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Andrew Godden

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Posts posted by Andrew Godden

  1. Airfix A08001 Build Log 00 - (600 x 330).jpg

    Summary

    • Description and Catalogue Number: Airfix, Avro Lancaster B Mk.II, A08001
    • Scale: 1:72
    • Contents: Five sprues, 210 parts in light grey plastic; one sprue, 29 parts in clear plastic; markings for two aircraft.
    • Comments: Excellent detail for the scale and simple to build. Various build options, including adding the ventral turret and different flap positions. Not all parts are used and some parts are common across other kits. No ordnance provided. To display the model with ordnance, the model kit, 1:72, Airfix, A05330, WWII RAF Bomber Re-Supply Set, or another suitable 3rd party aftermarket ordnance kit has to be purchased separately.

    Introduction

    "Idle hands are the devil's workshop.". So, what better way to stave off this being a reality and to keep the vibe of this model building theme alive than to start a new model build.....in between the builds of my other three current projects. The Avro Lancaster needs no introduction other than to say this kit nicely models the Mk.II variant with Bristol Hercules radial engines and includes the option for the much maligned ventral turrent. I have other Avro Lancaster model kits in 1:48 and 1:32 scale in my "stable" (stash beyond life expectancy) and I am using this 1:72 scale build to refine my skills before I embark upon those larger projects. The detail on the radial engines and landing gear bays will also provide the opportunity to employ some special effects in painting.

    The Build

    As I am consistently finding with the modern Airfix kits, the detail and quality of the parts continue to be good. Again, we start with the cockpit build which is mounted on top of the bomb bay. Based on some research, I deviated from the simplistic paint schema for the pilot position and enhanced it slightly. The benefits of thinning your paints and applying it in several coats to avoid the brushed on plaster look with a four inch paint brush and the use of effective masking and the airbrush are clearly evident in the series of photos below.

    Airfix A08001 Build Log 01 - (400 x 370).jpg  Airfix A08001 Build Log 02 - (400 x 370).jpg

    The interior build also includes the flight engineer, navigator, and radio operator stations with a nice map decal for the navigator's station and an instrument decal for the flight engineer panel. The wing spars are also added at this stage and they form the basis for the build of the landing gear bays and engine mounts for the number two and number three engines. I opted to build the model with the ventral turret and the turret ring can be seen located behind the bomb bay in the bottom right photo below.

    Airfix A08001 Build Log 03 - (400 x 300).jpg  Airfix A08001 Build Log 04 - (400 x 300).jpg

    Airfix A08001 Build Log 05 - (400 x 300).jpg  Airfix A08001 Build Log 06 - (400 x 300).jpg

    With the interior build complete, it was time to join the fuselage havles. From years past, I remember this as always being problematic on bomber builds. Advance 45 years and nothing has changed in this area. For all the other improvements in model manufacturing, bowing and warping of the fuselage halves are still the bane of modellers. Luckily, one fuselage half was reasonably straight, and with some coercing and gluing area by area, I was able to end up with a reasonable result. The final build for this stage was to add the upper wing sections.

    Airfix A08001 Build Log 07 - (400 x 300).jpg  Airfix A08001 Build Log 08 - (400 x 300).jpg

    To be continued.....

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Like 2
  2. Chris,

    Other than an obscure logo in the top right corner of the attached video, your announcement doesn't explicitly state which simulator versions the product is compatible with. With the majority of the current focus of major 3rd party development on MSFS, this can be misleading.

    I had to go to your Forum release announcement and then to your online shop before I confirmed it is only compatible with the legacy flight sims, and then only the later versions of P3D at that. I might further add that this is further contradicted by the labeling on the top of the product image which displays FSX and Dovetail logos.

    Cheers
    Andrew

     

  3. Airfix A05129 Build Log 00 - (600 x 310).jpg

    Summary

    • Description and Catalogue Number: Airfix, Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Tropical, A05129
    • Scale: 1:48
    • Contents: Four sprues, 116 parts in light grey plastic; one sprue, 11 parts in clear plastic; markings for two aircraft.
    • Comments: Good detail and simple to build. Various build options, including the option to build and display the internal detail of the gun bays with removable gun bay panels. Not all parts are used and some parts are common across other kits.

