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  1. Good evening all, Time to start a new WIP, and to (at last) live by my chosen monicker and deal with a ... racer ! The Travel Air Mystery Ship created created quite a stir when it was unveiled in 1929. Developed in great secret with the support of the CEO of Travel air Walter Beech, it was built to win the National Air Races, which up to then had been dominated by the fast Army and Navy Curtiss thoroughbreds.` It featured two characteristics that were to mark durably the design of racers and, beyond that, that of American fighters : a big powerful radial engine (the Wright J6-9 Whirlwind) and the then newly developed NACA cowling, which had demonstrated its tremendous aerodynamic benefits. The Travel Air type R, dubbed "Mystery Ship" by the Press wondering what was being secretly "cooked" behind veils by the firm, sporting a gleaming beautiful red color with black scalops edged by a green trim line, went on to win the 1929 Thompson trophy, at an average speed above 200 Mph. I have always loved the stubby little racer, and always wondered why Williams Bros had never released an IM kit of it. I was tempted to scratchbuild one in 1/32, but was held up by the color scheme: not sure if I could manage the green trim line along the black scalops. Needless to say I was overjoyed when I learnt that Lone Star Models had planned one in 1/32 resin. The waiting lasted somewhat, as the kit was announced in 2013, to be released for the Nats in 2014, when it was not really ready, Mike West, LSM's owner, struggling with the decals apparently. I placed my order as soon as it was available, in October 2014, together with the then forthcoming Bugatti racer. LSM is a one-man operation, typical old style "cottage industry", and my order lingered on for some time - but no worry. I was regularly in touch with Mike, and given my kit ouput and the size of my stash, I could wait and knew it would come. The box finally arrived this week. And, pronto, rather than store in the stash, I have decided to tackle it immediately. This fist post will constitute a review of what you get. The review The kit is a fairly simple one : two fuselage halves, two plain wings, two stabilators, a one-pîece fin and rudder, two plain wheel spats and wheels, a two-part cowling, 4 parts for the cockpit (floor, dashboard, seat and rear bulkhead), 11 parts for the engine (crankcase, and 10 - one extra - cylinder) a vac-form windshield, a propeller, and 7 white metal parts, 6 for the landing gear structure and one for the tail skid. The instructions mention a piece of Plastruct streamlined rod to cut the 4 wing to fuselage struts. Mine did not have any, but this is a porduct I have plenty of in my set of modeling aids. So no problem here, for me at least. Add to that 6 pages of instructions and pictures, and a magnificent decal sheet, incorporating all the black scalops, with the green trim line. This decal sheet is the highlight of the kit, and alone justifies buying it IMHO. Btw, I had a double decal sheet in my box. I think it's not wanted, but it means I can make mistakes with little consequences . The resin is typical LSM beige, bubble-free, with little flash and significant pour stubs. The surface detail is restraint and rather fine. The Mystery ship was a very smooth airframe, the wings and fuselage being plywood-covered, with just the cowling, psts, and fuselage from the engine mount to the instrumenrt panle metal covered. The kit should present no problem reproducing this smooth glinting surface. The fin and stabilators display a nice rendering of the fabric-covered surfaces The shape appears good overall, with some caveats described below. The dimensions are good, without any impact of potential resin shrinkage. the wingspan is spot-on for the "long" wing which was brought the wingspan to 29'2", i.e. 27.8 cms. The Travel Air in the 1929 Thompson had a short wing (27'8") which should not be a problem to carve out of the one-piece outer wings. The adjustments of the two fuselage halves are OK, and again, whilst not up to the latest Sliver Wings or Fisher products are a fair effort. TBC next post ...
