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Mr T

AMP Fairey Ultra Light Helicopter 1/72nd

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Although i have posted models before, this is my first WIP so bear with me. 

The Fairey Ultra Light Helicopter was designed and built to a 1953 requirement for a simple, small and relatively cheap helicopter for reconnaissance and other duties like training. Fairey won the contract in 1954 and four machines were ordered with Fairey building two more to a slightly different design of cockpit as private ventures. The kit represents one of these and amazingly enough both the PV airframes survive, one with the International Helicopter Museum at Weston-Super-Mare and one at the Midland Aircraft Museum near Coventry. Although tested successfully the design never entered production. The Ultra Light used a small gas turbine to generate high pressure hot air that was then burnt at the rotor tip by fuel injected into it. the same system was used on the much bigger Rotodyne.

The AMP kit is produced by MkroMir and is tiny. There is one sprue of grey, fairly hard injection moulded plastic, a clear sprue for the cockpit with masks, a resin engine and a sheet of PE with some terrifyingly small parts. A reasonable looking decal shhet rounds the whole thing off. Instructions are the usual step by step and may not be entirely accurate. There is no mention of the control column which is on the sprue and shows up in photos of the real thingand some of the assembly sequence migh need looking at. What your get for your money is shown below.

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Looking forward to this build as I have this kit too. One quick heads up though, although the port seat could be installed in the aft facing position as depicted in the kit instructions, it was more usual to see it facing forward.

 

Martian

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Well, I made a start on this and it is tiny, for once being short sighted could be paying off. i also decided to follow the suggested assembly sequence  for a change. Work started  by getting the structural heart of the airframe together. Care needs to be taken removing parts and I would suggest using a fine saw where possible and cleaning parts up on the sprue as much as possible. There is little flash and mould lines are present and will need to be dealt with.

I cemented the tail boom together and cleaned it which was straightforward, it needed various holes cleaning out and to smidgen of filler, but not at all bad for limited run. This boom is then attached to a box that everything else is attached to. in real life this was a fuel tank. In the kit it is made up of a top, two side pieces and a bottom that have part of the landing gear attached. If you follow the instruction you will run into problems as they would have you attach the two side pieces to the top and then add the bottom. Do not do this. If you do you will have to cut away beading on the bottom of the side pieces that I think are meant to be there. What I did was add one side piece to the top  and once that was set hard and cleaned up the bottom was added and then the other side. I added a small amount of weight at the front as I was not sure how it would balance. The other thing to watch is that there are very fine rivet lines on some of the parts and these need to be on the exterior faces.

Once that was all cleaned up i made a start on the photo etch that makes up a lot of the interior. This starts with the mountings for the seats and floor structure. Locking forceps and thin superglue are a must here. Looking at the parts, it is probably going to be easier to build most the cockpit up and paint the PE in situ rarther than as subassemblies as they are going to be small. Priming will also be with Mr Metal as it needs to be thin.

P1010654

Hopefully some more progress to come soon, I have to be away at the weekend as my 91 year old mum is coming out of hsopital and she lives in the Borders.

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4 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

Looking forward to this build as I have this kit too. One quick heads up though, although the port seat could be installed in the aft facing position as depicted in the kit instructions, it was more usual to see it facing forward.

 

Martian

Thanks for that, looking at the photos I gave found, the port seat does change position. What I am now trying to find is the seat belts fitted. The preserved examples are not much help as they do not seem to be fitted in any of the photos 8 have. On the other pictures I have seen they look like simple lap belts to me, but I am not sure. Done a bit more to the etch this evening. A bit of a trial as one part will not fit if you follow the instructions. When I put the next photos up it will be a bit clearer. 

Edited by Mr T
Tidying up

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10 hours ago, Mr T said:

Thanks for that, looking at the photos I gave found, the port seat does change position. What I am now trying to find is the seat belts fitted. The preserved examples are not much help as they do not seem to be fitted in any of the photos 8 have. On the other pictures I have seen they look like simple lap belts to me, but I am not sure. Done a bit more to the etch this evening. A bit of a trial as one part will not fit if you follow the instructions. When I put the next photos up it will be a bit clearer. 

I will get my Ultralight file out and see if it shows the seat harness in any detail. From what I recall it is a four point affair.

 

Martian

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That would be helpful, going to try and get some more done to cockpit today, snow clearing duties permitting. Looking at the engine, I think the exhaust is too small in diameter. 

