Westland Sea King AEW (SKW) / ASaC.7, 849 Sqn A Flight, HMS ARK ROYAL, 2003.
with minor modifications.
Revell's 1999 issue Sea King is an excellent kit, light-years ahead of the ancient Airfix offering and possibly better than the Fujimi kit that I used as the basis for my HAS.5.
Revell supplies parts for a HAS.6 and and AEW.2. I intend to do this as an AEW version, but a later one than supplied in the kit, and possibly even one of the current ASACS.7 versions.
Its an easy kit to build, but as with all helicopters you need to pay attention to the large interior, which Revell have furnished passably well, although I will add a few sundries and loose items of kit to liven it up.
Day 2 - First assembly stages complete - the fuselage halves aren't joined yet, as I have much more interior detailing to do first. however, I have dry fitted them and held them together with a clamp to make sure that the cockpit floor etc remains in the correct place.
Placing the kit alongside the Fujimi version provides an interesting comparison. The fuselage halves are almost identical in shape and dimension, albeit that the Revell tail sweeps up more sharply. The Fujimi door is slightly larger and, most noticeably,the Fujimi floats are quite a bit larger. Not sure who is right here; my money would be on Revell, except that there are several sizes of float for the real thing (plus the extended MAD drogue versions) and I didn't think the RN ones were the smaller type?
Picture of the real thing, taken in the Adriatic, during Operation Sharp Guard in 1995:
Day 3 - Interior complete, fuselage halves joined and floats fitted. Canopy framing has also been painted. So far, entirely out the box, except that I added a cabin roof and a bit of square section sprue behind the cockpit/cabin bulkhead (as IIRC this is quite thick on the real thing) and fitted some fold down seats aft of the antenna assembly. I still think the floats are too small.
Day 5 - Rapid progress. I have decided that it will be a recent ASaC.7 variant. The AEW decals provided in the kit are a good basis for this, but I have noted that they represent airframe XV650, which was one of the 2 aircraft that crashed in the Gulf in 2003, with the loss of all 7 aircrew. A sobering thought and one that leaves me unsure of the propriety of building models of recently lost aircraft. I may yet alter the decals to do a different airframe.
Day 7 - Building is more or less complete, with only the tailplane and wire aerial outstanding. I have painted most of the finer details on, ready for a coat of Future before I apply the decals. Upper fuselage antennae have also been modified slightly.
Day 8 - First hiccup with this build - in my enthusiasm I attached the canopy before colouring the inside of the upper panels translucent green (magic marker), so I simply coloured in the outside. Sadly, it turns out that Klear dissolves magic marker, so the green ran all the way down the side of the cabin! Aaaarrrrggghhh ! Never mind, easy to fix, and otherwise it is looking pretty good. Final satin & matt coats to apply tomorrow, then I will give some thought to weathering.
Finished. Not the best photos, and the rear wheel fell off whilst I was taking them! (it is very delicate), but I think it captures the idea.
I was playing on MS Flight Simulator, marvelling at the bizarre sound the Javelin simulation makes (just like the real thing), when I thought "I've got one of these in the stash".
The Airfix Javelin is derived from Heller's T.3, and during the mould conversion a number of compromises were made (particularly around the jetpipes) that have the Javelin enthusiasts squirming. Whilst resin replacements are available, this is completely out the box, just for fun. It fits together extremely well, not least because it is made up of rather large parts (with few joins as a result!). I had the Frog version of this for a while and swapped it out for this one - a much better bet, rear fuselage issues notwithstanding! Decals are typically disappointing "late Heller era" Airfix; nicely designed with great potential, but out of register, very brittle and barely useable.
Nearly there - the twin pitot tubes on each wing didn't survive painting!
And the finished article - more pictures on the Friends & Allies Pages
...........And now - a break from aeroplanes and a bit of family history.
Vickers Mk.VI B Light Tank, 1st Lothians & Borders Yeomanry.
JB's tiny little Vickers tank is a delightful model - although it possibly takes the record for box-versus-finished-model size comparisons!
Despite its size, it's very easy and quick to build, with decals provided for 3 variants; a Mk.VIa of 3Bn Royal Tank Regt, VIb of 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards or VIc of the 9th Lancers.
However, I have chosen to model mine as part of the 51st Highland Division, the 1st Lothians & Borders Yeomanry, in which my Grandfather served and was awarded the Military Medal, for his actions during the Battle for France and in subsequent captivity.
Carden-Loyd (Vickers) Scout Carrier, 1st Lothians & Borders Yeomanry.
"The Lothians" were a fully mechanised cavalry regiment (unlike the horse-drawn French units that they had to operate with). Alongside their Vickers Light Tanks, they operated a variant of the unbiquitous Bren Gun Carrier. This marvellously popular item of kit served in all theatres of war from 1936 onward (even the Germans used captured ones) and over 57,000 were built, the Belgian Army retiring its last variants in 1962.
The Airfix kit is intended to be a post D-Day "Universal" version, towing a 5lb anti-tank gun. However, by spooky mishap, its decals are those of the pre-St Valery 51 Div (the reconstituted 51 Div used a different coloured blue & red badge).
It is also the new contender for the box-versus-finished-model award:
Making progress. I am struggling to find decent pictures showing the earlier variants of the Carrier; so far as I can tell, the required changes are minimal:
The Vickers tank is now effectively complete and I have now located some useful pictures and drawings of BEF markings for both. However, I now realise that the changes required for the Carrier are more substantial than I thought. The Airfix kit is the later multi-role "Universal" Carrier; earlier variants were specific to each task. I believe that the Lothians, as a Cavalry/Armoured Reconnaisance Regiment would have been equipped with the "Scout Carrier", which only has the rear armoured box "cockpit" on its right hand side. So, it's out with the razor saw, for some kit surgery. Should be well within my ability!
And here is the modified Carrier. Just needs the paint repaired:
oh yes... and the artillery piece that comes with it (not appropriate for the BEF).
Click here to learn more about the 51st Division at St Valery
More AFV pictures on "the Dark Side"