Airfix 1/72 F.27 Friendship
The Rolls Royce powered Friendship F27 is one of the first aircraft to
bring speed and comfort of long-range flight to short-range routes. The F-27 was
built in Europe by Fokker Airplane Company, Amsterdam and in the US by Fairchild
Airplane Company in
The Friendship is a twin engine turboprop airliner with accommodation for 36 to
40 passengers. The prototype first flew in
Air Lingus-Irish Air lines was the first to operate the aircraft commercially in
Europe; at a time when the jet travel for the masses was a twinkle in airline
executive’s eyes and turbo-prop propulsion was the latest thing in ‘Whisper
quiet’, vibration-less flight.
airlines of Australia operated a large fleet of F-27, a mini-airline by today’s
standard. The gallant little F-27 has seen the come-and-go of many piston and
jet engined aircraft of much larger proportions and until recently continued to
serve the commuter and feeder routes of the Australian, US and European nations
which says much for its reliability and sound airframe.
The Friendship features high wing construction, giving the aircraft
improved aerodynamic qualities and providing passengers with an unpeded view.
The Rolls Royce Dart engines developed 1600 shp, has low noise level, and
negligible daily servicing. Economic operation and maintenance are features of
in silver styrene and clear styrene for transparencies, totaling around 67 kit
parts, this model was released over 50 years ago. It has a complete cockpit
including two crew figures. Printed instruments are cut from instruction sheet
and glued to instrument panel part. The kit has all moving control surfaces,
rudder, elevators and ailerons and can be assembled with the undercarriage
lowered or retracted. Instructions are typical Airfix, comprehensive and easy to
follow. Originally released in Air Lingus green and white livery but my example
had had decals for a Norwegian registered aircraft belonging to Braathens
shipping concern. A clear 4-view drawing and clear box art cover is useful for
coloring and decaling the model. Instructions also contain history of the
aircraft. At one time the Airfix kit also appeared in Dutch air force markings
with the aircraft finished in NATO green and dark sea gray upper camouflage and
light aircraft gray lower surfaces.
starts with the cockpit office consisting of 2 crew seats, 2 control wheels,
instrument panel and a bulkhead with a central open door that leads to the
passenger area. I opted to close the door using a piece of plastic card cut to
shape of door, so that the bare lack of seating arrangement in the passenger
area is not visible. If one chooses to use the clear styrene for the fuselage
windows these has to be added before the fuselage halves are closed.
Alternatively one can easily use Kristal Kleer at a later stage. Being a
tricycle undercarriage aircraft I added another bulkhead which ½” apart from the
kit one and in the space between inserted a flat lead piece sufficient to
balance the nose. The nose gear and are also glued in place before the fuselage
following is the extra work done to improve the kit and also to modify it for
the version that served with Ansett Airlines.
examination of parts revealed sink marks around nose wheel well, at an area
on forward fuselage top, on elevators and nacelles forward and aft. These
probably prevailed due to thick section of the kit parts. These areas were
filled with a small quantity of Plasto filler and smoothened down.
Cargo door at forward fuselage was blanked completely. A new
passenger door was scribed and added making reference to photos of the type
from www.airliners.net. The rear door also required a little adjustment as
it fitted slightly depressed n its location, so that it now has maintained
the smooth continuity to the surrounding fuselage.
were 10 passenger windows to each side of the fuselage. This meant that an
extra window was added to the forward fuselage. This kept the same distance
pitch as the rest and the new window was marked by placing the fuselage
halves face to face, aligning the windows so that the ports are adjacent to
each other and scratch the oval outline for the new window position. It was
drilled through and shaped with an oval file. This was repeated also to the
A large air intake scoop similar to the one molded at the rear on
the port fuselage is added to the starboard side at same place as the kit
one but on the other side. This was shaped out of a 5000 lb WWII bomb as
half part of it almost matched the intake scoop and only required little
shape adjustment using a small file.
The kit corrugated panel details at the aft airframe of engine
nacelles were sanded of and smoothened and later finished in natural metal.
These panels are in fact unpainted stainless steel for heat deflection.
tips should be square. The rounded tips were cut at 3/16” from the end and a
square plastic card added instead. This was shaped to the continuity of the
rest of the blade.
The exhaust outlets were drilled and shaped open. A blanking plate
was added further into the nacelle.
Detail No54 and No55 on kit instructions, which are actuators for
the control surfaces, are shown in the wrong way round and were fixed in
correct position, ref to box art painting which is shown correct.
aerials, antennae and wireless added to correspond with those fitted to the
aircraft ref photos. Note that the Friendship in service with Ansett had
differed aerials detail and it was essential to make reference to the
specific type in registration for locating the type of detail to add.
3001, Au.during a visit 14 years ago. This gives detail to the aircraft paint
finish and position placing of decals. Apart from the Ansett complete livery the
decals also include an extra window decal to place at the front row of windows
in the event one take this option instead of shaping the new window as I
explained earlier. Decal was thin, sharp and opaque and appropriate. They are
beautifully printed making the kit truly come alive.
Ansett Friendship VH-FNQ was practically overall white finish. This meant that
the kit was first given an entire coat of matt white undercoat. Areas at wing
root and seams were attended to and smoothened and more matt white coat applied.
After a further
smooth sanding, two coats of gloss white were applied, allowing time to dry in
between. Wings and tail planes and fin areas were then masked so that the
de-icing boots could be airbrushed in semi gloss black. Aft exhaust panel to
engines were painted a mix of light gray and silver. The exhaust outlet was
painted a mix to simulate burnish metal. Propeller blades had the tips painted
in stripes of white red white (3” wide on the actual prop) with the rest of the
blade being light gray and black leading edge. The nacelles front rings were
light gray. I have used a Roodecal sheet for the Friendship. I got this sheet
from Victorian Hobby Centre of
do civilian types but building the occasional prop driven civilian one is
always enjoyable and makes a change too. Roodecal made a truly interesting
decal sheet complete with prop danger markings. If you manage to find a copy
of the decal and you are a civilian model enthusiast it is worth having and
is recommended for both the MPC and Airfix kits.
Carmel J. Attard
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