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Well, I have managed to get more done to the tiny helicopter, that has largely involved tiny pieces of etched brass. after getting the seat bases in place, a fold up part is added on the port side to support stretchers etc. Having followed the instructions I thought this would fit alright, but it does not as it fouls a cross piece added earlier and that is visible on the starboard side. Once the cross piece is removed it fits alright. Next up was a plastic cross piece that is slid through holes in the front of the seat support side pieces. Only it does no unless the ream the holes out. This is where a set of cutting broaches I bought from John Adams a number of years ago have come into their own. They are very fine and ideal for opening up holes. They can be found online and worth the money IMHO. Once the cross piece was in place the rudder pedals are attached. These are in two parts , an arm that fits around the shaft and then a tiny head that goes on an equally tiny pin. The hole in the head (no jokes please) needs opening up and fortunately a spare is provided. This is seriously fiddly work and a magnifier is handy if your eyesight is not as cr*p as mine. There then follows  delight is six tiny triangular pieces that go, three each side on the outer side of the seat support frames. Fortunately that is most of the tricky tiny bits done for the moment. in the next episode  will be the instrument panel and its support frame , which is not an easy folding exercise without a folding tool and I am now worrying that I have put the seat mountings too close together and the frame for the instrument panel will no fit. Can you bear the suspense, will or will it not fit? Tune in next time in the continuing series of 'Martin Builds a Tiny Helicopter'

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I had a quick check of my Ultralight file and it seems to indicate a four point harness was usually fitted.

 

Martian

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Very interesting... I'll keep an eye on this one.

 

Martin

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A bit of a delay, but some progress has been made, the instrument panel frame did fit, but it was difficult to fold up and I admit it is not the best bit of work I have ever done.  Thanks to Martian I have added what I think is the correct number of seat straps and added the seats, both facing the same way, as the passenger seat could face either way. The interior has also been painted and a control column from thin brass wire added as there was no way the plastic part was coming of the sprue in one piece. . The preserved G-APJJ at the Midland Air Museum has an aluminum interior. Due to the siez and scale of the kit, a mix of Vallejo Neutral Grey and Aluminum was used to tone then down a little. Work has started on the rotor and transmission and the engine has been painted, but still needs a bit of a touch up. The clear parts have been fettled to persuade them to fit. This was not easy and we will have to wait and see. The more observant of you will notice that the support struts for the landing skids have largely disappeared. They are fragile and despite my best efforts have succumbed. Not too difficult to replace with rod, but best left I think until the cockpit/fuselage cover has been dealt with. I am now departing from the instructions, which would have you add the tailplane and landing skids and then the canopy/fuselage cover. Knowing me, if I did that , said tailplane etc. will disappear and so the canopy will go on nest as it looks as if it will take some cleaning up and then the tailplane and skids. Hopefully there will be more done soon, although family issues with my elderly mother migh tupset things.

P1010666

 

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I saw this model for sale at a recent show and was tempted. The quality looks good and you have made a great start. Am watching with keen interest. 

 

Cheers

 

Terry

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Some more progress, the problem with this kit is that as it so small it is difficult to do much at any one time without damaging something or knocking another part that has been added and not set. As of last night I have managed to add the canopy and start cleaning it up. the horizontal  tail surfaces has been fixed but is a bit wobbly and needs further work I have also added the struts to support the landing skids that got knocked off. Once the clear bits have been finally finished, my aim is to again ignore the instructions and add the flat etches and  that go on the canopy and ask the canopy maks and than add the rest of the tailplane an landing skids to reduce the chance of damage. 

Finally I have a query, the kit instructions give two colour schemes. I plan on doing the version with Royal Navy titles. The instructions suggest Humbrol 104 Oxford Blue, but photos of the preserved examples look nearer a blue grey like RAF Blue Grey or the US Sea Blue that the AEW Skyraiders were in. Any suggestions, the size of the model suggests to me not to use too dark a colour and I have very strict rules about doing WHIFs 

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Edited by Mr T
Making more sense

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Getting there now. Canopy cleaned up and tailplane and skids added. The underside fin is pretty straightforward, it just attaches to the  tail boom and on real thing was in the jet exhaust and acted a bit like a ships rudder behind the propeller, it was made of a heat resistant steel for obvious reasons. The two fins have where they fit on to the end of the horizontal tailplane marked on them. I just cemented them on as simple butt joints as all the parts are very thin and I find this delicacy a remarkable thing on what looks like a short run kit. They seem pretty firm once set. The landing skids went on very easily, I had replaced the original struts coming out of the fueslage when they broke off and i was pleased that everything lined up properly. once dreid the skids are strong enough to take the weight. The air data boom is a piece of thin rod to replace the kit item that was terminally bent on the sprue. i have also added the bits of PE that were required and the canopies are masked with the ones provided in the kit. These are of a thin translucent plastic that stick reasonably well except in a couple of places where there is a bit of a 3D curve.Since the photos were takn i have given the canopy a coat of the interior colour before the exterior finish goes on.

