Movie Double Bill.

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Airframes, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Part One - Big Breasted Movie Star !

    No, not Angolina Jolie, but the Hispano HA-1112 'Buchon' !
    In an effort to regain some sanity after working on the Buccaneer, and before getting down to some serious work for the BoB GB, I thought I'd make a start on a little Battle of Britain project with a slight difference.
    I've long wanted to model some of the aircraft which appeared in the movie 'Battle of Britain', released in 1969, and filmed over a period from 1968, and thought that, if only for the fact that so many historic aircraft were brought together, beginning the 'Warbird' movement as we now know it, it was a worthwhile project.
    I did actually convert an Airfix 1/72nd scale '109 to a movie 'Buchon', back in 1969, and started, but never finished, a similar model in 1/48th scale about 20 years ago, and since then I've completed a lot of research into the aircraft used, how they were altered, and what roles they played in the movie.
    In this case, I aim to produce two accurate 1/48th scale models, one of the 'Buchon', and another representing one of the airworthy Spitfires, and hope to pass on a little background information on the way.

    The task of finding suitable aircraft for this ambitious movie was given to (retired) Group Captain Hamish Mahadiie, a former Mosquito pilot during WW2, who had already been involved in movie work, obtaining the Mosquitos for '633 Squadron', among other productions.
    He was able to gather together an astonishing number of aircraft, some near-derelict, some from museums and former 'gate guardians', most of which were made airworthy, or at least able to taxy, which resulted in the World's 35th largest air force !
    The use of many full-size mock-up is well known, so I won't touch on these here, and the story behind the Spitfires will be covered in the relevant posts.

    The 'Messerschmitts' for the movie were obtained from Spain, where the Spanish Air Force at the time had recently retired, and were about to scrap, their fleet of Hispano HA-1112 fighters, commonly called the 'Buchon', due to the deep lower cowling, and its resemblance to the large breast of a native pigeon (and also that of the Pelican, which has the same name in Spanish).
    The Buchon evolved from the Bf109G2, which was to be built in Spain from 'kits' supplied by Germany. However, the tide of war put a stop to the plans, and the airframes, originally supplied from Germany, and built with Hispano engines, were then licence-built in Spain and, after WW2, fitted with Rolls Royce 'Merlin' engines, neccesitating the deep carb 'chin' intake which gave the aircraft its name.
    Twenty eight of these were acquired for the movie, along with a further four, used for spares and studio shots. Between 18 and 20 of these were airworthy at any one time, with the remainder able to at least taxy. The latter were fitted with three-bladed props, in an effort to aid authenticity, whilst those used for the flying sequences were mainly fitted with the original four-bladed props.
    In order to make the Buchons look more like Bf109 Es, further visual modifications were carried out, including 'clipping' the wings by almost one metre, removing the tips of the spinners, and adding bracing struts to the tail planes and, of course, a fairly authentic camouflage scheme, with fictitious Geschwader markings.(PIC 1)
    All of those 'Buchons' still in existence today, owe that fact to the movie, having all been involved at some time. However, most have reverted back to their original outline, although one or two still have slightly, though not as pronounced, 'clipped' wings, and at least two now fly with a three-bladed prop. Some ot these aircraft were also painted to represent Hurricanes, in 'long shots' for the mass-formation scenes, and some have also starred in other productions since, such as 'Memphis Belle', and TV series. At least two have been recently converted into Bf109 Gs, with Daimler Benz engines and, I believe, one has been back-engineered into an 'Emil'.

    So, onto the model. The kit is the Academy offering, originally from Hobbycraft, who at one time issued two verisons, both identical, apart from one having decals for the BoB movie aircraft. A rather nice kit, if a little basic in parts, it provides a sound basis for a very nice model. (PIC 2)
    It will be finished to represent 'Red 11', from the I Gruppe of the Geschwader lead by'Major Fohn', the identity of which is not shown in the movie.
    Before commencing the construction sequence, it was neccessary to carry out some minor surgery to alter the visual appearance, just as in the movie.
    First step was to remove the rounded wing tips of the 'G' version, and these will be sanded to shape once joined. (PIC 3)
    Next, the spinner tip was sawn off, a hole drilled, and the tip sanded to a rounded profile. (PICS 4 and 5)
    The 'chin' intake as provided in the kit is 'empty', lacking the grille and vertical brace. A temporary grille has been added, using a piece of scrap PE, in order to check fit and alignment. (PIC 6)
    This will be replaced during the actual build by a suitable piece of mesh gauze, when it arrives !
    To save a lot of hassle in cutting the very small piece of fragile gauze to match the contours of the lower cowling, a slot has been cut into the nose section, where the gauze 'screen' will sit after fitting the intake, and this will be filled and blended later. (PIC 7).
    That's it so far, and I hope to post another up-date very soon.
     

