadrons.  TBH, I think the airframe is just a tad snug for any extra black boxes, so I may have a rethink on that.  The plan for the Skybirds rebuild is for a late war 23 Sqn aircraft so I may just give it to them for continuity purposes and I *think* there's a 23 Sqn option on a sheet somewhere.

Anyway, the massive resin pouring lugs were sanded off and the fuselage cleaned up, with the resin internals cleaned up and installed - both cockpits are just black coal holes, so there's nothing much to detail in there, maybe a drybush of some grey to pick things out.  Doesn't seem to be as bad a fit this time.  So far anyway.

The Swifts got more filling, sanding and priming - the PR6 is on the last round now.  So is the 1083 FGA9.  That got a final load of primer earlier and I'm looking forward to getting some paint on.  I've yet to find something appropriate for it, so another dig through the Hunter books seems to be in order.

I did some more work on the Supermarine 510 and the tail surfaces are all sanded down but TBH they, and much of the rest if the kit, doesn't seem to match the plans, at least not the Barrie Hygate ones anyway.  I'm seriously thinking about moulding and casting the tail surfaces for use in the 528/535 scratchbodge - although other than the tailplanes I think I can make a start on it now - as well as the other 510s that are in the stash.  I think there's four...  I know there's another Maintrack one and at least one Whirlybird, but I've a feeling there's another two somewhere.

Armed with that knowlege, I started comparing other bits for teh scratchbodge with the Highgate plans.  The AZ Attacker doesn't match and the Frog one seems too long.  The 528/535 seems to have a different fuselage top line too, more humpand and bulged,as though the engine has been raised, possibly to accommodate the new spars for the larger swept wing.  A few layers of plastic card and  skim of P38 could fix it, but I may just bodge a first one and let someone else argue the toss.  MFM.

Looked at the built TSR2 in the stash to see what needs doing to it.  The doors for one of the main gear bays and then a coat of primer to see what else needs doing.  I've a feeling it got left after I'd wrestled the doors shut on one bay and then left it before I lost the will to live.  This was fourteen years ago, so the memory is getting a bit hazy.  Haven't decided on a squadron yet, possibly 16, and it'll definitely be in wraparound with a simple load out of practice bomb carriers on the outer pylons and the three row rocket pods on the inners.  I really want it simple due to all the masking that wraparound involves.

The number of Hunters 607 is getting continues to grow -  it was up to fiver yesterday (F4, F6, T7 70s, FGA9 wraparound and a late 80s one in the AD greys) but then I saw an image on the Swiss Hunters website and got inspired for a retirement scheme, at least on one aircraft.  I'm tempted with a trainer, but I just don't have enough PJ conversions to do everything (1 x607, 1 x 1083 wing, 1 OTL) so it may well be another FGA9 with the revised sabrinas. It will be colourful to say the least.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 23, 2020, 06:13:00 pm
"No. Blame whoever rang the front doorbell, 'cause they obviously triggered off the bomb I set up."

Didn't do much yesterday and today's been limited to working on a trio of Hunters, as some of my various conversion bits have filtered back here.

First, start with some destruction.  The FGA9 that suffered an accident and the cockpit fell in?  It's allocated to be a 607 Sqn T7A (T-birds refitted with the big bore Avons used by the F6 and FGA9 - commonality reasons)  Off with the nose aft of the cockpit with some rough saw cuts and then trim back to the panel line.  The new PJ nose fits quite nicely and I idly trialled a 1083 wing and it looks to be a decent fit, looks wise especially.  Trim off the spine for the new piece and we're good to go once the cockpit interior is all sorted out.  The bang seats look a tad slim and knowing PJ are probably underscale, but they're going in a largely black cockpit with the hood down.  The wings for this one are already assembled.  I think.

Next up is the in service P.1109b, the Firestreak Hunter with a new radar nose.  I'm doing this as in in service ADV in the air defence greys with toned down roundels in the mid 80s.  I've yet to decide on a squadron - I've considered but rejected 79 (Shadow) Sqn as being just a shade too obvious, so I may have a look at one of the other Hunter squadrons.  112 is a possible but that sharkmouth is a tad too obvious and it looks too sexy, so probably not.  The new resin nose fits quite well and the fuselage is largely together.  It needs an RWR, but I'm unsure it I'd go with the fin or possibly the Buccaneer wing bullets.  I'm definitely fitting the revised Sabrinas with the chaff dispensers as I've become rather fond of them.

I'd like to do another, but with four Firestreaks and the 1083 wing.  I might have the bits to do a bodgejob - a copy of a Maintrack resin nose and a PM Ho 229 to do the wing plus an Airfix FGA9 fuselage - but I'd much prefer to do a proper one with Freightdog bits on a Revell kit.

Finally, I've made a start on the "standard" FGA9 for 607 Sqn and it's going wraparound and early -mid 80s.  Haven't done much other than assemble and paint the cockpit and part assemble the wings.

I've worked out how to do the changes in colours and markings over time - F4 with the Aluminium undersides and the chevrons on the fuselage, F6 with LAG undersides and Type Ds, T7 with LAG undersides and 70s tactical roundels, FGA9 is wraparound with Tactical roundels and finally the late FGA9 ADV with the AD greys and toned down roundels.  There's to be another FGA9 in the final disbanding scheme in the early 90s as they get Hawks but I've yet to think of anything more than lots of yellow.

Need to do some more research on Hunter schemes and squadrons.  There's a few to do.  You'd think I'd need some sort of Plan...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 27, 2020, 05:23:49 pm
"Neil, where's that emergency set of spaghetti hoops we brought?"

Well, the Hunters are all together, wings on and filled, pylons in place and everything is ready for a coat of primer once I fill the cockpits with sponge.

It was five aircraft for 607 Sqn plus the 1109B ADV but after finding a part started FGA9 as well as another kit in an original release Revell FGA9 box when I needed the revised sabrinas with the chaff dispensers, I just had to throw it together, which means I can do an FGA9 in an earlier scheme, so the T7 will get Type Ds rather than the later tactical roundels and the FGA9 will get the tactical roundels plus the LAG undersides.  Bearing in mind I have three FGA9s on the go, I'm tempted to do them all as the same aircraft but as the one with 'winders will be in the Air Defence greys (I've not decided quite which scheme I want, but I'm tempted with the Dark Sea Grey uppers on this one), the serial would probably be in white, so I think that'll be on it's own and the two camouflaged ones will be the same aircraft at different points in it's career.  It's something I've done before.

607s ADV aircraft, plus the 1109 ADV, have had fin mounted RWRs spliced in, in place of the removable fairing in the fin leading edge at the tip.  Even this tiny change makes the profile look different, especially with the new nose on the P.1109B variant, enough to make it look like a different aircraft entirely.  Some doubt crept in on that one when I did some research on it, finding that the prototype flew with the missiles on the inboard pylon.  Mine being a developed version, has the leading edge extensions , parachute fairing and the FGA9 wing mods - with the modded flaps to take the big tanks on the inner pylons (Hunters could fly with four of the larger tanks but that was comparatively rare) and the stores ejection fairing above the wing.  The missiles go on the outboard pylon and naturally the resin replacement didn't fit too well until a modicum of sanding sorted it out.

One thing I have considered for a future build is a conformal fuel tank under the fuselage, leaving all four wing pylons for missiles and the two cannon remain, albeit sans blisters.  The tank that fitted is one from a Lightning F3 that was lying about in a spares box.

I couldn't remember what the names of the three greys I wanted to use for the ADV Hunter so went trawling for photos of Lightnings but then had a brainwave and started looking through the Lightning decal box.  Sure enough, I found the info I needed and looked in a box of paints, and thankfully, I've got all three colours I need - Med Sea Grey, Barley Grey and Light Aircraft Grey - although I may well have to stock up again.  I need to make a shopping list for Uncle Frank.

The Basset got a coat of primer in the cockpit before I get busy painting the rest by hand, whilst the TSR2 has had several coats of primer and PSR to try and tidy up the has I'd made of the ill fitting parcel of dog turds that is the Airfix kit.  Thankfully it's going in a fairly dark scheme to hide many of the flaws, although I'm tempted with LAG undersides for a mid-late 70s aircraft.  Stores I'm settled on - 3 row Matra pods on the outboard pylons with practice bomb carriers on the inners for a jolly outing over Otterburn.  One of the FGA9s will be getting Matra pods, t'other gets the practice bomb carriers and I'm sure both the F6 and the T7 will too.   I just need to cast some up, along with pylons and an IFR probe housing for the TSR2 IF I can find the relevant moulds.

I've yet to decide on a squadron for the TSR, but 6 and 16 are in the frame.  I rather like the latter, possibly with a sharkmouth, although that be just a tad obvious so it may well be 6 Sqn after all.  Whoever it belongs to, it will get a 607 sqn shield as a 'zap'.

After sorting out the pylons for the Hunters, I have several spare, so they go on the Supermarine 545 so I can look at getting that into some paint proper.  Again, I've yet to decide on a unit for that one, and the Airfile volume on post war trainers isn't giving me much inspiration either.

And finally, three older part started light aircraft are being looked at, being a Matchbox piston Provost (another Acklington aircraft, but who it will belong to just yet I haven't decided - did Newcastle University have an Air Squadron?  Another is an Airfix Vampire T11 that was started when I got it in 2013 but got left quite quickly.  Not sure what I want to do with it yet, but 607 Sqn is again being considered - OTL the had Vampire FB5s and a Meteor T7, I'm unsure if they had a T11, so they may well do here instead, albeit in DSG/DG over HSS.  The last one is a Novo Proctor and it was going to be an RAF Habanniya hack, modified with a pair of Vickers K guns firing out the side windows.  I found a set of Aeroclub one I'd bought ages ago just lying around, so I can *finally* get this one together.  Just need to find the small bomb carriers that came with the Frog Blenheim to go under the wings, but I know where I can lay my hands on them quite quickly.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 29, 2020, 05:45:19 pm
"Ah hah! Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha! Driving instructor my bottom! You're a vampire and there's no denying it!"

The Hunters have had the filler sorted out, primed, refilled and sanded and primed again and as far as I'm concerned, they're ready for the paint shop, albeit after a few small bits are glued onto one or two.  I also got the wheels cleaned and all the hubs sprayed silver,  I also tackled the doors and they're going to be a pain, given that there's ten per aircraft and 7 aircraft.  Scrub that, there's 9 once the 1083/F9 and the Harrier C.1 are taken into consideration.

Incidentally, what's the collective noun for a group of Hunters?  Personally, I'm going with posse. As a side note, is the Hnter too small to take a Blue Parrot radar?  Toying with equipping a tandem seat one with that as a Buccaneer lead in trainer for the RAF.

Whilst the primer was out, the Attacker FR bird got a coat to finally blend everything in.  The wing roots got a final sanding, as did the belly tank and it's about ready to get an u/c.  That's cleaned up and sitting ready in a box.

I did a little work on the vampire T-bird, getting the intakes all sorted out and the wheel hubs sprayed.  It was really to hot to do any gluing.

The 545 is moving further, albeit very slowly.  I sorted out the coaming around the instrument panel and used the first thing I found to hand that seemed the right size, which happened to be a resin TSR2 intake bullet, although it's been cut right down and had the hell sanded out of it.  I noticed that some of the plastic just aft of the cockpit was very thin and cracked, so I built up some sort of equipment out of plastic card and painted it black.  It'll be under a canopy so no one will know. 

The canopy is also cut out and sorted, ready to go on once its had a bath in Kleer.  I did drill out the holes in the wing to take the pitot tubes but the Maintrack ones seem a bit overscale and I may have to replace them with something else.  I have a cunning plan involving Spitfire F22 cannon barrels and some stretched sprue. A pair of the Hunter wheels are allocated to this as I have some replacements in the PJ two seater.  I may even use Hunter legs as the Maintrack ones seem a bit too sturdy. I've already replaced the nosegear with a Hunter one. Finally, the bang seat got a coat or two of paint and I just have to do the straps and a few other little things and it's ready to go in. Given the work in the cockpit, I'm almost tempted to open the canopy, but there's only one with the kit and I *really* don't want to balls it up now.

The pylons are ready to go on but I'm at a loss as to where to place them and the info in the Hygate book isn't clear enough, merely saying that the second prototype was able to carry four Firestreaks.  I've a rough guess where to place them by looking at the access ports.  It does indicate where the slipper tanks for fuel overload would go, but I'm doing a 70s F1 in a training role (even if I haven't decided on markings yet) and it's getting pylon mounted tanks, again from the Hunter.  I did add a pair of Sabrinas under the ejection chutes - it's likely to have suffered the same issues with spent casings, etc, as the Hunter so I've employed a similar solution.

I've done some cleaning up on the Xtrakit Swift and I'm toying with a Royal Navy one - given the aircraft's affinity at low level, it would seem to be a better lead in trainer to the Buccaneer than a Hunter.  I really need to finish the FRADU one that's been gathering dust for some years.

Final thing today was to make a start on cleaning up the Magna Swift FR5 and that didn't take too long.  I taped up the respective fuselage halves with the corresponding ones from the Swift F1 and sanded down the nose to the earlier profile as it's going to be an FB4A, or alternatively an FGA4a.  Not sure what this will end up in, as I've several ideas for Swift fighter bombers and one involves wraparound and 12 Sqn markings.

And whilst I was looking for something to act as a coaming for the 545 I chanced upon the mould for the Bristol Perseus.  I do not know how it got where it did.  I need to do a small amount of casting tomorrow, so I can get a bit further with the twin tail Blenheim turret fighter.  I also need to do some more moulding before I run out of resin, especially the Swift belly tank as I need quite a few, but also some practice bomb carriers as the mould I did a few weeks back is not the best. And there's also the P.1081 wings too.

I'm actually running out of a lot of things and thankfully Uncle Frank is open again from the 15th and I have a long and growing shopping list for him.  Which is likely to have a lot of paints on it too, especially Dark Sea Grey and Dark Green.  I have a lot of spraying to do...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 30, 2020, 02:36:13 pm
"Stay right where you are! I've got a crucifix and I'm not afraid to use it!"

Been a quiet day.  I did get the Magna Swift fuselage together and the filling has largely been done, mainly by pouring superglue in the joins and sanding it back.  Under the fuselage, it doesn't quite match, but the worst of it will be hidden by the belly tank. The cockpit module fought me a bit and needed some judicious sanding to fit the cockpit, including some scraping of the starboard half to try and ensure it was almost in the middle.  Painting it was interesting.

The Perseus mould gave me two decent casts before the rubber tore and it's now a two piece mould - in actual fact, the mould tore after the first cast, but I managed to put the offending piece back and managed to get the second out of the mould with little or no difference.  Both are cleaned up and ready to go onto the Blenheim once i get it together.  I dug out the wheels I'd cast a few weeks back - I used the ones from the new tool Airfix one as a master and they *have* to be better than the buttons Frog provide.  I'll paint the cockpit interior later and hopefully should have the fuselage all tidied up barring the turret so I can get it together during the week.  Given the easy colour scheme - NMF like the Blenheim, Beaufort and Beaufighter prototypes - it should be finishable quite soon.

What may be the bodged Supermarine 535 got a bit further forward with the intake blanks going in, resin copies of those from the Xtrakit Swift which oddly fit the Frog Attacker, whilst I hacked off the fin and other extraneous protusions.  I need to find the resin canopy plug but the nose is going to be a recce one, the first one may well turn out to be a recce one in Germany but I'll have to find a suitable squadron that isn't 2 or 79.

Questions elsewhere about Venoms have given me the idea to replace the Venom's Ghost with a Nene - I'd acquired an Airmodel Vampire NF10 conversion which specifies a Heller Vampire as a base kit.  Now apart from the fuselage pod and a few other bits, the Heller Mistral is largely the same as their Vampire and I'd picked one up for a quid at a show a few years back.  So use that as the base and use the pod on a Venom, replacing the one in the Aeroclub kit with something easier to build.

I've also looked at the Airfix Vampire T11 and seeing if I could graft a Sea Venom radar nose on it.  It may well fit so I may do some more thinking on this one.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on May 31, 2020, 04:09:52 pm
"That I don't know. But when the council come to demolish the house tomorrow, Michael, they're going to find it already demolished from within!"

Well, bar the belly tank, the Magna Swift FGA4 nee FR5 is together.  Typical Magna, the wing roots are deeper than yer actual wings by a good millimeter, so a good deal of hacking and sanding brought them down to something bearable, although I took the top down rather than underneath.  It doesn't look too bad, although no doubt a coat of primer will highlight everything and prove me wrong.

Today's highlight has been the endless sanding on the Supermarine 528/535 scratchbodge.  The fuselage went together and the nose got hacked off, the gaping wound tidied up and then the new nose got attached.  Bit of filler to blend it in and put it slightly to one side to cure whilst I attack the wings.

The tips are very different between the type 528/535 and the later Swift F1, which has what I think are termed streamwise tips.  The earlier ones are squarer, less rounded and longer.  Several copies of the Hygate plans were used, by placing said resin wings on top, drawing a line round the tips and then transferring the plans to plastic card for a core to work on.  This time I went for the very easy approach - superglue and baking soda.  Flood the area to be filled with superglue and liberally drench with the baking soda, then tip off the excess.  Give it a good sanding and it polishes up nice.  You have to get sanding pretty quick, as the longer it's left, the harder it gets.  With the tips done, I made good the iffy castig before really iting the bullet and dealing with the original issue with the master for said wings - Magna. 

It has to be said that his mastering sometimes left a bit to be desired, and in this case, the starboard wing was thicker than the port, so out with the heavy duty files and get to work.  Didn't take too long but as a result there's no detail left. As it is, I'm planning a PR machine, filled and polished for extra speed, so very little detail would be left anyway.

As that had gone on far too seriously long enough by half, I pottered off for lunch, then came back to attack the fuselage.  The nose got tidied up, the remaining protrusions got sanded off - the attachment lugs for the tailplanes leaving the slots - and then I test fitted the wings.  Well, one got tacked on and I checked it against the plans and realised it was out as I'd left the original wing roots in place as a guide.  Bad move, they needed to go so I took about 2mm off by sanding the hell out of it and fitted the wing again,  Not perfect, but close enough.  On with the second and they got left to cure.

Whilst that was happening, I tidied up the glazing for the twin tail Blenheim and realised yet again that the Frog kit has a horrible fit, and especially the glazing. I also noticed that the painting in the cockpit was terrible and I really should have thrown that particular bottle of Xtracrylic out as it keeps splitting whilst it's drying and leaves a horrible mess.  That was redone with a different bottle and the glazing can go on tomorrow after I sort out a few other things.

Back to the 528/535.  I decided to tackle the wing roots, or rather the big holes that should be the wing roots.  Scrap resin pieces, scrap card, superglue and baking soda - all were employed to get something looking reasonable, although I have to sort out the trailing edge root as it just.....  One other thing I noticed on the Hygate plans was the belly tank wasn't the same one that the Swift used and it looked familiar.  Off I went to the only Airfix Swift I have and pulled out the tank.  Sure enough, this was what I was thinking and it matched the plans nigh on perfectly.  Would that it matched the fuselage perfectly, but then again, what's a bit more filler for?

TBH, given the issues I've faced, there may only be one of these, but IF I were to do another, I'd start with the Testors Swift for all the flying surfaces and an Attacker fuselage for the main body, suitably chopped about. Actually, I'd probably assemble the Swift fuselage, complete with wings in situ and then cut them out along the fuselage keeping the bottom of the aircraft in place, cutting out the corresponding section of the Attacker and do a cut and shut.  Although this would have to be a flying model, as I don't fancy having to grout out the wheel well bays.  Whichever method I empoy, it'll entail a great deal of sanding.

I've also started cleaning up the replacement Swift F7 that I got a few weeks back to replace the built up one that's become the PR6 (confused?  Yeah, so am I and it's me building the things...)  The wings were cleaned up, the fuselage too and I tried to get the cocpit module to fit a bit better than the one o=in the FGA4.  Hmm, it's a bit better but still horrible.

TBH, with the availability - pause for sarcastic response - of the far superior Airfix Swift, I'd advise to go for the latter, except I'm converting it back to a fighter for the FGA role.  IIRC, the only Airfix one I've built (but yet to finish) is going in the same role, albeit as a late one with the longer nose with electronics and black boxes rather than cameras.

This from the stash thread got me thinking whilst I raided said kit for the belly tank.  I'm using the Swift in the FGA role instead of the Hunter - or as well as the Hunter, and as it was very solidly built, it could have lasted in said role almost as long.  Now, The Jaguars didn't last long before they were upgraded with laser designators in the early 70s and if the Swift FR5s that are kept in storage as spares for the FGA4s are available for conversion?  If I splice in something that looks like a laser designator, then we're laughing.  It means I can get that one done and dusted.  How many Swifts is that on the go now/  Eight, I think.  or ten if you included the 535 and 545.  And I really didn't want to get sucked in with them...

More long term hangar queens - well, one- have had some work done.  I managed to get the interior of the American Gyro Company Crusader painted and some tape seatbelts in place before gluing the central pod together.  Bit of cleaning up and it'll be ready to fit to the rest of it.  The overall effect of the type is of a very primitive Vampire with light prop engines and trousered u/c.  Actually, it looks very Airspeed or De Havilland anyway and I'd like to do something similar starting with a DH Comet racer and some Vampire tailbooms.

Finally, I also did some painting on the interior of the Airfix Basset that may well end up as an Acklington station aircraft.  They're going to get a few of the light trainer types as hacks to go with their Spitfires.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 08, 2020, 12:52:43 pm
"I'm bored and deserve to die. This is the end. Armageddon! No future!"

Haven't done a lot since last week due to the change in weather.

I did get the pod attached to the rest of the Crusader, but then during sanding the filler off it got dropped and the booms broke off.  Not that bad a problem, it was a clean break and their vacation allowed better access to the wing roots to do the sanding there.  I'll get those back on and once I find the masks for the canopy, I can get on with painting the beastie.  I've long been thinking on a Malta/Transport scheme for it but there's others that are niggling away too.

The Fuji light aircraft thing got started and it's not a bad little kit.  The mainwheels have got to go and there's a few small fit niggles but it should go together quite quickly.

The Xtrakit Hunter T7/8 arrived today.  Now, I'd held off on getting one of these for some time as I'd read a few negative things on Britmodeller about fit and dubious accuracy.  Could they be right?  Well, yes they could but they could be wrong too, as if anything I think they've underplayed just how poor this rotten thing is.  And at £20 it's certainly overpriced.

Quite where to start.  Shape I think.  Two seat Hunters,  due to the subtle and complex curves of the widened nose, have always been a problem for whoever is doing the tooling and I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what's quite right or wrong.  Certainly compared to the PJ front end, the spine aft of the cockpit looks a tad skinny.  The jetpipe is definitely wrong for a British machine as it has the big bore exhaust of the F6/FGA9 instead of the correct small bore F4.  Fixable, if you have the spare small bore jetpipe from the PJ T7.  The gun blisters look a tad anaemic, and the tanks - you only get the smaller ones - look somewhat undernourished.  Again, fixable if you have a Revell or one of the other FGA9s and using SNEBs instead of the small outer tanks.

And then another cursory glance at the sprues.  The boundary layer splitters look more like scale railway sleepers and the wheels...  Do my eyes deceive me or are the wheels in the Frog F1 better with more detail?  No, they don't and the 60 year old Frog wheels are better than these... buttons.  Revell were slated and rightly so for the size of the wheels in their Hunter but these really are far worse and the nosewheel manages to be even smaller than the Revell one.  Fixable, again, with a spare u/c from a Revell kit if one has built a T7 from that and the PJ conversion which comes complete with replacement u/c.  But all the replacement parts shouldn't be needed.  How much am I replacing so far? 

Edit: Looking at the etched fret, it would appear that the wheel hubs are on here.  However, why?  There's no real need to do etched hubs, although reasons.  Looks like it's been done just for the hell of it.

Worse to come?  Oh, believe me, yes there is.

Test fit.  I've only played with the fuselage and the wing so far but already i just want to throw it in the bin.  The fit of the wing to fuselage is frankly appalling, because it just doesn't want to happen.  And if it does, I've a feeling there's a moulded in dihedral rather than the slight anhedral that the Hunter displayed and Revell got bang on the money.  The Revell fit isn't quite perfect but it's a damn sight more positive than this absolute train crash.  I did consider replacing the wing with a spare Revell one (it's not spare - yet - but at least one Hunter is going 1083 with Colin's conversion so the wing is theoretically spare). but there's a dirty great moulded in box in the recess where the wing goes that makes that somewhat difficult without resorting to the drill, the hedgetrimmers and some household bleach.  Already, I can see PTSD flashbacks to trying to get this utter parcel of toss together happening at some point in the future.  It comes to something when the prospect of building the 45 year old basic and inaccurate Matchbox kit is more appealing than building a supposedly state of the art kit from 2011.

Honestly, who designed and produced this crock of crap?  MPM, it says on the instructions and 2011.  So why is it nearly as bad as some of their earlier efforts?  I'm going to be frank here and say to anyone who is thinking about getting this utter parcel of sh*te to save themselves the grief and just shell out for a PJ conversion, even if it is pricey and a Revell Hunter. If you don't have this kit, good for you and avoid it with the same vigour you'd avoid one of Unicrap's abortions.  If you do, then get rid of it as quickly as possible.  Or at least, think of it as an ill fitting conversion for the Revell Hunter.

More thoughts about Venoms and Vampires.  One of the rather old school ways of getting a Venom was to do a cut and shut with the Frog Sea Venom for the bulk of the airframe and a Heller Vampire for the front end, with a lot of sanding to sort out the fairing at the back to get rid of it.  There was an article in SAM in the mid 80s, possibly by Pete Lockhart of Maintrack.  Well, I'm thinking about that, albeit not quite as I'm thinking more along the lines of a single seater for the navy instead of the Sea Hawk.  You'd be carrying more spares for one aircraft instead of for two and I'm sure that the bean counters safely shining their office chairs in Whitehall would appreciate the meagre savings to plough back into something less worthwhile.  More on this if and when it happens, but I've several cheap Frogspawn Sea Venoms to play with and more Heller Vampires than you can shake a stick at.

And at last we reach the end of the world.

I recently reread "The Last Flight of XM594", about a Vulcan dropping nukes during a cold war hot scenario in 1984 (apt date!) and I'm now tempted, quite strongly, to do a WE177 armed Vulcan in 44 Sqn's markings with that serial and the late overall wraparound scheme, very likely from the new Airfix kit as it has a full bomb bay.  594 still exists at Newark Air Museum, but is in a different scheme.  Thankfully, the world of "Protect and Survive" didn't happen, so that's not an issue.  The story explains the Vulcans being kept due to the worsening political situation, rather than being retired, so perhaps the camo got changed then. 

I'd also considered giving it the pylons and missiles for a Shrike armed one, as the missiles would come in handy when breaching WarPac defenses, but the text of the story doesn't mention them but then I can always do a different Vulcan during the same apocalyptic period with them, although probably with an old tool Vulcan as I have a  few stashed away.

So I go shopping for nukes and I know who to get them from - Freightdog.  And then I spot the WE177 conversion for the new tool Airfix Brick and decide to give that a spin too.  I know there's some part started old tool ones left at me Mam's so I may well dig one or two out for a Paveway equipped one dropping bridges and railway tunnels in East Germany and Poland, although they'd likely be one way trips, not that there's much to come back for.

