Aussie Jeff

Signature: After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

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Aussie Jeff

54 posts

Thanks for the info Paws - I think I need a book on 'Anatomy of Aircraft' to help with my terminology. Laughing

That Catalina is now finished.  I ended up using the original decals given that my handywork was somewhat rough in places and reorted to weathering in an attempt to cover it up.  I did some more weathering on the wing centre section simulating stains from the engine exhausts and as an overall look with the fuselage it looks reasonably convincing from a distance. I'm happy with it anyway - isn't that the point?

I wouldn't mind having another go at one of these if there was a newer tooling available (not sure if there is) or maybe check out another brand (Academy?).

Anyway, here's some staged pics - I sent some of these pics to my wife who was away on business and she thought one of the low shots was a real Catalina that I included for her to compare! She was viewing it on a phone but I'm not sure it iss THAT convincing!!

What to build next?

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

Thanks T2B, it really is a good kit - having all those options at the price is remarkable.  I'm inspired by the efforts of many forum members, it is nice to know I've done something to make you want to build another.  I might be able to at least make up the underlined 'E' with some old decal border left over from the Catalina i'm just finishing up.

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

I got the central section of the parasol wing to attach with a bit of filing and scraping and fitted the four support struts.  I left this overnight to cure as once fully assembled with the other wing pieces the whle assembly is nearly half a metre across!!

The starboard wing section has a distinct downward bow to itbut there was little I could do about that in the end.  Both outer wing sections were glued on  and held in place for what seemed an eternity before I could let them go and support them as best I could wile the solvent cured.  There is a bit of a list to starboard due even in the centre section which is odd as I would have thought the struts would have kept that bit level.  Combined with the bowed outer wing the starboard wing tip is much closer to the ground than port.

As you can see I also got those posable wing tips/floats to work which I'm rather chuffed about.

I wanted to do the rigging from the tailplane to the wing tips and for this I used some 4lb smoky grey monofilament fishing line hat is 0.13mm in diameter.  Scaled up this would be just under 9.5mm in real life - I have no idea if this is realistic or not but it was as fine as I could find. I attached this into th tailplane when I assembled the fusalege halves, tying a big knot so it wouldn't pull through later.  Another knot was tied with the two strands a short way out from the tailplane and these were stuck togeter with supaglue forming a thicker section before they diverged to the wings - I thought this worked really well!

You can see in the pic above I used small weights to keep the tension on the line while the glue set.  Below you can see the rear section pretty clearly.

Now onwards and upwards to finishing this dirty bird off.

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

Well I've learnt that trying to get a nice finish in matt white is nearly impossible an ended up making a real bodge job on it - so I tried my hand at weathering. I tried re-creating that salty, gauno-encrusted look by using a variety of charcoals and ochres as washes and more white paint, dragging it vertically down the sides of the fuselage.  From some angles it looks really good, from others well it looks like your five year old child has been playing with it after coming in from the garden.  Oh well, it is all just an experiment and fun and games in't it?

Oh, and I've solved the tail-sitting problem.  Just install the included ladder to the post blister canopy - just as the maker intended!

Now to try and fit that enormous three-part wing!

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

While waiting for the mising parts for my antique Catalina to arrive I decided to build this kit up to pass the time.

What a great kit! Fit, finish and detail was fantastic for such an inexpensive model. I thought this was going to be my best effort yet but a few detail issues toward the end of the build stymied that - all my fault, not the kit.

The black portside ID decal on the tailplane decided to roll up into a ball and try as I might it was unrecoverable. I also broke some of the delicate parts.  In a way it was very like my golf - enough good hits among the bad to make me think I'll have that really good round one day.

Maybe I should buy another one and have another crack.

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

Waiting for the missing parts to arrive in the post has made me adjust the normal build sequence for this project and I’ve been focusing on some of the more fiddly parts and painting up the clear parts framing etc.  The blister windows and the cockpit canopy only have the faintest imprint of the framing which makes things difficult – I wonder if this has improved on later kits?  I was able to mask the blister windows in several stages and produced a reasonable result (for me) – the cockpit canopy was a bit rougher but it will do.  I have fitted the blister windows to the fuselage halves and was able to get the opening section to operate successfully!

The other parts I’m really happy with are the two engine/prop assemblies.  Even though I downloaded the most recent painting guide from the Airfix site there wasn’t much detail on the engines, so I looked for images of P&W Wasp engine and used those as a guide.  The bronze ring on the cowling was an addition from the new painting guide and I think it really works.  And they look even better dry fitted to the centre wing section.  The props even spin freely when you blow on them!

By the way 17 grams nose weight I nowhere near enough – try at least double that.  Anyone know anything denser than lead that is readily available and not radioactive!

This might turn out alright after all.

And Ratch, there certainly some interesting images of 'repurposed' Cats on the web!

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

But then again aren't railway rolling stock sometimes referred to as railway 'cars'?? Smile

Cool model btw, gotta luv that stack!

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

Well I’ve started building the Catalina now as the guy I bought it off was able to find all the missing parts from another Airfix kit and they are on their way to me in the post – such a relief.  The front turret is the only bit now stopping me cementing the fuselage together.

I’m going to do this as the RAF Coastal Command Catalina 111A, as per jopres57 and one of Ratch’s, which has a matt white fuselage and under wing with a grey & green camouflage scheme on the top of the wing and tailplane (a bit more interesting than the all-over matt black ‘Black Cat’ scheme).  I primed the two fuselage halves with grey primer before giving the outer surfaces a coat of flat white spray paint hoping this will make it easier to touch up as the build progresses rather than paint it all after assembly.

Once this was all dry the insides were painted cockpit green and the six small clear window installed.  These had to be done now as they go in from the inside.  The instrument panel with tiny steering-wheel like controls and the cockpit floor/seats with pilots were glued to one fuselage half.  It’s all pretty basic in there.  The instrument panel was supposed to have the detail cut out from the instructions and glued on (Ratch said this was ‘de rigeur’ for a kit of this age) but I decided to paint the panel black and make my own ‘instruments’ using the point of a silver paint pen. It’s a bit rough but it’ll do – not much of it will be seen anyway.

Also fitted at this time were the two ‘blister window’ gunners – again something that would have been difficult later.  The guns were supposed to articulate but they are so delicate they would definitely snap off after a few ‘plays’ and some of the interference fit was sloppy anyway.  The blister windows will go on later.  The little hole next to the port gunner is for a ladder – as I’m still deciding whether to do this as in-flight or not I’ve left it open for now.

I can do a bit more on other parts while waiting for the missing parts to arrive but I have made a ballast part up out of fishing sinkers that I may use to glue the front turret glass-house to, I’ll decide when all the bits arrive.  As a few people have mentioned the Catalina is a chronic tail-sitter do any of you know if 17 grams is enough ballast?  There is no mention of it in the instructions.

Until the next instalment, cheers all.

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

@Paws4thot

Well, sort of off-topic, but I've started in on Stephenson's Rocket and the Deltic Prototype (railway locomotives, early 1960s tools and once owned by Airfix, now by Dapol).

Cool - what a classic the Rocket must be!

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

@Paws4thot

Jeff, I've pointed this out a few times, but the Airfix "Eurofighter" tool is actually of an EFA Development Aircraft, and not a Eurofighter Typhoon. (my example was built as DA4 in her black period)

So does a Eurofighter Typhoon exist or didn't it make it past the development stage. Or if it does exist what are the major differences? I tried Googling it but found it all too confusing. :)

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!

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