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beetcleaner

Nose Ballast

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About to build the Airfix 1/48 Meteor which requires 15gms of nose ballast. I recall seeing a product which was essentially thousands of pieces of lead? shot in a bottle which could be pored into and available gap and sealed with glue.

 

Can anyone advise on the name of the product? While on the subject is the fit of the nose cone on this kit as bad as they say and are you better fixing the two halves to the respective fuselage sides before assembly to get round the problem? Thankyou for any advice

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I’m currently building the Classic Airframes Meteor T7 which claims to need 60 grammes(!) in the nose. I’ve tried weighing out 60g of fishing weights which took pretty much the whole of a pack I’d bought. Would your steel weights be more likely to provide enough ballast Paul? I see your bottle is 200g, but I can’t judge how big it is!

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lead is denser than steel, so more weight in less space.  

 

I have loads of leftover bits of lead sheet, from roofing and flashing use. (ask for scrap from a roofing job,  while scrap  lead is worth money for modelling purposes it's buttons)

 

It's easy to cut with a stanley knife and/or cutters,  or even old  scissors so can be cut to fill spaces, like a flat panel or  to fill spaces.

as long as you don't eat it, wash you  hands afterwards  and  don't  sand it, , it's safe  enough.

the only problem I have heard of  it can oxidise (and so get bigger) if  stuck in with superglue, so high strength PVA can be used.

Or coat with PVA to seal it.

Some googling will turn some more on this.

 

On 14/11/2017 at 12:12, beetcleaner said:

While on the subject is the fit of the nose cone on this kit as bad as they say and are you better fixing the two halves to the respective fuselage sides before assembly to get round the problem?

This will get lost here, there have been several build on here of the kit, 

eg http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/thread/1464613368/last-1464708364/(View+All+Messages+In+This+Thread)

note comments from Jonners  aka @Jon Kunac-Tabinor   whose done a few

Quote

I found that shaving a mil off the 2 lugs on each internal cockpit side, which the cannon bays locate against, gives a bit of "wiggle" room, helping the cockpit/cannon module to locate better. It also helps in getting the front bulkhead to sit flush with the front fuselage face too - which is vital in getting the nose cone to fit.

I didn't glue in the module at all on all 3 models - just trapped it between the fuselage halves. I then glued the fuselage started with lower forward ( ie under the cockpit), then top forward ( ie behind the 'pit) The worked back towards the tail. The final area to be glue dis the small area in front of the windscreen: For this I found that wrapping some Tamya masking tape around the join before hand pulls it together and down onto the front bulkhead.
A fine brush loaded with Plastic Weld ( ie a hot liquid cement) was then used to liberally wick the adhesive around the bulkhead - which secures everything in place and glues this final top join.

One the first model I worked this out empirically, but on nos. 2 & 3 which I've built simultaneously, I've applied it and its worked very very well.

One other thing re the wing to fuselage join: I've found that if you attach the two Karman wing root fairings to the wings, rather than the fuselage as per the instructions; then the wing/fuselage gap is almost eliminated. Theres a bit of clean up to do on the join of these parts to the fuselage - but it's a lot less hassle ( and less noticeable too) than dealing with the large gap you can get other wise.

A spreader bar will partially work if you go the other route - attach it towards the rear of the fuselage area so it pushes the two Karman fairings out a little. You can also wrap a double thickness of Tamiya tape around the 4 vertical uprights on the wing UC bay spars - this just increases their thickness enough to push the fuselage out a tad when the wing is applied - again helping reduce ( but not eliminate) the gap.

Out of 3 models, I've had 1 good wing fit using the Karmans to wing method, and 2 reasonable using the spreader bar only, or spreader bar and Tamiya tape method.

It's a classic case of the old tailors' maxim: "Measure twice, cut once" in this area - but forewarned is at least forearmed!

 

as with much new Airfix the tolerances are very tight, and sprue nibs  and mould lines or even a coat of paint, missed in  earlier stages can throw out later steps.  (causing modellers to blame  the kit,  but it does require a different discipline)

Test fit major assemblies in advance is best advice, paying particular attention to joins   that will cause problems down the line.