I hadn't intended getting a new tool Brick, for the simple reason that I'm not that interested in the type and have several part started older kits tucked away in me Mam's loft - if I was that interested, I'd have finished them.  I haven't so therefore I'm not.  But this has got me thinking, plus the possibility of an S.1 in RAF colours - which I doubt anyone has done yet - and  whilst I had planned on getting several Xtrakit Hunters, the sheer vileness of the kit has forced a drastic rethink and they're now cancelled.  They're so vile I'm even considering buying an Odds and Ordnance one from Alleycat, and I'd vowed *NEVER* to deal with him again.  So I have potential cash going spare, Uncle Frank opens soon, and I'd like to put it in his pockets rather than faceless ebay sellers and shifty UK garage producers.

I've just remembered I've a "Red Beard" Brick conversion I got from Martin a while back and I'd never got round to using it.  That was intended to go on the older Airfix kit and I do have a set of Modelart intakes geared to go with that kit.  Hmmn.  Say the S1s are transferred to the RAF when the Navy upgrades to the S2 and then used as interim Canberra replacements in Germany whilst BAC are working up TSR2 production.  DSG/DG over white and the smaller S1 intakes plus glossy type Ds and one of the less sexy Brick units - say 15 sqn? - and I think we could have a go.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 09, 2020, 01:19:38 pm
"Look! Just give us the note!"

I've done some basic cleanup with the Pegasus Swift that I got from Kitbasher and whilst the rear fuselage is a tad bent, it will go together, especially after given the hot water treatment.  Although a few bits are by necessity of the limited run process a bit woolly, they're not that bad.  It certainly *is* buildable - I wrestled one together nigh on 30 years ago, putting in a reasonable attempt at a cockpit interior, although it got finished by someone else - and it's probably going to be another variation on n FB4 or FGA4. Again, I'm thinking of another airfield decoy, possibly with a tarpaulin over the cockpit so I don't have to put one in. 

Although that's cheating and a few bits of plastic card to represent some basic side consoles shouldnt be too hard to do - if I can do it in '91, I can do it now.  Although I could spend the wadge to get a resin upgrade for the Aifix kit and use the plastic from there to upgrade the Pegasus.  It certainly needs a new u/c and Dave had included the Aeroclub white metal set.  Although they're nice, the mainwheels are integral with the leg and looking at the ones in the Airfix kit they look to be exactly the same as those applied to Sydney Camm's finest, so I could steal a set from the Revell Hunter and I know I have at least one spare set.

I have some vague memories of Mike McEvoy building one at Donnington in 1996 - well, certainly sanding a partially assembled one into a shape more resembling an F2 rather than the FR5 of the kit - and he told me that he was doing it in 74 Sqn markings as they were to have been recipients of the F2 until it was realised by all and sundry that it was a deathtrap.  The nose on the kit does look to be a bit short for an FR5 and that had sparked his using it.  Still thinking about splicing in the laser nose from a Jaguar but I disposed of all of mine a good decade or so back.  I've a feeling Nev may have got them, not that I had many.

When I went looking for Vulcan decals yesterday - found all the ones I have but not one had the serial I was looking for - I chanced upon another copy of the Meteor sheet I referred to a week or so bak and two copies of the Hunter sheet with the 74 Sqn markings.  I now have more than enough to do the few 74 Sqn Swifts I was planning on, at least the F7s.  I did start cleaning up the Magna one but didn't get much further than that.

I'm having another think on the RAF Buccaneer S1s.  Not much just something that's very subtle - one in anti flash white with the toned down markings.  Doesn't look much different from a Navy one right?  Well, once it's got a fin flash and another unit marking, it should be just different enough to annoy the purists and that would never do...  How many S1 conversions do I have?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 11, 2020, 05:08:25 pm
"Well! That is the first sensible thing you have said all day."

Did some tidiying and condensed several Spitfire spares boxes - or rather, boxes with spare Spitfire bits - down into one, although it still barely scratches the surface..  In the process, I came across a part started Airfix new tool Defiant and I was determined to get it together, as there wasn't that much to do to get the airframe together.  Basically a quick coat or two of paint in the cockpit, some tape belts and glue the thing together.  I'll let the glue cure overnight and get any filler needed on it in the morning.

I'm not planning anything too radical, other than a change of location for whichever squadron it's assigned to, said location being RAF Acklington, which did host Defiants of 141 Sqn before they were re-equiped with Beaufighters in summer 41.

Tother thing I did today was try and get the Boeing XF8 a bit further forward, so the instrument panel was assembled - one of those film things behind etched brass - although I made a bit of a hash of it through rushing it.  I'm not that invested in this thing, I just wanted it built and out of the way, but I do think I could have made a better job of the cockpit so far, even though it's likely to be unseen.  I decided against the etched belts, preferring my usual tape because I know what I can and can't do and I'm happy with that. The fuselage is now together and some filler applied underneath.

It's a BIG aircraft, especially for a single seater, and it dwarves a Firebrand, makes a Wyvern looks small and even manages to make the Spearfish look a bit weedy by comparison.  Still undecided on scheme - FAA or High Altitude Day Fighter?  Given that it could carry a reasonable bomb load internally for a good range (I forget what it was), the former may be a better idea and assign it to one of the units attacking German shipping in northern Norway.  I may well do that with the Magna Firebrand that got stalled - the dark scheme would certainly hid the flaws of the horrid early Magna kit, although it would have the front of the cowling replaced by a copy of the new tool Valom one.

The Pegasus had the fuselage dipped in hot water to try and straighen it out a bit.  It worked, but showed up a need for a judicious snading to try and bring the width of the rear fuselage down a tad to something a bit more realistic.

Just another spin on the slowly rotating carousel of death.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 14, 2020, 02:53:38 pm
"Why won't you let me set off the bomb, you b*******!"

The XF8 is as about as together it'll be prior to getting a coat of primer.  It's a BIG aircraft - think 48th Bearcat with a 72nd pilot and you're about there.  I'm still undecided as to whether or not to fit the drop tanks, although it'll need them for trips to Northern Norway to sink a few ships.  Paintwise, it's definitely going in the EDSGover Sky scheme worn by anti shipping aircraft but I'm tempted to leave the engine cowling in natural metal or possibly white as a quick recognition feature.  I know the Mauler is going in a naval scheme, although as that didn't come with any stores in the kit - Siga did that as a separate kit - it's just going to be a prototype. 

The Defiant is also about ready to prime too.  Comments in the stash thread about the kit and what to do with one sans turret led me to suggest a cross kit with the Pegasus Defiant Target Tug to do a decent version of the latter.  Anyhoo, that led me to digging one out - it's a bit rough and ready but it's certainly buildable and being one of his late 80s kits, came with some really nicely cast metal.  And I find an assembled TT that I was gifted some years back.  The canopy has long since vanished and I've a feeling I stole the white metal u/c for the single seater with the BFO guns under the wings.  But I had intended to do it as a radar equipped nightfighter, with 4 20mm Hispanos in the wings.  The canopy is a bit ropey, but I've several spare Airfix ones and it will fit.  I also found I had a spare set of Airfix u/c that I don't know where they came from, but they'll come in handy too.

I suggested a back dating of the type to an earlier version sans turret and with a Scarfe ring replacing it with a pair of Lewis guns, a radial engine and either spats or  trousered u/c.  Possibly in markings for RAF Habaniya in 1941.  I rather like this idea but I feel using the older Airfix kit is a better idea - more rivets, the engine needs replacing anyway, the fuselage doesn't flare out so much and it's more suited to hacking about.  If you can get something decent out of teh old Defiant kit, you've proved yourself as a decent modeller and it's something that most British modellers will try at some point.

I've managed to find the Airfix Buccaneers in the loft at me Mam's, discoving I had two assembled and one off the sprues but no further - 3 in total.  This is handy, as the latter will become a Red Beard equipped one, but I'm not sure if it'll be RAF or FAA just yet.  One of the other two has the flat bomb bay, so that's going to be a Gyron Junior RAF S1 in the early scheme, probably in the early scheme worn by aircraft belonging to 237 OCU, and thankfully I have a set of the airwaves early pylons in the box of bits, along with several sets of Aeroclub bang seats and u/c sets.  Result!.  The last one was originally going to be a navy one with the bulged tank, but somehow morphed into an RAAF one, although it never got much further than a coat of primer.  I did fit the later missile pylons and the chaff dispensers, so this is now going to be a Paveway equipped one in February 1984 in Germany, as part of "Protect & Survive".  I'm planning on a WE177 version using Uncle Colin's resin conversion for the new tool Airfix kit as part of the same theme.

I did locate my box of RAF weapons, the Hi-Tech ones that Airfix brought out at some point in the 90s, so I know I've a stash of assorted lethality to equip these with  I'm just wondering if I could fit either a pair of Paveways or WE177s under a Hunter, although I'm unsure if it was ever cleared to carry such a load.

I did dig out several other things, which are all part of a similar theme.  First was an Airfix old tool Vulcan, and this will be one carrying Shrikes as well as the (internal and therefore unseen) WE177s.  And there's two in the box.  I did locate the box with the Vulcan and three Matchbox Gnats, so I know where that is.

Second was an assembled Blackbeard resins TSR2 fuselage.  IIRC, I was going to do it as an Indian aircraft, but this may end up as something else.  I dragged out an Airfix one too, just to see if it's as vile a fit as I remember.

Last thing I dug out was a part started Airfix MRCA.  Now this one is going to get a drastic nose job in the shape of a TSR2 front end, because I remember reading an article in a magazine a while back - and typically, I've forgotten which one - which had a three view of an early MRCA proposal with a TSR2 front end, and naturally, having the bits and an interest in one if not necessarily the other, I wanted to cobble one together.  I *really* need those drawings so I know where to cut the TSR2 front end - is it forward, aft or in the middle of what would have been the electronics bay on TSR2? Having compared the resin front end, it'll fit and definitely will not be a tail sitter, not with all that weight at the nose end. 

After a quick search on ebay, I found it was the November 2019 issue of The Aeroplane - and I have it! - and it's not a Tornado, but the Vickers Type 589, which led to the Type 590 to AST355.  Drawing shows cockpit is cut aft of the nav position.  It's not quite a Tornado, but it's close enough for me.  The fin is closer to TSR2, so that will help.  I may keep a number of the Tornado features as mine would be a production aircraft and thus different to the drawings - many of the same engineers would have worked on TSR2 and later Tornado with everything in between, so there's a good grey area to argue in.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 15, 2020, 02:12:12 pm
"I hope this isn't a dud!"

Went to see Uncle Frank and to put some shekels into his pockets.  Not as many as I wanted to but that's because he didn't have what I was after  - a new tool Buccaneer and an Xtrakit Meteor NF11/12/14.  TBH, the Brick he's ordering in and he's giving me the decals from the Meteor - I only want the 64 Sqn ones anyway and they're in the new Special Hobby NF12.

The Buccaneers that I do have are moving along.  Well, two of them anyway.  The one in white primer had the engines removed and replaced with the S1 engines from Model Art.  Sadly, no distructions with them but I managed to fudge it and got them fitted, although there were a few fudges along the way.  All filled now with a noxious brew of superglue and humbrol filler, which is all sanded back.  I reshaped the wingtips to the earlier configuration, although this was more luck than judgement as all my references on the type are still in the loft at me Mam's.  I should have the wings back on it later, plus the airbrakes, so it'll get a new coat of primer sometime soon.

The other one, the one that's not assembled, now has the Red Beard insert in the bomb bay and the intakes are painted as well as the engine fans, so I'll get the main fuselage together later.

Where do the Bricks fit into my view of the RAF post 1970?  The S1 is an interim trainer.  The S2 is grudging bought as a stopgap until TSR2 enters service in the early 1970s, but with the Brick in service, the RAF doesn't get the 300 or so TSR2s they were angling for.  The Brick is used as it was OTL, as a Cranberry replacement in Germany whilst the TSR2 is kept largely in the UK as backup as a sophisticated penetrator if the excrement hits the rotary device.  Lightning stays in the ADV role, with Harrier as the Hunter replacement. 

One other thing has had me thinking.  The RAAF.  We all know about that fool Mountbatten with his cards and "one of these or five of these" but everyone who does the RAAF Buccaneer doesn't stop to think about it, they just do the S2 as the export version whereas if the RAAF had bought it, they may well have got the S1 if they're buying them off the shelf.

The TSR2/Tornado is shelved until I do some more thinking.  The airframe is too far from the drawing and I really want that blown up to 72nd before I do anything else.  I did cut the fuselage of the TSR2 down, realising that I'd have to take a slice out of the centre of the MRCAto slim it down.  Bit too much to do right now.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 17, 2020, 01:05:46 pm
"Look, I'm in a bit of hurry actually. You see I'm trying to hide from someone. You haven't seen a would-be Sociology student being chased by a lion, have you?"

Two of the Bricks are moving along nicely.  The S1 is now resplendent in a new coat of white primer, but that showed up quite a few flaws, so they got filled.  I decided on white primer as firstly, it was intended to be an RAN aircraft in white.  I *think*...  And secondly, that's going to be the underside colour anyway - I decided to keep it in similar colours to the pre-production TSR2s.

The Red Beard one is together, largely.  The tailplane and nosecone are being replaced with resin ones I found in a bag in a Mosquito box of all places and for the life of me I don't know where I got them. 

One of the things I may well do with a new tool Brick is something I intended to do years back - a Navy one with the bulged bomb bay, tanks and a pair of Sea Eagles, or given the time frame anti-radar Martels, chaff dispensers, with the usual overall EDSG and the 1970s tactical roundels.  This will be one of the aircraft operating from CVA01 during the Falklands and will sink the Argentinian carrier.  I still want to do the spoof front page of The Sun with a carrier on fire and the headline "GOTCHA!"  I also quite like the idea of one with Shrikes and certainly another with cluster bombs.

The number of Bricks that I want to do is starting to grow exponetially, which is not good for the bank balance.

Did some more clean up on the Pegasus Swift and I'm coming to the conclusion that it's closer to an F4 than an FR5 - the nose is definitely too short for the FR5.  Which means the CMR original was probably wrong too.  It wouldn't take too much effort to backdate to an F2 either, largely by sanding back the dog tooth, but I'm doing another FB4 and I'm happy with that.

The Jaguar laser nose is now spliced into the assembled Airfix one and it looks...  Well, odd, almost like a beak, if that makes any sense.  Undecided as to scheme or user - I did think wraparound and early 80s, possibly with one of the tactical weapons units, but then thought of the type's swansong marking targets for Buccaneers and TSR2s in Gulf War 1 and overall desert pink.

The first Magna FR5 that's becoming an FB4/FGA4 now has it's tank on and I've sorted out the tailplanes as I'd given them the wrong angle.  After that, I cleaned up the second one and with luck I should have the fuselage of that and the second F7 together tomorrow.

Really need to do some more work on the 545 though.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 20, 2020, 04:26:12 pm
"What do you mean? It was your idea to play 'Hide and Seek'!"

One of the things I've been looking to do was a delta wing Hunter, using the Revell kit as a basis, but I needed to blow up the drawing in the Mason book on the Hunter, which naturally I've loaned out and don't have access to.

However, I have the greatest reference library in history at my fingertips, even if much of it is porn, I managed to find a decent sized quality 3 view of said aircraft.  Downloads it, pulls it into Quark to resize it, and thankfully downwards.  To this end, it has a very useful scale on it.  I should be able to get a few copies run off to play with.

One of the other interesting things I noticed about the drawing, apart from the re-heated tailpipe, is that the wing appears to have a 60 degree sweep, in common with the Lightning and the TSR2.  That being the case, could the latter provide a basis for a conversion wing?  I'd also intended to do a delta Lightning using the same wing, but possibly an Airfix one, given that the wing is in two halves which means that putting in wheel well bays would be easier.  If I want to do a flying one, the mould I still have for a resin one was dug out last week.

So, long term, I may be able to cobble something together using an Airfix TSR2 wing for use as a possible master for a delta Hunter based on the Revell kit.  In the short term, I'll cobble together an in flight one using the resin wing.

Still not sure quite what I'll use for the tail fin, although after consulting the three view again, repurposed TSR2 bits could be useful and the Airfix one that's on the go its getting it's fin replaced by an Odds and Ordnance one I've had for well over a decade.

And does this mean there'd be a delta winged Huntsman too?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 21, 2020, 03:49:57 am
"It's a thought, I suppose. Make a great play!"

Just poured the resin for a TSR2 wing to scratchbodge the delta Hunter.  It's the first time that mould's been used in a good 15 years  so hopefully it should come out okay.

Also cast a few other useful bits - TSR IFR probe, more spinners, RR Eagle Tempest cowling.  I've had a thought for the latter, putting a pair on a Lancaster in the outer position as a testbed.  Only snag is that I don't have any Wyvern props.  Still, it'd look good anyway.

Really need to get the rubber poured on the other moulds.  They've been sitting there long enough...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 21, 2020, 01:53:41 pm
"Doesn't it? Well maybe that's what's going wrong!"

The wing came out of the mould intact, although the trailing edge is a tad thick.  Now, that may be a problem for a TSR2, but not for a Delta Hunter.

Finally managed to get the drawings printed off and having dropped an Airfix FGA9 over them, I know it'll work.  But not with an Airfix one, because the whole fuselage is a lot shorter for a start and the intakes move forward - same size, just further forward.  With the Airfix kit having the intakes moulded integral with the fuselage, they can't be moved forward, so I may have to start with a Revell one (but had on a bit...) It also looks like the u/c is in the same location, so the cutouts are going to have to change.  It's not quite as simple as it looks.

The wing.  Well, I was right about that saddle - it is indeed 60 degrees of sweep and a TSR2 wing just falls over it, and the tips of the delta Hunter are just inside where the wing tips start to droop.  The wing is shorter in chord, so I can hack off that over thick trailing edge and give it a jolly good sanding.  Tailfin, well I haven't checked that yet but I went rummaging in some spares boxes and located the remains of an unbuilt Merlin TSR2 (don't snigger at the back there, Spackman!)  Now, the wings are twisted useless garbage, but the fin may well be useable.  Bearing in mind it's going to get cut down and sanded to within an inch of it's life, it may be a decent enough basis.  We shall see.

I did think about backdating the whole concept, even before I got the plans and realised that the intake location had changed, and going back to the very early P.1067 Demon with the T-tail and the nose intake.  I've got a couple of the abortive kit kicking about, so I may well cobble something together along those lines.  The nose intake requires a bit of work, but it's all fairly straightforward, especially if I do a gear up flying model.  Which isn't a bad idea as it would only comprise about 9 bits.  May be my entry for the prototype gig, but I'd want to do mine in camo rather than boring prototype markings.

In other news, the Meteor NF14 fuselage is now together, having had no fewer than four transverse bulkheads installed to try and stiffen it up. It seems to have worked and feels quite solid.  The filler is on and curing, so the proof of the pudding will be sanded off later.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 22, 2020, 05:28:41 pm
"And what's the problem, Neil? The dummy run was a complete success!"

Well, the filler on the Meteor is all sanded off - around the upper decking that is - and it all looks pretty decent, although the real test is when the Halfords primer goes on.  The tailfin went on, courtesy of some Locktite before bathing in Plasticweld.  Sounds somewhat brutal perhaps but you can't do anything by halves with this kit as it *WILL* fight you EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. WAY.

On with the belly tank and then Stop! Filler Time!  Part assembled the wings and then left it.  Given the vile ill fitting nature of this beast, small steps are those best taken, otherwise despair and utter frustration will set in, before being overtaken by sheer rage and a desire to throw the thing off the nearest wall.  Especially after a test fit displayed that the wings do not want to attach to the fuselage properly, as the imbeciles who did the pattern ensured that the lug placement holes are too high up.  Cue trimming down with a scalpel to lower the level.  Got it to a point where I knew it'd fit better than it did, but by this point I was rapidly losing the will to exist, let alone live.

The new tool Brick has arrived and I've spent an interesting half hour doing some test fitting , before deciding that a great deal of the engine ducts really don't need painting at all as you can see SOD ALL inside them.  The fit looks daunting, but is rather ingenious and I'm looking at the various parts on the sprues that will be for the RAF boxing  - such as the early wingtips (also post 1980) and the wing spars with some detail for the open section (again post 1980 after the crashes that grounded them due to wing spar cracking).

I'm so impressed that I'm likely to do at least some sub assembly tomorrow.  I can't really do much else until Uncle Colin gets the WE177 set back in stock.  And whilst I really want to do a wraparound one with the bulged bomb bay and a quartet of Paveways to drop on bridges in East Germany in late February 1984, that will have to wait for the RAF boxing.  I'd rather have two decent Brick kits for this, plus a new tool Vulcan for The Last Flight of XM594.

Delta Hunters.  Tempted with two seaters now, although given the fit of the wings on the Xtrakit one, replacing them with some scratched delta ones may not be such a bad idea - they can't possibly be any worse than the kit ones.  And it means that I don't have to use one of my jealously hoarded PJ ones either.  I did think about a delta 1081, but that would be silly.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 26, 2020, 04:25:33 pm
"That's OK, Neil. It was bound to happen sooner or later."

The Brick was going quite nicely, as I've got a lot of the sub assemblies for the interior done and in place, but I can't close it up until I find out the correct shade of grey that's represented by Humbrols 40 and 196.  I know they're greys, but what shade?  I'm tempted to just go with Halfords finest in the lack of information coming my way, despite asking on the board THREE days ago and no one bothers answering.  Cheers, guys.

The tailplanes and outer wings are on the Red Beard one.  This is going to be a really early one, so likely Dark Sea Grey and Dark Green over white, possibly 40 sqn as I have the decals on a TSR2 sheet.  Underwing it'll just get tanks and RWR bullets.  KISS basically.

Meteor NF14 fuselage just about done, bar sanding odd another skim of filler around the nose.  This really is the definition of a filler hound that fights you every step of the way.  The wings are all done and ready to go on.  Hopefully, I should have it ready for primer by monday, but I'm not holding my breath.

The twin tail Blenheim is together, although I've yet to sort out intakes and exhausts for the engines yet, plus one or two panels have lost their masking due to all the sanding.  I'm planning on giving it a preliminary primer coat of Aluminium to show up the flaws - which Aluminium is perfect for - and then sort those out.  The intakes may well get the sand filters from the word go and I do know that there will be filler needed near the back of the engines, but just the change of engine has done much to make the Blenheim look different, more purposeful, the twin tail just gives it more kick and the four gun turret will be the lead icing on the top of the death cake.

Went back to the Hornets, having cleaned up the Magna F3 which is getting the wings swapped with the NF21, the latter becoming an RAF NF10 and the F3 will become a Sea Hornet F20, although I'm going with the low demarcation scheme and Type C roundels - I've done a SEAC one with BPF markings and don't want to do that again.  The Skybirds one that I got for a pittance at Bolton finally got the wings glued together yesterday, with the engine nacelles getting similar treatment.  The Skybirds kit is one that you can't rush because it will fight back.

So what tangents have we moved onto this week?  Well, I found an Airfix  Vampire T11 that was part started so decided to try and get it to the primer stage, and it's not far off now.  I'm thinking 607 - I don't think they got T11s OTL, as they had a Meteor T7 (I've got those markings but they're now going on a Hunter F4) - but in camouflage rather than High Speed Silver.  You don't see many T11s finished that way.

And then it snowballed from there.  You see, I had a look through the Special Hobby F1 and found the Swiss long nose on it and thought it may be better as a PR nose on an early RAF one, so this is going to be a conversion of the F3, so I get to use the long span tips.  The guns are removed and all the ports are filled.  Erything is largely together, airframewise, although I've yet to add the intakes.

And then I had a look in the Heller Vampire stash, because i had an Airfix box which held quite a few, including a bagged Mistral I'd bought for a quid at a show - although it transpires that it's actually just a Vampire).  There was one assembled pod, one assembled wing and lots of bits, but definitely one part started Mistral, so I just started work on the Mistral and the part started Vampire.

The former is going to be a Nene engined F2 in RAF markings, using a set of Heritage wingtips.  It's together and the filler is curing, although I have to locate a pair of Griffon Spitfire intakes to go on the dorsal section.  Not sure of final markings yet, but I'm thinking of doing it camo, PRU Blue underneath, and with 112 Sqn's sharkmouth, although that's possibly too obvious.  I do want a camouflaged machine though.

And the FB5?  Well, that's an easy one.  Add something that approximates the Sperry autopilot bulge and stick it in RAAF markings and wait for someone to say it isn't a whiff.  Don't don't try it, son.  Wings are on the pod, but I've yet to add the booms.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 28, 2020, 05:55:01 pm
"I don't see what all the fuss is about! Vampires only attack... virgins!"

All the Vampires are largely together and at various stages in the PSR cycle.  The T11 is now ready to prime and I've a comfirmed scheme and user - it's going camo over Aluminium Dope with 607 Sqn markings; they had a Meteor T7 when they were flying Vampires, which really makes sense...

T'other three... The Nene F2 has the upper intakes in place and hopefully the last lot of filler is curing, although I'm sure it'll need more.  The Australian FB5 now has what purports to be a Sperry autopilot blister, actually it's one of the separate blisters Matchbox gave for the side of their Mosquito B.IX. And the PR one looks to be close to a coat of primer.

The Venom that had been given a bit of on and mainly off treatment is now together.  I used the Heller Vampire cockpit, although it took a bit of judicious sanding to go into place.  The tailplanes needed similar treatment as they were a bit too wide.  It's a typical 80s limited run kit that will fight you but once it's together is actually quite satisfying. Pegasus, Aeroclub, Maintrack, Ventura - all give you the basics and you have to do the rest.  They treated the modeller with respect and allowed him to use his abilities to finish it off.  Vast cry from today where people will whinge if they don't have masks or merely have to trim a little bit here and there. 

May be a risky, but I'm going to do it in overall Aluminium dope, because Venoms were always camouflaged, so this will look somewhat different.

The Meteor NF14 is now together and all the PSR is largely done, so a coat of primer tomorrow.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on June 29, 2020, 01:52:21 pm
"That's brilliant Neil! It's working!"

Haven't got much further, other than finish the PSR cycles on the Vampires, so I'll get the u/c sorted out later and get that on so I can get them primed tomorrow.  Same goes for the Meteor NF14.

The Venom is fighting back, as I noticed several things that were all to cock - one of the booms wasn't quite vertical and the tip tanks weren't quite square, so they got ripped off, resanded and superglued back at a better angle.  Still not quite right, but TBH, it'll do and if it sits at the back of a display, I doubt anyone will either notice or care.

TBH, it's a milestone, as it was one of the few single seat post war RAF fighters that I've yet to do (anything designed post 1965 doesn't count)  I've never actually built one, despite having one in the collection for nigh on 30 years.  I think that may well have been an FB4 whereas this is an F1.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 03, 2020, 04:43:26 am
"Brilliant. We are now completely self-sufficient in fertilizer. Speaking of which, where's Neil?"

I've been messing about with a Frog Sea Venom to see if I could backdate it to an RAF one but slung the bits back in the box when I realised that a: it's too much work and b: I'd cocked it up anyway.  I had planned to do something akin to the Meteor NF14 - take something that doesn't have bang seats in, insert said MB seats and apply OTL markings, sit back and watch the punters scratch their heads.  I still want to do it, but the Frog kit isn't the best option.  Unfortunately, the other options appear to be either the expensive and inaccurate Dragon kit or a horrendously expensive resin kit - 60 notes for a Venom?  I can get a CMR Brick for less than that.  So it may well have to be a Dragon one IF I can get one for less than twenty notes.  Okay, the span is out, but as this is the NF4, I can explain it away in the back story - blah blah, altitude, more lift needed due to extra weight of seats, increased fuel capacity, undefined engineering reason.  Take your pick.

