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Everything posted by ianwau

  1. following with interest - about to start my first Orion!
  2. Clever little conversion. Can't resist a DH biplane!
  3. That is fine work - and marvelous how you've thought through the engineering of it - especially given how visible all the framing is beneath the glass. I usually coincide the 'stinky', 'noisy', 'sacrilegious' activity for when the Minister of Finance is out - and evidence of activity can usually be offset with some judicious painting of door jambs, vacuuming of carpet, and the wafting of a lamb roast (unless that combo raises suspicions!)
  4. Time flies! The Gannet has been pushing ahead - but individual steps haven't really warranted their own update. from where we left it last time - yellow was masked off - black was painted for the wingwalks and the anti-glare on the nose - black was masked off - Tamiya fine grey primer applied - a bit of light pre-shading with Tamiya flat black acrylic. Quite selectively applied as I have NEVER re-shaded before, but thought the silver finish warranted more than a single mono-finish. - then onto the silver - which in this case is Tamiya Flat Aluminium - the results of which are below. The silver finish on the Gannets does seem to look pretty weather worn in photos and that's the effect I was after. Another shot below. The 'airscrew' is simply to keep the tail off the ground for painting. This might look a bit ominous in terms of future nose-sitting attributes - but when you see the 2 x white metal 4 blade props you become reassured... and the satisfying part of ripping off the masking tape (with due care of course!) - interestingly, the yellow is a distinct trainer yellow in real life (on the model), but on all the photos has this distinct lemon hue. Trust me - it's trainer yellow... - pretty happy with the pre-shading too. Again, It shows up better in real life vs the photo. And here she is as good as finished (still a bit of red paint required, and some more subtlety to the weathering). -decals are printed on the laser printer (except for the roundels) - exhausts are polished up from the white metal kit provided bits. And another angle. Those twin props really set off the look of this beast. This'll be the last post in this thread. Thanks everyone for following along - I've enjoyed the experience. I've been REALLY impressed with this Dynavector vacform. A real pleasure to work with - a bit of work required here and there but very thoughtfully put together boxing. Apparently nicer than the more heavy handed Classic Airframes version? If you ever get an opportunity to have a go at a Dynavector kit - then snap it up!
  5. Blacksmithing - now there's a great turn of phrase! It very much describes my approach to this one. The raw material from Contrail is pretty rough round the edges - and the tools to finesse it into shape are correspondingly on the heavy side! For contrast - check out what @Tail-Dragon is doing with the Classic Airframes 1/48 Hudson https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235090900-classic-airframes-lockheed-hudson-iii-113br-rcaf-new-photos-for-april-30th/ Now THAT is a watchmaker at work (as is your own Auster conversion). Speaking of vacforms - I've actually just finished off a Dynavector 1/48 Gannet vacform (due for a WIP post) - now that's a fine example of a vacform kit (and opinions lean towards it being a finer option than the Classic Airframes Gannet).
  6. Ha! Would rather spend time modelling vs fabricating a contraption that may or may not work. Although now I'm more confident with the underlying vac process - I should maybe fabricate a tool that looks a bit less 'backyard'. I do have to be careful that the vac suction doesn't implode the vacform machine (yep that's happened once!)
  7. Don't you love it when something works better than you expected? With the buck/master for the replacement Hudson nose ready for vacforming - I thought I'd kick off with what I though would be a tall order. Basically stand the master up vertically - and vacform over the entire piece. My expected scenario was I would end up with a suitable front section of the nose (ie the clear bubble with no framing). Utopia would be to be able to vacform the entire piece in one shot. Well guess what? On my very first shot - I got a near perfect draw! There's some expected banyan tree roots (technical term courtesy of @Malc2) below the buck - but not intruding anywhere that can't be easily dealt with. I've used 0.75mm (30 thou) PETG clear sheet for this. Below is a broader shot showing one of my vacform 'machines'. This machine is courtesy of a Goats Cheese bulk buy - but any similar sturdy container does the job. The buck is supported by a couple of lego bricks and some 'white tac' to hold everything in position. Thanks to @Malc2 for the reminder to make sure the buck is mounted up higher and also @greggles.w who further demonstrated the technique. So here's what it looks like released from the mould and roughly cut free from the waste. The rear of the buck takes the new clear section up to just behind the pencil mark around the nose of the model - giving me plenty of room for blending in and dealing with the remnants of any banyan tree roots. Next steps: - cut off the old nose - detail up the nose insides (which is fitted out like this photo of subject aircraft VH-AGS from adastron.com - you can see how much glass there is in the nose, and the weird compound curves...) - this'll feel a bit like making a ship in a bottle! - then clean up and fit the clear canopy - then mask it up (going to use a Silhouette Cameo for custom masks) - and the main cockpit needs detailing while we're at it...
