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20 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:

THIS year I'll be back

Well, Rob, I’m still around but have been doing little more than reading build threads.  Although I did manage to “almost” complete a Shuttle.  Which I found enjoyable.  So much so that I’ve been lurking around Real Space & Si-Fi.  Our son gifted me with the Revell Apollo 11 Columbia and Eagle kit and that looks interesting and tempting. 


Just too many unbuilt and half-built kits laying around.  Cold weather doesn’t help either.  Really sluggish, not my best time of year.  Old fingers cold and stiff. 


Enough whinging, perhaps when you start it’ll give me the kick in the backside I need to get going on the Lodestar again.


Cheers, Rob, and good to hear from you.






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I'm still building away in the Heller Classic Group Build, but........ 🤭


While I'm doing that, I have a think and a ponder about how to tackle the wings, nacelles, cowlings etc.... 

There's only so much that can be visualised though, and eventually the bags need to be opened, to get some plastic in the hand. 



There are a couple of ideas that have been going round my head which need to be tested. 

This is one, 



Can the nacelle top be reshaped and reused to give the smaller bulge required for the Lodestar? 

Well, it's no instant solution, but there is potential to be made use of. 



The other major issue for getting started on this is the underside. Big changes need to be done. Smaller in all directions and slotted to receive the retracted main gear, and no doors of course. 

I'm wondering if the big well interior block that is moulded on the wing panel can be used. This thing... 


For the Ventura nacelle, the side pieces attach outside the shape, adding width along with everything else. 

So I'm having a try-out to see if the base shape can be modified with a bit of rounding and shaping to give the beginning of the Lodestar shape. Some kind of thin plastic solution is required to complete the shape without adding width. 



The false roof has been removed and the kit piece for the front of the nacelle has been heavily modified and glued in place. The well roof really is the top of the wing now. 





Visible there is the result of me starting into the flaps. I'm firmly of the opinion that the dogleg extension on the trailing edge of the wing is a flat plate attached onto the guide runners. The flap underneath is not extended to match, but is the standard flap as found on the Hudson and L14, parallel front and back. 

So straight in there with the knife. Now I got to figure out what to do with the gap! I haven't had to deal with this issue before.... My Ventura has flaps detached and deployed. 

I was hoping to build this one with the flaps closed, giving me one less thing to deal with while everything else is modified..... Hmmmmm🤔

The only other thing so far is the attachment recess for the external tank has been filled and blended. 


It's going to proceed in stops and starts here while other builds get sorted. But it's nice to have a few pieces of styrene in the hand to help visualise the way forward 😎

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12 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:

I was hoping to build this one with the flaps closed

Certainly your choice, Rob, and indeed, why spoil the lines of the old lady by having her drop her skirts.  Very undignified.


Nice work so far.  




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There's been research, a lot of it in the back pages of this long and rambling thread. Contributions from @dcrfan and @DMC, the measurements, references, methods and opinions all in play while I consider the options.

I've even done some technical drawing to get things clearer in my head... ⁉️



I know........ But a lot of it is down there - resin engine block, thrust line, u/c pivot point..... 🤩

And in 1.48 scale. 

One thing I want to establish early on, so it's built in to whatever gets done here, is the final prop position with reference to the fuselage side. 

My habit of using brass or Ali tubes and rods to mount propellers plays to my advantage here. The centre of the nacelle front is located and drilled through into the internal moulding behind. Nice and straight, perpendicular in plan and elevation. We don't want the engine installations going askew. 


With measurements from the drawing, the brass tube bearing is cut to reach where the front of the engine boss will be. 

Borrowing an already-done prop from my Ventura and fitting it into the tube, it's ready to check by slotting the wing panel into place around the dihedral brace in the fuselage..... 






I'll do a bit of checking but I'm pretty sure this is the right final position for the prop. If it all checks out I can use the tube to aid assembly by drilling a hole in the middle of a former, firewall, engine (obviously!) or what I need and sliding it onto the tube. 

The bulkhead that I've drilled, this one... 


..... if I can dry fit the wing panels and project the rest of that circle onto the wing top above it, that gives me something to work with for the nacelle top piece. I've tried out by using measurements, and my drawing, and the nacelle top that I have removed is looking quite good for the job with some modifications. 

I've sorted the flap trailing edge to my satisfaction too. 


