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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 37




The Pup is as finished as it's going to be, and I am in the middle of putting Paul Fisher's T20 Sea Fury trainer together.



As I write this column, it is the first Tuesday of the month which means it is Medway Modellers Club night! I always look forward to these as they are very well attended and there are some superb models on display. I joined the Medway Club just over a year ago and there is a number of National 'Gold' medal winners amongst their number. The breadth of modelling expertise never ceases to amaze me. Trucks, armour, ships, cars, motorcyles, sci-fi, figures, the list is modelling endless. Although numbers vary from month to month, the average attendance is between 40 and 50 with probably the best (and cheapest) cup of tea (or coffee) which includes a biscuit, from Ted's 'bar' at 10p. Could it get any better than that? What does get better, is the standard of the monthly competition entries which is always very high. I have learnt so much from the exchange of modelling 'how to' information which is rife among the very friendly members. As an example, I have attached a photograph of a 1/6 scale 1927 BSA motorcycle which is totally scratch built with a fully sprung saddle, moving control levers and an operational rear stand - fabulous. Plus a photo of Ted and his tea bar!




I have mentioned one of the members in this column before - Rod Janes, who has been modelling for more years than he cares to remember. At the Southern Expo this year, I happened to say that I had never been able to master the art of stretching sprue (I can almost hear the intake of breath through gritted teeth, the knowing looks and 'Tut Tuts' of modelling old hands) "No probs", Rod said, "at the next meeting I will bring along the gear and show you how to do it!" True to his word, the demo happened at the last meeting for myself and a few other members who had poked their heads above the parapet. We weren't allowed to leave the table until we were proficient. Thanks Rod.



I am actually in two clubs! The other club I attend, East Kent Modellers, occurs on the second Tuesday of each month and is held in a museum hangar at Manston Airfield. The Manston club is much smaller and is a gathering of up to twelve like minded folk! Totally different in a club concept, but equally friendly and informative as we sit around a large table with the proverbial cup of tea or coffee and discuss the models that have been brought along for the evening and related modelling subjects.



If any of you out there are new to modelling, I would strongly advise making enquiries in your area to find the nearest club and just pop along to 'get the lie of the land' so to speak. You will probably find, like I did, that it could be the right move to learning much more about the hobby and at the same time getting more enjoyment as well.



Getting back to matters modelling, I am really enthused with the current kit on the building board, namely Paul Fisher's Sea Fury T20 trainer which I am depicting as one of the two alternatives in the box - a German target tug version. This has caused me to venture into further research via the web and as I mentioned last week, I have been in email contact with Thomas Genth, who has a website crammed with photographs of all the Sea Fury aircraft which were registered with German civil markings. The one I am modelling is D-CAMI, and Thomas has a number of pictures of this aircraft which is extremely useful, as it has thrown up fuselage modifications and additions during it's time with the DLB. There is also an air operated (propeller driven) tow line winch on the side of the fuselage and Paul Fisher supplies the basic parts, but this has been enhanced following the discovery of the photographs supplied on Thomas' website.



The kit instructions call for the winch to be fitted via just one small hole drilled on the starboard fuselage side which I mentioned in last week's column. The number of holes has now grown to 8 (!) and I have made the winch attachment arms out of Albion Alloys brass rod which now fit snugly into most of the drilled holes. I also searched around in my Photo Etch spares box and found some suitably sized hole surrounds for the two extra holes drilled for i) an emergency 'break glass' panel, and ii) for a pipe vent. I found a curved pipe of the correct size by cutting a resin exhaust stub from a spare 1/48 Sptifire MkXIVe exhaust stack!




Also required to be made were the various tow line attachment arms and paraphanalia on the underside of the fuselage which I again fabricated from Albion Alloys small gauge brass rod and tube. It also became apparent from the photographs that a protective 'ring' of wire had surrounded the fin/rudder/tailplane area and fitted to tabs on the fin and tailplane extremities to protect the control surfaces in the event of a tow line failure or mishap. (As I type this column, Nigel Farage, the English UKIP Parliamentary Candidate, has just been extricated from a plane crash where a towed banner is alleged to have tangled with the tailplane). If you can imagine a diamond shape on it's side, that is the shape of the wire outline. I cut very fine slots into the required positions on the tailplane and fin with an ultra-fine razor saw and then made the tabs out of some spare PE fret material.



I am not attaching any of these fabricated 'accessories' to the airframe prior to the paintwork, so I have Tamiya taped all the new parts, suitably identified, onto the inside of the kit box for safe keeping. It is really surprising what you can find when you examine, and re-examine, the photographs again and again. Paul Fisher's instructions call for the hole in the top of the canopy tunnel (the part that links the two cockpits and which the hole allowed access for the instructor's periscope) to just be filled with some spare clear plastic or sellotape. On enlarging one of the pictures, I found that the German versions actually had a metal housing surrounding the hole. Another search of the PE spares box came up trumps again! Result. I am hoping that all these extra parts will add just a tad more realism to the finished model.



Once all the drilling and dryfitting of the winch and tow line parts had been completed it was safe to fit the tailplane and elevators. Although the tailpane was an excellent fit, I did the 'belt and braces' thing by adding a substantial brass rod joiner for peace of mind.



There is one more unidentified item on the website photographs that requires further research and which so far has proved to be a bit of a sticker, but which I hope can be resolved. It is something that appears on some of the later modified aircraft, but not all. D-CAMI has it! It is something under the fuselage and just forward of the tow line housing. For want of a better description it looks an 'antenna wire' on an arm. The 'antenna' goes forward at a slight upward angle to a location somewhere between the extended wheel well flaps. Very intriguing. We shall see!



I have now turned my attention to the wheel wells themselves, and although Paul Fisher's kit displays these very well detailed, a view of some walkaround photographs have proved that the wells were very busy indeed with much pipe work. I have looked at three or four different aircraft walkarounds and each wheel well appears unique in the way they were plumbed, so I have done what most modellers do, and that is, without a definitive picture of D-CAMI's wheel wells, I have compromised. Using various gauges of rod, tube and plastic tubing, I have made the wells look a tad more busy. While playing around in this area, I also replaced various resin wheel well parts with brass rod and tube fabrications such as the retraction rams for the main gear and the retraction arms for the wheel well doors.



All this takes a considerable amount of time, but as I said earlier, this is a kit that really enthuses and most importantly, it is enjoyable!



More next week.



Peter Buckingham