    Introduction

    Along with the Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane has been a staple model kit for Airfix for many decades. Different kits have been produced across various variants over the years with the detail and quality of the kits improving as injection moulding techniques and quality has improved. As work was progressing on my builds of the Bf 109 and Spitfire, it was fitting that I should start a build on this third iconic fighter of World War II.

    The Build

    The detail and quality of the parts looked good and the sprues were clean, consistent with what I had experienced with the other Airfix kits. The ubiquitous cockpit build is the first stage, as expected, albeit with a difference due to the design and construction of the Hurricane. A design feature of many Hawker aircraft of the era was the cockpit being built around a tubular framework resulting in a relatively simple construction and ease of manufacture which was significantly cheaper and involved less labour hours than the Spitfire. This design feature carried over from the the Hawker Fury and continued through until the last variants of the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest. This is nicely represented by Airfix in this model as can be seen from the photos.

    Airfix A05129 Build Log 01 - (400 x 310).jpg  Airfix A05129 Build Log 02 - (400 x 310).jpg

    The cockpit is then assembled onto the base of the wing, as opposed to the fuselage. There is also less detail in the general cockpit area than on other similar models, however, the cockpit opening on the Hurricane is also narrower and so any of this detail would be mostly obscured from view. The two gun bays to house the eight Browning 0.303 machine guns can be seen on the wing base. Also note the forward centre section of the wing base. This section had to be cut out to accommodate the under fuselage parts specific to the Mk.I Tropical variant.

    Airfix A05129 Build Log 03 - (400 x 310).jpg  Airfix A05129 Build Log 04 - (400 x 310).jpg

    To be continued.....

    Cheers
    Andrew

  4. Airfix A50160 Build Log 00 - (600 x 420).jpg

    Summary

    • Description and Catalogue Number: Airfix,  Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7 and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb, (Dogfight Doubles), A50160
    • Scale: 1:48
    • Contents: Bf 109E-7 - Two sprues, 98 parts in light grey plastic; one sprue, nine parts in clear plastic; markings for one aircraft. Spitfire Mk.Vb - Five sprues, 120 parts in light grey plastic; one sprue, 17 parts in clear plastic; markings for one aircraft.
    • Comments: Reasonable detail and simple to build. Kit comes with 10 small tubs of Humbrol acrylic paints, two small tubes of Humbrol Poly Cement, and two paint brushes. Various build options, not all parts are used, and some parts are obviously common across other kits. Bf 109E-7 appears to be the same model from the single aircraft kits A05120, A05120A, A05120B, A05122, and A05122A. Spitfire Mk.Vb appears to be the same model from the single aircraft kits A05125 and A05125A.

    Introduction

    Airfix have had a fluctuating reputation over the years for the overall detail and quality of their model kits. It being many years since I last touched an Airfix kit, I was somewhat looking forward to what these two aircraft models were going to reveal in terms of detail and quality. I decided early on that these two aircraft would be basic, "out of the box" builds with only minor modifications, if I so desired, and maybe the application of some basic weathering techniques during the final stages. Either way, one thing I was sure about was the builds were going to be typically Airfix simple. Let's be fair though, many a young and old new modeller alike have cut their modelling teeth on what has been the beginners "go to" brand of choice since the 1950s/1960s - though this has probably changed with the large expansion of model kit manufacturers.

    The Build - Spitfire Mk.Vb

    I chose to start with the Spitfire Mk.Vb as it appeared to have more detail than the Bf 109E-7 and was the more recent of the single aircraft kits. A review of the build instructions confirmed the expected simple build and with minor build options. A review of the build instructions for the aforementioned single aircraft Spitfire Mk.Vb kits (I was able to access them on the Scalemates scale modelling database web site) revealed that the cockpit paint schema had been simplified, obviously to reduce the number of supplied paints. This wasn't an issue as I had already begun to research the cockpit on the internet with the intention of making enhancements to the painting schema. The detail and quality of the parts looked good and the sprues looked clean.

