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Now the Horten is finished I need to get back in the saddle with this build. I started it about a year ago, from a kit purchased in the 1980's. It is of course ancient, I think the tooling comes from 1959. This is how she looks at the moment. I have scratchbuilt a new cabin and cockpit interior, sanded off the millions of rivets and rescribed panel lines (my first attempt so its a bit rough).

P1000249_zps63e7a1d2.jpg

The kit was out of production at the time so I bought it off a dealer, here is the original reciept:

P1000250_zps14382aee.jpg

Here are the instructions:

P1000251_zps47d87bbe.jpg

Remember when Airfix instructions had a page of text build information?

P1000252_zps164489ec.jpg

P1000253_zpsc006dd66.jpg

P1000254_zps1a6e0767.jpg

Here are the other parts which I have procured, scratch built or modified, alongside some are the kit parts they replace:

P1000255_zps5699ea76.jpg

Here are the painted props, one had a broken blade so I doweled that with some brass rod, the silver is Alclad Chrome on top of gloss black, the blue is a home made mixture:

P1000256_zps35b3aa61.jpg

These are the main wheels, resin ones intended for a Nimrod compared to the toy town offerings from the kit:

P1000257_zps70e3f86f.jpg

Here is one of the main landing gear covers I scratch built out of brass sheet compaired to the three foot thick ones out of the kit:

P1000258_zpsa96252d8.jpg

P1000259_zps49292d36.jpg

Here are the nose wheels, sorry about the focus:

P1000260_zps5b2e1ce0.jpg

The exhausts were of course solid so to give them the impression of depth and a better profile I wrapped plasticard round them and then built up with filler:

P1000261_zpsb1223270.jpg

The finish is Alclad "pale burnt metal".

Here are the main landing legs, I cut off the location pegs to allow insertion at the end of the build, added the diagonal retraction strut, hydraulic hoses, anti-rotation jack and lead foil wrapped round for details:

P1000262_zps07c59a71.jpg

My camera has just died so I will post these for now, more to follow later.

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Heath

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This is the probe for the nose, made from brass sheet, rod and tube:

P1000263_zps08c16314.jpg

These are the kit seats, they don't look very comfortable to me, I scratch built new ones from plasticard but they are hidden by the masking at the moment.

P1000264_zps85a9ec21.jpg

These are the steps and top half of the side door, much cleaning up was required on the steps and I added new sides to them, brass rod handle added to the door:

P1000265_zpsc20a4452.jpg

P1000266_zps447af61a.jpg

I bought these Fairey decals for the props, not strictly accurate but appropriate I feel;

P1000267_zps3fd1b857.jpg

Nose undercarriage door:

P1000268_zps7855150e.jpg

Nose leg with added retraction strut and jack:

P1000269_zps0366fc84.jpg

Here is the decal sheet, I made up new serial numbers in black to replace the incorrect blue ones:

P1000270_zpsdc892043.jpg

I have finished the rotor head:

P1000271_zps3b3402a7.jpg

I have added quite a bit of detail to the rotor hub and drilled out lightening holes. This hijacked link to Mike N's photo gives an idea what the hub looked like before I started on it http://s1041.photobucket.com/user/Mike_N1977/media/Rotodyne/Rotodyne036-Copy_zpsaf55c6cc.jpg.html#/user/Mike_N1977/media/Rotodyne/Rotodyne036-Copy_zpsaf55c6cc.jpg.html?&_suid=1375699937770022821063876685638 :

P1000272_zpsaed748a2.jpg

and added hoses from lead wire, ties are from 1mm masking tape:

P1000273_zpsce9894be.jpg

The tip jets from the kit were the wrong shape so I carved a master from a plastic knitting needle and cast some new ones in resin:

P1000274_zps81af610c.jpg

P1000275_zps99880d3b.jpg

The silver finish in very easily damaged:

P1000276_zps89b7a71a.jpg

and easily rubs off high spots:

P1000277_zpsfed025a9.jpg

Rear view, those struts are made from brass "Strutz":

P1000278_zps8e35a711.jpg

Underside, the tubes and blu tack is to protect some PE ariels:

P1000279_zps725a96a5.jpg

Nose, note the slot for the probe:

P1000280_zpsfb70fbb0.jpg

Some damage that needs repair:

P1000281_zps06fcc21a.jpg

I added these navigation lights:

P1000282_zps2100e5c6.jpg

I carved out this aperture for the headlight:

P1000283_zps051e0b5e.jpg

More damage, clearly the silver needs a respray:

P1000284_zpsd183f0fb.jpg

I start masking for this task and this falls off (not for the last time as it turns out):

P1000285_zpsb45dd4ae.jpg

Scratch build cargo door hinges and roof:

P1000286_zps614e86af.jpg

Well that's it for now.

