1. Plastikmodellbauclub Nürnberg e.V.


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Model and photos by Wilfried Eck

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Blackburn Firebrand TF Mk. V by Mark 1, 1/72





Motor parts


Kit cockpit  with indication where the hydraulic pump should be (thanks to Any White)


No doubt, the latest offering of the Czech CMR company is a masterpiece, furnishing no less than 10 marking variations! When it comes to accuracy and representation of details of the CMR Firebrand TF Mk V kit there’s nothing to criticise. Where in 1/72 scale did one see air intakes and cannon muzzles with appropriate openings, rudders with undercuts not just trenches, and knife edge trailing edges, to mention just a few. - But building this torpedo fighter is another story. Not that there are any problems concerning fit or so, all is well formed. But otherwise this kit will task your skills (and sometimes your knowledge) to the utmost. Do not buy this kit when you are on the way to quit smoking or drinking or tend to depressions.
First to mention is the huge amount of tiny PE parts (two Eduard sheets!), all these parts have to be butt joined to mere indications where to go onto if any at all. Especially in case of the torpedo screws where the foot of a blade is the size of a dot (two rows of vertically aligned blades, all in the same angle, please; I cut small slits for a sturdier fit). Magnifying glasses will help a lot, but patience and a steady hand are indispensable.
One big drawback - sorry to say - are the construction drawings. In quite a few cases the modeller is left with the question where exactly a certain part has to be placed (i.e. the canopy rail and the adjacent antenna mast; refer to the decal instructions).  The various levers on the left side (these too making for a super detailed cockpit) would benefit from a hint which color the knobs were. Andy White who did all the research wrote: "As for colours, the engine master cock was a red knob, the throttle black with a red inset disc in the top surrounding the black RATOG button. All other control knobs were black". On the other side, and to be fair, the outside paint and decal instructions are super!
If you follow the assembly instructions closely to the very last step (application of paint and decals to follow) you’ve got a major problem. As the model by then sprouts quite a lot of delicate parts sticking out everywhere there's a good chance to touch one during further handling. Then it will disappear into infinity (very probably so in an earlier stage). I do know what I’m talking about! - To prevent the mistakes I made, all six antennas and the four cannon should be applied after paint and decals have been applied. In case of the antennas pre drilled holes help a lot to make the fix more durable. As the one piece wing is inserted in a relatively early stage further handling will inevitably break one or more of the commendably thin flap guide rails. Masking the trailing edges with cardboard or else helps a lot for preservation. In the cockpit (a model in itself) a hydraulic pump lever should be placed on the right side of the seat (forget the PE part to be inserted at a right angle). See the sketch provided by Andy White who did all the CMR research.
In my model the position lights in the wings (separate clear parts) didn’t fit. Solution: Insert appropriately colored light bulbs made from clear sprue then mask upper side of the cut out with tape. Turn wing up side down and fill in clear two component glue with a toothpick. If the right amount is applied aside from some sanding/polishing  of the front edges no further treatment is necessary
CMR provides a canopy hood that – though thin and clear – has decidedly prominent frames. In reality they were flush with the glass. CMR is not to be blamed for this exaggeration. Modellers want it this way I was told. Well, I like it more realistic and made mine by myself. No carving and filling a balsa wood block is necessary (for details see http://www.pmcn.de/English/E-weC.htm#cockpit%20hoods).
Another point where my model differs from CMR is the airscrew. As I intended to show a ”flying” model it had to turn, the kit part being non revolving. Making propeller blades is really easy (see http://www.pmcn.de/English/airscrew/airscrew.htm). The hub was made of polyester paste with a pin (head removed) as central core, sanded to shape with the help of a drilling machine. Then four holes were bored to accept the propeller blades.
The pilot, not furnished in the kit, is scratch built.
Colors: After having replaced quite a few broken parts with homemade ones I wasn't in the mood to make a two color upper surface. Simple "Sea Gray" deemed sufficient (and in my eyes quite appropriate), the undersides being "Sky". For this paint job I used Revell 164 for the former and Humbrol 59 for the latter. "Gray Green" for the interior had to be mixed by myself as I found no suitable offer.
Four photos seemed sufficient to show the model (accordingly altered) from all sides and no Adobe photo shop was needed to get it into the air.