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Navy Bird
Bill Gilman (Navy Bird)


Blackburn Skua Mk.II (Special Hobby)

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I'm working on this little baby while I'm in-between steps on the PB4Y-1 Libby. You know, the Skua would almost look elegant if the canopy wasn't there! But I have to build one of these, as it was a Skua that scored the first aerial victory for the Fleet Air Arm in WWII.



This album is attached to project Blackburn Skua Mk.II.

Albums: 1 with 61 images
1:72 Blackburn Skua Mk.II Silver Wing (Special Hobby SH72217)
Blackburn Skua Mk.II
GB Military Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (1937-now)
803 NAS L2887/A7F | 1939 | Silver


8. January 2014 at 02:39:57 Share
Show 76 previous comments
Clifford Keesler Interesting subject, looking good.
8. January 2014 at 02:45:56
Bill Gilman Of course, once I build this guy I will have to get a Roc to go along with it! :)
8. January 2014 at 02:50:58
Bill Gilman The colour is wrong in those photos of the cockpit - I must have had a setting wrong, probably white balance. The interior green in the photo does not match what's on the model! I'll fix that for the next batch. In the meantime, I've added some historical photos.
8. January 2014 at 03:21:30
B This'll be cool. I'm in :D I have a special hobby P-59,I've never built a special hobby kit. Are they nice?
8. January 2014 at 03:37:24
Bill Gilman Depends entirely on how nice you are to them. :)
8. January 2014 at 04:11:51
B :P haha,the quality looks really nice,I'll get around to building it soon :D
8. January 2014 at 04:33:56
Dave Flitton Watching!!
8. January 2014 at 05:05:16
Bill Gilman I made some progress on the Skua today as well. The cockpit is finished! I've added some pictures to document this monumental event. :)
20. January 2014 at 02:14:38
Bill Gilman Hey mates! Just for giggles I did some work on the Skua tonight. Unlike some Special Hobby kits, the fuselage and wings went together with hardly any filler at all. Just a bit of Mr Surfacer. The wing roots in particular fit very well. I also started the resin engine, adding eighteen exhaust pipes which will feed into the collector ring at the front of the cowl. The engine stays are made from very delicate photoetch. I think those will only be handled when absolutely necessary!
26. February 2014 at 03:57:06
Dave Flitton Excellent!! You are almost done!!
27. February 2014 at 00:49:55
Alan Rush Really interesting build, Bill. The work on the cockpit looks great and looking forward to the exterior finish.
27. February 2014 at 03:15:49
Bill Gilman Ha! Almost done - you funny guy! I have to finish writing my Manifesto for work modeling for me today. :(
27. February 2014 at 03:19:44
Bill Gilman I bought this cool vacuform machine from China (see post 17). I paid $50 - I see that MicroMark is now selling it in the States for $150. I think I got a deal. Now I need something to vacuform - maybe the Skua canopy, so I can open it up! :)
27. February 2014 at 03:21:22
Clifford Keesler That will be really neat.
27. February 2014 at 19:04:06
Bill Gilman Some more work on the Skua. First, a problem created by me (not unusual!). When I assembled the main landing gear, it had this curious backward rake. The drawing on the front page of the instructions showed the gear to be perpendicular to the bottom of the wing, so I modified the kit's gear to be like that.

Then I found photos online that verified what I had originally built - the gear should be perpendicular to the ground. Special Hobby engineered the kit right, but included a drawing that is wrong. So I had to take off the gear and change it back to what it was to begin with.

I also did some work on the resin engine. It's starting to look the part. Today I'll be be masking the canopy, which I've decided to leave in one piece. New photos uploaded. Cheers!
8. March 2014 at 16:15:08
Bill Gilman Special Hobby left out the oil cooler vents - and I thought this was going to be an OOB build. Ha! I guess I'll be making the vents out of some styrene stock...
9. March 2014 at 01:32:16
Philip De Keyser How did I mis this :( great job Bill, the cockpit looks great, looking forward to the next steps
9. March 2014 at 10:08:48
Bill Gilman Thanks, Philip! I've added a couple more photos, we're slowly getting close to painting. If only work wouldn't give me so much, er, work to do! And on a weekend, too! :(
9. March 2014 at 20:27:57
Stefan Schneider And again a great job! Don't worry Bill. Work will be over soon for sure and then you can return to the WORKbench ;)
10. March 2014 at 09:50:53
Bill Gilman Hi mates! I made some slow progress on the Skua over the weekend. I mounted the engine and added the very delicate PE stays - that was the most fun I've had since an ear drum puncture at a Doors concert in 1968! The cowling is on and I have to admit that it looks just like a Sea Fury! Well, OK, maybe not. Check out the photos.

