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airscale

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airscale last won the day on June 2 2021

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  1. evening folks & thanks for stopping by with some encouragement so, I was away for a bit so not too much bench time, but I did get the lower cowl fairing on after adding the PE radiator parts inside first.. rear... ..front.. ..I have a 3D printed part to sit in front of the lower intake - shaping it properly with all the fillets & fairings is well beyond me, but this will serve the purpose of having a hard basis part with which to work, shape & skin... ..should be here tomorrow.. and how the airframe looks.. ..started on some of the internals - this is the control column and rods - lots of fabricated bits from drawings - nearly got caught out with the lower mount which is two rods one above the other on early models, but as can be seen in Denzil's pic above is canted on later models - I built the canted one from drawings before realising.. the grip was made from square brass rod, worked with a dremel & files.. ..it all needs priming & finessing and proper construction before it's finished.. ..on to the floor - this is where PE can really help - I built a jig to hold the floor in the aerofoil shape, but did not include any dihedral as its too hard to do if I use PE.. The centre rib is a laminate of just the bit you can see, with stubs of fuse wire for bolts.. this is the main floor PE with laminate parts for the central rivet strips and the wing fuel gauges, the areas clear of rivets in the centre are left as location markers for the rubbing plates.. primed, painted and with the rubbing boards and a couple of pipe unions added.. ..I love doing cockpits so will be here a while TTFN Peter
  2. thanks chaps It is like Christmas morning here in the airscale house.. my giant PE sets turned up, perfect as always from PPD a walk around.. left to right - gun sides, cockpit floor, below that main gear door inners lower canopy, canopy retraction mechanism & wheel, rear cooler meshes, below all that main gear roof parts.. cockpit parts, rudder pedals, cowl flaps, fuselage cockpit bulkhead formers instrument panel, throttle quadrant, tailwheel door inner flap ribs.. cockpit parts, belly tank / bomb shackle, fuselage hatch ..rudder mass balances, wheel parts, bulkhead 5 backing plate fin spar, rear canopy skins, bulkhead 5 face plate and in the middle of that cockpit parts ..chin radiator / cooler meshes seat parts.. ..very happy with how they turned out, just need to remember what they all are now TTFN Peter
  3. Thanks PR & afternoon all I started out by trying this new sculpting foam material - there is a keel assembly that is underneath the P40 made of 3 or 4 sections, so I got the drawings and scaled a floor and three cross sections. From here I filled the blanks with foam and sanded it down. I found a saw works best for main cuts, then a rasp for major shaping and then a sanding stick for finessing. One thing is it makes a lot of gritty dust which gets everywhere - it is hard stuff a bit like the stuff flower arrangers use I used quite thick card in my dental vacformer to pull a couple of copies of keel parts - found they make for a great way to knock up moulds for these sorts of parts which previously I would have spent longer using P38 filler. It sands really easily and stuff like this can be made in minutes.. ..In thinking about using it on the airframe itself - I wanted to be happy I could skin metal onto it so made up a test piece of foam with compound curves ..the first try just using it raw failed - the contact adhesive largely absorbed into the foam and the surface area of all the structure between what are essentially foam bubbles is not enough to get any adhesion I tried a skin of P38 filler & primer like I would anyway and this fixed the adhesion - but care is needed in forming the sheets as its quite easy to scar the foam even with hard wood coffee stirrers when i riveted the skin once its in place (which has to be done for compound curved areas), the distortion of the metal is more pronounced and there is a danger of going straight through it and puncturing the skin a tried a wash with thin CA and that helped a little with rigidity so I am sure with a combo of filler and CA I can make it work.. with the test done it was time to start doing the airframe.. the pro's in being able to get a 'body' in a couple of hours vs being careful with skinning is too strong - as opposed to days of trying to plank or fill all the areas with balsa & P38.. ..soon the airframe was done and the basic shaping complete - I will probably vacform the chin area and the area under the spinner will be P38 as there is a lot of scalloping and compound curves.. ..the keel parts sit here.. ..so now I need to give it a skim of P38 and do A LOT of refinement before its in a fit state to be skinned in metal later.. TTFN Peter
