November 2007

A busy month at home and at work, so the modelling has been progressing slowly. However:

Westland Puma HC.1, 33 Sqn, Joint Helicopter Command, RAF Benson, 2007. (Airfix)

The Puma is one of the hidden gems in the Airfix catalogue. So far as I am aware this is the only 1/72 kit of the RAF Puma available, although Italeri and Heller have both done 1/72 kits of the later Super Puma/Cougar, and Heller has also released this kit, with additional French ALAT parts and markings. This is the current release, with some of the additional Heller parts included (principally the intake particle filters, which, incidentally, are the wrong type!).

I first built one of these nearly 30 years ago (probably not long after its first release) and remember it being rather more than my limited skills could manage at the time. The kit is reasonably accurate and surprisingly detailed, with decals for 2 grey/green/black aircraft from the 1980s. However, since RAF Pumas have seen very little obvious change since then, I decided to update mine to the current configuration, with scratch built ESM antenna, decoys and jammers, and finish it in RAF NATO two tone green. It builds well, with a good fit in most places and no need for filler. The one sticking point was the cockpit, where the collective interferes with the fit of instrument console, which in turn prevents the windscreen from fitting properly. After some heavy duty sanding, my windscreen now fits (just).

Puma HC1

More pictures at: Helicopters Page - Part 2

British & Colonial Aeroplane Company, Bristol Scout D, RNAS East Fortune 1916. (Libra/Scaleplanes vacform)

Its always the simplest and quickest builds that give the greatest satisfaction. I picked up this diminutive vacform at the IPMS Avon Show for the grand sum of a pound. To simplify things a bit I used various parts (struts, reshaped wings & undercarriage) from another (cheapy) biplane kit (an Academy Camel FWIW). Building took a whole evening, with a bit of sanding the next day. Decals from the spares box. Really enjoyed doing this one !

Bristol Scout

More pictures at: RN Biplanes

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