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28 Sqn Westland Wapiti (1/48) scratch 'n' print


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A Wapiti? What? A Wapiti, yes, and in 1/48 scale no less.

How on earth did I get here then? Well, there’s a few reasons for this:  One being that I need one to complete my collection of 28 Sqn aircraft. Secondly, I doubt if any of the mainstream manufacturers are ever going to release one, especially in my chosen scale.  In addition, I had 3 builds on the go that had all stalled due to waiting for some custom decals, and while all that was going on I had been avidly following @TheBaron's incredible 3 Dimensional journey in the creation of a couple of Sea Vixens

 

 

I had also caught @Pinback’s lovely conversion

 

 

And Young @wellsprop had just recently created a 1/48 Wapiti

Well, what with all that Wapiti-ing going on, and being the stubborn sort that I am, I thought I should have a go myself.  I have the printer, and I have SolidWorks – just how hard could it be?

 

A few PM’s later, and @dogsbody kindly supplied me with some plans and I jumped right in since I had very little else going on modeling wise. I guess I could (should?) have been working but where’s the fun in that?

 

Now, if you’ve been following Tony’s beautifully crafted Vixenry, with its well thought out, carefully planned, and immaculately executed approach, then stop right there! You’ll find none o’ that nonsense here!  I’m more of a heads on, brute force, beat it into submission type of guy.

 

Plans in hand, or at least in bits and bytes, I threw the Wapiti plan into SolidWorks and began the process of building a Wapiti. To be honest, I started creating what turned out to be just the first version – this was more of a trial to see if I had the skills necessary to create all the shapes and forms required.  SolidWorks is a fairly complex tool with lots of features, but in my day job I only use it occasionally, and don’t have need for much more than the basic tools – so there were a few new skills to learn along the way.

I managed to create a basic Wapiti (fuselage) shape within a couple of days but once I had worked my way through it and figured out where the nasty bits were, the old brain kicked in and told me I should start again. This time refining the model and using some of the new skills I picked up along the way to better effect. So I did.  Version number 2 fuselage was completed in short order and I was reasonably happy with the result.

 

The next stage was to start on the wings and here’s where it got a bit squirelly.  The original plans I had received were in bitmap form, and while it was acceptable for most of the design, when  it came to the wings, the pixilation in the bitmap file made it impossible to determine an accurate shape – or at least one I was happy with.  Some to-ing and fro-ing on BM brought up the fact that there were higher resolution plans available!  Excellent. Some more PM’s and with the help of Chris, I got my hands on the higher resolution plans. This was great – except that it showed up some detail that I couldn’t see on the original bitmap. The higher resolution also meant that I could be a lot (relatively speaking) more accurate with my model design.

 

In case you’re not familiar with this process, essentially I insert the plans as a background in my CAD application, and then use basic sketching tools (lines, arcs, circles etc.) to trace over whatever features in the plans I need to create the basic sketches which are then used to create a solid model.  With the bitmap file, once zoomed in, each ‘line’ was anywhere from 3 to 6 or 7 pixels wide. That meant that in many cases I had to take my best guess at dimensions and just where to place my lines.  The higher resolution file was of a much better quality (obviously) and this made the job much easier, and a lot more accurate dimensionally.

This was as far as I managed to get with version 2 and original plans.

 

Capture-A.png

 

It doesn’t look too bad but knowing that I could do better and be more accurate was gnawing away at my insides.  You guessed it – I’m now on Wapiti Version 3.

As mentioned above, it’s a relatively straightforward process.  The plan is first scaled to a known dimension, then I can begin tracing all the elements I need. In this plan you can see that there are a number of very useful cross sections at various stations along the fuselage. All I had to do was trace over the appropriate section, then position it at the appropriate station in the right plane. Sounds more complex than it is.

 

Here’s a shot of the cross sections stationed on the appropriate planes. The hardest task was making sure that the centerlines defining the horizontal and longitudinal axes were correct, otherwise the fuselage could end up a bit wonky.

 

 

Capture1.png

 

In order to create the fuselage section, I select two of the cross sections and create a ‘loft’ between them.

 

Capture2.png

 

Sometimes this a simple process and SolidWorks guesses what I trying to accomplish and gets it right first time. Other times, it’s not very good at guessing and does what it wants to do, especially when the geometries start becoming more complex as this transition section in the nose shows.

 

 

Capture3.png

 

In this instance I  had to create another couple of sketches in various planes in order to restrain the geometry -  shown as purple lines in that screen shot.

