Monday, 27 January 2014

53 Chevrolet BelAir Custom WIP #3

There has been more progress on this project then the previous two years. I have finally got the engine all built, painted and wired up ready to be fitted into the car once it that is done. Below you can see it during the painting and building stage, here having a test fit to make sure that the exhaust manifolds cleared the chassis rails. I later discovered that the starter motor and alternator hit the inner wings and chassis. So the starter was modified and re-position to clear the chassis rail from where it was hitting it. Where the alternator was hitting inner wing, I trimmed this area away to clear the alternator and then glued a panel on the inside the wheel area to blank it off.

Once these little issues were dealt with, the completed engine was dry-fitted into the bay and then another little problem raised its ugly head. With the carburettor and air filter fitted on the engine, they stopped the radiator sliding into its location in front of the engine. So, some more modifications were needed to the front panel I had made for mounting the radiator. This was to make some new mounting brackets on the front side of the panel, cut and file the panel to clear the fan cowling. The grill also had to be trimmed to clear the radiator, but this also need to to be done to allow the grill to sit correctly on the bodyshell. Now all of these alterations are finished, work can move on to finishing the rest of the engine bay off before moving onto the interior.

I was pleased with how the engine turned out in the end. I will use a slower curing glue on the next resin engine I build, my current glue was drying too quick to allow me to adjust a part. Anyhow, the HT leads are all in the correct firing order, this engine is based on a big block Chevy. I will also use something different for the fan belts as this material that came with the engine kit is plastic and a little too stiff. Otherwise, I can recommend these Gibson Engines. Now, I just need to find one of my case white metal coils for the car!

More updates soon.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

53 Chevrolet BelAir Custom WIP #2

Now, it has been a few months since I did my first post about this very long term project of the 1953 Chevrolet BelAir Custom and not much progressed due to magazine reviews and other projects getting in the way. My original plan was to have this model finished for Telford last November, but that did not happen! So now that the Gannet and Monty's Humber are done and dusted, I had to decide between the Chevy of the Messerschmitt Bf110 to continue with. The Chevy won!

So, how does the project sit now? The body is basically ready for primer and painting. I still have to decide on what colour I am going to paint her, but it can be brought up to that stage to save some time. After more swapping around between different wheels, I have finally settled for these ones which I was originally using on the 53 Ford Pick-up that has been sitting on the shelf with the Chevy.

In the engine bay, some major changes were made to accommodate the large V8 that is being fitted. The stock inner wings were cut out and new ones were scratch-built in their place. These needed to be altered when I discovered that there were obstructing the front wheels, so the rear sections were moved inwards for clearance of the wheels. The radiator supplied in the kit would not be up to the job in real life. So this has been replaced with one of my cast resin Nissan GT-R radiators mounted in a new front panel.

On the underside, I had to replace the axle as the original one had broke. Thus one came from a Pontiac GTO scrapper I picked up a while back to use for a demo on my website at some point. The Pontiac axle is a bit stronger then the Chevy one and the wheels are sitting further into the wheel housings now. All that I needed to do was make some new stabiliser bar brackets to go on the axle. The front and rear suspension has been glued into place now, this is to protect them from being damaged any more. So, just a few things to tidy up on the chassis and then this an be primed and readied for paint.

Onto the interior now. The general inside is going to be the stock Chevy bench seats, trying to keep an "Old Skool" look inside. But the dash needed a revamp, so it was out with the old dials and in with a more modern dash cluster taken from a left-over decals out of a Honda I think. The upper surface of the dash was changed to accommodate the new cluster and give it a more modern feel. The steering wheel and column has also been changed by using a spare wheel from the parts box and a scratch-build new column. Some indicate and wiper stalks need to be made and added before painting commences.  

Finally the engine. This is a Gibson Engines cast resin Alley Rat 502 TPI, which comes with all of the components of a complete engine, including etched parts and material to make any of the belts found on the engine. The only extra detailing required, is items like HT leads, hoses, pipework and wiring. In all, they are very good replacements for the stock engines in 1/25th scale cars. 

This one still needs some work done to it, a bit of work to the air filter and prep work for the leads and hoses before paint can commence. But this is not far off the painting stage and once it has been stripped down, cleaned up and primed, on goes the colour. 

So, now that this update has been done, I can get back to the workbench and head towards completing this long overdue project.

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. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Fairey Gannet AS.Mk.1/4 WIP #1

This project, a quick one out of the box that I started whilst at the IPMS(UK) Nationals at Telford back in November. It has been a little slower then I planned, but with the so called Christmas rush at work slowed my modelling time down a little over the last month. I always wanted to get one of these Gannets as I have memories of my Dad building one when I was a kid,. This memory has always stuck in my head and I wanted to build one myself in a similar scheme and marking. So being my usual self,  I brought two of the same kits to build.

The kit is the Trumpter 1/72nd scale model of the Gannet AS.Mk.1/4 in two Royal Navy and one West German Navy markings. It is a bit basic in the cockpit details and there has been a few issues about the parts lining up properly in a few areas, but as all of us modeller do, we work around these problems. I have needed to us some filler in a few areas on the fuselage, but the biggest problem was trying to get the bubble canopies of the cockpits to fit. These all sat too high and had gaps at the front and rear joints. It took a bit of time to sort this out, but I got there in the end. The scheme I will painting this model is of aircraft  XA322/711-Cu of 769 Sqdn based at RNAS Culdrose during 1957.

The following photos have been taken over the last few days during painting and adding the decals to her which happened tonight. Tomorrow, a couple of coats of clear will be done to seal them and it is onwards with more painting, then onto final assembly. And as usual, with it being a working aircraft, she will have some weathering done to her. More posts later on the Gannet.

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year to everyone.

Well here it is, another year started and time to think about what we are all planning to buy and build this year. Now, the main model I am planning to buy this year, is the new 1/24th scale Hawker Typhoon from Airfix that will be due for release around June/July time. According their website, it will be £99, a little more then they were saying at the unveil at Telford in November. But when you think about it, you are paying over £120 for most 1/32nd scale WWII fighters from Tamiya, so It is work it in my eyes. But as we all know, there is always something else that catches our eyes as we go around the shows!

My main plans for the start of the year is to finish off a few of my on-going projects that are sitting on the shelves in my workshop. The first of these is a Trumpter 1/72nd scale Fairey Gannet AS. Mk.1/4 which is nearing completion at the present time. Adding decals to it tonight and just writing this while some are drying. After this one is done, the Messerschmitt Bf110 will the my next target to get finished after a few months on the sidelines. I just need to finish the main construction work to get it ready for painting. One of my car project might be the next one to dig out, possibly the 53 Chevrolet BelAir which is now a few years behind schedule now. From here, we will just have to see what happens.

Now, onto what I have planned on the new project side. Well, in my stash of kits, I have a Zoukei Mura P-51D Mustang kit. I have been thinking about how to build this model since I brought it on its release. The ideas in my head have come together and I have a vision of what I want her to look like in my head now. So this will be started in the next few months, I hope!

So, have a happy 2014 of model building and keep watching this space.