Category Archives: Building

Fantastic Plastic 1/48 Northrop HL-10

Box art of Fantastic Plastic's Northrop HL-10 kit
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The Northrop HL-10 was an experimental wingless “lifting body” aircraft that flew in the late ’60s and early ’70s. As the box art above indicates, it’s familiar to many people of a certain age from the opening sequence of the television series The Six Million Dollar Man. It was one of a series of lifting body designs that were tested after being dropped from under the wing of a modified B-52 bomber. (In the Six Million Dollar Man sequence, the character Steve Austin is dropped in the HL-10, but contrives to crash the M2-F2. The film used was of a real crash, on 10 May 1967, which very nearly killed its pilot, Bruce Peterson.)

Here’s the HL-10 and its B-52 mothership, showing the underwing attachment from which the lifting body was released:

Northrop HL-10 reference 4
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(NASA image ECN-2203)

And the other side of the aircraft, with the four principal test pilots having a bit of a lark:

Northrop HL-10 reference 2
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(NASA image ECN-2409)

Fantastic Plastic are aiming to produce a matched set of 1/48 scale resin kits of several lifting bodies: Northrop’s HL-10 and M2-F3 are available, with the Martin-Marietta X-24A and X-24B still to come.

The HL-10 kit is simple enough, in theory—just 37 pieces, including transparent parts for the cockpit and nose canopies, and a little bit of photoetch, styrene rod and wire for some finer detail, including that long nose probe. Resin kits always require a bit more work, sawing parts off pour stubs and straightening distorted parts, but this one rapidly turned into an assault course. The assembly instructions are not clear, consisting of a few blurry photographs, so it takes a bit of fiddling around to work out the correct fit of the cockpit parts—I still have no idea if the control column is in the intended location. And the decal sheet was very poor, with quite a lot of damage that appeared to have occurred during the printing stage, rather than from any later rough handling. (I contacted Fantastic Plastic about this, wondering if I could obtain a replacement, but received no reply.)

So frustrating was this build, in fact, that I find I have an unusually poor photographic record of it—on more than one occasion the kit was only a night’s sleep away from ending up in the bin.

The cockpit is basic, much of it moulded into the lower half of the fuselage. I added some detail using harness straps from an old Airwaves photo-etch set I found in the spares drawer, and some instrument dials from Airscale’s Early Allied Jets decal sheet. The ejector seat of the HL-10 was a modified version of the one used in the F-106 Delta Dart, so I was able to use photographs of the F-106 seat for reference. The rest of the cockpit doesn’t seem to be very well documented. I did the best I could with one photograph and one video. (Since then I’ve discovered a couple more poorly reproduced photographs in NASA Technical Memorandum X-2956.)

Here’s the result, before I closed the upper fuselage half over the lower:

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 cockpit detail 1
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 cockpit detail 2
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There then followed a huge amount of trimming, filling and sanding, to remove the seam between upper and lower fuselage halves, and between the fuselage and the lateral fins.

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 sanded 1
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 sanded 2
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The rear of the fuselage, in particular, needed a lot of work to fix the bad fit between upper and lower parts—I used styrene sheet and a lot of epoxy to smooth out the centre section, and some cyano-acrylate to fill chips in the resin along the rear edge that faired into the elevons.

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 rear filler work
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I also drilled the resin to create mounting holes for some miscellaneous tubing that protruded from the rear of the aircraft, and the long probe that was mounted under the nose. The various control surfaces needed a lot of dry fitting and adjustment to get a halfway acceptable fit. I replaced the kit’s paired rudders (which were too short) with styrene sheet, and snipped a small amount off some of the fin flaps (which were too long).

Then I started airbrushing with Alclad II, which was something of an experiment for me—I was going to try to preserve the bright metal finish of Alclad’s polished aluminium lacquer by avoiding spraying any varnish sealant on top of it. This proved to be a mistake, in my hands at least, for reasons I’ll come back to.

Once I got my metallic coat on, it showed up a couple of irregularities that I’d missed during preparation and priming. I would have accepted these, because they were relatively minor, when I also belatedly realized that the kit had omitted the narrow fairings along the upper edges of the lateral fins, which extend rearwards above the control surfaces. These are obvious in photographs (like this one) of the HL-10 taken where it’s on display at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, and I was going to have a very ugly result if I left the fin flaps uncovered at their upper edges.

So I used a little styrene rod to add the fairings, then performed another round of filling and sanding before applying primer again. (Fortunately, in a way, the kit has very little surface detail, so multiple layers of paint weren’t a problem.)

Here’s the final result, just waiting to be polished up with Alclad’s micromesh cloths:

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 primed 2
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 primed 1
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And here’s the nice result you get when you apply the metallic paint after all the filling and sanding and polishing:

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 metallic 2
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 metallic 1
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(The eagle-eyed will notice that these images were taken after the first round of painting, before I added the fairings which are visible in the photos of the primed model.)

Meanwhile, the control surfaces and undercarriage covers were receiving the same treatment, and I assembled and brush-painted the wheels.

Next, I needed to add that characteristic white “swoosh” to the upper surface and sides of the model. Fantastic Plastic provide a couple of templates on their instruction sheet. They look like this:

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 "swoosh" templates

The idea is that you cut them out, transfer the patterns to masking tape, and then mask the model. Sadly, I couldn’t get them to fit as printed—aligning the mask on the upper fuselage led to the mask being misaligned on the fin, and vice versa. I eventually used the template to cut masks for fin and upper fuselage separately:

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 "swoosh" masking
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I positioned these, then used a strip of masking tape to produce the lower border of the swoosh. Here’s what it looked like all masked up (with little blobs of liquid mask solution at the joins to stop paint leaks):

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 masked 1
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 masked 2
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I then airbrushed on the “swoosh” using Alclad’s Flat White.