So I'm coming back to toying with Vampires, largely because I had to dig out the Aeroclub one I won off ebay a while back as Uncle Frank said he needed the Frog Vampire wings and I said I had some that I didn't need.  This set me looking at it and seeing what I could do with it.  Whoever had it before selling it had opted to use the Heller FB5 wings rather than the Aeroclub ones and TBH, whilst the Aeroclub ones are okay, the Heller ones are better.  All the other bits are still there though.  Said seller had also modified the Aeroclub booms to go on the Heller wing which is nice, but I'm after something just a tad different, largely because the Airfix T-bird is a better kit.

So, what am I planning to do here?  I'm thinking either a backdated trainer or nightfighter, with the original rounded wingtips (easy with some thick plastic card cut and sanded to shape) and the square tail fins with high tailplane.  Canopy, I was thinking about a Mosquito one and crew entry would be via a Mosquito NF style side entry hatch.

As for a possible early NF.  Do similar and I've enough Heller bits, let alone complete donor kits, although I may well use the wings from the Marivox one with the Special Hobby F1 tailbooms.  I'd also like to do a late one, but with a pair of bang seats.  Sadly, I don't think there's a Vampire NF10 kit available, unless CMR do one I've yet to see.  Dekno and Airmodel did conversions (I have one of the latter) but they're both sadly long gone.

I made start on another Airfix Brick, one of the Gulf war boxings of the 1989 tooling.  This is going to be flying off Eagle during the Falklands and one of a trio I have planned.  One with tanks and either Martels or Sea Eagles and partly responsible for sinking the Argie carrier (so it gets a sharkmouth and the pirate flag as the pilot had a relative who was a sub skipper who flew a prate flag after sinking anything, so he's keeping the tradition).  The second is planned to have anti radar Martels with the third - now in wraparound camo (Dark Green over EDSG) with the three row SNEBs from the new tool Brick or the Airfix Phantom and possibly some kind of cluster bombs to keep the Argies heads down.

The Buccaneers are there as it's Eagle that's mothballed rather than Ark Royal (the former was in better condition so it made more sense) but it takes a bit longer to bring her back to service so she sails as soon as she is ready rather than with the Task Force, about two weeks later, so the early Black Buck missions go ahead and destroy the runway.  As Eagle closes in, the Buccaneers are used to supplement the Vulcan raids on the Argie radar. 

If anyone wants to do a Phantom to go with this scenario, feel free.  There's more likelihood of Nicola Sturgeon becoming the next Pope or Sunderland AFC winning the Champion's League than me building a Phantom.

And that, gentlemen, is the current state of play.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 04, 2020, 08:41:53 am
"I've been down the morgue!"

I had a thought earlier with regard to the Phantoms in my "Eagle goes to the Falklands" AU Falklands war - the ex-Navy ones don't go because they've been integrated too well into the RAF and with tensions with the WarPac on the rise, the MoD decide that they're more useful in the UK.  Besides which, the Sea Harriers are good enough for CAP.  Ah, say the Navy, we'd rather have something a bit heavier and we did mothball a number of Sea Vixens, so we'll give them a quick refurb and a repaint and we'll send them down with Eagle. Good show, says the man at the MoD, who sits back and dunks a malted milk biscuit in his tea and promptly pulls in a few ex-FAA Vixen crews who are now on the reserve list.

The Sea Vixens also kind of make good - at least in part - the lack of AEW cover.  Their longer range and thus loiter time plus bigger radar means the possibility of a larger CAP around the taskforce and thus the Etendards may have a bit more difficulty getting to the fleet with their pesky Exocet missiles and even more once the Buccaneers have dropped a load of BL755s and 1,000lb bombs on their mainland airbases during Operation Autosprinkler.

It's also possible that Eagle could carry extra Harriers, she'd certainly have the space.

Why Sea Vixen in the Falklands?  Well, it makes use of a built and primed Sea Vixen that's been tucked away in one of the Drawers of Doom and fills a Phantom shaped gap in my carefully considered "back of a fag packet" timeline.  I've even sourced some interesting nose art, especially for the Buccaneers.  Think along the lines of the 8 Sqn Shackletons and then think sideways.  I'm saying nowt else.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 06, 2020, 06:32:29 am
"I'm right here. I thought the vacuum cleaner looked a bit on the tentative side so I souped it up a bit."

I've made a tentative start on the Vulcan, this being a Martel equipped one for penetrating Soviet airspace as part of "The Last Flight of XM594".  I've plenty of them in various Buccaneer kit, not to mention a box with what remains of a few Airfix NATO weapons sets that I think is in the loft at me Mam's.  Didn't get much further than assembling and cleaning up the intakes, which is a job and a half to get rid of the seams. In addition, some of the scoops and vents underneath are now in place and I've fitted a complex web of scrap plastic card to ensure that the closed bomb bay doors fits a bit better than where it touches.  I'm waiting for a set of exhausts from Uncle Colin to improve that area before I can get any further, whilst on ebay I spotted and then snaffled a set of Mastercasters wheels to improve that area.

Not entirely sure how many Martels I want to fit, although four underneath - two per pylon, cobbled together from those in the old tool Airfix Brick - should look interesting.

Got the wings on the first of the Eagle Bricks and it's not far off a coat of primer, whilst there's another pair on the go now.  One of them came part painted and I did make a start before realising that the paintwork was just too bad and it had to go, so it's in a second bath of Mr Muscle oven cleaner.

Finally, I've had a look at a bagged Fairey Delta I had sitting around and I was thinking of a shortcut prototype fighter version, an ER103A (the ER103C I do have part started somewhere...).  Basically, as little change as possible from the research aircraft - pair of missiles on underwing pylons and a conformal fuel tank under the fuselage plus a radar nose.  I'd have to do something in the cockpit as, well, there isn't one, so I may use a resin tub from an Attacker and a Hunter canopy.  Might do the trick...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 09, 2020, 05:25:20 pm
"Do you think ants go to discos?"

The old tool Airfix Vulcan is a right pain in the arse and no mistake.  It is fighting me every step of the way.  The intakes are bad enough, although they're in and don't look too bad - I've a nice new tube of Revell filler, which is white-ish, so it blends in a bit but it'll need a respray or six, so I've got some sponge in the tubes to protect the fan blades.

Colin's new exhausts are really nice and add a little something, but did take a fair bit of fairing in - either my cackhandedness or the horrid nature of ye olde Airfix kit.  And then we get to yer actual airframe assembly and everything goes all Pete Tong.  Conventional wisdom from people on Britmodeller who say they've built several Vulcans is to attach the wings to the respective top and bottom halves to make everything line up easier.  Well, I did that with the uppers and it made it awkward to handle, so I left them off the lowers and attached later.  Then noticed that the port upper was warped (and this is one of the original boxings, judging by the plastic) so that necessitated several baths in boiling water to see if I could get it looking something nearer reality.  It worked, a bit, and it's sitting drying out.

The other thing that going by this method is that it makes it very awkward to get at the various areas that need major filling and sanding - just holding it to sand out the intakes needed as many arms as Vishnu.  The rear section that houses the parachute and ECM is a particularly bad fit, being shallower than the fuselage.  Cue slices of plastic card and lots of filler, although I did it underneath to try and hide it.  Dust everywhere, but thankfully, this was out in the garden.  I'm about three stages of PSR and I know it needs another.  The back end of the bomb bay door has similar issues and I've only just started that.

Thankfully, this is going in a dark scheme - Dark Sea Grey/Dark Green wraparound - but I'm now rapidly coming to the conclusion that I should just parcel up the remaining Vulcans I have left in one big box and flog it off before the new kit comes out, because I *REALLY* don't want to have to do this kit again - I think this is my fourth, or fifth if you include the bulk of the kit that formed the basis of the Atlantic, in the space of thirty years and largely with ten year gaps in between each build.  Although I'd still like to do an RAAF one...

Bricks.  The third has had the fuselage glued together and it's got some filler on it.  This one, in the current plastic, seems to be be a bit more warped than the others, so it may go in the wraparound scheme and toting SNEBs for strikes against dastardly Argie troops.  I may have to do a fourth, with underwing tanks and a refueling pod, with the remaining station getting a 'winder, as one of the tankers for the raid on Argie mainland bases during Operation Autosprinkler. Can't remember who suggested a low level flythough of Buenos Airies, but that operation would need a different codename - Toiletpaper or perhaps Murdoch?  I'm leaning towards the latter, possibly a humourous jibe with naval high-ups being a bit unsettled by headlines in the gutter press. The former... well, a load of bog rolls dropped over the presidential palace would have Galtieri needing several new pairs of undercowies, so they may just do it for the LOLs.

Finally, the Vampires get a coat of primer and all the flaws show up.  The Venom, in aluminium and being a short run kit, naturally had the most.  The bulkheads in the Meteor may have made it nice and sturdy but that sodding join lined showed through the primed.  Again, more sanding and hopefully that should be it, although like the Vulcan, the top is going a dark scheme so maybe it might mask it a bit.

Speaking of Vampires, I did make a star cleaning up the CMR F1 that arrive the other day.  The resin u/c is going in the spares box and will be replaced with more sturdy white metal.  Looks a nice kit, although cleaning up the pouring lugs was a bit tricky.  Basically, the wings, tailbooms and tailplane are all one piece, with a conventional cocpit that goes in as normal and then the lower fuselage goes on.  Toying with RAuxAF for this one, as I don't think they got them.  No, 501 and 605 Sqns got them so I may have to have a slight rethink, although one in DSG/DG/PRU Blue and 2 TAF markings may be more appropriate, and the dark scheme could hide a few moulding flaws.

Now, do I give it rockets or bombs?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 11, 2020, 12:15:18 pm
"You didn't know I was going to do that, did you?"

Not done anything since thursday as I had some news regarding work that basically took the wind out of me sails and kicked me feet from under me.

Anyway, for those on tenterhooks as to the spiffing nose art that going on the Eagle Buccaneers, I can reveal it here as it's finally arrived:


Didn't see that coming, did you?  Naturally, Dick Dastardly will sink the Argie carrier...  Oh, the Sea Vixen is getting Batman.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 11, 2020, 02:50:17 pm
"No, look. I'm supposed to write an essay on it, right, but... I think I'm just gonna stick it on the bonnet of my car!"

So, what's the thinking behind the Wacky Races nose art for the Bricks on HMS Eagle during the Falklands war?

Well, Eagle (having been in better nick than Ark Royal which was apparently falling to bits in the mid 70s) is the one that gets mothballed, so when the Falklands kicks off and Thatch says "well, what about the Buccaneers and Phantoms on Ark Royal?"  she's told  "Well, we don't have that ship any more, Uncle Jim had her scrapped, but we do still have Eagle gathering moss and barnacles at Pompey"  So they Navy are told to get her ready for sea pronto but it takes a bit longer than the rest of the Taskforce, so she leaves about two weeks later with a quartet of destroyer escorts and an SSBN luiking just in case things get a tad heavy.

During the madcap period to get her ready, there's a load of Bricks transferred back to the FAA but no Phantoms as the RAF says they need them in case of tensions rising with the Russians.  Fine, say the Navy with gritted teeth, we'll just use the Sea Vixens we mothballed with Eagle.

Anyway, the scratch squadrons aboard Eagle enroute south are a mixed bag of reservists and a few dragged back from the Sea Harriers.  They comment on it being a bit of a wacky race to get there and some wag says that what they should use as their nose art - Wacky Races.  Everyone's happy with that and out with teh rum and the gin in the wardroom, whilst the groundcrew good with brushes get busy with their charges.

Basically, I just wanted something a bit fun and different from the usual nose art  and I can guarantee that no one has done this before.

And that, gentlemen, is it.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 15, 2020, 04:32:29 am
"Oh, God. I think I'm going to be violently and copiously sick."

God help me, I started the other Vulcan that was in the same box  as the one that's going to be a Martel equipped XM607 - of which more anon.  This one is going to be an RAAF one - they requested Vulcans in the early 60s and it's something I've been wanting to do for a long time.  I did have a built Vulcan that went to someone else to do in RAAF markings, but it never came back to me and I still want one of my own. Externally, it'll not look too different from an RAF one, similar camouflage other than black undersides as it'll be operating over 'nam.  I'm keeping the tail mounted RWR but the terrain following radar on the nose will be going.  There may be a Buccaneer or a TSR2 to go with it, although the former is more likely to be RAN than RAAF.

I went for the more normal approach and glued the wings together as per the distructions and it's coming along slowly, using some of the lessons hard learned from XM607.  Despite being a later boxing (2005 I think), the plastic seems to be pretty decent and the wings at least aren't warped, although there seems to be a fair bit of flash here and there.  The intakes are together and under a coat of filler - that was done yesterday, so it should be hard enough to sand back now.  I'd like another set of Colin's jetpipes but if he doesn't have any, I've a mould that may provide something a bit better than the awful Airfix ones.  IF they come out that is.

Why build another Vulcan so soon, and why the old Airfix one?  Simple.  It was there and I wanted to see if it was any better than the other one.

XM607 isn't looking too bad - she's got the Olympus 202 jetpipes rather than the 300s she had OTL, but as she's now virtually together and not too far off a coat of primer.  I've tackled the fuel dump pipes, which I absolutely detest and the associated plates above them are going on after the splitter plates were trimmed down.  That whole piece is one of the worst features of the kit and I've got it to look forward to again with the RAAF one.

Next bits to tackle are some filler under the wings and getting the tailfin in place, the gap under the rudder looks big anough to get the Ark Royal through, so I'll extend it a bit with some plastic card.

The Bricks haven't got much further, although I did start number four, this being one of the tanker aircraft for Operation Gardner.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 18, 2020, 09:36:47 am
"Here we are, situations vacant, pages seven to thirteen."

I am getting sick of XM607.  The tailfin/rudder is now in place, so the airframe is largely complete and I've sanded back the filler on the base of the fin, but spotted lots of other places that needed more coats.  Seems to be endles - fill and sand one area, only for another to pop up.  The area underneath at the back of the bomb bay next to the ECM section is an ongoing pain in the arse as it's been filled, refilled, sanded and refilled yet again, but little dimples just keep sprouting.  I've got one coat of filler on it and that's the last.  I'll prime it and see what happens.

The intakes for the RAAF one are all sanded and have had a couple of coats of white primer.  Too late, I've found out that wraparound camo Vulcans have the camo IN THE SODDING INTAKES as well as the rest of the airframe.  I'll plug the base with sponge and see how far I can spray inside.

I still have to assemble the cobbled together designwise Martel pylons for this beastie, but they should look okay.  Which reminds me - I need to look at the missile themselves - do I use the ones from the old tool Brick or see what I can find in the Airfix NATO weapons sets?

The new tool Brick that's part started now has the u/c bay all resplendent in Halfords primer, as it's close enough to the alleged colours on the distructions.  Bit more painting in there and I can get the back end together.

This one is going to be the WE177 equipped one, and will have the underwing tanks so it can penetrate deep into Poland during WWIII in February 1984.  I'm going to have to build the underwing tanks, although I've seen mention that they're a bit skinny.  I may also give it a pair of Sidewinders, using the pylons and rails from the Gulf war boxing of the old tool and 'winders from elsewhere.

The old tool ones that are part of Eagle in the Falklands are moving along slowly.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 22, 2020, 03:49:09 pm
"Yeah, hippie, where's the bloody lager?"

All the filling on XM607 is hopefully done, whilst the canopy is now on, masked and the undercoat of the black interior colour painted on, so if the weather is dry tomorrow, it'll get a coat of primer, which should show up all the bloody flaws underneath.  Again.

The missile pylons are done.  I've used the larger of the two pylons to ensure better clearance for the fins, using them from two kits.  The lower section of the pylon is a twin launcher, made by simply gluing two of the smaller of the two pylons from the old tool Brick together horizontally.  There's some pick up points on the pylons where they would attach to the wing on the Bucc, but happily they line up perfectly with the lugs on the Shrike pylon in the Vulcan.  I'll have to slightly modify one of them as the locator pins on one are in slightly different place, but that's just a question of drilling an 'ole.

Vulcan 2, the RAAF one is getting closer to the centre section being closed up.  The intakes are all done and painted and fitted, with the first lot of filler done and sanded off. The noseweight is in and the cockpit, such as it is - I'm not adding anything other than tape seatbelts on the perfectly reasonable grounds that it cannot be seen - is now resplendent in black. I've still to sort out the seats, but as I'm going to have to wait a bit for the resin exhausts, I'm in no real hurry to do much else, although I may well get cracking on the bomb bay door and try to get some of the filling there done before I have to start cutting dirty great lumps out to get the new exhausts in.  I was minded to leave the RAAF with 300 series Olympus engines but the resin ones do look vastly superior and I've asked about them now, so I have to follow through.

All this work on Vulcans is making me think about that part started Matchbox Victor I have somewhere as I think it may well have been intended for RAAF use.  I think I know where it is, so it shouldn't take too long to find.  At the same time, I'll strip another Vulcan of it's nosegear to go on the one that's on the go.

The new tool brick is together and not far off being primed.  There's a few places where I've had to use filler to hide a few fit problems - the lower nose to mid section join and the exhausts, neither of which wanted to fit properly.  The back end seemed a bit off too, but some judicious sanding sorted that out without recourse to filler.  It does look good though and the few flaws should be hidden by the wraparound camo.  The u/c seems okay, but i'm not happy with the design which seems done to make painting as difficult as possible and the fit of the nosegear is a bit woolly.

Colin's resin bomb bay bits are all cleaned up and a snug fit, although I'm not entirely sure what colour the exposed bay should be on WE177 equipped aircraft.  I'd like to plumb for white but I'd be happy enough with Halfords grey primer.  Whatever colour it is, I'll give ift a few coats before priming the rest but I'll use the kit bomb door to blank it off whilst spraying the camo and then add the resin bits after everything else is sprayed and ready for decalling.

With that in mind, it was time to start thinking about the decals themselves as I'd like to know I've got them.  I've chosen 16 Sqn as a user, as they were in Germany with Buccaneers in the relevant timeframe.  However, I seem to be lacking for Buccaneer decals, locating the remains of an Xtradecal sheet - no 16 Sqn - and a Matchbox set.  This was indeed 16 Sqn, but so misaligned to preclude the use of the squadron markings, although the serials look perfectly useable.  I'll have to go hunting on the Hannants site for Buccaneer decals.

One thing I will need is some 72nd CND badges to go on the bombs, although I have a cunning plan if I can't find any.

See which method I employ in part two.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 24, 2020, 02:00:14 pm
"I still tend to think that the whole outfit is somethat on the snug side."

This will be short.

Decals for the Brick have been located at Hannants and an order placed with Uncle Frank via text.  The model itself is ready for primer and the weapons bay is apparently the underside colour - at least on the photo I've seen, which is a 70s machine with LAG undersurfaces and type D roundels.  Will that translate to wraparound?

Vulcan XM607 is *FINALLY* ready for paint, after several PSPR* sessions.  The underside is still a bit "meh" but I've come to the conclusion it's as good as it's likely to get.  Spraying may commence on sunday after some tidying.

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*Putty - sand - prime - repeat
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 26, 2020, 08:46:02 am
"Quiet, everybody, the bet's on!"

God help me, but I've got TWO Matchbox Victors on the go.

Why two?  Well, one was part started anyway(but not enough...)  and the other was a complete salvage job that had fallen apart and wouldn't take that much effort (pause for sarcastic effect as this is a Matchbox Victor...), although many parts of the original build seem to have vanished and some others have taken their place.

At the moment, I'm waiting for some superglue to cure, having secured enough lead in both airframes to keep the noses purely on the ground.  One still has the wing centre section still in place, the other centre section was assembled earlier and now has some filler on the myriad sink holes.  Oddly, the intake vanes all seem to line up, which is ironic as I'm going to be fitting FOD guards so I don't have to paint in there.

Given the kit's reputation for fit - which so far is well earned - it's going to be a filler hound and I'm sure I'll have to invest in a new tube at some point.

What are they intended as?  Well, I've always wanted to do an RAAF one, but I've decided to go for a more modern grey scheme, albeit three tone RAF greys.  It's a tanker, albeit single point as the RAAF decided on the more flexibility and retained the bomb dropping ability.  The RAF one will of course be a standard 3 point tanker with the correct markings for a real aircraft but in the same scheme as the RAAF one.  I just liked the grey scheme for it and bearing in mind the VC10s went to greys it's quite likely that the Victors would too.  I may have to invest in a new decal sheet as the kit one is long since past the point of usefulness.  I will be adding a 607 shield as a zap, as the aircraft would have been in the static park at Acklington Air Day, an airshow at some point in the late 90s.

Wish me luck as I think I'll need it...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 28, 2020, 03:14:39 am
"I don't know why you bother ever."

Both Victors are getting somewhere but in the process driving me round the twist.  Quite frankly, *NOTHING* on this kit fits properly and after these two are done, I'm NEVER doing another Matchbox one and the one that's left is going to Telford for the Kitswap.  It's nearly as bad a fit as their 32nd Venom that still gives me shudders now, 30 years on.  Even their Meteor is a better fit!

The salvage job is back together, sort of, and when it's finished will be the remnants of quite possibly 3 kits and a tube of filler.  The wing outers were in a box of bits I got ages ago and have been tidied up and the ailerons filled and sanded back - I just have to put in a deep panel line. Would that the rest of the control surfaces be as nice, as none of the flaps line up or even sit properly and there's a HUUUUUGE yawning chasm on the upper wing trailing edge that had to be filled, not to mention various sink holes.  The airbrake section, plus the crew entry hatch, don't want to sit in their relative spaces properly either - the door stands proud whilst the brakes just sink leaving nasty steps.  I'm considering skinning them with thin plastic card and then sanding them back.  Might work...  I do have a more radical back up plan in case this approach fails.  See which method I employ in part two.

T'other one isn't as far advanced, being largely a fuselage and some wing sections that are ready to go together but it also has exactly the same issues, although the flaps are a marginally better fit.

The tail surfaces for both are done and primed, being filled and needing a respray.  I also did the underwing tanks, which revealed a need for yet more remedial work.  I'm about to prime the rest of the bits.

I did think that the Airfix Vulcan was a badly fitting filler hound - I didn't know when I was well off, as compared to the Victor it's a Tamiya kit...
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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 28, 2020, 04:01:32 pm
"Exactly, Neil. And you are a totally different size and weight than a packet of smash, so we should be all right."

The salvage job has been primed, which threw up a number of flaws I was waiting for, so they've been filled and sanded back, revealing a few more.  Sounds to be typical progress with this kit.  The tail surfaces have also been primed and again, there's a few flaws to fix so once they've been done and reprimed, I should be able to get those on by the end of tomorrow and then I can look at getting the outer wings on.

Despite having a pair, I've slowed down on the RAAF one as I'd rather concentrate on getting one to a complete airframe stage.  Ding the two together could well be a recipe for insanity and there's various sections of this build that would try the patience of a saint.  I mean, I've yet to even look at the u/c which I know from anecdotal evidence that it's a nightmare.

I *may* be able to get some of the sections of the RAAF one primed tomorrow, but I'm in no hurry with that one, despite wanting to do it for a good fifteen years.  Another week or so isn't going to harm it.

I did see some Mastercasters wheels on ebay for it, but unlike Vulcan XM607, decided against them - I've spent enough on this build already with replacement decals.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 29, 2020, 01:30:57 pm
"My brain's exploded! My brain's exploded!!"

Having had case to go into the loft at me Mam's to rescue a Shackleton, I had a quick look at some of the larger stuff up there.  Having thought about using the remains of a Victor fuselage as part of a cunning plan to scratchbodge an Avro Trader (a Victor fuselage look to be the right diameter for a Tudor, oddly), I had a look through the box of the remaining Matchbox one before realising that's one for the future.  Had a rummage through the Mach Poo DH Comet (I've thoughts of one i camouflage or possibly even Hemp/LAG) and then my eyes fell on the Valiant.

Do I dare?  I mean, I've a pair of Matchbox Victors that are taxing my patience, not to mention a stalled Vulcan waiting on resin exhausts from Colin.  Do I *really* want to take on one of Mach Poo's finest pieces of crap?  Any sane person would correctly say "no!" but then I've a feeling my sanity went long ago, if I ever really had any to start with.

I had a look in the box.  The interior, such as it is, is largely in, tailfin, tailplane underwing tanks, one of the wings is assembled and it even has a set of Two Mikes resin intakes.  Can it be too difficult to get together?  I mean, lesser modellers than me have managed to hammer them together.  The answer is probably yes as I've seen some of the problems already, although the canopy issue could be fixed by stealing one from the Airfix kit.

So, the sheer insanity and audacity to actually build it, alongside a pair of Vulcans and a pair of Victors, totally to one side, what would I actually do with it?  Well, given that at the same time that the Valiants were being withdrawn from service due to the wing spars falling to bits as they were made from Lego, the entire Hastings fleet was quietly going through a factory at Radlett and having their wing spars replaced.  If the money could be found to do that, perhaps the money could have been found to sort out the Valiants too (apart from the fact that the Air Staff were never that keen on it as it wasn't as shiny or exciting as the Vulcan or futuristic as the Victor) as withdrawal left a gaping hole in the tanker fleet, not to mention SACEURs nuclear deterrent, leaving the RAF looking decidedly embarrassed.

With the Valiants fixed, they're largely likely to be used in the tanker role, and that's what I want to do.  I never did get the tanker conversion that Airfix did for their kit, but I do have several drogue pods from the Matchbox Victor.  Two point tankers, with the conversion not being set in stone so they can be reverted back to bombers if the need arises?  Scheme is likely to be Hemp over Light Aircraft Grey, although Dark Sea Grey/Dark Green over Light Aircraft Grey with the toned down Tactical roundels could be a bit more subtle, especially if it has the markings of a tanker squadron and a serial from one of them too.  Slam dunk, perhaps?  I'm leaning towards the former, as it was one I was tempted to do anyway, but I do like the latter.  Did any of the Victors get the Gulf war Desert Pink scheme?  Although really that's a bit too late.

Bit like any appeals to sanity, really.

Final thought - has anyone whiffed all three V Bombers?  I mean, I'm doing several now and I still have the Skybolt Vulcan I did alongside the Atlantic.  It could make for a fantastic display.
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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 29, 2020, 02:25:10 pm
"Now then, where was I?"

Having had a closer inspection of the Valiant, I'm now convinced it's not such a mad idea - certainly no more insane than taking on TWO Matchbox Victors at the same time - especially considering how far along I'd actually got.

Yes, there's likely to be a lot of filling and sanding - it as a Mach Poo kit after all - and judging by some of the dimples and flow lines in the plastic Halfords filler primer is likely to be deployed.  The port wing needs to be assembled, so I'll get that done, leave it curing overnight and make a start on getting the wing root intakes hacked off to take the resin replacements.  The cockpit just needs a coat of black and the bang seats replaced with Airfix Vulcan ones - Mach Poo's HUGE armchair type contraptions and whilst teh Airfix ones are relly pretty awful too, they look okay after a lick of paint and some tape belts.  Besides which, you can see SOD ALL though the cloudy clear "transparencies" that Mach Poo provide.