I hope you liked the journey.

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Heath

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Hello Nigel, this really is a blast from the past! I had one back in the early '80s when I just slapped things together and did it no justice whatsoever. Your progress is great and should look fab when done. I look forward to seeing more!

What price Airfix retooling this one?

All the best, Ray

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There 13 on EBAY right now. 6 Airfix and 7 Revell 1/78th.Some are auctions starting low and Buy it nows £25.

search Rotodyne (all cats)

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Nigel -

I'm loving your work on this kit. The detailing is admirable, especially the work you have done with the undercarriage area, an dthe rotor.

Ray - sad to say, the chance of Airfix or anyone else issuing a new injection moulded tool of this = zero. It has never been a good seller, hardly surprising given the obscurity and short career of the commercially unsuccessful prototype.

The Revell one is a significantly better kit than the Airfix one, but is the ever-popular 1/78 scale for reasons which may have been known to Revell GB back in the late 1950s, but were never explained to anyone else (unless it's a simple question of fitting a pre-determined box size).

Frog did one too but that's practically extinct as it was never reissued. I haven't seen it but from what I've heard it was the worst of the three kits.

Edited by Work In Progress

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With a bit more faith and work I reckon this amazing machine could have been a world beater, 40 years ahead of the US Osprey. Such a shame.

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Looking good Nigel. When you have re-sprayed the silver, try giving the model a coat of Klear as soon as the paint I dry. It will act as a very strong protective barrier when handling the model.

Martin

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Looking good Nigel. When you have re-sprayed the silver, try giving the model a coat of Klear as soon as the paint I dry. It will act as a very strong protective barrier when handling the model.

Thanks for the comment Martin. This is exactly what I will do - lesson learnt from this experience.

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The Revell one is a significantly better kit than the Airfix one, but is the ever-popular 1/78 scale for reasons which may have been known to Revell GB back in the late 1950s, but were never explained to anyone else (unless it's a simple question of fitting a pre-determined box size).

For its age and all its short comings I don't think this is a bad kit, the basics are there to make something quite nice (I hope so). I think the box explanation for the Revell kit’s odd scale is actually correct.

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Yep...box scale, that is scaled to fit the box

1/94 Friendship, 1/122 DC 7, 1/128 Constellation, 1/103 DC8 and so on.

Very common in the old days until Airfix started their much heralded constant scale range.

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Great work! I've always wanted one of these kits, though it looks a challenging build. I hope you can sort out your issues with the silver paint.

Kev

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With a bit more faith and work I reckon this amazing machine could have been a world beater, 40 years ahead of the US Osprey. Such a shame.

The niche in the market is still there - something that can cruise with reasonable speed and economy over a few hundred miles and operate out of a space the size of a football pitch - but as solutions, the Rotodyne and Osprey both have significant fundamental design characteristics working against their suitability for commercial passenger-carrying use.

With the Rotodyne the tip-jet powered rotor concept made it astonishingly, literally painfully noisy for anyone within a mile or so, which rather ruins the case for operating them in and out of city centres, even edge of centre locations. I don't think such a design could have ever been made acceptable on that basis given the efflux speeds that are a necessary feature of small tip jets delivering enough power to lift a big helicopter vertically.

The Osprey has vulnerabilities in terms of single points of failure which guarantee big accidents if those parts go wrong, in particular the question of what happens if the transmission breaks or a single engine fails. As with the Chinook family, as a military aircraft its other virtues probably make the flight risks acceptable but it's a concept which has made potential civilian operators look at it very sideways, especially in terms of possible passenger operations.

The proper civvy version, with all these problems supposedly engineered out, was the BA609, renamed AW609 - see http://www.agustawestland.com/product/aw609 - but there haven't been any takers as far as I know, and to me it looks as if it's all too expensive and risky to make commercial sense. Officially it's still working towards certification but nothing much has been heard in the last couple of years and frankly I think it's effectively a dead duck.

Edited by Work In Progress

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Impressive work indeed, not an easy kit to build in any circumstances. Yes, the Revell kit is way the better of the 3 Rotodyne kits - but it's slightly odd scale puts many off. But it is incredibly detailed kit with a full interior and engraved panel lines, all in a kit that first in production in 1960.

