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Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

The reward for completing a Shelf of Shamer - permanent residence in this location.
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smeg1959
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Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#1

Post by smeg1959 »

OK, the final model in my opening salvo for the Shelf is also the longest non-completion in my personal history of modelling. I bought this Airalex resin kit from Alex Trant himself way back in 2008. It was the first resin kit I had ever attempted and, looking at Alex's own completions, I thought, "Hey, I can do that." However, unlike more recent resin kits from Anigrand, Peter's Planes, Miniwings, Kami de Koro Koro, etc., this was very basic, comprising a solid fuselage, two wing sections, a few white metal bits and a casting in "clear" resin of the canopy (as per these photos). A challenge to an experienced resin kit builder ... which, of course, I wasn't.
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-01.JPG
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-01.JPG (82.72 KiB) Viewed 6497 times
Anyway, I stuck at it, cutting off the solid opaque canopy, opening out the cockpit, replacing the moulded spinners with ones purloined from an F-Toys' Mosquito and modified to take four blades, etc.
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-03.JPG
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-05.JPG
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-06.JPG
Where I came a right cropper was when I tried to scribe panel lines. The result was, to put it mildly, a freakin' disaster.
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-04.JPG
And so, sometime in January 2009 (if my memory serves me correctly), the partially assembled entity was consigned to a Ferrero Rocher container where it has resided ever since, apart from a brief attempt about 12 months back to fill the voids with Tamiya putty.
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-07.jpg
Well, after completing that Welsh Models Anson and not butchering the vacformed bits, I finally feel that my skills have developed to the point where this could be salvaged and something half-decent come out the end. Of all four entries in this, my initial, visit to the Shelf, this is easily the one that's going to push me. First task will be to fill all those stupid bloody crooked trenches I dug in the plastic. Only then will I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)
Shelf of Shame - F-100D-20-NA (Don Schmenk, USAF), Me262A-1a/U4 (Prototype), Ju87B-2 (Hungarian AF)

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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#2

Post by smeg1959 »

Not a great fan of the Tamiya putty ... bit too thick and gluggy for the delicate task of filling panel lines in 1/144. What do others use?
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)
Shelf of Shame - F-100D-20-NA (Don Schmenk, USAF), Me262A-1a/U4 (Prototype), Ju87B-2 (Hungarian AF)

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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#3

Post by ajmm »

Vallejo works really well for me. You can wipe away with a wet cloth, but you might need a couple of applications to fill the panel lines completely as it does shrink.

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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#4

Post by MerlinJones »

Panel lines!?!
In 1/144! :o


:P
It's my madness that keeps me sane.
The Modelling Man Cave: https://sites.google.com/site/themodellingmancave/home

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Jonathan
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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#5

Post by Jonathan »

MerlinJones wrote:Panel lines!?!
In 1/144! :o


:P
True that. even the fine and subtle ones that appear on Sweet and Platz kits are absurdly over scale. One of the advantages of older tools is the raised panel lines that can be easily sanded off, versus the trenches that must be filled in...

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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#6

Post by F_IV »

If I'm getting rid of panel lines I tend to use Tamiya putty thinned out with their lacquer thinners amd a fine, cheap brush. Then shave off the excess with a scalpel before wet sanding to finish. If I'm just knocking them back a bit I've taken to using matt black Humbrol that I paint repeatedly into the panels then sand in between. About three goes normally tends to do it. I like it if I can just leave the corners and intersections faintly visible as an aid to penciling in the rest later.

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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#7

Post by smeg1959 »

An update. I've filled the trenches and done more sanding than I did on the kids' playroom a week earlier. I also clipped the bottom off the homemade brass undercarriage legs (too long originally), replaced my first attempt at the exhaust stacks (too bulky) and cut the modified Mossie spinners and white metal prop blades (spinners were oversized, the blades were uneven and my melding of the two looked, quite frankly, crap). A couple of coats of Tamiya grey primer (I've run out of white) and the interim result, whilst still not perfect, is definitely more pleasing to my eye.
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-08.jpg
De Havilland DH103 Hornet SS-09.jpg
I'll probably redo the canopy using Alex's solid casting as a smash mould again. All I need now is a pair of wheels and replacement spinners and blades. Upon not finding anything suitable in the spare parts box, I checked my various unassembled kits/gashapon in the stash and, lo and behold, BOTH the wheels and the prop units match exactly those of the F-Toys' Hawker Tempest. The wheels even have the identical 4-void hub. Only problem is that I'm reluctant to sacrifice my only Tempest at this stage ... after all, I'd still be a prop short anyway.

Having recently picked up a copy of the October SAMI , the Shesto Composimold Casting System reviewed in the issue would definitely allow some duplicates to be cast from the F-Toys' originals. And I've even found an easily accessible outlet locally (Eckersley's, a chain of Art & Craft stores in Oz). HOWEVER, the smallest 240-mL container of the moulding material is $AUS42, the casting compound is $AUS63 and the mould release $AUS31. Even though it would get lots of use over time, I can't see SWMBO allowing me the option of a $AUS136 purchase. So I'll have to think on this a bit more ... :?

PS. Whilst referring to SAMI, I noted our very own Mr Bruce Leyland-Jones as a contributor for the month but, try as I might, I can't find said contribution. Never been a problem in the past. So Merlin, wherefore art thou words of wisdom in this issue?
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)
Shelf of Shame - F-100D-20-NA (Don Schmenk, USAF), Me262A-1a/U4 (Prototype), Ju87B-2 (Hungarian AF)

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Jonathan
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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#8

Post by Jonathan »

That's looking quite decent. It definately looks like a Hornet, which is saying something. I think Airalex's stuff may be the most challenging of all the homemade "kits", the shapes at least seem accurate. I'd say youve jumped the tallest hurdle. Image

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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#9

Post by pbhawkin »

Looking good....almost there.
Greg, I have used the original (LT I believe) Composimold Casting System (I got it from a Sydney shop) but it is available on Ebay from a number of sources.
My experience is that it is really only good for casting one MAYBE two pieces before you have to remelt and make another mold from the original.
It also NEEDS to have a mold release (of some kind) used not only for making the resin copies but also on the original master (the material is a bit like those toys the kids throw at windows and watch as they slowly de-stick themselves!).
And lastly there can be issues with Bubbles forming in the melted material (you are heating it in a microwave after all) ad then when imbedding the master there can be bubbles that attach to it. I have NOT used the bubble breaker they sell and so that may solve the problem.
Regards
Peter

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Re: Smeg's De Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet F20 (Airalex)

#10

Post by Jonathan »

Image...the more I read about home casting things the less likely i feel to actually try it :?

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