There will probably be a bit of the delay before the next installment is posted. I just got back from my mum's yesterday (91 and just come out of a community hospital after two months with home oxygen and a carers coming in. She lives in the Scottish Borders and so not a short trip. Unlike children who move away from their parents it was the other way round with mum and her husband) and my wife and i are having a holiday and then going up to my mum around Easter.

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Thanks for looking. Martin

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Thanks for sharing! One of those types that never even crossed my mind for me to say "It'll never be kitted"!

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Sorry to hear about your mother, I hope she gets better and settled in at home.

 

I was wondering why you had sanded the canopy but it's just the masking - phew! The PE looks incredibly fiddly but you have made light work of it. It looks like it will be a lovely model when it's finished. FWIW I made quite a nice blue grey for a Wessex out of 1xHu25 bright blue +  2xHu67 dark grey.

 

Regards,

Adrian

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9 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

Sorry to hear about your mother, I hope she gets better and settled in at home.

 

I was wondering why you had sanded the canopy but it's just the masking - phew! The PE looks incredibly fiddly but you have made light work of it. It looks like it will be a lovely model when it's finished. FWIW I made quite a nice blue grey for a Wessex out of 1xHu25 bright blue +  2xHu67 dark grey.

 

Regards,

Adrian

Thanks for the good wishes for my mother. She has a long term condition that is only going to get worse so it is case of her enjoying what remains of her life span. 

The PE in the kit is incredibly fiddly and fortunately some spares are given. I am not a huge fan of PE, but it works well in this case. The colour mix I am going use is Tamiya XF17 Sea Blue lightened with X14 Sky Blue. The restored examples seem to be an RAF Blue Grey, but that looks way too dark on such a small model. 

Edited by Mr T
Tidying up

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Great progress - it's looking good - can't wait to see it painted and 'unmasked'.

 

Talking of diddy helicopters - the Soviets had a similar tip-jet design - the Mil V-7......

 

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That would make a nice companion to the Ultralight - if it was ever kitted! (it was - by Unicraft - but that doesn't count :analintruder: )

 

Ken

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Hope all goes as well as can be expected with your mother.

 

The Ultralight is going to look really cute under a coat of paint.

 

Martian

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Thanks everyone for the comments and wishes for my mother, it has not been an easy time. I am hoping to put some paint on before we go away as I will not get much done next week. Mixed the paint and it will have to be sprayed in two sessions to fully the cover the airframe. Might even get to finish decalling the Magna Marathon. 

Ken, the little Mil 7 looks very cute, but would not be easy as a kit. Any idea what the Unicraft looked like?

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Just found the Mil 7 on the Unicraft website. Does not have appear to have an interior and the clear parts remind me of glacier mints. 

When I have finished the Ultra Light and the Marathon, I am tempted to start my long stored Magna Jetstream as a T2, possibly to the strains of Tom Lehrer signing the 'Masochism Tango'. Then again I might just build another Spitfire. 

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On 3/14/2018 at 10:11 PM, Mr T said:

I have very strict rules about doing WHIFs 

Although this looks like Picasso does an eggplane!

Good luck with the rest of the build, it's great so far.

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Nah, not abstract enough, but thanks. I mentioned my mum, she is originally from South Lincs, Swineshead in fact. 

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This looks great, I would love to have one of these one day.  Can't get over the size and that PE.  You have done a splendid job, can't wait to see what it looks like with paint on.  Thanks for sharing.

I hope your Mum is getting settled okay. 

 

All the best
Chris

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More progress in the break between going away for my wife's birthday and travelling up to Scotland to my mothers for Easter.

As you can see, I have painted the airframe and given it a coat of gloss varnish and I am not going to add any more coats before it is decalled it as I do not want too much of a paint/varnish build up. In painting the model, a lot of finely rendered rivet detail became apparent, that I suspect will be lost by the time the model is finished. Some detail painted has also been done and a bit of touching up will be required. Looking at the model, the tailboom looks more angled than it should. This is how it comes and it fits the opening in the 'fuselage' quite well and on to the base as indicated in the instructions. If I was building another, I would make the boom more horizontal. The engine is going to be left off until the model has been varnished and the masking removed to prevent any overspray into the back of the fuselage. As the resin is resin, it will be attached with impact or epoxy adhesive to prevent fogging of transparencies from superglue.

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There might be one more update before the model is finished and goes on RFI, it depends on how i get on next week.

Thanks for looking and as the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation would say 'Share and Enjoy'.

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