  2. Hello everyone, I want to ask if anyone knows what kind of tanks are in use under Bardahl Special's wings here: http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photos/N2869D:1.html I don't have to worry about copyrights if I just link you to their pictures. I know by looking at these they are not typical 75 gallon or bigger 110 gallon tanks usually used on a P-51 in WWII because the filler caps are more on the side of the tank and closer to being under the leading edge of the wing and there's no horizontal seam. There's no horizontal seams around it so it's not a Corsair's drop tank and there's no vertical seam all the way around, so it's not a 165 gallon P-38 drop tank. There's two RCAF birds on this part of Martin's website with this type of drop tanks. They are "City of London" and "City of Winnipeg 9274". They're most of the way down the page. https://swissmustangs.ch/usaf-usang-rcaf Here's another bird with these tanks that was also a racer I believe. http://www.warbirdregistry.org/p51registry/p51-4474694.html I know that Bardahl Special did carry Skyraider drop tanks from an AD-4 Skyraider. I'm mainly trying to figure out if these were something made by Cavalier or meant for another warbird all together. I almost like these different drop tanks to use on my model to make Bardahl Special as a racer with a little bit more color by adding the red check like markings to the tanks. Thanks in advance, Brady
  3. Hi all! This is my entry for the Colour My World GB. I took this kit out of the closet back in January, and upon opening the box, noticed 2 things: some work had already been done on the kit (which I had no recollection of!), and the canopy was missing. I mentioned the the missing part in the other Caudron build, and it was recommended I contact Williams Bros for a replacement. Sure enough, after doing that, an envelope with 2 very well protected canopies arrived at the door. I was too busy in other projects to do any work on the Caudron until now, but I think I can build this one before the end of the GB. The contents inside: Purchased in 1990! The decal sheet looks fine! Some of the work done, not that much really ... A bit of assembly plus styrene strips in the cockpit: Control surfaces cut away, Brass tubing to spin the prop! The entry hatch cut away, The new canopies well protected in blue styrofoam: Reference material: I am planning a bit of work this week end, so hopefully more on the Caudron in a couple days. Thanks for watching! Alain
  4. To keep the number of short-run kits started in my workshop above 0, I have decided to launch another one. The biggest challenge here is to find out, what actually is the kit's detail, what just the flash or misalignment of forms... when I saw this on a sale in one of the hobby shops in US, just couldn't resist. So, my next victim will be the Gee Bee R Racer, made by Williams Brothers Model Products, 1:32nd scale - the only suitable for this little machine. The box... ... and its content: The works have been started, cleaned the fuselage inside, opened the doors - going to show some details inside. The worst is the windshield/canopy, made of 3 mm thick plastic... have to do something about it. Any help and suggestions highly appreciated . This will not be a quick project. Best regards Hubert
  5. What- If......................It just rolls of the tongue......What -If. While banging on the keyboard on April Fools Day, Trying to get LSP Kev to reveal the next G/B I had a serious Brain-Fart. With an idea already in my head of a Demo Team build and looking around at some kits that I've been trying to sell off, I saw something that started to brew in my limited capacity little mind. I had told my wife in the past I was going to build her a plane and name it for her. I was planning to use my Tamiya P-51 with the Blondie markings and paint her name on it, OK!. And the juices kept bubbling and rolling. Looking at the unsold pile is a Trumpy F4U-1D Corsair...... Everyone says it is a crap kit and I couldn't give away I thought a USAAF P-something OD over gray .... OH and another kit I couldn't give away Trumpy's F6F-3 Hellcat....crap kit, RIGHT GUY's? USAAF P- something else NMF CheckerTails? Name one of them for my wife JUICES starting to BOIL................I don't know where the thought came from..... UNLIMITED RENO RACER ........never built one ...... which one ......Corsair's been done ..H-cat hasn't Looking at the two I could see why.....Corsair...what mods?.... the only Corsair I'd seen in race livery that looked COOL is the Super Corsair......Ok....now I don't have a 32nd scale R-4360 laying around the house and the fuselage need to be cutdown ....... I'm not trying to convert this to a Super Corsair in my own markings...No I want something uniquely mine. ....Cut down the fuselage and add a totally different canopy....still working on which one I want to use....... Engine? Here is where the Juices boiled -over .... No R-4360? R-2800 in the kit .......Not enough power..... MORE POWER (monkey sounds...thanks Tim) ......Hellcat ........R-2800.......Corsair......R-2800???????? The 4360 was basically 2 R-1830 put together??????? 2x R-2800 = a Pratt & Whitney R-5600 QUAD WASP! I have and extra cowl if I need it, razor saw, sheet plastic, idea.......have to make a few drawings..... Engineer a twist to the cylinder banks? Super Corn-Cob??? Haven't touched anything on the kits except pulling the engine tree from the H-cat kit. I ask the wife her favorite color........PINK.............then she said Red.........& Black.....so Red& Black ..... I then told her what I have planned and to find a photo that I can have made into a decal...... MIZZ RHONDA-KAY That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!
