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Jonners

Contrail 1/72 Vickers Vildebeest vacform

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Hi folks,

Real Life has been getting in the way of plastic-based virtual reality recently, but I can see some gaps coming up ahead and want to keep challenging myself. I've realised that the best way to prevent a project from stalling is to post it as a WiP; even if nobody is remotely interested it still acts as a conscience-prodder!

 

After recently completing my first vacform, a 1/72 Sopwith Snipe, I wanted to try a slightly more involved vacform. I managed to procure this from a well-known UK regal second-hand supplier:

 

20190417_122053

 

The Vildebeest has intrigued me since I was young and saw an article in a very old annual (1930s?) that described how to carve one from wood. I subsequently served two tours as an RAF pilot on 22 Squadron, which took the Vildebeest to Malta in 1935 in response to the Abyssinian crisis and, as a result, incorporated the Maltese Cross into its emblem.

 

Here is what is 'in the bag':

 

20190417_172642

 

Two fairly sturdy sheets of parts, a small bag of white metal bits, a few lengths of rod and strut taped to a piece of plastic card, a pretty comprehensive plan/instruction sheet and a decal sheet...with some dodgy out-of-register roundels for the RNZAF version.

 

The struts/rod and decals:

 

20190417_172507

 

The white metal parts (the exhaust part in particular will need some fettling):

 

20190417_172435

 

The vacform sheets:

 

20190417_172616

 

Yes, that's a vacform torpedo (I should have one in my spares box that will do the trick), and there's a fuel tank for the RNZAF Vincent as well as an engine cowling for a Vildebeest IV.

 

20190417_172544

 

...and the plan/instructions:

 

20190417_172412

 

20190417_172337

 

I am intending to model a 22 Squadron Vildebeest III with the Maltese Cross markings on the wheel spats. Anyone expecting to see quick results or Moa-like attention to detail may be disappointed, but if our Argentinian friend can tackle a vacform HP42 then it would seem churlish of me not to at least attempt something much smaller!

 

Oh well, in for a penny...

Jon

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...in for a pound. No time like the present. Here goes:

 

20190417_222244

 

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There. That was pretty straightforward.

20190417_224326

Plain sailing from now on, right? Just a bit of sanding and a bit of fettling and it will be done.

Or not.

🙂

Jon

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Always good to see an adventurous modeler!

Full stem ahead, Jon!

(hint, hint):

(link to 1000 aircraft photos website)

4177L.jpg

Now, a civil reg. with a torpedo is a contradiction of terms, but without the torpedo, if we don't tell anyone....

 

Cheers

 

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vildebeest-9.jpg

 

and on wheels.

I chose to believe that is not a torpedo, but a self-propelled hotdog.

 

And now I will call myself to silence.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Moa said:

vildebeest-9.jpg

 

and on wheels.

I chose to believe that is not a torpedo, but a self-propelled hotdog.

 

And now I will call myself to silence.

 

 

Perhaps it's just excited by the prospect of going flying...

 

Sorry. Definitely calling myself to silence.

😈

Edited by Jonners

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This model was before we supplied some metal parts to Gordon. Now the two props and the Jupiter engine were in my range but they're not my castings as the metal has a dull, high lead content. The other parts we certainly didn't make, but I bet I know who did cast them...

 

John

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:popcorn:  This should be good.  An aircraft as ugly as its namesake!

 

AW

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Well, all the major airframe parts have been cut out:

 

20190418_103616

 

Now for the long, tedious part where lots of time and effort will be converted into plastic scrapings and sanding dust with little obvious progress to report.

 

Jon

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Beautiful choice of subject.  The Vildebeest is very high on my most wanted list, so I will really enjoy watching you work!

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Very interesting. I have this one to just slightly ahead of where you are, having finished sanding/ripping down with a knife, but then it's been in that state for 6 years. Largely because I have what must be an earlier issue, which has very crude injection moulded parts where you have white metal. I've also got a couple of the 1/48th versions to the same stage, one of which has similar parts in metal, and the other lacking them entirely, requiring some scratching. I'm hoping your efforts will kick start mine. No pressure............

 

Paul.

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Fascinated with these weird interwar types at the moment, so will be following along intently.  Could even  end up adding one to the list (it's a long list), Gamecock, Snark, Fury, Flycatcher and Bulldog presently in progress, lots more to follow :)

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I'll tag along with this, especially after noting that it can go floats :hmmm:.

 

Stuart

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Ah, yes, vacforms:

 

20190420_200956

 

Guess what I'm spending my precious modelling time doing? Those pesky trailing edges...

 

I think I need to fetch the vacuum cleaner.

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49 minutes ago, Courageous said:

You're lovin' it.

 

Stuart

Hmmm. Peversely, yes I am! Mind you, I'd be lovin' it even more if it wasn't for the static charge that makes plastic shavings stick to anything and everything...

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I'm a fan of wet sanding for vacforms.  Not soaking wet, but just enough to keep the dust under control.  Adding a bit of dishwashing detergent makes the sandpaper cut twice as fast too. 

