Heather Kay

Signature: A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Bio: With my younger sister, we enjoyed adding details to our doll's houses. I learned to build plastic kits at my father's knee. I am particularly partial to the aircraft of 1940, although almost anything with some kind of engine fascinates me. People now commission me to build O Gauge model railway kits, so my light relief is settling down to building the new generation of Airfix kits.

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Heather Kay

260 posts

 

I've wanted a Condor since I was little and saw one being beaten up by the Sunderland on the box artwork.

 

 

A tiny enhancement to an Airfix kit that will hit my workbench soon.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

@T2B

Nice build Heather and good to have you back from where ever you have been lol

 

I'm here every day. The thing is, I can only really share my Airfix builds here, for obvious reasons. I joined Britmodeller to share my wider collection and non-Airfix builds. 

 

If you search on Flickr for "Snaptophobic" you'll find my photo stream. In among my thousands of photos I’ve curated an album called "Air War 1940". You’ll find images of all my current collection there.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

@Dominic Thomas

Even though Sqn Ldr Tuck fought in the Battle with 257 Squadron, the kit markings [assuming they are as on the box cover] are post-Battle of Britain. They show 257 Squadron during the winter of 1940/41, and specifically from November onwards as that corresponds to the time when the sky rear fuselage band and the black port under wing were introduced, as I’m sure you know.

 

Although my main interest is still the Battle period, I’ve stretched my collection to cover the whole of 1940. November would still be valid! 

 

I may may not be able to start the Spitfire until the weekend. I’ve got a lot of model railway work to do to earn my crust.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

@Paws4thot

It's "too late", but Bob Tuck was on a Hurricane squadron during the BoB.

I know. The main reason for not using the kit transfers was I didn't trust them. They felt definitely crusty from age and storage under indifferent conditions, and were poorly printed. I also consciously try to avoid the more famous of The Few, because they always get the limelight. Wink

 

 

Anyway, all done. That was a fun weekend build. Time to crack open a Spitfire box, I think!

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

@Ratch

 Heather, you say you like the old 'simple' build and then you go and add all that photo-etch! Are you MAD! I absolutely detest the stuff Tongue Out

Totally mad! I had it, so I wanted to use it. If I hadn’t, I’d have been bodging things up from plastic bits and bobs To fill the aching void.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

Thanks Tomek! It doesn’t look too bad, and will find a home in my cabinet.

 

I’ve just been sorting out the canopy and other little touches. I’ll leave it alone now to let the varnish dry hard.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

I've been having a bit of fun over on the Britmodeller forum, taking part in the Classic Airfix group build. I'd already built the Fairey Rotodyne, but I realised I still had a couple of other classic kits that met the rules. They were also relatively simple builds that wouldn't take that long.

 

I decided to dig out one of the kits and see what I could do in a weekend, like the olden days. Innocent

 

 

This boxing dates from the late 1980s, but the kit has a 1978 date moulded in one of the wings. As is my wont, and interest in things 1940, I decided to go with after market decals rather than the somewhat aged ones in the box.

 

 

With so few parts this model won't take long to put together. I joked it ought to be built by tea time, and painted by bed time! Of its time, there are raised panel lines, and bare-bones internal detailing.

 

 

The original intention, back in the 1990s, was to build this kit for a museum diorama - which, sadly, fell through - and I had acquired various detailing and upgrading parts to upgrade an otherwise fairly basic model. The PE is from Eduard, but is intended for a Hasegawa Hurricane kit. I still intended to use as much of it as would fit. The vacuum formed canopy will definitely be used, as it can be posed in the open position.

 

 

First of all, I had a go to see if the PE wheel well fitted the Airfix underwing. The answer, sadly, was no. Rather than waste time boxing things in for an area that's very unlikely to be seen under normal circumstances, I decided to leave the wells as the kit designers intended, just painted black.

 

 

I had slightly better luck with the cockpit detailing. Some parts definitely needed chopping down and altering here and there, but at least there is something showing in the office.

 

 

The seat made from the PE parts. I went cross-eyed a couple of times, but it turned out okay in the end.

 

 

The seat after mods to allow it to fit in the Airfix cockpit, plus the PE instrument panel with added reflector sight and compass. I never use the clear printed parts in these detailing sets. At 1/72nd scale, and lost inside a cockpit, you never will see anything.

 

 

The main components assembled, a bit after tea time! I decided to chop off the elevators so they could be repositioned. The propeller still spins, which is a major achievement for me!

 

 

The modular construction allowed for test fitting the wings to the fuselage. This revealed a gap along the upper wing roots - the only major gaps I encountered on this kit. I worked out that gluing some 10 thou styrene sheet along the wing roots of the fuselage would fill the gap.

 

 

Here's the result. There's still a small gap on the port wing, soon dealt with by a tiny smear of filler. This kit had very little flash, and the parts fitted together very neatly. A little sanding here and there, and a little filler here and there, and that was it. 

 

 

I drilled out the rear of each landing light transparency to simulate a bulb. Again, fit was good, needing only a gentle buff along the leading edges to tidy things up. I also fitted the main undercarriage and radiator parts.

 

 

I used the PE to add a radiator flap, and the etched grille parts were fitted inside the radiator housing. The PE also includes the stirrup step, which I must remember to fit when I'm nearly finished. I needed a little filler round the rear of the wing roots.

 

 

In the spirit of a Saturday afternoon build, although it was by now Sunday, I elected to brush paint my Hurricane. I used Xtracrylix colours for the camo colours, and Humbrol 90 Sky acrylic underneath, in several light coats. This was followed by a coat of Humbrol Clear for the transfers and to protect the paint from handling damage.

 

 

The transfers came from an Xtradecal set for Battle of Britain fighters. P3707 NN-A of No 310 (Czech) Squadron, RAF Duxford, October 1940. I think it was being flown by Flt Lt Josef Maly, but crashed because of a mid-air collision.

 

 

I let the transfers dry overnight, and did another quick brushed coat of Clear to seal them this morning. Then I got up to the paint shop to airbrush some matt enamel varnish over the airframe. This has miraculously hidden all the brush marks the gloss coats revealed! Anyway, still to do are the canopy, prop yellow tips, and some mild weathering. 

 

Smile

 

While I really appreciate the level of detail provided in the current generation of kits, I do find the sheer quantity of parts can make a build drag at times. If building is what you enjoy, then that's great. However, there are times when harking back to simpler times can be just as rewarding. 

 

I'll try and get this Hurricane completed and photographed over the next couple of days. I've got a Spitfire and Whirlwind of similar vintage to build soon!

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

 

Laughing

 

Everyone else will have built theirs before I get a chance to build mine. Still, it's safely in the stash now.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

If they were anything like the ones in my Spitfire build they were very thick and didn’t want to play nicely at all. I ended up using third party sets.

 

Your Spit looks splendid, Ossian, faults and all. A good therapeutic quick build can do wonders for the mojo I find. Spotting errors and issues, even after the thing is finished, is all good. Sometimes you can correct them, other times you just shrug and move on.

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

Heather Kay

260 posts

@james_mower

I don't think H for Heather is one of Decal Schemes, but R for Robert is and she's coming home to not to far from where her Tail and rudder was restored Cool

Sadly, I think my copy will just be going straight in the stash for the time being. I’m also likely not to use the kit decal options, if they don’t suit my 1940 theme.

 

I'm now sitting eagerly by the window, waiting for a delivery, like an over eager puppy!

A professional modeller of railway subjects, and a reborn Airfix fan. Definitely into combat aircraft in service on all sides in the summer of 1940, but known to occasionally veer off into other interesting things!

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