    Airfix A50160 Build Log 1 - (400 x 269).jpg  Airfix A50160 Build Log 2 - (400 x 269).jpg

    As usual, the build starts with the cockpit interior, which is built as a series of sub assemblies inside an inner shell. The detail and quality is quite good but oh the agony of the detail I force upon myself in ensuring parts are clean and prepared to the level of my satisfaction. Then, just when I thought I was satisfied, I would see something days later and do more and know I could still do more. :faint: The cockpit build is at final sub assembly stage, notwithstanding the application of the instrument panel decal - can't ever remember having them back in the 1970s, final fit testing/adjustment, and minor touch-up painting. Note the flight controls sub assembly and the rudder pedals where the gap between the two foot blocks was enclosed at the rear but has been drilled and filed out on each rudder pedal to better represent what they are really like. I'd forgotten how slow the cockpit build stage progresses, exacerbated by my level of attention to detail and satisfaction. This stage was also my first foray into airbrushing and I continue to learn with every session.

    Airfix A50160 Build Log 3 - (400 x 269).jpg  Airfix A50160 Build Log 4 - (400 x 269).jpg

    The final assembly of the cockpit led to quick progress on the preparation and assembly of the wings and fuselage. The model was starting to take shape and I was satisfied with the results thus far. The final part in the assembly of the main fuselage, a single piece incorporating the forward fuel tank cowl and forward sides and front of the cockpit, was a poor fit, as can be seen from the application of plastic putty to fill the gap. You will also note the cutaway section for the side door as I intend to display the model with the canopy and door in the open position.

    Airfix A50160 Build Log 5 - (400 x 310).jpg  Airfix A50160 Build Log 6 - (400 x 310).jpg

    Airfix A50160 Build Log 7 - (400 x 310).jpg  Airfix A50160 Build Log 08 - (400 x 310).jpg

    I always have multiple projects in progress at once and modelling is no different - it was time to start on the Bf 109E-7. My logic with having multiple builds in progress in modelling is that it is easier to batch the airbrushing of the large external surface areas of the models at the same time. It also covers periods of downtime on a model whilst waiting for glue/paint to dry and also adds some variety which counters getting bogged down on one model.

    The Build - Bf 109E-7

    On reviewing the build instructions for the Bf 109E-7, it confirmed a similar simple build process as the Spitfire, again with minor build options and a simplified paint schema. I had already done my research and downloaded a copy of build instructions for the single aircraft kits which have a more comprehensive paint schema. Sprue and parts quality was similarly good. Starting with the ubiquitous cockpit build, this was a lot simpler than the Spitfire, using a method commonly seen in smaller 1:72 scale models. Progress was a lot quicker than the Spitfire, not only for the simpler build but also because I had started to reacquire the routine and rhythm for modelling that I had lost over the years.

    Airfix A50160 Build Log 09 - (400 x 310).jpg  Airfix A50160 Build Log 10 - (400 x 310).jpg

    To be continued.....

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Like 3
  5. What have I done...or got myself into? :woot: Decisions, decisions, and even more decisions!!! :gaah: I blame myself and my OCD, though I cannot be sure if it is the real version or just the Hollywood version...which up until a few years ago, I never knew there was a difference. :stars:

    OK, so the 1:48 scale Airfix kit I received from my daughter somewhat set the baseline for my decisions on scale. My first self imposed rule, therefore, was that I decided 1:48 scale was a good scale for fighters and the old venerable 1:72 scale would be good for bombers or larger aircraft, generally. My logic was that this was a nice compromise between detail and size, the latter of which I knew was going to become a problem with space as my expected new addiction would grow. Furthermore, 1:48 scale seems to have become the default standard these days with the improvement in mould quality and quite an extensive selection of aftermarket kits being available. Any armoured vehicle kits which grabbed my attention would obviously be in 1:35 scale. There would be some exceptions to this as there are some specific  subjects I want to do as special projects in larger scales.

