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Jonners

Contrail 1/72 Vickers Vildebeest vacform

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10 minutes ago, Marklo said:

That's vacforms for you (and scratch builds too) even though it can be a pain,m it's what makes these so much more interesting/satisfying than regular kits.

Absolutely agreed, Marklo - I just wish that I had more time to devote to actually making progress! I’ll certainly be building more vacforms in the future, even if there’s a far easier injection kit available. 

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More slow tinkering in the short gaps between Real Life.  Firstly, the horizontal tailplane has been attached to the fuselage, the elevator added and some fine 'rib tape' lines added: 

 

20190611_210856

 

First I drew the rib lines onto the tail surfaces in pencil, then laid thin strips of Tamiya tape on either side of the lines. With the strips between the rib lines thus masked, I gave it a couple of coats of aerosol primer. Removing the masking tape left raised 'rib tape' effect which was then gently sanded with worn fine-grade wet 'n dry paper to soften the edges. Another shot of primer should finish the job, but the port elevator has a couple of dimples that need filling first.

 

The lower wing is still in one piece while the ribs and ailerons are being worked on, after which it will be cut and the dihedral - which occurs where the inboard struts meet the wing - built in:

 

20190611_211006

 

20190611_211026

 

The 'rib tapes' were added in the same way as for the tailplane only with slightly greater depth, then the leading edge 'riblets' were added more finely. (Actually, some were added using a brush, hence the darker shade). The result isn't scale-perfect, but I like the overall effect:

 

20190611_210930

 

I eventually found a single photo online that clearly shows the aileron hinges, so slots were cut into each aileron and slivers of plastic card cemented into corresponding slots in the wing. It's a pretty delicate joint, so I'll have to be careful not to knock the ailerons off!

 

The single-piece fin and rudder halves were cut from the backing sheet and cemented together but, as with the rear fuselage, the two halves didn't quite match. The fin/rudder combo also didn't match the shape on the plan (I know, the plan might not be accurate...but I'm assuming that it is because life is too short), so the lower rudder section was cut out and a plastic card insert added. Once dry the whole part was 'fettled' to match the plan:

 

20190611_210746

 

It then had some fine rib lines added and the base of the fin was carved to fit flush with the top of the horizontal tailplane. The rudder was then separated from the fin and the front edge gently sanded. A sliver of thin plastic card inside the fin filled the narrow gap between the fin halves and will give a better 'key' for the cement when I attach the rudder back onto the fin. 

 

Unsurprisingly, the fuselage has been through the fill-sand-prime process a few times, but is nearly there bar a couple of small areas. Generally my efforts at scribing the panel lines have been obliterated, so I'm considering a Plan B as the plastic is really quite thin; I've tried a variation on my rib tape effect on the nose by masking along the prominent joint lines and building a layer of primer to represent the nose panels. The jury's out on that one at the moment:

 

20190611_210810

 

Finally, instead of putting it off, I put a new blade in the scalpel and cut out the wheel spats. It doesn't really show in the photo, but three are pretty much the same size whereas one is slightly shorter at the rear pointy end. It's not a big issue and should be straightforward to fix:

 

20190611_210718

 

Onward and upward!

 

Jon

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Good work on the wing tapes Jon. As a matter of interest, what is the tape width?

 

Stuart

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3 minutes ago, Courageous said:

As a matter of interest, what is the tape width?

If you mean the width of the simulated rib tapes on the wing, Stuart, then about 1mm...ish. Narrow enough to look about right to my eye, without losing sleep over scale widths or the fact that the rib tape widths are slightly inconsistent! I masked using lots of thin strips cut from 18mm Tamiya tape. 

 

Jon

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I'll second that, it looks great!

 

Ian

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Righto, lower wings on their way. Firstly they were cut with a razor saw at the point where the dihedral starts and, after minimal fettling, the outers were re-attached with approximately 3 degrees of dihedral (about 5mm at the tips):

 

20190614_105113

 

Next task was to redraw the lines marking the inboard/fuselage end of each wing:

 

20190614_105050

 

The wings were then separated using my razor saw (which is really getting past its sell-by date, so I must get another):

 

 

20190614_105025

 

 

Of course, I managed to scratch the port wing. It was hardly a difficult task, but it just wouldn't be right if I didn't make extra work for myself...

