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airscale

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airscale last won the day on July 8

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About airscale

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  1. 'sup folks just a bit more Mustang ramblings for your entertainment (hopefully :)) ..I made up a new master plug to correct some shortcomings including not leaving overhangs at the back as can be seen sat on the wing - I used one of the pulls to just fill in some of where I have been chopping the fuselage about as I was starting to lose my bearings.. this is simply plumbers ali tape on the cockpit glass and a bit of litho to force the P40 filler into a nice profile of the fuselage.. ..I then used the mould/plug as a basis to just form the windshield panels out of PETG one at a time. The method was to immerse in boiling water and once soft put on a 2 inch thick bit of foam and just press down until it hardened again. Without moving I then scribed the reference of some of the straight parts of the mould so I knew exactly how it sat on the mould.. ..these blobs are soon turned into the panels themselves as can be seen at the bottom - i removed a tiny strip of the protective covering around the edges so I can assemble it, but still protect it - the fact there is virtually no aggressive heat in this process means they will be crystal clear ..sides are on the mould and the other parts coming together... the black sharpie edging means when you assemble it there is a visible trick where the thickness of the plastic just disappears.. ..CA was carefully wicked into joints as it was held on the mould and presto, a windshield... I also formed the rear former from brass around the mould and with a bit of brute force & ignorance.. ..as this bit starts to come together, I need to drop in the instrument panel so I can build up the coaming around it and ultimately the windshield - as such the parts were assembled .... dummy instruments & bits were added to the back to keep it three dimensional.. ..and dry fitted in place... ..I have also started to form the coaming - tricky as it is inside the windshield so needs to almost touch it all the way round, but also be a rigid shape to go around the panel - you might be able to just see it here.. thats it for now, take care y'all TTFN Peter
  2. Hi folks & thank you very much been a while - it's got to a really tough bit of the build... I got the cockpit pod assembled in a jig and got it in the airframe... ..the external sidewalls of the fuselage have also been added & faired in.. ..I wanted to get the rear window area sorted so I started by making a plug for vacforming but once I had a go with my usual dismal success at vacforming PETG (I get distortion etc) I realised the curves are not compound really so I just bent some sheet in boing water and made a slit along the top rear edge so I could pinch it in a bit to get the upper profile.. ..the windows were then set out and the covering removed - I had an etched template I did that matches the framing I also had done as these are really difficult to do freehand.. ..also made the inner skins and the front former which were painted black on the outside & green on the inside.. ..then added to the interior (carefully!) - the seam doesn't matter as it will be covered, and the little metal brace at the back is so far down the fuselage it cannot be seen.. ..there are some gubbins on the roof of this area so these were made up in metal & plastic and wired up.. ..then as I was about to add the assembly and fair it all in, I thought I had better get the front windshield fuselage area done as if there is any sanding, all the dust will get in the rear cockpit and I will never get it out.. ..I had drawings - you can see the windshield drops down each side of the upper curve of the fuselage and actually the armoured glass panel goes right through this area.. ..I made up templates as there is so much three dimensional geometry going on it is really (and I mean really) difficult to fabricate.. ..one shows where the IP coaming is in relation to the windsheild, the long one is just the overall upper profile with a vertical where the rear of the front windshield is.. ..I made up many more templates and plugs for moulding the windshield & coaming - I also spent days trying to figure out why things were not lining up before I realised the top of the fuselage was very lop-sided so the half-round template is to correct that.. ..one of the coaming vacforms - this is wrong but each tester gets me closer... one thing I am struggling with is on many cockpit pics the panel does not look set back very far, but every factory drawing has it set quite deep - it has to be deep as that is where the panel goes in the cockpit pod, but it is a bit of optical trickery I am struggling with.. ..so some overall shots of the mock-up windshield and the rear glazed area - once I get the plug for the windshield I will probably just plunge mould PETG panels in boiling water as this completely preserves the optical clarity and assemble individual panels to make it up.. lots and lots of fettling & thinking to be done in this bit... ..back when I have some meaningful progress TTFN Peter
  3. superb... absolutely superb you are making this look like one of Tamiya's finest rather than a 50 year old Airfix kit - it has real presence and is beautifully detailed & finished love it Peter
