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FK.8 Mid version

This is the newly released 1:48 scale Armstrong-Whitworth FK.8 produced by Copper State Models. This particular kit is the mid version and will be built mainly OOB. The kit arrived in excellent condition in a very sturdy cardboard box, the kit parts are housed within zip-lock plastic bags with the decals being in their own separate bag. There are three sheets of very comprehensive PE, this could prove a little intimidating to those who are not familiar with PE, there is also a small cardboard box containing the parts to construct a resin engine plus a metal exhaust which is excellent. Apart from the resin engine there is also a plastic engine for those who don’t like to work with resin. A quick look at the sprues revealed very nicely moulded parts with no flash and minimal ejector marks. CSM have certainly cemented their place in 1:48 scale injection moulded WW1 aircraft kits.

I have decided to start construction with the engine and for the purpose of this build I am using the injection moulded engine. The engine is very well detailed and has crisp detail, the first thing that needed doing was to separate the cylinders, I did this using a razor saw, it was quite a simple exercise, once the saw was cut through I used a piece of fine wet and dry paper to smooth out the cut. These pictures shows the first three cylinders separated.

I added the rocker arms to the top of each cylinder but to make them look more 3D I hollowed them out. To do this I firstly drilled a series of 0.3mm holes then filed them out with a fine jewellers file. I managed to do three rocker arms from each end, a little time consuming but well worth the effort. I also fitted the two magnetos, for the ignition lead connections I drilled 6 holes into each magneto, I used a 0.3mm tungsten carbide drill bit for this task. I added the plumbing that was supplied with the kit but there is a lot more work to do yet, next up will be the painting of the cylinders and crank cases. As with all of my engine builds I will be adding as much detail as possible.

Copper State Models
1:48 scale
Injection moulded

I have added a bit of paint to the engine. The cylinders were sprayed with MRP copper paint, being a very thin paint I needed to do four coats to get a good coverage. The rocker arms and base of the cylinders are brush painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless, when dry I buffed the paint lightly with a soft brush. The crank cases are brush painted with Mr Metal Color Chrome Silver 211, this colour brushes on extremely well and again buffs to a nice shine.

I have nearly completed one side of the engine by using various sizes of wire to simulate plumbing. The throttle cables are done by using 0.12mm copper wire, once fitted in place they were painted using Mr Metal Color Dark Iron. The ignition leads were made by using 0.09mm copper wire, once in place they were painted with Humbrol Matt 94. I will now attempt to complete the opposite side of the engine.

The engine sitting on the instruction booklet showing you the added detail that is not included with the kit. It is a little time consuming adding all the little bits and pieces but I believe it is well worth the effort, the engine is only very small so keeping everything in scale can pose a few issues.

I have completed detailing the engine by adding the ignition leads to each cylinder and I also added more plumbing. I also added the exhaust which is the kit supplied plastic exhaust, the premium metal exhaust is good but I prefer to use plastic. As I said earlier I opted to build the plastic engine and not the premium resin engine, in my opinion the plastic engine is every bit as good and details very well. Here are a series of photos showing the completed engine.

I have started to assemble the fuselage bits and pieces so while at this stage I thought it a good idea to trial fit the engine. With all the extra plumbing I added there could have been interference with the engine bearers but luckily everything fitted extremely well. I am very pleased with the way the detailed engine looks in the frame.

I assembled the two ammo storage boxes from the supplied PE, a little fiddly but the end result is quite appealing. I have also started to gather all the parts necessary for the fuselage interior ready for painting. The two fuselage halves had ejector pin marks which required filling and sanding before painting  

I have started to assemble the inside of the fuselage. I firstly painted the fuselage insides with MRP CDL paint as directed by the instructions. The wood bits have been painted using Humbrol enamels, I placed these parts into my heat box to accelerate the drying time. The machine gun was painted with Mr Metal Colour Stainless then lightly buffed, I will be leaving the ammo box beside the machine gun the PE colour. The fuselage frame rigging was done with 0.12mm Modelkasten elastic thread, small holes were drilled through the fuselage frames to accommodate the rigging and it is held in place with super glue. Because of the very tight tolerances all traces of paint have to be removed from any part that mates with the fuselage.

I trial fitted the top fuselage coaming and the engine to see if there was any interference of the two parts, both fitted extremely well. The two fuselage halves are also an excellent fit and should pose no issues when the final closing of the fuselage takes place.

I have completed the two fuselages halves by spraying them with a satin finish clear. Installing the machine gun ammo drums into the two boxes proved a little difficult, I had to removed a section from the side if the drums to allow them to slide into the ammo boxes, the cut section is unseen once the drum is inside the box. I used the kit supplied PE seat belt for the pilot seat, after tempering it was easy to bend into shape. The last photo shows the two fuselage sides assembled but not glued, the fit of these two sides is excellent, I did remove paint from any of the mating surfaces though. Once the clear coat has had 24 hours to dry I will close the fuselage up permanently, like most of these WW1 aircraft once the fuselage is closed little of the internal details are visible. So far this kit has gone together beautifully, the fit of parts is excellent and the instructions are extremely well done.