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Everything posted by billn53

  1. I had my Calculus 2 final the day before yesterday, so building was temporarily put on hold while studying for that. But now the exam is done, and classes are over for the summer. There's nothing better for relieving stress than spending time at the bench, and that's what I've been doing for the past two days! I'm happy to announce that I'm calling my Razor Crest complete (except for building a suitable base for it). I was pretty much done at my last post -- all I had left was to add the clear parts, landing gear, and guns. For the guns, I cribbed from Andrew's build with some added detailing: That accomplished, this morning I added all the aforementioned piece-parts, and here we are! plus a few shots focusing on the lighting I added: Now, let me show you what I have planned for the base. Here's an overview: Razor Crest will be sitting on desert-like terrain. (The toothpics are to remind me where the landing gear will be -- I want to ensure the ground is flat there). In the rear you can see what will be the edge of an old lava flow (I'm using tree bark to simulate the lava). You will also notice a Tuscan Raider, astride his bantha. This is a 3D-printed item I found on ETSY. It originally was 1/47 scale (for the Star Wars Legion game), but I contacted the seller and had it downsized to 1/72. Painting this thing was a real challenge -- lots of browns, tans, and off-whites involved. Here are a few closeups of my painting results: Tomorrow, I fly to Alabama for the week (post-retirement consulting work at my old office). I'll finish up this project when I return, and post a formal RFI. Thanks to everyone for following & commenting. It's been a fun build, and I managed to learn a few things about lighting along the way! ========================= P.S., Base is done:
  2. I second the Dornier . . . It’s in my stash and I’d love to see how it goes together, before tackling it myself.
  3. Oh yes! Another of the “must build” kits in my stash. Someday I’ll actually get to it, and now I know where to look for tips on building it properly.
  4. Well, the fuselage is finally closed up, but she put up a bit of a fight! The fuselage top, at the front, didn't want to mate with the bottom piece. It appears the top part had a slight warp to it. Some clamps, and goodly amounts of Bondene, got the parts together but with some gaps: Not pretty, but hey! This is the Razor Crest -- not exactly an example of pristine spacefaring! A smear of putty, and some touch-up with the airbrush, and everything will be fine! Trust me . . . .
  5. It's been a rainly Sunday and, after getting caught up on my weekend math assignments, I glued the cockpit assembly (fiberoptics and all) into the lower fuselage half: As you can see, I've quite a mess of spaghetti building, . . . and a means of managing the internal wiring is needed. I began by soldering together a set of connectors: The main wire (on the right) will go to the battery, the five on the left to each of the major subassemblies -- fuselage lower half, port and starboard engine exhaust LEDs, the synchronized strobes, and lastly the little chip-LED I added at the top of the cabin. By using connectors, I minimize the amount of soldering needed internal to the fuselage, and will be able to wire the top and bottom fuselage assemblies separately, and connect them together when I close the fuselage. That's my plan, at least! I had previously drilled a hole at the bottom of the fuselage for my power switch: Here's the switch in position. Note that I've epoxied a large nut at the bottom of the fuselage. I've threaded the battery ground wire through the nut. This should minimize the possibility that one could accidently pull the switch, and all the internal wiring, out of the interior when changing the battery! The switch fits nicely, and with a bit of paint should blend in well with the Razor Crest's busy bottom-side: Access to the battery is through the rear cargo door. To secure the door when shut, I added a magnet at the top of the opening and a strip of ferrous metal to the top edge of the door: Test of the lower fuselage wiring & lighting . . . . Test sat! I added connectors to the wires coming out of the engine pods, then glued the pods into position. A bit of tape helps keep the wiring under control: Total system test of the wiring & lighting. (Must remember: Red goes to Red, Black to Black!): System test complete! Test sat! It's nearly time to close the fuselage. But first, I had to do a few final, but essential, additions to the cockpit: Cheers! -Bill
  6. Oooooo! That's looking mighty tasty!
  7. It's the last week of summer session and I have a Calculus 2 final coming up on Thursday. Then, next week, I'll be on a business trip to Alabama. So, building will be slow for the near future. Nonetheless, I am making progress . . . Weathering the Razor Crest continues. I added some dust & sand effects to the landing gear: Then, spent a few hours of quality time using oils on the engine pods: After the oils had dried, I added lenses for the engine pod strobes. I made these from very short pieces of 2mm fiber optics. Recall that the red LEDs are attached to the inner surface of the pods -- the fiber optics should work to bring the light out to where I want it: Click below for a short video showing the synchronized strobes in action: Once again, I couldn't resist piecing the major sub-assemblies together, just to see how she's looking. Next up: Connecting all the electrical parts together and closing the fuselage.
  8. A bit more progress to report . . . I thought it best to add the exterior decals before going any further with weathering. The decals went on without any problems, and settled in nicely with some Solvaset encouragement! I re-scribed the panel lines covered by the decals. This took some special care, to prevent the decals from tearing. I discovered that applying a bit of Solvaset would soften the decal and make the scribing job easier. I'll next clear-coat the decals, touch up the panel lines with a wash, and do the Flory magic to blend in the decals with the weathering I've already done. On the lighting front, I assembled the cockpit pieces and added them to the support structure. and gathered up all the fiberoptics into a piece of shrink tubing: I'm using a 5mm warm white LED to illuminate the fiber optics. I inserted the LED into a piece of shrink tubing, slipped the opposite end over the fiber optic bundle, and applied heat to complete the assembly. A quick test confirmed that the instrument panel lights are working properly Last, but not least, I did some detail painting on the Razor Crest's occupants: The little green guy is just 5mm tall, so that's the best I could do!
