Hawker Typhoon laid bare and Telford take two

Hawker Typhoon laid bare and Telford take two

We are pleased to be bringing you this latest edition of our Workbench blog and all the latest news, updates and developments from the fascinating world of Airfix modelling. In this final edition before Christmas, we will be heading back to Scale Modelworld 2017 for the second instalment of our show review, breaking away from the Airfix stand and looking at some of the other modelling delights on offer. We will be taking a look at an impressive display of kits built by a group of younger modellers, before moving on to a magnificent presentation of English Electric Lightnings produced by a group with a little more modelling experience, but who were displaying at Telford as a new SIG for the first time. Workbench readers are also well represented in this edition, as we look at the latest Messerschmitt Bf 109E diorama project completed by regular contributor Andreas Fey, as well as featuring a breath-taking 1/24th scale Hawker Typhoon build which is all about the detail and will undoubtedly serve as inspiration for many Workbench readers to attempt a project in this impressive larger scale. All this and more awaits you in the sixty-second edition of Airfix Workbench.


The enthusiasm of youth


As one of the highlights of the world modelling calendar, the annual Scale Modelworld show at Telford has irresistible appeal for anyone with even the slightest interest in this enjoyable hobby of ours. With so much to see (and buy) at the show and many model manufacturers and hobby experts in attendance, this memorable weekend event is one which can boast ever increasing visitor numbers and a reputation which is second to none. Anyone lucky enough to have attended the show previously will invariably already have the event pencilled in to next year’s diary and if you have yet to break your Telford duck, prepare to be enchanted when you do.

There are many different reasons why this spectacular event has proved so popular over the years and if you were to ask anyone attending this year’s show what their personal highlights were, you would undoubtedly receive a varied list of perfectly reasonable answers. From the perspective on the Airfix team in attendance, one of the most encouraging aspects of the latest show was the number of younger modellers in attendance, joining the masses in admiring the models displays with either their parents or as members of modelling clubs and societies. It was also pleasing to see increased younger modeller involvement on some of the display stands, with many proudly showing their latest creations and incorporating all the skills they had picked up over the previous twelve months. As we once again provided visitors with the ability to enjoy our ever-popular Make & Paint area, we are pleased to report that we were extremely busy over both days of the show, with only a handful of kits having to make the return journey back to Kent. It was nice to see the return of some familiar faces, the uniforms of the Air Cadets and welcome some new fledgling modellers to the hobby, but it was perhaps most rewarding to see youngsters settling down and really concentrating on a little Airfix modelling action


This impressive StuG III was built and finished by young modeller Ewan Smith


For modellers of a certain age, we can all probably remember the excitement of queuing outside the local model shop after the latest Airfix catalogue had been released, desperate to get our hands on a copy. Many of us will also have fond memories of preparing the dining room table with a newspaper covering in advance of a few hours serious modelling - in those carefree days, we would not think twice about committing the best part of a day to producing our latest modelling masterpiece. These days, things are very different for youngsters and the advent of technology has proved to be both a blessing and a curse. Readers who are parents will know only too well how mobile phones can provide the reassurance we all need when our kids are out and about, but have also become a huge distraction on study concentration levels and quality sleep – there always seems to be someone on the group chat who is awake and messaging, no matter what the time of day (or night). With even the most obscure information now available at our electronic fingertips and computer games having almost life-like realism in terms of graphics, it is no wonder why todays youngsters can be quite demanding in what they expect from their leisure time, with traditional hobbies and pass-times often falling by the wayside.


Members of the Rolemodels group displaying at this year’s Telford show, Morrigan Ashton, Cadence Scott, Ewan Smith, James Millward and Alexa Baumann


Thankfully, over the past couple of years, there have been encouraging signs that the modelling hobby is fighting back against this rising tide of electronic gadgetry and once youngsters have discovered the delights of building model kits, they have found the experience much more appealing than they may have preconceived. Clearly, it will never be able to compete with mobile phones and games consoles and it is a distinct advantage if one of your parents or an older sibling is a modeller, but modelling can actually provide youngsters with some quality down-time, including time away from electronic distractions which they might actually enjoy. One IPMS group dedicated to providing youngsters with the opportunity to quickly and easily experience kit building, in some cases for the very first time, are Rolemodels and we were pleased to catch up with them at this year’s show. Speaking to Paul Findon, one of the senior figures behind the group, he explained how Rolemodels is continuing to go from strength to strength and with each passing month as word begins to spread, more youngsters are asking to join the group and have a go at modelling. The group has a collection of unmade kits, which are either donated by modellers looking to reduce their stash and donate to a worthy cause, or by their sponsors who have been staunch supporters of the project. The youngster is invited to select a kit from the groups model stash and have a go at modelling, with advice on hand from one of the groups experienced modellers or a fellow novice if they want it - once finished, the models may find themselves on display with Rolemodels at Scale ModelWorld.


