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About Yankymodeler

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    Obsessed Member

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  • Location
    Virginia, USA
  • Interests
    Many and varied, but aviation is my passion

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  1. I work across the street from the NASM. If there are any particular pictures you'd like let me know Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  2. True. The 'real' Howard 500 had a re-engineered and a completely new build fuselage to handle the stress of pressurization and a new center section with an expanded span and increased fuel capacity. I assumed the discussion is of modelling the aircraft and a Ventura base is an appropriate starting point for both the H500 and the unpressurized earlier variants. Dee Howard's brilliance was in refining the basically good aerodynamics of the Ventura into what was needed in a new era. So, for modelling the H500 a Ventura can be a good base to begin. Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  3. Although difficult, I think a conversion from a Ventura is well within reach. There are some major changes (fuselage extension and nacelles) and a lot of nuances but the basic airframe is a solid starting point. I've been making plans for just such a project, a Howard series consisting of the H250, H350, H400 and H500. I got started on an On Mark Marketeer/Marksman/Tempo II project first, but the Howards are next in line. Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  4. I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to observe fellow modeler Allan Buttrick (Allan31) work on his latest project which he claimed was responsible for his absence from these hallowed halls of miniature craftsmanship. As Allan indeed had not posted for a while, I thought it a good opportunity to not only meet a fellow modeler but also find out what he was wasting his time on rather than model building. So, with an exchange of emails arrangements were made with Allan insisting on meeting at the Summit Point (WV.) racetrack. Despite thinking this was indeed an unusual place to talk modeling, I readily agreed as Summit Point is less than a 30-minute drive from my home and it is after all…a racetrack!!!. My son Curtiss and I set out at the appointed time, as we ventured onto the bridge over the track in to the infield, a trio of vintage sports racers swept into turn 10, exhaust popping and crackling under lifted throttle. In addition to getting our blood pumping, (aerobatic airplane guys and racecar guys are cast from the same mold) I was thrilled to jump to the conclusion that Allan was going to demonstrate a new method of weathering and use real racecars as reference! Now that is attention to detail, no wonder his builds are so realistic! We rounded the corner into the paddock area and as advertised the trailer was in place just as Allan had promised. But what caught my eye was that sitting in front was the largest scale Formula Ford racer I had ever seen, gleaming in a pristine British Racing Green finish and seemingly perfect in every detail. We were warmly greeted by Allan and Su, and immediately felt at ease. Allan said he would provide a detailed description as soon as he came in from the morning practice section. This was about the moment that I began to suspect we were not going to talk too much about models this weekend. Our first view of Allan and the Lola on the track. Since this is a modeling site after all, it is necessary to discuss a few modelling points: After the session, Allan graciously removed the cowl to allow close inspection of the engine installation and the rear suspension. Front and rear suspensions are multi-link with full adjustment for caster, camber and toe. The anti-roll (commonly called “sway bars”) are also adjustable. This set up allows the car to be tuned for ideal handling characteristics. Note how authentic the weathering is on the nose. This was achieved by Allan placing the nose of the Lola in position to capture scrubbed off tire rubber during cornering More scrubbed off tire-rubber marks on the coil-over springs and dampers. Note the built up ‘kingpost’ or ‘upright’ and the stones and grass stuck to the sticky racing tires. The adjustable anti-roll bars can be seen to good advantage here. Exhaust manifold received a subtle heat discoloration by running between 5000 and 7000 rpms for about 20 minutes. Allan and Curtiss discussing the design of the Lola. Warming up in the paddock, water temp coming up, oil still cold. (note the high oil pressure) Su is definitely a jack-at-all-trades! After assisting Allan strapping in, waiting time to head to the staging grid... The Scuderia Buttrick crew chief (Su) minute instructions on race strategy to the team’s premier driverproviding same last- The hallowed Scuderia Buttrick Crest. More information is available on the website https://scuderiabuttrick.com/ An attempt at recreating an artistic shot of the starting grid worthy of the 1966 movie ”Grand Prix” If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it. Traffic is heavy early in the heat before the field stretches out. Race 31 is closest to the camera on the outside setting up to pass on the outside of the turn leading into The Carousel. Despite a very strong emphasis on safety, this is a serious racing series and incidents do happen. Fortunately, all drivers are unharmed. A couple of glamour shots showing off the classic lines of the LolaT202 Green Flag racing Recovering after one of the heat races. Ambient temperatures were pretty high for May high humidity Race 31 is a 1971 Lola T202 Formula Ford that is raced in the Historic Ford class. Powered by a 1.6 liter inline 4-cylinder engine (similar to that in the Pinto!) the Lola’s light weight of just over 900 lbs provides exhilarating performance. Transitioning between the classic "cigar" styling of open wheel racers in the sixties and the "chisel" styling of the early seventies, and is in my opinion one of the best-looking Formula Fords. Allan’s beautifully maintained example raced flawlessly all weekend requiring nothing more between sessions than fueling, a check of tire pressures and wheel bolt torque. Curtiss trying on the Lola for size to Allan and Su’s amusement. Neither of us fit, our shoulders being much too broad although we did find we fit into a Crowsley…barely Thank you to Allan and Su for your hospitality, Curtiss and I cannot thank you enough for a great experience! You may very well have recruited two new novice vintage racers, now I just have to find a buyer for the Acrosport… Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  5. Love it! Great idea and excellent work!!! I have a soft spot for 'Battle of Britain' and have built a series of the movie 'stars' myself including the mount of S/L Edwards!
