APRIL/MAY 2016 • £6.50 UK $15.99
MENG AIR MODELLER
APRIL / MAY 2016
B u i l d i n g A M K ’s N E W 1 : 4 8 M i G - 3 1 Fox h o u n d
Short Stirling Part Two Megas Tsonos continues his multipart 1:48 scratchbuilt project to build the British heavy bomber.
Prime-time MiG-31 Julien Hacoun gets to grips with the big MiG from AMK.
Mosquito PR.XVI Adrian Davies converts Tamiya’s seventy-second Mossie.
Mi-24A Hind Metodi Metodiev goes big on detail with Zvezda’s small-scale Hind.
Kittyhawk Paolo Portuesi’s P-40 from Hasegawa in 1:32.
Air Born New releases.
Me Bf109F2 Emmanuel Pernes shows us why Zvezda’s 1:48 109’s are such a big hit.
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SHORT STIRLING P
art two of the Short Stirling Scratchbuild and with
work on the empennage already complete the
project picks up on the construction of the fuselage. This had been formed using fibreglass matting laid over a pre-shaped foamboard core and once the fibreglass had cured the foam core was cut out from inside the fuselage using the bom bay as a convenient entry point. Any remaining foam was disolved using Nitro thinners and taking care to avoid the noxious fumes this generated.
I carefully washed away the remaining foam core using Nitro thinner to disolve the foam, wearing a mask and doing everything outdoors.
The fuselage skin is now completed and it took less time to build than anticipated. This shows the large opening in the underside for the bomb bay.
part two MEGAS TSONOS SCRATCHBUILDS THE HEAVY BOMBER IN 1:48
I chose to model the Tamiya Avro Lancaster rear turret and install it on my Stirling model. Some reshaping of the rear fuselage was called for, as the turret had the same outer cupola; the rear turrets being essentially the same for Stirlings and Lancasters alike. A new rear fuselage was formed from fibreglass, which conformed to the Tamiya Lancaster turret, without altering the shape of the Stirling’s rear fuselage.
Prior to installation of the horizontal surfaces on the rear fuselage, I removed the excess plastic between the elevators. Only the plastic simulating the area between the spars was retained. This was done to allow for the detailing of the rear fuselage just ahead of the rear turret.
Above It was also a good chance to install the previously made tail surfaces on the new piece of rear fuselage. The resulting empennage could thus be made accurate enough so as to act as a jig for aligning the rest of the model, facilitating all subsequent checks. Right The horizontal stabilizers complete with elevators, were fed through the openings made in the rear fuselage and holes were drilled for the cementing of the vertical stabilizer, together with the rudder. I used small lengths of brass tube to make the pins needed for the attachment of the vertical stabilizer.
The vertical stabilizer is then secured to the fuselage.
With the aid of White Milliput I made the small fillets that existed between the tail surfaces and the rear fuselage;
More views of the fillets that blend the tail with the fuselage and showing the horzontal surfaces passing through the fuselage.
The rear end, now complete with the rear turret mounting, was measured and an equal length of the main fuselage was removed.
in the process I noticed an error in the position of the emergency exit hatch, revealed after the making of the fillets, so I recalculated the correct hatch position in relation to the starboard upper longeron, and reopened the hatch…
The rear part was pinned to the front with brass pins and cyanoacrylate glue. A minor shape correction was deemed necessary on the port sidewall...
5 ... and following the masking of the tail surfaces, the fuselage was sprayed with Mr. Surfacer 500.
I used a piece of copper sheet, to copy the interior shape of the rear fuselage, onto which I cemented a piece of thin plasticard.
The fuselage formers and stringers were drawn in pencil and simulated using Evergreen plastic strips.
...the area was painted and detailed according to drawings and contemporary photos. Only the area visible through the entrance door was actually detailed.
