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Derek B

Flgvapnet J 33 (Matchbox 1/32 Sea Venom)

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Thanks to Anders' reminder of the Tigger Models DH Vampire FB.4 single seat conversion set - which had escaped my mind (John Wilkes had taken a set for me to buy at the IPMS Telford SMW event after reading this thread - thanks John), and the fact that I managed to buy another Matchbox Sea Venom kit, means that the J 28B (FB.50) DH Vampire, is now on along with the J 33 in this GB.


As the J 28 conversion will take much more effort and time to complete compared to the J 33, it may well not be completed in time for the end of this GB, in which case i will continue the build as a normal WIP thread.





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Nice to see a single seat version in this WiP.


I have to say that there are surely plenty of good reasons to have side-by-side seating, especially with trainers, but the Brits had an uncanny capacity to mar an airframe by fitting a second seat siding the first one ( thinking Vampire, Hunter, Lightning here, to name some)


Following along Derek :popcorn:



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J28B Assessment


I managed to find one evening free to spend a few hours assessing the feasibility of making a 1/32 J28B (D.H. Vampire FB.50) from the Matchbox Sea Venom now that I have the Tigger Models single seat vacform conversion set.






















The design of the Tigger Models nose does not look like a natural or easy fit to the Matchbox kit (there are no instructions supplied, so it is up to the modeller to figure out). Compared to three different sets of single-seat Vampire and Venom drawings that I had enlarged to 1/32 scale, the vacform nose appears to be too rounded at the front and too deep in profile (see above).


Assuming that I use the vacform aft edges as my cut guide (as you can see in plan view, they are not equidistant), the total width is within 1mm of the kit fuselage at this point. However, the plan shape of the nose is too wide and rounded at the front. The supplied canopy is also much longer that any of the drawing canopies in total length and the windscreen position is too far forward.


After spending a considerable time comparing the kit, drawings and vacform parts, I came to the conclusion that it would not be possible to produce an accurate J28B from these parts (I could do it with much effort, but it would still be a Venom that looks like a Vampire - but not a truly accurate D.H.100/FB.50 Vampire). 


If I am prepared to carry out some drastic surgery to the vacform nose and canopy (I could perhaps use the windscreen, but I would still need to mould a new canopy), then I may still be able to use it for a future single seat Venom conversion, but for the single seat Vampire, I would either need to buy Tigger Models full kit or scratch build it.


Therefore, I shall not proceed with the single seat J28B for the time being, but will concentrate on the J33.



Edited by Derek B

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As too often, you have just confirmed that one of the main virtues of the old ID vacs is their existence, but not necessarily their accuracy ...

Had similar experiences with the Hampden and Saab J-29, unfortunately ...

Looking forward to see you tackle the J-33 ...



Edited by MostlyRacers

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I went away to South Africa on business during mid-December last year, and returned with a pretty bad stomach bug that I have only just fully recovered from - this has kept me off the scene for a while as far as modelling goes, so please accept my apologies.


I have studied the J33 a little more, and I expected only minimal changes in order to make the Revell Sea Venom into a Venom NF.51/F.2A standard - I was naive!  Obtaining the overall length for the Sea Venom FAW.22 is pretty easy, however, not so for the Venom NF.2. The problem seems to be that on-line dimensions for the Venom NF.2/Sea Venom FAW.20 show it to be about 3.5ft shorter than the Sea Venom FAW.22 - it seems as if the NF.2/2A dimensions are based upon the Vampire NF.10 - this is another reason why I could not proceed.


Anyhow, all the drawings show that the NF.2 nose is slightly shorter and a slightly different nose profile to that of the FAW.22 (they are close on the upper nose profile, but different at the bottom). Photographs of the FAW.22 (and NF.3) radome show that it follows the top line of the fuselage contour as a continuous curve, but the lower shape does not follow the fuselage underside contour, but has a noticeable 'kink' where the bottom of the radome meets the fuselage at the break just in front of the gun ports (see below).




The kit (FAW.22/NF.3) radome is about 2mm too long, but is close to the required top contour shape (it just needs some filler adding at the front to reduce the radius a little and make the top line a little more bulbous), and looks OK in plan view but, more interestingly, is flatter on the underside and does not have the noticeable 'kink' of the full size aircraft, but follows the kit lower fuselage contour - this makes the lower radome close to the NF.2 shape.






So, I am reducing the nose cone by 2mm and it will be reworked to look like the NF.2 nose.







(The nose looks a little funny here on the drawing due to the angle that I photographed it).


The other issue I have is the cockpit detailing. The J33 was supplied without radar - the swedes installed the AI.X radar from their Mosquito NF.XIX/J30 Mosquito aircraft. So I will have to find some suitable cockpit photographs to work from (it will probably look something like this):







Edited by Derek B

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Hi Derek,

Extremely interesting build!

And a change from the usual Sea Venom.

Are you modeling the early or late canopy?


Hi Alain,


Thank you. The Swedish Venoms were eventually upgraded to nearly NF.3 standard (I suppose NF.2A and a bit!), so I will be using the later style canopy.





Edited by Derek B

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