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 painted 1
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Then I set about adding the control surfaces and undercarriage parts, using Microscale’s Krystal Klear as a mild adhesive that I knew wouldn’t damage the metallic finish.

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 wheels on
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With all the weight of resin at the rear, and no space for a counterweight in the nose, I resorted to adding a clear acrylic rod as an unobtrusive tail support.

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 rear support
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Next was the decalling. I scanned Fantastic Plastic’s damaged decal sheet, and set about repairing it in my antique version of Paintshop Pro. For some of the markings I was able to copy an intact decal from one side of the aircraft to repair a damaged decal from the other side; for some I just tidied up ragged edges; and some I redrew from scratch. Then I printed the final version on Experts-Choice decal paper, both clear and white versions, and sealed with Microscale’s Liquid Decal Film. I also cut a few narrow strips off the edge of the white decal sheet, so that I could reproduce the white borders around the canopy edges that I could see in some photographs. This worked well for the relatively straight edges of the cockpit canopy:

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 canopy decal
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I had less success around the tight curves of the nose canopies, where the decal strip ended up looking oversized and slightly wrinkled. (In retrospect, I’d probably have been better off using a sheet of white stripes from Xtradecal, rather than trying to create my own.)

The other decals went on fine—my substitutes worked pretty well, in the main, though the red lettering looked somewhat subdued compared to the original. For the fine black line that bounds the white swoosh paintwork, I divided the decal in three and mounted the parts separately, trimming to length to fit my own mask-work.

But at this point the holes in my plan to leave that lovely Alclad metallic surface unsealed became painfully evident. Firstly, the decal film produced a very slight change in the reflectivity of the underlying metallic finish, which catches the eye from some angles. Secondly (and much more annoyingly) my handling of the model while positioning the decals wore away some of the delicate Alclad surface—at best taking the shine off, at worst showing a hint of the underlying black primer. It’s particularly annoying because there were ways to grip the model that would have avoided handling the metallic surface. Ah well. In the immortal words of Gerry Rafferty, “if you get it wrong you’ll get it right next time.”

Finally, I pieced together a version of the long nose probe from the styrene rod, wire and photoetch provided by Fantastic Plastic, and mounted the open canopy.

Below is the final result. The kit’s undercarriage legs have turned out to be too long—the aircraft looks a little as if it’s up on stilts. Normally, I’d remove, shorten and replace, but I can’t see a way of doing that without ending up damaging the metallic surfaces some more.

Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 10
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 12
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 11
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 13
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 14
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 15
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 7
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 6
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 8
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Fantastic Plastic Northrop HL-10 lifting body 9
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus: Whale-Spotting in the Southern Ocean – Part 3

At the end of my previous post in this build log, I was ready to mount the wings and start rigging them. I’ve already drilled the lower surfaces of the upper wings and the upper surfaces of the lower wings so that I can thread monofilament between the two wings. To start with, I’ll thread all my monofilament through the underside of the upper wing, glue it all in place, then close the upper surface over to conceal all the internal attachment points. Then I’ll mount the upper wings with all the monofilament dangling from their lower surfaces. Fortunately, the locating lugs for the wings are entirely on the upper surfaces of both the upper and lower wings, which means I can then mount only the upper surfaces of the lower wings, using the three interplane struts as spacers to get the positioning correct. This lets me pull through the monofilament, glue it in place, and then close the lower surfaces over all the interior attachment points. I can get all my rigging in place with all the glue concealed inside the wings!

First though, I needed to find a way to get the upper wings in place symmetrically. Many people use all sorts of wooden jigs to achieve the perfect positioning, but in the absence of such equipment I’ve always found that, if you own a sufficient number of little pots of different sizes, you can usually find a way. Here’s how it worked this time:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus fuselage levelled
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The critical realization on this occasion was that I could lock the tailplanes (and therefore the fuselage) into a horizontal position using the shoulders of a couple of pots of Tamiya paint. Some slow-drying epoxy on the locating lugs, and a lot more pots, and I had my upper wings mounted with zero dihedral and left to dry overnight.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus upper wings positioned
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(The little bits of tape are controlling the festoons of nearly invisible monofilament dangling from the wings.)

With the upper wings solidly in place, I flipped the model over, glued the interplane struts into the upper wings with Loctite’s cyanoacrylate gel, which retains a brief period of flexibility before it sets. Then I slipped the epoxied lower wing surfaces into position in the fuselage slots, and had enough time to flip each interplane strut into its locating hole in the lower wing, all pre-glued with a little dab of CA gel, before making a final tweak of alignment to get everything square.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus lower wings ready for rigging
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(The monofilament is now taped to the tailplanes to keep it out of the way.) After letting that dry overnight, I finished things off by threading the monofilament through the surface of the lower wing, painting it in situ with Tamiya flat aluminium acrylic before it was finally pulled tight, and only then making the final tightening, so that the painted portion of the monofilament was pulled right down level with the yellow surface of the lower wing, without ever running the risk of accidentally brushing the aluminium paint on to the yellow surfaces.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus lower wings rigged
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With the lower surfaces and their premounted floats in position, it was just a matter of detailing. I decided to add the undercarriage, because the plane looked just too odd without it, even if historically justifiable.

And I had enough reference photographs to figure out where all the ropes and metal shackles went on these aircraft:

"Whaling Walrus" reference photos for ropes
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Here’s what I figured out:


And here’s the final result:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 11
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 6
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 7
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 8
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 10
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 9
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 3
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 12
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 5
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 13
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 2
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus completed 1
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus: Whale-Spotting in the Southern Ocean – Part 2

At the end of my previous post in this build log, I’d got together most of the modifications necessary to make my model of the whaling Walrus “Boojum”, which flew in the Southern Ocean during the 1946-7 whaling season.