Morrigan Ashton was pleased with her Hurricane scramble diorama



This year’s Rolemodels display was particularly impressive and included the work of a young modeller who has already featured in a previous edition of Workbench. Morrigan Ashton was pictured in Workbench edition 41, when her imaginative crashed Fokker Eindecker diorama was voted a close second as the best model displayed on the Keighley Plastic Model Club stand at the Huddersfield Model Show in February. Now displaying her latest creations on the Rolemodels stand at Telford, Morrigan likes to work on joint projects with her father Chris, where they both produce the same model (although these may be in different scales) then display them on a suitable diorama base. The latest project saw the Ashton’s working on a Hurricane scramble scene, with Morrigan’s Hurricane being finished with the undercarriage retracting as it climbs into the air and a representation of the propeller spinning. She was also displaying an impressive school project she worked on earlier in the year, which saw her scratch build a model of a wartime Anderson Shelter, using a series of photographs for her inspiration and clearly illustrating her developing modelling skills.


There is nothing like a school project to showcase the skills of a talented modeller


Morrigan with her scratch built Anderson Shelter


Talented young modeller Ewan Smith and his prize winning StuG III


Amongst the other members of the Rolemodels group exhibiting at this year’s Telford show, Ewan Smith had recently received a significant modelling accolade by scooping the juniors ‘Best in Show’ at the Gravesham Military Modelling Society show with his magnificent Sturmgeschutz III build. Ewan had also brought a beautifully finished Messerschmitt Bf 109E and 1/144th scale Hawker Hurricane, all of which showed an impressive level of modelling expertise and underlined how this group for younger model makers is already unearthing some incredible potential and should be taken seriously. Most significantly, it is all about enjoyment of the hobby and spending some time on projects with family and friends, without the need to be constantly glued to a screen of one type or another. It is already clear that some members of the Rolemodels group are destined for even greater things at future Telford shows and we look forward to charting their progress – for more details on the group, please check their Facebook page by clicking on this Rolemodels link.


For the love of Lightnings


The iconic shape of the Lightning inspired members of this SIG


At the other end of the modelling spectrum, Nathan Robinson is a modeller of some repute and like many of his modelling comrades, is currently a member of several Special Interest Groups. Having somewhat split allegiances at this year’s Scale ModelWorld show as he was associated with or responsible for a number of model displays, Nathan’s primary concern was the first Telford appearance of the IPMS (UK) English Electric Lightning Special Interest Group. Formed earlier this year by Nathan and a small group of modellers who are passionate about the English Electric Lightning, the SIG is intended to be a modelling rallying point for anyone with an interest in this spectacular aircraft, which they rightly describe as a ‘Milestone in our aviation history’. The SIG covers all marks of the English Electric (BAC) Lightning as well as associated development airframes and prototypes and is open to modellers of all abilities. They also welcome members who may have in-depth knowledge or first hand experience of the mighty Lightning and may be able to provide additional knowledge, information or photographs which may assist members with future build projects.


Members of the Lightning SIG, including leader Nathan Robinson, Andy Walker and former Airfix supremo Trevor Snowden


Although the Scale ModelWorld display tables at Telford were overflowing with magnificent models of all descriptions, the presentation offered by the English Electric Lightning SIG was without doubt one of the most impressive. Row upon row of magnificent Lightnings for everyone to admire, there is no doubt that this superb display would have seen many modellers searching through their stash to make sure a Lightning was the next project on their workbench. With a model display which covered every mark of Lightning and every squadron with which this iconic aircraft served, this was an unbelievable first effort for the group at a Telford show and the attention they received will hopefully encourage them to attend plenty of events in the future. We will include a feature on the English Electric Lightning SIG in a future edition of Workbench, but for now, enjoy this selection of images from the group’s spectacular display at Scale ModelWorld 2017.