  4. Hi folks I discarded the seat cushion on the basis the pilot actually sat on a parachute pack which served the same purpose and in some ways I am glad as then the work on shaping the seat bottom can be seen.. I amanged to put myself out of action for a few weeks as I sliced my finger - not modelling but drying up a vegetable slicer - what a dumbo.. it gave me some time to do some design work that was overdue anyway and as I had been messing about with tiny bits of wire trying to do seat belts, I decided to create a small PE fret of seat belt parts, which ultimately grew as I went through the manual into an A4 fret with all sorts of other useful bits including window framing, gunsight parts, templates for the U/C doors and another set of panels that go around the exhausts as I want to try annealing them to get better curvature... ..that was about a weeks work... also renewed my Rhino 3D trial and finalised the mainwheel.. made the gunsight - its some kind of N3 type but not much reference on the net on this particular variant, but I did have a few good Lopes resto shots to base it on.. and I love this shot of the signal pistol - I have the mount in the fuselage wall, but not the pistol or the metal part it mounts to.. - I wasn't going to include it at all as the gun would be too hard for me to design, but had a brainwave that enabled it.. ..and here is the mount.. ..now for the brainwave - it appears 1/18 is the scale of collector soldiers, and a company on the internet does small arms for them so I bought a couple of .357 Magnums for $0.65c each - bit of modification and we have a flare pistol ..I only need the handle.. ..now for some parts that have been bothering me since I started - seat belts... when I did my Spitfire, they were the parts I was least happy with - made with ribbon, they looked a bit duff if you ask me.. after playing with different tapes & ribbon, I tried rolling some lead wire - it worked a treat, but was too narrow, so I cut some lead strips and rolled them out until they were the right size.. the fittings were all PE and it all seemed to work quite well.. ..they were primed, painted & washed & the paint scraped off the metal fittings - here before the hooking latch was added.. ..in place with the cushion, I am much happier with these than the Spit ..the cockpit is nearly ready to close up.. TTFN Peter
  5. evening all & thank you back with a bit more Mustang mayhem... ..in trying to get the cockpit 'pod' in a state where it is complete and can be fitted into the airframe, I have had to take care of many small details I had earlier left, thinking 'I will do that later...' first up this sidewall.. ..I had added the straps for the flare pistol cartridge box (the four little beige tabs), the landing gear handle I made from brass in a previous post, some black switch covers in the top switchbox along the canopy slide rail and a completely missing thing - the bomb selector handle & cover (with a red top).. maybe seen better here.. and bomb release lever.. ..the cockpit floor was also finished with the canvas cover under the seat with it's pop-off fasteners, and the control column was added and the boot/gaiter - these canvas parts were made with household 3" masking tape which I think worked reasonable well.. ..then a step right out of my comfort zone... I can make anything mechanical - I take a look, break it down into shapes and make thise bits - here though the parts I needed to make were the seat back life preserver (I think) and the cushion... two completely organic shapes.. ..I thought the life preserver could be made of milliput on a base of lightly curved & distorted plasic card covered in foil tape so hopefully once complete I could remove it as it wouldn't stick to it.. ..then it was a matter of playing with the milliput and trying to shape with cocktail sticks to get creases - the button like things were tiny punched plastic discs.. ..I added some piping from sprue & milliput and tried to paint it (another weakness...) ..same for the cushion, though this time a strap was added at the front from folded tape & foil brass retaining straps... ..I am not 100% on it and may try painting it again, but for now it looks like this... ..and at home in the cockpit... ..getting there... TTFN Peter
  6. evening folks thanks for your kind comments again, not a huge amount to show, but I want to try as best as possible to keep a weekly log, so this week's challenge was the collection of fuel control gubbins that sits below the main instrument panel (in fact the switchpanel below that but whatever) - seen here: ..for the central control selector I designed two methods - I had a decal made, and I tried making an etch part with all the lettering so I could paint it black and sand off the top layer to leave the letters and lines.. ..the remaining parts were made up from sheet or bits & bobs... ..these were then painted & assembled - you can see I used the etch part for the fuel control rather than the decal.. ..and they were added to the lower switch panel using templates to set the angles they all sit at.. ..and thats it for this week - told you it wasn't much ..need to start getting the cockpit pod ready for assembly now, at which point the weathering will be added to make it a little less toy like.. TTFN Peter
