Pretty mediocre modeller

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I don't know when you started this kit as all your posts have been uploaded today but even for only a couple of says you have made good progress! And it looks a very good kit and build so far and you have reminded me this kit is on my intended  purchase list lol.


Looking forward to further updates of your build!

Hi T2B,


I actually started this kit a few weeks ago, and have been taking photos as I go along, but didn't get round to writing it up. Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the sofa watching Indiana Jones feeling full and finally got round to it Smile. get this kit if you can, it's a good one!

Next on were the upper wing sections.I could not get the front leading edge to join here, and had about a 2mm gap. A first I thought it was the spar still playing up from being misaligned, and I started to sand this down, but no difference was made. In the end it turned out to be two location pegs on either side of the engine nacelle, which didn't meetup with their holes. These were removed and the wings fitted fine.

One clever trick Airfix came up with was making the end of the spars into the landing lights inside the wings. No painting call out is given for these, but I painted the interior black with a silver light.

The outer bottom wings were next on, and here the spar really did need a slight reduction to get a good fit. The wing fillet piece fitted well in the end and only needed a brief rub down with wet and dry to remove a couple of high spots, and some filler where they met the fixed fillet section on the fuselage moulding.

The front of the nacelles and the engines and cowling then went on, again just a smear of filler needed, then onto the tail feathers. The horizontal tails are keyed so make sure they are level, but care is still needed so as not to get them a degree or two out of true. The elevators and rudder are separate, and were set at a slight angle for a bit of life. Last on before painting were the main freight doors and crew door. As the aircraft is being modelled as it would have appeared on the night of 5th/6th June 1944, before taking off for D-Day, these were left closed, with only the trooping door in the forward freight door left open, as on this night she would be carrying troops, not cargo.

Ready for painting, the areas already painted are to check the joins.


Underside. Again painted areas are to check seams. Here some hairline gaps were filled with wood glue, wiped off with a damp cotton bud.

The fuselage went together well in the end, using clamps, and little to no filler was needed. Next on was the underside centre section of the wing, which included a semi span spar piece. Don't make my mistake of attaching the spar to the centre section and letting it dry fully, then attaching the centre section to the fuselage and leaving to cure before mounting the upper wings. I must have got the spar slightly canted backward, because the top wings wouldn't fit properly until I had shaved a significant amount from the rear top face of the spar. Best to attach all these parts in one action so they can be adjusted to fit correctly before the solvent fully cures

The completed fuselage with underwing centre section and spar in place. The join on the underside was good needing minimal filler.


Closeup of the wing/ spar/ fuselage join. the cabin windows are attached from the outside which will save on masking later.


The separate wing fillet piece, which will need careful fitting.

Construction starts with the fight-deck and passenger cabin interiors. The fight-deck is well detailed, just needing straps for the crew. These could be made with tape, but I didn't bother this time as you can't see much through the small opening.

All goes together well, including the engineer's and radio operator's compartments, and good colour call outs are given. I didn't weather these areas as I said before it would be wasted effort as it wouldn't be seen.

Not seen here, but a convincing decal was provided for the instrument panel.

Soon I was ready to join the fuselage, trapping the internals. Dry fitting showed that things were very tight around the nose, and any stray paint in this area was scraped off. Some weathering was added around the freight door opening.

I've recently been re-watching the old HBO series 'Band of Brothers', and found inspiration to pull this kit from 2014 out of the stash. As luck would have it one of the two schemes on offer is for the outfit that flew in the actual Band of Brothers unit (506th PIR) on D-Day.

Before cutting any plastic first some research was carried out.

The Osprey book on the right contains a side profile of the aircraft I intend to model, but has a few slight differences from the Airfix painting guide which we will look at at the painting stage.

On opening the box the parts were found to have nice surface engraving, and a well detailed interior with relief detailing on the fuselage sides, optional deployed or extended troop seats, and fully equipped flight deck. Behind this are the flight engineer's and radio operators compartments which are sectioned off, but missing detail and seats, but no worry as this cannot be seen once the fuselage is buttoned up. 

The kit also includes optional parts such as different props, ski and retracted undercarriage, and loading ramps not mentioned in the instructions. Freight and flight-deck doors can also be left open.


