Pretty mediocre modeller

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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.

Everything went together pretty quickly. Fit was very good with just a small gap infront of the cockpit, and some more small gaps around the forward fuselage extension, wings went on with no gaps to fill, and the one piece tailplane was also good, but be careful to get it level. The ailerons and rudder are separate and were slightly offset for a little animation to the model.

In this image the two almost identical engine cowls are seen together.


The seems were soon filled where needed and smoothed with wet and dry, then the model wshed in warm water with an old toothbush to remove dust and grease, left to dry and it was ready for painting.

The grey painted areas around the nose are where I've checked filled seems.

The prop is only push fitted an the moment and won't be glued until the end of the build.

The completed undercarriage assembly went onto the front of the cockpit, then the whole thing slotted into the starboard fuselage half. Best to make sure that any paint is removed from the matting edges or else you won't get a good join. I'm going for the spread wings this time, as when I built the F4F-4 version I made the folded option.

Following the instruction sequence I started with the cockpit. This is well detailed for the scale and includes four decals for instrument and side panels. Construction was straightforward, using a fuselage side for alinement, for painting I used a brush and followed Airfix's call outs. Next came the undercarriage, which needs to be fitted before the fuselage halves are joined if the gear is down. This is a very fiddly assembly, and much use of a magnifier was made.

All assemblies painted and weathered, ready for the fuselage to go together, seat beals are from painted Tamiya tape.


The detail on the rear bulkhead of the undercarriage bay, including depiction of the bicycle type chains used to raise and lower the wheels. These were brought out using dry brushing.


Next up will be main airframe assembly.

For my next project I've gone for the New Tool 1/72 Martlet. As I've already built the Wildcat boxing, which is practically identical apart from the nose I'm not anticipating any problems with this build.


The first job for me is always carrying out research on the subject I'm about to model, which is always one of the most enjoyable parts of the exercise for me as I'm finding out stuff I may not of been aware of.

I use paper research as well as the internet. The six different marks of RN Martlets/ Wildcats are quite complicated as several were unique to British service. Here is a brief rundown incase you are interested;

Mk I. 91 aircraft ordered by the French Navy. when France fell the order was switched to Britain. 10 aircraft were lost at sea, the others were all delivered in 1940. The Mk I was based on the American fixed wing F4F-3 but with a single row Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G205A replacing the Pratt & Whitney R-1830, and a new propeller. Because the engine was shorter the fuselage was slightly lengthened ahead of the wing to preserve the centre of gravily. 


Mk II. 109 aircraft delivered in 1941 and 42. The first 10 were fixed wing the rest folded wing. These aircraft had the two row Pratt & Whitney engine, but with a simplified supercharger which reduced performance at height. Again the prop was different, as was the pitot tube which was located above the wing similar to an Avenger. The American designation for these aircraft (folding wing) was F4F-4A.


Mk III. 30 aircraft delivered in '41. Originally ordered by Greece, they were at Gibraltar when Greece fell and were used instead by the RN shore based in the Western Desert. These aircraft were the same as the US Navy F4F-3A, including prop, with the simplified supercharger. 


Mk IV. Subject of the Airfix kit. 220 aircraft delivered in '42. Folding wings, extended fuselage and single row Wright engine. Known to the Americans as the F4F-4B.


Mk V. 322 aircraft delivered between 1942 and '44. Same as the US Navy FM-1, which was similar to the F4F-4 but with only 4 guns instead of 6 and built by General Motors.


Mk VI. 340 aircraft delivered in '44 and '45, the only aircraft to be delivered as Wildcats after the name change from Martlet on 1st January 1944. Same as the FM-2, with lghtweight airframe, extended fin, single row engine and no oil coolers under the wings.4 wing guns.


Anyway, now that's over with back to the kit. Two new sprues are included with the fuselage extension, two new cowlings (?), the new prop and a half relief Wright Cyclone. There is also a choice of two Operation Torch aircraft on the decals, both from 888 Sqn on HMS Formidable, or so they say.

The new parts


All of the plastic


The decals, both are Royal Navy, even though one looks like US Navy.


Painting and decalling guide.



You didn't have to wait to long T2B, asshe is now finished.