Enhanced rails are fitted and here the interior bevels are being blanked off. So that's some of the gap gone. Then the guide channels in the flap on the underneath wing part are sawn into at the downwards angle and channelled out with a triangle needle file. 


With some tinkering and removal of awkward things.... 😁.... and a bit of chamfering on the cut edges, the two wing panels fit together and the rails fit in the channels, just like they are supposed to! 


Those channels are better looking than the ones on the Ventura so I'm going to revise those at some point. 


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  • rob Lyttle changed the title to Lockheed Lodestar in 1.48 (continued)

No slap dash here, Rob, styrene engineering at its best.




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Feeling my way forward with this in a freestyle sort of way. I have indeed made use of the brass tube as a way of getting onto the nacelle towards the engine. 

So far I've got a bobbin made of 3 layers of 6mm balsa and styrene circles as templates front and back. 


With much judicious fitting and trials I have it so the tip of the tube is protruding out of the front of the engine when the back of the resin engine butts to the front of the bobbin. 


A 2mm spacer is required here to come out and meet the backplate of my bobbin.... 


..... and then the measurements all tally. And with a bit of a chop into the leading edge, the whole thing fits on and the circle is continued above the wing. Now I can see what is required to be done on the top. 


Also taking a look at the engine cowlings situation, and had a look at the kit front rings.

What I've done here is made 2 cuts on panel lines and inserted spacers of 1mm styrene to increase the diameter a little. 


And with some abrasion inside and a bit of chamfering on the engine valve covers towards the front, they go together quite well with the prop nicely spaced from the ring. 


It's now apparent that I should have just used a champagne Cork 🤩🍾

Exploring possibilities with this, but it may be something I can work with. 

I'm reminded that the big P&W Double Wasp radial (for which this cowling front is made) is almost exactly the same diameter as the Wright Cyclone (which is what I'm fitting on the Lodestar)

Question...... When the cowlings taper down behind the engines and come to meet the nacelles on this, is there a gap, a ventilation space for cooling purposes? 

My little 1.72 kits are a bit vague on this and basically use the joints as a way of assembling the engines to the airframe. 

I'd have thought that some kind of cooling was required with hot air out behind the engines. 

Any good information on this?? 😎

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8 hours ago, rob Lyttle said:


Also taking a look at the engine cowlings situation, and had a look at the kit front rings.

What I've done here is made 2 cuts on panel lines and inserted spacers of 1mm styrene to increase the diameter a little. 





Front ring looks familiar.  Gisborne NZ Lodestar engine.


50834221992_ca42e5ce63_c.jpgGAPS 2_zpsf7srxhgo by tankienz, on Flickr

Edited by dcrfan
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Useful photos, thanks! 

I have a cowling that fits a Wright Cyclone, 


I've rescribed the joint line for the front ring as evidenced in the picture of the NZ example from dcrfan. 

Not being into the heat processes and plunging like dmc, I've been cobbling and whittling and bending bits of styrene to get it this far. 

In position, it gives me this.... 




Before seeing Dennis's picture, I'd have dismissed this as being too gappy. Bearing in mind that I have to get some metal cladding over the balsa nacelle. 

But that looks fairly close to the refs. 

I can't really get much further with the installation until I do some work on the engine before it's fixed inside. 

So that's a whole different state of mind. Pushrods seem easy enough, and I've drilled for those already. Sparkplugs and wires....?? Bit of a pain to do, aren't they!? 

It's either that or start into the other wing. Although there is a slotted wheel bay to get my head around. 🤔

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I tackled the nacelle under the wing. The easiest way to deal with it is two separate sides. 

This is the state of play so far.... 


The inboard side is 1mm stock sheet with a bit of a curve pressed in it over a pen. The rest of the curvature is sanded when it's dry.. 

Before that is glued on, I made a balsa plug that fits the whole space. 2 holes or recesses need to be made in the under face to accommodate the leg mounting points. 

Pie dish Ali is used to fabricate the outboard section, forming the shape over the balsa. 


I've made it to fit right up to the wing surface. This is it so far..... An extra slot needs to be made and some reinforcement may be required inside to steady things up. And I need to look into the question of leg attachment. I think the leg will have to be fixed and this piece fitted around it. 

Some more Ali has been applied, wing top and cowling and the balsa bobbin section.... 