  4. Hi all, thanks for your kind comments Hi PR - no, no patreon for me anymore - I found making videos took quite a lot of time and changed how I approached modelling, so regretfully I killed it off So, not back at work yet after a long Xmas break so got some good benchtime in I found I had made the chin intake to plans that were incorrect - you can see the 'dividers' are in the wrong position so a days work was ripped out, and another days work put into doing it all again - the lesson here is always check references! Wanted to get the rear of the chin intake sorted - a few things to note.. see the big natural metal duct that takes the air out of the upper two radiators to the exit ..and the rads themselves are mounted in a bulkhead behind the lower ring former that holds the cowl flaps.. you can also see the ducting here with holes in for the cowl flap control rods.. ..I started by nicking one of Mrs airscales mascaras as it was the right diameter to give me good forms to start making a mould to form the duct over - she put up a small fight, but with a promise to buy her a better one, it was soon cut to bits.. I made up a plastic card 'bath', put the sectioned mascara tubes in it and filled it with P38 filler - that gave me a good basis to make the mould which I later pulled a vacform over.. ..as the real one is natural metal, I needed to skin this part, so while it was still on the mould I started working some annealed litho.. ..the main tools of the trade here are a tiny ball pein hammer and a coffee stick.. ..after working it, sanding it and wire wooling it, the part was getting near to being finished.. ..the three components - it took me way longer to make the mould bits than the part itself.. ..added the holes and rivets that hold this panel.. ..to actually integrate it into the airframe I had to section the keel and remove a section so I could fettle it and get it in position.. ..also started on the bulkhead.. ..added a black plastic card backing to the bulkhead and cemented it all in place.. the radiators themselves and some of the fittings are in the monster PE set I have coming from PPD next week ..it was quite a job to get all this to line up - especially the angles and sit of where the duct meets the rads.. ..next up, I am going to try filling the fuselage with this sculpting foam and then a skin of P38 before skinning the airframe in metal.. ..should be interesting - hope it works out TTFN Peter
  5. hey everyone Hi Lewis - yes, the spinner & wheels at least will be 3D printed, once I have designed them that is! I have been going mad on the PE design to date and now have two monster sheets after I decided to include the flap innards.. ..the first thing to set about was the nose - it's all very well having a solid perspex keel and solid formers, but there is a bit of work to do to open it all out for the chin intake and exhaust area.. I mocked up the PE radiator front so I could orient what needed to be done and set about grinding and cutting out the lower chin area.. ..also the rear where the cowl flaps will go.. ..added two ali plates that will give strength to this bifurcated area.. ..you can also see the ali tube I let into the upper nose for the basis of the (carb?) air intake ..the inside of the cowl is lined with sheets that duct the air from the intake to the 3 round prestone radiators - I have no drawings of this area so all I know is the shape of each intake segment, and the round radiator diameter at the end of it. to form the shapes, I needed to make bucks on which to form the metal sheet intakes. I started by laying out blanks of the shapes at each end and building a simple frame that held them in the right position Once the frame was removed from the model, a pole was added to lock that position and the frame cut away, resulting in these funny shapes.. ..those shapes were then built out with scrap plastic & balsa and filled with P38 filler and ultimately refined into the bucks needed.. intake shapes at the front.. ..radiator shapes at the back.. ..then annealed litho can be formed on the bucks to form the trunking.. ..these were then primed and painted as I won't be able to get to them once fitted.. ..then a bit of jiggling and they are fitted.. ..I slathered a bit of epoxy around them to help them keep their shape.. ..and the process worked - I also added a tape ring where they meet the rads which is like a canvas boot but you can't really see it.. ..the transition is quite smooth.. ..and thats it for now, rear area next.. TTFN Peter
