Saturday, May 17, 2014

Early Hurricane Season Begins

This started as a simple batch build of my 5 remaining Airfix Mk I kits that I wanted to do quickly.  Since I had a 4 day weekend over Easter I had hoped to pretty much complete construction of all 5 kits to the point you see here.  Well, my eyes were bigger than my modeling time…

The above is after the following early May Bank Holiday.  Finally ready for paint except for one small issue:  Which subject is which?  Externally all are early rag wing Hurricanes.  Two are the earlier variant without the ventral strake, and one of those has the earliest cowl ring, so they were easy to pick out of the batch.  But of the other three, which one did not have the armor behind the seat?

Well, I had to remove the canopy masks to find out, and figured I had a 1 in 3 chance to get it right and only remove one…which means I have a 2 in 3 chance of getting it wrong.  You guessed it, I confirmed why I don't play the lottery.  I had to remove the masks from 2 models with the third one being the 'right' one.  I then decided to add a marker to it to ensure I didn't accidentally put the wrong scheme on it.

I have one more rag wing Hurricane to do; the AZ kit one of which I built back in 2010 (?).  I'm hoping that a captured Mk I in German markings is really rag wing, and if it is, I'll do that.  Until I'm certain, or at least don't care, I'll hold off building that kit.  If I decide it has to be a metal winged variant, I'll probably sell the AZ kit as this one is so much easier to build.

Thanks for looking…

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Airfix Blenheim I / IV

I know these are probably already arcing around the web, but I took a few photos of their new tooling Blenheim I/IV at the Shropshire Model Show this year.

The clear bits are thin.

Most of the bits are there on the sprues for multiple variants.  If one buys 3-4 kits (2 each I and IV) you'll probably have all you need for 4 different variants. 

It appears that both open and closed cooling flaps for the engines are possible, but I may just be interpreting the sprues wrong. 

I popped this one to a larger view to show the details of the scribing.  Essentially, it's better with each release; Airfix are certainly listening to us modelers who care about scribing depth and width.  My photography skills don't do it justice, but I have to say it's very fine.

I only have a desire for 1 of each of the Blenheim's in store; I'll certainly use these kits for my display.

Thanks for looking...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Airfix Do17Z-2

Last year Airfix announced a new tool Do17Z to be released in 2014, aligned to the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II. The Do17Z was the principle bomber for the first 18 months of the war, eventually replaced by the Ju88 and later variants of the Do17; the Do215 and Do217.

At Cosford I was able to handle a test shot and closely examine the details. Not being an expert on the Do17, I cannot comment on accuracy of the details, but I can say it looks to be a gem of a kit!  Details are fine and delicate, and the cockpit is well represented; important for an aircraft with all that glazing. The glazing looks thin and clear. 

It appears a fully detailed bomb bay is there with bombs to put in it, and the control surfaces are position able, as are the flaps.

I expect there will be two decal options in the kit, one for the conserved Do17Z-2 WkNr 1160 at Cosford and an as yet identified example. I plan to do no more than 2, an example from the Polish campaign as well as 1160.

This is another great looking kit from Airfix; and of a subject that needed a new tooling for some time. My old Monogram kits will be auctioned off to a collector...

Thanks for looking...

Do17Z-2 at Cosford

I was able to got to the Cosford show again this year. In addition to the usual kits, models on display and in competition, real aircraft around the museum, there was a special display: Do17Z-2 number 1160 is undergoing conservation and is out for view. Granted it is under tents in a controlled environment while all the salt water is leached out, but it is a great display.

The web site with more detail is here:

I found the display moving. You get to see real history, an aircraft in which 4 young men fought for their lives, as part of the Battle of Britain, and which 2 lost. They were all in their 20's. There are photos of the men, their machine, and their obvious bravado before their last mission together. There are also photos of the graves of the two whom were killed. All 4 have their stories immortalized at the museum.

The aircraft will ultimately be preserved, as are a few other wartime wrecks, as a fitting tribute to those men of all the countries that fought and died for their causes, whether right or wrong. They were still people, part of the human experience, even if sometimes ugly.

Thanks for looking...