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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 17





I have to admit that I was very pleased how the Fairey Swordfish had turned out and, in my view, I think this Trumpeter kit is very good value for money. OK, it does have a couple of things that do not quite fit the bill, but, in my view, this is what modelling is all about . Would I buy another? Yes, I would.



I find it rather strange when you have just finished a project that has taken up so much of your time in research and building activities and it is time to move on to the next assignment with a whole new set of problems to think about, negotiate and surmount. I wanted to do something completely different and the timing virtually coincided with the relatively new Revell 1/144 C-17A Globemaster (don't let that 1/144 scale deceive you - it is a big model) and the issue of the Qatar Amiri Air Force (in Qatar Airways colours) decal sheet by F-Dcal. I have said before that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', but the C-17A looks gorgeous in these colours. In fact it is the only C-17 ever produced in civil airline colours. Check it out on



Unfortunately there was a delay in the release of the Qatar decals, so I while I was awaiting the corrected sheet, I carried on with the build 'straight out of the box' for a US Air Force version with the kit decals and ordered another C-17 kit from Graham for the eagerly awaited Qatar decals. The reason I ordered another was because this kit is superb. It all goes together so tidily with hardly a trace of filler required, but having said that, I did have an occasion that filler was required, but I think that this was probably a snag with my building techniques! More on that later.




Make sure you read the instructions a few times to familiarise yourself with the three versions of airframe configuration you can build - wheels up 'in flight', wheels down 'parked', and wheels down 'parked' with cargo door down. I chose the latter. One word of warning here! The finished model is a tail sitter, so bear in mind to epoxy some pieces of lead in the forward end, there is plenty of room.




As usual, the build began with the cockpit assembly which, because of the scale, is not much, but after cementing the parts together, spraying the cockpit area and then hand painting the seats, I made four sets of crew seat belts cut from Tamiya tape for a tad of realism. This assembly then slots onto the freight deck floor. However, because of the wheels down, cargo door down version I was building, the freight deck floor had to be sliced into three sections which is quite a simple operation - just do it very carefully with the aid of Dymo tape as a guide. The Tamiya Plastic Scriber (or the new Tamiya Plastic Scriber II) I purchased from Graham is a superb tool for these situations.




I haven't built a kit like this before. The kit designers have come up with a flight deck and freight deck assembly that fits snugly into a very detailed fuselage inner cocoon which holds a separate and very strong wing tongue box on it's upper surface. Remember to put the 'wheel wells' (nose wheel and main, which I had sprayed white) into their respective positions. Once this assembly is all glued up, it then fits into the fuselage/fin sides proper. Very clever indeed and makes for a very strong structure once the Tamiya Extra Thin cement has done it's stuff and the seam joint sanded and polished. The fuselage is about 14 inches long - and this is 1/144 scale!




I am a relative newcomer to scale plastic modelling, and part of the fun for me is the forward planning of the various operations that go into completing the model. Sometimes my planning leaves much to be desired, but I hope that I am getting the hang of it slowly. Old dogs new tricks! In this respect, I try to do as much dry fitting as I can and I discovered that although the instructions show the nose and main gear wheel wells and wheel assemblies/oleos being fitted in toto at this stage, I decided, after making sure, to leave the fitting of the wheel assemblies/oleos until later in the build. My forward planning (and experiences of the Swordfish) had seen the probability of handling damage later.





More next week. 


Peter Buckingham.