Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

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Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:38 pm

Postby 266 » 07 Jul 2018, 00:38

As mentioned in an earlier thread, I have been playing with the recreation of the fictional Vickers Vandal of "Flies Again" and "Black Peril" fame. This is a WEJ original; there was a Vickers Viking but never a Vandal, so a model has to be based on book description and original illustrations. Fortunately, we have samples of both.

First, the original cover picture:

32B1537E-FEF2-4DAE-83D1-AFA71491F43D.jpeg
This is helpful in many ways. It gives us colour, and design. It tells us (as does the book) that it had a wooden hull. It shows a machine about halfway between a 1920's Vickers Viking, and a 1930's Vickers Supermarine Walrus...which makes a kind of sense when we know that the books were set in 1933/1934. WEJ tells us that the engine was a Napier Lion, again appropriate to the period. Here is a more detailed illustration, from "Flies Again":

75E80135-9C0D-4E8F-9FC0-C04941118CDD.jpeg
This shows the wooden hull and the outline of the Napier Lion. No registration marks, but the aircraft had to have them by law, so I added them into the model, using a black on white fuselage format common through the 1920's, with standard wing marks which would be valid from late 20's through to the war. And still more details are found on this Howard Leigh illustration. We can see details of the radiator, undercarriage and bracing struts. In short, enough to give us a good idea of what WEJ had in mind.

B916259A-B173-49F9-B1FC-74820D53B610.jpeg
So, how to make it happen? Back in a while with my devious plot, as I've used up the photo allowance on this post..
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:38 pm

Postby VickersVandal » 07 Jul 2018, 05:15

Excellent project! Looking forward to the end result.

I used the Matcbox Walrus kit with a cast metal Napier Lion and scratchbuilt a Viking-style radiator. I was quite happy with the end result.....til my toddler destroyed it the morning after I finished it. :(

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lFSyag ... p=drivesdk

(Here's hoping that link works)
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:38 pm

Postby 266 » 07 Jul 2018, 05:22

Nice picture. We are on the same page. Cringe and proxy tears for its sad fate. Ouch. I share your pain on this, having spent nine months making a very customised and personally significant 1-32 Tiger Moth. Little fingers got to it and it now sits in a box awaiting my psychological recovery.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:38 pm

Postby VickersVandal » 07 Jul 2018, 17:50

Ouch! The pain is real...

I'm glad that I at least got some photos of ot. I still have the aircraft and broken off parts but I hate doing rebuilds (I'd prefer to start from scratch ) so it remains busted.

So, whuch scale are you working in for this one?
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm

Postby 266 » 08 Jul 2018, 05:01

My starting point was an old Walrus kit I made in my misspent youth. Somehow it survived several house moves and decades in attic storage, when many of its more deserving associates did not. Here it was...
9C87F368-0BC3-450A-A1C9-36AC7D68E108.jpeg

The Walrus has several points of difference with our hypothetical Vandal. First, I had to sand down the hull to get rid of rivets, a wooden hull being needed. The markings had to come off, and any chance of the old camo paint showing through. The Bristol Mercury had to come out and be replaced with a Napier Lion, struts needed changing (less interplane and more tailplane) and the canopy needed some serious review.

3B9749C8-39E8-46B0-9E29-06121AD2E153.jpeg
So, engine and canopy off, fuselage sanded and upper surfaces painted black to cover the residual camo marks.
0C6548D0-B52C-45E3-BF66-5D41B723CF64.jpeg

First coat of brown for the wooden hull and silver for the fabric surfaces, an extra strut each side of the tailplane, canopy reshaped and frames painted,and a cover added to the bow cockpit. Next up, internal improvements and an engine.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm

Postby Fairblue » 08 Jul 2018, 11:22

I was going to say it looks like being a fiddly restoration job, 266, but you're transforming it instead. Looking forward to seeing how this one progresses.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm

Postby Frecks » 08 Jul 2018, 11:50

It does look very fiddly. Good luck with it - I am looking forward to further updates.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm

Postby Wanderer » 09 Jul 2018, 16:04

Sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your Vandal, and I hope she does get resurrected.

Artistically the history of the Vandal in quite interesting.

As originally drawn for Popular Flying in 1933, the Vandal was shown as a Supermarine Seagull III: see Dr. B's site http://www.popularflying.com/Covers/19/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermari ... ull_(1921).

By the time the book version appeared a year later, the Seagull V, later Walrus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Walrus), had first flown, and the aircraft was redrawn as you have shown to have the same fuselage shape as the later aircraft (albeit still in timber), but with the straight wings and Napier Lion engine of the earlier aircraft.

I have a tired old 1:48 Smer Walrus that might get a conversion in due course....
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:42 pm

Postby VickersVandal » 09 Jul 2018, 23:04

I was not aware of that illustration! I have been eyeing off the Karaya Seagull III kit for some time. I'm locking it in now!

To my mind one of the most likely candidates, were it to have been in the real world, is the Canadian Vickers Vedette. It was purpose built for the kind of aerial survey work in Flies Again and it would have been locally available rather than shipping something out from the UK. However, it certainly doesn't match any illustrations, nor Johns predeliction for British types.


You've made quick work of that Walrus, 266! Keen to see how you tackle the engine mounting. That was probably the most challenging part of the build for me.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:51 pm

Postby 266 » 12 Jul 2018, 03:04

Well, on with the show.

