I made a start on the undercarriage this morning and while cleaning up the nose gear, I noticed that the wheel was not round. It had a flat-spot on one side and the tyre was noticably thicker on one side too and because the wheel was moulded integrally with the gear leg, the tyre appeared to be curving up where it met the fork at the top;
I tried to sand it to a rounder shape but it didn’t work so I made a new fork out of a block of plastic sheet;
Cut roughly from the block of plastic, it was sanded to shape with 1mm diameter rod added to the ends of the forks. Holes were drilled into the end of the gear leg and forks and a length of wire was superglued into the forks to strengthen the joint;
To replace the front wheel, I have ordered a set of Reskit wheels so they should turn up mid-week. I didn’t really want to add any more extras to the model but once I saw how mishapen the front wheel was I just had to replace it.
The front undercarriage doors for the kit are pretty poor too so I binned them and made new ones;
So not as straight forward a build as I was hoping but it is getting there.
Well…..I ‘was’ hoping to have this built and ready for painting tonight but after trying to fit the rear instrument panel cover, it became very apparent that something was wrong as the cover sat far too high. The actual problem was with the idiot building the model as somehow I had the front and rear instrument panels mixed up;
This meant VERY carefully removing both etched instrument panels and the rear kit supplied one, the kit supplied instrument panel wrongly glued in the front was left in place. On the plus side I took the opportunity to glue some plastic sheet to the rear instrument panel cover as it is about 1.5mm too short so this will be sanded to shape tomorrow and painted before gluing it into place. I also made a new rear panel using one from another Airfix Hawk as a template.
On the upper fuselage there are two rectangular vents that are very poorly defined on the kit but luckily Kuvalainen supply etched ones. The areas where they go were carefully scraped out with a modelling chisel and when done, the etched parts were glued into place;
The flaps were finished off tonight as well and although they are not quite like the real aircraft they are near-as-dammit for me;
Another detail added was the rear navigation light as these are quite prominent on the actual aircraft;
This was made from 0.88mm diameter rod that was drilled out at one end then a ‘ball’ glued into the drilled end. This ‘ball’ was actually from a water filter cartridge that I broke open a couple of years ago as the cartridges are full of them in various sizes and these are ideal for jobs like this, the end of gear sticks in 1/35 trucks and jeeps or the width indicators found on German WW2 vehicles.
Anyway I’m hoping to get the build completed tomorrow as apart from sorting the undercarriage and canopy it is more or less done so I can then start painting it.
I made a start on the model earlier this week and the first job was to cut the flaps from the wing as on parked Hawk T.1s they were usually down;
The inside edges of the wings were then thinned down and strips of thick plastic were glued to the front edges of the flaps. When set these were sanded to an aerofoil shape;
The panel lines on the lower wings either didn’t match up or in the case of the aileron hinge lines were missing altogether so these were filled or scribed where necessary;
Something else missing from the wings were the navigation lights so a section each side was cut out then clear red and green pieces of plastic from old toothbrushes were glued into place and when set sanded to shape and polished;
Although they are slightly oversize they will be masked off to make them the correct size after painting.
One thing I forgot about the flaps is that the inboard edges fit under the wing fillets and not flush with them. This meant I had to lengthen the flaps by about 2mm and sand to shape. It also meant that the fillets on the lower wings needed removing as well;
Aftermarket stuff for this particular kit is pretty sparse and although I found out this week that Neomega do a resin cockpit, I needed to get on with the build. Two etch sets by Kuivalainen that were ordered earlier in the week turned up today so I used a set for the cockpit and ejection seats plus I added lead behind the front instrument panel to stop the model being a tail-sitter;
The Kuvalainen set is very similar to an Eduard etch set and is pre-painted however I’ll be spraying over it and painting the details with Vallejo instead. The most I have done here in extra detail is to add throttle quadrants and rudder pedals and with the etch and for the size of the model it’s good enough for what you will be able to see through the canopy. I will probably order a Neomega cockpit for the next time I build an Airfix Hawk as their resin cockpits are pretty good.
At some point over the weekend I’m hoping to get the cockpit painted so that I can get the fuselage together, after that the build ‘should’ be pretty rapid after that as there will be no stores or pylons fitted.
