Friday, 10 January 2014

Fairey Gannet AS.Mk.1/4 Finished

This was a quick one for me, two months from start to finish and that was to the day. 

I was not sure how the finished model was going to end up at one point during the build when I had a couple of problems. But with some perseverance and the end result has been pleasing for me. For a Trumpeter kit, I would have expected a better detailed model, but I am not sure of the origins of the kit, if it was Trumpeter's own tooling or another manufacturers. But some resin aftermarket parts are available to improve the model vastly, with detailed cockpit, bomb bay and folding wings. But this will be saved for my second kit of this aircraft in my stockpile.

I made a little mistake on this aircraft by fixing the radar dome too low, hence once the wheels were mounted, this dome rested on the ground lifting the rear undercarriage off the ground. So to rectify this I cut the dome off the model and reduced its size then re-glued it onto the model in the retracted position. Once everything was finished and glued in position on the model, the panel line shading was done using a diluted wash mix of oil paints through the airbrush. This was also used to tone down the general colour of the model by giving it a light misting all over.

One thing I would like to point out. If you do build one of these Gannet's, you need to add plenty of nose weight in it. Just like the Airfix Canberra's, you add a bit over what they recommend for the model and it is not enough. With this Gannet, you think you have added enough weight in the nose and even with some testing during the build it seems to be okay. But once I had put the wheels onto the undercarriage to see how she looked, the nose stuck itself up in the air. So, to rectify this very annoying problem, first I drilled some shallow holes into both sides of the rear propeller hub and glued some fishing weights into these. This still was not enough, so a hole was drilled into the front of the fuselage behind where the propeller sits and more weight was glued in the nose space . This did finally solve the problem and she sits just right now.

So onto my final conclusion of this kit. Well, it does build up as a presentable model straight out of the box, but you do have to sort out a few fitting issues with the bubble canopies to allow them to sit right. The propellers are fiddly to assemble and are both in the feathered position. The cockpit detail is basic and there is no bomb bay detail at all (unlike the Revell kit). You do get three aircraft markings in the kit, two Royal Navy and one German Navy, but the colour schemes are the same for all three aircraft. But I have enjoyed building this model and look forward to building the other one I have but using some aftermarket items on it.