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1/32 Matchbox/Revell Westland P.12 Wendover

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I've been lurking here for a while. and this is my first post! And you know what?


A new year . A new project. And you know what else? As a first project of this year we do something simple ....






For a "Flying Abominations"-GB on another forum I proudly present; The Westland P.12 Lysander Delanne (Wendover)!


The whowhatsit!? Well, this...




Short (Really short) History


Almost everybody knows the Westland Lysander . Famous mainly for the risky missions that the Allies undertook during WW2. Because of his special flight characteristics of the Lysander was very suitable for landings on short improvised airfields to pick up and drop off agents and Resistance fighters in the middle of the night.

With the expected invasion of England in mind the Ministry of Defence was looking for a way to defend the beaches. Thus was born the idea of Westlands’s chief designer, Arthur Davenport,  for a "beach Strafer " . The Lysander as a basis (which was able to maintain a speed of just over 100 km/h in the air), but better armed to wipe clean the beach. Therefore it was decided to install the 4-gun Nash & Thomson rear turret of a Wellington.

The design was made even stranger by adding an extra pair of wings. The Westland P.12 Delanne was equipped with the tandem wing akin to the design of airplane designer Maurice Henri Delanne . And contrary to what you might expect at first sight, the flying characteristics of this monstrosity were remarkably good . So much so that the pilot flying the first test-flight in July 1941 ended it with a looping !


The Victim


For this build the Matchbox 1/32 Lysander serves as a (willing) donor. Recently picked up on a forum for a pittance, without decals and box. Along with the Revell reboxing from the stash I'm going to see if I can do something with it.


Matchbox kit. Trust me, everything is there...



Revell kit



Sprue shot!



I'm not entirely sure if I even need parts of the Revell kit, but the decals are in any case already moved to the box of the original Matchbox kit that still lies waiting in the stash...


Reference Material

So pitifully little... On the Lysander itself there is material enough to find, but on the Wendover (as the British called him eventually ) there is not much. Some black-and-white pictures and a few three-way views of questionable quality, one more useful than the other. But do not worry; with a little common sense, a bit of calculation and tricks with a drawing program , we can work it out ( I think ...). Anything I can't figure out I will guestimate...


More sooooon!


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Righto... research, research and then some more research...

As I mentioned before; there isn't all that much on the P.12 out there to find. But all the more on the Lysander itself. So that's a good start. 

I found a load of pictures showing looooooaaads of details. And details are good. And inspiring...

Like inspiring you to build at least one side of the landing gear with the covers off, showing the .303 gun...


...and maybe with the ammo chute uncovered as well...


Open cockpit?






No! Bad Rob! BAD! Go sit in a corner!

Although I might just have ordered some resin .303s and a new engine...

More soooon!


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...Although I might just have ordered some resin .303s and a new engine...




"... Unfortunately, an extensive search revealed that the Vector Mercury engine is no longer in stock ..."

Within a minute my money is back in my Paypal account. But no engine to tinker with.
Again; *BLEEEEP!*
So we are "forced" to ordered on the big bad Internet. From a store outside the Netherlands... Where the engine including shipping also proves to be a lot cheaper. Unfortunate for the "poor little Dutch independent Hobby Store". *End Sarcasm Mode*
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Tried this one ? 






Or else try converting a Jupiter...? That will alleviate your tinkering urges.


Bleep out....


I gave Rob a call, and he said he didn't have it in stock, and resupply is difficult from the Ukraine at the moment. So I ordered one from Victory Models. Should be here in a few weeks at the most. And I have plenty of other stuff to do until it arrives...



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Is this of any use to you? It's yours if you want it.





Oh HELL yeah!! 


Would be great to use as a master for some vacuform turret making. Also tempted to go the vacuform road for the tail extension. Anyone fancy a set of parts to build a P.12?  B)



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For those who were wondering; I did look into getting a Persues, but it seems there are none in 1/32 scale. And I was planning of going slightly down the whif-road (you know the one... the gates have a sign above it saying "Abandon thy rivet-counting, ye who enter here."), by using an FN-20 turret from a Wellington or Lancaster, and using the Mercury engine used in the Mk.! and Mk.III. 


As we speak a 3D printed FN turret (from the HKM Lancaster concept show model no less, Thank You Very Much, Cees!!) is winging it's way to me to be used as a master for some vac-forming and scratchbuilding goodness. Combined with some nice brass barrels that should look ace.


The interior of the rear halve of the fuselage is going to be educated guesswork anyway, since the testbed was build by a coachbuilder and will probably have lacked much in the way of working internals a production aircraft would have had. The pictures of the testbed show no way to get into the rear bit (altho the gunner could have gotten in  and out of the turret by turning it fully sideways) so a hatch might be in order.