A selection of images taken during the Lightning SIG’s first Telford event




Magnificent Lightning models as far as the eye can see


‘Schlageter Emils’


The latest impressive Luftwaffe diorama scene produced by Andreas Fey


Workbench readers who have an interest in Luftwaffe operations during WWII will be pleased to see the latest model diorama creation by regular contributor Andreas Fey and the following series of atmospheric photographs. Andreas has already enjoyed plenty of Workbench plaudits for his model build projects featuring Luftwaffe subject matter and his latest build is arguably even more impressive than his previous efforts. Although the model is always the main focus of attention with his work, Andreas takes the presentation of his builds to an impressive level, attempting to recreate historical scenes with his projects, taking inspiration from actual wartime photographs or footage seen on official newsreels. Incorporating such details as pilots and ground crews, hangars and maintenance equipment, Andreas will then photograph the scene with a suitable backdrop and a shallow depth of field to ensure that the pictures are as lifelike as possible and a real treat for the eye.



This latest project centred around the dual build of our 1/72nd scale Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4  kit, but it would not be Andreas if he made the build easy for himself. He converted the models to 109E-3 configuration and included additional detail such as new wheels and several photo etched parts, producing two aircraft from the famous Jagdgeschwader 26 ‘Schlageter’ unit, one of the Luftwaffe’s elite fighter groups of WWII. He has included pilot and ground crew figures, hoping to recreate the scene of a pair of fighters returning to their home airfield following their latest skirmish with the Royal Air Force over the Channel Front – we think he succeeded in some style. Apart from producing two exceptional model builds, Andreas has created a diorama scene full of interest and atmosphere which not only demands closer inspection, but also somehow brings the Bf 109s to life, making them seem like much more than model representations. His clever use of photography also adds to the impression of realism and will surely act as inspiration for many Workbench readers thinking about a foray into the world of diorama displays.


Atmospheric picture of a Bf 109E-3 being readied for its next sortie


Andreas is close to finishing his latest project, which features the new Airfix 1/72nd scale Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe and has promised to let us see pictures shortly. We very much look forward to including these in a forthcoming edition of Workbench and would like to thank Andreas for allowing us to share these magnificent pictures with fellow readers.


1/24th scale Hawker Typhoon laid bare


The 1/24th scale Airfix Typhoon like you have never seen it before – stunning!


Whilst producing our beloved Workbench blog over the past two and a half years, we have enjoyed seeing the impressive modelling talent possessed by many of our readers and hearing about the inspiration behind the fantastic projects you have shown us. What has also been apparent is the fact that when you think you have seen everything in the modelling world, someone will send you details of a model build which simply blows you away. That was certainly the case recently when we opened an e-mail from David Gaspur, who was kind enough to send us details of a build project he had been working on for the past two years. His unbelievable build was based on our 1/24th scale Hawker Typhoon kit, but rather than build what is already a hugely impressive scale version of this famous fighter bomber, David had something much more ambitious in mind – a cutaway version of the Typhoon.


More pictures of David’s magnificent Hawker Typhoon project



Although David describes the kit as being crammed with detail, he wanted to create a model that was different to anything he had seen previously and had a clear vision of what he was hoping to achieve. Knowing his plan would both increase his workload and challenge every ounce of his modelling skills, he set about the task, scratch building many of the components needed for the project. All the open wing structure, fuselage and tail sections have been scratch built and David also added lots of additional detail, such as all the cables running back to the tails section, rudder and exposed fuel tank. The additional wiring required was unbelievably time consuming, as was the scratch build radio equipment, but David was keen to stress that everything used on this build was either from the kit box or scratch built by him – there are no aftermarket accessories used on this model. When posting pictures of the model on his Facebook page, people thought this was an actual full sized Typhoon in a museum and as you can see from the pictures above, you can certainly understand why. These comments actually gave David another idea for completing the project, but we will bring you details of this and the additional work involved in a future edition of Workbench.

This model build is so impressive that we simply had to ask David for more details to share with Workbench readers and we will hold back the pictures he has sent us showing the magnificent diorama setting he created for the finished model. We can assure you that it will most definitely be worth the wait, but for now, feast your eyes on this stunning skeletal Hawker Typhoon build. Thank you once again to David Gaspur for kindly allowing us to show these beautiful build pictures.