The flow lines and dimples in the plastic may necessitate a rethink in the eventual camouflage - the late 70s scheme with DSG/DG/LAG and tactical roundels may be a better option, as the dark colours could hide  multitude of flaws.  I could always do an Airfix one in Hemp instead.

So, that's the state of play.

To be honest, picking up the Valiant to do some work on it wasn't as spur of the moment as it may have sounded, as I've been thinking about doing it for a few days now.  I mean, I'm doing Vulcan and Victor, so why not a Valiant to complete the trio?  It also makes sense to finish something part started and get it out of the way.  As to why build the Mach Poo one?  Well, it was there.  I've paid money so it's not gone to waste. 

It's also the last of the first generation 72nd injection V bombers to do.  Airfix are releasing a shiny new Vulcan later in the year, so we'll have all three in modern tooling - the Valiant may not be currently in production, but I think a rerelease will come next year, if only as part of a V bomber gift set which will be over a hundred notes.

Having done a bit of sanding and clean up, I'm now of the opinion that this is going to be an easier build than the Matchbox Victor.  But that's enough with the idle boasting and back to work.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: kitbasher on July 30, 2020, 01:50:19 am
An act of treason I know, but apols Lee the replies link is sending me to a place I donít recognise as being the forum.  At least not while my only tinterweb access this week is through my phone.

Victors, VC10Ks and Nimrods were not painted Desert Pink as they were already in Hemp.

Two 216 Sqn Tristars (subsequently nicknamed Pinky and Perky) had their fuselages painted Desert Pink.  The wings were left untouched, as was the case when the entire fleet went grey.  Something to do with the Lockheed warranty (honest).

Shiny 10 Sqn VC10s were not pinked up.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 30, 2020, 02:32:09 am
"Doesn't it? Well maybe that's what's going wrong!"

Does the same here but now it's fixed - I tend to cut and paste the last two lines.

Did some more sanding and filling with bits of the valiant - the plastic is a bit soft but easy enough to work with.

The port wing is now together, but I had problems aligning it - everywhere I managed to get in line threw everything else out.  In the end, I aligned it with the exhausts, as they have to be round.  There's a nigh on 2mm step on the leading edge which I'll fill with some strips of plastic card and filler, although I may well try something else, namely superglue and baking soda as I know it's quick.

There was also an odd step on the lower surface of both wings which normally I would have sanded back but on closer inspection it keys into the fuselage and gives a marginally better joint.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 30, 2020, 10:06:56 am
"Why'd I do that?"

Having got the starboard wing all cleaned up, I started hacking out the area for the new intakes to go and it's blatantly obvious to a blind man that they don't fit.  Whichever way they're aligned, there's a HUUUGE step that sanding just cannot cure.  So I've decided to line it up along the top and then use filler underneath.  And then a test fit of the wing reveals that it won't fit with the intakes in place.  Cue more sanding and scraping and they just about fit now.

Closer inspection of the port intake reveals that it's deeper and looks like it's free of the problems incurred by t'other set.  It's quite clear that the masters were based on one particular kit and that they differed from mine.  A good rule of thumb with Mach Poo kits is to get them as soon as they're issued, as the later in the run the release is, the more problems it has.  I'd already hacked the back of one set of intakes off to get them to fit, so rather than nice shiny compressor faces, I'll go for some FOD guards instead.

The fuselage is together, eventually, with a heady mixture of swearing, extreme violence, copious quantities of Plasticweld, superglue, masking tape, clamps, elastic bands and a lot of brute force used in the process.  I've done some filling and sanding but the worst mismatch is around the bomb bay, so I may use a skin of plastic card and a lot of filler to try and sort that area out.  The glazing is in place, largely because I know there's another mismatch there and yet more sanding.

Given that I've decided on a late 70s/early 80s aircraft, should I have it fitted with a fin mounted RWR or is there one already somewhere else in the airframe?

The tail surfaces are cleaned up and the fin got primed, along with the bulk of the two Victors.  The underwing tanks there need yet more sodding PSR.  The RAAF one will need a lot more filler, but it's a bit further down the build list as I'm waiting for decals from Australia for it anyway.

In Zenrat's Victomic thread, he mentioned issus fitting the canopy and he's right,it fits where it touches and the section with the lower quarterlights is a reall problem.  I've added a few shims of plastic card at the back to get it to line up correctly and a great deal of Krystal Kleer to get it to sit.  The plan is to sand the hell out of the quarterlights and then polish them before masking off with tape and seeing if I can restore them that way.

Priming has revealed yet more flaws on the RAF one, but these hopefully should be the last and I can get the fin in place.  I'd like to have the airframe complete by the end of the week.  Be nice if the Valiant could be at a similar stage. 

All three V bombers at once?  Bravery, stupidity or sheer insanity?  I leave it to you to decide, I can't really tell anymore.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 31, 2020, 01:29:47 pm
"This calls for a very special blend of psychology and extreme violence. "

Well, the Valiant's fuselage is almost ready, with just some filling round the glazing before getting that odd cable duct? around the main canopy and some more sanding underneath.  Having done some judicious sanding afer fixing the underside mismatch with some plastic card and two rounds of PSR, it's just about done.  Say what you like about Mach Poo kits - and I have, repeatedly - that plastic polishes really nicely.

Would that the wings be so good.  I've tried using that Holts Knifing Putty that Gondor started using to fix the leading edge on the port wing and in my opinion, it's utter wank.  It takes forever to cure and attacks the plastic.  Garbage and it's going in the bin, although it may work better with resin kits, so I may hang onto it for them.  Anyway, that's sanded back to a degree that I could just about live with and then I started hacking out the intakes to fit the other resin one. 

Oh dear.  If anything, this is even worse than the other one.  Fits where it touches and is not a good fit.  I tried taking a slice out of part of the upright(?) where the wing jois to try and get it to cloe that way and it's marginally better but...  TBH, I'd had a few drinks by then and wasn't feeling it, so back in the box for now.

Pity, because apart from that, it was going okay up until then.

The RAF Victor now has the tailfin in place plus I scribed the lines in for the flaps after blending them all in to try and get rid of the huge chasm that was there.  Not quite as good as I'd hoped, but I can live with it.  The canopy was given a good sanding and looks better - at least the quarter lights are a better alignment now bit really, it's a terrible fit there and indeed the whole sodding airframe is a poor fit.

I have finally got round to doing the scribing on the outer wing sections to restore the ailerons, so they'll get a coat of primer before going on tomorrow.  Again, I'm expecting trouble, so will be deploying the superglue and copious quantities of Plasticweld to get them to fit.  In a way I'm dreading it but looking forward to it at the same time, because it means I now have the second leg of the trio assembled.

Two down, one to go, and the work needed to get the wing on and ready for priming, let alone paint, is going to be considerable.  I think some more filler is required...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 03, 2020, 01:23:54 pm
"But it says here, Michael look, "Ensure machine is clean, and free from dust"!"

I did start a post t'other day but technical difficulties got in the way and consequently I lost it and couldn't be bothered to rekey a wall of text.

So, what's happened?

Well, the Victor has now got her outer wings in place.  All the filler has been applied and sanded off.  There was a decided mismatch in one area, which has been heavily sanded and I applied a piece of plastic card underneath plus more filler to blend it all in.  It's looks a bit awry if you know what's wrong and where it is.  But I'm not saying, so there.  The canopy will need some more work and the pitot tubes need to go into place on the wings (although I may just leave them until just before I need to apply the upper colour for safety reasons), and then attach the refuelling probe.
I'm going to leave off the underwing tanks and the refuelling pods, simply for ease of spraying and masking.  It may well be easier to do the underside of the wings first, then the lower fuselage and then the uppers.

And where are we on the Valiant?  I'd cut out the areas for the Two Mikes intakes and *nothing* would align properly.  But leaving it overnight did some good and I could see better how to fix it.  More sanding, plastic card, superglue and masking tape.  The port wing had the intake attached to the fuselage first and then the wing itself went on once the superglue had set on the intake.  Masking tape held it in place to give the superglue I'd used to tack it in place time to cure before I deployed the Plasticweld, copious quantities at that.  Left it to cure for a few hours and then dropped some strips of plastic card into the yawning chasms that were the gaps and smeared about half of what filler remained in the tube over pretty much every mating surface.

Sanded the whole lot back this afternoon, the intakes are reasonably well blended into the wing now, a few smears of filler to make it good and on with the other intake.  That method didn't work with this wing, so I did it the other way round.  Superglue to take the wing into place, deploy the masking tape to keep it in place and then apply the plasticweld.  Leave to cure whilst I smeared some filler on the port surface of the tailfin to fill a few dents.  Dig out the superglue gel I'd had kicking about the workroom and fit the other intake, the gel giving me a bit of time to fettle the intake into place.  Not ideal but it'll do, so pour some superglue into the gaps and leave to one side whilst I get on with cleaning up the wing fences and a few other bits.

I'd snipped these off the sprue but they look decidedly thick - at over a mm, scaled up they'd be about 7cm thick, which I think is the depth of your average housebrick.  Not sure about the aerodynamic qualities of those, so I'll probably use them as a pattern and craft some others out of thin plastic sheet.

After cleaning up the tailfin, attach the tailplane.  Bit of a tight fit, but got it in eventually after some swearing.  Pour in the Plasticweld and them add some filler.  Cleaned it back an hour or so back and it's looking magic.  TBH, that's been the easiest part of this build so far.

After the tail surfaces, clean up the exhausts and the wheels before it was that time to smear more filler on the wing, using more than on the previous one.  Sanded it back a while ago, although I'll leave the stuff on the intakes a bit longer to cure. 

Next job is to get the tail surfaces in place.  Once that's done and filler applied, I've got the airframe together and I can relax, because most of the hard work getting this thing together is done.  Okay, I've yet to do all the sanding, but the bulk of the hard work is done.  I just have to fight the u/c next but I may well cheat and use an Airfix one instead as I've a second Airfix kit with the B2 conversion and that means the main gear is surplus.

I may even steal some of the Airfix markings too.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 03, 2020, 02:09:39 pm
"I must be hallucinating. What's good for a hangover?"

I am quite possibly going insane.

There's a pair of built up Matchbox Victors on ebay and I'm seriously thinking about getting the better one of the two (naturally, just that shade more expensive), stripping it, restoring the bomb bay but keeping the shorter span. 


Well, with the Valiants still in service as tankers, there's no need to turn all the Victor B2s into tankers and they stay as bombers, but we don't need so many - hence Australia getting them to supplement their Vulcans until they get TSR2) and the few that are retained (say 3 squadrons?) are used for the strategic recon role and long range bombers, with freefall nukes - Victor and Vulcan would be kept in the UK for the strategic role whilst TSR2s and Buccaneers would be attacking the WarPac forces in Germany and Poland if the balloon goes up (See Last Flight on XM594).

Obviously, Victors would be part of the wargames at Red Flag and they go wraparound like the Vulcans.  The Valiants would start to be retired in the mid 80s, so the Victors would be converted to tankers, keeping the Vulcans in the strategic strike role and finally retiring them after the Gulf War.

Just realised that means I can now do the Gulf War Vulcan I've been wanting to do for some time.  And that means getting another old tool Vulcan...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 04, 2020, 07:02:49 am
"I was just beginning to enjoy myself."

The Valiant now has the tail fin on and the filler all sanded back.  That done, off to be primed and not before time because it's decidedly grim out there and showery.  Naturally, the primer has shown up all the myriad flaws which I knew where there, including a nasty crack where the fuselage seam has popped when I dropped it on it's nose on Sunday.  This had a side efect of shifting the nose weight and some of it rattles about and shifts when I'm twisting the model to get at other bits whilst sanding.

There's not as much filling as I'd feared, although the area where I had to blend the intakes into the wings needed a considerable amount of rework.  Overall, I'm really happy with it, largely because although it's been challenging - it *IS* a Mach Poo kit after all and I knew it would be when I dragged it down from the loft - it's been quite rewarding. There's stil a great deal of work to go before I can get paint on it, but it's looking promising.

I caved in to temptation and bought that Victor on ebay.  I'm tempted to go with a similar twin Martel mount under each wing in the location vacated by the refuelling pods and have it as an alternate Black Buck bomber - that capacious bomb bay could carry quite a bit of fuel, so you'd be looking at fewer refuelling stages perhaps.  Or maybe they're there to assist getting through the WarPac defences.

All of this depends on the condition of said model and just how much work I'll need to do to salvage it.  If it's anything like the one I'm working on, it could be considerable but then again, a Dark Sea grey/Dark Green wraparound scheme could hide a lot of flaws.

Can we have a V bomber theme for next year's Telford? Maybe I can sneak one onto the Bomber Command SIG for the LOLz?

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 04, 2020, 02:20:23 pm
"Yeah, it's got a few bloodstains on it."

Having had a better look at the photos of the Victor I've purloined from ebay, I think it should be okay.  We're looking at some basic sanding and filling a few gaps and sink holes, but nothing too major other than the fun and games with the canopy.  The u/c *might* be salvageable, but I know I've a spare set from somewhere.  Just a bit concerned in case it comes apart when I strip it...

I've done the refill after sanding down the Valiant - noticed a few small things to tidy up but nothing too heavy.  I do need to sort out the area around the canopy but will leave that till the rest of the airframe is done.

Part of me is tempted to start the Airfix one as a comparison build.  It's tempting, but really, I've more than enough to do with the other V bombers kicking about here.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 11, 2020, 04:30:50 pm
"You know, I have the most terrible craving for a piece of fried lavatory paper."

I haven't done a lot with either Valiant of Victor, other than tidy up and reprime various bits that need sorting out.  With the Valiant, other than one or two bits, they tend to stay fixed.  Would that they would be so similar on the Victor.  Areas are filled, sanded, primed only to be as bad as they were before.  Some are fit issues directly related to the moulds, and frankly it's dire.  At least the Valiant has an excuse - it's Mach Poo, so you expect a bad fit, but the Victor?  Easily one of the worst ill fitting kits that Matchbox *ever* did and almost, but not quite, on a par of horribleness with their 32nd Venom,.

I've cleaned up some of the smaller parts of the Valiant - namely the wheels and the u/c, which looks very substantial.  I had thought of swapping it out for the Airfix one, but the latter didn't quite fit.  The same went for the underwing tanks, as the Airfix ones are better but look much bigger than the Mach Poo ones.  Again, I decided to keep the Mach Poo bits.  They'll get primed at some point soon .  I know I need to assemble a set of Matchbox Victor refuelling pods for the Valiant, as it'll be  two point tanker.

The built up Victor has arrived, although I haven't got it yet as it's sitting at my postal address.  More sanding but I know I'll need to do some minor surgery to the rear of the bomb bay to remove the refuelling cradle(?) but I have the wreckage of another fuselage that can give me the necessary patch piece.  Other than that, strip, fill sand prime and repeat ad bleeding nausem.  Overall two colour wraparound and a pair of Martels under each wing, on a similar dual pylon to that on the Vulcan, albeit on the refuelling pylon rather than the Shrike pylon from the Vulcan. Never thought about a unit for it, but one of the normal Victor bomber units should do.

And mention of Vulcan brings me to the built up one I've acquired on ebay.  It looks to be more clean up than the Victor, and certainly more repair work.  Plans for this one?  Overall Desert pink with paveways under the wings on the Shrike pylons.  Some of the older hands may well remember that we had a similar model on the stands in the early to mid 90s.

More fool me, but I've volunteered to take part in a proposed V Bomber group build on Britmodeller, if only to get some extra whiffs over there.  Still not quite sure what I'll be doing, other than XM594 with nukes as part of "Last Flight of XM594", but I'm tempted with an operational Skybolt Vulcan B2 in antiflash, bearing in mind I did a camo'd one a decade back.  Thoughts are also turning to another scratchbodge of the Atlantic, although it may well be a master for a vacform fuselage.  Any resulting model would go in the more normal transport scheme, although the greys worn by the VC10s are an interesting alternate.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 12, 2020, 11:54:50 am
"Depends how you look at it, I suppose. Not so good if you're a bit of dirt. But then, who is? Shall I do it, then?"

Well, I've now got my paws on the built up Victor and it looks better than I'd thought, but it's still going to be a lot of filling and sanding.  Mr Muscle will be deployed tomorrow to try and get the paint off then and I'm not sure if I should prime it first to show up the flaws or just start sanding.  The u/c is a complete writeoff, although the nosegear leg may be salvageable.  Luckily, I've a complete set of u/c for the kit and I honestly don't know where they came from.

I've started doing some research for my white Skybolt Vulcan, trying to find a serial for an aircraft that had the various mods to carry it and also a suitable squadron. 617 is out, as it's just too obvious and the camo'd one I did a decade back was with 617, so they're covered.  XM603 is part of the Skybolt batch and that served with 9, 12, 35 and 101 sqns, so that gives me a selection of units to play with.

I've just had a thought for a late BAe operated Vulcan - XH558? - carrying a load of Storm Shadow test rounds.  Overall wraparound or the late 90s greys?  A bomber nose Canberra is also a possibility for that, as there'd be room for all sorts of test equipment and black boxes.  Would there be clearance for a Storm Shadow under a Hunter?  Late P.1121 carrying a pair under the fuselage?  TSR2 I've already done to death.

A tanker in Hemp is another possibility, with the RAF trying their hardest to keep the type in the face of Treasury opposition as they know they'll probably need them at some point.

So, there's a few ideas and with the new Vulcan due, prices for the older kits should hopefully tumble.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 13, 2020, 09:58:37 am
"I'm completely bloody sick of this!"

I don't know if they've changed the formula for Mr Muscle oven cleaner, but it's not working very well.  I've had several attempts now and the white paint underneath is just not shifting.  Well, it has on the fuselage, but the wings...  Well, it's a Matchbox one, so the plastic there is white, so I don't know if the paints coming off or not.

Apart from a few gaps where there usually are on that particular kit, it seems to have been quite well assembled.  The wing leading edges could do with some clean up and the wing joins need filling, but it's nothing that I can't handle.  My fears about it coming apart were groundless, although I deliberately snapped off the underwing slipper tanks and the fin and tailplanes to ease paint removal.  The tailplanes look like they'll need considerable cleanup and rebuild and I've a feeling I should get another tube of filler.

I'm hoping to get a primer coat on either saturday or sunday, but I'm aiming to start spraying things soon.

Vulcan.  It would appear that all the work I did to get XM607 shipshape with new exhausts was all to nowt, as I found a website which gives details of each Vulcan built, what engines they had, Skybolt mods, etc.  It seems that all the (intended) Skybolt carriers had Olympus 301s and just the one ECM plate but my build of what was intended to be XM607 now has 202s and 2 ECM plates.  I'm now thinking that one may be the RAAF one and the one intended to be RAAF will have to have it's wings replaced (they're not on yet) as I hadn't drilled out the Shrike mounting points as it wasn't going to have underwing stores. 

At least I get to use those shiny brass exhausts.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 13, 2020, 01:37:25 pm
"But it says here, Michael look, "Ensure machine is clean, and free from dust"!"

Well, it's as paint free as I can make it.  What won't come off with Mr Muscle will be sanded off.  Leaving it to drain and dry out overnight before giving it a coat of primer to see what I need to fix.  The tail surfaces and wing joins seem to be the worst, but it looks to be relatively pain free.  As much as a Matchbox Victor can be pain free.

Then I have to do it all over again with a Vulcan...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 15, 2020, 08:48:37 am
"No, but it doesn't say, "Ensure the machine isn't full of washing-up liquid"!"

I've been having a few rethinks about some of the planned V bombers.

The Valiant.  Well, the Airfix one anyway.  I had considered a two point tanker in early 80s Hemp but the arrival of the Tanker/Recce add on set has me now decided on a PR machine in MSG/PRU Blue, on the grounds that it's a fantastic combination and looks brill with type D roundels.  A standard bomber may look neat in late 70s colours, but I'm doing the Mach Poo one as  tanker, although it would make decaling easier.  I'm pretty much wedded to the tanker idea, but if anyone wants to do it, they're welcome.  Tornado replacing Valiant isn't a bad idea and would mean some slightly more interesting markings on an otherwise boring aircraft.  Have I mentioned I loathe the Tornado?

The Vulcan.  This is an additional idea, based on the fact that the built up one I've acquired from Ebay (still to arrive) is a Blue Steel one.  There were proposals to replace the rocket in the missile with a jet engine* and had this gone ahead, it may have remained in service a bit longer.  Now I don't know how much work this Vulcan may need, so a dark scheme could well be in order.  Wraparound camo, ditto for the missile and possibly the same wing pylon mounted AR Martels to make getting throough WarPac defenses a tad easier.

I did have an interesting idea for the RAF - with the recent memory of the Falklands and knowing that they would well be needed to penetrate the USSR if the balloon were to go up - to put as many Vulcans as possible out of the reach of the Treasury and their axemen.  They sell them for scrap (plus all the spares) to a private consortium based in Australia or possibly the US (owned and run by patriotic ex RAF service personnel, naturally) and the aircraft are flown out there and cocooned.  If they were ever to be needed, they could quickly be brought back to service.  The crews would be employed by the RAAF as instructors, so they'd be out there "just in case".

As for XM607 and the planned model having the wrong engines... Change the backstory.  After the Falklands and knowing that they'd possibly be needed with the deteriorating political situation, the Air Ministry and the MOD decide that the surviving bombers are throughly overhauled and the type of engines standardised, so all the Olympus 301 series aircraft are fitted with 202 series engines, plus any of the surviving aircraft with the Skybolt fittings get anti-radar Martels to assist in getting through WarPac defenses.  XM594 would get the 202 engines but not the Martels (not a Skybolt machine), but XM607 would get both, plus an additional ECM plate.

A number of Victors are also looked at for conversion back to bombers, although as they'd all been refitted as tankers, conversion back to the full bomber configuration wouldn't be possible.  However, they could be equipped to carry up to four WE177s plus a Martel set up similar to the Vulcan could be carried on the pylons which would normally carry the refuelling pods.  I'm not sure if the Victor K2s retained the H2S though.

Anyway, that's the rethink.

I've also had a thought of a Canberra PR9 in a MSG/PRU Blue scheme, largely as they never wore it but also as I have a part stared one that I'd like to finish.  I'd initially wanted to do an RAAF one in overall NMF, but like the rethink better.  Besides which, Matchbox Canberras aren't *that* hard to find these days.  This rethink was due to the rethink over the Valiant.  And I haven't got a whiffed Cranberry yet.

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*I did start one and got the whole thing together, but got bored and passed it on, to either Falcon or Thorvic, but Falcon finished it off under a Vulcan fairly recently.  No, I'm not spoon feeding you - do the search yourself!
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 16, 2020, 02:27:54 pm
"We had a front door at the last house."

I found the Cranberry and it was indeed in a Fujimi Spitfire box and almost under my nose - about 6 feet from where I sit typing this.  It is indeed part started and wouldn't take too much effort to get to the primer ready stage except...  It's not a PR9 any more.  Some knacka has spliced in a B.(I).8 gunpack so it'd be a high altitude interdictor or escort.  Can still do it in the MSG/PRU Blue scheme.  May have to try and get a few more cheapo matchbox PR9s.  Except the prices on ebay are crazy and it's cheaper to get an Airfix Vulcan for Cliff's sake.

The Victor now has the rear bomb doors replaced and some sanding was done as they wouldn't sit quite right.  I've yet to apply the filler, having bought a new tube of Revell stuff for that very purpose,as being white it contrasts with the grey primer, so I know what needs sanding off.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 18, 2020, 04:26:49 am
"Eh...Sausages. It was a Tuesday."

I should have known.  It's a Matchbox Victor and it *WILL* bite you.  Even a salvage that looks okay...  Paint stripped off?  Check.  Primer on?  Check. Spaces that needed to be filled?  Check.  More flaws popping up?  Definitely.

And all of them are the direct result of the kit's design and abysmal fit.   I've turned my attention to the airbrakes, with one getting a skin of plastic card so it's level with the fuselage, the other getting filler and sanding.  Would that the wings underneath looked halfway as good and as I say, it's due to the kit's breakdown.

The bulk of the filling and sanding is sorted.  Once the airbrake issue is sorted, I can get the tail surfaces back on and refit the underwing slippers.  These have been cleaned up and filled, but need a bit more work before they can go back on.  Then I'll have a look at the pylons.  I'll use some spare ones I have kicking about and remove the refuelling pods.  The pitot tubes will need sorting too, but although I have the bits spare, the sections where they fit are still full of plastic and I'm thinking it'd be easier to just fill them and drill the holes to mount the tubes.  That's the plan anyway.

Really not looking forward to having to sort out the canopy either.

After all these are done, I am *NEVER* building another Matchbox Victor.  Although I do want a fuselage for an Avro Trader.  I've found that the back of a Victor fuselage- from the front of the bomb bay aft - is a good match for a Tudor fuselage and just drops over the plans I've got.  Which is nice.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 20, 2020, 10:57:17 am
"2.999 recurring....."

The endless sanding and filling on the Victors continues.

The salvage job now has the tail surfaces and slippers on, with the filling been done and sanded back.  The canopy went on better than I'd thought, due to a combination of Plasticweld, Krystal Kleer and Perfect Plastic putty.  It's all been sanded back and looks okey but undoubtedly will look terrible once the primer goes on.  I've got to add the outer pylons - not to mention actually make the launchers - and do a bit more filling and sanding before the whole thing can get it's final (I hope...) primer coat.

Haven't done anything with the first salvage job, the one that went to the club, for a while, so that will probably get it's slippers added later today, along with the mid air refuelling intake.  And then yet more sodding filler...

Victor number three has had the bulk of the sanding on the wings done, I just need to add one of the flaps and then I can get them primed.  I would like to get the wings on today if possible, but the air brake area needs a tad more sanding before it looks to be blended in.  The airbrakes, along with the wing fit, are appallingly bad.  I like things closed up, so I dread to think how bad they'll be opened up. Perhaps Zenrat will enlighten us?

I've left the ailerons as they are in the kit on both the RAAF one and the second salvage job.  I really cannot be arsed with the amount of filling and sanding there.  At least with the second salvage one, it's going a dark wraparound, so I can live with it. The RAAF one was to have gone in a similar three tone grey scheme that the RAF K-2 was getting but looking at the later F111s, they look to be in an overall single grey scheme - what colour is it?  Is it in the Xtracrylix range or can I get away with Halfords Primer? That's an odd medium grey that's darker than Med Sea Grey (annoying because it was a perfect match) but somewhat lighter than Dark Sea Grey.

An RAAF TSR2 in that scheme is beckoning...  And I *really* don't want to go down that rabbithole again.

As for the others in the V Force.

I've started tidying up the underwing tanks for the Valiant and the refuelling pods have been cleaned up and filled where necessary.  I've also made some wing fences from some thin plastic card.  Not as thin as it should be, but certainly better than the veritable scale housebrick that Mach Poo provide.  and *YET AGAIN* I've had to deal with more filling underneath where I'd bulked out the fuselage with plastic card to get the depth to match.  Out with the superglue this time - I'm not messing about with it here.

Thinking about Vulcans again, I'm liking the idea of one in a Mid Stone/Dark Earth wraparound for Red Flag.  I know one was painted half that way, with the standard camo on the uppers, but a complete wraparound that way could look fun.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 23, 2020, 12:15:19 pm
"Another half-hour, just a little more time, okay?"

