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DavidJC

Bio: 53, getting back into modelling, likes all forms of historic transport.

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DavidJC

560 posts


My Walrus on a base. My first ever go at a setting/diorama.

DavidJC

560 posts


I'm broadly in agreement with the comments regarding Airfix's older 1/24 kits.

 

I suppose it depends on how old your son is, adamlevine. If your son is older (early teens on) and has more patience, motor skills/dexterity and modelling experience, I can see the 1/24 (which needs some work to bring to a good standard) having some mileage, but if he's a younger child might I suggest Airfix's new 1/48 Spitfire/Seafire/Hurricane rather than a large though difficult to build 1/24. I thnk 1/48 is better over the smaller 1/72 scale which he might find fiddly and overall disappointing due to its small size.

 

DavidJC

560 posts


I have to say I rarely add every single tiny decal, particularly if they're not going to be seen. Indeed I wonder if 'less is more' kind of thing. For instance, there's a million tiny stencils on the Airfix Sea Vixen in black which simply wouldn't have been seen on the extra dark sea grey so I didn't bother - and it doesn't really show, not in my eyes. Even though I built mine with folded wings, I didn't bother with the thousands of tiny black ones on the underside either, and again I don't think it notices.

DavidJC

560 posts


@John Symmons

How's about a small write-up on the build?

First and foremost I enjoyed it, and Airfix have redeemed themselves over my 1/48 Meteor experience. Well done Airfix, I really am looking forward to the Sea Fury.

 

I class myself as an 'experienced beginner'. I do want accuracy and I do want an accurate and easy build without having to faff around - an assembler, if you like, which are looked down on with disdain. So it's with pleasure I can report that even a builder like myself found the kit beautifully fitting with only the tiniest amount of filler needed, which could even be down to me rather than the kit. As mentioned above, the only bugbear was the forward bulkhead which, given the beauty of the fit of the rest of the kit, I hope was down to me being a bit clumsy rather than an error in the kit. I've not heard any negative reports from other sources unlike the Meteor which was pretty much widespread at the time. That particular bulkhead stood too proud and I had to trim down the upper edge flush with the top of the pilot's seat.

 

From what I thought were going to be troublesome fits - the hull halves then a third top fuselage panel I thought were all just a nightmare in waiting - proved themselves to be neat, accurate and very well-fitting pieces. The wings too, went together well as did the struts as did the forward hull cover in front of the cockpit. Detail is amazing and though I am no expert - and this will always be subject to debate and criticism from both sides - perhaps too light as I didn't think it took pane lining that well. Thus it might not take a wash well for weathering, something you can see I have attempted.

 

What also filled me with dread was the bracing wires. I'd done research and knew the holes are not there (to be opened up or otherwise) although there are 'nubs' or 'pips' in the appropriate places. I used EZ line and taking my time and with reverse-action tweezers, cocktail sticks, gel superglue and 'kicker' followed the guide supplied. They I felt at times a little vague for my own purposes, but with careful study, gives what you need where. I then painted the wires silver. The line doesn't take paint too well as you can see from the resulting 'blobs' which I couldn't get rid of.

 

I think without bracing wires, because of the very good fit of the kit, pretty much any modeller with some experience will get a great result. The bracing wires will take additional thought and skill - placing tiny blobs of superglue in the right places and holding the line in place till it's cured takes a steady hand and some patience.

 

I chose the overall silver which avoided painful camouflage masking in some awkward areas; that includes the upper surfaces of the lower wings. Unless these are painted before the upper and lower set are married and fitted, I can see that being very awkward indeed. I would also stand by my point that Airfix must take control of detail callouts during painting. There's no reference to propeller colours aside from a mention on the printed colour guide and that's not immediately obvious, nor is it clear what colour the engine nacelle should be.

 

Arguments could be held as to increasing costs, but I can't see how it would cost that much more to put in detailed colour callouts on the instructions like Tamiya. However, if that was the case, savings could be made in printing the instructions in one colour rather than the red indicating the previous stage.

DavidJC

560 posts


My Airix 1/48 Walrus. After-market decals to avoid painful camouflage schemes. Great kit though with an issue that could (I hope) have been my making. The forward bulkhead sat too proud lifting the upper fuselage panel; I had to trim that down to the level of the pilot's seat.

 

Also painting guides - Airfix, not a new plea. Please get a grip on detail painting. For instance, what colour are the wheel hubs? What colour is the engine nacelle?

 

Also, why spend all that money on R&D when all that beautiful interior is never going to be seen? There's no point in 'knowing it's there' - the point is, it's never going to be seen, so why waste the time and money providing it? Other than that - beautiful kit and one I enjoyed doing.

