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Martian Hale

Karel Doorman The Last Cruise, Grumman S-2A Tracker and SH-34 Helicopter

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A double update for you tonight, you lucky people!

First up, I extended the stringers in the observers' cabin on the Tracker to a point level with the rear wing spar. This allowed me to fit the equipment shelf between the two half bulkheads. The pictures will show what I mean. I then added structure to the cabin side of the weapons bay wall, thus:

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While the work on the Tracker was setting, Turned my attention to the SH-38. I mentioned yesterday that I had ground away some of the unrealistic shelving where the cockpit coaming is supposed to go and this is shown in the pictures. I also fitted the centre console in the cockpit having filed the moulded detail away in readiness for Eduard pre-painted parts.

I sanded the somewhat lacklustre detail from the rear cabin bulkhead and began to detail this with plastic strip I was getting tired by now and decided to stop before this process was complete. It was nice to be starting to glue something to the kit rather than hacking holes in it! Speaking of holes, the access hatch on the forward bulkhead is not overly well defined and would probably need replacing. However, another thought struck me. If I cut the hatch away, it will allow the front of the engine crank case to be visible as well as other details of the area under the mesh in front of the cockpit to be seen. I has got to be done; hasn't it?

Anyhow, boring though they may be, for the sake of completeness, here are a few pictures of work on the SH-34.

Thanks for looking

Martin

F6_zps2a9b2ef9.jpg

F8_zpse7bec189.jpg

F9_zps05f65dd9.jpg

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Coming along nicely Martin, I do like the framework on theTracker. I think once it has coat of paint it will superb.

Colin

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Thanks Guys, I am glad you are enjoying it. I am beginning to get a bit of a head of steam up on the SH-34 as well now. I think that it is because, access hatches for the transmission bay aside, the destructive work on the kit is finished. I got the access hatch in the front bulkhead cut out and lined after dinner this evening. I will get some pictures up next update.

I have the funeral of a very close friend to attend tomorrow so I don't know whether I will feel up to doing any modelling or not.

Martin

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I had been wondering who would be the first to spot that, despite my assertion that all I had left to cut away from the kit were the rotor transmission access hatches, I still had the mesh areas forward of the cockpit still to do. It is a bit strange that Gallery Models chose to do some but not others, especially as they provide a full set of etch for these areas.

So, this evening, it was out drills, scalpel and files and start removing them. This required intense concentration, in order to avoid breaking the framework for the mesh. I found this a bit tiring so I decided to carry out this process in two hits. Still, it all lines up well thus far and the engine firewall bulkhead does not foul the openings.

Thanks or looking

Martin

F11_zps7ae0e56f.jpg

F10_zps9a36701d.jpg

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Lovely jubbly

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Lovely jubbly

Thanks, so far I am finding this twin build approach to a project quite liberating, if I don't fancy working on one kit, I just pick up the other and have a go at that instead.

Martin

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Thanks, so far I am finding this twin build approach to a project quite liberating, if I don't fancy working on one kit, I just pick up the other and have a go at that instead.

Martin

Yeah, I've been wondering about something like that; maybe starting my Vixen alongside Ark. Trouble is, I've been so busy at work and with my ageing Mum that I haven't found time for even one model, let alone two!

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Martin

Tracker looks awesome. I dig all the work inside.

H34, you doing it what color?

Oliver

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Gorgeous work Martin - the thread is required reading for me these days :)

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Thanks Guys, Just got back from Oxford, helping out my elderly father so no update yesterday.

Oliver, the SH-34 will be in Extra Dark Sea Grey and Sky as will the Tracker.

Jeff, I am not quite sure what you mean about using thread, could you perhaps elaborate? Anything that makes cutting thing out has to be of interest.

Fritag, that is quite a compliment coming from you.

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Martin, that's some very delicate cutting work forward of the cockpit. Inspiring. It will be worth the effort with the mesh fitted. Cheers, Andrew

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Thanks Andrew, I have, in fact, just finished doing the port side. Pictures in a few minutes.

Martin

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A bit tired today but I did get to open up the remaining mesh areas. They will need a tiny bit more tidying up but I think that this is best left until the fuselage is glued together, they will be much more reinforced that way. I am also including in the picture, the forward cabin bulkhead that I promised the other day but promptly forgot about.

Thanks for looking

Martin

F12_zps714520d6.jpg

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Moving along I see.

Oliver

Yes, its helped by the fact that for once I seem to be working with a couple of quality products to start with. So far having two completely different builds as part of a single project seems to be keeping me fresh. If this continues to be the case I will try and use this approach on future large builds.

Martin

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Looking good Martin. Those open mesh area do look impressive.

Colin

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Thanks Colin, I just hope that Gallery Models have done the photoetch accurately! If they have we will have an impressive feature on our hands, if not I am in deep, deep pooh!