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  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Cool.... excellent beginning Terry. Looking forward to more...:thumbright:
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thank you my friend ! I aim to do this, and the Spitfire, between sessions on the BoB GB builds, which I'm about to start. Had enough of the Buccaneer for now !!
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I see. Where did you find the brassy net?
     
  5. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Sweet work T!
     
  6. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    What a cool idea! Nice work so far Terry. Looking forward to more.
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks H.
    Wojtek, the piece of brass photo etch is a section of a radiator screen from the Dragon 1/32nd scale P51, which I didn't use on the model. I've just ordered some fine mesh gauze from Hannant's, who stock a variety of different gauges. I would normally use the fine, nylon gauze found on kitchen implements, such as tea strainers and sieves, but I could only find a metal one, which was a bit coarse, and cost as much as a larger sheet of the fine material from Hannant's !
    Just spotted your post Igor. Thanks' very much my friend. I hope you had a nice time in Bratislava - I'll try to get those other kits sent in this next week or so.
     
  8. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Very neat Terry, looks like an interesting project!
     
  9. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Terry. It was quite nice in Bratislava. Missed with Roman though, but I'm sure there will be other opportunities.
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Thank you for the info Terry. Anyway looking very good.:thumbright:
     
  11. magnu

    magnu Member

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    Just finished watching the film and spotted the Buchons making up the majority of the Hurricane formation in the "Repete pleez" scene with the Polish pilots.
    Looking forward to your progress on this one Terry.
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    As memo serves Spitfires as well.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yes. As there were only three airworthy Hurricanes available, the 'Polish Squadron' scenes, and the 'Big Wing' scenes were made up with Buchons in the second section, and Spits in the distance.
    So, back to the model. I've continued with some more construction and preparation, as I'm finding it a really enjoyable change from the tedium of the Buccaneer. This should be a relatively quick build, which can be put to one side and progressed as and when time allows, and so far, I've found the kit to be very nice indeed, with excellent fit of parts, which appear to be accurate compared to a scale plan.
    The wing has been assembled, and the 'clipped' tips filed and sanded to the correct profile as used for the movie aircraft. When Commandante Santa Cruz, the Spanish test pilot and lead pilot on the movie, saw the shortened span wings, he was horrified and refused to fly the aircraft. But, after a little bit of a 'stand off' when Hamish Mahaddie said he would fly one, and prove they were fine and safe, Santa Cruz, to save face, immediately took one up. On his return, he was ecstatic about the handling, and wondered why the wings hadn't been clipped before !
    PIC 1 shows the 'new' wing, alongside the plan of the original profile.
    PIC 2. The cockpit floor has had some minor detail added, in the way of switches and wiring. The yellow patches are masking tape, covering the areas where the seat and control column will be attached, whilst the painting is undertaken.
    PIC 3. The nicely engraved instrument panel has had a couple of 'T' handles added, which will be filed to shape (and the glue 'strings' removed!) once fully set.
    PICS 4 and 5 Show the side walls, with some extra bits and pieces added, including the UV lamp barrels. The outer hand wheel for the tailplane incidence adjuster has yet to be fitted to the emergency undercarriage hand wheel, and again, masking tape covers those areas where parts are to be cemented, in preparation for painting.
    Thanks for your interest, and I'll post another update once I get the first BoB GB model underway.
     

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  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! How many models do you build at one time???
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Normally just one David, otherwise it gets a bit cluttered. But I needed a break from the Buccaneer, before eventually starting on one of the BoB GB '109s, and this was a nice change !
     
  16. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #16 Wurger, Aug 29, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
    Great attention to details Terrty. Looking very nice.:D
     
  17. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  18. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Great start Terry, and a very worthy subject!! I still watch the movie once every couple of months, after all these years.

    Ah, Susannah York....
     
  19. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    in granny panties!!! ummmmmmm
     
  20. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Like this project Terry....:D
     
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