The Fairey Bumble Bee

Started by McColm, June 16, 2021, 06:14:39 AM

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The Fairey Bumble Bee started life as a 1/72 Airfix Fairey Rotodyne kit and was my aim to build something very similar to the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey.
The first thing was to remove the the rotor stack , this comes off easily with a modellers saw, but the hole in the roof will need filling in with a piece of plastic card or something similar. If you have any seats or airline seats these can be glued on to a false floor with cupboards and toilet facilities or canvas seats for the troops. An opposite entrance  door can be created at the front end of the fuselage.
Windows and cockpit fittings as per instructions are fitted as standard.
When the interior is painted to your specifications, just before you glue the two fuselage halves together,  two small holes will have to be drilled where the centre of the wing stubs in order for the wings to rotate from horizontal to vertical and a small rod pushed through which allows enough length to be trimmed after gluing the fuselage halves together.
Clamps , rubber bands and masking tape is what I usually use. Whilst drying the rear doors,  tail fins and the engines can be assembled as well as the wings. Don't glue the engine landing gear as the gear needs to move freely to store in the wheel wells,  I left the landing gear doors off as this was a prototype. The tabs on the wing stubs will have to be removed so they are flush and the gap on the fuselage where the wings would have been fitted,  filled in from the inside with thin strips of plastic or scrap plastic card.
I have experimented with the engines from the Airfix Avro Shackleton MR.2, C-130 and B-47. Having an outrigger folding struts instead of using the landing gear provided. I have also used the landing gear layout from the Revell
MH-47E Chinook along with the outer fuselage fuel tanks which obscured most of the fuselage windows but as this was the AEW variant none of the interior detail could be seen,  plus ballast was used to stop it being a tail sitter.
A Gunship version can be built but I recommend lengthening the fuselage to compensate for the engines in the horizontal position otherwise you are going to shoot yourself down.
However vehicles can be loaded using the ramps from the Airfix Bristol Superfreighter,  I have used an Airfix long-wheelbase LandRover albeit the windscreen and side windows had to be removed due to the false floor and new roof but two should fit.
Filler/puty will need to be used to plug the hole in the roof of the fuselage and PSR until a smooth finish. I recommend you using a metal inflight refuelling probe as the plastic ones have a habit of snapping off.
The Bumble Bee will be ready for prep for painting or priming this is to make sure that the diameter of the wing spar rod is the same thickness as the wing stubs. Experienced Whiffers with have got this spot on but if you are like me and are slightly wider then drill the holes the same diameter as the rod so it protrudes the wings but not too deep. Both wings have to be at the same setting before using superglue. Allow to dry and then sand down until smooth with the wings.
Leave the cockpit canopy until you have decided on what paint scheme you have chosen.
Every Whiffer will build this slightly differently to these instructions and create their own landing gear formation,  the decals will be different along with the many variations.