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TOPIC: 1:48 Supermarine S.6b Testors

1:48 Supermarine S.6b Testors 4 years 7 months ago #102

  • Caerbannog
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Although this build was done during a Group Build (“Less than a tenner GB”) on Britmodeller (here: www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/t...b-racer-testors-148/), I like to add it here as well. So what is written and shown below is basically a summary of what you find under the Britmodeller link. In order to make a difference to what I have already posted there I will add some new pictures of the finished model here (and only here) later.
As per the GB rules this build was OOB – means no aftermarket stuff was added but scratchbuilding was allowed.
Here is what you find in the box:

Some flash and basic detail, but it looked like a rather easy build for a float.
The kit looks quite good compared to these plans:

The floats of the plans look a bit too pointed compared to pictures of the real thing.

The fuselage insides were thinned and a scratch build interior was added. Not much of it can be seen later but it still makes a big difference to the otherwise empty pit:


The paint in the pic is still wet and looks less horrific when dry. The paint is mixed according to a single picture I found of the interior. Not shown is the instrument panel. I added some more detail at the bottom but not much. In the end it is not 100% accurate (I have not enough reference and had to add some guesswork) and even misses the throttle (I admit: I forgot it!) but as mentioned above not much can be seen anyway and I just wanted to get ahead. (the glasses you see are simple reading glasses from the drugstore for a few Euros. I do not need glasses but found them to be a cheap and lightweight alternative to my magnifying visor):




The prop looks a bit thin out of the box and not the right shape so I added some styrene strip and sanded for a better shape (still not 100% but fine for me):


The spinner needed to be more pointed and I adjusted this as well as you can see in the pics below.

Next the fuselage was closed and the wing section attached - but not yet filled and sanded:


I did a quick check of how the floats and fuselages will go together so I stuck them with blue tack to my glass plate which I usually use to roll Milliput flat. I found this to be working really well as a very simple jig and glued the fuselage to the struts but not the struts to the floats:



Here I started to improve the exhaust with Tamiya two compound putty which has a better structure than Milliput for such delicate work:

I first drilled out the rectangular shapes, then placed the Tamiya putty from the backside and drilled the single exhaust with the stretched sprue shown in front. Easy and it looks quite nice I think.

Then I added the head rest with the same putty (sorry for the bad pic quality):

One of the more difficult things is to sculpt the fairings at either end of the struts holding the floats. I used Tamiya putty because I can handle this better than Milliput for this work as well. After the sculpted putty has cured there is still some puttying and sanding to do. The top ones are OK now but I still need to do the bottom ones:

And here the bottome ones too:

I also replaced the thick plastic struts between the floats with a 0,5mm brass tube which I squeezed flat. This could be a good solution for the other struts but in the end I tried another way to replicate these.
The white stripe under the fuselage is an added detail missing in the kit. It is simply an Evergreen strip shaped with sandpaper. The white putty is water-soluble "Perfect Plastic Putty" which can be cleaned up easily with a damp cotton bud. I think it is not sticking as good as common solvent based putty to plastic but is drying fast, sands good and very good in areas were common putty will likely destroy the surrounding details.
After all I finally stopped with filling and sanding and filling and sanding and... I probably could have kept on for weeks but at some stage I just called it “done”. It could be better but I was runnning out of time for the GB and decided to give it a last primer coat before I sprayed it over all silver. I used a rattle can from automotive supply to paint rims. This dries very fast and I like the silver colour it creates for the S6 :

Next was masking and spraying blue.
I mixed the light blue but it is nothing more than a guess based on the pictures I have. I think (!!!) BS 381C 175 comes close and although I do not like the name "French Blue" for the S6b I mixed something which is close to this colour. I must say I am not too happy with the light blue and suppose the darker shade looks better. If anybody here knows which colour is correct please let us know.
Masking was quite a lot of work – I actually did not expect it but it took me felt hours. Everything you see in the pictures below is painted:

The prop is not yet fixed but just stuck to the S6b for the picture.
Next time I do a float plane I will remember to put some weight in the nose - the S6b is a tail sitter - if you can call a float plane like that.
The “2” needs some touch up and in the end I decided to use the complete kit decal for the rudder – but it was good to have it pre painted as the kit decals are not large enough (the just cover the rudder).

The shape of the wires gave me a bit of headache. My first plan was to do it as PE but my supplier could not make the etching in time so I tried two other ways I made out. First one was the 0.5 mm brass tube which I squeezed flat (see above). It works pretty good but I had not enough 0.5 mm tube to do the whole S6b with that method. So I just tried one of the more common techniques: Stretched sprue. The disadvantage is that the stretched sprue is round in cross section but I want flat stuff like the real thing. The solution is simple: Hammer the stretched sprue flat:

Left is the stretched sprue, right is the one I hammered flat:

One has to take care in order to achieve an even finish. It works but when you look close you will see that I did not always succeed in an even thickness:

The last steps were removing the remaining tape above the cockpit cut out then I added two coats of Humbrol clear with a brush, finished the canopy and painted the leather headrest:

There are some details missing which I will probably add sometime in the future: The S6b had balances at the moving surfaces which are not included in the kit and there are eyelets at the front and end of the floats which would have been on the etch sheet I created.
Meanwhile I purchased a small picture frame and a plastic sheet which should replicate water for model railways and which I use to make a simple setting for the S6b. If I succeed I will post the new pictures with this base.
P.S.: The pictures are of rather poor quality because I had to take them with my mobile. Meanwhile I got my camera back and will replace the pictures of the finished S6 asap.
Last Edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Caerbannog.
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1:48 Supermarine S.6b Testors 4 years 7 months ago #106

  • aminne
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Hi Rene,

Nice one! I build this kit ages ago OOB (so the cockpit is empty exept for the pilot). I did scratchbuild the weight balances on the wing :cheer: but not for the tail :oops: .

Then I corrected the framenumber to 1595 but left the race number 7 (instead of replacing it with a borderless 1. This was before I used varnish so it should be easy to rectify.

For rigging I used nylon thread (easy to tighten). Last year at Telford I bought etched (and thereby flat) rigging from RB Productions. These are for 1:32, but the smallest size they (can) make (P-32015) might be useful for 1:48
Last Edit: 4 years 7 months ago by aminne.
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1:48 Supermarine S.6b Testors 4 years 7 months ago #110

  • stuntflyr
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Some of my earliest models were the Hawk racers, brush painted by hand and to the directions because all I had were Kinert books for reference when I was in grade school. Yours is great, very well done. Would love to see pics when finished.
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