Saturday, 26 January 2013

"End Of An Era" XH134 WIP #1

This is the second aircraft in the project after the already finished XH135. At the end of her active service, XH134 received a specially commissioned tail-art for its retirement scheme as seen in the above photo. Last year, I acquired the two decals sets of this artwork, in both 1/72nd and 1/48th scales.

The base kit is the Airfix 1/72nd scale Canberra PR9 which is being built straight out of the box. Work started a few days ago whilst I was at work and over the last few days, I had assembled the cockpit interior, wings and rudder whilst at work. Last night, the interior was painted and final assembly of this was done. I have left the pilots seat off for now to avoid any obstruction when masking the cockpit opening for painting, this will be added during final assembly of the model.

Once the paint had dried, I started to assemble the main fuselage. First, the small window glazing was added to the nose section and glued in place with some Micro Krystal Klear. Whilst these were drying, The upper cockpit section of the fuselage was glued to the interior and left to dry. At this stage of the construction, Airfix say to add 45 grammes of nose weight above the nose gear bay. So I broke up some white metal ingots I have to the required weight, 45 grammes is quite a big lump of white metal and I was having doubts about this amount. So I finished assembling the fuselage up to the point of adding the bomb/camera bays section of fuselage.

I taped the main wings to the fuselage and balanced the model on a small block of foam at the main undercarriage bays. Next, I laid the pieces of white metal ingots on top of the fuselage above the position where the instructions say to place it. My calculation is that we do not need to use 45 grammes of nose weight for this model, 30 should be okay. I will do a couple of more test with weight today before coming to a decision and adding it.

So, the next steps today. Finish with the nose weight tests, glue them in place, add the underside of the fuselage, add nose section and clean up any joints and gaps in the fuselage. There is also a few injection pin depressions on the main wings that need to be dealt with to before gluing them in place.

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