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About DMC

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    Nottingham, UK
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    Modelling and reading

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  1. I had a little trouble when I attempted a pull with the PET-G. Small bubbles appeared in the first three or four attempts. Finally, DOH, realized I might have the heat set too high and was practically boiling the plastic. Tried a different thermometer and reset the heat. Much better but didn't allow for the extra time needed. An incomplete pull. Sorted that and got a much better result. Tricky business this vacuum forming. I'm learning but also going through a bit of material doing so. The cowling on the Bearcat goes from a shallow curve at the front to a definite peak at the windshield, and on into the cockpit. The peak is commented on and shown in Mr Temma's build linked above. The Testors cowling is more rounded at the windshield. I tried to file a peak but had no luck with it so decided to insert a piece with the peak already formed. I shaped a clay mould and pressed it into a rectangle of .030 styrene. The result looks promising and I'll see about fitting it in later in the week (incommunicado for a few days). Cheers Dennis
  2. The Testors canopy is a bit thick and the windshield is slanted as on the -1 rather than a -2, which is what the kit is. So, referring to Temma's drawings and close up photos of the real thing, I shaped one out of clay and fit it to the fuselage. It had that blown look that I was after so I vaced it using opaque styrene rather than clear Pet-G. Using white styrene gives me a better idea of the shape and fit. The first pull wasn't too bad but there was a little webbing so I tried a second. Much better the second time and after trimming, a pretty good fit. I've pulled several out of Pet-G and after some trouble with the oven temperature managed to get one that is usable. I'll post photos later today. Cheers Dennis
  3. As do I but when perusing his Home Page I find it hard to believe he made all the models I don't know very much about his methods but surly some of those were made by contributors? Or not? Great stuff, Jon, are these from a WIP? If so I'm wondering how I missed it? Before I enlisted perhaps? Pulled another couple of cowlings today. The one in the above photo looked pretty good in shape but the depth looked a little shallow by about half a mil or so (I know, it's a curse). Got it this time, however, and unless I step on it or do something equally stupid it's the one I'll use. Also had a trail run with pulling a canopy and that looked promising. I'll post photos tomorrow if the light looks good. If not, it'll be after Telford. The photo below is the best one I've found so far of the cowling in profile. Had it for so long I've forgotten just who took it. Happy to credit anyone who took it. Cheers, and thanks again Dennis
  4. After removing the excess styrene from the best of the two cowling pulls, I wasn't too happy with the look of it. Too much of a blunt, bullnose appearance, I thought. So, after adding a little more to the back of it and baking that on, I chucked it in my trusty Tamiya drill and reshaped it a bit and also enlarged the front opening somewhat. After another pull I cleaned it up and fitted it to the larger part of the cowling. A pretty good match and I won't be messing with the cowling anymore (but a spare might be useful in case of an accident). Also, there is an oil cooler vent, underneath, on the aft end of the cowling. On the kit it is blanked off and not very convincing. I tried scraping an opening but it turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Rubbish effect, in fact. So I just cut a bit out of the panel and replaced it with a width of beer can foil. Much better now, really thin as it should be. There are four braces to fit in the opening but I'm going to hold off on them for the time being. There is a good picture of this vent on Tailhook Topics. The link for that is in Jonner's reply above. Cheers Dennis
  5. Hi Zac, This, then, if you haven't already seen it, might be of interest to you. It's the Testors kit with a few detail additions and a reworked stab back dated to a -1. No mention of the dreaded misshapen cowl. Looks pretty good to me. My 'cat, should I ever finish it (my completion record is not very good), will have US Navy markings. I only reconnected with the F8F after reading a little about French ones in Indochina. Not sure about the Hobbycraft F8F but I've read it has accuracy problems also. See the link in Troy's reply above. I expect I'll pick one up at Telford on Saturday just out of curiosity. http://www.arcair.com/Gal6/5701-5800/gal5769-Bearcat-Reinbott/00.shtm Good, I am a follower and admirer of you work and wouldn't want anything to sour the experience. It would seem that none of the 1/48 F8F kits are without faults. But as you say, they are perfectly acceptable for the "unconcerned", which probably describes the larger percentage of modellers. For me they are not deal breakers, I just look at them as kits with a few problems that I can work on solving. Which is what I like to do. Taking your comments on board and no doubt more on the subject later. Out for the day now. Cheers Dennis
  6. Thanks, Jonners, already bookmarked and one of my favourite sites. Cheers Dennis
  7. Okay, kitchen duties over. The following build by this Japanese gentleman features his observations on the F8F and a complete reworking of monogram's 1/72 kit. There are also two sets of his own extensive drawings on the -1 and -2 which I have based my comments on the Testor's and Hobbyboss kits on. I have an enlarged set of the drawings in front of me as we speak and I'll start with the Hobbyboss kit. The Hobbyboss -1 kit is a near perfect match with the drawings. The much maligned cowling is a good match on the sides and underneath but, oddly, there appears to be a slight bump on the top which could be easily removed with a few swipes of some sandpaper. The wings and empennage outlines are, again, a near perfect match. There may be the difference of a pencil line width but, hey. The wing root thickness, when compared with the drawings, matches very well. After all, this airplane, with its stubby wings, needed thick wing roots for what it was designed to do. Dogfight! What's wrong with the wings, as Jonners has stated, are the valleys between the aileron and empennage ribs and the shallow and spurious detail of the wheel wells. The valleys could be reduced by piling on the primer and sanding it down, or even by replacing them with ones from the Testors kit as they are a pretty good match. They wheel wells need to be cut out and new ones scratched. Or, replaced with resin ones if they are available. If you have the Hobbyboss kit and have held off building it because of accuracy issues, just go ahead and build it. It'll look like a Bearcat when your done. Just don't look too closely at the ailerons or pick it up and fret about the wheel wells http://www.geocities.jp/yoyuso/f8f/f8fe.html Some good shots, here, of, I assume, the first F8F being built. There's a good head on shot about halfway down. Check out the thickness of the wing roots. http://axis-and-allies-paintworks.