After that, it was a case of repeating the process until I had built up all the sections along the fuselage.

 

 

Capture4.png

 

The intent at this stage is just to build up a very basic fuselage form.  All the greeblies and sticky-ins and sticky-outs can come later.

Here’s the basic fuselage form

 

 

Capture6.png

 

And the same fuselage with all the sketches etc. hidden.

 

Capture5.png

 

Now things become a tad more complex.  Those cross section were incredibly useful, but as you can see in this shot, there are geometry changes along the length of the fuselage which are not accounted for in the cross sections. 

For example, note the hump at the bottom between section B & C, and also how the gunners deck changes from a flat horizontal to a curved slope between sections F & G.

 

 

Capture8.png

 

There was no alternative but to interpolate those geometric changes based on the side elevation and analyzing as many photos as I could lay my hands on to try and figure out just how and where those geometries altered.

Some hours later and with a bit of experimentation we arrive at this

 

Capture9.png

 

Now happy with the overall form of the fuselage, its time to take it a stage further – shelling out the fuselage. How else would I get the internal gubbinses in there?

Actually this was a bit harder than first imagined. The Shell function kept farting and falling over when trying to shell out this geometry, so I had to create a number of additional sketches to  create lofted cuts through each individual section.

 

Capture7.png

 

As it stands now, I have shelled out the walls to 1.5 mm thick.  Thankfully I can easily change that later if I find I need to.

Which brings us now to the current state of play: Greeblies have begun!

 

 

Capture10.png

 

As Alice Copper proudly proclaimed back in his Love It to Death days – We still got a long way to  go!

Adding features on flat surfaces was easy, just simple extrudes and cuts, but those features when located on a compound surface was a lot more difficult. That oval’ish panel on the underside of the nose took me a good 45 minutes or so to figure out. 

 

 

Capture11.png

 

I’m sure someone with intimate knowledge of all SolidWorks intricacies could have knocked it out in 30 seconds, but me? Nope! Did I mention brute force? And beating things into submission?  I eventually figured out how to accomplish it but I had to jump through a few hoops first, but got there in the end.

All things said and done, I’m pleased with the progress. However, this is going to be one of those long term projects.  My three stalled builds have just restarted so I’ll be attacking this when time allows, but it will get finished.

 

Once I have the fuselage all sorted out, I will then need to figure out how to break it up for printing and for subsequent assembly, not to mention figure out all the internals and just what will be getting added. That may, or may not involve creating version 4

Even though I now have detailed plans showing all sorts of features on the aircraft, it is still in some cases all but impossible to tell how those features work.  For example, there’s a hatch/door underneath the camera, but there’s only one view of the feature so I have no idea if it is a sliding door, a fold up/down door or indeed some other kind of contraption.  There’s just not that many high resolution photos of Wapiti’s out there, so some of this is going to be pure guesswork, and I just know that I shall end up getting a few things wrong along the way. With some luck, at the end of the day I should end up with a Wapiti looking object for my collection.

 

 

 

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Ooh! Front row seat :)

 

I have a Novo Wallace set aside for a  Doug McHard’s Meccano Magazine conversion some day...

 

Regards,

Adrian

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This is stunning! 

 

It's been a little while since I've used Solid Works, but with regards to creating the basic fuselage shape, I would suggest either doing a single loft between all the sections, or using surface modelling and creating a single surface. This will create a continuous profile and avoid the sharp edges at each section.

 

Looking forward to seeing this one progress :)

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Watching with great interest.. I have the WellsProps conversion kit stashed and will be using the Haraya resin engine to convert the Roden DH9 kit.

 

Your modelling so far looks fantastic.

 

What is your plan for the wings? New prints or working with the Roden kit and widening them? 

 

If you need the aeroplane monthly plans give me a shout.

 

Edited by mahavelona
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Aha, another build from scratch design model design!

I'm in! 

 

Looking good so far hendie, but it still looks 'orribly complicated :) 

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Looking forward to this as another SW user - much to learn here!

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Solid work Alan.

:coat:

 

(Best of luck with this - I know it'll be a gorgeous representation)

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Lovely work so far.
 

In solid works when the lofts go awry it is possible to manually edit the paths between the sections, it can be tricky but you can move the start and end points, and add and delete paths.

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Looking forward to seeing this grow into the superb replica we all know it will be

 

  Stay safe                Roger

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OOH, A Woppity! Impressive computering stuff, You think you're adrift? I only found out about CTRL/Shift/N a couple of years ago. I thought I'd broken it!