Well, the third Victor now has it's wings and tail surfaces on.  They went on last night and got filled just before I went to bed, so it should be ready to sand off now.  Once that's done - and likely to need redoing in places - I'll get the slippers on and have to do the whole thing over again.  The other two are about ready for a penultimate prime before I get the canopies masked and give them another blast.  Hopefully, I shouldn't find anything that needs yet more filling.  It's a good feeling knowing that the third one is structurally complete.  How many people can say they've done three of these?

Starting to get itchy again as I want to start gluing bits together again.  Thinking of another Vulcan, probably a Skybolt carrier in antiflash white and likely with 617 Sqn.  The RAAF one is stalled largely due to the lack of available Olympus 202 exhausts.  I do have the brass ones, but I want to hang onto them, possibly for that Skybolt one.

When I was at the club the other night, one member said he didn't think it was possible to whiff the V Bombers.  Little does he know.  All you need is a few reference books and a half decent imagination.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 25, 2020, 10:18:18 am
"Look - nobody's fed Special Patrol Group, have they?"

That built up Vulcan I won on ebay a week or so back has arrived and it's pretty dreadful.  Whoever had built it had clearly ignored the instructions, as it had the TFR and RWR fairings on the nose and tail respectively and they'd also fitted (badly) the Shrike pylons, plus the Blue Steel fairing complete with missile.  Either a junior (which makes some sense) or someone trying to get onto the whiff bandwagon. 

Most of the joins are rough as it looks to have been assembled  with tube glue and not sanded back, hence I do think it was built by a junior.  In addition, the u/c bay doors are all closed.  Not entirely sure how well these will come out if I try to remove them, or even if they'll come out in one piece.  The Blue Steel fairing did come out okay and whilst it's unsalvageable, I do have a spare one from the bagged kit I got a few weeks back as that's going to be a Skybolt machine when the AiM conversion arrives. I'll have to dig the Blue Steel out of that to go under this one.  More of which anon.

It's currently sitting under it's fourth spray of Mr Muscle.  The top surface came off pretty easily - this coat is to try and remove the more stubborn or thicker bits - whereas underneath is proving a bit more stubborn, as two attempts and I've only managed to shift about one wing back to the plastic.  Looks to be original too, or at least pre-1995 judging by the colour.

There's a great deal of filling and sanding in a reasonably well assembled kit, and this certainly isn't one of those, so I expect to go through at least half a tube of filler and a full can of primer by the time I'm satisfied it's ready for paint.  Whilst it's in worse condition than the Victor was - that didn't need as much work as I'd feared, although it ended up with it due to me converting it back to a bomber - the shape means that the remedial work is easier to do and I don't have to fight the multipart flaps and wing fit.

Thankfully, this is going in a DSG/DG wraparound with a Blue Steel underneath, albeit the Viper jet engined version rather than the HTP of the original IF I can remember how I did it originally (Falcon got the one I'd started).  Fortunately, the drawing in Project Cancelled appears to be 72nd.  The jet Blue Steel was to have been a low altitude version, an early ALCM, so it fits with the low altitude scheme and TFR fairing.

The long term plan I had to do a Vulcan with three underslung Gnats is now dead.  I could never work out just how the two outer Gnats would be carried underneath and I never did get enough WE177s for them either.  It's possible I could do the proof of concept with a single Gnat in the former Blue Steel bay but really, I think just abandoning the whole thing is a better idea.  It does leave me with a Vulcan free to do other things with.

The RAAF Victor has all the filling done to the airframe, apart from the canopy and is about ready for a prime to tie it all together, although it'll need a final coat once the canopy is in place.  This one is going in overall Halfords primer, which is close enough to the grey worn by current RAAF tanker aircraft.

Final thoughts now turning to a Victor SR2 in a late grey scheme.  There's a built up one on ebay that's not that expensive either...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 26, 2020, 10:44:52 am
"Ehhh, "Six-hundred and four, Toxteth O'Grady, U.S.A.""

After at least eight blasts with Mr Muscle, four scouring pads, the nail brush and a toothbrush, I've managed to get the bulk of the grey paint off the underside of the Vulcan.  Life's too short to try and get the rest off, law of diminishing returns and some of it would be sanded off due to the areas it's in.

The nosegear bay doors have come out relatively intact and the whole airframe is in the bath draining.  I'll take a few photos for posterity - I didn't take any prior to the stripping but did download those from the ebay seller.  If and when its done, I may well write an article around it, but don't hold your breath.  Although on second thoughts, I may well do it as the IPMS magazine does pay by the page and being out of a job early next month, I could use some extra pennies coming in.  If nothing else, it could well raise the profile for the SIG in the magazine.

Still unsure if I should prime it first before beginning clean up of do some and then prime.

Comments on this thread - in the vain attempt that anyone is actually reading it and can be arsed to reply - go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 31, 2020, 10:12:10 am
"Oh, it's broken."

Well, I've finally got round to cleaning up the salvage Vulcan, having left it to drain/dry out for  few days.

TBH, it's a mess and it's clear that it was built by a junior.  Glue stains everywhere, excess glue oozing from the joints, loads of mismatches, gaps left right and centre.  Thankfully, again I'll be deploying FOD guards for the intakes.  Anyway, I've made good the glue staining and the oozed, the u/c doors are out and unfortunately now unuseable.  The remains of the Blue Steel plate have been cleaned out and a new one from another kit will fit where it touches, much like the kit itself.

I did manage to get the canopy off in one piece, only to find whoever had built it had added the crew - well, the pilots anyway - and I'll be leaving them in, largely because it's less hassle.  The canopy isn't too badly gluestained, only affecting one of the smaller panels and I think it's fixable.  I'll give the whole thing a coat of primer tomorrow to hide the various odd colours and try to show up what needs fixing that I haven't seen.  I can however foresee a metric f**kton of sanding. Thankfully, this is going in a dark scheme.

I have started the Vulcan that arrived a week or so back and it appears that it's one of the first ones - the distructions say COG Products 1983 and the colour of the plastic looks to be correct too.  Haven't done much other than some cleanup, one of the intakes is together and the fin is done - I've cleaned it up and removed the RWR as this is going to be a Skybolt machine, either with 230 OCU or possibly 617.  It will be getting a set of those nice brass exhausts and quite possibly those resin wheels, but I may yet get another set of those.

I'm tempted to start another one as the other Skybolt machine (one with training rounds with the OCU and an operational one in antiflash white), but I've a feeling I could be biting off more than I can chew.  May need more filler...

Comments on this thread - in the vain attempt that anyone is actually reading it and can be arsed to reply - go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 09, 2020, 03:49:54 pm
"Look! Look, when they get back, tell them I'm incredibly sorry!"

I've managed to get the bulk of the sanding done on the salvage Vulcan and the primer revealed more than I suspected, including some pretty dreadful glue stains.  The intakes, always a pain in the arse to get blended in, aren't too bad either, but as the previous owner had decided to put the crew in, I can't go with the FOD guards, largely because I'm leaving the crew in as trying to get them out could be more trouble than it's worth.  Bit more sanding on it in the morning and then another coat of prier to see what needs done next.

As for the RAAF one that was left part started due to lack of Olympus 202 exhausts... Well, they've arrived but I've decided to stick with the 300s instead, as the RAAF would likely have taken delivery from the tail end of Vulcan production and they all had 300 series exhausts.  In addition, I'm tempted to go with XM607 in a complete Mid Stone/Dark Earth scheme for Red Flag, as opposed to the odd half and half that she did wear.  Although that could be kept for later - I've got enough Vulcan s now to do what I want to with a few left over.

I did start another one to do as the second Skybolt machine, so that's three together and two not far behind.  Those two are relatively easy, as once they're together it's out with Halfords finest. 

I've done a small amount of casting, as I'd promised Kit some Centaurus engines, amongst other things.  One of the moulds I was gifted by TsrJoe some years back has Vulcan exhausts on them and I think they're 201 series, so I cast a pair but have yet to use them.  Not sure which whiff they'll end up on but they'll get used eventually.  I'm also tempted to get a Flightpath Vulcan B1 conversion, but I've yet to think of any convincing whiff for it.

Dear god, what have I let myself in for...

At least I wisely decided to stick Victor number 4 to one side for now and I'm not dragging out the planned Blue Steel one for a while yet either, although the one I got from kit already has the fuselage assembled with a dirty great hole cut for the Blue Steel mount, so I'd just have to assemble the wings.  The worst bit of the kit...

No, I'll just stick to the Vulcans.  For now, as the AZ Hornets are imminent.

Comments on this thread - in the vain attempt that anyone is actually reading it and can be arsed to reply - go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 16, 2020, 12:10:01 pm
"That's absolutely brilliant! You can't get any cleaner than that!"

Well, I think I've got the salvage Vulcan tidied as much as I can.  Still one final primer coat and then off to the paint shop with it.  I've laid in a decent stock of Xtracrylix Dark Sea Grey as there's at least four V bombers using it, amongst all the others going in similar colours.  The u/c I'll steal from the kit I got off ebay with all the extras.

The RAAF one has yet to get a coat of primer, but then I've still to fit the bomb doors and they are another pain to get rights as they're always warped and there's some quite subtle angles in there.  I've some sprue across the inside and I'll try jacking it up on scraps of plastic card to try and get it level.  I tried it with the last one and it seemed to have worked.

The two Skybolt ones now have the wings attached to the lower fuselage halves, this being seemingly the best way to assemble the blasted thing with minimal sanding - I'd done the RAAF one that way and it seems to have worked.  The fuselages on both should hopefully sorted out later and I can get the tail fins and cones into place too.  Just need to get the nose weight in the second.  This is one of the more recent boxings and I've heard tales about them being unbuildable.  Now, that's crap, because other than a bit of flash - and no more than I've found in other Vulcans over the years - it's been as easy or difficult as the kit has always been.  The other Skybolt one is an original boxing (well, the instructions and decals are, it was a bagged kit so I can't comment for sure on the plastic) and that's been exactly the same.

And then we come to the part started one that was in me Mam's loft.  The intakes are done, the cockpit's in so hopefully this one should be assembled by the weekend.  I'm still not entirely sure quite which one I want to do - either a K2 in Hemp over LAG/White or XM607 or another late serialled aircraft at Red Flag 78 in a sand/stone wraparound.  Both will get done eventually, but for ease of masking I may well go with the tanker, although I'll need to mould the Model Graphics (or whatever the ex-con is calling his stuff these days) before I go any further.  There's a few other things I need to get the moulds done for anyway, so I may get that done later today. Don't think anyone has done a Vulcan in Hemp before so it could well be a first.

Comments on this thread - in the vain attempt that anyone is actually reading it and can be arsed to reply - go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 21, 2020, 01:34:57 pm
"No, mine's a yellow Ford Anglia with flames up the sides."

The Skybolt Vulcans are getting closer to getting a coat of paint, as all the filling is done and sanded back (pause for sarcastic laughing) and I just need to fit the pylons and fill them, plus the bomb bay doors as leaving them off makes it easier to handle.  I've yet to remove the kit exhausts to replace them with those spiffing brass ones, so out with the saw tomorrow.

The partially assembled Vulcan that was dragged out of me Mam's loft last week.  The intakes are now in place and filling there has commenced, which will get sanded back tomorrow. That is definitely going to be the tanker, but I need to do some checking as the serial I have for a K2 may not have Olympus 300s.  Easy enough to replace them if they're not - I have three different sets of 202 exhausts, plus a set of 201s.

So, what about the Red Flag desert Sand and Stone wraparound XM607?  Well, that's easy. Easy peasy.  I've got another Vulcan.

Well, one of the ones I got from ebay last week was part started, actually, largely assembled, with only one wing to go on and the tailcone.  TBH, I think they'd actually come off or the whole thing had been assembled and then dropped, as one of the intakes was rattling about inside when I opened the box.  I managed to pry open the airframe enough to get it out and then wiggle it back into place.

So, thinking that, well, as it was that far along I may as well go the whole hog and get it to primer stage.  Except that it's not quite that easy.  As usual, buying an airframe built by someone else with different standards and build ability is never a good idea.  It's a lottery and what one modeller may find acceptable, another may just take one look and chuck it in the bin.  Well, it wasn't that bad, but none of the gaps or seams had been tackled yet it was pre shaded. The intakes are particularly badly done but at least I can hide them with FOD guards.  So, out with the filler.  Some bits were put back on and others taken off - the little vents and exhausts had to come off as they were both badly fitted and not cleaned up enough for my tastes.  The first lot of filler has been sanded back and the next skim is curing overnight.

And after this and the tanker are together, I'm not doing another Vulcan for a while.  7 together is enough for anyone.

Comments on this thread - in the vain attempt that anyone is actually reading it and can be arsed to reply - go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on July 17, 2021, 09:34:43 am
"Look, why don't you just go away?"

I am not happy.

Buccaneers.  I had a new tool one assembled, all it needed was the slippers.  I had the Freightdog WE177 conversion ready to go on it and I could get priming.  Fast forward to Monday.  I get another kit, the RAF boxing.  And now find all the bits are different, so what I'd intended as a 1984 Cold War Hot aircraft is at best an early RAF S2A circa 1970 sans bomb door and with the wrong wingtips.

It's fixable, I suppose.  Fill the open doors on the wing fold, rip off the wingtips and attach the original S2 ones and paint in a mid 60s scheme with a higher demarcation for the white (modified backstory - the RAF agrees to take Buccaneers provided that they get a minimum of 60 TSR2s) and go with a training aircraft from 237 OCU on a jolly outing to Otterburn.

Still means I have to get another new tool RAF boxing - which I really didn't want to do - to do the WE177 version, as the one I got on monday was going to get Paveways. And I *still* need another Sidewinder and associated pylon as I want the WE177 aircraft fitted with a pair plus slipper tanks as it's going on a one way trip into Belarus to bomb something.

Comments on this thread - in the vain attempt that anyone is actually reading it and can be arsed to reply - go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 11, 2021, 03:05:22 pm
"I tend to think the whole outfit is a little on the snug side."

I started cleaning up the Gannett kit/prototype/test shot of the English Electric P.8 and it's coming ing together reasonably well although I can see some more sanding and test fitting before I can think of using any glue. I do know that some bits will need the hot water treatment whilst the wing trailing edge needs rebuilding. I also have to build up the wing root leading edge as Alistair had issues getting it out, but it's taped up now and it looks impressive.

It's a bit odd in that there are some panel lines but not others. For example, the flaps are on the wings but no ailerons. The air brakes are there but not the removable spine that would have allowed access to the upper engine. There's no rudder either, but I have a vague memory of TsrJoe telling me the type would have had an all moving fin - ie the entire fin was the rudder a la TSR2.

I'm happy with it so far - I've been wanting one of these for a good twenty years and the opportunity to build one is simply a dream come true. I've already expressed an interest in a second, possibly a third, as I'd like a more developed version in a late Lightning scheme, in the air defence greys, bigger fin and either more missiles or underwing tanks, plus a scab on belly tank and refuelling probe.  Maybe 5 sqn markings.  The other one I'm tempted with would get VG wings, either some bits I got from Joe (IF I can find them) or the Freightdog ones.

As it goes, it's a superb effort, a big leap in quality over his earlier printed kits and I think Alistair will go from strength to strength. Now, what about an EE P.6 single engined Lightning and a Hawker P.1103?

In other news, I've been tinkering with the new tool Vulcan and have some of the cockpit assembled, as well as the bomb bay with associated structure and the lower wings. One of the uppers is badly warped and unusable so I've stalled somewhat, although there's lots of other bits I can get on with.

I just want to get on with the P.8 and the new Airfix Mosquito is winging it's way to me as I dab this.

You should know by now where the comments go.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 13, 2021, 09:25:14 am
"Oh, who cares?"

The P.8 is now together and I've done the first round of psr, although my filler of choice here being superglue and baking soda.

I was right in that the integral undercarriage is limiting access whilst sanding, although not as much as I'd feared. However, the trailing edges of the wings are very fine and do tend to chip. Not easy to fix either and there's some superglue gel curing now in a vain attempt to give it another go.

I went to see if I could find the VG wings. I found one in a box with three Lightning T.55s (three? Thought I only had two!), but the other one turned up in a different box which had a solid resin shape for the P.8 - I'd taken a mould from one TsrJoe had done some years back and the resulting model had stalled. The detail is all in place on the port half, I'd just not put it in on the starboard. May have to try and finish it, albeit as a flying model.  May go for one of the Phantom units rather than Lightning - too many of their squadrons are the sexy ones and that goes against the grain.

Also dug out the moulds for the belly tank and the original Lightning fin to see if I could improve the 3d kit but decided against it.

Very happy with the P.8 and it does look impressive. The rate I'm going, the paint should be on tomorrow.

Comments? You know where they go.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 22, 2021, 02:31:41 pm
"Okay, I'll change it then. Hello, Cliff Richard!"

The second P.8 has arrived and it looks very nice indeed. Perhaps a tad more involved but the clear resin and the different breakdown should make assembly easier.

Now I know I can get more, I'm getting more ideas. One with one of the Phantom units was on the cards, but other than 43 Sqn, all are either sexy and that flew Lightning and thus too obvious, or strike squadrons replacing Canberra. I did get the cockpit section, to do a preserved front end, so that could be the camouflaged 43 Sqn one.

I was toying with a Royal Navy one, plus perhaps one with RAF Germany in the Dark Green over Aluminium, but a late 80s one in the Air Defence greys is most likely. I'm almost wedded to a 5 Sqn one with a red fin.

The other Gannet kits... I'm rather enamoured of the delta wing version of the AW.58, as it's got a bit of a Super Sabre vibe about it. One of those in camo toting a quartet of Firestreaks could be interesting, And then there's the Saro P.187. That would have to be RAF Germany in the Dark Green over Aluminium as it so very Thunderbirds it would be a crime to do it in any other scheme.

I was fortunate to have been gifted some of Alistair's earlier 3d printed prototypes last year and I have to confess they have remained in the box.  The FD3 and the twin engine RAE fighter design were the two I most wanted to give a makeover, so once I have the Mosquito out of the way, I may well dig them out. The RAE thing would definitely go in the greys but the FD3...  I need to have a bit more of a think.

Not quite F.155 but derived is the P.1121 that's been languishing in a box for far too seriously long enough by half and it really needs finishing. TBH, it was the canopy that held it up and I think Whirlybird now give two.  I also have a one ready to assemble with a lot of resin, so there's another.  Again, a suitable squadron is lacking.  Somewhere I have the bits from an abortive attempt to copy it in resin and IF I can find the remnants then a two seat Navy one is possible, albeit with a Hunter T7 cockpit grafted on.

And then there's a Swift F7 that really does need finishing.

Lots to think of.

Comments? You know where they go.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: Pellson on August 23, 2021, 04:29:37 am
All of your ideas - I recognise the problem. Itís like experiencing some kind of system overload where you get stalled because thereís just too many options available. But itís still a rather Nice problem to deal with.  ;)

Carry on, Sir. Iím following your progress with interest
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 23, 2021, 12:43:54 pm
"Yes, that was very sweet. But can you get out now? We're trying to change the light bulb."

The P.8 and that Lightning book have got me thinking about the latter, as there are some interesting and easy projects in the book. A PR version and a tactical bomber with a Red Beard, both being P.1B airframes but with the later kinked F.6 wing and wingtip fuel tanks. These being top of the list without having to shell out any cash monies.

Now, I invested many years ago - early 90s when I was building real ones - in a number of Airfix and Novo Lightning's. They're nowhere near state of the art and weren't when I bought them around 1991 so they're ideal for butchery. That being the case, I went digging through the loft to find the box they're in.

On finding it and going through them, I had a few surprises. Mainly aftermarket parts bought at the time to upgrade them. A resin cockpit for the F.6 which will do nicely for the next P.8. One Airfix F.3 had a load of white metal and etch, plus some other extras which will feed into the P.8.

I know I'll need to sort out tailfins, so the Sword or Whirlybird F.1 fin will need a bath in some rubber at some stage, plus the early prototype wheels. There was a spare set in a Whirlybird F.3 which were surplus to requirements.

Thoughts on a tactical bomber turn to a more developed one based on an F.6, still with the tip tanks but underwing WE177s. I'll have another look through the drawings. May well use a Hasegawa one as there's a few in the loft.

Whilst in the loft, I discovered the Whirlybird P.1121 and yes, there's a spare canopy. So I'll dig out the built up one and find the rest of the bits before I go any further.

Another project that was started but never got finished was the VG Lightning. I was gifted some wings by TsrJoe a good twenty years back and they got attached to one built around 1992. It got a coat of aluminium and abandoned.  Now dug out of the loft and given a clean, one wing will need reattaching and I need to do some scribing before a respray, but it's something that can be turned around sharpish. National markings and a P.1B serial and we're gravy.

There was a few export versions mentioned, but I may have to get some bits from Colin and look out one of the Matchbox T-birds.

Again, plenty to think about, but some interesting kit bashing ahead.

Comments go in the other thread!
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 24, 2021, 06:35:37 am
"That is the most completely brilliant thing I have ever seen - a flying shark!"

There was one other early, and I do mean early, Lightning proposal that I have to have a go at. No belly tank, early fin, no spine and a proper bubble canopy. It was to have had four cannons in the lower fuselage too. The drawing is dated June 1952, so say a 1955 entry date, 54 if they can spare the wadge. Looking at a Hunter scheme - Dark Sea Grey and Dark Green over Aluminium - and possibly an ex Hunter unit or perhaps they'd be replacing the Sabres in Germany, which would mean PRU Blue underneath instead.

Off back into the loft to do some digging and nabbed an Airfix F3. It's an old mould, early 60s at least and fairly basic.  Not sure how much of a cockpit I'd be putting in, but given the timeframe it would be black anyway. May have a spare Revell Hunter one. That'll do. 
It'll need a fair bit of surgery and no doubt lots of filler too, especially underneath once the belly tank comes out, so the 2TAF squadron may be a better option. Given it's speed, it'd be handy out there in Germany. Yes, I know I can get a new belly from Alleycat but I don't want to have to wait an ice age to get it and pay twenty notes into the bargain.
So some digging through the Hunter sheets and the decal box for that Model decal Sabre sheet may be in order. I do like the idea of 112 Sqn and their shark mouth but it's really a bit obvious.

Whilst in the loft I spied some built up Lightnings that may be salvageable. Both were F6 airframes, probably Novo ones, and one looks to be salvageable, so that may end up as the later tactical bomber. I have some WE177s and whilst they were slated to go on a Vulcan - XM594 from the new tool for reasons explained up thread - the lack of the overload tanks for the bomb bay and the lack of loading trollies for said weapons put the block on that.  I will need another set for the earlier P1B version at some point. I can steal appropriate pylons from a Buccaneer.

Also up there was a rather forlorn Hunter, a PR.13 that never got finished. May give it a clean and a new undercarriage and try to finish it. And there was a pair of assembled Buccaneers that I never knew I had!

Speaking of Buccaneers, I now have a cunning plan for the assembled new tool Navy one - RAAF. Say they bought them and kept them for the same length of time as the F-111? BAe tell them of the issues with the RAF ones in the early 80s and the Australians do the same mods. This explains the earlier naval features on an airframe with the 80s mods and I can get away with a very simple grey scheme. Can you get late RAAF markings for F-111s?

So, lots of ideas and potential projects. Just need some focus.

Comments, for those still reading and who can be arsed to reply... You know where they go by now.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 25, 2021, 06:57:39 am
"Oh, it's broken."

Well, I found the P.1121 and...  It's not up to current standards.  The decals have gone a bit odd and some of the filler work underneath isn't the best.  I'm not even sure where the rest of the bits are either, although drop tanks and missiles, plus a few doors, should be replaceable.  I do have a second kit that's almost ready to get assembled, but that's more longer term.

Whilst looking for Lightning bits - again - I came across a Final Touch (don't laugh, I got it given...  Probably as a punishment) Lightning T4 conversion.  Frankly, it's basically a shape and clearly based on a converted Matchbox T55 and dropped into rubber. So what to do with it?  Well, there's that spare set of VG wings and a trainer for VG in the early 60s would be rather handy, even if it's for Vickers test pilots.  U/C up and in flight on a stick ,with a solid canopy as the cockpit is just a hole and not a big enough one at that.  I'll have to take off the cable ducting, or shorten it at least.

More later.

Comments, for those still reading and who can be arsed to reply... You know where they go by now.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 25, 2021, 03:16:00 pm
"Oh no, please?"

I hate scribing. Have I mentioned that before? I really hate it. Especially when there are no panel lines at all. Of course, I'm referring to the shape that is the P.8. I now have the scribing done but I had to do some searching to find the blown up drawings  from the relevant BSP volume and they weren't where I thought they were. I still have to sort out the starboard tailplane root, but the piece carved out of a Novo Lightning needs a bit more sanding.

The wings are already done, although I'll have to sort out wingtip launch rails and possibly some underwing pylons too. Given its flaws, this one is going camo. I'm just thinking where I can steal a decent late fin, possibly a Sword T-bird or one of the Alleycat conversions I picked up cheap in the Kit swap a few years back.

Finishing the shape in camo means the Gannet one can be done as the late one in grey and the cockpit section could go all F2A in Dark Green.  Means I still need another Gannet one to do the Navy one, aboard Eagle 'natch, but I'm sure Alistair won't argue.

The VG trainer. Some bits are attached and the nosecone is all blended in, whilst I've done the bulk of the scribing on the wings. A bit more and I can get them on. This is going to be a bare bones one, something quick and simple to use bits that were unlikely to ever be used properly.

And as for the early Lightning. Well, I've now got a unit in mind, 4 Sqn, although I've yet to have a good look for alternatives. 4 meets the criteria, having went from Sabres to Hunters in the timeframe I'm looking at.
I'm naming it the Rapier, because it's not a Lightning. Build wise, it's had the spine and bellytank removed. I've also done some surgery to the bulkhead that Airfix laughably calls a cockpit to get a Hunter tub to fit. The latter also needed a tweak to fit but it does look quite natural in situ, especially once it's painted black.  I found some assembled and tidied up wings in a spares box, so it should be easy enough to get together quickly once the yawning chasms on the fuselage are fixed.

My final thoughts on Lightnings today revolve around the T55, or rather a reasonable whif I've done before but want to revisit. 19 and 92 had their F2s rebuilt to near F6 standard, so why not upgrade the T4s to something approximating the T55? It's something the RAF wanted and it's an easy one to do. Aluminium with a Blue spine or the Dark Green over Aluminium with a gold undercarriage?  Decisions, decisions, although as I find I actually have 4 T55s, I could get away with both.  I have plenty of spare markings too, so one from 19 in one scheme and t'other from 92 in the later.

Comments... I shouldn't need to tell you by now.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 26, 2021, 03:08:02 pm
"What I need is the drill, the hedge trimmers and some ordinary household bleach."

Well, the shape is progressing nicely. The starboard tailplane root is in place and filled, the belly tank is on and filled. So is the tailfin and the wings. The latter needed some minor surgery to fit, but they're in place and the filler is on. I'll leave it to harden overnight before I do any more sanding. I've left off the tailplanes to make the sanding easier and there's less chance of knocking them off.
I've also sourced some pylons for under the wings - Buccaneer ones but they'll do - and for the wingtips. I'm thinking a total of six Red Tops or Firestreaks. I'm tempted to use the overwing tanks but I'm not convinced as I've never liked them.

I did go looking for markings and found my Sabre sheet, which has some nice options on it, including my preferred option, 4 Sqn. But there's also one for 92 Sqn, which is another interesting option.

