22 August 2016

Build Review - Airfix Hawker Typhoon Ib (A02041) – Part 1

As I'd mentioned at the end of a previous post I'd had a few issues when building Airfix's 1:72 Hawker Typhoon.

Source: (Lower Image) Hyperscale

The issues centered around the base of the wings, the flexible nature of this piece had meant that when it came to fitting the wheel covers, to depict the aircraft in flight, they wouldn't fit without considerable trimming and so looked quite untidy.

Out of curiosity I decided to open up another kit and see if they would actually fit prior to assembly and, as shown in the picture below, they clearly did.

This got me thinking, maybe there was a another way to build this kit, starting with the lower wings so I didn't make the same mistake again. And while I was at it, I'd photograph each step and share.

The Build

The first step was to attach the cockpit floor and the wheel wells to lower section of the wings. The wheel covers were then inserted from the other side. As I'd already established, the fit was perfect.

I then attached one side of the fuselage to lower wing piece and fixed the air intake into the correct position. From here on in I continuously test fitted the other side of the fuselage and the top side of a wing. In order to make sure the fuselage fitted there was a slight bit of filing required at the rear of the air intake and each time it snapped into place which meant care had to be take when removing it.

Next I assembled the cockpit on the half of the fuselage that wasn't attached to the wings. I remove the locating pins that would fix into other side as they weren't really need. This was because I continued test fitting to make sure everything was in place and that it hadn't moved from the correct position. Once the glue had set the cockpit was painted. If you're adding the pilot, as I was, then you will see next to nothing, especially given that Typhoon cockpits were painted black inside.

Once the pilot had been put in place, (I filled away his back and cut off his feet to make him fit cleaner), it was time to glue the second side into place. Just make sure the tail wheel and the clear light to the base of the aircraft have been put in place.

After allowing time for the glue to set I moved onto the wings. The gun bays were put in place, but as I was doing an in flight model these would be covered up by the top halves of the wings. I also made sure I drilled out the holes for the rockets launchers as there's no indication of their position of the exterior side of the wing.

And there we have it, both the top halves of the wings attached without any issues. I then added the flap to the base of the air intake just to finish things off. The instructions tell you to do this when joining the two halves of the fuselage but on both builds I found it to be far too awkward. It's much easier just to remove one the pins and slot it in later.

A minor bit of filling was required, the join at the base of the air intake is not the best. But after that it was all ready for some paint to be applied and that will be my next build post.

31 July 2016

Kit List, What's In, What's Out - July 2016

Earlier I decided to keep track of what I buy and sell for one year. This is what happened during July:

In - Purchases for July 2016

  • Airfix 1:72 Gloster Gladiator Mk.I - £2.99
  • Airifx 1:72 Supermarine Spitifire Mk.I / Mk.IIa - £2.99
  • Airfix 1:72 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc - £2.99
  • Airifx 1:72 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7/Trop - £2.99
  • Airfix 1:72 Higgins LCVP - £2.99
  • 2x Xdradecal D-Day decal sets - £14.52
  • Tamiya Paints - £9.00
Total Yearly (April to March) Expenditure - £157.69

Out - Downsizing for July 2016
  • None 
The Airifix purchases were me taking advantage of a promotion in the Home Bargains store here in the UK in which Airifx kits were on offer for less than half price. Some of the purchases will allow me to sell off larger box set that I currently own (Airifx D-Day sets), some are just for parts or test models. The remaining ones are not on my to build list, so I've over purchased, which ideally I want to avoid as part of this exercise.

30 July 2016

Too Many Shades Of Grey (And Green) - Late War RAF Camouflage

It now been a considerable time since I actually completed a model aircraft, 5 months in fact. One satisfying part of that particular build was that I finally managed to replicate the early WWII RAF camouflage scheme of dark earth and dark green.

So that just left the late war scheme, which replaced the dark earth, (brown), with ocean grey as the air battle moved out over the English Channel and beyond. Should be pretty straight forward you'd have thought, so with that in mind I decided to give it a try.

Airifx 1:72 Hawker Typhoon IIb (A02041) and the Sptifire MK.IXc (A02065A)

I decided I would try two kits at the same time, both built straight out of the box as the main objective was the colour scheme. The kits, Airfix's 1:72 Hawker Typhoon IIb (A02041) and the Sptifire MK.IXc (A02065A). I'd picked them both up at the Home Bargain Store in the UK which had been selling off Airfix kits for less than half price at £2.99 each.

