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  Special Hobby 1/72: Blackburn Roc Mk.I (# SH 72141)

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PostSubject: Special Hobby 1/72: Blackburn Roc Mk.I (# SH 72141)   Wed Feb 22 2017, 23:32

The Blackburn Roc was a Developed from the Blackburn Skua as a carrier-borne fighter for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. It differed from the Skua in that it was equipped with a four-gun powered turret (by Boulton-Paul - the same maker as the similarly equipped Defiant).

The Roc first flew in 1938. It differed from the Skua, aside from the turret, in that it had wing dihedral, no upturned wing-tips, nor wing guns. The turret was armed with four Browning .303 machine guns. It could also carry a small bomb load on racks mounted under the wings.

The Roc was outclassed by most fighters (and bombers) by the time it entered service. It was much slower than the Skua (or even the Defiant) and overall performance was poor at best. Only 136 Rocs were built with most being withdrawn from front-line service. Very few ever saw actual combat.

That said, the subject of my build is considered one of the few Rocs to have seen combat service. From what I gather online, Roc L3075 / L6R managed to shoot down a German Ju-88 over Dunkirk. With a group of Skuas attacking the German bombers from above, L6R managed to get underneath one and shot it down.

The Kit

This is Special Hobby kit # SH72141 in 1/72 scale. The kit contains two trees of plastic parts in light grey, one tree of clear plastic (canopy, turret, etc), a bag of resin parts (engine), and some photo-etch parts. It also contains a set of assembly and painting instructions that are nicely done. Decals are included for four different aircraft and are of very good quality.

This is one of those kits that just falls short of being a great kit. This is due to some problems with the engineering of the model itself. The resin engine, for example, has a bunch of really tiny exhaust pipes that need to be glued-on. However, the engine is mounted so far back on the firewall of the fuselage that you would NEVER see them. I noticed this before assembly so I left them off. That the engine is so far back also impacts the attachment of the prop in that the propeller shaft is to short and doesn't come close to the engine for gluing. I had to cut a paperclip to length to get the prop attached.

Moving on, the landing gear assembly is overly complicated for a model of this scale - especially since you need to add P/E parts for no real reason that I can see. The turret was a big problem in that the machine guns do not have enough spacing to fit (and the turret was in two separate pieces which had to be joined) so you have to do a lot of trimming to the brittle clear plastic. That done, the dorsal area behind the turret is full-up only (you cannot build it in the down/retracted position without major modifications) and, like the turret, is to wide for the machine guns. So count on lots of sanding and shaving there too.

The only reason this didn't become another "Hall of Shame" entry is that I think the build came out rather nice after all. Despite the unnecessary challenges the kit provided, it still produces a nice build of this unusual aircraft. I probably should have weathered it some, but opted to leave it as is (I think after a week of futzing with a model I get to the point I want it over and done with).

Some Build Firsts

1. This is my first use of Humbrol paints. I usually only use Testors or Tamiya as they are readily availble at the hobby store near me. But I needed special colors for this buils and could only find them as Humbrol paints which I ordered online. They arrived in little tiny paint tins (so cute Wink ). Generally I quite like them.

2. EZ Line. I got my sampler this week and used some for the antenna wire on this model. Weird stuff that is very easy to use. I will enjoy testing it on future builds.

So here are the pics. The last show the model alongside a die cast Blackburn Skua from IXO.
















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