Marty...

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Here is my report on progress over the weekend.

The Alclad airframe aluminium paint is even partially removed by Tamiya masking tape:

P1000296_zps61bcf9ae.jpg

I made these little actuators for the elevator(?) trim tabs:

P1000297_zpsd35d0111.jpg

Here are the delecate PE aeriel supports I made, exposed for a brief time:

P1000299_zpsced4a3c5.jpg

Masking for the silver finish:

P1000300_zpsc20f4806.jpg

Around the rear tail planes was particularly tricky:

P1000301_zpsba1ffa37.jpg

Note use of recycled masking "cap" for the main rotor pylon:

P1000302_zpsd7ec6687.jpg

This is my general set up for airbrishing, providing good ventilation when using Alclad. If its not too windy I will even go outside:

P1000303_zps6ba02ff6.jpg

The rotor pylon provides a most excellent handle for airbrushing ( I will actually use the other hand in a nitrile glove - I am left handed):

P1000304_zps964d0909.jpg

I removed the tissue paper masking from the undercarriage bays. Here is some of the detail in the scratch built front undercarriage bay, revealed for the first time in months:

P1000305_zps41bd30c7.jpg

and here is one of the main undercarriage bays:

P1000306_zps31fed7a8.jpg

I think those oval holes are to stop the wheels spinning, here is some more:

P1000307_zpseaff4ac0.jpg

P1000308_zps721137f1.jpg

I took the masking off the front of the engines and the blu tack out of this air intake that I had drilled and filed out:

P1000309_zps1857667b.jpg

I drilled out this engine vent and added some plastic tubing:

P1000310_zps0997ae48.jpg

After respraying the silver, I replace the aerial protectors:

P1000311_zps32b7fa1b.jpg

I removed the masking tape from these vents. I thinned the wing round these with my dremel and added plastic mesh. I'm not sure if its totally authentic but it prevents a "see through" effect. It might be tempting to add exhaust stains to these but these are actually air intakes not exhausts:

P1000312_zps7cfd5e0d.jpg

Despite an over coat of Klear and very ginger handling the Alclad still starts to rub off again:

P1000313_zpsacf2b5a6.jpg

P1000314_zps183da337.jpg

Well you are probably getting bored by now so I will finish here and make myself a coffee.

More to follow shortly.

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Heath

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I started to demask. I realy could have done without this happening, hopefully nothing else bad will occur:

P1000315_zpsc6becc6c.jpg

I used up over a whole bottle of Alcald airframe aluminium, my supplies are almost exhausted after spraying the cargo bay doors:

P1000316_zps58972b16.jpg

I spoke too soon, clearly I have a repair job on my hands:

P1000317_zps5a346455.jpg

Here is the scratch built detail inside the cargo bay doors:

P1000318_zps7c028702.jpg

I apply some Squadron white filler and a coat of primer to see what I've got:

P1000319_zps4ea09a4a.jpg

P1000320_zps6b402781.jpg

Clearly more filler is required, and I reinstate the panel lines:

P1000321_zpsc8c907b1.jpg

I apply an over generous amount of Aclad grey primer, thinking this to be a good move to build up something to sand back and this happens::

P1000322_zps3d152b1d.jpg

Interestingly, a little while later the rivets make a reappearance:

P1000323_zps4c2a8355.jpg

I let it harden for several hours (into which I fit in a visit to Model Zone - more on that later) then press back the wrinkles, sand and rescribe:

P1000325_zpsded29fc8.jpg

I remove the masking to see what I've got and do a bit more clean up:

P1000326_zpsb7494309.jpg

I remask for the top coat:

P1000327_zps1bc6586f.jpg

Application:

P1000329_zps63df4492.jpg

I think it looks OK. By the way, these are the paints I used to make the home made blue, I've not idea on the ratios, I just kept going until it looked right (against the decals):

P1000330_zpsfedf0246.jpg

The masking tape pulls off flecks of Alcad, I know this is domestic masking tape but it happened with the Tamiya tape as well. Fortunately there still appears to be Alclad underneath so its not too noticable:

P1000331_zps82bbf539.jpg

I leave it in the horizontal position to harden overnight:

P1000332_zps758d9004.jpg

In the morning it looks OK:

P1000333_zpsc79c9449.jpg

The Alcad continues to rub off, this stuff is driving me nuts:

P1000334_zps8b048fa5.jpg

Some bonkers masking to spray the wing tips with Alcald "polished aluminium" and hide some of the rub off:

