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Grant

1/72nd Airfix Supermarine Swift FR5

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Building this one for someone who was an apprentice at South Marston when the Swifts were being developed. So, this will be a detailed WIP so that they can watch the model progress.

First off here are the box and sprue shots. First impressions are it looks a nice clean moulding, with some very robust locating pins, and nicely broken up decals where they go over the undercarriage doors. This one will be in flight though, over South Marston hopefully.

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Starting with the cockpit here are all the constituent parts off the sprues and ready for painting. Biggles has been rescued from the spares box.

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And here it is all together, decals on and Tamiya tape used for the seatbelts.

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And here you can see the first strange thing about the kit. As mentioned above, you can see 2 of the robust locating pins in front of the cockpit, on top of the nose wheel bay. So, just for two halves of the nosewheel bay we have this very positive fixing of their relative positions. The nosewheel bay them simply butt joins onto the front of the cockpit. Not too bad, as the are ledges which sort out the location, but it is still possible to misalign.

Now look at the side of the cockpit next to the pilots shoulder – that is the location slot (one each side) for fixing the position of the whole cockpit/wheel bay into the fuselage. Compared with the nosewheel bay that is a very flimsy attachment point and care will need to be taken to line the wheel bay up with the fuselage openings.

A curious mix then of very positive attachment points and, you would have thought, more important alignments being left up to the modeller.  Still wheels up in flight for this one so not a problem, but will be watching out for more.

Now onto the intake and exhaust trunking…

Cheers

Grant

 

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Looks a nice kit Grant,if I see one I may well be tempted(I remember David Lean's "The Sound Barrier"fondly).

I shall watch your build-up keenly.

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All the interior bits are painted and ready for a dry fit test. You can see on the jet pipe exhaust the stubs of the attachment (why there?!) and as the whole thing sticks out a fair way there will also be a seam to clean up. I wonder why the exhaust is not a separate anulus unit.

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All seems to fit sensibly into one fuselage half…

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But the cockpit doesn’t fit into both halves!! You can see the locating lugs are nicely seated but the shoulders of the cockpit don’t seem to fit and there is a huge gap at the top of the fuselage. Hopefully just some trimming will fix that.

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And now for a check of plan A for mounting it. I have used magnets in the past, to avoid cutting holes in the model, but not these small round ones. But with 2 taped inside and just one on the pole the hold seems reasonably firm and it will even hold it upside down. However, with the extra mass of the rest of the kit attached I think 2 magnets on the pole will be safer.

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Now to get that cockpit to fit….

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I have used them on a couple of models now, a Hase EA-6B and a Plant Models (resin) Saro SRA1. They have had a weapons pylon or the 'step' to use as an mechanical limit on the model swinging about. The Swift is a bit different with a smooth, almost flat, underbelly so once it is all together I will have to experiment and see if I need to stabilize the 'pointing' of the model.

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After trimming a little from the shoulders of the cockpit it was time to fit all the internal parts. The white interior to the intakes meant masking the intakes from the inside. This should be straight forward enough to take off from the outside…

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The wings were next up for attention. The mounting magnets have been glued in place with 2 part epoxy, then the top surfaces were glued and clamped. Then, jumping a few steps ahead, the flaps, undercarriage doors and ailerons are added, and the whole assembly attached to the fuselage.

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After a couple of evenings filling and sanding all the obvious seams that needed attention the tailplanes and rudder were attached.

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Now to mask the canopy and the protruding tail pipe and stuff some tissue down the intakes before it is off to the paint shop.

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With canopy now masked, tissue stuffed down the intakes, liquid latex over the camera windows and a bamboo skewer up the jet pipe it is all ready for the paint shop.

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A few minor tweaks to seams were required, but why is it always the most visible one that causes the most problems!!??

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Finally got it sorted and got the PRU blue undersides painted. Here I am using the Tamiya vinyl tape for the first time. It is great for those curvy leading edges. I can see this stuff getting used more often.

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Cheers

Grant

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And so, into the paint shop. The undersides get masked off where I just need blue (Humbrol 230 PR Blue) and the top surface gets sprayed overall camo grey (Mr. Color 331 Dark Sea Grey).

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The top side then gets the Blu-Tac sausage treatment and the areas to remain grey (hopefully just the grey areas) get filled in with masking tape. Then finally the camo green (Mr. Color 330 Dark Green) is sprayed on. 2 hours masking effort for about 2minutes paint spraying!

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Then comes the reveal…This time no paint bleed anywhere! I seem to finally be getting the hang of this modelling lark.

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However, in that last picture you can just make out that the vinyl tape used around the leading edge has left a sticky residue. Not good. Most came off ok with some careful rubbing with steel wool (the shavings from which all collected around the magnets!). However, one bit was particularly thick and started discolouring. In the end I had to bite the bullet and rub a couple of panels down, after masking around them, and paint them again.

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All tidied up now and ready for some gloss varnish before the decals – and ALL those stencils – go on.

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And done!

The decals caused a scare to begin with. They are quite thick and have a matt finish. And the smallest amount of water that trickles off them will leave a white milky residue if allowed to dry!!!!! And trying to wash it off seems to make it worse – I have never seen decals like them.

Luckily, sealing in with gloss varnish does cover up the marks and the decals look OK. Scary way to get the result though – I thought I was going to have to repaint and use aftermarket decals…

The masking tape came out of the intakes OK, and the canopy masking had done its job well. The final part was the pitot – I used brass tube and rod to replace the poor kit part.

Enough, waffle, here is the finished model.

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I have been unable to get hold of an aerial photo of South Marston, so I have used a negative print of outlines of the Swift printed onto card and stuck to the base.

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With the magnets holding nicely, by simply twisting the support rod, you can go from straight and level (above) to a banked turn or a zoom climb.

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Thanks for watching.

Grant

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Wow!!,Uncle Miggs will have his eyes peeled for one of these,nice work mate.

 

I bet the skewer up the jet-pipe raised it's eyebrows a bit though................

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6 hours ago, Grant said:

I have been unable to get hold of an aerial photo of South Marston, so I have used a negative print of outlines of the Swift printed onto card and stuck to the base.

Try a screen shot of Google maps in "satellite mode"?

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The trouble with that is that it the place is not an active airfield anymore. What I really need is a mid '50s shot.

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Well obviously the poor pilot flew through the time vortex from The Final Countdown and now he's wondering how he can get home again.

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Thanks Miggers. I had come across that thread. The images on it are of the factory buildings, and I have emailed the site, via their contacts page, but have heard nothing back yet.

Given the model is for an ex apprentice, the 'blue print' base is growing on me, and I think I might stick with it.

Cheers

Grant

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