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p-26luvr

Nimrods, Flycatchers, a Dart, & a T4M-1

113 posts in this topic

In preperation for building 2 flying boat models I am going to make 6 smaller models as practice models. It has been over 25 years since I last did a vacform model. I will be making 2 each of the Hawker Nimrod & Fairey Flycatcher, a Blackburn Dart, & a Martin T4M-1. They are all by Esoteric models in 1/72nd scale. With the Nimrod & Flycatcher I will be making 2 different types of models, A Nimrod Mk 1 with straighr wings, & a Mk2 with the angled wings, both in colorful markings. With the Flycatcher I will be making both a wheeled & floatplane version. I have several pictures ready that I will post over 4 seperate posts so bear with me until I have posted them all. Carl T :thumbsup::speak_cool:

This is the Nimrod header sheet with the decal sheet.

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this is the Flycatcher header with the decal sheet.

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The same for the Dart.

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And lastly the Martin T4M-1.

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This is one of the flying boat models that I plan to make. A Douglas PD-1 in 1/72nd scale

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This is the other one, a Consolidated P2Y-2

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This is the sanding platform that I use to sand down the various parts. The T-bar is aluminum with self adhesive 150 grit sandpaper attached to the top. Having it in the bench vise like this allows me to use both hands while sanding.

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This is a roll of the sandpaper & 2 of the tweezers that i use the most with these models. Carl T

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These 2 pictures are of the Nimrod model before the parts are cut out.

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This is the Flycatcher model before the parts are cut out

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This is a vacform model before I mark off all of the parts. Carl T

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These next 2 pictures show how I mark out all of my cuts on these vacform models. Each black line is where I make a cut with my knife.

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This picture is of the straight wing Nimrod after being cut out. Next up is the sanding of these parts. Carl T

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Now that I have my pictures out of the way it is time for a little bit of more useful information. First off, I am no expert on making vacform models. I have made a few conversions but that is all. I have had these models in my stash for over 25 years, & have taken them out about 3 times a year to look at & then put them back away. Recently I purchased 3 vacform models that I have wanted to get for several years. One of them is the P2Y-2 shown above. A little over a month ago my friend Curt H made a 1/48th scale DeHavilland Sea Hornet vacform model that came out beautifully, so I asked him how he had done such a wonderful job of it. My set up for doing these models is the result of that advice. I have already completely sanded out the T4M-1, & am well on the way to having the Dart sanded out.

The main reason that I have chosen these 6 models is that this site has what it calls a slightly British slant to its modelling interests, & the fact that the planes involved are all very colorful as well.

The following 2 sites each have a 9 page, printed out, article on making vacform models. The first is by John Adams, well know to all on this site. www.aeroclub-models.com is his cintribution. It is called Vacform modelling- a new approach. The other is www.donsmodels.com here in the US. His is called Hints for building vacu-formed plastic & resin models. You will find the link to these in the text on the respective home page. For anyone that wants to enter this part of modelling seriously there has recently been issued a DVD disc rerelease of Richard Staszak's " Building & improving vacuum-formed model aircraft" book. The book was originally released by Kalmbach Books back in 1984, which I have in my collection. A very good review of the DVD may be found on page 580 of the July 2012 issue of Scale Aviation Modeller, the issue with the Hellcat on the cover. This book is, I consider, the bible for vacform modellers & is indispensible because it covers everything imaginable on this subject. Carl; T :thumbsup2:

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I couldn't seem to get either of those two links to work. The Aeroclub one comes up with a message that the site is unavailable until further notice. It may be a glitch with the other (though I browse via a Playstation 3) and says it cannot be displayed.

I only have one vacform in my stash (a relatively "easy" one... I hope) a DH Dove, so some useful information would not go amiss. I did find one "how to" on the net after a quick Google Search.

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I couldn't seem to get either of those two links to work. The Aeroclub one comes up with a message that the site is unavailable until further notice. It may be a glitch with the other (though I browse via a Playstation 3) and says it cannot be displayed.

I only have one vacform in my stash (a relatively "easy" one... I hope) a DH Dove, so some useful information would not go amiss. I did find one "how to" on the net after a quick Google Search.

I have just used the link to the Don's models & see the problem. On the index page that comes up scroll down to Aircraft model kits-product list- Dons models works & click on this. On the page that comes up click on the word HOME. Scroll down to Wngs model kits. At the bottom of that section is the link to the article I mentioned. I am sorry for any confusion. I have had both articles for some time. Carl T :banghead::thumbsup2:

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Interesting subjects there. Looking forward to watching you progress through these.

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These 2 pictures show how I break down the basic sheet into workable sections. The first one shows the sections before I cut out any seperate parts. This is one of the Fairey Flycatchers.