P1000335_zpse9b2c799.jpg

These are the Alclad colours I have to chose from to create areas of contrasting aluminium finishes:

P1000336_zps337ec466.jpg

This looks nice, I have also applied a layer of Klear for what good that will do me:

P1000337_zps95659868.jpg

More bonkers masking for Alcald "aluminium". This thing is such an awkward shape:

P1000338_zps64ea9ac3.jpg

I carefully demask and this happens - aarrrhhh:

P1000351_zps7afbf85c.jpg

I will have to respray. The rest of the demasking goes pretty much without incident, it looks quite nice realy:

P1000352_zps17eabf44.jpg

Masking for the wing tip repair job. I am by now sticking every piece of masking tape to my forehead to reduce tack to almost nothing and just placing it on the surface, absolutely no burnishing whatsoever - you don't need it with Alcald as it practically dries instantaneously:

P1000353_zps2abb3c3d.jpg

To even out the finishes and get a good base for the decals I apply an overall coat of Klear to all the relevant bits:

P1000354_zps6e33d567.jpg

I am a bit worried about all the layers of paint going onto this thing but I press on. I add blu tack bumpers to the tail to try to protect the finish. I have retouched some of the Alcald with a brush, successful on some areas and not in others:

P1000355_zps2bc1876b.jpg

I start on the decalling - this is home straight stuff! The decal round the side door has to be cut, like this:

P1000356_zps33eda60b.jpg

P1000357_zpsdbad7602.jpg

I had done a test on a spare one of the decals some months ago and they proved to be robust but very stiff by moderns standards, so I purchased some Daco extra strong decal softener to cope with the job. The fist decal goes on:

P1000358_zps0d8e60cb.jpg

I have to cut a notch out of this door decal to go around the handle:

P1000359_zpsf8ff8632.jpg

I think this is bound to break in half but no, these are very tough decals (too tough as it happens):

P1000360_zps94674acc.jpg

Looking again at this I think I got the blue pretty spot on, the blue outline of the decal has disappeared.

Here is the Daco softener:

P1000361_zps25e940ec.jpg

Well its nearly bed time so here is the last photo. I take off the window centering masking and this happens:

P1000362_zps01f1dd84.jpg

I will turn this setback into an opportunity by repairing with a fourth Alclad colour, semi-matt aluminium I think.

More to foillow on Thursday.

Bye for now.

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Heath

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I honestly find it extraordinary that you're having the peeling problem with Alclad. Every time I've used it, it's been absolutely bulletproof. Admittedly the last time was a few years ago - maybe they have changed the formula.

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I know I can't believe it either. I use to love Alclad for the finish it gave but I think the romance is over.

It appears that Alclad on primer is OK but Alclad on Alclad is bad news. You can't key the first coat with sanding either as it just disappears its so thin.

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Wow what a struggle with the masking, I reckon I'd have given it a 'flight-test' by now! :chair:

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I was having a nightmare with all the setbacks but I feel in modelling its often just a case of keep calm and carry on, half the fun is being able to engineer your way out of problems (not realy).

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Nigel,

Despite the setbacks I think this is going to be a goody.

I admire your patience!

(I would have touched it up with Humbrol & a brush)

Looking forward to the end result.

Pete

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Nigel, all I can say is that you have immeasurable patience! I too love the effect Alclad gives but the stuff can be so frustrating. Anyway, really love the effect you've got on the wings and the attention to detail is amazing. Love the clamshell doors and the rotor head, incredible!

If mine turns out half as good I'll be chuffed!

Mike

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Still looking good with all the grief it's giving you!

Remember doing one myself many years ago, really enjoyed it and was my first foray into modifying kits, as you quite rightly say and show the undercarriage doors are a bit thick but I went down the route of getting a Dremel and sanding the doors down, they were so thick it was quite easy to do! Was the thing I was proud of most too :)

Would get another if one came up easy and a reasonable price.

Keep it up fella, you'll get there, finding the dozens of pics most interesting and entertaining in a good way, watching you not giving in with the masking!

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Strewth,talk about a labour of love !!!!!!.

Well done so far Nigel,it'll certainly look brilliant when it is finished.

My dodge with Alclad is to either use a standard Humbrol Dark Grey, Light Grey,White or Black as a primer,

then blow on the other colours(in your case blue and white)then give that a careful coat of Klear and mask out

before wafting on the Alclad lightly and thinly.

It seems to give it more "grab" somehow,but it still has to be handled carefully before final coating and decals.

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