  6. Thank you! I have always kept my completed builds in enclosed cases. This project will be big enough to justify either the construction or purchase of a new large display case. At least that's the excuse I'll use! Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  7. Ian, Thank you for your encouraging words! I helps immensely to reinforce my surgeons favorable prognosis (he's a pilot also), it's nice to hear of a successful outcome from someone who can empathize with one of an aviator's worst fears. Eric aka The Yankymodeler p.s. and my surgeon did note a growing cataract that he considers no issue at all to rectify when the time comes.
  8. Thank you Jaime, last check up indicated very good progress! If only I could keep the project moving forward as quickly...
  9. Thank you Rade, One of the considerations for this build is how to produce multiple sets of consistent parts, I do often make up jigs and templates to make the task a it easier and quicker. I have a whole box full of them by now! Thank you for the thoughts, my surgeon is pleased and the healing is progressing well! Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  10. Oh we have to get together! I'm in Winchester!
  11. Wonderful work in massaging that project into a good representation. I do have to question your sanity on building that beast in 1/48th! You're not near the northern Shenandoah valley by any chance?
  12. Thank you so much! I have to say though that my work is just smoke and mirrors compared to some of the masterpieces seen created here. The next hurdle will be the attempt to get my airman's medical back once this eye settles down, I'm sure you understand well my anxiety.
  13. Hello CC, Welcome to my madness! I hope you can find enjoyment in this epic tail of plastic butchery. The Revell EA-6A is still readily available at swap meets and even out of the box is a good representation of the type. Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  14. Hello and welcome back to the hearty followers of this build thread! Once again, I find I’ve allowed a much longer between updates than intended. Partly because I am not only a slow builder but also a slow writer as well, taking me far too long to find the words to coherently describe my convoluted building process. Perhaps the more personal disruption to a timely update is an extended recovery period from a retinal detachment in one eye. To keep a long story short, a couple of surgeries have repaired the majority of the damage but recuperation consists of the eye being temporarily filled with a silicon-based oil to promote healing. The good news is the prognosis is promising, the down side is the oil drastically distorts vision due to the higher index of refraction of the denser fluid and has to stay in approximately three months. This interferes with vision in that eye which adversely affects depth perception. I was surprised at how difficult this makes model work and so what little progress I’ve made has been quite slow and at times frustrating. However, I do have some progress to report so, having run out of excuses and with no further whining, on with the update! After installing the rest of the main gear drag links was time to consider how to add enough detailing to adequately portray the complex design of the Intruder landing gear without the project becoming overwhelmingly intricate. The shop foreman (me) decided to replicate only the most obvious details and with the undisputed acceptance of this decree by the production staff (also me), the process became simply an exercise in building up enough detail parts from various sizes of styrene bits of rod and strip to represent the plethora of components comprising the landing gear. Retraction struts from styrene rod. Nose gear retract strut and door actuators A bit difficult to photograph there was an attempt to create an impression of rod end bearings on the visible end of the nose gear door actuators and a fork for the retraction strut. Because of the sheer number of wheel and tire assembles, I had gotten into the routine of working on a few at a time as a short change of pace from the other parts of the build and leaving them on an unused portion of the work mat for easy access. The build was progressing smoothly, though admittedly at my usual glacial-like pace, with no real problems of which to speak. Those who have followed my projects will know each build must have a moment of drama so it was at this point the modelling spirits demanded a tribute. In maneuvering one of the airframes while adding a retraction strut, I knocked over my bottle of solvent disgorging the entire contents in a torrent that flooded through the area used to store the wheel assemblies. In an instant the solvent bonded the wheels to the work mat flattening that side and filled the upward facing hubs like miniature swimming pools, swiftly obliterating any semblance of detail. The inundation was so complete there was not one usable set left undamaged! Impressions remain on the work mat! A few of the damaged wheel sets After the shock and panic of clean-up subsided, an inspection of the airframes confirmed miraculously no other damage ensued and efforts soon turned to recovery options. With only the stock Kinetic Prowler wheels remaining in usable condition, I needed eight Intruder/Prowler and three Super Hornet wheel sets. I briefly thought about casting copies using the surviving Kinetic wheel sets (they were still in the box on the runners), but I have not had great success in producing my own castings that contain very fine details as found on the Revell moldings. A fair amount of effort had been expended to refine the kit wheels and tires for no other reason than the personal satisfaction of relying on a minimum of aftermarket components. But with scant alternatives, I turned to the aftermarket and the beautifully detailed products available from a variety