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Another Hornet - this time a Vacform F.3


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Having been following the John & David Show over here, where the brave souls salvage the strangely shaped kit in 1:48 from TrumpyBoss, it set me to thinking. Do my Dynavector kits now stand a chance of getting built? :hmmm: After asking people's opinions, it appears they're pretty good compared to the competition, which is quite an achievement, considering the dearth of accurate information that has been quoted and re-quoted over the years - check out the thread linked above for more info. It's well worth the read :)

Anyway - I've been suffering from the modelling doldrums somewhat lately, having had numerous false starts and re-boxing of projects, so I decided it was time to get back to my roots and build a vacform. My roots? A vacform? Eh? :hmmm: Well, being the over-ambitious type I am, as soon as I got back to the hobby, I heard about the dark art of the vacform, so decided I simply must have one, and from reading around the subject, the Dynavector kit of the Wyvern was one of the best and easiest to cut your teeth on. I started it, got quite a way in and then found out about the Compass Rose resin parts, so shoe-horned those in, complicating matters immensely! ^_^ She was just about ready for paint when I realised that the props weren't up to much good, and went looking for some replacements. Didn't find any, so it went on the shelf, where it remains today :blush: I have finished a few others though, namely the Dynavector Scimitar, Douglas Skyshark, and the Falcon's Martin-Baker MB-5 and Sea Fang, the latter happily completed before the new HB kit arrived.

boxtop.jpg


Another anyway - I digress. A lot. Very often. ^_^ So, the choice was either Sea Hornet or Hornet, and the Hornet won out and was promptly retrieved from the cupboard above my head, where all my unbuilt vacforms reside :wub: The box was opened, and out came my Sharpie to draw around all the parts to be broken out of the backing plastic. I had to use a thinner one for this, as there are some quite sharp lines around the larger parts that I couldn't get into with my big fuzzy Sharpie, so a couple of minutes were spent tracing round all the parts, plus the cut-offs that cover any openings.

sprue1.jpg

sprue2.jpg
The vacform canopy and white metal parts are safely out of the way until they are needed.


Next step was to run a fresh blade around the parts at an angle, ensuring I cut right to the edge of the part. You don't have to press too hard, just a nice firm cut, keeping against the part, and taking care not to let the blade wander. I also occasionally cut some relief lines away from sharp corners to avoid splitting the part as I break it out. You can see the fuselage half partially broken out in the first pic below, and it's quite a pleasant experience flexing the styrene sheet and breaking the parts out of the backing.

cutting1.jpg

cutting2.jpg


With the fuselage half clear of the styrene you can now see the point of the black line. It shows you where you need to sand back to once you've got everything out of the sheet. I've left some of the cut-outs intact for now, as it will ease the sanding process and stop the parts from flexing too much as I apply pressure.

cutting3.jpg


30 minutes in and I've got all the parts cut out and ready for sanding. It's starting to look like a model kit! ^_^

I'll be looking in on John's thread, asking stupid questions and generally trying to improve my kit (within reason) as I go along, and I'm actually quite excited to be doing a vacform again, although I'm not looking forward to the dust I'm going to create, after cleaning up only the other day :doh: A couple of hours should see all the parts ready for use, which is when the work really begins ;)

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way to go Mike

Watching and wondering

no not about this, it looks like a well shaped Hornet after perusing John and the lads's thread

No

I'm pondering that very huge Hawk on a shelf in my garage?

:(

MMM

Maybe one day

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Terrible, isn't it? :rolleyes:

I've been at it for about an hour today, and have the fuselage halves, the nacelles and one wing prepared, with all the back sanded or adzed away with the edge of a #11 blade. The workshop looks like an albino curly wig factory as a result, but another hour should see the bulk of the work done. :) The wings are the most difficult parts, as you have to scrape a lot of material off the trailing edges, making sure that the edges end up as thin as possible. I usually rough sand off the bulk, and then scrape from the inside until the two parts fit together well. It's a case of scrape and test over and over again, but you get a good end result. Flat sanding can easily end up with a banana-wing, as the material under where your finger pressure is always sands quicker, giving you plenty of opportunity to screw up - like there aren't enough opportunities in modelling already! :lol:

I am covered in little curls of styrene at the moment, and it's got right up my nose :S

I'll post a few pics once I'm done, and show some of the main assemblies taped together to get an idea of where I'm up to :)

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After much scraping and sanding, I'm done. The elevators turned out to be the most time-consuming afterall, as they had to be sanded wafer thin. The fat sanding stick came in very handy there :) Three broken blades, a slight nick in the tip of one of my fingers, and I'm done doing the basic cleaning up of the parts. There will be more fettling later to improve fit, but for now, it'll tape together nicely, as you can see below:

tapeup.jpg

I've just re-hoovered the workshop and attacked myself with a lint-roller to get all the dust and curly scrapings off me, using six sheets in the process. :wacko: I think I'm clean enough to go indoors now :ninja:

Next job will be to remove all the Sharpie with IPA and install the few strengthening strips that the instructions suggest. I'm rather inclined to obey too, as they've never steered me wrong before :)

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It's great to see some vac-lovin' going on here, Mike! :thumbsup:

Will watch with much interest.