If I can slip in the word Wessex yet again. Around 1978 on ASF, My Sergeant, Les, (Bless him) Told us he'd once worked on one. I now presume at Saints?

This led to ribbing about working in the desert and bombing the locals. All good fun. And yes, we all pronounced it Woppity.

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Interested to see how this develops.

 

When I saw reference to printing I immediately thought paper! 

 

D’oh! Not very 21st century of me.

 

Karl

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On 2/2/2021 at 8:31 PM, AdrianMF said:

Ooh! Front row seat :)

I have a Novo Wallace set aside for a  Doug McHard’s Meccano Magazine conversion some day...

Regards,

Adrian

 

On 2/2/2021 at 10:28 PM, dogsbody said:

Me watching, too! 

Chris

 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 2:11 AM, Brandy said:

Excellent, I'm in!

Ian

 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 3:37 AM, CedB said:

Aha, another build from scratch design model design!

I'm in! 

Looking good so far hendie, but it still looks 'orribly complicated :) 

 

Thanks Adrian, Chris, Ian, Ced.  Welcome to the dark side.

 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 3:00 AM, mahavelona said:

Watching with great interest.. I have the WellsProps conversion kit stashed and will be using the Haraya resin engine to convert the Roden DH9 kit.

Your modelling so far looks fantastic.

What is your plan for the wings? New prints or working with the Roden kit and widening them? 

If you need the aeroplane monthly plans give me a shout.

 

Current plan of record (subject to change) is to print the full kit.  Wings, engine etc.   We'll see just how far I get.

 

On 2/3/2021 at 4:54 AM, Dunny said:

Looking forward to this as another SW user - much to learn here!

 

I'm sure I have plenty of bad habits that I can pass along

 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 6:20 AM, TheBaron said:

Solid work Alan.

:coat:

 

(Best of luck with this - I know it'll be a gorgeous representation)

 

Thanks Tony. Nowhere as good as your Vixenry but it should keep me off the streets for a few weeks

 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 8:16 AM, Marklo said:

Lovely work so far.

In solid works when the lofts go awry it is possible to manually edit the paths between the sections, it can be tricky but you can move the start and end points, and add and delete paths.

 

I know.  Moving the points works for the most part, but I've found that SW can throw a wobbly if you suppress and unsuppress features so I'm sticking to constraining lofts by additional sketches if needed - that way SW can't argue with me

 

 

On 2/3/2021 at 9:51 AM, Hamden said:

Looking forward to seeing this grow into the superb replica we all know it will be

  Stay safe                Roger

 

thanks Roger, only time will tell.  I'm already hitting issue where scale effect is starting to bite me

 

On 2/3/2021 at 2:51 PM, Bordfunker said:

Interested to see how this develops.

When I saw reference to printing I immediately thought paper! 

D’oh! Not very 21st century of me.

Karl

 

Believe it or not, my first searches were looking for a card/paper model that I could use as a template.  I'm positive I saw one a year or so ago, but couldn't find it this time

 

On 2/3/2021 at 2:28 PM, Pete in Lincs said:

OOH, A Woppity! Impressive computering stuff, You think you're adrift? I only found out about CTRL/Shift/N a couple of years ago. I thought I'd broken it!

If I can slip in the word Wessex yet again. Around 1978 on ASF, My Sergeant, Les, (Bless him) Told us he'd once worked on one. I now presume at Saints?

This led to ribbing about working in the desert and bombing the locals. All good fun. And yes, we all pronounced it Woppity.

 

Wahpeetee, Wopatoe

 

On 2/3/2021 at 1:44 AM, wellsprop said:

This is stunning! 

It's been a little while since I've used Solid Works, but with regards to creating the basic fuselage shape, I would suggest either doing a single loft between all the sections, or using surface modelling and creating a single surface. This will create a continuous profile and avoid the sharp edges at each section.

Looking forward to seeing this one progress :)

 

Wellsprop, there are no sharp edges other than the sharp edges I have purposely defined. I think you are getting confused with the graphics mode I'm using which shows the tangent edges.  I find it easier to design that way when I can clearly see where each feature begins and ends.  The only 'edges' are where the panels change direction and where I shall be adding panel lines anyway.

As regards lofting the entire fuselage as one loft - I find it much easier to modify or tweak things when they are in bite sized chunks.  As you are well aware with a parametric model, changing one feature in the design tree can easily have unintended consequences further down the line. As I find more reference shots and detail I am continually going back and tweaking things here and there. Besides, I've been doing this for twenty odd years and my bad habits aren't going away!