The next task was to make preparations for all the rigging wires that need to be added to this biplane. First up was rigging the struts above and below the engine nacelle, the assembly of which is complicated by the fact that the Revell instructions show a part going into place the wrong way around. Here’s a comparison of the original Matchbox instructions for this kit with the instruction sheet provided by Revell:

Matchbox & Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus assembly instructions compared
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Part 14 is reversed, and dry fitting shows that Revell got it wrong. I also needed to drill a hole in the front of the nacelle—another part of the kit in which an opening is modelled as a blank flat surface.

Then I started running monofilament nylon between the struts in a cross-wise bracing pattern. A look at close-up photographs of displayed aircraft suggests that the bracing wires for the lower struts were attached to the struts themselves, rather than running between the fuselage and the nacelle, so I hooked by monofilament through little blobs of cyanoacrylate glue on the locating lugs of the struts. The upper rigging attached to the centre section of the upper wing, so I drilled holes and pulled my monofilament through. There’s not much room for manoeuvre in the cramped space between the nacelle and the underside of the centre section, so I pulled the monofilament through before cementing the underside part to the upper struts. Here’s the whole assembly just after that stage:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus nacelle rigging
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(The bits of tape on the lower struts are holding them in very slight compression, so that their lugs align precisely with the locating slots in the fuselage. That way I can make a final assembly without any of my rigging going slack.)

The next step was to tighten all the monofilament and glue it down with cyanoacrylate in what will eventually be the hidden interior of the wing.

Meanwhile, I had a lot of holes to drill for the rigging wires that run between the upper and lower wings, and from the lower wings to the floats, as well as a couple of aerial wire supports in the upper wings.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus wings drilled
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Then a coat of flat aluminium to the undersides, and trainer yellow to the upper surfaces, ready for decals.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus yellow paint
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The upper part of the centre section is visible at top between the two pairs of wings. I’ve sanded off the rather unconvincing moulded version of the lifting sling provided in the kit—I’ll add that with stretched sprue at the same time as I add all the other ropes to the fuselage.

JBOT’s decals required a bit of attention, however, before applying. They provide a rather muddy green set of registration letters for the fuselage sides, but no large green letters for the upper wing. And the ornate script reading Ex S.S. Balaena on either side of the aircraft’s nose looks a lot like Ex F.F. Balarna instead. It’s probably too small for anyone to notice, but unfortunately I’ve noticed it. So I printed my own decals using a scanned image of the JBOT decals as my base, but brightening the green lettering, adding a set of green upper wing letters copied from the black underwing lettering, and co-opting the text from this image of G-AHFN, which is a much better match for the lettering that appears in photos of the real aircraft. I also did my own version of BOOJUM for the nose, since the JBOT decal sheet version looked a little ragged. Here’s my effort:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus adapted JBOT decals
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And the markings in place on the wings:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus wing decals
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The engine nacelle went on without difficult. By ignoring the error in Revell’s instructions, I ended up with the upper centre section correctly aligned with the fuselage, and the engine nacelle correctly (but disconcertingly) angled very slightly off -axis.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus fuselage decals port
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus fuselage decals starboard
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus fuselage nacelle alignment
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You can see my little magnetic stand is doing its job, too.

And the markings on the nose turned out well:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus nose decals
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You can also see my little fairing in front of the observer’s window, which I fashioned from a bit of half-round styrene rod that last saw action as a stand-in for the service tunnels on the S-IC stage of my Revell Saturn V. The little silver rectangle represents the wing-folding instruction panel, which Revell for some reason moulds on the port side of the kit and not the starboard. You can also see the little red-and-white United Whalers flag beneath the cockpit side window. Unusually, the starboard flag is the mirror image of the port flag. (For its painted flags, United Whalers used a convention of “hoist towards the front” rather than “hoist towards the left”, as explained here.)

Next time, I’ll put the wings on and complete the rigging and detailing.

(Be the first)

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus: Whale-Spotting in the Southern Ocean – Part 1

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus box art

This the old Matchbox kit, reissued by Revell. I’m using it as a basis for a model of an unusual Walrus—one of two that were carried by the S.S. Balaena factory ship during the whaling season of 1946-7. Named “Boojum” and “Snark”, these yellow-painted aircraft could be catapult-launched, or lowered into the sea for a conventional water take-off. They were used to gather information about approaching weather, about the ice conditions, and to spot whales. (No-one had ever used an aircraft for whale-spotting at that time, and there was significant doubt among the whalers that it was even possible to see a submerged whale from the air.)

John Grierson, who was in charge of the aircraft, left details of the adventure in his book Air Whaler (1949), a lecture to the Royal Geographical Society entitled Whaling From The Air, and an article in Flight magazine entitle Air-Whaling. So the aircraft are fairly well documented. In fact, a total of four Walruses were originally purchased and equipped for the Antarctic, registrations G-AHFL, G-AHFM, G-AHFN and G-AHFO. Grierson won the 1946 Folkestone Aero Trophy race in G-AHFN, but it then never left England. G-AHFM, christened “Moby Dick”, got as far as South Africa and was then left behind—the hangar on Balaena could only accommodate two aircraft, and a third would need to be “parked” on the catapult, making aircraft handling and maintenance excessively complicated. But G-AHFL “Boojum” and G-AHFO “Snark” made it to the Southern Ocean and logged 96 hours flying there.

I’m building “Boojum”, because its markings were included on a sheet of JBOT decals I bought years ago, with the intention of building a completely different aircraft, Scottish Airlines’ G-AJNO. From that sheet I learned that there was a Walrus associated with a company called United Whalers, and from there I was lured into the whole story of “Whaling Walruses”.