 

Next major task will obviously be to attach the wings to the fuselage:

 

20190614_105000

 

I've made allowance for a forward spar rod using stiff wire, but it will need something towards the trailing edge as well that won't show clearly through the rear fuselage opening.  That will probably have to wait as I have a few days of fun and frolics in a flight simulator coming up, which definitely takes priority over fettling bits of plastic!  Still, I'm encouraged that this is starting to look vaguely like an aeroplane.

 

Jon

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Nice progress!

Have fun in the sim, at least you only do it once/twice a year!

 

Ian

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1 hour ago, limeypilot said:

Nice progress!

Have fun in the sim, at least you only do it once/twice a year!

 

Ian

Hah! Definitely twice - and never in the 'capacity seat' with all the buttons that make interesting things happen:-)

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Nice work on all those ribs! And on the rest of it, of course...

 

It's quite often a trial to work out what these inter-war aeroplanes really looked like. 

 

Looking forward to more.

 

Regards,

Adrian

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1 hour ago, Jonners said:

Hah! Definitely twice - and never in the 'capacity seat' with all the buttons that make interesting things happen:-)

I wish....most of my sim time is as seat support for single pilot bookings! EASA one day, FAA the next, somewhere else after that, and alternating between King Air and Embraer! :confused:

 

Ian

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Right, 6-monthly sim checks (and associated trek to and from Norway) completed successfully, so it's back to the modelling corner.

 

Actually, that's not quite true. What I really meant was: back to the multitude of domestic jobs, dad-taxying and home projects prior to going back to work, with a few minutes here and there to escape to my study to fettle bits of plastic. Sound familiar?

 

Anyway, here's the update. Firstly the fin and rudder were primed to check for blemishes and then attachedto the rear fuselage using two 'pins' made from steel guitar string:

 

20190624_142427

 

Next, the gun bulge and the rectangular-section vent pipe below it were added from scrap plastic and filler (still a bit agricultural, so needs a bit of tidying):

 

20190624_142357

 

Then the wings, which had been filled and sanded a few times on the dihedral joint, were secured to the fuselage with a straight piece of paperclip acting as a spar through the tube that I had glued across the fuselage width. The dihedral joint, about 1cm outboard from the fuselage, isn't very obvious in the photo but the result looks like this:

 

20190624_142647

 

Most recently some of the more obvious rear fuselage panels were masked and painted in an effort to create a subtle raised panel effect. The wing 'rib tapes' that had been partially sanded away when dealing with the dihedral joint were reinstated using the same technique:

 

20190624_142507

 

20190624_142449

 

Another blast of primer is in order, then it will be time to fit some fuselage-to-wing struts.  At least it's starting to look vaguely aeroplane-shaped!

 

As an historically-interesting (and self-indulgent) aside, and absolutely nothing to do with Vildebeests or modelling, I found this while paying my respects at the RAF war graves in the local churchyard in Norway:

 

20190618_204533

 

The inscription reads:

 

In memory

Ship's Master

Knut Paust

Rommetvedt

[Born]11-2-1863

Perished with the loss of the Titanic

14-4-1912

 

Blimey.

Jon

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Re-primed, as it were, and ready for the next stage:

 

20190624_224635

 

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Wow Jonners , that is coming along really well. I wrestled with that kit several years ago and you are making a MUCH better fist of it compared with my efforts.

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Looking fantastic, I'm starting to want one only in 1/48. Hmmm Maybe next year. The que is already too long for 2019 :) 

 

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Thanks for the kind comments. Now for some struttery:

 

The kit includes some lengths of extruded strut (2 sizes), rod (2 sizes) and tube (1 size) with one length of each. The heavier-gauge strut length is suitable for the interwing struts and those between the fuselage and wings. The narrower length will be fine for the aileron links and tailplane supports but has very little structural rigidity:

 

20190625_105212

 

A quick measurement from the plans shows that the overall strut length required for the 4 interwing and 8 fuselage-to-wing struts is around 28cm, assuming no wastage; unfortunately the length provided is only about 26cm, which is irritating! So, I've decided to use the plastic extruded strut for the fuselage-to-wing pieces and use shaped cocktail sticks for the interwing struts, which will give a rigid wing structure. As the Vildebeest was a single-bay biplane I will only need to make 4 interwing struts.

 

The fuselage-to-lower-wing pieces are in place:

 

20190625_105356

 

Of course, it couldn't possibly go smoothly. Now that the wings are securely attached to the fuselage, I've realised that there is a small amount of sweepback due probably to the fuselage tapering slightly behind the cockpit. I don't know how I didn't spot this before attaching the wings! Each wing is only a degree or so out of true but, as the one-piece upper wing has no sweepback, to say it's annoying is a mild understatement!

