Tag Archives: tsr2

Variety is the spice of life

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Long-time readers of my waffle will probably recognise the bits of model in the photo. It’s the TSR2, destined one fine day for a diorama depicting preflight checks of the first prototype in the 1960s. As we are blessed with a four-day weekend over Easter, I decided it was time to take a break from making models for other people for a day or two.

This aircraft model has been sitting in my display cabinet, almost complete, for ages. I thought all I needed to do was tidy things up, get the wings to fit properly, and apply the decals. How hard could it be?

Quite hard, as it turned out.

While I was working at the wing problem, I managed to dislodge a couple of components. In for a penny, I disassembled the other parts while I worked, so as to avoid further accidents. It was about now I noticed the white paint was taking on a definite yellowish tinge.

The real aircraft was finished in a matt white. For whatever reason, white enamel paint ages with a yellow tinge, something that afflicted railway coach liveries in the 1900s as well. The recommended course of action is to add a dash of blue to the white. I had done this, but it still faded. It wasn’t a consistent fade either. On thinking about it, I reckon it was the varnish that was off. Something had to be done.

I mixed a fresh batch of bluish white, and decided the best way to sort things out would be to airbrush it. I repaired the earlier mishaps, fitted some masking, and I have been applying a couple of thin coats of the new paint. Hopefully it’ll dry nice and hard overnight, and I can get a good coat of gloss varnish on things in the morning.

The plan is to try and get this model properly finished to my satisfaction. Then all I need to do is work on the diorama. That might take a while longer!

A little diversion

Having completed the Collett build, I decided to have a week or so just working on personal projects as a sort of break from railway models. I’ve got several very long term projects on the back burner—in fact, it’s getting a bit crowded back there—and just occasionally I shift one to the front for a bit to see if I can get it closer to completion.

One of those projects is a TSR2 diorama. The plan is to represent the first prototype XR219 sitting on the apron at A&AEE Boscombe Down, being prepared for its first flight towards the end of 1964. I have the aircraft, almost complete, just needing some final paint and the transfers applied. I have acquired some of the ancillary vehicles that are visible in documentary footage of the time. It is one of those vehicles I have been giving some attention this week.

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This is a Sentinel Mk1 aircraft tractor. It’s a 1/76th scale whitemetal cast kit from BW Models, and like the real thing weighs an absolute ton. You can see the paint is mostly complete, and I have fabricated a finer windscreen to replace the chunky frame in the kit.

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There’s a bit of paint detailing to do at the rear, to pick out lights and reflectors. Some protective varnish, some suitable transfers, and some subtle weathering, and this will be complete and can go back in its box until the diorama is created.

Just to give a sense of scale, here’s the highly-trained British penny doing the honours.

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