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Everything posted by Ex-FAAWAFU

  1. Astonishing - but also inspiring. If he can do that kind of thing in 1/700, it spurs me on to keep trying stuff at 1/350. I don't have half his talent, but at least I know it can be done...
  2. Well up to your habitually fantastic standard, Nick! The boat covers are really effective; remind me how you did them again? Was it paper or foil?
  3. Model in London, Crisp at home, so little to report. However, some of my references are at home - particularly the Swordfish ones, since the build isn’t primarily a Swordfish job. I have numerous books on the mighty Stringbag, but it was one of the earliest (a 1980s book called “Swordfish At War”, by W Harrison) that came up trumps for what I was after, namely some simple but clear GA drawings. They need to be simple because they need to remain legible when reduced to 1/350 size. The Harrison book reproduces some original Fairey GA drawings of both float and wheeled Swordfish, designed principally to illustrate spread and folded dimensions. The floatplane version are clearer in this printing, so I scanned both and had a play. The drawing adjacent to the Merit Swordfish is my tracing of the lower wing dimensions and some other key elements - they’re all there in the main drawings, but the lower wing (for example) is dotted and hard to see. Anyway, if you know how my mind works - and some of you probably do by now - you might have worked out from this picture what I am planning to try. More later in the week Crisp
  4. The Airfix Fury is not perfect, but it’s streets ahead of the Trumpeter one
  5. Lovely pint-sized teetering head flying scaffolding. I drove past the entrance to Middle Wallop today (the actual airfield entrance a few hundred yards down the road from the Museum), and sitting there is a Sioux in exactly your scheme.
  6. Really coming together nicely. As a bone fide Sea Fury nut, her origins as a “Lightweight Tempest” are very plain to see, especially from the underside.
  7. CC, you are a bad man. Somehow one of these ended up being delivered by our postman yesterday. Mine is slightly different - spread wings rather than folded - but even so. On cursory first inspection, it looks very nice.
  8. Slightly (?) nutty and impractical design attempting to squeeze every final spark from the cooling embers of pre-jet age? Tick. Navy Bird? Tick. I’m in. Never heard of it. Definitely in.
  9. Thinking further about this, I don’t think I’m going to go down the PE cabane struts route - mostly because pretty much all the PE I’ve ever used lacks structural strength, and if the wings struts aren’t providing it, the strength has to come from somewhere. However, you have given me an idea, Jamie - along with something @hendie taught me aeons ago (ironically, on my Ark 5 build), namely that it’s much stronger to make something out of a single piece of metal (bent into shapes or not) than to try to join separate things up. It sounds like a statement of the bleedin’ obvious phrased like that, but a Hendie observation (and when Hendie observes you should listen, particularly when he is talking about brass) transformed something that had been driving me nuts into something that was easy to make. Sometimes we can’t see obvious things, especially on our own builds. Anyway. I am not going to say what this idea is at this point - I want a test run first, and I can’t do that until next week. But if it works, the cabane plug is history. Watch this space.
  10. Would you put scare quotes around a glider “landing”? Auto-rotation is just gliding, guys; flown properly, an engine-off landing is, if anything, smoother than a normal one. It is true that you don’t get to overshoot and have a second try if you mess it up - but that’s true of any unpowered approach in any aircraft. This isn’t some kind of freaky voodoo: it’s engineering and physics, like all human flight. Why are so many apparently intelligent people so irrationally scared of helicopters?
  11. ‘Time spent snivelling is seldom wasted”, as the Duke of Wellington almost said
  12. True, I could. If I asked nicely, I might even persuade one of the home-brew PE alchemists on here [@Fritag ears burning, no doubt] to etch them for me. I’d have to experiment to see whether it’s worth the effort, since any PE cabane structure is going to have to work round the ‘plug’ discussed above; I suspect that the need for structural integrity of the upper wing might make any form of accurate cabane pretty much impossible. But it’s worth a try... I could even incorporate the torpedo sight. But for now I am going to concentrate on attaining a single Swordfish that looks the part and doesn’t fall apart as soon as you breathe on it. Jigs.
