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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 12





I mentioned last time about not taking anything for granted when it comes to information contained in plastic kits - a lesson I learned with the Italian Air Force decals supplied with the 1/35 Tristar Fieseler Storch. More experienced modellers would have checked their reference books first.



Anyway, the Storch was built and I was quite pleased with the way the finished model looked. I intended to display the model on my (by now) usual base of choice - a Wilkinson’s picture frame using the inserts to be covered by a North African desert ‘ground’. I thought that as this was in 1/35 scale, a military vehicle in the same scale could keep it company, so I chose the Tamiya Kubelwagen in desert camouflage from Graham’s range of vehicles.



Being Tamiya it went together beautifully and I posed it with the driver’s door open and a number of petrol cans on the back seat. In one of the modelling magazines, I had seen a vehicle finished with a dusty windscreen which the windscreen wipers had just cleared. I liked that and decided to do the same thing on the Kubelwagen. It was quite easy to do by masking the ‘swept’ areas with Tamiya tape and then spraying a very light mist of heavily thinned yellow over the screen. Remove the tape and, voila! - an interesting windscreen.


It was now some fifteen months since I had set out on this learning curve of plastic modelling techniques but I did feel that I was slowly making progress but the learning never ends. When the 1/32 Trumpeter Fairey Swordfish was released, I couldn’t resist it and put in one of the first orders for the kit to Graham. Although quite expensive, you do get a lot kit for your money and one of the biggest boxes I have had the pleasure to receive from Messrs Relish Models. It is a BIG model and I found the fit of the parts to be excellent. All I had to do was ‘do it justice’ and hope that I hadn’t bit off more than I could chew.



Referring back to my first paragraph, I started to do my research on this aircraft and the brave souls that flew them. There is plenty of information on the web, but I bought two books which were very useful: ‘Stringbag’ by David Wragg, and ‘Swordfish’ from the Plane Essentials range. Both were purchased through Amazon and arrived very quickly. I also decided to buy the Xtradecal sheet of markings for the aircraft ‘2P’ of Ark Royal which was involved in the Bismark sinking.



If any of you decide to go this route, bear in mind that even Xtradecal can’t get it right all of the time. Just by chance, from a forum reply in Britmodeller, I came across a photo of ‘2P’ which clearly shows that ‘2P’ was displayed on the underside of the lower wings and these are not provided as decals on this sheet. I managed to find the right sized 2’s and doctored two ‘R’s’ to make a ‘P’ from the spares box.



I have jumped the gun. The build, as usual began with the three linked cockpit areas, Pilot, Navigator and the TAG (Telegraphist Air Gunner). These were contained in a ‘tub’ and are very well detailed. This entails painting all the relevant parts and of course the fuselage walls. I deliberately left out the pilot’s seat and the TAG’s gun as these could be easily fitted at a later stage as I also wanted to obtain the Eduard Sutton Harness seat belt for the pilot’s seat. Evidently the Navigator and TAG, according to most aficionados of the mark, did not have seat belts as such, but had body belt’s with a snap on link to a hawser! Brave, very brave!



The cockpit tub went together really well and with careful manipulation fitted comfortably within the two fusleage sides which I sealed with Tamiya Extra Thin cement. I have found the best way of gluing long joints like this is to do just about an inch at a time squeezing the sides together trying to get an ooze of glue to appear which can be easily sanded clear when dry. The sides were taped together to cure overnight. There is something about the fuselage of a Swordfish. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - it certainly looks good to me.



More next week.


Peter Buckingham.

Part 13