DavidJC

560 posts


Heck, that's some model.

DavidJC

560 posts


To a degree Paul I would agree, but I would imagine that allowance would have to be made when moulding at smaller scales from those intended: I don't know that it'd be a simple matter of entering a scale (as you can when importing a picture into a document, say).

 

For instance, let's say you have a CAD diagram of an ejection seat with every detail accurate at full-size. You then create a 1/24 seat and by luck the thinning of some of the thin parts are adequate to stand up to moulding and look good at 1/24. You then downsize again to 1/72 - are those fine detals and thin parts going to hold up at that scale? I would doubt it. Another instance is a 1/24 aircraft. Clearly the moulds are designed for a certain thickness of cross-section of fuselage to give it rigidity and for the modeller to be able to apply glue where needed. Now scale that mould down to 1/72. You would still need the same, or at least a disproportionate, thickness of cross-section of fuselage to apply glue (if not for structural strength on the smaller model). By scaling down from 1/24 to 1/72 though, Is the cross-section of fuselage going to be impossibly thin? Similarly, if you were to take a beautifully rendered 1/72 ejection seat, the purist might argue that at full-size some of the thin parts would be 4cm thicker in real life - I hope you see where I am trying to come from.

 

So whilst you might have a set of accurate drawings, I bet there'd have to be work to reduce them to allow for moulding limitations at smaller scales and compromises might have to be made.

DavidJC

560 posts


As for "more accurate ejector seats", are you seriously suggesting that a CAD master of, say, an MB mk8 can't be used in more than one model type like real manufacturers do with the real seats?

 

No, I'm suggesting that to reproduce an accurate ejector seat costs far more than the design and maufacture of an 'L' shaped piece of plastic the pilot in earlier kits used to sit in. That has to be reflected in the cost of the kit somewhere along the line.

 

Also, we might well have had more options to complete a kit in the 70s, but they were still pretty crude in design and manufacture. Decals are far superior and more comprehensive too. I'd bet the numbers of kits sold are way down from the heady days of the 1970s. All of these things taken into consideration, I'd say, are bound to have an impact on unit price which are likely to be higher.

DavidJC

560 posts


Paws4thot, I don't know when you bought your Phantom for £1, but as a matter of interest perhaps, in today's prices 2017 is the equivalent of £15± in 1970.

 

£1 in 1975 is the equivalent of £9.50± today. From what I can work out, the two figures are comparable: that £15 in 1970 is roughly equivalent to £9.50 in 1975. But I will emphasise my mathematics is not good and I could have made a calcuation very much in error.

 

However, though there's undoubtedly more automation via computers etc, cutting a mould is still a lump of exensive steel that needs cutting. Chances are that back then it would have been rushed out to fit a schedule so that Airfix could crow about 'this month's relases'. Also, let's not forget that your Phantom from 1970 would have been inaccurate in outline with little finesse overall and of poor fit. Today's modellers demand far more refinement, rightly so, so today's models will be much better in detail. Gone are the days of vague 'L' shaped pieces of plastic that glued to a fuselage side which was the pilot's seat. Nowe we demand and expect properly rendered ejection seats, detailed exhuast nozzles, accurate undercariage oleos that were otherwise simple rods with circular pieces of plastic for wheels; amended fuselage shapes for UK machines and not a bog-standard F4 simply with UK markings.

 

What I'd also like to pick up on is this reliance on scanning. Though perhaps not representative, coming from print origination as I do, I know that 'scanning' something is fraught with problems. Using Illustrator we often had to reproduce various diamgrams that were supplied to us and then amend, either for colour or to annotate. We could use 'autotrace' in Illustrator, or copy the diagram by hand (albeit in Illustrator, using a mouse and the diagram as a guide locked to a separate layer).

 

Autotrace inevitably gave a rough copy full of unwated vector points, odd extra bits and lines, areas that were vague, all of it. More often than not it made the autotraced diagram unusable, even if now in vector form. Applying colour was often impossible. So we realised in the end that though expensive, creating the diagram on different layers, from scrach, gave a much better and reliable result.

 

What I'm trying to say, in a rambling way, is that LIDAR could throw up the same problems. Unwanted shapes. Unwanted connection/vector points. Weird and stray lines. All of which have to be cleaned up by the operator who might well think 'heck, just might as well have drawn this from scratch to have saved all these problems'.

DavidJC

560 posts


Speaking personally and not for anyone and certainly not for Administrator, but I always think a little thanks goes a long way Smile

 

Youi might not need to reply to every reply, but certainly after each few as they come up, if they come up over a course of days or weeks.

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