  6. hello everyone No way of dressing it up, but I have changed subject again... I will go back to the Fairey Firefly - this is it's second time of falling out of favour, but when you get the urge what do you do? My new flame is the early longnose P40. I have always thought it would make a good subject for me and very nearly started one after my P51, but didn't fancy another American aircraft in quick succession. It's easy to see why.. ..beautiful lines, natural metal and technically interesting. This is G-CIIO operated by The Fighter Collection who have said I can come and take at look at her once we are into the New Year and assuming there is no covid funny business preventing a visit... I have spent the last month or so researching and finding out about the airframe and the differences with the later short nose P40s and the earlier P36 - of which there are many. I also liked the timing with the GWH 1/32 kit coming out as folks will be talking P40's for a bit I had Jumpeii Temmas plans scaled and corresponded with Witold Jaworski who has digitally modelled the P40C and had done loads of research and analysis of factory drawings One thing I really looked forward to was doing what I did with my P51 and getting stuck into those drawings to replicate everything part by part. This was always something that hindered the Firefly, I just don't like working in a vacuum, I like the research and knowing what I am making is accurate An example like this - here is the tailwheel door in the parts manual.. ..I can find the part number and in Aircorps Library, look up the drawings.. ..then scale and copy the drawings to make up a set of photo-etch parts.. ..I did this hundereds of times and now have the mother of all PE sheets at 28cm by 47cm with everything I thought I could do in PE represented.. i thought I would base the model on the 21st Century Toys 'model' as I did with their Fw190D -this was on the basis that while it is a toy, the 190 was dimensionally pretty accurate.. So a trip to ebay and £160 lighter, one turned up.. Once the 'model' arrived I set about destroying it into it's component parts - this involved sawing some of the nose elements in half so I ended up with effectively two fuselage halves.. cue the first plan comparison and a very deflated feeling... ..it's too short, too narrow, has what looks like the late chin profile and is generally all over the place.. ..the rear fuselage is particularly out.. ..now, I did toy with the idea of just getting on with reworking it, but the more I looked, the more work I found - in the end I was trying to justify it because I had spent the money.. In the end, I bit the bullet and decided to scratch build it - I have no excuse - I have great drawings and having just scratchbuilt a Hawker Fury so feeling pretty confident.. ..first step was to get a sheet of perspex acrylic to trace out a 'keel'... ..I used a scalpel to score the perspex - you may juts be able to see some of the station lines here (on the red line).. ..once I had all the station points and outlines done, I used a jigsaw and a cutting disc to cut out the profile - with a big bit missing for where the cockpit is.. ..this again told me how out of whack the 21st Century Toys model is.. ..using Jumpeii's profiles I cut out all the fuselage station formers.. ..and cemented them in place using a mini set square.. ..then I soldered some square brass stock to get the dihedral right for wings to slide into - there is a little perspex jig holding it upright inbetween them.. ..they were epoxied in place with the smaller sliding box sections in place so the angles and dangles can be seen and the positioning made correct.. ..so there we are - thousands of hours of work to go, but it feels good to have something fresh on the bench and thats what it's all about right? TTFN Peter
  7. eveing all Thanks for your kind replies I think I will for the main canopy - I did for my Spit & it is a trusted method - I was just thinking lazy and needed to do something for the rear canopy plug as it would use a lot of resin/RTV so, no real building to speak of, but I have been busy modelling some of the 3D bits I will need.. starting with the spinner - the outline was traced from a good side profile & the hub & backplate are a seperate assembly with the right spacing for everything - at least I don't have to skin this with metal - I will just wwork the rivet detail into the primer when the time comes.. ..and how it seperates.. ..next were the Griffon exhausts which are pretty complicated for little old me to get my head around in Rhino... ..they