  6. Here is my latest, done as an entry in the "Between the wars" GB. After WWI, France was the leading nation in aeronautics, and this lead was demonstarted by a series of speed world records in the early 20s, by manufacturers such as SPAD, or Nieuport. France was also the place where major international races took place, one of the most famous being the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe. After an initial domination by SPAD, Nieuport took the lead with a number of record planes based on their Nieuport 29, which arrived too late for the Great War, but was the main fighter of the French air Force in the early 20s. Then Nieuport arrived with the Sesquiplane, an aircraft designed only for speed, using the famous Hispano V8 engine. The name "Sesquiplan" came from the difference between the two wings, one being significantlt smaller than the other one. In the case of the Sesquiplan, one can wonder whether it had two wings, or was a monoplane with a large faired wheel axle. Anyway, Nieuport used their know-how in producing monocoque wooden fuselages to make an streamlined thoroughbred, with a monocoque fuselage and plywood-covered wings. They hired one of the great pilots of the times, French Sadi Lecointe, to fly their new racer, with the goal of beating the world speed records and winning the 1921 Coupe Deutsch. At times when aviation was still a new technology, less than 20 years old, there were plenty of questions of how far it could go. One of the questions was how fast a man could fly. It was said that 300 km/h was the maximum speed a man could endure. On September 26th 1921, flying one of the two Sesquiplanes, number 6, Sadi Lecointe beat the world speed record and reached 330.275 km/h (200 mph). Already famous, he became in the instant a hero for French crowds. One week later, "6" was destroyed in the Coupe Deutsch, but Kirsch, piloting its twin brother "7" took away the Coupe Deutsch. The Sesquiplan proved to be the swansong of the French Aeronautic industry as far as leading the world was concerned. Major innovations were brewing in the US, with the new wet-sleeve engines (the famous Curtiss D12) and fuel developments that culminated with the discovery of the virtues of lead-tetraethyl in the late 20s. From then (fater the Bernard record plane) on world speed records belonged to the US, the Uk and Germany. I found this vacform kit, produced by a British cottage manufacturer called AirCraft Models on eBay a few years back. The kit is actually extremely well engineered, being molded in female molds, and having been thoroughly researched. Building it was a pleasure, even if the vacform format presented its own challenges. My building thread can be found here : http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=62978 In the course of the build, I was inspired by a pic of Sadi Lecointe standing near its aircraft, and decided to add a figure mimicking Sadi. I also chose to represent the finished aircraft on a base where I tried an electrostatic device to represent grass standing upright. Here are the pics of the kit I finished yesterday, taken today outside, in my garden, starting with 3 that should remind the period pics posted in the WiP
  7. Now this a Group Build I could not avoid participating in, in spite of the fact that I am incredibly poor at delivering anything, whether it is a group build or a "standard" build. But, as this is me era of predilection, and I have been a proponent of the theme, the least I could do was to show my support and participate ... I had to make choices in the (ever-extending) stash, and I went for the esoteric : a vac-formed model of a French racer and record plane : the Nieuport Sesquiplan In the early 20s, this aircraft has beaten a number of speed records, in the hands of the famous (in his time) pilot Sadi Lecointe, and Georges Kirsch. It was the first aircraft to fly above 200 mph, on September 26th, 1921. Highly streamlined, with Lamblin radiators ("lobster pots"), it was influential in its time and inspired other aircrafts looking for ever-higher speeds. I fetched the 1/32 Air Craft vacform kit of this one on ebay some time ago, the kit dating back to 1996. Air Craft was a UK cottage industry producer, and I confess I do not know what they became. First, the pic of the box : And its content : three sheets of nicely done (female-molding) plastic parts, plus some white metal parts for the prop, the Lamblin lobster pots, the prop-boss and the tail skid. Not included in the pics are some Contrail streamlined struts. Finally, a detailed instruction sheet with drawings and explanations, and a mini decal sheet with the numbers for "6" , Lecointe's red-tailed aircraft, or Kirsch's blue-tailed "7". The kit is of really high quality, the sheets having been formed in female molds, i.e. the plastic sheets have been "sucked-in" the molds (rather than formed over a postive master). Thus the details and surface are really sharp and neat, with great definition. The best among vac-form kits IMHO. Vacforms, especially of this quality are less daunting than they look. The dreaded separation of the parts from the backing sheet is fairly straightforward, and does not take that long. First, use a Sharpie pen with a flat head to draw along the countours of the parts : Then, gently score with a knife along the perimeter of the part. Do not try to cut through the plastic : this would just risk cutting through the part. You can then snap the part from the backing sheet. This is where the sharpie black line will help : the backing sheet apears as a thin white line, that needs to be sanded away. When you reach the black line, you have sanded enough ! Then starts a quick sanding on a wet-and-dry sandpaper sheet, (using circular motions to avoid oversanding some areas), like this : In the case of the Sesquiplan, the half-fuselages are molded with a hefty "filling"for the top cowling and front of the fuselage, that you need to keep until the basic sanding is done. You can then cut it away, this time by scoring gently but repeatedly along the lines, to discard the unwanted plastic. The half-fuselahe then looks like this : All in all, it has taken me less than 15 minutes to end up with the ready-to-use left half of the fuselage. TBC Hubert
  8. Hi ! I've bought this kit a few weeks ago, from another nice LSP member. Since then i cant wait to build it ! The casting is pretty good, and most small parts are in white metal. There are 2 PE sheets, one being for the very large radiator areas on the wings. The floats struts are supplied in both resin and metal, but the instructions recommend to use the metal ones as with the resin struts the build will lack rigidity. Sorry but i have not shoot pictures of that, but there was a kind of overthickness all around the cutting between both fuselage halves. I've sanded it clean, but then it impossible to close the fuselage halves because of the seat width. So, finally i dont know it this slight overthickness should have been removed or not... To correct it i've add some material using thin styrene sheet and adjusted it with sanding sticks. Now it's better.
