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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 21:25 
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 15:01
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Been quiet for a while. Here's a new build on the go - kit kindly donated to me by Greg (Gregair) - thanks :smt023

I've been banished by my company to Cape Town on assignment for the past year so I have bought a bunch of models from Clowns Hobbies in CT and have been doing as much assembly as I can so that when I do get home mid-2020, I'll have a ton of stuff to paint and complete.

I thought the Super Frelon would be a lekker challenge as this is an oldish kit - according to Scalemates.com, the first issue of this kit hailed from way back in 1975 :shock: . The kit I got is a reboxing with new parts dated 1989. From the box art, I assume that the new parts are the radar nose and Exocet missiles. Box art shows a victorious French Navy Super F departing the scene of destruction care of an Exocet missile no doubt.

ImageBox contents - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 21:49 
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So what's in the box ? Well I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I initially though this would be an unsophisticated mass of old plastic but not entirely true so it transpired. The fuselage halves are really nicely moulded (although a bit warped) with really good raised surface detailing replicating the raised rivets on the real thing. I checked some areas against close up photos taken of the Ysterplaat Frelon and the detail is really quite true. The various reinforcing strips are for the most part faithfully reproduced. The kit fuselage length is around 550mm so is rather large and will certainly be an imposing addition to my collection. Plastic is very soft light blue with a single sprue in beige for some of the interior bits. The fuselage interior is buit up as a separate module which is then clamped between the two fuselage halves. This will obviously result in quite a thick appearance but hopefully will not be too visible through the windows. Cabin interior detail includes the troops seats lining each side of the fuselage. The cockpit out of the box seems to be well appointed with seats, collective and cyclic sticks, rudders, etc. Even the rudder adjusting wheels are provided. Decals are provided for the instrument panel. Instructions are in large A3 format and easy to follow. Colour call outs are for Heller and Humbrol paints. What really impresses me is the extent of the small components which Heller have provided - things like separate fuel filler caps, tie down lugs, access hatch handles, HF antenna posts etc. Even more impressive is the level of detail provided for both the main and till rotors. For a 1975 original mould, this is excellent. Yes, the level of mould quality requires a good hour or two with a sharp knife to trim away mould seams but that's all part of the fun .....

Here's a pic of the rather long flat floppy box and its contents :

ImageBox contents 2 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageBox contents 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Fuselage interior a bit rough but then nothing will show once the cabin module is in place :

ImageFuselage 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

With a bit of persuation using tape, the two warped halves go together well with no residual skewness :D

ImageFuselage 2 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The only unfortunate thing is that this kit is not entirely representative of a SAAF bird. The issues are :
a) The kit is provided with main undercarriage sponsons - the SAAF birds had the simple frame type main undercarriage legs - not a major issue to deal with
b) The kit is provided without the engine intake filters as fitted to the SAAF Frelons. This is going to require a bit more elbow grease but can be done

Other differences :
a) The kit provides a hoist - I don't recollect seeing any SAAF Frelons with this - will be left off
b) The arrangement around the tail fold in the kit is slightly different to the SAAF Frelons - minor mods required - more detail on this later

I also want to represent the helicopter with faded bades - to save space - the Super Frelon (#314) at Ysterplaat is displayed with folded main rotors. The kit does not provide this option but I think I can get away with something using the kit parts.


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 22:12 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
So then, straight into the build we go. I started with the cabin module. Again, parts were warped which requires some fiddling and adjustment to get everything to line up. Here's the floor - in two sections split longitudinally. Silly way to do it but Heller would have you complete each half of the module and then glue the whole lot together. Holes are for the troop benches :

ImageFloor 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Like all good helos, the Super Frelon had a cargo hook slung from the main gearbox through the cabin floor. Here I've marked the position of the removable floor panel :

ImageFloor 3 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

To add some interest, I used thin plastic card (0.25mm) to replicate the various composite floor panels staged around the center removable hatch for the cargo sling :

ImageFloor 4 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageFloor 5 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Here are the left and right cabin module halves. Bare and very basic.

ImageInterior 2 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

I thought I'd tart mine up with some additional detail care of some basic plastic rod and card :

ImageInterior 3 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Using photos of the real thing (and some artistic license) I've marked out where the various sound proofing panelling will be located. The image below shows the first sections glued in place. For this I used 0.25mm plastic card scored in a diamond pattern with a Tamiya scriber :

ImageInterior 4 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Left hand side completed :

ImageInterior 6 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Floor and both sides tarted up :

ImageInterior 7 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

And finally, roof panelling temporarily in place. This will only go in once the two module halves have been glued together. This in turn will only happen once I've painted the interior and added the benches.

