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Natter

USFS Firewatch Cobra

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My entry to the GB. Fujimi's early AH-1S with the Draw Decals USFS Firewatch Cobra decals. I bought the Academy Bronco and then found the Draw Decals USFS decals for it, and in my search for photos on the internet I found out what an eclectic range of aircraft the USFS operates. When I saw the picture of the Cobras at about the same time as this GB was announced I just had to find the Fujimi AH-1S and purchase the decals. evilbay produced the model at a reasonable price and the decals were ordered direct.

24556134109_037e626c33_b.jpg

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To quote:

The U.S. Forest Service has two helicopters they call Firewatch Cobras which are retrofitted Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. The USFS has them outfitted with infrared sensors so that they can be used for close in intelligence support for ground troops, GIS mapping, real time color video, geo-referenced infrared, and infrared downlink. In addition to intelligence gathering, they are also used as a platform for an Air Attack Group Supervisor (ATGS) or a Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO).

Sadly, no water cannon.

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At first glance this seems such an improbable aircraft for fire services, but actually the more you think about the capability for intelligence gathering, it makes a lot of sense. And I bet USFS picked them up cheap cheap too...

Look forward to seeing this one built.

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A nice colourful version I have not seen before. I good one to pull up a chair and watch.

To quote:

Sadly, no water cannon.

Shame about the water cannon though, I suppose a capacity of a 3 nanosecond burst of water was operationally lacking!

Bob

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The AH-1 would only be able to cary just a little bit more than 600ltrs, plus the weight of the cannon, it just wouldn't be with it when you have Chinooks etc.....

A cool build though, I love fire bomber stuff... See my signature ;)

Edited by Radleigh

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I made a start today, and within twenty minutes the first disaster struck. As I held the upper seam together I ran some medium cyano into the join on the inside and sprayed on some accelerator. Moments later the plastic, which is really hard and quite brittle, collapsed:

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Right then I thought (in words I couldn't write here), what now. Well the parts fitted back together reasonably well, and a challenge is a challenge. So on with the repair work:

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There's quite a bit of repair to do, but I am not going to give up on this. I could do with Bagpuss's mice, but I shall have to do it myself!

Then disaster number two. I was trying some dry fitting, fuselage together with the tailplane and 'wings' in place, the engine pylon pushed in to place, cockpit pieces all over the worktop as I worked out what I can fix in place before starting painting.... and up jumps the cat, knocks over the Tamiya Extra Thin Cement all over the cockpit pieces and flooding the bottom of the fuselage. Once more words I couldn't repeat here, and I quickly put things aside in the hope they will dry out. I have lost some detail to the ravages of the liquid cement, but once again, I think I can save it. Fingers and toes all crossed that no more disasters befall this one.

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I'm glad I'm allergic to cats, I don't have these issue. I hope you can save the build.

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Ouch! All that's got to hurt. Been there with the liquid poly and replacement parts were the only answer in my case. Nasty with the superglue accelerator, I have heard it can do bad things to paint and plastic so rarely use it. I think Natter may now be allergic to cats.

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Bad luck with the plastic mate. Luckily I've never encountered the brittle problems you've found. Could it be the fujimi plastic?

Good save though, hope the extra thin didn't do too much damage.

Matt

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That's a shame about the plastic, hopefully it can be salvaged. Bad luck with that liquid poly, but at least you have a cat to blame it on, normally its down to my own clumsiness!

Bob

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Bad luck man, hope you salvage the whirlygig!!!

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No Pics tonight, but it is saved. More dry fitting tonight, a couple of bulkheads so the back of the cockpit isn't see through, a few 'representative' bits on the instrument panels to make it look 'flat panel'. Onwards.

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This very nearly found itself consigned to the shelf of doom, I really ran out of enthusiasm for it. I decided today that I was going to make some progress on it and I have managed some. I haven't taken any photos of the cockpit unfortunately, though the panels are reasonably good; even if I do say so myself.

The engine pod is a bit of a mess what with the breakage and the liquid cement spillage:

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The underside of the fuselage was sitting in the spilled cement for a few seconds before I pulled it out and set it aside to try and dry out - which it has:

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Some of the cement splashed up the side of the fuselage as well:

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None of it is catastrophic and will rub down easily enough. Some of the raised detail will be lost, as will the cat hairs which got stuck in it, but with a mainly white finsh that shouldn't be too bad.

I really didn't like the kit supplied exhaust so cut some plastic tube and thinned the end with a file to get it closer to being in scale. The green bit is the kit supplied effort and the white bits the original and thinned tube. It will look much better than the thing Fujimi put on the sprue:

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Once more the kit conspires to fight me:

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The rotor mast broke when I was snipping it off the sprue. I managed to break it again as I tried to work the piece of wire in to it after drilling a hole to support the join when I was 'fixing' it. I did get it together again, and hope it will hold with the main rotor fitted.

There's plenty of filling to do and the nose needs some fairly serious remodelling, but it is on its way again now.:

25263051861_2cc65dd793_b.jpg

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I've come to this late Dave, so missed the saga unfolding in 'real time'.

I'm glad that you are persevering though, as your scheme should be stunning!

Cliff

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This kit seems to be fighting you all the way. Don't give up dude, it's looking good.

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Shame about the disasters but it is starting to come together and looking good.

Bob

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