    The modeller is spoilt for choice in the 21st Century, with a large range of companies now producing a huge range of model and aftermarket kits on all manner of subjects. I decided to base my aircraft kit choices around Airfix, Eduard, Tamiya, and Trumpeter. These four provide great coverage and choice of my main interest areas in the chosen scales, with a generally good reputation for accuracy, detail, and quality. I decided that Airfix would the focus of my early builds whilst I honed my skills. They are relatively inexpensive and simple to build, whilst still having reasonable detail, and if I make mistakes beyond resurrection, I have lost naught for the experience gained. Eduard and Trumpeter produce some exceptional model kits and have probably become the "go to" kits for high quality and these will be the kits I progress up to.

    Advance two weeks in time.

    The internet is evil!!! Among other things, it provides a seemingly endless catalogue of model kits, though the current COVID-19 pandemic is certainly impacting on the supply chain and availability. I also discovered that kits come and go relatively quickly depending on production runs and this is particularly so of older and/or popular kits. Consequently, I have now incurred the national debt of a typical, small, 3rd world, African country in purchasing even more model kits on the premise of availability and the "get it whilst I can" approach. This has led to a "stash" or "STABLE" (which stands for STAsh Beyond Life Expectancy) and is something that is common amongst modellers. This I know from my brother, an avid modeller, who has built up a stash which totally fills a 12 foot wide, floor to ceiling wardrobe and then some. After a conversation with him, he revealed he was divesting himself of kits he no longer had an interest in...lucky me!!! That added another 16 kits to my stash and he still has others to identify for offering up.

    Remember my first self imposed Rule on scale...yeah, well you can totally forget about that. :rofl:

    As a result of purchases and my brother, I now have an extensive stash of 1:24 and 1:32 scale kits, mainly fighters, but including an Airfix 1:24 scale De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk.II/FB Mk.VI (courtesy of my brother), Tamiya 1:32 scale De Havilland Mosquito FB Mk.VI (which I had purchased before talking to my brother) and a Hong Kong Models 1:32 scale Avro Lancaster B Mk.I (for which I have no excuse except, "why not", "I wanted it", and "because I can". :faint: The Hong Kong Models Lancaster is renowned for being the best Lancaster kit on the market. The haul from my brother also included eight WWII armoured vehicles (three tanks, three tank destroyers, and two German half tracks with towed guns), and the Airfix 25th anniversary Apollo - Saturn V kit.

    Apparently, they tell me I am into flight simming!!! :blink2:

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1
  6. A 21 yr military career where I was moving every two yrs followed by a 10 yr career as a senior executive was never conducive to model building. Now I have the time and the patience that comes with age to be very meticulous. In fact, my professional life was characterised by exacting standards and attention to detail and I'm finding these skills have transferred to my model building as second nature. Another thing from my professional life which holds true in model building is a variation of an original quote by the German Field Marshall, Erwin Rommel, "Time spent in planning is seldom wasted!". As a result, I can spend hours planning, preparing, trimming, and cleaning up parts before I'm ready to glue or paint them.

    Accuracy of the model is also something I like to focus on, at least within the scope of my current skill range. The 1/48 scale Airfix Spitfire Mk.Vb I am currently building is a prime example. The rudder pedals were just wrong as the gap between the two foot blocks was enclosed at the rear. This wasn't just flashing from the mould, the Airfix model was designed that way. Suffice to say, I spent some time drilling and filing out the space on each rudder pedal that was about 2mm square.....and will be barely visible once it is enclosed in the cockpit. This is a simple thing but I would have known it was there if I didn't do something to correct the accuracy.

    I hope to be posting the start of the build blog on the 1/48 scale Airfix Spitfire Mk.Vb within the next week.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Like 1
  7. And now for something completely different!

    Having had the luxury of retiring at the age 47, it's been over 11 years now. Flight simming, other PC based gaming passions, researching, and writing have filled the hours nicely in that time and continue to do the same. So, why do I need to revisit a hobby I last engaged in back in the 1970's - you may well ask! Well, I blame my children, both of them.