  7. afternoon folks ..I have been away much of the week, so just a little more done - but each part is one more step towards completion! ..firstly, the control column was finished & painted - I just need to work out what to make the canvas gaiter from as all the materials I have the weave is over scale.. ..and dry fitted in place.. ..next, the rudder pedals... these are in Lopes Hope... a very obvious feature is the writing on the faces ..this was taken care of by making PE parts - here the rounded shape is being imparted by taping & rolling over some brass rod.. ..soon the base pedals were made.. ..then a kit of parts assembled, including the forks that hold them.. ..I checked and only the bottom of the assembly can be seen, so all the upper gubbins was pretty much ignored.. ..and these were then painted and some light scuffing - washes & weathering will come much later... ..thats it for now.. TTFN Peter
  8. evening all I added the hatches & panels to the underside and rivetted - there are a number of small fragile cup shaped air scoops to be added both sides of the main structure, but I will do that much later so I don't damage them.. I will also do the doors for the oil & radiator coolant exhausts at some point down the line.. ..with that done - I need to stop skinning and get the cockpit finished & installed as the scary bit will be building up and skinning the rear canopy area. I learned from the Spitfire not to race too far ahead with skinning as when you need to do major bodywork & filler it can be really difficult not to damage it and to work around it.. so remindingmyself where I was, I found a few assemblies to do... ..first the Hydraulic Hand Pump seen here.. ..nice turned handle, a tubular & hex section piston case and some cast bracketry.. ..I made up a kit of parts - the most complex of which was the piston housing - this was done from hex brass stock on my lathe... I have so much to learn using that tool... ..the parts were painted & assembled.. ..and a dry fit to check it all fits in.. ..next the Landing Gear Control Handle.. the black funny shaped thing seen here under the vertical trim wheel.. ..this was made from two chunks of square brass stock, shaped with a cutting disc in my dremel... ..not perfect, but near enough for me.. ..and painted and it's decal added.. ..lastly, the control column and mount.. ..I actually made the column ages ago and don't know what I did with the WIP pics, but suffice to say the pistol grip was shaped from a chunk of plastic and had various fittings & the trigger added, the shaft was turned in my dremel with it's subtle taper.. The torsion tube mount thing is again ground from a chunk of brass and is very simplified as all it needs to do is represent the shapes as it all sits under a cloth gaiter.. ..it is articulated, so you could go flying ..not painted it yet, but in situ for reference.. ..should get another good stint in tomorrow so may be back soon.. TTFN Peter
  9. Hi folks Back with a little more... I tried skinning the bottom of the airscoop in one piece, pre-rivetted, but I couldn;t get a good fit.. you can see the gap between the bottom and adjacent panel here.. ..so I decided to try it in two halves, tring to lose the join line down the middle - here the first half starts to get persuaded into shape.. ..and both halves with the skin overlap in the middle.. ..after sanding the join out, the rear of the panel is cut to shape and the waste peeled off.. ..and with some rivet details added.. ..moving backwards, two panels have been added, including one around the oil cooler outlet and a further one is waiting to be stuck down - the intention is to get all the base metalwork down and then sand, shape & refine before cutting out panels for doors etc and riveting in situ.. ..looking to lose another couple of seams, an infill panel between two outboard ones is ready to be stuck down.. ..and now this area is ready to move on to the detail stage.. until next time TTFN Peter
  10. Hi folks :) just a little update this week, as I am in India on business, but as I had a few photo's on my phone, I thought I might put them up :) ..you can see here the big panel behind the main gear bay - this is a fuel tank cover and has an oval hatch at the rear and interestingly a lot of domed screw fixings all the way around it.. ..this poses a challenge when making the panel, as all the embossed rivet detail needs to be added and the panel fully finsished, before a final stage which was to emboss the screwws by turning the panel over and pressing down with an awl onto a layer of tape on a sheet of glass - that way the metal gives enough to get a clean dome, but not so much it deforms the panel as I can't burnish it out again or I would lose the dome effect.. ..these panels were then added and the central cover made - this was made by making a buck with some semi-circular plastic rod glued to a sheet of perspex and burnishing the metal to accept the shape - the radiussed nose of the shape was filled with CA so it doesn't collapse and then the finished part added.. ..the central airscoop had been removed to allow the fuel tank cover panels to be fitted, so this was added back. When I marked out the panels on this part, I could see i needed to make corrections - the skin I added to the scoop ages ago did not go back far enough or deep enough down the body of the scoop - you can see whats missing between the panel & the drawn lines.. the only way I could come up with was the 'seamless' method I have been using where I add a panel and burnish it up to it's adjacent panel and sand away the lip it forms as it goes up and over the edge of the panel - here the extra has been added and you can see all along the joins there is an overlap.. ..this is then treated by sanding away the waste and it is virtually impossible to see the join.. ..the last thing I did before I left for India was to start marking out the bottom panel via a tape template - here using cotton thread to make sure the rivet lines correctly follow the contour of the scoop and are straight & vertical when seen from the side.. I hope to be able to pre-rivet the part, but it is going to be tricky to get a good close panel line fit accross three mating sides... ..one for when I get back.. TTFN Peter