Tom

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Nice work Mike

Quick too from the times

It would take me weeks to get that far

Anyway watching for inspiration

Don't break the Hoover cleaning up !

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Thanks for the comments guys - It'll be PX293 No.33 Squadron, Dark Green & Dark Sea Grey over Silver Dope, according to the instructions. The decals on my F.3 have fared rather better than those of the Sea Hornet, which have crazed :S

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Next job will be to remove all the Sharpie with IPA and install the few strengthening strips that the instructions suggest. I'm rather inclined to obey too, as they've never steered me wrong before :)

I always found the Dynavector instructions to be amongst the best, similar to Aeroclub, they are obviously written by someone who has made the kit, and wants you the builder to enjoy the experience.

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Exactly right Ant - when DV stopped producing new vacs it was a real shame. I spoke to him when BM was fairly young, and he was thinking of some early British flying boats at the time, but nothing ever came of that, sadly. There are still a host of aircraft old and new that haven't been kitted, which they could have chipped away at over the years :(

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Thanks David - The decal instructions show her with a low demarcation, and fuselage code V (in white) fuselage roundels similar to the pic below. Could they have just got the squadron wrong? :hmmm:

150px-RAF_33_Sqn.svg.png

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Thanks David - I'll have a search nearer the time ;)

This evening's goings on has seen me adding some strips of styrene to the wings to strengthen them, adding some formers inside the fuselage, and adding the exhaust stub backers to the nacelle halves, all as per instructions. In addition, John kindly provided me with a pic of the tail-wheel over on the "Hornet Info Kiosk" thread, and I made up a template. Made... I should say bodged :blush: That's what the shield shaped piece with an F in the middle is. Just my luck that it wasn't symmetrical inside, so I had to make two halves, bring them together and glue them to some new styrene to make the final piece.

bracing.jpg


The instructions tell you to install the engine nacelles into the lower wing first to give them the correct profile and avoid gaps, so that is probably what I'll do next, along with contemplating the kit cockpit and whether it's worth doing much there :hmmm: Oh, and of course the planning for the tail-wheel. The wheel itself doesn't seem to be the correct type, as it doesn't have the anti-shimmy groove down the centre. its leg also terminates within the fantasy bay in a flat plate, so it'll all have to go by the looks of it. Wonder if I could cadge one from John's build later in the day? :ninja:

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Hi Mike,

If you can find my old frog hornet thread, I have painted one in the scheme. White V, 33sqn bars, cammo, pru blue, etc. Pics of model on there.

Definitely 33sqn

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234916880-frog-hornet-collection-work-in-progress/

Hornetcollection.jpg

HTH

T

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Those Dynavector kits are the best vacs out there. I plan to build my remaining Gannet side-by-side with the Classic Airframes kit. I loved building the Wyvern and Skyshark. This is looking great. It sure looks like a DH hornet.

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I'd agree with that - closely followed by Falcon, more so their later offerings than their early ones, which had vacform everything... even landing gear & props! :shocked: That meant a LOT of scratching on the MB-5 I did.

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You are a braver man than I. Vacuforms scare me. I have a couple that somehow I ended up with; not intentional mind you, just think I need to brush up on my Slavic languages as I bet the box said it was vacuform, not plastic. This is looking quite good though. I like how you are going through it with all the steps. It may give me the courage to tackle one. For now, I will just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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The big ones are a bit more scary than the smaller ones George, but test fitting is the only way to travel with 'em, as they're not exactly shake & bake. :)

I've glued the elevators and the engine nacelles together this morning, after a little bit of final fettling, and the addition of some small styrene tabs to improve fit & joint strength. Pics later.

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I've glued some strip onto the rear of the engine nacelles, sanding it back to profile to give the edges a sharpness that's not available from the vacform mould (again, this is suggested in the instructions), and dry fitted it to the lower wing to see how it looks. The bay roof is slightly proud from the wing surface (approx 1mm), and has a raised square in the front section, which doesn't look wholly accurate. What does the collective think? Good starting point for detailing, or do I need to excavate & re-jig? :hmmm:

wheelbay1.jpg

wheelbay2.jpg

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Interesting work so far Mike. Enjoying the step-by-step nature of your progress.

As for that bay roof; I've no idea what went on inside the real thing ( oh how I hate saying that in past tense :( ) but is it possible the wooden wing structure was reinforced to better absorb landing forces?

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