The old Airfix Bolton Paul Defiant nightmare.

rtfoe

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Hi Everyone,

Pre-Airfix new molds...
Here it is...having this kit in my stash for many years and being the only one of the Defiant apart from one from a Czech company which I couldn't get hold off I pulled up my socks and dived into it.

Post-Airfix new molds...
WTFish...why didn't I wait...well if only I could read the future.

Present time...
I'm featuring my build nightmare and hope you appreciate how lucky we modelers are now with manufacturers re-tooling their kits.
I will not go into the history and development of the Defiant as it's covered in the two other thread builds by Steve and Barry however it will be a quick image laden thread and I will try to explain what I did to overcome the shortcomings of the kit and references I had at the time. Also my scratch skills were still in the learning curve.

Starting with the box cover...
P1.jpg

I didn't take any photos of the sanding of the rivets and scribbing of the panel lines...didn't think it was important at the time...how naive.
Anyway the belly air intake I guess for the gun turret or engine needed covering or else i could see right up into the cockpit and turret. This was solved with some plastic card.

P4.jpgP2.jpgP3.jpg

Then with the same plastic card I covered the wheel wells and it also acted as the cockpit floor. I had to shave off a bit of the rear leading edge wing to fit snuggly with the bottom of the fuselage.

P5.jpg

I made a joystick from strip and wire and raised it on a block of plastic strip.

P6.jpg

Here you can clearly see the scribbing of the panel lines.

P7.jpg

More to come next

Cheers,
Richard
 

Jim R

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Hi Richard
Another silk purse from a sow's ear. I think this kit goes back to the 60s - Airfix just kept putting it in a new box :rolling:
Jim
 

rtfoe

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Hi Richard
Another silk purse from a sow's ear. I think this kit goes back to the 60s - Airfix just kept putting it in a new box :rolling:
Jim
Yup...you should see the undercarriage legs, they're just one stick. I knew what I was getting into as there wasn't much of a choice then. :smiling2:

I have just added the link to the finish build here.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Richard48

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Some wizadry of Scratchbuilding going on.Nicely done there of a golden oldie.
Richard
 

rtfoe

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Thanks Richard, the old gal gave quite a fight.

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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Now let's have a look at the fuselage...

This image shows my attempt at engraving the panel lines on the curved surface. The plastic was rather soft so I had to be careful not to run the needle too deep.

P8.jpg

There was nothing for the dashboard so I made up an instrument panel dials with sliced rods of different sizes and glued them on sheet plastic and cut to fit the fuselage.

P9.jpg

I don't know why I made the gunsight as the Defiant didn't have any forward firing guns.

P10.jpg

Both sides of the fuselage didn't fit and had a large step at the joint. I cut and placed sheet plastic to hide the horrible seam line for the head rest bulkhead.

P11.jpg

The soft plastic definitely made scribbing a pain.

P12.jpg

If the real plane had this much of putty it would have been too heavy to fly...

P15.jpg

Typical Airfix at the time with protrusions on either side to place the seat on and no floor. You can just make out the simple ribbing supports on the cockpit sides I made from plastic strips. I was going to pose the canopy open so should have done more.

P16.jpg

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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Speaking of open canopy, the kit comes with a full canopy so I cut it and mad a muck of the center portion and since it was made up of three flat sides I cut three flat clear sheets and replaced it. This meant that I cut off more from the center and saved the wind shield and fairing. Also the thinner clear sheets made it possible to slide over the fairing.

P19.jpg

The turret as you can see is horribly molded missing the panel frames. Masking needed planning ahead and I sculpted the gunner and his hands with the O ring to resemble the mechanism holding the .303 brownings.

P22.jpgP23.jpg

Forgot to mention the little headrest and armored shield...don't know if it had one but it looked nice. Gaps at the wingroots were plugged with plastic strip and sanded down carefully as I didn't want to loose huge rivets along the side of the wingroot.

P27.jpg

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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Ahah! Found the image showing the full canopy before cutting it. You will also notice the tapered and sharp nose which is wrong in shape. I would be rectifying that later.

P17.jpg

This is with the new cut and modified canopy. The turret clear part didn't sit well so I sanded and made a base to fit flush with the circular fairing base.

P18.jpg

Ah, yes, a clearer image of the wingroot assembly.

P20.jpg

The molding of the ailerons fell short at the ends and needed spaces from sheet plastic.

P21.jpg

Same goes for the other side as well. I cut the tail elevators and posed them down slightly.

P24.jpg

The error in the nose shape is very apparent from this angle. Even the prop hub stands proudly over the nose edge.

P25.jpg

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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Here's looking at that nose. I had to split it and push in some plastic spacers to widen the nose. On hindsight I should have puttied and widen the nose even further and then taper it at the edge towards the prop hub.

P26.jpg
P29.jpg

The other area was underneath where I had to build up the chin with putty. If I was bolder as I am now I would have made it more pronounced and enlarged the chin air scoop.

P28.jpg

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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The wheel wells were next to be improved. There wasn't any detail and had unsightly gaps inside the wings.

