|PRICE:||$2.00 (in a plastic bag)|
|NOTES:||Conversion to a Swedish night fighter NF 3|
I bought the kit in a plastic bag without decals. The instructions is a single folded sheet, the text in Russian (or Ukrainian) – not readable to me. Seven sketches show in FROG manner how to put the model together. There are two sprues in a white semi- transparent styrene and a clear sprue with canopy only. The parts are rather crude, and the shape of the fuselage is doubtful. It is possible to make the model with gear out or in. There is no painting or decaling guide. Everything is completely up to you! It is a poor kit, hence the low price. The kit is absolutely a challenge for the skilled modeler.
I only bought this kit because it was cheap and I wanted to make a Swedish night fighter, Venom NF 3. The greatest challenge is to rebuild the rear end of the fuselage. First thing to do was removing the overhang with the arrester hook. The reshaping of the rear fuselage would imply some large holes. To avoid these, the rear fuselage halves were filled with plastic padding before assembly. The nose cone was stuffed with lead to avoid tail sitting. The “cockpit” was just a floor with two seats for the pilot and the system operator.
It was a major job to shape the rear end of the fuselage and the wings to change the FAW 22 into an NF 3 night fighter. It took a couple of hours, before the result was acceptable. Another major job was to remove the elevated hood in the port side. This “bulb” in the hood allowed the pilot a better look over the nose for a safe carrier landing. Fortunately, the clear plastic was thick enough to allow sanding the bulb away, without getting a hole in the canopy. It was also possible to regain transparency – without toothpaste! I had bought a special sanding stick, with grain 1500 on one side and grain 8000 on the other side. The grain 8000 side polishes better than toothpaste – and faster!
The front end of the fuselage was sanded to be more correct. The booms and fins were also sanded for a better shape. The rounded tail plane ends on the outer side of the booms were made of pieces of 1.5 mm plastic card, and sanded in shape to conform to the fin bulb. The wing tip tanks also needed some correction. I did not apply the rockets, since these were not in use by Flygvapnet. Only armament were the four 20 mm cannons under the nose. The openings were drilled out, to show the small circular holes of the gun barrels.
The wheel doors were far too thick. New ones were made from 0.37 mm plastic card. The two whip antennas on the booms were made of 0.2 mm gauge brass wire. The radar sword antennas placed on the upper side of the wings between the fuselage and the booms were made of 0.25 mm plastic card. There are four antennas in two different sizes. The inner ones are the larger, as a matter of fact not antennas, but reflectors. The inner wing fences, placed in front of the booms were added, made from 0.37 mm plastic card.
In short: almost everything was changed on this model! The wing trailing edges were far too thick, and had to be sanded down to be sharp. The pitot tube on the top of the port fin was changed with a scratch-built one, and finally the tail plane got two mass balances on the underside.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The color scheme of a Swedish night fighter Venom is medium sea grey all over (HB 165) and a dark green camouflage pattern on the upper side (HB 163). Undercarriage legs, wheel wells and hubs are also medium sea grey. Interior of cockpit and tires are black, Model Master Engine black and Tamiya XF 85 rubber black, both acrylic colors.
The decals were from a Maestro sheet, especially designed for the Swedish J 33 Venom night fighter. This high quality sheet has everything needed for an authentic model. There are three options, one from each squadron of the F 1 wing. The sheet has also options for two of the civil Venoms operated by Svensk Flygtjänst AB, see here. After the decaling, the model got a layer of HB Satin Cote protecting the decals and providing a nice finish of the model.
My definition of a good kit: a kit that will produce a correct miniature with a minimum of time consumption and effort. According to this definition, the Novo kit is a poor kit! It is not recommendable, unless you like the challenge of improving a poor kit into an acceptable model. I think it was great fun doing all the changes to this hopeless kit. However, it may be the only game in town for an injection kit of a Venom to a 1/72 scale.
Mikael Forsberg: J 33 De Havilland Venom NF 3, Publisher Allt om Hobby. ISBN 91-85496 -43-X
Björn Karlström: Flygplansritningar 2 – Swedish Fighter Aircraft 1926-1984, Publisher Allt om Hobby.
23 October 2018
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