Friday, 11 September 2015

Redux: Eduard 1/48 DH-2

I'm in the process of re-shooting some of my older models that were originally photographed with a less capable camera. In doing so it's interesting to examine the models with the benefit(?) of hindsight and experience, and evaluate how I'd do things differently now.

This Eduard 1/48 DH-2 is a case in point. When I built in back in 2006 it was the first 1/48 biplane I'd attempted, and I believe it was the first Eduard kit I'd come across. I remember being really impressed with the detail overall and the fit of parts, but less happy with all of the interplane and cabane struts being separate parts; getting all of those to line up simultaneously while attempting to glue the upper wing in place was ridiculous. Somewhat dubious about the rigidity of the spindly tail booms, they were replaced with carbon-fibre rod. I was – and still am actually – pretty happy with the replication of doped linen and the ribs, and the simulated transparency of the upper wing. If I were to do it again though, I'd try to suggest the wing spars as well as the ribs. I might also be tempted to add more weathering; then again, I kind of like the understated look.

Perhaps the biggest improvement that could be made is in the rigging. Fishing line was used for most of it, except for the really long sections which were lengths of ceramic wire. Apart from being slightly too heavy for the scale, the ceramic wire isn't even attached in places (like the control horn on the port tailplane, for instance). I'd definitely go with E Z Line next time.

Back in '06 the model was entered in a local contest, and on the drive up to the venue on the previous evening I hit a bump on the freeway. When I arrived the model was just a jumble of struts and wire at the bottom of the box. I took it home and worked on it overnight to re-build it. Unfortunately it was never the same the second time around and even now, I can see glue blobs and some slight misalignments from rushing to fix it. Needless to say, it didn't score well in the contest either.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

And it was all yellow

Just occasionally, I'm tempted to build in 1/144 scale. Usually I'm seduced by the 'small scale = quick build' myth, which I've proved to be erroneous many times, but still keep falling for it. The logic seems reasonable: less parts, simplified detail and smaller areas to paint should make for a faster build, right? However, offsetting this is usually the additional time spent adding detail, refining parts and the extra care needed to achieve scale paint/weathering effects.

Fortunately, the Mark 1 Westland Wessex HC.2/HAR.2 was a really nice kit to start with, having recessed panel lines and a high level of detail for its size. Fit overall was good, except for the clear parts – the main windscreen was too large, and getting the smaller side windows into their respective apertures was a bit of a fiddle. I added some extra detail in the cockpit, and scratch built the rescue winch. The kit decals were used, which were excellent.

There are several other Wessex variants in the Mark 1 range. Oh look, they've just released a Beaufighter too. That should be fairly quick to put together.

The full build article was published in the February 2015 issue of Airfix Model World.