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Found 8 results

  1. DesmoDave

    Zero WIP

    Trumpeter 1/24 zero. Playing with a derelict finish
  2. My big project for the last several months, Airfix's 1/24 Typhoon. Completed in markings of Flight Sargeant James Stellin, 609 Squadron RAF. I was looking for a New Zealand theme for my build and the Stellin story stood out among others. He wasn't an ace, didn't appear to be a pilot of any particular note, but his sacrifice was significant to the people of Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a small village in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy. Here is the complete Stellin story: As his damaged Hawker Typhoon fighter-bomber rapidly lost height, Pilot Officer James Stellin struggled to avoid crashing into Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a village of 370 people between Le Havre and Dieppe in northern France. He succeeded, but at the cost of his own life. The villagers gave him a hero’s funeral and have honoured his memory ever since. James Kingston (‘Joe’) Stellin was one of several thousand New Zealanders who flew with the Royal Air Force over Europe in support of the D-Day landings in 1944. Born in Wellington on 2 July 1922, he was the son of James and Beatrice Stellin of Lyall Bay. He attended Scots College before enlisting in the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942 and beginning pilot training. On 3 June 1944, three days before D-Day, he and two other Kiwi pilots were posted to 609 Squadron, RAF, at Thorney Island airfield, Hampshire. Over the following month, 609’s pilots flew numerous missions over Normandy, targeting German radar stations, tanks and other vehicles. In early July the squadron moved its base to France, arriving at Plumetot, north of Caen, under shellfire and in mud and rain. For the next six weeks Stellin flew almost daily missions against German tank concentrations, strongpoints and motor transport in the Falaise area. On 18 August, 609 Squadron’s Typhoons destroyed at least seven German tanks and 12 vehicles. Stellin flew again that evening, attacking vehicles on the Vimoutiers–Orbec road and setting five alight. On the 19th, 609 Squadron again targeted German transport trying to escape the Falaise pocket. At 8.30 a.m. Stellin took off from Martragny airfield, flying Typhoon JP975. After destroying several tanks and trucks, Stellin’s aircraft was heading home when he asked permission to descend to attack a vehicle. He did not return to his formation and asked for a homing to find his way back to base. He was given a course but later reported that he was short of fuel. It is thought that his plane was hit by flak near Bernay. A teacher at Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, Monsieur Jacobs, described the scene: Stellin bailed out at the last moment, but his parachute failed to open and he was killed. He was 22 years old. His funeral in Saint-Maclou-la-Brière was attended by 1200 people from the surrounding area. His grave in the local cemetery was later designated a Commonwealth War Grave; ever since it has been decorated regularly with flowers. In 1946 M. Jacobs, who had been active in the local Resistance, wrote a moving letter to Stellin’s parents. The following year the Kiwi pilot was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. The people of Saint-Maclou-la-Brière later engraved Stellin’s name onto the war memorial for the dead of their own village. In 1964 they erected a black marble memorial stone to Stellin outside the gates of their church. In 2001 the area in front of the St Maclou church was named ‘Place Stellin’. Stellin has also been commemorated in New Zealand. A memorial board was erected in the Kilbirnie RSA and when that building closed it was moved to his old school, Scots College. The College library is named in Stellin’s honour and the school holds other memorabilia. When James’s father, a prominent Wellington businessman and developer (he was responsible for the subdivisions of Avalon, Kingston and Strathmore Park), died in 1964, he bequeathed funds to build the memorial in Saint-Maclou-la-Brière. He also gifted land on the eastern side of Tinakori Hill to the Wellington City Council to create the James Stellin Memorial Park. In August 2007, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and French Ambassador Michel Legras unveiled a long-promised plaque in the Memorial Park. Its not known what 609 squadron letter Stellin was flying the day he died, all that was recorded was the plane serial number JP975. I chose to Use squadron letter "S". The airfix kit itself was, for the most part, excellent. The amount of "flash" removal was, at times, frustrating, especially on the intricate engine parts. The build is completely OTB except for the resin wheels, seat belts and photoetch flaps. I decided to use the eduard flaps instead of spending hours filling and sanding ejector marks off the kit flaps. Photos are a bit average but such was the lighting. Comments welcome.
