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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 38

IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION

 

 

 

On the bench is the Paul Fisher design Hawker Sea Fury T20 which is the two seat training version of the last piston powered fighter, the Sea Fury FB11, probably the only piston powered aircraft to have downed a Mig jet fighter in actual combat during the Korean war.

 

 

Those of you who have followed this column for a while will know that I have just completed the Wingnut Wings 1/32 Sopwith Pup. A wonderful kit, but being a World War 1 bi-plane with a delicate structure of rigging, to say that one has to be extra careful in the handling department is just a tad of an understatement! When I carefully conveyed the model to the Medway Club meeting last Tuesday, I managed to knock off an aileron in the process of getting it out it's box! Fortunately I had packed my superglue just in case. Hamfisted? Moi?

 

 

So, to get my hands (literally) on to the Paul Fisher resin model was like a breath of fresh air. Fragile it isn't! Apart from a couple of issues, this kit has gone together really well and would have been nearing completion if I had gone for the Royal Navy version. I decided to go for the 'German' version - a T20 modified to be a target tug and re-designated 'TT20'. The DLB (Deutsche Luftfarht Beratungsdienst) had purchased a total of 18 Sea Furies for target tug conversion during the late 60's and early 70's, all but one of which were T20's. The main modification is the addition of a Swiss, air operated and propeller driven, winch located on the starboard side of the fuselage (see my photographs last week). Paul Fisher supplies the basic winch and mini 6 bladed propeller. From photographic research, it has been possible for me to make other small items from brass rod and tube to add a little more realism to the overall finish. Just Google 'Zieldarsteller' and go straight into Thomas Genth's amazing coloured photographs of the TT20's.

 

 

One problem, currently being rectified by Paul Fisher, is that no German stencils are provided on the decal sheet. There are the large German civil registration letters of D-CAMI to go on the fuselage only and the West German flag for the fin, but I will have to wait for Paul to get the stencils printed which have been promised for about 6 weeks delivery. All being well, I will be able to get the aircraft finished apart from adding the stencils.

 

 

Since writing the column last week, I have been concentrating on the TT20 wheel wells. Although these have been detailed quite considerably by the manufacturer, I decided to add some more detail after looking at four photographic 'walk arounds' on the web.

 

 

Another interesting item that has been thrown up from my research is the under wing identification lights. Unusually, the port wing has an amber light and the starboard wing has a combined grean and red light in what I could only describe as in a fore and aft figure of eight configuration. There are orifices in the wings for these lights and there are single simulated lights in resin, but not the figure of eight variety. I used some two part epoxy putty (Sylmasta A+B modelling putty) and used one of the orifices as a mould. Having punched out two suitably sized 'lenses' from 015" plastic card, I placed these on top of my mould and when the putty was hardening after about an hour, I carved around the two plastic card 'lenses' and made my figure of eight at the correct height which was then superglued into the wing light orifice. When the painting has been completed and the lights are the in their red and green colours, the orifice will then be filled with Micro Kristal Klear.

 

 

It was now time to seal up the two cockpits in preparation for the paintwork. I cut some odd scraps of very thin plastic card and 'clicked' them into position between the cockpit fuselage sides sealing the edges with Humbrol 'Maskol'. A quick check around the airframe revealed a couple of small pinpricks in the resin which I quickly filled with Tamiya modelling putty. All that remained to be done was a careful 'degreasing' of the airframe to rid it of Peter's fingerprints and general detritis. This was done by using a tip I gleaned from master modeller, Ted Taylor - Ronsonol lighter fuel. I plan to give the whole airframe a coat of white Halfords White Plastic Primer which was a tip I picked up from another master modeller, this time on the truck scene, Neale Parsons from the Medway Club.

 

 

Although I was disappointed about the delay of the German stencils, this will give me the opportunity to start delving into the 1/32 Revell Eurofighter kindly sent to me by Relish Models 'Capitano', Graham Endeacott. I hadn't really examined the kit closely, but it can probably best be described as 'BIG' - a tad under 50cms length with a span of just under 35cms! Have I got a shelf big enough to take it? I took the kit to the East Kent Modeller's club at Manston airfield last night. All were astonished by the sheer size of the thing with one wag saying that it would only serve to magnify the mistakes he makes. (I have cleaned up and slightly revised that remark considerably!)

 

 

So, what do you get for Graham's discounted bargain price of £43.55?

 

 

First of all you get a b****y great box with some fantastic box art! Secondly you get 10 sprues of Revell grey plus one of clear plastic - a total of 391 parts in all, which includes a complete EJ200 engine and trolley if you wish to show a maintenance diorama. Revell have really gone to town on this new tooling with a very detailed cockpit and ejection seat, movable canards, optional open air brakes, with separate ailerons, flaps, rudder and leading edge slats.

 

In addition to the above, you also get the following 'stores':

 

  • 4 Meteor long range missiles
  • 4 AMRAAM medium range missiles
  • 2 Sidewinder short range missiles
  • 2IRIS-T short range missiles
  • 2 ASRAAM missiles for the RAF version

 

That is probably enough weaponry to start and finish a minor war. I think it would be boring to show a photograph of all the sprues, so I have just included the BIG bits with my ancient straight edge showing the measurements in good old inches.

 

 

There are decals for two versions: Please allow plenty of time when it comes to the stencils!

 

  • German Air Force - Typhoon of Jagdgeschwader 74 "Molders", Neuburg, 2009
  • Royal Air Force - Typhoon F.2 of No.11 Squadron, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, 2009

 

 

There has been some criticism of this kit in the modelling press inasmuch that some have called the cockpit detail as either 'vague' or 'soft'. My impression of all the sprues is that it is rather like the curate's egg - good in parts, but in fact, it is good on most of the parts. Generally, the detail is extremely good and on some parts, exceptional, but there a couple of areas where the detail could be a tad sharper. However, this model will be built straight OOB with no added extras or different markings, so the 'proof of the pudding' will be in the finished article. Like most of us, I am not an exhibition standard modeller and providing the completed model is a very fair representation of the Eurofighter Typhoon, then it is 'mission accomplished' as far as I am concerned. As I mentioned in last week's article, although I have built two C17A Globemasters, this will be another 'first' for me as I haven't tackled a modern jet fighter before.

 

I will not be starting this kit just yet, as my wife and I are off to Italy for a few days, but it will be started on my return next week - volcanic ash and BA strikes permitting of course.

 

More next week.

 

Peter
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