are in banks of 6 set to the angle of the cylinder head - I have yet to find out if the tips will print or be too fragile.. ..and lastly the mainwheels & tyres - the period tyre has a block tread, not like the resto birds of today that probably use a 737 nosewheel tyre or something.. ..photo's like these can be imported into Rhino to serve as the plan to draw from - very useful.. ..that said I did need to reach out to Tim Perry for some help as some of my modelling was a bit 'fast & loose' and 3D requires absolute precision, but with a bit of email guidance on how to troubleshoot some bad surfaces here we are.. ..still got some other bits to do like the tailwwheel and I might try the control column as thats a bit funky aswell, but it was these parts I was fretting over - especially the exhausts.. until next time - hopefully see you folks at Telford - I have a stand in Hall 2 so pop over and say hello Peter
  8. Can't believe it's been over a month since I last updated - life has got in the way, with a bit of returning to the office in London for the day job (sadly..) So the build has lurched from highly precise focused detailing, to low end agrigultural heavy engineering.. I was getting carried away in the cockpit at a time when there is still loads of basic structural stuff to be done.. ..first up, there is nothing for the UC bays - these are unfortunately really complex so I am going to have to simplify when the time comes to detailing as otherwise I will be in there for months on end.. ..they don't look so bad here, but trust me there is a lot going on both structurally and in bits & bobs credit to the photographer shown ..I started by taking a slice of the plan drawing I have and drawing out the area I need to cut out that sits below the skin - also added ribbing locations as far as I could determine from photo's ..then cut into the balsa cores - you can see the brass reinforcement plates put in ages ago to hold the gear legs later.. ..you can also see how the wheel cut-out area eats right into the fuselage exposing the structure and lego blocks in there (!)... ..floors were marked out in card with the rib positions.. ..after the floors were added, walls were added and a few gaps & dinks filled in.. as the wings slide on and off the wheel bay area is fixed to the wing but slides out from the fuselage as one.. ..and with a shot of primer the basics are there to build on - I have a guy coming from Axminster lathes on friday to fix my little C2 (no power) so hope to start turning the legs and epoxy in the mounting stubs in the next few weeks ..the next bit I had been putting off are the mould bucks for the transparencies - if you see the shape of the main hood you can see why I was stalling.. ..I also found this drawing which I took as good enough to get some profiles.. ..first step was to get some outline boundaries from the plans and translate them to 3D so I can see basics like the angle of the windshield and the shapes generally.. ..I made up a plastic card frame with flat parts front and back so the blown bit starts at the right point - this is coloured black with a sharpie so I can see my sanding limit after I fill it - if you don't the card is white when you hit it and stays white while you sand right through the boundary (tell me how I know..).. ..filled with P38 and first pass sanded.. ..primered and nearly done - the blown bits look ok in the end.. ..same with the rear - balsa used to save on filler.. ..and this is where they are at.. ..anyone who has seen my build logs will know I HATE doing transparencies - they are my nemesis.. I spoke to John Wilkes (Tigger) and got some great advice on how to turn these masters into masters to actually get good pulls from. The main problem now is that these have a lot of filler & primer and the heat of the plastic causes that to melt, deform, delaminate onto your canopy etc. What he said was use them to get one good shape pull using PETG and the fill that pull with Filler like Herculite to make a better master that can take the punishment.. so that's where I am at - until next time Peter
  9. Thank you all when I left you last, I was working on all the little bobbins in the cockpit - switch panels, control boxes etc - most of these are PE faces, custom decals & toggle switches from wire, some of the bigger knobs & buttons are modified watch parts (cogs & shafts etc)... ..these are the front cockpit right hand side.. ..and fitted - the fuse panels in the lower half were first made up, then finely chopped coloured wire dropped onto blobs of CA - a bit like decorating a cake with hundreds & thousands.. ..same for the left.. ..here the knurled wheel was a modified 1/24 tailwheel (Fw190 i think) with ribs added.. ..rear right.. and rear left.. ..the rear bulkhead has quite a lot of complex work and it's own buoy and target towing control panel - the yellow thing in the middle is a pull cord to cut the towing cable.. ..when dry fitted in the airframe it starts to look like this.. ..then as we modellers like to do, we start to cover it all up.. ..here with the upper decking.. ..and when built up the cockpit starts to look a bit busier - in all areas there is still quite a lot of cabling & wiring to add.. ..and thats it for now - until next time.. TTFN Peter