The Lysander had a bunch of removable panels on one side of the fuselage for easy access and maintenance, and I might do the same on the Wendover, because it seems like a logical step.





But still mostly in the research-phase of the whole build, scouring the web for reference material. Speaking of which... anyone have any pictures (of know of any) that show the way the ammo moved into the turret? I got a few shots, but mostly curious about the way it went from the ammunition runways to the bit that feeds the .303s themselves. Some sort of movable track/linkage?



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How are you going to tackle the fuselage? The old balsa mould vacform route?



Well, the "old balsa mould vacform route" would be new to me. Never done a balsa mould before. I did do one in styrene cardstock and putty before for a 1/76 scale DD Sherman...


General shape with ribs...



...a generous slathering of cheap waterbased putty from the dollar store...



...sanded smooth and given a coat of CA glue to fill the pinholes...



...and an insert made from more cardstock...



An the result!



Guess that method would work for a fuselage as well...



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What madness is this!? Actual pieces removed from the sprues!? MADNESS!!

And before anything else, it's time for putty...


Styrene-dissolved-in-TET putty. Works great at obliterating the dreaded Matchbox panel-... 





Anyway, they are pretty bad, and in some places I need to redo them. Starting with the spats. With the dissolved styrene I get a nice base to scribe new panel lines, or drill holes.

A little masking to avoid too much clean-up...

And now we wait... this stuff needs a long time to harden completely (you can speed it up a bit with a hairdryer...) but the wait is worth it.

I waited until the next day before I started clean-up and sanding, but as you see it works quite well. And with the filled-in areas the same hardness as the rest, it is very easy to work with when re-scribing and drilling. The footholds will be drilled out with a scratchbuild hinge and a flap to look more like the real thing.

Tomorrow, we start with figuring out where to cut the fuselage...

More soooon!


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Righto... Those pesky steps are filled and sanded smooooooth. Still not sure how many steps I'm going to do. All choices are open, with pictures of Lysanders showing one, two or no steps. I'll have to see. My whiffery, my brain to decide... biggrin.gif


Still waiting for my resin .303s to come in from Hannants, and until the arrive I will leave the spats for now. Next is figuring out the dimensions of that new tail...

Tinkering with the scale on my printer and some profiles I found I came across a pretty good one...


Pretty spot on, actually...



I used that one to scale up the P.12 profiles I had to the right size...


These should be a good start to help me figure out where to cut the fuselage and how long I need to build my new internal framing. Especially when my rear turret arrives... (Dropping a hint there, Cees B...;) 


More sooooon!!


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Now, I know this looks like a mess...

Well, it kinda is. But it's a functional mess, trust me. (That's what I tell my wife all the time, and she doesn't buy it either...)

But at least I know where to cut now. Approximately... I think...


Tape as a guide to very gently scratch a line with my razor saw...


Tape removed...


Deep breath... razor saw... slowly... sssssllllowly... I don't care what anyone says... sawing clear parts is nerve-wracking...


I made a jig from some scrap styrene and taped the front windscreen to the sides. Now... do I glue the top on permanently so I have a nice sturdy piece to work with to get my fuselage cross-section dead right, or do I do a makeshift job so I can use these pieces later? I need to ponder that. 


More soooon!


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Here goes nothing!

Decided to glue the parts using CA, and damn the consequences! If needs be I can use the transparancies from the Revell kit, or vacu-form new ones. Decided to do the cockpit open anyway, so if they are thinner, all the better.

So, glued with CA...

...aaaand promptly broken while handeling them... DOH!

Oh well, at least they will serve me well to figure out the cutting of the fuselage. With some tape and ye good olde Eyeball Mk.I we figure out a line...

Scribed, and ready for some cutting. I won't be cutting right on the line, but leave a bit so I can sand the whole bit flush in one go.

I remembered just in time to add some tabs for the inside frame to sit against, as the one that is supposed to give me the right positions is at the back of the fuselage in the bit that will be cut off...

And I did another replacement tab for the one in the middle. Same problem... it will be gone soon! (Note the expertly done "I will be cutting approximately here"-scribble...)

In other news; some goodies arrived today! The Haynes book was a steal from bookdepository.com, and the Aeroplane Icons came from flashaviation.nl.
Especially bookdepository is a nice place to shop for bargains.

The engine and seatbelts came from Victory Models in the United States. Still no sign of my gunnery bits from Hannants. Kinda annoyed that an order from the U.S. (done 2 days later...) arrives before an order from the U.K....

