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"Sugar's Blues" Late War RCAF Lancaster

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On 11/21/2020 at 3:43 PM, R Palimaka said:

This is going to be a wonderful tribute, regardless of the different aircraft type, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it. The Lancaster is such a magnificent aircraft, and we are lucky here in Ontario to have a flying example within a few hours drive. The sight of her taking off is breathtaking...and that sound! It always moves me to see how silent the crowds get when she goes to power to take off. I'm not in Hamilton as often with COVID, but I work with the Museum and will be there a couple times over the next month. If I can help let me know. 





I was lucky to fly in her, myself and a squadron mate charged her batteries when she visited our base for an airshow. He slipped and fell bringing the batteries back from the battery shop. He cracked his skull pretty good. I benefited by getting a thank-you flight during the flypast in the airshow.

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49 minutes ago, ScoobyDoo said:

I was lucky to fly in her, myself and a squadron mate charged her batteries when she visited our base for an airshow. He slipped and fell bringing the batteries back from the battery shop. He cracked his skull pretty good. I benefited by getting a thank-you flight during the flypast in the airshow.


That must have been an awesome experience!


Cheers,  Tom

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I’m glad you like the build Alan, hope to share some progress soon! That is some great exhaust staining, and credit goes to Andy for sharing his work. When I get to that stage I will be paying close attention, since this is such a prominent feature of the Lancaster.


Cheers,  Tom

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“As they climbed the short ladder into the plane, the crew were greeted by the familiar musty smell–a mixture of oil, metal and damp canvas. The main door lay at the rear so, apart from the tail and mid-upper gunners, airmen had to clamber over the wing spar, which passed through the fuselage. Before the crew commenced the pre-flight checks there were rituals to perform. Some boarded as quickly as possible, others adhered to superstitions like walking around the aircraft, patting the panels or urinating against a wheel. Survival was a matter of luck, not character. Good people died with the same frequency as those who were considered less so. Ken Cook recalls that everyone had a lucky charm or tradition.”

— The Crew: The Story of a Lancaster Bomber Crew by David Price



While waiting for the styrene stock that I need to scratchbuild the crew cabin vent to arrive, I proceeded to the wings. Like many of you, I prefer to build my models with as much of the lines of the aircraft intact as possible. With this in mind, I won't be displaying the engines. "How do you do this while making sure all of the cowling and nacelle pieces line up?" Well, fortunately HK makes it easier for you with Sprue Z, which contains parts that allow the exhaust stubs to be attached directly to the cowling instead of the engine. This is NOT mentioned in the instructions. Thanks to Ian and others who have pointed this out. For the rest, I managed to figure out how to omit the engine from the nacelle. I'll use the starboard outer as an example. The only engine components you'll need are:


1) Y15 propeller shaft. Attach this to K43 the nacelle front.

2) Y4 forward radiator face. Attach this to H8 the lower cowling. This will be the trickiest part to line up, but I'd suggest adding styrene spacers to help.

3) K11 firewall. Attach this to G11 and G12 the rear nacelle halves. This will be critical to help line up the cowling sections.


I assembled everything and the fit was surprisingly good, with just a touch of Waterfiller putty added even if it isn't necessary:








The last photo shows the parts needed if you are not building the engine. The current plan is to assemble each nacelle but leave the top cowling piece separate, so I can add the Eduard radiator face after the lower camouflage has been painted. One last thing: be sure to attach K47 to the inside of the wing corresponding to the outer nacelle. It really helps flex the wing into position, making it easier to get a better fit for the wingtip. Until next time!


Cheers, Tom

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“When fear is new and the sight of death has novelty, men will buffet danger to test their strength. When the novelty has gone, replaced by confidence and determination, then operations become a challenge. Halfway through a tour, the end is still distant. Trip by trip the end is being overtaken but is still too uncertain to dwell upon. It is not until the remaining trips number only five, then four, then three, that their minds dare to compute the cold statistics of deliverance. With three more trips to fly, at three per cent losses, the chance is 108 to 9 of living. Then it is 108 to 6. And then it is the final deal: 108 to 3, good odds but the heart is beating faster and the hand that deals the cards is trembling. It is all or nothing for the final jackpot. Men pray for an easy target as their last. They beg the chance to get it over quickly. A final trip to Stettin would seem a cruel omen. Even as men’s minds pondered the end of a tour, so, now, were spirits bent upon the end of the war. To end a tour meant a six month reprieve; to end the war meant more than most of them had dared to think on more than lightly.”


— 101 Nights by Ray Ollis



I was able to finally carve a cabin air vent for the fuselage, after a few attempts to get something to match my reference photos:







This is the last major fuselage modification I have to make (hopefully). In other news, I've been focused on the wing corrections:

1) the landing lights were located under the port wing, but HK has them molded under both;

2) the landing lights were concave lenses, but HK just has molded circles engraved;

3) the life raft hatch was located on the top of the right wing, but again HK has them molded on top of both.


I took a cue from Ian and made a concoction of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement mixed with sprues from the kit to make a sprue filler. I've seen this technique before but as Ian observed, using matching plastic ensures it is compatible. I've been pleased with it so far, and it acts very similarly to Mr Surfacer but without the shrinkage (always a good thing :)). I used this to fill the extraneous lenses and hatch. The filler discolored the plastic, but that is from the Tamiya cement. It fills and sands just fine.


To make the concave lenses I VERY carefully used a Dremel with a rounded sanding tip, then again used the thin Tamiya filler to even out imperfections. Finally, I added the wing tips, and as I've read elsewhere the fit is suboptimal. Fortunately most of the misalignment is under the wings, and while the gap above and below is gap free, the surfaces are either above or below the matching surface. I've sanded everything to shape, and still need to restore panel lines and rivets. Until next time!








Cheers,  Tom

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