Friday, January 23, 2015

The Canadair Argus

Title: The Canadair Argus:  The Untold Story of Canada’s Cold War Maritime Hunter
Authors: Major Cary Barker and Major Bert Campbell

During the Cold War, the Canadair Argus plied the skies of Canada’s East and West Coast and, outside of a few preserved airframes, is almost forgotten.  Even in books about the RCAF, it only gets mentioned for a few pages in chapters on Maritime Command.  This 190-page hardcover book changes all that.  It tells the story of the Argus from development to retirement and everything is here; weapon’s trials, stories of patrols, crew and maintenance tails, etc.  I was fascinated by the Bullpup missile trials and the references to the Argus's use during the Cuban Missile crisis.  The book is well illustrated with both colour and black-and-white photos and nicely done aircraft paintings.  A must for an RCAF fan of Maritime operations.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Sopwith Dove and William Barker

After World War One, the Sopwith Aviation Company decided to create a twin seat adaptation of its Pup fighter for the expected post-war sport aviation market.  The new type was called the Sopwith Dove.  Unfortunately for Sopwith, a civilian post-war aviation boom did not occur in Britain and only ten Doves were built.

This selection of photos were taken when the prototype Dove G-EACM had a brush with fame.  In the spring of 1919, Canadian World War One ace William Barker gave the Prince of Wales a half hour ride in the Dove over London.  (Note that Barker has one of his arms in a sling; a holdover from his October 27, 1918, battle for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.)

The Dove followed Barker to Canada being registered G-CAAY to the Bishop-Barker Aeroplanes Limited.  In 1921, the Dove was destroyed in a crash at Sault St. Marie, Ontario, while being flown by another pilot.  (Photos courtesy of the Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada.)

Modeler's Note:  To the best of my knowledge, the only Dove kit to be issued in 1/72 was a Dove and Swallow conversion released by Airframe of Canada for the Airfix Pup.  Airframe's kits were crude vacuforms molded on very thin plastic, so it would be probably be easier to modify the Airfix Pup on your own than to use the Airframe conversion.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Battle of the Barristers - There's a Hurricane Coming! Part 1

As Mr. Knights let the cat out of the bag the other day, he and I have entered into a 2015 Battle of the Barristers challenge build with Battle of Britain Hurricanes. Both of us will be building the recently issued Series 1 Airfix Hurricane Mk. I.

This is the second boxing of Airfix's fabric wing Hurricane.  The kit is excellent and clearly the best Hurricane in 1/72 scale.  The price point is a bit friendlier than the Series 2 version which also includes two decal options, the two bladed propellor, and other distinguishing features of the very early Hurricanes. (An extra sprue is included in the Series 2 Hurricane Mk. I to cater to these features.)  Sadly, hopes for a metal wing version in 2015 appear to be dashed.

My plan is to build the kit mostly out of the box with replacement wheels...the Airfix kits have one too few spokes...and with Eduard's new fabric seat belts.  I hope to get started this week and will be building the following aircraft:

L1851 was one of a few fabric wing Hurricanes on strength with 1 (F) Squadron RCAF.  On August 18, 1940, the day after the Squadron became operational, Flight Lieutenant V. B.Corbett ran into a fuel browser with YO-U during a scramble at 14:30 hours at RAF Hornchurch.  The results of the collision are illustrated in the photo above.  (Photo courtesy of the Canada Department of National Defence/Library and Archives of Canada.)

As our Battle has a due date of December 31, 2015, not only should both David and I actually finish our Hurricanes, there is plenty of time for other barristers to join in our fun.  Now if only I knew some other plastic-loving lawyers...  (I'm looking at you August and Rick!)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sprue Cutters Union: New Techniques for a New Year?

I’m not the only one to reappear in the blogosphere in 2015; the Sprue Cutters Union has returned as well. This weeks question is: What new products/techniques will you purchase/attempt this year?

Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black 

I’m a big fan of Mr. Surfacer 1200 as a primer, but Mr. Knights has raved about this product. It is supposed to have an even finer grain, and I keep hearing how black is a good base coat for metallic finishes. I guess we’ll see, as I’m using the Mr. Finishing Surfacer as a primer on the Airfix Mustang.

Mr. Color Super Metallics 

I’ve never really gotten along with Alcald, preferring Mr. Color 8 Silver or Tamiya spray cans for my natural metal finishes. However, I’ve seen good results from these paints. I have a few to try and may break them out on the Mustang.

 AK Interactive True Metal 

This is an odd one. It sure looks like Rub’n’Buff with an inflated “modelers” price tag, but the manufacturer claims you can mask over it. Guess I’ll get a tube or two and try it out.

P.S.:  I'm no prude, but WTF is up with the figures on page 6 of the PDF?  Almost makes me want to avoid supporting the manufacturer.  I don't need to be manipulated to try your product.  (This is what happens once you have a daughter.)

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

The Combat Workshop takes on Vallejo.
Doog wants to modulate his black.
The Museum Modeling wants to try more armor.
Jeroen is fighting monochromaticity.
Kermit wants to try modulation.
Motorsport Modeller wants to try Extra Thin.
Shutterace is seeing ghosts.
The Eternal Wargamer needs to paint faster.
Scale Model Soup hopes to jig.