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4 hours ago, Jonners said:

Those pesky trailing edges...

 

these are very handy for those... gooseneck cabinet scraper

s-l1600.jpg

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Proops-Wood-Cabinet-Carbon-Steel-Kidney-Scraper-180mm-4-5-Woodworking-W3340-/292218002405

no connection,  but where I got mine from

Ideally you need a burnisher, but you can use a screwdriver shaft

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Putty Animal said:

I'm a fan of wet sanding for vacforms.  Not soaking wet, but just enough to keep the dust under control.  Adding a bit of dishwashing detergent makes the sandpaper cut twice as fast too. 

Agreed - I would normally use wet & dry paper when sanding a model, used wet. I'm only using sandpaper here as I want to remove a fair bit of plastic and I don't have any heavy-grade wet & dry at the moment. I think I ought to get some, though!  Good tip about dishwasher detergent - thanks.

 

6 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

 

these are very handy for those... gooseneck cabinet scraper

s-l1600.jpg

 

Cheers Troy, I saw your suggestion in another BM post a few weeks ago but, to be honest, I had forgotten about it. The curved edges would certainly be ideal for scraping the insides of wing trailing edges into a slightly concave finish. I'll have another look.

 

Jon

 

Edit - I've just ordered a cabinet scraper. Thanks for the tip!

Edited by Jonners

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     I always remove the first load of excess by scraping with a blade, and having water about doesn't help with that at all. Quickest part of preparation but most mess. As Jonners says, static makes it more challenging than one would wish.

 

     For sanding. both rough and fine tuning, I use both commercial and self made sanding sticks so I can hold the piece close to my  ancient eyes. Makes it less likely to sand too much off if you miss the peeling away of the remnant ink mark. But I dip the stick in a cup of water every 30 seconds or so to reduce the sanding dust, and it also helps to keep from clogging the abrasive surface. Of course you also need to mop the sludge off as it builds up so you can see what your doing, so it's just as messy but with less ending up inside your lungs/mask.

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I've decided to put the wings aside until I take delivery of the cabinet scraper as recommended by Troy and make progress on the fuselage halves instead. Here they are now that the backing piece waste has been removed from each half:

20190421_163125

The halves contained a number of moulding pips, which have already been rubbed down, along with some poorly defined raised lumps & bumps, wide and uneven panel lines and the occasional 'divot'. No surprises there, for a vacform.

 

The guidelines for the various fuselage windows and portholes are present but not completely accurate (eg the wonky port side triangular fuselage window). After correcting these I'll be filling in the existing trenches and scribing new panel lines.

 

I think I will be opening the sliding hatch for the third crewmember behind the pilot's cockpit; I've highlighted it in pencil on the port half. The raised fuselage detail will have to be sanded off and replaced from plastic card as it bears only vague resemblance to what if purports to represent. The 'wart' on the port side ahead of the cockpit is a case in point. It should be a gun cover and separate rectangular-section vent pipe, as seen here:

 

FA_11192s

 

Pete M's photos placed in the Walkarounds section of BM a few years ago, showing the New Zealand Vincent restoration, are going to be extremely useful here.

 

I'm sure that the Special Hobby injected kit would be easier, but where's the fun in that?

 

Jon

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Wow, this looking really rough...

 

I've put the fuselage windows in where the various plans and photos suggest they should be, rather than where the kit has window panel lines. The kit's window lines are marked in pencil:

 

20190421_220005

 

The sliding 3rd crew member's panel has been cut out; again, the kit panel line is incorrectly positioned and has also been highlighted in pencil.

 

The port side footsteps are correctly positioned but oversized - big enough for a crewman's head - so rectangular holes were cut and plastic card blanks cemented in. Creating scale half-circle steps will be tricky, but using decal is one possible solution

 

The gun cover wart was removed, the resulting hole squared off and, again, a plastic card insert cemented in place. The gun trough was also cut out and I've added a length of plastic tube in tge hope that it will result in a smooth trough for the gun barrel when sanded flush.

 

The pencil line around the nose is more-or-less where the plans suggest that the front of the fuselage should meet the engine ie. the nose section appears to be a couple of mm too long. I'll check again, but that's an easy fix.

 

The next job will be to fill the various panel lines.

 

Jon

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Hi Jon,

I hope I am not too late. Since you are doing a Mk. III, please be aware of the actual rear gun arrangement. It is wrong in most scale drawings, including the drawings in the kit. Have a look here for more.

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234997638-vildebeest-mk-iv-–-special-hobby-172-restored-links/&tab=comments#comment-2267407

 

The cabinet scraper (though kidney scarper sounds like far cooler instrument🙂) is a marvelous tool indeed. Razor thin trailing edges in a minute (or so).

Patrik

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Coming along nicely Jon, good attention to detail.:yes:

Sorry for a little thread drift, @Patrik, can you tell if the same gun mount was fitted to the Fairey Seafox?

 

Stuart

 

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