1/72 Airfix Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by dirkpitt289, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    History

    When Britain went to war in 1939 the Bristol Blenheim was undoubtedly the most important aircraft in the inventory of the Royal Air Force. The Blenheim was built in vast numbers and set new standards in performance. It was issued to every RAF Command, including Bomber, Night Fighter and Coastal Commands. The introduction of the type heralded the adoption of many new production techniques. The all-metal monocoque structure and complex internal systems were at the leading edge of the technology of the day.

    During the opening encounters of the war the Blenheims flaws were brutally exposed by enemy fighters and flak. Casualty rates were alarmingly high and only the dedication and courage of the crews that flew them enabled operations to continue. A total of three Victoria Crosses, Britains highest recognition for bravery was awarded to Blenheim crewmen. Frequently overlooked, the contribution of the Blenheim can not be ignored. Despite its inadequacies, it was the only British bomber capable of offensive daylight operations until the introduction of the de Havilland Mosquito. Blenheim squadrons served in every theatre of the war and chalked up many historic firsts. They pioneered many of the techniques of modern aerial warfare such as airborne radar interception.

    A Canadian-built variant of the Blenheim named the Bolingbroke was used as an anti-submarine and training aircraft.

    Specifications (Blenheim Mk IV):
    Engines: Two 905-hp Bristol Mercury XV radial piston engines
    Weight: Empty 9,790 lbs., Max Takeoff 14,400 lbs.
    Wing Span: 56ft. 4in.
    Length: 42ft. 7in.
    Height: 9ft. 10in.
    Performance:
    Maximum Speed: 266 mph
    Cruising Speed: 198 mph
    Ceiling: 27,260 ft.
    Range: 1,460 miles
    Armament: Three 7.7-mm (0.303-inch) machine guns, plus up to 1,000 pounds of bombs internally and 320 pounds externally.

    Number Built: 4,422

    Number Still Airworthy: One

    The Kit:

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    This kit seems to follow suit to what little I've seen of Airfix kits. Lots of flash, thick clunky parts, and parts that are virtually welded to the spree trees. I have to admit I like the detail to the surface of the aircraft with the rivets and such. Its a shame that a lot of it will be lost when it comes time to sand the filler that this will undoubtedly need.

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    Like most of us I like to start with the cockpit. Is it just me or is this seat as excited as me to get started? :lol:
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    The instrument panel
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    Adding gauges to the back of the exposed instrument panel.
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    The bombardier/ Navigators seat will have to go. They sat on a retractable stool that stowed away under the Nav table. This looks more like a folding jump seat from an old Toyota crew cab pickup truck.
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    The Navigators map table will also have to go. Its Drummel time!
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    It's almost like the seat was never there
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    I left a small lip of the original table to give the new table something to attach to.
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    Now here is where it gets interesting. On the real Blenheim's the cockpit was a multi-level compartment with the pilot sitting high and the Bombardier/ Navigator dropping down to the nose to do his part. The model had it all on the same level. I'm going to attempt to change this.

    I started by making a new attaching point for the flight deck.
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    The deck was then cut to match what the actual Blenheim's had.
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    Rib work
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    From what I found online the kit seat didn't look right to me for the pilot. To remedy this I stole a spare seat from one of my Academy B-17s. Cut the legs off, trimmed down the seat back and added arm rests. In the end it was closer to a seat I saw in a picture of a Blenheim.
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    Next I added a wall between the pilot and the bombardier table which was made from some evergreen styrene.
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    Painting the Blenheim cockpit
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    I added the fuel control box the the bulkhead
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    Next I added the control column and the seats. The pilots seat cushion is a bit shiny for me so I will attempt to tone it down with some flat cote. I also added the map box to the navigators table.
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    Next up will be the retracting stool that the Bombardier/ Navigator uses at the table and maybe some seat belts.

    Till then thanks for looking.
     