So, here’s “Boojum”:

Supermarine Walrus G-AHFL
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"Boojum" on crane
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For part of its time in the Antarctic, “Boojum” flew without an undercarriage, there being no landing strips for hundreds of miles:

"Boojum" with undercarriage removed
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And here’s a view of “Snark” which adds some information about the appearance of the upper wing markings and the run of the radio aerial wires:

Reference photo G-AHFO

Immediately, it’s evident that the Revell kit is going to need some modification. The major addition will be the grab rail around the nose of the aircraft, but I also need to scratch-build the tail-wheel. The aircraft was normally equipped with a sort of shroud around the rear wheel, which functioned as a rudder. The kit parts provide only this rudder, with its oleo in a compressed position, so I need to build a bare wheel with an extended oleo for my planned in-flight model. I also need to add some runners for the rear hatch, and add a few other tweaks here and there, including the notorious festoon of ropes that bedecked the Walrus. And then there’s the hook under the nose which was specially fitted to the whaling Walruses, so they could do something called a “mat recovery”. While still making headway, the Balaena would tow a net from its side, and a returning Walrus would motor up on to the half-submerged net, cut power, and hook on, ready to be lifted aboard by the hoisting sling on its upper wing.

Walrus mat pickup
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The very under-detailed interior also needed a bit of work. I opened the navigator/observer’s side windows (which are closed in the kit, and indicated only by a black rectangular decal) and “glazed” them with slips of overhead projector film (remember that?). Then I roughed up some internal partitions from styrene card, and moved one of the kit figures and his seat into the observer’s station just behind the pilot. I confess I didn’t spend much time on detailing, since little of this is going to be visible through the kit’s windows.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus adapted interior
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I also placed a little neodymium magnet inside the fuselage, because (like my Junkers F.13 build), I want to be able to lift the aircraft on and off a stand without needing to cut a slot in its underside. Using styrene card, felt, and epoxy, I constructed a little magnetic cradle to fit just behind the “step” on the underside of the model, and attached that to an old Airfix stand base.

Magnetic stand for Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus
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Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus magnetic stand from Airfix base
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To mount the external grab rail, I drilled out a series of holes to accommodate some 0.5mm brass rod.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus grabrail supports
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The little bulge visible on the nose in the picture above needs to be smoothed off—it represents a thermometer housing that was present only on the port side of the real aircraft. And I need to add a spray fairing in front of the observer’s window on this side, too. For some reason, the kit provides that feature on the port side, but not the starboard.

Here’s the assembled fuselage with the grab rail and rear hatch rails in place:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus fuselage port
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The kit provides the rear hatch cover in the open, retracted position, but I need to model it closed. So I split the kit part and reassembled it flat, opened its small windows, and added some plastic card to its front edge to simulate the shape of the real thing.

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus fuselage starboard
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Modelling the rotating propeller for this one is a bit of challenge, since the four-bladed prop actually consists of two two-bladed propellers bolted together. So I needed to stack two propeller discs one behind the other:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus prop discs
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(For a description of how I make these, see my post How To Model Rotating Propeller Discs.)

I’m pretty hopeless at engines, but I painted up the kit part as best I could to match the appearance of various walk-around photos of displayed aircraft, and I cobbled together a rear wheel to match the photographs of the real aircraft, using styrene sheet and brass rod:

Revell 1/72 Supermarine Walrus scratch rear wheel and painted engine
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Next time, I need to start running the rigging wires.

(Be the first)

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 4

At the end of my previous post, I’d got my two Junkers models as far along as I cared to take them before applying decals. And, after two months in some sort of Covid-plus-Brexit-induced postal limbo, my decals from Mika at Arctic Decals finally arrived.

Arctic Decals sheet for Junkers F13 LN-ABH and D260
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These featured the typographically correct letter “N” for LN-ABH, as well as a set of custom decals for D 260.

The decals are delicate, and the finely corrugated surface of the models challenging. Mika provides very detailed instructions on how to prepare and apply them, which I followed to the letter … and got excellent results.

LN-ABH decals
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D 260 decals
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With a layer of gloss enamel varnish applied to the kit surface, and left to dry for a week, I slid the decals on to a mix of Micro Set and slightly soapy water. They’re very thin, but pretty tough, and they held together well for positioning and then bedded down pretty well spontaneous. After they’d dried in place, I gently pressed them into the corrugations after brushing them with Micro Sol. They softened extremely quickly, so the trick was to apply Micro Sol to a small area and immediately roll a cotton bud firmly across the surface, following the line of the corrugations. As you can see, the final “painted on” effect was excellent.

So I can’t recommend these highly enough—Mika’s Arctic Decals provide markings for a variety of obscure civilian aircraft, and they’re also distributed through Lima November Decals.

With the decals in place, given time to dry, and then sealed with a coat of satin varnish, it was time to make final assembly, adding the door to D 260 and attaching the fuselage to the wings, as well as adding a few bits and bobs of final detailing.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F.13 ready to assemble
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So here they both are, posed on display bases from Coastal Kits. First, LN-ABH taking off on its final flight:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 6
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 7
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 4
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 3
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 2
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH completed 8
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And D 260 hauled up out of the water:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 2
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 3
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 4
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 5
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 6
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 7
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 completed 8
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And finally, a couple of views of the pair together:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH & D 260 completed 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 LN-ABH & D 260 completed 2
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Now. What next, I wonder?

(Be the first)

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 3

At the end of my previous post, I had reached the stage of being ready to apply decals to LN-ABH. But with the decals still in Brexit/Covid postal limbo between Finland and Scotland, I turned my attention to the earlier version of this aircraft, registered as D 260, when it was part of the Junkers Spitsbergen Expedition in 1923.