    About seven years ago, my daughter presented me with an Airfix 1:48 scale plastic model kit as a present for my birthday. Of course, she wasn't sure if I would even like it, but unbeknown to her, her choice of subject couldn't have been more perfect - WWII fighters. In this case it was one of the Airfix Dogfight Doubles series and included two models, a Messerschmitt Bf109E-7 and a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb. I assured my daughter her present was perfect, and that I was going to spend the time and do the models justice. More on that later. Now, my son (a serving member of the RAAF) has been building plastic model aircraft kits (and other kits) for years, even doing some as presentation gifts for departing members from his squadron. His model building skill levels are advanced and, combined with his airbrushing skills, he uses techniques for fine detail and finishes which I can only aspire to. Some four years ago, he started building wooden model ships, and he piqued my interest in a subset of the model building hobby that I had wanted to explore since my teenage years - but that's an entirely separate story. A year ago, my son brought to my attention, the release of a then new Napoleonic era tabletop miniature sailing wargame in 1:700 scale. This subsequently led to the early beginnings of my return to model building and many purchases of kits for the game as well as the separate and larger wooden ship kits ensued. Soon I realised I was at that juncture where I finally needed to invest in a large inventory of paints and, therefore, an airbrush and compressor to undertake my endeavours with the level of quality I aspired to.

    Insert a pause here caused by natural procrastination followed by a fellow member and good friend of the Mutley's Hangar Crew indicating he wanted to build a large scale plastic kit of the Avro Lancaster. This led to seeking advice for both of us from my son on airbrush and compressor needs and the final purchase of said equipment.

    Now, there is an old boatie cliche, "A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into!". I can assure you that in the 21st century, the same can be said about the hobby of model building. :stars: In a flurry of a week of purchases, including more plastic aircraft model kits...because one project at a time is never enough...I have now embarked upon rekindling that old hobby. On financial commitment alone, I have committed beyond the point of no return, so there is no going back from here. Of course, the Airfix kit my daughter gave me is the priority build, but others are also in the early stages of planning and preparation. Even after a week, I can say it has been a welcome change away from the PC...although, not entirely...because one still must fly. :pilotic:

    Join me on my journey as I post build blogs here on the various kits.

    Cheers
    Andrew

     

     

    • Like 4
  8. On 11/12/2020 at 09:52, brett said:

    The man was a true hero to us kids growing up way back when and to think he broke the sound barrier eleven years before I was even born. :salute: R.I.P

    Q Andrew- Is 'Vale' a nickname or tribute of some sort because I thought his first name was Charles?

    Brett,

    "Vale" is obviously not in common use in the USA as it is in Australia/elsewhere. It is Latin for farewell and is often used in an orbituary.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  9. These two links below provide some excellent guidance on how to optimise the settings in MSFS for performance without compromising the experience. The second link specifically provides interesting information and detailed analysis of each of the graphics setting. This link was previously posted in another thread and is reposted here due to the similarity of the content.

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2020-flight-simulator-optimised-settings-for-next-gen-experience

    https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/how-to-graphics-settings-and-performance-guide-8-18-2020/132407

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Thanks 1
  10. 1 hour ago, jaydor said:

    Andrew, It's good to see you have gone to the trouble of showing us that the video maker is more at fault than the Carenado model.  The problem is we live in a media driven world where people find it easy to start a video channel.  They then become obsessed with number of followers which bring in money for them.  Then the super ego kicks in and they become convinced they are an expert.  Thank you for being diligent in fact finding that the model is OK.  I have it in X-Plane and had it in FSX, so the logic was to get it for 2020, but sadly I succumbed to the influence of the video and that's why I posted to the forum.  Thank you.. 

    Jaydor,

    I merely seek the truth by challenging what is presented, where necessary, so that a better balanced and more accurate assessment of something is presented. I note that Q8Pilot, (real name Osamah Alabdullah) is a noted content creator and has quite a profile in the flight sim community, and particularly with X-Plane. His stated aim for his Carenado Cessna182T Skylane review was "...to provide you with sufficient insight and information to decide if this Carenado CT182T is worth the investment or not...". 

