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Matchbox Tiger Moth RAAF Air Ambulance


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So, after a long hiatus from the fray, I'm finally able to get back to the bench and launch a new LSP project! This one will be a conversion of the venerable Matchbox Tiger Moth kit to an RAAF Air Ambulance. The impetus for this one comes from being passed a brand-new conversion set by Uncle Les that includes all the necessary parts to pull it off, including some decals.

 

I'll be using the Revell 1997 rebox for this one:

 

1Qfo2E.jpg

 

Being a stupid end-opening box, I decided to tape up the ends and cut three sides of the top to form a makeshift lid:

 

aISWex.jpg

 

At least then I can work with the contents a little more easily!

 

The conversion set is (was*) available in 3 scales (1/72, 1/48, & 1/32), and the 1/32 version comes in a resealable clear plastic bag:

 

NWnETu.jpg

 

It's a very simple set, containing two resin pieces, a vacuform canopy, laser-printed decals, and a set of instructions.

 

gqT2lL.jpg

 

tyqzGu.jpg

 

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I'm still trying to decide whether I'll do a straight-ahead conversion, or go the whole hog and tart up the cockpit and open the ambulance door. It's a decision I'll need to make early, and if I opt to open things up, I'll probably need much more info than I currently have. My heart wants to go nuts, but my head tells me I should give this project a KISS. We shall see!

 

(*) It appears that Uncle Les may have ended production on these sets already, but I'm sure we'll see them again at some point, so if you want one, contact Les via his website or Facebook page and put in a request!

 

Actual modelling to follow.

 

Kev

 

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1 hour ago, geedubelyer said:

Fascinating project Kev.

First foray back into modelling for a while? You’re brave to consider major modifications. 

 

In your shoes I’d be inclined to keep it simple but your mileage may vary.

 I shall follow along to see which path you take.

 

Cheers.

 

I have built a couple of sci-fi kits, and have just finished a 1/144 resin kit, but it's been nearly 3 years since I finished an LSP project. And I'm definitely rusty! But compared to my Fw 190S project, or my stalled Buchon conversion, this one should be relatively simple. I hope!

 

Kev

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Thanks for your interest so far, fellas! I promised an actual modelling update, and here it is! With a conversion like this, the best approach is to make all your cuts and get all the major conversion parts fitting as well as possible. With that goal in mind, I followed the instructions and marked out the area of the fuselage that needed to come off:

 

1kRFsa.jpg

 

Once I had a straight edge to cut against, I used my JLC razor saw with a scribing motion to gradually form and deepen a cut line. Here's the result:

 

ThNPBh.jpg

 

Now, a cautionary tale: I got lazy and used some Tamiya tape left over from my previous project to mark my cut lines. This tape isn't really robust enough for this purpose, and the razor saw wandered a bit against the tape. This is nothing that a bit of putty won't fix when the time comes, but the cut on both sides of the fuselage is a little wobbly. I should have used Dymo tape, which is much more suitable for this task, and paid for my laziness!

 

That said, the job is done, and it doesn't look too bad right now:

 

cSBGYK.jpg

 

I have a bit of work to do to optimise the fit of the resin parts, but the most difficult part of the entire build has to come next: cutting and fitting the vacuform canopy. Why? you might ask. Well, there's little-to-no margin for error with vacuform canopies, whereas I can fiddle and fettle with the plastic and resin all day long. So I need to know exactly where the rear of the vacuform canopy will be, so that I glue the forward portion of the new fuselage hump in exactly the right spot. No point finding out later that it's too far forward or back!

 

That's it for now. My next few modelling hours will be devoted to perfecting the fit.

 

Kev

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Good to see you back at the bench again Kev, and what an interesting project, no "shake and bake" easing back into the fold though!  I'll be watching to see how this develops.  Are you aware of the incorrect dihedrals on the wings with the Matchbox/Revell kit and the necessary mods to correct this as provided by "John Aero" ie John Adams?

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2 minutes ago, mozart said:

Good to see you back at the bench again Kev, and what an interesting project, no "shake and bake" easing back into the fold though!  I'll be watching to see how this develops.  Are you aware of the incorrect dihedrals on the wings with the Matchbox/Revell kit and the necessary mods to correct this as provided by "John Aero" ie John Adams?

 

Thanks, Max. This is what I have from John, taken from a post on Hyperscale some years back:
 

Quote

...make the visible length 44.5mm long as the struts as moulded are too long the cabane struts are fine. Keep the top wing dihedral and increase the lower wing dihedral to suit the cutdown struts. This is about the only fault with this kit. And sorry there are no add ons for this kit. The real struts are 56" long and so the model length will be 56" x 25.4 div by 32 = 44.5 mm.

 

Sound about right?

 

Kev

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Yes Kev, that certainly sorts out the dihedral issue, the question of whether there are ‘faults’ or not is another issue! Perhaps omissions might be a better way of putting it if you want to make a reasonably accurate model but it depends entirely on how far you want to take it....isn’t that always our LSP dilemma!? :D

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