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Friday, March 15, 2013

Post Battle report

Lest I forget, I should come back to the tale of the trashed kit. If you’ll recall, I mentioned that I had completely binned a partially completed model last week. For some that is nothing special, but I literally have not had cause to consider a model completely unsalvageable for many years. And the last (and only) prior summary execution was the Roden He-111C, a kit that has almost become a byword for atrocious fit.

So what was the victim? The MPM Fairey Battle. My understanding is that it was something of a co-production with Classic Airframes: MPM does the 1:72 while CA does the 1:48 kit, with the two sharing the research costs. And I do recall the CA kit got slammed pretty hard for its construction challenges too.

Almost everything went wrong. I’m no big fan of resin (requiring, as it does, the use of superglue, which was apparently made with the sole designed purpose of sticking fingers together). The cockpit is almost entirely resin, though there are strange little connecting pieces that are plastic. But the cockpit bits turned out to be entirely too wide for the fuselage. I tried grinding down one side, but I was about to break through the resin sidewall when I decided that was enough, and sealed up the fuselage halves. Unfortunately the fuselage itself is in multiple pieces, the top being separate to accommodate multiple configurations (two single canopies as well as the more usual one long greenhouse canopy).

Long story short, the still too wide cockpit distorted the fuselage. So there was no way that the upper fuselage piece was going to stretch over the gap. Plus it put the wings at sort of a weird angle; definitely not perpendicular. At this point my blood pressure was causing those little teakettle noises you hear in the cartoons. When I realized that I had not put any backing piece inside the fuselage to attach the exhausts to (which, btw, are six separate resin pieces), that was it. Into the bin it went.

Unless someone in the next couple of years decides to release a new mold of a Battle (hey, we’re getting a new Stirling in 2013, so anything is possible), I will dig up one of the old Airfix kits, cruddy nose and porcupine rivets and all, and build it. Even with all the sanding, it certainly would go together better than the MPM kit did. 

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