Since then, I added the optical sight, closed up the cockpit by adding the canopy, and did my best to smooth the canopy into the fuselage. Devilishly hard, there are very strange curves and transitions there. I'm afraid it may not look as good as it should. But in any event, I then primed the fuselage, micro-meshed her down, and painted some Aluminum! I'll add those photos tonight. Cheers!
17. March 2014 at 19:10:12
Philip De Keyser Looking forward to the next pictures Bill, great job so far
17. March 2014 at 19:45:07
Roland Sachsenhofer Hello Bill, will be following this with great interest...
Interesting subject and wonderful build so far- my expactations are high! :)
17. March 2014 at 19:49:58
Dirk Heyer Well Well, Bill!
You have chosen an interesting project.
Excuse me Bill, but your intention to built an OOB model with Special Hobby must be a bad joke. ;)
Otherwise I`m truly surprised about the fine detailed Peseus XII resin engine in that scale! Looks fine, but sadly later hidden?
Would be great if you could inform me/us about your expieriences with the vacu machine?
Could you drop me a link via PM?
I`m looking for a machine like this for a long time.
17. March 2014 at 21:09:05
Bill Gilman Ha! I thought it was a good joke! Actually, it's been a good build so far. Just the typical short run issues, like having to figure out where to attach the parts. At least you can see the front of the engine with the cowling on. My next project is an F7F Tigercat, and both engines will be uncovered so you can see everything! I'll send you a PM about the vacuform machine. Cheers!
18. March 2014 at 16:12:03
Hunter Cummins I love this
now I want one
good thing there is a model show this saturday
ill be on the hunt
19. March 2014 at 23:53:55
Bill Gilman Hey Hunter, did you find one at the model show?

Mates, I finally painted the Skua. I used Alclad Dark Aluminum for the silver finish, Stainless Steel for the collector ring, and Dull Aluminum for the control surfaces. I know that these early Skuas were not left natural metal (other than the collector ring), but were painted with a silver lacquer. I chose Alclad because it has no appreciable grain, and looks nice and smooth. Most silver paints look too grainy for me, especially in 1:72 scale. The final model will get a coat of satin sheen to remove much of the natural metal look. Cheers!
23. March 2014 at 00:29:19
Hunter Cummins I wish :S haha
I xtill want to find one
23. March 2014 at 00:30:17
james johnson A question here Bill, I don't know if you recall, but previously I asked you about the process of applying the Alclad Aluminum. My source (Alclad, I think) indicated that the aircraft should first be primed with Alclad Black Primer & Microfiller #309.
You went on to indicate that this primer is then sanded (sounds counter intuitive to me) then hit with the Aluminum enamel?..
I see none of this here. Am I missing something?
Please help!! I have a Mustang in the wings that I've been dying to try a metallic finish on.
23. March 2014 at 01:11:06
Jose Miguel Rodriguez Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23. March 2014 at 01:16:09
Bill Gilman I primed the Skua with Alclad Grey Primer & Microfiller #302, and then dry sanded it with #2000 grit paper. The sanding is necessary because the Grey Primer is not glossy, it's flat. Sanding with #2000 makes it very smooth, but not fully polished. I believe you should always prime the plastic before spraying Alclad (which is a lacquer) to ensure it adheres well, and doesn't attack the plastic. Some plastics will "craze" if painted directly with lacquer.

In my opinion, the Alclad glossy black primer #309 (which you don't sand, your intuition is safe!) is only necessary when you want a natural metal finish that is VERY shiny, like chrome, highly polished aluminum, or their prismatic colours. Complete instructions for Alclad are here:

Other modellers do things differently, I'm sure. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. :)
23. March 2014 at 01:24:49
Clifford Keesler Looking very nice Bill.
23. March 2014 at 01:27:18
james johnson Thanks Bill!; as you may recall, I hate's my second greatest fault!
Now I can get to that Mustang I've been blowing off!
23. March 2014 at 01:28:53
Alan Rush Hi Bill. Thanks for your steps in using Alclad. Have bottles of black primer and polished aluminum and the kits to put them on, but haven't done it yet. The Skua looks great and the finish on different surfaces turned out very nicely. You are right that the canopy doesn't add to appearances, but you may not even notice with the job you have done. Nice.
23. March 2014 at 02:30:09
Rob van Dodewaard very very nice build
23. March 2014 at 06:39:18
Steve Desarzens great building and painting
23. March 2014 at 06:43:50
Roland Sachsenhofer Great work Bill! Thank you for the pictures and the words on Alclad...
23. March 2014 at 07:35:22
Philip De Keyser Great paintjob Bill
23. March 2014 at 08:38:29
Bill Gilman I forgot the guns in the wings - Ich bin ein dumm Kopf! Now I must think of a way to fake it - thank goodness this is 1:72. You can get away with a lot of fake things in this scale! :)
23. March 2014 at 19:04:54
Hunter Cummins Put them in hahaah
then go over them and mask off the other parts lol
I still want this kit
can you find one some where ??
23. March 2014 at 19:29:27
Christian Meyerhoff Hi Bill! Since I watched Your Liberator I think nothing will go wrong with any kit build by you. You will make it and it will look perfect! :)
23. March 2014 at 20:03:55
Bill Gilman Hunter: Sprue Brothers have them in stock:

Pavla (Octopus) also make a 1:72 kit but it is not recommended. Special Hobby also make these two versions in 1:48 scale.

