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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 50




I was hoping to have finished the 1/32 Revell Eurofighter Typhoon by now, but the best laid plans and all that! As I mentioned last week, it was unfortunate that the two large canopies were cracked (nothing to do with me guv!) but that is how they came in the kit. I managed to obtain some replacements and I think you will agree that after the removal of that unsightly central seam by judicial use of fine sanding boards, Micro Mesh and a quick dip into some Klear, they now look very nice indeed. You will also see that I have started to mask them with Tamiya tape.



I will be the first to admit that I was not really looking forward to the build of this kit, mainly because it was something I had never been attracted to before - a modern jet fighter - but, I'll tell you what, it has really grown on me and I am beginning to enjoy this build very much indeed. I have probably done more web research on this type than any other kit I have built.



I am building the Luftwaffe version of the kit, mainly because everyone else has built the RAF version. OK, so that may be an over statement, but you know what I mean. I cannot overemphasise the help that certain web sites can offer. There are some superb walkarounds which give no end of detailed close ups of that sprocketgobbler thingamejig you have been working on. One such site, especially if you are building the German version of the Eurofighter, is images/Typhoon/.html Not only is there a walkaround for the Luftwaffe aircraft, there are also similar ones for an Italian and RAF version. There are quite a few other websites covering the marque as well.



This has thrown up a number of differences to the kit's instructions on camouflage painting, leading edge slats housing, undercarriage and wing tip pods. Let me explain a couple of these anomolies - better still why not explain them all.



From the superb photographs on this site, it was apparent that the leading edge of the huge rudder was in an aluminium finish (not shown on the instructional drawings) as were the leading edges of the wings and slats. The aluminium of the leading edges of the wings and slats was also visible on the upper and lower wing surfaces and not just the lower surface as shown in the instructions. This was just shown as a colour differential in the kit. The photographs also showed the leading edges of the flaps and elevons to be finished in the same way (shown as an all over blue/grey in the instructions).It also became apparent that the undersides of the canard 'wings' on the forward fuselage were not in the overall airframe colour but in a very dark grey.



In respect of the leading edge slats, I have posed these extended. As an aside, it was stated on a modelling forum that it was impossible for this aircraft to extend the leading edge slats on the ground! There is a photograph here to prove that the author was incorrect on this point. Unfortunately, by posing them extended it has exposed the 'inner' kit, as it were, and it just doesn't look right. When you look at the photographs, the slat housing is very smooth and white with just six small slots for the slat to slide back on, not ten square 'holes', one of which is 'see through'.



I therefore decided to line the housing with .010" plasticard which I had purchased from Graham awhile back. To get the exact shape I practised my brass rubbing techniques by rubbing a lead pencil over some white paper taped over the housing. The outline of the housing was then cut out and transfered to the plasticard and reproduced with the help of a sharp scalpel blade. With a bit of adjustment, both wing's slat housing liners fitted really well and will be glued into place shortly. I have some photographs to describe what I did.



The wing tip pods house electronic gadgetry and electric motors. They obviously get quite warm inside as an air intake pipe is fitted to both pods and which is reproduced very nicely on the kit parts. However, the photographs have revealed that where there is an air intake to a sealed unit, there must be an exhaust orifice which isn't shown on the model parts. Unfortunately, this exhaust is an oblong hole on the upper surface of the pods and in full view. Nothing for it but to carefully drill a couple of very small holes, and using a very thin scalpel blade again, join the holes up. Job done.



With regard to the undercarriage, those of you who have been following these Columns will know that I obtained a white metal set from Scale Aircraft Conversions in the States as there have been horror stories about the apparent weakness of the kit's plastic offerings. The photographs have given me an idea of how tackle the hoses and wiring. These aren't finished yet - what you see is just rudimentary - much more pipework to add.



Most of my time last week was taken up with masking the various leading edges on the airframe, the missile pylons and some of the missiles. It is such a big model and the masking as you all know is very time consuming, but satisfying when done.



I mentioned last week about the two nose cones - one large and one very small - that combine to make the whole. I said that after an initial primer coat I would examine the joint of the smaller cone to the larger to see what the primer has thrown up. As I had anticipated, it didn't look that great, so it was another case of Humbrol Filler with Enamel Thinners to make a smooth paste and then apply, let dry for a few hours, a gentle sand, re-examine, and then do the whole thing all over again until it was perfect.



I have now masked the canopies and given the clear surrounds a coat of Tamiya primer. I have even found another couple of small panel lines on the fuselage that needed re-instating. And that is where I am with the Eurofighter at the moment. The next job will be to start the spraying sequence and I am trying out some Gunze Acrylics for the first time. They are colour specific for this aircraft. I have used their superb Clear Matt Varnish for some time and it will be interesting to see how they will perform.


More soon. Short break required!