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bootneck

Fairey Gannet AEW.3 - Welsh Models vacform

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This should be my third, and final, entry for the group build.

Being a glutton for punishment I have decided to attempt a vacform kit and will attempt to build the Fairey Gannet AEW Mk.3 by Welsh Models.

Mike

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Looking forward to this, I've a welsh models 1:144 Percival Pembroke vac form kit that looks frankly terrifying so I'll be looking to pick up any tips you have.

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Parts identified, separated and numbered ready for preparation and assembly.

Nice little touch, Welsh Models has included a seated pilot in white metal. I don't know of any other kit producer who includes a separate seated pilot in 1:144.

Mike

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Just spent most of yesterday's spare time cutting out, assembling, filling and filing the AEW radome for this. It goes together very well, with minimal filling, and I'm very pleased with the result.

I'll post some images when the new server is fully operational.

cheers

Mike

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Vacform AND 1:144... you're a bit masochistic, aren't you? ;)

Alex

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I've made a start on the fuselage. The kit comes with some decent looking domed observation windows so I started to drill out the existing window positions.

005_opening_window_slots.jpg

Once I cleaned out the window openings, I cut out the vacformed domed windows and glued them in position.

On the real thing, this part of the cabin area is very dark so I painted over the back of the clear parts with Tamiya X-19 Smoke. It seems to have a better effect than just black.

007_painting_window_backs_smoke.jpg

I then did a dry fit test of the fuselage halves, just to make sure they aligned OK and that together they were the correct width. This is where a decent set of calipers, and a schematic to scale, are useful. The kit comes with a handy template, for aligning the wings correctly and I found it useful just for holding the model during the build.

009_dry_fit_test_fuselage.jpg

Here is another view of the wing template; I've added a couple of odd plastic scraps to keep it in vertical.

010_wing_position_template.jpg

And here is the template with the fuselage nicely positioned on it. Note the nice sheen on the back of the domed window.

014_fuselage_on_template.jpg

I've now started on the AEW radome. The shape is quite complex and therefore this element comes in two parts. The parts are really smooth and difficult to handle, especially when sanding. To overcome this I made a little gripping handle and drilled two holes in the radome upper piece then, inserting the gripper into the radome, I was able to sand the part quite well.

015_AEW_radome_and_clamp.jpg

016_using_clamp_to_sand_radome.jpg

This is my first full vacform kit build and I'm learning as I go along which is quite fun and frustrating at the same time!!

The underside of the radome is very smooth and there is no where to drill holes, for the gripper, without ruining the profile. So I just got on with this until the residue fell away

017_sanding_radome.jpg

018_radome_sanded.jpg

Finally I glued the radome together and, after some light sanding, it appears to look just right.

019_radome_glued.jpg

That's it for now. Will do some more tomorrow

Thanks for looking

Mike

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Coming along really well, thanks for sharing how your over coming the vac form and scale issues

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Hi James,

This my first proper vacform build but I have dozens of WM kits; I just needed the courage to start one!

I'm learning so much from this that it shouldn't be long before I start another; probably the Beverley or the Argosy.

I'll post a few more images of progress tonight.

cheers

Mike

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Well done Royal, it;s looking great, tiny but great.

Colin

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I thought 1/72 was small. Look forward to following your progress.

Andrew

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Most of today's work has been preparing the main wings and tailplane. Quite a lot of wet 'n dry work, interspersed with measuring/checking, and then more sanding.

020_preparing_the_wings.jpg

Finally feel that the wings look correct and have glued them together. Once they had dried, I gave them a light sanding to remove any glue residue etc., and then attached them to the fuselage.

I used the template provided with the kit to check the wing alignment and they looked fine (to me!)

022_wings_fitted.jpg

The tailplane pieces were next to be prepared, glued and then attached to the fuselage.

023_tailplane_prepared.jpg

This is as far as I've been able to manage today. It sits on the template OK and I'll probably continue using the template as a rig to hold the model in place while I build up around it.

