1/72 scale kits of Jet Provost and Strikemaster family modelling the NEW AIRFIX KIT
review / modelling report
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|Airfix had issued many years
a kit of the Jet Provost T.3 kit #01029. But in September 2016 Airfix
came with a brand new kit made from much better moulds of again a Hunting
Percival Jet Provost T3 (kit no #A02103).
The kit has very light blue plastic with fine engraved panel lines. Some panels are raised and overall surface details looks good. Instructions show in colour the various assemblies. The colours for the details are indicated only with numbers by Airfix in the instructions but no colours described. This is a bit unclear. Colour "85" seems to be semi-gloss black, "33" is black, "56" is aluminium, "11" is Silver.
For the smaller markings a separate
paper sheet shows their locations.
(NOTE: I later found out that the central hood frame is not on the outside in the glass but runs below the glass).
The landing gear is small and on this kit can be set lowered or closed with a few extra doors provided. The inner gear doors are moulded closed which is correct for also a parked Jet Provost. But the main gear bays are undeep. The low pressure tyres have flattened areas which I think are a bit overdone but I used these nevertheless. Each main gear leg and outside door is one part but looks fine.
The 3 tiny trim tab control rods (left side rudder, upper left side elevator, lower right elevator) are moulded on the parts. I elected to shave them off and add later on tiny rods from thin wire.
There is strangely no exhaust pipe in the kit.
It was decided to make this second
scheme as in the kit and do a rather straight forward build.
The new Airfix kit assembly is rather simple and there are not a lot of parts. The main lower wing is a single part which is good as it ensures correct wing dihedral. But before starting assembly, I removed the moulded inner gear bay floors and made the moulded closed inner doors thinner on their insides of the lower wing #B05. In the upper wing halves, at the gear bay roof some lines were inscribed to suggest detail.
The fuselage was assembled first. The nose needs a lot of weight to prevent tail sitting. Ensure you put enough here!
Next, inside the fuselage I blanked off the deep exhaust area and painted it black inside.
The lower wing was set in place (after
the bays were deepened, see above). Next the upper wing halves were fitted.
But the upper wing-fuselage joints need no filler so nicely the raised
detail is kept.
The single piece horizontal tail plane
#B12 needs some carefull alignment, I had to remove a slice of plastic
in the slot to get a perfect horizontal fit. Some filler was needed as
well at the tailplane joints and at the exhaust section #A14 when installed.
Also some filler was strangely needed on the vertical tail leading edge
and fillet but may be I should have sanded it smoother inside.
The picked RAF no. 2 flying school
scheme is very nice. This required the model to get an overall BSC381C
Light aircraft grey 627 coat. I airbrushed Gunze Sangyo #332 acrylic
which is the correct colour.
To ensure a good decal application, first the model got a few airbrushed layers with American Johnson FUTURE varnish (with the usual technique).
I used this technique to get them on to this model:
I started with the upper wing leading edge decals #64 and #65. These are mose "critical'. These decals should be "folded around the wing leading edge", a daring exercise!
I first brushed a coat of FUTURE varnish on the upper and lower wing leading edge (thus not the entire wing!). This coat was left to dry for say 2 minutes.
The first bright decal was set in
water and when loose than sliced CAREFULLY on the upper leading edge. The
FUTURE below is now a bit sticky and helps to fix the decal on top and
keep it in place. (It protrudes as the lower section is not yet fixed).
With the finger the decals was bended starting from the inside to stick on the lower leading area; this areas already had gotten a FUTURE sticky coat so the decal indeed sticked. Ensure the decal does not stick to your finger but to the model....
NOTE THAT THE DECAL TENDS TO BREAK UP IN SOME SPOTS. But I managed to get it done. With the brush stick, the decal was rubbed flat and kept to dry.
The other side of the wing leading edge was done in a similar way. When this was done, the difficult parts have been done. No fears for the rest of the model!
The large nose decals #32, 33 were
"cut in" to pursuade them to fit better.
The overall decalling was the biggest challenge and took me 3 hours.
After the decals dried, the model
got a final coat of Johnson Clear/ Pledge using the usual
technique. Simple hold a piece of paper in front of the mat black anti-glare
area when airbrushing the clear coat.
The wind screen, hood and rear glass section frames were hand painted BSC 627. The glass work fits well and was fixed in place with some white glue. Inside the hood leading edge, I installed 2 very small rear viewing mirrors made from thin foil.
NOTE: I later found out that the raised central hood frame is not on the outside in the glass but runs below the glass. Removing the moulded central frame can be done wat carefull sanding followed by polishing. Finally paint the central frame INSIDE with a paint brush. (this will be done on future Airfix T3 models made).
At the nose I added a few silver spots with a tooth pick for the the landing lights. I had some difficulty to see where the anti-collision lights were situated on the real Jet Provost. There is one at the rear fuselage end but I was unsure about the wing tip lights. None were found on photos. The wing tip fuel tank tips are black and I think these tanks contain no lights themselves. So unclear here.
The 2 small antennas on top and on
the belly colours vary a bit between real aircraft. I kept them grey as
per instructions, b/w photos only being available.
That completed the model in just an
overall 10 hours. The model looks even greater than anticipated and was
a pleasure to build.
NOTE: I routinely installed 2 gun sights on the top instrument coaming, but this was wrong. This is not a Strikemaster but the Jet Provost that was an unarmed trainer. (I removed them but in some model photos still seen installed).
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Created this page
October 1, 2016