I'm fairly happy with the overall size and shape of the nacelle modification. Making use of the moulded shape on the wing panel without adding the kit side parts looks like a reasonable way to make a Lodestar nacelle. 


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Dealing with the flaps on this kit has brought my attention to something that I have been overlooking. It's the length of the channels on the trailing edge...... I've previously been leaving them too long. 

Here's a flap from the Ventura on the left, beside the current work in hand. 


On close inspection of the kit channels, a tiny etched line becomes apparent.... 



That's a shortcut that Revell have taken, along with the other makers. The tail end of channel represents the end of the RAIL, which is attached to, and sticking out the back of, the wing top. So when the flaps are posed open as I'm doing with the Ventura, all those ends need to be removed. They could be glued on the ends of the rails I guess, but I'm dealing with them separately anyway. 

I've now trimmed them off and filed the channels as I did with this current wing, and they look much better. 


I'll do the other one to match, and they are ready to go. 

I'm pleased to have caught this little item! 😎

I'd better go back and check the little 1.72 builds.... I have a feeling that the Academy Ventura is suffering from the same thing..... Flap guide channels left too long with a bit of the top rails still attached 👍

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This is very impressive work Rob the nacelle and cowling look fantastic as does the rest, but not doing vacforming and doing things this way gives us fellow modellers hope that one day we will be able to complete something similar.

Great work 


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Well, thanks for the kind words and encouragement! 😍

A quick update, in that I realised I have a whole other wing to attend to. I thought I would make a start on it while I still have the homemade parts in hand, and while I can remember what I've done first time around. 


I suppose it's fair to say that the second one is easier in that the trail-blazing has been done. My difficulty is trying to get the 2nd one the same! 


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I'm playing catch up with the port wing and nacelle, and getting some foil on while the pieces are still flat on the cutting board. 


The leading edges and ailerons can be sorted after the joining top and bottom. 

I've tried something out with the landing lights under the wings. I just eased the foil into the opening, dishing it without puncturing the metal, and then a good dab of pva glue in the recess. 


A little blanking plate is glued in the inside of the wing panel. 

I think I have a plan of action. 

Wings can go together now and the nacelles completed. The airframe can be built. Engines and cowlings can go on later, on the brass tubes. 

U/C can be fitted without the outer section of the nacelle fitted, and then that piece added after. 

Sounds like a plan to me 👍

And that will be THE major hurdle overcome. Tailplanes are a doddle after this lot 😎

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Thanks Nikolay. Definitely a bare metal challenge, this one. 

I decided to put some extra spar in the wings before joining up. The assembly feels quite springy and empty, like a hollow box, which is what it is. 

Some guessing and tapering was involved until the fit came right, but it's definitely helped the structure. 



The starboard wing-the first one - has a dip in the wing modified area behind the nacelle top. It's where the insert meets the original wing surface. And the foil has really made a feature of it. 

I'm going in there to try and sort it. 


Just started peeling back the foil panel in question. 

Foil is off, glue residue cleaned with a whiff of white spirits, and a smear of ppp applied to the trouble area.


Hopefully I can take that back to a decent flat surface and re-cover. 

So one wing assembly done and the nacelle bobbin fitted. Having got this far, I sorted the fit to the fuselage. Oddly the two lugs that engage with the slots in the root area were slightly out of alignment with their slots, and a couple of mm needed to be removed from each to let the wing seat properly. Didn't have that trouble with the first build. I thought it was my seats and floor inside that caused the issue but no...... Anyway, lugs trimmed and it fits now. 



So I dry fitted the engine, cowling and a prop for a look see. 





Looking OK?? 


My goodness, just looking between this and the Ventura engine installation shows up the difference between the two. I'll try and get a decent picture to illustrate the comparison. 

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The fix on the top of the wing went OK. It's an improvement on what was there, at least. 


The second wing is assembled and being sorted for joints. And the nacelle top piece shaped and fitted. 




I created some deflection on the ailerons before joining the top and bottom. 

Something else I've tried out relates to the curving wing tips. They are always tricky to foil, leaving cut edges of the foil on the edge and vulnerable to peeling back and general wear and tear. So I've covered the tips before joining and made a turnover onto the inside like this.... 


So this gets made nice and flat so it's not a nuisance in the joint, and the final result is looking fairly tidy. 

The tailplanes on this plane are a festival of curved edges 🤪

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Wow! You’re on fire, Rob, won’t be long now.



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