This is the Roden Felixstowe F.2a (late) built more or less out of the box
for a paying customer.
I found it to be a superb kit. However, that doesn't mean I had no
difficulty. Due to the long narrow and thin wings, with lengthy and fine
struts, getting the wing in place and aligned correctly is something of a
chore. I ignored Roden's construction sequence and added the lower wing and
upper decking before building the wing cellule.
The hull and lower wing were built in a purpose made jig, all the struts
except the engine supports added and then rigging of the cellule completed
except the control lines and the two wires to each side of the nose. Then I
dropped the jig, sunny side down. Twice. A sense of humour is required....
Rigging is exclusively invisible thread, using the through hole method on
the UPPER wing and blind holes underneath. This allowed me to make good the
rigging holes and repaint without removing the model from the jig until
later than otherwise. Incidentally, I cannot see how this model could be
built successfully without full structural rigging.
All the parts fit well, especially and unusually the struts, NONE of which
required any change in length. I did need to slightly ream out the hole in
the radiators to fit the engine block front after painting, and the interior
floor is possibly slightly wide as it seems to make the decking too narrow -
however that was easily dealt with using clamps and rubber bands.
The only other parts which I recall causing fit issues were the water header
pipes on the engine - these are also rather too thick despite being (as
usual in Roden) reasonably fine in section. I used them, laboriously
thinned, because of the owner's strictures about building it out of the box.
Some minor "gotchas" - the tailplanes have mounting holes for the struts on
both sides - fill them on the upper side before painting! The dimples
marking the extremities of the elevator and aileron horn support wires are
too big and need to be filled and redrilled.
No commercial decals were used. Almost everything blue or red was done
using clear decal film that I had pre-painted. The only exception is the
extreme nose which was masked and sprayed.
I made an error in using
pastels to weather the blue and white parts (hull and roundels) and paint to
weather the green, because the pastels were greatly diminished in effect by
the final paint coats. The owner still likes it, but I'll do better in mine.
If I ever forget how much work all that rigging and re-rigging caused me.
This is the Eduard Hanriot HD.1 in 1/48 scale, built out of the box from the
It's a superb kit, which fit extremely well and looks every bit like the
real machine. What is more, the engineering was good enough that the model
practically fell together.
Decals worked perfectly too, which is just as well given that there are a
lot of them.
All of that made it a great shame that I had big trouble with the final
clearcoat and rather ruined the finish. It still looks okay but....
Here are a few photos of the almost mythical Bristol Fighter built
over a three year, seven month period starting on the exact day I
joined our little band. I don't doubt that I have enjoyed building
this model more because of the research assistance, general
enthusiasm and cheering from the bleachers!
This is an overall view of the model, which is scratchbuilt in 1:48
scale. The techniques used are mostly those taught by Harry Woodman in
his seminal work on scratchbuilding in plastic card. The wings are
embossed 10 thou plasticard on balsa cores, the fuselage is a card box
with the engine panels crash moulded from 20 thou sheet. The only
commercial parts are the wheels (Aeroclub), pilots seat back, four
toothed quadrants on the gun mount and the Lewis gun rear sights (Toms
Modelworks). The engine and other details were fabricated from copper
wire, solder, putty, plastic rod, strip and sheet, brass and aluminium
sheet and rod. Laminated wood was used to make the propellor, while
the struts and tail skid are bamboo.
The aircrafts nose, showing the engine, undercarriage and radiator and
propellor details. I am particularly happy with the wheels, where the
Palmer Cord markings and weathering have given me a better result than
I think I've ever had in 35 years of painting wheels !
This is the starboard quarter. The guns (and most everything else) are
scratchbuilt. I used syringe needles for the barrels and fine brass
wire for the gas cylinders. Each of the ammo drums is made of about 40
pieces to give the knurled effect around the rim. I wish I'd made ONE
and cast the second, because now I'd have a source of drums which
won't take two nights each to make! The Scarff ring is plastic sheet
with the yoke made from rolled fuse wire - soft enough to shape easily
but tough enough to resist kinking. Toms Modelworks provided the
curved and toothed quadrants - beautiful but fiddly.
The "lacing" was done by creating a grey zig-zag using a graphics
program, then laser printing onto clear decal sheet - black doesn't
work, being too stark on PC.10 , but might be okay on NIVO.
The prop is layers of different wood sandwiched with sandable PVA glue and
carved to shape. Prop stripes are decal.
The spinner is real aluminium, turned in the chuck of an ordinary handymans
drill. I tried plastic first, but in fact the aluminium turned easier and
looked ore like real aluminium than I could do with paints.