    On the simple basis of the points I raise, he has even failed to achieve this aim! It is obvious that content creation and comprehensive, analytical reviews are not necessarily one in the same.

    Cheers
    Andrew

     

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  11. Further Testing. Never one to just accept something as a given or to make unsubstantiated claims, I have conducted further testing of the Carenado Cessna 182T Skylane which unfortunately exposes an additional lack of detail in this YouTube review.

    Let's first look at the reviewer's failures in start procedures:

    1. Differ significantly from those of the default Cessna 172 G1000 (a similar aircraft),
    2. Fuel Tanks not switched on,
    3. Standby Battery not switched to arm, and
    4. Fuel Pump not switched on.

    Whilst identifying the "cold and dark" start issue, and then raising questions about its validity on the basis of other videos, he fails to explore and/or state what, if anything, he did to explore the issue beyond what he merely demonstrated. This is a classic case of simply presenting a problem without analysis. The reviewer has failed to identify that the "cold and dark" start issue only occurs if the Carenado Cessna 182T Skylane is the first aircraft chosen after first start up of MSFS. If the aircraft is chosen after having flown other aircraft, the issue does not exist.

    NOTE. When correct procedures are followed for the start up of the aircraft, there is no issue. Having said that, my further testing revealed this to be intermittent and, therefore, more likely to be MSFS based and not the fault of Carenado or the model, as previously highlighted.

    As stated previously, I have encountered this issue with some default aircraft and my testing continues to identify and attempt to replicate the issue.

    The review makes no real mention of the performance of the aircraft other than the control sensitivity. With the flight controls of every aircraft, default or add-on, and every flight controller being completely different, this is superficial, to say the least.

    For someone who credits himself on his YouTube channel as being a "Virtual Captain", whatever that means (maybe it has something to do with a specified number of hours on VATSIM), the reviewer's lack of thoroughness, glaring errors and simple, if any, analysis, undermines his supposed credentials and the validity of this review.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  12. Is this guy serious!!!

    The issues with his review:

    • claims to review it thoroughly yet misses the obvious fault with the camera view settings...a minor camera.cfg error, by the way;
    • fails to acknowledge the "cold and dark" engine start is also a problem with some default aircraft, therefore, not necessarily Carenado's or the model's fault;
    • ignores the simple fact that flight simmers may want a Cessna 182T Skylane, so stating it has nothing over the default Cessnas is nonsensical and totally subjective;
    • the control sensitivity is also evident in other default aircraft, so he has either never flown them or has not done enough to adjust his controller sensitivities;
    • criticises the lack of static elements feature without stating whether MSFS supports this...he probably doesn't know;
    • his views on price ignores value for money considerations and with a current lack of any other 3rd party add-on aircraft, what is he comparing it to...a totally subjective assessment;
    • price is a totally individual subjective consideration, because it more often relates to the purchaser's personal desire and ability to afford, not the price of the product;
    • totally ignores the fact that there has never been a 3rd party add-on aircraft in legacy sims that was perfect on initial release, so why should this be different to expectations in MSFS;
    • whilst Carenado are not the best at patches and updates, they do generally release an update patch within four weeks of release (based on legacy sim experience) and this is not acknowledged; and
    • his poor piloting skills in failing to steer the aircraft on the landing roll out and he blames the model!!!!! :faint:

    I have been flying this aircraft regularly since MSFS Release Day 1, and this aircraft is a great add-on and choice for those looking for a broader range of GA aircraft than that provided in MSFS, particularly the Standard Edition, for those simply wanting a Cessna 182T Skylane, or an aircraft with better performance characteristics than the default Cessna 172. It flies and handles nicely and whilst it is not without its issues, these are either not necessarily the fault of Carenado or the model and are minor and not the show stoppers he chooses to present them as.

    Maybe he should spend less time on flashy videos and more time on actually getting "under the hood" of aircraft he reviews. :cool:

    EDIT. It is also worth noting that after praising the exterior and interior visual quality and other minor animations not available in default MSFS aircraft, he makes no mention of these in his summary and only focuses on the negative points of his review.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • Like 4
    • Sad 2
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