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Bristol Sycamore - HR.51


abat
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Walking past my stash the other day, this little helicopter caught my eye - the Glencoe version of the Bristol Sycamore. It's touted as 1/72 scale, but I've read in online reviews that it is closer to 1/65. The moulding is pretty dated with a prominence of rivets, some pretty thick castings and a very rudimentary interior.

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My aim is to build a RAN HR.51, most likely this guy, in overall silver:

http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/gallery/albums/Sycamore-XN448/AMOF_XN448.jpg

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I was meaning to make this a quick build OOB to be used for airbrushing practice. But somehow, I just couldn't do it.

First up, some interior scratch-building and detailing modeled on images I'd seen of the CMR Sycamore.

untitled12Feb2014_7D_120027-L.jpg

After some more fiddling and a coat of black primer it has come to this:

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It's no way authentic, but rather I just wanted to make it look a bit less spartan so I could have the rear door off. I've used predominantly plastic strip and card. The head rests are milliput moulded inside a plastic ring, the rear seats have a plastic frame with a thin sheet brass seat topped with Tamiya tape for some texture. The control columns are fuse wire with Tamiya tape grips. I drilled out the instrument panel based on an image I found of the real thing, although I'm not sure what to do for the dials yet.

The black is actually much darker than it appears in the photo and I plan to spray something like NATO black sparsely over the top, leaving the recesses and shadows very dark. Then some dry-brushing of highlights and a nice contrasting seat colour. I have some seat belts made from Tamiya tape (how would we survive without that stuff) with fuse wire buckles.

untitled15Feb2014_7D_150066-L.jpg

Lastly, here's the fuselage. I've cut out one door to expose the interior. I also plan to model a winch above it. Also marked the "frame" of the opposite interior door that I with scribe a bit as this will be visible through the winch door. Will also put a bit of ribbing on the interior walls. I removed the locating pins in the cockpit used for mating the halves together as they would be visible through open doors or "glass" windows.

Still not sure what to do with the rivets - I may sand them down a little so they are less prominent. Any ideas (short of re-scribing the panels) appreciated.

Andrew

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Nice start Andrew, I've always liked the Sycamore ever since a three hour jaunt from RAF Aldergove whilst on an ATC summer camp. The Lincoln/Glencoe kit is still quite reasonable especially the MRH detail. I've one half started but have mislaid the rotorblades!!!! So I think a replacement kit is require, unles I take the plunge and scratbuild it in 48th scale. Danni, Venom Vixen's father sent me a whole raft of info.

I'll follow your build with interest.

Colin

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Thanks Colin,

Spent today cleaning up small parts and building the rotor head. Its quite detailed. Too wet and humid to airbrush interior this weekend. Hopefully get to close up the fuselage next weekend. Andrew

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the Glencoe version of the Bristol Sycamore. It's touted as 1/72 scale, but I've read in online reviews that it is closer to 1/65.

Picked up one from ebay a couple of weeks ago, that would explain why it looked bigger than I expected, havnt measure it up though!

But a nice kit

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Colin, any info on the colour of RAN rotor heads and rotors in the info you've got? I've seen a museum rotor head cutaway that's light gloss grey so would currently go with that. I've also seen a model RAN Sycamore with wooden blades. My reference photos from ADF serials are indeterminate as to colour. Also, any info on seat colours? Andrew

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This weekend I finished off the cabin. Seat belts are from Tamiya tape with fuse wire buckles (a bit oversize but I'm getting there). The instruments were cut out singly from a "spare" 1/48 skyhawk decal. Again, not strictly authentic but at 1/72 scale inside a tiny black cockpit I think it's OK.

untitled23Feb2014_7D_230071-L.jpg

All closed up now with about 10g of lead under the cockpit floor. It seems enough and as you can see below, she sits up nicely on her own. I'll be getting some extra thin cement today to wick into some of the joins that didn't quite grab on first gluing. Next is the big decision on the very prominent rivets. I'm quite tempted to leave them be - representing the age of the kit - but it may end up being dictated by how easy the seams are to clean up.

untitled23Feb2014_7D_230074-L.jpg

Andrew

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Looks great. Heres an helicopter that needs to be done in 1/48 or 1/35 scaale. such a cool looking helo.