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?4033.post The Testors ki, a -2,t is also a pretty good match with the drawings, except for the cowling and vertical stab. As the Japanese gentleman has stated, "t has a good atmosphere". Thanks, Troy, and thanks for the links. I've read Jonner's post and already have Jackson's Testors build bookmarked. And thank you, Jonners, no offense meant. It's just that I think the Hobbyboss kit is a pretty good one overall and undeserving of such harsh criticism. Cheers Dennis
  8. Hi CC, Ok, understand the following comments are just my take on the Testors kit, others may disagree. I am, however basing them on an excellent set of plans that I stumbled upon. The cowling is a little sharpish and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to correct it by sanding. The engine is a bit simplified. Resin replacements would do nicely. (Get two F7F Tigercat replacements and save a little £.) Working backwards, the cockpit is almost non-existent. The vertical stab needs lengthening and widening. Underneath, the wheel wells need detailing, as do the landing gear. The wheels are a little on the thin side. The Barracuda resin ones look pretty good. There's more probably, just depends on how fussy you are about the details. Having said all that, I like the kit. The plastic is on the soft side (mine is anyway) and easy to work with and I really like cutting them up and "correcting" them. I'll add a couple of links that might interest you in a few minutes. Must tend to supper now as I am the kitchen toto tonight. Cheers Dennis
  9. Hi, I use a beat up old toaster oven. The dials have been worn clean so I use an egg timer to help with, well, the timing. Also use an oven thermometer. Vacuum source is a "Henry" shop vac. Would like something with more suction but that's what I've got. I understand a bicycle pump can be rigged up with a shop vac to provide additional suction. Sort of two stage vacuum pump. Cheers Dennis
  10. My recent reading about the Vietnam helicopter air war led me from Hueys to the use of F8Fs by the French. The Bearcat and I go back quite a long ways, back to the early 50s in fact. A foggy memory prevents me from remembering exactly when and how I first became interested in them but I have an idea. Back then there was very little, if any, reference material available for modellers so I expect I first saw one after we moved to Merrimack Park, next to NAS Norfolk, Va. There was a spot near Mason's Creek where we could look across the creek and watch the planes take off and land. If it flew and was military I must have seen it at one time or another, even blimps! I used to, at the time but not now, read comic books. The best were published by EC Comics and Frontline Combat and Two-fisted Tales were the ones I usually bought, for only ten cents. Anyway, such was my interest in the Bearcat that I wrote to EC and requested a piece on Bearcats operating off the Korean coast (the war was raging at the time). Who knew? I never heard from EC but that didn't quell my enthusiasm for the Bearcat and I eventually discovered that there was indeed a model kit to be had for the princely sum of $2.95, which was, to me, a fortune in those days. But more about that later. Skip to the present and me pulling my two F8F kits, Testors and Hobbyboss, from my modest stash and having a good old rummage through the boxes. I had bought the Testors kit for next to nothing at a Duxford air show not long after I enlisted in BM. I thought "well, I'll just give the Seasprite a bit of gardening leave and do a little work on the Testors kit", if I messed it up I'd not be out a lot of coin. The first order of business was to see about correcting the front cowling. I had made a clay mould after I bought the kit with the idea that I might be able to plunge mould a new one. But I didn't think plunge moulding would quite do it so I decided to go the vacuum forming route. I had a small wooden gift box and a bit of perforated metal that I had intended to make into a rig that I could vac cowls, canopies and such like. I put the rig together and had a go at vac forming a new cowling out of .040 styrene. Clockwise from top left: Clay mould on the left and the Testors cowling My mini vacuum forming rig First pull, not bad, will work on any 1/48 kit Second pull, pretty good, sharper definition. I'm pleased with this Cheers Dennis
  11. Spot on! Nice one. Dennis
  12. Hi, I've enjoyed following along as you progress on your Huey build. I have this kit and think the detail quite good for such a small model. My only complaint is it's dark olive colour. Tired old eyes find grey much easier to work with. You're doing very well with the dark colour, however. Dennis
  13. Game of Thrones: recommended?

    Yikes! You must have got through it very quickly. We watch one a night and I think we've watched only about four (my wife has the keys to the cabinet). Production values very good, must have cost an absolute fortune to make. Dennis
  14. Game of Thrones: recommended?

    Well, watched a few episodes and, yes, we think it's very good. Biggest problem we have with it will be summoning up the discipline to watch one episode at a time. Went through Breaking Bad like fat through a goose, did better with House of Cards but it will be difficult to call time on this one after one episode. I see Sean Bean is in it and my guess is he'll get the chop about a third of the way into it. He never seems to make it all the way through one of these fantasy epics. Cheers, and thanks for the recommendations. Dennis
  15. Good on you. Quite often the simple pleasure of the build and a pleasing result outweigh misplaced panel lines, colour discrepancies and the like. Cheers Dennis