Junkers F13 D260, Svalbard
Source
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This was when the aircraft was fresh out of the factory, and so it was largely in the original configuration of the Junkers F13W, with the exception of the odd object behind the head of the man in the centre of the trio standing on the float. I’ve no idea what it is, although a poster on Britmodeller has hazarded a guess that it might be a filler cap for an extra fuel tank behind the passenger compartment. The aircraft was also fitted with extended ailerons, so (as with LN-ABH), I’ll scribe off the moulded ailerons provided with the kit, and add Master-X resin replacements.

For this aircraft I’m using a more recent issue of the Revell kit:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 boxart

Despite the box art, instructions and decals, it also includes all the necessary parts to build the float-plane version. And, importantly for my purposes, it includes a better version of the rudder, the lower extension of which was noticeably undersized in the older kits. For comparison, here’s the rudder/tail-fin assembly from the old kit I used for LN-ABH, compared to the rudder (detached from its tail-fin) from the newer kit.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W amd F13 rudders
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This is still undersized, but in a different way. The photograph above was taken maybe 30 degrees of the vertical; the photograph of the real aircraft below is maybe 30 degrees away from the transverse position.

Reference photograph of D 260 (1)
(Source)
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By correcting for the angles in each, drawing around the kit rudder and superimposing on the corrected photograph, I get this:

Check kit rudder proportions against photograph

So the kit part is not quite deep enough, front to back. Perhaps something nearer to correct could be fashioned from a combination of the old and new rudder parts, but the fine corrugations on the parts would make seams difficult to hide. So I’m leaving it as it is.

Also visible in the photograph above is something I’m going to have to scratch-build—the near-vertical bar protruding from the underside of the tail just in front of the rudder. This seems to have been a fairly standard part of the float-plane version, though I’m not entirely sure what it was for.

That’ll be a late addition to the assembled kit. In the meantime, I put together a simulation of the “mystery object” on the starboard side of the aircraft, which I alluded to earlier. Some styrene sheet, a fragment of 0.5mm brass rod, and some aluminium paint produced the object below, superimposed on a British penny for scale:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 detailing
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The main modification I planned for this kit is to open one of the doors to display the interior a little better. So I used a razor saw to chop the door section out of its frame, dividing the kit fuselage half into three parts:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 prep for open door
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On the opposite side of the fuselage, I scribed in the interior door-frame, and filled the gaps around the kit’s truly horrible windows. I also needed to slightly shorten the rear bench seat of the passenger compartment, which in the kit version protrudes quite a long way into the doorway—this was easily done by carving about a millimetre-and-a-half out of the rear part of the seat before attaching it to the backrest.

I added some lap-belts to the seats, using parts from an Airwaves 1/72 photoetch RAF harness set. The belts used to be stowed in a loop around the back of the front seats in the passenger compartment, so I reproduced that appearance, and left the other belts lying loose on the seats.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 interior 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 interior 2
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 interior 3
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Perhaps because it was a newer kit, the interior and fuselage hadn’t bowed out of true, and were easier to fit together. Here’s the improved alignment between the bench seat and the door (which has acquired a little chrome door-handle fashioned out of brass rod).

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 assembly 1
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The fuselage halves closed easily, and as before I left the tail ajar, by a fraction of a millimetre, to prevent the “roof” section overhanging in that area. This one has an engine, and the original “rhino horn” exhaust.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 assembly 2
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 assembly 3
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The divided starboard side of the fuselage was easy enough to position—the rear entirely straightforward, because it locates with the port side, the forward part requiring a little alignment using the dry-fitted “roof”.

Once everything was together, I brought the lower part of the door-frame up to floor level with a sliver of styrene sheet, and also added an upper rail at the top of the door-frame. (And, of course, trimmed the excised door section accordingly.)

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 assembly 4
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As you’ve seen, I had scribed off the kit rudder, so I could pose it with a slight deflection. I also did the same with the ailerons, so that I could depict the aircraft with the characteristic “aileron droop” it had when parked. (You can see that in my second reference photograph above.) Here they are in place.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 D 260 ready for decals
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The “mystery object” on the side of the fuselage is also attached. I’ve masked the cockpit openings and the exhaust, and temporarily blocked off the doorway with a little bit of styrene, cut to shape using a masking tape template and held in place with clear glue. The whole thing has now been coated with gloss enamel varnish, ready for decals. (The kit’s “Junkers” logo is already in place.)

The wings, likewise, are painted and glossed, ready for decals. I’ve left the upper and lower halves of the wings separate, because for this aircraft I want to apply decals for the underwing registration codes, and that will be easier before the floats are attached, and the floats will be easier to attach if I glue them from inside the wing, as I did with LN-ABH.

D260 wings and floats read for decals
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You can see I’ve applied brown kit decals to the upper wing roots, which in the real aircraft appear to have had strips of wood attached to make a non-slip area for boarding. The decals are hard work to position, since they have to be applied to the raised moulded strips in the kit plastic, which inevitably traps air in the grooves between the strips. So having got them provisionally adherent to the raised strips using Micro Sol, I then slit each decal lengthways along each groove, and then smoothed the edges into the grooves with more Micro Sol.

Finally, while I was waiting for my replacement decals to arrive, I was able to use the rather lovely propeller decal that came with the original sheet. This wraps neatly around the kit propeller to produce the laminated wood appearance of the original Heine propeller.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 decalled prop
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Here it is next to the rotating propeller disc I made for the LN-ABH “in-flight” version:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 decalled prop and prop disc
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Next time—decals and final detailing.

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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 2

By the end of my previous post, I’d completed all the necessary revisions to the kit parts to produce an in-flight model of Gidsken Jakobsen‘s ill-fated Junkers F13 floatplane, LN-ABH. (See the previous post for details of its fate.)