As well as some of the main components the main wheel skis and the larger of the loading ramps can be seen here


Frames of smaller parts,

 The decals to the usual high standard by Cartograf and the clear, detailed instructions.

Santa brought me the Airfix Shackleton AEW 2, as well several books including Haynes Workshops Buccaneer, Blenheim and Ju 87 manuals and Vulcan Boys, Valiant Boys and Meteor Boys.

@Aussie Jeff

Hi Pretty Mediocre Modeller (or any Moderator perhaps),

I've recently joined the Forum and I'm just beginning this exact build (Warhawk/Zero Dogfight Double that I picked up off Ebay) - just wondering if it is okay to add my experience to your post, or should I open up a new one?  I could do the same with the Zero when I get to it if agreeable.  Both are being built gear up for display on the included stand so a little different.

What is the protocol (if any) - don't want to upset anyone.

Hi Jeff,


I'm more than happy for you to add to my thread.




The Humbrol paint range is in the main pretty random, but there are some cases where paints are grouped, for instance 123 to 130 are all US Navy colours, 116, 117 and 118 are USAF camouflage colours, 163 to 168 are post war RAF colours and 240 to 253 are all WWII Luftwaffe colours. 

As an aside the Airfix paint range were produced for them my Humbrol.

As usual with the new Airfix offerings the Cartograf decals went on well with minimum carrier film and no silvering. However I think there may be some confusion with the two options given with this kit. Both are said to be from 888 NAS at the time of Operation Torch, aboard HMS Formidable. But if the aircraft are from the same Squadron at the same time for the same operation why do they have different Squadron codes in different font styles, and one has the 'Torch' US stars and the other roundles? Some research needed I think!

After trawling the internet for a while I think I have soime answers. first parent carrier, the 'Ø' at the start of the code represents the ship. This is the Greek letter for 'F' for Formidable, so the carrier is correct. (At the time of the Second World War most naval Officers were public school educated and liked to show off their Greek and Latin skills!).

Next the squadron identifier, which is the second figure in the code, either a '7' or '9'. From my research I found that at the time of 'torch' Formidable had two Martlet squadrons, 888 NAS, who had the code number '7' and the short lived 893 NAS with '9', so I'm guessing option 1 on the paint guide is actually from 893. There is always the chance however that 888 borrowed the aircraft without changing codes however.

Finally the different national markings. As all aircraft involved in the 'Torch' landings had US stars it is probable that the photo that the scheme is based on was taken during preperations for 'Torch' during early November, and not during the operation itself in later November1942. Again however there is always the exception that proves the rule!


Here is the model with decals applied. One of the small underside windows was missing from my kit, but this was replaced with clear glue and a cocktail stick as seen here.


After the decals a couple of coats of flat varnish went on, followed by the last detail painting and a little weathering and the kit was done. Another thing I found from my research was that there should be a small individual letter at the bottom of the nose cowling in black. I added one from an old Modeldecal sheet.


This was a lovely little kit to build, and I would recommend it to anyone with a little modelling experience. It may not be an ideal first kit as the undercarriage is a little complex. There is some talk on other forums of the rear fuselage being not quite right, but it looks okay to me, and that's what matters after all!


As a postscript I have also found out what happened to the actual aircraft after 'Torch'. After active service it was issued to a training unit, 759 NAS at Yeovilton. While on a training flight on the 19/12/43 at 1005 it entered into a 45 degree dive at high speed. It didn't pull out and the wings failed, the aircarft came down near Frome, Somerset and the pilot,  Midshipman (A) Basil John Charlton, R.N.V.R. Age 19. was Killed.

The underside Sky Type -S was painted first (Humbrol 90), followed by the Extra Dark Sea Grey (Hu 164 Dark Sea Grey, not Hu 123 which is a bit to dark), and finally the Dark Slate Grey (Hu 224). All were hand painted and no masking used as there were not hard edges between the top and bottom colours.

it's difficult to tell between the two topside colours, as the tone is very similar.

The Airfix painting guide was followed. The cartridge slots were picked out with a little black paint.


Next a couple of coats of Klear, then decals.

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