  11. Howdy pardners Thank you so much for your kind words - it really spurs me on to do my best I needed to move on under the fuselage to the scoop exhaust area - again this is a bunch of compound curves, but quite an interesting part of the airframe.. ..having chopped out the 'kit' part as it wasn;t right, I had replaced it with a card & filler structure, but this still needed rework when I got to it as the sidewalls needed to be strong to take burnishing down the metal skins to get the curves.. ..so the first thing was to create some stiff brass walls... ..this was then lined with pre-rivetted ali skins.. ..on the real deal, you can see the roof skin is ribbed to aid airflow and there is an opening for the strut that controls the door in this area.. ..I CA'd some brass wire to the roof to form the ribs over and started working an annealed sheet into the opening - this sheet was prepared by riveting the trailing edge and making the strut hole & rivets.. ..the tips of the scoop ribs were done by cutting the straight edges & pre-riveting, and then sticking these in place before forming the edges over the structure.. ..both sides done (before final finishing) - you can also see the ribs in the roof now.. ..the side panel has a hatch in it so this was added - here as the impact adhesive goes off before being folded back into position.. ..the other side has an indented oval (no idea what it is...) so this was made, then attatched to the skin and a hole made in the fuselage to accept the adaptation.. ..then it was all sanded to uniformity & any missing / lost rivets added.. ..I had also made the radiator before so this was test fitted.. ..have moved to the underwing panels behing the main gear -once these are down, the radiator airscoop can be added back and all the skinning under there completed TTFN Peter
  12. afternoon folks So, fillets.... they are all curved as you woulkd expect, some in multiple directions - I was hoping the dorsal fin was the last panel as the very tip of it overlaps the fuselage skin I can't add until the cockpit is in.. but no, it's the first panel down - I guess as it's the least removed in service.. ..to get an idea of the area, this is for a P51C without a dorsal fin - I couldn't find too much on one with a fin and all the resto pics I have of Lopes Hope do not yet have all the fillets fitted so some assumptions were made from what I could see that they are pretty similar to a 'D' model.. ..you can see curvature & shapes and the fittings that fasten them too ..I did the dorsal fin but forgot to take pics, so this is the upper forward fillet first.. ..a sheet is bent & taped down to start the forming process.. ..a ball pein hammer is used to gently beat it into shape, and helped with balsa rubbing blocks and hard wood coffee stirrers.. ..here I am trying to get it to conform to the leading edge and the curved part that runs out onto the fuselage.. ..after shaping a number of scaled templates were used to derive the shapes - these are side views so I have to allow for the shape as it curves away from the eye.. ..and soon all the fillets were in place ready for final shaping & smoothing - at the leading edge you can see where the panels overlap - by sanding away the overlap a perfect seam results - in fact on the full size one this is a butt weld which is finished on the outside.. ..after final finishing and finessing some of the edges, the fasteners were added - this was a vet labourious process as each one must be punched, then marked with an awl for the fastner, then flattened, then added - there are about 60 each side.. ..once the other side has it's fasteners (I can only do so many at a time without getting bored..), I will move along the underside to the air scoop & exit under the fuselage.. TTFN Peter
  13. howdy folks Hi Erwin - not sure about the D model as this one is a C, but my point of reference is how the guys at Aircorps Aviation restored her - they are totally committed to accuracy and have finished the airframe exactly as it should be. I trust their research Also colour pics I have of early B's and C's also have ZC bays so I think all is well - in fact mine is wrong in that there are a few panels in the bay that are unpainted ali, but I didn't realise this until it was too late ..just a little update as not had much time this week.. you can see here that where the skin panels on the fin & stabilisers end, it drops down to the bare fuselage shape - this is a problem for adding all the fillets around this area as when you burnish soft metal to get the complex shapes of the fillets, if it stayed like this, the fillets would distort where the existing skin ends and would form ridges... ..that means all that area needs to be filled so the surface onto which the fillets are added is perfectly flat - even a seam line can show through.. ..the first step is to get a tape template of the missing area and cut a sheet of plain annealed litho to go there.. here this bit covers that area and the side of the tail fillet... ..then it is stuck & burnished and all the seams filled so it is one contiguous surface.. ...I also skinned underneath by the tailwheel well.. ..the fillets will come next and be quite involved - I only have drawings for the early P51B version without a tail fillet.. ..you can see how they sit on top of the aircraft skin.. ..and I have some good photo's of the fin fillet to work from.. - just need to unpick the order they go down - this fillet will be added later as it goes over panels I won't add until the cockpit is in place and the rear canopy are is built up.. ..back soon with more.. TTFN Peter