Also in the box was a Modeldecal sheet I didn't know I had, with several grey Lightning's on it, but also several Phantoms, which include 43 Sqn, the preferred option for the shape, albeit in greys rather than the DSG/DG/Aluminium with Type D instead of the tactical roundels that's the preferred  scheme.

Quite happy with it so far, although some of the scribing is a bit "meh" and it just looks like a Lightning, what with the early F1 belly tank, later F3 fin and the kinked wing.  It looks just similar enough that the onlooker is at first sure it's a Lightning but just that bit different enough that they'll come back for another look. And those are the best whiffs.

Comments... Shouldn't need to say it by now.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 27, 2021, 03:25:03 pm
"Five past eleven and it's still raining."

The shape is cleaned up, the tailplane are on and so are the wingtip launch rails. A coat of primer and the I can move a bit further. Very happy with it, but with the Gannet kit, thankfully I won't have to do another.

The latter is moving ahead nicely. The fuselage is largely cleaned up and ready to go together, although the airbrake hinges had to go as they impede assembly.  The fin was also removed as it's getting an F3 fin. Not looking forward to cleaning up the wings.

The VG single seater has had all the scribing done. Not perfect but it'll do. Just a coat of paint, when Halfords get in the cans of Aluminium I've ordered, and then the markings.  It's going to be very anonymous, basically roundels and a serial from one of the P1B pre-production batch.  I've asked a mate who's good with figures to paint a pilot for it.

I was thinking about getting an Alleycat conversion to do one of the P1Bs, but then common sense took over. I can do the surgery, filling, and I have the kits about for kitbashing, so why shell out the money?  This would be for the P.19 interceptor and from the drawings looks like an F1 but with an F6 wing, Red Tops and no belly tank.

The number of Lightning projects seem to be growing exponentially. As usual. Perhaps I need some sort of plan?

Comments?  Blah, blah, fishcakes. I honestly doubt anyone is bothered anymore...
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on August 29, 2021, 02:56:11 pm
"That's a completely brilliant idea, Mike. I've been wanting to do this for a long time!"

I've been having further thoughts on the VG trainer, largely because the bits I have are clearly based on a standard Lightning wing, whereas any production aircraft would have had a wing 10% larger, the Freightdog wing is clearly the latter.  Obviously the single seater would be a Vickers test aircraft so the two seater? I don't like masking off yellow stripes, especially on something with all the curves of a Lightning, so it's not a trainer.

But not all trainers have yellow bands, the T5 flown by the Empire Test Pilots School didn't (more anon) and they did fly the Shorts SB5, which was an aircraft used in the Lightning's development programme. So they are an obvious candidate for a VG aircraft and thus the T.4 VG goes to them.

The T5 used by ETPS was rather colourful, with a red spine and wingtips, so looks to be fairly easy to do. Spray the red, mask and spray Aluminium. Standard Type D markings.

Just have to shorten the cable ducts and we're sorted.

Comments? You know the drill.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 01, 2021, 12:47:46 pm
"Well, of course you hate it, Neil. It's not finished yet."

The VG T4 is coming along, with all the filling and sanding done. Just the tailplanes to add and then on with the primer. I'll go to white as I'll be spraying the red first

Another project I've looked at is the  p18 tactical bomber, basically an F1 with the F6 wing, tip tanks and a Red Beard under the fuselage. I have the latter, the wings are assembled but need filling, and I located a Red Beard that TsrJoe gifted me years back.

However, there was an assembled F6 in the loft that needed a bit of work and that becomes a candidate for the developed version with a pair of WE177s.  I just need to add the pylons and on with the primer. It's going with one of the F4 strike units, I have either 6 or 14 Sqn in mind but it depends on what F4 decals I gave tucked away. Camo will be similar to that worn by Lightnings after they got toned down in the late 70s. I did think about Dark Green over Aluminium but that's just too easy.
I'm just unsure if I can fit the missiles or give it cannons in the lower bays instead, as where I'd like to fit the bombs would have clearance issues.

The Rapier, which is my name for the initial P1b sans belly tank and spine, is coming along nicely. The fuselage is together, with all the huge holes filled - the belly with plastic card sheet bent into place then planked with offcuts before being hit with superglue and baking soda. The spine was similar, but I used one off the offcut spine remnants in the resultant gap and again employed superglue and baking soda. All is sanded back now, so a primer coat should show off any issues.
I've yet to fit the exhaust, as the drawings shows the design to be similar to that of the P1a. Now, I have an Aeroclub conversion and the exhaust is a metal piece. I also have moulding rubber. You can guess the rest. As soon as I've got the resin clone, I can crack on with the Rapier.
Unit... I'm still minded with 4 Sqn, but I did find markings for 92 Sqn as they flew Sabres before getting Hunter, so that's tempting but possibly a bit obvious.

Finally, one idea that's tickling me is a two seat P8 along similar lines to a Lightning T5, but I don't want to chop up any of my two seaters.

I need to get that plan sorted out...

Comments? Oh, who cares...
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 03, 2021, 12:48:52 pm
"I don't know why you bother ever."

The Lightning builds are getting somewhere.  At least all the wings are sorted and cleaned up. Fuselages may take a bit longer. I still need to cast some parts.

I sorted the moulds out on Wednesday and demoulded the masters. The first few casts came out okay, although the Rapier's jetpipe needed a second cast after the mould got tweaked with a scalpel. So I've spent the last day casting fins, early wheels, belly tanks and outer mainwheel doors. Some bits feed into the planned P8s, others for the Lightnings on the go.

The current P8s, both the shape and the Gannet one, are subject to a bit of a rethink as regards camo. the shape is still going three tone but the other may not be going greys. I've a feeling the canopy would have got changed at some point in the 70s to something with a bit more glazing, so I may try to get a vacform one done or sand the hell out of the printed piece, polish it and then mask it off. I still want a grey scheme, but I'm unsure of which one to go for as there's at least three.

I'll be drawing up the Lightning Plan over the weekend, to which I'm adding a few others, such as a Swift PR6 and the stalled F7, the Type 545 F1,  possibly a pair of P1081s, maybe a Vampire or two, and two of the older 3d printed models gifted by Alistair.  The latter just need a good sanding before a respray.

Time is running down and whilst not all are vital, I've a core half dozen I really want done.

Comments... Is anyone actually bothering to read this?

Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: kitbasher on September 03, 2021, 03:21:44 pm
Yes but they canít find the reply thread!
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 06, 2021, 08:50:15 am
"I think he'll get a shock when he feels this. We've run out of nails, so we'll have to start using the cutlery."

The Rapier is now together.  Couple of dabs of supergue to hold the wings in place and flood it with Plasticweld.  Tail surfaces are on, although the fin struggled for a bit.  It's going into the club later, so I'll hold off on the filler until I get back.
I'm happy enough with it, but it feels a bit anticlimatic, as it just looks like an early Lightning.  I know once it's got a coat or two of paint and it's decals and thus it's character it'll be a lot different but still...

The VG single seat Lightning is still fighting back, as I thought I'd fixed several problems only for said same problems to pop up again after another coat of Aluminium.  The wing root filling could and should have been a lot better.

Finally, the second Gannet P.8 has the fuselage together. It's looking pretty good, although a lot of sanding, filing and test fitting took place.  I've still to try and fix the wing twists and the belly tank and revised fin have yet to be fitted.  I'm leaving them off until I get all of the filling done .

More later.

Comments... If anyone is actually bothering to read this...

Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 07, 2021, 01:06:36 pm
The Rapier is now filled, I just need to sand it all back. The end of the tube, so it should cure quite quickly. The fin is still fighting, but that's on. Hopefully I can get it printed at the same time as the P8.

Speaking of which, that's had a good sanding but it'll need a coat of primer to show up just what needs fixing. It''s better to do it now before the wings go on.

I'm tempted with an export version - think the customers to that bought Lightning or were looking at it - Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi.  India is the one I'm tempted with the most, as there's something quite Soviet, Sukhoi in particular, about the nose.  This is the one I'm thinking of:

Although on reflection, an export P6/1 would be a better option. Could really confuse people. Which is good.

The other thing that has me thinking is a VG version, if only for aerodynamic trials. I still have the mould for "The Shape" so something like a manufacturer's model - think that photo of the VG two seat Lightning.

Export Lightnings are still at the back of my head, particularly Luftwaffe which is frying out for Hartman's tulips around the intake. Indian and Italy being the other two that are straight rebadging, F1a and F6 respectively. The RAAF has been mentioned earlier and I've already done the Libyan one.

Kitbash wise, a tandem two seat Lightning is possible, now I have the requisite drawings. They're P1b, rather than Lightning, but I have some chopped Novo F6 fuselages that are likely to get binned that could be useful if I go for a developed version. Saudi or Kuwaiti markings?

Comments for those who can be added to reply go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 09, 2021, 02:30:11 pm
"Blimey, that was quick!"

Well, the PR variant of the P1B is now together, thanks in part to work I did nearly 30 years ago!  It's the Airfix F3 kit and it was going to be detailed - resin, etch, white metal - and the cockpit was in, so it got closed up and filled. That's all sanded back, so the wings are now on and the yawning chasms at the roots are now filled. The fin is also on, after a few anxious moments trying to find it. I've yet to add the tip tanks or tailplanes but they'll go on in a day or so.

The P8 is coming on. Gave it a coat of primer which showed up all the flaws, so they're filled now with my super glue and baking soda combo and that'll get sanded back soon.

It looks good in the grey primer, but I've yet to choose the scheme I want. I really need to find the Lightning references.

There's a two seater in the offing too. Proper camo for that one, I think, probably one of the Javelin units, possibly 64 sqn as I like the unit markings and I have a few tucked away, ostensibly for Hornets and Meteors but I'm sure I can spare a set for the P8.

Comments go in t'other thread, link should be up thread.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 11, 2021, 02:25:36 pm
"You didn't know I was going to do that, did you?"

That time of year, the same problem. I have a settled plan and then I add something to it at the last minute.

The prospect of getting the final element of the Saro rocket fighter trio made me dig out the AZ SR53 and the Freightdog SR177. The former has been described by a mate as hard to build, but the test fit so far seems to be fairly problem free. Yes, some flash and the usual fit issues of limited run kits, but nothing insurmountable - and the guy who said it was a poor fit also built a Merlin TSR2...

Anyway, I'm trying to think of a suitable name for it and Spectre seems to fit the bill. Camo may well be RAF Germany 1950s and that means something ex Sabre and I have decals for those.  I'm also thinking of pulling out the micey Polish copy of the Airfix kit - I snagged one for a quid a few years back, but that's more of a nostalgia build. Either way, I have usual zap I want to apply to it.

And then there's the SR177, which I'm calling the Thunderbolt as the type was to operate alongside the Lightning.  I'll let you work it out.

The kit of that looks complex and mine was a pre-production one with no decals or instructions, plus I'm sure one of the retraction jacks has gone for a walk.  Again, similar scheme and user as the SR53 as given the thirsty nature of the Gyron Junior somewhere with lots of airfields to recover to would be handy.

Of course I simply *have* to start them as only one of the planned quartet is yet assembled (need to scratch basic cockpits for the other three) and three of the kits for other planned builds have yet to arrive. I never seem to learn the lesson, do I?

And then there's the prospect of Italian Lightnings as BAC offered them to Italy around the same time as they were trying to sell them to the Saudis, so I go looking for Italian F104 markings only to find I might have some anyway. So a Hasegawa F6 can be used and possibly a Matchbox T55 too. Those are more long term plans.

I'm still very tempted with an Indian P8, although perhaps the P6/1 would be more apt, in the Thunderbirds scheme shown up thread. I thought someone had done a decal sheet but nothing turned upon a search, although a kit in that scheme is available - for the princely sum of 28 notes. Sex, travel and their mothers springs to mind. No matter, a sharkmouth should be easy enough to find - different aircraft or artist so it could look different - whilst I have Indian roundels anyway.

Still lots to do and my lack of focus is a problem.

Comments... Link up thread.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 13, 2021, 05:38:21 am
"Well, I did that actually."

As above, settled plan, add new stuff, namely the Ursus/Airfix SR.53 and a Hasegawa Lightning.

The latter is for the Italians, as I found the relevant Italian F104 decals in the decal box, albeit ESCI ones which look useable although I'll be testing one of the others to ensure that they don't disintegrate when merely threatened with water.  I still need to find a copy of the ESCI F104 distructions so I have a better idea of what decal goes where, even if the airframes are dissimilar.

I also found some possibly useable Heller F86 decals IF I decide to do a German Lightning.  I'm unsure if it would be one of the early ones or possibly an F6 export equivalent.

Consequently, I spent some time putting in a rough approximation of the cockpit interior with basic side walls as you see little under the canopy anyway. And having done that, the three early project Airfix ones were done too. The former is a medium grey colour but the early ones were black, which hides a multitude of sins. Hopefully I can get the three closed up today and the filler on.

I did make a similar start with the SR53, although by that time I was knackered and wanted to go to bed. At least the wings are together and have had some filler slathered on the tips around the wingtip launch rails.

That and the AZ one are going 2TAF, with ex-Sabre sqns. One will have PRU Blue undersides, t'other Aluminium.

Finally, I had to do some casting, so dragged out the mould for The Shape and cast a pair.  Not entirely decided how they'll be painted yet, but I do have some Novo Lightnings - actually, the last pair from that batch bought in the early nineties - which will do as the donor kits.

Comments... Link up thread.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 14, 2021, 03:19:22 pm
"What about Jelly Botty? Where you have to eat 18 curries?"

The closed up Lightnings have had their fuselages sanded, although the P19 interceptor needs more work on the hole left by the belly tank. Again, I've went with plastic card planks with an overlay of super glue and baking soda. Two got the wings and tailfins on, plus the filler which is being left to cure overnight.  The developed tactical bomber version has its wing pylons in place and the bombs don't foul the missiles, so it'll get a pair of Red Tops.  One of the Phantom strike units for that one.

The Saro rocket fighters got their fuselages closed up and the sanding on the Ursus one has been done. The AZ one has been left, although it's looking good so far. I'm minded to call the SR53 the Cyclone, 177 being Thunderbolt and the 187 is definitely the Thunderbird. I'm wedded to the RAF Germany scheme, but the plan to go for 19 sqn is being rethought after finding a photo of an 11 sqn Lightning in the same scheme. Bearing in mind their unit badge is a diving bird, perhaps it's more apt.  Still waiting for the latter to arrive, but there's enough on the bench for the next week or so anyway.

The latest batch of stuff arrived from Alistair earlier, so I've spent some time cleaning up the AW.58 delta version.   It's a well designed kit and I'm looking forward to getting it together. It looks like a curious mix of Super Sabre and MiG 21, but I'm unsure if it'll be an in service aircraft or a research machine. I want to do the former, but don't want a camouflaged aircraft as I'd like something bright and I'm yet to choose a squadron.

The tandem P8 arrived too, and that's going camo. Probably 64 sqn, but it may have the smaller Lightning F1 fin. I'd like another pair as I still want a Navy aircraft and they would have insisted on a second crewman, plus one in a grey scheme.

There was also some bits for a standard P8, as I have some already and there was enough for a full fuselage and I can always use a gash Novo Lightning wing.  Need to decide on another scheme, but does mean a second grey one is possible. LTF with a blue fin or a camo aircraft with the commemorative for the departure from Leuchars?

Speaking of Lightning schemes, I dug out my Lightning references but I'm still torn as to which scheme I want for the one on the bench now. The 5 sqn aircraft with the red fin is *VERY* tempting but possibly too sexy.

It's a good time to be a whiffer with an RAF bent as Alistair seems to be filling that niche very well. The design quality is good, the print quality improving rapidly and service is faultless - Isle of Arran to the Toon in a day?  Hannah's have never managed that.  Long may this continue and he has my support 100%, although my wallet is very afeared right now.

Comments go in t'other thread. Toodles.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 18, 2021, 04:09:18 pm
"Brilliant! Let's fill it in!"

I did have a wall of text update ready to go a few days back, but technical issues meant I lost it and my memory is getting worse. I blame the Citalopram...

Anyway, progress on a variety of fronts. The bulk of the main construction is done, the filling done and sanded off.  And then I decide to add another Lightning to the mix, albeit a flying one.

You see, I've long wanted to do a delta Lightning - apparently one was drawn up - and the best wing to use is a TSR2 wing, as the span is about the same and it has the same 60 degree sweep as the Lightning. Now I didn't want to chop up an Airfix one, so dug out a resin one cast for something else last year. I'm not going to carve out the wheel well bays, as it's too much like hard word, so just scribed them in.

The plan was to use one of the redundant Novo fuselages but then I remembered that I still had a couple of older Hasegawa ones so the detail would be finer. I needed a set of wings for another P.8, so it seemed like a case of killing two birds in the bush.

The P8s are coming along. The fuselage of the second Gannet kit is largely finished, I just have to sand some filler off around the IFR probe housing. I decided to do something different from my earlier intention, as I didn't have enough spare Matchbox probes and as I'd found a drawing of what appeared to be an F2 with a fuselage mounted retractable IFR probe, a drawing dated 1958, then it seemed more and more likely that the P.8 would have got one. So I cast a pair of Tornado ones and cut them down, one to mount on the P.8 and the other to mould.

I've yet to sort out the wings - they need the flaps and ailerons scribed in - so a coat of primer once that's done and on they go.  I've finally decided on the Dark Grey scheme for this one, with the higher of the two demarcation lines.

The tandem two seater is all cleaned up and ready to go together, and like the other one it's getting a few resin extras.  I dug out some pylons for additional underwing tanks or lethality.

Alistair had kindly added some spare P.8 bits with the last order, enough to make a complete fuselage one I dug out the cockpit section I already had, so all I needed was a set of wings, hence digging out the Hasegawa Lightning. That one is definitely going in the greys, albeit the lighter of the schemes, and will be getting the fetching red wing leading edges and fin of a 5 sqn aircraft.

I'd dug out my admittedly meagre Lightning references for schemes and then went digging for the SAMI data file, only to discover a Dick Ward book on Lightning squadrons that is going for daft money on eBay. Found some very nice schemes in there, one of which  I'd like to apply to an early P.8 with the Lightning F1 fin.

The AW58 is going together reasonably well, although I'm still undecided on a squadron. Pretty sure I'm settled on Firestreaks and drop tanks under the wings, although I don't think the scab on ADEN cannon would be good for the sleek lines. Pretty settled on camo over Aluminium, as I've something in mind that could look pretty good. I'll have a look through the Hunter decals to find something suitable.

The Saro trio are coming on nicely too. The Ursus one just needs a tad sanding round the nose, the AZ one needs the filler sanded off and the Freightdog one needs a bit of rebuild work on the wingtip. The latter two still need the tailplanes, which I'd left off for easier sanding. The 177 I'm doing in camo, but again, I've yet to settle on a user.

I've finally decided on a user for the SR187 when it arrives, although the scheme is still Dark Green over Aluminium. I have part of a story in my head for it too.

And that's where we is with everything.

Comments go elsewhere.  Simples.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 20, 2021, 01:55:35 pm
"That's absolutely brilliant! You can't get any cleaner than that!"

The two P8s that arrived last week have their fuselages together and the first lot of yer actual basic sanding has been done, so out with the primer tomorrow before the weather turns and I can start with the filler.  Superglue and baking soda will be deployed again.

I made a bit of a faux pas with regard to the second single seater and the fuselage isn't aligned as perfectly as perhaps it should be, but the wing hides some of it and the area rule may hide the rest, but the initial plan for a more interesting scheme will have to be shelved in favour of camouflage.  I'm also minded with the Lightning F1 fin too, although doesn't seem right on a camouflaged machine unless it's an airfield decoy.  Not sure if anything has done anything like that with a whiff.  I mean, I've seen a TSR2 done as a wreck on a scrap dump, but never an airfield decoy.

The only reason I'm minded with the rounded F1 fin is so I've some kind of evolution in the aircraft I've got on the go - the test print is an early one, the one in build is late - I slightly modded the canopy with careful scraping and sanding to remove the framing and enlarge the vision for the pilot for a later aircraft - and that has the square fin.  So has "The Shape" and the two seater will get one too. Perhaps I should get another few? TBH, no perhaps about it, I will be anyway. I know I can get them cleaned up and together relatively quickly, and if a round fin aircraft goes in Aluminium, it's a quick job with a Halfords rattle can.

I do have some kind of PlanTM for the P.8, by which I mean where it fits into history.  Development means it runs alongside but a few years behind OTL Lightning, so the squadrons that got F1, F1A and F2 are fine, and then OTL's Lightning F3 is replaced by the P8, so all the squadrons that flew F3 and F6 Lightnings, in all the the schemes worn, now have P8s, right down to the serial codes, so any Lightning decal sheet for F3/F6 is also applicable to P8.  Make sense?  Tough if it doesn't.  My models, my timeline.

Cleaning up the AZ SR.53 had me thinking about other possibilities for it as a fast cheap aircraft for light strike - Gnat style slipper tanks, SNEB pods outboard, Firestreaks for self defence and a centreline cannon pod.  Ideal for export to India and it's about the same size and power as the Ajeet.  What's the Hindi word for Cyclone or Spectre? Maybe I should add a cheap Polish snide copy of the old Airfix SR53 to the Telford shopping list?

I'm thinking about one of the pair underway as an RAuxAF aircraft, with penny packets of three aircraft issued to each squadron as point defence interceptors.  Naturally, 607 Sqn would fly a few from RAF Acklington.

As for the SR177, I've finally decided on a scheme and user for it.  I have the decals (I think...) and it was staring me in the face for the last few days. Saying nowt else as I have to do some playing with Photoshop first.

The delta Lightning is coming on too. The cockpit is left as is, a gaping void albeit painted a light grey, whilst the kit seat is painted and just needs gluing in place.  Pilot was painted by a mate who's good at figures (as I am definitely not), so I can have it together in a few days.  Still unsure a scheme for this one as there's way too many nice Lightning schemes and I have too many aircraft going in DSG/DG/Aluminium.

Whilst digging for bits, I discovered a box of Sea Vixen wreckage, so stripped out what I needed for a stalled build that's for that HMS Eagle in the Falklands scenario I outlined last year - I found the Batman decals t'other day and it's a dead easy scheme of overall Extra Dark Sea Grey.  Not essential to the builds, but would be nice to advance it nonetheless.

Lots to do, but the bulk of the assembly is done.  I hope.  Painting comes next and this is the start of the problems...

Comments for those who can be arsed to reply go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 22, 2021, 03:21:03 pm
"It's probably a consignment of very hard drugs!"

Awaited with awaited breath, a parcel containing the SR187 is barely two sleeps away, so I've been frantically trying to get through the build que so I can get right on with it when it arrives.

Naturally, the many Lightnings seem to be in the way, the Italian F6 equivalent getting it's airframe largely together. I've tried to get the airbrakes for them all cleaned up, but no matter which kit they're for, they are always a pain to get right. Matchbox wisely didn't bother.  I got two sorted before I lost the will to live.

The recently assembled P8s and the AW58 got primed which show up some cavernous gaps on the former, so the super glue was again deployed. It'll cure overnight and I can sand it back tomorrow.  The AW58 wasn't too bad, a few bits here and there that are now fixed and a conformal belly tank - half a Hunter FGA9 ferry tank - is now on and the filler is curing. Hopefully I can get the wings on tomorrow and another round of filling can commence.

Did a modicum of work on the Ursus SR53 and that is now good enough for the first primer coat.

TBH, I could and should have done more, but others things elsewhere are having effects. Besides which, I want to limit what I'm actually working on to ensure the week before Telford is as stress free as possible - heartily sick of scrabbling round trying to finish stuff the day before I go. And whilst I say that every year and the same thing happens yet again, this year I'm determined it will be different.

Comments go elsewhere, link up thread. Toodles!
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 23, 2021, 03:41:48 pm
"I thought it looked a bit on the tentative side, so I souped it up a bit."

The bulk of the sanding on the P8s and the AW58 is now done, although the single seat P8 lost a chunk of an undercarriage door, which will be fixed with plastic card, superglue and baking soda. I did get the fin on the two seater, but I'm still torn as to which fin the single seater is getting. Until I can get another one, I'm minded to put it on hold.

The AW58 has its wings on and the first round of PSR has been done. Not sure if I'll add the underwing pylons before or after I do that. It's getting a pair of Fire streaks, rather than the Fireflashes supplied, for two reasons. Firstly, despite the quality, I simply don't like the Fireflash missile, it looks clunky. Secondly, it was a beam riding weapon and the aircraft as designed couldn't carry a decent sized radar. Firestreak, being IR guided, was a fire and forget weapon. I'm also dubious about the teeny canopy, which would have to have been changed for a fighter derivative, but it's as the drawing, so I can live with it.

Lightnings. Got the filler on the Italian one, whilst I think I've finally got to where I want to be with the P19 interceptor.  At least I can get the fin on.  I'm hoping to get the fuselage for the delta one closed up tomorrow.

So, more sanding beckons...

Comments - you should know where they go by now.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 24, 2021, 03:50:21 pm
"No, it's only got two seats."

Well, the two P8s are now resplendent with their belly tanks and the two seater has the IFR fairing. The single seater will have to wait until I either cast another or I get the mould done. I need to do that soon as there's some blisters I need to cast also.

The wings for the single seater are also cleaned up and ready to go on - I've yet to tackle the rescribing on the wings of the other two. I dislike scribing at the best of times.

I've been buying up various Modeldecal sheets, of various types, largely for the P8s. There's a good scheme, albeit in greys, applied to a phantom for the squadron's 70th anniversary. I'd like to use it, and whilst I think the spine marking would fit, I'm not so sure of the tail. It would look rather spectacular though. TBH, I'm minded more for the second line shadow sqns attached to 226 OCU, although those are all in Aluminium.  As Gondor is thinking about 60 Maintenance Unit, that's now off limits.

All the various amounts of filler are sanded back, so the AZ SR53 is now ready to prime. I also tackled the SR177, fixing the wing and getting tailplane on. There was a mis-shapen rear fuselage but the application of super glue and baking soda sorted that out.  Tad more sanding and that's ready to prime.   The Italian Lightning is ready to prime.

I've done some work on the Rapier too, fitting the airbrakes and skimming over them with filler as the drawings don't show them. I've got the canopy sorted out - Uncle Frank let me have a dig in his canopy box and I found something that looks bang on and the fit is nigh on perfect too. Well, I think.

All the Lightnings bar two are at a similar stage - a few bits to go on, a modicum of sanding and then off to the paint shop. The only oddities are the P19 interceptor, which needs pylons and tailplanes, and the delta, but the fuselage is together now and once the sanding is done it's on with the wing.

So, the construction is just about done, another week perhaps and I can start spraying.  I might get the whole PlanTM done for Telford.

Comments go elsewhere, link up thread.  Toodles!
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 26, 2021, 10:24:12 am
"2.999 recurring....."

No more sleeps, the SR.187 is here, according to the postal secretary, delivered on a sunday no less. What's happening to the world - the mail NEVER delivers on a sunday and generally does as little as possible.  It'll snow tomorrow.

Haven't had a chance to check it over yet, but I really cannot wait.  The others in the trio are nearly ready to prime, just needing their drop tank pylons.

Supposedly - had on, there's an explanation - it was to be the last of everything to be built, everything else in this year's (admittedly revised) PlanTM was largely together and needing a modicum of tweaking and sanding before I could start priming.  Indeed, a few are already primed and need a final tweak before I can start spraying  the P.1083 for example, along with the Supermarine Type 545.  However...