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This picture shows partially cut out parts.On the wing & horizontal tails you can see how I proceed. I first make my knife cut all the way around, but not all the way through. On any cuts that are on the model proper I generally make 2 or 3 light cuts so that the excess plastic breaks away easily. You will note that on these cuts that I have made a cut outward from the rounded tip & have broken off the excess only partway around the curve. You will also note that I have done the same thing on the fuselage & in the curve on the center of the rear of the wing. I do this because I think it makes for a better looking job.

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In making my cuts I use a regular X-ACTO knife with number 11 stainless steel blades. The main problem with doing this is that the point tips break very easily. I continue to use the unless the break is rather large.

I suggest that anyone planning to build a vac-form model first buy a sheet of 30 thousandth sheet plastic. Then draw lines of several different shapes on it with a marker pen. Draw straight lines, use a large coin to make circles, make broad Z. At all times keeping in the middle of your black lines. Practice with this until you gain the confidence to do it with a model, & fully understand what you will have to do with said model. Carl T :thumbsup2:

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The first 2 pictures show the main airframe for the Flycatcher all cut out & ready for sanding, plus the metal parts that come with the model. The part still outlined with the X at each end is the cockpit detail parts.

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The next 3 pictures are the instruction sheet for the Flycatcher. The cover with decals is shown above. I am confused as to why the color for 2 pictures is so different since I took them all at the same time.

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I am planning on adding some extra interior detail on some of the models as I go along.

Thank you all for your comments. Feel free to ask questions or to make suggestions. Carl T :thumbsup2:

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Carl,

I,m really enjoying this thread, I have nearly all the Esoteric vacforms in my stash but just need a push to start them. This may very well be it!

Duncan

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Looking forward to seeing your progress, Carl. You've set yourself quite the task, my friend… :banghead:

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Last night I cut out the parts for the last model in the series, a Nimrod. I will now start to sanding down all of the remaining 5 before assembling any.

I want to stress a couple of points that I think are important. The first has to do with marking out the parts with a black marker. BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A GOOD SOLID LINE ON THE MODEL . THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BE SANDING UP TO. Once you cut the part out it is too late to remark the part..

The other thing has to do with cutting out curved wing & tail surfaces. I start out with the part at a 90 degree angle to my left. Making short strokes, about 1/8th to 3/16th inch, I slowly turn the part until when I finish the cut the part is pointed right at me. Doing this insures a neat curve. Carl T :thumbsup2:

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Carl,

I,m really enjoying this thread, I have nearly all the Esoteric vacforms in my stash but just need a push to start them. This may very well be it!

Duncan

Duncan, pick out one that you really like & want to do. Then go very slowly doing the cutting out & sanding down. Carl T .

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You will often read about sanding down to the black line on a vac-form model. This top picture shows just what is meant. A fuselage half is at top, & a wing surface below. Everything below the black line is the plastic that you will have to remove by sanding. The more evenly & straight that you keep this sanded line the less filler you will need in final sanding after assembling everything.

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I thought that you might like to see the small size of the Flycatcher model. The steel ruler is 6 inches long. Carl T :thumbsup2:

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One of the things that I have meant to suggest. It would be a good idea to get a large piece of dark colored cloth to cover everything that you do not want covered with a coat of fine granulated plastic dust. Believe me when I say that there is a lot of it & it goes everywhere. I use black cloth so that I can see most of it. By covering everything I mean both your workbench & the surounding floor space. It is easier to shake out a piece of cloth than to dust off all of the things on a workspace & to sweep up your floor. BE WARNED. This is the voice of experience speaking. Carl T

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I have been looking for ways to contact John Adams on site to see if he still has his article on making vac-form models available, but have not found a way. Maybe he will come across this thread & give us an answer. Carl T

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These first 2 pictures show the before & after sanding of the fuselage & upper wing of a Flycatcher.

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What I do when sanding down the parts is to lay a length of Scotch brand 2 sided tape on the model part. The fuselage only needed 1 piece. On the wing I put one piece as close as I can to the leading edge, & another as close to the trailing edge & overlapping the other one. Due to having to pick up the part to check my progress, I generally have to do this twice.

I would advise anyone contemplating building a large number of these models to wear a respirator while sanding the parts. The dust & powder that comes from the sanding is very fine. I am betting that like resin dust that is not good for you. I am not trying to dissuade anyone from building this type of model, I am just trying to offer good advice.

This next picture is my workbench covered with a piece of lightweight black cotton. Carl T

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This is my workbench covered with a piece of black cloth. Carl T

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I like Matt's method, but those of us "of a certain age" can feel the back aching just thinking about it… :clif:

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