  2. kgambit

    kgambit Active Member

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    Great start Dirk. :)
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  4. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  5. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    You really like to keep yourself busy Dirk. Counting the Group Build, how many modeling projects do you have running in parallel? :)

    Anyway, good start mate. Looking forward to see progress on this one.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Ah heck Dirk, if I'd known you had this kit I could have sent you a detailed article showing the corrections, detail features, scale plans and a cutaway!
    Maybe this will help, if it's not too late. It's the cockpit of Duxford's Blenheim, which was the only flying example, until it's second crash a few years back! It's now being re-built, again, this time as a Mk1 fighter variant.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for the kind words. Terry thanks for the pictures. I have most of them and some others. I'll see if I can post them later. It may not be totally accurate to the actual aircraft but its a heck of a lot closer then Airfix got it.

    Igor, in regards to your question I have about 7 running builds going right now. That doesn't include the HMT Olympic I keep promising myself I'd get back to.

    I made a little more progress on the Blenburgher (early Blenheim nickname) tonight but not much. I divided some time to the Me262 Delaney and a little time on the Typhoon for the GB.

    History
    The night fighter version, the Blenheim IF, was equipped with a special under-fuselage pack that housed four machine guns, and an airborne interception radar. It was a Blenheim IF that made the first radar-assisted kill of the war in July of 1940. The Blenheim would also become the first aircraft to make reconnaissance and bombing raids into Germany during the opening stages of the war in the west. The Blenheim Mk IV would equip 70 squadrons at its height of popularity, and continue to serve in the Middle and Far East until the last years of the war. A Blenheim Mk V was also built, with extra armor and weapons, but the same engines. This meant it was an extremely slow aircraft and after serious losses in Italy, it was withdrawn from service.

    The Model

    Continuing the cockpit with work on the navigators stool.
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    The fuselage is all closed up now and after the glue cures the filling will begin.
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  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Hey Dirk, quite a challenge you got there...good work so far mate!:D
     
  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Looking good so far!
     
  10. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    The next big task for this one after I close up the fuselage is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. That be cutting back the length of the top engine nacelles to the proper spot on the wings and fattening them up. The kit nacelles are to lean and long.
     
  11. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Looking good, this is another great aircraft that usually gets a bum rap.

    Watching your build with interest.


    Darryl
     
  12. Bullo Loris

    Bullo Loris Member

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    Really good start mate but you finished this plame?, i think for 1/72 kits it's not necessary make all the interior with the cockpit close for the 1/48 kits it's necessary because the plane is big...it's only my opinion...

    Regards.
     
  13. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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  14. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Nope, not done yet. I just closed the fuselage up over the weekend and now the argues task of filling and sanding has begun. I know you "don't have to" do this kind of detail but to me its fun. Not only have I honed my skills a bit I think I did something with this kit that hasn't been done before.

    Thanks for looking

    Thank you to you to Harrison. By the way I can't wait to see the next steps of your Ju52.
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  16. Bullo Loris

    Bullo Loris Member

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    note I m an Airfix fan but this plane its better the old Matchbox kit, I will post pictures of my Blenheim kit, you made a really good work with fusolage and cockpit! :eek:

    Regards.
     
  17. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I look forward to seeing yours.

    I haven't forgotten about this I just haven't found the right material to build up the engine nacelles yet. I think I read that you can you automotive body filler but seeing as I work in a basement with no ventilation the fumes are an issue.
     
  18. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    It took me a while but I decided on Coastal Command Blenheim. I'm going to use the kit decals providing they don't disintegrate when they hit the water. Its the color scheme I'm going for as opposed to an actual aircraft.

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    The Process begins with the Primer

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    Bottom color

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    Top coat of Medium Sea Gray

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    Applying the masks for the Dark Green

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    Installing the guide rails for the pilots hatch

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    One two 920 hp Bristol Mercury XX engines

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    The Dark Green in place

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    Thanks for taking the time to look at my project.
     
  19. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great work Dirk!
     
  20. tonyb

    tonyb Member

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    Fantastic work Dirk,really enjoying seeing this come together.
    Cheers,
    Tony.
     
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