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First prototype Avro 698 Vulcan VX770 **COMPLETE**


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I thought the single pilot option was junked long before the thing was actually built?????

I'm sure I read that VX770 had only the one seat fitted initially. Falk was of the opinion that only one pilot was needed, but the RAF had other ideas for their expensive new bomber!

Mike

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I'm sure I read that VX770 had only the one seat fitted initially. Falk was of the opinion that only one pilot was needed, but the RAF had other ideas for their expensive new bomber!

Mike

This provoked a tiny bit of reading on my part. I have a copy of Avro Vulcan by Andrew Brookes (Ian Allen 1985). Brookes confirms that Falk made the first few flights with a lot of equipment not yet fitted, including the second pilot's seat (and the cabin pressurization gear etc). However, the aircraft was planned around two pilots from the outset. Falk initially thought a second pilot unneccesary to fly the aircraft but the RAF didn't want to let new pilots loose on a big expensive aeroplane unsupervised as in Lancaster days. So that second seat was essentially for training pilots to be aircraft commanders. Falk personally designed the cockpit to the RAF requirements. All very interesting. Of course, the implication for the model you are building is that the single seat wasn't in the middle. The cockpit was production standard but with some bits missing.

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I'm loving this as I am not that well up on Vulcans (being a Victor man) so this is like a little history lesson as well as a lesson in bravery, what with so much to change. Great attention to the small details.

Doing a great job - keep the enthusiasm going fella!

cheers

Rick

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Of course, the implication for the model you are building is that the single seat wasn't in the middle.

Good job I installed it in the usual place then ;)

I'm loving this as I am not that well up on Vulcans (being a Victor man) so this is like a little history lesson as well as a lesson in bravery, what with so much to change. Great attention to the small details.

Doing a great job - keep the enthusiasm going fella!

cheers

Rick

Cheers Rick! I don't have any detailed plans for the prototype so I'm relying on photos, written descriptions, and kind folks on here. But finding the little details that need changing is quite fun :)

Cheers,

Mike

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Had a fairly clear weekend so made good progress with some of the major work.

I attached the fin to the upper fuselage half, I prefer doing it at this stage (i.e. before fuselage assembly) to allow me to make sure it is truly vertical.

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I then turned my attention to the Flightpath tailcone, which Rob kindly alerted me to the fact that it represents a later, more pointed design.

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Consulting the plans I have for the B1 which show the shorter early version, I cut off the tip...

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...and then sanded it to shape:

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Onto the wings, I used a scribing tool to gradually eat away the plastic along the lines where the Phase 2c wing needs removing as per the Flightpath instructions.

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This allowed a nice and clean, straight separation to occur

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Similar story for all four wing parts

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The trailing edges were thinned down by judicious use of a large file, sandpaper and elbow grease, but at least I could do this sat outside in the sun B)

I then added strips of thick plasticard along the cut edge of each wing half, both to provide a greater bonding area for the new leading edges and to take out a slight warp in the parts (a metal rule was clamped for the latter purpose).

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The intakes were installed to the lower fuselage (maintaining the step at the front end as a result of their narowing) before the compressor faces were added as I hadn't finished painting them at the time. These proved somewhat reluctant to stay in place despite superglue, so I added some I-beam to hold them there - if they were to come off after closing up the fuselage there would be no getting them back in place!

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The nose was reacquainted with the upper aft fuselage via the I-beam I'd added, and left to cure. I thing this was actually a hinderance as it ended up forcing the nose too far up!

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Bringing us up to date, the lower fuselage has been added and a gap to the nose roughly shimmed:

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I would have much preferred to have added the upper wing pieces to the upper fuse first (to ensure a smooth joint), but given the amount of sanding and handling that the outer wings will be subjected to on this conversion, I decided to add them as sub-assemblies. I did a quick dry fit and they don't look too bad thankfully.

Next comes the real hard work - creating new, straight leading edges!

Mike

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Mike, I am always amazed by your bodge work and scratchbuilding skills. You manage to make tasks that most of us consider difficult to look so easy (and you manage to do it so quickly too). The I-beams behind the intake fans might border a bit on overkill, but it does address a possible problem of them falling into the fuselage with an exclaimation point. Very nice work thus far!

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Mike, I am always amazed by your bodge work and scratchbuilding skills. You manage to make tasks that most of us consider difficult to look so easy (and you manage to do it so quickly too). The I-beams behind the intake fans might border a bit on overkill, but it does address a possible problem of them falling into the fuselage with an exclaimation point. Very nice work thus far!
Nice to see this coming together well - the prototypes really were completely different in so many areas so you're a brave man! It'll be worth it though as they look fantastic.

Many thanks guys :)

The truth is that I am trying most of these skills for the first time, and I certainly haven't gone to these lengths before I did this and the Phoenix. There is something about these group builds that encourages me to try new techniques and to persevere with challenging conversions!

As for being quick, I'll need to be in order to meet the deadline... :unsure:

Mike

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Time for an update following a week of on and off graft!

