Boulton Paul Sea Balliol
Special Hobby

1/72 scale kit of the Sea Balliol by Special Hobby
kit review / modelling report

The Boulton Paul Balliol was a two seat advanced trainer that served with the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm after the second world war. The prototype first flew May 1947. A turboprop engine was eventually not fitted but the famous Rolls Royce Merlin. The RAF used the aircraft, known as T2.

                 Advertisement in Flight December 1953

The Sea Balliol T.21 version was equipped with folding wings and and arrestor hook for deck landings. They were used until 1963 at RNAS 781 squadron at Lee-on-Solent and 1843 Squadron at Abbotsinch. For my the type was rather unknown but I saw one at Cosford museum:

(this aircraft was photographed by me at RAF Cosford museum 2007)

This aircraft type was little known and no kits existed until in 2012 Special Hobby issued a nice 1/72 kit. (SH72236)

The parts are in light grey plastic with etched metal parts and resin details. This is a short run kit, although much finer than earlier Special Hobby kit. Panel lines are nicely engraved. 

The kit decals (from Aviprint) as thin and well centred. They comprise 4  Royal Navy Air Service RNAS trainer T21 schemes for:
- maintenance Test pilots schoool RNAS Abbotsinch base, 1963 with metal and orange/yellow panels
- 727 NAS at Brawdy, 1957, metal scheme with yellow bands
- NAS/JOAC 1957, metal scheme with yellow bands
- HMS Triumph Aircraft Carrier Flight, 1953-1955.

This model was made straight out of the box as the colourfull aircraft at Abbotsinch.
Model assembly gave no problems. Some filler was needed.

The interior is nicely done with a film for the instruments and etched metal parts for sticks, throttles etc. Super glue is needed here. Clean up the "moulding" pips on the sides.

I added bulkheads made from cart. The instruments are a film acetate sheet but do not really add value as they are flat anyway. Overall, the cockpit interior was made coal black.

Assembly of the wings can be done in a folded o straight manner. For the unfolded wing, it is recommended to 
fit first the upper mid sections to the fuselage.
Next add strips and fit the outboard upper sections C4 , C1 .
Finally complete the wing with the other parts.

It is better not to use the ribs of resin. 

I had some trouble with the intake to get a good fit (A15 + A16). 

For the propeller, hole was drilled and a small plastic rod as aixle used. 

It was decided to set the mid canopy section open, so carefuly with a TIGER razorsaw cuts were made. Now we have 3 parts. The frames are difficult to paint, take time here. The canopy glazing is a bit thick and setting the canopy open is a bit awkward. 

The canopy was not yet fitted, but later I found that the rear section of canopy has a gap with the fuselage to the rear which is quite large. It was filled with a piece of card and white glue. I discovered this too late, better deal with it when the model is not yet painted. 

Filler was now needed at almost all joints!

Sanding was some work.

After basic assembly, the overall model got a light grey base coat. Correct any irregularities as needed. 
The gears were not yet fitted!

Most work with model is applying the colourfull RNAS scheme with the airbrush of metal, and the orange and yellow panels as per instructions. Colours used were:

Yellow:  Gunze Sangyo acrylic H4
Orange:  Modelmaster 4682 
Aluminium: Revel Aqua 90 acrylic silver  (The model is thus not be made too shiny.)

The yellow and orange panels were airbrushed FIRST, and than masked. 

The black antiglare panel was masked and airbrushed as well. The wingtip ant-collision lights were added and pianted red and blue. 

Decals were now applied as per kit instructions. 
The model got the rest of the details, such as the landing gear. It has torque links.

Finally a decal protecting coat of Johnson Future/ Pledge with the airbrush.

The canopy frames were painted metal with a paint brush. Set onto the model, see note above. 

Finally, the prop was set and a metal needle as pitot fitted to the wing leading edge.

Some views of the completed model..... 

Sea Balliol T.21 , operated by the Maintenance Test Pilots School at RNAS base Abbotsinch around 1963 

A nice addition to my British trainer model collection. 

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Created this page
February 9, 2013