Unusually, I painted the fuselage and wing parts before complete assembly—because of the boxy nature of the aircraft, there were no seams that were going to need filling and sanding. One of the challenges was going to be to produce the smooth curve of black paint on either side of the fuselage at the nose of the aircraft, particularly given the very fine corrugations moulded into the kit parts. The kit provides a narrow, curved black decal, intended to act as a demarcation line for this paintwork, but the decal didn’t match the curve of the paint edge on the real aircraft.

Junkers F13 LN-ABH, Balestrand, Norway
Norsk Luftfartsmuseum public domain image NL.04060001
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First, I coated the kit parts with primer and then airbrushed on my Duralumin paint mix. In a fit of masochism born out of Covid lock-down and impatience, I didn’t use any of the commercial premixed preparations, but blended my own from Humbrol Aluminium and Gloss White, in a 4:1 ratio. (A lot of people complain that Humbrol is practically un-airbrushable, but actually it goes on quite nicely if it’s not thinned as much as usual, and is sprayed at a higher working pressure. I stirred in a little thinner until I got to a paint:thinner ratio of maybe 7:3, which is noticeably thicker than the usual “milk-like” endpoint for most airbrush paints, and then set my airbrush’s working pressure to 30 psi/2 bars.)

Then I scanned the (conveniently flat-sided) kit part and used that image as the basis to construct an appropriate curve using a graphics program, which I printed out at the correct scale, and glued to the back of a sheet of Bare-Metal Foil. I then used this as a guide to cut out the necessary curve in the foil using a new No.11 scalpel blade. Then I laid the foil on as a paint mask on the kit part, and massaged it into the fine corrugations with a cotton bud.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 masking nose
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This rigmarole worked out well. (In the view below I’ve also filled the locating holes for the wire-frame step on the port side of the fuselage, which had been removed by the time this aircraft became LN-ABH, and replaced with a ladder. I have, however, not yet removed the little triangular tail-skid support, which was absent from the float-plane version.)

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 nose painted
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The elderly kit parts had all assumed interesting curves over the years, so it took a bit of effort to get the fuselage floor to fit into one fuselage half. I glued it a little at a time, gradually flexing the parts into alignment, rather than trying to get it done all at once.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 interior in place
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The second fuselage half went on more easily.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 fuselage closed 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 fuselage closed 2
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I found I needed to leave the tail end slightly open, by a fraction of a millimetre, to avoid the roof part overhanging slightly in that region. The slight gap at the rear would be entirely covered by my replacement rudder. Here’s the fuselage largely assembled and painted, complete with new rudder, exhaust pipes and cowling tie-downs:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 Master-X fuselage 2
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 Master-X fuselage 3
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 Master-X fuselage 4
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 fuselage 1
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With Mika’s replacement decals still caught up in an endless Brexit/Covid postal delay somewhere between Finland and Scotland, and heartened by my success with the Bare-Metal Foil paint masks, I decided to make some stencils for the underwing registration letters. I scanned Mika’s original decals, corrected the “N”, and then printed the registration letters in reverse on the back of a sheet of Bare-Metal Foil.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 preparing lower wing masks
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Then I cut them out, and rubbed down the resulting stencils on to the underwing kit part (already primed and coated with Duralumin.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 lower wing masks
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 lower wing masked
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After a coat of black, the result fell into the not-great-but-not-too-bad category. The “B” in particular was going to need a little additional freehand repair work.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 lower wing painted
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The float struts in this kit are notoriously difficult to attach, since there are multiple locating holes that all need to align simultaneously with multiple locating pins. So I decided to fit the floats to the unassembled lower wing section. This let me nudge each float strut into position in its correct hole, and then secure it with a little dab of cyanoacrylate gel from the inside of the wing, before moving on to the next one.

Once the floats were attached, I also added the boarding ladder connecting the float to the wing-root on the port side, putting it together from short pieces of 0.5mm brass rod. There seem to have been two versions of this ladder, one near-vertical and one sloping:

LN-ABH ladder, vertical
Detail from Norsk Luftfartsmuseum image NL.04030006
LN-ABH ladder, sloping
Detail from Norsk Luftfartsmuseum image NL.04120004

Without any evidence to suggest which was the later version, I went for the more vertical option.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 floats attached 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 floats attached 2
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With the fuselage largely completed, I was able to dry-assemble the bulk of the aircraft to check its centre of gravity, because (as an in-flight model) I wanted to put this one on a stand. There was plenty of room inside the thick chord of the wing to place a small neodymium magnet, which I could use to attach the model to a similar magnet on an old transparent Airfix stand.

Airfix stand with neodymium magnet
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 magnet in place
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 test fitting to stand 1
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 test fitting to stand 2
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Then I closed up the wing.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 wings assembled 1
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The areas where I’d removed the moulded kit ailerons had a tendency to gap too widely, so I slipped in a little styrene strip as a spacer, and to provide an anchor point for the Master-X resin replacements.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 wings assembled 2
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These went on nicely, with only a tiny amount of sanding to get a neat fit along the length of the parts.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 Master-X ailerons added
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At this point, I gave wings and fuselage a coat of gloss enamel varnish and set them aside, still separate, to await the application of decals.

Next time—a much more straightforward build for D 260.

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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 1

Revell Junkers F13W box art
Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 boxart

So here I have two slightly different editions of the same kit, because I intend to build models of two distinctly different versions of the same airframe—specifically, Junkers Construction Number 650, which went into service as a float-plane in May 1923. (The “W” in “Junkers F13W” stands for Wasser, which is German for “water”, designating the float-plane version of this aircraft. The second kit, despite the wheeled version on the box art, includes all the necessary parts for the float-plane, too.)

This aircraft first saw service as part of the Junkers Spitsbergen Expedition, under German aircraft registration D 260.

Junkers F13 D260, Svalbard
Source
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It then knocked around Germany, Estonia and northern Norway for almost a decade before ending up in the hands of Norway’s pioneering aviator Gidsken Jakobsen, registered as LN-ABH to her Nord-Norges Aero company.