The decals were well pinted and worked well, unfortunately only the main markings are supplied, same as the original boxing, which means a lot of the obvious markings on the engines etc are missing. As I'm just building out the box I just went with what was there. Luckily the blue cheatline fitted in with my masking well, so I must have measured it properly! One alteration I did make was with the fuselage serial. All the images on the web showed that this was positioned over the blue cheatline but on a white background, which wasn;t represented on the decals. to get over this I painted a patch of clear decal white, laid the serial decal over it and cut out the rectangle to be put over the blue.. The whole model was then sealed with Klear, and a little weathering added around the exhausts.


For a change of pace this was an enjoyable build and goes to show that half decent models can be made from older kits, it doesn't always need to be the latest new tool!

Hi T2B,


I've built this kit a couple of times, once as a IIc trop, and once as a Sea Hurricane IIb. The fit of parts is okay, if a bit tight in places and a nice looking model can be built up. Some of the gates to the parts are a little large and it is sometimes difficult to remove them without damage (you'll never get the aerial mast off without snapping it). The big Achilles heel with this kit is the tail, which is very undersized, just compare it to any plans or to the Airfix mk I Hurricane kit. That said if it's not displayed next to another Hurricane it's not to noticable. Bit strange really as there is a mk IIc Hurricane about a mile down the road on display from the Hornby head office which the Airfix team measured. The markings this aircraft wears are actually one of the options in the Airfix kit!



Sorry for not posting on this build for a while.

Once together the airframe was quickly prepared for painting, due to the generally good fit of the parts, not bad for a kit from 1968! On the photos below you can see the small areas of filler needed, a little on the spine behind the cockpit hump, on the underside of one of the wingtips and to fill the stand slot behind the underside bulge. This bulge has a large hole moulded in it, not sure why, but I filled it with a length of plastic rod.

Some of the smaller parts have also been added, and the side windows masked with Tamiya tape and Maskol.



The painting instructions for the whole kit are the 1960's version with just the paint reference numbers changed. They basically say paint the fuselage top and fin white, the wheels and anti glare panel black and everything else silver, that's it. I chose the later scheme with Light Aircraft Grey instead of silver for the undersides and wings.

Painting was with a brush using Humbrol acrylics, an undercoat of Hu34 followed by Hu130 on top Hu 166 for the rest and Hu33 for the black bits. The biggest problem was the masking, especially for the fuselage cheatline which needed to be spot on so the wrong colour does not show on the wrong side of the line.

I did some searching on the internet for the prop blade colours and found images of RAF/MoD Beagles with three different coloured blades; black with yellow tips, a light grey with black de-icer boots at the root and re-white-red tips, or sectioned black and white blades. I chose the black and yellow as it's the easiest. All those de-icer boots and the anti glare panel were a pain to mask! That red nose is present in most images of parked Beagles. It's not painted that colour it's a remove beforee flight cover over the pitot tube, so if you make one in flight don't paint the nose red.

The wheels went on well, and the legs have some detail on them. The main bays are completely open though and the nose bay has no depth at all, however this was lucky as when I put it on it's wheels I found I had not put enough weight in the nose, but I was able to cram more into the engine spaces through the main U/C bays.

Next up the decals.

Thanks John,

It's almost ready to start painting now, I'll post some more tonight.

Construction of this kit went fairly rapidly for me. I started with the interior, which was quick and easy, the windows went in first, the fit wasn't perfect but okay, then the seats and instrument panel. As mentioned before there were no painting instructions so the colours seen here are all guesswork. I did look on the Internet but couldn't find any interior shots. While the paint was drying I put together the wings, which, even though 50 year old toolings went together without gaps, but have pretty thick trailing edges.


Next the fuselage halves went together, trapping the cabin, and not forgetting to put some nose weight in to prevent tail sitting. With the use of lots of clamps I got a good join, with only a few small gaps to fill later.


Next up was the tail and wings. The tailplanes went on nicely enough but some careful alinement is needed to make sure they set level. The wings were also reasonable fit with a few small gaps. I positioned them so the gaps were all on the bottom surface so they are easier to fill and smooth.


Next on the list is filling and sanding the seams.

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