  3. I have been working on this since the beginning of the year. It will be be an article for Military Illustrated Modeller once it's finished.. I am on the final leg of the build now and the Eduard Brassin gunbay isn't fitting. Its something minor and can be sorted easily but its been motivation killer and its been sitting on my bench for the last few weeks mocking me every time I walk past it. So just need to fit them and do the weathering and its done!
  4. Of course I haven't got the Tiffie in my grubby paws yet but I've pre-ordered it. Although the Typhoon looks really at home in full invasion stripes, I have chosen a later subject: Pulverizer II of 440 Sqn RCAF. This Bombphoon was based at B.78 Eindhoven in late 1944. An airbase which is still in use by the Royal Netherlands Air Force nowadays. It is also used as a civilian airfield, much used for European flights carried out with aircraft in the Boeing 737 size class. So, to be continued...
  5. I've plunged into the deep and started Airfix 1/24 Hawker Typhoon. It'll be MN131, a 3-blade, rocket-armed, bubble-top Typhoon that was fitted with the small tailplanes. EagleCal's terrific decals will be used. I have to run now to get to work in time, update follows quickly! The update: These are the decals on the sheet, to give you an idea: I also plan on using Airscale's instrument decals: The seatbelts supplied in the kit are not the "standard Sutton-harness" used RAF-wide during WW-II, so I turned to Radu Brinzan for his lovely set of harness. It looks quite daunting but that hurdle will be taken when we get to it! Staying with Radu's RB products, I plan to use the photo-etched radiator parts, keeping in mind that the kit parts may need to be sanded down a bit to get the whole assembly to fit. Barracudacast's resin air intake promises to be a part that refines the radiator assembly effectively too! And finally I'll be using Barracudacast's resin Typhoon wheels. I find them worth the small investment in money, seeing as how much finer the detail is. Well, onto the kit then!!!! This kit certainly isn't a "weekend-kit", you only have to glance at the heap of plastic to become aware of that.... One of the first things to tackle is the framing around the cockpit. That's also where you see that Airfix isn't in the Tamigawa league yet, no matter what all the fanboys may say! There are heaps of detail moulded in but here and there it reminds me some of the mouldings of Monogram.... The parts show really distinctive mould-seams and sometimes the mould halves aren't exactly "calibrated". In parts with a circular cross-section, that means that you easily end up with an oval cross-section... For my taste, the plastic is somewhat too soft, I prefer the harder Japanese plastic. But no fear, I'm enjoying myself with this Tiffie! Cleaning up the right (errr... starboard) frame took me the entire modelling session of an evening. Do observe the difference between the basic part and the cleaned-up part, though. I used a No.11 Swan & Morton scalpel to scrape off the seams on the verical sides and the top sides. I didn't bother with the bottom sides as these will not be seen from the cockpit aperture. Top is the treated part, bottom the raw part as it was cut off from the mould-tree. To be continued.
  6. Hi guys, Does any of you have got a replacement Tiffie-canopy from Airfix? I've read mixed experiences -not about Airfix, their service i outstanding and fast- but about the "droop" in the canopies. I've read somewhere that the keep the clear parts a short while longer in the moulds before ejecting them so the parts can cool down somewhat more and don't display the droop. On other forums I read that the droop is still present, only the cracking has been sorted? Anyone know what it'sreally like? I knowthere are resin alternatives around, but prefer injection moulded transparencies if at all possible as resin still isn't as crystal clear... Cheers, Erik.