As well as the RAF camouflage I also wanted to compare pre-shading and not, and I wanted to try airbrushing invasion stripes rather than using decals.

Before I could start on the exterior there was the small matter of the interiors, and there was quite a difference between the two. The Spitfire was absolutely basic, which was surprising for a kit released in 2009 and for a kit which actually had some nice exterior details and fine panel lines which couldn't be said for all Airfix kits at that time.

Airifx 1:72 Hawker Typhoon IIb (A02041) and the Sptifire MK.IXc (A02065A)

The Typhoon on the other hand seemed almost over engineered. The cockpit floor also consisted of the wheel wells. The instrument panel, rear panel, seat and air intake all had to be fitted between the two halves of the fuselage meaning it took several goes of adding a piece, letting it dry, adding another and so on. It certainly looks good, but it seemed like it required a little more effort that was perhaps necessary.

After that it was a case of assembling the wings. The lower part of the wings left awful joints at the sides of the air intake and a huge step at the rear which would require considerable filling.

Airifx 1:72 Hawker Typhoon IIb (A02041)

So while all that filling and sanding was going on I decided to get on with painting the Spitfire (the Spitfire went together easily).

I started by pre-shading with Vallejo Model Air Black, 71.057 and then painted the undersides with Barley White 71.051 which was highlighted with thinned coat of Pale Blue Grey 71.046.

Moving onto the upper sides I couldn't really find a suitable shade for Ocean Grey so I mixed Tamiya XF-18, XF-21, XF-24 to a ratio of 1:2:2 and sprayed the whole topside. I then started on the green by using Vallejo Model Air 71.016 over sprayed with 71.017 as I'd used for my early war scheme. My reasoning was that RAF aircraft used the same green throughout the war so I could just re-use the previous colours.

But this didn't look right. Was it because I was spraying green over a grey base coat, rather than dark earth? Quite probably, so I tried to correct it and things then went from bad to worse. Then I realised actually my Ocean grey was too dark anyway. Time to get the paint stripper out.

Airifx 1:72 Sptifire MK.IXc (A02065A)
How not to do RAF Camouflage

So once again, I'd failed with Vallejo Model Air colours and to be honest, I'm getting a bit tired of this. OK, so my Tamiya mix hadn't worked out either, I can probably correct that though. However I then realised Tamiya had extended their paint range and introduced three RAF late war colours, XF-81, 82, 83 so tomorrow I'm going to pick them up.

Still, at least I had the Typhoon to fall back on. Except there was a problem. It turns out that the lower wing piece I'd mentioned was quite flexible and so the wheel covers wouldn't fit without considerable trimming and I was planning on depicting the aircraft in flight.

Good thing I bought two Typhoons...

30 June 2016

Kit List, What's In, What's Out - June 2016

A few posts back I decided to keep track of what I buy and sell for one year as I attempt to monitor my hobby consumption. So here's what happened this during June:

In - Purchases for June 2016

  • 2 x Airfix 1:72 Hawker Typhoon IBs - £5.98
Total Yearly (April to March) Expenditure - £119.22

Out - Downsizing for June 2016

  • None 
Just a couple a kits this month which will allow me to sell a larger box set and still build one the kits on my to build list.

As far as actually hobby progress, there's been none this month.

24 June 2016

Give Us Your Money - UK Miniature Bargains

I never imagined I'd be writing a post about politics, economics and miniatures, unless there was a really tenuous link, but events of today have presented an opportunity to do so.

It's been quite an eventful day in the UK, some bloke called Nigel decided he didn't like foreign people and 16 million people decided to join him in taking Britain out of the European Union. Rather than a super smooth exit, we as a nation have decided to take a crash and burn approach. This has left our currency, the Pound Sterling (£) at its second lowest level in my lifetime (and the last time it took months rather than hours to sink so low...).

So what's this got to do with miniatures? Well if you're outside the UK everything here is super cheap. So in true spirit of capitalism you might want to take advantage of our misfortune and bag a few bargains.

In a show of solidarity for my fellow Brits here's a couple of small companies I can recommend:

Via Facebook

The excellent Hasslefree Miniatures, I've bought from them plenty of times (just not not got round to painting anything for the blog yet).


Via Facebook

Bad Squiddo Games, who have the best selection of female miniatures I've encountered.

Probably worth taking a look at Airfix as well. Needless to say my planned purchases from abroad will be on hold for the moment, good job I have plenty to be getting on with...