CMR has a georgous resin kit in 1/72 (very tempting), but yes a1/48 multimedia kit would be a winner. They're such a distinctive and important aircraft that I just can't see why it's not been done to date.

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... the Glencoe version of the Bristol Sycamore. It's touted as 1/72 scale, but I've read in online reviews that it is closer to 1/65....

Yes, I had one years ago, I measured it up and made it about that iirc. What made me suspicious was that I looked at it next to a Whirlwind (helicopter variety) and it looked far too big. On its own that won't be an issue, of course - good luck, I certainly remember it as being an example of early plastic kit technology.

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  • 3 weeks later...

More progress today. Cleaning up the seam where the fuselage joins resulted in the loss of several rows of rivets. After much pondering on how to replace these I came across a decal sheet of Archer resin rivets. These arrived by post this week and I spent today popping them on. Quite an easy process with the instructions recommending a little micro sol to improve adhesion. I'm quite pleased with the result below. After a touch up undercoat, I'll prepare for final finishing.

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And that's my 100th post too.

Andrew

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Colin, any info on the colour of RAN rotor heads and rotors in the info you've got? I've seen a museum rotor head cutaway that's light gloss grey so would currently go with that. I've also seen a model RAN Sycamore with wooden blades. My reference photos from ADF serials are indeterminate as to colour. Also, any info on seat colours? Andrew

Hi, Sorry for the slow reply, I think the Light Gloss Grey main rotorhead would be corrcet. Re the wooden blades, they were only fitted early on in the Sycamores career, then they were either doped linen of clad in ali.

I'll see what my reference throw up.

Colin

Edited by heloman1
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I too have been using the Archers resin rivets to good effect., however they don't adhere to bare plastic too well. I reccommend a coat of primer. See my build in the Lynx STGB HAS Mk3 in Refurb...

Colin

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Thanks Neil, Houston, Colin and Martin.

Never too late for good advice Colin, I'm yet to paint the rotor. I found the micro sol gave good adhesion to the rivets.

Andrew

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  • 9 months later...

Some slow progress from the tortoise of plastic modelling. First I lost the port-side undercarriage and then the starboard door sprang off into the bushes when I was sanding the window level on our patio. The undercarriage was one thing (I can always scratch-build another I thought), but the door had me stumped due to it's curvature. I'd resigned myself to never finishing this.

Well, just last week I got the urge to have another go (New Year's resolution not to leave things unfinished!). First I cut the door from plastic sheet and gently bent it using a rather warmish plank-bending tool (sort of like this: http://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/a7205_lrg.jpg). My first attempt failed miserably when I inadvertently grasped the heat shield with my left hand to steady my grip. Safety tip - hold burnt fingers under constantly running cold water until the pain is bearable. This really assists in healing burns.

Once I got my courage back I gave it another cautious go but this time melted some of the door in the process. Some sanding, cutting and filling later I arrived at what you can see in the photo below with some archer rivets added. The size is still a bit off but as it will be open it shouldn't be too noticeable.

I then fitted a winch that I'd scratch-built earlier and a replacement (probably oversize) front undercarriage for the kits rather poorly moulded representation.

20150110_EM1_1100382-L.jpg

On the other side is my new port undercarriage made from stretched sprue and fuse wire, together with a big fingerprint where I touched some extra thin cement.I've fitted a door handle (probably not authentic) and will also fit a window winder as I've seen a shot of the front window half way down.

20150110_EM1_1100383-L.jpg

My next challenge is to fold the rotor blades.Pictures I've seen show one blade central along the tail boom with the other two folded back, all supported by a metal framework.With any luck I'll get this done this weekend and wait for a break in the current tropical weather to apply some silver paint to the whole contraption.

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