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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 44





Well, the deed is done. I have finally put my Xuron sprue cutters to Revell plastic. At long last, I have opened up the box of the 1/32 Revell Eurofighter Typhoon that is going to be my very first venture into building a modern jet fighter which could almost be things from another planet to one not accustomed, especially when it comes to the language of 'stores' or missile recognition. To all you young whippersnappers out there growing up around this futuristic paraphanalia it is probably OK. I, however, find it very confusing, but then again I am from the older school that grew up with World War II propeller driven aircraft which had things as simple as 500lb bombs and .303 ammunition.



It is the same for me when it comes to computer speak. Just ask our beloved leader, Graham, what I am like when it comes to I.T! I am rubbish. My sons, who grew up with the technology are brilliant at it, as most youngsters are. Youngsters? They are in their early twenties! But you know what I mean.



However, I am determined to crack this, one way or another, so I began with some research on the web (that computer thingy again) and I did some homework on the Revell Eurofighter kit building information by reading two magazine articles on the first 'test shots' of this kit conducted about a year ago. If you'd like to build your own version of the Revell 1/32 Eurofighter Typhoon, Graham has kindly sent me this code VP6M-K25X-YWQ2 which you can enter at checkout and save an extra £5.00, how generous is that? That gives a saving of 25% off the recommended price.



Those of you who have been reading this column of late, will know that I have bought in two Eduard cockpit detailing sets for this model as the cockpit did look a little on the anaemic side. One thing I noticed about the Eduard (and the identical sets with the name of Revell thereon) even with my colourblind problems, was that the replacement side consoles were very light blue while the cockpit colours of the RAF versions I have seen are grey. I won't go into the colour call out numbers at this stage, but I now realise (or I think I do) how Eduard came to use this colour. One of the websites I found dealt with Eurofighter Typhoon cockpit photographs and while most were various shades of grey, one was definitely very light blue and this was one of the German (Luftwaffe) cockpits.



Revell (of Germany!) give you two options in the kit. One is an RAF version and the other is a Luftwaffe variant. Although both aircraft are basically overall grey, the external Luftwaffe option is a quite bluey greyish finish. I have therefore opted for the German version which works in nicely with the Eduard extras. Having said that, and before I came to this decision, there had been talk in the modelling forums about the correct FS colour used on the German option. Some have said FS35237 and some have said FS36320. I made some further investigations and have decided that FS35237 is the one which corresponds exactly to Gunze H337 with leading edges and other smaller painted areas in good old Barley Grey which is H334 and FS36320 HS307. That will do for me.



Anyway, having sorted that out, it was down to cold steel on plastic, and as usual with most kits, the start was on the cockpit tub. If you are going to use the Eduard or Revell PE cockpit updates, there is a certain amount of plastic to be removed from the areas onto which the new coloured console and IP accessories are going to be located. This was a relatively easy operation with a very sharp scalpel blade, some needle files and emery boards. Once this was done, I mixed up some Tamiya matt blue and Tamiya matt white to get the same light blue as the Eduard accessories. This light blue mix was then sprayed onto the tub and the instrument panel, and when dry, they were given two or three brushed coats of Klear to give the self adhesive Eduard accessories a better chance of sticking. I left it all overnight to fully cure.



Next came the ejection seat, another first for me! This went together really well and the Revell instructions call for it to be painted matt black. I decided to paint it Tamiya NATO black which is not so 'in your face' black and then, just very lightly, gave it a mist of grey in two or three areas. When dry, the seat frame was lightly dry brushed with some gunmetal in the harder worked areas.



The result was quite pleasing and it was now time to start putting on the other Eduard PE set which is coloured but not self adhesive - the seat belts and the ejection seat accessories. There are quite a few and it was great fun to put it all together provided you took your time and didn't try to rush things. I was very happy with the result.



It was now time to get back to the cockpit tub and the instrument panel. When I applied the self adhesive side consoles, I was not very pleased with the adhesion, even though there were two or three coats of Klear to help matters. I carefully eased the new consoles away with a scalpel and with cellulose thinners and some kitchen roll, I removed the Eduard glue and stuck them back onto the console mounts with superglue gel thus giving me time to wiggle them into position. They went down OK and, more importantly, stayed down which is what they weren't doing initially.



When it came to the instrument panel, there are three computer screens. Talk on the forums have suggested that these, if the aircraft is on the ground, should be 'off' and therefore in blank screen mode. However, the Eduard operational screens look so nice, I decided to fit them as being 'on'. It will be obvious to any observer that with the canopy open and the hangar aircraft steps up against the cockpit, that a technician is working on the IP wouldn't it? Anyway, that is what I decided and everything went on very well. I think it will look quite good once it is located in the cockpit.



With the 'technician working on the cockpit' in mind, I saw that 'Flightpath' did a specific Typhoon (same set as the Tornado evidently) set of steps in PE which I ordered and put together in sessions over the dreadful England World Cup departure last weekend. Graham tells me that Eduard do a similar set which he will be stocking. It was quite a fiddly job, especially as there were a number of laminated sections to prepare and superglue is not the most amenable of materials to use. I really wish I could do soldering when it comes to things like this as it would be far a more professional looking job, but the steps went together reasonably well using a mix of gel and instant superglue. I must mention here that without my Xuron PE cutters, this particular modelling job would have been nigh on impossible, or, would have taken an age to achieve the same result. The blades are so well designed and certainly made the job of releasing the parts from the sprue and cleaning them up so much easier. I do like good tools.



Talking of the England/Germany World Cup weekend, the weather was perfect in our south eastern corner of the UK and my modelling friend, Will Packard, who lives just around the corner, arranged a modelling day in his back garden for some of his modelling buddies from the time when the family lived in London. It was a great day, six of us around two huge garden tables, beer, wine, and a BBQ in the evening - fantastic stuff. My thanks to Will and his wife, Paula, for wonderful hospitality. I decided to take my Flightpath aircraft steps to this modelling extravaganza and started to put things together. It was great talkng to other modellers at the same time as building - in fact I had never seen other people working on their models to that extent. An education. By the way, just look at how to detail a 1/72 wing, every rivet - a master at work!



I have still got my Paul Fisher Sea Fury on the go, and I mentioned last week about the colour problems I was having and which I believe I have now sorted. I would like to thank reader John Chapman, who got in touch via the forum on this site and kindly forwarded a photograph of the full sized aircraft taken on it's return to the UK from Germany in 1974, parked at Blackbushe Airport. This aircraft is the actual one I am modelling and was pictured displaying it's new GB registration of G-BCKG. From John's photograph, I think I have the colours just about right. My thanks to John and my German friend Thomas Ghent for all their assistance on this project.



More next week.