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Airfix Bristol Blenheim Mk. IF 1/48

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  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Airfix Bristol Blenheim Mk. IF 1/48
Posted by Aggieman on Sunday, August 9, 2020 4:43 PM

My latest build is in the books, this being Airfix's wonderful Bristol Blenheim.

My experience with Airfix has been rather limited, with only one previous kit that I built from them.  That was, curiously, another British warbird, the gigantic 1/24 Mosquito.  I remember that kit being a bear to build, not because it was poorly manufacturered, but because it had more parts than any kit I'd ever before put together.  That one wore me down, and I actually had to take a break from the hobby for a short time.

Not so with the Blenheim.  Even in 1/48, this warbird is pretty small for a twin-engine airframe, coming it at roughly the same size, in terms of build size, as a P-47.  It's certainly smaller than a P-38 or the Mosquito.  But I guess that means it will fit in the display case more readily.

This is a really well manufactured kit.  I had only two difficult spots, one of which was 100% on me, and the other was most likely the kit. 

The first of these came with one of the engines.  I failed to pay close attention to how the engine itself mounts to the nacelle, and consequently installed it into the cowling ring in the wrong position.  Had I used the kit's mounting stub for the engine, the exhaust pipes would have been on top of the nacelle rather than beneath.  To get around this, I drilled holes in the back of the engine and in front of the nacelle to which the engine mounts, inserted a short length of sprue, and used that as the mounting mechanism.  But, there are two intakes inside the engine compartment that should be on the outer side of the engine when properly mounted, as in the opposite engine, but these intakes are on the upper inboard side of the engine.

The second issue, that I think is probably the result of kit engineering, is how the canopy is installed.  There are two primary pieces, one for each side of the big windscreen.  There is little to no tolerance for sliding the parts into position easily.  When I finally did get them mounted to the fuselage, they literally did not want to meet at the forward point.  I ended up applying pressure with my wood-working clamps, and eventually achieved a satisfactory join.

Paints for the exterior are AK Interactive Real Colors for the top side, Vallejo for the underside.  I had a lull in my construction to await a shipment including the gun metal needed for the cowling rings, and the paint masks and PE belts (quite visible through all that glass up front).

Decals are from the kit and they worked perfectly.  Weathering is a mix of Flory dark dirt wash, ground up pastels, and thinned neutral gray paint sprayed at very low PSI.

Now I have to take a break.  It has become unbearable hot here in SE Texas, and with no A/C in my workshop, I come back inside in need of a shower.  Even as a Texas native, this is a bit much for me.

Next up, once I get back to the bench, will be a trip to a galaxy far, far away with Bandai's lighted B-Wing starfighter.  (Couldn't really start it now anyway, as I needed some paint for this one).

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, August 10, 2020 12:31 AM

Looks very nice, Stephen.  I like this version of the Blenheim better than the later version.  I suspect my Special Hobby kit will have more issues than you found with the new Airfix kit.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Monday, August 10, 2020 5:00 AM
That looks great. Your weathering looks good for a used but not abused aircraft

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, August 10, 2020 9:03 AM

Nice job.  I'll have to pick this kit up based on your review.  Great looking airplane

Thanks,

John

Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Monday, August 10, 2020 9:21 AM

Nice job with the shading awesome job.

  

Nick.

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Monday, August 10, 2020 10:06 AM

Fantastic work on a subject we don't see too often. Well done!

BK

On the bench: Alot !

On Deck: Alot more !

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Monday, August 10, 2020 8:51 PM

jeaton01

Looks very nice, Stephen.  I like this version of the Blenheim better than the later version.  I suspect my Special Hobby kit will have more issues than you found with the new Airfix kit.

 

Thank you John.

My experience with Special Hobby kits has been okay, but they tend to require a good bit more effort to get together.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Monday, August 10, 2020 8:54 PM

tempestjohnny
That looks great. Your weathering looks good for a used but not abused aircraft
 

Thanks Tempest.  I have often enough overdone weathering, so I'm happy to read this compliment as it's exactly what I was shooting for.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Monday, August 10, 2020 8:56 PM

keavdog

Nice job.  I'll have to pick this kit up based on your review.  Great looking airplane

 

Thanks John.  Enjoy, it's a great kit.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Monday, August 10, 2020 8:56 PM

crown r n7

Nice job with the shading awesome job.

 

Thanks Nick.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Monday, August 10, 2020 8:58 PM

BrandonK

Fantastic work on a subject we don't see too often. Well done!

BK

 

Thank you Brandon.

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 4:16 PM

Mighty fine build there Aggieman. =] Well executed and the paint and finish certainly look the part.

On the bench:  

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 5:48 PM

Tougher than I am (or was) this is not a pleasant time for the Brazos County climate.  And our present heatwave will not help at alll.

So, excellent work on the Blen.  Heat and all.

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 8:39 PM
Great work. Nice job. I hear you guys about the heat. The South Louisiana heat and humidity has seriously put a damper on my bench time. I can’t wait for fall.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Tamiya 1/700 HMS Nelson

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:18 PM

bvallot

Mighty fine build there Aggieman. =] Well executed and the paint and finish certainly look the part.

 

Thank you for your kind words, bvallot!

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:20 PM

CapnMac82

Tougher than I am (or was) this is not a pleasant time for the Brazos County climate.  And our present heatwave will not help at alll.

So, excellent work on the Blen.  Heat and all.

 

Thanks for your kind words Cap!  I'm a native Texan, so this heat is nothing I haven't experienced before, but I guess I'm getting older now and less able to just deal with it.  Waited until 6 tonight to start cutting the grass, when typically I'd be finishing up by that time.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:24 PM

Chemteacher
Great work. Nice job. I hear you guys about the heat. The South Louisiana heat and humidity has seriously put a damper on my bench time. I can’t wait for fall.
 

Thanks Chemteacher!  We have that same heat and humidity here, just a short hop down I-10 from where you are.  I've been working all summer in my workshop, which is not air conditioned but I do keep a few fans out there blowing all the hot air around.  I'm waiting on a shipment of paint for my next build, but will try to push back my start on that one until September (if I can).

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:03 PM

I have an air conditioner in my workshop and I'll need it the next 5 or 6 days.  Going to be 105-107 and only cooling to the mid 70's at night here in northern California.  We get a spell like this every few years.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Thursday, August 13, 2020 10:35 AM

She sure looks the business!

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/144 Revell Snowberry

On deck: 1/48 Tamiya Fw 190A4

In the hole: 1/48 Hasegawa Fw 190A4

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