Modelling Christmas Crackers



As this will be the final edition of Workbench before the Christmas holidays are upon us, we thought it might be a nice idea to feature some of the latest Airfix releases which may be of interest to the modelling enthusiast in your life. One thing is certain, if any modeller were to receive any of the kits featured in the montage image above, chances are they would be full of festive modelling cheer. Featured in the previous edition of Workbench, Avro Shackleton AEW.2 (A11005) includes a number of new parts to allow modellers to produce this distinctive maritime aircraft and the last example of the type to remain in RAF service. Featuring impressive levels of detail and several model configuration options, one of the schemes provided with the kit allows Shackleton WR960 ‘Dougal’ to be built, which currently resides in the Air and Space Hall of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, by far their largest and most impressive exhibit.

Other recently released kits include the newly tooled North American P-51D Mustang in 1/48th scale, which brings new levels of detail to this perennial aviation favourite, considered by many to be the most accomplished fighter aircraft ever to take to the skies. Workbench reader and successful aviation author Thomas Cleaver kindly sent in these pictures of his completed Mustang, which he described as the best Airfix kit he had ever built, taking him just five careful hours to assemble and without the need for filler. Other than using a set of decals he already had to allow him to complete his model as Bud Anderson’s famous Mustang ‘Old Crow’ the kit was built out of the box and looks magnificent – something tells us that this new Mustang might prove to be a popular item on Santa’s sleigh this year.


The new 1/48th scale P-51D Mustang, built by Thomas Cleaver



The other two models featured in the montage image above are the hugely impressive Supermarine Walrus Mk.I also in 1/48th scale and the new Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV in 1/72nd scale which features decal options to finish your model in these appealing French Air Force colours. Blenheim A04061 is still currently on pre-order, but we are still expecting to receive the model in the next week or so, with pre-orders and model store dispatches taking place as soon as they arrive. If this small selection of model highlights has failed to provide inspiration, our new Gift Finder page may offer further assistance in finding the perfect present in time for 'the big day'.


Phantom on phinals



In the previous edition of Workbench, we included the disappointing news that our highly anticipated new 1/72nd scale McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 kit had been subject to unforeseen delays, resulting in it not arriving in time for Christmas. We knew this would be a disappointment for many readers who have been looking forward to getting their hands on one of these beauties, but we felt we had to bring you the information as soon as we could. Clearly, this also comes as a disappointment to us, but from the very first edition of Workbench, we have always tried to bring you the latest information as it becomes available, which is why this situation arose. Frustrating delays and logistic challenges will always be a possibility in our industry, with no guarantee that similar delays will not be experienced in the future, but our intention is to continue bringing you the latest available information as we have it to hand, hoping that situations similar to this are few and far between.

The Phantom delay announcement did result in several readers sending e-mails expressing their frustration at the situation and whilst we can certainly understand your disappointment, we hope you can accept our honest explanation. The latest Phantom information we have is that the model should be here by the middle of January, but we will provide a definitive update in the first January edition of Workbench. Our highly anticipated new Royal Navy Phantom is definitely not far away now and we look forward to bringing you news of its arrival very soon.

We are afraid that’s all we have for you in this latest edition of Workbench, which we hope you found an interesting read. Due to the impending Christmas holidays, there will not be a Workbench posted in two weeks’ time, instead our annual review edition will go live the following Friday 29th December.

We are always keen to hear from our readers and there are several ways in which you can contact us, which include our dedicated e-mail address workbench@airfix.com and of course the Workbench thread over on the Airfix Forum. If social mediais more your style, you could access either the Airfix Facebook page or our Twitter channel, using #airfixworkbench where you will find plenty of modelling news, views and discussion. Whichever medium you decide to use, please do get in touch, as it is always interesting to hear from fellow modelling enthusiasts and the projects you have on the go at the moment.

As always, the Airfix website is the place to go for all the latest model release information, with our New Arrivals, Coming Soon and Last Chance to Buy sections all accessed by clicking on the above links. As updating the website is a constant process, a quick search through each section of the Airfix web pages will reveal new information and updated images in many of the product sections and this is always an enjoyable and rewarding way to spend a few minutes.

The next edition of Workbench is due to be published on Friday 29th December. Until then, we would like to sincerely thank you for your continued support of our Airfix Workbench blog.


The Airfix Workbench Team


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