Following a spraying with Mr. Surfacer #1200…
Bomb Bay The construction now went ahead with the model’s “raison d’ etre”,
modeller, and the etched brass specialist behind the Stirling, the
the bomb bay structure. Being the main structural element of my Stirling model and a very complicated structure on the real
bomb bay drawings I made were turned into photo-etched parts ready to be assembled.
aeroplane, this was taken really seriously. Three longitudinal beams intersected by no less than twenty-nine lateral intercostals was the
I deviated a little from the real specifications, and made the bomb bay ceiling flat, as I calculated that the ‘kink’ would not be visible
least that could be done, for a decent appearance of this compartment. Also, the ceiling of the bomb bay (teh oppoaite side
from below after all work was done, being a mere 1/16in. deeper on the model. I retained this information though, to be used when I
of which forms the cabin floor) was not entirely flat as one might
modelled the cockpit floor. I deviated a little more, as I positioned
expect, but was angled upwards starting from the wing rear spar frame area towards the front spar frame, and then sloping
the intercostals equally along the bay although I knew that small differences in spacing do exist in any aircraft, let alone the Stirling.
downwards to meet the cockpit floor which was horizontal. In this way, the 3 degrees of wing incidence was achieved by Short Bros.,
I finished the bomb bay interior at a later stage in the build; I installed the bomb bay doors after painting and weathering the
as the wing structure was a carry-through-fuselage construction. All of this is well described in A.P. 1660A&B, Vol. 1, section 7,
model. Consequently, the how-to photos will appear after the flaps construction, towards the final installments of these articles.
chapter 1, figure 1, ‘Fuselage construction’, for the Short Stirling. With the help of Mr. Michael Skoularikos, friend and fellow
The top decking was dry fit to check the correct alignment.
Before soldering it in place, I cemented the reinforcing stringers (Evergreen 0.10x0.20 strips). The grid was assembled on a jig which offered right angles, so as to facilitate soldering. The intercostals were installed through the bottom and aligned at notches on the longitudinal beams, equally spaced.
The top decking of the bomb bay was soldered in place taking care to work fast enough to avoid any overheating which could perhaps melt and distort the plastic strips glued earlier.
The primary work came to an end with the addition of Evergreen 0.10x0.20 strips to the fuselage sidewalls and beams. These were allowed to slide in the photo-etched grooves provided for this reason, and through notches cut in the intercostals. In this way, precious time was saved to be used elsewhere in the construction.
The bomb bay primary structure was sprayed with Mr. Surfacer 1200 and was secured in its place on the fuselage with the use of CA glue. Only the rear half of the bomb bay was cemented to the fuselage as I had already planned to cut off the fuselage front section so as to install the cockpit, and of course to install the single piece wings in place when constructed. I used Milliput to sort out any discrepancies around the line of contact of the fuselage to the bomb bay. Finally, I glued two strips of thin plasticard on the outside of the sidewalls which later helped in the exterior detail scribing as the scribing of brass is unthinkable.
The fuselage was given a thorough washing with warm water and soap, and is seen hanging in the bath for drying! A little before this photo was taken, I sprayed the area affected by the installation of the bomb bay with Mr. Surfacer 500, sanded smooth and I proceeded to drilling out the windows. The window openings were made smaller at first, in order to fit properly between the frames which, in turn, corresponded exactly to the bomb bay intercostals in the case of the Stirling. When the scribing of the fuselage was done, the openings were finished to their correct size and location on the fuselage.
I marked the vertical frames in pencil on the white surface, starting from the bomb bay towards the ends. Then the horizontal panel lines were marked in
Below Following the washing, the fuselage and tail surfaces were masked and I proceeded in spraying three coats of Mr White Surfacer 1000, in preparation for the exterior surface scribing and riveting.
the same manner. The benefits of the white finish are obvious when marking out the details.
I used an Olfa scriber and Dymo self-adheshive plastic tape that works miracles when scribing long straight lines.
Following the scribing of the main frames and horizontal lines, I went on with the riveting that simulated the stringers, each and every one of them to be reproduced twice as the stringers that were used in...