  13. Yes, I could - but it would be hard to do that and still retain the structural stiffness (snort), which is why it’s there in the first place
  14. Ced, as recently as last night I was thinking along exactly those lines (since the jig must be robust enough to work 15 times, pondering whether a brass and solder version might be the way ahead...), but this morning I am not so sure. If the upper wings are going to be robust (enough), they need proper locating holes and a solid gluing surface - and Merit’s wings have clear indentations for that purpose. So the thing that matters with the struts is actually that they fit securely into both wings, even if that means that they are (I think you will find) a couple of degrees out in comparison with plans. This is 1/350; even if I wanted to (& trust me, I don’t), there isn’t room or enough styrene to withstand filling Merit’s holes, drilling replacements 0.5mm away and all that jazz. So the jig’s primary purpose is evolving; it started out as a means of getting accurate strut positions and angles consistently across 15 aircraft (& all exaggeration aside, it will still provide that in the end), but now it’s becoming a means of holding the upper wing steady enough and close enough to the right position to allow me to fit the struts solidly. Even if I end up deciding that this entire rigging idea is insane (OK, it is insane, so let me re-phrase that... even if it proves to be impossible), I’ll still need a jig to fit the PE struts / rigging: PE is nothing like robust enough to hold the wing in place on its own. Incidentally, it hasn’t been that obvious in many of the pictures, but Merit’s solution to this is a central styrene plug under the upper wing that fits into a socket on top of the fuselage; that’s what gives the solid join, and the PE struts have almost no structural function at all. Not even I am seriously thinking (any more...) about removing the plug and building 15 tiny pyramids of cabane strut... but the Merit plug isn’t really long enough; the upper wing sits too low when the plug is snugly fitted into the slot on the top of the cowling - at least on the poor Test Mule. So I think I’m edging towards keeping the idea but replacing the plug with some rod (probably brass, 1mm or more). And for that to work OK, guess what? I need a jig. I am thoroughly enjoying this build, but 1/350 sure as Heck ain’t 1/48 when it comes to solving engineering challenges!
  15. I’ve been rude enough about Merit / Trumpeter numerous times during this build - and no doubt will be again! - but credit where credit’s due; these wee Swordfish models are really nicely done. Missing out the oil cooler was an avoidable error, but the bottom line is that they provide the raw material to produce some really nice Stringbags in due course... provided I can sort out how to get the upper wings sorted out! The truly Eagle-eyed will already have noticed that the poor test mule (which is becoming increasingly battered and will definitely not feature in the final 810 / 818 / 820 air group) was once painted in an attempt at the shadow compensating scheme. The final aircraft will not have this scheme - but the amount of handling which this airframe is undergoing at the moment demonstrates yet again that @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies’s paints are fabulously hardy, as well as great colours.
  16. If I’d had a 3D printer I’d only have wasted even more time... Groundhog Day! Last night’s jig failed utterly on first use, so back to Square 1. Though it is frustrating, I need to find a way to get this right, because 15 Swordfish will drive me completely / further [delete to taste] insane unless I find a way to build them securely. So, jig mark 2, this time (since the points of failure were at the joins) fettled from a single piece. The challenges to be fixed - essentially all at the same time, thus requiring about 6 hands - are: - the vertical height of the upper wing above the lower; - the lateral position of the upper wing (not that hard); - the correct angles (fore & aft and sideways, as described yesterday... when I didn’t even mention the inner pairs) of the struts; - holding the upper wing (correctly positioned as per the 3 points above) steady while fitting said struts & allowing glue to cure; and - rigging the bloomin’ thing. So here’s today’s effort, and it’s definitely an improvement: ...and here with the upper wing in position: [At least yesterday evening’s tail spar bodge seems to have worked OK, as you can see]. This is getting there, but still not completely right. I think I’ll probably carve a second one to go over the for’d cowling and under the front of the wing - probably much narrower to allow room to work between wings with the jigs still in place. I also need to adapt the wreckage of the Mk 1 jig to provide a clear indication of strut angles when seen from the side. Eventually I will get to a place where I can fix struts (0.4mm brass rod seems to match the White Ensign PE struts perfectly) to the lower wing with enough confidence that the upper wing will subsequently fit on top - probably by gluing only the bottom of each strut and using the upper wing as an aid to alignment while it cures. Then I can sort the rigging - Plan A Ushi line, Plan B White Ensign brass. And do it all safely enough to repeat the process 15 times without losing my mind. Not very well explained, I fear - but I think I know where I’m going with this, and this evening definitely represents progress. This cannot fail, or I’ll end up with Ark turning into wind... to launch a strike from an empty flight deck! Day off on Friday, so probably no more work until next week. Thanks for sticking with me while I experiment in public! Crisp
  17. I flew as a Naval pilot for 19 years. I’ll exercise restraint and use the word “nonsense” in place of the one that came into my head.
  18. Well yes, I get that (even before it was written twice)... but since the thread is about carrier landings (the clue’s in the title), launching aircraft that you chuck away after a single sortie feels a bit... well, desperate.
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