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Ron Bell

Airfix 1/72 Bristol Blenheim Mk !

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This is the long overdue update of the old Airfix Blenheim. That kit was of a Mk IV, which Airfix also does now, but this one is the earlier Mk I. The fastest bomber of it's time, unfortunately it's time was in the mid 30's and it was almost obsolete when WWII came around. But as some wise guy once said, you go to war with the army you've not, not the one you want, so the Blenheim shouldered a significant part of the RAFs early war work. The kit is very nicely done in a soft grey-blue plastic. There is an adequate interior and bomb bay and the flaps can be posed up or down. I used the Big Ed PE set that really added detail to the interior, almost none of which can be seen. It also includes a set of masks for painting the glazing, and with all that glass up front, they are a big help. In the old kit, the glass parts fit was atrocious. It's much better now, but one nit to pick is that the front glazing is split left and right, so getting a good joint with no glue marks takes some care. Airfix designed the cockpit area as a separate unit that is tacked on to the front of the fuselage. In the Mk IV kit, you just get a different cockpit area and it goes in the same place. This is just how it was done on the real aircraft. One odd aspect is those external bomb racks located behind the bomb bay. Big Ed gives you PE replacements that are fiddly to assemble, add little in this scale and make attaching the bombs difficult. Witness mine being out of alignment. If I had it to do over, I'd have used the kit parts. It's a nice kit and reasonably priced. Now, if someone will just make a Mk V conversion front fuselage, you could build the entire family of Blenheims.

 

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Wow, you are quite the master. I cannot see any of the issues you mentioned except for the bombs and they don't look that bad. You have done a stunning job compensating for all the issues in this kit. Way to go Ron!

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Beautiful looking Blenheim. While it may be nice to have a "new tool" kit, was it more fun or less fun to build? :smiley2: Congrats on a great looking build!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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After wrestling with the old Airfix kit several times and losing each time, I'd say the new one wins hands down in all categories.

 

I didn't mention something I tried for the first time. I've never done any panel accenting in any form, pre or post shading or any other. I was always afraid I'd go through all the effort of pre-shading and have it not show through or do the post shading too heavily. But I decided to give a more forgiving technique a shot. After painting, decals and gloss coat, I put on a coat of flat. Then I used ordinary artists pastels applied with soft make up brushes which come is all sorts of shapes and sizes. I used some other foam make up applicators to blend them in, I could control the intensity of the color and where it was applied and if I screwed up, and I did, they were easily removed. You have to work over a flat finish as the pastels just fall off a gloss one. The full pallet of pastels is available, so I used a darker brown over the dark earth and black over the dark green. On the bottom, over the black, I used a lighter grey, but probably should have gone a little heavier as it's almost too subtle. When done, a final coat of flat sealed it all up. Doesn't look too bad for a first try.

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I was thinking that the "weathering" job looked really nice and then saw your post about the process you used. Very interesting. Thanks for the "How To"

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"Flat" out beautiful model, Ron! Love the panel weathering. I've done a similar treatment using pastels on a Hellcat, and inside cockpits instead of any liquid wash. I am liking the results. You can blend pastel chalk just like paint for an infinite variety of colors and shades. I save them in the little plastic jars I get at Hobby Lobby. Last a long time and never dry out or evaporate.

 

Rick L

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