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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 46




Sunday dawned sunny and clear in Canterbury and I hit the road at 7am for the journey to Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire for the annual Flying Legends air show. Armed with bottles of water, a wide brimmed hat and light clothing to try and combat the really hot weather, the outward trip took just one and a half hours and I successfully met up my friend Jim Hatch and his wife Shirley. Jim runs the very successful website and although we had been emailing and talking on the telephone for months, we had never met in person. I do hope my appearance was not too much of a shock for them.



We first of all toured the flight line of display aircraft and, as if by a magnet, I was immediately pulled to that aircraft of great beauty, the Sea Fury T20 trainer. Strange that! Could it be that I am building one? Too darn right it is. I was lucky enough to catch one of the ground engineers who looks after this particular aircraft and we chatted for a good half hour about this beautiful aircraft. As I was not allowed too near the aircraft, he kindly used my camera and took some detail shots of the wheel wells, undercarriage legs and the cockpit.



What a fantastic line up of aircraft covering mainly British, American and Russian aircraft far too numerous to mention here, but where else could you find seven flying Spitfires, a superb Seafire and an equally superb Hurricane. All seven Spits, the Seafire and the Hurricane were in the air at the same time in what I could only describe as a 'hairs on the back of my neck' moment. If you look closely at the Sea Fury picture as it taxied past me, you will see six Spitfires in the air in the background sky.



Parked next to the Sea Fury was a Fury, and although you could not tell just by looking at it, my new friend, the engineer, told me that it's original engine had been replaced with a Pratt and Whitney which was just not as powerful as the original Bristol Centaurus still fitted to the T20. The engineer told me to observe the two aircraft later in the display where the climb power of the T20 is clearly superior. He was spot on. The smooth brute power of this aircraft was amazing. What a shame jet engines had to come on the scene and spoil things! This was the first time I had seen the Sea Fury and it was very impressive - a highlight of the show as far as I was concerned.



The whole display was superb. Another star of the show for me was the diminutive Polikarpov I-16, a short stubby Russian aircraft, the airframe of which was literally built as small as possible around it's huge licence built 700hp Curtiss-Wright radial designated the Shvetsov M-25. The colour scheme represents the original colours of 70 years ago with dark green upper and light blue undersides with red stars and red 9 on the rudder. These colours were found from scraps of original material when the aircraft was refurbished. The poor pilot has to hand crank the undercarriage up and down! It's performance was astonishing - one of the highlights for me. It would make a great model in 1/32! (Thinks! "Not another one for the stash"?)



It was a cracking day and I left just after the fly past of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane. I was still day dreaming about it all when I came up against a nine mile tailback on the M25 leading to the Dartford Crossing! Back to reality then. The outward journey had taken one and a half hours, the return was double! But very well done to the organisers of Duxford - it was really great and if any of you have never been, it is highly recommended.



So what has been going on in the modelling room then? Well, the T20 has had some more work done. This time it was the spraying of Alcad black gloss on to the two panels where the exhaust exhausts! These panels are stainless steel on the full sized aircraft, so I sprayed Alclad shiny aluminium for which the undercoat has to be black gloss and then the aluminium is sprayed. I also prepared the towing winch propeller in the same way as, according to the reference pictures, the blades were shiny aluminium although the main body of the winch was black.



Now to the 1/32 Revell Eurofighter Typhoon. The cockpit tub was now complete, the ejection seat has been made and weathered, and three resin accessories have arrived from the States specifically for the Eurofighter. These are the Two Mikes Resin Accesories Auxiliary Power Unit exhaust (APU), Engine Intake Covers and Inner Wing Weapons Pylons (which were strangely omitted from both the Trumpeter and Revell kits).



In respect of the APU, Revell have just provided a vague location of the APU on the Port side of the fuselage. The Two Mikes accessory is a superb replacement of that vague space. In other words, it is a proper exhaust pipe. It has to be fitted prior to gluing the fuselage sides together and requires some small holes to be chain drilled and an orifice made for the exhaust pipe to fit. The accessory is beautifully made and fits 'like a glove' to the internal fuselage wall. This really is a 'must have' for the Revell kit as it makes such a difference. It took just 15 minutes to complete the operation from start to finish and I think you will agree it was worth it.



With that job done, I could turn my attention to fitting the cockpit tub and closing up the fuselage sides. Some slight 'paring' of the internal plastic was required - not much, but just enough to make the fit a tad better - before I had a satisfactory fit and then the fuselage seam gluing could be started. I was operating on this section by section using Tamiya tape to secure the joins as I went, with a couple of clothes pegs to assist the small closure point at the rear. I think there will be a certain amount of sanding and perhaps a tad of filler before I am satisfied with the complete join. It is beginning to look like an aircraft fuselage!



In the meantime, I have been opening up the pre-marked holes in the lower wing surface in preparation of fitting the kit's plastic weapon pylons and assembling all the parts and sub-assemblies for the next phase of the fuselage build. A certain amount of paint spraying will be required on some of the parts before they disappear into their respective locations. In respect of the Two Mikes resin Inner Weapons Pylons, Revell have usefully marked the inside surface of the lower wing with the location points, so no measuring was required before drilling. I wonder why they didn't make the pylons for this location?


More next week.