ImageInterior 8 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The bench frames - nice and delicate. Heller provide a sheet of thin white plastic card to simulate the canvass seats. I've got to figure out a way to replicate the distinct drape of the canvass seat backs.

ImageInterior 10 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 22:24 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Next up, the main and till rotor hubs - firstly the main rotor hub provided in top and bottom halves, glued together - lots of cleanup required :

ImageMain rotor 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

After cleaning and with top section (hydraulic reservoirs) attached. Only thing missing will be blade bonding strips and the hydraulic hoses to the blade hinges - easy to add later :

ImageMain rotor 2 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The full shebang of main and tail rotor hub bits - even the intermediate tail rotor gearbox is provided :

ImageRotors 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Tail rotor detail - pitch control spider is provided in the kit but not shown in photo ::

ImageTail rotor 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Minor issue to be sorted - no positive fixing between the tail blades and the hub. So some small sections of brass rod to the rescue :

ImageTail rotor 2 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageTail rotor 3 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageTail rotor 6 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 22:31 
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Awesome Malcolm. 8)

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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 22:36 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Now then, onto some adjustment of certain details. The kit exhausts, while correct in number, are not well represented to reflect the real thing - they're too simple - kit parts for the port side :

ImageExhausts 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Similar issue on the starboard side - yes, the Super Frelon had three engines !

ImageExhausts 2 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Note from the photos below of the port side of #314 that there is a distinct gap between the engine access panel and the actual exhausts. Kit simplifies this. Also note the difference between the port front and rear exhausts - front is a combined unit whereas rear consists of two separate exhausts.

ImageIMG_0787 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0787 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

So, out with the carving knife to remove all the simplified detail - much better - will need to replicate the exhausts with tube (plastic or brass...)

ImageFuselage 5 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2019, 22:38 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Mars wrote:
Awesome Malcolm. 8)


Thanks Marc :smt023 . More to follow but getting late now....


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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2019, 08:05 
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Joined: 29 Jun 2004, 17:19
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Awesome stuff, thanks for the detailed review. :smt023

Looking forward to watching this build, I spent quite some time taking care of this baby.

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2019, 07:31 
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Joined: 12 Apr 2011, 20:49
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Location: Zwartkop
a) The kit provides a hoist - I don't recollect seeing any SAAF Frelons with this - will be left off

The SAAF did use the hoist, not always fitted to the aircraft though.

I built a Super Frelon some years back and changed the fiqures to SAP members with bush hats, camo clothing, modified the guns etc.

I gave it away 2 years ago when I had to move house.

Geoff


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2019, 17:36 
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Location: In .... S.E.A & M.E.N.A. et al
Recently one arrived at my front door too :shock:
Built two of these kits in the 1980s.
Re the hoist: As Geoff mentioned, the SAAF used it - I was on numerous sorties at 30 Sqn using the hoist.


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2019, 19:51 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
Thanks gents for the info on the hoist :smt023 Will add this to the model as it provides a bit more detail.


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2019, 19:52 
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Dean wrote:
Awesome stuff, thanks for the detailed review. :smt023

Looking forward to watching this build, I spent quite some time taking care of this baby.


Hi Dean. You mean specifically 314 or the Frelon in general ?


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2020, 08:20 
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314. Been aboard her during engine starts, assisted with blade folding, general upkeep and conducting tours of this Putco.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2020, 10:30 
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This kit and the original 1/32 Puma (Matchbox) lends self to a lot of enhancements, two of the greatest heli kits I have ever built.


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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2020, 15:33 
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Onto scratch building the main undercarriage legs :

Basic kit legs - too short and very little detail :

ImageMLG 4 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Lengthened with some plastic rod and a brass insert for strength :

ImageMLG 9 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Procured some plastic and brass rod and tube of different diameters for the legs :

ImageMisc 1 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Took measurements one fine day at Ysterplaat (Thanks John and John). A bit noisy with the school kids running around and asking if the hydraulic fluid on the ground was blood :? Hmmm...in the photo you can see some of the assembled leg sections :

ImageMLG 7 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Leg assembly - used the brass rod and tube to add strength, added the ends with plastic card for two reasons - a) to shape into conical sections and b) to glue to each other - I wasn't going to solder this lot together :

Basic components for one leg section :

ImageMLG 5 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Assembled :

ImageMLG 6 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Finished product - the ends can be shaped with an emery board and sharp knife :

ImageMLG 8 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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