024_wings_checked_template.jpg

Last thing I did today was to apply some filler and then to sand it smooth once it had dried. It is now ready for the next stage which will probably be the tailfin assembly.

025_wings_filled_and_sanded_to_blend_wit

026_wing_roots_filled_and_sanded.jpg

More tomorrow, thanks for looking

Mike

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Great work, it's only when you see it in your hand you realise how minute it actually is.

Did you add any tabs to the joints or just butt them together?

Edited by Neal

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Hi Neal,

there are tabs on each wing, you can just see one in the image above where I am sanding the wing. I just had to measure a similar position on the fuselage and drill out a slot to take it.

cheers

Mike

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I'm not a 1/144th person but I'm really enjoying this. Tempted to get something like this from Welsh Models. Nice work mate :)

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Gtreat there Mike, looks like the assembly jig was a great help in getting everything aligned. Good idea.

Colin

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Someone asked me how I keep hold of the tiny flat parts, whilst sanding them. I find the easiest way is to attached double sided tape to the upper part and then stick it to my finger!

027_using_tape_to_sand_items.jpg

The tailfin has been assembled and fitted to the fuselage along with the radome. The front of the model is just flat with no detail however, on checking some images, I found that this area has very large intakes. I have scribed out a semblance of this, ready for the props to be added.

028_radome_and_tailfin_fitted.jpg

Front of Gannet showing intakes

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There is a small gap along the join-line, where the radome is attached to the fuselage, and I have used Plastic Putty to fill this gap. I find Plastic Putty very useful, mainly because it has a fine spout for getting into small areas; and also that it is water soluble. This means that, once the filler has been applied, I can run a wet finger over the filler to smooth it to shape.

029_using_av_plastic_putty_to_fill_joins

Not a brilliant photo but it does show the smooth finish of the Plastic Putty. This is before any sanding has taken place to get it really smooth and blended in.

030_filler_added_to_radome.jpg

That's it for now, I hope to be able to get more done this weekend.

Mike

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I've just checked the calendar and realised I need to get on with this! I've been distracted by my SS-25 Sickle transporter build.

The fuselage has had a light dusting of Humbrol Beige Green, over Tamiya white primer. The upper sides of the wings and tailplanes have been sprayed with Humbrol Ocean Grey - I found that EDSG was too dark at this small scale so I used a slightly lighter grey.

I plan to represent an aircraft of 849 'B' Flight attached to HMS Ark Royal during her seventh commission 1974-76. These aircraft had a nice flashy black/yellow tail; this means quite a bit of masking to get these colours on. Instead of masking the whole model, I stuck it in a bag and sealed it up with just the tail exposed. The model was then subjected to various sprays of Tamiya white, followed after selective masking by Tamiya yellow; and finally a spray of Halfords satin black.

032_masked_for_tail_detail.jpg

Removing the tape shows the flashes appear to coming out OK

033_removing_tail_masking.jpg

Well that seems to have come out OK. I need to make a small white circle with a little bee in it and then place that in the centre of the flash.

Sorry about the odd colour of the photo's; the grey of the wings is really quite dark - taking the pictures in the evening gets all my settings wrong.

034_tail_markings.jpg

The next stage is to populate the cockpit with a seat and head pad etc., and then I'll get to work on the dreaded contra-rotating props and spinner!

cheers

Mike

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Going nicely I see. I think this'll be a little beauty. I've got the main airframe components together on mine and I was pleased at how the radome fit. I've attached the prop spinner and I was thinking of using the blades of the Aeroclub props designed for the Welsh Models Varsity. I've made a rod for my own back there as I now have to drill the spinner in such a way that the blades are evenly spaced and at right angles to the next. I'll be very interested to see how you handle its detail painting and markings.

Best of luck,

Joseph

Edited by JosephLalor

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Hi Joseph,

I spoke to Densil of Welsh Models about the props and he recommended their ATR 42 set as they are just about right. The tips would need some slight fining down.

I bought a pair and will be attempting those next.

cheers

Mike

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