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Converting Revell's Airbus A319 into an Airbus A318 I've seen several attempts at doing this conversion, they've involved chopping sections out ahead of and behind the wing, and increasing the height of the tail. Whilst this is in escence correct, it doesn't deal with several other differences that have been glossed over or ignored, and all the conversions I've seen involved filling all the cabin windows - all my other baby busses have open windows and I wanted to keep them open on the A318 if possible. So, after much mulling over and drawing lots of lines on the kit parts, I've finally got round to chopping up the kit. I'll say straight up, I wouldn't recommend this as a first attempt at an airliner cut'n'shut!, but if you've done a couple , can get your head round the marking out, and can make accurate neat cuts, it's not too difficult. Here's the fuselage halves with my rather overcomplicated plan drawn out on them - follow the notes if you're attempting this as I'd do things slightly differently if I did this conversion again! Firstly, you may notice a vertical line through the front of the wing root fairing on both sides - ignore this, it was part of plan A and ended up having to be filled as I'd scored the line in position. Secondly, the aft upper section can be cut out directly above the lower section, at least on the port side, which will simplify things somewhat. So, how much to cut? We need to loose 2.4 metres from the A319, 1.6m aft of the Wing and 0.8m in front, which equates in 1/144 to 11.11mm and 5.56mm. This equates to 3 frames (windows) aft and 1.5 frames forward ( 2 windows, outer edge to outer edge) The aft three windows can come out anywhere aft of the roof aerial (if you want to keep it, it looks to retain the same position 319-318). To retaiin the correct window spacing the forward section has to come out where shown ie the 7th & 8th windows from forward have to be removed. This is all fairly straightforward down to the window line, but gets more complicated for the lower fuselage, as this takes in the wing root fairings, and the cargo doors, which are modified on the A318. Taking the port side first, as it's easiest, the forward lower section is taken out immediately in front of the wing root fairing, use dividers to ensure the upper and lower sections are the same length. The aft section would be best cut as one section, with the aft edge immediately aft of the wing root fairing. Measure 3 windows forward, and remove this section EXCEPT for the wing root fairing, score round this and remove the body tube. The starboard side is more complex if you want to retain the cargo doors. These were reduced in width to 1.3m (9mm scale). The forward edge of the forward door remained in the same place, so mark 9mm aft of this and scribe vertically up to the window line. Scribe another parallel line at the front of the wing root fairing. Measure this distance and subract from 5.56mm (fwd reduction). Use the result to measure forward from the wing cutout, and scribe up to the top of the wing root fairing. Scribe another line parallel to the window line at the top of the wing root fairing forward to the waste section previously marked. This wil result in a shortened wing root fairing which sits up against the forward cargo door. The aft door moved aft one frame, so two parallel lines, 1 frame (window spacing, 3.7mm) apart need scribing immediately aft of the aft door up to the window line. Mark the door width (9mm) from the aft edge of the door and scribe a vertical line up to the window line, EXCEPT over the wing root fairing. Mark another parallel line 2 frames (window spacings, 7.4mm) forward, again not on the wing root fairing. Score the vertical lines and finish the cuts with a fine razor saw. Score the horizontal lines, and fold/snap the parts in two. Score and snap away the waste plastic around the wing fairings. You should end up with a set of parts similar to below. Next installment - sticking it all back together.