 

HTH

T

 

Edited by Troy Smith
add detail

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For what it's worth, I'm a bit of a bodger and like to use things that are to hand.  Lead is ridiculously easy to work and I Mickey-Moused a mould of the nosecone of my Tornado out of tinfoil, melted an old lead soldier and just poured it in, that way it dropped into the cone putting maximum possible lead into the available space and a bit of epoxy did the rest.  Too bad the plastic would object so heartily to a direct pour or you could cut out the middleman!

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Just be wary of using PVA to secure the fine lead shot (aka 'Liquid lead') into enclosed/sealed spaces - over time the lead recacts with the pva and will expand. A chap at my model railway club used a lot of lead in the boiler of one of his expensive O Gauge (1:43) steam locos kits. After 6-9 months the lead expanded and split the boiler longditudionally - thing was pretty much a write-off. I've experienced the same with a couple of railway wagon kits where the lead/pva mix definitely expanded - luckily mine wasn't sealed and I'd left space (unintentionally) for the stuff to expand into without 'exploding'

 

Thin CA is what I now use to secure liquid lead, though obviously that can have it's issues, especially around transparencies.

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I use lead shot specifically number 6 buckshot ( available from any good gunsmith )  where each sphere is about 2.2mm in diameter where you can trickle the shot into the space where its needed and use cyanoacrylate to fix it in place. Or you could seal it in with Epoxy, but don't use PVA as it causes the lead to expand. You can also go to a hardware store and buy lead flashing sheet which can be cut up with tinsnips and epoxied into place.

 

Yes lead can be a hazardous but if you wash your hands afterwards, it has a place in modelling because of its weight and malleability to be shaped to fit in small spaces.

Edited by Mick4350

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Thankyou all very much for the advice. The thread on joining the fuselage halves was helpful and mirrors what I am attempting. I have shaved a mill or two from the rear stops which the cockpit tub sits against and this has allowed me to slide the front wall of the tub slightly behind the front of the fuselage to allow the nose cone to fit properly

 

However with the tub glued into one side the fuselage halves are very reluctant to go together so I will follow the advice above along with filing down the sides of the cannon bay which are not seen when the two halves are together.

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I've got access to weights from work to balance helicopter rotor blades, so they're small but relatively heavy. I can send you a selection if you want if you're in the UK.

 

Steve.

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On 12/4/2017 at 1:32 PM, Mick4350 said:

I use lead shot specifically number 6 buckshot ( available from any good gunsmith )  where each sphere is about 2.2mm in diameter where you can trickle the shot into the space where its needed and use cyanoacrylate to fix it in place. Or you could seal it in with Epoxy, but don't use PVA as it causes the lead to expand. You can also go to a hardware store and buy lead flashing sheet which can be cut up with tinsnips and epoxied into place.

 

Yes lead can be a hazardous but if you wash your hands afterwards, it has a place in modelling because of its weight and malleability to be shaped to fit in small spaces.

 

Small shot is my weapon of choice too. Fits in anywhere. I usually just use plastic card to make bulkheads and block off areas for the shot to sit in, then pour it where it's needed. Giving it a tap on the bench from time to time helps it bed down and allows you to fit more in.

Lead may be poisonous, but handling it every once in a while for weighting purposes isn't likely to cause any issues, especially if you remember that you're a grown up, and DON'T EAT IT (and do like the man said, wash your hands afterwards).

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Speedy

 

Thankyou for your kind offer but I've managed to superglue 25 gms worth of steel nuts into and underneath the cockpit tub. Fuselage halves were glued as outlined with jonners above so bottom seam will be set by today and I can join top seam later today. I must say it is a very tight fit but patience will get me there in the end.

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Another weight option are aquarium plant weights. This basically thin strips of a heavy metal, possibly not lead as it is highly toxic to fish, especially tropicals. It is very flexible and easy to cut and comes in boxes or on rolls, that are much better value. You can also use them to weight rolling stock kits for better running. 

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