Junkers F13 LN-ABH, Balestrand, Norway
Norsk Luftfartsmuseum public domain image NL.04060001
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Unable to obtain a licence for a commercial air service, Jakobsen operated the aircraft on sightseeing trips until June 1934, when it “lost its engine” near Balestrand on the Sognefjord. Literally lost its engine, which fell out of the aeroplane into the fjord below, somewhere between Hella and Vangsnes. The pilot restored the trim of the aircraft by encouraging the front-seat passenger to climb out of the open cockpit on to the engine cowling, and then glided to a safe landing. The airframe was reportedly still airworthy, but the plane never flew again.

So I want to build two versions of this aircraft, as D 260 and LN-ABH, at the beginning and end of its eventful life. Its configuration changed considerably between these two incarnations—its paintwork was revised; it lost the aerodynamic fairings around its float struts; it may have had its engine replaced (but certainly had the engine exhausts rerouted); it lost the original boarding step on the fuselage and gained a short fixed ladder instead; and it had the factory-fitted rudder replaced with a large home-grown version that seems to have been built of wood and fabric.

Both versions of the aircraft are fairly well documented photographically, but many of the images of LN-ABH are copyrighted by the Norsk Luftfartsmuseum (the image above is a rare public-domain photo). My aim is to represent LN-ABH in flight just before its fateful accident, and I’m therefore planning on giving it the all-black rudder that’s visible in this copyright photograph, purely on the assumption that someone is more likely to paint a white rudder black than a black rudder white.

As well as building a new rudder for LN-ABH, I also needed to replace the narrow ailerons moulded into the kit wings with the extended versions that were fitted to this aircraft in both its manifestations. I contacted Master-X, who make resin conversion kits for this model, with the plan of purchasing two of their cheapest conversions from which I could extract the necessary ailerons for my own models. Picture my surprise when Lumír at Master-X not only agreed to send me just the necessary parts, but did so free of charge despite my protestations. I also order up a set of decals for LN-ABH from Lima-November Decals, but noticed that they didn’t reproduce the idiosyncratic shape of the letter “N” on the real aircraft. I was all set to revise this by hand, but when I posted about the problem on the Britmodeller website, I was contacted by Mika Jernfors of Arctic Decals, who had designed that decal sheet. He offered me a new, revised edition with the correct letter “N”, and threw in a set of decals for D 260 as well!

So I started with LN-ABH, because it needed a lot of revision to the kit parts, and I used the older Revell kit (the upper box image at the head of this post) because it has a particularly inaccurate rudder, which I would be putting in the bin anyway.

First, I thinned down the float struts. The top set are the originals, and the lower set have been thinned.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 struts thinned
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Then, I filled the hole in the kit’s engine cowling, which accommodated the original “rhino horn” exhaust. Here’s a “quotation” from the original copyright photograph I used as reference, which I trust falls in the “acceptable use” domain:

Junkers F13 LN-ABH cowling
Detail from Norsk Luftfartsmuseum image NL.04120003

Notice the tie-downs crossing the cowling, which I’ll add with stretched sprue in due course. Here’s my best effort (right) at filling the hole:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 cowling
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This was never going to be perfect, given the difficulty of reproducing the corrugations that were characteristic of this aircraft. In retrospect, it occurred to me that I might have been able to fashion a plug from the discarded rudder, but I was a little too slow with that idea.

I also fashioned a little array of exhausts from styrene rod, to depict the rather informal-looking exhausts on the real aircraft:

Junkers F13 LN-ABH exhaust and propeller
Detail from Norsk Luftfartsmuseum image NL.98140008

And I carved a new rudder out of styrene sheet. Here’s my replacement exhaust stack and rudder:

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 custom rudder and exhausts
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I’d already primed these parts when I realized that the little triangular support under the tail needed to be removed—it’s appropriate for an aircraft with a tail-skid, but not for the float-plane version.

Also, since this is going to be a flying version, I needed to depict a rotating propeller, a pilot and a front-seat passenger. Here’s the propeller:

Custom prop disk for Revell Junkers F13

I designed and printed this according to the method I’ve outlined in my post about modelling rotating propeller discs, banding it in alternating shades of light and dark brown to reproduce the appearance of a laminated wooden Heine propeller.

For my pilot and passenger, I heavily modified a pair of PJ Production Word War I pilot figures. To get them to fit into the cockpit, I need to bend their legs (and clip off their toes), as well as removing extensive areas of buttock and dropping the kit seats somewhat. Their arm positions also needed to be adjusted to avoid fouling the cockpit sides (and each other), and the kit’s control yoke ended up being levitated slightly. All of that mutilation should (he says confidently) be unnoticeable once the aircraft is assembled around them.

Here they are in position. I omitted the kit engine, since the engine compartment will now be entirely sealed, and only roughly painted the passenger compartment, which will be almost invisible through the kit’s very poor-quality windows.

Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 interior 2
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Revell 1/72 Junkers F13 interior 1
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Next time, I’ll start putting the fuselage, wings and floats together.

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Eduard 1/48 Westland Lysander (Special Duties In France): Part 4

By the end of my previous post in this build log, I’d managed to get the aeroplane mostly assembled and primed. The next task was an all-over coat of Tamiya gloss black (softened with a little white and blue), ready for decals and weathering. Once that was in place, I was able to add the engine cowling and slats.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, black coat 1
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, black coat 2
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The kit decal sheet provided pre-1942 roundels and flashes, appropriate for this aircraft, and I used a sheet of red 8″ RAF letters from Fantasy Printshop for the tail number.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, decals 2
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, decals 3
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, decals 1
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I also added white rungs to the ladder—in the real aircraft these were painted for easy visibility in moonlight, as people scrambled in and out of the rear compartment during a frantic few minutes on the ground. You may also notice see the little scrawled “4” next to the ladder. In her marvellous memoir French Resistance In Sussex, Barbara Bertram recorded that the number of packages in the rear compartment was always marked in chalk on the side of the aircraft, to ensure that everything was unloaded.

