Scale Aviation Modeller International — February 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1
This is a shame, as it’s impossible
to fit convincing rudder actuation
rods for a deflected rudder.
More problems arrived with
the tailplanes and elevators. The
tailplanes are a nice fit; however,
their chord is 2 mm too much.
Shortening the chord gets rid of
the elevator hinges, which are in
the wrong places anyway. Having
shortened the tailplanes, the outer
ends of the elevators no longer
match up, but adjusting the shape
is easy, and doing so brings the
elevators to their proper tip shapes.
The fuselage-ends of the
elevators are also incorrectly
shaped; they should approach
the side of the fuselage much
more closely, adopting the taper
of the rear fuselage. To obtain
this it’s necessary to lengthen
them, so I spliced in a section
from a second Airfix kit. The
chord of the elevators is spot on.
Something that is best done
first, though, is the drilling of a
line of two holes into both sides of
the fin, and both upper surfaces
of the tailplanes, to accept the
bracing cables. There were several
manifestations of these cables;
for the 1940/41 time frame a
two-cable setup is appropriate.
It’s crucial to align these cables
on a parallel with the trailing
edges of the tailplanes, so cut a
test length of stretched sprue and
locate both ends in your drilled
holes. On my model I discovered a
misalignment, so I positioned the
tailplanes slightly to the rear by
adjusting the location tongues.
Once the tailplanes are in place,
the four struts that support the
tailplanes from below can be added.
However, a detail missing from
the kit is a shallow strengthening
batten, running chordwise beneath
each tailplane, and it’s to this that
the outer ends of the struts are
attached. The battens are easily
fashioned from microstrip, but
when they are dry be sure to round

off all edges. The Airfix struts
themselves are too emaciated,
so scratch-build your own or,
like me, use the Italeri struts.
I now finished all filling and
abrasive work, drilled holes for the
pitot tubes, navigation lights and
tail formation light, and drilled
holes to later accept the antennae
wires. I gave the model a thorough
scrub before adding the Eduard
external details (chiefly the rear
cabin window frames). My machine
gun in the cabin roof got in the way
of seating the canopy, so I did away
with the barrel and later substituted
a simple stub-end barrel.
The Falcon canopy was scary
but I obtained a reasonable result
with superglue, first coating it
several times on both sides with
Klear/Future to obtain extra
clarity and prevent fogging. A
little filler was also required at
the windscreen edge to make
everything neat and tidy.

My plans for the gear went through
a number of different incarnations,
including several rip-outs of
completed installations! In the end,
I decided to use some spare Italeri
parts for the legs themselves, Parts
28B and 29B, after first removing
the sections of wing spar and
connecting struts. The Airfix legs,
Parts 34 and 35, are emaciated
and too long, running too deeply
up into the nacelle; in reality, the
hinge points for leg retraction were
only just tucked inside the bottom
lip of the nacelle. Worse still,
they give an insufficient nose-up
stance to the finished model.
If you wish to avoid using Italeri
parts, most of these problems can
be solved by shortening the upper
sections of the Airfix legs, and
then by fixing what’s left to have
them riding lower down in the
nacelle. I used PAVLA’s weighted
main wheels. The bracing and

actuating struts, Airfix Parts 64
and 65, are hopeless and require
full replacement. Again, I used
spares from an Italeri kit, but
scratch-building replacements
wouldn’t be difficult.
Unfortunately, somehow, I fixed
the gear legs with an excessive
forward rake, and given the number
of scars already marring the insides
of the nacelles, I didn’t think I
could risk further alterations.
I finished the undercarriage
units with a hand-painted mix
of gloss light grey and a Humbrol
metallic; the gloss colour adds body
and reduces the streaking effect
that hand-brushing of metallic
colours can produce. I added the
main undercarriage now, as I
wanted to get as much handling
as possible out of the way before
fitting the control surfaces. To
that end, I also completed as much
of the masking as possible, and
then airbrushed the white theatre
fuselage banding, plus the borders
around the lower fuselage windows.

If there was a stage in the model
that I was really looking forward
to, this was it. I was also anxious
about it, and indeed, at times it
wasn’t easy. I knew that thereafter
the model would be hugely difficult
to handle, and because of this the
slats had to come first. These should
have six actuators each side. They
were of rectangular cross section,
curved downwards, protruding
via holes through the leading edge
slat recess. In the full-size aircraft,
the actuators were not attached
to the back of the slat; instead,
brackets were attached to the end
of the actuators, and the slats
were attached to the brackets.
I just couldn’t see how I would
be able to cut 12 very neat slots
into only partially-supported 10
thou card, each one only 1 mm

wide! I discovered an executive
cheat when I found that square
section microstrip would easily
cope with a circular drilled hole.
My method: drill holes through
the back of the slat and the front
of the leading edge backplate,
and then insert short lengths of
microstrip. By gluing into the back
of the slats first, I could adjust
the positions of the slats before
final fixing. Though that sounds
easy, there was a lot of fettling to
get things into the right setup.
Next, the flaps. Underneath,
these are characterised by a pair of
very obvious V-shaped structures
with a teardrop fairing covering the
actual hinge, allowing the flap to
travel outwards and downwards.
The actuator was a single rod
protruding from the middle of the
flap recess and into the leading edge
of the flap. Here it was easy to neatly
drill the holes required. Finally,
the ailerons were assembled into
the remaining recesses, and their
external plain hinges added.

S.79 cowlings are of a deceptive
shape, and the Airfix cowlings are
too big and too abruptly shaped
on the nose. I replaced them with
items from Quickboost. There is
also a fictitious collar around the
rear of the Airfix cowlings, Parts
84-86; you can discard these but
put them to one side as, once
reamed out a little more, they will
make ideal airbrush masks for the
innermost cowling rings on the


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