  10. evening all I have been messing around with lots of little bits, but it's ok as it's all in the cockpit and I just lurve doing cockpits ..I took a look at the seat - I started this back in 2018 and used the base part as a basis for correction ..it's made of bakelite sort of stuff and needed the sides building out for these sort of 'wings' on the sides.. ..details, seams & rivets were added and the rear cushion made from milliput - the seams on this are lead wire and my sculpting skills are not very well developed ..then they were painted - lots of the tonal stuff seems lost in the picture.. ..also made the adjustment assembly & lower mount struts.. ..and it sort of goes here.. ..then made up PE bits for various consoles and fittings - many of these are in layers, much the same as the instrument panel.. ..after paint and decals I have a lot of work ahead still to do all the switches and knobs and make up the laminates plus glazing for those with dials.. ..speaking of instrument panels, I made this one from custome PE, custom airscale decals I tacked onto a trade order and lots of bits & bobs.. ..its as close as I can make it to the one in Steve Long's care in Oz.. ..yet to make the compass that goes in the compass stand.. ..long way to go yet, but it sort of goes here.. TTFN Peter
  11. Hi everyone & thank you I have been busying myself with the Firefly - having sorted out the upper fuselage shape I could get back to trying to make the forward cockpit fuselage walls and do it in such a way I could still get inside to detail it.. I started by skinning the walls and the cockpit coaming at the front - I figured if I just built it all first I could figure out access after.. ..then I decided to just cut away the walls and front to have one cockpit skin 'pod' and then drew up some line drawings for the structure & components.. ..after skinning the inner walls with litho (after scribing key locations) I added the station ribs from plastic or litho... ..also developed the basic floor - it was higher than when I originally cut the fuselage way back when.. ..and the basic structure starts to come together - the gaps all close up when squeezed.. ..with the basic structure done, I wanted to get down some paint as otherwise it all becomes a bit difficult to cover all the nooks & crannies - in looking at the refs I have, the bird I am doing has a 'black' cockpit, but when seen here it is quite grey - I realise this is under flash photography, but it is still not black as you can see in the contrast between switch panels & structure.. ..I had been using a tamiya rattle can of Nato black as thats quite a good tonal black, but I thought it too dark, so I mixed some MRP super matt black and blue grey and shot that over everything after priming.. ..a quick scour with 0000 wire wool to lift some detail and they are done.. ..rear walls, floor & bulkhead.. upper rear bulkheads ..rear deck.. ..cockpit pod.. ..pilots seat bulkhead.. ..cockpit floor.. ..and I am happier with the colour now.. ..now all I need to do is make dozens of detail parts like this one - the throttle quadrant.. ..it's missing it's labelling, but the custom decals are due soon so I can get stuck into the IP and stuff I really enjoy TTFN Peter
  12. Hi everyone Ah yes, Steve has already helped me out a bunch with pics of the Firefly in his care - in fact it is what this model is based on - I just need to get access to one to cover every inch and fill in some knowledge gaps rather than drive Steve mad from 10,000 miles away it's just a quick update even though it is partially one step backwards to get two steps forwards in parts.. I started by making up the rear cockpit sidewalls and starting to detail them with the gizmo's I can see in pics.. also the structural parts like ribs and a big angled beam that traverses each side.. ..these nestle under the rear decking.. ..also made up the basic floor & rear seat mount, with what I think are battery mount trays forward - as this is a target tug, I am not sure yet if the actual batteries were in it, but the trays certainly were.. ..painted up some of the