of manufacturers. Procuring a sufficient number of wheel sets depleted most of the stocks available from various model supply houses (A special thanks to Ilias of The48ers.com for excellent service!) and for those fellow modelers with Intruder/Prowler projects of their own who have had to wait for suppliers to restock, the culprit has now been exposed. Perhaps this may have been a blessing in disguise as the aftermarket wheels for the Super Hornets are much better than what I am capable of turning the Italeri moldings into and although the kit wheels for the Intruder/Prowlers are very nice, the tread detail of the resin parts will be a welcome improvement. Now onto some discernable progress. The Intruder had a long service life and as expected each airframe was modified and upgraded, hence it was necessary at some point in the build to make a decision as to which particular aircraft and time-frame would be modelled. As the A-6E was arguably the most prolific version I wanted a representation of an early and late example. Suitable subjects were identified and each airframe configured with the appropriate details for the chosen timeframes. One of the reasons I chose the particular subject for the late ‘E’ was its participation in the last carrier operations by the Intruder even though I had decided on modelling an earlier timeframe. Then came the moment I made the discovery that the example selected was also one of the Intruders refitted with a composite wing. The composite wing was a replacement to solve some life limiting fatigue issues that began to appear as the airframes approached 25 years of service in the mid-1980s. Consequently, the Navy embarked on a program to extend the life of the Intruder by giving them wings largely made of composite material, but retaining aluminum for the control surfaces. Externally there were a number of visually interesting changes including a unique upper and lower wing fold fairing, changes to access panels and the addition of numerous small raised doubler/stiffener plates. Here was an opportunity to represent a significant variant of the series. I did resist the temptation at first, after all the timeframe initially picked for this aircraft had a very weathered appearance and an appealing mix of grey and black markings. Furthermore, there was the consideration of the work necessary to convert to the composite wing and the danger of damaging the already completed landing gear. But I made the mistake of mentioning my discovery to my Project Instigator Friend. Those of you who have followed my other builds may recall Scott’s influence on a number of my projects that usually entail a lot more work, but result in a highly interesting key variation on a theme. Using his usual methods of deceit and trickery he convinced me that the slight amount of work the conversion would involve would be easily offset by the inclusion of this unique version in the series. Not being able to argue with that logic, I set an end mill in the motor tool, took a deep breath and quickly removed the metal wing fold fairing thus irrevocably committing to the conversion. The upper wing fold hinge fairings are the most obvious visual evidence of the composite wing, being similar to, but a distinctly different plan view outline than the fairing used on the Prowler. Much like the construction of the Prowler fairings, a solid blank of styrene of sufficient thickness was cut to planform shape then a motor tool and file used to match the bottom of the fairing to the top of the wing. The top and then the front and rear contours were shaped with files taking care to maintain symmetry between the left and right side fairings. Panel lines were scribed with my usual with my usual tools; a homemade scriber and a needle in a pin vise. Comparison between the Intruder refitted composite wing fold fairing… …and the Prowler wing fold fairing The outboard pylon has a fairing on the outboard side over the folding mechanisms again similar to the Prowler but with a slightly different contour and without the door-like cutout on the outboard side. A representation was fabricated from, you guessed it, styrene carved to shape! Removing the pylons was fraught with anxious moments, scribing the base and applying an overload sideways overload removed them with thankfully no damage. The rough blank for the outboard side The inboard pylon is slightly different as well in having a fairing where it joins with the bottom of the wing. A strip of styrene was formed into an appropriately sized blank with a triangular cross section and added to the top of the pylon. The tapered front and rear sections were created by judicious filing and twisting of the blank to conform to the curve of the pylon. Completed inboard (bottom) and outboard (top) pylons Comparison with the Intruder composite wing pylon fairing… …and the Prowler pylon fairing (Kinetic) Researching pictures of composite wings showed the access panels were changed from the familiar oval or round plates to what appear as rectangular covers over a large strip-like access area. This of course meant filling the access panels long ago scribed for the metal wing and re-scribing. The numerous stiffeners or reinforcements on the upper and lower surface of the wing were cut and shaped from .005” styrene. Reference pictures indicate specific shapes for each location. Although a fair bit of re-work was involved, the end result looks the part and will indeed be an important addition to portraying the major variants of the Intruder. Don’t tell my Project Instigator friend, but I think he was right. Again. Next update will cover some cockpit work and the long neglected Super Hornets get some attention! Thanks for your interest, Eric aka The Yankymodeler
  15. Stunning! Excellent work and a civilian subject as a bonus! Well done, Sir! Eric aka The Yankymodeler
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