P29.jpg

Using two part putty I filled the gaps and flushed the sides with the contour of the well.

P31.jpg
P30.jpg

I didn't have much reference to show the large circular door leading to the turret for maintenance and re-armouring as Steve mentioned.

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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The undercarriage...this was what was given...single spindly legs. No supports or struts. I had a look at a real image of a Defiant's undercarriage and it looked more complex. And the doors were thick as slate slab stones.

P33.jpg

You'll see next what I did to it.

Cheers,
Richard
 

adt70hk

I know its a bit sad but I like quickbuild kits!!!
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Richard

Rather you than me......

Great work so far!

ATB

Andrew
 

John Race

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I enjoy these older builds you go through, glad I wasn't modelling back in the day.
 

rtfoe

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Sorry Fellas but I can't continue with this thread....so you need to look at the finished build and guess how it was done.

Richard
 

rtfoe

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Hi all, I'm continuing this as I just decided to correct the nose of the kit further so there will be another set of complete build images when it's done. With the 1/48 newer kit I used it as shape reference for the correction. Firstly lets start again with where I left off with the undercarriage.

I only used the bottom portion of the undercarriage and made up the rest with rod and plastic strip. I should have replaced the tyres but couldn't find any .

P34.jpg

Made the doors from thin plastic card sandwiching a smaller cut down size to create the edge lip. Also added center hub rings to the wheel.

P35.jpg

The undercarriage struts and supports were quite complex and I had a hard time figuring out the mechanism from photographs.

P36.jpg

I shortened the arms that held the wheels as they were too long.

P37.jpg

Even with the arms shortened the undercarriage still looked a bit high.

P38.jpg

By this time I had already glued it and it wasn't so noticeable so I left it. Tyres could have been a lot thicker.

P39.jpg

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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The kit didn't have any leading edge lights and was just some raised lines to indicate it was there...I supposed silver paint was to be colored on the spot. I wasn't going to have this so I cut out that portion on both wings and wedged in clear plastic and sanded to shape.

P40.jpg

The turret was a nightmare of smooth molded nearly clear transparency devoid of any panels for the framework. Good thing it wasn't very clear so the half body of the gunner with some bits and pieces passed off as the gun mount. They were painted in interior green although seeing one of these turrets at the AWM museum, they are basically all black inside.

P44.jpg

I calmly traced the frames on the transparency from photo reference with a sharp permanent marker then cut thin strips of masking tape and followed the tracing.

P45.jpg

Since the opening is a clam shell from the back the center line was made thicker.

P46.jpg

In the end I was quite happy with the result....could have been a bit more sharper around the bottom edges but happy still.

Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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Okay, coming to the final part before the crazy idea of deciding on altering the nose.

Primer on and forgot to take shots of the pre-shading.

P41.jpg

Camo on using the usual wriggly blu tac way of masking.

P42.jpg

After this a layer of Future varnish was sprayed and decals applied.

P43.jpg

Which brings us to this which you would have seen in the completed section...

P53.jpg

Obviously the nose area near the prop doesn't look enough like the Defiant's probosis.

P47.jpg

So today I started working on the nose adding a spacer to help guide the level and amount of putty needed to sculpt the nose. I locked it down with superglue/CA.

P54.jpg

I removed the propeller out of harms way, masked the exhausts and applied two part putty...basically Magic Sculpt.

P55.jpg

When it was semi cured I roughly sanded to an approximate shape, then wet filed. The file kept levels even and flat. Now it's been left to cure even further overnight then I'll wet sand with finer grit.

P56.jpg

Now everything is in real time and we'll see what's next tomorrow.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Jim R

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Hi Richard
Your work on the under carriage is excellent. Far better than the kit's 'sticks'. Neat painting on the gunners canopy. I would never have the nerve to tackle that nose cone alteration.
Jim
 

rtfoe

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Hey thanks Jim, I hope Airfix has taken that kit off their inventory since they have the new tooling. The 'sticks' were literally sticks...no other mechanism whatsoever. The gunners canopy is basically just mapping and pasting strips over each other and using a sharp blade to cut away any tape that has crossed the frame line. I wasn't ready for the nose alteration too at the time but now have the courage to do it.

With that this is today's accomplishments...

Sanding down further and smoothed the surface with progressive finer grits of sand paper, I masked to make ready for primer. I didn't bother to re-mask the exhaust as I figured I could paint them at the final stage with a paint brush.

P57.jpgP58.jpg

Gunze primer on and blemishes start to pop up. Shape too wasn't quite right.

P59.jpg

More sanding to get the contours right

P60.jpg

Finally I think I am satisfied with the shape, now I can scribe in the panels and replaced lost screws.

P61.jpg

Hope you like it so far. I'll let this cure and dry while I tackle the Oxford seascape.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Jim R

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Hi Richard
Looking good. A bit of a daft question :rolling: When you rescribe panel lines into filler/putty do you do it the same as scribing into plastic? Does the filler chip along the line?
Jim
 
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