 

Capture-A6.png

 

 

You'll no doubt notice in the above shot that I have started adding small details here and there.  I'm quite happy with the overall fuselage shape now and it should only require minor tweaks going forward.

 

Capture-A3.png

As a diversion from working on the main fuselage I, in a moment of madness thought it would be nice to try getting the undercarriage into shape.  Ha!  

That was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Creating the actual main strut was easy - orienting it correctly to the fuselage and in the right location was a bit more challenging, then placing a locating feature was particularly helpful in expanding my use of the mother tongue.

 

Capture-A1.png

 

As I mentioned above, scale effect is proving troublesome in some areas, the undercarriage being a case in point. The main strut is only 1.75 mm wide (when viewed from the front) and over 25 mm long, and the profile narrows as it approaches the wheel.

The connection to the fuselage is also a concern. At the moment, for design purposes I'm using a Ø1mm rod as the location/fixing feature.  The plan being that when it comes to printing, I shall remove that rod and create a Ø1mm hole into the top of the strut which will allow me to use a brass rod as a mounting aid.

 

 

Capture-A5.png

 

 

It's hard to tell from photos but in some shots it looks as though the u/c struts have the same fluting (is that the right term?) as the main fuselage.  I'm not sure if it's fluting or perhaps a trick of the light and the u/c struts were wrapped with some material?

Either way, at this scale, producing that fluting on the struts will print properly and that effect may be better suited (at this scale) to be reproduced by paint layers ( a la rib tape technique). Or would that even be noticeable on the finished model?

 

Capture-A7.png

 

I have severe doubts about the u/c being able to support the weight of the finished aircraft with it being only 1.75mm wide, but I have an idea in mind to try later that I am hopeful may solve the issue. Stay tuned for more madness later.

 

The front struts - another hour or two of my life gone forever - were even more fun than the main strut.  All these angles in 3 dimensional space eventually succumbed to copious amounts of caffeine and my brute force approach.

Cutouts for the front struts have been made and I have some ideas for mounting methods... at a later session.

 

Capture-A4.png

 

The wheels were fun though! (at last he says).  I've made the wheels from three separate components - tire, back plate, and front plate as that will simplify the painting process and remove the need for masking.

 

As of tonight - this is the latest state of play.  Lots of fun (for the most part) adding greeblies

 

Capture-A2.png

 

Thus far, I'm finding it hard to find good detail shots of the starboard side.  99% of available references appear to be of the port side.  I'm also noting that there appear to be quite a few variations in design.  The oil cooler as an example - the drawings, and a few photos show it on the underside of the nose, but a reference shot I have entitled 28 Sqn line up for inspection shows an oil cooler on the side of the nose, as I've shown above.

 

If the weather warms up a little bit over the next few days, I'm going to try doing a test print as I am really keen to  find out how those details will turn out in print.  It's very easy to look at the screen and think, oh they look huge, they should print fine, but at this point it's all just guesswork and I really need a print in my hands to  determine just how exaggerated some of those details will need to be.

 

I bid you all a good evening - dinner beckons.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No.

 

Sorry H but no!

 

When you mentioned there were very few Woptys in captivity I found the Indian Air Force museum introduction photo with a Wopty over on the right.

 

Very small image I agree but by magnifying the bit with the Wopty in you can see the nose bottom behind the engine has more of a radius to it than your flattened underside image.

 

There is a definite radius to the underside section, visible on the photo.

 

Sadly no better help than that, the whole enterprise has me amazed.

 

Well done for getting dug in. 

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I had been there before (digitally, not to India) and it took me a while to spot the picture again, not surprised you didn't spot it.

 

P1010463.jpg

 

Over there on the right, in the puddle of very harsh Indian sunlight.

 

Woppity? No?

 

P1010466.jpg

 

Is that a curved undernose area?

 

P1010468.jpg

 

The more I examine it the more I think it is slightly curved running to nearly flat at the motor but not in quite as pronounced a way as your initial renderings.

 

You know this was the only coloured modern picture I can find in the interweb, what is the matter with photographers?

 

All the zilliards of shots of the Taj Mahal and none of this little pioneer, shocking.

 

:(

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Hmmph

 

Well that is irritating, I did a search on Flickr for Hangar 2 and got a flickriver item for Photos tagged with Palam

 

Lots of pictures of the museum, nice museum by the way, with rather a good number of the Wapiti but it seems I am not allowed to copy them to show you

 

I have been blocked, hopefully only from Flickr and not my image guys at Postimage.