  9. Hi gang, A quick heads-up. Hannants have four Aerotech dH88 Comet racers in stock at £169:99. https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/AT32021 I've spent my modelling funds for this month on a Tamiya Spit so will probably miss out this time round. They're by no means cheap but Eric has proved that they can be built up into real gems with a little dedication and care. http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=54032&hl=comet Cheers.
  10. Hello boys and girls, perhaps you will permit me to share my latest offering here? This is another in the line of smaller scale builds that I've been busying myself with of late. I've found that time at the bench has been at a premium so I've tended toward small scale projects in an attempt to finish one or two projects. However, more recent builds have been getting steadily more and more involved. This is no exception. My intention is to detail the build here but if you frequent Britmodeller you may already have seen this so apologies to you guys for the repetition. The model is now complete and in my cabinet and a full build thread is posted on BM but I'd like to add it here too if that's ok? Anyone familiar with this tiny kit will know it's heritage. The original dates back to midway through the last century and the state of the molds are testament to this. There is alot of flash, many of the parts are mishapen and/or crude and the fit of most parts is rather "approximate". Since the Comet is such a graceful aeroplane (you can see that in Eric's 1/32nd scale build here on LSP:http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=53255&page=10 I decided to try to improve on what the manufacturer currently turns out and get something that resembles the real deal more closely. Back in the early Fifties Airfix released "Grosvenor House" and the kit remains the same today. In many builds we'd begin with the cockpit. For this kit, there is n't one. The crew compartment is a flat deck running along the edge of the fuselage with two raised pips suggesting the pilot's heads. Since the canopy is virtually a solid piece of transparent plastic that might have been acceptable. However, the canopy of the real Comet is a very open glass house. Something had to be done. So that is where I began. I cut out the flat area and added a semblance of cockpit detail to the fuselage walls using reference photos from the web and BM's walkaround page. I took the decision early on to try to replicate the renovated airframe as she's seen today. 2014 saw her return to flight for the first time in a few years so thankfully there are quite a few contemporary images around for reference. The modern aeroplane is predominantly black inside the cockpit so I did n't go overboard with the details. An IP, trim wheel and stick made do for the front cockpit, just an IP for the rear. I "borrowed" a pair of pilots from a 1/72nd scale Chipmunk, adjusted their dress and painted them in white and dark blue flight overalls. (In truth, I should have only put a pilot in as Grosvenor House does n't carry anyone else whilst displaying currently). Due to space restrictions I omitted any seats preferring instead to glue the little people straight to the floor. Well, the back seater is sitting on the floor, the pilot is sitting on the back seater's feet...... I have n't found any drawings of the dH-88 so the position of the aircrew is a guesstimate. With a large, open space to cover the kit canopy was discarded in favour of a new version. In order to create the glazing I carved some scrap resin pour stub and crash molded some clear food packaging. The canopy is quite a complex affair and it took a while to get the shape correct. I tried to follow the shape of the real aircraft but in doing so, I created more work for myself. The aft fuselage of the Airfix kit is quite triangular in cross section above the swage line. On the full sized airframe it is more rounded at the top. This left a mismatch behind the glazing. To remedy this I slopped on some green stuff two pack putty from Games Workshop and once cured, sanded it to shape. In turn, this illuminated another shape issue. This time it was the front fuselage above the swage line. That triangular section of the aft fuselage had been continued forward meaning that the front fuselage could also benefit from some re-shaping. Some gentle sanding of the kit plastic took care of the gently curving transition but did nothing for the emaciated upper fuselage. I turned to the two-pack again. The additional bulk was sanded to shape which helped give that delicate, swooping noseline of deHavilland's design. The next job was to fashion a light in the nose. In this ancient model Airfix would have the builder suggest the nose light by applying silver paint as no clear parts are included. The nose light of the Comet is one of it's most distinuishing features and just could not be taken lightly {~groan~} ignored. With no drawings to refer to I was forced to guess the diameter of the lens. I started by sawing off the tip of the fuselage and making sure that the resultant hole was circular. I made a reflector by punching out a disc of shiny foil and dishing it over the curved handle of a paint brush in time honoured fashion. The clear cover was smash molded out of thin, clear actetate (food packaging) and the lens was constructed from several circular pieces of acetate. Not completely perfect but better than nothing. In truth I suspect that I could have gone larger.
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