Christian: It's all a ruse - the projects only look perfect because I never post any photos on-line of the huge mistakes I make! Which I make all the time! :)
23. March 2014 at 20:40:34
Bill Gilman Arghh...looks like those nice red wingtips may need to come off. I think the Special Hobby instructions are wrong. 803 Squadron did not use coloured wingtips. I also think the fin decal is wrong, and the box art is right. The box art show the fin colours as blue/white/blue (from the top) and the decal is blue/white/red. Ah, the joys of building a Special Hobby kit!
23. March 2014 at 21:38:00
Hunter Cummins Thank you bill
Now to find a way on how I can order it
23. March 2014 at 21:53:01
Bill Gilman Well, if you manage to get a copy, don't do what I did and follow the instructions! The more I dig into this, the more I will have to change the markings. Fun, fun, fun...until Daddy takes the T-bird away! :)
23. March 2014 at 22:18:31
John Bollig Bill I have the old frog kit and I have a couple of the novo reboxing. I can actually say that it is not a bad kit
24. March 2014 at 00:21:33
Bill Gilman I've always found the Frog kits to be quite good for their time. Some of them have better shape accuracy than more modern kits. I've never built their Skua though.

The Special Hobby kit is pretty nice, but as you can see there are some questions about the markings. I've bounced this off the guys over at Britmodeller, and the answer is not clear. Technically, the fin stripes should be red, since this plane is the second flight leader, but there should not be any painted wingtips. But a well-respected treatise on the FAA states that the fin stripes were blue, which is probably why they're shown that way on the box art. Sooner or later I'll have to make a decision so I can finish the build! :)
24. March 2014 at 01:14:53
Bill Gilman Hey, John - if you have the "old" old Frog kit of the Skua - the one shown at the top of this page as a Penguin kit - it's worth some serious coin. Just don't build it!
24. March 2014 at 18:33:46
Dave Flitton Thanks for the info!
24. March 2014 at 18:41:49
Bill Gilman Hi mates, I've uploaded four new photos that show the kit as Special Hobby would have you paint and decal it. However, after conversing with some researchers in the UK who know their Skuas, the fin stripes on L2887/A7F should be blue/white/blue, and the wingtips were either not painted at all or at most had just the tips painted, not the entire dihedral area. In other words, it should look like the box art, and not the instructions!

What to do, what to about we fire up the old airbrush again? :) :) :)
25. March 2014 at 01:05:13
Jose Miguel Rodriguez Nice Bill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
25. March 2014 at 18:43:23
Jermaine Hoskin It looks to me that you have pulled off another flawless paint finish again. I'm very impressed with the work.
25. March 2014 at 23:03:21
Bill Gilman New Skua photos - I did some touch up on the paint, making the fin stripes all blue, and removing the red wingtips. This was based on the best advice I could get from the Skua experts I consulted. One of the photos of L2887/A7F seems to show that the "painted wingtip" is really just a shadow due to the dihedral of the outer wing section.

I also added a panel line wash and sprayed Floquil flat as a top coat. Remember, the Skua was painted aluminum lacquer at this point, and was not natural metal. The Floquil flat gives a nice satin sheen, and when used over Alclad it looks like aluminum lacquer. Not too much left to do! :)
8. April 2014 at 15:22:00
Roland Sachsenhofer Most impressive! I love that neat and satin look- hard to believe it´s 1:72!
8. April 2014 at 15:49:02
Lionel Marco
Lovely, if I can say so of this plane
8. April 2014 at 16:29:06
Bernd Korte I love it, especially the paint finish!
8. April 2014 at 17:25:40
Bernhard Schrock Bill I think you constructed an shrinking machine and shrunk an original Skua :)
8. April 2014 at 18:05:22
8. April 2014 at 18:06:31
Augie bloody excellent!!
8. April 2014 at 18:07:28
Clifford Keesler Excellent job Bill.
9. April 2014 at 14:00:40
Burkhard D Good to see some airplane posts after all those tank posts in the past days :D
Bill - amazing how you turn even a Skua into a beauty
9. April 2014 at 14:14:24
Gordon Sørensen Looks good Bill!
9. April 2014 at 14:28:53
Bill Gilman Thanks mates!
Burkhard - it's a Skua? I thought it was a Sea Fury! :) :) :)
9. April 2014 at 16:31:39
Erik Houghton Nice, Bill.
10. April 2014 at 00:23:34
Bill Gilman Hi mates - it's been a while since I posted, but I can report that the Skua is finished. I've posted a bunch of new pictures to show the finished model. I think it came out OK.