The A318 is the smallest of the Airbus family of airliners, although it has not sold as well as its bigger brothers and several have had comparitively short service lives. I guess that the operating costs are very similar to the A319 and A320, and yet the passenger carrying capacity is somewhat reduced, making it less profitable to run on a variety of routes. It is an attractive little aeroplane, and I wanted one in my collection to go with the A319's, A320's, and A321's that I already have. The options are to use an injection moulded kit from Eastern Express which has had unflattering reviews, or a Welsh Models mixed media kit, or a fuselage from Contrails to use with the Revell kit. A fourth option, and the one I chose, is to take a Revell A319 kit and a razor saw to do your own conversion, the main points of which are to shorten the fuselage fore and aft of the wing, and raise the height of the tail fin.Details here Draw Decals do a number of interesting options for Frontier airlines, who feature various examples of American wildlife on their tailfins, a set of which was obtained from Greg at Draw during last years Telford show. The decals go on very well, and reproduce this scheme to perfection. If you dont fancy chopping up a kit, Draw also do other Frontier schemes for the A319 'straight from the box'. It's quite good fun to do your own conversion and make something a little more unusual, I certainly had fun doing this and special thanks are due to Jonathan (member XV571) for helping out with information that I would otherwise have missed! Time for the photos; With an A319, also using Draw Decals 'Chloe' the fawn; The A318/9/20/21 family, all basically the same aircraft with longer and longer fuselages. All from Revell kits; A318 (Draw Decals) A319 (Draw Decals) A320 (Bangkok Air, Boa Decals) A321 (First Choice, Twosix Decals) Thanks for looking, John
Having built Revell's A321, A320, and A319 Airbus kits I wanted to add the smallest of them all, the A318, to my collection. There are few aftermarket decal options for them. As far as I know Draw Decals are the only manufacturer doing sets for the 318 and Greg from Draw kindly supplied Britmodeller with a review set at this years Telford. No reason to hesitate now! The set is for Frontier Airlines 'Stu the Rabbit', all of Frontiers aircraft feature wildlife designs on the tail fin, and 'Sheldon the sea turtle' is aslo available from Draw for the A318, as well as others for the A319. Only Eastern Express do an injecion moulded A318, and Welsh Models do a mixed media kit. A fuselage is available from Contrails, but I quite like doing my own conversions. The main job with the Revell A319 is to shorten the fuselage and raise the tailfin. Having searched the net I found that the measurement differnces between an A319 and A318 is that 79cm needs to come out ahead of the wing, and 160cm behind it, with a 75cm increase in fin height. These scale down to 5.5mm, 11mm and 5mm respectively. In easier terms this is 1 and a bit windows ahead of the wing and 3 behind. So out with the saw! I made my own mitre box a while ago to help with these sort of conversions. I found some scrap 3cm x 2cm timber in the garage, glued & screwed a 'U' shape together, and made some saw cuts in various places to guide the saw. Now I did all this by hand, so it is possible that my cuts are not perfectly alighned and square down to the last thousands of an inch. It doesn't matter as long as both cuts to remove a section are made in the same slot. The mating faces will then have the same cut in them. So in went the fuselsge halves, and the cuts were made. Note that I staggered the cuts on each side to improve joint strength when it is all fixed together. Then I assembled the half with the alignment sockets in (rather than the pins) on a flat surface, which ensures that the tailfin is nice and square to the fuselege. Once dry, the other centre section is held in place with an elastic band, and the nose section offered up and the mating face sanded if necessary for a neat fit. Ending up with a pair of fuselage halves like the original kit. But leaving a considerable step on the underside which will need sorting out I reinforced the inside with some strips of plasticard, as some serious sanding might take place in this area. Glued together like a normal kit, and with a first fill with Milliput and sanding, it starts to look ok. I also glued some plasticard strips on the inside to cover the windows, as I will be filling them with Milliput as well. The cockpit window I will keep clear. That 'orrible step under the rear fuselage came out ok with some heavy sanding and copious amounts of Milliput, all blended and shaped nicely. Next up was the tailfin, simply done by slicing the tip off and gluing on a roughly shaped plasticard extension. Once dried hard the extension will be sanded to blend it in smoothly. The cokpit window was glued in, and milliput run around its edges. Sanding removed it's clarity but that can be corrected. 10 minutes with some micromesh polishing cloths and it is good as new. The wing has a number of small flap track fairing only appropriate to theh A321, and these were removed and cleaned up. The wing goes on next, I leave it off until the cockpit glass is cleaned and finished, so that if needs be I can get acces to clean the inside of the glass through the hole in the fusealge that the wing covers. No end of dust and stuff can get in, so its as well to have access. Thanks for looking, John
Ok, all this talk about A318s has got me thinking.... something my wife tells me I do far too much of anyway. Having done some research (with a view to converting the Revell A319 - yes I know there are other options) the differences between the A319 and A318 I can find are: a. 1.5 frames shorter at the front (~79cm) b. 3 frames shorter at the back (~160cm) c. Tail fin 75cm taller d. Cargo hold doors narrower (1.33m vs 1.82m). e. Increased wing camber (might give that one a miss) Is there anything else that I need to consider? I assume the fin is just extended along the existing taper? Is the rudder the same height at on the A319? Being a bit of a stickler for these things, I'd like to preserve as much of the kit detail as I can, like windows and stuff, which will no doubt make the whole thing a lot harder to do.... (Before anyone else says it: The 737-600 is obviously inestimably better in every conceivable way ) All pertinent thoughts welcome! Thanks, Andrew