More sooooon!


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"I felt a great disturbance in The Stash, as if thousands of Classic Kit Collectors suddenly cried out in horror, and were suddenly silenced as they were buried by their own collapsing mountain of never-to-be-build kits. I fear something necessary has happened." -OhBuildOne MeRobbie



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Onwards! Even if it is ever so slowly... rolleyes.gif The front of the fuselage is glued and ready for more torture.

I started out with Tamiya ET, added a little bit of quarter-round Evergreen strip to add some strength to some of the seams... and then decided "Screw this..." and flowed in CA-glue and hit it with some kicker. That seam is NEVER getting loose! 

Time to figure out just how much I need to lengthen that frame... Eyeball Mk.I and a scale profile again.

Something like that, I guess. 80mm looks like. 

Time to get the pencils and rulers out and draw something up I can work with...

Not sure about the whole "stick a bit on"-idea. I might just cut a whole new frame out of a sheet of 2mm styrene. I want the whole frame to be as sturdy as I can get it.

Also had a brainwave about the skin, and did some experimenting with a scrap piece of 0.25mm styrene...

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? And very high tech too! If you thing a pizza-cutter, a metal ruler and a scrap of leather is high-tech, that is...

Put the leather under the styrene, roll the pizza-cutter along the ruler with a fair bit of pressure and you get skin.

Speaking of skin; gave the forward bit of the fuselage a good sanding to get rid of the ribbed skin and start on toning down those panel canyons. In my whiffery this bit of the fuselage has normal plating. 


More sooooon!


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Time to get rid of some panel lines. I decided that glueing in some styrene strips was the way to go for some of them. They melt in quite nicely with Tamiya ET, since the stuff just loooooooves the 70s Matchbox plastic...

And remember kids; don't be like Rob. Check your references -before- you cut a hole in your parts. Just because the folks at Matchbox decide the exhaust vent for the oil cooler is in a certain place, that doesn't make it true...

Sooo... I scribed the new vents in the correct(ish) place (gotta keep the rivet-counters happy before they pop a bloodvessel...), ready for some cutting.

Drilled a few holes, and whittle out the rest with a nice fresh blade.

Once the new vents were done, I cut some pointy bits of 2mm styrene and forced them into the errand holes to plug them. A nice snug fit and some Extra Thin welded them in place.

Once dry I trimmed down the inside bit with my dremel tool and hit it with a bit of CA glue.

The outside was cut down, the worked closer to the fuselage with the dremel tool, and finally sanded smooth. Also made a start on filling the rest of the panel lines.

Now we wait. For putty to dry and for bits to come in. Need my turret to finish planning the interior frame, and I need my gunnery and other bits from Hannants to continue work on the wheel spats. Already shot Hannants an email if they know what's keeping my stuff... rolleyes.gif  

Meanwhile I will start on the Delanne wing and the rudders.

More soooon!


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Yay! My FN.20 turret arrived, so I had a better idea about the scale and size for my new tail. Soooo time to start... with a mock-up.

First I made a good template for the fuselage cross-section, using the forward halve of the fuselage...

I marked the centerline and a couple of horizontal reference lines as well. One of the horizontal ones is the same height as the bottom of the turret.

Transferred the template to a sheet of 1mm styrene with a needle in a pinvise, and rubbed some paint into the scratches.

Cut it out...

Cut it a little closer...

Cleaned it all up with a file and a sanding stick. Half done with this one. You know you have hit the mark when you no longer see any of the paint that you rubbed into the scratch.

Two done, two to go... 

I found a cool 40s radio station online that is keeping me entertained in style while I do all this grind work. They even have wartime news flashes between some of the songs. Perfect to keep me in the mood to work on this invasion stopper...

With 4 ribs done, I added some studs to the first one so I can fit it to the front half of the fuselage.

It took a bit of figuring out, but in the end I had the right shape and size for the stringer that runs front to back at the height of the underside of the turret. That's going to be the spine for this mock-up.

A few bit of right-angle Evergreen strip...

...then added my spine. I have some piece of keystock which is great to keep stuff in place and square while you wait for the glue to dry.

The other three ribs needed a strip of 2mm removed, the thickness of the spine.

Then it was time to add the other bits of rib to the spine, again using right-angle Evergreen and a lot of patience...

...until I ended up with this. Added some bit of styrene tube to give the whole thing some rigidity.

Added some more spine for shape of the tail end.

Mhm... that looks about right...

Next; mocking up the wing...

And yes. I know... I put waaaay to much work into something that's just a mock-up. That's just how my mind works sometimes...

More soooon!!


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