You may remember some earlier posts where I built the Arma Hobby 1/72 FM-2 Wildcat for The Interesting Modelling Company ‘Arma April’ group build. This month it is ‘Airfix August’ and my better half chose the subject;
My partner chose this one because she ‘likes the shape of the nose and canopy’ so you can’t argue with that as I’ve built stuff because of certain shapes as well. She also chose the scheme so the model will be built as the 74 sqn 1992 display aircraft XX226 in an overall gloss black.
I’m looking forward to doing it as the last Airfix Hawk T.1 I built back in the mid-80s was the original tooling from 1974. This was finished as XX343 from the Empire Test Pilot School based at Boscombe Down;
I separated the flaps from the wings as Hawk T.1s were seen mostly with the flaps down when parked so I’ll be doing it again for this build.
I may also make a start on the Airfix 1/72 DHC Beaver and finish it the US Navy Test Pilot scheme as found on this decal sheet;
The Mosquito is another contender as I did make a start on it earlier this year so we will see.
Along with everything else that is ongoing August is going to be a busy month modelling-wise.
This has been hanging around the bench for a month or more as I lost interest in it. I have to admit this wasn’t as enjoyable a build as the Wildcat as I had a few fit issues around the cowling and the insert for the cockpit (probably down to me);
Anyway I’ve spent a couple of days getting the model up to the painting stage. When I was cleaning up the wing trailing edges during construction, the first casualties were the little quarter-circle bits on the flap actuators and trim tabs so I replaced these with bits of thin plastic sheet. For the flap actuators I punched out 1.1mm discs of plastic;
The discs were cut into quarters then glued to the trailing edges along with new trim tabs;
Hopefully they won’t get destroyed again during painting. The model has been given a wipe down with IPA and after masking the cockpit and engine cowling interior the model will be sprayed overall with Tamiya AS-12. This is because I want to do some chipping of the camo colours so the aluminium will be a good base.
It’s a nice little model but as I said above it has not been as enjoyable as the Wildcat but I’ll get it finished.
I’ve been assembling the undercarriage legs and wheels and for the nose gear, I cut back the square location lugs a bit so that I could insert the gear leg into the wheel bay after the model has been painted. I also added a bit of detail to the leg such as hydraulic lines and circular bits on the joints;
It would have rude not to add some detail considering I bought the Duke Hawkins book. Moving onto the main gear legs and these are made up of three parts;
Although I’ve assembled the starboard leg, thinking about it now I should have drilled and pinned the gear leg for extra strength and something I will do at the next session at the bench. For some strange reason, some kit manufacturers like to have you insert things like gear legs while you are still building the model. Trouble is they are prone to being broken off while handling a model plus it makes painting a model difficult as you have to mask around them (like I had to with the ICM OV-10A Bronco). This kit is no exception as the instructions (which are pretty vague anyway) show to insert the gear legs before assembling the fuselage. Because I had already assembled the fuselage, I was test fitting the main gear leg that was already built and it soon became obvious that it was not going to fit inside the gear bay whatsoever. The problem was the small locating lug on top of the bigger lug on the rear wall of the gear bay;
My solution was to chisel it off altogether and now the gear leg fits. YAY! Obviously this will be repeated for the port side too.
Once the gear legs are built and detailed the gear bay doors will be closed and no doubt they will put up a fight as has most areas on this kit however the model is slowly progressing and I’ve resisted the urge to shelve it again.
Not much to report this week due to work commitments but today I had some bench time so I filled the join line on the fin and rescribed the detail;
I was looking for references for the ejection seat fitted to the French Jags but I eventually caved in and bought the Duke Hawkins book;
I do have an old Aeroguide about the Jag but the pictures are in black and white plus it concentrates on RAF Jaguars. This new book covers RAF,Indian and French Jags and for the price (£20.00 UK) it is very good reference so I’ll be adding some detail to the kit ejection seat.
Before I glued the wings on I made new wing tip navigation lights from chunks of red and green toothbrushes which were painted silver on the insides before being superglued into place. Once set the lights were sanded to shape then polished;
The wings and fin were then glued onto the fuselage (remembering that the main wings have a 3⁰ anhedral) and the model has been now left to set as I’m back to work tomorrow;
Once the seat has been detailed I’ll be able to get on with the cockpit and close up the front fuselage. For such a difficult kit it is actually progressing pretty well so hopefully I’ll have a built Kittyhawk Jaguar soon.