  7. Asuka (formerly Tasca) 1/24 Bantam Reconnaissance Car In 1940, the U S Army asked 135 tractor and auto manufacturers to design a four-wheel drive, 40 horsepower, 1,300 pound reconnaissance car that could haul soldiers as well as heavy artillery. The challenge? The designer was expected to have a working prototype available for a test run within 49 days. Only two companies responded to the request, The American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pa. and Willys-Overland Motors of Toledo, Ohio. Because Bantam promised to deliver the prototype in 45 days, they won contract. Bantam’s Factory Manager Frank Fenn, former General Motors Executive Arthur Brandt and a skeleton work crew were feverishly working on the project when Fenn called freelance designer Karl Probst in Detroit and offered him the design job. Probst agreed to design the car in five days and forgo payment for his services if Bantam did not win the Army contract. The Bantam prototype. (blog.hemmings.com) The Bantam prototype was called the Bantam Reconnaissance Car, or BRC. After maintaining a frantic schedule for nearly seven weeks, the Bantam group managed to bring the layouts and spec sheets to life. Ralph Turner of Butler drove the vehicle to Camp Holabird, Maryland on September 23. The Army tested it for 30 days. Unfortunately, Bantam could not meet the Army’s production demands of 75 vehicles per day. The Army gave Ford and Willys the Bantam’s blueprints and they produced the vehicles the Army required. Ford and Willys fulfilled the Army’s contracts for 600,000 Jeeps for World War II. Bantam produced a total of 2,675 jeeps and never produced another vehicle after that. They then produced ‘jeep’ cargo trailers, torpedo motors and other items until they closed in 1956. The Bantam jeep was the first of what would eventually evolve into the World War II US Army Jeeps, the Willys MB and the Ford GPW. (Text taken from www.bantamjeepfestival.com/about/history/ ). About 1000 Bantams were supplied to the USSR under Lend-Lease. Great Britain received 162 examples. The Kit. I received the kit in a neat little box. Every sprue was separately packed to avoid scratches from other sprues. There are 4 olive drab sprues with the parts for the chassis, the bodywork, the engine and the seats and so on. One sprue with clear parts for the windshield, head- and taillights and the instrument cluster, a set of 5 vinyl tires, a little sprue of washers to keep the wheels attached to the model and a decal set with service markings for the engine and the bodywork as well as markings for 3 vehicles, 2 of them for the US Army in the USA and 1 for a British vehicle in North Africa 1942. The instructions are clear and look very well drawn. The Sprues. The first sprue contains the engine parts. The Bantam used the Continental BY-4112, 4-cilinder, 112 cubic inch / 1.8 litre, side-valve engine of 45 horsepower. Interestingly enough, variants of this engine were used until the 1960’s in industrial equipment such as forklifts under the designation Continental Y-112. The fan and fan belt. The battery and parts of the central transfer box. The “cylinder head cover” for want of a better word. Top left you see the right hand side of the engine block with carburettor. Being a side-valve engine, the intake and exhaust ports are located on the same side of the engine. The top part is the exhaust side, attached to the cylinder head cover, the lower part is fixed to the engine block part. The carburetor. Both the basic engine block parts. The radiator parts. The air filter parts and the fuel and oil filters. The real fuel filter. The engine in the vehicle. The next sprue contains the basic body tub, steering wheel, seats etc. The steering wheel and gear levers. The rear side of the steering wheel. Note the ejection pin mark on the steering column clamp. On the right side there are the circular brake and clutch pedal. The throttle pedal looks to be a tiny metal pedal on the real thing. See the tiny part top center. I’ve read on an internet site that the BRC didn’t have a throttle pedal but that the driver used a manual handle in the dashboard to set the throttle? It can be that that was only on the prototype series or that the production variant had both or a combination of both… The seats. Also accurate as the rest of the parts we have examined. The backside of the seats. The lower backsides show some sinkmarks. Here we also see some heavy ejector pin marks on the inner sides of the rear bench backrest. That should be no problem but dryfit to be sure that the parts do fit without a gap. The backrest. The dashboard with the holes for the instruments, although I do think that the ignition lock wasn't on wartime vehicles.... The fuel tank which is located under the drivers’ seat. The basic