Following on from last time, I set about shimming the fuselage to accept the tailcone as the fit was somewhat loose. This was probably a combination of the imprecise fit of the base kit and my own fault; the Flightpath parts are really excellent.

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Here it is in place. You can also see I've cut away the tailpipes although I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to replace them :hmmm:

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Onto the wings. Most of my models are displayed at an angle with the port side nearest the viewer (usually the side nose art is applied). Therefore I decided to start work on the starboard side so any problem areas could be better addressed on the more visible port side!

The first things I did were to cut out the flap actuators and replace with plasticard (cheers to General Melchett for that tip!). I had also rescribed some of the wing skin detail before the wing halves were joined.

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And now for the fun part!!! The leading edges... :huh:

I decided the way I'd fabricate them was to make a thick sandwich of tapered plasticard strips...

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I then used a razor saw to cut some of the excess from the outboard end to reduce the sanding

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The remainder was then firmly glued to the kit wings:

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After a not-too-productive go with the file I'd used on the wing halves earlier, and also with the coarsest sandpaper I owned, I bought some of the roughest sheet available (60 grit, which is probably normally used for sanding diamonds...). This did the trick and after quite a lot of rubbing and checking, I had the rough shape required - note the pile of dust!

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Switching to mere 180 grit, I then refined the shape somewhat.

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There is still more sanding to be done but I'll wait until I've sorted the wing tip and added the first round of Milliput.

I'm quite pleased with how this method turned out, it's another 'first' for me! Now I've just got to do it all again for the port wing... :wacko:

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello all,

Just a quick note to say that I have been working at this pretty much every other night and I reckon I'm still in with a chance of finishing on time... we'll see!

I had some pics to show progress but photobucket seems to have gone TU and I can't get it to upload any photos :(

Anyway, I'm at the priming stage, hopefully get the gloss white on this week and then final details next week - wish me luck!

Photos to come once I decide what to do about getting them uploaded.

Cheers,

Mike

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Thanks F-32! :)

Here are the pics of where I'm up to...

To replicate the early Avon exhausts as initially fitted to VX770 I took the Flightpath resin parts, cut them back and narrowed them down.

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I also drilled pilot holes in them for opening out later, these holes also provided a handy place to stick in a coat hanger for holding the beast while spraying.

Having found the tailcone a very good fit, the exhausts were pretty awful, they didn't really match the contours of the Airfix kit, although I cut where the instructions said... but it wasn't like I wasn't using any Milliput anyway!

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With the leading edges sorted, I modified the trailing edges as per the Flightpath instructions. I used General Melchett's tip of cutting out the actuators and replacing with plasticard, but my effort wasn't as successful!

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Plenty of Milliput to fill in the B2's aileron lines...

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More filler on the fuselage joints:

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As I'd already removed the over-thick intake splitter plates I decided to add the small intakes on the inboard side of them:

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After a lot of trial and error, I had replacement thinner splitter plates:

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Wings on!

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Their fit wasn't great, the disadvantage of this sequence of assembly :(

I decided to add the wingtip lights using clear sprue (rather than paint them on):

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A chunk superglued in place:

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Polished:

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And here she is starting to look the part, wearing Halfords white primer:

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I did 3 coats of primer in all, each time rubbing down in between and fixing any blemishes, white is very unforgiving!

The first coat of Halfords Appliance White went on tonight, it'll probably require a second coat and then it's decal time! :)

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

WOW WOW WOW WOW i love her, i really have wanting to be doing this for a while, sadly i only just managed to get xm655 done, i cant wait to see this finished. awsome work

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All complete!

Vulcan097s.jpg

After 2 coats of Halfords Appliance White I added decals from 2 Airdecal sheets (AVRO logos and stencils) and generic Xtradecal, Colorado and Modeldecal for the national insignia and serials. Decalling took a lot longer than normal as I had to study photos to see which stencils were carried and their exact positioning. Some had to be modified to match the photos.

The wheels are from Mastercasters, but in my opinion they are only a marginal improvement over the Airfix ones. The undercarriage legs are from the Flightpath set and were very nice and sturdy.

The tip probes are sewing needles and were push fitted at the very end to avoid injuring myself!

This has been an enjoyable build, I've wanted to do VX770 for a long time and this GB was the best excuse for me to get stuck in. I hope you've enjoyed the build :)

Here are some more pics, and I'll add some to the gallery too.

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Mike

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please don't take this the wrong way. I don't think it's that good.

I think it's bloody AWESOME !!!!!

your build thread has inspired me to start thinking about scratch building and modding aircraft in ways I'd never even thought.

a beautiful build. well done

Mark

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Thank you everyone, I'm chuffed with the response I've got!

please don't take this the wrong way. I don't think it's that good.

I think it's bloody AWESOME !!!!!

your build thread has inspired me to start thinking about scratch building and modding aircraft in ways I'd never even thought.

a beautiful build. well done

Mark

You had me worried there Mark! But thank you for the great compliment that followed :)

Many methods I used in this build I was attempting for the first time, and most came out better than I expected, so all I can advise is 'go for it'! It opens up a whole lot of new possibilities and can result in something a bit different as here.

Mike

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