The parcel from Freightdog arrived with Cranberry drop tanks and they do fit the PR9.  I already have the P12 conversion and a PR9 that's together and had a belly gunpack added.  I've seen a drawing of the P12 with a gunpack, tiptanks and underwing Red Tops.  You see where I'm going?  Initially, I wanted to do it in the fetching MSG over PRU Blue scheme but proper fighter colours will have to suffice.  And then there's the thorny question of a squadron.  Maybe one of the Javelin or Meteor units rather than a Canberra squadron?

And then I find a Lightning box with a part scratchbodged English Electric P6.  Geoff (Thorvic) had passed it to me many years back with the intention of me finishing it to mould and cast as a conversion, but for one thing I'd bolloxed the wing roots, then I couldn't figure out the best way to cast it, before I finally lost interest and it went back in the box.  Fast forward to now, with the prospect of a 3D printed one from Alistair, I may have another look at it with an eye on finishing it. 

And then my brain starts going as I'd dug out an Su-7 fuselage which I'd bought around the same time as the above to try and do it myself, only to drop the idea when I saw the area ruling.  But then I got thinking about alternate engines and the drawings are of the proposed aircraft rather than what might have been developed.  So, say EE revised the rear fuselage of the P6 with area rule after wind tunnel tests with the P8?  Perhaps they decided to shoehorn in an Olympus as an alternative to the Rolls Royce RB106 Thames?  And having done so, it gets the kinked, cambered wing from the Lightning - which was ready by 1957 but it was EIGHT YEARS before Lightning got it - along with a few other upgrades, such as a belly tank, wingtip missiles, fuselage mounted IFR probe and the big fin.

TBH, the Su-7 fuselage does need considerable surgery and sanding, but it is possible as I've seen it done.  And I have a bit more time on my hands than I'd envisaged (long story), so a day or two could see a rough airframe together.  But do I do it?

One way or another, I have to make a decision on the latter soon.  I have a final week of construction, as spraying MUST start next weekend.

Comments go elsewhere, link up below.  Toodles!
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 26, 2021, 03:29:14 pm
"Here we are, situations vacant, pages seven to thirteen."

I have it! It is fecking massive! And this is a two seat fighter? Neither the Americans or the Russians attempted anything this insane!

I am of course referring to the SR.187, or the Thunderbird FAW.1.  It's a highly impressive bit of printing, with huge parts surrounded by the scaffolding that supports it in the tank.  Looks quite daunting, but it comes away easy enough, especially with clippers.
Alistair had warned me about the pilot being hidden amongst the scaffolding around the tail, but I'd forgotten and had to scramble around to find it. After two attempts, I gave up and decided to scratch one and then it turns up. Typical.

There's a thread elsewhere that'll detail the build, but no doubt you'll get the trials and tribulations here too.

Right, now I need to take some photos.

Comments elsewhere as usual. Link up thread.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 28, 2021, 04:51:55 am
"Cleaned it, Michael, cleaned it."

Well, I spent much of yesterday doing all the clean up of the SR.187 airframe.  File, sand, test fit, repeat.  Ad bleeding nausem.  Some parts were easy - ish - but some could defeat others.  The main u/c insert had some serious flash that needed removal and the fuselage centre section to which it goes was nearly as bad.  Nature of the medium, sadly, but sanding it all down took a great deal of time.  If and when I get another - and I'm seriously thinking about a late 11 Sqn one in the greys with a black fin and spine - it's out with the power tools.  Possibly the drill and the hedgetrimmers, if not a chainsaw.

Anyway, it's all taped up and looks bloody impressive and it is BIG!  Almost makes a TSR2 look small - it's the same length but doesn't have the bulk.  Hopefully I'll get the fuselage glued together later and I can start the filling with superglue and baking soda, leaving teh sanding for another day so I can get on with construction of one or two other items.

One of which is Alistair's Miles 52, which I'd got but left to one side before realising I needed it for the display.  It cleans up easily and construction doesn't look to be difficult.  It's a huge improvement over his older ABS printed version.

The other is the EE P.6 I mentioned a few posts back.  I've taped it up and it looks okay, although it'll need a cockpit interior - either a Hunter tub as I have a spare having gone looking (which also gave me a bang seat for the Ursus SR.53), or a Pavla Lightning one intended for the Hasegawa/Frog/Novo/Revell kit.  Undecided if it'll get the F1 or F3 Lightning fin, but it could get the belly tank, before the thorny questions of squadron and scheme need to be considered.

Thoughts have turned from the SR.187 to what the RAF would use as lead in trainers for the type.  Some sort of two seat trainer would be necessary for the main OCU but other types would also be needed.  I have considered another AZ SR.53, and begrudgingly considered their two seater, but also the idea of RAF requesting a limited run of Fairey Delta II to train pilots in the use of the droop snoot.  One in Aluminium and red, similar to the Lightning T5 flown by the Empire Test Pilots School, would look very fetching.  And I have a genuine Frog one with no intended use that I got very cheap. 

Comments go elsewhere, link up below.  Toodles!

Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on September 29, 2021, 04:03:24 pm
"But it says here, Micheal, look "Ensure machine is clean and free from dust."!"

Well, the fuselage of the Thunderbird is together, largely as I've left off the nosecone for now as well as the main gear bay in case the maingears go the same way as the nose gear.  The forward fuselage needed a fair bit of repeat work to get it to blend in and some of the transitions still aren't quite right.  I'll give it a coat of aluminium as a primer as it'll show up any and all flaws.
The maingears have had a good clean up and are as good as they're likely to get and the wing locator tabs are trimmed down to allow the wings to fit a little more snug.
As for the other members of the trio, the 177 has it's wing pylons in place and all the remedial filling is done. The AZ one also has it's pylons and is about ready to prime. The Ursus one isn't too far off either.

I also did some more work on the Rapier, with the small amount of describing done, plus the cannon ports have been grouted out.  Just need to do some work around the canopy base.

Not a lot, but the 187 is taking a lot of sanding.  This is one of the key ones for me, along with the Rapier and the P.8s.  Really want to get it right and do it justice.

Comments go elsewhere, link up thread.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 02, 2021, 09:12:50 pm
"Because I'm not going to bed tonight."

After a couple of late nights, I'm finally getting somewhere, at least until I added a pair of Fairey Deltas and the P.6 mentioned upthread.  The former were quick to throw together, although one was admittedly part started - a Maquette boxing that I obtained a good twenty years ago.  Some of the parts were too far gone, so I'd intended it as an in flight model, but I found another FD2 that was in the loft where I'd chopped the fuselage with the intention of lengthening it as a possible ER.103C.  Never did and the bits went back in the box, so it got raided.

One of the FD2s is going with the Empire Test Pilots School in the fetching red/aluminium scheme but the other is getting Firestreaks, belly tank, some intakes and blisters plus a Phantom tail mounted RWR.  Needs a bit of sanding and the u/c on and it's ready for primer.  That one is going in the late Lightning scheme with the three greys and possibly the black fin and spine of 11 Sqn.

The P6 is a bit more involved, basically trying to install something resembling a cockpit.  The resin Lightning one I had simply wouldn't fit, so I resorted again to a Hunter tub as I've at least one spare.  It's not right for a LIghtning but the P6 isn't quite a Lightning, and it'll be painted black anyway.  There's a complex mish mash of sprue and plastic holding it in place, before I added some lead to weight the nose and filled it with PVA to hold it all in place.  Like the current tranche of P8s, it's getting the late fin and a belly tank.  Need to check the drawings again to find out where the guns go.  I think the missile fit may have to be moved to the wingtips, so I need to either modify the Airfix ones, or go for the developed kinked wing of the F6 - I have a Hasegawa one spare.  However, on second thoughts, the missiles could go under the wing instead and I use the Lightning F1 tailfin instead.  The kinked wing and bigger fin could go on the P.6 F2, which would have the area ruled rear fuselage too, based on wind tunnel data from the P8 programme, which conveniently explains away the Su7 fuselage used as a basis.  That's for the future, unless I can find an hour or two spare to chop up the Su7 fuselage I have kicking about.  And that one could go in the Indian Air Force Thunderbirds scheme to mess with people's heads.  Sounds like a plan...

One of the P8s *finally* got it's wings on yesterday, the yawning chasms at the roots being filled with the current filler of choice, sanded back and then refilled with the Revell stuff.  The other two still need the control surfaces scribed on and I'm not looking forward to that.

And finally, progress on the SR187.  Slow, in a word.  I gave it a coat of Silver as a primer to show up all the flaws, of which there were many.  Filled and sanded back, I think I have most of the transitions sorted out but another coat this morning revealed a few that I'd missed, so yet more filling and I haven't even got the wings on yet.  Sanding this beast is problematical with the printed integral u/c and doors, so I can't manhandle it as easily as say an assembled but unfilled Lancaster (size comparison), and all the odd transitions, especially underneath, make it even more complex.  Valuable lessons are being learned for a possible second one as I'd like to do one in the greys.  I'd really like to see one finished in overall Aluminium with glossy type D roundels and one of the colourful 60s schemes.

So, a final week of assembly and tinkering, before a few days of priming and remedial work so everything is ready for the paintshop.

Comments for those who can be added to reply go here:

Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 03, 2021, 03:46:40 pm
"Right, here it goes."

Finally!  Having procrastinated and prevaricated for far too seriously long enough by half, I now have the wings of both single and two seater P.8s rescribed. Didn't take too long and much of the time was taken by making a scribing template - take a scrap 72nd plan of a Lightning F6 wing, glue to plastic card,. Cut out shape and then remove the flaps and ailerons. Bingo, template to scribe the wings.

Apart from a modicum of sanding to the locator tabs to get a better fit, all I need to do now is glue them in place and fill the remaining gap..

Finally, having taken a few more shots of the P.187, I can get on with doing what hopefully be the last bout of filling and sanding. I really want to get the wings on it soon as time is running down.

Comments go elsewhere for those who can be arsed. Link up thread.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 08, 2021, 03:31:04 pm
"Brilliant. We are now completely self-sufficient in fertiliser."

Finally, having made the mould box last week, I get the rubber poured on an upgrade set for the P8. I've already got the fin moulds and the belly tank was done years back. Basically, it comprises some blisters and the IFR fairing.  Not all the planned P.8s will have them, but most will, so having the mould is handy.

I did a few other mould too, the wings for the P1081 that I've been needing since last year, although these aren't in this year's Plan.  I'm largely concentrating on Lightning and a few related types, with Alistair's 3d printed stuff having priority, along with the early Lightning design and the Supermarine Type 545.
Other than the P6, more of which later, everything is ready for a primer coat to find any remaining flaws. Day or two of tweaking and then out with the airbrush. Very few are using rattle cans, although the undersides of many are in Aluminium. Good job I got a few cans as few weeks back, whilst also stocking up on various Xtracrylic colours.

The P.6 had the fuselage closed up on Wednesday, with much of the sanding and filling done yesterday after the spine and belly tank went on. Showed it off to widescale rapturous apathy to some friends this morning and the flying surfaces went on earlier, with filler being applied soon after. It's looking good so far and I'm looking forward to getting some paint on it.  Admittedly, it'll be a rattle can - Halfords Aluminium - but I'm undecided as to a unit. Obviously, it'll be a Lightning one, but which one?  I have a few obscure units in mind for which I have the decals, but I've got too much choice.
The major sanding for that will be done tomorrow.

The P.8s finally have their canopies on. There's some minor filling needing doing, but the primer should highlight it. Units are decided and the decals are obtained.

The SR.187 is just about done, after a week of sanding and filling. For the next one - and there will be a second, but greys or earlier in Aluminium is as yet to be decided - I'll build it differently to avoid many of the difficulties encountered with this one. Leaving off the tail section until the rest of the fuselage is done and filled is certainly one approach I'll be taking. 
As it is, I've found it challenging, in a good way, but also very frustrating because it's taking so long. Still, I'm on the last or at least the penultimate lap, with a final primer coat of Aluminium going on to show the flaws in filling the wing roots.  I'm looking forward to getting some paint on it.

Comments for those vaguely interested and can be arsed to reply go in the other thread, link is in a previous post.
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 10, 2021, 11:53:35 am
"Well, don't worry, Rick! It wouldn't have worked anyway!"

I am unhappy. I spent quite some time trying to fair in a radar warning receiver onto the AW58 Delta, only to realise that it didn't fit in with the decals I'm planning, so it got snapped off.  Still need to do a modicum of sanding to it and then a final primer coat.

I have finally got a proper primer coat, albeit Aluminium, onto the P.187.  Most of the transitions on the fuselage look fantastic, like they weren't there, but underneath still needs some filler work, plus the tail section will need a fair bit of sanding to remove print artifacts in certain areas, not to mention the sodding great crack that reappeared, left over from the minor accident it had a week ago.  It sounds worse than it is, most of them are relatively minor, but just niggling enough to be annoying.

The P8s are now masked, the canopies have had an undercoat of black and ready for a final primer coat.  The results of that will dictate if I can get some paint on tomorrow.  I think I've worked out how to do one, possibly two, of the grey schemes.  One is going to look quite colourful and I have the decals after a good number of mis-steps and purchases of many Modeldecal sheets from ebay.  Those won't get wasted, as there's enough markings to keep me sorted for RAF whiffs for some time.

The P6 had a jolly good sanding yesterday and it looks very smooth.  Really happy with it, so a final primer coat of Aluminium to highlight any flaws and I can get the area around the canopy tidied up.  Still unsure of a unit, possibly one of the Lightning F3 units or maybe a Hunter one instead?  I have plenty of choice from the latter, less so for the former and they are sexy squadrons, a definite no-no.

Having had to pack stuff, I've realised that a good third of the build programme will have to be cut back.  I don't want to go over the two standard boxes because this year there's four in the car, one of whom is in a wheelchair, so I'm unsure about the space I'll be getting.  I can't get as many Lightnings into a box as I can Spitfires - 5 as opposed to ten - and obviously, I'm having to prioritise.  The 3d printed stuff is a must so the P8s, Aw58 Delta, SR.187, the trio of Saro 53 and 177 are too.  Then there's the Rapier, the P6, a pair of Swifts, a Type 545, a pair of Hunters and possibly a pair of FD2s.  Even with my tessellation skills, still as sharp as ever, I doubt I can get that lot into two boxes, so I may have to resort to being sneaky.  The ice cream box Alistair sent the SR187 in may be employed for the Saro types, leaving t'other boxes for everything else.

Some of those on the priority list - the Swifts, Type 545 and the Hunters - are holdovers from last year.  One of the Swifts has been stalled for some time.  I know what markings I'm using for the Hunters and it may look a bit more real world than perhaps it should, so it may confuse the unwary.  Which is nice.

Having to cut back is a possibly good thing - less spraying, less masking and less decalling - especially with time running short.  However, it does mean that quite a few of these could end up by the wayside.  Again. 

Thankfully, my V-Bombers are in hibernation, because that could set some very large cats amongst the pigeons.

Comments for those vaguely interested and can be arsed to reply go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 11, 2021, 12:13:11 pm
"Is this some sort of sick joke? Why isn't supper ready? You haven't done a bloody thing, have you, Neil?!"

Well, actually, no.  I haven't started spraying yet.  I'm a week behind but I have more time on my hands than I planned, so it's not all bad.  I have actually got a primer coat on pretty much everything bar one, although then again...

The primer has, as is usual, thrown up a whole range of flaws in pretty much everything, but it's never quite as easy as it sounds.  Bit of filler here, some sanding there, and more worryingly, why wasn't that seam glued properly?  It looks worse than it is, but it is frustrating. Shouldn't take too long to apply all the filler and sand it back tomorrow.

The P.187 is still showing minor niggles and flaws here and there, although the finish is by and large really good.  It's about 75% there, but I'd be much happier with 95%.  Still a few holes to fill and some print artifacts that stubbornly refuse to go, especially around the airbrakes.  I really need to make a template of those for the second one - which is ordered and hopefully in the post tomorrow - and I'll sand the whole area smooth, then simply apply the airbrakes made from very thin plastic card.  It does look very impressive in bare Aluminium, so much so I'm very, very tempted with a third...

Lightnings and nearly Lightnings.  I did finally fix the seam on the VG single seater, so that may get decalled with the others, even though it's not going.  It's just one I want finished.  The trio of 3d printed P.8s have some niggling flaws too, but I really expected them, as with the one bodged together from a solid resin fuselage. The Rapier needs a fair bit of remedial work, especially underneath where the belly tank was - you never get a proper smooth finish with a large area of superglue and baking soda.  I really should have given it a skim of normal filler.

But the P.6 is the real surprise.  The silver primer has thrown up the usual niggles, especially the panel lines from it's former incarnation, but the paint has really transformed it and it looks something else entirely.  It doesn't really look like a Lightning on a diet, but more like a MiG 21 mutant on steroids.  It does look very aggressive, very Soviet, so much so I was almost tempted to give it Russian markings and say it was repainted for a starring role in a Bond film, but then what purports to be sanity in Wooksta Towers finally took a tenous grasp.  I still don't know what unit I want to do it with.

I went looking for a box of bits, thinking that there was some P.1121 tanks in it.  When I finally find it, they weren't there, but it did give me some large Hunter tanks that are going on a Sea Vixen, a white metal nosegear that'll go on the P.6 and a number of bang seats.  Two were painted, a mk3 and a mk 4, the other two less so.  One may go in the Vixen, but the mk 4 is going in the P.6.  I was also looking for an Aeroclub Sea Vixen upgrade set that I knew I'd seen recently and that turned up in a box of Venoms.  The one I did last year got another coat of Aluminium whilst I had the can to hand.  Again, not part of Plan V3.0, but moving along never hurts.

The search also turned up some of the bits which need to go on a primed Sea Vixen that is going to get finished off as it's a simple scheme of overall Extra Dark Sea Grey.  I also took another look at the P.1121 and the offending areas are not that bad, being underneath.  A smidge of filler, some minor sanding and a good clean and we're good to go.  I'll see how much time I have left once the main builds are done, although I have some design work that I need to get on with.  The client has signed off on the master template design, so I can crack on there when time allows .

Looking at the stalled Swift F7 I realised that the nosecone was all to cock paintwise which necessitated a bit of a respray, after masking the rest of with a shortcut of a plastic bag and some masking tape.  A tad sanding and then I can *finally* get the remaining decals on and varnish it.  There's a few other things that need sorting out for it, but they're minor.

Still much to do, but I have reached a significant point, so I do feel much happier.

Comments for those still remotely and vaguely interested and can be arsed to reply go here:

Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 17, 2021, 07:12:58 am
"Ah hah! Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha! Driving instructor my bottom! You're a vampire and there's no denying it!"

No, still not started spraying yet.  I am stuck in an endless Sisyphian Mobius loop of fill, sand, prime, find more flaws, fill, sand, etc ad bleedin nauseum 2.99999 recurring.  The 3d printed ones are the worst offenders, because my own drive for perfection, not to mention maintaining my reputation as "The Sandmaster", is at the root of it.  Some have at least three primer coats - the SR.187 very probably more - and I know I've yet to apply the final one.  The latter, being partly in Aluminium as the final camo scheme, needs to be smooth and I'm still finding flaws where I'd thought I'd fixed it.  The P.6 is a similar case, but that's nearly there or will be once the pylons are on the wings.  There are a few other issues with it, but not that many.  Thankfully.  Sooner or later, I have to say enough, and that point is rapidly approaching.

There's also all the tiny jobs to do before I can get canopies on, such as bang seats.  It's been a long time since I've done 50s jets - the Attackers all had solid hoods and any Meteors never had bang seats to start with.  Again, another loop.  Doesn't help when the aftermarket ones I have - Aeroclub - don't fit.  The Ursus SR53 being a case in point.  The canopy wouldn't close, so I had to cast around for a replacement.  Eventually, I found something ropey but useable from the Hasegawa Lightning.  Still too tall, so I cut the base off, shortened it and glued it back together, then added some bits of plastic card as cushions and tape straps.  Part painted, it looks pretty decent so will look fine when finished under what is laughably called a canopy.  By contrast with my bodge job, the kit one AZ provide is markedly inferior, but I'll be using it anyway.

Other issues are bits deciding to go walkies, such as the canopy for the FDII.  I thought I could bodge a replacement, but that didn't work, so started casting about to try and get another kit.  Then I had a brainwave, remembering where the bits had been originally.  That box had been cleared but I knew which one it had been tipped into, so after a quick look, there it was.  Once that was dipped in Kleer, I went to find the other bit and that had vanished...

It's all grinding along, but seems to be glacially slow.  Sod this, I'm bored. 

I'm going for a Twix...

Comments for those still remotely and vaguely interested and can be arsed to reply go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 23, 2021, 01:36:34 pm
"Yeah, where's the bloody vindaloo, hippie? You said you were going to the shops two hours ago!"

I did have an update ready to go last night but technical issues meant I lost it and I couldn't be arsed to rekey the wall of text.

Spraying has finally begun.  Well, nearly.  Three are still giving me grief and will have to wait until tomorrow - one's the canopy on the P6, but that's going Aluminium so not really that much of a timing issue. But I have fired up the airbrush.

The first up was to be the two P.8s, but every time I start spraying after a gap - the last time I used the thing was two years ago - it takes a while to get my hand in, so I decided this time to use a mule.  The Sea Vixen that's part of my "Eagle goes to the Falklands" scenario got a coat of ESDG to iron out any issues.  Safe to say, they're fixed and it looks okay.  So, I'm about to tackle the first of the P8s.

Once I've finished me brew.

Comments for those still remotely and vaguely interested and can be arsed to reply go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 23, 2021, 08:41:00 pm
"We're completely trapped. The outlook is bleak!"

Well, I've got some spraying done with mixed results and I'm sure it's down to the paint.  Yeah I know, bad workmen and their tools but...

First two, both P8s and Light Aircraft Grey from a new bottle with a clear top.  Some odd splitting.  Okay, let it dry, I'll do another coat in the morning.  Next three, Medium Sea Grey.  Fresh bottle but with the yellow top.  Perfect.  The Sea Vixen was also done with a fresh bottle, again with a yellow top.  Then the bulk, all Dark Sea Grey from a fresh bottle, this time with splitting and an odd marbling effect.  Ruined the finish.
The bottles have all had a good shake, all thinned with my usual screenwash, so I can only conclude that the clear tops are a dodgy batch.  Cue some scrabbling around to find some yellow top bottles of the right colours.  I didn't want to use them for various reasons, not least of which I don't think there's enough!  Although I've just found another bottle of DSG with the yellow top and I know where there's another bottle of Dark Green.

I'm really annoyed, not to mention disheartened, by the DSG stuff.  I was going to give them a second coat anyway, but that's not the point.  I've spent a not inconsiderable sum on new paint specifically for the current builds and they're all a parcel of dog turds.

In other news...

I'm casting around for other squadrons for the P8s, largely because the world and his wife will be basically switching Lightnings for P8s and going for the sexy squadrons with the big colour fins and flashy markings.  That's not how I roll these days, as I like subtlety and some thought put into choosing squadrons and markings.  Whiffing largely started as doing something different from the usual and as it's got larger, it's becoming more mainstream so I'm trying to stay ahead of the trend thus going for more unusual squadrons or second line units. I *have* to be different and whilst I freely confess that one of the current builds is going 5 Sqdn with the red fin, all the others I'm considering are with different squadrons and I'm trying to find suitable decals. 

One option I'm liking more and more is 151 Sqn, which had flown Javelins so would be ideal for either Lightnings, P8s or one of the Spec F.155 options. I've got the bars on a Modeldecal sheet, but nowt for the fin, a search on the Hannants site for 151 Sqn threw up a 48th Hawk sheet which gave me some other interesting markings that may not be in the right timescale but could be used for aircraft resprayed for an anniversary to represent all the squadrons which had flown P8s before they retire.  There is a precedent for this - several Lightnings were repainted in the markings of all the squadrons which flown them around 1985 for the anniversary of the aircraft in service, thus giving me plausible deniability.

There's another two builds underway - and these are definitely the last - and thankfully they both have an easy peasy and quick Aluminium scheme that's right up my particular field of preference, but one, another P8 has to have a rounded Lightning F1 fin for reasons of contrast.  That's a problem as I wanted to do an LTF aircraft in overall Aluminium around 1975, and by that time they would have been produced with the larger square fin or retrofitted by BAC.  Hence I started casting about for the other markings and I decided on 151 Sqn for this one. But with a Roundel Blue fin.

I'm also considering a navalised one - BAC did offer a VG Lightning to the Navy after all - so that's another option.  Then I remembered my "Eagle in the Falklands" scenario and the slim possibility of P8s carrying anti radar Martels to knock out Argie radars arose.  I also remembered something mentioned on another site that AI23 had been used as a basis for the Buccaneer's Blue Parrot radar and the radome on the P8 is big enough to carry it.  Supersonic ship busters?  The Navy would cream themselves for that option.

Unit markings?  Well, that sodding Omega is out, as everyone seems to apply it to everything.  Ditto the mailed fist.  I do like the idea of that golden bird emblem, as a P8 on landing has an u/c that looks reminiscent of an Eagle's claws - much like the P.187 with the drooped nose looking like a beak and the legs like talons too, hence my dubbing it the Thunderbird.

But all this is for the future.  I have too much to think of right now. 

Comments for those still remotely and vaguely interested and can be arsed to reply go here:
Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 24, 2021, 04:38:58 am
"Oh, no, please..."

Having just resprayed the underneath of the two P8s with Light Aircraft grey from an unused bottle with a yellow top with no ill effects whatsoever, I can only conclude that the clear lid bottles are iffy.  Use of a paint mule for first use from said bottles may be a safer way to go.

My concerns about not enough paint have been highlighted when I found that there was only ONE yellow top bottle of RAF Dark Green and I'll be going through a lot, not least of which with the Saro Thunderbird F1 - it's a BIG airframe.  I was a bit concerned about the Dark Sea Grey before I found another bottle, so I should have enough of that.  I also remembered a bottle of Dark Camouflage Grey only to find upon opening it, found that it's just Dark Sea Grey.  Two are going in the dark grey scheme, so that helps.  IIRC it was bought for several TSR2s back in 2005...

So, I think I'll be hitting ebay for paint and hopefully, they'll be yellow tops.

Right, time for a brew and then back to the grindstone.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 24, 2021, 07:16:32 am
"Well, I think that should do it!"

Having resprayed all the DSG stuff, they look a lot better with another coat from a yellow top bottle.  Given the shocking lack of Dark Green in yellow top bottles, I've had to reluctantly use a clear top one.  Good shake, add thinner and another good shake.  Hopefully it should be okay, but I've a mule that's been given a quick coat and it seems to be okay so far.  The mule, a Sea Hawk, odd looks right in Dark Green over Aluminium, having been given an overall coat by it's previous owner.

Still have some tweaking to do here and there, so thankfully Perfect Plastic Putty is water soluble. The Rapier and the P6 need more work, but the latter is NMF, so timing isn't an issue.

Right, time for another brew and then back to the grindstone.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 26, 2021, 05:20:30 pm
"God, I'm bored... Term only finished four hours ago and already I'm bored."