  14. evening folks I want to get the tailfeathers skinned next, so I used the usual process and scaled a factory drawing to get the rivet pattern - this is the first step after sticking the drawing on litho and scoring & adding rivets.. ..after it has been burnished flat, there is an access hatch in each surface, upper and lower so I had already had these made in PE and I use a brand new scalpel blade to go around it, then drill the corners, make a hole in the middle & score into this so I can break away the waste.. ..then the rest of the waste around the panel is broken away and it's taped in position.. ..stuck down with the hatch added.. ..upper & lower.. ..the leading edge is done is softer, thick foil like ali that is taped down to a butting straight edge and worked over the leading edge - where it meets the panel on the other side it is pushed hard so there is a step where it laps over it and then stuck down & the step sanded away resulting in a perfect join.. ..guide tape is used to follow the rivet lines from the main tailplane panels to allow LE rivets to be added... ..same process for the fin - here you can see the leading edge folded back on itself ready for fixing and some rubber pipe protecting the trailing edges of the tailplanes.. ..and where the LE panel meets the main panel you can see the step that gets sanded away.. ..I actually later taped scaled drawings to the LE panel to get the rivet pattern right ..one of the two lower fuselage panels - this has a number of hatch cutouts in it and will set the datum for all panels to follow so needs to be right... ..with the hatches added - the bigger one with holes in needs domed rivets adding one by one when I can be bothered to drill all the holes.. and the rear is starting to take shape - unfortunately, again all this will be painted - in this case the whole empennage will be matt black... ..away for the week on business but hopefully have something done next weekend TTFN Peter
  15. evening ladies seems the last few weeks has been a bit slow, but to be honest I have been hard at things, learning from a few mistakes on the way and redoing stuff I wasn't happy with.. ..the first thing was to finish skinning the leading edge of the wings at the underside wing root - I needed a smooth surface to skin onto as this had all been chopped about to add in the frames & ribs in the landing gear well.. here, at the top you can see the curved sub-skin added... ..there is a lip / ledge the gear door sits on so a jig was made and some annealed 'L' shaped litho bent to shape and painted.. ..these were then added and filled flush with the new skin so I can put soft annealed litho on top of both without it picking up the uneven surfaces below - here before filling.. ..then the panel itself was made by getting a tape template of the shape and cutting it short at the curved edge to get the lip.. .. I then forgot to take a picture of the finished panel, so onto the wingtip ..I started by cutting the straight edges where the wingtip panel meets the other panels, then this join was taped down and the shape burnished to follow the curves. Once this was done a straight edge was added at the very tip where it will meet the underside tip skin.. once I had the main shape, the fastening rivets were added and here it is seen hinged upwards before adding the impact cement to fix it.. ..before sanding smooth, the shape is pretty good anyway.. ..and the final wingtip - as it is going to be being painted, any tiny blemishes can be dealt with using primer or filler.. ..the bulk of the last couple of weeks was spent prepping for priming as I know alclad is so unforgiving.. I also replaced the landing light panel three times as I just couldn't get it to blend properly with the surrounding panels and actually found when I fitted the main skin as I rolled the leading edge skin over the edge, it was not all stuck right onto the surface so I had this hollow area that kept crushing and denting - it was all pretty frustrating.. ..to add to that, after finally etch priming both wings, I found the primer easily coming off - so after a bit of research it turns out etch primer has a best before date - if it is not fresh, the acid in it goes off and it is basically like paint rather than etching and grabbing onto the surface that all needed stripping, the rivet depressions cleaning out and the whole prep process done again... anyways, I got some proper single pack etch primer from Phoenix Precision and have just painted the first coat - I am impressed when thinned 50/50 it goes on well and preserves much more detail than my old primer.. ..you be the judge ..that stuff needs 36hrs to etch the surface so after that I can get a look at further prep for an alclad finish - though that stuff is pretty fragile so not sure what stage to paint it as I don't want to damage it and even taping up the wings is a risk as I have had it come off with masking tape.. more next time TTFN Peter
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