Royal Aircraft Factory aircraft
by Paul Thompson

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Kit: Phoenix (1:72)

The BE2a is, if a remember rightly, the 1/72nd Phoenix vac with the nice metal bits. First vac I ever completed and 1st aircraft model completed on my return to the hobby some 18 months or so ago (after the traditional 20 year break). Rigged with monofilament. Made simply with no attempt at pre-shading or being clever, the strut alignment is only approximate, but it was fun to make and doesn't, I think, look too bad.


Kit: Aeroclub (1:48)

RAF FE2b. Aeroclub 1/48th. A very nice kit, but needing some modification to do the Zanzibar Express version on the decal sheet. Colour scheme may have been correct at one stage in it's career but by the time it was captured and photographed by the Germans it had picked up several patches on the upper surfaces. The Lewis gun mountings where non-standard, and the elephant ear intakes had 1 rather than 2 fairings inside them. There was also what was probably a camera mount on the front starboard of the nacelle, and a 2 rather than 4 blade propellor. The lettering supplied is rather too large cf. photos, but I was rather tired and emotional by that stage and used them anyway. Despite the modifications needed, the kit went together very well and gave few alignment problems. That was a suprise, to say the least.


Kit: Aeroclub (1:48)

Aeroclub 1/48th RE8

RAF RE.8 (Hispano Suiza engine)

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

Just finished a model of the Belgian Hisso-engined RE8 that still exists in the Brussels museum. It's not French but they do speak french in parts of Belgium, so you may still find it interesting. It's also (allegedly) not quite so ugly as a standard RE8. The conversion was done with a nice resin nose from 1/72nd Classic Planes ( IIRC - probably not). Mind you the transfers were translucent, which meant that the cool bee marking on the sides is nearly invisible, so I won't photo it until I muster the nerve to retouch it by hand. In the meantime here's a fuzzy webcam shot for you to laugh at. Things wrong (that I know of) are the uncorrected observer cut out (too small) and the pilot position (too deep), plus most of the original outline problems survived. Oh, and the colour (a really nice PC10 I mixed up myself) turns out to be far too brown compared to the original, which I NOW have pics of. Tough, I ain't a changin' it now. I've just found out from the Be2C datafile that the Belgians did the same thing to some Be2c's that they had. There's a thought for my spare Falcon vac. BTW I can't find out what the serial was on the tail. The decal sheet came with eight number 8s, but the pics I have are too highly contrasted and the only number I can see is a single 8 on the yellow part of the rudder. I must get around to asking this of the list.


Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

In the kit markings for the plane flown by Cecil Lewis, and by Albert Ball when he'd pranged his own kite too much. The configuration is early (i.e. full greenhouse, no headrest, and raked wing-tips), as before flying out to France, except I've put the Vickers gun in, whereas I believe they weren't fitted until arrival in France. I like Pegasus kits in general, but fit on this one was pretty poor due to many parts being short shot and more heavily flashed than usual.Luck of the draw for a short-run kit. Also as usual, surface detail was excellent, although you get to practise making struts and cockpits (the latter at least is fun). Anyone wanting to build one, please get in touch and I'll point out the main problems I experienced. But I'm sure that if you get an example that was well cast there won't be too many problems. I should point out that you can build this model later in life after removal of the greenhouse dur to the inclusion of 2 extra fuselage halves. Worst feature of the kit was the canopy, an injection molded part that needs much re-shaping and thinning down. Despite the moans I found this great fun to build. The cockpit took 4 weeks, the rest of the build was 3 days, plus 2 to rig. The model was finished on the morning of April 11th, 2005, and when photographed 2 hours later was already fairly well hidden by dust bunnies stuck to the satin varnish. Ah well, it's a hobby. CDL is Humbrol cream, metal is Humbrol Metalcote matt aluminium, Xtracolour RFC green is standing in for PC10 who was otherwise engaged and couldn't make it. Other colours just are, so there.

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