 

Anyway if you google flickr/Photos tagged with Palam you will find lots of useful nose shots

 

Best I can do, I might have some grovelling to do

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Shall I see if I have been able to save one?

 

OK

 

Wapiti-in-India1.png

 

Looking at this it isnt quite the same after all, different marks?

 

And definitely no engine of the museum bird, she will never fly again.

 

Capture8.png

 

I think the oil cooler sits behind that empty space after the metal shield I have been looking at.

 

But the radius of the lowest curves at the front seems to be a bigger circle

 

All good clean fun.

 

I got a couple more all courtesy of Andrew Shaw on Flickr

wopti4.png

 

They clearly show that there is much wrong and or missing from the museum example but I hope they do help

wopti5.png

The one above clearly shows I must be wrong but from other angles...

 

wopti6.png

 

The rigging of the wings is awful and frankly shows an airframe in desperate need of love and skilful rigging

 

I am not too disappointed though, looking at the cross section on Alan's drawing there is a definite curve at point B and the museum's lower front panel has  the look of something knocked up by a rigger with a hole to fill.

 

Probably after the engine and its gubbinses were ripped out at end of service.

 

wopti3.png

 

out.

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Still in time to hit page 1 :phew:

 

This looks already very interesting, I'll tag along if you don't mind, Alan :popcorn:  :beer: 

 

Ciao

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On 2/3/2021 at 11:12 AM, hendie said:

I’m more of a heads on, brute force, beat it into submission type of guy.

 Yep- Show it who's the boss!

 

Really looking forward to  your build :)

 

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You're right about the rigging Bill - that's even worse than my attempt on the Roden F2b.  Sheesh, the port wing looks as if it's about to fall off.

 

 

 

8 hours ago, perdu said:

Looking at this it isnt quite the same after all, different marks?

 

 

Not sure about that Bill.  The IAF Wapiti looks like the skin was nailed on my some appos during a lunch break while they were waiting for the rain to stop so they could get outside to play some cricket.

 

It's in such a state, I'm not sure I trust how it's been rebuilt/maintained.  here's another shot showing how it appears quite curved at the front u/c support location

 

Capture2.png

 

Here's a comparison between one of the reference shots I'm using, and a cross section of my model at the leg support location.  If anything it looks as if my model could be a touch flatter at the bottom.  The IAF Wapiti curve looks way more pronounced in my view.

 

Capture3.png

 

Note how the oil cooler is also on the port side and not underneath on that aircraft.

 

All I can say is that I have followed the cross sections on the plans as closely as possible. How accurate they are I have no way to say, but it's the only information I have to go on.

 

While faffing about today I managed to get the upper wing done, or at least started - still lots of detailing to be done there, but the basic wing is now blocked in.

 

Capture4.png

 

and in place

 

Capture5.png

 

There may be something funky going on at the wingtip as it returns back to the aileron, I'm not sure.  it could just be a graphics display problem but more likely something of my doing. 

 

Capture6.png

 

Capture6.png

 

I had to search for quite a while today to see how people created wing tips in SolidWorks.  The Answer - most of them with difficulty it seems.  The only versions I could find online were really simplified versions and not applicable to this type of aerofoil.  SolidWorks is really not designed for this type of work

To be honest, at this scale, I doubt if it would even be noticeable in the finished product. I guess I'll find out at a later time.  When I get more time and more mojo I'll revisit it as I have an idea or two to try that may improve things.

 

home made Tandoori Chicken Tikka tonight... yum!

 

 

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9 hours ago, hendie said:

The IAF Wapiti looks like the skin was nailed on my some appos during a lunch break

I totally agree. The wings may or may not be part original. but half the fuselage is sheet alloy, the undercart is dodgy and the wheels are from an old cart.

In the RSAF Museum in Riyadh, sadly, some of the Aircraft are to a similar standard. By the time they'd gotten around to building the place and getting

things organized, the Airframes had been sitting out in the desert heat for decades. Parts were missing etc etc.

It all comes down to time. money, manpower, facilities and skill. 

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38 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

 

It all comes down to time. money, manpower, facilities and skill. 


You missed out “and caring about what goes inside a museum more than the building”. A lesson some UK curators could go back to school to relearn. Rant switch now selected “off”

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10 hours ago, hendie said:

SolidWorks is really not designed for this type of work

Probably true,  but it can be made to do complex surfacing with 3D lines and constructing surfaces from individual points and splines.

 

Personally I’d just CAD it so the tip is oversized and then just sand back the printed part to the correct profile.

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