tub of the body. The underside shows plenty of punch marks. Luckily they’re not deep and a good portion of them will be hidden by the chassis. If you don’t plan on looking at the underside of your model you can even forget about them! J When we shift our attention to the following sprue, we find the sides of the body, the bonnet or hood, grille and wind shield. The tail plate, headlights and hand holds. The rear lights of the real deal. The sides of the bodywork. Fine crisp details. You could try to hollow out the moulded in tie-downs if you feel you’re in a winning mood…!. The insides show slight punch marks. Most of them won’t be seen but check which ones will. Filling and or sanding them won’t be a dramatic chore. The bonnet or hood. The inside also shows some punch marks. These are also very shallow. However, if you want to show the engine and have the bonnet open, you better fill them in. The windshield. The real car had the possibility to open the windshield some to vent fresh air behind it without the driver having to eat all kinds of bugs. The kit doesn’t give this option. It’s either windshield up or down. All the latches and things are provided, however, so the windshield will look accurately busy with fine details. These details, together with the hooks for the windshield in the “down”-position and the bonnet are to be found above of the windshield part. In the right lower corner you can see the handle for the single windshield wiper. These pictures show the fenders, the vented plating behind the front wheels and the tubular front grille. Look at the delicate hollow moulding of the vents! The last of the olive drab-colored sprues contains the parts for the chassis, suspension, wheels and the driveshafts and differentials for the 4-wheel drive. Swipe your sanding stick a couple of times over the hubs of the front wheels. The rear wheels and the spare. The leaf springs. The driveshafts and differentials. The U-shaped rods that connect the axles to the springs. The exhaust, shock absorbers and the inner wheel hubs. The tires are vinyl. I know there are people who hate this medium and there are people who are afraid of chemicals in the tires “melting” the rims or of the tires drying out over time, cracking por breaking in the process. I’m not afraid of this; the problems with melting rims were only noted with the tires supplied with AMT kits in the ‘90’s. The material of those tires was vastly different from the material used by Asuka. The Asuka tires are much more like those found in Tamiya car and motorcycle kits. I have built a few of those Formula-1 and motorcycle kits myself and have yet to find ANY adverse effect of the tires. Not unimportantly; the color is not pitch-black and the tires aren’t gloss, so painting them over isn’t necessary at all. Just weather them together with the rest of the vehicle. So I’ll be using the vinyl tires with confidence. The clear parts look clear enough and free of distortions. As mentioned earlier; the decalsheet contains markings for three vehicles; two Stateside, and one used by British forces in North Africa. One of the finishing options in the kit. The Duke of Gloucester in a Bantam. Note the sun compass in front of the driver, not supplied in the kit. (IWM) What do we think? The details in the plastic parts are very finely molded. The kit does show a lot of punch-marks but that is the natural downside of having a finely molded detail-rich model. While a few of those punch marks do need removal with a razor-saw or a scalpel, most are very fine and easily filled. Besides, a good few will be covered by other parts, so before filling them all in, check if they will be visible… I knew Asuka from their magnificent line of Sherman kits in 1/35 so I had high hopes. And the people of Asuka delivered! I spent some time looking for photos of the vehicle and it’s engine on the Internet and purchased the WWP R059 “Bantam Jeeps in Detail”. The kit looks dead-on accurate when held against these sources. I haven’t been able to find out how the throttle was fitted on the production vehicles, but the model mirrors the photos of the real thing. The prices of the kit I found at the writing of this review were €42,50 from a shop in Poland. And $39,95 from a shop in the USA. Very highly Recommended! We like to thank Asuka Model for providing us with the review sample. A Sherman II next to a BRC Willys MB jeep (IWM). I must've been cross-eyed when I attached this image to the review... Sorry! But it's a seriously nice photo, so it stays in! Here is an interesting walk-around (external link): http://militarymodels.co.nz/2011/11/21/bantam-brc-40-jeep-photo-walkaround/
  8. The built-up examples of Airfix' forthcoming 1/24 Typhoon and the sprues:
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