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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 53

IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION – SLOWLY, SLOWLY

 

 

It does seem rather strange, after a year of writing weekly columns for ‘Good Ole Graham’, to suddenly have to wind back the momentum and change to a once per month programme, but circumstances beyond my control have thrust this upon me.

 
Not only that, I have just experienced a very frustrating week with things IT. Those who know me understand that I am computer illiterate!

I luv ‘em when they are working, but when things go wrong I am reduced to a helpless state. And things did go wrong. Suffice to say that my old IT thingy is now ‘ex’ and a new computer has now been installed – by me, my wife and a very good friend called Jim who lives ‘up North’ and is a computer wizz on the ‘phone. Many trips to PC World with both new and old IT thingy to get everything transferred worked to some extent, although I do seem to have lost many of my emails.

 

Hopefully this article will find it’s way to Graham eventually - and in the correct format.

 

To things modelling – unbelievably I have four (4!) things on the go. Before I had my slight RTA I was three quarters through the Paul Fisher

1/32 Sea Fury T20 Trainer being finished in West German colours of the 1970’s but which is delayed awaiting the arrival of some German stencils. Then I had Graham’s 1/32 Revell Eurofighter which I finished a couple of weeks ago. I think he liked the result, I know that I enjoyed building it.

 

 

 

 

Having visited the Duxford Flying Legends show, I was so taken with the diminutive Russian Polikarpov I-16, I rushed out to buy the Special Hobby 1/32 version and this is also three quarters built. Tamiya it ain’t - with plastic fitting where it touches, much use of plasticard infill and much rubbing down. It should look quite good with it’s skis and painted in one of those very dirty Russian camouflage schemes.

 

 

 

Almost a year ago, as a special treat for the Festive Season, I had purchased the v. expensive resin 1/32 Marsh Models Supermarine S6 - the 1929 Schneider Trophy float plane winner that broke the World’s Air Speed Record. It is such a beautiful looking aircraft and, as can be seen from it’s looks, thanks to the influence of a certain Mr R J Mitchell, it was the forerunner of the Spitfire. It was quite easy to reach this kit in my workroom stash. It caught my eye and I gradually began to fettle away at the resin. Then, why not have a go at the cockpit? Before I knew it, the fuselage had been closed with the cockpit sitting comfortably ensconced and the seat belts fitted. There was a fair amount of filling to do on the seams, but it is looking very nice and very Supermarine!

 

 

 

 

This afternoon I fitted the wings which have zero degrees dihedral. One wing did not seem to want to line up satisfactorily (about 1/16th inch out) at the trailing edge/fuselage root joint, so I drilled two carefully measured small holes – one in the root on the fuselage and one on the wing root. Good old Albion Alloys brass rod was inserted and once the wing was slotted home, the rod perfectly lined up and held the parts without any worries of the glued joint moving out of alignment.

 

 

 

 

The floats went together very well with their brass PE mooring plates slotted between the two halves before supergluing. When I came to look at the ‘handed’ float struts, I discovered that Marsh Models had mistakenly packed two of the same side, ie both right handed. A quick email had replacements almost by return of post – many thanks to John.

 

 

I have spent quite a bit of time this week on the S6 fuselage with my smart new set of miniature needle files I purchased at Euromilitaire a few weeks ago, carefully cleaning up the joint work and any errant resin lurking amongst those wonderful engine rocker covers. I would have loved to have actually heard that huge 36.7 litre development of the Napier Lion engine perform, especially as it was being run on Castrol ‘R’ – the sight, the sound and THE aroma! The model is coming together very nicely but, and as will be seen in the next activity’ – dry fitting is the name of the game.

 

I have kept the new love of my life until last. In my book, if love is in the eye of this beholder, then this is IT! Sorry dear.

 

Paul Fisher produces some very nice 1/32 resin kits and his beautiful 1/32 Hawker Hunter T7 trainer conversions is no exception. One has to provide a Revell Hunter F.Mk.6 as the donor kit which I managed to find through a friend and, alongside the Supermarine S6, the Hunter T7 began to take shape.

 

 

 

 

 

As has been my experience with Paul Fisher kits, there are almost no resin casting blacks to saw away and I think I am correct when I say that the only two blocks to cut away were on the bottom of the twin ejector seats – and what beautiful pieces of cast resin they are too. The cockpit is a dream to work on and this work has to be completed before any gluing of fuselage front/spine and fuselage rear. What I particularly like about Paul’s work is the attention to detail on the instrument panels. It was the same with the Sea Fury – they look fabulous when completed as per the instructions with PE IP front panels, artwork instruments and the whole then mounted on a PE steel back panel.

 

As per the instructions, I sprayed the instrument panels matt black and, when dry, using a long nosed number 26 Swann Morton blade, I very carefully scraped the paint away from the bezels and other instruments. The effect is stunning. I think I counted 17 bezels requiring ‘glass’ so these holes were filled with Micro Kristal Klear and a couple of days later, when the artwork instrument dials were in place, I added some Klear (varnish this time) to make the’ glass’ shine. It is one of the most effective IP’s I have seen. I have even had time to paint the pilot’s seats and they too come up very nicely. No quite finished with these yet but they look great in the cockpit.

 

Again, as with the Supermarine S6, it is a case of ‘slowly slowly catchee monkey’ and much (very much) dry fitting is required when it comes to marrying the beautiful front fuselage conversion to the plastic Revell kit. Amazingly there is only a very small amount of surgery to the plastic fuselage. About 30mm from the spine is all that is required to be removed. I spent much time with the two resin fuselage parts to ensure a nice ‘marry up’ to the plastic. The use of ‘centre lines’ comes in very handy, but please, if you do get one of Paul’s kits, do follow the photographs and text to the word – it is correct!

 

Tonight, as I write these ramblings, I have just had yet another dummy run, but this time fitting the fuselage front and spine together with the fuselage rear and wings, using much tape to hold things together in order to roughly check that everything lined up OK. I stepped back to look and was immediately smitten. This is one gorgeous looking aircraft. The extra wide side by side seating arrangements of the T7 training fuselage creates a beautiful line. Apologies for my poor photography – the pictures certainly do not do it justice, but I think you can see what I am saying about the lines!

 

 

 

 

Paul Fisher knows his stuff!

 

 

More soon,

 

 
Peter
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