  8. Hmm - I'd go with @AdrianMF views on Milliput which I've found resilient - haven't tried CA for this myself. Have also seen some enlightened responses on your post in the FB Vacform/Resin Group, and zeroed in on the Devcon High Heat two part epoxy advice? Definitely need something for sure. Keen to see what you come up with - this is all expanding my techniques!
  9. Quite a woodworking masterclass! Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine the wood shavings/dust you must have created to get this fine end result. What sort of tools do you use for the whittling - power vs hand?
  10. Thanks for letting us follow along. Fantastic build and choice of scheme/config!
  11. Time flies - and time for an update on this Contrail Vacform 1/48 Hudson In the intervening period - I've completed the cutouts for the retracting U/C. And also basic wheel well detailing. I haven't gone to town on this area as you can't see a great deal once the U/C is installed, and I'm not planning on turning the complete model upside down very often. Great reference courtesy of @Tail-Dragon who has a WIP on the Classic Airframes Hudson - and is demonstrating far more accomplished modelling than what I'm doing here. Have also included a few bulkheads and backing plates to block off bits that need to be blocked off - and also some mounting blocks for the undercarriage legs when we get there. And with that done the nacelles were glued on and we're part way through the blending in process (with Milliput). I've mentioned before the white metal engines supplied with the Contrail kit look pretty anemic - especially the cylinders. You can see them in the pic below sitting on top of the kit supplied cowlings into which they 'fit'. I really do wonder if they are 1/72 - or maybe the previous kit owner had somehow mixed the originals up with something else? Regardless - the subject I'm modelling needs Wright Cyclones - and again thanks to @Tail-Dragon I've sourced the very economical Quick Boost B17G set. And I'll even have TWO spares leftover! They fit pretty well into the kit cowlings although do require a bit of fettling to get them sitting forward enough. A good outcome. Have also resolved what I'm going to do with the glass nose. The original kit comes with a vacformed clear nose cone (useful, but just the pointy bit of the nose). But then requires the builder to sort out the ~10 windows in the nose from scratch. The windows are too big for Krystal Klear (or equivalent) and are very awkward shapes to cut from clear sheet - made all the more difficult by the compound curves in each panel. And whatever I did was going to be somewhat visible through all the other windows. Decisions, decisions. I've finally bitten the bullet and decided to vacform the entire nose section in clear - for which you can see the buck/master well under way. The shape of this still means I'm going to have to mould in 2 or 3 pieces - but can at least be in control of where the join lines are. This pretty much replicates the approach taken by Classic Airframes with their 1/48 Hudson. The additional factor that swayed my decision is that I know I can use my recently purchased Silhouette Cameo to cut out the masks for the windows. So overall pretty happy with this as a solution (just wasn't looking forward to making the master). Next steps: - Cockpit interior - Vacform the nose glass - cut off the old nose - and dress up the interior (for photo surveying work per colour scheme) - Fit the main canopy - Fit the new vacformed nose - and just general clean up of the puttied joins etc - which will finalise the basic construction. Actually rather enjoying this old school build - and still have a high confidence level that Airfix will shortly announce a 1/48 Hudson, to go with their 1/48 Anson (although the announcement might not be till I'm all but finished )
  12. Following with interest. I completed one of these last year as Target Tug XS587. Main headache for me was the flaps (which I fitted retracted) - no idea what I was doing wrong but quite a bit of fettling required to get fit (maybe should have read instructions!). Main memory was the contortions required to do the decalling after I'd fitted the folded wings! Have a good walkaround of the airframe at Queensland Air Museum (Caloundra Australia) if useful . https://qam.com.au/collection/de-havilland-sea-vixen-f-a-w-mk-2-txj490-c-n-110017/
  13. Fantastic! This is on my (rather long) 'to do' list - but hadn't done the research on what was required to retrofit the Hasegawa. A nice record of the journey there - with the added bonus of those 3D components. Look great - well done!