Have I mentioned that I hate masking?  Of course I have, every year about this time.  However, it's true.  Not only do I hate masking, I completely loathe and despise it.  Naturally, the first one I pick up to do, the Saro 187, fought me every step of the way.  What with all the odd angles, that T-tail and the u/c getting in the way was getting very frustrating.  So much so, it nearly went off a wall three or four times.  Still, it's done now and I can get on with a few smaller things.

Which means painting on Maskol, which is nearly as frustrating as poncing about with tape.  With the latter, I'm trying Tamiya masking tape for a change.  Well, in parts where I need a better demarcation, as supposedly you don't get paint creep with it.  So I'm using Tamiya  at the demarcation and bog standard Wilkinsons masking tape as the infill.  Do the whole thing in Tamiya tape?  At the price that is?  You're 'avin a giraffe, mate!

I'm about halfway through and getting bored.

I've been having more thoughts about different squadrons operating P8s but making them a bit more colourful and flashy.  Mention of anniversary schemes made me think a bit.  1968 was the RAF's 50th anniversary, but under Comrade Harold "Strength through Misery" Wilson's regime we never saw anything like pride in the armed forces, certainly not from a Labour government.  However, my imagination isn't quite so limited and I've been thinking.  May need to call on the printing services of Mr Spackman, but I can do the design.  I think.

I've got various squadrons in mind, but I've had a rethink on 151 Sqn, as I think they'd be better using the two seaters, so what I've got in mind may not work for a camouflaged machine, but if they're flying an earlier mark with the rounded fin, or even the square fin (as the two seaters would probably need the larger fin due to the increase in fuselage length) in Aluminium could well work.  The order to tone everything down happens after the anniversary displays and many squadrons switch to camouflage, at least the two seat units, until the mid 70s when everything goes camo.

The reason for the partial rethink, certainly on 151, was due to a lack of suitable paint - I don't think Xtrarylix do Roundel or Oxford Blue in their range whilst the blue that I do have doesn't look quite right.  The decals should arrive soon, so the machine 151's markings were going to be applied to may well be going 63 sqn instead.  Other units I have in mind are 85 and 234 sqns.  85 flew Javelins - which were intended to be replaced by the F.155 winner - and 234 flew Hunters.  I also have 41 and 43 sqns in mind anyway, with the latter's markings going on the shape.

Well, I'd better get back to painting Maskol on.  Three Saro rocket fighters and a P8.  The last few will be out with the tape.  Could be a looooong night...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 27, 2021, 05:32:17 pm
"If we give up, can we stop playing this stupid boring game?"

Bored, bored, bored.  I hate masking.  I said that yesterday and I'll say it again.  I can never work up any enthusiasm for it at all and find it the absolutely worst bit of the hobby.  I don't like decalling either, but at least you can see something emerge.  Masking?  No, just deadly dull.

The bulk of the first lot of masking, so I can get on the second colour, is about done.  I've yet to spray the first coat on the Rapier, but that can be done first thing and I'll use maskol on it in the afternoon.  Quick drying time is one of the reasons I like Xtracrylix paints.

But doing the tape on the two P8s - and these have to be masked several times for up to five colours - was soul destroying.  The Swift PR wasn't too bad, and then I cheated with the grey Firestreak ADV Hunter- as I'm only doing the lower fuselage, I've wrapped the bulk of it in a food bag and taped round it.  I'll have to mask it off again to do the LAG on the wing and tailplane undersides, but could well emply the same method again.  If it works.  Seemed to with the Fairey Delta.

One of the things I realised I needed was some kind of template to do the masks for the wing undersides of the P8s, as the upper surface camouflage wraps round the wing and tailplane leading edges.  Turns out for the wings the best thing to use is the lower wing from the Hasegawa Lightning, as it's a drop in panel split along the panel lines that denote where the spars are.

Of course, it's never quite that easy.  I'd masked off the P8s to do the belly tanks in Aluminium, along with the bare metal panel on the fuselage under the wings.  However, having had experience of paint lifting off a Halfords Aluminium coated model in the past, I had to look around for a slightly different scheme for one of the two - one is overall Barley (Camouflage) Grey, other than the undersides of the wings and tailplanes, so it wasn't an issue.  The other, planned as being an LTF machine in the Dark Grey camo scheme, was to have had a low demarcation line but that bare metal panel has forced a rethink.  I know that there were several variations on the grey schemes worn by Lightning, so I knew I could find one with a higher demarcation, but did the LTF operate one in that scheme? So I hit the references and find yes, they did, and it had a light grey fin too.  Fantastic.

But the same references also revealed that the grey aircraft didn't have as much wraparound under the leading edges and also not all of them had the bare metal panel, especially not XR770.  Which makes life so much easier.

But these are whiffs, surely it shouldn't matter?  No, it does.  I've always viewed it as "turn left", so all the rules that apply in the real world also apply to anything I can cook up in my imagination.  If the Air Staff had had their way, P8 would have supplanted Lightning, probably from the F3 onwards, so serials, squadrons and schemes employed on Lightning are applicable. 

That being the case, there's always some joyless nerk who will point out a flaw, so if said whiff is made to look as real as possible, with all the references to back it up, then I can defend the model.  You can largely bluff your way through anything a JMN can throw at you, but you need to have that reference material in your head to be convincing. Know your subject and be confident, throw in enough facts with the bullshit and you'll be believed.

The only concession I've allowed myself is that my post war RAF didn't return to using underwing serials, but that's more from laziness than anything else.

Rant for today over.

Not much to do re masking tomorrow, I just have to get spraying.  Then I get to do it all over again on Friday.  I really can't wait...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on October 30, 2021, 09:27:34 pm
"But we had to change the rules because Monopoly is so boring!"

I am now at the point where I almost want to give up.  I utterly HATE masking right now, having had to completely mask a good few and I've still got another four to do tomorrow.  It's utterly soul destroying...

The one I've hated masking the most, largely because it took so long - TWO HOURS - was the two seat P8 going three tone camouflage, due to the camo wraparound under the wings, that sodding bare metal panel on the fuselage and the integrally printed doors and u/c legs meaning I couldn't get a direct line. I had a similar issue with the AW58 Delta (henceforth known as the AW Archer F1 - not only is it alliterative, but the aircraft looks, in plan view, like an arrow in a bow. If you squint a bit and use your imagination.  Look, MFM, yeah), but that had more straight lines making it a tad easier.

The P8s in the greys need another coat of Light Camouflage Grey and they're largely done, except I need to mask off the base of the tail, employ the food bag and spray the fin a fetching shade of red.  I have to do something similar with one of the Fairey FD.2s albeit in Night.

So, get the last of the masking done tomorrow, trying not to slit my wrists in the process and get the remainder of the spraying done so I can finally start decalling on Monday.

Unitwise, I think I have a final user for the SR177 - 11 Sqn, as a unit hack to go with the SR187 OGL did.  I have plenty of the relevant decals in the Lightning box  All the others I know exactly what I'm doing, although I need to choose a Germany based squadron, probaby an ex-Sabre unit as I don't have any Venom sheets, for one of the SR53s, which I've dubbed the Cyclone.

The SR.187 took an age to spray the green on, as it wouldn't settle over the Halfords Aluminium I'd used as a primer, so it got misted on and built up.  The green was from one of the clear top bottles and it seemed to behave.  The finish isn't quite as smooth as I'd hoped but I can live with it.  I'm really happy with all the joins though, as you frankly can't see them.

The 48th Hawk sheet arrived and it's good, but some of the unit badges seem smaller than I'd anticipated.  There is a unit badge for 79 (Shadow) Sqn, which is great as that's an extra splash of colour to go on the Supermarine 545.  Matra/SNEB pods and practice bomb carriers as loadout for that one for a jolly outing over the ranges at Otterburn before a visit to Acklington where it gets zapped by the resident 607 Sqn hooligans.

Right.  It's late and I am very tired.  I really cannot be bothered with yet more masking....

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 01, 2021, 09:19:37 pm
"Good morning, Neil! Tea ready yet, is it?"

By which, if you mean the masking and spraying, well... Nearly

When I got round to spraying the aluminium yesterday - late due to the rain - I realised that the SR177 needed a respray due to excess dust ruining the paintwork under the tailplanes, with similar issues affecting the AW Archer.  Cue leaving them in disgust - and I'm not too enamored of the SR177 anyway for reasons I'll go into later and worse was to follow.

I took the masking of the Hunter with the P1083 wings only for the tape to lift the paint in two areas.  One is an easy fix with Tamiya tape and a food bag to mask off to respray it, but the other area is bang on a demarcation area right next to the starboard wing root intake, which is two colours with aluminium beneath. 

Both kind of left me somewhat disheartened and apart from spraying the fin on one of the P8s and the tail and wing outers of the FDII with the ETPS, I left everything for the day and didn't come back to it until about 9pm today.

I take the masking off pretty much everything and thankfully, no more paint being lifted and very few other issues. The Swift PR6 may need a slight respray aound the nose, but that's a straightforward fix.  A few need some careful touch up with a hairy stick here and there, but overall I'm relatively happy.  Especially with the demarcations as it's the first time I've had so few issues with paint creep.  Moral to take from this - don't skimp on masking.  Infill areas are okay with any barrier method, but demarcations are henceforth being done with Tamiya tape and bugger the cost.

I did fix the SR177, after some light sanding with a fairly fine pad and then a blast from the can of Aluminium, with the Archer getting similar treatment.  The salvage work on the 177 made me view it in a better light - before I detested it, now I'm just bored with it and want it done.  It just isn't talking to me so I want it finished and out of the way.

Why?  Not through any fault of the kit, it's the Freightdog one and it is lovely.  INo, what it really boils down to is the fact that I just really don't like the aircraft.  It looks clunky, the whole rocket boosted fighter concept was flawed and the SR177 was to be powered in the main by the Gyron Junior which was really fuel thirsty.  New engine + new design = disaster.  Usually, or at least considerable difficulties and I'm of the opinion that cancelling it, certainly in the form it was at the time, was a good move.

Then add into the mix that I wasn't doing it because I wanted to do it, but because it fitted a hole.  The SR53s are being done as I wanted to build the AZ kit anyway and to prove a point to someone else.  The Ursus/Airfix one because I wanted a then and now contrast.  With me building the Gannet SR187, it made sense to complete the trio.  But I didn't have an end user in mind, a scheme for it or even any ideas for a unit. I'm still vacillating over that, as I was thinking of 11 Sqn, but because it means I'm following the ideas of someone else - the site logo - have decided against it and went for something more logical.  The rocket boosted fighter would have been better used somewhere where you'd need very quick reaction times and in the late 50s and early 60s that meant RAF Germany.  So a German based Hunter or Venom unit is a more likely recipient.  I have plenty of Hunter sheets to choose from, so I'll have a dig through the books and see what I can come up with.

Oh, the Archer looked even better, although like the Hunter it'll need some small areas touched up.  I'm really happy with the finish on the bulk, although the grey LTF P8 isn't quite what I wanted.  One of the grey Hunters looks stunning, with the other looking even better.  Both SR53s look cool, although the Ursus one is let down by the vile canopy which I did try to fix, but TBH, the kit is what it is and it does look somewhat better.
The one I may be happiest with the the Supermarine 545.  Once the markings are on and the stores fitted, its going to be good.  I hope...

Tomorrow is a day with a modicum of spray fixes and then down to the decalling.  It's all coming together and I can see the end.  Unfortunately, time to get there is running out.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 02, 2021, 10:26:32 pm
"Six? No, it would be six if you killed him, Michael. Let's call it two."

Decalling has begun and I'm a third the way through, plus half of another before frustration and boredom finally took hold and I gave up for the night before something went off a wall.  All the small spray jobs were done earlier, with the Swift PR6 having to have a further touch up when the masking lifted the paint.  I'm making my way through the hairy stick jobs as I go through.

Done so far are a couple of Swifts, one only needing the 74 Sqn markings - it got started and stalled some years back, and I had to finish it as it was.  The ETPS FD.II was fairly easy to do, although the fin flash isn't quite right.  Does look very different though.  Also done and dusted were the Rapier, the Archer and the Supermarine 545.  Happy with all three, although trying to get suitable serials is taking some thought.  Of the complete batch, again the one I'm happiest with is the 545.  Looks very different wearing second line 1970s markings, and it's a real departure for me.  The Rapier is another surprise, because whilst it's clearly of the Lightning family, the smaller fin, lack of a spine and just cannons, along with a dark colour scheme and a bubble hood, it looks different.  Mention of Lightnings, I also got halfway through the two seat P8, but decided I was too tired and emotional to face the walkway lines and left it for the night.

Truthfully, I was actually quite happy to start decalling and despite the frustration, I'm enjoying it.  Whether that will be the case with the last few - probably the smaller Saro trio - remains to be seen.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 18, 2021, 05:36:10 pm
"Sounds like supper's ready."

Well, Telford has been and gone and I managed to get everything on the list finished, although the Lightnings never did get their pitot tubes, and it was right down to the wire.  Yet again.  More planning is involved for next year, which may well be V bombers and Buccaneers.

I was broadlty happy with everything, although the Rapier, the 545, the P6 and the 63 Sqn P8 are firm favourites.  I do not quite know just how I managed to get the finish on the latter. I was about halfway through a can of Aluminium and still priming, so decided to use another one of the metallic silvers I had, ending up with Ford Stardust Silver.  Now this is too grainy for a final coat but as a metallic primer? Yeah, it'll do, so one with that and something strange happened.  For whatever reason it just flattened everything out, hiding many of the print artifacts and giving an almost eggshell finish.  Few tiny bits of filling and sanding, another coat and it looked amazing.  On with the Aluminium proper and it looks even better.  It took the decals well and then a final matt coat and that went on perfectly too.  Right now, it's my favourite of all the P8s done so far, with the red fin 5 sqn example a close second.

So, where do we go from here?  Well, taking a look at finishing those axed from The PlanTM V3.0 looks to be a good idea.  The FDIIs just need their u/c on and the doors too, ditto the Hunters, although one will need some new Firestreaks from Colin as I nicked them for the 63 Sqn Lightning.

Afterwards isn't quite so clear cut, but there's enough in abandoned projects to keep me busy for some time, let alone starting new things.  I've already mentioned the V bombers (already assembled), but something Hawker is also one the cards with the P1081s and other Sea Hawk related airframes.

At Telford, myself and Kitbasher were discussing Sea Hawk based trainers and he mentioned he was working on one.  I have an assembled one and have looked at grafting on a Venom canopy - with some filler it could look about right.  And then I looked sideways at a 1081 based trainer.  The Maintrack bits are poor at best but then I remembered a recipe I received some years back that involved a cut and shut between a Novo Sea Hawk and a Novo Hunter F1 that could work, so I dropped an Airfix Hunter fuselage over the Hygate 1081 plans and it's a good fit for the rear fuselage.  I may even be able to keep the intakes and if I go for the larger Hunter fin and tailplanes that I've already given to a pair of 1081s, then it may be somewhat more interesting.  I already have several resin 1081 wings plus I bought a Novo Sea Hawk for precisely this project.

I do want to finish at least one of the P1081s that are littering the place, plus there's that Venom that got a second coat of Aluminium that wouldn't take that much to finish.  There's a few other Vampire related things that got assembled last year, the PR one is the one I'm looking at finishing, largely because when I was spraying the PRU Blue a few weeks back I part sprayed the underside of the Lancaster PR6 to use up the paint still in the airbrush.  I know it's not fast jets, but it's something else to finish and it's going to be an easy enough scheme to do.  Plus I can do it at the same time as the Vampire and possibly a P1081 if I go for that odd Dark Green/MSG over PRU Blue scheme that some Vampires and Cranberries wore.

Mention of Hawker based things brings me swiftly to the Harrier.  No, not that one, I mean the supersonic Huntsman with the P.1083 wing as after over a year in the doldrums I *finally* have an idea of what I want to do with it.  I mean, it's a fast VIP transport, so overall white with a blue cheatline and flashy type D roundels and the markings of 26 Sqn - who flew Hunters before getting Belvederes and then Bassets in the transport role - would seem to be a winner.
Also being considered is a quick and dirty P1083 with the resin wings I used for the 20 Sqn example that went to Telford and was observed lurking at the back of the Tyneside display.  This time, it'll be gear up and in flight, all black and in the markings of 111 Sqn.  A bit too obvious perhaps - everyone seems to go for the Black Arrows - so a move sideways and 92 Sqn markings instead for a Blue Arrows machine instead?

The same guy I got the wings from provided me with several sets of Hunter drawings a week or so back, and these included a P1083 derivative with a radar nose and Firestreaks.  That was is just begging to be done from the Revell kit and various Freightdog components.  Plus I still want to do that T-bird with the 1083 wing at some point too.

Other projects worth considering?  Well, there's a few Swifts that could be finished, PR nosed early ones or the FB5 ground attack version.  At Telford, I discovered that there was indeed a two seat side by side trainer version drawn up - I had the drawing from t'interweb but was dubious about it's provenance. Doesn't look to be too difficult either and the old Pegasus kit may be the one to use.  I also discovered that the VG wing of a Sukhoi Fitter may well be useful if I want to have a bash at the VG Swift that Vickers did studies for.  I've seen some drawings but can't quite remember where.
The use of a Fitter wing is the result of casting about to find alternate fuselages to the Su 7 - of which there were none to be found at Telford, at least not in 72nd scale - these being ideal as a basis for the English Electric P.6 single engines Lightning development.  My plan to ignore the area rule and explain it away as a result of an engine change to the BS Olympus turns out to have a basis in reality.  One was apparently drawn up and it is a dead ringer for an Su 7 fuselage.
The Fitters I did pick up - three certainly - are no use, having that odd drooped nose, but the Hobbycraft ones look to be about right.

The other Lightning project I'm considering - actually there's a second but all in good time - is my interpretation of Kit's EE Flattening, a Lightning with side by side engines rather than vertically stacked.  I'd decided on an Su15 Flagon as a basis, having the right size fuselage to take a pair of Avons side by side, and managed to obtain a pair of PM ones at reasonable prices.  Taping up the various components proved to me, and Kit also, that it could well work and more importantly it looks right, even if mine could well end up looking more like a Tornado with Lightning wings and Mirage intakes.

The other project?  The very first P1B, with the NACA intakes and the solid nose.  I've already done it with the Rapier, so I know how to go about it and I have enough bits in the spares box, although I may use a Novo one rather than an Airfix one.

The final few projects are more salvage jobs, the first being that P.1121 that's been kicking about for ages.  A clean up, new decals certainly, along with the long lost bits or replacements, and it could be done relatively quickly.  I hope.  The other two being the original Gannet Scale Models Fairey Delta III and the twin engined RAE Mach 2 fighter that looks somewhat like a Bristol 188.  For the latter two, I can see a lot of filling and sanding...

So, plenty to think about and even more to do.  I have the imagination, I just don't have the energy.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 22, 2021, 04:58:22 pm
"Who can tell?"

I've been looking through my Plans folder, where I keep the various badly folded A3 sheets of photocopied and exploded 3 view drawings , as I was trying to find the plans for the De Havilland DH116 "Super Venom" as I had a brainwave a week or so back and I think I've got a recipe for a scratchbodge that involves a Matchbox Hunter, a Merlin Vampire T11 front end, some Sea Vixen outer wing panels and a lot of filler.  However, the only set I found - in the wrong place, naturally - were the wrong size.  So that's on the backburner, again, where it's been for a good twenty years or so.  I know there's a decent set somewhere, I just need Time Team to do the archaeology to find it.

I did find some plans that were useful, namely the Hawker P.1071 and the BAC Type 583.  I know Thorvic did one or two of the latter some years back, but I want to give it a spin anyway.  The Tornado I looked at seems to drop over the plans provided a splice is removed from the fuselage, which will need lengthening too.  I have the front end, in the shape of an Su 15.

The Hawker project is a derivative of the original P.1067 Hunter design, nose intake but with a longer fuselage and more  swept wings.  TsrJoe had said that the unreleased Blackbeard P.1067 fuselage is wrong for 1067, being too long, but bang on for 1070.  Having dropped a gash one over the 1071 plans (the only difference between the 1070 and 1071 is the latter has additional rocket thrust), it would seem that he's right.  Hmmn.  Need to rework the fin, but there's a starting point.  What to use for the wings?  First thought was the standby for 1083 - a PM Ho 229  - but then I remembered the Su 7 which had a fairly highly swept wing and tried the wing over the plans.  It'll work, with a section cut out at the root, some trimming and reshaping at the tips, all the fences removed and new u/c inserts cut out.  The thickness of the wing looks to be spot on too.  That VEB Su 7 seems to have been better value than I thought.

Another project that's bit the dust is my thought of using an F100 Super Sabre as a basis for a Supermarine 545, or rather the production version with the revised nose reminiscent of the F86D.  The fuselage is about the right shape, certainly length is right, but the cross sections are out.  The forward section could be a basis for the front end of the proposed two seat side by side Swift trainer, as that would have been similar to the nose of the Type 554, according to Teach for the Sky, and I have the drawings somewhere on the hard drive.  Time to get them blown up, methinks.  Other than a trainer, it was proposed as a radar equipped fighter, but given the type's failure in the fighter role, a light strike aircraft would have been better.

Dug out some cast P.1081 wings, so the two unfinished ones - well, wingless - can be advanced a bit further.  I'd like at least one of these done, as I've the 607 Sqn markings waiting to go on it.  My alternate history has them flying Spitefuls rather than Spitfire F22s which are replaced with P1081s in '54, being replaced by Hunter F4s in 1959.  There's a great deal of things in this Alternate 607 Sqn, I just hope I've enough untouched Airfix F22s so I can steal the unit badges.  Oh, wait...

To be honest, I've a lot of projects in my head at the minute, and its a real conundrum as to which one I want to do first.  I may have to draw up some kind of Plan...

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 23, 2021, 06:37:38 pm
"Poor old Special Patrol Group."

Spent an interesting half an hour with several sets of drawings blown to approximately 72nd.

First was the P1071 mentioned yesterday and the P.1067 "Demon", along with some of the bits for the abortive Blackbeard kit and a Novo Hunter F1.  for the 1067, I'd need to do some fairly drastic surgery to shorten the fuselage of the Hunter, but it's about right for the 1071.  I'd rather go for the 1070 to make life easier.

The other was a set of drawings for the English Electric P6.  I've tried every Su-7, Su-9 and Fitter fuselage I had to hand and the best fit is surprisingly the awful VEB kit.  Bang on for length, the plastic is thick and will withstand heavy sanding and the panel lines are all raised.  The KP kit seemed short but nicer to work with, the Su-9 was similar but at 18 notes, a tad too expensive for a donor kit.  The Fitter was way out.  Short, too wide and the area rule at the front makes it just look wrong.

So whilst I have the kits I need as donors, I'm also left with several Fitters that I really have no interest in.  I may well build one in Indian markings or with some tinpot African dictatorship.  Or perhaps one at Boscombe Down for RAF evaluation.  The Su-9 may well end up Indian.

Still don't know where the DH.116 plans are though.  And that's annoying.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 24, 2021, 09:18:59 am
"Ah hah! Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha! Driving instructor my bottom! You're a vampire and there's no denying it!"

I've been going through the midden that is the flat, trying to tidy the place a bit and whilst putting some DVDs away in a cupboard found several sets of drawings.  Two are for a jet engined Wyvern  - with an Avon, no less! - and came from TsrJoe more years ago than I care to think about.  Still never did it but I'm sure I have a Novo wreck somewhere that may be pressed into service.  Means I can send Dave that bit he needs.

But what I did find - and I am still coming down from the excitement - is the missing DH.116 drawings!  Cue a scrabble to find the bits for the recipe and yes, it will work, being a noxious brew of a Merlin Vampire T11 front end, a Matchbox Hunter back end, Novo Sea Vixen outer wing panels (which just about fall over the plan once the tips are trimmed (or I may leave them for the production version :wacko:), some plastic card and P38.  Not sure how to approach the canopy - possibly a 48 Mosquito bomber one filled with P38 and sanded back could act as a plug. 

But I'm now confident of being able to build at least one and I know I have enough bits kicking about to do at least 3 more should it work.  Or a second to act as a master for a potential kit.

May have to invest in some P38 as I don't think I have any...

In other news, a mixture of Lightnings and P1B developments have had a coat of primer, these being the ones that were postponed some weeks back as The PlanTM V3.0 was becoming unwieldy.  One should be fairly straightforward to do once primed (laughs sarcastically) as it's the Airfix F1A with a very subtle twist. Although as all the original Airfix decals I have are decidedly crap, I'll be using other ones instead, so the serial may be somewhat different.

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on November 27, 2021, 12:35:55 pm
"Oh! Ha ha ha! Well, I mean, if you like snow and being really cold, it's a nice day."

I'm somewhat puzzled, trying to remember which box the wreck of the Hawker P.1129 that was built for one Telford from a collection of resin bits cast by TsrJoe from a master made by Geoff. I'm sure I stripped it to redo but it got chucked in a box.  Trouble is that, with all the current thoughts around 50s/60s jet projects, it's one I'd like to resurrect.
I do have a dodgy cast, probably the last out of the mould before it gave up the ghost, that could be done, but it's a lot of work and might be better as a master. I think.
Anyway, I had a dig through one box where it could be. Predictably, I didn't find it, but did find the Lightning T5A in 23 sqn markings that I never did finish. Not much to do, so that gets resurrected.  The same box revealed a pack of Huntsmen, two standard to repair and an Avon engined one that I never finished. Also located were a number of Hunters. One may be redone as a 26 sqn example, but I'm thinking of several for that unit, being a mixture of single and two seat Hunters as well as a trio of Huntsmen.
The other thing I do want to find is a T-tail Hunter that stalled after the paint lifted.  IIRC the tail was removed for something else but it didn't get scrapped, so where did it go?

Answers to
Behind the water pipes
Waterloo Station

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Title: Re: The Wooksta: Not a Spitfire Blog
Post by: The Wooksta! on December 07, 2021, 01:59:37 pm
"I thought so. Look, what are we really doing here? Really?"

The weather has put a hold on several plans, to whit the Lightnings and the P.1128 supersonic version which I've dubbed the Harrier.  They got a coat of primer and no further. The Harrier does look good in white though.

So I've been planning what I want to do re scratch bodges.  Again, the weather has put a block on it as I really don't want to go out.  I need to do some photocopying.

So what's in mind? P6, obviously. Thorvik sent me a pair of Leoman Su-9s as fuselage donors. Given that the intake on the Su-9 is larger than required, it'll have to be a late Olympus or possibly a reheated Spey engined version as I'm sure it would need a greater mass flow. So Su 7 for early models, Su 9 for late, along with the kinked F6 wing. May even keep the spill doors.
One other P6 possibility is the twin engined canard project, with what looks like a Canberra fuselage. A pair of Su-7s would do as the engines, Su-9 wings as the outer panels and a lot of plastic card and filler.

There's various Hawker projects, two being variations on the P.1067 with the nose intake. Again, I have the plans but need some extra ones.  The1067 being a reworked Novo Hunter with the wing roots backfilled and sanded smooth, with an inch taken out of the fuselage.  Part way through the surgery but it's looking promising. I can either do a flying one or take the effort to grout out the wheel well bays.

The other is a P.1071, this being similar, but with a more swept wing. A reworked Su-7 wing is ideal for this. I have a resin fuselage from an abortive effort at a P.1067 kit. Bit of work opening up the nose gear bay and grouting out the nose intake, a new fin and some delta wing tailplanes.

And this is just the start. Too many projects and I really don't know which way to go. 

But I'm enjoying it anyway.

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