stuff and made up some fuse / breaker boxes that live somewhere here on the sidewalls too.. ..there are a bunch of decals I am having made that have all the labels etc for the IP & gizmo's but they won't arrive until the end of August.. ..in the rear, the sidewalls are not fixed, they have spot CA to hold them in place while I shape the outsides to conform with the fuselage - I wanted to do the same at the front cockpit in adding removable walls so I can detail the interior without having to do keyhole surgery.. only problem was, when I added the sidewalls and was getting the aperture square, I noticed the entire upper fuselage between the cockpits was wee weed to one side, so nothing for it but to chop out all the skin and structure and start again.. ..it was this axis that was off - all the bulkheads were not in a line so new ones added.. you can also see where the forward fuselage where the IP sort of sits was off as well - the black lined template shows where the skin should be.. ..this was all redone & reskinned - much happier now.. ..canopy rails also let into the structure.. ..seat bulkhead is now right.. same with forward bulkhead.. ..I need to work out how best to do the cockpit now - I might chop out both fuselage sides, or I may cut out one so I can get inside - the rear sides will just break away.. .. a long way to go, but at least the basic airframe is in order now.. TTFN Peter
  13. Howdy folks So, i looked at what I might do next and of the shortlist only a couple on my 'mildly want to' fitted in my display cabinet - a P36 Hawk, a Goshawk, a CR32, an H1 and all the ones on my 'really want to' didn't... Firefly, Sea Fury, Defiant, Blenheim and a few outliers like a Meteor, Spartan Executive and Lockheed 12 were all considered, but in the end, I did want a Firefly so I have restarted it I started by taking the balsa wings I had made and giving them a bit of skin integrity by screeding with P38 filler and a shot of primer - then started to make up the radiator sections.. ..the first bit has the end ribs and the radiator box - this is as 90 degrees to the fuselage, not running the same angle as the wing leading edge.. ..these were then shaped & primed.. ..then a top panel and the leading edge which cuts in lower than the rib profile.. ..sorted & primed - for now these are just general shapes to start me off.. ..with the wings partially sorted it was time to start on the fillet shapes - these have a distinct profile and curve upwards from the trailing edge - so this was defined with brass sheet to keep the shape no matter how hard I sand at it and will result in a sharp edge.. ..this shot reminds me of the start of the build where there is lego and all sorts making up the central fuselage block.. ..foil tape was added to the wings and they were slotted into place so i could build up to them with P38.. rough and ready, but this is the start needed before refining the shapes, the wings just break out from the filler as it won't stick to the ali tape.. ..the finished fillets can be seen here, along with the fuselage sides for the rear cockpit - there is so much to go in here, I need access so made up the sides with spots of CA so they can be broken out again once shaped.. ..the sides also had brass L shapes to hold the deck that sits on the top, and also some inside to define where the sides will sit in the aperture.. ..got some more P38 on and started shaping.. best get all this done before there is loads of delicate detail in there ..and with a shot of primer.. ..I also had the PE I originally designed remade after I made a few changes - here is the IP.. ..after lots of filler & engineering I felt like a change so made the rear bulkhead in the observers position - the tubes are for sono buoys I think.. ..it will sit in here something like this... ..so thats it - underway again - she is a big girl too... The only thing is, I can only find one late Firefly in the UK - in the reserve collection at Yeovilton. I wrote to them asking if i could get access to take pictures but they said no... the aircraft is in a hangar while they are moving aircraft around and she said it would be 'too dangerous' and to write back in March 2022... Needless to say, if anyone knows anyone in Yeovilton's staff, please let me know as I am quite a well behaved civilised individual and could likely be in and out in 30 mins TTFN Peter
  14. Correct - it's a removable panel, rather than a door I made the panel but left it off as the 'pit is tiny as it is... Peter
  15. Thank you everyone, that is quite overwhelming I very much appreciate your comments and hope you will join me on the next build Peter
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