I've found that I took no pictures of the cockpit before reinstalling the canopy. Bother. You will have to take my word that it now contains seats, an instrument panel and a bulkhead with a door to the cabin, none of which came with the original kit. It looks quite reasonable through the canopy! The engine received a different approach to VV's.
I had seen aftermarket Napier Lion kits but they are rare and I was impatient, so I got a photo of a Lion
2232F67F-1596-462E-8E0F-2551C0C7DF4A.jpeg

and sculpted a (rough) copy, which I then installed in the bottom half of the old engine mount. This made it easier to refit, though an engineer might quibble. I added exhausts, and later a four blade prop, from my spares box - and it all looks quite feasible, for a non-existent aircraft!
15BF1925-B7FD-489C-B5DA-E249A831360C.jpeg

Then came the registration, visible on the fuselage above, and shortly on the wings. I chose G-AMVP as my letters. G is the British designator, and the rest stood for A Mysterious Vickers Product. I later found that this registration is still in use, but don't tell anyone...they might want it back! The hard part for the engine was to find a radiator to fit on the front. Miraculously I found a household item of the correct thickness and consistency which has been converted into a well worn looking part of the aircraft. Given the Vandal's history, I have tried to make it look travel-stained. It therefore has a battered radiator, grease stains around the gear leg attachments, and ancient looking fabric.
B26FBBCA-5AC6-473E-B6D7-CC073B97E029.jpeg

An interesting point was the prop boss, which I had to make. With great care I razored off the top of an old paintbrush handle and it fitted perfectly.

Next up, the finished item.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Postby StoneRoad » 12 Jul 2018, 09:24

Splendid work.

I wish I had the patience for modelling now that I used to have. (and the eyesight for details)

Maybe when I have more time ...
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:52 pm

Postby Fairblue » 12 Jul 2018, 09:28

266 wrote:


An interesting point was the prop boss, which I had to make. With great care I razored off the top of an old paintbrush handle and it fitted perfectly.

Next up, the finished item.

I am continually in awe of the ingenuity displayed on this page. :pilot:
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:00 pm

Postby Wanderer » 13 Jul 2018, 02:08

OK. I think I am going to be obliged to rise to the challenge.

The starting point: one 30+ year old SMER 1:48 Walrus that has not survived well being shifted around Australia on numerous occasions.

Following the tradition of the Modern Boy / Hamilton publication, we will assume that the Vandal is a one-off proof of concept prototype for the Seagull V with timber hull and Napier Lion engine. Supermarine were part of the Vickers Group and the Seagull amphibians were continuations of the Vickers "V" equivalents once Vickers retired from marine aircraft, so I have no problems considering it as a Vickers machine.

Consequently, the model will be sanded down, the flying surfaces resprayed with aluminium and the fuselage diagonal planked with timber like the original.

Interior detail of the SMER kit is minimal. As the Vandal had an open cockpit this will need to be rectified, for the most part using Eduard photoetched components. At the same time I will add new seats (WWI wicker type). I have not yet thought a way of doing the engine, but it will be some form of box structure. I will probably need to scratch-build a new wind-screen, as the existing canopy is all too robust for what I think it would have been like.
35756ABD-0070-4E5C-B000-9A2C7844FC72.jpeg
Start 1.jpg
A bit shiny as it's just been washed of 20 years of dust
5B574136-D6C4-4067-B918-D16B0373C931.jpeg
Cockpit
4927B14C-562C-4DC2-B1ED-2BB7BC1F4A42.jpeg
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:03 pm

Postby Wanderer » 13 Jul 2018, 02:10
4F172DD5-531A-48F7-96FC-B3951B769B1C.png
Wheels
D01B081D-DFE5-46DB-B463-38C59478545B.png

Interior Details
Interior.jpg (35.79 KiB) Viewed 1708 times

4C6A4B54-1F99-4BF8-B1F9-A378FCBE9849.png
Seat Belts
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:13 pm

Postby 266 » 13 Jul 2018, 02:14

It should be mentioned at this stage....I only ever rigged one model in 1-72 scale. It was so sad that I have since limited my rigging to 1-48 and bigger - and so it is here. I find it easier to imagine rigging in this scale than to look sadly at my attempts to create it!

Here is a view of the engine/prop combination, plus the radiator sitting on the desk awaiting installation....
E09629AB-ECC7-468D-9B38-1E4AE493D724.jpeg

...and a somewhat blurry view of the radiator in place.
AAF6A417-8969-4E67-AE56-80FFF8C68CCD.jpeg

Lastly a side view to match the "Flies Again" picture shown earlier. Maybe not perfect, but a reasonable facsimile.
979D2B7F-38CD-41A1-8E9C-FA447CB2C619.jpeg

It was fun playing with this old kit, and I certainly like it better than the way it was! The thirties period is my favourite for Biggles machinery - partly because so much of it is fictional and open to imagination. This one was done simply "because it was there" - but I'll save my energies now for the next Group Build. Thanks for looking.
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:13 pm

Postby 266 » 13 Jul 2018, 02:17

And hello Wanderer!!! Will be watching your progress with interest.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:14 pm

Postby Wanderer » 13 Jul 2018, 02:21

Now to see whether I have been too clever by half and exceeded my modelling performance envelope...
4C9A9620-4730-4865-99C9-15D945EBB727.jpeg
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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by 266 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:42 am

Thanks, FB, for shifting this over. I have some other model threads that would be nice to see here before the old site closes. Can you help with that, or give me some clues how I can do it myself?

The titles are: "Imaginary aircraft of WEJ", "New Year, New Model", "And Another Mystery", and "Parkington Pacemaker".

There may be others hidden away, but if so I haven't found them yet. My computer skills are dubious at best.

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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by Fairblue » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:09 pm

I’ll do it, 266. I was hoping to copy the whole lot over but RL is keeping me extremely busy, so I’ll copy over those selected ones for you. It’s quite easy to do, though you do need two windows open side by side to copy and paste easily, and the photos can be a little labour intensive.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Vickers Vandal - from fiction to facsimile...

Post by 266 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:54 am

Thanks so much, FB. Glad to not be losing them.

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