I’m still messing about with the kit and yesterday I started on the cockpit and forward fuselage;
Kittyhawk supply etched metal pieces for the instrument panel and side consoles, the only things I’ve added are a couple of levers and a throttle quadrant as with the canopy down and a black interior you won’t see much. I was going to use one of the ejection seats from the Paragon two-seater conversion that was scrapped a few years ago as they are better detailed, however French Jags used the Martin Baker Mk.4 JRM seat, only changing to the Mk.9 seat much later so I’ll have to use the kit supplied one.
I assembled the tail fin but the way it has been designed leaves a joint line right across it and will make clean up of the joint tricky due to it cutting right the surface detail;
I was looking at the air brake bays and one thing to point out regarding them is that Kittyhawk supply what look like exhaust outlets either side. Looking at some walkaround pictures online reveal that there is only one on the port side, some box or other is in the starboard bay so I did some scratchbuilding;
For the port side I drilled out the exhaust and shortened the assembly so that it would fit into the interior plus I repositioned the exhaust too;
The air intakes both sides of the fuselage needed some sanding to fit properly plus I’ve made intake covers to hide the voids due to the lack of intake ducting and will make covers for the jet pipes too.
Not much else to report but the model is slowly progressing and hopefully I can get the wings glued on soon. I’m not going to go berserk with detailing but to me the air brake bays were pretty obvious and needed sorting out. I did say in an earlier post that I was thinking of converting it to an RAF Jaguar but I’ll stick with what I have and do a Gulf War 1 French aircraft as the colour schemes are rather nice.
After a week away from modelling due to being ill, having to go to work etc. I’ve had a bit of time at the bench and today I tackled the engines and engine bay doors….oh dear. Probably the fit of parts (or lack of) was due to me trying to shim out the port fuselage as described in an earlier post;
The top of the engine bay door was pretty good to be fair, it’s when I looked at the bottom of the door that I thought “here we go”….
After having a think about it, I figured the port rear airbrake bay bulkhead was stopping the engine bay door from closing properly;
Once I was satisfied with the fit, both engine bay doors were glued into place with masking tape holding them and the fuselage into place;
Still a couple of gaps but far better than what I started with, also superglue was used to make sure the joints didn’t spring apart. One thing to point out during the assembly of the engines is that the fan blades (H23, H24, I55 and I53) are shown in the wrong places and need to be swapped over. I was hoping to have the engines removable to help with painting later on but this has proved to be impossible due to the way the engine bay doors fit over the jet pipes.
From what I have found so far (apart from the fit of parts), the main problem is that the model was meant to be displayed with the various doors and hatches open. Unfortunately if you want to have everything closed you need to remove a lot of the interior detail until the parts actually fit.
The forward fuselage is next and no doubt that will be the same due to the open panels too. I was thinking of converting this model into a RAF machine but as well as making a new ‘chisel’ nose I would need to source a couple of underwing fuel tanks as this kit only has a centre line tank included. Also the weapons included would need replacing too as only a few are relative to the RAF GR.1.
A modelling friend of mine is following the build and I said I would send a link to an earlier blog post when I first started the model….unfortunately this build was started before I had a blog but luckily I have found the few pics I took at the time. Funnily enough the date on the folder says these pics are fom 2018 but this was started long before then. Anyway….
I seem to recall the bottom fuselage had a tendency to curve inward instead of being flat so I inserted a thick piece of plastic sheet between the upper and lower fuselage which helped a lot.
This image shows the exaggerated inward curve of the inner leading edge from the wing fence to the fuselage (also repeated on the port wing).
My way of fixing it (and your milage may vary on this) was to glue a strip of fairly thick plastic sheet to the leading edges by the wing fence and where the wings joins the fuselage, leaving the middle unglued. At the time I used Revell Plasto to fill in the centre and left it to set before sanding it to shape, these days I’d probably use superglue and accelerator.
The leading edges looked a lot better after sanding them to shape but it was at this point the project was shelved as the work involved to make it look like a decent model was getting too much. Another example of this involves the NACA duct on the upper fuselage spine;
To be fair, most kit manufacturers have these blanked off but in reality it’s an air duct so there has to be hole in it. It would have been easier to open this up before the fuselage was glued together but I’ll have a go regardless as it is a pretty obvious feature on Jags.
I have read various reports that this model is unbuildable but once the fuselage is sorted and glued together the rest ‘should’ be fairly straightforward….he said laughingly….plus there are some great built-up examples on the net so it can be done.