Progression on XH134 has been better then I thought it was going to be last Monday. Even with popping out to the shops again on Tuesday for some more shopping. Then on Wednesday we first travelling down to Hemel Hempstead to go swimming, only to find an extremely long queue to get in, so we decided to go to the pool in Bedford instead. And Thursday afternoon was spent with our daughter and the other three grandchildren around. But, I still got a lot of the Canberra done!
After the model was de-masked left to dry overnight, I thinned some Tamiya matt yellow and using a bow pen, I started to draw out the walkway guides on both of the main wings. Ideally, I would like to find an ink which is the right shade of yellow so I could use my drawing pens for this job. Or I should even try to find some decals of various size lines in different colours. But as usual, I keep forgetting to do this. I finished off this stage by giving the model a couple of coats of Xtracrylix gloss clear ready for the decals to go down.
Now, this is where I made a silly mistake, again! I did exactly the same thing when I built XH135, I forgot to use the roundels from the aftermarket decal sheet. I was busy thinking about something else whilst applying the decals to the model. I tried to remove one of the roundels from under the wing, but it would not lift away and I did not want to risk damaging the paintwork on the model. SO they have had to stay, again! Once all of the decals were done, I gave the model another coat of the gloss clear to seal the decals. This was when I also noticed that the Airfix kit decals did not sit properly on the model. The same thing happened on my first Canberra where it looks like the decals has lifted slightly. But you do not see any sight of this until you spray some clear onto it. It does not say who supplies the decals for this kit, but it has happened on both of my 1/72nd scale PR9's and I bet it happens on the third one to.
Now, lets bring it all up to last night. Before I airbrushed any matt clear, I wanted to get all of the undercarriage gear, bay doors and flaps fitted onto the model. So first I painted the various aerials, camera bays, tyres and other little details on the fuselage. Next I assembled the front undercarriage then glued that in place with the bay doors. Once these were dry, I progresses onto the main gear gluing the first in place before doing the next one. As these were drying, the remaining doors for the main undercarriage were glued in place then left to dry. Now, with adding a little over the recommended nose weight, you would think this will sit just right. But no, it is still a little tail heavy! So I dropped the pilots seat into the cockpit and placed the canopies over the opening, and this helped a little, but it lift the nose at the slightest touch. So the plan is to add a little more weight in the front camera bay, these were not used on these three Canberra's at this period, so they are panelled over.
All that is left to do on this model is as follows. Add the flaps to the wings, give the model a couple of coats of matt clear, paint the engine inlets and exhaust, add the extra weight in the front camera bay, add the pilots seat the canopies and add the aerial between the tail and cockpit.
Last night I finished off by placing both XH135 and XH134 on top of my tool cabinet to take a photo of them side by side. Once XH131 is finished, they will look very good all lined up on their base. When on display, these models will have a few more figures standing around plus a tug, AP unit and a Bedford MK refueller. The plan is for it to look like they are getting ready to head off to one of their last displays during July 2006 before being decommissioned from RAF service.