Martin

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No work on either kit yesterday due to commitments with my band. Having been running round for other people most of the week, today is going to be a Martin day and that means a good long session on both kits if all goes well, roast duck in orange sauce this evening accompanied with a good bottle of wine and, of course some real ale to keep the old brain cells lubricated while I am modelling.

Martin

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Here we are with the first of which will hopefully be a couple of updates today.

I began by gluing the front cabin bulkhead to the floor of the SH-34. this needs to set properly before I go any further, so it will most likely be this evening before further work gets done on this kit.

That being the case I turned to the Tracker build. I started by adding the principal structure to the back of the portside of the rear of the observers' cabin. This too needs to set properly before I add the stringers. At this point I here some of you asking why I am going to such trouble with an area that can't be seen when the fuselage halves are joined? Well I think I have come up with a cunning plan.

My idea on both kits is to fully detail the fuselage interiors and take some good pictures of the finished articles before I close them up. I then plan to get a couple of cheap digital photo frames and have a little slide show of each model on each one. These can then be placed next to the models at shows.

I then applied some filler around the edges of the flight deck doorway where I had to correct the width. This, of course, has to be left to set as well.

Next up I decided to tackle the nose wheel bay. I have been agonising over this for some while now, feeling that the structure as moulded looked on the heavy side. I did not like the moulded in retraction jack either. Accordingly, the roof of the bay was drilled, ground and filed until all trace of the kit detail was gone. some holes were drilled in the sides of the bay to allow for assorted wiring and plumbing. the walls of the bay contain large removable panels and I was sorely tempted to cut these out as well, until the penny dropped that I will be needing places to conceal nose weights at some stage and I am fast running out of suitable locations to install it! This being the case, the panels will sadly have to remain in place. I also added a length of plastic rod for mounting the nose wheel leg at a later stage. The bay was capped with plastic card.

I finally made up my mind to model the aircraft with the nose cap open. This led to another bout of drilling, grinding, carving and sanding.

I think that is pretty much where we are at, at the moment so it's a bit of a rest for me and here are some pictures to be going on with.

Thanks for looking

Martin

F37_zpsc788db70.jpg

F38_zpsf78d03b8.jpg

F39_zps8358522f.jpg

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Following my rest, the bulkhead on the SH-34 was set and I could carry on with the build. Next up was to tackle a bit that I had not been looking forward to at all; removing the two panels that are either side of the rotor transmission. Normally I just chain drill panels out on builds but, in this case, I needed to remove the parts as cleanly as possible as they will be needed as the basis of the maintenance platforms of which the panels double up in real life.

This was achieved by outlining the panels with Scotch Blue masking tape. This is thick enough to use as a guide for a scriber and the panel lines were scribed until a white line began to appear on the inside of the fuselage. The panels were then removed with a new Swann Morton No.11 blade. I managed to get the panels out without breaking what is now becoming quite a frail forward fuselage assembly. Internal bulkheads will restore the missing strength. That in itself amazed me but I was even more surprised when I managed to do all this without slicing my hands in the process. I had been more than prepared for this eventuality!

Anyway, time for a beer now methinks! :drink:

Thanks for looking.

Martin

F15_zpsc1abecbe.jpg

F14_zps8476e903.jpg

F13_zpse2b367aa.jpg

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I finally got round to cleaning up the filler where I had got the flight deck doorway wrong. This allowed me to crack on and get the basic structure in place at last. The process was made much quicker by the use of the Albion Alloys measuring machine again. Perhaps I bang on about this piece of kit but there is no doubt that it speeds up production of multiple parts no end and virtually eliminates waste.

Anyway, straight to the pictures. There may or may not be another update today as I woke up this morning feeling decidedly under the weather. Perhaps a rest will help.

Thanks for looking

Martin

F41_zpse07eea79.jpg

F40_zpsb6fa4c02.jpg

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Well, it seems as I have some sort of bug. I am Ok until I try and move and then I come over sick and dizzy. My Sister in Law has just got back from North Korea of all places, so I am blaming it all on the "Beloved Leader". Clearly it is some part of a master plan to poison us imperialist Britmodellers.

However, if I sit very still and avoid sudden movement I can make some progress. This being the case, I decided to start work on the transmission deck on the SH-34. The first step was to fit the rest of the centre consoles in the cockpit; thus:

F16_zpsd5376d4a.jpg

The aircraft manual shows the part of the console on the rear cockpit bulkhead is open to the deck at the rear so this was drilled out and cleaned up:

F18_zps6e0fce72.jpg

The next step was to start adding the principal structural members to the deck. I also noticed that there was a hatch in the floor of the deck leading to the main cabin. As this will improve visibility into the cabin, it had to be drilled out.

F19_zpsf3ef701f.jpg

By now I was flagging a bit so I just did a test fit of the decking to the model to see how things looked and decided to call it a day at that.

F20_zpse53b0b00.jpg

Thanks for looking

Martin

PS:Sorry for not getting the proper backing paper out for the pictures, I just didn't feel up to the extra hassle today.

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Get well soon Martin, really enjoying these builds of yours.

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