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Jennings Heilig

HK Models Spey Phantom Update

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I'd go for 111 squadron and The Fighting Cocks of 43 squadron. Both based at Leuchars in the 70s just over the river from where I grew up and went to the airshow many times.

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In the words of the late, great Freddie Mercury: "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all,  and I want it NOW!!!"

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Patience people, patience! Perfection takes time but as I'm in my 70th year, I would be very grateful if Neil could speed things up a bit!

 

If we're talking schemes, FG.1 - 43 squadron COs bird and FGR.2 56/74 final display bird - either would keep me very happy!! 

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Could we talk about features we'd like see?

 

For instance, I've been considering the Tamiya and Revell Phantom canopies. Quite apart from the profile inaccuracy of the Revell transparencies, their approach in providing the complete 'clamshell' differs from Tamiya's, who elect to mate the transparencies with the 'solid' elements of their frames.

 

The weakness of the Revell part is that the canopy assemblies are unrealistically thin, with none of the quite hefty structure of the frames being represented at all. Not so great an issue with a closed canopy, though still noticeable by its absence (if you see what I mean) on a large scale model when viewed close up. And of course choosing the closed canopy option makes the profile error much more evident. Nevertheless, masking off the transparent portions and painting the frames is a standard practice for builders, and a seam-free, cleanly delineated canopy should result for most modellers.

 

Tamiya opt instead for providing the solid frames which are much better represented (though not perfectly) as separate parts, onto which the transparent portions are glued. While a better idea than trying to mould the parts in one piece, with the dangers of sink marks marring the thicker areas, and the difficulty of internal painting, this approach, is more problematic due to the necessity of ensuring as good a fit as possible, and as clean a glue joint as can be achieved by the builder.

 

Even assuming that operation goes well, making the joined parts appear seamless will still require a sanding and a re-polishing. Even then, without some pre-thought, the average builder is still left with annoying internal reflections and refractions from the edges of the clear parts. There are solutions to that problem - some less elegant than others, but not having to deal with it at all would be better yet.

 

The ideal solution it seems to me, would be a combination of the two manufacturers methods. That is, full depth moulded transparent 'hoods' as provided by Revell (but - please God - with the correct profiles) with the solid frames provided as inserts that fit inside the clear parts, beefing up the ledges where the locking hooks engage with the fuselage, and providing much stronger hinge areas than the puny Revell ones, as well as the quite hefty positive riveting and card holders that detail the areas and provide mounting points for various fittings without requiring glue to go anywhere near the visible transparent areas.

 

 

A single piece closed canopy option (with provision for the frame inserts to still be fitted) would be very welcome to eliminate the tedious aligning and gap filling inevitably required when only separate parts are provided. As a 'bonus' item, even though inappropriate for any Spey Phantom in service (although a planned upgrade was to have included it, until the ending of the Cold War killed off the whole fleet) a frameless one-piece windshield would be very welcome.

 

As a point of interest, the Tamiya canopy assemblies are a very good, though not quite perfect fit for the Revell kit. Certainly good enough for an open option, with only a modest sanding required for a closed option, as determined by a provisional taped together mating of the parts. Also a hideously expensive route as it requires buying two Tamiya sprues for £20+ and a possible further customs duty hit, in the UK at least.

 

Assuming that both Revell and Tamiya correctly measured their subjects as evidenced by their parts being closely congruent, and that HKM would be just as diligent, there would very likely be a good chance that the spare portions of HKM canopies could be used to improve both the Revell and Tamiya kits.

 

The inclusion of the one-piece windshield would be a nice addition to the handful (I believe 18, though I've only got photos of 14 of the F-4Es, F-4Gs and RF-4Cs) of actual Phantoms that received them. But they would have been far more widespread (including the RAF's fleet) had changing history not led to the demise of the Phantoms in USAF and UK service, so some 'whatiffery' would be catered to. And it does give the old girl a different look!

 

There are no doubt other parts of the aircraft that are bugbears for some, so let's have at it.

Edited by Chek

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Ah Colin, that brings back memories. My food memory was a cheesy snack that they deep fried for you and they ended up like giant Quavers. No idea what they were called but I do remember the grease turning the paper bag transparent. No wonder we are the heart attack capital of the world!

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On 6 July 2018 at 12:25 PM, Chek said:

 

On 6 July 2018 at 12:25 PM, Chek said:

The ideal solution it seems... full depth moulded transparent 'hoods' as provided by Revell (but - please God - with the correct profiles) with the solid frames provided as inserts that fit inside the clear parts... 

[And] 

A single piece closed canopy option (with provision for the frame inserts to still be fitted) would be very welcome to eliminate the tedious aligning and gap filling inevitably required when only separate parts are provided...

Agreed. Clear whole hoods with inserts for the chunky frames, which would also fit a one piece canopy. Perfect.

And I'm about to have a chilled white wine and to watch more tennis.

Tony

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