Now for the toughest part about finishing a model - picking a new one from the stash to work on! :)
8. May 2014 at 23:14:31
B Awesome job!! How about this next: Avro Vulcan B Mk2 XH558 (Airfix A50097, 1:72)

1:72 Avro Vulcan B Mk2 XH558 (Airfix A50097)
8. May 2014 at 23:37:19
Bill Gilman Oh no! Not that one! I can't do that one, they don't give you enough paint in those little cups. Pick another one! :)
9. May 2014 at 01:29:25
B F-89! Yeah!! :D
9. May 2014 at 01:48:19
Clifford Keesler Yea F-89!!! Wish they still made them in 1/48, maybe Revell/Monogram will re-release it in 1/48 it was a great kit.
9. May 2014 at 01:56:12
Alexander Perov very nice and neatly turned out to wish further success
9. May 2014 at 09:11:53
Holger Kranich How about this one for your next project, Uncle?
No, not 109 ;)!
Lockheed F-104C Starfighter (Revell 04302, 1:72)

1:72 Lockheed F-104C Starfighter (Revell 04302)
9. May 2014 at 09:48:43
Urban Gardini The F-104C is a great kit!
9. May 2014 at 09:58:54
Urban Gardini I need to pick mine up again n' complete it.
9. May 2014 at 09:59:40
Burkhard D I'd love to see the TSR.2 or the Meteor F.3 - I think the latter has nice representations of the engines included. You'd certainly turn it into a stunner. :)
10. May 2014 at 05:23:34
Lionel Marco
I have a look at your stash: I now understand why you have problems to choose a kit: too many interesting boxes!
If i may, what about a british twin engine bomber: There's a few seldom seen kit that would be interesting ( HP O/400, Whitley, Hampden, Heyford to name a few...)
10. May 2014 at 06:20:24
Carlos Medrano WOW..great job!
10. May 2014 at 08:35:53
Bill Gilman Thanks, everyone! And thanks also for the kit suggestions - I've been in a "propeller" mood lately, but all of your choices look very good. What I should do is finish one of the kits that I have started, either the F7F Tigercat or the F8U Crusader. Most likely it will be the Tigercat. :)
10. May 2014 at 13:55:31
Urban Gardini I like the Crusader but one doesn't see the Tigercat often so go with that n' then the Crusader.
10. May 2014 at 13:57:18
Dirk Heyer Bill the jeweler,
has refined again a gem!
11. May 2014 at 15:58:03
John E Brilliant. Excellent finish!
12. May 2014 at 01:24:06
Christian Keller Hello Bill, built superb, looks absolutely fantastic. I have this model also as a kit, and now I know how it can look ;) Greets from switzerland
12. May 2014 at 04:27:18
12. May 2014 at 11:58:59
Dirk Heyer Additional I would like to say, the Jeff Bridges Miniature, representing the big Lebowsky impressed me totally.
I think I`ve seen this movie five times or more.
Hey Bill, now I`ve discovered the secrets about your high skills and your serenity!!
Must be a lot of White Russians and Joints!!!! LOL
12. May 2014 at 13:58:28
Vitor Costa This is one of the ugliest aircraft ever, but once again Bill make it looks good!
Congratulations for another beautiful work!
12. May 2014 at 14:01:16
Christian Ristits What a beauty, love the finish!
12. May 2014 at 16:27:50
Jan Goormans Excellent !!!!
12. May 2014 at 17:08:22
Bill Gilman The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals. :) :) :)
12. May 2014 at 21:07:04
Dirk Heyer LOL
Bill, is it the "Talking Wacky Wobbler Bobble Head by Funko"?
12. May 2014 at 22:18:51
Bill Gilman Mine doesn't talk, but if he did he'd say "That Skua really ties the room together." I bought it at Universal Studios in California many years ago.
13. May 2014 at 01:59:07
Gareth Windsor you've done a great job on this little beauty. There is a great documentary that runs in the Fleet Air Arm museum with the wreckage that you have in the picture.
12. November 2015 at 22:06:36
Clifford Keesler Another excellent build Bill.
13. November 2015 at 00:47:59
Tim Hedworth Rather lovely Bill
13. November 2015 at 06:46:22
13. November 2015 at 08:05:10
13. November 2015 at 15:49:45
Bill Gilman Thanks, mates! Wow, you guys must be digging deep to find these old albums. Scalemates Archaeology! :)
16. November 2015 at 18:53:36
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