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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 49





Let's start the week with a disappointment! I was going to say a disaster because that is was it initially felt like - but it wasn't really. I will come onto that shortly. The 1/32 Revell Eurofighter was coming on apace now and I had been going over the instructional drawings again ticking off all the parts to make sure that I hadn't left off any small pieces as there are quite a few tucked away here and there. I had also been re-checking for any 'lost' panel lines and rivet holes due to sanding.


 I mentioned last week that I had found it necessary to 'ease' the port engine orifice in the fuselage by cutting an 0.5 inch length along the seam line in order that the engine could comfortably slide into position. The starboard side orifice was OK after some diligent paring of the internal plastic. The engine nozzles had been given a final misting of Alclad Clear Blue - just a tad - although I had initially given them just a bit too much and had to tone it down with some Polished Aluminium. The starboard side 'engine tube' was a very tight interference fit and I made the executive decision to leave it exactly like that with no gluing as it doesn't do anything, it just sits there. Looking on the black side, if I have any problems in that area later on, I can very easily pull it out!


The port side engine was fitted and the cleaned up 0.5 inch length of fuselage joint was filled (there was a small gap) with thick cyanoacrylate cured quickly with a drop of 'Kicker' which secured it into the location and the small seam gap was finally dressed with a smooth paste of Humbrol Filler and Humbrol Enamel Thinners mix which sands beautifully.


Now to the disappointment (disaster? not quite). Messrs Revell Germany provide two very large clear canopies which unfortunately have horrible central seams which have to be eliminated by sanding boards and finer and finer Micro Mesh applications and canopy polish. This is not a big problem but one that Revell ought to have rectified in the manufacturing stage. Unfortunately, my two canopies were also found to be cracked in a couple of places and I have had to order some replacements which have not yet arrived.

It was our Medway Club meeting last night and one of the members, young Tom Probert, had brought along his Revell Eurofighter finished in RAF colours and very nice it was too. I was chatting to him about the canopies and he was saying that the canopy seams were a bit of a pain to eliminate and that he too had had to order a new canopy, not for existing cracks like mine, but for one appearing during the seam elimination exercise!


As an aside, Best in Show for the evening was a superb 1/32 Wingnut Wings FE2b built by Rod Janes. That is one BIG model and beautifully built with rigging courtesy of Radu Brinzan's scale flying and landing wires. Very nice, as was young Tom's Eurofighter - it must have been a tight vote count because they were both worthy winners.


I digress. I now had some more downtime on the Eurofighter due to the canopy problems. I had been hoping to have the canopies temporarily located and masked in the spraying 'programme', a) to make sure the canopy frames were the same colour as the fuselage with no variations, and b) to eliminate open cockpit masking. In the end I resorted to masking the cockpit with Tamiya tape to protect the innards and I also blue tacked the wheel bay covers into their locations to protect the white paintwork. It was also necessary to make up a couple of masking tubes out of paper and Tamiya masking tape to protect the jet nozzles.


I had a debate with myself about which primer route to go - Halfords rattle can of grey plastic primer, or by airbrushing Alclad Grey Micro Filler/Primer. I chose the latter because I think it sands just that much better. The former would have been much quicker but it does seem to go on that much thicker. The latter took quite a bit of time and a few Iwata airbrush cupfuls of the grey liquid to cover the huge areas of plastic. All the dangly bits not yet glued to the airframe were tacked onto wooden coffee stirrer sticks and/or clothes pegs for ease of handling and a dose of the same mixture.


I let it all cure overnight and then, armed with a dish of very soapy water and Micro Mesh 12000, the rubbing down commenced which took some considerable time and which is where I am at this moment. A close inspection of the whole shebang will commence in daylight today to seek out any areas that will need re-filling or any other remedial work.

Nothing else on the go (temporarily) - but there will be soon, "all being well", as my old mum used to say. A cup of tea calls.


More next week,