 

20190625_105503

 

As I'm fed up with fettling the wings, and as trying to separate them from the fuselage would invite disaster, I'll give it a stiff ignoring. Sergeant - put that rigger on a charge!

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Very commendable what you're doing here Jonners but when the upper wing goes on you'll see no sweep back even if it were there.

Deep breath, move on but don't shoot the rigger 'till it's finished.

 

Stuart

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Looking great Jonners !!!

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Think of it as a Zen moment, no human effort can be perfect especially a difficult Vac form.  Alternatively you could give the trailing edges a tiny sand and build up the leading edges with some milliput to correct the sweepback (Like I seem to be always doing :( )

 

47702578941_9568fee89d_z.jpg

 

Or of course you could ignore it on the basis that no one but you will know its there at all.

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5 hours ago, Courageous said:

Very commendable what you're doing here Jonners but when the upper wing goes on you'll see no sweep back even if it were there.

Deep breath, move on but don't shoot the rigger 'till it's finished.

 

Stuart

Don't worry, he's only on a charge. Confined to quarters and extra cleaning duties.

5 hours ago, Norman said:

Looking great Jonners !!!

Thanks Norman. I'm quite looking forward to seeing it in silver - but there's quite a way to go yet!

 

4 hours ago, Marklo said:

Think of it as a Zen moment, no human effort can be perfect especially a difficult Vac form.  Alternatively you could give the trailing edges a tiny sand and build up the leading edges with some milliput to correct the sweepback (Like I seem to be always doing :( )

...except that all those rib tapes would look wonky, unfortunately.

 

4 hours ago, Marklo said:

Or of course you could ignore it on the basis that no one but you will know its there at all.

Yup! That's my plan, Marklo! Don't tell anyone...

 

Jon

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Posted (edited)

The kit provides two main undercarriage struts in white metal. These are quite roughly cast; I rubbed them down with wet & dry paper but they were quite pitted so needed some filler, which is now curing. They also have two horizontal spigots at the bottom, whereas only one is needed and even that doesn't really match how the original strut attached to the spat. Nothing that a bit of fettling and CA glue won't fix:

 

20190625_202319

 

Meanwhile, it's back to the joys of vacform models with the upper wing, made much easier by using the cabinet scraper recommended by another BM'er. Unfortunately it doesn't magically eliminate the pile of plastic shavings, but it takes 95% of the hassle out of wing trailing edges. It's now clamped to set overnight:

 

20190625_202110

 

Finally for tonight the spats have been fettled and glued together. The wheel holes will be cut out once they have properly cured, then I'll have to work out how to construct the whole undercarriage spat/strut arrangement.

 

20190625_215025

Jon

Edited by Jonners

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Quote

Yup! That's my plan, Marklo! Don't tell anyone...

That's fine it will just be our little secret, only you, I, everyone at Britmodeller and the entire English speaking world will know... (now hopefully no passing rivet counters will assess my modelling errata :) )

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Well, close examination of photographs shows that all 3 struts on each side attached at more or less the same point ie the inboard wheel hub, like this:

 

20190626_201819

 

The wheel spat, when fitted, required an additional small fairing on the inboard side to accommodate the main upright strut as the wheels had slight negative camber (ie they tilted out at the top) whereas the strut sloped inwards slightly toward the wing:

 

20190626_201623

My next challenge is to try to replicate (or at least suggest) this, as the kit certainly doesn't. It doesn't help that the kit metal legs have wider shock absorber sections that are far too long; I could fix it by either a) scratch building a new pair of undercarriage struts that could bear the weight of the model, or b) ignoring it and doing what I can with the kit parts.

 

Option b) wins.  

 

I've made a start by tidying up the metal parts, cutting wheel openings on the spats and supergluing the parts together. I've started to build up the additional fairing on the starboard spat but there's a LOT of fettling to be done yet. I couldn't resist temporarily standing the model on its feet for the first time though:

 

20190626_200204

 

20190626_200453

 

It looks really rough in close-up - perhaps if I take blurry distance shots I'll be able to convince myself that it looks neater! At least it prompts me to try to deal with the defects.

 

Jon

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On 4/17/2019 at 11:50 PM, Jonners said:

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

What he has daid !!

Just a bit !!

I'll be glad to have a 1/48 one !!

Sincerely.

CC

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