  14. Love that vacformed engine cowling - a work of art! Maybe useful to share another example. This is a 1/48 Victa R2 (L=130mm approx) - with 3 moulds vacformed off same buck. Top and bottom halves moulded in 0.75mm white, and a top half in 0.75mm clear (from which the clear canopy is cut). Each "half" has moulded well over half of the buck (more like 3/4). The fuse half that's still in situ has Banyans at front and rear - but strong suction and hottish styrene meant the plastic pretty much rejoined under the tail! Note I have relatively small vertical separation between buck and vac box - ~5mm?
  15. I think as @@Malc2 elegantly puts it, you have a risk of Banyan Tree roots if trying for a single shot - but by all means give it a go. My leaning would be to mould in two parts - port and starboard? No need to cut the master - as having it sit a little higher will be good to avoid the Banyans. As an example below, this canopy vacform still had some Banyan tree roots in unimportant area. The master you can see on the vacforming machine(!!!) is bluetacked at the moulding position.
  16. Nice work - I've been following on FB too! Definitely in the market for this one in 1/32 and 1/48 hopefully printed and posted to Australia! Have a couple of Stearman kits needing an upgrade to Wasp Junior....
  17. Some progress to report - more than I thought. The fuselage was cleaned up - quite a few coats of Milliput and plenty of sanding. included filling in the rear turret included inserting strips of 30 thou clear styrene where the cabin windows go, puttying in, then sanding, fine sanding, finer sanding, even finer sanding, polishing to produce a seamless transition from clear to not clear. Rather than using a spar for the wings... I've cut out the wing root internals. And cut a 'wing profile' out of 80 thou (2mm) styrene and glued that inside the wings, just outboard of the wing root. I've cut out a corresponding 'wing profile' also in 80 thou and glued that to the mating surface of the fuselage. This combo serves to provide quite a decent surface area for glueing the wings on - and helps preserve the wing form and give a decent foundation for the inevitable putty. The vacformed wings have a skin thickness of under 20 thou (0.5mm) so I needed to do something like this regardless of spar. The fuse and wings were set in my customary lego jig. Trickier than usual as the fuselage is all curvy, and the wings taper at leading and trailing edge AND have dihedral. Lego provided the flexibility to set this all up with some precision as shown below. I used Revell Contacta for glueing - my favourite for meatier joints (vs the Tamiya Extra Thin). and a different angle... This was allowed to set for a few days. Then elected to get the tail feathers on - the reason being the vacformed nacelles are a bit 'blobby' and are going to require some careful alignment - not only getting them 'square' but also making sure they're not lopsided above/below the wing. the vacform kit provides no indication of the position of the horizontal stabiliser. So with much cross-referencing to plans - I cut a 'slot' for it in the rear of the fuselage using a 12v engraving tool, a file and a sharp scalpel, not necessarily in that order. Likewise the vertical stabs have no indication of position - and no cutouts (or even markings for cutouts). So back to the plans. I decided to do what in woodworking is called a 'half-lap joint'. I didn't know that was what it was called - but google told me that's what I did. Basically a horizontal slot in the front half of the fin. And a corresponding vertical slot in the back half of the horizontal stab. Then slot them together and voila? Wish I'd taken a photo of that pre-glueing. Just google it if unclear. Anyway - it worked a treat to the point that it won't need putty (maybe just a tiny bit). For setting this up - I did some mods to the existing jig - opening out the tail end of the jig to accommodate some scaffolding for the tail. This is where lego comes into it's own - I already knew I had the main wings and fuse properly set up, which meant I just had to get the horizontal stabiliser, well, horizontal? And the vertical stabiliser vertical. Most of what you see in lego here is giving me sight lines to confirm everything is aligned. [Maverick providing advice in foreground] And another angle. Note the 'persuader' in the background - not required on this occasion. So here's what she looks like out of the jig. With the nacelles loosely taper into rough position (you can see they're a bit blobby) and another angle showing the underside. I have applied a code of Milliput to the wing root in these two shots. It's actually coming together better than I expected. Next steps: Nacelles - cut out wheel wells and detail (very fiddly job - not expecting I'll be going overboard as I don't plan to look at the underside very often) Fit nacelles and blend in Resolve the front glass - do I vacform the entire front nose section in clear - or take some shortcuts with Krystal Klear (or modern equivalent).
