The 1st April this year saw the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force – the world’s first and oldest independent military air arm.
Throughout the course of 2018 up to the 11th November, the RAF are celebrating in a number of ways – details of which can be found here:
As a personal tribute to the men and women who served in the RAF over the past century (and because I’m an RAF nut!!!) – as well as leading an RAF100 GB on the UAMF.org.uk, I have been building a number of models over the course of the year to try and capture as much of their history as possible.
This is what I’ve completed so far (as well as the FROG 1/72 Hawker Tempest I finished the other month), the Airfix 1/72 Fairy Battle and old tool Defiant and the Matchbox 1/72 Gloster Gladiator, Hawker Fury and Spitfire mk.XVIe.
I’m reasonably pleased with all of them, especially if you consider that they are all really old mouldings, hand painted with a mad mix of paints (Humbrol, Tamiya, Hataka, Citidel and Revell Aqua – Enamel and Acrylic).
I was really chuffed with the Battle and Defiant, as both had the Valiant Wings replacement resin noses fitted. The Defiant also had a scratch-built cockpit and u/c bay fitted, a scratch-built enlarged tail and rudder, and a load of other bits and bobs added to it. The Spitfire was not a great bit of work as it was mainly used as a test for brush-painting Tamiya acrylics (more on that in a later post)– but a finish is a finish.
The biplanes turned out a lot better than I expected. I have to say I found the whole process of building them a chore, I’m not a natural biplane builder by any stretch, but now that I’ve done them I wouldn’t be put off building some more. I feel I have a better understanding of what the process is and what’s needed. The next thing to do is have a stab at some rigging. I’ve never been entirely convinced by the rigging of 1/72 models as it always looks over scale to my eye. However I will concede that it needs something.
One of the things I’ve come to realise over this year is that applying modern building methods to these old kits doesn’t always work, take tube glue for example (Hissss! Boo! I hear you say). Tube glue is great at sticking together large parts that maybe don’t fit together so well and is probably more useful that Tamiya extra thin for this purpose (gasp). As it is I’ve hardly has to use filler on any of these. The other thing I’ve come to notice (OK – I’ve known for a while) is that the modern preference (I think I said this before on my Tunnan build) for very fine panel lines and surface detail is great and all, but kinda sucks when you don’t use an Airbrush. Those old raised panel lines and old fashioned deeper trenches look pretty good under a brush – even when the paints well thinned (which it always is isn’t it?).
In WIP I’ve also got that 1/72 Matchbox Phantom which is slowly progressing, and a 1/48 Monogram Hawker Typhoon mk.1b – more on those in future posts.
In the meantime I hope you like my latest selection of mediocre models!
Having written this out I’ve realised that I’m very inter-war and WWII heavy – I need me some more Jets!
Cheers all and thanks for reading – I hope it was more interesting than my normal fair.
(BTW – Please feel free to go and check out the GB on the UAMF forums – some of the finished builds are awesome!)