SNCASE Aquilon
(Sea Venom conversion)
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Aquilon model in 1/32 scale
Conversion  report

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Step 39
In the kits, not only the canopy and glass section, but also the cockpit ridge are provided as transparent parts strangely enough. The ridge/ lower section part #98 does not fit very well. It was decided to fit it now. 

But first: the inner windshield surfaces of part #98 were masked off with Tamiya tape, as well as the outer surfaces to protect the glass. This would be required as the cockpit still needs painting as well.  The tape can be removed later on.

For later Aquilon variants, some modification was necessary to the canopy. These Aquilons had rear sliding canopies, not upward tilting as on normal (Sea) Venoms. 

The Aquilon 203 sliding canopy is also longer and has a covered rear fairing. 

The aft section of the lower ridge #98 was sawed off; this was glued to the forward canopy part #99. Next, the whole set was sanded flat as it would be used as a master to re-shape a new scratch made Aquilon canopy.

For making the canopy, I used my vacuum box. It is an air sealed box with a grid on top and an opening for a vacuum cleaner hose on the side. You fix the master with double sided tape on the open grid, also making the opening on top with Scotch tape smaller and use this to vacuum shape a heated part. 

A sheet of acetate plastic was heated in this case for the canopy to 170 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. The vacuum cleaner was turned on and the box set with the master ready to put on the heated acetate sheet; speed is needed here. The air pulls the sheet over the master mould and here you get your canopy! I needed a couple of tries to get a clear canopy.

Aquilon canopy 

 ... and Sea Venom canopy for comparison.

The canopy was trimmed to correct size and finished as a normal canopy, painting the edges, adding internal details from plastic strip etc.

Step 40
The remaining section of the forward ridge was glued on the fuselage. Filler was applied between the ridge and the fuselage as the fit is not perfect. 

Next, careful sanding was done for both models. With plastic strip, sprue and card details were added. 



Masking took considerable time in the cockpit area. I put on Tamiya masking tape in the insides and outsides of the windshields. This is really required to protect your clear windshields.

The small intake scope #13 was not yet fitted.

Steps 28-33
The wing tip tanks were assembled, needing minor sanding and filling. The tanks are not yet fitted as they will be fitted after painting the model.

The too thick wing fences were sanded thinner on a flat surface and put on the wings. For the Aquilon, the outboard wing sections were kept separate as these would be set in a folded up position. 

This all completed the main assemblies.

The model was given a light grey base coat using the airbrush to check for any flaws. These were corrected with filler and sanding everything smooth and "invisible".

The cockpit areas were sprayed black.

    Aquilon model views, with light grey primer


The Aquilon was now ready for a final colour paint coat applied with the Badger 150 airbrush. Some masking was also necessary in due course. 

For the French Aquilon it was very difficult to establish the overall colour. Some sources suggested French midnight blue... what ever that colour is? Information was obtained from IPMS France, La VdM No.11 publication. Also, sources indicated that the standard colour for French navy aircraft in that period was "bleu marine brilliant" (gloss sea blue). The US equivalent was FS25042. But considerable variations in colours were seen, some planes coming from the US, others from Britain and the French planes. The Aquilon was no exception as can be seen on the rare colour pictures, its colour was quite different.

  Merci Mr. A. Dulieu / IPMS France for the information!

I looked at several Aquilon colour pictures and choose to use enamel  Revell SM350 blue. 
Applying the blue coat particularly onto the Aquilon took a couple of coats. 

The gear bays got a coat of aluminium / metal. 

The Aquilon tanks needed a tricky white line, this was accomplished with Tamiya masking tape and airbrushing the tanks. 


Here a detail can be seen on the Aquilon flap area and main gear bay area. These were detailed with strip and card.

View on the Aquilon nose area, details in the cockpit and avionics bay still to be added. 

The Aquilon jets were not much weathered as they were well maintained for carrier operations.

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Created this page 
February 16, 2008;