  18. I assume you'll trial the bog out on some sacrificial brass and styrene conglomeration. To check it gives the effect you want and sands out in an ever so slightly dished manner? Just for my sake! This is definitely a multimedia kit - looks like most of the modelling materials and techniques all rolled into one. Definitely enjoyable to follow.
  19. Coming together nicely! A much neglected modelling subject so looking forward to seeing everything get joined up. Must be looking forward to the rigging!
  20. Just as a bit of an aside (and there's some hints in the work I've shown thus far). This aircraft is going to be finished in a postwar civilian scheme - specifically VH-AGS, one of the many aircraft operated by Adastra Aerial Surveys in Australia. The turret has been removed, and this particular aircraft has been retrofitted with Cyclones (apparently better suited to high altitude survey work?). Plenty of camera gear in lieu of plenty of passenger seats. All very convenient when using the Contrail offering. The chosen scheme is shown below (with picture credit) - white uppers, and a subtle shade of teal/turquoise below. Adastra had 5+ Hudsons in a variety of configurations/colour scheme. In latter years, they ran with a very tasty blue/orange/white scheme - but I've decided to go the more classic route. Anyone remotely interested in civilian operation of the Hudson in this role - then I can HIGHLY recommend this website from Ron Cuskelly http://www.adastra.adastron.com/ There's enough content on there to write a book (a very thick book).
  21. I'm skipping ahead a bit (as I wasn't planning to do this as a WIP). Per the parts list in the preceding post - the main parts are vacform - with white metal pieces for engines (anaemic)-props/seats/undercarriage. Clear parts are vacformed, and there's a set of decals. Instructions are basic, including a set of 1/48 plans, some generic vacform building instructions and some text based 'hints and tips' specific to this kit. Hmmmm - "Considerable Modelling Experience Required" they say. But hey ho, let's go! Here's the main parts cut out and sanded. Just standard vacform prep technique here. The vacformed plastic is rather thin - I'm guessing 20thou or 0.5mm. Which is great for trailing edges - but will need some reinforcing for key components. Fuselage has had the cabin windows roughly cut out - but I've changed the approach here as we'll see later... And pushing ahead to gluing the main pieces. - wings are conventional - but have had the basic u/c bays cut out and boxed in prior to joining. - tail feathers are very straightforward. - fuselage. Oh dear. As supplied, the fuselage is waaaaay to narrow (and no, I did not oversand the vacform). IT's too narrow vs multiple sets of plans I have, and too narrow to fit the supplied vacform canopy (which pretty much matches the plans). So inserted a series of styrene tabs to get the required width (which will be backfilled with styrene strip.... 1` First off - a bit of interior detail - bulkheads, cabin floor etc. The cockpit section of this is partially supplied. The cabin floor is noted as a bit too high - but doesn't matter that much given what won't be seen through the cabin windows... Also, I have completely cut out the cabin window sections which are to be replaced with a strip of oversized clear styrene (which will then be sanded/filled) So skipping any interior detailing pix (hadn't planned this as a WIP) here's the fuse all stuck together. With quite a bit of encouragement. Nacelles are just roughly in position (ie not lined up). Gosh there's some work required here...
  22. I hadn't though of doing this as a WIP build - but have had a rethink: i) I had all sorts of trouble finding any build reviews of this one - and suspects there's quite a few of these in peoples stashes (either as Contrail, or the Sanger re-release). ii) hoping that actually building it will provide the impetus for an injection moulded 1/48 Hudson (Airfix?). That's invariably the way it works isn't it? Scalemates says this was originally released in 1984, then re-released by Sanger in 1992 in a new box. The Classic Airframes Hudson kit came out in 2000 - a significant step forward but almost impossible to come by this day (unless you're lucky at a Swap Meet or online 2nd hand). In frustration (at not being able to get a Classic Airframes kit) - I bit the bullet and picked this one up 2nd hand for not much at all. The original purchase price (in $AU) suggests that this wasn't a bargain basement kit at the time. Here's the back of the box. In the spirit of truth in advertising - note the warning: Not suitable for children, contains small metal parts, considerable modelling experience required. They aint kidding - as we'll find out shortly....
  23. Very impressed with the finish you've achieved there. The kit looks like a ton of fun!
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