  9. Testing to see if I can post videos from Flickr. Let me know if it works! Thanks, Bill
  10. HaHa! I once worked with a guy who claimed he bought a new car whenever the ashtray was full.
  11. Happy you got the tire shape sorted out. Regarding nitrogen in tires, if your car mechanic or repair shop offers to inflate your tires with nitrogen (at an ‘inflated’ price, of course), just say No. It’s a scam.
  12. The type of gas has no bearing on the shape of the inflated tire, the pressure alone determines that. If there’s a difference in tire shape between operational & museum aircraft, the museum must be inflating to a different (presumably, lower) pressure.
  13. Weathering of the duraluminum finish has begun! I began by doing a dark gray panel line wash. Boy, this puppy has a lot of panel lines, it seemed to take forever! Next, I applied a basic Flory wash (my go-to for projects like this). Flory is a water-based clay suspension. It looks like cr*p when going on, but when applied over a gloss finish wipes off easily with a damp cloth. I found that gentile "patting" motion with the cloth gave me good control over how much of the wash was removed. Here it is before cleaning: and after: I may yet add some more Flory to areas that look too clean. Once I'm happy with the base weathering, I'll fix the Flory in place with another clear coat, and begin more detailed work with oils, enamels, and perhaps some pigments.
  14. While waiting for the Alclad Aqua Gloss to dry, I began assembly and painting of the landing gear pieces. The 3D printed hydraulic actuators on top of the main gear are a significant improvement over the kit parts, but definitely on the pricy side: Once the Aqua Gloss had dried, I couldn't resist piecing together the fuselage and engine pods: She's starting to look like a spaceship!
  15. Base color coat is on all the major pieces. I "primed" with thinned Mr. Surfacer 1200, then sprayed Alclad II Duraluminum. Once this is dry, I'll add a protective coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss before starting any weathering.
  16. On mine, I didn’t pre-shade but instead used a black-basing technique with various shades of black, followed by a highly-thinned gray wash for weathering select panels.
  17. I had a midterm exam in my Calculus 2 class yesterday, which kept me away from the bench for a couple of days. But, that's over now and I'm back to work! This update focuses on lighting the Razor Crest's two engine pods. Before doing anything else, I had to decide how to get the wires from the engine pods to the fuselage, where the battery will be. I drilled holes in the side of the upper pod halves, beneath the wedge that mounts the pod to the fuselage. I also drill holes in the top of the fuselage where the wedge sits. This way, I can route wires from the engine pods, beneath the mounting wedge, and into the fuselage -- all hidden nicely from view. I'm adding red two strobe lights to each engine pod. The specific lights I'm using are Evan Design's chip-sized "4-sync Breathing LEDs". This is a set of four LEDs wired so that they flash together. "Breathing" means that the light ramps slowly up and down over a 1-second period, instead of having a simple on-off flashing. I drilled 2-mm holes for the red strobes in the top and bottom of each engine pod. Because the 4-sync LEDs are all wired together, I added a connector between the LEDs for the two engine pods. This allows me to work on each pod individually, without them being tied together by the electrical wires, and making the necessary electrical connections during final assembly. I fixed the LEDs in place using UV-activated clear acrylic, I then covered the LEDs and their wires with packing tape (not shown) for added reinforcement: The engine pod's plastic is pretty thick where I added the LEDs, and I will need to fill the holes yet still transmit light to the surface. I have two options in mind: a) use clear UV-activated acrylic (like I did with the chin lights), or b) insert a short segment of 2mm fiber optic cable in the hole. The latter option is shown below, and works like a champ. I'll decide later which approach to use. With the strobe lights in place, I next tackled the engine exhausts. I first had to open up the rear of the engine structure: I found the 5mm LEDs I'm using to be a tight fit in 308 Bits engine mounts, and had to enlarge the holes with a drill bit. Also, the mounts are printed using a translucent resin, and I don't want any light escaping through the side of the engine pods. To prevent this, I first painted the backside of the mount white: then applied a thick layer of black paint over the white: I experimented with a number of different types of LEDs for the engine exhaust, and settled on a configuration with one yellow LED in the center location and six orange "flicker" LEDs in the outer ring. In my mind, this gives an impression of the engines idling on the ground at low power. Here's the package all wired together and installed in the engine pod: That done, all I had left was to glue the engine pods together, do a final check of the lights, and a test fit of the engine pods to the upper fuselage half: The approach I've taken for the Razor Crest's lighting has the advantage that I can work on major sub-assemblies individually. I can paint, detail, and weather the engine pods prior to mounting them to the fuselage. Likewise, I can put a base coat of paint on the top and bottom fuselage sections before assembling them. I'll add the cockpit and lighted instrument console to the lower fuselage half and complete the fiber optic work. I'll then attach the engine pods to the upper fuselage half, complete the remaining electrical work, and close-up the fuselage.
  18. You made me realize it’s been a long time since my last vacation But, 45C? What oven are you vacationing in?
  19. This should be interesting! I built VFR’s Socata Tampico (there’s a WIP somewhere in this forum) — it was my first go at a 3D printed kit and definitely a learning experience! I’ll be interested to see how this one comes out. -Bill p.s. Found my WIP for the Tampico. Here’s a link, hopefully you will find it helpful https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235086253-172-socata-tb9-tampico/ - Bill
  20. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll email Mark & find out what he might be able to do.
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