Next, marking up the panel lines and adding a little light weathering and a few paint chips around the removable panelling. I used some LifeColor Liquid Pigment for this, switching from pale shades on the black paint to dark shades on the roundels and flashes.

After a coat of matt varnish I removed the paint masks and the two canopy sections I wanted to model as being open.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, matt 2
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, matt 3
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, matt 1
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Then some small parts were put in place—the front cowling and exhaust, the message hook, and a radio aerial under the fuselage. Most Lysander III’s had a radio wire running from above the cockpit to the tail, directly above the rear compartment. This was omitted in the Special Duties Lysanders, presumably to avoid garotting passengers in the dark, and to allow this sort of thing to go on unimpeded:

Loading casualties into a SD Lysander, Italy 1945

Then the long-range fuel tank under the belly, which (judging from photographs) had a rather shinier finish than the fuselage.

The side window is easily modelled in the down position, since it slid down into the side of the fuselage. So I portrayed its upper edge with a styrene strip. The sliding overhead cockpit canopy is tricker, because it slid on rails to lie over the central part of the canopy, like this:

Lysander sliding canopy

The thick kit parts don’t fit snugly one on top of the other, so I resorted to a little visual cheating, sanding off the moulded frame of the cockpit section, and extending its edges downwards with a little styrene—I’d rather have the canopy a little oversized than teetering like a small hat on a large head. Here it is, with the rails attached:

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, revised canopy roof
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As a final touch, I added some luggage designed for O-gauge railway layouts, to portray those four items that needed to be unloaded.

So here’s the final product, as close as I can get to a Special Duties Lysander on the ground in a French field.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 1
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 2
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 3
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 4
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 5
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 6
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 7
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 8
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 9
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, completed 10
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, close up
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, with Nesbitt-Dufort's book
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Eduard 1/48 Westland Lysander (Special Duties In France): Part 3

By the end of my previous post, I’d adapted all the major bits and pieces that needed to be adapted. The next thing was to get the fuselage halves closed around the interior, which was less straightforward than usual because the Eduard kit doesn’t provide any sort of locating pins on the fuselage halves—you’ve got to press them together and then nudge them into the correct alignment before the styrene glue takes effect.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, fuselage and tail assembly 1
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, fuselage and tail assembly 2
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Then things get even more tricky, because the wings need to align with the V-shaped struts which need to align with the undercarriage, and the locating positions for the struts on the undercarriage legs are exiguous, to say the least. And the wings also need to be correctly spaced to allow the upper part of the canopy to fit tightly between the wing roots. So while trying to come up with a solution to this four-way simultaneous positioning problem, I managed to spring the set of flanges for the wings free of the rest of the interior assembly—which made things much easier, because I was able to assemble both wings into a nice solid construction on a flat surface, before starting to jiggle wings, struts and undercarriage into place. So I’d recommend not following the kit instructions, and actually assembling both wings on to their flanges before attaching the whole wing assembly to the rest of the model. Here’s the result:

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, general assembly 3
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, general assembly 2
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, general assembly 1
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And then I slotted the tailwheel into place, briefly, so that I could orientate the fuselage correctly and place the rear compartment access ladder vertically:

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, ladder installation
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The kit provides no locating holes for the ladder, so it’s very much a freestyle event, using reference photographs to get the location correct.

Meanwhile, I was painting some of the minor bits and pieces that will go on later:

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, sundry parts painted
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The front cowling and exhaust were a peculiar metallic shade on these aircraft, which I’ve mixed up from Tamiya Titanium Gold, Bronze and Chrome Silver. Below the propeller and engine is the message hook—the idea with this contraption is that people on the ground would attach a package or message to a loop of cord suspended between two poles, and the aircraft would fly low over the poles with the message hook extended, snatching up the package without ever having to land. These were removed or omitted from later Special Duties aircraft, but Nesbitt-Dufort’s Lysander still had it in place—it’s visible in one of the crash photographs in Part 1 of this build log. (The kit provides the hook and attachment arm, and leaves the modeller to provide a suitable length of rod to connect the two.)

And below all that are the cockpit canopy parts, all painted on their inner surfaces with Interior Green. I used Montex masks for this, since the kit provides only exterior masks. I was tricked by the masks into creating one transparent panel which is not transparent in the real aircraft—the lower square panel in the port window assembly. I rectified that later. Also, just after this photograph was taken, I took a razor saw to the port-side windows and separated the sliding pilot’s window from the rear transparency.

Then I placed (almost) all the transparent parts in their closed positions, using a thin smear of white glue to position the side window and sliding canopy—they’ll seal off the cockpit while I’m painting the exterior, but should then pop off fairly easily so that I can put them in the desired position on the finished model. The exception to this plan was the rear canopy, which is clearly intended to be modelled in the open position, and which doesn’t work very well in a closed position. So I had to mask off the rear compartment, and paint the rear canopy separately.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, masked 1
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, masked 2
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(Because of the complex curvature of some of the transparent panels, some of the corresponding paint masks have holes in the middle so that they can be applied without wrinkling. I’ve filled the central spaces with Humbrol’s purple Maskol, which brushes on as a liquid and then sets to a sticky gel.)

And here it all is with a coat of primer.

Eduard 1/48 Lysander, primed 2
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Eduard 1/48 Lysander, primed 1
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For the sake of complete paint coverage, the slats and cowling are being painted separately and will go on late in the assembly process.

Next time—paint and decals.

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